Carnival Imagination Cruise Review to Mexico

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

1 cruise (first)


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

Great 1st Cruise

Sail Date: February 08, 2015

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Oceanview

Our overall experience was that it really was pretty good. That being said, it would be easy to get on this cruise with expectations set a little high. This is not a new ship, therefore is it not what you see on TV. The ship is nearly 20 years old, and all though well cared for, it shows in the decor (lots of neon everywhere) and lacks the shine of the newer ships. Also, it is not one of the larger ships, so if there are high seas, you WILL notice it. We experienced some high seas for a couple days and there were a lot of people who had trouble with it. Remember that you are on the Pacific Ocean, not the Caribbean. The clubs and bars do seem to be geared towards a younger crowd, but the shows were entertaining. I didn't care for the buffet, but that the food in the dining room (and the dancing/singing wait staff) was very good. All the crew seemed friendly, helpful and genuinely concerned that the guests enjoy themselves. Some of the children's programs were a little lacking, but the areas for Camp Carnival were currently undergoing renovations so I'm sure that is not a normal thing. Catalina was fantastic, could have stayed there for a few days. Ensenada was very much a let down. If you get off the ship there, stay with the tourist groups. We rented a car and went to some of the sites on our own and that was a mistake. This is not Cabo or Cancun and you may not necessarily be welcome. Dollar for dollar, this was a great bargain. Especially as first time cruisers. We will probably do this cruise again, but will treat the day in Ensenada as another laid back "day at sea" and not get off of the boat. I would recommend this cruise to anyone looking to relax, but not to someone looking to be entertained 24/7.

Ship Quality
Ship was in good condition, but it is an older ship. Don't expect a new shiny ship!
Food and Dining
Didn't care for the buffet, but really enjoyed the sit-down dining.
Cabin / Stateroom
It is what it is, probably would be worth upgrading to something with a balcony.
Service and Staff
All were great, the crew really made the trip!
Children's Programs
Camp carnival was under renovation, so I'm not sure we got a good taste of what is normally offered.
Onboard Activities
Small ship, limited activities. If you are past your 20's and with a family, don't expect a whole lot to entertain you. But if you want to kick back and relax, this is the place to do it.
Destinations and Excursions
Catalina was great, Ensenada was not. We would not disembark in Ensenada of we did this cruise again.
Long Beach (Los Angeles), California
It's Southern California, there is ALWAYS something do to. Our favorite is going to the pier at Huntington Beach.
Catalina Island, California
Very peaceful and serene. Just breathe and take it all in.
Ensenada, Mexico
Not a place for kids. If you go to La Bufadora, prepare yourself for the onslaught as you walk through the market to get there. I call it "the Gauntlet".


Rent a golf cart at Catalina Island to get around, well worth it. But if you do, reserve it in advance. You'll get it for 3 hours vs 2 hours if you rent one on site. The extra hour will make the difference and you won't feel as rushed to return it.

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