I cruised with a girlfriend for New Years Eve 2013. Chose Carnival Magination mainly because of the dates of our availability. My first time cruise with Carnival, have cruised with RCC before both in Europe & the Caribbean. I am not opposed to a fun cruise, as what I've been reading on reviews. Check in was amazingly breezy, was one of the first passengers walking in. Walked around to orient myself & had brunch at the Lido Deck while waiting for my friend from Canada to check in. We had an Oceanview stateroom in level 7. It was ready by 1pm & was suprisngly roomy with the narrow twin beds. The bathroom is clean & spacious.
I loved the party fun atmosphere as we went on sail. I've never seen so many silicons & botox at one place at a time. The crowd is youngish, family with little children, some grandparents in tow. I'm estimating maybe 1/3 are N Americans, 1/2 the crowd are S.Americans & a minimal number of Europeans, like me & Asians. On the Key West, Cozumel cruise starting in Miami for 5 days for NYE
Easy going atmosphere, casual clothing
Fun factor is the music at the Lido deck (while having lunch). Food was alright, smaller selection & more on the basic side. Dessert was a pretty sight but not tasty. I liked the soda station where you can serve yourself from the spender & not ready for grabs. MDR was better food. Our waiting staff were excellent! Angel, Wayan? Indonesian waiter & asst. were all friendly & efficient.
Short entertainment programs like comedy shows, karaoke
Sweet escape at the Serenity Area, squealing kids free area.
Depressing sight of hardworking tired looking people who are finally going on vacation with the entire family (grandparents, parents & grandchildren) don't get me wrong, I love kins.
Service personnel aren't as friendly as other cruise ships. Small pool.
The saving factor for me is the Serenity Area where I could watch the ocean & hear not much but just mild chattering from other passengers. I have 2 kids of my own, I always welcome some "me" peace time. I might consider going on the Carnival Breeze because its a newer ship, otherwise I'd try Celebrity cruise ships next time.