85 Miami to Bahamas Carnival Imagination Cruise Reviews

This cruise was a gift from my boss for the employees and their spouses from last Christmas. Out of 14 employees, only 6 actually went on the cruise. This I will never understand as my husband & I love cruising so much. We decided to ... Read More
This cruise was a gift from my boss for the employees and their spouses from last Christmas. Out of 14 employees, only 6 actually went on the cruise. This I will never understand as my husband & I love cruising so much. We decided to upgrade to a window and also pay for our 23 year old daughter to join us. The last time the 3 of us went on a vacation together was 7 years ago when my husband & I got married on the Carnival Spirit. We live about an hour south of Tampa so we drove the 3 hours to the Port of Miami. The drive was fine and we arrived at the Port of Miami around 11am. We found the parking at the port was a bit confusing as we hadn't had to park there for quite some time. The last cruise we used Cruise Connection. When we finally were able to get into the garage to park, there was no signage indicating if you were to pay before the cruise and place the ticket on the dash or after the cruise. We asked someone that was working on one the ticket machines and he told us to pay after, so we proceeded to the ship. After dropping our bags off, we walked into the building where there was a VIP line and another line for all others. As we walked by the VIP line I told the attendant that we had 1 more cruise to be VIP and she told us to go through the VIP line. I told her again that we were not VIP yet, but she kept saying "this way". So that's where we went. Now, my daughter and I both had a bottle of champagne in our carry on and when we went through the scanner, I was the only one they asked to look in my bags. I was asked if I had a bottle in my bag and I told them that I had a bottle of champagne. They also searched my camera bag. It was fine. We were on vacation so all was good. We filled out the short form that was given to us and preceded to the kiosk. This was quick and easy and then went to the window and received our Sail & Sign cards. Our daughter got hers first and noticed that it said Anytime Dining on it. My husband & I checked ours and they too said Anytime Dining. We had booked Late Dining and this is what we have always preferred. My husband asked someone in the office and they told him we would have to see the Matre d when we boarded. We had been given a card that said Zone 7, so we sat down for a minute as they had just called Zone 2. When we looked up, there was no one taking the zone cards at the bottom of the escalator, so we decided to go. There was hardly anyone else in the main lobby waiting to board so we didn't feel bad about not waiting for our zone to be called. We got our embarkation picture taken and boarded the ship. Our daughter had been on the Imagination this past March so she was our guide right away. We went to the Lido deck and had lunch. We went to the back of the ship where the Pizzeria and Deli were. Daughter and I got salads and waited for the Deli to open. When it did, we ordered a hot turkey on a country roll. Absolutely, my favorite. My husband is a huge fan of the ice cream machine so that's all he wanted for the time being. While we were eating a gentleman came to our table and asked if everything was ok. He had a chef's hat on and my husband asked him if he was the Matre d. Obviously, we knew he was not by the chef's hat. He said that he was the head chef but called another gentleman over to our table and said "this is the Matre d." We explained to him about the mix up with the dining assignments and he told us to go to the Pride dining room and speak with Marion and he would correct the problem. We went right to the dining room and Marion did correct everything. He gave us a private table in the Spirit dining room. After, we all got a DOD and wanted to look around the ship. On first impression, the ship seemed to be in good shape for its age. I actually was on the Imagination in 1998 and really don't remember much about what it looked like then. At 1:30pm, we went to our room to put our carry ons down and our luggage was there already. My daughter had brought some decorations for the door and since we had our luggage, which had the decorations in it, we decided to put them up. Part of the items were 3 Hawaiian lays (pink, green & yellow).We saw our room steward, James and introduced ourselves and asked him if he could get some ice for the ice bucket (for the champagne) and that we like to keep our towel animals for the entire cruise. We also let him know that there was a light out in the bathroom. He said he would take of everything. When we entered the room, there was a big basket of fruit, cheese, wine & crackers, and a plate of chocolate covered strawberries on the desk - all from the Ocean Players Club. After we unpacked, my husband opened the shades and the amount of dust that came out was unbelievable. There were actually big dust balls on the bed after. We went back up to the Lido deck for another DOD and waited until the Safety Briefing. I do like the fact that you don't need to bring your life jackets, but there were so many people that did not even attend the Briefing at all. We could still see people walking around when the drill ended. Later, we went to the sail away party on the Lido deck and my daughter & I got in on the dancing for a bit. We also met up with some of my co-workers for a drink. We had a great afternoon and things started to open around 5:30pm. My daughter and I walked back to the room for a bit and when we got there someone was in the room starting to turn the bed down and do their nightly routine. He left when we got there, but said he would come back. He never did come back and he left a dirty, wet cleaning rag on the counter, next the strawberries and fruit basket, we never received the Funtimes for the next day and we never got a towel animal. AT 8:15pm, we went to the Spirit dining room for dinner and were brought to our table. It was a table for 4, which was fine. We were greeted by our waiter, Orlando and then introduced to his assistant Rudolph. Dinner started off great but quickly went downhill. All of our orders were taken and we received water & bread. The appetizers took a bit of time to come out, which was understandable, however, we sat for 20 minutes with dirty plates in front of us before they were finally taken away and then the main course was brought out. The assistant was nowhere to be found for at least 45 minutes and our water was never refilled. We asked Orlando for more water and still they were not refilled. When we had finished the main course, our dishes sat again for another 20 minutes, which by this time the Matre d was starting the dinner show. Finally, Rudolph appeared with refills for our water and Orlando took our dessert order. Neither one participated in the show as we assumed because they were so behind. My husband told Rudolph that I would like a decaf coffee and he would like a cappuccino and we all ordered the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake. The dessert came after the show and Rudolph brought 2 coffee cups with regular coffee only. My husband told him again what we had ordered and he disappeared. We never saw him again, so needless to say, we never got the decaf or cappuccino. We left the dining room at 10:15pm a bit annoyed. We then went to the Welcome Aboard Show and found a seat on the second level. The beginning of the show was the normal cruise director (Tory) saying a few words and then she introduced her 3 assistants, who each said a few words. One of her assistants was Spanish and she also spoke Spanish to those Spanish speaking guests. What we found upsetting was that there was such a mix of nationalities on the ship, all speaking different languages, however; only the Spanish speaking guests were addressed. The next part of the show was bringing some guests up on stage to do the game with the spoons tied to strings. That is always pretty funny. After, Al Romero, the comedian, came out and he was not funny at all. He made fun of all different nationalities and there weren't that many people laughing. We almost walked out, but we knew our daughter wanted to stay. Later, we spent some time in the casino and then went to bed as we knew we had a long day on Saturday in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, it wasn't a great night's sleep. Most of the night we were getting woken up by large groups of people being extremely loud in the hallway. My husband got up once and asked them to please be quite. Later, we got woken up again by a couple fighting in the next cabin. I left the shades open so I would wake up early and woke up around 6:45am. I quietly got dressed and went up to the top deck and took some beautiful pictures of the sunrise and then took random shots of the ship. I went back to the room and got my sneakers on and went up to the jogging track and ran for 35 minutes. When I arrived back to the room my husband and daughter were up and ready for breakfast. We went up to the Lido deck and had breakfast which was very good - scrambled eggs, bacon, assorted breads, pancakes, fresh fruit, cereals and omelets made to order. After, we went back to the room and got ready to get off the ship. As we were leaving, we saw our cabin steward, James and mentioned to him about the night before and told him there was a dirty, wet rag on the counter still. James told us that we came back to the room and disturbed the person cleaning the room so he did not come back. Are you kidding me????? This was definitely not the best answer. We booked the Shallow Dolphin Swim & Waterpark Adventure at Atlantis. The shuttle took us to Atlantis and we were all walked to an area near the dolphins. There was still 30 minutes before our dolphin swim so we walked through the Aquarium, which was really big and very beautiful. When it was time we went to the dolphin area, were brought in the back to the lockers and given a wet suit to put on. Then we were brought into a room where we watched an informational video about the dolphins. After, we were taken down to the water and were able to interact with the dolphins. We were able to touch, hug, kiss & feed them. No cameras are allowed to be brought in the water but they did have their own photographer taken pictures the whole time. What a great experience and we highly recommend it. When we were finished and had purchased the pictures we wanted, we went to the Rapid River where we grabbed a tube and floated through for the next 2 hours. I would not call this a Lazy river as there are rapids and a giant wave and a water slide. This, we really enjoyed. Around 5pm we started making our way back to the shuttle, which brought us back to the ship. We walked around the shops for a bit and then got back on the ship as us girls needed some time to get ready for dinner and it was formal night. When we were all ready we got some formal pictures taken and then went to dinner. We hoped that tonight would be a better experience. Unfortunately, it was not. Rudolph told us as soon as we sat down that the table behind us had made a formal complaint the previous night about how slow their service was, so he had to pay special attention to them. However, that meant that our service suffered AGAIN. Basically, the same thing happened as the night before: dirty dishes sitting in front of us, waiting forever for next course, not to mention that the 4th place setting with all the extra wine glasses from the table (we don't drink wine) were never removed. At the end of the meal, my husband asked for an espresso and he was brought a cappuccino. He told Rudolph that he wanted an espresso and had to wait another 15 minutes, but finally did get it. After dinner, we went to the show, Living in America. This was very good. Great music with fabulous dancers and the singers Jamilia & Matthew were terrific. Later, we went to the casino, which was extremely crowded. My husband & I like to play 3 card poker and this ship only had 1 table, which was always full, so we never got to play. We only stayed for a little while then went back to the room to go to bed. We did have a towel animal and the bed was turned down and thankfully, the wet rag was gone. Of course, we did question whether the counter had been cleaned because nothing on it was moved. The light in the bathroom had still not gotten replaced. Sunday morning I woke up early again to watch the sunrise. I woke my daughter up and we both went up to the top and watched as we sailed out of Nassau. Breakfast on the Lido deck was very good, as usual. Then for most of the day it was just laying out by the pool. My daughter & I did go to the Marriage Show, which is always quite funny. Then we went to the Photo Gallery to decide which pictures we were going to purchase. After, we had lunch at the deli and then went to get more sun by the pool. Unfortunately, it started to rain, so I went back to the room to get an early start on getting ready for dinner and we wanted to go to the show which was before dinner. The show, Shout, was even better than the night before. The music, lights, dancing & singing were outstanding. Tonight, dinner was interesting. Orlando and Rudolph seemed to hover over us most of the time. Service was better but not great. Thankfully, the food had been excellent every night. At the end of the meal, the 2 servers stayed right by our table as if they were waiting for us to hand them something. This was the first time in 9 cruises that we have not left an extra tip for the servers, but we just did not feel the service was even adequate. After dinner, we went back to the room to change and put our luggage out. When we arrived at the room, we noticed that the green lay was missing off the door. How very sad that someone would steal it, but we knew we were taking our chances by taping them to the door. We went up to the cigar bar to meet with my co-workers and then attended the R-rated comedy show where a fight almost broke out between two guys. This was very scary. The lounge was standing room only so we stood in the back, but being 4ft 11in didn't help me to see all the antics from the comedian. He was funny but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I could have seen what he was doing. After, we went to the casino and as we walked in we saw a very intoxicated girl playing blackjack wearing a GREEN LAY!!! My husband & I were so angry but didn't want to cause any problems as there were 4 guys around her. However, my husband did mention to her that he hoped that she found it on the floor as someone stole it from our daughter's door. She quickly grabbed it around her neck and we just walked away. So sad! We went back to the room to go to bed as this was really not the cruise that we had come to expect from Carnival. Unfortunately, another noisy, sleepless night occurred. It absolutely amazes us that people can be so inconsiderate during the middle of the night. In the morning, we ate on the Lido deck and waited for our number to be called to leave the ship. We found the debarkation process to be very smooth and organized. We picked up the bags from the conveyor belt, went through customs and were in the car heading home by 10:30am. One footnote - On 3 separate occasions, when I used the ladies room throughout the ship, there was urine all over the seat and the there was no toilet paper. To sum up this cruise, we would say it was far below what we have come to expect from Carnival. The staff, in general, was just ok. One evening, as I was coming out of the ladies room, someone was coming in and they startled me. I said "oh, I'm sorry". The woman just walked by, without even acknowledging me. To my surprise, she was an employee. Obviously, she had to go pretty bad ?. The food in the MDR was great but the service was horrible. The entertainment, with the exception of the comedian the first night, was outstanding. To rate this cruise on a scale from 1-10, we would give it a 4 and have decided we will not be back on this particular ship. We do have a 7 day cruise booked on the Carnival Legend on September 5th (yes, in one week) and this is the 2nd time on this ship. We're pretty confident that the next cruise will be much better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
