85 Miami to Bahamas Carnival Imagination Cruise Reviews

Our 2008 Family Cruise included my wife and I, our 3 kids 19, 16 and 13, my wifes sister and husband and replacing the 19 YO girlfriend was one of his 19 YO friends for his 1st cruise. We flew down on 8/10/2008, the day before and ... Read More
Our 2008 Family Cruise included my wife and I, our 3 kids 19, 16 and 13, my wifes sister and husband and replacing the 19 YO girlfriend was one of his 19 YO friends for his 1st cruise. We flew down on 8/10/2008, the day before and stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown. We flew Jet Blue into Fort Lauderdale which which was fine and visited the Miami Seaquarium on the way to the hotel. The Seaquarium was fun, we enjoyed the whale and Flipper shows while dodging the rain and lightening. After the shows we headed off to the hotel for check in. The hotel was fine for what we needed and we walked to Bayside for dinner and shopping. We used Top Shuttle for our transportation and everything was good. Sunday morning we had breakfast and arranged with the hotel for transportation to the port, this was included in our hotel package. We were picked up at 10:30 and arrived at the port and heading into the terminal just before 11. We waited in the Empress Deck line until the windows opened at 11, we were 3rd in line. After a quick check in, we sat waiting for the ship to be available, this happened at 11:45 and after they let 2 wedding parties onboard, all others were able to board. We went right to the food and at this time the lines were short, about 1/1:30 the lines were very long. The ship was great and looked to be in great shape, everyone was off and running. The adults had one thing to do because we were placed in 2 different dining rooms for dinner and you cannot have a Family Cruise in 2 locations. We were told to go to the Pride dining room at 1:30. We had Pride 107 and the SIL/BIL were in the Spirit dining room. We did not wait until 1:30 as we saw the doors open at 1 and went in, we were helped right away and an empty table for 8 was found at a window in the Spirit dining room, this was perfect for us and made our cruise. Diner was great all week and we loved our waiter and his asst. We had connecting staterooms which we good but seemed smaller than others that we have had, luckily we are not there enough to care so all was good with that. The 13 and 16 YO's went to kids club the first night or 2, the 16 YO met friends and she was set for the week, the 13 YO did meet some kids but the 12-14 YO group needs some help big time, they have a way to go to make it interesting. Service in the rooms was efficient but not great, the room was clean and we had towel animals but that was it. Activities on the ship are a direct result of the cruise director. Jorge was a great speaker and he is probably the funniest CD I have seen but the activities were lacking. The bingo was all over the place, some of the game shows etc were available for only early dinner people, there were times where nothing was scheduled and other things scheduled at the same time, it was chappy at best and did not flow well. We enjoyed the shows, all of them, it takes a talent to dance on a moving ship. Stops and excursions. We love Grand Turk, planned on sitting on the beach and at the pool and that is what we did, I did take a nice walk to the right of the pier, the older boys did the flowrider, it was good but needs better organization there. Half Moon Cay is our favorite all time stop, we love this beach, we sat on the beach and played in the water, I took a nice walk all the way down the beach, the boys played volleyball and did the jet skis, it is a great place that I will go back to many times. Nassau, the 3 older kids wento to Blackbeards Cay to snorkel and had a great time, I took my 13 YO to the Hilton and rented a boat and tooled around for awhile with him, he liked that a lot. In the afternoon we shopped a bit. On the last day, we did not have flights until 5:00 so we planned on taking our time getting off the ship. We sat around until after our # had been called but when it got to be 10:30 or so everyone wanted to leave so we headed off with still plenty of people on the ship. Getting off and going through customs was painless and we were in Fort Lauderdale just about noon. In summary, this was our 6th cruise and it was a blast. Our new cruiser had the time of his life and is currently talking his family into going on a cruise. He lived at the ping pong table, the pool and anywhere else he could be in just his bathing suit. He actually liked the Strawberry Bisque soup so much that they brought him 8 bowls if you can believe that. Great ship, great cruise and the best stops. Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
The left for a Monday cruise on that Sunday before. I will never do an evening flight again. We had a 7:30 flight out of JFK. I went to check out our flight at 3:00 and they cancelled it due to thunder storms in the area. We live in CT and ... Read More
