18 Miami to Bahamas Carnival Imagination Cruise Reviews

This was my second cruise with Carnival cruise lines, and it was intended as a short weekend getaway. I was celebrating my birthday as well, so it was myself, my boyfriend and 2 friends who were onboard. The ship was small- there are only ... Read More
This was my second cruise with Carnival cruise lines, and it was intended as a short weekend getaway. I was celebrating my birthday as well, so it was myself, my boyfriend and 2 friends who were onboard. The ship was small- there are only 10 decks as it's usually just a weekend trip cruise ship of 3-4 night itineraries. It's also one of the older ships in the fleet. This wasn't a concern for me when booking, and there weren't any serious issues with the boat or anything, but it's obvious that it is an older ship. It's very cramped- I felt like they over-booked in terms of passengers. Most of the time we were at the pool, there were so many people it was impossible to even swim. It was mainly treading water. The pools are smaller and they don't have as much deck space, so unless you get to a chair area early in the morning, you will either be under the awnings (ok if you don't want sun) or on the above decks having to walk up and down stairs to get into the pool. I also felt like this was the quintessential "party ship" in terms of passengers and focus. There was always someone with a megaphone in hand hosting a party or contest on the main pool area, so it became difficult to relax and unwind unless you were back in the adults only area. That was one area of the ship that I was sufficiently pleased with- the chairs were plush and it was quiet. They had options under cover and also several deck chairs where you could catch some rays. There was always someone there to serve you drinks or anything else you requested. The only improvement I could have made to the area was I would have liked to see a pool back there for adults only. The food was good, but not great, and the dinner service did leave much to be desired. We chose anytime dining because we did not want to be locked into a certain time, and I felt like our waiter wasn't too happy with us most of the time. We ended up sending a few dishes back because they came out cold or we just didn't like them and he seemed like he had a problem with this. I have definitely had better dining service at several establishments before. The pool service was good- there were always people walking around ready to bring drinks or other amenities. Our room was small and cramped, but we did have an interior cabin so that's to be expected I guess. I had never before traveled in an interior cabin, but upon booking I was informed that there were no balcony rooms available, so the option was either a suite or a regular room, and I wasn't interested in paying the rate for a suite. However, once the beds are pushed together to form a queen in the interior rooms, there is very little walking room. We were also located on a lower level room which was toward the front of the ship and seemed to be directly over the engine room because I could definitely feel vibrations coming up from the floors. I was happy to be on a vacation, but I think that the ship could use some improvement. I have been on Carnival before and found the Conquest more to my liking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My sisters and I went to celebrate birthdays. We looked at reviews on line but still didnt know what to expect. We were told the lines to enter the ship would be terrible and it would take forever to board. Not the case. We arrived a bit ... Read More
My sisters and I went to celebrate birthdays. We looked at reviews on line but still didnt know what to expect. We were told the lines to enter the ship would be terrible and it would take forever to board. Not the case. We arrived a bit too early. Around 10:45 am. No lines @ check in and waited in the holding area. Went through right away and our picture was taken. We checked into customer service to see that the our payment terms were correct and they were. I purchased a soda card because I am addicted and knew I couldn't drink lemonade and tea for the 4 days. It was worth the money. Then we headed to lunch.The meals were just OK. It was what I will call a lot of fast food. Our cabin was small for four ladies but we were not there much. Dress is extremely casual. The pool was very disappointing. Smack dab in the middle of the Lido deck. Even if it was appealing I do not think that I would have felt comfortable with everyone eating and staring at me. The serenity deck was good. It is an over 21 location and a great escape from children. We choose the early seating and dinner was good. Our waiter Ricardo was excellent. For the captains dinner we asked to change our seating time. They said if we came back at 900 it would be fine and it was. Seated immediately. We were disappointed that the picture taking was already done so we had no professional pictures for this dinner. The food was lobster and prime rib. The lobster was overcooked and the prime rib a little undercooked for my sisters liking. I enjoyed the comedians. A little trashy but they warn you. Not child friendly. The dance show was great. Best show on the cruise. I used the spa had a massage. I didn't book ahead and got a better deal on the ship. A learning experience for all. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
