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Imagination- 4 day 8/12/18. Sometimes LIVE!!

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We have been following the recent great review of SonoranDevil, who were recently on the same itinerary we are on now. Rather than hi jack their thread, why not start a new one.

 

DW and I are living near Philly. We are Gold on Carnival and Platinum on NCL. We are on this cruise celebrating our 25th anniversary, DW 30th highschool reunion (she is from LA) and visiting relatives. We took our first cruise out of this same port 25 years ago on the Jubilee. Now we are back.

 

Here we go...

 

 

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We have been following the recent great review of SonoranDevil, who were recently on the same itinerary we are on now. Rather than hi jack their thread, why not start a new one.

 

DW and I are living near Philly. We are Gold on Carnival and Platinum on NCL. We are on this cruise celebrating our 25th anniversary, DW 30th highschool reunion (she is from LA) and visiting relatives. We took our first cruise out of this same port 25 years ago on the Jubilee. Now we are back.

 

Here we go...

 

 

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Looking forward to your report back! My first cruise was also on the Jubilee in 95! And congratulations on 25 years!

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Here is a brief summary thus far

 

We flew out Saturday and stayed at the Queen Mary. We ate Mexican in the Marina for lunch and Sushi for dinner. We were absolutely exhausted.

 

Walked over at 10 am. Had FTTF and were literally the 3rd people through security when they opened the doors at about 10:30. They took us to the special place for FTTF (not too many signed up for it, so it seemed). We were on the ship by 11:15.

 

Interesting, we were not allowed to go to our rooms right away nor were our luggage first to be delivered. Just saying. That is all I will say about FTTF. I like to be happy.

 

When we got on we had burgers, had a Miami vice. We were happy!

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The afternoon was spent getting acquainted with the ship, and hanging out.

 

We found Carmilo for dinner (see my post in Rob Shani’s thread). We told him that he is an internet sensation. Everyone had a good time with it.

 

DW had the Lasagna and I had the Fried Shrimp. Was good.

 

We were still a bit jet lagged. Went around the ship and then off to bed a bit early.

 

More to come.

 

 

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Following! We will be on the same ship and itinerary in March. Looking forward to another review! And interested to see if our fttf will be worthwhile...

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Day at Catalina...

 

Ok, I am early morning person...so we got up before the sun came up and did my usual full ship tour. DW came along this time since we are still on EST - sort of. Public areas, pools, lounges, dining rooms are all in my camera now. DW cit out early to catch her pre ordered room service.

 

Unfortunately they shoes while we were exploring. No biggie. We headed to the buffet. Ate and booked a quick tour of Avalon.

 

Tendered. Took a bus around for a hour and a half with a stop at the “casino”. That was interesting. Biggest building on the marina area.

 

Took the tender back.

 

 

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Now live back

 

Just took this shot after eating lunch. 26c9afd9f1f2f86671f2cde82329d576.jpg

 

Not a bad day, I would say. DW had a burger. I had a burrito. e61a65a309c258c36e76af1dd5413b96.jpg

 

I had to slather it with hot salsa. This is it before wrapping it it. It was goooood!

 

Going swimming. Not many on board. I will check in as long as I have LTE.

 

 

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Catalina continued...

 

Note: we chose not to do Cheers. I will let you know if I made the best decision later.

 

Hung out by the pool. Carmilo found us and convinced us to get a pitcher of margaritas. Mango. Was good.

 

LTE not very good in our rooms. We are hanging out in Xanadu on the shore side to get reception.

 

Will be getting ready for dinner soon. Here are a couple of photos of the salsa bar and Guy’s burgers.

 

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Leaving LTE soon.

 

Tomorrow: Ensenada wine tasting and then Chef’s table for or 25th anniversary dinner.

 

Have a nice evening.

 

 

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Leaving LTE soon.

 

Tomorrow: Ensenada wine tasting and then Chef’s table for or 25th anniversary dinner.

 

Have a nice evening.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

 

Love it so far. Would love to know about chefs table too. Did you get to pick which night or do you think on the short cruises it’s one specific night per cruise?

 

 

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Ensenada - pix later when I can upload.

 

Wine tour: Fun. Two wineries. Suggest taking the later session unless you like drinking in the morning 🤪.

 

Ensenada city. Not so pleasant. Several comments about the beauty of my wife by vendors sitting outside their store. Lots of children begging. We wanted to stop and eat true Mexican food in Mexico but it was uncomfortable. Walked back to the ship no problems.

 

Got our burritos at Salsa and took a nap before Chef’s table.

 

 

 

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Love it so far. Would love to know about chefs table too. Did you get to pick which night or do you think on the short cruises it’s one specific night per cruise?

 

 

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They picked the night. We noted our anniversary date and they did schedule it on that date. Not sure if that was luck or they were nice.

 

I will post pix this weekend of the chef’s highlights.

 

Going dark very soon when I lose LTE. I will report back later.

 

 

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Back on dry land. Since an excellent review has already been written, I will give a quick note about the chef’s table.

 

We had the opportunity to dine at the chef’s table on our actual anniversary day. That was really nice.

