Carnival Reviews - Cruise Ship reviews by Cruisemates Readers
Carnival Cruise Lines

by C. Pontevolpe
Western Caribbean
August 12, 2000

Day 1
We sailed on the Carnival Imagination on August 12, 2000. Our flight out of Kennedy airport In New York was delayed two hours and we were getting worried about making it onto the ship on time. Fortunately, we embarked on the ship at 3:00 and the ship was scheduled to leave the port at 4:00. Embarkation was so simple, even though there were so many people waiting to get on the ship. The line goes by pretty fast (about 10 or 15 minutes).

The ship was so beautiful and huge. However, the atrium was not as nice as the ones on other ships that I've seen in pictures. We went to our room and found that it was a pretty good size. The room was decorated with bon voyage banners and balloons. There was also an apple cake with chocolate covered strawberries on it. My boyfriend had ordered the decorations through the bon voyage program as a surprise. The one negative thing about the room was that the window was dirty on the outside. From reading other people's reviews, I know that this is a common problem on this ship.

Well, we were starving and went to find a place to eat. Unfortunately, everyone else on the ship was starving too and the lines at the Horizon grill were tremendous. While we were waiting on line, we heard announcements that the grill was closing and that everyone had to go back to their cabins to get the life vests and then to report to the muster station for the safety drill. This was very disappointing because we were really hungry and had to go all the way back to the front of the ship to our cabin. After the safety drill, we went back to Horizon and got some pizza (by this time It was the only thing available). I had heard through reviews that the pizza is really good. Its true! There are a bunch of different types of pizza, 24 hours, and it is delicious! One other observation about the Horizon Grill Is that it has a musty smell. The times that we went in there, we would take our food onto the deck, because the smell was really disturbing.

by this time the ship was starting to move and everyone was excited and waving to the other ships that were still in port. Our cruise director was Troy Linton. He was really great, young, funny, really personable and friendly. He was on a loud speaker the whole time we were leaving the port of Miami. I was really excited to run around the ship and check everything out. Note: The ship is so big that at the beginning, it is a little hard to get oriented. There are many decks, and some of the desks are only on the aft of the boat, If your cabin Is In the front you have to walk to the aft and then walk up to find that deck. Also, you wait a long time for the elevators and you end up walking up steps most of the time.

Our luggage was waiting at our cabin and we started to get ready for dinner. We had the latest dinner at 8:45(which was the time we had requested). Our table guests were great, we got along really well and they were all close to our ages. After dinner we went to the casino for the rum punch cocktail party. Then we went to the bars and had drinks and watched the karaoke people singing.

Day 2
We woke up and went to breakfast, which is at the same table as dinner and lunch, unless you prefer to eat at the buffet In the Horizon Grill. Today was a day a sea. We found that the main pool on the lido deck was full of children and people. So we went to the pool aft. There were so many lounge chairs available everywhere, that it really did not matter were you went. It was really relaxing and the weather was so sunny and warm. We went to lunch and watched some of the funny contests that they have on the lido deck.

Tonight was the captain's cocktail party and the formal night. As I was getting ready for the party I was feeling really sick. For two days I had hardly felt the boat the move, but this night was pretty bad. The boat goes significantly faster at night. We ended up missing the cocktail party. I was so incredibly upset because nobody wants to get sick on vacation and I wanted to meet the captain. I thought that I would feel better, but the minute I stepped out of the cabin I felt like I was going to fall and I ran back into the room. I ended up missing dinner too! I love to dress up and I love lobster! It figures I would get sick on formal night, which is the only night that they serve lobster. I told my boyfriend to go to dinner and hang out with our tablemates. The maitre'd was very nice and sent me a lobster tail and mashed potatoes in a covered dish. This night sucked!