This was my first cruise. And I have to say there were goods and bads for sure. Mind you I am a 30 year old male and am not overly picky. The views and day at Atlantis near Nassau were wonderful. The casino, the games, the music, the ... Read More
This was my first cruise. And I have to say there were goods and bads for sure. Mind you I am a 30 year old male and am not overly picky. The views and day at Atlantis near Nassau were wonderful. The casino, the games, the music, the sun and the food on board were great. However, our first night of departure was terrible. A storm cam in with giant swells. By dinner time bathrooms were full with peaple puking. I havent puked in 12 years, but this even got me. Some people who shared our dinner table who have been on many cruises said this was the worst they have seen a ship rock. Now, obviously weather can't be controlled, but it is worth noting as a first time cruiser, that I was terrified that this was what cruising was. I don't know to what degree captains can steady a ship or not, but this was a bad first night. After the third time getting sick at dinner we ducked out with a couple of other from our tables to go to bed by 9 p.m. The next day we were in Nassau. We had docked hours earlier than scheduled, which leads me to beleive captain went way faster than neccisary to get us into port and out of the storm. The day in Nassau was wonderful. There was one other point of concern for me aboard. Entertainment. Fyi, I am a Christian and actually a Youth Pastor. I however, was not looking for "wholesome entertianment" I went to have fun, try black jack for the first time, meet new people, and enjoy the views. I chose to go to adult comedy night etc. I laughed and had fun. But it was the other "non adult" things I had a problem with. It seemed like every event we went to from bingo, to dating games, to dance parties etc. All had staff leading with very strong sexual enuendos along with jokes of getting plastered etc etc. I know people are there to have fun, but it just seemed like a place I would def. not want my children around, and honestly Im not really uptight as a Christian in that regard. The final day at sea was nice. But with only two days on open water and one of them terrible, I had a 50/50 on wheather cruising is for me or not. I am thinking about giving it another try, but don't think the carnival imagination is what I would do again. Any other short carribean cruise lines out there you would recomend to me? Please let me know. P.S. Im not looking for some holy Christian cruise. Just one with simular fun with a little more class, and hopefully less waves. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Booked this cruise about 2 months ago for my mother (age 59), sister (age 28) and myself (age 39). This was to be the first cruise for my mom and sister so I figured it would be better to do a short jaunt instead of a longer one if they ... Read More
Booked this cruise about 2 months ago for my mother (age 59), sister (age 28) and myself (age 39). This was to be the first cruise for my mom and sister so I figured it would be better to do a short jaunt instead of a longer one if they didn't like it. Parking We chose to park offsite in a lot about a mile or so away. It was called Premier Parking. They own lots in several different cities and airports across the country so I felt they were reputable. The lot was easy to get to and fenced in. It cost only $25 for my 3 night cruise. That is a HUGE savings from the port. The shuttle was waiting when we arrived. They loaded our luggage, we tipped them and they dropped us off at the port (about a 5-10 minute drive with traffic). They gave us little yellow stickers to wear when we were waiting to be picked up after the cruise. Embarkation We arrived around 12-12:30 and encountered no lines, no waiting. It couldn't have gone smoother. No complaints whatsoever. It took us about 20 minutes from start to finish, but that was with a stop to the restroom so my sister could put on some makeup. Once on the ship, toting around a ton of carry-on luggage, we made our way to Lido deck for lunch at the buffet. WHAT A MAD HOUSE!!!! OMG! My advice is to wait until AFTER 1:30 to eat lunch at the buffet. 1;30 is when most rooms are ready and the people in the buffet trail off by then. When we arrived, there were people stalking each other's tables, no seating available at all, it was raining and the lines on both sides of the buffet were 20-30 people deep. We did manage to finally find a place to sit (after about 20 minutes) and ate lunch. Room Around 2pm, we headed off to our room to unload our carry-ons. We were on Main deck 153 right in the center of the ship by the elevators. I booked a Florida resident rate and chose to have an assigned cabin by Carnival, it was much cheaper that way. No complaints on location, it worked just fine. I've never traveled with more than 2 people per cabin so I didn't know that they would pull down the bunk bed later that evening. I thought that it would be ready when we arrived. We called the room steward shortly after we arrived to ask him about the bed, also for an additional robe and wine glasses. He made sure to tell us that he had to go up to obtain the glasses somewhere (the restaurant/bars/whatever). When he arrived the first time, we tipped him $20 to make sure that our ice stayed filled and had fresh wine glasses each day. This didn't really work out. I thought that the extra money would entice him to take