Our cruise was originally scheduled for the Eastern Caribbean but was redirected to the Western due to Hurricane Jeanne. This was our second cruise with Carnival. The Imagination was our first in 2000.
Embarkation went fairly smooth as we had arrived early (11 am). We parked at the port lot ($70.00 prepaid). The port staff were courteous and efficient, moving us through this necessary evil as quickly as possible. The line stalled just as we were to touch foot on the ship for about an hour (no bathroom available as my husband was getting very uncomfortable). "Should have went before you got in line" was offered to his inquiry.
We had packed our necessary items in our carry-on in case our luggage was misdirected, which it wasn't. We made our way into our cabin by 1pm. The inside cabin was well organized,already made into a king bed for our vacation. A blow dryer is available in a drawer below a lighted mirror. Five to six hangers were available in his and hers wardrobe closets. Another full length shelved unit for folded clothes and 3-4 drawers of various size are available. We didn't spend much time in the cabin until our 7 day cruise turned into a 9 day, then we wished for a room with a view.
Plenty of scheduled activities: bingo, Trivia, shows, contests, Karaoke to keep you busy. We dined in the Platinum late seating with Raja from Indonesia as our waiter. What personality and energy he had! He and his assistant were quick to remember our drink choices and names. We traveled with 2 other couples. We only missed one evening dining here, the second formal night.
The cruise director John was a real professional. Every time he was scheduled to be on stage we tried to be there. Several scheduled events with John conflicted our dining time, and as much as we wanted to see him we liked our dining experience better. We also enjoyed breakfast in the dining room most mornings as the line at Lido was always long in the am. We enjoyed lunch on Lido, snack on Lido,midnight buffet on Lido, self-serve soft ice cream on Lido. Pizza and Deli also on Lido. We never tried fish and chips as we are not a fan of these anyway.
The bar attendants became familiar faces in all areas of the ship. The attendant we had in the Platinum dining area, Brantley from South Africa was very friendly and courteous. He was enjoying his employment with Carnival and we wished him the best at our farewell. Overall,the staff had an energy and enthusiasm not normally seen on land. It was a delight talking with the many nationalities about their home country.
We only did one shore excursion in Belize,the cave tubing. The married host and hostess were informative all along the journey. they really made the trip special. The trip down the river just prior to us had a misfortunate snake bite accident. We heard bits and pieces of information from other cruisers regarding her status. The main resolve we have after hearing of her accident is to book your excursions through the cruise line. Her hospital visit and air lift back to the states were covered by the tour group, so we heard. Remember you're traveling in a tropical area where we are invading these creatures' habitat.
Can't wait to book our next cruise!