The left for a Monday cruise on that Sunday before. I will never do an evening flight again. We had a 7:30 flight out of JFK. I went to check out our flight at 3:00 and they cancelled it due to thunder storms in the area. We live in CT and did not have any of yet. I did not even receive a phone call or email from Delta saying it was cancelled. I was in a panic because we had eight of us going. My husband and two sons ages 16 and 14. Plus friends of our and their 18 year old daughter and 16 year old son. Delta was able to get us on a 5:10 flight out of Bradley. We just made it in time. We chose Comfort Suite at the airport due to the fact that they had a 24 hours shuttle and it was only 100.00. It was okay for one night but I would not stay there any longer. The bathrooms were not very clean, tile, floor, tub etc. It was cheaper to use a taxi 24.00 total than the shuttle at the hotel. The cost there was 40.00 total for 4 of us. We left for the cruise about 11:30. Arrived at noon and went right on board. Carnival has done a great job on line patrol here. You go to the line that corresponds with your floor and cabin numbers. We did lunch right away and checked out the ship. I loved the changes. A couple of years ago we did the Sensation and I thought that it really need a overhaul then. This ship was very clean, rooms and bathroom spotless. I found the staff really friendly. My husband brought a brand new shirt for formal night, well he went to put it on and the button hole was sewn shut. I called the cabin steward and he ran right down with a pair of scissors to fix it for him. The adult serenity area was nice but it really needs a bar back there and the chaise lounge chairs are really hot. They are a dark brown color and you bake if you try just to sit there with out a towel. Food was really good I thought, my favorite was the short ribs and the cappuccino pie and of course the chocolate molten cake. Ship: Water works area was nice went down the slide it was to slow for my kids but they did like the racing slides. I went down also and had fun. I never even saw the putt putt area so I cannot comment on that. We had a room on the main deck area. Room was big enough but we had to have a roll in cot so it was tight at night. I thought they could have done better for the 12-14 ages bracket the room was bare in there for them but my son had fun anyway. They both made many friends. Arcade is too small also for teens. My older son did hang on in the O2 and had fun. There were plenty of places just to sit and relax and I never had trouble finding a lounge chair. I loved the rotisserie chicken on the lido deck. We had our dinner in the Spirit dining room and loved the staff and food. Ports: Grand Turk we did the horse riding on land and in the ocean. I loved this, I thought it was just about time one hour was long enough. I was a little sore the next day but would do it again. Afterwards we just hung out at Margaritaville and our friend won the beer drinking contest. I really enjoyed it, the beach was very clean and water was so clear. Half Moon Cay: Favorite beach so far by a mile. I thought it even beat Grand Cayman We did the sting ray tour. It was okay but you were in an enclosed area. I have done this in Grand Cayman and it was much better there. We just hung out at the beach and really enjoyed ourselves. We found no need to have a cabana we just rented a yellow tube and just floated in that for most of the day. The island buffet was just okay but we didn't have to spend any more money so that was great. Nassau: We booked a room at the Comfort Suites to use the Atlantis facilities. We have done that twice before but you need to watch out what they charged you. We have three families all checking in with the same number of guests. The rates really differed even tho we had close to the same daily rate. They will sock you for a daily energy surcharge 6.00 per person, plus some other charges. But it was still cheaper than doing it ourselves than going through the cruise line. One thing to know the Atlantis now only used credit cards or room cards for food and drinks. We didn't have our credit cards with us so we couldn't buy anything. They said they changed to this a couple of weeks ago. I would think they will start losing a lot of money because the ship people who only use cash cannot buy anything. We only came to use the slides and try out the new Aquaculture. We had a blast on the lazy river ( which is not lazy by any means ) but the slide that you can entire from the river had a 30 minute wait so it was closed. For me the resort is just to big way to much walking for all of us especially when you can't get anything to drink. Entertainment on the ship: Jorge the Cruise Director was one of the best I have ever had. I never laughed so hard, I just wish when they did the marriage game they would change the questions. The questions have been the same on the last 3 cruise which span 3 years. The shows on the ship were ok. Tia Thompson was fantastic but you can really tell when the dancers lip sync. Leaving the ship: We normally do self assist but the other couple with us wanted to do the other. I will never do anything but self assist next time. We arrived in Miami and they started letting off people at 8:30. O would say maybe 75% of the