Being your first cruise, you won't know for sure what you consider a "good" cabin until after you have tried it. Oceanviews are fine, but in all honesty, most of your time will be spent somewhere besides the cabin. You are in there to sleep and change clothes. So I would not get too fussy over the cabin. Oceanviews are fairly consistent.
My suggestion is to have your travel agent (or Carnival Cruise Specialist if you are using them) book a Oceanview "Gaurantee" (sometimes called a "to be assigned" cabin). Tell them you want a minimum category that will give you an unobstructed oceanview cabin. That way you get a good cabin and have the chance of getting an upgrade to a better cabin. Maybe even a balcony room if they quickly fill the ship.
================================================== ========== Carnival Cruise Lines:
Fantasy 90, Celebration 95, Victory 05, Conquest 05, Spirit 6/06, Freedom 6/08, Holiday 7/08, Victory 6/09, Valor 9/09, Dream 6/10, Splendor 8/10,Conquest 8/11,Magic 11/11,Triumph 4/12,Spirit 7/12,Freedom 11/12, Triumph 2/13 - The fire cruise
NCL Dream October 2006, RCCL Mariner OTS June 2007, Celebrity Silhouette 2013
Another alternative is to ask your TA to choose a good midship cabin for you. There generally is less movement in a cabin located midway between the front & back (bow & stern) of a ship, and it's also relatively convenient to all areas of the ship.
My husband and I went on our first cruise last November on the Imagination. We too were unsure what kind of room to get. We decided even though people told us you are not in the room much, to go with a balcony. It was fabulous! Early mornings or late evenings you can sit out there and just relax. We decided we are going on another cruise again in November, this time on the Sensation and with a balcony room. I can't wait.
everyone feels different. i have friends who always get an interior room because they don't plan to spend much time in their room. the oceanview is just a small window and i don't know if it even opens. we had the balcony and LOVED it!!! nice to sit on in the mornings/evenings and we would leave the door to the balcony open at night so we could hear the ocean and get a nice breeze. if you can afford the extra money for the balcony i would HIGHLY recomend it!!!!!
we went on a cruise two years ago first one we had a ocean view nice window does not open we are leaving in oct and getting a balcony can't wait my wife needs some kind of light or window i know a interior room would be to dark she would feel closed in personal taste i guess but i would say atleast a ocean view
The Imagination is a Fantasy Class Ship, they are laid out so that the bottom 4 decks are for staterooms, and the higher decks are for pubic areas and entertaimnent. The exception is Veranda Deck - they have Cat11 Suites and inside staterooms.
If you are simply looking for an ocien view room, the best deck to be on is Empress. That is where you board and disembark the ship at the bginning and end of the cruise. There is also less walking up and down stairs or elivators, the restaurants are 1 deck above you, you are on the same desk as the purser's office.
If you have a room at the back of the ship, you will notice more vibration from the engines.
The Advantage of a Cat11 suite - go down the hall and you are outside on deck, the pools are only one deck down
There is also another category of ocean view called a Cat 5A - these have 2 smaller porthole windows and are found at the very front of the ship
I also agree with Jim about booking an Oceanview Gaurantee as a way to be gauranteed a cabin on the lower deck with an Oceanview and a very real possibility of being upgraded to a higher deck. It is a rare event to be upgraded to a balcony though.
If you are nervous about the ship's motion ask the Agent what is the price difference to pick a mid ship cabin on the lower deck. The price is almost always the same, you don't get an upgrade, but you get to choose your cabin. And the cabins are identical on the decks, just a matter of a few more seconds on the elevator.
The 5A Category Portholes are the same price as the Inside Cabins, but if you get any weather be prepared for a bumpy ride.
Hope this adds to the other posts and doesn't confuse you. As I know how confusing it can be.
I want to add some specific definitions since d&t are new cruisers.
Oceanview/Outside Gauranteed Category:
You are gauranteed an Oceanview Cabin on any deck and anywhere they want to put you. This option is very often upgraded to a higher deck with an identical cabin. This will be a TBA "to be assigned" You can call and get your Cabin assignment usually 7-10 days before the cruise.
Best Fare Cabin Assigned:
This option is the same price but you actually pick your cabin location and number. And is usually not upgraded.
I would get an Oceanview cabin for your first cruise, or even a Balcony if is in the budget.
After a few cruises you may find you don't spend that much time in there and would rather cruise more often with an inside cabin as is my case, and spend the difference shopping and exploring!
I have been on the imgination. I found our oceanview room lacking. The amount of salt spray made the windows pretty useless. (The ship itself is great!). I have also been on the larger ships and had a balcony... which is nice, but imgaination only has suites. I would go with a interior and just go on deck for the sun views!
(p.s. riveria deck mid ship has VERY little motion on an ocean view room)