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Hello, I have been doing cruise reviews on Cruise Critic for a few years and this cruise ranked in my TOP 3! I was not expecting much from a shorter 4 day cruise but this Ship, Itinerary and staff really exceeded my expectations in all categories. I was traveling with my 88 year old grandfather and had no difficulty with any aspect of this cruise. He uses a cane and had such a good time on this ship. I will have notes that some handicap members may be interested in. I was not expecting too much from a 4-day cruise & smaller ship, but the IMAGINATION really made me reconsider what my expectations were. I enjoyed this ship better than some of the larger ships and longer itineraries. Miami-Key West-Cozumel-day at sea-Miami Miami airport only 15 minutes from the port. get the Carnival transport prior to the cruise. It was only $27 per person round trip. 1 formal night on day2 / Great quick get-a-way cruise CARNIVAL TRANSPORT to & from Miami airport & the port was a smooth, quick process. Definitely worth the money to avoid aggravation before and after your cruise. EMBARKATION went extremely quick. A Carnival rep. was waiting at the door when we arrived with a wheelchair for my grandfather. Although, we were taken directly to the family check-in, there was barely any line and everything went smooth. ROOM STEWART was at our door before we had a chance to close it to introduce himself. He greeted us by name each time we saw him, and our room could not have been any cleaner every time we came back to it. He was extremely courteous and took the time to talk to us about our trip and excursions with sincerity. I increased his gratuity directly to him by $10 per day which almost brought tears to his eyes. CABIN Ocean view 6C M65 mid ship .... NO FRIDGE, but I knew that. This cabin has 2 beds, 2 pull down bunks and is located in a perfect part of the ship. Also in room: SAFE, 32" flat screen TV, room light switches at the bed, ice bucket, water and soda to purchase in the room. Free room service + gratuity. 2 Robes were hanging in the closet. Conveniently located two doors from elevators made moving around the ship simple for my grandfather with his cane. COMPLIMENTARY BATHROOM BASKET included Razor, toothpaste, Pantene-RED color enhancer shampoo/conditioner pack, some upset stomach packets (like TUMS) shower-Shampoo & Liquid Soap (I brought Cottonelle wipes, a travel Lysol spray) FOOD/DINING We chose the new "YOURTIME DINING" on this cruise, which was a pleasant surprise that I did not know Carnival was offering. We only ate in the dining room on elegant night to celebrate my Grampa' 88Th birthday. The Carnival staff surprised him with a birthday cake & singing happy birthday. The food & service in the Dining Room was excellent and could not have been any better. The rest of the cruise we chose to eat at the Lido Deck buffet & HORIZON/bar&grill at the back of the ship. It was kept clean and the food was as good as any other cruise I was on when I chose to eat in the main dining room. this was the 1st time I have eaten most of my meals at the buffet & may not be the last. SHORT RIBS on day 3 were EXCELLENT!! Full DELI fro fresh variety of sandwiches, full salad bar, dessert bar, grill, 24 pizza, ice cream & frozen yogurt. (hint: take the choc melting cake scoop it into the cone before you get ice cream YUMM!!!!!!!!!!) STAFF I can honestly not find anything bad to say about the crew on this ship. Information, Excursion, dining, housekeeping, cruise director, officers, shops, entertainment, bar service, casino all were great! I don't know how they keep up the positive attitudes day after day, week after week, month after month! B-R-A-V-O to all of you! The ship was extremely clean and they take care of their ship like it was their very own top to bottom. ENTERTAINMENT WOW! WOW! WOW!! I WAS THE MOST IMPRESSED with this caption than ANY other. It was so nice to see Carnival adding some new and different options. The HIP-HOP crew FUN-FORCE performing in the Atrium was A++! Do not miss them. I was simply blown away by the shows in the Dynasty Lounge the entire cruise. I can not say enough about the shows. Especially the SHOUT production on night 2. The dancers in the Dynasty lounge were by far THE BEST GROUP OF SHIPS DANCERS I have seen to date!!!! the 5 male dancers are worthy of any Broadway or Vegas production! Backed up by some of the best female dancers I have seen as well. I had the pleasure to meet with the person that teaches them & he should be extremely proud of