people did self assist. We were zone 17 waiting to get off, at 10:00 we were getting nervous because we had a 12:20 flight. We asked the asst. cruise director and he told us we can get off the ship. Customs was a nightmare or let's just say the line we were put it had all the problem people. We were in line until 11:00. I don't know why people do not fill out their custom forms. I heard this over the announcement many times. These people held us up along with some International travelers. What they should be doing is if you don't have your documents together get to the end of the line. We made our flight with 40 minutes to spare. This was the only glitch in our cruise so I would take that for a week of sun and fun. If anyone has any questions feel fee to ask. I wish I was still on the boat!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
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
Sail Date July 2008
Embarkation: This was fast and easy. We were on the ship in about 20 minutes, drink in hand, and on our way to some lunch. However, the "fun pass" that is supposed to speed things up really didn't - we got in the same lines ... Read More
Embarkation: This was fast and easy. We were on the ship in about 20 minutes, drink in hand, and on our way to some lunch. However, the "fun pass" that is supposed to speed things up really didn't - we got in the same lines as everyone else and had just as long of a wait. GET THERE EARLY. I think this is why we were able to get on the ship so quickly - we were at the port 30 minutes after it opened! Cabins: Our cabin was as expected (interior stateroom), and the bed etc were SUPER comfortable. However, there were annoying noises that prevented me from really enjoying it - such as...something fell between the walls of our stateroom and the one next to us. Something heavy and round. I could hear it rolling around as the ship moved. Annoying. Also, something in the ceiling was rattling, which didn't start until the 4th night (luckily), but it prevented me from getting a good nights sleep. Dining: The food was good. Not great, but good. Having cruised on more luxurious Carnival ships before, I feel safe saying this. I had a steak the first night, which was terrible - way overcooked and rubbery. My suggestion to you is to order it UNDERCOOKED, or to avoid it all together. My boyfriend had a center cut porkchop and I had entree envy. It was fantastic, as were the short ribs and onion soup. The escargot still had pieces of shell in it! And make sure you try the chocolate melting cake - this was amazing, every night. And the tiramisu! In the lido restaurants, make sure to have the pizza and a sandwich from the deli! Avoid the lobster bisque! Bars: Try the mango margarita or daiquiri. FANTASTIC! Service: The service was great. Our dining staff was very efficient, we were constantly getting our food first in the dining room, and were on our way out while other tables were getting their entree's. They were friendly and attentive, as was our cabin steward. Every person I ran into on the ship was very friendly, always saying hello! Ports: Grand Turk - We did Gibb's Beach Break Swim, Snorkel, and Stingray Tour. It was fun. There weren't many stingrays (not like Stingray City in Cayman), but the guide grabs one and holds it while you feed it (but after 6 or 7 people feed it it loses interest in the food), then lets you hold it for pictures. He holds the barb the whole time, so for those of you who are concerned about being the next Steve Irwin, it's not going to happen. Meanwhile, the other few stingrays are swimming around your feet, which it an interesting feeling. The snorkeling isn't fantastic, but the stingrays are worth it. You also get to watch the guide crack open a conch and try it. Half Moon Cay - AMAZING. We didn't do an excursion, because we didn't see anything we wanted to do (also to save a little money). The beach was perfect (seriously, think of the perfect beach, and that's the Cay), the buffet was good (the jerk chicken tasted like propane), and there were lots of beach chairs. The water is perfect. Nassau - We could have done without this port. It was crowded, and a bit scary (in a bad area). We did the Yellow Bird Party Boat (awesome value - $36/ea and they provide you with booze and take you to a beach!) which was fun, but when we came back into the port we just got back on the ship. When you get off, there will be HUNDREDS of people accosting you to take their tour or BRAID YOUR HAIR. Seriously, I was about ready to punch the next person who asked me to get braids. And a piece of advice, if you're over the age of 10, the braids look stupid on you, so don't bother. Plus, with a price tag of $93 (a lady at dinner had hers done), it's ridiculously expensive, considering they don't do your entire head, just 3 inches of the crown. If you're the kind of person who would like to visit the spa, I suggest doing an in-port special in Nassau rather than getting off the ship. Really, my only few problems with the ship were the sewage smell in the Atrium, the short period of time you spend in Grand Turk (back on board at 2:30!), and Nassau in general. And the tender in Half Moon Cay - if your cruise line OWNS the island, why not put in a pier??? But I would recommend this same cruise to anyone - I may even consider going on it again some other time. Suggestions: Try the mango beverages!!! And a Miami-Vice! Also, take your own alarm clock, because there isn't any way to tell time in the rooms. A battery operated one is best, but if you have to plug your in, it will eventually get behind ship time (something about generators not running at the same current), so you'll have to adjust it. And, take a small power strip, because there's only one outlet in the room! Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