better care of us, I don't think he really cared. He did bring us glasses the second night after I left him a note. On the 3rd night I had to go get the glasses from the bar myself. I understand that the workers are from other countries, but damn did I have trouble trying to figure out what the heck he was even saying to me. Difficult to understand and sometimes I wondered WHY he was telling me certain things. I don't care where you have to get the glasses, JUST BRING THEM TO ME and be done with it! Muster Drill What a major pain in my a$$!! I don't remember this being such a project on other ships! First of all, they don't do a good job of even reminding you or letting you know that you have to go to the muster drill at all. They also don't tell you WHERE your location is. Sure, the sign and sail card says "Muster station C", but nobody tells you where C is. We watched the TV to find out, they don't tell you either. So we wandered and wandered and finally found the place. We sat there for what seemed like FOREVER. Then instead of the staff in front of you telling you what to do, we had to wait to hear the overhead announcements. IN BOTH ENGLISH AND SPANISH. Really? After literally almost falling asleep, we were herded out to the deck where we all stood like soldiers on the battlefield while we sailed away from the port. My mother was flipping out that she couldn't take pics as we pulled away, she started to get agitated, the people around us were rude, talking, not paying attention etc. This was NOT a smooth process and NOT a good way to start off our cruise. Entertainment The first night there was a show in the main theatre that I thought was going to be one of those production shows, instead we went in there after dinner and it was the cruise director asking stupid questions of people and trying to be funny. It was truly awful. Why would anyone want to sit through that? We left after about 15 minutes and went to hang out on the deck and take in the evening air. It was a nice night outside (despite there being rain for the first 2 hours). We went down to the Serenity deck, seriously one of my favorite places on the ship. It was quiet with minimal wind. There were 2 jacuzzis there, which had a few people in them, but nothing overwhelming. We decided to go to the 11pm comedy show with Anthony Acosta. We arrived around 10:45pm and there was still plenty of seating, but by 11pm, the place was jammed. This comedian was very raunchy, very non-PC, LOTS of cursing....if you're easily offended, this is NOT the place for you. WE LOVED it! It was hysterical. Probably one of the highlights of the cruise. The second night (night in port in the Bahamas), we missed all the entertainment it seemed. By the time we got out of dinner, all that was going on was a poolside dance party with ghetto music. So if that's your thing, you'll love it. But there was no late night comedy show that night and the production show only showed once. That was annoying. So there we were with nothing to do really (except drink of course!) The last night, we caught the early production show called "Cruisin". It was entertaining enough. Reminded me of my years of dance recitals I did. LOL! I like stuff like this, so we sat there and sang along, did the Macarena in our seats etc. Lasted about 40 minutes or so. Food & Dining We wanted late seating dining but ended up with anytime dining instead because late seating was all filled up. I waitlisted, but never got it. We ate at the MDR each night (Pride dining room) and the service was sooooooo slooooowwwww. We arrived between 8-8:30 each night. The first night there was no wait. The second 2 nights, we waited about 15-20 minutes (in heels). Found the food to be mediocre compared to the other fantasy class ships I've been on with Carnival. I remember the food to be outstanding and on Imagination it was hit or miss. My mother's fish the first night was filled with garlic and there was no mention of garlic in the descript. The last night she had to send her food back because it was cold. The waiter on our first night was very good and very friendly and nice. The second 2 nights were boring, not talkative at all. I guess this is one of the downfalls of anytime dining, you don't get to have the same waiter each night. The manager came around to our tables and had nice conversations with us each night though. He was from Colombia, remembered us from the night before and was very personable. All 3 nights we were seated at a private table with no issues. We didn't mind sitting with others, but we ended up on our own anyway. The one thing that was annoying was the length of time it took to go through all the courses, we're talking 1.5 to 2 hours total. We also found the process for ordering food and ordering alcohol confusing. Some waiters were for food only, others for refilling stuff only, others for bringing shots and yet others for selling wine/beer etc. They just never seemed to be around when we needed them. Kinda useless and completely confusing. Port day While it was not raining when we docked in Nassau, by the time we got off the ship, there was a storm brewing and it quickly turned into deluging rain for 2 HOURS. We were stuck inside a store in Nassau that didn't sell umbrellas. I brought an umbrella, but left it on the ship. We had to hunt for a store selling umbrellas in Nassau. And then dished out $30 for 3 umbrellas. But this was after basically getting soaked already. Do yourself