Number of Cruises: 6
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Imagination
Sailing Date: n/a
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
I was very pleasantly surprised as to how well this cruise turned out to be. Since it was much less expensive than all it's competitors, I was concerned that the ship and it's amenities would be less than 1st class. But, in my opinion, it was 1st class, top-shelf all the way.
The Imagination is an ultra-clean and well run cruise ship. While it's not the largest or newest liner on the seas, it has everything a traveler needs and wants. The staff is very friendly and helpful. They do everything you ask of them and more. I was very surprised that all the tips were added to my bill and no more were necessary. It seemed fair enough, but I tipped the cabin stewardess a little extra for being so sweet and attentive.
If you are a food gourmet, this is the cruise for you. I found the food to be excellent every meal and the menus quite varied. The steaks, lobsters, seafood, pork, chicken, pastas, breads, etc. were out of this world. No complaints at all from a fussy New Yorker. And our friendly tablemates from different parts of the country and the world all enjoyed the food too. The waiters were prompt and courteous, and the dining room was very elegant.
The only "complaint" I had about the cruise was that it was loaded with kids. We had to find a quiet, secluded spot "for adults onlky< at the rear of the ship to relax in peace and quiet. The families stayed mostly in the main, center area of the ship with the larger pools, water slide and loud entertainment. The back of the ship was quiet and cooler. A good place to get a tan, relax with a drink, and read a book.
The entertainment was very professional and we enjoyed it. We found some nice quiet piano bars where we could enjoy a drink, a smoke, good conversation, and enjoyable music. There were plenty of other places to hear loud music and dance too. Of course we frequented the casino which was large enough and had a good variety of games.
We visited 2 ports. Grand Cayman Island has little to do except swim with the Sting Rays and snorkel. That was fun and worthwhile for $35. Don't bother booking an excursion from the ship. Go out on the pier and do it yourself.
Ocho Rios had more to do. Plenty of "bargain shopping", if you want to buy the junk they sell there and don't mind being constantly hassled by the "shop keeper" to buy something. They don't seem to understand the expression, "No thank you, I'm just browsing". They can be quite annoying and persistent, but you won't feel threatened. Just walk over to the next stand or shop. Otherwise the Jamaicans are quite friendly and at no time did we feel unsafe.
I highly recommend taking a Carnival Cruise. It was a fun experience in every way. Well worth the money.