Carnival Imagination Cruise Review
Had a great 5-day cruise on the Imagination to Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. Here are some suggestions I have for you if you're a first timer:#1: Take a taxi from Miami airport to the dock and back. So much easier and faster. Costs $20 with tips one way.#2: Reserve early dining room seating. You eat first and then go see shows afterwards. A more natural way to go. Also, they won't run out of your choice of food if you go first. #3: Food is good but portions are small. That's to your advantage because you can order as many items as you like off the menu. By having small portions, you won't stuff yourself if you decide to have two appetizers and two entrees.#4: Try all the different food offered on board, food you'd never make yourself at home. If you don't like something, the opportunity for more food is just a few minutes or a few steps away. The around-the-clock pizzeria was great. I highly recommend the goat cheese and mushroom pizza. Sounds bad but tastes great.#5: Arrange your own taxi trip to Dunn's River Falls near Ocho Rios. It costs $11 dollars round trip, plus $6 dollars to get into the park. Bring a pair of old shoes. You'll need them to climb the falls. You'll get wet climbing so wear your swim suit. When done climbing, throw your wet shoes in the trash. There are change rooms to change back into dry clothes.#6: Go visit Stingray City in Grand Cayman. I took a ship tour on this one. The location is bit far from the landing dock. It's a shallow sandbar where you get to hand feed big stingrays while standing in the water. The water is crystal clear so you get a great view of the swarming rays around you. Don't have to know how to swim to do this excursion.#7: What's with the sewer gas smell on the Empress Deck? All during the trip, about mid ship, on the starboard side of Empress Deck, there was a constant sewer gas smell. I'd hate to have a room in that area of the ship. Luckily, mine was near the rear of the ship, two floors below my dining room. Great location.Some other observations:The cruise director on the trip, Mark Price, was "priceless." He was funny and had lots of energy. The Vegas-style shows (we had two), were so-so. But hey, they come with the cruise and are therefore "free." The guest talent show was actually more fun to watch.The Imagination actually looked small when I first saw it dockside next to larger Carnival ships, the Carnival Triumph and Carnival Spirit, both at dockside that day as well. But once on board, I decided it was big enough of a ship for me. My waiter, Alex, a great guy who brought me everything I wanted, told me that he resisted going on the bigger Carnival ships because they were so big that it was hard for the dining room staff to serve the people in the allotted time. I wish there were changes for breakfast from day to day. Every morning, the same breakfast choices.Final gripe, too much selling on the ship. Oh well, I suppose everybody has to make a buck. On the balance, the trip was well worth it.