This was my family's first cruise and some of my review has no reflection on Carnival at all, but merely our vacation choices overall. We sailed with two friends and our three children, ages 7, 10 and 14. Embarkation/Day One: this ... Read More
This was my family's first cruise and some of my review has no reflection on Carnival at all, but merely our vacation choices overall. We sailed with two friends and our three children, ages 7, 10 and 14. Embarkation/Day One: this was a breeze. We used Larry's Limo service and that experience was wonderful. We paid $120 to get from Ft. Lauderdale to the Port which included tip. Once we were at the Port around 11am, we went right in and were eating lunch in the Horizon Grill around 11:30am. The food was wonderful. We had made to order stir fry and the kids had the usual chicken nuggets and fries. Everything was fresh. Our room was ready around 2pm. Until then we explored some of the ship and did a Spa tour. I signed up for a Body Composition Assessment that I took the following morning. We went to the kids camp to sign them up and hear the orientation. Afterwards, we took them to the Waterworks slide, which was a lot of fun, until dinner. That evening we had dinner at the Lido and again, no complaints at all. We had pork chops and Mahi Mahi that was really good! After dinner we took a nap. The beds were pretty comfortable and then sat at the pool. The pool was pretty crowded each day, but at night it was perfect. Around 2am there were a few people there, but not rowdy. We did walk past the nightclub and that was the first clue that I was too old for this crowd. :) We watched for a second and walked out to the pool and just relaxed. One thing we noticed about the ship was there were hardly any CLOCKS!! That was a good and bad. Good because it made you relax. Bad when you have children and you are trying to keep up with the time and their activities, as well as your own. Lesson here: bring a watch or keep your cell phone handy. Day Two: When I woke up we were pulling into Nassau. It was beautiful. I did my Body Composition Assessment and that was very informative but just proved to be a Detox formula sales pitch. So, I took my information for what it was and went on about my day. I met my family on the Lido to get in line for breakfast. LONG WAIT! The stations end at the grill so, if you are in line for simple eggs, bacon and french toast, you have to wait behind people who are ordering omelets at the end of the station. Not really a good set up. But, the food was still pretty good. We got off to explore Nassau and because we were on a tight budget, we had no excursions booked and really nothing planned so we were winging it. Not a good idea. We walked around to do some shopping first but didn't see many deals. So we settled on Tortuga Rum Cake (excellent!) We took a ferry over to Paradise Island ($3/person) and walked to Cabbage Beach. That beach was a hot mess. I'll leave it at that. We got a taxi back to the ship ($4/person) and showered for dinner. That was elegant night in the Dining Room. I was amazed at the fact that the ship does not have irons/ironing boards in the rooms as advertised. There were only TWO IRONS on the entire ship (in the Laundry Room!!), so needless to say there was a very long line of very unhappy people. Dinner was wonderful. We had Lobster/Shrimp, Basa, Short Ribs and some other tasty treats. What blew us away was the warm chocolate melting cake. My goodness that was good!! Our waiters weren't very friendly though. As a matter of fact, none of the staff was very "out of their way" friendly like you read about in some reviews. We never even met our cabin steward. I digressed... After dinner my husband and I and our travel companions went to see one of the live shows and that was really good. I'm not really a musical fan, but I enjoyed that one. We then dressed to explore Nassau nightlife. That left much to be desired. We went to Senor Frogs for about 40 minutes before they closed for the night at 2am and then headed down to Bambu which was jam packed. One of the patrons got turned away for wearing shorts and he decided he wanted to fight the bouncer. Should've turn around then. :-) However the drinks were reasonable. We returned to the ship and did the midnight pizza buffet and that was ok. Day Three: This day was pure chaos for our family because it was the first day all of the kids decided to do the kids events. My 7 year old camp was pretty sketchy because they closed for 2 hours for lunch and then 2 hours for dinner. So, we had to stop what we were doing or rearrange our adult events to accommodate having her for 2 hours at a time. We did get to do a family Digital Camera Scavenger hunt with her and that was a lot of fun and we got a lot of great funny pictures from that. Our 10 year old didn't like the 9-11 camp very much because they were engaged in activities geared toward younger children. My 14 year old was in heaven. He was always doing something. I think he had the most fun. We had dinner in the dining room again and our waiter this time, Henry was wonderful!! He was very nice and very funny. I had the seafood penne and it was so good! That evening was quiet for us. I went to the Serenity "adults only" deck and took a wonderful nap. Went to the room and just slept some more. Disembarkation: This was ok. It was pretty organized considering they were trying to unload 2600 people. We were off and at the airport by 11am. OVERALL: The crowd on this ship was not for me. There were lots of children crying and loud boisterous young people. I probably would've have enjoyed this cruise more if I was looking to "party" and not sit back and relax. I hadn't had a vacation in four years and this wasn't it for me at all. I don't think I'll do Carnival's "budget" ships again and will definitely be booking with Royal Caribbean next time, since I have "heard" their line of ships cater more to adults rather than the typical "party/family" atmosphere of Carnival. I probably would've loved this in my 20s. :) Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
I was in awe as soon as we reached the port! The ship is so majestic walking up to it. We checked in online, so checking in at the port was a breeze. We were greeted at the entrance and directed right to the dining room where we had lunch. ... Read More
I was in awe as soon as we reached the port! The ship is so majestic walking up to it. We checked in online, so checking in at the port was a breeze. We were greeted at the entrance and directed right to the dining room where we had lunch. There were buffets galore. I had a stir fry dish that was wonderful. We walked around exploring the ship until it was time for the safety drill on the deck. The drill was chaotic and loud, so if we were gonna sink, I probably would have drowned or been very confused because I heard nothing. We were told luggage could take some hours, however, ours was at our cabin right away. We checked the kids into their kids clubs and threw on our bathing suits! The kids had a great time in the water park area and my husband and I relaxed. The activities were ok. We weren't able to experience too many of them because we wanted to make sure the kids were able to do all they wanted to do. Considering their ages are wide ranges, everyone wanted to do something different. The nightclub left a lot to be desired, however. It was just short of a strip club in there and it was pretty empty. We didn't stay very long. Nassau was great. We opted to just lounge on the beach during the day. That evening, we went to Senor Frogs. That was a blast! We headed back to the ship for the midnight buffet and passed out! Each night we ate in the dining room and the food was excellent. The chocolate melting cake was to die for. I think that was a family favorite. The only downside to the trip was the fact almost an entire deck shares an iron!!!!! Insane!! The line to wait for the iron was ridiculous and the room to iron in was very small. Why the cabins do not have an iron is beyond me. But that was crazy. We will be bringing our own iron next time! All in all, we had a wonderful time and I look forward to our next cruise. This time, just hubby and I. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Intro: This was a hastily scheduled cruise, booked about one week in advance. My wife and I were previously booked on a 7 day cruise on Carnival Legend in November, but it had to be cancelled due to my wife's employment changes. So ... Read More
Intro: This was a hastily scheduled cruise, booked about one week in advance. My wife and I were previously booked on a 7 day cruise on Carnival Legend in November, but it had to be cancelled due to my wife's employment changes. So to make it up to ourselves, we took two 3 day cruises before the start of her new job. One was on Monarch of the Seas on June 18, and the other on Carnival Imagination on July 2, 2010. It has been a running joke between us that the Imagination is our "stalker" ship. This came about since she has been in port with us at least once on many cruises we have taken. So it seemed like a good time to give her a try and be able to say that we have "been on that one too". My wife and I drove down to Fort Lauderdale the night before the cruise and stayed at the Mariott North hotel. My labor union has held conferences there in the past, so I was happy when Hotwire gave us a great rate for the night. For anyone looking for a hotel in a decent area, I recommend the Mariott North Lauderdale. It's a nice place right off I-95 with a big pool area, plus there are many restaurants near by. The drive to the pier the next day only took about 40 minutes. Embarkation: As I have before, I will continue my praise for the VIP embarkation at the Port of Miami. We got to the terminal around 10-ish and were in the VIP Lounge in no time. As soon as they began boarding we got right on and were some of the first on the ship. It is such an easy and pleasant process; I just wish Miami was closer for us. The Ship: Having done so many of my cruises on other Fantasy Class ships, it felt like coming home when I stepped onto Imagination. The ship's interiors are still in good shape after her fifteen years in service. There were several places where the carpet had become tattered and needed replacing, but she was very clean and in mostly good repair. Central on Empress Deck is the lobby of the ship, which is also the bottom floor of the expansive Grand Atrium. A lobby bar, guest relations (the Purser's desk), the shore excursions desk and the internet cafe can all be found there. One floor up on Atlantic Deck one finds both of the main dining rooms (Pride forward, and Spirit aft), a piano bar, library, shopping area, and the first floor of the main theater. I usually make it a point to visit the piano bar frequently on a cruise, but for some reason we never made it in there this time. Moving up from Atlantic is the Imagination Promenade. This is the main entertainment area and is home to the casino, two dance clubs, a cigar bar, and the main theater's balcony. A smaller theater is located aft on this deck, which is used mostly for karaoke and comedy shows. At the very back of Promenade Deck is the Serenity area. This is an adult only sunning deck with its own hot tubs. The staff generally does a good job kicking out interloping children. The exception was at night, when the area was still open but there was no attendant to be found. Once the crewman was gone, I saw several teens in the hot tubs. Above Promenade is the Lido Deck. It is home to the ship's only pool. It is easy to tell that it is the lone pool, as it gets so crowded you can scarcely see that there is water in it. I enjoy swimming, but not with a school bus load of kids. One medium sized pool is simply not enough for 2000+ people to share. The two hot tubs that flank the pool were equally packed; I counted 10 children in one on the last sea day. With that many bodies on such a hot day sitting in hot water for hours on end, it becomes less a hot tub and more a human soup cauldron. When Carnival had the Evolutions of Fun upgrades done to the Fantasy Class ships it eliminated the aft pool in favor of the Waterworks area. In theory this was a good idea. Have a big pool in the middle for adults, a water park in back for the kiddies. In practice, it seems much less logical. Kids still want to swim. So now the Waterworks is full up, as is the only pool. This leaves no pool for the adults to enjoy. It would have made much more sense to leave the aft pool in place and wrap the water park around it; thus containing the children, more or less, to one area. Also on Lido deck is the Horizon Grill buffet area. As usual the food was adequate and plentiful. One of my favorite features on the Fantasy Class ships is the exterior lanai area on the back and to the sides of the buffet. It offers panoramic views while enjoying a meal. On the newer ships, the aft Lido area is enclosed due to the sliding dome. Above the buffet on Veranda Deck is the aforementioned Carnival Waterworks. It has one large "Twister" slide and two smaller racing slides. These slides are accessed by climbing up one deck to the former (topless!) wrap-around funnel deck. At the front of that deck is the ship's spa and gym. The spa also has steam and sauna rooms, plus an aerobics room. I am a little resentful of the aerobics room, since the space it occupies used to house two hot tubs. They were a favorite locale of mine, since very few people knew about them. They were almost always empty, which allowed for uninterrupted relaxation. At the very top of the ship is the mini golf course. I did not have occasion to use it this cruise, but it looked like it was still in good shape. The Cabin: Our stateroom was M269 located on main deck aft. It was an ocean view room that looks out of the ships' stern. The view of the wake was nice, but the quiet location was better still. Apparently the cabin area hallways and stairwells are the new cool hangout for kids and teens. They could be found there into the wee hours of the morning. We were constantly bobbing and weaving through them to get back and forth from our room. Thankfully, our room was off the rear hallway so it was pleasantly deserted most times. I can't even fathom how horrid it would be in a room nearer to the elevator lobbies. That seemed to be where the greatest concentrations were. Our room was always kept clean by our excellent steward. We did experience moderate noise from the stern thrusters and rope winches, but it wasn't bad enough to be bothersome. Dining: We were assigned to a two seat table in the Spirit Dining Room for the 8:15 seating. Our servers worked very hard and the food was good overall. The fish on the first night was overcooked, and the steak was nearly raw. But the food on the second and third nights was done extremely well. In fact, the onion soup and crab cake appetizers on the last night were the best I have yet had on a Carnival ship. In regards to the serving team, they seemed very overworked. Usually one or both of them will stop by and chat for a little while each night. On this cruise it was like watching the Roadrunner serve us. Usually when I order two appetizers or entrees they bring them out one by one. But in this case the waiter simply set them down side by side, and then left the used plates there until the next course came. There have been many rumors about Carnival downsizing their wait staff, this cruise seemed to validate them. The other passengers may have also been at fault. Many came strolling into the dining room 30 minutes late expecting to be seated. What really blew my mind is that they were seated! Initially I thought they were Anytime Dining people, but our waiter told us the forward dining room was set aside for that. Dining on the lido was typically decent, but not outstanding. My only complaint about the buffet area is that the crew really needs to police the exterior areas better for dirty dishes and tables. At times it was difficult to locate a clean table on the lanai areas. Entertainment: We did not attend any of the shows, so I can't comment on their quality. I did go to the R-rated comedy show on the first night, but didn't stay long. The guy who performed on the last night was better, and we stayed for the whole show. Nassau: My wife is a part time travel agent, so she was able to get us into Sandals Royal Bahamian for the day. After a short bus trip to the resort we were poolside in a few minutes. The resort is one of their older and smaller ones, but it was very nice and super clean. Their pools were huge, and the swim-up bars are always nice. