Overall Rating: Excellent
|Destination:||Caribbean - Western|
|# of Nights:||3-4 Nights|
|Cabin Type:||Ocean View|
We have to give this cruise high marks - the staff was wonderful. The cabins were clean and quite functional. The food was good and the entertainment was pretty high caliber.
That being said, I must confess that the "Fun Ship" just isn't my cup of tea. I found the buffet to be designed to create long lines (not a fault of the very attentive staff, just the design of the dining area). I also did not find it very inviting - too dark and the low ceilings allowed a lot of noise to build up very quickly. The "closed-in" atmosphere permeated the ship; while everything was very clean and tidy, I found myself always wanting more light, and certainly more open views.
The dining room was about the only place on the ship (other than out on the decks) that had an open, welcoming feeling about it. And everywhere, the staff was pleasant, attentive and gave the appearance of genuinely wanting you to have a good time.
The itinerary was one that we have done before, so we were quite used to the ports. There was the usual pre-docking spiel about all the wonderful things that could be bought in that port, and I even won (be still, my heart!) a genuine tanzanite necklace at the one we attended (and I should have, having put about 30 tickets into the bucket).
It may not be fair to rate the airport transfer, since there was a parade on the morning that we arrived in Miami, and there was no traffic getting from the airport to the sea terminals. Suffice it to say that the city of Miami was not prepared to deal with the consequences of so many people being stranded in the airport... It was a long wait.
Carnival has had a reputation for safety problems. There were exactly no safety issues that arose during the cruise we were on; however, I did notice that he muster drill was not conducted in the efficient way to which we have been accustomed. I would venture to guess that of the people who attended the drill (there was nobody checking off cabin numbers, so it really wasn't necessary to attend) only about ten percent were able to understand the briefing, which was over a loudspeaker amidst a cacophony of echoes. Carnival needs to do better here.
Now, I've said a number of negative things about this cruise in my review; however, most of these things have to do with my own perception of the "ideal" cruise. Except for the muster drill, I can't point out anything that Carnival did wrong. As I said up front, the ambience of the Imagination simply wasn't my cup of tea. I give Carnival high marks for service, food preparation, menus and the overall friendliness of the staff. Moreover I firmly believe that this cruise provided good sailing bang for the buck. While I may not venture back aboard Carnival vessels, I think the world of the way they dealt with us.