My family, 3 adults 42-48 and 3 children, ages 3,7, 11. Just returned from a wonderful 5 night cruise on the Carnival Imagination. I am single, roomed with my 2 young nieces, my sister and brother-in-law had the 3 year old in their cabin. ... Read More
My family, 3 adults 42-48 and 3 children, ages 3,7, 11. Just returned from a wonderful 5 night cruise on the Carnival Imagination. I am single, roomed with my 2 young nieces, my sister and brother-in-law had the 3 year old in their cabin. Embarkation was very smooth, we parked our rental car at the port, that was a little confusing, cost is $20 per day, $100 total, collected in cash only at the end of the cruise, so make sure you have $ left. We all did the funpass online and were so happy we did. Upon arrival we had to go through security, our carry on bags only, checked bags were collected by the very helpful porters outside. The whole process took less than 10 minutes!! My nieces were so happy to have their own cards. A suggestion would be to buy a plastic lanyard holder, so the kids can wear the cards around their necks. Once onboard, we found our cabins roomy and made sure our bedding was set up correctly. We found that my 3 year old niece, who is a wiggle worm, was supposed to sleep in an upper bunk. Our cabin attendant, Eka, came in and solved our problem. He set up a lower bed under where the upper was, and she had a little nook to sleep in and we didn't' have to worry about roll-outs. This cruise was ideal for our family, as we didn't have a big budget, and were concerned about the ports of call. We liked the idea that the first day of the cruise was a day at sea. We had a great day and the children really loved the Water Works. This area is at the rear of the ship, consists of a large slide, over 2 decks high, which is for single riders, and the children must be 42 inches high. The 2nd slide is a racing slide, side by side, fast with a large flat area at the end filled with water to make a great way to stop, with a large splash. There are shallow pools with fountains, showers and water play area. Both slides are very safe, and the attendants are very cautious. They are very strict with the sizes of the children, so don't be surprised if your little ones can't ride. The one caveat to the Water Works area - there is absolutely no shade, so bring plenty of sunscreen. We spent hours at the slides and got some nice color! There is plenty of sitting area up in the Waterworks, no worries about seating. This is not the case at the pool. This is an older Carnival ship and the pool is small, but very deep, over 5 1/2 feet. Us adults enjoyed it, but the kids didn't and wanted to stay at the Water Works. Good thing, as we never were able to get more than 1 chair in that area, this area was popular with the adults and smokers. This is the area where the pool games are held and at night the Lido deck is where the Calypso band played. We had a table of 10 early sitting, Spirit Dining room. We were in the back of the dining room, enjoyed out tablemates. There were theme dinners daily, and the children looked forward to the waiters,busboys and bar staff show that was done every evening. They were efficient, enthusiastic and very patient with the children. Our girls especially enjoyed the warm chocolate melting cake, they ordered it every night for dessert. We did ask the staff not to serve the children their dinners too early. The first 2 nights the waiter served the children their dinners when the adults had their appetizers. The children finished their dinners then had to wait until the adults were done with their entree's to order dessert, this was not they way our family eats, so we asked that the children's dinners be served with ours, and there were no more issues. We ate breakfast at Horizon every day, the usual buffet fare, but always plentiful, hot and very,very clean. Lunch was good too, especially the hamburgers/cheeseburgers and fries at the Lido grill. Pizza was also very good, but sometimes you had to wait for a specific type of pizza, they seemed to make one at a time.
Ports of Call: Grand Turks - mostly a shopping spot, we went to the pool and beach at Margaritaville, which is free! We had a few drinks and swam all day long. We did meet some people on board who did snorkeling excursions, they said they saw a lot of fish, sting rays and turtles. We had our snorkel, but the beach was too close to the marina, so we only saw a few beige fish. Half Moon Cay - a beautiful spot, beach is gorgeous, water cool, refreshing and very clear. There were lots of things for the little kids to do, plastic sharks, crabs, to climb and slide off of, and even a little playground in the sand that was cooled by water from the ocean. Very nice buffet for lunch, crowded and very hot area to sit, and the area where the drinks were was difficult to find. There are no signs to help find your way around. The tender service to/from the island was smooth and easy to use. Nassau - lots of choices, we went to Atlantis for the day, we had a connection to get in for free, which we took advantage of. Make sure you take a cab if you want to go there, not the water taxi, they take too long and drop you off far away, there is a long, hot walk to the Atlantis. Disembarkation - we did self disembark, as we had a car and were continuing on to the keys. You have to wait until they announce that self-disembarkation is started, then you just get to the Empress deck and walk off the ship. You then go past all the luggage, get on line for Customs.Immigration, and off you are!!
Tips - $10 pp per day is automatically charged to your account, even for the children. We thought it was fair and did give a little more to our room attendant and waiters for their excellent service.
Entertainment - Shout was very good, livin in America seemed a bit too long. There was a woman singer who was good and Jorge the cruise director was the comic entertainer. Read Less