Before the cruise: We flew in two days before the cruise. It was very easy and I felt more relaxed knowing I was there. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Miami. The hotel was very nice. The room was new, the TV was huge for a hotel, and ... Read More
Before the cruise: We flew in two days before the cruise. It was very easy and I felt more relaxed knowing I was there. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Miami. The hotel was very nice. The room was new, the TV was huge for a hotel, and the beds were very comfortable! The location was not the best but it was ok. We were in a higher room so we didn't hear the construction outside. EMBARKATION: It took us about 30 minutes to get on board. We got there around 11:30 and it was not crowded at all. We really didn't have to wait in line at all. SHIP: The Imagination looked great! We ended up with a handicap room on the Empress deck. I booked an ocean view guaranty and that's what we got. The room was bigger then a normal room. The bathroom was bigger and so was the shower. We were on the aft of the ship and it was really nice view when we left ports. The Serenity Deck was awesome! The chairs were great and the "hot tubs" were nice too. The chairs were very hard to come by. There were lots of chair hogs on the ship and people were getting pretty annoyed. SERVICE: I have never seen so many happy people! Everyone always had a smile. I have nothing negative to say about anyone who worked on the ship. It was sad when we got off and everyone was not so nice! DINING: The dining room was fun! We had great tablemates. It was 4 couples and we all were around the same age. All the food I had was really good! I really liked the chocolate melting cake, shrimp cocktail, salads, filet mignon, lobster, shrimp, and seafood pasta. The portions are kinda small. Everyone was pretty on the ball with the food and drinks. We are at 8:15. It was a great time to eat dinner. I never felt rushed to get to dinner. There was always time for a nap. We ate in the dining room every night. Other food: The sandwich station was awesome! The country turkey with swiss was gooooood! It so easy picking out whatever you want to eat. The room service was ok but I wish they had more choices, like french fries! The tea was nasty and the juice was warm. The Sushi bar was ok. I've had much better at home. My husband ate the Mongolian Barbecue and thought it was pretty good. He says the lines were never long and the service was fast! We enjoyed eating breakfast outside each day and watching the water. Soda card- If you like soda get one! I got my moneys worth out of it! I bet I had 10 a day. CAMP CARNIVAL: I don't have kids so we didn't use it. But I was worried being on Spring Break there would be tons on kid. Yes, there were tons of kids but we didn't see them often. Camp Carnival kept them very busy. Yay to Camp Carnival! If you have teenagers be careful. I overheard many conversations about kids "hooking up" on the ship. We walked into a lounge one night to find lots of teenagers in the booths getting pretty close. Just be careful letting them roam the ship at night. ENTERTAINMENT: We went and saw the adult comedians and they were so funny! The shows were SO cheesy! We got up and left because it was just too much. The dancers were wearing thongs. The show was said to be PG but some parents seemed a little upset about the outfits. The Newlywed Not So Newlywed show was great! If you get a chance go see it! Noonan the cruise director was really funny! PORT OF CALLS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS: Grand Turk- We took the Dune Buggie excursion. I was not really sure I would like it but I LOVED it!!! My husband drove the whole time. It was well worth the money! We got to see the whole island with stops at great views and the light house. I highly recommend it! The rest of the day we went to Margaritaville and the beach. The bottom on the ocean is very rocky so be careful. The island was beautiful. Half Moon Cay- Just a beach day for us. This place was amazing! We did lots of walking and exploring the island. I loved laying on the mat we rented and relaxing in the water. I have never seen or felt sand like that. The food for lunch was good but the lines were really long. I would love to go back. Nassau- We did the Stuarts Cove Snorkel with the sharks. It was not ship excursion. The bus ride was about 45 minutes to the location. We stopped at 3 different spots. The first one was over an