42 Miami to Caribbean - Eastern Carnival Imagination Cruise Reviews

This is my first cruise review, third cruise in two years. A little background: married, mid fifties, husband fairy new to cruising, I have been on several with kids and mother. DH was not keen on cruisin but agreed to go because I agreed ... Read More
This is my first cruise review, third cruise in two years. A little background: married, mid fifties, husband fairy new to cruising, I have been on several with kids and mother. DH was not keen on cruisin but agreed to go because I agreed to go to a NASCAR race and didn't complain once!!! All three cruises on Carnival, first two on Glory out of Norfolk, this last one out of Miami. it had been many many years since I had to travel to port so I did a lot of research on cruise critic to make the arrangements smooth. No pictures on this review, I don't know how to post them and can barley figure out how to use my phone to take them. Any whoooooooooo, last cruise out of Norfolk was a blast, couldn't wait for another one so when I saw a great deal on a four day to Key West close to my birthday it was a done deal. We used SW points for airfare, last minute travel for hotel reservations and Alamo for transportation to hotel and airport, free shuttle to port. Sweet!! Stayed at the EB Hotel very close to airport. Prices awesome, hotel even awesomer!!!(I made that word up). Hotel reminded me of the Encore in Las Vegas only larger, two large TVs, huge bathroom with vertical blind on glass wall that allows you to shower/double shower heads, while looking out the floor to ceiling window watching the planes. Top of the line bed and linens, floor lighting activated by movement. And the bar makes a heck of a drink. Happy start to our vacation. After checking out drove two blocks to a cafe/liquor store for wine to carry on and breakfast. I was able to get plantains with my eggs, which were excellent. It's very hard to get good plantains in Norfolk, usually overcooked. Easy drive to Alamo, dropped off car, and shuttled to airport. Renting a car for transportation from FLL to Miami was cheaper than any transport I could find. $60 for 24 hours, and FREE parking at the EB. Yeah!!! Arrived to port about 12 pm, on board Immagination in about 40 minutes. First stop always lobby bar for classic cocktail, didn't forget to keep receipt for $5 match on casino table game with classic cocktail. Ate at Mongolian wok,line moved very slow as each dish is individually prepared. The veggies overcooked but tasty, not worth a revisit. Then to the room to unpack. Had an ocean view, last two cruises went for balcony. Although we love the balcony decided the money saved with ocean view worth the savings. Room smaller, no couch, but we used it primarily to pile clothes. Bathroom vanity smaller but I was able to adjust. Loved our steward Trevor!!! This was also our first time on anytime dining. Have done late and early, preferred early. I am not into the buffets much, love the sit down experience. I also don't try to stuff myself at every meal so when dinner time comes I am hungry!!! I have read about the pagers with AD, the first night was the only time we were given a pager and had to wait about 25 minutes. No probs, went shopping for my tax free liquor. I did notice that the lines for AD longer later in the evening. Also noticed that service not as fast, in fact fairly slow with AD. It's not that everyone is not working their butts off, just more difficult to accommodat guests in this format. Again, no probs, had time to converse with table next to ours. Now for the food!!! As in any restaurant there are hits and misses, but this was mostly hits, all the way out of the park. The first night was the only night I ordered something I didn't care for, but with chocolate melting cake coming, who can complain!!! Highlights being prime rib, lobster, salmon, mahi mahi, tomatoe soup, and all the deserts. I was hesitant to order the fish because it is so easy to overcook, but no worries, they were perfect! Props to the chefs!!! I also tried the cheese platter for desert on two occasions along with my sweets. I would highly recommend this as something to share, the fruit and variety of cheeses was quite good and light. The pears are somehow marinated and cooked, yummy. Unfortunately the brunch was only on one day, the full day at sea; I loved the steak and eggs. Cooked perfectly, again, fries to die for. We did go to buffet for breakfast a few days. Loved the omelette station!! And the fresh fruit and muffins. Well done!! The taste bar gets special mention. I wasn't able to try it on our last cruise because of early dinning, I chose to frequent the Martini bar prior to dinner instead. I LOVE the taste bar. Food was outstanding and unusual. One night Italian, another mexican, and Caribbean the last night. I like this much more than the sushi bar. As you can see I am crazy about food. Now what I didnt like was the lido deck and set up for the buffets. Small space, a lot of people, lines unbelievably long. And it was cold and wet so everybody was inside, trying to get lunch at the same time due to the port schedules. Only one time did we try to get food at lunch, luckily the line for pizza was non existent so I scored three hot pieces of pepperoni pizza and DH a salad, grabbed a tray and went down one floor to the promenade where there were plenty of tables and QUIET! Pizza was great! Unfortunately didn't have time to try again, next time though! Another time I called room service as I love their sandwiches, Especially the shrimp! Room service line was busy so I put the phone on speaker and just chilled in the room. Once we ordered it took les than 15 minutes to get it. Now about the entertainment. The piano player was Greg and he was quite good, funny and talented. I wish we had more time to enjoy, unfortunately didn't discover him till the last day. Acoustic music great with Justin Tyme, took requests, knew a lot of the music we enjoy. The rock group Love Souljas was also great, again only found out about theming the last say of the cruise. Note to self, check out musical entertainment early in cruise to see if it is something we might enjoy. The production show we saw was Epic Rock, in fact enjoyed it so much we saw it twice, not as good as the rock show on the Glory but still well done. Divas was cancelled due to rough seas and high heels, a deadly combination! My DH didn't like that show on the Glory so wouldn't have gone any way but I would have. We saw only one comedian, Rob Little, and he was pretty funny. I must say the entertainment lounges were large, comfortable, and every seat a good one. Enjoyed the setting more than Glory, harder to get a good seat for the comedy show on that cruise. Okay now ports. Never been to Key West, DH was there when in the Navy. We just walked around, had a beer at Sloppy Joes at 10 am. Went to the Tervis store for Key West souvenirs. I love Tervis tumblers!!!! It was fairley cool/border line cold in Key West but comfortable and nice to walk around and enjoy the architecture. Returned to the ship and hit the hot tub on the serenity deck. That was really the only serenity experience due to the weather. next day pulled into Cozumel in the afternoon. This was the first time we scheduled an excursions, primarily due to the $100 onboard credit for excursions we received with this cruise. We did the ATV tour and it was a blast! The road thru the jungle was rough and wet! We were able to ride for over an hour, then took the bus to a beach for food and drinks, self pay. They were pouring free shots of taquilla in yor mouth but that was not for me!!! We got a few bears but didn't eat, saving myself and $ for dinner on the cruise, but the food did smell and look good. Will definitely look for more excursions on next cruise. We did book one more tour at debarkation and I would highly recommend this if getting off the ship and going from Miami to FLL. For $50 per person we were able to get off the ship early with group, before any others it seemed, then took hop on hop off tour. Due to our departure time we couldn't hop off but did enjoy the tour of south beach and the art deco district. We sat on the top, open air so we could get a good view. We had never been to Miami so this was a great way to see the city. They then transported us to the airport. Cruise director was Skip. He was ok, never put too much emphasis on cruise director until we had Matt on Glory. He was so funny and engaging. No complaints with Skip but no Matt! I did love his accent. Things I learned on this cruise: 1). Will book anytime dining again. 2). Always go to taste bar. 3). Book ocean view if savings enough to cover an excursion or two. 4) check out all the entertainment, even if I don't think I will like it. 5) I didn't mention this in the review: previously we ordered liquor thru Bon voyage, but not this time. We really didnt miss it, it seems we often had a drink just because it was there. I preferred ordering a specialty drink when I wanted one, and our bill was not that high. Well hope to have many more trip reports, already looking for another cruise, working toward platnum, only 47 cruise days to go! Happy sailing!   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I went on this ship only because of the matchbox twenty cruise my wife wanted to go on and I would honestly suggest you avoid going on it no matter how cheap it is. Although I paid thousands and thousands of dollars for my cruise because ... Read More
I went on this ship only because of the matchbox twenty cruise my wife wanted to go on and I would honestly suggest you avoid going on it no matter how cheap it is. Although I paid thousands and thousands of dollars for my cruise because it was a special event weekend, I honestly can tell you the boat needs to be retired and used for some other purpose other than cruising. It is without question at best a two star boat, accomdations wise it really is like staying in a motel 6 or the equivalent. The room was marginally clean, both my wife and I had to re clean it with bleach wipes and the decor is very old and outdated. The upholstery on the chair was filthy and the two pillows in my closet were stained. The mattress was honestly like what you would expect in a prison cot...(I never went to prison but I watch tv...and see their beds.)The common areas are old, outdated and look like they are from the early 80's.....many of the tables, chairs, walls .....are cold, fraying and dirty in the sense the upholstery is stained and old and parts of the ship smell like stale beer. The food honestly is some of the worst I have ever experienced, the dining room bread was stale and the food was at best bland. The pool side grill is just hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggest and frieds, with one side serving a lousy form of mongolian bbq... if you miss dinner or hours of the grill, you are in big trouble because the only thing to eat is pizza which is what we ate for 2 nights. There was some sort of sandwhich deli place open up to 11 i think but it was awful, the turkey for example was clearly spoiled. The "midnight" buffet was honestly the same crap from the grill at the pool....burgers, fries...... The pools were small and not very clean and the waterside they picture in their advertisements was dirty and needs to be torn down and replaced. In summation, the boat was like the cheap hotels on the old vegas strip or in the old atlantic city as an example...and nothing I would suggest anyone go on. The staff really tried to be friendly and helpful, but with a boat like that there is really nothing you can do.....carnival needs to seriously get rid of that boat or find another use for it. Maybe for fraternity parties....it would be good but thats it in all honestly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I rented a "Grande Suite"! A surprise for my wallet! $$$!, and one for my daughter on Christmas! We opened the door of this "palace" and yes, it is spacious and looked pretty clean... Although shabby furniture screamed ... Read More
I rented a "Grande Suite"! A surprise for my wallet! $$$!, and one for my daughter on Christmas! We opened the door of this "palace" and yes, it is spacious and looked pretty clean... Although shabby furniture screamed of the 80s and had seen better days. Some of it was so old that furry stuff stuck out of the seams run down leather upholstery. Was it leather?... Your call! My daughter noticed a layer of dust on the cocktail table legs. Suddenly aware of our environment, we took a closer look. Dust everywhere covered all of the furniture like a nice velvet blanket. The phone, the decoration above the bed, the shabby crooked lampshades, everywhere! Windows and mirrors had fingerprints that were not ours... There were splashes of liquid (yuk) on walls, doors and inside drawers and the carpet was full of stains. The bed skirts looked like they had spent a day trampled by some cattle. We looked at each other in dismay and called housecleaning. While we were talking to a charming state room manager, my daughter ran into some lump on the inside of the bed... AN OLD EARPLUG! No kidding! I thought it was a candy! It looked promising from where I was standing... We were guarantied a clean room, clean sheets and we thought this would be the end of it... We went our merry way to take a tour... It gets better... We walked out and took the elevator. Someone had obviously thrown up there and it took me two days and lots of complaining to finally have this taken care of. For two days, it became a habit to meet other passengers with their clothes all the way up to their noses to cover the smell and not puke. Around the ship, constant smells of putrefied water or garbage... Where is all this coming from?... 24th December 2013! Christmas Eve! Lunch time. We decide to stand in line for the "Mongolian Wok". BAD, BAD decision! It took us no less than 2 hours to get to the front of the line, and then... large plates had been replaced by small bawls and there was no more food on the trays! Dealing with an angry hungry mob was what was in store for the staff behind the counters... Miraculously, plates came out of nowhere and food reappeared on trays! We tried to change lines several times during that ordeal, but all of them were just jammed with passengers as well. We realized that this was just the way it was on Carnival Imagination for every single meal. Breakfast is served around the pool, an old pool with greenish scary water, and it would not be too bad if... for more than 2,600 passengers, there were more than ONE toaster! Suddenly, as you are happy you made it through the line (a real victory!), holding your plate full of steamy food and fried eggs, there it is! Stopping everything! The ONLY toaster that takes for ever and can only toast 4 pieces of bread! On ONE side only! Be prepared to eat your fried eggs... cold! Why Carnival did not ask us to bring our own toaster? Your guess is as good as mine! Dinner time! "Pride Dining Room Allows you to dine at your leisure anytime between 5.45pm -9.30pm" (SIC) This is what it says in their daily "All Kind of Deliciousness" schedule... Finally! Maybe some service! A line again? They wouldn't dare... or would they?... Let's see... Hungry passengers filled the hallways in a 40 minute line to... get a... pager! No joke! It is true. Then, we were "free" to roam "leisurely" around the entrance of the dining room, clog the hallways and staircases for another hour or so until the buzzer reminded us that we had come here to eat! We then entered the dining room and although there were about 12 empty tables around us, there were no servers, so.. Guess what? More wait! Servers, although friendly, were scares and extremely busy. Obviously overworked and understaffed. I had no clue that the main entertainment was "the food lines" on Carnival Imagination! The only resort if you wanted to avoid these small "inconveniences" that would eat half your vacation time was to eat at what Carnival Cruise calls "All American", where lines were smaller and I understood why very quickly. The food was horrific. Some pale imitation of what