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a land vacation and don't have kids (it's a couples only retreat). Behind the Fun! On the last day we took the Behind the Fun tour of the ship. The cost was $55 per person, and started in the library at 9:15. Carnival laid out a nice selection of pastries and hot beverages in the library for us to enjoy before the tour. There were only 6 of us that showed up, so it was a small group since the maximum is 16. Our first stop was the galley. After many trips through galleys this was not new ground. What was interesting was that the crew was still working, finishing up the breakfast service for the Spirit Dining Room. On most galley tours it is not active and is staged for the guests. On this trip we got to see a little of the chaos. At the end of the galley tour we were shown how the chocolate covered strawberries are made, and each given one to try! Next was a trip downstairs to deck 2 and a brief glimpse into the engine room. We could not go see the engines due to the extreme heat and dangerous machinery. But a crewman was coming out, so our guide held the door open so we could peek in. The heat was outrageous; it had to be 115+ degrees. The poor guys coming out were drenched in sweat, so keep them in mind when enjoying a cruise. After that we headed to the laundry area and saw the massive washers, dryers, and folding machines. On deck 3, we visited the food storage areas and beverage coolers. We also spent a good deal of time in the engine control room and were given a presentation by the ship's Chief Engineer. Moving forward we visited the waste incinerator, crew galley, crew dining rooms and the crew training area. The Imagination is one of Carnival's "college ships", so there was a group of new bartenders going through class there. We then visited the infirmary. After that we moved up to Lido Deck for the highlight of the tour, a visit to the bridge! On the bridge we were shown the many control areas that the officers use. We also had a presentation from the Captain, and a Q&A session with him. A photographer was brought in, and we got to have a private photo with him. The ship's wheelhouse is a very interesting place; I was so excited to finally be in one. A little extra perk was when the ship's Quartermaster made a course change, taking the ship off auto pilot and actually steering it. Our guide told us that it was one of the few times that one of her groups has gotten to see a manual course correction. We then went down to Atlantic Deck to see the backstage areas of the main theater. We were shown the cast's dressing rooms and the stage control area. After seeing the backstage area on Freedom of the Seas, I was amazed at how much smaller it was on Imagination. It is truly amazing that the cast and sets can change so quickly with so little space to work in. We then walked down to Empress Deck and were allowed access the ship's forecastle, seeing the spare anchor, the ships bell, the crew's tiny swimming pool, and their smoking area. We also got to see the crew lounge. There was a list of crew parties that were upcoming, one of which was a "boxer shorts and underwear" party. From the looks of it, they have more fun than the passengers sometimes! That wrapped up the tour, and we ended at the piano bar around noon. We got to keep our Behind the Fun lanyards, and also got baseball caps. Later that day they delivered our pictures along with a plate of chocolate covered strawberries. For $55 the tour was a great bargain. Anyone interested in the behind the scenes of a cruise ship should definitely consider it! Debarkation: We awoke at around 8 am and had breakfast in the main dining room as usual. Normally we just wait for everyone else to get off and then leave when they do last call. But we had a long drive ahead, so I wanted to get to it. A crew member let us merge into the self-assist passenger's line since we missed the priority debarkation that they offer Platinum guests. We were off the ship fairly quickly. The customs area was divided into halves, US citizens and non-US citizens. The non-US citizen side was completely jam packed. Surprisingly the US citizen side was almost empty! We walked through in about 10 seconds. Final Thoughts: Due to the employment changes listed above, we had to break one of our cardinal rules of cruising: Never cruise during the summer season! This rule was completely validated by the hordes of kids and teens on this cruise. They were not so bad that it caused us stress, but the clientele on an "off season" cruise suits us much better. The service was great, and the ship was very nice overall. This was an enjoyable cruise, but I think that we will probably stick to ships leaving out of Tampa or Port Canaveral for short cruises in the future. Both of those ports are within a two hour drive from our house. The 4+ hour drive to Miami washes out the attractive lower fares, so a return to Imagination may not be likely if she stays in South Florida. Still, it was a fun time and I am happy we finally met our "stalker". For those interested in seeing pictures, there are many included in my message board posting of this review. Here is the link to it: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1232183 Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
I flew into Fort Lauderdale the night before my cruise because it is much cheaper than Miami. We stayed at the Comfort Inn, it was nothing fancy, but clean. I stayed at this hotel because I was able to get a room rate which included a ... Read More
I flew into Fort Lauderdale the night before my cruise because it is much cheaper than Miami. We stayed at the Comfort Inn, it was nothing fancy, but clean. I stayed at this hotel because I was able to get a room rate which included a shuttle to the port of Miami. There were 2 of us, and Comfort Inn picked us up from the airport, provided breakfast in the morning, and then drove us to the port of Miami. I would definately stay there again. They had two choices for shuttles, 9 or 12. We chose 12. There were only four of us in the van. I went on a themed cruise to Half Moon Cay, so I will be unable to review entertainment, because it was different from the normal entertainment. Getting on and off the ship was very easy. We got their early, so we had to wait for our zone to be called, but it wasn't bad. Getting off of the ship was easy. We booked an excursion and was led of the ship. There was no line at customs and luggage came out quick. I have been on this ship before, and I like it. The decor is a little bright, but not distracting. The service was outstanding. There were over 2000 women on the cruise (most late 20s and early 30s). There was a lot of drinking, but the bar staff was on top of it. I never had to wait too long. One night was open bar for a half hour. The Carnival waiters were everywhere. I must have turned down at least 20 drinks. It started to get annoying. Our cruise went to Half Moon Cay which was absolutely gorgeous. The tendering process was not fun. I had tender ticket 2. I was told to meet at 9:30 yet we didn't leave until after 10:30. I loved everything about this cruise! Everyone was very friendly. The ship is in good condition. There were always people cleaning the ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
This was our 10th cruise and our third with Carnival. We are a couple in our mid 30's and enjoy cruising. This one was our family spring vacation with our kids; our son is seven (7) and our daughter is fourteen (14). We live in ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise and our third with Carnival. We are a couple in our mid 30's and enjoy cruising. This one was our family spring vacation with our kids; our son is seven (7) and our daughter is fourteen (14). We live in Florida and it only took us 3.5 hour drive to the port; however, there some type of event close to the port and the traffic was awful. We arrived to the port, parked across the street in covered garage (A++). Getting our Sail Fun Cards was a breeze. Carnival offers a "Kiosk" check in if you are a U.S citizen and have filled out your paper work ahead of time. Checking in took us less than 2 minutes. Ship: Once on board we attempted to get lunch; however, they stop severing lunch at 5:00pm so we had to skip lunch. We walked around and explored the ship. Although the ship is more than 15 years old the remodel made it look revitalized. We participated in the "Muster" drill which was a simple as they do not have you get your life vest from the room and put it on and herd you like cattle. Instead we went to a lounge and saw a crew member show how to wear the life vest in case of an emergency. Kudos to Carnival for this easy process! The ship was clean; however, the old cabaret theme lingers through out the ship. The casino was nice; however, not a lot of slot machine selections. We made do and won a little money. Stateroom: Was very clean and non-smelly. Our bags were in our room when we got there. Our room was located on the Main deck. The room had a full size bed, a pull down bunk and they brought in a fold out bed for my son. The bathroom was roomy and we had no problem with the size of the room. We had several issues with our neighbors as they would argue every night at around 3:00am; this was not pleasant. Food: The food was great at the Horizon's Grill; however, they have not children's selection which at times our son would have to choose things he liked which were not a lot. There is a pizza station along with a sandwich station which was great. Our son and daughter loved the unlimited ice cream station. The food selection was pretty good and they food looked and tasted fresh. On our sea day we had food from the outside grill (hamburgers and hotdogs) which were good for a quick bite. Port: When we arrived in the Bahamas our son was not feeling great so we were not able to go on shore. We have been to the Bahamas numerous times and it was no big deal for us but my son really wanted to go to Atlantis. My wife and daughter got off the boat and went to the straw market and bought a couple of things and then stopped by to get something to drink at Senor Frogs and they had a good time. Activities: This ship was one of the ones in which Carnival gave a makeover and put water slides for kids and called it "Water Works." Don't let the name fool you there is one (1) tube slide and two (2) smaller slides. The down fall to this is that they are open from 9-5, however, when we went to use on the sea day they did not open the slides until 10:30 am because they were cleaning the decks.... The staff bar attendants were few and it took a while to get your drinks. The youth camp is small and did not let us inside to see what they had to offer if our child was not registered. Well to say the least my son did not want to stay as he did not see what they had to do. This was a shame! Entertainment: This was not good at all, hardly any shows or things to do. There was one show a night and it was not promoted so you did not know when it was on unless you read you daily itinerary. They could do a better job. Debarkation: We arrived to Miami at 7:30am and we were off the ship by 9:00am. We carried our bags out and made it very simple. They had it well organized and it was not hard to get off the ship. U.S. Customs was a breeze and we were on our way back home by 9:15am. Summary: Overall we had a good time; although our son did not feel well. The ship was good for the money and the staff was friendly and polite. Our experience was good and we would cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
This was my second time cruising and the first time for my son. Though we had an overall good time, there were quite a few areas that Carnival should and could improve upon. Let's start with the good: the cabin - Simply put GREAT! The ... Read More
This was my second time cruising and the first time for my son. Though we had an overall good time, there were quite a few areas that Carnival should and could improve upon. Let's start with the good: the cabin - Simply put GREAT! The beds were perfectly comfortable, the sheets luxurious, pillows divine and the room scrupulously clean and the bathroom, though on the tight side, defintely had a spa-like quality and feel to it. The housekeeping staff was phenomenal. The ship itself definitely could use a comprehensive scrub-down - carpets were dirty and there were many areas of the ship that had some quite unpleasant, musty, rank odors. Staff was cordial, but I felt overall the ship was understaffed - dirty dishes stayed on the tables too long, ashtrays were always dirty and food service in the buffet areas left a lot to be desired - lines too long; food bland, tasteless and overcooked. Also, the presentation was pretty unappetizing. As for activities - nothing to write home about - the shore excursions we wanted to go on were booked so we ended up going it on our own once in Nassau. I picked this particular cruise line for the teen activities from other teen reviews - my son (15) was bored and the O2 Lounge directors did not try to introduce the kids to each other - he felt a little awkward and left on his own. There were no teen shore excursions offered that Carnival listed on their website and I found him on several occasions in the cabin watching TV - plus the waterslide wasn't working until the last day - a big disappointment. Pool was too cold and crowded and the hot tubs overun by little kids. The adult lounge area was too small with not enough lounge chairs - what was available remained empty with towels and books as people were "saving" them while they went to eat or whatever - not considerate to say the least. I won't be travelling on Carnival again - my last cruise on NCL was by far way better than this floating circus. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
We were on the Imagination in 1999 with 3 other couples. We were in our late 20's and the party atmosphere was the best. It was the perfect getaway with friends. My husband and I (both Platinum members) wanted a quick weekend trip and ... Read More
