Carnival Imagination Cruise Review to Mexico

Contributor Level: Second Mate

1 cruise (first)


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

Great 1st Cruise

Sail Date: May 31, 2015

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Traveled As: Family (young children)

Room Type: Oceanview

I wanted to take a trial cruise with the family to see if we like it. We're older (50,46) parents of a 6 year old and we're looking for a vacation we all can enjoy and this was it. Read a lot of reviews and Carnival is considered "low end" but at less than half the price of competitors I had to try them. Cabin was clean, comfortable, and bigger than we expected on a ship. Yeah, it was the size of a small motel room but not cramped. The room attendant straightened up twice a day, always left a towel animal at night, and greeted us by name whenever he saw us. We had FTTF and wow, I'll get it for every cruise. Arrived at 12:30, bypassed a 2 hour line and dropped our carryon luggage off in our ready room at 12:50. Food was good. Buffets were decent buffet food (big deal) but dining room fare (including seaday brunch) was very good. The kid loved Camp Ocean, a little too much for my wife, who wanted him to spend time with us, but I was happy to spend some guilt free time doing whatever I wanted and knowing he was having just as good a time as I was. We enjoyed the comedians, lounge singers, and musical productions. The ports were Catalina and Ensenada. I'm from Socal and have been to both. Catalina is too small a village to have 2000 people visit it at once and Ensenada is just over the hill from Tijuana so it's basically Southwestern Tijuana. The trip was about cruising for us. We enjoyed the ship, the crew and the food. Debarkation with FTTF was a breeze also. We meet in the lounge at 8:30 and a crew member escorted us, halting the line of everyone else, off the ship to a private baggage claim area. I can only assume that everyone else was still waiting for their luggage as we pick ours up, walked to the parking lot and left with no line or traffic whatsoever. I only gave it 4 stars to be honest. I'm sure you can pay more (significantly) for improvements but this had everything we were looking for. Booked our next cruise 3 days after we got back. This time for 7 days but still on Carnival.

Children's Programs
Kid wanted to go there all the time.
Ship Quality
Showing signs of usage
Food and Dining
Great dining room, nothing special about the buffets
Cabin / Stateroom
clean, cofortable and cozy
Service and Staff
Most were very freindly. A couple of waiters weren't very friendly but they gave the best service, go figure.
Not quite great but almost. Better than anything I've seen locally.
Onboard Activities
Could always find something fun to do. Tried a lot of stuff even if it seemed corny.
Destinations and Excursions
Knew that we wouldn't be thrilled anyway but paid $70 for basically a taxi ride into a hard sell marketplace nightmare. Don't recommend Ensenada.
Long Beach (Los Angeles), California
Easy in and out of port if you're driving
Catalina Island, California
Freindly and quaint. Rent electric bikes and get away from crowd.
Ensenada, Mexico
Stay on the ship


Try everything. Don't worry about what other people think. Some of the activities that I had no interest in were fun. Order 2 or 3 entrees and appetizers each and share. You don't have to eat them all. Good cruise to find what you like and don't like.

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