a favor and pack AND BRING umbrellas with you. There was so much rain that there were flash floods in the streets in Nassau, it really was miserable. Finally it gave up enough to walk a bit and we went to the straw market. Those of you who haven't been to the straw market in a couple years, its been completely re-done in a new building. It is really quite nice. My mom got suckered in by one of the girls asking if we wanted to see the designer handbags in her shop across the street....so off we went. Sure enough, just across the street in a shop were about 10 booths selling designer knock offs. Just an FYI, for those of you who are looking for bags. Later, after the rain stopped (still overcast though), we took the #10 jitney down to Cable Beach. First we stopped off at the Fish Fry for my mother who wanted fresh conch salad. The place was dead, service was still slow...island time. Then we jumped back on the #10 and proceeded down to the Sheraton where we walked the beach and sat at their bar and drank for awhile. Around 5pm, we caught the jitney back into town and got back to the ship to get ready for formal night. What a pain it is to have formal night on the ONLY night we're in port. I don't understand this. Later that night, we got back off the ship around midnight and walked down to Senor Frogs. For the first time ever, I did not feel comfortable or safe in Nassau. It was late, a saturday night and dark....and 3 blonde women were the minority. Senor frogs was filled with extremely drunk 20 somethings that looked to be a mix of locals and cruise passengers. It was not a good scene at all. I'm not sure what we expected, but we kept to ourselves, had 1 drink and went on our way. Pools Our last day was our sea day when we traveled back to Miami. Thank GOD the weather was perfect. Sun and warm. We laid on the deck ALL DAY, had lunch on the lido deck and swam. Well, maybe dunked in and out of the pool anyway. It is small and crowded, but big enough that I could get in, get wet and hang around on the deck with a drink for awhile. At the end of the day just before taking a shower for the night, my mother wanted us all to go down the water slide, so we went up to the top deck and climbed the stairs and went down the slide. It was actually quite fun, remember the heavier you are, the faster you go. That's why the adults come spitting out of there like bullets! Overall impressions overall, it was what I expected it to be. Got a Florida resident rate and it was worth what we paid. The clientele on the ship left much to be desired. I have never seen so many rude, obnoxious people dressed inappropriately in my life. If you're looking for classy or even average, you won't find it in the people on this ship. The staff overall were not very friendly at all. I was disappointed with this since I had encountered really really friendly people on the Sensation several times before and that's also a Fantasy class ship. I don't think I would choose this sailing/ship again, but it wasn't the most terrible experience I've ever had. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
I'm an experienced cruiser who was looking for a quick weekend getaway to relax and unwind. I chose Carnival over Royal Caribbean and NCL (they each had 3-day cruises on the same dates) so I could reach platinum status by next year ... Read More
I'm an experienced cruiser who was looking for a quick weekend getaway to relax and unwind. I chose Carnival over Royal Caribbean and NCL (they each had 3-day cruises on the same dates) so I could reach platinum status by next year during the grandfather period (this was #9 with Carnival). The RCL and NCL itineraries were more desirable as they included a stop at their private island-it turned out the weather was too windy for the RCL and NCL ships to tender to their private islands that day. To be honest, I went in with low expectations knowing the Imagination is an older ship and the 3-day cruises attract a party crowd, etc. I really just wanted some R&R and my goal was met with this cruise. EMBARKATION: I flew in the morning of the cruise and took SAS transportation ($15) from FLL to the POM. I can't say this process was efficient, as we kept having to circle the airport waiting for other passengers to arrive. I really was not in a rush so I was OK with it and we ended up stopping at a CVS because someone in the van needed a prescription they had forgotten. I bought a bottle of wine, water and soda for my room. We ended up at the port around 12:15. The embarkation process was quite long in my opinion -- you first had to wait in a long line to get your passport/boarding pass checked and then into the terminal into another very long line to get your sail & sign card. They had half of the terminal check-in stations not in use which I found strange. It was off to another line to get your sail & sign picture taken and then embarkation picture taken-there was no option but to wait in line even if you didn't want a picture taken. It took about an hour from arrival at the port until I walked onboard. I would have kept my small suitcase with me instead of checking it with a porter as the rooms were ready shortly after I boarded. Compared to my embarkation on the Liberty this past March where I essentially walked on the ship, I was not impressed with the embarkation process for the Imagination. CABIN: I had the most aft inside cabin on the Riviera deck and was happy with it (except the shower). This