33 Miami to Bahamas Carnival Imagination Cruise Reviews

My children and I sail every December when they are on holiday break. We usually sail Carnival Sensation or Carnival Fascination. This year I chose Carnival Imagination as it was the only ship fitting our calendar. These are great cruises ... Read More
My children and I sail every December when they are on holiday break. We usually sail Carnival Sensation or Carnival Fascination. This year I chose Carnival Imagination as it was the only ship fitting our calendar. These are great cruises for families with active children. For my cruises with my adult friends we sail different lines. This is my 20th cruise since 1999 and 5th with my children. The drive from the interstate to port was quick and it was easy to find. Parking rates are a bit higher than average but the lots are very convenient and we walked maybe 200 feet from our car to the terminal. Embarkation was speedy and efficient. We entered the terminal at 11:30. From the time we left our bags with the porter to the time we walked the buffet line on Lido deck was 20 minutes max. Our cabins were ready at 1:30 as promised. The cabin itself, U226, was well maintained and fully functional. The decor and amenities suited our needs just fine. We took al of our meals from the buffet. The food was, for the most part, adequately prepared and plentiful. Some of the desserts were rather tasteless...but they looked really pretty. Now, for me personally, i would much rather have tasty food over pretty all day long. i know this isnt the case for everyone. The place was very crowded though and at times made me feel a bit uneasy. The layout and flow patterns caused most of the trouble. The boorish behavior of other cruisers contributed as well. The lines could get long but I attribute this to the cruise being sold out and cheap rates. I did not take in any of the scheduled entertainment or pool areas. My children always enjoy their Camp Carnival activities and they stay occupied with their age groups most of the time. I always take a book or two with me to occupy my time. There are some great nooks and crannies where i can get away from the masses and realax. Thus our cruise experiences were fantastic. We had only one stop this sailing in Nassau. This itinerary allowed for an overnight stay which was nice. One of these days I will time the stay to coincide with the Junkaroo. This cruise met our expectations from all aspects. We cruise to get away and relax. I do not sail to be coddled, entertained, or over scheduled. I can see where some people are not a good fit with Carnival and Imagination. The good news is there are plenty of other options in the market to fit their needs. The only negative experience was the residual odor of cigarette smoke. Sometimes it was almost unbearable on Promenade. Once in a while the odor was present in our stateroom. I attribute this to the HVAC system but I do wish the designated smoking area was vented directly out of the stacks. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
After all the less than stellar reviews written regarding Carnival Imagination's 3 Night Nassau sailing my expectations were not high, however living in South Florida and with the rate I was able to get, I figured I did not have mulch ... Read More
After all the less than stellar reviews written regarding Carnival Imagination's 3 Night Nassau sailing my expectations were not high, however living in South Florida and with the rate I was able to get, I figured I did not have mulch to lose. I cannot say how pleasantly surprised I was at the whole experience. Embarkation: I arrived at the terminal at 1pm for a 4pm sailing. Aside from being directed to the wrong check in time by the very friendly and accommodating shoreside staff, embarkation was a breeze. I was on the ship within 30 minutes of my arrival at the pier. Cabin: My cabin, E189 on Deck 7 (Empress Deck) was very nice. I was clean, well lit and despite being an interior stateroom vastly exceeded the quality of my stateroom on my last Royal Caribbean cruise aboard the now departed Monarch of the Seas. I can't compare it to Concierge Class on Celebrity, but clearly we're talking two different products. My cabin steward was friendly and attentive and the twice a day service was well appreciated. Food: I elected to try the "Your Time Dining". I never had to wait for a table in the Pride Dining room and the food was not horribly exciting but was certainly tasty and plentiful. I ate most of my meals in the Horizon Buffet on Lido deck. The food at the buffet was typical cruise buffet fare but again was plentiful, fairly tasty and always available. My one complaint was the room service. I attempted to order room service both Friday and Saturday night and after waiting on the phone for over 5 minutes gave up and treked to the 24hr pizza bar on Lido Deck. Entertainment: My first Carnival Cruise definitely did not disappoint when it came to entertainment. There was something for everyone. The comedy shows were amusing, Illuminations Nightclub was a blast! I went every night. Not sure what else to say...there was no shortage of options. Highlights: 1.) Serenity of t Deck on Deck 9 aft of Xanadu Lounge was excellent. I spent a lot of time there. The servers despite what I had heard about them being very aggressive with the drink sales were friendly and never pushy. 2.) Illuminations Nightclub. The bartenders were great, the music was fun and everyone I saw was having a good time. Summary: Imagination is an older ship, but it was very well maintained, clean and comfortable. The staff was fantastic and the value for the money is incredible. I certainly plan on another quick weekend trip on the Imagination and if you're looking for an inexpensive and fun weekend I cannot recommend it enough.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was me and my husbands first cruise. Overall, we had a blast! Pros: Neither of us experienced motion sickness Our room was tidy and clean Noise was not a issue The staff was kind and helpful Bahamas was absolutely beautiful - ... Read More
This was me and my husbands first cruise. Overall, we had a blast! Pros: Neither of us experienced motion sickness Our room was tidy and clean Noise was not a issue The staff was kind and helpful Bahamas was absolutely beautiful - and our Atlantis excursion made it even better Getting on and off the ship was a breeze There was always something fun or interesting to do Cons The food was just okay - unfortunately, nothing I ate really stood out to me The service desk lines were extremely long. One time, I waited for nearly 45 minutes. The free soap and shampoo  - but we kind of expected that and packed our own.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
The imagination was a much better ship than the previous one we went on 11 years ago. Alot has changed. The food was better but the portions are little smaller. Embarkation: Miami's port was nicer than Cape Canaveral. We got there at ... Read More
The imagination was a much better ship than the previous one we went on 11 years ago. Alot has changed. The food was better but the portions are little smaller. Embarkation: Miami's port was nicer than Cape Canaveral. We got there at 11:00 and it was busy. about 45 mins in line to check in. Then the Gangway was shut down for about 15 mins due to "high winds"?? Wished it went faster. Coming home was a quick process. Ship: We kept busy on the ship and always found stuff to do. We were not the type to lay around the pool all day. I did alot of research leading up to this cruise and had some concerns about this particular ship. But for the money we spent, it was great. The ship was very clean. The staff was great. Still cannot figure out why they have so many lounges. Most of them were always empty. The night club was always empty and so was the Piano bar. I actually talked tot he Piano man for a while and he said they are looking to revamp the Piano bar on all ships to include a more "fun" dueling piano and singalong type of style. Since the Piano bar was empty, that's pretty much the style we got. We requested songs and sang along. So that was fun. Room: We had an interior room. No frills. The bed was comfy and water pressure good. Not sure what else to say about it. I did feel like the cabin was damp, something I did not like. Also, when you stepped onto the bathroom floor, you could hear water sloshing around. So I wonder if there was a leak in the drainage of the shower. Out steward brought us anything we wanted and was quick about it. However, I did have one issue with Room Service. I asked for a wine opener and it took 45 mins for them to come down. But I spent the time unpacking, so it wasn't a total loss. Oh, bring an alarm clock. Time deprivation hits hard core when you can't easily figure out what time it is. Entertainment: The first show "Living In America" was poor and I was actually falling asleep. The guy singer was not great but the Girl was. The live band mixed with recorded instruments gave an odd sound to the whole show. You either got to go all the way with a live band or none at all in my opinion. So we decided to skip the following day show. The two comedians were great and had no complaints there. And of course the love and marriage show was funny. The piano guy was awesome. He knew the most obscure songs. My wife requested Rocky Raccoon by the Beatles. He knew the piano without issue, but stumbled on the lyrics. It was funny. Shopping: For me personally, I hate the shopping on board. But I followed my wife through them. One big tip, show up for all the giveaways. There are not that many who show up and your chances are good for getting free stuff. My wife won a $100 spa credit and a free necklace. You have to put up with their sales pitch before the giveaway, but it was always short. The thing I liked least would have to be the Photos. They had stations setup everywhere. And the poses they wanted you in were so posed and faked. I just didn't see the point. Food: The food in the dining was always good. The buffet was just ok; most of the food was cold, pre cooked somewhere and kept in large cabinets. Pizza was far better than our previous cruise. It was hot and fresh. We did not get a chance to try the Deli counter or Sushi bar. The burger station was also good. Room service was prompt and the food hot. The waiter on the first night was not all that good socially. But was prompt. Our second and third night waiters were great, funny and very professional. Fun: We did not get to try everything, like the water slides and Live music. We only hit the serenity deck to hop in the hot tub for a little bit after our excursion. I do have to say that deck is nice and we would have spent more time there if were not drinking so much and dancing on the Lido. We saw alot of families and kids there. Most of the time they hogged the main hot tubs and pool. Didn't bother us since we could go to the serenity deck. Had no issue finding chairs either. Excursion: We did end up booking through carnival, only because the forecast included rain the entire weekend, and we did not want to get stuck not getting our money back from a private charter. We did the sail and snorkel. We actually went to the same location as Flying Cloud. Since I'm a Floridian, I was not impressed with the snorkeling. I saw the same things I would see if I went to the beach. But the sailing was fun. I would not do it again. So in conclusion, this cruise was great. We had fun, drink, danced, saw some good entertainment and ate well. I believe you make what you want out of a cruise. We had fun despite any negative issues that came up, because we wanted to have nothing but fun. If you want a more laid back, pampered type of atmosphere, then this budget cruise is not for you. This is about cheap, fast and party. Not bad for $245 pp. Our next cruise will include a balcony and if I can afford it, one of the new bigger ships of Royal Caribbean. Nothing against Carnival, just want to experience the giant ship.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We are first time cruisers and this was a good deal. We read others reviews about embarkation and got to the ship at about 2:30pm for a 4pm departure. We checked in online which allowed us to breeze right through and go straight to our ... Read More
