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Age: 41

Occupation:Fire Chief

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Imagination

Sailing Date: 11-24-2008

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

This was our 4th cruise, having cruised with Princess, Norwegian and Carnival prior. We sailed on the sister ship of the Imagination, the Sensation, a year ago. We were pleasantly surprised at the upgrades the Imagination received as part of its recent refit. I don't care for the Port of Miami, very busy, and God forbid you leave on a day when there are more than 2 ships in port. The traffic is heavy and crazy outside the terminals. Overall the experience was good, very casual atmosphere. Food and service was good, what I would expect from this class of ship. I was disappointed with the second level seating in the Dynasty Lounge, I would have thought they would have lost the pillars during the refit. The shows were good, well produced. The food in the dining room was pretty good and plentiful. We only ate in the buffet a couple of times. The flow of the buffets was odd; with two serving areas on either side of the entrance both serving different types of food for lunch and dinner. This always guaranteed a line, even breakfast produced lines most of the time. Although the food tasted good, it always seemed cooler than normal. We opted for room service instead of dealing with the lines and packed seating. One nice addition was outside tables on either side of the buffet. The food quality was good, the pizzas were excellent. We ate in the Pride dining room every night. The service was good, food was excellent and plentiful. The chocolate melting cake was to die for. Since we are a family of four, with a boy and a girl, we took advantage of the adjoining ocean view rooms. The rooms were very clean, roomy and comfortable. The refit took out an odd corner unit and replaced it with a useful corner shelf and flat screen TV. The odd thing about the TV stations is that the network feeds were all out of Denver, go figure. The bathrooms were all updated with very roomy showers that include shower gel and shampoo dispensers. No hairdryers are provided, so you'll need to bring your own. The one thing I wish they would've changed in the room refit is the AC control. The AC control is simply a dial in the center of the ceiling that regulates the volume of cool air coming into the room, no temperature control. If you want more AC, you simply increase the volume of air, which can be a little loud if you're a light sleeper. Other than that the rooms were very nice and well maintained. The onboard activities were OK, typical Carnival type stuff (hairy chest competition, ice sculpture, etc). The shows in the Dynasty Lounge were very well done, you need to sit in the lower section if possible. Stay away from the booths with the benches in front. At a popular show, the lounge gets full pretty quick, so get there early if you want a good seat. Camp Carnival was a great option for my 7 year old son. The pool deck and sun deck areas were PACKED during the at sea day. The new Waterworks was fun and a nice alternative to the main pool. I would like to see more informative activities and talks instead of the old fare that we've experienced on previous cruises. This was our third trip to Cozumel, so we really didn't do a whole lot beyond a glass bottom boat tour and shopping. The tour was easy to find and well run. This is a great cruise for first timers. The ship is easy to navigate, and you should get the hang of it pretty quick. A word of warning, since there are a lot of first timers on board, they may have difficulty getting basic cruise and elevator etiquette down pat, so you'll need to be a little understanding. It was actually fun to watch the newbies find their way (reminded me of our first cruise). Over all it was a fun time. Finally disembarkation. Carnival's finally caught on to the "take your bags and go" method that's becoming popular with the other cruise lines. You can leave your luggage out the night before if you're catching a flight, or if you want to get it from the terminal the next day. Otherwise, you can carry it off on your own. Unlike Norwegian where you get off ahead of everyone else if you carry off your own luggage, on this ship you were stuck in the same queue as those folks that were smart and off loaded their gear the night before. All in all, we were off the boat between 930 and 945, with the biggest delay being the parking garage (50 MINUTES TO GET OUT OF THE GARAGE), I HATE MIAMI.

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