Ultimate Guide to a 3-Day Carnival Costume Cruise to Ensenada - The Sweet Savory Life (2023)

Ultimate Guide to a 3-Day Carnival Costume Cruise to Ensenada - The Sweet Savory Life (1)

There are two types of people in this world, those who like to surf and those who don't. We recently returned from a 3 day cruise aboard the Carnival Imagination and it was just what we needed to recharge! If you're planning (or considering taking) the same cruise in the future, you've come to the right place!

For foodies, visit myCarnival Imagination "Der ultimate Food-Guide"with this link! I recorded the entire menu of the day and much more!


cruise details

4 days 3 nights | Downtown Mexico | Porto Stop Ensenada | 1 day of fun at sea | Thurs - Sun | 2018


Before boarding no Carnival Imagination

  • Don't forget to register online and fill in all required information. This will save you a lot of time on boarding day.

  • Have all your documents ready: boarding pass, luggage tag, passport, flight and bus information, other proof of citizenship.

  • Light package! My husband and I only had one backpack each. This facilitates boarding and disembarking days.

  • I have been on several cruises and have only experienced seasickness on this cruise during the "Fun Day at Sea". Come prepared!

  • You may have read about the "Faster for Fun" or $49.95 FTTF option for the entire cabin. We bought this for the cabin on our 2016 cruise. While the FTTF helped us with our day of embarkation and disembarkation in 2016, we certainly didn't need it on our most recent trip. The check-in process for boarding has improved so much at the Port of Long Beach that we were done in less than 10 minutes.

  • Bring cash to avoid paying the $6 onboard ATM fee. There is a ticket exchange kiosk for tips if you need it.

  • Download Carnival Center. Get live access to your account and activity plan without paying for WiFi.

  • If you're looking to party on the weekend, consider the Cheers Program at $50 per person, per day for unlimited drinks on board (limited options).

Ultimate Guide to a 3-Day Carnival Costume Cruise to Ensenada - The Sweet Savory Life (2)

Day 1 | Boarding | Long Beach

Whether you arrive with your own vehicle or with paid transport, there are many porters who will collect your luggage from the car park. It speeds up the process if you already have luggage tags printed.

Pro Tips:

  • Even though my husband and I only packed one backpack each, we still shipped them with porters. It can take over an hour to get your room ready and carrying a heavy backpack/luggage is a hassle.

  • Bring a small bag or backpack to store just the essentials, such as documents, medicine, sunglasses and swimwear.

  • Some enjoy the pool and hot tub while they wait for their room to be ready.

  • If you bring wine, you must carry it in your hand and not check it with your luggage.

(Video) I took a 4 day cruise for $250... Here's how it went

Ultimate Guide to a 3-Day Carnival Costume Cruise to Ensenada - The Sweet Savory Life (3)

As I mentioned before, I was thoroughly impressed with the registration process. Carnival has recently started to use part of the dome. There will be 3 queues: early, punctual and VIP or faster for fun We arrived around 12:00 and there was almost no queue. If you've already checked in online, they only need to see your boarding pass and passport/ID before going through security. The process took less than 10 minutes.

After security, you will be directed to the Lido Deck where you can enjoy a buffet lunch. check my"The Ultimate Nutrition Guide"to know which menu awaits you. It is important to note that "Navigation and Signature Cards" are no longer issued upon check-in. Instead, they will be dropped off outside your stateroom door and your printed boarding pass will be used to make purchases while you wait.

Pro Tips:

  • Print your boarding pass, it will help you with all transactions while you wait for your stateroom to be ready as Navigation and Membership Cards will be placed at your stateroom door.

  • After lunch, your room and luggage may not be ready. Ours was ready at 1:30 pm. m., but the luggage came later. Some bring a deck of cards to play or head to the pool and hot tub. There's also the casino to while away some time (and money)!

  • As soon as you enter, you will be seduced by the cocktails. Make sure you think about your daily budget.

Ultimate Guide to a 3-Day Carnival Costume Cruise to Ensenada - The Sweet Savory Life (4)

When you arrive at your stateroom, check the "Entertainment Times" section to see what activities you would like to participate in.

Hauptaktivitäten: The Ultimate Sail Away Party, Hasbro The Game Show, High Seas Karaoke, Love and Marriage Show, Comedy Club e Illusions Night Club

Pro Tips:

  • Don't miss the sailing party on the deck of the Lido just before dinner.

  • Bring a marker and mark all the activities under “Fun Times” that you would like to participate in.

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  • If you like to dance like me, I can go to the disco with my flip flops and dance the night away!

Ultimate Guide to a 3-Day Carnival Costume Cruise to Ensenada - The Sweet Savory Life (5)

Day 2 | fun day not sea

A fun day at sea was indeed the fun day of our entire cruise! Carnival seems to have been at its best that day! Let's talk about it firstESSEN! In addition to the breakfast buffet, there was an excellent brunch menu in the Pride Dining Room. Then there is the “Chocolate Extravaganza” buffet lunch with chocolate fondue and all kinds of chocolate desserts. This was also the night of the Formal Dinner Cruise and it's good to see almost everyone getting ready! Plus, there's pool fun all day long!

Pro Tips:

  • Bring formal attire! There are many photo opportunities, including the captain's toast.

  • Don't miss the diva show! The carnival has definitely upped its entertainment, especially with the amazing Cruise Director Matey on board!

