13 Things About the Carnival Imagination Cruise Ship

What you should know about the Carnival imagination cruise ship operated by Carnival Cruise Line. Things to do onboard and experiences.

Yes, Carnival Imagination is more than two decades old, but that doesn’t mean that you should avoid it when planning your next cruise, or even that you should assume a Carnival Imagination cruise can’t be just as amazing as any other cruise from the Carnival brand. This ship has been pleasing avid cruisers for more than 20 years, and continues to do so today with ease.

Carnival Imagination was floated out July 1, 1995, as a Fantasy-class cruise ship. The ship sports a tonnage of 70,367 GT and length of 855 feet. There are 14 decks and a total guest capacity of 2,634 passengers and 920 crew members. Most often, the number of guests on any given Carnival Imagination cruise hovers around 2,000 passengers.

In the past, the ship has served West Coast cruisers with trips from Long Beach to Catalina Island and Baja California. These cruises have typically been relatively short, only three or four days in length.

The ship has undergone renovations twice now, once in 2007 and most recently in 2016.

Are you thinking of taking a Carnival Imagination cruise in the near future? If so, here are the 13 things you need to know about the Carnival Imagination cruise ship and the experience that awaits you on board.

1. A Carnival Imagination cruise is very budget-friendly

Carnival Imagination cruises are extremely budget-friendly, but that doesn’t mean that you’re getting a lesser-than experience. In fact, you’re getting an awesome experience, and all for as little as $75 per day per cruiser in some cases. The large majority of dining, activity and entertainment options are included in the cost of your stateroom, a great perk for families and adults who want an all-inclusive experience.

Stateroom rates also include access to the various more exclusive spots around the ship, including the adults-only sun deck, kids clubs for all ages, sauna and steam room at the spa, fitness center and more.

2. You’ll want to pick your cabin as soon as possible

There are 1,026 cabin options aboard Carnival Imagination, of which very few have balconies. So, if getting a balcony cabin is important to you, you’ll want to book your Carnival Imagination cruise and stateroom well in advance. If that’s not a concern, though, you’ll find that you have plenty of spacious and comfortable cabin options to choose from, including more than 50 suites.

Carnival Cruise Ship Stateroom
Photo By: Russell Otway (For Cruise Hive Only)

There are 19 types of cabins to choose from in all, with the large majority being interior staterooms and oceanview staterooms. A small number of cabins are wheelchair accessible, so keep that in mind as well when booking.

The largest cabins available are the Grand Suites, with 330 interior square feet and room for up to five cruisers. Grand Suites offer large seating areas and bathrooms, with separate showers and tubs, including whirlpool soaking tubs. Suite guests enjoy a few extra perks, such as VIP check-in.

3. Your dining options are limited, but delicious

The main dining rooms aboard a Carnival Imagination cruise are more than enough for many travelers, as they offer a rotating menu of classic fare that’s sure to please most palettes. However, you don’t have to stick with the main dining rooms if you don’t want to.

You can also go to the buffet any time of day, as well as a selection of pizza spots, lunch counters, a sushi bar, cafe and more. Twenty-four-hour room service is also available. Specialty dining options include Guy’s Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina, two classic Carnival restaurants that you’ll definitely want to make sure you try.

Guys Burger Joint
Photo By: Carnival Cruise Line

While in the main dining room, you can choose to add on special experiences, such as the Seuss at Sea experience for children during breakfast, or the Chef’s Table experience, wherein you’ll receive a multiple course dinner and private cocktail reception, along with a tour of the kitchen and a meet-and-greet with the master chef.

4. The Promenade Deck is the place to be

If you’re looking for some exciting going ons and plenty of activity, then you’ll want to head to the Promenade Deck during your Carnival Imagination cruise. The Promenade Deck is packed with things to do and places to see, with all kinds of venues offering all kinds of different experiences.

There are multiple bars, lounges and music venues, each offering a different type of vibe, to fit different types of travelers, whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to chill with a drink or a late-night party atmosphere.

5. Adults-only fun is plentiful

If you’re considering a Carnival Imagination cruise and you’re wondering if it’s too kid-friendly for you and your partner, or you as a solo traveler, don’t worry at all. Carnival Imagination ensures every traveler is catered to, whether you’re a grandparent, parent, single senior, college student, couple or large family.

How to Relax Onboard a Carnival Cruise Ship
Photo By: Russell Otway

Adults enjoy plenteous adults-only spaces, such as the bars and lounges mentioned above, but also their own pool space, Serenity, an adults-only area with more than 100 loungers and a whirlpool, as well as drinks.

6. Staying active is easy

If staying fit and dedicated to your fitness and health goals is important to you, even while on vacation, then you’ll be glad to know that Carnival Imagination boasts a top-tier fitness center, but also yoga classes for a fee, a jogging track on the top deck that’s an eighth of a mile in length and multiple pools for swimming. Additionally, you won’t find any lack of healthy dining options, so you can stay as healthful during your travels as you like.

7. Entertainment is plentiful

No matter what kind of entertainment you love, you’ll find it aboard a Carnival Imagination cruise. There’s live music around every corner, always someone singing or playing in public spaces, with a range of genres performed and always by excellent talent.

Theatrical and comedic performances are just as high quality and included in the price of your cruise. From adult-centric entertainment to shows and experiences the entire family can enjoy, staying entertained aboard Carnival Imagination is extremely easy.