We were on the Imagination in 1999 with 3 other couples. We were in our late 20's and the party atmosphere was the best. It was the perfect getaway with friends. My husband and I (both Platinum members) wanted a quick weekend trip and debated between the Norwegian Sky and the Imagination. I can tell you without a doubt we made the right choice. It was perfect. We live in FL. so we drove to the port and arrived around 1:30pm. We were on the boat in 20mins and had a drink in our hand by 2:00pm. The staff was friendly and the boat was already full of passengers. The seas were a little rough until we got into the open waters but after that it was smooth sailing. We had a great location on the Empress deck as far as proximity to everything, but could hear the galley commotion above. I would not do that again. Our room steward was the best and has been with Carnival since 1995. Casino was not great to us but we had a great time. Lots of tables and machines, blackjack and Texas hold em tournaments, lotto etc. Definitely something for everyone. Dining was your typical cruise fare. Pretty much the same as any Carnival boat but the staff in the Pride dining room was fantastic. The food was always hot and they were very attentive in case you did not like something, they were there to bring you something else. Shows- did not see any Kids- not a lot but those that were on were well entertained with Camp Carnival. All in all this cruise exactly what we needed and would happily do it again. I highly recommend Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
I cruised once before on Carnival Fantasy to Nassau. This time I went with my sister and 2 neices (ages 2 and 17). We got a steal through Priceline for our hotel. I fly space available (work at an airline) and did not realize it was even ... Read More
I cruised once before on Carnival Fantasy to Nassau. This time I went with my sister and 2 neices (ages 2 and 17). We got a steal through Priceline for our hotel. I fly space available (work at an airline) and did not realize it was even Superbowl weekend (2/5-2/8) when we booked the cruise about 2 weeks before. Traveling on special occasion or holiday weekends are usually a no no for "non rev" (non-revenue employee) passengers. We decided to get to Miami the night before so I bid $47 for a 3 star which was accepted by Residence Inn. I am a frequent traveler with Marriot and had already checked the site, rooms were $179 if you were AAA or AARP. I was shocked that they accepted my bid. Their shuttle picked us up at the airport. We had a nice sized suite with a separate sitting and bed area. The hot breakfast was great and saved us a lot of money. We decided not to check out until noon. The front desk called a cab and for $24 and 10 or so minutes we were at the port. The port was very nice. Easy to just walk in, line less than 10 minutes. You will check in again as if it's the airport. We did not let the porter take our bags as you have to wait for them later to be delivered to your room and we wanted to sit by the pool. We had entered most of the information online and were able to use the kiosk until we ran into a problem and an agent assisted us with the rest of check in. We went up an escalator and waited in a short line for pictures. This is the first of many times they will take your picture. It doesn't cost anything when you take it. We got a kick out of looking at the passengers pictures later. There was a bit of walking up the platforms. I paid close attention as my parents are cruising for the first time this year and they are seniors. Embarkation was easy and pretty fast. The lobby type are where guest services is and a small bar looks a little Vegas/Atlantic City. I don't mind that aesthetic. My family gets a kick out of it. We were looking around and a Carnival associate asked if we needed help so we asked where food was and she directed us to the Lido deck. We ended up getting hamburgers, fries, lemonade, and other samples from the buffet. The food was pretty good. There were plenty of chairs inside and outside. It was a little cool to me though it was supposedly 70 or so degrees so we ate inside. Our room was ready by 1:30 or so by the time we finished lunch. Tiny cabin for 4 people with one being a toddler, but we are good sports and not complainers. Plenty of towels, cute little toiletry samples, ice on tablestand. We intended to use room service but didn't get to it as we liked getting out of the room and walking around the ship. Camp Carnival seemed to have some cool stuff for the kids. My 2 year old niece stayed with them for a few hours one day and she had a great time. The 17 year old was too cool for Club O2 but regretted it later when she tried to get into an event they were having and was told she had to be registered. We did not see Shout or the comedians which we intended to. We did go to a broadway type show which the kids liked and I thought was pretty good. It was not too long for kids, they didn't act up. I'm not a drinker, but there were always people around offering drinks that people just whipped out their Sign and Sail card and paid for them. We missed breakfast and lunch everyday in the dining room due to sleeping in and then wandering around, but the buffet breakfast and omelet stations have everything you need. The pizza station is very good as well as the sandwiches. The dining room staff was great for dinner. They made a real effort with my 2 year old neice. Lobster night was Saturday which was a pretty good meal although we almost missed it as we took a taxi to the public beach near Atlantis ($6 per person). We walked back through Atlantis and nobody stopped us. We walked around the Marina and then took a taxi back for dinner. Boarding is easy with your s&s card and ID. We are planning another trip with more family on the same ship in a few more months. It is a great bargain for 3 days. One alarming thing happened on the ship Sunday night. After the day at sea, everyone was wandering around, shopping, hanging out and a terrible fight broke out in the atrium area. There was a swarm of Carnival crew that did NOT have this in control for awhile. There were seniors and kids standing far enough away not to get hit, but able to see everything. Finally the crew was able to "apprehend" the main fighters. The man they were beating was able to run away after sucker punching someone. We saw his girlfriend walk away nursing her punched in face (this was what started the brawl, him beating up on her) with crew. The guys who were defending her and beating up her boyfriend ended up in trouble. I don't know what Carnival does as far as policing or what power they have to hold someone, but it could have been very bad. Deembarking? if that is the word was easy as we chose the self service and had buffet breakfast while we waited for them to call us. I really like Carnival and can't wait for our next cruise. I forgot that I adjusted the tips down the last night (for the 2 year old). We also left a separate envelope for the Maitre D as he is not included in tips. Why Carnival? I checked us in for our flight but we could not print as the printer was out or some reason. Had I known the printer was out and I couldn't print boarding passes, I would not have paid for internet time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Background Information: This was my 3rd cruise (I am 36yrs old), my one brother's 3rd cruise (he is 30), and my other brother's 1st cruise (he is 33). My previous Carnival cruises were: Legend 7-days Western Caribbean & ... Read More
Background Information: This was my 3rd cruise (I am 36yrs old), my one brother's 3rd cruise (he is 30), and my other brother's 1st cruise (he is 33). My previous Carnival cruises were: Legend 7-days Western Caribbean & Freedom 8-days Exotic Eastern Caribbean. I will say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the past cruises with Carnival. I have enjoyed the larger ships as they offer more things to do and more space to explore. Embarkation: We live in SW Florida, so we drove to Miami. It was an easy drive, and we arrived at the cruise terminal around 12:00noon. Easy parking at the garage, $20 per day (prepaid). We walked to the terminal, gave our bags to the porters, and walked inside. This cruise terminal is BRAND NEW and built for Carnival. It is beautiful. No lines, walked right through security and into the terminal. We spent 5 minutes in line before getting to the counter, which took another 5 minutes. We walked right onto the ship, and were enjoying a "drink of the day" within moments. Overall it was a great embarkation compared to previous experiences. Ship Info: The Imagination is older (1995) and smaller than some other ships. My first impressions were that the ship is kept up very well, but is a bit "dated". It has been updated (2008) with LED lights and flat panel tv's all over. Also with the Carnival Waterworks addition on the top deck, it added some enjoyment to both kids and adults. Overall we all enjoyed the ship and its amenities. Activities: We were there to celebrate my brother's birthday, and since it was a short 3-day cruise, we were simply there to have fun, relax, and enjoy each other's company. We did not participate in many of the daily activities that were offered, but there is always something going on and to do every hour of the day. We spent most of our time at the pool bar, the Pinnacle bar, and the Casino. Entertainment: We chose to not see any of the shows in the main lounge. I heard that they were very good, but we just weren't into it. We did see 2 comedians while on board, both were the "R" rated versions late at nite in the Xanadu lounge. Both were pretty good, and would see them again. Pinnacle Bar: We spent a lot of time here. Ludvico was our bartender most nites and was fantastic! This was the only spot inside the ship that you can smoke cigars, so we found ourselves here often. We also spent a few hours here on Sunday watching football playoff games on the big flat screen tv's. It a great, pleasant surprise that all tv's were showing the games, and Carnival turned on CBS & FOX channels in the staterooms so everyone could watch. Thank you Carnival! Casino: So we spent a lot of time here. Overall we are not big gamblers, but when the opportunity arises we do enjoy playing a little. Roulette was up and down, I lost about $80 total on the Roulette tables. My brothers did a better than me there. What I spent most time playing was "face up" blackjack. Once you learn the simple rule changes from regular blackjack, it's actually fun. The second night I walked away and cashed out $250 (I put in $20 to start). So overall it was a great time! I would like to say that every dealer in the Casino was awesome. Ask for Jeffrey for your drinks. He was great! He remembered all 3 of our names every time we saw him, and he was so nice. Thank you Jeffrey! Service: All of the crew on the Imagination was really wonderful. We enjoyed the interaction that we had with all of them. The crew was fun and down to earth, and really made us feel comfortable wherever we went. Port & Shore Excursions: Our only port was Nassau, Bahamas. The last time I was here, we did an excursion to Atlantis resort and chose to do the tour & aquarium. This time we decided not to do an excursion, and do our own thing. We spent some time walking around a 10 block area right outside the ship terminal, did some shopping, and ended up at Senor Frogs. We had a small bite to eat and a few drinks. Outside Senor Frogs is the "Straw Market" where you can purchase some cheap items. The biggest are knock off purses and bags for the ladies. Stateroom: The previous cruises we have had balcony rooms. Except for the suites on the Imagination, there are no balcony rooms. We booked a room w/ a big window on the Main Deck (deck 5) room M-164. We were pretty much in the middle of the ship. The room was smaller than past balcony rooms, but adequate. 3 of us were in the room together, so we had 1 pull down bed on the wall. It was difficult to navigate the room when the bed was pulled down, but we didn't spend too much time in the room so it really did not matter to us. The bathroom was obviously upgraded in 2008 and was very nice. All bathrooms are small, so everyone needs to just get over it. We had plenty of storage space which we did not really use. Except for hanging up our shirts and pants in the closet, we lived 3 days out of our suitcases. Our room steward was Rudy and he was fantastic. We brought some alcoholic beverages with us and required a pretty good amount of ice to keep things cold. When we first met Rudy we explained to him what we needed and gave him some "cash money" upfront. We never had to ask again. Rudy made sure that the ice was always fresh, and the room as kept neat and organized. He was so nice and accommodating. Dining: This was probably my most disappointing part of the cruise. My last Carnival cruise was in late March of 2009, and looking at the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus in the dining rooms it seemed as though the menus have not changed in a years time. Now, I have no complaints about the food itself. Everything was very good, and in case you don't know, you can order more than just one thing. One night I ordered a soup and 2 appetizers, plus an entree. We chose to do the "anytime" dining and it worked out for us very well. We never waited in a line or for a table. We were taken right away and were in and out within an hour! The dining room staff was efficient and good, but not personable. Yes they are busy, and they have lots to do. So, if that is what you like from your server staff, then you will love it! Disembarkation: We chose to use the "self assist" disembarkation rather than put our luggage out the night prior. For us, it worked out very well. We ate a late breakfast on the Lido deck, and went down to deck 7 to leave. We walked off of the ship and into the terminal. Went up to the CBP officer, handed him the our declaration page, and walked outside. It could not have been any easier. Summary: Take everything with a "grain of salt". These are our experiences and opinions. I have spent a lot of time reading member reviews for our past cruises, and for our upcoming cruise in 2 months. You can/will never please everyone, every time. And some things that matter to some, may not matter to someone else. Cruising is about a vacation and relaxing, and experiencing new things. We went into this cruise with NO expectations, and ended up happy with the outcome. I hope you'll enjoy your own 3-day Carnival cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
To begin with, this was my first Carnival Cruise. I traveled with my husband's family, there were 8 of us. I will review certain aspects of the ship and service as I recall below: Port of Miami: Getting on the boat was a breeze, ... Read More