We are first time cruisers and this was a good deal. We read others reviews about embarkation and got to the ship at about 2:30pm for a 4pm departure. We checked in online which allowed us to breeze right through and go straight to our room. We carried on our luggage which also allowed us to not have to wait for it later. Room: We booked E244 aft oceanview. We were told it was a little larger. We were really surprised at how clean and comfortable it was. I still brought Clorox wipes and wiped surfaces down. I checked for bed bugs and found everything spotless. The pillows and comforter were down with a nice duvet cover. The bathroom was spotless as well. There were 2 nightstands, a chair, and a small stool that was under the vanity. There was also 3 large closets with plenty of hangers and 4 large shelves. Zaw, our porter was discreet but very helpful. We did give him a tip at the beginning of the cruise and he made sure that our ice bucket was always filled, our towels replaced, and our bed always fresh. He remembered our names and called us by name every time we saw him. He and the room was wonderful. Above us was the crew smoking area so we did not hear any noise except one morning. I wasn't sure where it came from though. There was some banging and I did hear some talking. But again don't know where it came from, but it didn't last long. The shuddering that I had read about in aft cabins was very nominal. We did feel some slight shuddering and rocking, but it was like being in a low vibrating bed. We missed it after we left. We slept like babies every night. The ship tv had a few local channels and 2 movie channels. The only few downsides were that there was no clock except for the tv and there was no instructions for the wakeup call. I called the front desk and there was no answer. Note: your cell phones will not work for clocks because for some reason they go all crazy even on airplane mode. The ship slips a day planner and agenda under the door each day and the night before departure with the debarkation procedures included. The other was that the potable water to brush your teeth and face was disgusting. It left the worst aftertaste in your mouth and it smelled terrible. I ended up using bottled water to brush my teeth. Food: Heard about how great the food was. I was disappointed the first night. The buffet was really small. We ate in the dining room each night. We were able to get a table for 2 with no problem. We chose anytime dining. The first night the menu was plain and bland. In the dining room, the portions were really small.The waiter/waitresses must be instructed to not offer any other courses unless you ask. We should have gotten the soda card to begin with. I found out it was only $18 for the 3 days which is worth it. We got it the 2nd and they pro-rated it. We did bring on our own pop and water which was a life saver. The remainder of the cruise the food got better. The breakfast omelet station was fantastic though I had them use pam instead of the ladle of oil. The fruit was fresh as well. I didn't even try to stand in line for the buffet. Too long. Then only time I waited in line was for a lunch and they ran out of the fish as soon I got up there. I asked the buffet server who was the most unhelpful, uncaring man I have met in awhile. There were different stations which helped a little with lines. The 2nd night was the lobster/shrimp night. I ordered a few different meals knowing how small the portions were. It was sad to see how disappointed many of the other diners were because they did not know they could order more. We did tip the waiter that night $4 and he took very care of us. His name was Phillips and he has been with the ship for 19 years. We loved him. He was wonderful.We saw him at the lunch buffet the next day.All in all the food was good. The last night I ordered a few different things and asked for them in order, salad, soup, appetizer and then entree. They brought them all at once which was not very nice. It's as if most of the servers did not really care except for Phillips.Amenities: The all inclusive sushi was great but not open long enough. Only 5-8 fri and sun nights outside the casino. The pizza was ok. The room service menu was not very large and did not include simple foods like a hamburger. Plus you can not get a soda with room service. The casino was fun but don't expect to win much, if at all. They were very rude to my husband and his cigarette choice. He smokes swisher sweets because I can't stand the smell of regular cigarettes. These have a fruity sweet smell. But because they are in the category of little cigars, but don't smell anything like them, he was told that he couldn't smoke them in the casino, but a woman next to us was smoking a clove cigar and was not told anything. He was very upset. I stuck my head into the show and it was awful. We didn't make any other shows or activities. We were not into bingo or jewelry shows. The gym is fantastic. The steam room and spa is inclusive and was not really used by many, which was really nice. I didn't like that I had to wait for machines that were in use from crew members though. We do pay for the use of these amenities and one crew member just didn't care and used a machine for over 30 minutes.The coffee bar was really well priced and we got my husbands espresso every morning.We chose our own excursions and found Blue Hole Watersports out of the Colonial Hilton. We rented our own boat for snorkeling and fishing. The Best! Very safe and professional. We toured the island of Nassau on the local bus and went to atlantis to gamble on sat night while in port. We had no trouble finding a deck chair the day at sea, so no chair hogs on this trip. Everyone was pretty nice and helpful except for the engine room and deck cleaning crew. They were outright rude. Yes, if you go you will have a great time.The downside- the right side of the ship smelled like sewage the entire time. But all in all the ship was always clean and the crew on top of cleaning the entire cruise. We had a wonderful time and it was easy to overlook the negative's because there were so many more positive's. If one is looking, they will find negative's in anything. But for a short 3 day cruise that was affordable, we had a great time. Yes, we would go again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
This was my family's cruise and it was awesome! I have to say after reading reviews, I was very nervous but it was great! We arrived at the ship around noon and went right on with no waiting. After getting something to eat and drink, ... Read More
This was my family's cruise and it was awesome! I have to say after reading reviews, I was very nervous but it was great! We arrived at the ship around noon and went right on with no waiting. After getting something to eat and drink, we played a game of putt-putt. We then went down to check on our cabins-Our luggage had arrived and was surprised to see how nice the cabins were. We had the porthole cabins and rooms were a lot bigger and nicer than I was expecting. We had the early time dining and our waiter Som, was excellent and food was great. I also tried the Chocolate Melting Cake.now I know why everyone talks about it! Unfortunately, it rained 2 out of the 3 days but we still had fun. We went to both the shows, comedy club, trivia games and the marriage game. My son won on the call in trivia game which was pretty neat. The piano bar was a lot of fun as was Karaoke. There was nice variety of food and it was very good. Staff did not a great job of keeping the place clean. So much variety and things to do the whole trip went so fast. I had wanted to do the snorkeling but we opted to do the Atlantis tour as it was raining. The only negative was the tour was way to rushed and hard to keep up with the guide. We are now planning on booking another cruise in October.. Don't know why I ever waited so long. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
I had to write a review about this cruise, i did some research before booking and read some review about this ship, i guess it all depends on the person and what you expect. I cruised before with Royal Caribbean and i must say, this ship ... Read More
I had to write a review about this cruise, i did some research before booking and read some review about this ship, i guess it all depends on the person and what you expect. I cruised before with Royal Caribbean and i must say, this ship does not compare but i went with an infant so my fun was very limited to the Pool back then she was only 2 1/2 years. This time it was only my boyfriend and myself kind of a fun/romantic gateway NO KIDS!!! it worked out perfectly. Embarkation it was super fast even though there was a lot of people, we had done the Sail In registration online which i recomend and there was no held up on the line, once we took our picture we were on Cruise heaven... Music, drinks, food were awesome!!! The Lido Deck has a very good variaty of food, from hot dogs, hamburguer to turkey and chicken. You must try the WOK station, food to die for very very good!!!! Inside there is more food, buffet style (Caribbean, Sandwich Station, Pizza, Ice cream, Desserts, Fruits, Salads) all you can think of they have and is open most of the day. There were days that we would go eat, at 3pm and it will still be open. The people working there are really nice and treat with respect, my cabin attendant awesome!! The second day they will know your name for sure. The entertainment was really good even though we didnt have the best weather and the pool was out of the question we did go into the jacuzzi (4 of them) so we did relaxed with our drinks. The Club was ok, didnt stay for too long but the Mirage Bar has a band that i loved, it was my boyfriends bday and the sang happy bday for him and the next day the even remember his name. Dinner was espectacular as well, our waiters were excellent and the food was really good, the portions are not big but you can go ahead and have as many dishes you like, seating by ourselves it was not a problem we always had a table for two ready which i loved... I read about the people taking pictures being pushy or the spa ladies, i really didnt get any of that, they were all very polite.... The ship was alway being cleaned, every handle, elevator even the roughs. It is not a new ship but it looks very good and clean.Overall i had a great experience, will i do it again?? Of course no doubt in my mind it was a great vacation, i relaxed and enjoyed every minute of it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
My best friends & I decided we needed a girls mini-vacation. One loves cruising, the other had never cruised before. So they left it up to me to decide which cruise line and ship to choose. Their only requirement is that it be a 3 ... Read More
My best friends & I decided we needed a girls mini-vacation. One loves cruising, the other had never cruised before. So they left it up to me to decide which cruise line and ship to choose. Their only requirement is that it be a 3 night cruise. I couldn't decide between NCL, Royal Caribbean or Carnival. My most recent cruise before this one was on the Carnival Dream last August. I was wanting to try one of the other cruise lines, just to see the difference. In the end, I chose Carnival because of familiarity and I know they would provide my friend who had never cruised before, the opportunity to see how much fun cruising can be. We didn't want to spend a lot of money on the room as we always felt like we would be on the go & only use the room to sleep. I chose an outside view cabin with a two twins & an upper bunk. I had been keeping an eye on the suites & their prices. I couldn't justify in my mind to spend an extra $800 for 3 nights just to have more room. Well, the upsell fairy called a week before the cruise & offered us the grand suite for only $200 more. I took that opportunity & ran with it. Ok...now to the review. VIP boarding was awesome. It was super fast & they made you feel special. I think it took 15 min from walking in the door to walking on the ship. I could get used to that. Unfortunately, that's about the only perk to VIP with Carnival. We got to go to our rooms around 1:30 pm. We were very impressed with U88. The room is spacious, the balcony is a good size & the bathroom was nice. I slept on the couch. It pulls out to a double size & they used a feather bed type cushion to sleep on. I liked it. My friends were equally happy with their twin size beds. We did anytime dining. Worked out wonderful. The comedians were ok. The adult rated shows seems to use a lot more audience participation than I had seen in the past. It was different. I don't really care for the dance/singing shows that were offered. Seems like the same ones I saw on the Dream. I had to fight to keep my eyes open as they were putting me to sleep. The serenity deck was nice. We spent a couple hours there while everyone was off doing excursions in Nassau. We did a little shopping in the afternoon. We participated in the deck party on the Lido deck. It was quite entertaining & enjoyable. Carnival knows how to make it fun. Overall, we all had a good time. It was fun spending time together & fun seeing my non-cruising friend experience her first cruise. I think she'll be back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
