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-   -   first time on Carnival (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/carnival-cruise-lines/394369-first-time-carnival.html)

shish January 27th, 2013 04:47 PM

first time on Carnival
 
I just booked the Carnival Imagination for May 20 and it will be my first time sailing with Carnival! I've been on a ton of Royal Caribbean cruises though. I'll be 23 by the time of the cruise and I'm traveling with my boyfriend and some other friends. Does anyone have any tips for cruising on Carnival or tip about what not to miss?

Donna January 27th, 2013 05:09 PM

Sounds like a fun time with you and your boyfriend and friends...What ports will you be visiting?

shish January 27th, 2013 05:29 PM

We'll be going to Key West and Cozumel. I haven't been to either of them in years so they should be fun.

Donna January 27th, 2013 08:15 PM

Great ports for doing an excursion or two, have fun!

CDrescher January 28th, 2013 12:25 PM

THe best tip would be to go with an open mind. And have a great time. And like most ships on most lines, if you are going to the lunch beffett wait till 1:45 or so the lines will be shorter.

ToAdam12 January 29th, 2013 12:35 AM

My wife and I are doing the same cruise on 3-4-13. We are just looking forward to going with the flow. I will say this Cozumel is one of the best places to shop and have a good time. Tequila shops and Carlos and Charlies are not to miss party spots.

Trip January 29th, 2013 08:42 AM

If you have sailed newer RCI ships, the Imagination, one of the older ships may not give you all the bells and whistles you've experienced on prior cruises.


Mike one of the staff here, is on the ship as I type, so look for his postings whan he returns at the end of the week.

Enjoy the time away w/ your bf, and bon voyage!

Rirruto January 29th, 2013 11:12 AM

My wife and I did that exact cruise when we were 23 when we were still dating. We are now 29 and still cruising. We always go to Paradise Beach in Cozumel. Entry fee was minimal. Gorgeous pool, nice beach, well priced food and drinks, and very clean. Have a great time.

shish January 29th, 2013 04:55 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone!

Trip, I haven't been on the newest class of RCI but I have been on some of the bigger ones such as the Freedom. I've been on some of the smaller ships as well though. I'm not too worried about missing out on the newer, better things though. I know we'll still have fun.

Rirruto, I think we might need to check out Paradise Beach. I was researching beaches in Cozumel and that one came up many times. I'm sure we'll hit Senor Frogs or Carlos n Charlie's as well though.

Paul Motter January 30th, 2013 07:49 PM

Its a small ship but the advantages are that Carnival has decent dining room food, so you do not have to spend extra for special restaurants, and that it is a small but fun cruise line....

Look for the special foods in the buffet area, the Mongolian Barbecue, the sushi, the New York Deli, and enjoy the food (day and night) - the free soft ice cream.

The shows will not be "**** B.I.G ****** ProDuCtIoNs but the comeians will be funny. The pool will be welcoming, there will be waterslides, etc.

The room service is free- its a cruise. Go with the flow, especially with the staff. They are a Fun Ship crew.

lhp February 1st, 2013 09:34 AM

With over 50 cruises, we obviously love the Carnival product.

We have found it to be a great value for our vacation dollar.

If you like a steam room and a sauna, there is one of each in the changing room before you get to the gym. (men and ladies separate...sorry) And even though you have to walk past the Spa desk, just like the gym, there is no charge.

IF you want to use a locker, they will hold your Sail and Sign card until they get the key back, but the lockers are free as well.

shish February 3rd, 2013 03:17 PM

Paul, thanks for the tips. I'll definitely have to check out the sushi and deli. Those sound delicious.

lhp, I'll have to pass that advice on my boyfriend. I know he'll be wanting to hit the gym on the ship.

Mike M February 3rd, 2013 03:53 PM

I just got off the Imagination on Friday and I have to say I had a great time. With over 40 cruises under my belt this was my first four day cruise and the first in an outside cabin. We usually cruise in a balcony cabin.

I have to say that overall I was quite impressed with Imagination. It is an older ship but it is pretty good shape and well maintained. It is also a "fun" ship with more lively deck parties than you have on most seven day and longer cruises.

As Paul stated you have a wide range of food choices ranging from the buffet to the Main Dining Room. They also have the "Taste Bar". It was previously the sushi bar but now they offer a range of small bites of a variety of foods. There is still sushi in the buffet area.

The cabins are good sized. I was pleasantly surprised with our outside cabin on Empress Deck (7). It is almost as big as a standard balcony cabin on the newer and larger ships and it has all the comforts you need. There is a bit less storage but you don't need as much on a four day cruise. We did a back to back cruise and had clothes and "stuff" for a seven and were still able to fit it in without much problem. The shower was a decent size. I am 6' 2" and 250 lbs and I had no problem with the size.

The shows are good. I am not much of a production show guy so I did not attend but my wife liked it. I really enjoyed the comedy shows. The "adults only" shows can be a bit raunchy but it is no worse than an HBO comedy show.

In Key West I recommend just walking the streets and enjoying the architecture and ambiance. You don't have much time there so you can look into excursions if you have specific interests. I will say that the Hog's Breath Saloon has the best Bloody Mary's around. :) I think I sampled one or two too many.

In Cozumel you have a large number of choices from ATV, 4x4 excursions. The snorkeling and diving are excellent or you can just kick back on a beach and take it easy. I recommend Nachi Cocum for a great beach day. It is all inclusive and they have a good beach, swimming pool, good drinks and EXCELLENT food. The guacamole is really good and I usually don't like guacamole.

Go: Keep an open mind, don't let the little things bother you and enjoy!!!!! It's easy to have a good time on the ship.

Take care,
Mike

ToAdam12 February 3rd, 2013 11:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lhp (Post 1463130)
With over 50 cruises, we obviously love the Carnival product.

We have found it to be a great value for our vacation dollar.

If you like a steam room and a sauna, there is one of each in the changing room before you get to the gym. (men and ladies separate...sorry) And even though you have to walk past the Spa desk, just like the gym, there is no charge.

IF you want to use a locker, they will hold your Sail and Sign card until they get the key back, but the lockers are free as well.

Just wondering if you have done the spirit out of Australia?

shish February 9th, 2013 02:07 PM

Thanks for all the advice Mike M! I think I'm even more excited now. And we're officially at the 100 days until sailing mark! That still sounds like quite a lot though.

luv4u859 February 17th, 2013 09:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shish (Post 1462708)
I just booked the Carnival Imagination for May 20 and it will be my first time sailing with Carnival! I've been on a ton of Royal Caribbean cruises though. I'll be 23 by the time of the cruise and I'm traveling with my boyfriend and some other friends. Does anyone have any tips for cruising on Carnival or tip about what not to miss?

carnival imagination was my first cruise. I had a great time. We just did the 3 day to Bahamas but it was still good. go to the shows even if you think they may be corny. I even went to a coupe by myself. You will have a great time.


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