this cast! I understand a new cast was taking over after this trip and what big shoes they have to fill. Best of luck to them. Only negative comment: Dynasty lounge 2ND level is not as steep as other ships Ive been on so some seats are limited visibility. For this ship i think lower level is better seating unless you arrive early and get a booth UP front on 2ND level. You can walk to seating in booths and/or seats without needing to do steps, however if using a wheelchair you may want to opt with lower level. the view may be better for you. CRUISE DIRECTOR: Karl with a "K" was the fun & enlightening glue that kept this cruise moving and pleasant. His witty persona is just what these ships need. His assistants in the Carnival FUN crew were everywhere on the ship making certain that your cruise was the best it could be! It is no Surprise to hear that the IMAGINATION is ranked #2 in the fleet. They can not be far from the top spot in my humble opinion. I did not use the SPA or CAMP CARNIVAL so have no comments to make here. FELLOW PASSENGERS Although Carnival technically has no control on who books a cruise, they went out of their way to make certain that everyone was as happy as they could be. The jubilance seemed to spread throughout my fellow passengers. Everyone had a smile on their faces wherever you looked. SPECIAL NEEDS/ MOBILITY NOTES My 88yr old grandfather uses a cane and often need support for standing. walking etc. He had no difficulty around the ship at all. I would have liked to see a support bar in the shower fro him to use if needed, but i did not have a handicapped room so I am not disappointed. I personally carries his food trays, but I did notice crew members carrying trays for those in wheelchairs and if additional assistance was needed. Excursion deck called the SUB OCEAN VIEW tour operator to check if my grandfather was able to get into the sub easily. Very helpful to decide on the excursion! Took advantage of the CANVAS PORTRAIT special offered at the photo desk. $55 for a 16x20 and it was ready in the last night for pick up. In the past this was mailed to you after the cruise. I will be covering some special needs info in my shore excursion section. Specifically for members that have trouble walking or use a cane. In summary, I really liked seeing CARNIVAL offering different entertainment such as Hip Hop dancers in atrium, additions of variety of dancer styles in shows. Addition of sanitizers throughout the ship good to see. YOUR TIME DINING is going to be a nice offer to compete with NCL's Freestyle dining. NEW- Adult Serenity deck is a nice addition with lush comfortable deck chairs, but can get crowded-(NO pool here) on front of ship. NEW- Children's water park was very nice on back of ship

9/7/09 CARNIVAL IMAGINATION- What a vacation!

Carnival Imagination Cruise Review by wiskt

Trip Details
Hello, I have been doing cruise reviews on Cruise Critic for a few years and this cruise ranked in my TOP 3! I was not expecting much from a shorter 4 day cruise but this Ship, Itinerary and staff really exceeded my expectations in all categories. I was traveling with my 88 year old grandfather and had no difficulty with any aspect of this cruise. He uses a cane and had such a good time on this ship. I will have notes that some handicap members may be interested in. I was not expecting too much from a 4-day cruise & smaller ship, but the IMAGINATION really made me reconsider what my expectations were. I enjoyed this ship better than some of the larger ships and longer itineraries.
Miami-Key West-Cozumel-day at sea-Miami Miami airport only 15 minutes from the port. get the Carnival transport prior to the cruise. It was only $27 per person round trip. 1 formal night on day2 / Great quick get-a-way cruise
CARNIVAL TRANSPORT to & from Miami airport & the port was a smooth, quick process. Definitely worth the money to avoid aggravation before and after your cruise.
EMBARKATION went extremely quick. A Carnival rep. was waiting at the door when we arrived with a wheelchair for my grandfather. Although, we were taken directly to the family check-in, there was barely any line and everything went smooth.
ROOM STEWART was at our door before we had a chance to close it to introduce himself. He greeted us by name each time we saw him, and our room could not have been any cleaner every time we came back to it. He was extremely courteous and took the time to talk to us about our trip and excursions with sincerity. I increased his gratuity directly to him by $10 per day which almost brought tears to his eyes.