airplane that was used in Jaws 4. We saw lots of fish and got some great pictures. The second stop was over a swallow reef. There were more colorful fish at this spot. Then the last stop was over the sharks. They lower a box of bait down and the sharks swam around it. We got in the water and watched them. WOW that was crazy! They were closer then I thought they would be. The whole excursion only cost $48 per person! We took the bus over to Atlantis and looked around. The place is something. I would love to stay there if we ever go back. At least I can say we've been. Then we checked out the Straw Market. I've never been called pretty lady so much in my life! We bought a few things and left. I got my students flutes that said Bahamas. They loved them! DISEMBARKATION: We had Carnival take our luggage off for us. We ate and walked around the ship until we were called. It took about an hour to get off. We took the bus to the airport. (Here is a hint- Don't fly American Airlines. We got home an entire day late!!!) OVERALL: This was an amazing vacation. We had some a fun time on the ship and at the ports. I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone! Read Less
Sail Date March 2008
From being a previous visitor of the Imagination, my family and I were not any more impressed with the boat to when we first ventured on her in 2005. After our travel agent threw Carnival advised us of the updates, it helped to sway our ... Read More
From being a previous visitor of the Imagination, my family and I were not any more impressed with the boat to when we first ventured on her in 2005. After our travel agent threw Carnival advised us of the updates, it helped to sway our decision towards this specific cruise to the Bahamas. Last year, we ventured on the Miracle and were BLOWN AWAY, getting upgraded to balcony rooms and wonderful food. This was what we expected with the recent upgrades to the Imagination. When arriving to our rooms, the only difference noticed was the flat screen tv, which seemed to get less channels and fewer enjoyable movies. Besides that, the room was very bare. A highlight, we looked forward to was the Serenity Deck. The first night my boyfriend and I ventured down to jump in the hot tub. To find out, there was no bar located on the deck. We had to go to the Lido deck's bar and bring it down with us. Also, the hot tubs closed at 9 p.m. As an adult deck, you would expect later hours. When we returned home, I also found out that the swim suit I wore in the hot tub has now faded due to the STRONG chlorine. :( Dinner's in the Pride dining room were same oh, same oh! The first night we did have some of the best pork ribs EVER! Not only did we rave about those, but also did many other guests on the boat. Our servers were very nice, but we didn't build the relationship like we had before with past servers we have had on the boats. In fact, we never saw them when the wait staff danced. :( The ports were a nice change! Try the mopeds on Grand Turk! They were a blast and let us see so much more than just Margaritaville! They were located right outside the gates of the cruise port. It's a little walk but for $55 for a day, its worth it! Remember to drive on the other side of the road! (Carnival will warn you not to do the mopeds but if you are smart and careful, there are no worries.) Half Moon Cay... is the most beautiful beach I've ever seen... and I live only a 1/2 an hour from Lake Michigan... so I know beaches! :) The sand is indescribable! The water is so blue! Its a great beach day! And let me tell you, after early mornings and lots of drinking, it was needed! In Nassau, we visited the Beaches All-Inclusive resort threw Carnival. It's a little pricey but if you can drink a lot in 4.5 hours, $105 might be worth it for you. After we got dropped off back at the port, we ventured threw the city to find a cute little bar in an alley. Local musicians were playing music as we sipped on drinks! The embankment and debarkment ran a lot smoother than other times we have cruised. Also with tendering, it is way more organized than it once was. Last note... I would go in the Imagination as your first cruise... its great if you don't know better! Then try the Miracle! :) Read Less
Sail Date February 2008
5 Day Bahamas Carnival Cruise My wife and I just came back from our third cruise. We went on the Carnival Imagination to islands of Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau, Bahamas. This is a great cruise if you are looking for an ... Read More
