So we just did the walk of disappointment down the gangway as we left Long Beach after our 4 day Imagination Cruise.
This was our 2nd Carnival Cruise for me and my DH, both were on the Imagination out of Long Beach. I’ve done 5 NCL and 1 other RCCL In the past. DH and I call this our interim cruise while we wait for our “real cruise in October”. You know just something to tie us over until then. I won’t go into all the details, just the things that stuck out to me.
First, I must say the price was right, at less than $600 for two in a port hole cabin. But I also have to point out that it was cheap because it’s January and temps may hit 70 degrees during the day. We wore light jackets most of the time in and out since we are from AZ and get chilled faster than your frosted glasses.
Since we drove to port we had to park offsite at the convention center parking for Imagination cruisers. If you are looking for this parking area, look for the sandwich board signs with the big “ P” and carnival logo on them. You will need to show your boarding pass here. The lot is open air and all the way to the end of the street. We got there around 10:30 and the shuttles were there and waiting along with a moving truck for luggage. If you put it there it goes right on the ship. Overall a very easy process, although parking at the port was easier last year. It’s just a little inconvenience but not really a big deal.
By the time we got to port they were already boarding and we were on within 5 mins. We didn’t even sit down.
We headed to the Red Frog at as I heard they have specials on embarkation day. They had $1 off the Fun Ship drink. Cool, so we ordered that. We were quite surprised the bill was $25 for 2 drink specials when we realized they gave us and charges us for an extra shot at $3 a piece. We were also later surprised to find out we didn’t get a Fun Ship drink, we got a Yummy Yummy. It actually was pretty darn Yummy, and the double shot knocked me on my butt pretty quick.
We were happy to make it to Catalina this trip. Last year in January it was too Rocky to go. In 7 cruises this was actually the first time were have been able to tender at a port. So this was super exciting for us. They announced on the ship that the earlier you go the less line there is for the tender, so we skipped breakfast and got the first tender.
We went to some place called Pancake it was delicious. I forgot my straws so I asked for a few for the road to take with me. Now this didn’t happen on the ship but they were cruiser so it counts....They had homemade salsa on each table in little tins with a spoon and a plastic hinged lid on the top. The salsa was so good and some guy next to us ordered chips with his breakfast and he was Double dipping into this community container. It was super gross. 🤮 you know they are just going to refill that and leave it on the table. Anyway we did the rent a $50 hr golf cart self tour. Was a beautiful day and very scenic.
Next up was Ensenada. By far the worst port hands down out of all of my cruises. It makes me long for another stop at Nassau. I would be pissed if I flew to this cruise to do this port. We just off and got our meds and got back on. I asked about one med and they said, you can take it back but you have to hide it on your body. Um no thanks, I’ll pass on that one.
So back to the ship to people watch at the pool area. I watched the life guard talk to 2 different moms with babies not allow them in the pool with their swim diapers. I’m like cool that’s greAt, until they both got into the hot tubs with them and other babies under 1-2 hrs old. Again 🤮. By the end of the day babies, kids and adults were show horned into those tubs. I’ll pass on that too.
I have to say I was pretty lucky at the casino this time, which is rare for me. I won $340 in the first 2 hours that it opened. Then the next time as ok. As it opened I won another $315. Did I crack the code somehow? DH in the other hand lost about as much as I won. It was great though I was able to pay off our account in cash.
Here are a couple highlights. The singers Take Two (I think that’s what they were called) were amazing. They both had such talent and played in the Atrium most nights. I love the Atrium on Carnival. VS NCL. It’s so much fun being able to hang out there or watch from above. I also loved the Cruise Director Benjamin. He was really good. On RCCL and NCL you just don’t see them as much.
On the other end if the spectrum of singers, was Franco in the piano bar. Last year this was my favorite venue, this year it was like bad karaoke. NOw he was a great pianist, very nice, and very friendly. I liked him but his singing was hard to listen too. He would also offer up the microphone to anyone who wanted to sing. So it was a bit more karaoke than I would have liked.He leaves to go home In 3 days though.
On brunch in the MDR they had this French Toast to die for. Definitely order it if you get the chance. It’s like half a load of homemade bread that is light and fluffy. So good!
We didn’t really do any shows or typical cruise stuff. Just hung around at the casino and Serenity and enjoyed our time. We talked to way more people on this cruise than any other we had taken. I’m not sure If that was because it was Carnival or such a small ship.
Getting off the ship was as easy as getting on, just in reverse. We did easy walk off and were at the car by 7:30.
It was a great 4 day get away, now the countdown for October starts. 😊