CABIN Ocean view 6C M65 mid ship .... NO FRIDGE, but I knew that. This cabin has 2 beds, 2 pull down bunks and is located in a perfect part of the ship. Also in room: SAFE, 32" flat screen TV, room light switches at the bed, ice bucket, water and soda to purchase in the room. Free room service + gratuity. 2 Robes were hanging in the closet. Conveniently located two doors from elevators made moving around the ship simple for my grandfather with his cane. COMPLIMENTARY BATHROOM BASKET included Razor, toothpaste, Pantene-RED color enhancer shampoo/conditioner pack, some upset stomach packets (like TUMS) shower-Shampoo & Liquid Soap (I brought Cottonelle wipes, a travel Lysol spray)
FOOD/DINING We chose the new "YOURTIME DINING" on this cruise, which was a pleasant surprise that I did not know Carnival was offering. We only ate in the dining room on elegant night to celebrate my Grampa' 88Th birthday. The Carnival staff surprised him with a birthday cake & singing happy birthday. The food & service in the Dining Room was excellent and could not have been any better. The rest of the cruise we chose to eat at the Lido Deck buffet & HORIZON/bar&grill at the back of the ship. It was kept clean and the food was as good as any other cruise I was on when I chose to eat in the main dining room. this was the 1st time I have eaten most of my meals at the buffet & may not be the last. SHORT RIBS on day 3 were EXCELLENT!! Full DELI fro fresh variety of sandwiches, full salad bar, dessert bar, grill, 24 pizza, ice cream & frozen yogurt. (hint: take the choc melting cake scoop it into the cone before you get ice cream YUMM!!!!!!!!!!)
STAFF I can honestly not find anything bad to say about the crew on this ship. Information, Excursion, dining, housekeeping, cruise director, officers, shops, entertainment, bar service, casino all were great! I don't know how they keep up the positive attitudes day after day, week after week, month after month! B-R-A-V-O to all of you! The ship was extremely clean and they take care of their ship like it was their very own top to bottom.
ENTERTAINMENT WOW! WOW! WOW!! I WAS THE MOST IMPRESSED with this caption than ANY other. It was so nice to see Carnival adding some new and different options. The HIP-HOP crew FUN-FORCE performing in the Atrium was A++! Do not miss them. I was simply blown away by the shows in the Dynasty Lounge the entire cruise. I can not say enough about the shows. Especially the SHOUT production on night 2. The dancers in the Dynasty lounge were by far THE BEST GROUP OF SHIPS DANCERS I have seen to date!!!! the 5 male dancers are worthy of any Broadway or Vegas production! Backed up by some of the best female dancers I have seen as well. I had the pleasure to meet with the person that teaches them & he should be extremely proud of this cast! I understand a new cast was taking over after this trip and what big shoes they have to fill. Best of luck to them.
Only negative comment: Dynasty lounge 2ND level is not as steep as other ships Ive been on so some seats are limited visibility. For this ship i think lower level is better seating unless you arrive early and get a booth UP front on 2ND level. You can walk to seating in booths and/or seats without needing to do steps, however if using a wheelchair you may want to opt with lower level. the view may be better for you.
CRUISE DIRECTOR: Karl with a "K" was the fun & enlightening glue that kept this cruise moving and pleasant. His witty persona is just what these ships need. His assistants in the Carnival FUN crew were everywhere on the ship making certain that your cruise was the best it could be! It is no Surprise to hear that the IMAGINATION is ranked #2 in the fleet. They can not be far from the top spot in my humble opinion. I did not use the SPA or CAMP CARNIVAL so have no comments to make here.
FELLOW PASSENGERS Although Carnival technically has no control on who books a cruise, they went out of their way to make certain that everyone was as happy as they could be. The jubilance seemed to spread throughout my fellow passengers. Everyone had a smile on their faces wherever you looked.
SPECIAL NEEDS/ MOBILITY NOTES My 88yr old grandfather uses a cane and often need support for standing. walking etc. He had no difficulty around the ship at all. I would have liked to see a support bar in the shower fro him to use if needed, but i did not have a handicapped room so I am not disappointed. I personally carries his food trays, but I did notice crew members carrying trays for those in wheelchairs and if additional assistance was needed. Excursion deck called the SUB OCEAN VIEW tour operator to check if my grandfather was able to get into the sub easily. Very helpful to decide on the excursion!
Took advantage of the CANVAS PORTRAIT special offered at the photo desk. $55 for a 16x20 and it was ready in the last night for pick up. In the past this was mailed to you after the cruise.
I will be covering some special needs info in my shore excursion section. Specifically for members that have trouble walking or use a cane.