 

It was an experience for sure!

 

We started with the reception in the atrium with sparkling wine. Then 15 of us were escorted to the galley where the chef introduced the program and started to hand us 4 difference appetizers. Here they are in order. What they are will be posted in the menu.

 

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And the menu.

88c5e9021a5695070bb4322ee093ebb1.jpg

 

We were then escorted to the library that was converted to our dining room.

 

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We were then served wine, water, and bread.

 

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5a7d17950823f9b4843babb2dc9e38dc.jpg

 

Then the wonderful selections started

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ab2a4c445f47c2d6516af2b99d87828d.jpg

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More to come...

 

 

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At some point we took a break while a magician showed us several tricks. In one, he was able to determine my lock screen number on my phone. He spent quite some time with us. That was nice as well.

 

And the selections continued...

 

Soup before the presentation

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And after presentation.

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Next up desert and wrap-up.

 

 

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Desert

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They then brought out deserts for special events also. We had a couple birthdays and anniversaries at the table. Here is our anniversary dish.

 

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They closed out by presenting a group photo to us and thanked us for coming. They way they did it, they did not try to suggest additional tipping. In fact, the way we were dismissed did not lend itself in doing so.

 

Overall the event was excellent. We highly recommend it to anyone wishing for a special event.

 

 

 

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I'm so glad you both enjoyed yourselves! Looks like an amazing experience. I now understand why there was furniture being rearranged in the Library late at night (our cabin was directly below).

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Final thoughts.

 

Overall, we enjoyed the cruise.

 

The ship was clean - normal ship smells - but no issues.

 

Service was great. Carmilo was probably the best server we ever had in 20 cruises. He works in the Pride dining room. He (and Margo) made the cruise special.

 

Room Steward. Met him. Friendly. Kept wine glasses for the wine we brought on board clean. Good job overall.

 

Entertainment. Did not participate much. Catching up on sleep is a benefit for us on vacation.

 

Ports. Catalina very nice, clean and comfortable. Ensenada disappointing. Our expectations were a bit higher for Ensenada. Unfortunately we did not feel comfortable eating downtown. Some ports are hits and other misses on cruises.

 

Cheers. As I noted before, we did not purchase cheers. I tabulated our total costs of bringing on 2 bottles and ordering 2 bottles of wine for our room to what we purchased on board. We would have needed to get between 15 to 20 more cocktails to have broken even if we would have purchased cheers without bringing/pre-purchasing wine. Note that wine was included in chef’s table but any extra purchased drinks that night would not have made cheers worthwhile for us.

 

We look forward to another Carnival cruise. We will be looking back on our coast next year.

 

I hope our insight will be useful to someone.

 

All the best...

Kevin & Meghan

 

 

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Thanks for the pictures and menu from the Chef's Table. I already signed up for it on my cruise and was wondering which menu they were using.

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Now live back

 

Just took this shot after eating lunch. 26c9afd9f1f2f86671f2cde82329d576.jpg

 

Not a bad day, I would say. DW had a burger. I had a burrito. e61a65a309c258c36e76af1dd5413b96.jpg

 

I had to slather it with hot salsa. This is it before wrapping it it. It was goooood!

 

Going swimming. Not many on board. I will check in as long as I have LTE.

 

 

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Love that your doing a rewiew in August. Now we have 1 from July, August & I am sailing December. I think there is someone else following who is going in September. So good to know the environment each of these months.

 

Where did you get the Burrito and Burger (From BlueIguana Cantina & Guys) or the buffet?

 

Thanks for sharing...

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How did you make out with your FTTF?

 

Your dinner preference on your anniversary may have been due to the FTTF, as this is one of the perks - priority dining requests. <shrug>

 

Did it help you tender quicker into Catalina?

 

I purchased it for December based on perceived value of getting to drop off our carry-ons & bottles of wine before hitting anything else.

 

Thanks so much for the review, great insight.

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.

 

 

 

Where did you get the Burrito and Burger (From BlueIguana Cantina & Guys) or the buffet?

 

 

 

Thanks for sharing...

 

 

 

They have a burrito bar and Guy’s burgers. They are outside at the Lido deck. That is where they are. Not at the buffet we did not eat one lunch or dinner at the buffet.

 

 

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How did you make out with your FTTF?

 

Your dinner preference on your anniversary may have been due to the FTTF, as this is one of the perks - priority dining requests. <shrug>

 

Did it help you tender quicker into Catalina?

 

I purchased it for December based on perceived value of getting to drop off our carry-ons & bottles of wine before hitting anything else.

 

Thanks so much for the review, great insight.

 

 

 

We bought FTTF very late - more than a month after we booked chef’s table online. I cannot say If it had an impact or not.

 

We did not take advantage of FTTF on the tender. We had an excursion and just went in the tender when we were instructed.

 

Beat for FTTF for us was disembarking. We were to meet my DW’s sister at the pier and go to Disney. We were off the ship at 7:30 and in the first 50 off. Had 10 hours at Disney.

 

Today, by the way, we are off to DW’s 30th highschool reunion. Then fly back across the country to reality. What a week

 

 

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