8. You certainly won’t be lacking for watering holes

A Carnival Imagination cruise is the perfect place and time to relax and kick back with a few drinks, and you certainly won’t have any problem doing so when you get a look at all the watering holes available to you.

Carnival Horiozn Alchemy Bar
Photo By: Carnival Cruise Line

Check out the Mirage Piano Bar for tunes and spirits; BlueIguana Tequila Bar for Mexican-themed, poolside drinks; Alchemy Bar for professionally-created cocktails; Shangri La Lounge and Bar for karaoke and a dance floor; and more. There are endless options when it comes to getting your drink on during your Carnival Imagination cruise.

Related: How The Carnival Drink Package Can Benefit Your Cruise

9. Active kids have plenty of ways to work off some energy

Are your kids always bouncing off the walls? Filled with seemingly endless energy? Then a Carnival Imagination cruise is just the thing for them. There are loads of ways for them to work off some of all that extra energy, with or without adult supervision. Send them to Camp Carnival or Circle C, the kids club lounges, for complimentary play, including educational activities, for all ages, from toddlers all the way to teens.

Or, join them on the basketball or volleyball courts, at the ping pong table or on the mini golf course. Of course, the whole family will want to get in on the fun at the WaterWorks Aqua Park, with its waterslides, splash zone and more.

10. The spa provides a full range of services

If you really need some relaxation during your Carnival Imagination cruise, look no further than the on-board spa. The spa includes a relaxation room, steam room and sauna in addition to your typical treatment rooms, so you can stick around for a full day and relax to your heart’s content. Don’t miss the beauty salon, either, where you can take advantage of services such as hair cuts and colors, styling, manicures and pedicures and more.

11. On-board shopping lets you save

In many instances, shopping aboard your cruise ship means that you’ll save some cash in the long run, as you won’t pay taxes and items are duty-free. So, rather than purchase a big ticket item during one of your cruise stops, peruse the shops aboard Carnival Imagination, which range from fine jewelry stores to design boutiques, to even a candy store serving up all of your favorite guilty pleasures. You’ll find some of your favorite brands, from clothing to designer fragrances to purses to spirits and liqueurs.

12. The Carnival casino experience is unlike any casino you’ve ever visited

Visit the Carnival casino for a completely new gambling experience. The on-board casino serves up all your favorite games, including tournaments, slots, table games, poker, black jack and more. If you just want to observe and not risk losing some of your hard-earned cash, you can do so at the casino bar. Drinks are free while you play, and there are gambling options for every experience level, whether you’re a newbie or an old pro.

13. Finding a quiet spot isn’t difficult

With all of this fun going on around you, if you ever feel overwhelmed, you won’t struggle to find a spot to get away from all the hubbub. While Carnival Imagination isn’t one of the largest cruise ships out there, it does make excellent use of the space at its disposal.

Carnival imagination
Photo By: Carnival Cruise Line

Hideaway in the library with a good book and some peace and quiet. Escape to your stateroom where you’re assured great views, great service (24-hour room service!) and lots of alone time. Or just find a hidden nook where you can be alone with your thoughts and panoramas of the ocean.

14. You don’t have to leave your creature comforts at home

Carnival Imagination provides you with all your creature comforts, so you never have to give up anything you love just because you’re sailing across the ocean. Whether it’s starting your day with a piping hot cup of coffee, checking your email on the regular or being able to get a fresh pedicure in a snap, if you want it, you can have it, thanks to Carnival’s lineup of amenities and services aboard a Carnival Imagination cruise.

Also Read: 11 Ways You Can Enjoy a Carnival Inspiration Cruise

Carnival Imagination Cruise Ship FAQ:

How many pools are on the Carnival Imagination?

There are three pools aboard Carnival Imagination. This is in addition to the ship’s seven jacuzzies, and includes the resort-style pool on Deck 10 and the WaterWorks pool on Deck 11.

How old is the Carnival Imagination?

Carnival Imagination was floated out in 1995, meaning that it is 25 years old.

Does Carnival Imagination have WiFi?

Yes. Carnival Imagination offers three WiFi plans. The Social WiFi plan gives you access to the most popular social media apps, but no other websites or apps. The Value WiFi plan gives you access to a range of websites, but does not provide access to video or music streaming services. The Premium WiFi plan gives you access to all sites and apps where coverage is available and provides service three times faster than the WiFi available under the Value plan.

How big is the Carnival Imagination?

The ship sports a tonnage of 70,367 GT and length of 855 feet. There are 14 decks and a total guest capacity of 2,634 passengers and 920 crew members. Most often, the number of guests on any given Carnival Imagination cruise hovers around 2,000 passengers.

What ships are the same class as Carnival Imagination?Carnival Imagination is a Fantasy-class cruise ship. As such, it has seven sister ships, all of which are still in service and which came out between 1990 and 1998. Sister ships include Carnival Paradise, Carnival Elation, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Fantasy.

Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle is a travel and food freelance writer whose work can be found in print and digital publications all around the world. She is additionally an entrepreneur specializing in content and marketing services. Beyond frequent travel, Riddle enjoys cooking, reading, camping and spending time with her husband and two dogs. Her favorite travel destinations include Chicago, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and just about anywhere in the Caribbean. Find out more about us here.


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