Miles of Imagination

November 21, 2007 -

John Heald

Back in the mid 1990s, I was chosen to be the first cruise director of the Imagination when it debuted in 1995. This would be my second new ship as cruise director following the delivery of her sister, the Sensation in 1994.

Back in those days, the ship would arrive in her homeport (Miami, in this case) and sit dockside for 10 days or so before her inaugural season began. This meant that myself and many of the staff would join the ship in Miami rather than in the shipyard as we do today.

I remember walking off the Sensation and my mate Gordon Buck, who is now vice president of Caribbean relations, gave me a lift down to the pier in his car with all my luggage. Of course, this was before dockside security was at the level we are at today.

I have to say that from the moment I walked on the ship, she instantly became my favorite ship…………and she still is. Why?  Well, the crew, the captain, the decor, the guests (we called you passengers back then), the ambience, the ports and oh yes……..Heidi and I got engaged on that ship a few years later. Overall, it has something “unique” — something very special and it always has. Ask many of our crew what their favorite ship is and the answer will no doubt from many be the Imagination. And you know what? She just got better.

Resort style pools

Following some time in dry dock, the ship has been….well, rather than me tell you let’s chat with someone who is there and was such an important part of the Carnival Imagination’s rebirth. We have been friends a long time. Like me, this young man is British — very British in fact — and can often be found wearing his favourite cricket jumper. He has been with us a long time and, therefore, let’s meet the man himself as he took time to answer some questions. Ladies and gents, please say hello to the hotel director of the Carnival Imagination, Mr. Miles Willis.

Miles, you have had an illustrious career with Carnival. Please tell us about your journey so far.
Thanks for the “illustrious” bit. I started in 1983 on the then flagship of the fleet, the Tropicale. I worked in the pursers’ office as a cadet purser; the duties are a lot different to what they are now.  In 1990, I was promoted to executive chief purser (the title now is hotel director) and have served in this capacity on just about every Carnival “Fun Ship.”

Carnival WaterWorks

So, before we talk about the new Carnival Imagination, let’s chat about the work. Where was the ship in dry dock and how many people were involved?
The Carnival Imagination is the second ship to undergo the complete “Evolutions of Fun” upgrade (with the Carnival Inspiration being the first – as covered in your blog!)

Overall, the Carnival Imagination was in dry dock for just over a month.  The first two weeks were spent in Charleston, South Carolina.  During this time, we were tied up and pretty much “gutting” the vessel to get it ready for the reconstruction work that the “Evolutions of Fun” upgrades entail.

Art Gallery

Following our time in Charleston, the ship relocated to Freeport, where the work continued.  Our total crew count was more than usual – 1,100 employees. Added to this, were 800 contractors, so as you can see, we had a lot of people onboard. 

But it was certainly necessary considering the extensive refurbishments that the Carnival Imagination had to undergo – just about every part of the vessel was renovated in one form or another, from totally redesigned open decks to upgraded cabins, a totally redesigned spa, even new sound and lighting equipment for the various lounges and bars. It was a challenging process but the end result is certainly worth it.

Category 12 - Penthouse Suite

What are the good and not so good points for the crew while in a dry dock…………be honest now.
For me the good points were the variety of construction projects – some areas are brand new, while others were refurbished to look new.  Also, it’s very interesting to watch the ship undergo such a dramatic change from an engineering perspective. The crew loved attending their daily worship at the local Wal-Mart.

Atrium Bar

For the not-so-good category, I really can’t think of much – the refurb schedule was certainly ambitious but, in the end, everyone came together, worked hard and delivered a beautifully renovated ship for our guests to enjoy.

OK, here we go. Simple question……….what’s new?
A better question would be “what isn’t new?”  As I mentioned before, “Evolutions of Fun” is quite extensive and involves upgrades to virtually every guest area.  We renovated the ship’s staterooms and suites to give them a more contemporary décor and feel, added conference facilities, upgraded public bathrooms, and even built a new children’s play area from scratch.  We also renovated the dining rooms and redesigned the spa.

Camp Carnival

But perhaps the most noticeable change is on the open decks which now feature the “Carnival WaterWorks” aqua park, “Serenity” adults only area and a new main pool area with a tropical design that features thatched huts, colorful umbrellas and more.

Serenity adults-only outdoor retreat

The ship just returned to service last Thursday and guest reaction to these new and expanded facilities has been nothing short of sensational.  Everyone is raving about the “new” Carnival Imagination – and for good reason! 