I sailed on the Imagination Jan. 27 - 30. This was my first vacation cruise. I was in the Navy for 8 years, so I'm no stranger to being on a ship. I just didn't have to work on this trip! Some background about me: I'm a ... Read More
I sailed on the Imagination Jan. 27 - 30. This was my first vacation cruise. I was in the Navy for 8 years, so I'm no stranger to being on a ship. I just didn't have to work on this trip! Some background about me: I'm a single professional woman who loves to dance and hit the clubs, go to Vegas - you get the idea. I was travelling with my friend and her family to celebrate her daughter's 21st birthday. There were nine of us and as her daughter is like my kid sister, and I was the single one in the group of adults, I was coupled with her. Worked out great for us!! Embarkation: I'm a bit OCD about researching stuff, so I had completed all of the check-in steps online a week or so before we left Los Angeles. We took a taxi from the Hyatt to the port around 10:30, having read on CC that the ships let you on board earlier than the published check-in time. We were ready to start! I was a bit taken aback that the porters only had to take our bags about 20 feet to drop them off. Tipping them $1 a bag for their assistance seemed unnecessary once I saw where the bags go. But oh well. I was on vacation and everyone needs to earn a living. No biggie. Because we had completed the online check-in, we were able to go straight to the kiosks. Scanned our passports, scanned our credit cards to link to our sail and sign cards, got our printout and on to the next station to pick up the actual card. For credit cards, it's an itital $50 authorization, which isn't actually charged. The final amount is charged a day or two after the cruise ends. This whole process took less than 10 minutes. Next we were on our way to board. Stop to take a picture, then on our way. They scanned our sail and sign card as we boarded, and we were off. First stop - lido deck! Food: Room service breakfast is your typical continental breakfast. The pastries were just okay, but better than pre-packaged stuff you would buy at a store. Lido deck buffet: The food here was just okay in my book. I thought it was still too fast foody for me. I did really like the baked fish - I think it was called Boston baked fish or something like that. It was good and crispy and very yummy! The dessert stations always had some really good desserts. As long as dessert is good, I'm a happy person LOL Mongolian BBQ: perfect if you like Mongolian BBQ. Poolside buffet - cheeseburgers, hotdogs, chicken strips, french fries - and similar stuff. THe chicken strips were VERY good. Juicy chicken, crispy outside without being too crispy and just enough pepper! Deli - I had a yummy pastrami sandwich one day. It's not typed on the options menu, but they have fresh ciabbatta rolls that are delicious! Pizza - The ceasar salad is good and my friends really liked the pizza although I never had any myself. I'm not a big pizza person. Main Dining Room: We had your time dining in the Pride room. We somehow always went when there wasn't a line (not by plan but just how it turned out), so we never waited more than 5 minutes for our table. Sometimes there were only 3 of us and sometimes all 9 of us were together. We even showed up separately the last night as 3 and 6 and were seated separately. Then the group of 6 saw us 3 and we moved tables with no issues from the servers. I always picked something off the menu I hadn't had before. Escargot was delish although I could've been eating small oysters for all the difference I could tell. The flavor was good though, so I'm a fan! Dinner 1: escargot fruit coulis vegetarian sweet potato pot pie (bland - not enough cinnamon) Chocolate molten cake - yummy! Ask for an extra scoop of ice cream! Dinner 2: Stuffed mushrooms - typical, and good! Lobster/shrimp duo (order two - the lobster tails are small and you only get 4 medium shrimp) Black forest cake - yum! Dinner 3: seafood penne as an appetizer Veal parmigiana chocolate molten cake with extra ice cream. Beverages: Let's be honest. I'm a party girl. I always got the drink of the day. 7.50 - 9 after the added surcharge or whatever. I'm on vacation. No biggie. I brought on two bottles of wine - legally. I had the roomie bring the second bottle for me since we can each bring on one. Now that I have my first cruise under my belt, I'll definitely try to smuggle some rum or something on next time. The drinks on board were not very strong at all. I could use a little floater of liquor on top! Smuggling: When in Nassau, I did stop at the duty free liquor store and bought a liter of rum to take back and small flask size bottle of coconut rum. When we came on board, my bag went through the xray machine and the attendant only told me to check my liquor with the gentleman on the other side of the room at a table. He did not mention how much liquor I had, so naturally, I only checked the liter and took the flask to my room. That's a good tip for anyone who wants to take liquor home but also try to get some to the room. Buy a small bottle! Entertainment: I'm a white girl who loves the sun so I spent a lot of time top deck communing with my sun goddess. LOL I found several spots that I really liked that were out of the way where I could just take a nap in the sun and work on my tan. If that's your thing then just explore every day when you first board to find some spots you may like. I will say that I slept in the last day and didn't go topside until about noon. It took some walking around to find a spot, but I did. I loved all the poolside dance parties. Dancing in the sun with an adult beverage in hand is a great way to pass the time (and fib to say I worked out on vacation!) The comedians were funny. We saw both shows on both nights. They weren't the same, and in the second show they referenced funny stuff that they talked about in the first show. HILARIOUS! I only went to the adult versions of the show. Illusions night club was fun too. Here is the only negative that I feel is important enough to complain about. The music sets were the same for all dance activities, from the daytime pool parties to the club at night. So basically we heard the same set of songs six times. I'm sure that's not an issue for many people because maybe going to the club/dancing isn't something you frequent. But, for me, it got old quick. I can only do the wobble so many times! Granted, the mix of music was awesome. I just wish they had different mixes for different days/events. I made the recommendation in the cruise satisfaction survey that maybe they could consider doing music themes: East Coast hip hop, West Coast hip hop, 90s hip hop, Old Skool, Reggae, Reggaeton, Latin night. There are so many dance music options out there that they don't have to play the same set over and over. Also, they didn't have any current music. They played the popular stuff from the previous year or two, but they didn't even have music that was a month or two old. And that's all for my whining about the music. It didn't bother me so much to make me not go out dancing, but by the last night, I was calling it quits by like 1 instead of staying out til 4. Room Steward: Jolly from the Phillipines was our steward and he was awesome. I left him a note as soon as we got in the room asking for extra towels and chocolates. After that point he always called me by the name I signed on the note, instead of my official name which was on the room roster. I go by my middle name, so I appreciated that he made note of my go by name. We had pre-payed tips, but left him some extra cash throughout the trip to say thanks for all the special requests. He would incorporate stuff we left in the room on the towel animals. One day we came in and the elephant was wearing my sunglasses. It's a small thing, but it made us all smile, laugh and take pictures. What else is vacation for???? Nassau Debarkation: There was no announcement made to say when we could leave the ship, but we made our way down about 30 minutes after arrival and were off in a jiffy. There's always going to be those people who want to cut in line, but whatever. I was on vacation and wasn't going to let their rudeness bother me. Push on. We didn't pre-book any tours, so getting off the ship we ran into a taxi driver who offered us a tour for $25. Three hours later, some souveniers and a bit of a look at how the poor, middle class and rich Bahamans live, and a walk around Atlantis, we found ourselves back at the ship. I layed by the pool, we got ready for dinner on board the ship, then we were off to bar hop Nassau. So fun! Back to the ship for clubbing into the wee hours. I didn't find this out until after the fact, but you could get your passport stamped at one of the government buildings. Just not by the agents checking your ID to go back to the piers. FYI for any of you who want a stamp. Debarkation: Just as easy. Filled out the customs form - I really only had the bottle of liquor and some small trinkets to claim. Packed our bags up the night before and had them checked. The morning of the last day we had breakfast in the dining room then went topside to hang out since we weren't scheduled to disembark until 1030. When we were called we got off the ship pretty quickly. The customs line moved quickly too. I don't know if bags are scanned behind the scenes before you pick them up, but they weren't scanned after we got them. Pay attention to your luggage tags to know what section your in because that's where your luggage will be when you get off the ship. If you leave earlier than your section, your luggage probably won't be there yet. So leave according to schedule and you're all set. It took us maybe 20 minutes to get from the ship to the taxi line. Piece of cake! Taxi to Bayside Marketplace where we shopped and hungout until time to catch our 6:30 flight from FLL. (We took the Tri-Rail!) Speaking of which - Miami transportation. The Metro, metromover and tri-rail station that connects to FLL are awesome. If you don't want to spend the money on a rental or taxis, use the public transportation. It's massive, very easy to use, reliable and cheap. Oh - I also explored the ship at night underway and found some great spots for some peaceful quiet nighttime ocean and star gazing. Forward of the mini golf course there's a deck. And then below the bridge there's a deck. You may have to do some exploring on your own to find how to get there, but they're public spots and I really enjoyed sitting there at night. Overall, I highly recommend this cruise and ship. I had fun, I ate well, and the drinks were tasty. What else can a girl ask for? Thanks for reading! Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
First I'm going to start off by saying that this was my first cruise and I have read all the reviews about Carnival and the ship Imagination. I am highly disappointed in some of the reviews I read where people where complaining about ... Read More
First I'm going to start off by saying that this was my first cruise and I have read all the reviews about Carnival and the ship Imagination. I am highly disappointed in some of the reviews I read where people where complaining about their trip. I'm glad that I went and what you read and what one experience is never the same thing. We were on board the ship by 12 noon. The ship was to not leave port until 4pm. Could not go to our room until 1:30. That was fine with me. We went to the Grill on the Lido deck with our luggage. I wanted for hubby to come back with his food before I got mine. I feel bad bc he didn't go into the Horizon Grill to eat. Hamburgers, fries, hot dogs, potato salad and lemonade is what we had. Went down to guest services where I had them swipe my cc, since I have a hyphen in my last name. The only problem with the cruise ship, no hyphens are allowed while booking the cruise. After guest services we rode the front elevators down to deck 4 (Riviera). Step off the elevators made a left and we were at our room. Nice location!!!!!!! I walked around the ship before the safety briefing, hubby was sleep. Talked to my sister on the phone. Went to the briefing before leaving port. Got to catch it on video before camera battery died. Ate at the Horizon the whole trip. It is truly my fault. I forgot my shoes in the car all I had was flip-flops. So we didn't dine at the Pride dining room. Had pizza, ice cream and frozen yogurt the first night bc we overslept and missed dinner. Breakfast we great everyday. My hubby had lemonade the whole trip. I drank both lemonade and water. The food was great. Seating was not a problem. Was able to take on a bottle a wine in my small carry on bag. Opened that on the second night, only bc we once again overslept on our anniversary night which was Friday. On the last night they brought us a bottle of wine, for our anniversary, that I brought home. Only walked around Nassau for about an hour before we got back on the ship. Went to the water park on the ship. Enjoyed the big slide and the medium slide on there. The smaller one was just a little to small to try. I told my hubby that the ladies on the cruise ship had a thing for him. Every Time I turned a round the was cleaning up his area while eating. So I did not see any tables dirty for more than two minutes. Our steward name was IDA only saw him the first night when he introduced himself. He called us by names. I felt good. I know he was around bc our rooms were always clean. We only got two towels animals but that was our fault for staying in the room the first night. I was on the ship to have fun and guess what I did!!!! Will I do it again? Yes for a longer time. Carnival will be the only cruise ship I go on bc of the water park. Wish it was for longer. Too many things were going on at the same time and trying to do my own thing. Loved the shower head. Man someone should have told me that it was detachable before I went. There was shower gel and shampoo in a dispenser. I could have save room by not bring my own soap. There was lotion, toothpaste, soap, shower gel and razor. I kept them and got new ones the second day. On the third day I think they knew what I was doing bc there was none for me to take. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