cabin had four berths but Carnival allowed me to book it as a solo traveler. I did not hear much foot traffic with this cabin location and the room felt spacious. The A/C worked quite well and I actually had to keep the vent in the middle or it got too cold. The TV in the room did not allow you to view your balance on your S&S card, but there were kiosks on the ship to view your balance and make some transactions. I never met my cabin steward, but he/she did a fine job of keeping the room clean and attended to. The only issue I had was the shower head did not seat properly in the holder and kept spinning around so it soaked the entire bathroom and made rinsing your hair a little hard. The holder was stripped and was in need of replacing. It would have been annoying for a 7 day cruise but was tolerable for 3 days. DINING: I went to the MDR the first night for dinner and decided it was not for me. I did Anytime Dining and the service was just too slow for me. Even though I only wanted appetizers and dessert, it took forever and I missed the comedy show. Drink service was non-existent and no one at my table was offered coffee with their dessert. I did eat at the MDR for breakfast on debarkation day and it was fine-food was hot with attentive service. I went to the MDR to use my coupon for the free drink and had no problem-they had a drink waiter at the hostess stand for people who just wanted their free drink. I thought the deli station and buffet salad bar were quite good with a wide selection. The line for the grill was always long but the food was good. Room service was prompt and the food was tasty. I had great drink service on the Serenity deck which is where I spent the majority on my time. Drink service in the clubs took a very long time to get ordered drinks. SHIP: I thought the ship was in pretty good condition for being so old and I always saw people cleaning and vacuuming, etc. The decor was a little too dark for my liking and the neon was gaudy. The buffet with the neon blue circles was interesting. I find the general design of the Fantasy class ships unattractive with the life boats so high near the lido deck. Muster drill was the usual with rude people talking and not following directions, on their cell phones, etc. I don't gamble so I can't comment on the casino and I did not see any of the production shows. I thought the adult comedy show was hysterical yet very raunchy so don't go if you are easily offended! The main lido pool always had very loud music playing and was just not my scene so I stuck to the Serenity deck which I greatly enjoyed. The Waterworks was packed with kids but I did go down the big slide after waiting in line. I did not stay out late partying, but I'm sure I was in the minority! The passenger demographic was mostly Spanish speaking, however there was some type of radio station group aboard that was diverse. There were also bachelor/bachelorette parties onboard and they looked like they were having fun. There were some interesting people and I'll just say I have never seen so much inappropriate clothing on morbidly obese women, ugly thigh tattoos, and rude behavior towards the staff as I witnessed on the cruise! NASSAU: I have been there, done that but wanted to try the Blue Lagoon excursion, however it was cancelled due to lack of interest. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the weather was very windy and overcast when we arrived to Nassau-it eventually cleared up but remained very windy that day. I did not even get off the ship and enjoyed the Serenity deck all day. We overnighted in Nassau and left around 6 or 7 the next morning. It's too bad Carnival can't use Half Moon Cay for these 3-day cruises as we barely puttered along going 8 knots on the sea day back to Miami. At one point I thought we idled in the middle of the ocean because we were going so slowly and there was no wake! DEBARKATION: You would think Carnival would have this process streamlined and quick, but unfortunately it was very unorganized. I was not in a rush as my flight was at 1:30 and I was planning on doing self-assist. My group was to be called at 9:30. I decided to hang out at a desk near the art gallery as the gangway was right down the hall. I witnessed passengers treating the staff terribly and yelling at them because they were not permitted to leave. They had the debarkation line snaking through the passenger hallways and at one point a Carnival employee slammed the door on everyone, causing mass confusion and anger. By 10:00 they were nowhere near calling my zone so I just got in line and exited the ship. I'm not sure if there was a hold-up in customs but debarkation was running way behind and was unorganized. There were no lines going through customs and I caught my SAS shuttle back to the FLL airport. This cruise met my expectations for a relaxing weekend, but I prefer to sail on the newer ships. If I decide to do another 3-day from Miami I will choose RCL or NCL to check out their private island. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
First off I have to say we chose this cruise because it went to the Bahamas and we really wanted to spend a day at Atlantis to check it out before investing a great deal of money to take our family. As a past cruiser we where wisked ... Read More