You must be very excited about all the new attributes that make the Carnival Imagination a must see vessel. Is there one particular area or redesign that has become a personal favorite?
Has to be “Carnival WaterWorks” aqua park.  We now have three slides — one is a 300-foot-long tube that has many curves before it deposits riders in a run-off chute; the other two are 82-foot-long straight-away racing slides for the “not so daring.” The entrance to the “curly wurly” slide is at the top of a high tower which is almost as high as the smoke stack! It is fantastic and you can see it from miles around.

Cafe on the Way

I remember when we delivered the Carnival Imagination. It had a “special ” feel about it which is why I have written many times that it is one of my favorite ships. Do you think it has that special feeling today and if so……….why is it so many crew members’ favorite?
That’s a very difficult question to answer as I think you will agree. Some ships resonate personally with you and some don’t. And the ships that “have it” always do, doesn’t matter where they sail out of or the itinerary or the ever-changing crew. The Carnival Imagination has always been one of my favourite ships and always will be.

Spirit Dining Room

Tell us about the Carnival Imagination’s itinerary and any particular favorite ports of call you may have.
Carnival Imagination operates four- and five-day cruises out of Miami (although we will be switching to the ever-popular three- and four-day cruises from Miami next year).

Our four-day cruise schedule departs every other Thursday and includes a visit to Key West followed by Calica, Mexico, a “fun day” at sea then back to Miami.  

Fitness Area

There are two different five-day itineraries, one departing alternate Mondays and the other on alternate Saturdays.

The Monday departures include three ports (rare for a short duration cruise).  The cruise starts off with a sea day, then visits beautiful unspoiled Grand Turk, then a day-long call at the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay, followed by Nassau and then finally back to Miami. The five-day itinerary starts off with a sea day, followed by spectacular Grand Cayman (home to the famous Stingray City), then Ocho Rios (your favorite John, with the unbelievable Dunn’s River Falls), then another sea day before we head back to Miami.

Internet Cafe

The Carnival Imagination’s excellent combination of ports on three distinctly different itineraries can’t be beat.  My favourite port of call has to be Half Moon Cay, our private Bahamian island.  This crescent-shaped beauty is really an island paradise.  It is a truly beautiful, superbly developed facility for our guests.

Finally, I know you have a love of flying. What can you tell us about this aspect of your life?
I started flying gliders at 16, got my powered license at 20. Have flown a variety of aircraft, the most fun/challenging being the Pitts S2B – what a ride. I learned competition- style aerobatics in Florida flying this aircraft. The pinnacle has to be flying a Supermarine Spitfire MK VIIII from Goodwood in England, although, sadly a couple of years later it was destroyed in an accident on landing.

Category 6 - Oceanview Stateroom

Favorite all time aircraft?
As above, the Spitfire. I have a picture taken in Hong Kong when the family used to live there with my Dad standing next to a Spitfire on display. I was 4 years old. Have never been the same since I first saw one.

Spa Carnival

Finally, you get to fly a private jet to any destination in the world.  Where are you going and which six famous people are you taking with you? Please fill in the blanks.
Let’s go to Tibet.

SOMEONE TO MAKE YOU LAUGH         
Paul Merton

FAVORITE ACTOR                                      
Ralph Fiennes

POLITICIAN
No Politician would ever get on any private jet with me.

SPORTS STAR                                                
David Beckham                                   

SINGER OR BAND                                         
The Police

ONE BEAUTIFUL LADY
My fiancé Jana

Thanks, Miles, for that special insight into why the reborn Carnival Imagination is now the perfect ship to experience just why Carnival continues to be The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line.

Click here to view a video interview of Miles

Actually, just between me and you, I just booked a cruise on the Carnival Imagination for Heidi and I. We will be sailing directly after the Bloggers Cruise on January 28 – a five-day cruise….anyone fancy joining us?

Goodnight

Your friends

John and Heidi

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235 Responses to Miles of Imagination

  1. David and Melanie Myers says:

    John – I understand your love for the Imagination. We have sailed her twice and look forward to doing so again in the near future. The refurbishments are icing on the cake for what was already a special ship. Wish we could join you and Heidi in January. We will have to be content to travel with you the week before. I’m thinking the bloggers cruise will be busy enough for you and Heidi, that you will need a week to replenish your energy stores, and just enjoy some together time .

  2. Greg Baldasarri says:

    John,

    Thanks for the glimpse at the new Carnival Imagination! She certainly did come out right.

    On the topic of refurbished vessels… when will we get word regarding the next Blogger’s Cruise… on the Carnival Inspiration… hummmmm??? ;)

    Great interview, lovely ship.

