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Carnival Imagination

Carnival Imagination

Home > Reviews > Carnival Cruise Lines > Carnival Imagination

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Ship Specifications
Year Built: 1995 Age Restrictions: All guests in room must be
Year Refurbished: 2007 21 years old. If not, at least one must be 25.
Previous Name: N/A Seating Assignments: Assigned
Guest Occupancy: 2,052 Assigned Dining Hours: 6:00 pm or 8:15 pm
Crew: 920 Internet Access: Yes
Tonnage: 70,367 tons Bars/Lounges: 12
Length: 855 feet Spa: Yes
Beam: 103 feet Fitness Center : Yes
Cruising Speed: 21 knots Swimming Pools: 2
Decks: 10 Hot Tubs: 6
Ship's Registry: Bahamas Bowling Alley: No
Casino: Yes Rock Climbing Wall: No
Show Room: Yes Ice Skating Rink: No
Disco/Night Club: Yes 24-Hour Room Service: Yes
Library: Yes Hair Dryer in Room: No

Right when you step onboard the Carnival Imagination you walk into the ship's main atrium, with lots of blue neon lights and a smiling staff. The Imagination was significantly upgraded after Carnival's $250 million Evolutions of Fun program. During this process many new features were added, including a 9-hole miniature golf course, Carnival WaterWorks spray park (featuring an 82-foot long racing waterslide), a new Atrium Bar, Cafe on the Way (serving specialty coffees and sweets), a tropical resort-style pool, a redesigned internet cafe, and the Serenity Adults Only Retreat. In addition to those upgrades, all of the staterooms onboard the Carnival Imagination were refurbished. New in-room features onboard the Carnival Imagination include the addition of flat screen TVs, a totally new decor and remodeled bathrooms. 50 connecting staterooms were added to the Imagination, making it easier for families and friends to be around each other. Camp Carnival received a new 1,600-square foot children's play area during this upgrade process. Spa Carnival was renovated to include new private treatment rooms, updated exercise equipment and many cosmetic enhancements.

The Carnival Imagination is one of Carnival's Fantasy Class ships. This means that she's the sister ship to the Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Elation and Carnival Paradise.

Destinations & Itineraries
The Carnival Imagination will be featuring cruises in the following regions (subject to change, based on the cruise line's discretion):

2012 & 2013: Baja Mexico

Carnival is well known for having staterooms that are larger than that of the industry average; however, the staterooms onboard this ship are fairly average in size (probably due to the age of the ship). There are many categories of staterooms onboard the Carnival Imagination, from basic interior staterooms to suites. All of Carnival's staterooms onboard this ship come with a private bathroom, color TV and phone. There are connecting staterooms available on the Imagination, for families and friends that want such accommodations. A negative is that the rooms do not have their own temperature control; they only have a control that allows you to increase or decrease the amount of air that's coming through the room's ceiling vent. The shelving and storage could be better, as there is a large mirror in the room (no full length mirror though), that could use a few shelves around it. There is no hair dryer in the rooms.

Interior Staterooms:
The most basic (and least expensive) staterooms onboard the Carnival Imagination, known as category 1A staterooms, have upper and lower beds (bunk beds). All other (non-1A) interior staterooms have twin beds that convert to a king-size. So be sure when booking a cruise on this ship that you're aware of the type of bedding you're getting in your stateroom.

Ocean View Staterooms: Category 5A staterooms onboard the Carnival Imagination feature two portholes, rather than a picture window. Ocean view staterooms feature twin beds that convert to a king-size bed.

Balcony Staterooms: The Carnival Imagination does not have standard balcony staterooms. The only staterooms with balconies onboard this ship are suites.

Suites: There are two types of suites onboard the Carnival Imagination. Category 11 suites are this ship's standard suites, while category 12 suites are (larger) Penthouse suites. The category 11 suites are actually more like a standard balcony stateroom on newer ships, with balconies that are extremely small in size. There's barely enough room to comfortably accommodate the two sitting chairs that Carnival has on them.

