We woke to the smell of fuel or paint in our room. Maybe it was from the tender boats which were getting ready to shuttle people from our ship to Catalina Island. The tendering area wasn’t too far from our room. Jeri had a slight headache and took some Tylenol.

View of Avalon from the ship with the Catalina Casino near the center of the picture. Click photo for full size.

A little after 9:00 AM, we head up to the buffet for breakfast. Jeri only ate a little fruit. Tim had potatoes, French Toast, muffins and oatmeal. After breakfast, we went back to our room and got ready to go ashore. We waited in line to get on a tender boat.

Once on shore, we walked around the town of Avalon and walked to the Catalina Casino. This building isn’t a gambling casino but rather a theater and ballroom. We bought tickets for guided tour. Since we had an hour till the tour, we walked back to the shopping area.

On Catalina Island with the Carnival Imagination in the background. Click photo for full size.
Walking up to Catalina Casino. Click photo for full size.

After a little shopping, we headed back for our tour. Frank of Avalon gave us a tour. We enjoyed seeing the theater, projector room, ballroom, dressing rooms, and more. Frank has lived in Avalon since the late 50’s and had plenty of stories to share. We learned that William Wrigley, Jr. (of the Wrigley Gum fame) bought the island and led its development. He spared no expense when building the Casino. He used gold and silver leaf, imported woods, and more.

The theater is on the lower level. Although talking movies were just coming out, Wrigley didn’t think that they would succeed. So the theater has a pipe organ located in the front. Standing on the left is Frank, our tour guide. They still show movies in the theater; Dr. Strange is currently playing once a night.

The theater in the Catalina Casino. Click photo for full size.

Apparently the acoustics of the theater are renowned. New York City’s Radio City Music Hall (which we saw from the outside in June) visited this theater to learn from its design. The domed ceiling enables a person speaking in a normal voice to be heard even in the farthest seats.

Because we purchased the longer “Behind the Scenes” tour, we got to see additional areas such as the projector room. On our way to the projector room, we looked out a window into the theater.

View of the Theater from a window opening in the back. Click photo for full size.

The early projectors (prior to the late 1960’s) used carbon arc lights as the light source. The light source looked very similar to welding rods–each rod could burn for up to an hour. A machine would feed the rod at the right speed so that an arc would result.

Projector using a carbon arc light source. Click photo for full size.

Here’s Jeri taking a picture in the projector room.

Inside the Projector Room. Click photo for full size.

If you look closely at the signatures on the wall, you can find “Stan Lee.” It is near the center of the main signature area on the right.

Projector Room. Click photo for full size.

We were able to walk on stage of the theater.

Tim and Jeri on the stage of the Casino Theater looking towards the back. Click photo for full size.

After seeing and learning about the theater, we went up the ramps to see the ballroom.

Inside of the Catalina Casino Ballroom. Click photo for full size.

This ballroom was once the scene for many of the dances featuring famous big bands like Benny Goodman. Many from Hollywood would take a boat to the island from a night of dancing and entertainment. Back then, the dance floor could hold 3000 dancers.

The Catalina Casino Ballroom. Click photo for full size.

Here is a picture of the lounge where dance-weary ladies could relax and freshen up.

Women’s Lounge for relaxing near the ballroom in the Catalina Casino. Click photo for full size.

A balcony outside of the ballroom.

Tim on the balcony outside of the Catalina Casino Ballroom. Click photo for full size.
An outside view of the Catalina Casino. Click photo for full size.

The weather was cool with temperatures in the 50s. It was foggy and, at times, misty. After the tour, we headed back to the shops.

A look back towards Avalon from the Catalina Casino. Click photo for full size.

We wandered into a number of shops and saw a bunch of fun stuff especially jewelry. Jeri found a pretty necklace and earring set. I “bought” it for her for her birthday. Now it’s around 3:00 PM (last boat leaves at 4:00 PM), so we head back to the tender boat and get back on the ship. Back in our room, Jeri takes a short nap while Tim showers.

Every day our room steward makes a different towel animal. Today it was an elephant.

Our towel animal for the day. Click photo for full size.

We get dressed up for our one elegant dinner of the cruise. We head out. Carnival had a dozen or so places to get your pictures taken. We stopped at two spots for photos. Jeri looked extra pretty!

Elegant night on the Carnival Imagination. Click photo for full size.

Next was supper. For appetizers, Jeri got chilled strawberry bisque and asparagus cream soup. We thought that we tasted a meat-based broth in the soup. Our waiter confirmed that it wasn’t vegetarian. Tim got the stuffed mushrooms which had a spinach and Romano cheese filling.

Chilled Strawberry Bisque. Click photo for full size.
Stuffed Mushrooms. Click photo for full size.

We each got the Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan…lots of thin layers of zucchini, a fried slice of eggplant, and a rich sauce. Doesn’t sound like much but it was fabulous.

Under the parsley, you can see small pieces of tofu on top of the fried slice of eggplant.

Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan. Click photo for full size.

Here is an inside look at all of its yummy!

A look inside of the Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan. Click photo for full size.

For dessert, Tim got the hazelnut chocolate cake. Jeri got the Carnival Melting Chocolate Cake.

Hazelnut Chocolate Cake. Click photo for full size.

At 7:30 PM, we caught Jerome (a standup comedian) for the first PG show. After the 30-minute show, we hung around for the 9:00 PM show with Jaylyn Bishop. We enjoyed the second show more as she used the cruise experience as the basis for a lot of her material. We really enjoyed these comedy shows.

In the Xanadu Lounge. Click photo for full size.
Jaylyn Bishop in the Xanadu Lounge. Click photo for full size.

Carnival Imagination Day 1
Carnival Imagination Day 2 – Catalina
Carnival Imagination Day 3 – Ensenada
Carnival Imagination Day 3 – Ensenada Shopping Story
Carnival Imagination Day 3 – Silly Pictures
Carnival Imagination Day 4 – At Sea