    Thanks.

    Greg

  3. Robin in New York says:

    John–I am SOOOOOOOOO excited. The January 28 cruise on Imagination is the one I am going on! I will bring you some nice soft American toilet paper and we can discuss the differences between British and American types. This is great–I so look forward to meeting you and Heidi–I grab dibs on having dinner with you one evening if we can. There’s a whole bunch of us on a roll call for this cruise and another member just announced you’d be joining us!

  4. fancyblue says:

    i wanted to know how long the bloggers cruise was. and if i went could i bring the baby(2 yrs) and hubby. is it 4 day or 7 and jimaca didnt like it lol
    my first cruise was the imagination i loved it alway remember ur first cruise.

  5. Pingback: Carnival Imagination | Travel Mom

  6. "BIG" ED says:

    John did you notice in the dinning room something very important. NO armed chairs they are all “One Size Fits All”.

    “BIG” ED

  7. Dwight says:

    Looks like you all did a fantastic job, kudos.

  8. Cassie says:

    We just went on the Imagination not even a year ago. A little disappointed to find out it has been renovated and we missed the new additions, but the older ship was fabulous also! We loved it!

  9. patty kay says:

    Why don’t you have a 7 day cruise out of New Orleans any more? I loved the Conquest when it was there!!
    Please bring back a 7 day cruise from New Orleans!!!

  10. Barbara McQuillan says:

    Hi John, I’ve sailed on many Carnival cruise ships with you as the director. The last one was on the Freedom–you had a couple interesting experiences on that cruise of July 24th. Happy Thanksgiving.

  11. cruisingeagle says:

    John,

    Thanks for the update on the Imagination. We are sailing on the Imagination July14-19, 2008. We are looking forward to our cruise on the Imagination.

    Hope you are enjoying your vacation. Glad to hear that Alan is continuing to improve.

    Have a good day.

  12. Susan B says:

    Dear John,
    I very much fancy the thought of joining you and Hedi on the Carnvial Imagination. The only problem is…my pocketbook, purse, wallet, checkbook, however you want to say it…is running low…don’t think I could even afford a two liter bottle of water after the blogger’s cruise. I have always wanted to do a b2b cruise…maybe someday.

    I’m so happy for you that Hedi is with you! You just didn’t sound like yourself without her.

    The news about Alan just keeps getting better! I know he will be on the blogger’s cruise with us!

    Enjoy your holiday, Happy Thanksgiving from us Americans, and let’s not forget on Thanksgiving to remember our troops!

    Susan

  13. Kathy Kroll says:

    We have just received a Carnival E-mail regarding the “new” Imagination. It said something about a BLOG ! I clicked on and was directed to you! I was pleasantly surprised to be in familiar territory !!The photos look great of the ship!

    Kathy and Paul
    ( Happy Thanksgiving to all us Yanks! )

  14. David Caban says:

    The truth is I am very impressed by the new upgrades however I regret to inform you that my last trip on the Imagination was just that.Unfortunately based on my last experience I must call to judjement the fact that the Imagination needs an overhaul on its crew more so than its ammeneties,what good is an upgraded stateroom if you are going to be treated like just another client.Captain H. There’s no doubt in my mine that your new ship is aa jewel in the sea but please keep in mind that even the most beutiful of pearl necklaces are only as beutiful as the dullest of its pearls. Sincerly, David Caban

  15. Suzanne & Lisa says:

    Hi John,

    Lisa and I have travelled from Melbourne Australia last 2 years to Rome and cruised on Liberty then Freedom and while we were aware of your blog this is first time we have seen it. We are looking at flying to London next year to travel on Splendor. Imagination looks gorgeous but a long way to travel for only 4 or 5 day cruises for us. Will you be joining Splendor next year? We send everybody at home our travelogue as we cruise and have them in hysterics over some of your antics, however do you think we could get a new bedtime story and get rid of Willie Banger next year? For the record we just adore everything about our Carnival cruises and the effort that goes into scouting out the best day trips is fantastic. We are waiting to see what dates cruises are from late August onwards before doing our bookings so hoping to see those on the site soon.

  16. Joan says:

    John,
    The Imagination is a very special ship to me as well. Every year my girlfriends and I would have our get a way mini vacation on a cruise. The Ecstacy and the Imagination were always our two favorite ships. Matter of fact that’s where I first saw you as Cruise Director. Thanks for the interview and especially the pictures. She looks beautiful. I can’t wait to get back on her. By the way, You had told me a few years ago that you purchased Heidi’s engagement ring at a store called Colors (I can’t remember the spelling) in Ocho Rios. Well I can see why, my husband purchased me the most beautiful diamond ring made by a famous Italian designer from them and I love it. They were wonderful.