our neighborhood McDonald has to offer. Dry tiny pieces of chicken nuggets, in some sauces that had no name... accompanied by French fried by name only. Ah! Let's be fair! Their coleslaw was delicious! Entertainment! Most of it was done in the pool area! Bingo, trivia, children's activities, St Jude's hospital charity fund raising and all! So, if you wanted to enjoy the pool (filled with greenish water and in need of major repair) and pool games, and eventually nice pool music, you also had to put up with ear-piercing loudspeakers that would cover any other sounds around you, even if you had no inclination for any of these activities. Just yell! The night shows were great! And singers and dancers amazing! Let's be honest! Trivia was at times held in an area across the bar. Not enough tables in that long stretchy area to sit us all. You ended up standing, writing in your hands, or sitting on stools at the bar, even if you did not want to drink, or smoke! Children and all! I went to the "Service Desk" several times to see if we could see any improvement only to be told that it was just about normal to waste about 4 hours in line every day if you want to eat! Lots of apologies that did not translate into $$$! But in a tray of chocolate covered strawberries! Wow! I decided to relax and take advantage of the Jacuzzi that came with the room. Surprise! It did not work and I could not empty my bathtub as the system to remove the plug was also broken! I just had the time to jump out of my dirty water to let the plumber in. He took care of the sink as well that was clogged since day one... I almost forgot the electrician who showed up to fix the light that did not work in the closet and since we were not provided with a flashlight, we could not see our safe! This is of course in between the endless parades of "managers" who showed up by pairs like good soldiers to "see" the state of our predicament. I was told: our Jacuzzi is "fixed" (sic)... ugh... not really... one spray only! Just enough for one toe! for 3 minutes and then... Nothing! I gave up! I walked out on my balcony in search of a semblance of sanity around this ship, it was nighttime, windy and nice... I wanted to read... The light did not work... Moral of this story? On Imagination, do not forget to pack your Clorox wipes, bring your plumber and your electrician along, do not forget your toaster and BE PATIENT! I have rarely seen so many people so overworked as our staff on this ship. They never stopped working but you still had entire areas with tables filled with dirty dishes and full ashtrays, dirty rails, empty sanitizers (rarely available). The staff all looked worn out. It was pitiful. Often, we had to pick up dirty dishes off the tables to make space for us to eat. Back to slavery, only a modern version of it. I talked to one of the staff on our lunch line and she said she was working 80 hours a week! 8 months in a row, no day off!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
But, you get what you pay for! As always with Carnvial Cruise Lines, the staff, food, and entertainment can't be beat. The Imagination ship itself was a bit of a let down compared to other ships in the fleet. We found the ships ... Read More
But, you get what you pay for! As always with Carnvial Cruise Lines, the staff, food, and entertainment can't be beat. The Imagination ship itself was a bit of a let down compared to other ships in the fleet. We found the ships layout confusing and frustrating...the dining hall and serenity deck were difficult to reach for myself and my travel companions who suffer with chronic pain and found walking to be a challenge. We loved our cozy little room and our cabin steward was great! We loved the fact that he took the time and effort to remember our names and greeted us by name each and every time we met up in the hallways! The Serenity deck was quite small and no swimming pool, hammocks, very little shade and you had to go up and down stairs to get food or a cold drink from the buffets. We also found there to be a LOT of rude, loud people on this cruise. Perhaps due to the low cost fares. So if peace and quiet are what you're looking for, you won't find it on the Imagination....even on the Serenity deck! In spite of it's downfalls, we enjoyed the cruise overall. I credit this to the wonderful staff!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This was our second try at a Carnival Cruise and we were more disappointed than the first time. Embarkation - Port of Miami is tricky to get to. Parking is expensive. Our booking confirmation listed Terminal D, the ship was at Terminal E. ... Read More
This was our second try at a Carnival Cruise and we were more disappointed than the first time. Embarkation - Port of Miami is tricky to get to. Parking is expensive. Our booking confirmation listed Terminal D, the ship was at Terminal E. There were minimal lines and we were onboard quickly. Our cabin was ready, and luggage was delivered promptly. Cabin - U177, oceanview. This was the tiniest cabin we have ever had, barely enough room to walk around the bed, one wooden chair, no refrigerator or hairdryer. The crutains were tattered and the backing was falling off. Our window leaked when it rained, soaking the bottom of the curtains. The AC was controlled by a dial on the ceiling, we had it cranked all the way up and it was just ok for comfort. The bed was firm, linens comfortable. The bathroom was fine, ample room in the shower but not much space for cosmetics and toiletries. The closets seem to have enough storage space, until we discovered there was not room to store our luggage under the bed because there was a rollaway cot under the bed. We jammed the suitcases into the closet. It was very clean. We had a nice little flatscreen with a fair selection of channels in English. Cabin Steward - Excellent, the best by far of our cruises!!!! Food - Just okay. No major complaints, no better or worse than other lines or ships. Servers were attentive and pleasant. Service was prompt. Dining room everyday choices seem boring. Ample choices at the buffet. No speciality dining. All water tasted musty, moldy. Public spaces - same garish decor, neon and color everywhere, but generally clean and well-maintained. Diningroom was almost calustrophobic with its low gold ceilings. We were disappointed at the lack of ocean views from many areas of the ship - looking at lifeboats from the pool, not the sea. The smell of cigarettes seemed to drift into many public spaces. Pool - only one and it's tiny, tiny, tiny. Adult Serenity area is comfortable with two hot tubs and a freezing cold shower. One hot tub was barely lukewarm. A nice space to get away from the constant blare of sound from the main pool. Chair hogging not monitored. Shade is scarce in all areas where lounge chairs are located. WiFi - ridiculously slow - 4 minutes just to load a website. Waste of money. Entertainment - production shows were very good. Usual selection of games, trivia, were fun and entertaining. Staff - excellent! Times in port were odd, but we knew that prior to booking. We encountered many cheerleaders who sang the praises of this ship, happily chirping that "you get what you pay for". It was just lacking in too many areas for us - comparable to staying at Motel 6 or Econolodge. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
A couple of weeks before our departure we made reservations by phone to park at Premier Cruise Parking (NE 2nd Ave). The price was very reasonable and it is covered parking (they don't have the best looking vans but the service was ... Read More
A couple of weeks before our departure we made reservations by phone to park at Premier Cruise Parking (NE 2nd Ave). The price was very reasonable and it is covered parking (they don't have the best looking vans but the service was very quick dropping us off & picking us up). Boarding was super easy and quick (even though there were long lines). We boarded about 11:30 and went straight on to eat lunch. We were told our rooms would be ready by 1:30 and they were. We had 2 balcony rooms side by side. As soon as we saw our steward we asked for him to open the divider and he did very quickly for us. Main complaint on day of boarding was the mandatory safety meeting. We were not planning to attend (we have cruised before)and the stewards knocked on our door and made us go to it. The employees handling the meeting were not very nice at all!!! They took their job very serious. We did not book any excursions through the ship and were very glad that we did not. Half Moon Cay: Carnival's private island.....it was absolutely beautiful. Make sure you are one of the first ones off....we waited about an hour and had to hunt for chairs. Make sure to eat lunch on the island....it was VERY good. Only complaint on this day was the photograhers (they were every where...even in the water!!!). 1st Day at Sea: Take advantage of the Shopping classes....got a lot of useful information from them. Do NOT buy the $25 book of coupons....it is NOT worth it!!! Food: We did the any time dining. This was the best thing!! We went about 6:00/6:15 on the evenings that they had a family friendly comedian. After having 3 different servers we decided we loved Ketut and requested him the rest of the week. Everything we ate was very delicious!!! Definitely try the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake. Other places that you have to eat at is the Blue Iguana. Best breakfast burritos ever!! Also, burgers from Guy's Burger Shack. Lastly, the ice cream is available 24 hours a day and is wonderful!!! The shows were very good. Get there about 15 - 30 minutes early to get a good seats. Comedians on board were great for the family friendly shows. Would not recommend the adult shows. The language was HORRIBLE (actually walked out)!!!!!!! Overall we had a wonderful experience. The cruse director, Karl with a K was great. They had plenty of stuff to do for everyone of every age. The worst part was our room location. We were located on the 8th floor under Emile's Lido Buffet and was waken up early every morning when they were rolling the carts around getting set up for breakfast. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
An excellent experience. Flew into Miami, took the R&G Shuttle to the port (which was EXCELLENT - $7 per person, provided excellent, proactive service, on-time, clean, safe, 2 vans with trailers - we were extremely pleased). Port ... Read More
An excellent experience. Flew into Miami, took the R&G Shuttle to the port (which was EXCELLENT - $7 per person, provided excellent, proactive service, on-time, clean, safe, 2 vans with trailers - we were extremely pleased). Port described below (experience was good). Went up to the buffet immediately - there was plenty of seating, all parts of the buffet were open (hamburgers, pizza, deli and Mongolian BBQ included in addition to the standard buffet). Food was very good - I didn't personally eat at the buffet often - opting for the more relaxed dining room - but, there was great variety, the lines (except for the Mongolian BBQ) were always reasonable. A great plus is that you can always get ice cream (this is not true on RCL - ice cream is 10-6 on at least the Monarch of the Seas - which is really disappointing). Safety briefing was given in the lounges and then we walked out onto the deck to see the lifeboats - much nicer than standing stacked, racked and packed on the deck while everyone ambles out there and while all of the instructions are given. We had the early seating for dinner. The food was great - good variety offered every day and several special starters/dinners/desserts offered each night - including lobster and prime rib (which were offered on the same night). We got to try some new things (from their didja section - (did you ever)) - like Alligator Fritters. Chocolate Melting Cake was offered every night - but, I opted for the key lime pie one night and the baked Alaska another night. My vegetarian companions always found plenty to order and never complained about the quality - including the tofu steak on the last evening (which they loved). The wait staff entertained us with a dance every single night - and were a really fun group. Enjoyed breakfasting in the dining room much more than the buffet - the service was quick, and not having to run around and get drinks in one place, fruits in another, eggs - you get the idea ... We even ate breakfast in the dining room on debarkation day and that was a GREAT idea - so much more relaxed than the rush that exists in the buffet. For lunches I used the buffet - pizza or fries or salad - all super. We were four people to an interior room ... they were not large, but they were adequate. The showers were hot and the were set up in such a way that the shower curtain didn't attack us. Rooms were open by 1:30 on the first day and the room attendants were competent and unobtrusive. They responded quickly to any requests and if you didn't need them, you really didn't know that they were there - except for the straightened room/cool daily towel animals. If we had been a foursome that spent a great deal of time in the room - then we would have felt cramped - but, we pretty much used them to shower/sleep and didn't have any issues. I was pleased with the storage - there were 3 closets, a safe, 4 or 5 shelves in the middle closet and hanging storage on the left/right closets. The desk had makeup mirrors over it and 4 drawers for storage. There was only ONE outlet, so I was glad that I brought a surge protector with a long cord - which we ran along the wall and sat on a chair as a charging station for Tablets/Phones. There were a couple of hooks to hang sweatshirts/hats on. Carnival provides bathrobes in the room and gives you pool/beach towels in the room as well. O2 Teen Club ... SUPERIOR. All of the older teens were absolutely thrilled with the activity directors that ran the events. Night and day from the Royal Caribbean Cruise that my daughter had been on two weeks before. They had varied activities - they were flexible - they listened to what the teens wanted to do. While the girls enjoyed dancing, they didn't want to just dance in O2 - they were thrilled with the scavenger hunts, the dodge ball, the board games, etc. Circle C younger Teen Club ... Boring. The kids went the first day, and they met other kids their age - but, they rarely went to the club - all of the kids hung out and did things on their own during the sea day. Nightime shows - the costumes on the women, especially in the first 10 minutes of the show are shockingly revealing (flesh covered bikinis ...) - I was just as glad that my 14 year old son was not in attendance. The music/dancing and singing were just great. Both lead singers were excellent. The shows were high energy - especially the second one (last night of the cruise). The dancers love what they are doing and it shows. And, after the first 10 minutes the costumes are very well done. The music in the shows was varied enough to appeal to a wide range of ages/styles. Comedy - lackluster. The ventriloquist was good - I definitely laughed a lot during his part of the show, but the other comedian that was with him for the family friendly show while somewhat funny - had so many sexual innuendos in his act that, again, I was just as glad the boy was at home. I have seen EXCELLENT family friendly comedy on carnival in the past and I was disappointed this trip. I did NOT attend the Adults Only comedy - mostly because I was there was a large group of teens. Dancing - lots of options. When I was walking around rounding up teens at night - I was surprised by the amount of people in the different bars/clubs - dressed to the nines and obviously having a great time. The adults in my group enjoyed the 80s dancing on one night and joined in the deck dance party another night. Library was stocked with tons of games - but, the hours were minimal - so, you needed to go down during the open time and sign out the game that you wanted - parcheesi, checkers, chess, scrabble, pictionary - there were A LOT of games there. Deck behavior - was ... interesting. Much more lewd than I