5 Day Bahamas Carnival Cruise My wife and I just came back from our third cruise. We went on the Carnival Imagination to islands of Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau, Bahamas. This is a great cruise if you are looking for an affordable getaway!!! My wife and I flew into Miami International Airport a day earlier. I highly recommend doing this if you are coming from up north. The next day we went back to the airport and took the carnival shuttle bus from the airport to the pier. The shuttle bus ride was the same as before, fast and very easy. The embarkation process was very easy. It took us only about 45mins to 1 hour to get from the bus to on the ship. My first impressions of the ship were very good. It was EXTREMELY clean. The atmosphere was really good. We had a "to be announced" cabin (TBA) interior cabin. This cabin was extremely clean. Out of all the ships I have been on, this one had the nicest bathroom in my state room. The staff was very friendly and courteous. This cruise we had a lot of interaction with the staff. The dining crew was awesome. The cabin steward was not as talkative however provided great service. The shows were good. I enjoyed the comedian a lot. I really did not enjoy the hypnosis show that much. It was OK. The final show on the last night was karaoke featuring guest on the ship. I had seen that exact same show almost one year ago on the Destiny. All of the songs were the same. I think that needs to be changed a bit but it was still fun to watch. The carnival dancers were very impressive. They all did an excellent job putting on a Vegas style show. The food was excellent and always. A few times the buffet line for breakfast was out of scrambled eggs. My suggestion, is if you are on a tight budget is to hit the free beaches where it would not cost you any thing on Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay. It will be better off waiting till you get to Nassau to do the shopping. The prices were better and there was a wider selection. When you get to Nassau do a tour or something and shop like crazy. The first stop on this cruise was Grand Turk. If you are looking for a beach day, this island is great. You do not need to pay to take a shuttle bus to the beach. There was a nice beach with free lounge chairs right across from the pier. The beach was clean. We also did some shopping in the area right where the boat docked. My suggestion is to not do any shopping till you get to Nassau. The prices are way better and there is a wider variety. Most of the stuff for sale was kinda weak in my opinion. Also, in the same area as the beach was a large swimming pool for the guest of the ship and an open bar and a wet bar. The prices were very high thought. This area was very nice. Our next stop was Half Moon Cay. This island is a privately owned island by Carnival. The wait was extremely long to get on the tender boat to the island. We waited for over an hour. My suggestion is to get off the ship as soon as it drops anchor and not wait till around 10am as we did because every one was trying to get off that time. This island featured the most beautiful beach I have ever seen!! White sand, blue water the whole nine. There was also free lunch by Carnival with burgers, hotdogs basically the same types of stuff you would have if you went to the beach. On the island had 3 gift shops, one of them was owned by Carnival so the prices were the same as the ship. The other two were very small and did not have a lot. I did purchase a hat there. It was cheaper in Nassau for the exact same hat. So like I said earlier save your money till you get to Nassau. The final destination on this cruise was Nassau. There were about 5 cruise ships docked that day so it was a bit crazy in the beginning. There were locals trying to solicit you to purchase a private tour with them. If you want to do this it is fine but first off be very careful!!! Always go with a group. Second, you are better off waiting till you get outside of the closed off pier area. It was a lot cheaper. My wife and I were approached by one individual on the pier and he wanted $30 per person for the tour of the island. When we went outside we found another person that gave the exact tour for $20 a person. His name was Jake. We had 11 people in our group that made up three of the 5 ships in port. The tour was pretty good. It took about two and a half hours. We went to a couple of forts, the queens staircase, and the Atlantis Resort tour. Atlantis Resort was extremely impressive. When we got back to the pier we walked around the downtown streets of Nassau. The prices were very good. There were 3 t-shirts for $14, hats for about $5. There were a lot of stores and the prices were very good. Don't forget to check out the Tortuga Rum cakes store. The prices were pretty much the same everywhere for that. The disembarkation was better this time around than the first time. Getting off the ship took longer however in was easier to get the luggage. They had installed a luggage carousel. So that made it a lot easier to find our luggage. Before the luggage was put on the ground in groups and you would have to search for them. So to recap that was a great affordable cruise. Hit the free beaches the first two days and do some shopping and island tour in Nassau. Hope this review was helpful Read Less
Sail Date February 2008
Just got back from the Imagination. Wanted to give a review. First I want to thank all the Carnival Employees at the Miami airport who busted their buts to get us US Airways fliers who had major delays on the ship, even when the people at ... Read More
