My first cruise was Carnival Imagination, I can't compare this cruise to another because I have never been on any others. However, I can say this cruise ship was mainly for families with kids. It is a party theme ship that wouldn't be described as "luxurious" but just 'fun looking' and great for KIDS of all ages.
I went on this cruise in July of 2010. We boarded the ship in Miami and we went to Key West,Fl., and Cozumel, Mexico. While cruising on the Imagination I experienced the most fun I have EVER had out of any vacation. My family usually just goes out of the state to Washington, or Pennsylvania, something easy but fun. Cruising however was definitely the best time I have had.
The cruise was great, it wasn't long enough I felt...the interior of the ship was decent. Whenever my sister and I wanted to just hang out, we went to the ship's library. There was board games, books, and stuff like that. The best part of this library was that when you shut the glass doors, you could hardly hear anything going on outside of there. Another one of our favorite places was the cafe/buffet because if you ever got hungry or thirsty you could just walk in there and get what you wanted. <---- Thats the main thing I like about cruising, all of the food and drinks are included (already paid for), so if I were you I would go and eat everything you wanted while cruising so you get your money's worth!
Docking and getting off the ship once we got to Key West was simple, but a little bit crowded. Either leave early before the crowds get to you, or leave after all of the other people have left the ship. Not many, but some people do stay on the ship when they dock..so if you have already been to Key West(me,practically my home because I live in fl.), you don't need to get off the ship..you can just chill at the pool or spa. Anyways, once we got to Key West we didn't do anything special..we didn't snorkel or swim at the beach. We rented one of those car/electric golf carts and drove around some of Key West. We got lunch at margarita ville and than when to the Humming way house (bad idea...way to HOT). We just looked at things and went "town" shopping.
Docking and getting off the ship once we got to Cozumel, Mexico was pretty much the same thing as Key West's routine. Like I said, if you want to beat the crowds,get there before the crowds beat YOU. Cozumel was very nice..perfect sunny weather, so we decided to wear our bathing suits, take a cab to the main "town" and rent a roofless jeep. We did our own thing from than on and went to the "Money Bar" not far from the docks to go snorkeling,eat, and my parents got a drink there. Im guessing they really liked cruising on this ship because they did it another time while my sister, brother, and I were in school..They did the same thing we did during July but said it wasn't even CLOSE to how much fun it was with ALL of us..so if you plan on going on this cruise without children,think again..it's so much more fun bringing US! :)
While at sea for those few days we did what we normally did, relax, go to the cafe, shop, swim, ride there AWESOME slide, and go to there shows at night. The entertainment shows they provided were alright, it could have been better if they didn't use regular people on board. But yes, you should take the time to watch at least one of their shows..you will most likely LIKE them. One more thing, if you like sushi you can get it on some nights and bring it in to their shows..they have tables and stuff so you can eat,or drink while enjoying the show.
Food and dining was decent, I guess you can't complain. I do recommend ordering all of the dishes they provide on the menu so you can try everything and see what you like..dessert was my favorite, I LOVED the chocolate lava cakes! YUM, if your a chocolate lover like me, DON'T FORGET the CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE each night!! So good.. Unfortunately the service wasn't as delightful as the chocolate lava cake...some nights the employees screwed up your order and gave you the WRONG thing..so disappointing, however on 'good' days, they are much nicer and respect you. If something goes wrong, feel free to complain,we did it..& also on the first couple nights the service and food was OK, but the last couple nights it was REALLY great. I guess it takes them a couple days to "get in order"...
Overall, this cruise was very NICE! I highly recommend cruising with Carnival if you have kids or teens. Enjoy yourself on this cruise,don't sleep in, get OUT of bed and do ALL of the awesome things they provide for their guests!
- Tori (teen)