have witnessed on other ships - the break dancing contest had 9 year old participants AND 25 year old women participants. I found it disturbing to watch a women basically do a stripper dance (mostly facing the men standing at one end of the stage) while the youngsters were waiting to do their dance on the other end of the stage. If it had been adults only - then who cares - but, when the youngsters are there - I think that the cruise director's staff owes it to them to keep the behavior reasonable. The ping pong tables, mini golf, and water slide were always well-used, sometimes crowded. It takes newbies a little bit to realize that they have to go to the pool deck to get the paddles/balls/clubs ... sometimes the information does not flow quickly. The Serenity (adults only deck area) was cramped - there were lots of comfortable chairs and a jacuzzi - but not enough space to really feel relaxed because everyone was on top of each other. There were some really great seating areas outside the buffet - and, the weather was gorgeous - so they also were well used. There were lots of activities, but there could have been more. And, there seemed to be an affinity for Michael Jackson (thriller dance class, MJ trivia, the 80s dance was 1/2 MJ). What surprised me was the number of raffles for useful items that happened at different areas on different days. The Spa had a relatively quick orientation that if you went to you could get a raffle ticket and when you went back for the drawing they gave away about 5 different prizes from about $75 to $200 ... There was a bit of a catch - the cheapest item on the $100 prize was $107 - but seriously - it was a GREAT deal if it was something that you would enjoy anyway. One of our party won the $100 gift certificate. And someone in our party won a bracelet as well at a different drawing. And, there were at least 3 other drawings. Photos - tons and tons of opportunities. Price was steep ... $21.95 for the first 8x10 ... but, if you consider what a sitting fee would cost - it isn't a bad deal. The photographers worked hard to get a good pose and there were a lot of backgrounds every night. Drinks were available everywhere, but the atmosphere from the cruise director was not push, push, push the alcohol - and, the staff was courteous if you didn't want to drink and attentive if you did. The kids actually appreciated that they did not hear about it constantly. Bingo was available and from what I could tell fun - but, you did not want to tear off any parts of the cards (even the free space) because that invalidated the card ... those that didn't know that were ... angry. They were told at the beginning though ... so ... can't really fault the staff. There was an Afternoon Tea in one of the rooms that was worthwhile on the Sea Day - nice sandwiches, good selection of tea and various desserts. The music all over the ship was good - and, there were several karaoke opportunities - some all ages, some adults only, and the teens had at least one session. Nassau - easy to get on/off the ship. Kids enjoyed the straw market and in the afternoon we took the $4 taxi over to the beach at paradise island (we call it cabbage beach). The beach was ROUGH - much more than it had been two weeks prior. Perhaps because it was high tide ... it was so rough that when we got to the beach there were lots of people in the water, but 30 minutes later - everyone had moved out. One little girl had to be rescued and a young adult male (20?) got flipped and spun around and had to be dragged out by his buddies ... Even the locals that usually have jet skis and banana boats were not there. Debarkation was ok. It went well, but it is always frustrating to have to carry your bags up 3 flights and to move like a herd of cattle. But, the crew did a nice job of informing people what they were supposed to be doing (not that the people necessarily followed the rules ...) We had an early flight, so we left as the self-assisters were leaving. If only the people who did not have early flights could have waited another 15 minutes, it would have gone a litte more smoothly. Overall - we were still off the ship before 8:40 - and, our R&G shuttle was outside waiting on us :-). Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
My husband and I was from Monday January 7th to Friday January 18th 2013 on the Carnival Imagination. We are returning customers and were very disappointed from our vacation with the Carnival Imagination. First of all the AC in our ... Read More
My husband and I was from Monday January 7th to Friday January 18th 2013 on the Carnival Imagination. We are returning customers and were very disappointed from our vacation with the Carnival Imagination. First of all the AC in our stateroom was broken. We tried to turn it off because it was way to cold. But even after hours the stateroom was still freezing cold. We went to the guest service and the lady was giving us first an audited before she decided to call for an handyman to take care of the AC. The food on the Carnival Imagination was not well prepared. The vegetables were undercooked and the meat was overcooked. The Pasta Mariscos, what is not a common sauce to know what is in it and should be described as Seafood Pasta. My husband is highly allergic to any kind of seafood and by his first bite he had a shrimp inside his mouth. He rinsed his mouth immediately with water but he had to deal several hours with numb lips and a rash the next day. The ice cream and frozen yogurt machine was broken and served runny ice creams. Even after complains for days, they only got repaired on the last day of sailing. The silver wear was very often dirty and we had to repolish our own silver wear, so that we can use it. It was so boring this time on the boat. The selection on events and shows where hold on a very low budget of Carnival Imagination. Most of the time it was information events to spend a lot of money or the guests of the ship had to be interactive and make their own show so Carnival didn't had to pay more employers to perform this shows. The comedians were terrible. Not funny at all, stupid actually and sometimes they forgot their text in the middle of the sentence. By lunch we could follow a loud conversation of your employees Nigel and Nadelin from the Duty Free Shop. Most of them were amused that "the dumb tourist" are so much in to the bracelets and in the watches. They thought it was funny how much they can sell this "crap". I bought myself some bracelets and I totally felt offended. The main reasons we booked your cruise was that we wanted to see and enjoy Cozumel, Mexico. That day was a very sad disappointment. We got up at 5.30AM and couldn't wait to go of the boat and start our 7 hour tour the mayan ruins of tulum. At 6.30AM we went to the guest service and asked them when and where we can go of the boat. They said they will say it thru a speaker. Well at 7.30AM we still didn't hear the announcement and looked outside our window. People were leaving already. So we had to run of the boat and to the other side of the port where the little ship was waiting. First we were scared that we missed the tour already. The reason we wanted to go on this trip and then we were about to miss it?! Gladly they waited for us and other people what were even more late. After a 45min delay and a 45 min ship ride we got rushed to our tour bus which was full with 1,000s of mosquitos. This bus ride was another hour. 5 minutes before we could reach the runis, we made a stop to a private souvenir hall where you feel like they try to rob you with their prices. And every single bus driver had an identical mask "from their grand mom" what you could buy inside their private souvenir for a rip off price. Finally we reached the ruins. We had 2 hours. 1 hour tour and 1 hour our selfs. On the way back we rushed again from bus to boat to cruse ship. We had our foot 2 hours and a piece of land in Mexico! Sorry this is not how we was imagining our trip. This circumstances mades us very angry. The day of Key West didn't start better. Because of bad weather we ported later. The pre-booked tour what we were planing on doing was in our eyes time wise not possible anymore and we had to cancel the tour. But then since we didn't have our shores anymore Carnival Imagination didn't let us of the boat right away. We had to wait till our deck got called. It was 4PM when we came of the boat and the last trolly back to the ship left Key West at 7PM. So we had only 3 hours in Key West. Not enough time to see anything. So besides being on the boring unentertainment ship we where in total only 5 hours in total on land. In the evening was the big watches sale. The sales man kept on screaming:"Buy your watches, buy your watches, buy your watches tonight,... tonight is the night. As more you buy, the better you fell! .... As more you buy, the better is it for us!" He and other employees were giggling about his funny lines while they had all glassy eyes and kept on touching their noses. I videotaped this moments with my phone. WE and other guest had the feeling we were in a cheap swop shop. It was in this trip very extrem that the only interest of Carnival Imagination was to make more money off of every single guest. And since we were not much on land to spend our money we only COULD spend it on your ship. Also on the evening I taped a conversation between me and your sales person Nigel in your Duty Free Shop. I was looking at the Bacardi bottles and Nigel came up to me and said:"I should buy 4 because I look like I would need it." He was so high on drugs that he barley was to understand and to stand strait. He started hugging a Bacardi bottle and said this is the best one, the tast so good, so good that he can't describe how it taste" Unbelievable! But I taped every single word! We understand now, why you call the ship the Imagination. Because it is so boring that you have to imagine yourself having a good time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
I first used the Carnival Imagination in 2008 and booked a category then called the Presidential Suite, Upper Deck. It was lovely and came with a large balcony, living room and even a walk-in closet. With the except of my early cruising ... Read More
I first used the Carnival Imagination in 2008 and booked a category then called the Presidential Suite, Upper Deck. It was lovely and came with a large balcony, living room and even a walk-in closet. With the except of my early cruising years where I did two ocean view rooms, all have since been suites or at minimum a balcony---traveling solo and paying for two people can be expensive! In 2008 I felt like I was in heaven. In 2012, I came on board and realized that the ship had been remodeled a little since the first time. Newer carpets, some design changes and they were pleasant to the eye. My stateroom...disappointing! I immediately regretted not doing the upgrade when I had the change and ran right to the front desk to see if there was any suite cancellations so I could pay the difference then and there but unfortunately I couldn't. To put it in perspective--the room was not dreadful just that it reminded me of rooms that I would use on the ferry service when I used to travel from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland; it did not seem like it belonged on a cruise ship. At times I couldn't believe that this could have been the same boat that I had sailed on years before. More on this below as there is a section on the cabin. Food was great and the newly renovated adult only serenity section at the back of the boat was just heaven---no screaming children! It was a slice of relaxation that was just lovely for one who wanted relaxation. The staff were friendly and the drink prices were reasonable and what I had come to expect with Carnival. In addition to this ship I also been on the Triumph and the Spirit. I also enjoyed the entertainment. Embarkation was a little frenzied. Again, because I booked a lower category of stateroom there was no priority or special line. That process was at least an hour, 45 mins of which we snaked through a line-up just to get our passports and cruise doc verified. Disembarkation was no issue here as it was Miami and anyone wanting to use the self assist walk off could do it. Otherwise, just a typical 4 day cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
I planned a cruise about a month in advance with Carnival on the ship named Imagination. I was so excited for two reasons. One, this was going to be my 3rd cruise (first time with Carnival) and two because it was a second cruise for my ... Read More
I planned a cruise about a month in advance with Carnival on the ship named Imagination. I was so excited for two reasons. One, this was going to be my 3rd cruise (first time with Carnival) and two because it was a second cruise for my girlfriend and I. Her parents love Carnival, they have gone with this company about 6 times for their cruise vacation. With them in the back of my mind, I decided to look into this company. I feel like I have gone on too long already so I will get to the point. I am not a picky person, and even when I feel like something is wrong, I normally watch my temper because life is short. With that said, here are the two and only two reasons I was not exactly happy. On the first night, my girlfriend and I had a couple of drinks and later went back to our room. We had been in the sun a bit so I wanted to shower. I turn the shower on and was amazed at the pressure. It was more than I can remember on my first two cruise vacations. Everything seemed fine until I spotted a roach peeping on me. This was not a major issue but it was also one that I did not expect, especially on my first night. At least warm me up to it. Anyways, on to the second reason. I did not care to dine in the lovely rooms, instead we ate at the buffet during our cruise. Out of our 4 nights on this ship, we came across dirty silverware at least 7 different times. Sometimes even the cloth that the silverware was wrapped in was dirty. My girlfriend saw was appeared to be lipstick which seemed unbelievable to me being that the cloth was most likely washed a ton of times. I had a couple forks with dried food on them and maybe one plate that I picked up with dried on food. I am a real germaphobe but again I do not complain or make a big deal, we simply picked up two or three everytime we ate so we can have options to select from if one happened to be dirty. That did the trick, we still came across dirty silverware but at least we could mix and match so to speak. However, this did not stop me from having a great time. Would I go on this ship again, yes I would. I happened to get a really good deal and if that deal makes way to my eyes again, I just make have to accept. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Carnival Imagination Review, July 2-6: I sailed with my husband, age 65, and our grandsons, aged 6 and 9. My husband and I have sailed on 25 ships in the Caribbean, Alaska, Baltic, Mediterranean, and in Asia on NCL, Royal Caribbean, ... Read More