  17. Croix says:

    Having just read the info about the new and improved
    Carnival Imagination, I am very excited about the changes.
    The ship looks all grown up!!! Though I must say that having been a travel agent when
    this series of ships was being introduced, I was always fascinated by the interiors. Not all of them were a hit, but they were always intersting and eyecatching.

    I am almost inspired to go on the ships that arent refurbished yet to see the comparason. While I often hate change, it looks like this is a change that will bring the Fantasy Class ships
    into the next phase of their careers as fresh and revitalized members of the Carnival Fleet..

  18. Muriel says:

    I cruised on carnival destiny in 99. Come march 2nd of 08 i will be cruising on the diamond princess ship to hawaii on a 15 day cruise. I was under the impression if i was a repeat cruiser i would get special treatment. I also was told that carnival owns princess as well so what are the perks or are there none. it is our 40th anniversary so wanted to celebrate it in style.

  19. Jim Colson says:

    I didn’t see anything about the Gambling Facilities which we all enjoyed on my Sister and Brother-n-Law’s 40th Anniv several years ago. You do still have gambling right? Thanks

  20. alfred parodi says:

    If you really wanted to make your ship an attraction you would no allow smoking in the entertainment areas. Why you cater to a smal percentage of the passenger is beyond me. It is a sever health and safety hazard and uncomfortable to smell the fowl tobacco smoke.
    YOu should not advertize that Carnival cares if you don’t accomodate all the passengers. It can not be a fun cruise if you can not enjoy the entertainment supplied aboard ship. I would hope you have a separate entrance to the internet lounge. The cruise I took you had to go through the smoky cigar lounge to get to it. That has to be the stupidest thing any one has ever done. It must be a Farkas.
    First things first. Accomodate the needs of your passengers. 70% of the people do not smoke so you are cateering to a small minority.
    And please don’t tell me it is legal. This does not make it right.

  21. WELCOME TO STRIPES DISCO …….. Yo John its Jose in Dallas Texas, the Ex DJ from Carnivals Ecstasy (1992-93) … Wow your still with Carnival, thats great .. I always thought about going back and still do as the lifestyle, friendships (and cheap booze) temp me every time i see a Carnival commercial … Oh and all the hot women in Puerto Rico (damn) … Im still in Dallas and have talked numerous times with ex staff members and current ones like Rachel … I also talked briefly to Roger some time back … I might go on the Ecstasy as a Cone Head, as its based here in Texas (i think) … I love to watch all my Home Vids of my time on the ship … wow that was an amazing time that i will never forget … Take care and email me back if you like & feel free to forward my email to past staff that i might have worked with (except Chaka, lol). Take care …… Jose in Dallas

  22. ZVI SHORER says:

    As a valued past guest of Carnival Cruise Lines my last Crouse was a great disappointment, first I was not invited to the past guest cocktail (although it was my forth Crouse with carnival), second, it seamed that carnival cruse line did not put affords in entertainment – is was poor entertainment’ almost nothing. I plan a fun Crouse and got a great disappointment

  23. ZVI SHORER says:

    As a valued past guest of Carnival Cruise Lines my last Crouse was a great disappointment, first I was not invited to the past guest cocktail (although it was my forth Crouse with carnival), second, it seamed that carnival cruse line did not put affords in entertainment – is was poor entertainment’ almost nothing. I plan a fun Crouse and got a great disappointment.

  24. doting granny with an attitude says:

    loved the ship/mangement in general; looking forward to a 3rd sailing on her soon; perhaps next month when taking a short break from the Pacific NorthWest winter.

    Curious about finding the previously gaudy buffet dining room carpet replaced by a more subdued, classy one? That was my only reservation about the ‘old’ Imagination.

    Did the “Fascination’s” first run after refurbishing, – and another run 4 month later – a spendid ship – well revived.

  25. Jerald Lair says:

    Loved the no arm chairs, fat people like myself, now don’t have to be worried whether they will fit. Now if you had big man recliners in the staterooms I would definitley take that Alaska cruise.

  26. karen says:

    arethere any specials in july? My boyfriend and I love your ship.