To begin with, this was my first Carnival Cruise. I traveled with my husband's family, there were 8 of us. I will review certain aspects of the ship and service as I recall below: Port of Miami: Getting on the boat was a breeze, fast and easy! Getting off the boat was even faster. I thought we accidentally missed customs it was so easy, they simply collected our declaration forms and let us on our way. VERY different from my experience here in November where customs was over an hour wait. Decor: The boat is an older ship, from the 90s and decorated in a very flashy way. The Grand Atrium is black and gold and neon colors & is a bit dated looking during the daytime hours, however at night it lights up beautifully! Much of the ship has an egyptian-like theme. Again, some of the rooms were pretty, others looked dated. Most of the ceilings were very low giving the ship a somewhat small feeling. Daytime Dining: I generally go to buffets for breakfast on ships, however due to being with a family group of 8, two of which were in their 80s, we chose to use the dining room for breakfast. I was thoroughly impressed with the options and the felxibility in ordering what you please. On my next cruise with hubby, we will be sure to use the dining rooms more often for breakfast. The Horizon Grill had many many options! There was pizza every day, a sandwhich bar (with panini press), pasta bar, salad bar, create-your-own stir fry, and a hamburger/hot dog joint by the pool. Whil some of the food was delicious, it WAS typical buffet food. I enjoyed the macaroni & cheese and cheeseburger the most. There were very long lines on embarkation day and the seas day in the buffet. Evening Dining: We had great service in the dining room on all three nights. The first night was tough because we were sailing with two elderly people who are very difficult to please when it comes to eating. They would constantly change their minds and/or complain. The wait staff did an excellent job of staying calm and making sure every order came out jut as requested. I cannot for the life of me remember one of their names, but the other was Ketut. They were great dancers too!! I found the food to be so-so in choices and quality. They weren't bad but they also weren't anything to brag about. The first night I had the Pumpkin, Squash and Cheddar Cheese Pot Pie, it was good, but was not filling. The other members of my group ordered very good spare ribs. There were only two uniques deserts each night along with the warm chocolate melting cake (which I now LOVE), ice cream, sherbert, fruit plate, and cheese selections. I did order the cheese plate on night one and it was warm, sorry I cannot eat warm cheese. The selections were good, had I been able to eat them. By the second night our waitstaff knew exactly what we wanted to drink with dinner and how we liked our desert drinks. Stateroom: The room was a decent size. I had heard they are larger than RCL rooms, however I didn't notice much of a difference. The bed was larger than normal and very comfortable. There were plenty of lights in the room for a varying degree of brightness. The closet space was ample, although it lacked drawer space. Being that this was a short cruise these two things didn't matter as much because we lived out of the suitcase, had it been longer I would have preferred more drawers. There was a flat screen on the wall/ corner with a good variety of channels. There was no loveseat/couch as I am used to on RCL but it wasn't a big deal. Bathroom: This was large for a cruise ship. My husband and I judge sizes of showers by the two person rule: if we can both stand in there, then it is "big" for cruise standards. This certainly was. My husband commented that he likes the textured blue bumpy floor, he felt it was a more secure feeling when the floor was wet. The extra little amenities were nice, toothpaste, shave cream etc. Our toilet was stained yellow on the seat, perhaps a new seat is in line. Steward: I did not meet him, I did not see him, and the only reason I knew he existed was because my bed WAS made twice a day and we did get some cute towel animals. However, we didn't get a Carnival Caper on the first day and NEVER got a comment card (to be explained later.) Shows: My husband and I did not attend the shows because we chose to watch Karaoke on the second night and there was a playoff football game on the third night. His grandparents and parents went each nigth and said they were good. The show on the third night was all about the history of rock and roll. Karaoke: We enjoyed the Karaoke on nights two and three, it was great entertainment butt didn't get popular until later in the night. Pool Area: We had no trouble finding seats for 8 together on the deck, but it was crowded. Perhaps we happened upon a group of seats at the right time. The deck was very busy on the sea day but also very fun and entertaining. The music was very loud (I am in my 20s and enjoy concerts on occaision, but this was a bit too loud) but they did play music geared toward a younger crowd. On other lines I hadn't experienced this. Pictures: We enjoy doing the ship pictures and there were SO MANY to choose from. I want to estimate around 15 different backdrops each night. There was even an old west dress up theme on two nights. Lounges: There were a lot of lounge onboard, however many times they were empty or reserved for the preteen/teen dancing. I guess this was good, so they wouldn't run amok at night. :) Spa: I was very happy with the Spa. On the embarkation day we took a tour of the spa facilities and entered into a raffle. First of all I won a free algae wrap, scalp massage, and foot massage. I never win anything!! I had to use it while in port, which was certainly no problem for me. They were nice enough to schedule me for first thing in the morning before we would be allowed off the ship. It was amazing, wonderful, fantastic. I would recommend this to anyone! The facilities were very clean, not too small, and had a variety of options: sauna, steam room, showers, relaxation room, etc. Comment Card: THIS disappointed me a great deal. I watched the debarkation video and they talked up the comment cards, they also mentioned the ability to win a free cruise from the raffle. I did not get one in my stateroom on the last night so I requested one from Guest Servies, who immediately directed me back to my stateroom attendent. After being bounced back and forth 3 times I gave up and assumed they did not care about my opinion. I will now be writing them an email with my opinion and further disappointment with basically being denied a comment card. Overall: The ship did have a musty odor in some parts, but other parts were okay. The program for younger kids did a great job of keeping them busy and under control. The age group from about 12-16 was running a bit rampant on the ship at times, more so a reflection on the parents than the cruise line. Many of the guests on board were rowdy and at times rude. My husband's grandmother was in a wheelchair and there were numerous occaisions when we were waiting for an elevator that people would push past us and get on the elevator fully knowledgeable that we had someone in a wheelchair waiting to board. Of course the guests certainly are not the fault of the cruise line, I would hope not every sailing is like this. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
This cruise was meant to be a first time experience for my boyfriend. We are both in our 20's. This short lap to the Bahamas was perfect as we were in Miami visiting family members. I was a little nervous about this trip, after ... Read More
This cruise was meant to be a first time experience for my boyfriend. We are both in our 20's. This short lap to the Bahamas was perfect as we were in Miami visiting family members. I was a little nervous about this trip, after reading some of the reviews on this site. However I worried in vain! Embarkation: This was a breeze. We arrived by 12pm, waited a short while in the lobby, had our Welcome Aboard picture taken, and we were on the ship by 12:40pm. There weren't any long lines in sight. The Ship: This was my 2nd cruise on Carnival, and I basically already knew what to expect. I expected fun, and Carnival did not disappoint. The decor was lively, and the ship was in excellent condition for her age. No complaints. The room was clean and our room steward was awesome. He did a wonderful job (used my sunglasses on the towel animals every night). There was a wide age range onboard during this sailing but we barely saw any children. Dining: Dinner was fabulous, and needless to say, was one of my favorite events each night. Our wait staff was great, and the food was even better. The buffet was ok, but nothing to look forward to. Entertainment: Seeing as this was a getaway for my boyfriend and I, we did not attend much of the shows or seminars, but rather, we lounged by the pool and hung out in the lobbies/bars. However, the musicians on board were very talented and we stayed quite a while to listen to them play in the grand atrium. Port/Excusions: This was our first time in the Bahamas, and it lived up to the hype. We took a tour to the Queens Staircase and to Atlantis. Atlantis was sooo nice. We took many pictures and had fun looking at the huge aquariums. I recommend this to anyone who intends to visit Nassau. Disembarkation: ...Now this was not much fun. It took quite a while for us to get off the ship and the lines were long. Carnival should look into a more organized and easier way of doing this. But it did not negatively impact our vacation, nor our views of the cruise line. Summary: This was a great mini vacation, and it was definitely worth the price that we paid and more. I would consider doing another cruise on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Sorry this is so long, but I'm a frustrated writer I guess. We sailed on the 3 day cruise to Nassau on Nov 13, 2009. Getting there: We live a 3 1/2 hour drive from the port of Miami. I was advised by a CC user to avoid ... Read More
Sorry this is so long, but I'm a frustrated writer I guess. We sailed on the 3 day cruise to Nassau on Nov 13, 2009. Getting there: We live a 3 1/2 hour drive from the port of Miami. I was advised by a CC user to avoid Biscayne blvd, so I took NE 2nd Ave instead. That was the right choice, we got right to the ship after getting off the highway. I drove up to the ship, gave the bags to the porter, and Momma went and waited in the terminal. I drove back around to parking garage "C" and parked. $20.00 per day, paid as you drive in. They take some credit cards, but not every one. Visa and MC, but no Discover, and I don't recall about Amex. They charged me $60.00 for all day Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning. Apparently they charge by 24 hr increments, starting when you park. Chalk one up for Miami. They probably could have gotten away with charging me an extra day for Monday. I went to the area where the shuttle back to the terminal stops. No shuttle in sight, and the sign said it runs every half hour?? It was a beautiful day, and I wasn't carrying bags, so I just walked back to the terminal. But don't plan on doing that if it's hot, raining, you are carrying your bags, or have difficulty walking. That would be a killer. Embarkation: We were inside the terminal around 12:30, and on the ship by no later than 1:00. No long lines, hitches, glitches, or mess ups. We went to our room not long after 1:30 and it was ready. We dumped our bags in the room and had lunch at the buffet. Tip to Newbies..... when you walk past the pool you'll find an outside buffet. That buffet is only a portion of the entire Lido deck food. It offers Asian food, as well as burgers. But if you go past it, and into the main food area, there is much more food available. The Muster (lifeboat) drill was a joke, albeit a pleasant one. Instead of standing out on deck in the hot sun with your life vest on, Carnival has you Muster inside without your life vest. Our Muster station was the very comfortable area outside the Casino. We sat around on padded seats while the crew demonstrated how to put on a vest. Many folks came with their drinks and didn't miss a beat. I was fine with that, but I tell you, no one learned anything there. That was at 3:45 to about 4:15. We went back to our room right after that, and our checked bags were already there. At that point, our Steward introduced himself and apologized for not saying hello earlier. That made me laugh. The reason is because my only other cruise (a very major competitor of Carnival) we never met or saw the Steward even once on a 4 day cruise. Although, he DID keep the room every bit as well as the Carnival steward. The Carnival steward was a heck of a nice guy, and it really was pleasant chatting with him numerous times during the cruise. We never called him for anything, because we never needed anything. And for those of you who love the towel animals, they were waiting for us each night. Dining: We selected anytime dining. Although there are 2 main dining rooms on board, we were assigned to the Pride main dining room. We got the same table two nights, and the one next to it on a third night. We had the same wait team each night. I have heard that the anytime waiters don't care as much as the assigned dining time waiters. The anytime diners eat in the same dining room as the assigned time diners. Our wait staff was coolly professional. They were very good at what they did. In the assigned time area, the waiters and guests were all getting to know each other, and have a fun time joking, and chatting. Ours barely said a word, and it looked about the same across the anytime area. So, my suggestion would be that if you want the camaraderie that seems to go with the traditional cruise dining, you should select assigned dining times. And if you want cool and efficient (more like a land restaurant) try the anytime. We went twice at aprox. 6pm. No wait, un-crowded, and the food arrived pretty quick. I would say start to finish was up to an hour. One night we went at about 8pm. It was really jammed at the door, because the diners assigned to late seating were waiting to get in. It only took about 5 minutes to get in that night, to my pleasant surprise. That night the anytime dining was very crowded. Service was slower, as one would expect. I guess that dinner took about 1 1/2 hrs, perhaps a tad longer to complete. There is a small selection of entrees and appetizers that changes every night. They also offer tried and true entrees every night, like Flatiron steaks. On the first night I had the Flat iron steak Med Rare. It was cooked perfectly, and was pretty good. I would say "The Outback steakhouse" quality. I was very pleased considering what I was paying for the cruise. The second night I had the Prime rib, again Med rare. It was cooked to the perfect doneness, but was just slightly dry. Not real bad, but not quite right. It was tasty so I didn't get upset. Again, these cruises are so darn cheap, I can't figure out how they can serve anything besides Alpo. The third night I had the Veal Parmigiana. THAT was the stand out entree. You just can't get good Veal any longer. But Carnival got some good Veal somewhere. It really reminded me of years ago before there were restrictions on Veal. We also had breakfast in the Pride dining room twice. Service was fast, and the typical breakfast food was served hot and tasty. We had two lunches in the buffet. I'm not big on ship buffets, but this one was certainly acceptable. Food selection was pretty good, and the quality was okay if you just wanted to grab something while you were in your bathing suit. Added points to the Pizza and sandwich stands. The Pizza wasn't real good, but it wasn't bad either, especially after the late night buffet closed at 1am. Cabin: We had a 6E Oceanview cabin, mid ship on the Empress (7) deck. The cabin was rather plain, although the closets were deep rich wood. The cabin and bathroom were very comfortable. The only complaint is that it is a tight squeeze for the person sleeping on the window side to get in and out. But I accept that in place of a smaller bed. It's not a big deal I guess. The shower was large enough for two, unlike my previous cruise where it was debatable if the shower was really large enough even for one. The water pressure was annoyingly low in the shower. There was nothing wrong, they just used a very low flow shower head. The controls for the shower were a little odd. But after the first use, it wasn't a problem. Steward kept the place clean, turned the bed down at night, kept the ice bucket filled with ice. What more can you say? The room does not have a fridge or mini-bar. There are 6 sodas and an Ice bucket, that's your mini bar. The room also has no hairdryer. So Ladies, be prepared. We went down to the gift shop, and thinking back, I don't recall seeing hair dryers for sale. The closets are perfect for two people. Decent shelf and drawer space (counting the desk area) too. Are you taking a CPAP or other appliance? The only electric plug was at the end of the desk next to the bed. I didn't need the extension cord for my CPAP. I just slept on that side of the bed. My CPAP did get a little goofy a couple of times when I first turned it on. The processor wasn't running correctly. I had no problems before or since, so my guess is that the power may have been a little low, or perhaps the ship isn't right at 60 cycles. But after a few resets, it took off and ran all night each night. If you need to use several electrical items at a time, you need to plug something in to expand the outlets. I used a surge protector strip with a short cord. That way I could run my CPAP, and charge some batteries at the same time. Casino: We love to gamble, and took this cruise because it was so much cheaper than a trip to Vegas, Atlantic City or Biloxi. The ship has a very nice casino with very low minimums. ALL the blackjack tables are $5.00 min. With one exception, they use continuous shuffle machines. You can only split aces once. Out front, they have a "FUN-21" table. On that table only, they offer surrender, any 21 beats the dealer, and a bonus for 21 with three 7's. They pay 3:2 on blackjack, so I still haven't figured out what you had to give up to get those rules. This table uses a 6 deck shoe. Funny thing, I had my worst luck in the casino on that table, so I only tried it once. Roulette was only a $1.00 min. Craps was $5.00 min with 2X odds. The craps table crew was very good. It's the only table, so it can get very-very fast and furious. The dealers are honest, but do watch for mistakes when the table is crowded. 