Carnival Imagination Review, July 2-6: I sailed with my husband, age 65, and our grandsons, aged 6 and 9. My husband and I have sailed on 25 ships in the Caribbean, Alaska, Baltic, Mediterranean, and in Asia on NCL, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Disney, and Celebrity and have traveled widely throughout all of Europe and the British Isles as well as Japan. This was our grandsons' second cruise, they having cruised on the Disney Dream last year. This cruise stopped at Key West and Cozumel, sailing out of Miami. We chose this ship because my grandsons love waterslides, and it has great waterslides. It was our first (and probably last) cruise with Carnival. DEMOGRAPHIC: The shoeless (from what I saw, more than half the people embarked in flip-flops), the heavily tattooed, the party heartiers, four bewildered elderly people, us, and a large Black man who was removed from the ship in handcuffs. EMBARKATION: We had a grande suite, so therefore had VIP embarkation. It was, simply put, wonderful. We arrived at the terminal a bit after 11, waited a minute or two at security, were whisked to the VIP lounge where our sign and sail cards were waiting, and then onto the ship immediately. Looking down on the hordes below, however, I am not sure how great embarkation was for them. SAILAWAY PARTY: Whoo hoo! This consisted of a loud DJ, some crew members jogging about the stage, and a dozen chubby passengers doing the electric slide. We moved on. OUR CABIN: U88 is a large (double) cabin with ample storage, a refrigerator of decent size, and lots of counter space, but it is not attractive at all. I would call it functional looking. Not even as nice as IKEA! The balcony is quite long, but there are only two chairs and a small table on it. I would have liked a curtain between the king bed and sofa bed.In terms of the bathroom-- it was of decent size with a rather smallish jetted tub. The hair dryer was so weak as to be useless to those of us with longish hair. I did not think the bathroom lighting was adequate for applying make-up. There was a magnifying make-up mirror, which was a nice touch, but it should have been stronger. To be fair, though, both the mirror and the lighting was probably fine for Carnival's demographic. Older passengers are so rare on this ship as to qualify for the endangered species list. Younger passengers have better eyesight, generally speaking. Almost as soon as we arrived, the sofa was made into a bed. And it stayed a bed for four days. We never had the use of our sofa to sit on! I could have asked the steward to convert it every day, but as it was not a huge issue with us, I didn't. Still, it seems odd to have a sofa you can never use as a sofa in your room. The only seating then, other than the beds, was a single chair and an uncomfortable square stool. It would have been nicer to have had multiple chairs. There certainly was plenty of room for them. When we walked by the interior cabins and glanced into them, all we saw was beds. The tiny cabins seemed composed entirely of beds, and there seemed so many occupants in them that they were more like clown cars than cabins. It was a lucky thing that we like our AC high, as I think the temperature in our room was somewhere around 67 degrees. We were afraid to say anything, afraid it would get hot like most ships are. It was 100 degrees outside. We were glad it was cool inside. You have no control over the temp in your room so far as we saw. I will also add that the mattresses were comfortable. We all slept well. THE SHIP: There's not an attractive room on the Imagination. It boggled my mind that not even one had sort of accidentally turned out to be attractive. The ship looks as if it had been furnished from garage sales, and no particular style or design had been selected. So you have large gold medallions affixed to mirrored areas and mosaiced areas outside the elevators and on the adjacent wall, some very bad modern art that rather looked like scribble drawings. You had gold sphinxes complete with nipples adjacent to large black plastic light balls with points emanating from them adjacent to red glass torch lights. It was just awful. The "design" of the ship can't even be described as "kitchsy." It's just plain ugly. This boggles my mind. Why would you spend a bunch of money building a butt ugly ship? Another dumb thing was the placement of the life boats which blocked your view of the ocean from the upper deck. Why would anyone do that? Most everyone had no balcony and would possibly have liked to have taken a stroll around deck to see the actual water, but not on this ship. I pass over the stupidity in designing the most expensive cabins on the ship, the penthouse cabins, with obstructed views under the noisy track, too.Further, I hate ships like this on which you can't walk straight through from one end to the other. Trying to figure out which elevators go to which floors and where you have to take a staircase to get to another section of the ship is annoying. I am surprised that the many heavy drinkers on this ship were able to find their ways back to their cabins. There seemed to be little seating room in lounges and a great big casino for a ship this size. I found that strange considering there are so many interior cabins that aren't pleasant areas to spend much time in. The atrium is also small, of course. This is the only ship I have ever felt crowded on. I don't like feeling crowded, threading my way through hordes of people. The situation was made worse by the activities held in the halls for lack of sufficient space. So, for instance, one night they were offering free liquor tastings. Since to this crowd that was like throwing chum for sharks, the hallway was literally impassable, and we had to dodge into one THE POOL: Just how fond of the other passengers are you? Again, clown car came to mind. We took our grandsons swimming at 8:30 in the morning when they had the pool to themselves, but I kept wondering if there were enough chlorine in the world to counteract the bacteria from all the bodies that were in that pool every day. CHARMING TOUCH: When we went up at 8:30, we saw towel animals literally everywhere. On every seat, bench, lip, or ledge. Very, very cute. The ones we got at night, also charming. The chocolates-- skip. Basically, as I looked around the ship, I thought, "Done on the cheap with shoddy materials," and I hoped money hadn't been saved by using substandard materials on the hull! For instance, I have never been on a ship that had aluminum rails down the corridors instead of wood. The walls in the corridors looked like the walls you would expect in the crew corridors behind the scenes. "ELEGANT NIGHT": Most people cleaned up okay. There was a smattering of suit coats and sport coats, but mostly the height to which "elegant" reaches on this ship is what my husband and grandsons wore: white shirts, dress pants, and ties and what I wore: a black crepe pantsuit with sparkly shell. I saw many collared polo shirts on the young men in particular. This may pass for "elegant" with them in a world of declining taste. I also saw a young Hispanic male attired in a dress white "wife beater." (Wife beaters were forbidden in the dining room. The fact that they have to be forbidden on this ship speaks volumes in and of itself.) There were also a number of women who apparently shop exotic apparel venues as I saw far too many bare midriffs, bare backs, and, in general, way too much flesh that should never have seen the light of day. This led to me thinking that perhaps I should add "the mirrorless" to my demographic. THE CREW: I would say they were pleasant but distant. Personally, I don't think they're crazy about being on the ship. Our waiter was not friendly but not unfriendly. I have been on many other ships with friendlier crew by far. NCL's crews come to mind. Disney's are par excellence, of course. When I compare the way my grandsons were treated by the Disney waiters and stewards with the way the Carnival waiters and stewards, I am saddened. I don't, however, need to be buddies with the crew to enjoy a cruise. I have to add here that there was a certain ineptitude amongst the crew of this ship. Time seemed to be flexible on the Imagination. We left a half hour late. Our safety drill was at least a half hour late. The waterslides opened 20 minutes late on sea day. It took 40 minutes to get our appetizer the first night; not so late other nights. Breakfast was 10 minutes late one morning, etc. Furthermore, things appeared in the Funtimes that were in error. The shows were switched. Times and places were given wrong in two instances. When my husband took the kids to a Camp Carnival magic show, he was sent to two different places as nobody seemed to know where it was going to be. These things are not serious. But I am a firm believer that ships have a personality, and if so, the personality of this ship is "Ehhh." CAMP CARNIVAL: My grandsons are 6 ½ and just a hair from 9. Granted, their only experience with ship's programs was with Disney which is incomparable, but they were open to what Camp Carnival had to offer. There was just limited things going on that interested them. Every day, sometimes 2-3 times a day, the pay-to-make stuffed animal activity was going on. Neither of my sons was interested, and I was glad, as I just didn't like the idea of the ship charging $30 for an activity. Make it free or don't do it. Morever, activities consisted of things like paper ball wars and drawing pictures and such dull things. My grandson reported there was only one Wii game. They enjoyed the magic show and they enjoyed the contests between girls and boys, but they didn't care to go when other things were going on. I think they went about 5 hours in 4 days. I find it rather unconscionable for people to leave their children in Camp Carnival til 1 o'clock, but this "night owls" program was regularly offered. I guess I would say that Camp Carnival was decent but not any better than that. That said, NCL's camp is worse. ENTERTAINMENT: I can only report on the two stage shows we saw: Shout and Living in America. Both were excellent, far better than any other shows I have seen on other lines except Disney, and again, there is no comparison. The dancers were good; the female singer, strong; the male singer, decent. The shows were creatively put on, and we enjoyed them very much. I liked the old style theater very much. Those old theaters are way more comfortable with their long upholstered benches, actual tables you can set a drink on, and room for people to walk in front of you without you standing up. Of course, you will pay a pretty penny for that drink. It cost $8.87 for a coke and a light beer. Not sure if that included gratuity. I surely hope it did. Otherwise, I should have been drinking liquid gold. FOOD: I was very surprised by the excellence of the food we had in the main dining room. Again, I can only report on what we chose, but the BBQ ribs, the meatloaf, prime rib, Yankee pot roast, were some of the best meals I've had on a ship. Other things were also very good, and I must not forget to mention warm chocolate melting cake which I had every night and my grandson ate 3 out of 4 nights. Once he had tasted mine, there was no going back. . I was impressed with the sheer numbers of things you could eat at dinner in the MDR. The breakfast buffet was adequate though not impressive by any means. Avoid the omelet station. The omelet my husband had tasted like a "flat egg." The sandwich station pales beside the one on NCL ships which offer numerous types of bread, meat, and cheese and even potato chips. This one offered toast or a roll. Turkey and Ham and Cheese. Not impressive. The pizza, to me, was blah!! The kids were okay with it. Hamburgers okay. Lunch buffet was hit or miss, some great things; some rather pathetic. Lemonade and Iced Tea were the liquid offerings at lunch. A very delicious orange/guava/passion fruit juice, orange juice, apple juice, were all offered at the breakfast buffet in addition to coffee and tea. I was surprised that there were no hand sanitizing Nazi's around. There were inconspicuous canisters of the stuff around with the sign "voluntary" on them. But no shouts of "washy washy." I might point out both my grandsons got sick the day we got off the ship. I was unhappy there was no early breakfast for our early port of Key West. Full breakfast started when we landed! Yes, we could have eaten a continental breakfast earlier or through room service, but my husband's diabetes finds neither acceptable. I was ecstatic that we had one of the very few tables for four in the dining room. There were very few tables for two, as well. You can pretty much count on being seated at a large table on this ship. EXCURSIONS: We took the shuttle into Key West long before the stores opened. I truly hated getting in there at 7:30 and having to be on the last shuttle at 12:30. There was not enough time. It was terribly hot, and that did not encourage strolling. We went into the Mel Fisher museum which would have been pathetic had they not had a brand new Harry Potter exhibit that our grandsons truly enjoyed. We also took the boys to the southernmost marker and had the requisite photo taken. Enjoyed the chickens and roosters on the loose, especially early when the roosters felt it necessary to crow. Wandered around, paid $15 for a key lime pie on a stick, large drink, and two scoops of ice cream, and went back to the ship. I like Key West. It is a beautiful city, full of charm, but dragging two children around in that heat was not going to happen. I also hated getting into Cozumel at 1:30 in the afternoon so that various attractions that closed at 5 were unavailable. We took the boys on a ship's excursion to Discover Mexico. We had a guide, Diego, who was very sweet. He took us around the museum of beautiful things they own, the models of famous buildings/pyramids in Mexico, and then put us in a cab so we could head down town. That cab was included in the price of the excursion. This was a nice activity for children, a nice introduction to Mexico. Nothing earth shattering, just nice. It took about an hour or 90 minutes at most. PHOTOGRAPHS: I can honestly say that I have never seen so many stations for having a picture taken in such close proximity. It was like walking a gauntlet. We stopped at the first station and then had to grieve the other dozen or so photographers who tried to persuade us to stop by for more photos. I never did find all our pictures. They ran out of display space and heaped the photos in boxes in huge piles. I didn't care enough to go through all those. If I had done so, by the time I found mine, they would be covered with the fingerprints of other eager lookers anyway. We bought a very nice picture taken formal night on the stairs, one of the boys posed with an Aztec at Cozumel, and a couple taken at Discover Mexico. The only problem was that the photographer did not wait until some stray dude had passed before taking the picture on the dock, so we have this unknown person fully as large as the boys in our picture. The contrast and tones of the pictures was very good. PINS: Good news, pin hunters. Ship's pins are sold in the gift shop. There is one that is a whale's tail labeled Imagination, and another of Freddy and the tale but no ship name. ICE: Gosh, I read so many times that you have to ask for ice. Ice was put in our room twice a day and then the steward came around at night and asked if we wanted more. Now maybe ice is a suite perk, so you may have to beg for the cold stuff if you are sailing steerage. DISEMBARKATION: Okay, remember when I said VIP embarkation was wonderful? VIP disembarkation not so much. First of all, it has been a very long time since I was on a ship that did the wait in the lounges thing. We waited until 9:15 which was the earliest off time for non-self assisters. There was no water made available to the passengers waiting. Once off, if you thought you were going to bound through the luggage area and escape quickly, you are wrong. There were 3 luggage carousels. On each was 1/3 of the luggage of the passengers who did not carry their luggage off. So your zone 1 luggage was going around with the luggage from zones 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 18, 21, etc. This did not make for the fast grabbing of your suitcases. It was not cool. Parking has gone up to $20 a day. It is open and unsheltered, so don't leave any food in your car on hot days! So there you have it. Lots of words for such a short cruise! I will close with the fact that on other ships I have been asked to evaluate my cruise. Carnival has not asked. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
We are first time cruisers...a single mom with two teenage boys (15 and 18). The reason we booked this cruise was value. For an inside room it was less than $900.00. We had a fairly smooth departure from Miami. Be sure to take a taxi ... Read More
