2 Miami to Caribbean - Southern Carnival Imagination Cruise Reviews

My wife and I took our daughters, their husbands, our two grandchildren and my wifes mother on the Imagination on Jan. 30th, 2006. This was our fourth cruise and the rest of the groups first. We booked through Carnival and had 4 cabins ... Read More
My wife and I took our daughters, their husbands, our two grandchildren and my wifes mother on the Imagination on Jan. 30th, 2006. This was our fourth cruise and the rest of the groups first. We booked through Carnival and had 4 cabins (interior main deck). Embarkation. We stayed in Miami the night before, selected the Holiday Inn at the airport as they are one of a few that offer free ground transportation from the airport and to the port. Our one daughter who lives in Southern Florida also got to park her car there for the week at no cost. We arrived at the Port of Miami at 11:30, dropped off our luggage and went inside to start the process. The first line was for scanning us and the carry-on luggage. We then went through a second line to process our paperwork. All of us had done our fun passes and the line moved quickly. We obtained our boarding passes and went up stairs to a third line. This line got us our sail and sign cards and the room tickets. Make sure you check your sail and sign card, it will have your room number and dinner table assignment on it. You then proceed up the steps to the ship. You line up a fourth time to come aboard, use your card and get your picture taken on the computer. You made it! Total time from arriving at the dock to getting on the ship was about an hour. We were on the Lido deck by 12:30! Public Rooms Two main dinning rooms, Pride and Spirit. Both laid out the same with many booths and large tables for ten people. We had dinner in the Spirit at 5:45 each evening, at our own table. The Dynasty lounge is the main room for shows. The Zanadu is smaller and houses the late night comedian as well as Karaoke and other bar entertainment. Casino, pool area, sundeck (including topless area), many bars and the Horizon buffet area are all well laid out and could not see and areas that needed attention. It was somewhat confusing trying to find things at first, and I am sure others had an easier time, but I didnt! You had to sometimes go to one level, then take steps down to get to where you wanted. But the ship was clean and I had no fault with any area. Food. As stated we had main meals in the Spirit dinning room. You always had a choice of 5 appetizers, a couple salads and at least 5 main course meals. With nine in our group we tried just about everything that they offered. All meals were served in a quick and efficient manner. The quality of the food is not 5 star, however it is well above the level of any national type restaurant. If you had any question, they were quick to respond, if you were torn between two different entrees, they brought you both. If you wanted multiple deserts, there were served. The only challenge that I had with the main course meals was that they seemed to be on a clock. As soon as you sat down they had your menu, as soon as you finished one course, you got the next. You really seemed a bit rushed. I can understand that they have many to serve, but the experience would have been better had they slowed it down a bit. The Horizon area had the buffet style. You could eat inside in their dinning room, take it outside on the deck, or over to the pool. The variety was good, and the food was just a little less quality than the main rooms. Here you could have your hot dogs/hamburgers fries. as well as full dinners from the buffet. They had a salad bar/fruit bar/desert bar/ice cream bar/and of course that 24 hour pizza bar. Eating out on the deck was the favorite for lunch/breakfast for my wife and I. Entertainment The quality of the shows was more Atlantic City than Vegas. (one level below the good shows). Our Cruise Director ( Jeff Bronson) was pretty good, but we all really liked Jason, (the Kevin James look a like). He always seemed to bring out the smiles. The dancers, singers, band (do they know any music other than that of the 60-70s?) were satisfactory. They had a comedian (Tia somebody) that was not worth seeing. We didnt get to see the late night (adult) comedian, as he/she cam on at midnight. The standard last show was that of the guests putting on their costumes and signing etc. Standard on most ships and is a way for the crew to basically do nothing and have entertainment. Misc. Our 12 year old granddaughter wrote a review on what she did at Camp Carnival Teen Club. She had a blast, although going on a cruise in late January meant that they had very few teens. She met up with two other girls and they were together the whole cruise. The staff was nice and they had set up numerous games/dances/parties etc. The kids even got to perform at their own show the next to last day. The kids did a song and dance that got great applause. They had stuff for them each day and we seldom saw her. She commented on the food and the fact that she had her own sail and sign card and bought stuff. We did get her a fountain card and that seemed to be worth it. Our 3 year old grandson spent a good deal of time at Camp Carnival. He also loved it and told us that he would rather be with his new friends than us! They had many things for them to do and his parents really enjoyed the break. There was no charge for this service and all the counselors are college grads with education degrees. Excursions We booked on line for a stop in Grand Caymans Stingray City, actually saved $30/person over the same excursion on the ship. We tendered in Grand Caymans, and went to the port in Jamaica. Enjoyed some shopping in both areas, but not a lot of time to do anything else. Debarkation This was rather painless, had all our luggage out the night before, Had a nice breakfast on the Lido deck, and was off the ship by 10AM. I would recommend this for any family. We all had a great time, if you have any questions please contact me by email. Jim Petros (jpetros054@aol.com) Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
This was my second sailing on the IMAGINATION. The ship was originally scheduled to set sail for Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios but instead was diverted to Cozumel in order for repairs to be made. Although we didn't get to go where we ... Read More
This was my second sailing on the IMAGINATION. The ship was originally scheduled to set sail for Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios but instead was diverted to Cozumel in order for repairs to be made. Although we didn't get to go where we wanted, my husband and I still enjoyed our cruise. Cruise Director Jeff Bronson was wonderful...very friendly and energetic! He had a way of getting guests involved in the various on board events, including my favorite - "The Welcome Aboard Show"! The cabin stewardess, Elena from Romania, always stopped to say hi whenever she saw us. In the Pride Dining Room, the maitre d' was especially nice - he didn't mind changing my dining time to accommodate my husband's medical needs. We also had 2 fantastic waiters, I Gusti from Indonesia (breakfast and lunch) and Ricardo from Nicaragua for dinner. Our table mates were a family of 3 from Connecticut - a single mom and 2 teenage daughters. The menus were varied and had a great choice of selections, even low calorie and low carb items! Everyone we encountered on board, both crew and fellow guests, seemed to be very nice. Captain Giacalone has a fine staff working with him. The only problems I experienced were with the Purser's Desk's resolution of my billing statement inquiry and with some crew members' poor familiarity with the English language. My favorite places on board the ship were the topless, adults only Funnel Deck and the indoor hot tubs at the Spa for a quiet, relaxing "couples' time" atmosphere. I also enjoyed the Sushi Bar and Vittorio's coffee shop, home of the "Fat Chocolate Cake" or a dieter's worse nightmare! Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
Carnival Imagination Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.3

Find a Carnival Imagination Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click