'Nuff said. But they were a great bunch. Ambiance: This ship has a somewhat gaudy Las Vegas type theme, complete with lots of Neon. Me, I couldn't care less. All I want is things to be clean and in good repair. But if your sensibilities will be assaulted by some neon, don't go. Clubs et al: We didn't spend a lot of time in the clubs because there are so many of them, and we were more interested in gambling. But a good time was had in each, and baby, the Carnival cruise crowd knows how to party. Although it would have been nice if they could have mixed it up a little better. All they really seemed to offer was the lowest common denominator music. Thump-thump-thump.... shake your drunk butt all over the place music. Oh well. All around the ship drink service was quick. The drinks themselves were inconsistent though. I drank the same drink the whole trip. One would be great, the next would be weak as dish water. I never did take it up with the server, so I don't know what they would have done if I complained. Shows: First night was mostly the cruise director Brad, and the comedian Al Romero telling jokes. Nothing off color at that show. Comedy is a personal taste. I thought Brad was more funny than Al Romero. Al made me laugh a few times. I think most of the other cruisers thought he was pretty funny though. The first night Al Romero does a late night "R" rated show. We skipped it. But I was near by for a few minutes of that show, some of his stuff was pretty funny. Second night was "Livin in America." A full blown musical review. I didn't care for it, but I don't care for musical reviews much. Third night was the salute to Rock and Motown called "SHOUT!" It was much better than I expected. Some in the crowd gave a standing ovation, so perhaps that tells you something. The show band is really really good, so that helps a lot too. Complaints. Not many. We had seen the tail end of two bingo games. The emcee really seemed to make it a whole lot of fun. We decided to go to the last game of the cruise. That game he blew through the numbers really quick. He really didn't do anything to make it fun. He even called the same number twice, confirmed quite verbally by about half the players in the theatre. But he would have none of it. He just wanted to plow through to the end. It was the last day, and the theatre was being used for many different things that day. Maybe he didn't have the time to make it a fun game, but I was still disappointed. Children: Our kids are grown, and didn't come with us. So why am I bringing up kids? Because there were over 300 kids on board, and you hardly saw them. I can only assume that means that the Carnival camps and clubs work really well. Never saw one running crazy, under foot or anything else. It was great. Nassau: We had been to Nassau before. This time we took the SeaWorld Explorer excursion. I found it to be very disappointing. Perhaps I'm confused on the definition of a Coral reef. But I've been snorkeling on Coral reefs, and I sure didn't see one here, and they mention reefs in their ads. They threw out some food and a whole lot of the same kind of fish showed up to eat. That's pretty much the whole trip. We spent the rest of the afternoon getting some lunch and shopping. We had intended to go out that evening for a nice dinner and gambling at the Atlantis resort. Heavy dark clouds blew in, and it looked like the heavens would open up. Since it's a pretty good walk down the pier to the taxis, we figured we'd get soaked. It was formal night on the ship, so we dressed up a little and stayed on the ship. You know, I can't imagine we would have had more fun if we had gone out. Chalk another one up for Carnival. On the subject of formal night. You don't need a tux, suit, or even a jacket. I wore nice slacks and a nice dress shirt. I didn't feel out of place. Not many men wore suits and tuxes, only a few. Many of the folks who didn't dress up at all, I thought looked a little sheepish, like they felt out of place. Take a nice shirt and pants. If you're a young and single guy, dress up. All the single girls went all out. You'll have a better chance with them if you leave the schlub clothes in your cabin that night. Debarkation: If you have an early flight, and can show them your itinerary or tickets, they will give you priority to get off the ship first. The rest of us were given numbered tags to attach to our bags. You pack the night before, and put your bags out in the hallway between 8~11pm the night before you disembark. In the morning they let you go by calling your number. We found out later that you could just wheel your own baggage out yourself after the priority folks left. But the number system worked well enough. The line to get over the gang-plank wasn't a killer, and the bag was on the conveyor when I walked up. I was very pleasantly surprised. For whatever reason, all through the years I had a bad impression of Carnival. My first cruise was with a major competitor of Carnivals, and I liked it just fine. But this cruise on the Imagination was better in almost every way. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
From time to time, my family has traveled with another family (the two moms work together). We took Carnival Imagination, which is near by and for 3 nights with an early saver program, was very inexpensive treat for family travel (under ... Read More
From time to time, my family has traveled with another family (the two moms work together). We took Carnival Imagination, which is near by and for 3 nights with an early saver program, was very inexpensive treat for family travel (under $1,000 per family including tax and tips). To save on parking, we left one car with a local family member and the 9 of us huddled Keystone Cop like to the Port of Miami in my minivan. Parking is $20 a day, but the lot is in a garage, and it is the full day (so a three night cruise is $30). It was close to the terminal, and with rolling luggage, very easy to bring right up. Our ocean view stateroom was small, but with 3 closets, plenty of drawers and under bed space. We had more than enough room for 4 in the stateroom, with the natural light of a window making it feel more open. There were two pull out beds that my boys (ages 12 and 15) enjoyed. Showers were larger than I remembered on other ships. The other family, a group of 5, had the same layout, but they put a cot below one bunk (the other bunk is above the headboard - - reminds me of college dorms). Carnival Imagination is not an old ship, and since it was recently refurbished, I thought it looked pretty good, but would have been just a little better if it had a small basketball court (there was some empty space devoted to sunning). Given that is was Halloween week-end, it was truly a party ship, and I wish they gave info for what costumes to bring (there were some really raucous ones - it was great) or special activities for that cruise. The cruisers were varied, with a few folks informing us they won it through a contest or timeshare presentation. Lots of large groups. My kids thought they did not cater to teens as well, since they do not drink and feel to old to do the kid clubs. They found the bartender (they called him Serbia - his point of origin) entertaining, as they watched the World Series together. What is amazing is that with so many people, if you did not follow the 20 somethings partying, the ship was fairly quiet and uncrowded. Once near the party-ers, it became a mob scene. Dining was limited compared to other ships, but service was excellent (except bar service in the dining room - - given how many servers were poolside, they should move a few into the dining room). We registered the kids in the kids clubs, but they hardly went. What a pleasant surprise was that with registration, they gave a good packet of information tailored for each age group, and a registration gift for each age (two types of back packs -- we used them for our day in Nassau and will use them for a long time). With kids you learn about other services, such as security and maintenance (both long stories, but very professional, helpful and efficient). Entertainment - Aside from some very amusing passengers, the organized talent was fairly good. It ranged from a comedian telling clean jokes (later version was adults only) to a new show, and an oldie but goodie (Coming to America - which I saw on a previous cruise). The Coming to America show came with a warning that there would be showgirl outfits. They were fairly benign, but ironic since the Lido interior deck is full of Sphinx statutes with full blown naked chests and nipples. Most of the dancers had eastern European names, and some (the males) were vigorously dancing country and western (enough to make me start a fit of giggling a few times), thinking that the country musicians would be startled at their version of their songs. We had fun in Nassau, just doing the day (the ship did not leave until the next morning, but we were wiped). We started off at the Pirates Museum. There was absolutely no information about it when we got a map on land. Have the guide take you to explain the exhibits - - its amazing what they tell you. We had a real ham, dressed as a pirate, that made my reluctant teens get really into it. The price ($12 for adults and $6 for under age 18) makes it worthwhile, and we spent longer than I thought we would. In the afternoon, Pauline from the wharf's front desk helped us get a snorkeling tour for $40 pp - - it turned out we went out just as our family on a private charter (the friend decided to book a catamaran trip at about $60 pp because the cruise makes you think you will run out of space). Basil our captain was very kind, and I enjoyed talking to him when I was pruned out but the boys stayed at the reef. I have been snorkeling in a few countries, and i would say that this was the most colorful and diverse. I don't know if it is the Bahamas or that we are in La Nina and the weather has been so dry there is no turbidity to the water. Disembarkation - All I can say is to pack lightly and leave during the "self assist" portion. It went very smooth, which was a surprise with 9 people. The cruise lines do not talk about "self assist" which means you carry your luggage yourself instead of waiting for your departure time. Probably it would be a mob scene. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
First of all, we want to thank all you die-hard review writers, you were very helpful in giving us a good impression of these cruises as well as many tips on how to make the most of the trips. We have 2 kids (3 & 5 y.o.) and live in ... Read More
First of all, we want to thank all you die-hard review writers, you were very helpful in giving us a good impression of these cruises as well as many tips on how to make the most of the trips. We have 2 kids (3 & 5 y.o.) and live in south Florida. The Imagination is our second family cruise. The first one was on the NCL Sky in March 2009, with a nearly identical itinerary. The only difference is that on Sunday, the Sky stops at a private island, while the Imagination has a "fun day" at sea instead. We took these 3-day cruises as relatively inexpensive ( Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
This was a first-time cruise for my wife and I and we took it in conjunction with our 18th wedding anniversary. We wanted a short, 3- or 4-day cruise to either Bahamas or Bermuda. The Carnival Imagination fit the bill perfectly and offered ... Read More
This was a first-time cruise for my wife and I and we took it in conjunction with our 18th wedding anniversary. We wanted a short, 3- or 4-day cruise to either Bahamas or Bermuda. The Carnival Imagination fit the bill perfectly and offered a great price. At the time we booked, I offered my wife the option of taking our two teenagers with us or leaving the kids at home and going for a higher-end stateroom. She chose wisely and opted for a lovely cabin on the Veranda deck with a private balcony. The stateroom was very nice. It was large, with one of the most comfortable king-size beds I've ever slept in. It had a sofa, heavy marble coffee table, and desk. There was ample closet and storage space. A flat-screen TV hung on the wall and received several stations, such as CNN, even at sea. Several channels linked to the ships' close-circuit system so you could see what it was going on at several places around the ship. I had my laptop computer with me, so we purchased an hour of internet time. The internet service was reliable all over the ship, including our stateroom, but not as fast as what we were used to at home. The private balcony was small and really needed to be about 6-12 inches wider than it was to comfortably move on it but it had two deck chairs and a little table. We could look over the railing and look down into the ship's bridge from our location, which was kind of cool, especially at night. Our cabin steward, Adi, was absolutely great. He was very friendly and responsive, remembered our names, and brought us anything we needed very quickly and efficiently. There were plenty of organized activities available from trivia contests to sing alongs but we spent a lot of time just reading and watching the ocean go by. Besides of our cabin balcony, the Promenade deck was great for both of those activities during the day and was one of my favorite spots on the ship to just sit and watch people going by. The Serenity, adults only retreat, at the stern of the ship was fantastic. Great deck chairs, hot tubs not overrun with kids--just a nice, peaceful atmosphere. The shops on board the ship offered very good prices and if I had been in the market for such things as jewelry, duty free cigarettes and liquor, etc, I might have purchased some. As it was, we just bought some hats and t-shirts for the kids. The cruise director, Karl with a K, was consistently entertaining and was almost everywhere. He's no doubt used his quick quips and cheesy jokes countless times but he made them seem fresh and he has one of the hardest jobs around: trying to make sure everyone in a very diverse group of people has a good time. The nightly shows on board in the Dynasty Lounge were entertaining and very professional. There was different show each night, a Salute to the States and Shout. The same performers were in each show. I don't often go to variety shows like this but I was amazed and impressed by the sheer physicality and level of effort these performers put into these shows. I lost count of the number of costume changes these guys and gals had to do for each show, but they were definitely on it. The singers were outstanding. We had "Your Time Dining" and it was great to have that flexibility. We ate several meals in the Pride Dining Room and had great service from the waiters and staff there. They readily accommodated our seating preferences. The food in the Pride dining room was excellently prepared with sensible portion sizes, which was a big help for those of us trying to watch our weight. The Pride Dining Room was more formal than I'd like but it was calmer and better than the alternative: we simply weren't as impressed with the Horizon/Seaside Bar and Grill. It certainly wasn't the doing of the staff there; it was mainly the sickeningly large amount of food being wasted by our fellow passengers who were helping themselves to far more than they could reasonably expect to eat. This wasn't "exotic" food that they'd likely never tried before and found they didn't like, but things like burgers, hotdogs, fries, etc. I can't help but wonder what kind of image this kind of wanton waste creates of Americans for the crews who work on board these ships? Crews that come from developing countries where many people still live in poverty and hunger? Sermon's over. Just think about it. Overall, the Imagination was a great ship, with a crew that was dedicated to serving everyone. Everyone we encountered on the crew was consistantly friendly and hardworking, even the guys scrubbing the decks. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