Day3 I was so excited to get off the boat at Grand Cayman. We had booked an Island tour that went to stingray city. Grand Cayman was beautiful! Our tour guide was really nice and the tour took us to the turtle farm, the town called HELL and stingray city. The turtle farm was fun, you get to hold the turtles and see how the turtle eggs hatch. Right next-door is the Rum cake factory. This cake is so tasty and really has a strong rum taste. The town of HELL was sort of boring. We sent postcards to New York from hell and got to see the eerie rock formations, which helped in coining the town as "HELL" . String ray city was the highlight of this tour. It was so much fun! The boat took us to shallow water where tons of string rays congregate. We got to feed them squid and to feel them. They were really sweet. A lot of people were scared and got back on the boat. I think our tour cost $45 a person. This seems like a lot, but it was worth the fun that we had. It also Included unlimited rum punch cocktails.

That night at dinner our waiters performed a couple of dances for us. During our entire trip our bus boy was great. The waiter worked him to the bone and did little else then just take our orders, plus he had a tiny little attitude. Jose, the busboy was excellent, he was really cute and sweet. I've been meaning to write to carnival about getting him promoted. Our tablemates were going to do the same thing. Since our dinner was so late we never really ate at the midnight buffets. The buffets did have a great variety of food and the presentation was very pretty. This night we went for drinks and to the comedy show, which was really funny.

Day 4
Today, we were In Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We took a jeep safari tour, for approx. 6 hours, which cost $80 a person. Again, this is very pricey but so much fun. We boarded some zebra-striped land rover jeeps with some other guests and our guide Mark. Mark was Incredible! He had never left Jamaica In his whole life! I would say he was in his late twenties. He was so smart, nice, funny, friendly and helpful. I wanted to bring him back to New York with us. Everyone in our jeep loved him, and it worked out for him because we all game him good tips. Our tour went through the fern gully, which is a rain forest. The road just runs right through the middle of the forest. We went to the blue mountain coffee factory, Murphy Hill (which had the most beautiful view that I have ever seen) and finally to Dunn's river falls. We got to climb these immense waterfalls and had a great time. It was a lot more dangerous that it seemed. Some people who did not want to climb the falls could just walk up, stay dry and still enjoy the falls. When we got back to the jeep Mark gave us beers and sodas to drink.

We went to dinner, to the casino and out for drinks tonight. I had not felt sick since the second night Thank GOD! I did take the motion sickness pills throughout the rest of the trip (the pursers desk has them).

Day 5
This was the last day at sea. We spent most of the day at the aft pool and after lunch we went with our tablemates to the art auction. We had never been to one before. The art at sea is duty free and there is no price limit. When you sign up for the art preview, which is hour before the actual art auction, you get unlimited glasses of champagne during the auction and you also get a small piece of art at the end. Most of the art pieces were beautiful and I found that I wanted most of them. My boyfriend bought a Dali for a huge amount of money, and we all had fun! We saw a lot of funny contests and an ice sculpture demonstration afterward. We tried to make the most of the night since it was our last.

Day 6
Today we were woken up to customs banging on our door. They said that they were doing random searches. The customs agent unpacked my entire carry-on luggage that I had just packed the night before. They took my boyfriend into another room, so that they could cross-reference our interrogations. When they were finished, a German Shepard came in and smelled the whole room. They would not let me pet him. When they were finished, they said that they were just doing their jobs and that we obviously were not trying to hide anything. When we got off the ship we could not find our big suitcase, which we had left out the night before. Of course, we assumed that customs must have it. Sure enough, customs was detaining our luggage and we had to wait for them to search it. We almost missed our flight because we waiting for our luggage for over an hour.

Except for the few negative aspects of the cruise, this trip was great. We had a lot of fun and met a lot of nice people. The ports of call were great!! I do have to say that the staff on the ship is worked to the bone. They do not get paid much and hardly get any time off. I think they work every single day. I do think that they work very hard to make our vacations fun and memorable, and it is very hard to maintain every single person happy. It is very important to keep an open mind.