We are first time cruisers...a single mom with two teenage boys (15 and 18). The reason we booked this cruise was value. For an inside room it was less than $900.00. We had a fairly smooth departure from Miami. Be sure to take a taxi ($24.00) instead of the cruise line transportation ($18 per person). They let us off out front and it was fairly smooth transition to the ship (just like going to the airport). We did not check our bags and your room will not be available until 1:30 so unless you want to cart them around you might be better off checking them. Lunch was served. The lines were long and seats were scarce. Our room was a closet without windows. We didn't care because we only slept there. Actually we kinda liked the fact that it was so dark. Take a watch though because as soon as you leave port you are on "ship time" (your cell phone will show the time as 4 hours ahead). Also take a hair dryer if you use one. Although they said it was in the room on the brochure, this was not true and I had to call three times and wait 2 hours to get one. Meals were fine. I am an early riser and there was plenty of food either upstairs or in the dining room. Gourmet coffee (you pay, regular coffee and juice was available. Line began to get long around 9ish. My boys slept late almost every day. We ate lunch at the buffet. They had a burger line which we didn't go to but we enjoyed the Mongolian Wok and the boys liked the pizza. We learned to arrive at the dining room for dinner early or there would be a wait. You get almost the same food at the buffet served upstairs. Service in the dining room was fine. We do not drink soda. I drank wine (10.00 for the good stuff) and gratuity is right there on your stub. I think the drinks are around the same price if you went to a restaurant to eat. My teenagers had a blast. There were tons of people their age on the ship and there are special "camps" for under 17 year olds. The Adult Comedy Show was good (the G-rated was lame). The shows were okay too. My kids enjoyed the karaoke. The pool was a joke...very, very small and the slide was there but it didn't even slide into a pool. Hot tubs? Well I wasn't real sure how sanitary they were so I stayed away. I went to the Serenity area (over 21) and the chairs were better there than anywhere on the ship. Lines get long for towels at times. Chairs during the peak hours are scarce. The DJ's were fun but the music seemed to be on a constant repeat. I now know all the words for about 6 songs. Carnival will try to take your photo for everything. Every embarkation, disembarkation, dinner etc. there was a camera in your face. We just told them no or walked around the camera. No one was pushy.The stops were Key West, where we walked around for around an hour and got back on board. It was early in the morning so a lot of the stores were just opening up. If you were a party person who wanted to hit the bars, most of them weren't even open. The next stop was Cozumel. I had signed us up for a kayak and snorkeling trip to Chankanaab Park. First they walk you through a store (this is the only way off the pier) and you meet up with your tour guide. Not a lot of fish to be seen but my boys enjoyed it and they liked to kayak. I'm not sure it was worth what I paid but the park was beautiful. However I will get on my grandstand to say that they have dolphins here to swim and interact with people and these dolphin are kept in very small compounds. Getting off the ship was fine. Again, we did not have checked bags so we sailed through customs. I believe you get what you pay for and I did get what I paid for. My boys can eat, eat, eat and that's what they did. This cruise was a lot less than the cost of a hotel room and meals for us. The boys had tons of fun with people their age. We all got sun and rest (for Mom). Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
This was my first cruise and I had such a great time have already booked March 2013 cruise. First I would like to say that I was very impressed at how friendly and helpful the Carnival staff were. From the moment we got off the plane (I ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I had such a great time have already booked March 2013 cruise. First I would like to say that I was very impressed at how friendly and helpful the Carnival staff were. From the moment we got off the plane (I had booked the carnival transporation to the port) every carnival staff we encountered was awesome. The transportation they arranged was organized and had us away from the airport within 30 minutes of me getting my luggage from the plane. Embarkation was very smooth and we were on the ship within 35 minutes of arriving at the port. Once onboard the staff continued to be excellent! Our stewards were wonderful, knew us by first name in the first day and we never wanted for anything the entire trip. We have pictures with both of them. The food was very good, regardless of where we ate. We ate on the dining room first and last night of the cruise and made use of the buffets the remaining 2 nights. I did become addicted to ice cream as the 24hr ice bar was too tempting to pass by. We elected to stay on the ship wile in Key West and just enjoying the pool while the majority of the guests were onshore. Again the staff was great and seemed to always be right there as your drink was nearing empty. We did decide to leave the ship to visit Cozumel. Enjoyed the sites but recommend you take cash if you are familiar with the convesation rate from dollars to peso. I made the mistake of taking no cash and paid twice what was "agreed" upon for items I purchased. Heard from a few others they had the same experience as well. Debarkation was suprisingly quick. When I saw the crowd waiting to leave I assumed it would be lengthy but was off wihin 20 minutes of arriving on that deck. When asked what the worst part of the cruise was, all I can say is it was while we were walking away from the ship. Carnival did an excellent job, made us feel very welcome, exceded our expectations and hooked me on cruising. The ship was very clean, well maintained and I honestly can't say I was disappointed by a single thing. I am already booked for a 7 day cruise next March with Carnival and I'm counting the days already Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
This was our first cruise so we didn't know what we didn't know. We had no problems at all with checking in, planning excursions or leaving the ship after the cruise. In fact, it was all very orderly and well planned. We found ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we didn't know what we didn't know. We had no problems at all with checking in, planning excursions or leaving the ship after the cruise. In fact, it was all very orderly and well planned. We found our rooms to be clean and a fair size, beds were very comfortable, lots of storage, and the showers were great. We saw two comedy shows, both were probably more explicit than needed but there were LOTS of young people and they seemed to enjoy it. They also enjoyed the drinks which were always available. But overall, it was pretty good. The bad points: The food could have been better. It was tasty but pretty limited. Temperature was off and on as well as it took awhile to get pop with your pop card. Seemed like a good way for them to limit how much "all you can drink" on your card. Coffee was very strong and milk seemed to take forever to get. The service was pretty good other than one night when it seemed like the server was not having a good day. The line ups for the deli, omelette place and pizza place were too long but I heard the food was worth the wait. The Internet was slow and expensive. Carnival has an app for iPhone and iPad which states there is a 50% coupon off Internet. Don't ask about it as no one seems to know about it and refuse to acknowledge it, even with the app in front of them. Photo stations are everywhere and by the third day, it starts to get annoying every time you walk by they try to physically pull you into having a photo taken. People weren't very considerate when walking the halls at 3AM and talking loudly. We never heard anyone in the adjacent cabins but the hall ways were loud. Smoking carried over into non-smoking areas, smoking allowed in Casino, which didnt have doors so very noticable. Also allowed on one side of Lido deck (where food was) Not nice to smell cigarette smoke when trying to eat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Being our first cruise we wanted to go as cheap as possible. Everything was taken care of from the airport to the cruise line. We were met at the Ft. Lauderdale airport with a person holding a Carnival sign and they bussed us and our ... Read More
Being our first cruise we wanted to go as cheap as possible. Everything was taken care of from the airport to the cruise line. We were met at the Ft. Lauderdale airport with a person holding a Carnival sign and they bussed us and our luggage to the ship. They loaded our luggage and off it went to appear in front of our cabin 3 hours later. We were notified the cruise line was monitoring the tropical storms and may have to change port locations. We had a couple hour wait on the ship before we could get in our cabin, so we enjoyed the buffet and lemonade. While my husband relaxed on the lounge chairs with our carry on luggage, I joined in with the dancing on the deck. I am a terrible dancer, but I figured I am never going to see these people again. Little did I know my husband was video tapping me from the upper deck he was lounging on. We thoroughly enjoyed the pampered treatment of the room being cleaned throughout the day. I looked forward to the towel animals and chocolate. The employees had broken English, but you can still understand them. They came across happy to serve you. The comedy acts were good, but too short (or we might have just got there too late). When not at port, we definitely enjoyed the shows and dance classes. You can't go to everything that was offered, so if we didn't want to stay we go leave and do something else. We never had a drop of rain during our entire trip, because they changed our port from Cozumel to Nassau. The only bad weather we had, was Miami was a little too humid when we got back. We tried to work out every day either in the gym or walking path. You have to be careful not to over eat from the multiple buffets. We booked the early dining, but when our card was printed, it said the later dining time. We were told to check with the matradee. With all the craziness of everyone trying to find there seating on the first night the matradee set us up and he came across happy to help us. The only bad thing was to get to our dining room was a little complicated because the way the ship was designed. I tried foods for the first time and enjoyed them. We dined with people that were vetern cruisers, and they said Carnival is the way to go if you want fun things to do while on the ship. My husband and I are not drinkers, and are in our 50's and we had a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
My first cruise was Carnival Imagination, I can't compare this cruise to another because I have never been on any others. However, I can say this cruise ship was mainly for families with kids. It is a party theme ship that ... Read More
My first cruise was Carnival Imagination, I can't compare this cruise to another because I have never been on any others. However, I can say this cruise ship was mainly for families with kids. It is a party theme ship that wouldn't be described as "luxurious" but just 'fun looking' and great for KIDS of all ages. I went on this cruise in July of 2010. We boarded the ship in Miami and we went to Key West,Fl., and Cozumel, Mexico. While cruising on the Imagination I experienced the most fun I have EVER had out of any vacation. My family usually just goes out of the state to Washington, or Pennsylvania, something easy but fun. Cruising however was definitely the best time I have had. The cruise was great, it wasn't long enough I felt...the interior of the ship was decent. Whenever my sister and I wanted to just hang out, we went to the ship's library. There was board games, books, and stuff like that. The best part of this library was that when you shut the glass doors, you could hardly hear anything going on outside of there. Another one of our favorite places was the cafe/buffet because if you ever got hungry or thirsty you could just walk in there and get what you wanted. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
I have been on 3 other cruises prior to this trip all much newer, nicer, and bigger than this ship. My number 1 complaint has to be the service especially room service. The ship in general is very under staffed. The crew members on the ... Read More
I have been on 3 other cruises prior to this trip all much newer, nicer, and bigger than this ship. My number 1 complaint has to be the service especially room service. The ship in general is very under staffed. The crew members on the ship are like robots with no personality. Any time you ask them something they give you an automated answer that doesn't even help or answer whatever it is you are asking. They show no emotions good or bad and seem to be sick of their jobs and being on the ship. The room service is pathetic. They do not have enough staff and are not equipped for the amount of people on board. Out of the 10 times I tried calling they only bothered to pick up 2 times. Both times the wait was over 2 hours which is just ridiculous. One night we decided to hang the room service card on the door to avoid the hassle and wait for breakfast but our food never came the next morning. No phone call or anything. Trying to get through to the information/ front desk is another lost cause. Again they are completely under staffed. The line was always busy, they always put you on hold if you did actually get through, and if you went in person there was always a huge line.             Another thing I did not like is that on the last night after dinner there is nothing else to eat until breakfast. Usually they have a 24 hour pizza place but on the last night they close it and give you no choice but to order room service and wait 2 hours. Why close the only place that is supposed to stay open 24 hours just because it's the last night? If you pay for a cruise and food is included than there should be food readily available until you get off.           On any cruise I have ever been on I have never felt any type of movement. I guess because this is a smaller and older ship the stabilizing equipment isn't as good, because from the moment we left port until we got back the ship was rocking non stop. So bad sometimes I had to grab on to things as to not fall over. If you are sea sick find another ship!! No where else is the saying you get what you pay for more true than on a cruise. My advice to anyone is to shell out a little more money on a newer/bigger ship because after all that is where you will spend the majority of your time and it really is worth the extra money. Cruise ship design and amenities are constantly changing and improving and you just can't compare an older ship to a newer one. I would not go on a ship that is older than 7-8 years. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
Monday - Arrival The Port at Miami is owned by Carnival Cruise lines, so it's state of the art - they have a lot of their people working there - getting on board was really fast and really easy - their people are great at getting ... Read More
