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MamaGalloway May 5th, 2009 06:24 AM

1st time on Carnival, booked Imagination
My family and I just booked our first Carnival cruise! We are experienced RCCL cruisers but have decided to try some other options. We have a 3 night Bahamas booked wtih RCCL on May 11, and decided to book Carnival Imagination on May 18. So we're doing back to back cruises on 2 different cruise lines. Oh, and I forgot to mention we are doing it with 2 children, ages 7 years and 6 months. LOL How insane are we?

SO my question is, what can we expect on the Imagination? We booked an OV guarantee stateroom. I understand how the GTY thing works, but I have no idea what the square footage is for an OV cabin on this ship. How can I find out?

I'm also aware of the waterslide, which we will all love. What do you experienced Carnival cruisers recommend? Any "can't miss" or uniquely Carnival things we should know about? Thanks for your advice!

brad813 May 5th, 2009 01:53 PM

You are very insane. Nuff said.

colorcrazie May 5th, 2009 02:03 PM

The Carnival website should give you square footage. Their cabins are somewhat larger than most cruise lines.
I would suggest letting the 7 year old try out Camp Carnival. Kids seem to be well supervised and have a ball at the same time. I'm not sure if they still offer it, but since the baby is too young for the organized stuff, you used to be able to hire a staff member as a baby sitter. Maybe have a romantic night out. Nicer in some ways than back home, since they can always get in touch with you on the ship if they need to, so you can truly relax a bit.

AngelaJeff May 6th, 2009 03:59 AM

Cruising entertainment and enjoyment is what you make of it. Some of us enjoy the food, casino, lounging by the pool, the dancing and festive music, etc.

It really depends on what you enjoy. I will make one suggestion that pertains to your 7 year old. Carnival has a kids' club that my children, now older, used to ejoy totally. The first ten minutes were a little akward for them because they didn't know anyone, but after a short period I couldn't get them to leave. LOL my first cruise I didn't see my twins except at meal time (and even then sometimes they chose to eat at Camp Carnival) and of course at bed-time. My only complaint with the kids club is that when you take your child there for the first time they will not allow the parents to come into the kids club area, if even for a few min's, so that you can see first-hand that your child feels comfortable there. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not an overprotective mom but my kids accept changes and strangers better if Mom can sit in the room for a few min's until they check things out and decide it's a cool place to hang out. But they do give the parents a pager that they use to notify a parent if the child decides that they want to spend some Mommy/Daddy time instead of hang out with the kids' group and activities.

One other thing I learned... On my first cruise (not a Carnival ship) I purchased two-way radios for every member of our trip (all 8 of us). This was great because I could let my older kids have run of parts of the ship and could radio them from time to time to check on there location and activities. But on Carnival (at least on Fascination) the two way radios didn't work at all.... We had to be more creative with the oder kids -- tell them to meet us (parents) at designated times every hour or two just to check in.... It worked but it was a little worrisome going two hours without hearing from my twelve year olds.

Good luck, and have fun. If you can do a lil' research on Carnival's website and message boards you'll be able to familiarize your seven year old about some activities (kids club or with parents) that they will want to try. Also look for info. that relates to small children as well. I'm sure that there's things to do that can be enjoyed by both adults and smaller childdren as well!!


skymaster May 6th, 2009 08:57 AM

Most Carnival Ocean View cabins are 185 square feet. Not bad, and probably a bit larger than you're accustomed to if you've sailed some of the "other" popular cruise lines. The shorter Carnival cruises tend to be a little bit more "active" than some of the longer cruises. You'll have a GREAT time, regardless, and I'd suggest taking a long look at the "Carnival Caper" each evening and deciding what you want to do the next day. Don't miss the big shows, as IMO they are great.


dina May 6th, 2009 01:45 PM

Just a heads up. Your 6 month old will not be able to go into the pool. So you might want to take a little blow up pool if you want to give your little one some wet time.

briguy May 6th, 2009 01:49 PM

Dont think the 6 month old will care for the water slide much. He may have a flashback to his birth though... rofl

brad813 May 6th, 2009 01:53 PM

Doesn't Carnival have a minimum age?

LeeandKelli May 6th, 2009 04:17 PM


We agree w/Ken, don't miss the shows! We also liked the 24 hour pizza and we always enjoy the room service. The Imagination is a nice size and is easy to find your way around. You will enjoy your cruise and the ship!

Have fun;

Lee & Kellli

MamaGalloway May 6th, 2009 11:58 PM


Originally Posted by briguy
Dont think the 6 month old will care for the water slide much. He may have a flashback to his birth though... rofl

rofl Well I'm sure he isn't quite tall enough yet to enjoy the slide. But he definately would NOT be reminded of birth, since he was surgically removed!

MamaGalloway May 7th, 2009 12:06 AM


Originally Posted by dina
Just a heads up. Your 6 month old will not be able to go into the pool. So you might want to take a little blow up pool if you want to give your little one some wet time.

I was aware of that...already have my inflatable ducky pool packed! Thanks!

I guess I forgot to mention that my husband and I are seasoned cruisers, just never cruised with Carnival. And this is our first experience with the kids, but we have done some research. My 7 year old is overly excited about Camp Carnival. We're pretty laid back and I know cruising with kids will be different than solo. But it's not that big of a deal. I'm more of a "the ship IS the destination" kinda person, so as long as I'm at sea, and I have food, I'm good! Give me some sunshine, a pool and a good book and I'm set.

We just wanted to know from Carnival experts here what makes a Carnival cruise uniquely Carnival. It seems that people either totally adore Carnival or totally hate it. I KNOW you guys have loads of excellent suggestions...we want to LOVE Carnival too!

MamaGalloway May 7th, 2009 12:07 AM


Originally Posted by brad813
Doesn't Carnival have a minimum age?

Yep, 6 months for most cruises except transatlantic or hawaii.

brad813 May 7th, 2009 12:11 AM

Ok, just checking.

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