My first and last cruise with Carnival
Carnival Imagination Cruise Review to Mexico
Ship: Carnival Imagination
Cabin Type: Suite
Traveled As: Family (young children)
Reviewed: 8 years ago
My family and I recently took a Thanksgiving week cruise on board the Carnival Imagination, departing Nov 23rd and returning Nov 27th. This was the first cruise for my family and I and we were looking forward to a relaxing time, some wonderful food, and an overall a great experience. Unfortunately my review today does not carry with it praise and admiration for the food, service, nor amenities. Honestly I felt like a 'fish out of water' since my expectations were not even close to being met.
First, don't get suckered into the "VIP" experience.. its not worth the extra money. As a "VIP", I was promised certain privileges like first on the ship, first to disembark, etc. The only thing I got was a little larger room. Definitely not worth the $3000 for three people to cruise to Cozumel and back in just 4 days time.
Second, the food was terrible. The room service menu for breakfast had not hot food, just bagels and cereal. The options on the Lido Deck seemed to come and go at random, with serving lines closing for no apparent reason. When lines did open, there were only one or two staff members there to serve, causing long lines to form. I didn't go on vacation to stand in line! Food in the dining room was bland and barely warm. Nothing gourmet about the food here.
Service was mediocre at best. I was expecting some personal attention (e.g. being greeted by name by our regular waiter). This didn't happen. I got the impression from most of the staff that we were just another 2500 guests for that week that they would never see again. The exceptional service from our cabin steward was the only saving grace. He was great and I handsomely rewarded his service.
The social activities left a lot to be desired. Often the activities didn't scale to the number of guests wishing to take part. For example, the Win, Lose or Draw challenge could only accommodate 2 teams of 8-10 people each. The dozens of other people that wanted to take part, simply were left to watch. The shows on board also had odd start times. There were two shows each night, both starting late. So us late diners had to attend the latest show, and it was challenging to finish dinner and make it to the show early enough to get a good seat.
Finally, the condition and amenities of the ship was below average. There were rust spots on most railings, and the railing on our balcony was separating from its support bracket, making for a dangerous situation. The one pool on board was disgusting with the tile border being covered in mold and slime.
Overall I would not recommend this ship nor Carnival. I sent an email to Carnival alerting them to my poor experience, and they simply replied that this is not the norm and they would welcome me back. Why would I take the chance that my experience is more of the norm and waste another $3000? I don't think so. Carnival's apathetic response was the final straw for me.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Pros: Our cabin steward was able to anticipate our every need
Cons: So much to dislike.... the food, the dining service, the rude guests