Spent a great 4th of July Weekend on the Carnival Imagination.We arrived in the Port of Maimi terminal around 1130 (recommend to get there an hour early to be the lines) and parked our car and walked across the street to the ... Read More
Spent a great 4th of July Weekend on the Carnival Imagination.We arrived in the Port of Maimi terminal around 1130 (recommend to get there an hour early to be the lines) and parked our car and walked across the street to the terminal.Immediately our bags were taken from us and we walked inside.  The terminal itself was nice and modern.Last time i cruised it was out of New York and this was a major difference.We were checked in and onboard within 10 minutes(even though check-in was at 12:30), no hassles, no problems, we just had to wait till 1:30 for our room to be ready. I would suggest arriving early or late to check in without he lines.The food on the Lido deck's Horizon Grill was pretty good.  Not as much of a selection as there was on the Carnival Miracle which I had been on a year earlier but this was a smaller ship and to be expected.  The grill where the burgers were good but if you wanted your burger cooked a certain way(IE. I like my burgers medium rare) than you will have to wait, because all the burgers were cooked to Medium Well unless specified.  You could get Pizza and Room service round the clock which was good.  We stopped at the 24 hr pizza all 3 nights around 3-4 am.  Being a  New Yorker I was surprised the Pizza is better than most pizzarias you find out of New York.The Casino was nice, had about 10-12 tables and all different types of video poker and slots.  Usually after showtime the casino was popping till late night. Most tables had a $5 minimum.This ship has 2 main dining rooms, the Spirit and the Pride Dining Rooms.  We were in the Pride dining room because we had the "Dine at your time" dining plan.  We could go to dinner any time between 5:45 and 9:30.The flexibility was great but you dont get the same service from your waiter as you do with assigned tables and times.The food was good, Nothing to write home about but it was good.  You definitely got enough and if you wanted more, dont be shy about asking, they'll bring you more, just ask!  The best thing i had was this Indian Spice Pumpkin Soup.Entertainment:There was always something going on while you were at Sea.  Whether it was the piano man in the Atrium Lobby or the Live band up on deck by the pool, you couldnt walk too far without running into some kind of music being played.  The shows were well produced and were very entertaining.  Your typical vegas style shows that are always fun to watch.There was Karaoke every night in the Xanadu lounge and a DJ in the Illusions Disco.  The DJ was not to my taste, he played mainly a lot of Hip Hop and Rap which is fine if thats what you like but he didn't have variety.  When I'm at a club I want to hear some Dance music or House, or even some remixes of Top 40, but for the crowd that likes the Hip Hop it would be for them.  There were sing alongs in the Piano bar and a live band in the lounge, and so much other entertainment that the disco was the last place for me to visit.  4th of July they had a deck party while we were in the Bahamas.  It was your typical deck party with the live band and DJ playing, and the endless conga line, Macarena, Electric Slide, Etc... A lot of fun.I would definitely suggest this Itinerary to anyone who wants to get away for a long weekend! Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
After the Swine Flu derailed our long weekend trip to Cancun we were forced to make a "Plan B," thus finding ourselves heading to Miami for a weekend cruise to the Bahamas.  We specifically chose this cruise because of the ... Read More
After the Swine Flu derailed our long weekend trip to Cancun we were forced to make a "Plan B," thus finding ourselves heading to Miami for a weekend cruise to the Bahamas.  We specifically chose this cruise because of the extended (overnight) stay in the Bahamas.We traveled over Mother's Day weekend to celebrate my cousin's 40th birthday, and as a special treat we booked a suite so we would have a balcony.  Since the original trip was planned for Thursday to Monday we spent the first night in Miami Beach at the Courtyard by Marriott Miami Beach Oceanfront.  We took a taxi to the Port of Miami without incident.Embarkation was quick and smooth, greatly aided by our VIP status since we booked a suite.  We were escorted to the front of the security line and then breezed past the long lines at check-in.The ship has been updated but is still showing her age in many respects, especially the style.  The only way to get a balcony cabin is to book a suite, for example.  Our stateroom was pleasantly decorated, however, and in a word, enormous!  It was bigger than our hotel room in Miami Beach!  Well worth the additional money we spent as we had a walk-in closet, jetted tub, couch that converted to a double bed, and most importantly, lots of room to move about.The food was average.  The buffets were always busy, and at times the lines were so long that we gave up and found something else.  We ate in the dining room each evening and the food was okay overall.  Saturday night is "cruise elegant night," when they serve lobster (which was delicious).  But one evening they served grouper and it was mushy; just horrible.  We did enjoy room service a few times, which is mainly sandwich options.The ship's entertainment and activities were typical of most cruises.  We enjoyed playing the various trivia games, bingo, karaoke, etc.  Luckily I cruised with two women who like to have fun and make friends, so we had a great time on the ship.  For those of you who haven't cruised, it is as much fun or as boring as you make it.  The options are there and we tried to participate as much as possible.  We especially enjoyed Laurie in the piano bar (a sing-along type atmosphere).  We stopped by each evening and always had a great time.  We did not see any of the shows.The staff was always pleasant.  Drink servers are never far away, and our dinner servers were a lot of fun.We did not plan any excursions.  In Nassau on Saturday we rented scooters and drove to Paradise Island.  We saw the aquarium at Atlantis and then spent the day driving ourselves all over the islands.  The scooters were $70/day (they tell you $50, but then add $10 for gas and $10 for insurance).  It was a blast and worth the cost.  (Note that for the same price you can get a scooter for two people, although we each had our own.)  This was my 6th cruise and I prefer to do my own thing in port.Debarkation was smooth; we left the ship early so as to avoid any crowds and we transported our own luggage (mainly because we didn't want to have it packed the night before).This cruise was typical of Carnival.  It was a party atmosphere, and it seemed like a large number of passengers were 20-somethings.  This cruise is perfect for a weekend getaway, but I would have been disappointed to spend more than three nights on this ship, mostly due to the quality of the food. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
This is one time that a cruise actually taught me a valuable lesson: never let someone else's opinion sway your own.  We had always heard about Carnival's "reputation" (rowdy, party boat with lots of drunks, etc), and ... Read More
This is one time that a cruise actually taught me a valuable lesson: never let someone else's opinion sway your own.  We had always heard about Carnival's "reputation" (rowdy, party boat with lots of drunks, etc), and we felt that we this type of cruise experience would not be our cup of tea.  But, after 17 cruises, we decided to try them.  After all, it was a 3-night cruise so how bad could it possibly be?  Wow, talk about misconceptions!  We had an incredible time! Since we live in Florida, it is relatively easy for us to jump on a cruise ship for a 3-nighter.  We have done the Majesty of the Seas twice and the NCL Sky once, so we thought to try Carnival's Imagination.  What a great choice! EMBARKATION: Quite smooth actually.  Since we drove to the port, we dropped off our luggage at the terminal and then parked our car.  $20 a day for parking is not my idea of a great way to start a cruise, but I already knew it was expensive so I was prepared.  Still, $20 a day?  That's pretty steep.  The whole process of going through security and registration took less than half an hour.  Finally, time to get on board! When you get on board you enter right into the atrium.  I like that there is a musician right there (a guy named Jerry on guitar who was a pleasure to listen to) and that there is a bar there as well.  Not that I am a drinker or anything, but I like that the bar was situated in the atrium. STATEROOM: We were in cabin E43, an ocean view room that was actually a decent sized room, and far bigger than I thought it would be.  The bathroom was a normal sized cruise cabin bathroom, but the shower seemed larger than you would expect.  I also liked the samples of toothpaste, Tylenol PM, Pepcid AC and my wife liked the ladies razor.  I don't know if they do this all the time, but what a great idea!  I have only two small issues with the stateroom: you could not control the temperature (though the room was comfy the entire time) and the position of the TV.  It is in the corner on the same side of the cabin as your headboard.  In other words, you can't comfortably watch TV in bed, you have to angle yourself to see it.  Weird, but not that important. FOOD: This is where I have to give Carnival much higher marks than I was expecting to.  Even the first day's buffet was far better than I was thinking it would.  Not a large variety of food, but decent and I loved everything I tried.  The pizza station made some excellent pies, and I liked the sandwich station as well.  The dining room was always a treat, especially the beef dishes.  Very tasty all the way around.  I have no complaints about food at all. STAFF: Very courteous, though there were times that they did not meet your eye and say hello.  Some cruise companies do that better than others, but this is a minor point, since all of the staff seemed very friendly. ENTERTAINMENT: High marks again, especially the two shows in the lounge (theater).  Very well done and very entertaining. KIDS STUFF: We don't have kids so we can't say how good or bad they are in this department. SHIP: this is one of the more amazing elements of this cruise.  This ship is 14 years old (with a refurb in 2007) but for the most part she is well maintained and quite clean.  She shows here age in some areas, but for 14 she looks pretty good. DEBARKATION: This is one area where they could do much better.  I thought we'd get to sail on the next cruise, that's how long it seemed like we waited.  I'm not complaining since we didn't have a flight to catch or any time issues, but it did take a long time. ODDS and ENDS: Cruise director "Karl with a 'K'" was great and really seemed to enjoy his work instead of phoning it in like many other CD's we've had.  We also thought that the different games that they played on board were better than on other ships.  Even their junk prizes were not the usual (keychain, luggage tag) variety.  All in all, what a great cruise! For those of you who are first timers, this would be a perfect cruise to cut your teeth on.  For those of us who are cruise junkies, this is a great "quick fix," but since they do such a good job, this cruise will go by way too fast for you.  For fellow Floridians, if you haven't jumped on this ship yet, what are you waiting for? To say that we have egg on our face would be an understatement.  Since we felt going into this cruise that we wouldn't have a great time but that we would at least give it a try, we actually lowered our normal expectations.  Carnival not only met our lowered expectations, but the actually exceeded our usual expectations!  If you are one of those "anti-Carnival snobs" like we were, please give them a try.  You may be as pleasantly surprised as we were, and we are now looking forward to many more cruises, and best of all, being able to add Carnival to our list of possible cruise line choices. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
this was our fourth carnival cruise and fifth overall. Second time with our children. I think this a great cruise to take if you don't have a lot of time or money to spare. Also we were with a couple of first time cruisers and I ... Read More
this was our fourth carnival cruise and fifth overall. Second time with our children. I think this a great cruise to take if you don't have a lot of time or money to spare. Also we were with a couple of first time cruisers and I think its good for them too. This review may be unfair since our last cruise was on the miracle out of new york for 8 days. There was not a bad thing to say about that ship. Embarking at miami was painless as usual. The weather was perfect and the seas were as calm as could be. The cabin is typical, not meant to do anything but sleep. It had bunk beds for the kids and a queen for us, very, very comfortable. We got there real early and was able to to take advantage of the pool and and have a few drinks while still in port, almost like getting an extra day. TIP, throw suits in your travel bag since the luggage takes a while. My only complaints were that I found the staff to not be as friendly as previous cruises. Camp carnival seemed a little more disorganized than our last cruise, but not to the point of feeling unsafe leaving our kids. The kids, 5 and 8, had a great time and the babysitting is great. They didn't have a past guest reception, which i guess isn't really a big deal , but its nice for our loyalty to carnival to be recognized. The shows are ok but we are not really into the Vegas type shows. The dinners were really good but the lido deck lunches were just ok. The excursions are generally not worth the money, check the boards on this site for tips for excursions. We only do the excursions through the ship for convenience and are prepared to be disappointed. Nassau is not the best port but its close and the beaches are clean. The hustlers get annoying but being from NY they are easy to ignore. The disembarkation was also easy , the ship tries to keep it organized but plenty of people from other decks that haven't been called for self checkout delay the process. all in all it was a good cruise and nothing bad enough to not make me cruise carnival again , it just wasn't on par with previous cruises. we are already planning our next one. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
This was a quick weekend getaway for three girlfriends. We are stationed in Key West, so we simply drove to the port. One of the girls was running late AND she forgot her bathing suit (we were 15 minutes out and turned around to get it), ... Read More