In summary, I really liked seeing CARNIVAL offering different entertainment such as Hip Hop dancers in atrium, additions of variety of dancer styles in shows. Addition of sanitizers throughout the ship good to see. YOUR TIME DINING is going to be a nice offer to compete with NCL's Freestyle dining. NEW- Adult Serenity deck is a nice addition with lush comfortable deck chairs, but can get crowded-(NO pool here) on front of ship. NEW- Children's water park was very nice on back of ship
wiskt’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 6C M65
IMAGINATION STATEROOM M65 OCEAN-VIEW Mid ship.
Quiet location, great view up an down the ship.
NO support bar in shower if you need one.
NO clock in the room, but there is a ships clock on the Carnival TV channel.
NO hair dryer in this cabin if you need it.
Would like SHIP MAP included in either bathroom basket or the desk binder.
Closet shelves can be dropped if you need additional hanging space.
1 outlet in the main room. Pack a small power strip if you need it.
Upper Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cozumel
    9/9/09 COZUMEL, MX Port 2-on the second day. 2:00-10:00 pm We arrived early so got extra time in port.
    Make sure to buy bottled water when exiting the ship. The new Carnival water holders for $5.95 are perfect/ Shoulder strap and a small pocket. This was my 3rd trip to this port and it is never a disappointment. I would go back again and again. It was my first time there in the evening though.
    The Rick-Shaw cycles off the gangway are free and work for tips only. it is a long walk if you have mobility issues. They have portable steps to get into and out of the cart. Worth a few bucks for us with gramps and his cane. The walk would have tired him out before we left the pier. There was a large Mayan inspired fountain right off the pier which was a nice photo opportunity. you might want to take the photo later in the day after all the people waiting for their excursions leave. Great view of the ship for another photo chance.
    Excursion: SUB OCEAN-VIEW excursion. reasonable price $45..MOBILITY FRIENDLY if you can manage about 6-10 steps into the sub. We did have to walk about half a block to the small pier where the SUB was waiting. I specifically chose this one because my grandfather has a cane and has trouble walking. [NOTE: The ATLANTIS tour has a ladder to enter the sub-similar to a pool ladder] Friendly workers, clean, air conditioned and was a nice family friendly tour if you have kids. The cabin is approx. 4-5 ft wide and about 30ft? long a center seat with large windows on both sides. Individual air vents per window helps if you tend to feel claustrophobic. I think the LARGE windows also help give it a spacious feel. It is a rocky ride but since I don't get seasick it did not bother me. Bring your camera. Lots of fish near the corals and also got to see some divers & snorkelers. Photo was taken as you board and cost I think $10-15 & comes in a nice presentation folder.
    View All 6,681 Cozumel Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Key West
    9/8/09 KEY WEST Port # 1 on the 2nd day. 7:30-2:00 NOTE: This is a great port to mail your postcards from since it is still a U.S. port. You can purchase Cozumel postcards on the ship if you decide to send them from Key West a day early. Remember if you mail anything ON the ship, it does not get mailed until the ship returns to the HOME PORT- MIAMI. if you buy any large items in Key west take advantage of the mail service and just send them back directly from the store or Post office. It could save you some baggage fees on the flight back and also can defray from your Customs allowances. NOTE: there are NO DUTY FREE shops in Key West.
    Docked at the Naval military base so had to take a trolley transport off the base into Mallory Square. It was a nice intro to the island. The driver gave a mini tour along the way and you got to see where some places were if you decided to go to them.
    If you use a wheelchair the trolley's have ramps in the back specifically for wheel chair use. No problem taking it ashore. In town you can expect quaint narrow streets. The sidewalks in Mallory square can get a little crowded since this is where EVERYONE is brought when you get there. I decided to just walk around Mallory square and shop for some sou-vies and explore with my grandfather. If you are thinking about the trolley tour I would be sure to book it as soon as you arrive so you do have time to shop if you want. I waited too long and couldn't take it because it was too late. Wish I got to see the SOUTHERN MOST POINT for a photo opportunity.
    The shops where they drop you off are some what pricey.
    I suggest renting the electric car or the Rickshaw when you get to town and go explore on your own. Do your research before your cruise and print out a map of KEYWEST so you are familiar with the island. It is only about 1 mile long. You can also pre-book some rentals and trolley excursions online prior to the cruise if you wish. DO YOUR HOMEWORK to save some money.
    I rated this port a 4 only because I arrived on shore a little later than expected and did not get to see much outside Mallory square to comment on.
    View All 1,774 Key West Cruise Port Reviews
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