All guests staying in suites have VIP check-in privileges, allowing for a quicker embarkation for such guests. When embarking on this ship in Miami VIP guests are directed to a private check-in room where their Sign & Sail cards are already waiting for them, and where you can wait for embarkation to begin in a private (nicer) waiting area. In addition to that, such guests will have VIP luggage tags so that the staff gives their pieces priority treatment. Guests that have taken 10 or more Carnival cruises are also given this VIP treatment.

Carnival's dining program is called "Total Choice Dining." They call it that because their goal is to give as many choices as possible to their passengers. Breakfast is served in the main dining rooms, on the Lido deck or even in your staterooms (via room service). Lunch can be eaten indoors or outdoors (at a buffet), or (of course) via room service. Dinner is served in the main dining rooms or on the Lido Deck (in a more casual setting). Again, if you're feeling like a meal in your room that is possible as well.

There are two main dining rooms onboard the Carnival Imagination, Pride Dining Room and Spirit Dining Room. Dinner is split up into two main seating times. The "main seating" starts at 6:00 pm, while the "late seating" starts at 8:15 pm. Please be aware that Carnival does not guarantee that they will give you the dining time that you've requested when booking (as it is on a request basis only). All dining rooms onboard Carnival are Smoke-Free.

One of the Lido deck's casual dining options is Horizon Bar & Grill, serving buffet-style meals. At this particular venue you can enjoy a wide variety of food, including various grilled food, salads, pasta, chicken and steak. There is a sushi bar nearby the casino, open during select hours only.

Onboard Features
There's always a lot of stuff to do onboard a Carnival cruise ship. The Carnival Imagination features a lot of onboard options for all types of cruisers. Some of the most popular places to be are located on the Promenade Deck (Deck 6) of the Imagination. The main show theater of the Imagination is the Dynasty Lounge, located towards the front of the ship on this deck. Also located on this deck is El Dorado Casino, a very busy place (especially at night, after one of the shows in the Dynasty Lounge ends). Also located on this deck is the sushi bar, the video arcade, Club O2 (the teen club's hangout area), Illusions Dance Club, Xanadu Lounge and Shangri La (featuring a dance floor, live music and a bar).

The Atlantic Deck (Deck 5) is where the two main dining rooms are located. Also on this level of the ship is the main level of the Dynasty Lounge (where the stage is located), as well as the Galleria Shopping Mall (where you can do some duty-free shopping). Circle "C," (the usually not too crowded) Curiosity Library and the Mirage Bar are also located on this deck.

The Lido Deck (Deck 7) is where the new resort-style pool is located, along with a few bars and an outdoor stage. During the day this is often times the most crowded, and fun, area of the ship. It's also where the Horizon Bar & Grill is located. This is the main buffet of the ship, great for a mid-day snack or a quick meal. Also on this deck is a 24-hour pizzeria.

Deck 8, the Verandah Deck, is where all of the suites on the Carnival Imagination are located. Camp Carnival, where the children's program is based out of, is located on this deck as well. New to the Carnival Imagination (located at the rear of this deck) is the fun-filled Carnival WaterWorks area. It's a new water playground that features a dancing fountain and Carnival's Twister Waterslide (which is four stories tall!).

The Sports Deck, Deck 9, is where the spa, fitness center and beauty salon are located. It's always a good idea to pre-reserve a spa treatment (if you're interested in one), as they can book up and not have a time slot for you (it's rare, but it can happen).

The Sun Deck, Deck 10, is the highest passenger deck on the Carnival Imagination. It's where the jogging track and miniature golf course is located.

Dress Code and Attire
The casual dining dress code onboard a Carnival cruise is as follows:
For men: sport slacks, khakis, jeans (no cut-offs), dress shorts (long), collared sport shirts. For women: Casual dresses, casual skirts or pants and blouses, summer dresses, Capri pants, dress shorts, jeans (no cut-offs). The following is not permitted in the dining room during the Cruise Casual dinner for ladies and gentlemen: gym shorts, basketball shorts, beach flip-flops, bathing suit attire, cut-off jeans, and sleeveless shirts for men.

For those that don't want to dress up, the Lido restaurants are open nightly (except for the last night of the cruise). The Lido restaurants have a casual dress code.

