Carnival Imagination Cruise Review
Reviewer note: This was our first cruise experience so we had little/no concept of what our cruise experience would entail.Embarkation: Dropping off one's luggage at the Miami port was chaotic. It seems like it could be better organized. The porters and ticket-checkers should be given some shade/protection from the blazing hot sun! Also, there should be more signs as to where passengers should go after dropping off their luggage.Service: Exceptional service throughout the whole trip, including the food/beverage and housekeeping staff. Our cabin attendants were friendly and helpful. Room service was prompt and courteous. The ship information desk was unhelpful (and curt) when we asked about alternate options for siteseeing in Miami after the cruise. They did not have any information about where we could rent a car in Miami or if there were any shuttles available to rental car depots. (Note: we had a 6:30 pm flight and disembarkation started at 8:30 am-we did not want to take a Carnival-endorsed tour as those finished by 1 pm. We would have had to sit in the airport for 5 hours!)Entertainment: We attended one show (BeBop)and found it to be passably entertaining. The dancers were quite good although the choreography was awkward at times. Gym: Needs to be severely upgraded. Not a single elliptical trainer to be found and the strength training machines seemed to be from the mid-1980s. Also, it is outageous to charge $10 for a 35 minute yoga class. The average "fitness yoga" class is at least 50 minutes long-"real" yoga classes typically cost $15 and are 90 minutes long. Food: This was the biggest disappointment. My husband and I found that the best quality was found in our room service selections. By in large, there was little variety or creativity in the preparation of dishes. We rarely eat meat or dairy products, so it was difficult for us to find food that we found satisfying. Most of the "vegetarian" dishes were covered in cheese, oil or fried. It was difficult to find any "fresh" fruits or vegetables (i.e not canned fruit salad or dressing-covered salads). I bit into a "fresh" apple and found that although outwardly it appeared fresh, the inside was brown and mushy.Suggestions: Expand the selection of room service items so that "healthy choices" are included in the menu. Cut back on the number of fried food selections in the Horizon Grill-the air stank of saturated fat.Excursions: We took a snorkeling excursion in Cozumel and absolutely loved that. We would have loved to stay for 2 days in port.We could bypassed Key West since it was extremely touristy. The only highlight there was visiting the Hemingway House and Museum. Most people from our ship went to the bars and stumbled back onto the ship in a total mess.Atmosphere: I wouldn't recommend this particular ship to anyone unless they like to drink heavily and often. Most of the people on the cruise were inebriated by 11:00 am everyday! It gets to be a bit much to have to deal with drunken yahoos when you want to have a relaxing vacation.