Monday - Arrival The Port at Miami is owned by Carnival Cruise lines, so it's state of the art - they have a lot of their people working there - getting on board was really fast and really easy - their people are great at getting people in and out as quickly as possible so you can get on the ship. Even though boarding time was 12:00 pm, the rooms weren't actually ready until 1:30 (or so their letter said) - we got on at around 1:00 pm and went to our room anyways, it was done, although I know some people were waiting around the lobby for their rooms to finish. Our family of 5 got 2 rooms - the first cruise with Carnival last summer, the 5 of us got one room because we had no idea how small or big the room was going to be. The rooms are a nice size (considering you're on a boat with thousands of other people) and as 5 people in 1 room, there were 2 bunk beds and 1 cot right in the middle, so basically there was nowhere to walk. But they only pull out the cot at nighttime during their turn down service, so it's not always there in your way. Depending on how much time you spend in your room, it wasn't that big of a deal for us. This time, we had 2 rooms for the 5 in our family - it was MUCH more comfortable. Originally we had one room for the 5 of us because it's about 500-600 more expensive for 2 rooms, but then a few days before we were going to leave, Carnival upgraded us to 2 rooms right next door to one another! So ask your travel planner to notify you if that is a possibility, they try to accommodate as best they can. My parents had their own room next door and us three kids got our own room - 2 single beds and one pulled down "bunk" bed. It was plenty of room for the three of us. They upgraded the tvs from our last ship, so they were flat screen about 20" and they play different movies (on rerun) every day on cruise, so that was nice - and they were recent movies, too, not old ones. You also get regular cable channels so you can watch the news, and even MTV. In the bathroom, they provided body wash, shampoo, razors for girls and guys (bic), and toothpaste if you need it. There are also plenty of towels so you don't need to bring your own. We just spent our time walking around the ship, it's considerably smaller than our first one (Carnival Victory), so it's pretty easy to navigate yourself around the ship since there aren't that many places to go. The water "park" is BEAUTIFUL - it's new! - and it includes a tube water slide that swirls around (and gets to be pretty fast, actually) and two water slides that go straight down, as well as some cute fountains that spray water for the smaller kids. I would recommend going on these if you come back early or leave later at one of the stops because there are always tons of small children running around there and lines can get long. They close at 5, though, so if you're planning on going when you get back early from one of the stops, keep that in mind - my sister and I were only able to go on the slide about 4-5 times before they told us it was closing. The sun decks are really nice, there's an adult serenity deck where children aren't allowed so it's more peaceful up there than by the pool. The pool is small and there is only one and there is a jacuzzi (two maybe? I forget). They had a couple of activities, nothing amazing. We had our dinner time at 8pm (the late seating) - and the staff was wonderful, as always, our waiter did magic tricks for us every night. We shared a table with another family, if you don't want to do this make sure you let your vacation planner KNOW otherwise you won't have an option. Our first trip we sat at our own table and while it's nice to meet other families, it can get awkward and you aren't able to relax as much because you feel like you need to have a conversation with them. It depends on what kind of personality you are though and what kind of vacation you're looking for. They had shows at night, the shows are nice - nothing amazing - but fun, colorful, and loud all the same. Our cruise director, George (Jorge), was AMAZINGLY WONDERFULLY FANTASTIC - so funny, he used to be a stand up comedian, and if you go to show only for him, it's worth it. Oh and don't let them fool you when you are arriving to check in, you don't HAVE TO check your luggage - but they tell you that so that you'll tip them. We didn't have to the first time, but then this time they confused us by telling us we had to - then later on we saw people carrying on their own luggage onto the ship. Tuesday - Day at Sea Nothing special. Look below for past carnival cruisers. They had activities throughout the day. My family loves their steam and sauna in the spa carnival so we went there usually before dinner and then showered in the spa because the stalls are bigger so it's more comfortable. This steam and sauna room was different from our first cruise - it was about half a size smaller and there were no windows looking out into the ocean. But it was fine, nonetheless, not many people used it so it was peaceful. If you're traveling with children, a good way to save money on soda (which is extra) is to buy your child a fountain card (I think it's about 10-15 less than adults) and they can get endless amounts of fountain drinks, so you can all just share. We did that with our family and it worked fine. They have sushi bar night every night for an hour, a ping pong table, the Carnival Spa which has a spa/steam/sauna room, a small gym, some fitness classes (which you have to pay for - usually $10 per class), some "free" consultation classes about weight less and what not but they usually try to sell you some product and it gets annoying. For people who want to use the spa, the first day of the cruise you can enter a raffle for free spa services - I would recommend that, they give away some fantastic things! it takes some time out of your day to go and put your name in, then you have to go back at the designated time for the drawing - if you aren't there then you don't get it. But they gave away maybe 15 spa services for free. So it was pretty nice. Wednesday - Grand Turks This is the smaller of the Bahama islands, there's actually not much to do or see there but if you do want to do some sightseeing, I would go with something from Carnival because the taxi drivers there charge about $35 per person for a tour of the island and I think you can get something cheaper through Carnival excursions. I would do an excursion this day - one of the snorkeling or scuba diving, apparently there is a lot to see (we didn't do anything this day) - we did take a taxi into "town" but there wasn't anything great to see and we were charged $5 per person for the small ride one way and then another $5 per person on the way back. It's a very poor, developing area - a lot of run down houses, etc. but there is very very little crime - so no need to be worried. The people there are very friendly. Some of the past reviews said you can go and find a scuba rental area on your own - if you are to do this - you NEED to take a taxi there, there isn't anywhere (at least from what we saw and tried to look for) ON the beach where you're docked to look for somewhere to rent equipment from if you don't want to go through Carnival. There is one famous location, if you want to go scuba/snorkeling, you should just go up to the taxi drivers and ask them to take you there - I forgot what it's called, but they all know what it is because there is only one major company on the island who provides it. It was a nice beach, a lot of seaweed so it was kinda gross. If you hate sun, make SURE you rent one of those clam shells because there is NO shade and it gets HOT. You're going to be spending the next few days in the sun so don't try to get too much at once. You'll end up getting sick of it. Or worse, burnt. Thursday - Half Moon Cay If you were to choose one day to be a beach day - THIS IS IT. The water and the sand is GORGEOUS GORGEOUS GORGEOUS - when you look up pictures of the "Bahamas" or you imagine vacationing in the "Bahamas" this is what it looks like. Perfect soft sand and crystal clear turquoise water. Like out of a dream. I would do an excursion this day, too, only because you can only spend SO much time just lying on the beach doing nothing. We did snorkeling - it was $50.00... the water was rough and it was hard to swim around and see things when you were trying to fight so hard to not get washed away, but the coral was beautiful - there wasn't a LOT to see but we've never been snorkeling before so it was still fun for us. NOT GOOD for people who aren't good swimmers. My youngest sister flipped out after 5 minutes - what a waste of money. I would consider doing a scuba diving, I honestly think it looks better and more comfortable than snorkeling did. Although it was fun, I probably won't do it again because it was just too difficult to get around and you never know what conditions the waters are going to be. You only get 45 minutes out in the actual water swimming around to look at things, the ride there and back is about 20 minutes each way. When we got back, we ate at the BBQ on the pavilion on the island (Carnival owns this island, so it's uninhabited except for a few people they keep there, I guess). BRING SHOES when you go to the pavilion - the sand is scorching hot, as is the cement floors of the Pavilion. You'll burn the bottom of your feet. After that we just played around in the water and then went back onto the ship early because it was just too much sun. HERE is where you will also want a clam shell if you can't stand being in the sun for too long - there is no shade ANYWHERE here. But get it fast because you need to rent it and they go REALLY fast. Friday - Nassau Wednesday - This day my sisters and I woke up early to do the Dolphin Excursion - if you've never done it before I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS EXCURSION. It's expensive... about $200 a person - but definitely definitely worth it as a one time experience. AND YOU NEED TO BOOK IT FAST - either before your trip or the day you get ONTO the boat - the tickets for these excursions go REALLY REALLY fast. If you don't make it, call a few days through the next few days - sometimes spaces open up or get they are able to secure more tickets, so ask that they call you if that happens. We were too late to buy ours but out of luck the fifth time I stood in line, I found out that they had JUST gotten some extra tickets so I was able to go with my sisters and it was a WONDERFUL adventure. It really is about 4 hours, the way they say it in the pamphlet. When you go, though, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT TIME THE BOAT IS COMING BACK because we almost missed it and if you miss it, you'll need to wait another 2 hours to get on the next boat and you'll basically waste your entire day. After the dolphin excursion, you can walk around that facility and they have sea lions and giant turtles they're training as well, so that's pretty fun to see. They will take pictures and video for you, so you don't need to bring a video camera. Also, if there is someone in your family who doesn't want to do it but wants to just go and watch - you can ask if they can go to observe. I'm not sure if you need to pay for it, but I did see a family where the mother just went to observe. After we got back to Nassau from the excursion, we bargained with a taxi driver and he was able to give our family a 2.5 hour tour for $20 per person. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS. He showed us around the entire island, talked about their lifestyle and lives and jobs and people, he stopped at a few places and gave us time to get out, take pictures, walk around, etc. He was really great! We had him drop us off at the Atlantis - without a wristband which they use to distinguish hotel guests from outsiders or you can purchase one from carnival for $150 per person or from Atlantis front desk for $105 per person (but they give out a limited number) you basically can't see much of the resort because everywhere good takes a wristband. But there still are things to see and I think it was still nice to go and see what it was like. The food there is REALLY expensive. Half a sandwich and a bag of chips at the resort was $10. The people on the island eat "Conch" as one of their main sources of food, and I hear it's delicious the way they cook it - unfortunately we didn't have enough time to try it but I wish we had. On the taxi ride, we saw markets of people selling conch on the side of the roads in little stands. Saturday - Departure I would recommend self embarkation. It's not hard, it's really fast, and you can get out before everybody else. We did this last time too, no problems at all. Note for Past Carnival Cruisers: The shows are basically the same except for the comedians they bring in; The activities are basically the same too - they don't really change all that much (I tried to ask our vacation planner this since this was our second cruise and I didn't want it to be exactly the same but he wasn't straight with answering my question) - but most of the activities you were involved with or saw on your schedule the first time, will most likely be there again. It seems as though nothing really changed except for the stops we were going to and the size of the ship (and maybe a few upgrades in terms of how the ship looked and some amenities - it was little more modern); the food on the bigger cruise ships is also MUCH better - so the bigger the ship, the better the food. This ship was smaller compared to our first trip, so the food wasn't as great which was a disappointment since we were really looking forward to that. 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Sail Date August 2008
Before sailing on Imagination, we were first-time cruisers in our early twenties. Now we have fallen in love with cruising and have already started planning our destination wedding! PRE CRUISE We flew into Miami a day before our cruise ... Read More
Before sailing on Imagination, we were first-time cruisers in our early twenties. Now we have fallen in love with cruising and have already started planning our destination wedding! PRE CRUISE We flew into Miami a day before our cruise to hang out in South Beach. We stayed at the Carlton hotel in the art deco district just a short walk from the beach and Lincoln avenue. This hotel was great for the price, but it was no Ritz-Carlton! We spent a fun day and night in SoBe and woke up early to see the Miami sunrise on the beach. We caught a cab from our hotel to the Port and it was a little under $20. PORT AND EMBARKATION We didn't know what to expect when we got to the port, but it was quick and painless. The porter was fast and efficient, and the lines inside the port moved quickly. We took a cute disembark photo, and were ushered on the ship. THE SHIP AND STATEROOM The ship was beautiful. It was a little Las Vegas, but in a fun way. The DODs on the first day were delicious and strong. The stateroom was a lot bigger than we had expected. The bathroom was pretty large as well. We had an oceanview room on the bottom deck, Riviera. It was quiet at night and the room steward always had it sparkling and beautiful. The entertainment was fun. We went to two of the comedians and the best one was Dana Tyson, a juggler. He was hilarious! We usually prefer adult comedy, but this guy was great. The love and marriage show was hilarious. We went to the Legends show, and it was okay. We didn't have very good seats, and some of the singers were horrible. They were guests on the cruise though, so that really isn't the ship's fault. We played battle of the sexes and had a great time although some people got really competitive. Kevin Noonan, the cruise director, was great. He was really friendly and funny. My DH loved him! The midnight was buffet was beautiful! We didn't eat any food there, but took lots of pictures of the fruit sculptures. DINING The food on the lido deck for breakfast was typical buffet style breakfast. Breakfast in the dining room was good, but again typical breakfast food. DH fell in love with the deli and was eating there almost everyday for lunch. The staff working on the lido deck were awesome, they were so fast to bus the tables. The sushi bar was good, not anything to wow me, but I eat sushi a lot. The 24-hour pizza was good, and it was nice to have that there for whenever you were hungry. Room service was great, it was fast and delicious! Dinner in the dining room was great! We ate there every night except one and I enjoyed everything I ordered. They do a really great job, especially considering the amount of people they are catering to. The waiters are just awesome. Ikadka is my favorite. They are really fun and very attentive to your needs. They do a dance every night and even get you to join in on the last night for "YMCA." GRAND TURK Unfortunately, it rained the entire time we were here at Grand Turk (7am to 2pm). There isn't much here if you don't do an excursion. There are a few places with typical