Carnival Imagination Cruise Review to Mexico

Contributor Level: Third Mate

Experience
2-3 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
12

5 out of 5

Great for travelers with kids -even five in a cabin!

Sail Date: April 13, 2014

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Traveled As: Family (young children)

Room Type: Inside

I wanted to take my four granddaughters on their first cruise, and since we couldn't get two adjoining cabins, I took a deep breath and trusted our cruise agent's advice that five of us could fit in one cabin.  With a queen bed,two flip down upper bunks and a trundle, it really did work, and with a little bathroom scheduling, I couldn't have been happier with our four day "slumber party".  I was a little concerned that during Spring Break the kids would be exposed to rowdier co-cruisers than I would have liked, but that wasn't the case, and we really enjoyed our fellow cruisers.  The Carnival Imagination water park was a huge hit, and the kids spent hours there daily.  Carnival staff were excellent about gently monitoring the ocassional lines for the water slides, and access to the buffet soft-serve ice cream bar, made the whole set up every kids' dream.  (Mine too - I got to sit and read on deck, occasionally calling out encouragement to my little water-sliders)  Our cabin steward, Jay, was excellent, and we even had him autograph our towel-folding book, since his works of towel art were a big hit.  Food, especially in the dining room, was excellent, and we never waited in lines for anything.  The Hasbro Game show in the evenings was a great hit with the kids, though the Diva's show, while full of talented singers and dancers, was a little "one-note - mostly intensly sung and danced unfamiliar songs, bland costumes, and not the homage to famous Divas as it was billed.  Ok, but not up to other cruise shows I've seen.  In spite of the cruise advice to never ever book a shore cruise apart from the ship, we signed onto a shore-based horseback/La Bufadora/shopping trip in Ensenada, and could not have been happier with it.  Our travel guide, Jesus, was an amazing fount of information about Mexican history, local culture, and even fishng and agriculture.  Since we were never further than a 45 minute cab ride from the ship, we were certainly in no danger of being left behind, and paid $35 per person for an experience that would have been over $100 each if booked on-board.  Our dining table mates included the zip line experience for an additional $20 each and my regret is that we didn't do that too.  Over all, our experience on board and on-shore was outstanding, and Carnival really has it dialed in, even for groups like ours - one grandmother and four kids.  Highly recommend.

Cruise Photos

Ship Quality
Food and Dining
Cabin / Stateroom
Service and Staff
Entertainment
Shows were so-so, but the kids enjoyed the
Children's Programs Kids' opted to pass on Kids' Club but the kids' we saw participating were clearly having a ball.
Onboard Activities
Destinations and Excursions Booked our own and saved a bundle.
Long Beach (Los Angeles), California
Lots of fun seeing our ship and the Queen Mary nose-to-nose in port.
Catalina Island, California
Mostly shopping - wish we'd hopped on the bus and gone inland, but the kids were eager to buy their Catalina sweatshirts and get back to the ship.
Ensenada, Mexico
Lots of excitement and opportunities for excursions. Kids were a little intimidated by the aggressive selling, but finally got into it when they got use

Tip

First day we waited in lengthy lines for the outdoor buffet, not realizing that through the doors were line-free buffet stations. After that, had no food lines at all. If you have kids, the Carnival Imagination with full water park, is definitely the way to go.



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