  • There's a military thank you party for all of our service members and they have a chance to win a cruise!

  • If you're planning any trips, I'd suggest going easy on the alcohol tonight!

Ultimate Guide to a 3-Day Carnival Costume Cruise to Ensenada - The Sweet Savory Life (6)

Ultimate Guide to a 3-Day Carnival Costume Cruise to Ensenada - The Sweet Savory Life (7)

Main Activities: Poolside Fun, Captain's Toast Celebration, Diva Show, $1000 Bingo, Thrilling Dance Class, Salsa Dancing at Dream Bar and Illusions Night Club

Take 3 | Enseada, Mexico

If only my husband and I had sailed together, we would have chosen to stay on board and enjoy the empty boat as we have been to Ensenada before. However, as it was our cousin's first time, we went with him! The biggest attraction in Ensenada is the blowhole of La Bufadora. Don't expect big dives like in most Caribbean ports. If you haven't booked any tours during Carnival yet and want to explore Ensenada on your own, there are buses that run to the city center every 10 minutes. At the bus station there are tours that you can book for a much cheaper price than booking at Carnaval.

  • We booked a horseback ride and tour of La Bufadora, all for $37 per person. These excursions cost upwards of $100 when booked during Carnival. There were only 3 tours to choose from (at the bus stop) when we visited, including zip lining.

  • Pack some snacks from the ship, such as bananas or apples. La Bufadora is about 40 minutes away by boat.

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  • If going on a tour, take the time to explore and wander around downtown. Lots of shops, margaritas and tacos! My favorite is the tacos and margaritas for 2 for just $10.

  • If you're at La Bufadora, try these grilled giant clams! They are so delicious!

  • Bring your Passport and Navigation and Membership Card!

  • I didn't know this, but pharmacies in Mexico are popular places for tourists to buy over-the-counter medicine.

Ultimate Guide to a 3-Day Carnival Costume Cruise to Ensenada - The Sweet Savory Life (8)

Ultimate Guide to a 3-Day Carnival Costume Cruise to Ensenada - The Sweet Savory Life (9)

Ultimate Guide to a 3-Day Carnival Costume Cruise to Ensenada - The Sweet Savory Life (10)

Ultimate Guide to a 3-Day Carnival Costume Cruise to Ensenada - The Sweet Savory Life (11)

We had some tacos, grilled clams, margarita and pina colada while in Ensenada, but we were still starving when we got back to the ship! The Caribbean themed buffet was my favorite of the entire buffet menu during this trip! We spent the rest of the afternoon taking a nap.

Pro Tips:

  • After dinner, check out the Epic Rock Show. This production may have been the best I've seen on a cruise so far!

  • Watch out for the spectacle of the dining room staff during dinner in the formal dining rooms!

  • Don't miss the Funny Farewell Music Trivia in the Atrium!

  • Make sure your account is correct with the app or customer service. On the day of disembarkation, there is usually a long queue at Guest Services.

  • If you want your luggage transported the next morning, make sure it is packed and left outside your door. I recommend this especially if you have heavy luggage. Picking up the next morning is a simple process!

Main Activities: Paper Airplane Contest, Epic Rock Show, Fun Farewell Song Trivia Party, Sing at the Piano Bar with Hannah, Spin and Win at the Casino

Day 4 | landing day

Unless you have paid for the FTTF or are a Platinum VIPP, opting out will be a lengthy process. The cruise director will call everyone with early flights first and then on a deck-by-deck basis. The queue will be long and everyone will look sad and upset. Passports are checked at the port. And your vacation is officially over!

Pro Tips:

  • We spent almost an hour on the landing line. To avoid carrying your heavy luggage or backpack, leave it at the door the night before. In the morning, after going through security, you can conveniently collect your luggage at the port.

  • Don't forget to tip your butlers! Tips are prepaid, but if your butler did a great job, tip him! They are generally underpaid and overworked by American standards.

  • Tip your cleaning crew in cash instead of adding it to your cash account. I noticed that the maitre d' gets more tips.

  • Write down the names of employees and servers and mention them in the survey you receive in your email. Cruise workers don't have days off, only hours, and your kind words can make their day.

    (Video) Boarding OUR FIRST EVER Carnival Cruise - We were SURPRISED!

  • Take your bags and backpacks with you for breakfast and wait there until your deck is called to disembark. There was a massive queue and some of the hallways were closed when we tried to get back to our room after breakfast.

  • If you're not in a hurry, wait for the last deck to be called. That way you don't have to stand in line for an hour.

Here are some activities you can enjoy aboard the Carnival Imagination:

  • For children and teenagers: playroom and Camp Ocean

  • Production show at Dynasty Lounge

  • Eldorado-Kasino

  • Swimming pool and Jacuzzi no Lido Deck

  • Solo Serenity Jacuzzis for Adults

  • Academy, sauna and spa

  • club of illusions

  • O Punchliner Comedy Club

  • Live music in the Atrium Lobby, Dream Bar and Mirage Piano Bar

  • Karaoke on the high seas

  • Shopping: Art auction and The Fun Shops

  • Running track and mini golf

  • slides

  • Cinema and Xanadu Hall

  • Bingo e Dynasty Lounge


Ultimate Guide to a 3-Day Carnival Costume Cruise to Ensenada - The Sweet Savory Life (12)

Hope this helps you prepare and plan your next cruise! Enjoy browsing! Health!

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