vacation clothes ( Ron John surf shop, Del Sol, etc.) and Margaritaville with a huge pool. We did the glass bottom kayak and snorkel excursion through Carnival. We love kayaking, so we had a ball in the rain. You kayak in very shallow water in the mangroves. Despite the rain, we did see a lot of wildlife. Snorkeling was short and sweet, which was probably good for our group because there were a lot of inexperienced snorkelers. Our guide was really cool and seemed to know a lot about the area and fish. Our bus driver gave us a guided tour of the island, so that was a fun, free perk. We stopped in at Margaritaville before boarding for a margarita and some fresh cracked conch fritters. They were both delicious! I could have eaten several orders of the conch! HALF MOON CAY This is carnival's private island in the Bahamas and it was absolutely gorgeous! We decided to stay on the ship until noon because there was such a huge line for the tender. We had the waterslide to ourselves and went down it at least 5 times in a row! It's a blast!! When we did take a tender over, we had a tender to ourselves with only one other couple, so that was nice. This is the day you want to do a beach day. The sand is like powder and the water is incredible. We talked to a guy that was snorkeling and he said he only saw some minnows, so I would skip that. I would rent a clamshell and a floaty and just enjoy the beautiful day. There is a tiny bit of shopping here, but I would just wait until Nassau. NASSAU, BAHAMAS This is our favorite place! Unfortunately, it was labor day the day we were in port. Carnival told us all the stores would be closed, but everything was open by 9 or 10 am. We took a horse and buggy tour of Nassau in the morning before everything opened. That was fun and only $15 a person for a 25 minute tour. We watched some of the labor day parade and walked around town for awhile. Then, we took the water taxi to paradise island to check out Atlantis. This is $3 each way. Some people complain a lot about it, but I didn't think it was that big of a deal. There is a really good smoothie stand when you first get off the ferry. They make lots of different drinks with fresh fruit and Bacardi gold and they are STRONG! Atlantis was amazing of course. You can walk through the lobby for free and check out part of the aquarium. There is a casino there as well if you are interested in that. There is a lot of shopping outside of the lobby, but it looked overpriced to me, there are better deals in Nassau. We came back over to Nassau and did a little shopping, stopped at Senor Frogs for drinks and got back on the boat. DISEMBARK Since our flight was later out of Ft. Lauderdale we ate a leisurely breakfast and relaxed in our room for awhile before self-disembarking. There was a bit of a line, but it wasn't bad and we off the ship about 15 minutes after we left our room. Customs moved pretty fast, so that wasn't too bad either. We caught a shuttle to Ft. Lauderdale airport for $24 a person. Overall we had an amazing time and I would do it again in a second!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2008
I'll tell you a bit about us so you have some perspective: We are three females, ages 27-30. This was my sixth cruise, third time on Carnival. My sister was on her fourth cruise (first on Carnival), and our friend traveling with us ... Read More
I'll tell you a bit about us so you have some perspective: We are three females, ages 27-30. This was my sixth cruise, third time on Carnival. My sister was on her fourth cruise (first on Carnival), and our friend traveling with us was a first-time cruiser. We are all single, professional, and though we are usually very active travelers, our main goal for this trip was just to relax! We booked our trip online through Carnival's website. This was a first, as we usually use a local travel agent. As an experienced cruiser I didn't feel we needed the travel agent's guidance, but if you've never cruised before, I would recommend using a travel agent to make sure you find the cruise that's right for you! Travel/Embarkation - We flew from Atlanta to Miami on Monday morning, May 5. With all the airline mishaps lately we were paranoid about flying on the day of our cruise, but thankfully, everything worked out fine! Our flight arrived on-schedule at 10:00 am, and after a $30 cab ride we were waiting in line to check-in by 11:00 am. Check-in was a breeze and Carnival's Zone Embarkation is genius! Since we arrived early we were Zone 2 and were able to board within the first thirty minutes. It's nice to be "rewarded" for arriving early! After a quick lunch (and a welcome aboard cocktail) we were able to drop our bags in our stateroom at 1:30 pm then explore the ship. Our Stateroom - We booked a Guaranteed Interior Stateroom. Since our goal for this trip was simply to relax and not break the bank, we weren't very concerned with our stateroom type. I've been in everything from an Interior on Deck 3 to a Junior Suite, and when you spend as little time there as we do, it doesn't make that much difference! We ended up in E109 on the Empress Deck, mid-ship. Booking a guaranteed cabin worked out well for us - we would have paid $90 more per person if we had booked this type of cabin - but I wouldn't recommend a guarantee unless you have some Past Guest status. The cabins were recently renovated and are very nice. There was plenty of room for three, even when the rollaway bed was brought in at night. Activities on Board - Imagination recently received Carnival's "Evolution of Fun" make-over and it was well worth it! The public restrooms and some of the common areas have been renovated and the ship looks great! There's plenty to do on board, including miniature golf and a waterpark, but we didn't really partake in much! We mostly lounged on Lido Deck and enjoyed the calypso band, though we did play TV Theme Song Trivia, Bingo, and Battle of the Sexes (which the girls won, of course!) Shows/Entertainment - I have to say that the onboard entertainment was our biggest disappointment. You expect a certain level of "cheesiness" in the shows, but these were over the top! I hate to say it, but the singers and dancers were just plain bad - though the Carnival Legends show was highly entertaining! Outside of shows, we can usually be found in the piano bar, singing along well into the wee hours. Not the case here since the piano player was terrible! It was a pretty big let-down, but we made up for it a little bit by enjoying the tunes from "Hey Mikey" on the Promenade Deck. I will give kudos to Cruise Director George/Jorge who had a great sense of humor, and to the "Fun Patrol" who had tons of energy and kept us entertained. Dining - Food onboard was another source of disappointment. I think "cruise food" in general has been going downhill the last few years, so I won't fault Carnival or the Imagination for it. Our service in the dining room was excellent, but most of the meals were mediocre at best. We stayed away from the buffet at the Horizon Bar & Grill primarily because the last thing we wanted after a day in the sun was a hot and heavy meal. They really should offer lighter fare at lunchtime. There is a nice deli inside Horizon that made good sandwiches, but there was usually just one attendant on duty and the lines were ridiculously long. Service/Crew - I've come to expect excellent service on cruise ships and the crew aboard the Imagination did a fine job. Everyone was incredibly friendly and accommodating. I don't know that anyone stood out for exceptional service, but we had no complaints. Shore Excursions -We only had a half day in Grand Turk which ended up being OK since it's not a very big island and there's not a lot to do there. We got off the ship early and paid a cab driver $25 per person for a tour of the island. Things got interesting when our driver took a little detour to purchase some, um, illegal substances, but thankfully we got back to the ship without incident. We spent the rest of the day at Governor's Beach swimming, snorkeling and relaxing on the beach. Half Moon Cay -I am a big fan of private islands and Half Moon Cay is no exception. The island is absolutely beautiful with amazing blue water and soft white sand. I think I would have been OK if they had left me there! We spent most of the day just lounging on the beach, but we also rented snorkel gear. Unfortunately, we only saw one fish, but the water was so pretty we didn't really mind! Nassau - Since our friend had never been to Nassau, we decided that she had to experience Atlantis! I had been there three times before and it never gets old! We booked the Discover Atlantis Tour for $50. After our tour we spent some time just wandering around and taking pictures, then stopped for a milkshake at Johnny Rocket's before heading back to Nassau. We made a quick run through the straw market, picked up our $12 "Prada" wallets, then back to the ship for an afternoon snooze! Debarkation - Our flight left Miami at 1:00 pm, so we were in group #9 for debarkation. Everything went smoothly through customs and picking up our luggage, and we were on the road by 9:30 am. Sadly, our trip was over! Sorry this review is long, but hopefully this will give you a good idea of what to expect aboard the Imagination! All in all it was a good cruise, but I've been on better. Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions! Happy sailing! Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
Okay - time to give back. I always try to write a review because I get so much enjoyment reading others. A little background: Mom (50ish) and daughter (20 something) celebrating daughter's graduation from college (JuCo - still has two ... Read More
Okay - time to give back. I always try to write a review because I get so much enjoyment reading others. A little background: Mom (50ish) and daughter (20 something) celebrating daughter's graduation from college (JuCo - still has two years to finish but we couldn't wait)! I must be living my life right as I just took a cruise with my husband and four other couples in January - see Serenade of the Seas Hootie Hoo Cruise. This was my seventh cruise and my daughter's second. This was a great opportunity for me to spend some quality time and make some memories with my daughter. Pre-cruise ~ We flew out of Chicago Midway very early Sunday morning and since we're not morning people and we live in Wisconsin where it can and will snow in May we stayed at the Sleep Inn to use their park, sleep and fly option Saturday night. This also means you get to start your vacation early. They have a pretty good set up if you have an early flight out of Midway. Went to TGI Fridays for our first of many margaritas. Very prompt shuttle the next morning and an uneventful flight to Miami. Grabbed a cab to the Holiday Inn Port of Miami for our pre cruise one night stay. We really enjoyed this hotel - had a room on the eighth floor overlooking Bayside and the Port. We walked the four or five blocks to Flager Street to get some wine and a case of water (more on this later). Back to the hotel to lay by the pool and throw a couple of beers back. The pool area is pretty small and very enclosed but for our purposes worked just fine. There is a bar right inside the pool area that keep us hydrated (read more margaritas). Met four other mother daughter teams that would also be sailing on the Imagination. This is also where we met another family that we hung out with on the cruise. They had really cute kids - Hi Ellie and Duncan! After bronzing ourselves we got cleaned up and went over to Bayside where we quickly found "Lets Make a Daiquiri". What a hoot. We met two really nice guys from Amsterdam - Jeroan and Gamal - had a nice dinner at Bubba Gumps and danced to the live band that was playing by the water. Great way to start our vacation! Embarkation ~ Hopped in a cab around 11 and were on the ship by noon -very painless. I'd read that the porters at Miami were very pushy and rude but this was not the case with us. It probably helps a bit when your daughter is gorgeous (I am prejudiced but it is true) Think tall blond basketball player. The only glitch we had at the port was that they would not let me check my case of water - bummer. So I hauled it through embarkation and stashed it in our cabin as soon as we were on the ship. Cabin ~ We booked a 1A guarantee and were upgraded to an inside on Main deck - cabin 6, the very first cabin forward. This was my only disappointment with the whole trip. I assumed that it would be very quiet up there, not worried about movement as my daughter and I never get sea sick but there was a crew staircase with metal stairs in front of our cabin and it was very noisy every night. When we mustered we were allowed to go up that staircase - turns out the crew bar was there. Very tempted many a nights to just get out of bed and join them. Our cabin steward was very efficient but very very quiet. On every one of my previous sailings our steward would call us by name, this gentleman very rarely said anything. Like I said, somewhat of a disappointment but certainly didn't spoil our cruise. Fun day at sea ~ Got up and walked the jogging track alone - couldn't get my daughter out of bed. This was the only morning that we had breakfast in the dining room. Actually this was the only morning we ever had breakfast! Had to have my eggs benedict at least once - it did not disappoint! Found some chairs near the stage and chilled in the sun enjoying the people watching and of course those wonderful drinks of the day. We had early dinner seating and this was our formal night so after the pool games we went back to the cabin and took our time getting ready for dinner. The bar at the back of the ship makes great martinis - my daughter had her first one. Didn't care too much for it and it sure packs a whollop!!! Lobster was excellent. We were seated at a table with eight other women and had a great time with them. Afterwards we all went to sing karaoke. Probably shouldn't have :) Table 217 sang R E S P E C T. That is one of the hardest darn songs to pull off but we sure had fun doing it. Grand Turk ~ I had taken a cruise on the Elation a year ago out of Port Canaveral with my husband, son and son's friend that did this exact itinerary (backwards). I loved it so much that when my daughter said she'd like to go on a cruise for her celebration I did not hesitate booking this itinerary again. We rented a golf cart in Turk and explored the island on our own. I was somewhat wary about doing this with just my daughter (remember beautiful) and I but I'm so glad I didn't let my fears stop us from doing this. We went to Bohio Resort (I had a picture that we took on our last cruise of their resort that I wanted to give them) did some snorkeling there and walked the beach a bit. We set out to find the lighthouse (I'm kind of directionally challenged) so it took a little longer for us to find. Cruised through town and went to Governors Beach for a little while. Stopped at Big Daddy's for lunch and then called it a day. I love Grand Turk and wish we didn't have to leave so early but we certainly made the most of our day there. After a nap and dinner we actually had enough energy to stay up late enough to enjoy the deck party. Half Moon Cay ~ only one word to describe this place - PARADISE. I have to say that this is my absolute favorite stop. We rented some blue floating mats and just lazed around all day. Last year my husband and I never made it to the BBQ but this year my daughter and I figured we'd better get some food in our stomachs. We then proceeded to have quite a few Miami Vices at the "I Wish I Could Stay Forever" bar. Sang a few songs with crazy Kyle (just kidding Kyle) and had a fun, fun day. Only casualty here was that Kyle's husband thought he would do me a favor while we were at the bar and returned my snorkel and mask. Bummer - it was our own, not rented. My husband was a little disappointed to hear this. Bad part about it was that I KNEW that the snorkeling was not any good at Half Moon but silly me, I just had to bring it anyway. Oh well, they are replaceable. If I am lucky enough to get back here I would love to get a group together and rent the Grand Cabana for the day - open bar, butler service - wow, just doesn't get much better than that. Nassau ~ booked a catamaran sail with Flying Cloud - our reservation got messed up so we ended up going on the Sailing Seahorse (for free). Awesome crew, great snorkeling, fabulous siteseeing and oh I forgot - rum punch!! Hit the straw market after the trip and then on to Senor Frogs. My daughter got 'volunteered' for a game right as we walked in - ended up winning notoriety and a free drink. Had a blast!! Debarkation ~ this is always so sad for me. We left the ship about 10:30 and then it took forever to get through customs. Not sure what the problem was. Hopped in the Dollar/Thrifty shuttle and were in our rental car around noon. Drove through South Beach looking for movie stars and then up to Surfside to hang at our timeshare place. After a great lunch at Flanagins we just hung by the pool at Surfside Solara until around 4 and then headed to the airport for our 7 PM flight home. This was a fabulous cruise - although I've never been on one that I didn't like. We're pretty easy going people and don't sweat the little things. It was really great to have this time with my daughter - probably won't ever get it again. We met some awesome people on this cruise and hope to keep in touch with them. I would HIGHLY recommend this cruise - the ship is great after the Evolutions of Fun remake (the big slide is so cool) and this is one of the best itineraries out there for beach bums. Now - where to go next . . . Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
