My children and I sail every December when they are on holiday break. We usually sail Carnival Sensation or Carnival Fascination. This year I chose Carnival Imagination as it was the only ship fitting our calendar. These are great cruises for families with active children. For my cruises with my adult friends we sail different lines. This is my 20th cruise since 1999 and 5th with my children.
The drive from the interstate to port was quick and it was easy to find. Parking rates are a bit higher than average but the lots are very convenient and we walked maybe 200 feet from our car to the terminal.
Embarkation was speedy and efficient. We entered the terminal at 11:30. From the time we left our bags with the porter to the time we walked the buffet line on Lido deck was 20 minutes max. Our cabins were ready at 1:30 as promised.
The cabin itself, U226, was well maintained and fully functional. The decor and amenities suited our needs just fine.
We took al of our meals from the buffet. The food was, for the most part, adequately prepared and plentiful. Some of the desserts were rather tasteless...but they looked really pretty. Now, for me personally, i would much rather have tasty food over pretty all day long. i know this isnt the case for everyone. The place was very crowded though and at times made me feel a bit uneasy. The layout and flow patterns caused most of the trouble. The boorish behavior of other cruisers contributed as well. The lines could get long but I attribute this to the cruise being sold out and cheap rates.
I did not take in any of the scheduled entertainment or pool areas. My children always enjoy their Camp Carnival activities and they stay occupied with their age groups most of the time. I always take a book or two with me to occupy my time. There are some great nooks and crannies where i can get away from the masses and realax. Thus our cruise experiences were fantastic.
We had only one stop this sailing in Nassau. This itinerary allowed for an overnight stay which was nice. One of these days I will time the stay to coincide with the Junkaroo.
This cruise met our expectations from all aspects. We cruise to get away and relax. I do not sail to be coddled, entertained, or over scheduled. I can see where some people are not a good fit with Carnival and Imagination. The good news is there are plenty of other options in the market to fit their needs.
The only negative experience was the residual odor of cigarette smoke. Sometimes it was almost unbearable on Promenade. Once in a while the odor was present in our stateroom. I attribute this to the HVAC system but I do wish the designated smoking area was vented directly out of the stacks.