March 2016 - Carnival Imagination to Mexico
This trip was by far the worse travel experience I've ever had. I decided to take my first cruise as a way to celebrate a milestone birthday. Despite the fact that we couldn't dock in Catalina as scheduled, I was excited to explore the ship and have some fun. The crew was so rude and unenthusiastic that I soon grew anxious and apprehensive about having to interact with them at all. Each customer service experience made me feel increasingly alienated. The staff made no effort to make me feel valued as a guest or to make my vacation a special, enjoyable experience. By dinnertime on the evening of my birthday, I felt so berated by the staff's rudeness that I ended up bursting into tears in the dining room, just after my server, Leroy, walked up to take my order and greeted me by saying, "Okay, you can start now."
Besides the poor service, the activities offered on the ship are not much fun, unless you are a die hard gambler and don't mind playing in a "dead" casino. The shows and activities are not very entertaining; the first prize for the trivia contests was a shiny, plastic, golden ship trophy. The pool is quite small and filled with children, and the hot tubs, which I was looking forward to, were constantly monopolized by college kids. And finally, the food, which became the only thing to "do" after a while, was typical.
The only bright spots in this trip were our time in Ensenada, which is beautiful; Kostadinka, the one superstar server who worked in the Pride Dining Room, and my steward Kervin, who helped make my birthday special.