We like the Carnival Imagination. We cruised from Miami to Key West then Cozumel, Mexico. The five night voyage was comfortable, the food was decent and the entertainment was very good. The ship is one of the older vessels in the fleet, is compact and does not offer balconies but the accommodations were better than we "imagined", The bed was comfortable, the steward was attentive and the overall service was very good. The port of call for Key West was far too short; Carnival should consider extending the cruise to an overnight stay; it would all passengers - especially gay ones, the opportunity to experience more of this historic and pretty port.
We reserved an oceanview stateroom since balconies do not appear to be an option on this smaller, older ship. The room seemed larger in scale than most, the bed linens were clean and contemporary, the bed was amply comfortable. There was plenty of storage space. The bath was clean, linen service was great and well stocked with toiletries. Our cabin steward was efficient, attentive and discreet.
The overall decor of the Imagination was well thought out and fairly modern considering its age. The Imagination was updated a few years back, and it show mostly in its public washrooms with nice tiles and fittings. The washrooms were not as clean as we would like. Bars and nightclubs were sufficient for the size of this ship. The main dining rooms were well planned, nicely decorated and well-staffed.
The food was very good in the main dining room and buffets. The buffets were well-stocked and the selection was fair... one could always find foodstuffs worth consuming and we appreciated that they were kept open fairly late. The pizza is excellent and the desserts in the cafe were awesome and so cheap! Where can you find a wonderful slice of chocolate torte, eclair or cheesecake for $2.25? We requested seating with other gay couples and were rewarded with a table that included: two married gay couples, a single gay male, two ladies traveling together as friends but who have gay brothers, and a trio from New Jersey who were fabulously gay friendly. Carnival gets full marks for that!
We will definitely consider another future sail on Carnival Imagination.