This cruise on the Carnival Imagination stays in Nassau all day and overnight which was the main reason we chose this cruise. This was my first Carnival cruise and this ship was fine for my first time. I found the ship to be nice. The ... Read More
This cruise on the Carnival Imagination stays in Nassau all day and overnight which was the main reason we chose this cruise. This was my first Carnival cruise and this ship was fine for my first time. I found the ship to be nice. The cabin stewards were great, nice and helpful. The rooms are larger than Norwegians oceanview rooms. Beds are comfortable. The towels are rough as sandpaper, but oh well I guess you can't have everything. It would be nice if the rooms had fridges like Norwegian though. The main dining room was great, food great and I LOVED the show the waiters put on during dinner. A MUST see!! The food on the Lido deck was nice also. I wasn't a fan of the Pizza though. They had a hairy chest contest on the Lido deck on Sunday and it was hilarious!! Hip Hop dance class and a singles meet and greet were some of the activities. They had a comedian that I heard was NOT good. The Club, Illusions was nice, but SMOKE FILLED. They played great dance music and it was packed every night. You WILL smeel like smoke hanging out in there. I guess Carnival is changing there smoking policy which will be nice next year. I guess the Imagination is one of the smaller ships, so someone that has cruised many times before might find it small and would complain, but it was fine to me. The pool was small as I have seen in many reviews, but that didn't matter to me. The pools did stay packed as well as the saunas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
This was my 10th cruise on carnival which made this trip that much more special becoming a platinum member. I have cruised once with royal caribbean and after that will stick with carnvial forever. My brother and I ... Read More
This was my 10th cruise on carnival which made this trip that much more special becoming a platinum member. I have cruised once with royal caribbean and after that will stick with carnvial forever. My brother and I flew out the day before the cruise out of Chicago to Miami on American (firt class). a good thing we did since our flight was a bit delayed due to an aircraft change and the printer in the flight deck not working. we made it to miami around 1230pm and took the shuttle to the la quinta airport north. I have stayed there before, it was ok..they must have cleaned it up cause it was much better this time. would stay there again for the price. We were going to take the shuttle the hotel provides to the port ($10/per person) but the first shuttle was at 11am. we wanted to leave a bit earlier so we booked a cab (costed about $30) not too bad. Although the ship is older it was in GREAT shape, clean and beautiful! you wouldn't have known the ship was built in 1995. the first thing we did was head to the lido deck for lunch. we were on the ship by 11:20 since we were VIPs. The shows were great. My favorite was "Shout". lots of energy and the dancers and singers were spot on. My brother was called up onstage to play their minute to win it game..came in second and won a medal. then we played "name the movie comedy" where we kicked but and won the ship on a stick....love it hahaha. there were soooo many activities there was no way you could get bored. The food was great and really enjoyed my canapes that were delivered to my room for being a platinum guest. we only ate in the dining room 1 night but the food was great. some dont like them but i thought they were good. i really enjoyed my free gift (leather case with paper and pen...great for my job). we only had 1 port since it was a 3 day cruise. we stoped at nassua bahamas and did the atlantis aquaadventure. we did it once before on the destiny. although it started raining it cleared up fast. the lines for the slides went quick. we had a porthole stateroom. M7. you could hear and feel some noise/vibration when you would dock and about to leave otherwise it was great. lots of space in the room and closet. disembarking was quick and easy. we were off the ship and had our luggage that we checked by 8:45am. I loved the imagination, just wish the cruise was longer. I hated leaving the ship after only 3 days. guess i'll have to wait for october when i sail carnival for the 11th time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Precruise: After cruising down I-95 for many hours and stopping at many rest stops, we finally arrived in Miami around 5pm. We checked into our hotel, La Quinta Inn and Suites Miami Airport West, and headed down to South Beach just to see ... Read More
Precruise: After cruising down I-95 for many hours and stopping at many rest stops, we finally arrived in Miami around 5pm. We checked into our hotel, La Quinta Inn and Suites Miami Airport West, and headed down to South Beach just to see what it was like! Being a teenager, I thought it was quite disgusting and not a good place to take kids. Older men were walking around in speedos, and lots of drunk/sketch people. The one thing I regret was the day the cruise departed, JUSTIN BIEBER WAS IN SOUTH BEACH! Day 1: After having breakfast at the hotel (which only consisted of waffles, yogurt, cereal, etc.) we headed down to the cruise ship terminal around 10:15 and got to the terminal at 10:30. Lots of people were there already checking in, so don't think getting there at 10:30 is too early! We tipped the porter $10 for 5 bags and waited for my dad to park the car! Make sure you have your passports in hand, because the lady checks them about 30 seconds after you go in the building. We brought in 2-12 packs of water and about 8 gatorades and of course they broke the plastic and were shaking the bottles. What 11 year old girl (my sister) would be carrying alcohol in it?? Anyways, we went to the kiosk and scanned our passports which took about 5 minutes for all 6 people. Then we waited in a 10 minute line and got our seapass cards!!! Being Zone 19, we boarded about 30-45 minutes after we sat down. So around 11:30 we boarded the Imagination!! We quickly went to the Lido Buffet to catch a table and start to chow down on the food! Tables were plentiful for the first 20 minutes, then they started to fill up quickly! Hot Dogs/Hamburgers/Fries were outside by the pool, but salads/pastas/etc. were all inside! Around 1:30, we went to our cabin to drop our bags off. We were on the Main Deck near the back of the ship and had a ocean view cabin (more about cabin later). ----- Now to specific areas of the ship, with a review for each!------ CABIN: Very spacious and the bathroom was bigger than RC! RC's showers on Navigator were a tiny capsule with a sliding door. These had a shower curtain but had more space to move around! Also the beds, were quite comfy and we always had towel animals and CHOCOLATE! every night! Dining Room: We had early dining in the Spirit Dining Room and were seated at a 6 person table (aka the table was ours!). We had awesome waiters and because we were always on time going there, our food was always first! Also, our assistant waiters Komieng (sp?) knew we loved lemonade, so we always had some at our table! The other tables only got water. Food was A plus, so don't listen to the people saying how the menu is going downhill just because there is fried chicken on it. Thats only one course on the menu, and it is displayed fancy and not just like KFC. Get the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake because it is the best on earth! Also, don't be afraid to only order one selection from each section. Each night I got 2 appetizers and sometimes 2 entrees! (For a tiny girl, I can eat!) WaterWorks: I spent a ton of time here! The 2 racer blue slides have a very quick line and go pretty fast! It doesn't hurt your back but make sure you close your eyes because my contacts got blurry a few times because I didn't close them enough! The tall twisty slide was closed sometimes due to wind, or lack of staff to watch it! But when it was open, there was a 10-20 minute wait but it was worth it to do it a couple of times. PS: If you are light (110 lbs) you have to push your way about the last 20 seconds because your not heavy enough to go all the way down and make a splash! Pool: Tiny, but hey you have pools where you live so it is not a big deal! Chairs are open, but there was chair hogs! Just come around 8 or 9 and there is plenty of chairs! Contests/Entertainment Staff/C.D- Most of the competitions were trivia which we dominated! I won a ship on a stick! But the Entertainment staff was really dry. They looked like they wished they could be anywhere but here. For the beanbag contest, one of them was very monotone and showed no excitement. Also, the cruise directer "Marky Marc" was non existent. He came to a few events, but otherwise was missing. Barely any interaction with passengers. Decor/Cleanliness of the ship: Very clean and does not show its age except for the Egyptian tacky statues. The atrium is really cool, but different from RC. On NOS, the promenade was fancy and elegant, while Carnivals was bright and shiny! Trust me, when people try to say the ship is old and run-down, it is not true! Sure its not Oasis with a zipline going through the ship, but it is quite nice and exceeded my expectations. Ports: Key West was average. We took the free trolley to the middle of town, then took a 1/2 hour walk to the Southern Most Point of the Continental US. Key West is somewhat trashy and every single shop had Tshirts with bad words haha. But the buildings were nice, and we saw chickens walking around! Cozumel: Non existent. The night before Cozumel the water was starting to get rough. Rough as in when I was sleeping, we were swaying just a tad bit. Therefore around 9:30 in the morning, they said on the intercom that we turned around and not going to Cozumel. The pool had been emptied with a net, and waterworks was closed and both did not reopen until around 3pm. In fact, Waterworks may not have opened until later. Then they said about an hour later, that we were going to "The Beautiful Freeport Bahamas". Great. Freeport: After saying we were going to Freeport, everyone swamped the shore excursion desk, including us, and started booking new tours. Well guess what. Next morning, everyone with an excursion got a letter underneath the door that said they were cancelled due to bad weather. Really? Its 90 degrees, sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and not windy. So we got off, and took a taxi to the beach where the Lucaya hotel is (forgot the name). We hung out at the beach for a tad bit, and then I went to the market to get a tacky shirt just to say I went to the Bahamas. We then took the taxi back (which felt unsafe, speeding, haha) and went back on the ship and just hung out. Cozumel would have been a lot better. Service: Everyone we encountered had a big smile on their face and always said "Hi" "Good morning" or something else to us. Tables were always cleaned and everyone seemed to be loving their job. Sport Deck: The jogging track is 11 times for a mile so lots of laps were done! Also the mini-golf was sick and we played a few times! This deck is very windy at night so come up and have fun! The pictures we took are priceless haha! Also with 2 ping-pong tables, you sometimes had to wait but not always! Disembarkation: Because we drove, we wanted to get off early to start on back. We went with the early flights group and got off around 8:15ish. This whole process including waiting in line, and customs took 10 minutes! Super quick! Overall, this was a great vacation even though we did not get to go to Cozumel. Awesome food, fun water slides, and much more, made this vacation fun! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Our family flew in from several different parts of the country to take our first cruise. We arrived at the embarkation area at 2:00 p.m. and found getting aboard the boat a breeze. Our room was ready when we arrived and it took less than ... Read More
