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Nancy Robins

Age: 53

Occupation:Teacher

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Imagination

Sailing Date: 2009-08-3

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

I went on this cruise with my husband and 18 and 22 year old children. It was our second cruise. We'd heard that the ship was not new, but refurbished. It was well kept up and clean. Staff was for the most part friendly and helpful, cabins were small but fine. Shows were fun, not amazingly so but adequate.

We had a good time on this cruise but would try a different cruise company next time. The food in the dining room was okay, the food at the buffet was not very good. I think that they cut corners by eliminating all seasonings and spices in their cooking. The buffet was often crowded, and smoke billowed all over from the grills. Even the pizza was bland. They advertise a sushi bar that was rarely open; when we finally got to try it, we found it terrible.

Be warned--they really push the extras at you, constantly taking photos that they want you to buy (leaving the ship they took our pictures about 7 times), and pushing alcoholic drinks.

We found that the vast majority of people on this cruise were from Florida, and one out of three had tattoos.

We planned our trip through Vacations to Go and had Carnival arrange our flights so that we would be assured of making it to the ship in event of a flight problem. We would never do this again. They had us travel from Baltimore to Cincinnati and then from there to Miami, forcing us to begin our day at 4am and adding 1 1/2 hours to our travel time. They did not consult us about assigning seats, either, and we were unable to change anything because it was too close to travel time.

We took excursions through the ship. Our kids enjoyed the Key West white knuckle thrill ride and my husband and I liked the trolley tour, though the seats were cramped. Two of us loved going to the ruins in Cozumel. My son hated the submarine ride as they packed us in and he was too tall for the seating. I enjoyed it.

We made the most of our trip by being upbeat and enjoying what we could but we really felt that there were a lot of negatives.

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