First off I have to say we chose this cruise because it went to the Bahamas and we really wanted to spend a day at Atlantis to check it out before investing a great deal of money to take our family. As a past cruiser we where wisked through to the head of the line and everything went fast! It was my boyfriend's birthday week and I had a credit from Carnival I hoped to use it on an Alaskan cruise that was going to expire. Our stateroom was small but extremely clean and well kept the staff was great and attentive. The room was very noisy however especially when we docked with clanking. The review style shows where good and the comedy funny. The food in the dining rooms was ok but the food on the Lido deck was down right nasty. Room service was excellent quality wise. I still can't get over it. Also they have a way of putting the topping and condiments out of order so you have to bad track to get them. I do have to fault our bit of disappointment with the behavior of the crowd not the staff. People where not dressed for modesty to the point where it was offensive. I work in the talent industry so I'm not easily offended but people where wearing clothes that didn't fit, or where just not right for their body type. PIZZA...it was great of my first cruise with this line and made up for the rest of the menu. This time there was a line a mile long and one guy serving soggy pizza you had to wait about 30 minutes for. Even one of the comedians made fun of it. The casino was ok but they way they do the money makes it hard to move from machine to machine so you sort of end up giving up and staying too long on a bum slot machine. Photos:overall good quality. One thing I HATE about this cruise line. You feel like you are in one big infomercial. Since this was my second cruise I knew what to skip and what was important and not. One word of advice. If you want to go to Atlantis skip the shore excursions. A shared taxi was $4.00 there and the excursion was $50+ I believe. The property is somewhat cash free so take a credit card. We did the Aquaventure and it was great BUT I did have a bruising issue on one of the slides there so make sure your tube is filled up with air completely. but we did it on our own for $120.00. Head to Senor Frogs for dinner when you get off the ship it is all the way down on the right past the straw market. Also if you go tot he straw market never buy anything and first offer. Walk away and they will give you a better price. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Overall the cruise was great. Great weather throughout including Nassau. Ship seemed good and clean. Bar area and pool area not to crowded. The food lines were very very long and many areas closed all the the time. People were waiting 10 ... Read More
Overall the cruise was great. Great weather throughout including Nassau. Ship seemed good and clean. Bar area and pool area not to crowded. The food lines were very very long and many areas closed all the the time. People were waiting 10 minutes for a slice of pizza. Worked out fine for me didn't eat as much on this cruise. Only did the dinning room on first night and food was good and service was fine. Room stewards did a good job no complaints there. Room service was extremely slow and even hung up on me many times when i was trying to place orders. They did show the superbowl in the main theater but was way to packed watched most of it in stateroom. For a smaller ship it was a great cruise. Debarkation seemed to be really really slow. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
Overall, I was not impressed with anything on this ship. Yes, I know it was a cheap 3 night cruise, but I would still expect better quality. The stateroom was pretty nice for being an inside room. All the staff were very friendly ... Read More
Overall, I was not impressed with anything on this ship. Yes, I know it was a cheap 3 night cruise, but I would still expect better quality. The stateroom was pretty nice for being an inside room. All the staff were very friendly and helpful. But, and it's a big one, the food was mediocre at best. The drink prices were high. The common areas were worn down. The entertainment was quite poor...the singers were not very good and the comedians were just okay. I think if this is your first cruise, that you wouldn't know any better. But, if you are an experienced cruiser, either go with a different cruise line or a higher level boat. Not a terrible experience by any means, but not the pampered feeling I left with on my other cruises. On a side note, those of you who are gluten free will probably be as frustrated as I was. While they offer GF bread, pancakes, and cake, the bread is AWFUL, the pancakes are fine, but you have to preorder the cake for dessert the night before, which they forget to ask you about. It was good when I finally got it the last night. The ordering process is frustrating, since you have to preorder each meals food a day in advance, and if you forget something, they can't just add it. They definitely need to figure out a better process. Also, you can't get GF items anywhere but the dining room. Again, overall not a bad experience, but next time I will spend my money elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We just got home yesterday from our 3 night cruise on the Imagination. She is an older ship but well kept up in the public areas. The cabin on the other hand was another story. The bed was like a rock covered in nice bedding. This is the ... Read More
