Are you an early-twenty something wanting to drink your way though the cruise? If you answered yes, this is YOUR cruise.
Don't get me wrong, there is no bad cruise. And people just want to have fun. And I am glad that they are mostly on this cruise and not on any of the other cruises we take.
A little about us: late 50s couple. We mostly cruise mostly on Norwegian. We enjoy the ship we sail on as much or more than the ports we go to. I suppose we prefer the larger ships, but have also enjoyed our times on smaller ships. We love the water slides and views from the back of the ship.
That said, this was our first Carnival cruise. We took this cruise to see if we would like Carnival. And we did like it. The demographics on this cruise just weren't to our taste. We had a suite. It was nice, but different from Norwegian (more below). Note to women: They do not provide hair conditioner even in a suite! I had some very interesting hair this trip. Needless to say we didn't buy any pictures.
Embarkation was a breeze. We virtually just walked on and never slowed down until we were on the ship. We went straight to our room at 2:00. Our luggage didn't arrive until about 4:30.
The room was nice. It seemed more like a hotel room rather than a ship suite. Not as compartmentalized. However it needed a women's vanity area. There was no room in the bathroom for much more than your toothbrush, let alone makeup, etc. But it was an attractive bathroom if you don't require space.
The balcony was smaller than most ships we have been on, but was fine. Unfortunately the weather was too chilly we never used it much. We usually spend a LOT of time on the balcony. We like to have breakfast in the room out there . About that: we asked for room service but never got it. Why, you might ask. We believe it is because of the college age kids who would steal the cards off the doors for fun. We actually walked behind one couple who were knocking the do not disturb cards off doors as they went down the hall.
The storage space is good. The interesting thing is they kind of have a "his and her" side of the closet. Lots of cubbys. LOTS of surface space. We brought two computers and we both had room to work side by side. The room was quiet (with the exception of unsupervised little kids running and screaming down the halls).
The ship was clean and nice. Kind of reminded us both of Vegas feel - maybe more Fremont Street Vegas. Kind of funky getting around. You could only take an elevator to 9 then have to either walk up stairs or walk forward or aft to go up higher on an elevator. Reminded my DH of the game Centipede. We loved the outdoor seating. We ate every breakfast and lunch out there in the sun. Norwegian doesn't have much outdoor seating areas so we loved having it on the Imagination, especially the fact that it is aft. The birds were kind of a problem. The college-age kids kept feeding them, pancakes, butter, whatever, so there was bird poop on the tables and birds staring you down eye to eye. The outside tables were cleaned often, but left smeary, so touching it was not an option.
Drink waiters. I don't think I am exaggerating when I say we were asked if we wanted a cocktail during that first Lido Deck lunch about 20 times! And we were only out there 40 minutes. Pushing the drinks hard.
Serenity area. That wonderful place for adults only so you can escape the noise and kids playing loudly. Imagine our surprise when we went out there to find it taken over by college- age kids with spring break activities. The whole area, even the jacuzzi we're monopolized. Felt like we walked in on an Animal House frat party. We ended up by the water slides instead. Not too busy at first because it was chilly, but had a little protection from the wind. However some of the college-age students came out there. It is a long walk up a water slide tower. One was pouring beer off the top trying to get it in the mouth of another down below. Not too successfully. Some spilled on a little girl who had just ended her slide. No Carnival employee intervened, even when they were shaking the tower.
Bar entertainment was all good. More consistently good than any other ship we went on. The main entertainment shows were not great, not bad, and reasonably entertaining. Shows started later than other ships we went on. Probably because of younger crowd appeal.
Internet slower than any other ship.
We did the "anytime dining" or whatever term they call it. We had to wait even though there were seats available (anytime diners have their own dining room devoted to anytime diners). They gave us a pager only once. We slipped into the piano bar next door. That was a pleasant diversion. However they must page ten or so people at the same time because you have to wait again even after your pager goes off. Meals were real good the first day but tended to get not as good each day thereafter. Even repeat items. For example the melting cake was excellent the first day, but not the second, didn't get a dessert the third day. However, the buffet area food seemed better than average. Line always long though. Didn't move very fast. Pizza always had a line - only so so pizza.
Gym had all new equipment and never had to wait for a stationery bike. DH used the gym, I preferred to walk the jogging track. Nice views and nice walking area. I liked it a lot.
There were a lot of deck chairs -- nice balance of chairs in the sun and shade. I didn't witness any chair hogging so they must police it even though I didn't see happen.
Overall a very nice cruise, especially for the money. This cruise can be very inexpensive. Ideal for the college-age partyers.