Our family flew in from several different parts of the country to take our first cruise. We arrived at the embarkation area at 2:00 p.m. and found getting aboard the boat a breeze. Our room was ready when we arrived and it took less than an hour for our luggage to show up at our doors. We went to the Lido deck and found plenty of seats, got drinks and watched the departure. It was lovely. I thought the ship was very clean, staff attentive for the most part and most accomodating. The food was pretty good, promptly served and attractively presented in the main dining room. One of our family members is allergic to seafood and she found the choices for her fairly limited and not particularly tasty. The Lido deck food area serves food that caters to many tastes and is also better than average. I did not find that the lines were too long or that they ran out of some choices. The snackers in our group could not find any chips, pretzels, crackers etc. for in between meals. Maybe they just didn't see them, who knows? Our rooms were oceanview (actually sky view) but helpful in orienting you to the time of day. The rooms were very clean, attended to carefully every day (including having the ice bucket in the room refreshed during the day) and we enjoyed the "towel creations". The entertainment on the boat was fun, including the drunks making fools of themselves at Karaoke night. Bingo pretty pricey, so we didn't stay long. This is a relatively inexpensive cruise and I felt a good value for the money. The day in Nassau was rainy which didn't help matters, but I was disappointed. The shopkeepers and vendors hawking their stuff were for the most part surly, ill tempered and the merchandise greatly overpriced. Maybe that is to be expected? But when 5 cruise dock there each day (or more), I would think they could show a little gratitude by at least being civil to the cruisers. The only bad experience was returning to the ship after the visit to the port and having to stand outside in the pouring rain for an hour waiting to clear the re-entry area to get back on the ship. Certainly, there has to be a better way to accomplish this.All things considered, Carnival offers a good product for the money and I have booked a different cruise already. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
This was my BF and I's first cruise. We decided to choose a shorter cruise since we didn't know if this would be something for us. Turns out it totally was! We got to Miami in the afternoon on Friday and took a cab to the ... Read More
This was my BF and I's first cruise. We decided to choose a shorter cruise since we didn't know if this would be something for us. Turns out it totally was! We got to Miami in the afternoon on Friday and took a cab to the port. When we got there we waited in line for not too look and had our boarding passes already printed. everything went smooth. we got into through the centrum which was pretty nice and went to our room. our first reaction was that it was small. We had an ocean view. but even though it was small it was livable and we didn't spend all our time in our stateroom anyway. We explored the ship and immediately got drinks at the bars. when the ship started to leave Miami we went out on the highest deck to watch it depart. It was a beautiful day in November. we chose our time dining and had dinner at our leisure. that night we went to the serenity adults only spot and just had drinks in the jacuzzi. we felt so catered to because as we set foot into the jacuzzi and member of the staff asked us if we like anything to drink. On saturday morning we arrived in the Bahamas and watched as the ship came into the port. we ate breakfast at the buffet by the pool and got ready for our excursion we had book which was the aquaventure in atlantis and the dolphin cay interaction. first we took a ride to atlantis which is like its own island in itself since we had to cross a bridge. we went with a group. it was pretty cool being in the water with the dolphins. it was a first for both of us. after some fun interactions and pics with dolphins we were able to go to the aquaventure which is the water park in atlantis. it was a great time! lots of water rides and just lounging by the beach. we also went jet skiing after we had lunch and a really strong drink. it was a great time. later we returned to the ship. we both went to the gym and then got dressed for formal night. the food was great and the servers even danced and song for us. good times in the pride dining room. after we ate we got off the boat again to explore bahamas at night. we went back to atlantis and checked out the casino as well as bars near the ship. sunday was sea day. we mostly relaxed by the pool, ate and watched the sun set. it was a day to do nothing and thats what we did! we didnt really participate in any activities on the boat but we did catch them on the tv in our staterooms. but we vowed to participate the next time to see what its all about. on monday our last morning on the boat, we ate by the pool side and stood on the long long line to leave the ship. it wasn't too bad because we really didn't want to leave. we had an afternoon flight so that morning we went to south beach, dropped our bags off at the clevelander hotel (the guy was nice and agreed to hold our bags for us) and we basically explored south beach. it was a great time and my bf got his first wet willy! this is a great cruise for first time cruisers. you can tell that the boat is a bit older but its kept up nicely and i had no complaints in that department. we had room service delivered twice always on time. our stateroom attendants were so friendly they made us feel at home. i'm actually going on this same cruise again for a friends birthday on feb. 18th 2011. it'll be her first cruise and i'm excited to get back on the imagination! Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
I decided to celebrate my B-day with a cruise and it was very nice. I chose a short weekend cruise due to the work schedules of those people traveling with me. We sailed from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas. Embarking was a breeze. We did set ... Read More
I decided to celebrate my B-day with a cruise and it was very nice. I chose a short weekend cruise due to the work schedules of those people traveling with me. We sailed from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas. Embarking was a breeze. We did set sail about 2.5 hours late due to an emergency with one of the crew becoming ill and having to be removed by an ambulance. Our cabin was great....we were near the elevator and did not hear any noise. Our room steward kept our room spotless. The food on the ship tasted pretty good. The waitstaff was fabulous. My only complaint was the weather in Nassau....it was kinda cool. To cool and windy for water excursions, and most were cancelled. So we ended up going to the straw market and to Atlantis Casino....where I won a pretty penny. I had a great time playing and enjoying the free cocktails! Even though the ship was at capacity, no area ever seemed really crowded. There were times we had to wait in line for the buffet, but even that wasnt too bad. Carnival even offered Miami excursions for this of us with late flights that included airport dropoffs. We chose the South Beach tour which was very interesting.....probably wouldnt do it again unless the weather was warmer. This was my second cruise with Carnival and I was well pleased. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
I was in awe as soon as we reached the port! The ship is so majestic walking up to it. We checked in online, so checking in at the port was a breeze. We were greeted at the entrance and directed right to the dining room where we had lunch. ... Read More
I was in awe as soon as we reached the port! The ship is so majestic walking up to it. We checked in online, so checking in at the port was a breeze. We were greeted at the entrance and directed right to the dining room where we had lunch. There were buffets galore. I had a stir fry dish that was wonderful. We walked around exploring the ship until it was time for the safety drill on the deck. The drill was chaotic and loud, so if we were gonna sink, I probably would have drowned or been very confused because I heard nothing. We were told luggage could take some hours, however, ours was at our cabin right away. We checked the kids into their kids clubs and threw on our bathing suits! The kids had a great time in the water park area and my husband and I relaxed. The activities were ok. We weren't able to experience too many of them because we wanted to make sure the kids were able to do all they wanted to do. Considering their ages are wide ranges, everyone wanted to do something different. The nightclub left a lot to be desired, however. It was just short of a strip club in there and it was pretty empty. We didn't stay very long. Nassau was great. We opted to just lounge on the beach during the day. That evening, we went to Senor Frogs. That was a blast! We headed back to the ship for the midnight buffet and passed out! Each night we ate in the dining room and the food was excellent. The chocolate melting cake was to die for. I think that was a family favorite. The only downside to the trip was the fact almost an entire deck shares an iron!!!!! Insane!! The line to wait for the iron was ridiculous and the room to iron in was very small. Why the cabins do not have an iron is beyond me. But that was crazy. We will be bringing our own iron next time! All in all, we had a wonderful time and I look forward to our next cruise. This time, just hubby and I. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
I flew into Fort Lauderdale the night before my cruise because it is much cheaper than Miami. We stayed at the Comfort Inn, it was nothing fancy, but clean. I stayed at this hotel because I was able to get a room rate which included a ... Read More
I flew into Fort Lauderdale the night before my cruise because it is much cheaper than Miami. We stayed at the Comfort Inn, it was nothing fancy, but clean. I stayed at this hotel because I was able to get a room rate which included a shuttle to the port of Miami. There were 2 of us, and Comfort Inn picked us up from the airport, provided breakfast in the morning, and then drove us to the port of Miami. I would definately stay there again. They had two choices for shuttles, 9 or 12. We chose 12. There were only four of us in the van. I went on a themed cruise to Half Moon Cay, so I will be unable to review entertainment, because it was different from the normal entertainment. Getting on and off the ship was very easy. We got their early, so we had to wait for our zone to be called, but it wasn't bad. Getting off of the ship was easy. We booked an excursion and was led of the ship. There was no line at customs and luggage came out quick. I have been on this ship before, and I like it. The decor is a little bright, but not distracting. The service was outstanding. There were over 2000 women on the cruise (most late 20s and early 30s). There was a lot of drinking, but the bar staff was on top of it. I never had to wait too long. One night was open bar for a half hour. The Carnival waiters were everywhere. I must have turned down at least 20 drinks. It started to get annoying. Our cruise went to Half Moon Cay which was absolutely gorgeous. The tendering process was not fun. I had tender ticket 2. I was told to meet at 9:30 yet we didn't leave until after 10:30. I loved everything about this cruise! Everyone was very friendly. The ship is in good condition. There were always people cleaning the ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
We were on the Imagination in 1999 with 3 other couples. We were in our late 20's and the party atmosphere was the best. It was the perfect getaway with friends. My husband and I (both Platinum members) wanted a quick weekend trip and ... Read More