  27. ALAN of DAVIE says:

    We have just returned on the Carnival Freedom,from the back to back cruises.We got to sail with John around the Med.,and then with Todd on the crossing.We had a fabulous time on both cruises.We will definitely check out the Imagination.After 26 days a short cruise would be nice.Our first time on Carnival was in 1985 on the Mardi Gras and we still love the fun ships.

  28. Donny McGuire says:

    I just want to say we sailed the Imagination this last spring and it was a beautiful ship then, I am considering taking the Imagination for a spin again to see this fabulous newly refurbished ship. And to go with all of this we really enjoyed the 5 day intenerary to The Grand Caymons and Ocho Rios Jamaica, cant wait to try the new girl out again.

  29. Deborah Cabral says:

    Hi,
    I sen the new and revised Imagination. I want to know, how can I can up coming sailings on the new Imagination. Please give me as much information as you can.

    Thanks,
    Deborah C. Cabral
    dcc0517@aol.com

  30. Ann M. says:

    This is certainly not the Imagination I sailed on! Great job…would be interesting to come aboard once again.

  31. Holly and Scott Maher says:

    We sailed on the Sensation and had great service from the wait staff, however, when we played bingo and won and another gentleman had bingo also we ended up with a dirty beach bag and a rum cake. The other guests were pretty upset and we were turned off by that happening. I dont know if we would ever sail Carnival again.

  32. Edna Nelson says:

    I enjoyed my last cruise so much I have already booked another for May 17,2008 from Whittier, Ak. back to Vancouver for myself and two sisters.

  33. Kim Parker says:

    Dear John,
    Happy Thanksgiving wishes to both you and Heidi. My friend Sharon and I missed you this past cruise, Transatlantic to Miami on the Carnival Freedom. We had been planning for a year to see you once again because we had enjoyed our time with you last year in October 2006 with our cruise in the med. Our favorite times on that trip were the night you had been knocked down and ridden like a pony on the stage by one of the passengers during your little skit and the morning show when you read the letter from the couple who wanted to set up meeting of the swingers! Being from California we had such a laugh, at your expense that is. You made our cruise so much fun that we couldn’t wait to see you again. We were so sorry to hear that there was a serious problem to bring you home before we could enjoy the trip with you yet again. Todd was fun but it just wasn’t the same. We are planning another cruise in 2009 so we hope to see you in the future. Take care of yourself and send our holiday wishes to your lovely wife, Heidi.

  34. Lee and Kelli says:

    Hi… Great review! We are booked on the five night 1/14/08 cruise. This will be our 13th cruise
    with Carnival. We can’t wait to see the newly
    remodeled Imagination. We love the Fantasy
    class ships! They are just the right size. We
    are hoping to hear from other’s going on the same
    cruise. This cruise will help break up the normal
    Wisconsin winters. Even if its our busy time of
    year we can still sneak in a short cruise! Great
    value to. Thanks much; Lee and Kelli

  35. Mary Jane Coffee says:

    Thank you–travel often and I am loving it–The Ship is beautiful and spacious –Good Job–God Speed–MJ

  36. gloria fregoli says:

    Hello John,
    We’ll we’re shopping around to cruise again, the beginning of the year. We took my Daughter, Son-In-Law, and teen age Grandson, last January on their 1st cruise, and of course, it was the Carnival. My Husband and I were on the Imagination in 1992 for our Honeymoon, and I am quite impressed by the pictures of the renovation. We’ve been on at least 10 Carnival cruises, and we love everything about them.

  37. ny says:

    Happy to see the rebirth of this ship. I must say we cruised on her in April of 05 and it was the worst cruise experience we’ve ever had. From many mechanical issues, thin cabin walls and loud/rude neighbors, to the lack of info offered by the crew regarding the problems with the ship which just caused anger and frustration among the passeneger we swore never to sail this ship again. However, with these much needed upgrades and the adult only sun deck we may give the Imagination another try.

  38. Geore fillmore says:

    How can a single adult take a cruses without going broke?

  39. Linda Smith says:

    I am happy to see Carnival is making more areas for ADULTS ONLY. We have been on 12 Carnival Cruises. The ‘new’ ship looks very tasteful and lovely. Way to go!

  40. Karen Reynolds says:

    oh my god that ship is so beautiful i love it i just went to the unship celebration we had alot of bad weather were in the hurricane weather didnt go to nassac bah. but i enjoy the ship ride a lil sick got over and party thank ill be look into the imigation

  41. George & Janet Springer says:

    Well, how time does fly…..slowly opening my inaugaral gift book from the Imagination.
    Jan and I were booked for the very first cruise on her way back when. I remember we were somewhat disappointed at the time as the Imagination was pressed into service one week early to assist a sister ship which had a fire, but when we finally went out it was a blast. I am just glad they did not retire her………..so far three of our previous ships have been dropped. Who can forget the Mardi Gras/Carnivale/and Jubilee…….
    only mentioned here out of respect for the old .