Just got back from the Imagination. Wanted to give a review. First I want to thank all the Carnival Employees at the Miami airport who busted their buts to get us US Airways fliers who had major delays on the ship, even when the people at the 800 # at the Port were of no help. (Long story, but our flight out of CLT was delayed 3 hours, then US Air took their sweet time getting our luggage to us, we got on the ship AFTER muster drill). Next time I will fly in the night before.... After we got on the ship, it was nice, the room was nice...all the updates looked great. You could still tell she was an older ship, but the dry dock was well worth it. There is only 1 outlet in the room, so take a power strip. We ate with 3 ladies sharing a room and their hairdryer plug was too big to fit where the outlet was (just above the desk) so they had to use a Carnival hairdryer that barely worked. Take the power strip to avoid any issues...we did and were glad we did. The Carnival staff, and Cruise Director Jorge were all wonderful. We didn't participate in many activities on board, so I cant tell you much about that. But it seemed like the basic cruise ship activities going on. We did go to 3 out of the 4 shows....they were ok at best. The first night was pretty much singing/dancing/comedy. The comedian was really funny. The singing and dancing reminded me of a community college show. We also went to the "fire show"....not much fire going on at all.....they did maybe two stunts with fire. Then CD Jorge got up and did comedy....he is really really funny!!! The last show we saw was the Legends show (basically the winners of Karaoke)....it was ok. A few really good singers, and a few that were just awful. All in all, I might skip the shows next time. The food....I thought it was REALLY good. We were in the Pride dining room late seating. I was expecting it not to be good after all the reviews, but it surprised me at how good it was. Our wait staff Antonio and Bernardo (table 189) were wonderful. We had great service and a good time with them. They work really hard and deserve tons of credit for making the cruise wonderful. The food at the buffet....average at best. I guess I was expecting more for a buffet. Im not a huge buffet fan, but my DH is because he likes to eat a lot, so Im glad he wasn't on this cruise....the selection was minimal and ok at best. This area could use some improvement. The pizza was decent...but every time we went to get some there was a wait for pizza, so I only really ended up trying 1 piece, it was pepperoni because it was all that was made, so I didn't have to wait. Our room Steward Leonard (E43) was great. I wish I could have packed him in my luggage and brought him home. Any time I asked anything he helped out immediately (extra blankets on the bed, garbage bags for damp clothes to carry home, etc). He went out of his way to learn our names and speak to us every day. Very very good. Ports of Call.... Grand Turk....amazing. We got of the ship and wanted to see of we could get on the Hop On/Hop Off bus cheaper...but it is the same price as on the ship....no big deal. The lighthouse was nice, two trails to walk to the beaches, really really nice area. We did the jail, it was picturesque with the Bermudan architecture. The downtown was nice, nothing spectacular to see. The people were really friendly. We went back to the ship for lunch, and then went on the beach at the cruise terminal. It was not really crowded, even with 2 ships in port. Half Moon Cay....very nice as well. Went snorkeling by boat....they took you to this area that had 3 pretty active reefs, and tons of fish. Good tour, worth the money. We ate the buffet on the island, the jerk chicken was really good. We spent the rest of the day on the beach....the farther down you go past the main bar area, the less people there are. Nassau...hopped the water taxi to Atlantis...walked around there for a while...it was 6 bucks round trip per person. There is tons to see without paying there. Part of the aquarium is free, the shopping area is free, and just a good amount to see. After we did this, we went back to Nassau and shopped....then got back on the ship for the rest of the day. Not a fan of Nassau....but Paradise Island is really really nice.... Do the self debarkation....we were off the ship by 9, at Miami airport by 950 and missed the massive crowds at the cruise terminal and airport check in. Read Less
Sail Date December 2007
This was my first cruise and it turned out quite well. We had fun and thought the cruise a great value. We flew into Miami the day before the cruise and stayed at the Holiday Inn Port of Miami. Good solid hotel. Clean and the room seemed ... Read More