We were on the Imagination in 1999 with 3 other couples. We were in our late 20's and the party atmosphere was the best. It was the perfect getaway with friends. My husband and I (both Platinum members) wanted a quick weekend trip and debated between the Norwegian Sky and the Imagination. I can tell you without a doubt we made the right choice. It was perfect. We live in FL. so we drove to the port and arrived around 1:30pm. We were on the boat in 20mins and had a drink in our hand by 2:00pm. The staff was friendly and the boat was already full of passengers. The seas were a little rough until we got into the open waters but after that it was smooth sailing. We had a great location on the Empress deck as far as proximity to everything, but could hear the galley commotion above. I would not do that again. Our room steward was the best and has been with Carnival since 1995. Casino was not great to us but we had a great time. Lots of tables and machines, blackjack and Texas hold em tournaments, lotto etc. Definitely something for everyone. Dining was your typical cruise fare. Pretty much the same as any Carnival boat but the staff in the Pride dining room was fantastic. The food was always hot and they were very attentive in case you did not like something, they were there to bring you something else. Shows- did not see any Kids- not a lot but those that were on were well entertained with Camp Carnival. All in all this cruise exactly what we needed and would happily do it again. I highly recommend Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
Background Information: This was my 3rd cruise (I am 36yrs old), my one brother's 3rd cruise (he is 30), and my other brother's 1st cruise (he is 33). My previous Carnival cruises were: Legend 7-days Western Caribbean & ... Read More
Background Information: This was my 3rd cruise (I am 36yrs old), my one brother's 3rd cruise (he is 30), and my other brother's 1st cruise (he is 33). My previous Carnival cruises were: Legend 7-days Western Caribbean & Freedom 8-days Exotic Eastern Caribbean. I will say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the past cruises with Carnival. I have enjoyed the larger ships as they offer more things to do and more space to explore. Embarkation: We live in SW Florida, so we drove to Miami. It was an easy drive, and we arrived at the cruise terminal around 12:00noon. Easy parking at the garage, $20 per day (prepaid). We walked to the terminal, gave our bags to the porters, and walked inside. This cruise terminal is BRAND NEW and built for Carnival. It is beautiful. No lines, walked right through security and into the terminal. We spent 5 minutes in line before getting to the counter, which took another 5 minutes. We walked right onto the ship, and were enjoying a "drink of the day" within moments. Overall it was a great embarkation compared to previous experiences. Ship Info: The Imagination is older (1995) and smaller than some other ships. My first impressions were that the ship is kept up very well, but is a bit "dated". It has been updated (2008) with LED lights and flat panel tv's all over. Also with the Carnival Waterworks addition on the top deck, it added some enjoyment to both kids and adults. Overall we all enjoyed the ship and its amenities. Activities: We were there to celebrate my brother's birthday, and since it was a short 3-day cruise, we were simply there to have fun, relax, and enjoy each other's company. We did not participate in many of the daily activities that were offered, but there is always something going on and to do every hour of the day. We spent most of our time at the pool bar, the Pinnacle bar, and the Casino. Entertainment: We chose to not see any of the shows in the main lounge. I heard that they were very good, but we just weren't into it. We did see 2 comedians while on board, both were the "R" rated versions late at nite in the Xanadu lounge. Both were pretty good, and would see them again. Pinnacle Bar: We spent a lot of time here. Ludvico was our bartender most nites and was fantastic! This was the only spot inside the ship that you can smoke cigars, so we found ourselves here often. We also spent a few hours here on Sunday watching football playoff games on the big flat screen tv's. It a great, pleasant surprise that all tv's were showing the games, and Carnival turned on CBS & FOX channels in the staterooms so everyone could watch. Thank you Carnival! Casino: So we spent a lot of time here. Overall we are not big gamblers, but when the opportunity arises we do enjoy playing a little. Roulette was up and down, I lost about $80 total on the Roulette tables. My brothers did a better than me there. What I spent most time playing was "face up" blackjack. Once you learn the simple rule changes from regular blackjack, it's actually fun. The second night I walked away and cashed out $250 (I put in $20 to start). So overall it was a great time! I would like to say that every dealer in the Casino was awesome. Ask for Jeffrey for your drinks. He was great! He remembered all 3 of our names every time we saw him, and he was so nice. Thank you Jeffrey! Service: All of the crew on the Imagination was really wonderful. We enjoyed the interaction that we had with all of them. The crew was fun and down to earth, and really made us feel comfortable wherever we went. Port & Shore Excursions: Our only port was Nassau, Bahamas. The last time I was here, we did an excursion to Atlantis resort and chose to do the tour & aquarium. This time we decided not to do an excursion, and do our own thing. We spent some time walking around a 10 block area right outside the ship terminal, did some shopping, and ended up at Senor Frogs. We had a small bite to eat and a few drinks. Outside Senor Frogs is the "Straw Market" where you can purchase some cheap items. The biggest are knock off purses and bags for the ladies. Stateroom: The previous cruises we have had balcony rooms. Except for the suites on the Imagination, there are no balcony rooms. We booked a room w/ a big window on the Main Deck (deck 5) room M-164. We were pretty much in the middle of the ship. The room was smaller than past balcony rooms, but adequate. 3 of us were in the room together, so we had 1 pull down bed on the wall. It was difficult to navigate the room when the bed was pulled down, but we didn't spend too much time in the room so it really did not matter to us. The bathroom was obviously upgraded in 2008 and was very nice. All bathrooms are small, so everyone needs to just get over it. We had plenty of storage space which we did not really use. Except for hanging up our shirts and pants in the closet, we lived 3 days out of our suitcases. Our room steward was Rudy and he was fantastic. We brought some alcoholic beverages with us and required a pretty good amount of ice to keep things cold. When we first met Rudy we explained to him what we needed and gave him some "cash money" upfront. We never had to ask again. Rudy made sure that the ice was always fresh, and the room as kept neat and organized. He was so nice and accommodating. Dining: This was probably my most disappointing part of the cruise. My last Carnival cruise was in late March of 2009, and looking at the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus in the dining rooms it seemed as though the menus have not changed in a years time. Now, I have no complaints about the food itself. Everything was very good, and in case you don't know, you can order more than just one thing. One night I ordered a soup and 2 appetizers, plus an entree. We chose to do the "anytime" dining and it worked out for us very well. We never waited in a line or for a table. We were taken right away and were in and out within an hour! The dining room staff was efficient and good, but not personable. Yes they are busy, and they have lots to do. So, if that is what you like from your server staff, then you will love it! Disembarkation: We chose to use the "self assist" disembarkation rather than put our luggage out the night prior. For us, it worked out very well. We ate a late breakfast on the Lido deck, and went down to deck 7 to leave. We walked off of the ship and into the terminal. Went up to the CBP officer, handed him the our declaration page, and walked outside. It could not have been any easier. Summary: Take everything with a "grain of salt". These are our experiences and opinions. I have spent a lot of time reading member reviews for our past cruises, and for our upcoming cruise in 2 months. You can/will never please everyone, every time. And some things that matter to some, may not matter to someone else. Cruising is about a vacation and relaxing, and experiencing new things. We went into this cruise with NO expectations, and ended up happy with the outcome. I hope you'll enjoy your own 3-day Carnival cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
This cruise was meant to be a first time experience for my boyfriend. We are both in our 20's. This short lap to the Bahamas was perfect as we were in Miami visiting family members. I was a little nervous about this trip, after ... Read More
This cruise was meant to be a first time experience for my boyfriend. We are both in our 20's. This short lap to the Bahamas was perfect as we were in Miami visiting family members. I was a little nervous about this trip, after reading some of the reviews on this site. However I worried in vain! Embarkation: This was a breeze. We arrived by 12pm, waited a short while in the lobby, had our Welcome Aboard picture taken, and we were on the ship by 12:40pm. There weren't any long lines in sight. The Ship: This was my 2nd cruise on Carnival, and I basically already knew what to expect. I expected fun, and Carnival did not disappoint. The decor was lively, and the ship was in excellent condition for her age. No complaints. The room was clean and our room steward was awesome. He did a wonderful job (used my sunglasses on the towel animals every night). There was a wide age range onboard during this sailing but we barely saw any children. Dining: Dinner was fabulous, and needless to say, was one of my favorite events each night. Our wait staff was great, and the food was even better. The buffet was ok, but nothing to look forward to. Entertainment: Seeing as this was a getaway for my boyfriend and I, we did not attend much of the shows or seminars, but rather, we lounged by the pool and hung out in the lobbies/bars. However, the musicians on board were very talented and we stayed quite a while to listen to them play in the grand atrium. Port/Excusions: This was our first time in the Bahamas, and it lived up to the hype. We took a tour to the Queens Staircase and to Atlantis. Atlantis was sooo nice. We took many pictures and had fun looking at the huge aquariums. I recommend this to anyone who intends to visit Nassau. Disembarkation: ...Now this was not much fun. It took quite a while for us to get off the ship and the lines were long. Carnival should look into a more organized and easier way of doing this. But it did not negatively impact our vacation, nor our views of the cruise line. Summary: This was a great mini vacation, and it was definitely worth the price that we paid and more. I would consider doing another cruise on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Sorry this is so long, but I'm a frustrated writer I guess. We sailed on the 3 day cruise to Nassau on Nov 13, 2009. Getting there: We live a 3 1/2 hour drive from the port of Miami. I was advised by a CC user to avoid ... Read More