The number of formal nights on a Carnival cruise depends on the length of the cruise. On a 7-Night cruise there will typically be two formal nights. The dress code for children is the same as that for adults.

Carnival calls their Formal Night dress code Casual Elegant and considers it as follows:
For men: Dress slacks and dress shirts. A sport coat is suggested. Suites and tuxedos (tuxedo rentals are available on the ship) are also more than welcomed. For women: Cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts and blouses. Evening gowns are also a nice way to get dressed up. Not permitted in the dining room during casual elegant nights are shorts, t-shirts, beach flip-flops, bathing suits, jeans, sleeveless shirts for men, sportswear, and baseball hats.

Children Programs
Carnival has a wonderful supervised youth program onboard each of their ships. This program is split up into three main groups, based on age. Camp Carnival is for 2 through 11 year olds, Circle "C" is for 12 to 14 year olds, and Club O2 is for 15-17 year olds.

Camp Carnival is split further, into three groups. 2 to 5 year olds are in the Toddlers group, 6 to 8 year olds are in the Juniors group, and 9 to 11 year olds are in the Intermediates group. Kids in Camp Carnival get their own special kids' menus, featuring lots of favorites (such as pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken nuggets). Some of the activities that will be available to your kids include board games, reading & story time, finger painting, talent shows, dance parties, video games and lots of outdoor activities.

Circle "C" is a fun time for 12 to 14 year olds. Activities for these kids include various games, dance parties (each night of the cruise), scavenger hunts, pool parties, outdoor movies and more.

Club O2 features video games, teen-only shore excursions, dance parties, pool parties, sports, board games, card games, karaoke and a special Club O2 Lounge. The Club O2 Lounge is dedicated to the kids in the Club O2 program and is a real hot spot on the ship. This area features comfy seating, a state-of-the-art dance floor and multiple video screens.

Babysitting services are available from 10 pm to 3 am, at an additional charge. Babysitting is available for 6 month olds through 11 year olds. The babysitting is offered in Camp Carnival and is provided in a "slumber party" format. During this time kids get to enjoy movies and cartoons. Pillows, blankets and cribs will be available. The cost for this service is $6 per hour for the first child, and $4 per hour for each additional sibling in the same family. In-cabin babysitting services are not available on a Carnival cruise. There is an After Hours program available for 9 to 11 year olds, at the same cost of the babysitting service. This program runs from 10 pm to 12 am, and provides kids with a variety of activities to participate in. Among these activities are board games, karaoke, video games and theme nights. Children are not allowed to sign themselves out of these programs (parents must return to do so).

Tipping and Gratuities
Carnival automatically charges your onboard account $10 per person per day, to cover for the gratuities for your dining and stateroom staff. The $10 is based on the following guidelines that Carnival recommends:

$3.50 per day for staterooms services
$5.50 per day for dining room services
$1.00 per day for alternative services (distributed to kitchen and other hotel service staff)

For cruises to nowhere, gratuities of $10 per guest per day must be prepaid.

If you're not satisfied in some way with the service you receive while on your cruise, you can go to the main purser's desk and ask them to adjust the gratuities being charged, to any amount you see fit. A 15% charge is automatically added to all beverage purchases. Tipping of room service employees and your Maître d' is at your discretion.

Alcohol Policy
The official minimum drinking age on all Carnival cruise ships is 21 years of age. Proof of age is required.

Guests that are 21 and older are allowed to bring one bottle (750 ml) of wine or champagne per person on the cruise, at embarkation only (the first day of the cruise). A $10 corkage fee will be charged if you'd like them to open the bottle at dinner. A $14 corkage fee will be charged if you'd like them to open the bottle in the Supper Club. All other alcoholic beverages are restricted from being brought onboard at embarkation.

Alcoholic beverages that are purchased at a port of call and are brought onboard the ship will be confiscated at the gangway by the Carnival staff and will be returned to you at the end of your cruise.

Gambling Policy
The official minimum gambling age on all Carnival cruise ships is 18 years of age. Guests under 18 are not even allowed to be inside the casino. Proof of age is required.

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