This was my first cruise and it turned out quite well. We had fun and thought the cruise a great value. We flew into Miami the day before the cruise and stayed at the Holiday Inn Port of Miami. Good solid hotel. Clean and the room seemed new (although the elevators were a bit run down). We paid 135 dollars including tax and thought the price was a bit high but still within reason. Ate dinner at Bubba Gump across the street. Seafood place. Pretty good as well, although service was really slow. The embarkation process was smooth. We carried out own bags since we did not have a lot. Rather inconvenient as our room was not ready when we boarded and we were not able to drop our bags off immediately. However, I would probably do the same on our next cruise. We had lunch up at the Lido deck by the pool. Hamburgers, fries etc ... were available. The food selection at the Horizon Grill and Lido Deck was pretty good throughout the cruise, although it got tiresome after awhile. The dining room food was a notch up, especially for dinner. Never got to have lunch there but heard that the lunch there was much better than at the lido deck or horizon grill. In the dining room, they will get you extra portions if you want or replace the food you have with a selection of your choice. We had lobster the second nite. There were two midnite buffets. Made it to the first one. It was okay but we were stuffed from all the eating we had done and probably did not enjoy it as much as we could have. Spa: Had the spa massage. Pretty good as well. There were specials during port days and at the beginning of the cruise. However, I paid full price ($116 dollars for a deep tissue massage). It was a bit overpriced but fine. The only issue I really had was with the hard push to sell you products. Gym, Jogging track: The jogging track was up at the highest deck. It was really windy for most if not all of the time the cruise was at sea. Gym was okay but there were not enough machines to go around. Sauna and steam room - never had a chance to use - but heard that it was good. Room: We had a no view internal stateroom, deck or room number not guaranteed. The room was of adequate size and most importantly, spotless (I know this because I swiped all the frequently touched surfaces with anti-bacterial wipes). We did not have any special requests but thought the room steward did an adequate job. We will probably go for a room with a window next time and if cost permitted, a balcony room as we like to spend most of our time in the room and it would have been nice to get some sun without going out. Service: Service in general was excellent, except for a few minor grumpy employees. We had a problem with one of the charges made to our accounts and during the last day, went to the information desk to have it credited back to our account. The woman who took care of us was slow and grumpy although the charge was eventually waived. Post cruise: The process was fine although next time, we will try to stay one nite in the port city post-cruise and recuperate. Early morning debarkation left us really tired. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
This was my second cruise so stepping on to the Imagination I felt rather comfortable considering most ships layouts tend to be the same. My first cruise was on the Carnival Spirit which had a completely different feeling. I would suggest ... Read More
This was my second cruise so stepping on to the Imagination I felt rather comfortable considering most ships layouts tend to be the same. My first cruise was on the Carnival Spirit which had a completely different feeling. I would suggest first time cruiser to cruise on a newer ship. The Imagination was built in 1994 which doesn't seem that long ago, but in ship terms, it's almost ancient. The Imagination advantages was the staff and ports of call. The staff is rated number 2 of all 26 ships Carnival offers. Our room steward was exceptional! She cleaned the room twice a day and made the infamous towel animals daily. We left Miami on Saturday (5/28/05) at around 4 p.m. I would suggest taking advantage of the skipper's club which made check in smooth and VERY expedient. Within minutes we were on board while most waited in line for around 45 mins to an hour. The suite was a nice site. Our first cruise we had a regular room with balcony, but the suite was more sq. ft. and on the Imagination only suites have balconies. I would suggest splurging on a suite if you take a cruise on Imagination. The suite's decor is rather outdated and the bathroom did have a jacuzzi tub which was nice after long days in the warm sun. Ports of call were wonderful! First stop was the Cayman Islands which suffered a devastating hurricane last year, so most of the islands vegetation was blown away. The island's residents were great spirited. Our shore excursion consisted of power snorkeling with Don Forster's. The employees at DF's were great. The views from snorkeling were great! We saw a baby sea turtle and two large Barracudas. The power snorkel made snorkeling effortless which was nice considering it was over 90 degrees. The next excursion was in Jamaica and consisted of river tubing down the White River. The tour guides were wonderfully spirited and made this something we will remember forever. I would strongly suggest taking this tour while in Jamaica. Overall the cruise ship scored about a 7 out of 10. The staff was wonderful and always wanted to help. The ships decor is rather old and needs to be updated. I would suggest going on a newer ship to first time cruiser, but if you must take the Imagination know that the staff will make it all balance out. Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
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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