DH and I just returned from our 5 day cruise and had a wonderful time! This was our 7yo DS's 1st one, so we wanted to test-drive the cruise experience and see how he'd do (he has high-functioning ASD) - he had a blast! We went ... Read More
DH and I just returned from our 5 day cruise and had a wonderful time! This was our 7yo DS's 1st one, so we wanted to test-drive the cruise experience and see how he'd do (he has high-functioning ASD) - he had a blast! We went with my mom and dad also - they had a room next to ours. We drove from West Palm Beach and parked at the terminal. It was easy to drop off our luggage and wait while DH parked the car - we got a front row spot. The porters/staff were helpful and friendly - they obtained a wheelchair for my mom. Silver linings - having a handicapped parking pass meant there was no charge for parking. The ship is beautiful - many have commented on the upgraded cabins, etc, so I won't repeat. We had an inside room on the Empress deck and had plenty of room - they brought in a bed for Zach (sort of a floor level cot) that was so comfortable I could've slept on it myself. The only weird thing I noticed is that our room always seemed humid - our wet clothes would not dry out either. I don't remember it being humid indoors on past cruises..... **News Flash** - on our cruise, they upgraded the room keys, so now your Sail & Sign card will open your door too. They changed the doors floor by floor. Our room was changed over on our last full day. The waterpark area is cool - DS loved the fast twin "racing" waterslides and I had to slide alongside him (to make sure I was either at the top or at the bottom at the same time). Ladies, cross your legs or you may experience an undesired cleansing. The BIG slide was cool too - DH walked DS up to the top, and I waited at the bottom. Zach loved it - he said "I spin around" "I got dizzy" and he wanted to go again and again. The one unexpected disappointment is there is no wading pool/kiddie pool area - other than the sprinklers at the waterpark. Since Zach is Zach, it was tough trying to relax while he played - I needed to be up chasing him around or with him on the slides..... The Lido pool is too deep for little ones (over 5 feet, no shallow area) - he can swim, but that deep I wouldn't let him go on his own - and the salt water burns your eyes. The staff was awesome all the way around. The waiters were all so wonderful - they work in the Horizon restaurant for breakfast/lunch and every one we encountered made a point to learn Zach's name and to talk to him. I sadly never learned all their names! We do remember Zoran and Charlie specifically. Zach LOVED sitting at the outdoor tables along the railing so he could watch the water while we ate (we enjoyed it too!). Our dining room waiters were Mario and IMade - they were the best! They made a point to dance with our son when they did the nightly waitstaff mini-shows. We had Main seating (6pm) in the Pride dining room and it was perfect. Our tablemates were another family of mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and son - so the boys had a blast at dinner and around the ship, and we enjoyed dining with them as well. The food was awesome, although we all agreed that one night we wanted one of everything, and the last night, we wished we could have spread out the favorites.... Definitely get the warm melting chocolate cake - and here's a hint - ask for strawberries, because there is nothing more yummy than strawberries and chocolate together. We all thought the shows were terrific - Zach loved the music and the "ladies with feathers on their heads" - he didn't comment on the showgirl-style thong outfits - but I sure wish I could look like that in one (I'm sure DH does too )! The Russian dancers were more than amazing - don't miss them! Our fly-in entertainer was hysterical - he was a juggler/comedian and we enjoyed his show. The islands were much better than I expected - at Grand Turk we spent the morning on shaded lounge chairs at the beach, and a few hours at the Margaritaville pool. Half Moon Cay was beautiful! The sand is just like the stuff you make sand sculptures with - so clean and soft! Don't wear closed beach shoes - you'll never get the sand out of them! The lunch area was all new with nice pavilions and picnic tables - we were told they didn't start serving until 12:30 so went up then and had no wait at all. In Nassau we just wandered around town and went to the Graycliff cigar factory - it's a beautiful old hotel and restaurant, as well as the humidor area where you can just walk in and watch them hand roll award-winning cigars. As we walked back to the ship, we followed a big parade of school students - the entire high school, complete with three flatbed trucks with cheerleaders and band members - we found out they won the basketball championship. The cruise director, Jorge ("George" before 5 pm, or the Latin pronunciation "hor-hay" after 5) was wonderful. He is a talented comedian and kept us laughing, even for the always-exciting debarkation talk. Debarkation was a bit of a madhouse - everyone wanted to self-assist and tried to hop off before they were called. We went with the zone method - once we got off the ship, it was easy to find our luggage and a very friendly porter to help us with our bags (4 for our family, 2 for my folks). We chatted with him in the customs line and he wheeled our bags all the way out to our truck in the parking lot. Really nice guy! The only real complaint I have is that our cruise is done and my countdown clock says "Sailed" - Boo! Oh, and I had to cook my own breakfast this morning Tamara Read Less
Sail Date April 2008
We flew into MIA two days prior to the embarkation of our cruise. We stayed at the Hyatt Downtown Miami. The hotel looks good now that it has completed it's renovations. I had read in earlier posts that the hotel was going under major ... Read More
We flew into MIA two days prior to the embarkation of our cruise. We stayed at the Hyatt Downtown Miami. The hotel looks good now that it has completed it's renovations. I had read in earlier posts that the hotel was going under major work. The con here is that valet is $27 a night and self parking is $12.50 so obviously you want to self park. We ate dinner in Little Havana at Versailles'. If you haven't had cuban food, you have to try it! So delicious. We drove down to Key West the day before the cruise. Being from Los Angeles, we wanted to take advantage of being in South Florida and see everything. We did the Conch Tour Train, and loved it. It's an hour and 30 minutes but hits every highlight on the island. We arrived at the Port of Miami at 11am. Checked in and got a zone card to board the ship. We were on within 30 minutes and having lunch on the Lido deck. The buffet is the typical Carnival food, along with 24 hr pizza, sandwich/grill bar, and a mongolian bbq bar. The new updated rooms on the ship are nice. Flat screen tvs, bathroom has a new sink and tile. Day 2-Day at Sea. We ended up sleeping in, and just enjoying laying out. Day 3-Grand Turk. We did the Stingray and Gibbs Cay Beach Adventure. The husband and I were able to hold sting rays and snorkel as well. We booked through carnival. Definitely a great excursion if you have a family. Shopping here is not great. The population is only 1000 people. So don't expect cheap souvenirs here. Day 4-Half Moon Cay. Carnival's private island. Soo beautiful. Definitely a day at the beach. Don't book an excursion. Make this a beach day and save yourself money. Carnival will bring out a lunch buffet on the beach. Day 5-Nassau Bahamas. We did the Atlantis Adventure. I've always wanted to see Atlantis, so thats why we booked it. A beautiful resort and super clean with lots of security. You need a wristband to get in and see everything. They always check for the wristband as well. Cheap shopping here. We asked our waiter for specific desserts this night, since we had loved the apple pie and black and white bread pudding. The waiter called the maitre d over to our table and the desserts specially ordered. So if you eat something in the formal dining room you love, ask for it again they will make it! Debarkation- We had a late flight so we booked the Everglades tour excursion with airport dropoff. A good way to kill some time before the flight home. We were back at the airport by 130PM. We had a great time all in all. This was our 4th Carnival Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2008
Parking, Parking at the port of Miami is convenient but it is costly at $20.00 per day and they only take cash paid in full before you park. Getting on the ship. This was a bit trying, Carnivals computers were down so the time it took to ... Read More
Parking, Parking at the port of Miami is convenient but it is costly at $20.00 per day and they only take cash paid in full before you park. Getting on the ship. This was a bit trying, Carnivals computers were down so the time it took to pass through was over 2 hours and none of the pre boarding info done by my wife was available so we had to do it over again. Ships interiors. The ship is decorated in a fun dEcor. The ship is older but has aged well, in fact even on sea days the interior of the ship never seamed crowded even thou we were 100% booked. The deck flow just seamed to give you the feeling that the ship was only half booked. That all ended when you try to get by the pool this deck is not laid out well and the pool is small. For adults there is a much less crowded aft sun deck that was quiet and was never hard to get a drink. Staterooms Our stateroom was a ocean view and was well appointed for the cost we paid. The TV was a flat screen and the bead was fine. The bathroom was small and the shower lip at the floor was very low so water went over the entire floor. A good thing for the ladies to know is that there is no hair drier in the room and the plug over the sink will not work with grounded plugs. The only real complaint was the raw sewer smell that came from the vent. We spoke to our stewarded about this and he tried his hardest to mask the smell, but had no luck. Pursers desk Don't go to the pursers desk it is a waist of time, if you ask them a question they will tell you to ask someone else. Entertainment We only went to the late night comedy show and it was a blast! The comic was hilarious Spa The spa was friendly and not a bad deal. Ports Grand Cayman We used our own tour guide and went to stingray city. This was a great experience and we did not have to fight the long cruise ship tour lines one thing of note is that one 2 ships pull in to Grand Cayman on Sundays so you have the town to your self Jamaica I have heard all the bad things about Jamaica and to my great joy none of them happened to our group. On Mondays only 1 ship pulls into this port so the people just don't push as hard. Leaving the ship. We were told if we carried our bags off we would get off first, this sounded like a great idea but it was a lie and I ended up caring off my bags at the same time as I would have if they would have done it for me. A closing note, The staff on this ship is a little rude, and I did not appreciate it at first, but as the week wore on I began to relies it is in part due to the fact that a lot of parents stop being parents on a cruise. They let there children run a muck. And by the end of the trip every time I saw a bad kid I found myself mad at there parents. And that is when I realized I would be a little rude too after a little wile. Read Less
Sail Date March 2008
Just to let you know that this is our 4th cruise with Carnival in the past 2 years. That being said, we are now spoiled by a cat 12 suite. Embarkation: Being VIP due to our suite, embarkation took under 5 minutes since I had filled out ... Read More
Just to let you know that this is our 4th cruise with Carnival in the past 2 years. That being said, we are now spoiled by a cat 12 suite. Embarkation: Being VIP due to our suite, embarkation took under 5 minutes since I had filled out everything beforehand. We did see a long line for regular checkin but, after talking to other passengers, it seemed to go pretty fast for them also. Cabin: What can I say - GORGEOUS! Nice walkin closet - first time I didn't have to fight for space with my husband. Really good size bathroom with a tub and a nice basket of goodies. The cabin was always clean thanks to our steward Januaris (Jan). We even had a fridge to keep our cheese from dinner in for late night snacking. The only thing I would have liked is for some way to keep the balcony door open (needed for 2 reasons - 1 being there were rough seas and fresh air helps, 2 being inconsiderate smokers in the cabin next to ours who smoked in their bathroom and this then came into our cabin). Ship: I loved the Serenity deck - no kids running around and extremely comfy lounges. The fact that there was no bar didn't bother us - there was always a waiter running around. We didn't really go in the other bars (too smoky - I'm allergic to smoke - sorry). We used the gym also - all new equipment and lots of it. The only time it was really crowded was early in the day - especially at the end with everyone trying to work off their extra weight (me included). Food/service: Very good food in the dining room - buffet was good too but not like in the dining room. Really liked the Beef Wellington and the escargot. Our service was great - our waiter Lenford brought our cheese to our cabin when we forgot it the one night and also got us the creme brulee for Valentine's Day even though it wasn't on the menu. Ports of Call: Grand Turk - party heaven! Margaritaville is a blast - best to just hang out at the pool with a cold beverage of your choice. Half Moon Cay - the best beach there is - think talcum powder. The water this time was a little chilly but the beach was so hot the water felt great. Ok (read not great) bbq but you're there for the beach anyways. Nassau - this was my spa day (thank you Tracey!). Did a little shopping but not a lot. Nassau itself needs a BIG facelift. Using this as a spa day was the right choice. Shows: We only went to the Welcome One (Jorge is the best!) and the Newlywed-Not so Newlywed. Too tired for everything else. The two we went to were fun. All in all - we had a great time. We are very easy laid back travelers that just try to have fun everywhere and usually do. Read Less
Sail Date February 2008
Carnival Imagination Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.3

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