We just got home yesterday from our 3 night cruise on the Imagination. She is an older ship but well kept up in the public areas. The cabin on the other hand was another story. The bed was like a rock covered in nice bedding. This is the first cruise I have been on where the room steward was only so so at best. We normally have a balcony cabin when we cruise but by the time we booked there were none available. It was my mistake that I jumped on an offered upgrade to the empress deck before I checked its location. It is directly under the galley! The noise was constant. On the last night we were awakened at 4am by someone dropping a truckload??? of pots and pans. It was so loud and so surprising my DH and I just started laughing. We were able to go back to sleep because after the crash I think most tip toed around the kitchen! The food was not to bad but I know it has been much better on longer cruises. Our dinner waiters and cocktail waiter were great always funny and fast in their service. We shared our table with a family of new cruisers and the waiters went out of their way to make it fun for them. Room service was terrible! I ordered a steak sandwich that came with one thin slice of what looked like fatty roast beef. Ugh. My DH ordered the pastrami and said it was terrible too! Also why can't carnival serve a decent cup of coffee?? The only place it was palatable was the coffee shop where you pay for it. We knew this cruise would have loads of kids on their summer vacation so we very much looked forward to the "Serenity" deck. What a disappointment. There were no hammocks as promised, no bar, and only about 15 padded chairs with 5 side tables. We also never saw a waitperson!! The description of the ship also said they offered shuffleboard but that was not true either. All and all we had fun but I don't think we will ever do a 3 night cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I consider myself to be a fairly experienced cruiser and this cruise was somewhat disappointing but we made the best of it and had a great time anyway. We chose this cruise because it fit our schedule - It left on a Friday and returned on ... Read More
I consider myself to be a fairly experienced cruiser and this cruise was somewhat disappointing but we made the best of it and had a great time anyway. We chose this cruise because it fit our schedule - It left on a Friday and returned on a Monday. It enabled us to have a 5 day getaway while only taking 3 days off from work.We left from Miami after spending a couple of nights in South Beach. Embarkation was very easy and we were given no trouble for bringing our allotted 6 sodas and 6 bottles of water onto the ship. We also brought a bottle of wine ($10 corkage fee when drank in restaurant) and a bottle of champagne which we kept on ice in our room until the last night. (I'm including this information because I never knew this was allowed - it was something my boyfriend discovered after exploring the Carnival web site. Hope we help someone out!).We were happy with the size and cleanliness of our room. Our room steward was great and our room was clean. The ship was clean overall with the exception of a couple of heavily used bathrooms by the pool and the bathroom near the casino late at night.The one excursion day was to Nassau Bahamas and we had a wonderful time there. We went to Atlantis resort for the day and I cannot say enough about it. If the weather is good you will not regret paying for the Aquaventure (lazy rivers, water slides, full access to resort.) We bought our passes at Atlantis- not through the cruise -and saved $60 per person by doing so. Taxi fare (shared) is only $4 per person each way to Paradise Island. On the last day at sea we relaxed by the pool and read, watched some silly contests, ate some sushi and drank our champagne while watching sunset. It was awesome!The weather was amazing for the entire duration of our trip; we were very lucky. The weather in Nassau can be very iffy - I have been on two cruises that had to skip port due to the weather. Take this into account if you are cruising in the fall or winter.If the weather hadn't been so great we probably would not feel that we got our moneys worth. The food was decent and as expected in the buffet but the food in the dining room was horrible. Everything we were served was overcooked and the service was terrible. Ribs, fried chicken, and pork chops were the types of dishes served. We weren't served wine until after our appetizers were served and felt crammed very close to other couples/tables of two in the dining room. On the last night we arrived for dinner at 9:34pm (We had anytime dining which ends at 9:30pm) and were told we could not be served as the kitchen was closed. After a bit of arguing (mostly because no other establishment was serving food on the ship at this time and we hadn't eaten dinner) we were told we could be seated but would have to settle for whatever they had leftover in the kitchen. The maitre d publicly berated the hostess who seated us and it was all very embarrassing and not worth the hassle for the less than mediocre short ribs, and deep fried veal that we were given. Overall - this was a fun and relatively inexpensive getaway. If you're sure the weather will be good and you don't care too much about the food you will enjoy this trip. It is probably best suited for large, big partying groups, though there is certainly plenty to do for children as well. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

Find a Carnival Imagination Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click