Number of Cruises: 5
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Imagination
Sailing Date: June 1st, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Having been on several cruises I basically knew what to expect. Carnival cruises do a decent job overall, especially for the price you pay. This was a 4 night cruise from Miami to Key West to Calica. The first positive thing was that Carnival reduced the fare of this cruise after I booked it and when I called they gave me a better room and a nice on-board credit (not a refund though). I went with my two sons (ages 7 & 12) and my girlfriend. We had an ocean view room with two upper and one king bed. The accommodations were decent for the four nights, but any longer it would have started to feel cramped. The food was good. The lines at the buffet were not too long. The dining room food and service were good. I especially liked the filet mignon and lobster tail night (yes, you can get both). My younger son enjoyed Camp Carnival but my older son preferred roaming the ship all hours of the day and night with the friends he made. They didn't like the saltwater pool.
Calica is a rock pit. You have to take a
cab ($10 each way) to Playa Del Carmen which isn't much more than a tourist
trap. There are other things to do there, but with young children they get tired
quickly. We did have one disaster on the ship. At 11:20pm the electricity went
out on the ship for about 45 minutes. At times, the ship was completely dark
just floating out there in the dark sea. The captain did little to reassure us
that everything was alright and Carnival did nothing to compensate us for our
inconveniences (a free drink at happy hour would have been nice). The boarding
and departure process was a breeze. I'll go again.