This was a quick weekend getaway for three girlfriends. We are stationed in Key West, so we simply drove to the port. One of the girls was running late AND she forgot her bathing suit (we were 15 minutes out and turned around to get it), plus traffic in the keys caused us not to reach the port till 2:30 (left at 0930)!!! This drove me crazy, as I HATE cutting things short. Oh well. Right after the muster drill we went to the casino area for a drink. We ran into Beth and Kenyan (LizKyle from CC) and they bought us a round. Thanks again guys and it was great meeting you! We just chit chatted in that area for awhile then went down to the room to unpack our stuff and get ready for dinner (8:15 sitting). Food and wait staff great as always. We went to the show afterwards, which was a waste of time. The cruise director (forget his name) just made some guests come up on stage and made them do a silly dance. Few people laughed. He was followed by an even un-funnier comedian. He told jokes we have all heard before...nothing original. Next day we docked at Nassau at 1000. My friend and I took our time getting ready and eating breakfast and then walked off the ship around 1100. Our other friend (the one who was running late) did her own excursion to Atlantis. Karen and I had plans to go to the beach at the British Hilton, but first stopped at the Straw Market and Senor Frogs. Karen got a cute little wrap, but I didn't get anything. I felt uncomfortable actually, because everyone is begging you and a few even pulled on my arm to come look at their booths. I was glad to get out of there. We went in to Senor Frogs just to say we had been there and had a drink. The bar staff was very friendly and the drinks were tasty. There weren't many people there yet, which I loved. I'm sure it got much more crowded later. We then continued walking to the Hilton, which was just behind Senor Frogs. It was $20 admission and WELL WORTH IT. We had access to the beach, pool, and garden area with hammocks. The chairs and towels were also included. It was so pretty and relaxing. Karen and I just chatted and read our books. It was so peaceful! After a few hours we were done and just walked through the touristy shop areas as we walked back to the ship. We each grabbed a cake at the Tortuga Rum Cake shop. We got back on board and ate pizza and salad and relaxed in the room watching T.V. We went ahead and took showers for formal night so that when the third friend, Liz, got back she could have the shower. Once we were all ready we went to the Captain's Cocktail Party. I knew that on a weekend overnight Bahamas cruise there probably wouldn't be many people participating in formal night. I would say about one-third of the ship was there. Maybe a tad less actually. We really wanted to do it though cause we felt you got more of your "monies worth" doing the formal night (free drinks, lobster, the best show, etc). Everything was great. The show was "Living in America" which I thought was great. I know there are a lot of jokes about cruise ship dancers and singers but I think they are great. Afterwards I went back to the room and the other two stayed out a bit more in the dance club. Next day was the sea day and Karen and I spent all day at the adults' only serenity area. Major kudos to Carnival for this addition. Comfy chairs, Jacuzzis, peaceful atmosphere, and 80s/90s music playing low on the speakers. I like this way better than loud Caribbean music played at the main pools, just my personal taste. Like the day before we just chatted and read our books. I LOVED it. Just lounging around and reading in the sun is perfect for me, I am not a fast-paced person at all. Later we watched the sun set in the front of the ship. We just laid in the area past the mini golf section. We were the only ones there for awhile, later just a few people showed up to watch the sun set too. Afterwards we went to the room and ordered room service and packed our bags. The other friend was on an opposite schedule...slept most of the day in the room and hung out in the casino while we were in the room eating and packing. I've actually left out a huge drama...I just didn't feel like writing all of it, plus you probably want to hear about the cruise and not some girl drama...but in case you haven't figured it out by now the third girl Liz and us were just not getting along. A few days before the cruise Liz had done some stuff that was wrong, then just behaved badly during the cruise. Again my apologies to all the Carnival employees who crossed her path. When our room steward introduced himself she snapped at him because we had a roll away instead of a ceiling bed (even though I was perfectly happy sleeping with a roll away), she snapped at the waiter because she didn't know anchovies came in a ceaser salad, she yelled at an employee for not speaking good English after she tried to ask her a question, and she yelled at the lady who called with the wake-up call...because she was 5 minutes late. Sigh. That's not even all of it...she was really embarrassing. Oh and when I say she snapped at someone I mean she dropped the f-bomb every other word very loudly. Overall Karen and I had a good time relaxing. I definitely prefer a longer cruise to a shorter one though. The ship was in good condition, food was great, and staff was great, though the cruise director was a bore. A nice getaway for people who live close by, but personally I wouldn't come from too far just to go on this little cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
Nothing was wrong with the cruise, it just didn't meet our expectations. The good: The bed was incredibly comfortable. So were the pillows. The cabin was well maintained and we had plenty of space. The water pressure ... Read More
Nothing was wrong with the cruise, it just didn't meet our expectations. The good: The bed was incredibly comfortable. So were the pillows. The cabin was well maintained and we had plenty of space. The water pressure was good in the shower. The pool slides - especially the short ones - were lots of fun! The serenity deck was nice. It was always full, so it seems like people were looking for some peace and quiet. Check in and boarding was quick and efficient. The not so good: Most of our concerns had to do with service and communication to guests. The cabin's only outlet is immediately over the desk. My hair dryer's plug couldn't fit in the socket so I couldn't style my hair for the entire trip - not fun for formal night! Food quality and menus. The first two nights each of the couples we dined with sent back food. The sides served at lunch were also served for formal dinners; diversity would have been appreciated. Advanced menus for the formal dining room and sushi bar were nonexistent. Food service hours posted at the location would have been nice, too. Food serving times. Crew was quick to close food service areas, and slow to open new ones. Food was removed with people still in line. Crew should have cut the line, rather than taking food away from people who had been waiting. We tried to get pizza three times on the cruise because nothing else for vegetarians was available. The first time only one type was available. No staff were present the second time. The third time they evidently had only one man working the station and we waited 15 - 20 minutes to get two pieces of pizza (and we were at the beginning of the line). Disembarkation was unorganized. We were not informed when to be out of the cabin. Since our the paperwork listed restaurants as being open til 9:30, we figured we'd be safe until then. At 8:50 we were told to be out in 10 minutes. Then, we waited 20 minutes in the hallway and on the stairs, which their paperwork said was forbidden, before we were allowed to go upstairs. All in all, it was an o.k. trip. Service really has room for improvement. The cruise isn't one we want to repeat, and it definitely didn't inspire us to want to cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
First, let me say if you have teenage kids, cruising is a great way to get back in touch with them. I told my kids to leave their cell phones and games at home, and didn't permit Internet use while onboard; we haven't spoken or ... Read More
First, let me say if you have teenage kids, cruising is a great way to get back in touch with them. I told my kids to leave their cell phones and games at home, and didn't permit Internet use while onboard; we haven't spoken or laughed so much in probably a year! So successful on that front, which was the main goal. I chose this ship largely because of the waterpark on the top deck (though it was too cold in January to really enjoy) and because we only had 3 days, and the price was less than RCL doing the same itinerary and less kid-friendly. This cruise was a mixed bag, but overall we had a nice time. The ship is a "fun ship" so yes, it's a bit cheesy and overthetop - the decor and entertainment were accordingly silly (think downtown Las Vegas). So if you're looking for a more elegant experience, try Regent; if you have a good sense of humor, you'll appreciate the tone. The biggest problem we encountered was being misinformed repeatedly by the Information desk, causing us to miss our excursion, among other things. English speaking skills were seriously lacking by the entire crew - mind you, I am from a very diverse, cosmopolitan area and accustomed to foreigners, but this was really bad. Only a few crew members understood or could respond in English. (And with so many Americans out of work, I wondered, why can't they give some of those jobs to Americans?) The room steward and dining room wait staff were very pleasant...The pool bar is severely understaffed - crew was rude and argumentative. The food was about what you'd expect, (note, I'm a health-conscious eater and still managed to find plenty of choices - salad, fruit, grilled chicken, oatmeal, fish for dinner, etc.) The main buffet on the Lido deck was always mobbed and it seemed the crew couldn't keep up with the traffic to clean and restock items. The Pride and Spirit dining rooms are a more relaxed environment and the servers were helpful and willing to customize orders in most cases. The menus were creative - my daughter tried the "chilled strawberry soup" and loved it, said it was like a smoothie- it was a great way to get kids to try new things. No chicken tenders, for instance, but if you asked, they'd get it from elsewhere on the ship (we didn't, but others did). The tap water has a funky taste so we paid $4 each for large bottles of water (2 lasted us the entire trip). We had the late seating. (Tip: stay til the end for a fun surprise by the waiters) We often went to the shows afterward, though ended up walking out because they were just not for us. The passengers were indeed also a verrrry diverse bunch...let's just say they won't win any awards for etiquette, and there were many racy bachelorette parties on board...though we did meet a few nice people. I was surprised there was so much smoking on board in the casino and bar area. Our excursion was to Dolphin Cove in Atlantis, but because the woman at the Info desk told us we could go "any time" (our tix said 10:30am) and that we weren't required to assemble on the ship prior to disembarking- you "just go" when you want to- (I'm like, are you sure?)... We missed our scheduled time and luckily joined another group in progress which DID all travel there together on the ship's shuttle bus. Atlantis is fantastic, but be prepared to shell out a small fortune for food and drink. The alcoholic drinks on board were much more reasonable, I just refused to wait 20 mins+ every time I wanted one! See notes on stateroom in the Cabin Guru section. The jogging track and mini golf were lots of fun. One highlight was the afternoon tea, look for it at 3pm on the last day - probably the best food of the entire cruise! My kids really didn't use the kids' clubs too much, but my daughter enjoyed the teen spa party, reasonably priced at $49 for 2 hours of treatments. She thought the O2 club was kind of lame, it was just not the clientele my daughter wanted to hang out with. I would travel on Carnival again, though it wouldn't be my first choice, and I'd be sure to reserve a larger room, with a balcony. But I highly recommend it for those who are tight on time and on budget, as a great little trip with the family. I also wouldn't go in January, as the weather can go either way - we had one rough night, one windy/chilly day, and one GORGEOUS sunny day with calm seas; sailing in late spring is a better choice but prices are higher and the kids are usually in school. Read Less
Sail Date January 2009
I wanted to take my sister on a quick getaway to get her mind off of a breakup. This cruise was cheap and easy to book, so we did it! It was definitely fun, but the decor was tacky in an amusing way, and we didn't find many ... Read More
I wanted to take my sister on a quick getaway to get her mind off of a breakup. This cruise was cheap and easy to book, so we did it! It was definitely fun, but the decor was tacky in an amusing way, and we didn't find many activities at night other than Karaoke, gambling or dancing, none of which interested us. We enjoyed the small deck at the back of the ship where 2 hot tubs were situated. We spent most of our time there with our books and music. It was never crowded there either, so it was nice to just hang out and be alone (I'm a mom, so I don't have a lot of quiet time to chat with my sister usually). Our room was the bare necessities, but our steward WAS amazing, we never saw him, but could always see proof that he'd been in our room, leaving everything perfect, even putting our sodas in ice when we left them on the counter. We loved having the cotton robes for the duration of our trip. The food at dinner was wonderful, definitely the highlight. Nassau was beautiful, glad we did an excursion there. All in all, I refer to this as our 'budget' cruise, and it was exactly what we needed for the price we paid. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
After a little over a year of not sailing on Carnival, and having done three cruises since then on NCL, it was certainly good to be back on Carnival. They continue to be my favorite cruise line. From the moment you get on one of their ... Read More
After a little over a year of not sailing on Carnival, and having done three cruises since then on NCL, it was certainly good to be back on Carnival. They continue to be my favorite cruise line. From the moment you get on one of their ships, it's FUN, FUN, FUN. The atmosphere is lively, upbeat, young (although not necessarily age-young...just young-feeling). We were on this 3-day Bahamas cruise celebrating our anniversary as well as an engagement and a birthday for our travelling group. It honestly felt like coming home after a long time away. We all felt comfortable and like we belonged. There is a sense of ease and comfortability that Carnival offers their guests like no other cruise line. As usual, the staff, being that in the dining room, the cabin stewards, the bartenders and the purser's office staff, were friendly, helpful and never an unkind or rude word! They truly set an example for the rest of the cruising industry. From our first night in the dining room...the first dish, the soup....it was all oohs and ahhhs. The dining was magnificent throughout the rest of the cruise. What a vast difference from our dining experience recently on the NCL Sun. They really have a lot to learn from Carnival. The ship is also great. Although it's an older ship, it has been renovated recently and it looks fantastic...and as always, clean as a whistle. The cabin stewards maintained our rooms perfectly clean, while supplying all the extras we requested throughout the duration. Kudos once again to Carnival for another great cruise. I will be sailing with the Splendor in 45 days on January 24 and am looking forward to that cruise as well. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
Carnival Imagination Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.3

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