Sorry this is so long, but I'm a frustrated writer I guess. We sailed on the 3 day cruise to Nassau on Nov 13, 2009. Getting there: We live a 3 1/2 hour drive from the port of Miami. I was advised by a CC user to avoid Biscayne blvd, so I took NE 2nd Ave instead. That was the right choice, we got right to the ship after getting off the highway. I drove up to the ship, gave the bags to the porter, and Momma went and waited in the terminal. I drove back around to parking garage "C" and parked. $20.00 per day, paid as you drive in. They take some credit cards, but not every one. Visa and MC, but no Discover, and I don't recall about Amex. They charged me $60.00 for all day Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning. Apparently they charge by 24 hr increments, starting when you park. Chalk one up for Miami. They probably could have gotten away with charging me an extra day for Monday. I went to the area where the shuttle back to the terminal stops. No shuttle in sight, and the sign said it runs every half hour?? It was a beautiful day, and I wasn't carrying bags, so I just walked back to the terminal. But don't plan on doing that if it's hot, raining, you are carrying your bags, or have difficulty walking. That would be a killer. Embarkation: We were inside the terminal around 12:30, and on the ship by no later than 1:00. No long lines, hitches, glitches, or mess ups. We went to our room not long after 1:30 and it was ready. We dumped our bags in the room and had lunch at the buffet. Tip to Newbies..... when you walk past the pool you'll find an outside buffet. That buffet is only a portion of the entire Lido deck food. It offers Asian food, as well as burgers. But if you go past it, and into the main food area, there is much more food available. The Muster (lifeboat) drill was a joke, albeit a pleasant one. Instead of standing out on deck in the hot sun with your life vest on, Carnival has you Muster inside without your life vest. Our Muster station was the very comfortable area outside the Casino. We sat around on padded seats while the crew demonstrated how to put on a vest. Many folks came with their drinks and didn't miss a beat. I was fine with that, but I tell you, no one learned anything there. That was at 3:45 to about 4:15. We went back to our room right after that, and our checked bags were already there. At that point, our Steward introduced himself and apologized for not saying hello earlier. That made me laugh. The reason is because my only other cruise (a very major competitor of Carnival) we never met or saw the Steward even once on a 4 day cruise. Although, he DID keep the room every bit as well as the Carnival steward. The Carnival steward was a heck of a nice guy, and it really was pleasant chatting with him numerous times during the cruise. We never called him for anything, because we never needed anything. And for those of you who love the towel animals, they were waiting for us each night. Dining: We selected anytime dining. Although there are 2 main dining rooms on board, we were assigned to the Pride main dining room. We got the same table two nights, and the one next to it on a third night. We had the same wait team each night. I have heard that the anytime waiters don't care as much as the assigned dining time waiters. The anytime diners eat in the same dining room as the assigned time diners. Our wait staff was coolly professional. They were very good at what they did. In the assigned time area, the waiters and guests were all getting to know each other, and have a fun time joking, and chatting. Ours barely said a word, and it looked about the same across the anytime area. So, my suggestion would be that if you want the camaraderie that seems to go with the traditional cruise dining, you should select assigned dining times. And if you want cool and efficient (more like a land restaurant) try the anytime. We went twice at aprox. 6pm. No wait, un-crowded, and the food arrived pretty quick. I would say start to finish was up to an hour. One night we went at about 8pm. It was really jammed at the door, because the diners assigned to late seating were waiting to get in. It only took about 5 minutes to get in that night, to my pleasant surprise. That night the anytime dining was very crowded. Service was slower, as one would expect. I guess that dinner took about 1 1/2 hrs, perhaps a tad longer to complete. There is a small selection of entrees and appetizers that changes every night. They also offer tried and true entrees every night, like Flatiron steaks. On the first night I had the Flat iron steak Med Rare. It was cooked perfectly, and was pretty good. I would say "The Outback steakhouse" quality. I was very pleased considering what I was paying for the cruise. The second night I had the Prime rib, again Med rare. It was cooked to the perfect doneness, but was just slightly dry. Not real bad, but not quite right. It was tasty so I didn't get upset. Again, these cruises are so darn cheap, I can't figure out how they can serve anything besides Alpo. The third night I had the Veal Parmigiana. THAT was the stand out entree. You just can't get good Veal any longer. But Carnival got some good Veal somewhere. It really reminded me of years ago before there were restrictions on Veal. We also had breakfast in the Pride dining room twice. Service was fast, and the typical breakfast food was served hot and tasty. We had two lunches in the buffet. I'm not big on ship buffets, but this one was certainly acceptable. Food selection was pretty good, and the quality was okay if you just wanted to grab something while you were in your bathing suit. Added points to the Pizza and sandwich stands. The Pizza wasn't real good, but it wasn't bad either, especially after the late night buffet closed at 1am. Cabin: We had a 6E Oceanview cabin, mid ship on the Empress (7) deck. The cabin was rather plain, although the closets were deep rich wood. The cabin and bathroom were very comfortable. The only complaint is that it is a tight squeeze for the person sleeping on the window side to get in and out. But I accept that in place of a smaller bed. It's not a big deal I guess. The shower was large enough for two, unlike my previous cruise where it was debatable if the shower was really large enough even for one. The water pressure was annoyingly low in the shower. There was nothing wrong, they just used a very low flow shower head. The controls for the shower were a little odd. But after the first use, it wasn't a problem. Steward kept the place clean, turned the bed down at night, kept the ice bucket filled with ice. What more can you say? The room does not have a fridge or mini-bar. There are 6 sodas and an Ice bucket, that's your mini bar. The room also has no hairdryer. So Ladies, be prepared. We went down to the gift shop, and thinking back, I don't recall seeing hair dryers for sale. The closets are perfect for two people. Decent shelf and drawer space (counting the desk area) too. Are you taking a CPAP or other appliance? The only electric plug was at the end of the desk next to the bed. I didn't need the extension cord for my CPAP. I just slept on that side of the bed. My CPAP did get a little goofy a couple of times when I first turned it on. The processor wasn't running correctly. I had no problems before or since, so my guess is that the power may have been a little low, or perhaps the ship isn't right at 60 cycles. But after a few resets, it took off and ran all night each night. If you need to use several electrical items at a time, you need to plug something in to expand the outlets. I used a surge protector strip with a short cord. That way I could run my CPAP, and charge some batteries at the same time. Casino: We love to gamble, and took this cruise because it was so much cheaper than a trip to Vegas, Atlantic City or Biloxi. The ship has a very nice casino with very low minimums. ALL the blackjack tables are $5.00 min. With one exception, they use continuous shuffle machines. You can only split aces once. Out front, they have a "FUN-21" table. On that table only, they offer surrender, any 21 beats the dealer, and a bonus for 21 with three 7's. They pay 3:2 on blackjack, so I still haven't figured out what you had to give up to get those rules. This table uses a 6 deck shoe. Funny thing, I had my worst luck in the casino on that table, so I only tried it once. Roulette was only a $1.00 min. Craps was $5.00 min with 2X odds. The craps table crew was very good. It's the only table, so it can get very-very fast and furious. The dealers are honest, but do watch for mistakes when the table is crowded. 'Nuff said. But they were a great bunch. Ambiance: This ship has a somewhat gaudy Las Vegas type theme, complete with lots of Neon. Me, I couldn't care less. All I want is things to be clean and in good repair. But if your sensibilities will be assaulted by some neon, don't go. Clubs et al: We didn't spend a lot of time in the clubs because there are so many of them, and we were more interested in gambling. But a good time was had in each, and baby, the Carnival cruise crowd knows how to party. Although it would have been nice if they could have mixed it up a little better. All they really seemed to offer was the lowest common denominator music. Thump-thump-thump.... shake your drunk butt all over the place music. Oh well. All around the ship drink service was quick. The drinks themselves were inconsistent though. I drank the same drink the whole trip. One would be great, the next would be weak as dish water. I never did take it up with the server, so I don't know what they would have done if I complained. Shows: First night was mostly the cruise director Brad, and the comedian Al Romero telling jokes. Nothing off color at that show. Comedy is a personal taste. I thought Brad was more funny than Al Romero. Al made me laugh a few times. I think most of the other cruisers thought he was pretty funny though. The first night Al Romero does a late night "R" rated show. We skipped it. But I was near by for a few minutes of that show, some of his stuff was pretty funny. Second night was "Livin in America." A full blown musical review. I didn't care for it, but I don't care for musical reviews much. Third night was the salute to Rock and Motown called "SHOUT!" It was much better than I expected. Some in the crowd gave a standing ovation, so perhaps that tells you something. The show band is really really good, so that helps a lot too. Complaints. Not many. We had seen the tail end of two bingo games. The emcee really seemed to make it a whole lot of fun. We decided to go to the last game of the cruise. That game he blew through the numbers really quick. He really didn't do anything to make it fun. He even called the same number twice, confirmed quite verbally by about half the players in the theatre. But he would have none of it. He just wanted to plow through to the end. It was the last day, and the theatre was being used for many different things that day. Maybe he didn't have the time to make it a fun game, but I was still disappointed. Children: Our kids are grown, and didn't come with us. So why am I bringing up kids? Because there were over 300 kids on board, and you hardly saw them. I can only assume that means that the Carnival camps and clubs work really well. Never saw one running crazy, under foot or anything else. It was great. Nassau: We had been to Nassau before. This time we took the SeaWorld Explorer excursion. I found it to be very disappointing. Perhaps I'm confused on the definition of a Coral reef. But I've been snorkeling on Coral reefs, and I sure didn't see one here, and they mention reefs in their ads. They threw out some food and a whole lot of the same kind of fish showed up to eat. That's pretty much the whole trip. We spent the rest of the afternoon getting some lunch and shopping. We had intended to go out that evening for a nice dinner and gambling at the Atlantis resort. Heavy dark clouds blew in, and it looked like the heavens would open up. Since it's a pretty good walk down the pier to the taxis, we figured we'd get soaked. It was formal night on the ship, so we dressed up a little and stayed on the ship. You know, I can't imagine we would have had more fun if we had gone out. Chalk another one up for Carnival. On the subject of formal night. You don't need a tux, suit, or even a jacket. I wore nice slacks and a nice dress shirt. I didn't feel out of place. Not many men wore suits and tuxes, only a few. Many of the folks who didn't dress up at all, I thought looked a little sheepish, like they felt out of place. Take a nice shirt and pants. If you're a young and single guy, dress up. All the single girls went all out. You'll have a better chance with them if you leave the schlub clothes in your cabin that night. Debarkation: If you have an early flight, and can show them your itinerary or tickets, they will give you priority to get off the ship first. The rest of us were given numbered tags to attach to our bags. You pack the night before, and put your bags out in the hallway between 8~11pm the night before you disembark. In the morning they let you go by calling your number. We found out later that you could just wheel your own baggage out yourself after the priority folks left. But the number system worked well enough. The line to get over the gang-plank wasn't a killer, and the bag was on the conveyor when I walked up. I was very pleasantly surprised. For whatever reason, all through the years I had a bad impression of Carnival. My first cruise was with a major competitor of Carnivals, and I liked it just fine. But this cruise on the Imagination was better in almost every way. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
This was a first-time cruise for my wife and I and we took it in conjunction with our 18th wedding anniversary. We wanted a short, 3- or 4-day cruise to either Bahamas or Bermuda. The Carnival Imagination fit the bill perfectly and offered ... Read More
This was a first-time cruise for my wife and I and we took it in conjunction with our 18th wedding anniversary. We wanted a short, 3- or 4-day cruise to either Bahamas or Bermuda. The Carnival Imagination fit the bill perfectly and offered a great price. At the time we booked, I offered my wife the option of taking our two teenagers with us or leaving the kids at home and going for a higher-end stateroom. She chose wisely and opted for a lovely cabin on the Veranda deck with a private balcony. The stateroom was very nice. It was large, with one of the most comfortable king-size beds I've ever slept in. It had a sofa, heavy marble coffee table, and desk. There was ample closet and storage space. A flat-screen TV hung on the wall and received several stations, such as CNN, even at sea. Several channels linked to the ships' close-circuit system so you could see what it was going on at several places around the ship. I had my laptop computer with me, so we purchased an hour of internet time. The internet service was reliable all over the ship, including our stateroom, but not as fast as what we were used to at home. The private balcony was small and really needed to be about 6-12 inches wider than it was to comfortably move on it but it had two deck chairs and a little table. We could look over the railing and look down into the ship's bridge from our location, which was kind of cool, especially at night. Our cabin steward, Adi, was absolutely great. He was very friendly and responsive, remembered our names, and brought us anything we needed very quickly and efficiently. There were plenty of organized activities available from trivia contests to sing alongs but we spent a lot of time just reading and watching the ocean go by. Besides of our cabin balcony, the Promenade deck was great for both of those activities during the day and was one of my favorite spots on the ship to just sit and watch people going by. The Serenity, adults only retreat, at the stern of the ship was fantastic. Great deck chairs, hot tubs not overrun with kids--just a nice, peaceful atmosphere. The shops on board the ship offered very good prices and if I had been in the market for such things as jewelry, duty free cigarettes and liquor, etc, I might have purchased some. As it was, we just bought some hats and t-shirts for the kids. The cruise director, Karl with a K, was consistently entertaining and was almost everywhere. He's no doubt used his quick quips and cheesy jokes countless times but he made them seem fresh and he has one of the hardest jobs around: trying to make sure everyone in a very diverse group of people has a good time. The nightly shows on board in the Dynasty Lounge were entertaining and very professional. There was different show each night, a Salute to the States and Shout. The same performers were in each show. I don't often go to variety shows like this but I was amazed and impressed by the sheer physicality and level of effort these performers put into these shows. I lost count of the number of costume changes these guys and gals had to do for each show, but they were definitely on it. The singers were outstanding. We had "Your Time Dining" and it was great to have that flexibility. We ate several meals in the Pride Dining Room and had great service from the waiters and staff there. They readily accommodated our seating preferences. The food in the Pride dining room was excellently prepared with sensible portion sizes, which was a big help for those of us trying to watch our weight. The Pride Dining Room was more formal than I'd like but it was calmer and better than the alternative: we simply weren't as impressed with the Horizon/Seaside Bar and Grill. It certainly wasn't the doing of the staff there; it was mainly the sickeningly large amount of food being wasted by our fellow passengers who were helping themselves to far more than they could reasonably expect to eat. This wasn't "exotic" food that they'd likely never tried before and found they didn't like, but things like burgers, hotdogs, fries, etc. I can't help but wonder what kind of image this kind of wanton waste creates of Americans for the crews who work on board these ships? Crews that come from developing countries where many people still live in poverty and hunger? Sermon's over. Just think about it. Overall, the Imagination was a great ship, with a crew that was dedicated to serving everyone. Everyone we encountered on the crew was consistantly friendly and hardworking, even the guys scrubbing the decks. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
Spent a great 4th of July Weekend on the Carnival Imagination.We arrived in the Port of Maimi terminal around 1130 (recommend to get there an hour early to be the lines) and parked our car and walked across the street to the ... Read More
Spent a great 4th of July Weekend on the Carnival Imagination.We arrived in the Port of Maimi terminal around 1130 (recommend to get there an hour early to be the lines) and parked our car and walked across the street to the terminal.Immediately our bags were taken from us and we walked inside.  The terminal itself was nice and modern.Last time i cruised it was out of New York and this was a major difference.We were checked in and onboard within 10 minutes(even though check-in was at 12:30), no hassles, no problems, we just had to wait till 1:30 for our room to be ready. I would suggest arriving early or late to check in without he lines.The food on the Lido deck's Horizon Grill was pretty good.  Not as much of a selection as there was on the Carnival Miracle which I had been on a year earlier but this was a smaller ship and to be expected.  The grill where the burgers were good but if you wanted your burger cooked a certain way(IE. I like my burgers medium rare) than you will have to wait, because all the burgers were cooked to Medium Well unless specified.  You could get Pizza and Room service round the clock which was good.  We stopped at the 24 hr pizza all 3 nights around 3-4 am.  Being a  New Yorker I was surprised the Pizza is better than most pizzarias you find out of New York.The Casino was nice, had about 10-12 tables and all different types of video poker and slots.  Usually after showtime the casino was popping till late night. Most tables had a $5 minimum.This ship has 2 main dining rooms, the Spirit and the Pride Dining Rooms.  We were in the Pride dining room because we had the "Dine at your time" dining plan.  We could go to dinner any time between 5:45 and 9:30.The flexibility was great but you dont get the same service from your waiter as you do with assigned tables and times.The food was good, Nothing to write home about but it was good.  You definitely got enough and if you wanted more, dont be shy about asking, they'll bring you more, just ask!  The best thing i had was this Indian Spice Pumpkin Soup.Entertainment:There was always something going on while you were at Sea.  Whether it was the piano man in the Atrium Lobby or the Live band up on deck by the pool, you couldnt walk too far without running into some kind of music being played.  The shows were well produced and were very entertaining.  Your typical vegas style shows that are always fun to watch.There was Karaoke every night in the Xanadu lounge and a DJ in the Illusions Disco.  The DJ was not to my taste, he played mainly a lot of Hip Hop and Rap which is fine if thats what you like but he didn't have variety.  When I'm at a club I want to hear some Dance music or House, or even some remixes of Top 40, but for the crowd that likes the Hip Hop it would be for them.  There were sing alongs in the Piano bar and a live band in the lounge, and so much other entertainment that the disco was the last place for me to visit.  4th of July they had a deck party while we were in the Bahamas.  It was your typical deck party with the live band and DJ playing, and the endless conga line, Macarena, Electric Slide, Etc... A lot of fun.I would definitely suggest this Itinerary to anyone who wants to get away for a long weekend! Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
This is one time that a cruise actually taught me a valuable lesson: never let someone else's opinion sway your own.  We had always heard about Carnival's "reputation" (rowdy, party boat with lots of drunks, etc), and ... Read More
This is one time that a cruise actually taught me a valuable lesson: never let someone else's opinion sway your own.  We had always heard about Carnival's "reputation" (rowdy, party boat with lots of drunks, etc), and we felt that we this type of cruise experience would not be our cup of tea.  But, after 17 cruises, we decided to try them.  After all, it was a 3-night cruise so how bad could it possibly be?  Wow, talk about misconceptions!  We had an incredible time! Since we live in Florida, it is relatively easy for us to jump on a cruise ship for a 3-nighter.  We have done the Majesty of the Seas twice and the NCL Sky once, so we thought to try Carnival's Imagination.  What a great choice! EMBARKATION: Quite smooth actually.  Since we drove to the port, we dropped off our luggage at the terminal and then parked our car.  $20 a day for parking is not my idea of a great way to start a cruise, but I already knew it was expensive so I was prepared.  Still, $20 a day?  That's pretty steep.  The whole process of going through security and registration took less than half an hour.  Finally, time to get on board! When you get on board you enter right into the atrium.  I like that there is a musician right there (a guy named Jerry on guitar who was a pleasure to listen to) and that there is a bar there as well.  Not that I am a drinker or anything, but I like that the bar was situated in the atrium. STATEROOM: We were in cabin E43, an ocean view room that was actually a decent sized room, and far bigger than I thought it would be.  The bathroom was a normal sized cruise cabin bathroom, but the shower seemed larger than you would expect.  I also liked the samples of toothpaste, Tylenol PM, Pepcid AC and my wife liked the ladies razor.  I don't know if they do this all the time, but what a great idea!  I have only two small issues with the stateroom: you could not control the temperature (though the room was comfy the entire time) and the position of the TV.  It is in the corner on the same side of the cabin as your headboard.  In other words, you can't comfortably watch TV in bed, you have to angle yourself to see it.  Weird, but not that important. FOOD: This is where I have to give Carnival much higher marks than I was expecting to.  Even the first day's buffet was far better than I was thinking it would.  Not a large variety of food, but decent and I loved everything I tried.  The pizza station made some excellent pies, and I liked the sandwich station as well.  The dining room was always a treat, especially the beef dishes.  Very tasty all the way around.  I have no complaints about food at all. STAFF: Very courteous, though there were times that they did not meet your eye and say hello.  Some cruise companies do that better than others, but this is a minor point, since all of the staff seemed very friendly. ENTERTAINMENT: High marks again, especially the two shows in the lounge (theater).  Very well done and very entertaining. KIDS STUFF: We don't have kids so we can't say how good or bad they are in this department. SHIP: this is one of the more amazing elements of this cruise.  This ship is 14 years old (with a refurb in 2007) but for the most part she is well maintained and quite clean.  She shows here age in some areas, but for 14 she looks pretty good. DEBARKATION: This is one area where they could do much better.  I thought we'd get to sail on the next cruise, that's how long it seemed like we waited.  I'm not complaining since we didn't have a flight to catch or any time issues, but it did take a long time. ODDS and ENDS: Cruise director "Karl with a 'K'" was great and really seemed to enjoy his work instead of phoning it in like many other CD's we've had.  We also thought that the different games that they played on board were better than on other ships.  Even their junk prizes were not the usual (keychain, luggage tag) variety.  All in all, what a great cruise! For those of you who are first timers, this would be a perfect cruise to cut your teeth on.  For those of us who are cruise junkies, this is a great "quick fix," but since they do such a good job, this cruise will go by way too fast for you.  For fellow Floridians, if you haven't jumped on this ship yet, what are you waiting for? To say that we have egg on our face would be an understatement.  Since we felt going into this cruise that we wouldn't have a great time but that we would at least give it a try, we actually lowered our normal expectations.  Carnival not only met our lowered expectations, but the actually exceeded our usual expectations!  If you are one of those "anti-Carnival snobs" like we were, please give them a try.  You may be as pleasantly surprised as we were, and we are now looking forward to many more cruises, and best of all, being able to add Carnival to our list of possible cruise line choices. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
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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