    I enjoyed lookin at the pictures of the upgrading of the Imagination. Now if only we all could be upgraded as well.

    Now that I am on the proverbial fixed income, my cruising days have slowed, but I thank Carnivale and cruise directors like you for making me addicted to cruising. It is by far the most fun of all, and I have never strayed from Carnival.

    There is seldom a day I do not think about a past cruise of fantazize about a future one. Especially with the solicitations I get from our cruise coordinator.chuckle.

    Anyway thanks to you and all the Carnival crews past and present for making our experiences life long memories.

  42. crystal mendez says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, on Oct. 26 I experienced the Paradice cruise it was the best, I would love to experience the Imagination some day. thank you.

  43. i,enjoyed the persantion you presented

  44. LOU & PAT says:

    WE JUST GOT BACK FROM 8NT CRUISE.
    HAD A GREAT TIME AS ALWAYS.
    MY WIFE WONT LET ME BOOK ANY CRUISES
    EXCEPT ON CARNIVAL.BE BACK ON BOARD SOON.

  45. Carmen Asen says:

    My husband and I sailed on the Imagination in 1996 and it is by far our favorite Carnival ship. We are looking forward to sail on her again.

  46. Bobbie Clark says:

    I’ve sailed Imagination twice and thinking about sailing it again for spring break 2008. However, Malcolm was the cruise director when I sailed and I like his style tremendously. Is he not still on the ship someplace? Anyway, Imagination does has its own feel and welcoming spirit which I enjoy and appreciate tremendously. I’m a single parent and find it afforable to cruise Carnival with my two children. Thanks Carnival for refurbishing Imagination.

  47. Bob and Barbie Winters says:

    Congrats on a beautiful refurbashing of one of your ships. It sounds beautiful. We love the fact that the chairs have no arms and the decor looks magnificent. We think Carnival is becoming even a bigger force in the cruising industry and not sitting on their laurels as they could do being number 1. We would like to see the Imagination do some longer trips which we prefer. We normally sail on 7-12 day trips. Any plans in the near future.
    Thanks

  48. My wife and I had a great time on our Carnival cruise in August this year. My entire family will be joining us next year on our annual cruise. Brother and sisters and families all – All twenty-two of us.
    The fun times is always with Carnival

  49. Yasmine, Ewan & Toni - Ja. says:

    We are Jamaicans and my family and I went on our first cruise in May, on the Imagination of course. We thoroughly enjoyed our 4-day Western Caribbean cruise and must give kudos to our maitre d – Nilson. We can’t wait to see the new Imagination and is saving towards this.

  50. Canuck Cruiser says:

    Hey John,
    Great interview with Miles.
    Sure hope the Fascination is changed over for next April. The Imagination looks awesome!!
    I’m sure PA007 is working behind the scenes to get the information on the schedule for when the NEW Carnival Fascination hits the waters with all of the new upgrades!
    Hope you’re enjoying your time off and is Heidi home yet? Bet you can’t wait for Thursdays again ….right? LOL
    It’s Thanksgiving in the USA and of course our beloved Cowboys are playing today. Wish us luck against the Jets from NY.

    Keep on blogging my friend,

    B&D from Canada

  51. Pingback: Miles of Imagination « “BIG” ED KONEFE

  52. Hi John:

    This is great stuff. My “crew” and I first met you as a young waiter on the Holiday back in 1987. You may recall a pyramid of stemmed shot glasses on the center of our dining room table that touched the balloons hanging above and an angered Maitre ‘D though hundreds in the dining room came running to take photos. The waters were quite calm considering that we had 13 glasses on the bottom and not one fell, not even the one on the top.

    We secretly bought you a few shots that you quickly disposed of under the table next to us. You should remember us as Kamikaze’s became our trademark.

    We went into town with the CCL staff and danced in Cozumel ’til the ship almost left.

    We ran into you as a manager several years later as you moved up the ranks and after some “issues with the Kamikaze’s, you stepped up, took over the casino bar and made a couple of John Heald Specials, which were 8 oz glasses of your special recipe Kamiakze shot……we reminisced and recalled the “early years” when you claimed to be saving money to go back to the homeland for school. LMAO!~ Congratulations to you and your wife.

    Trying to gather the “crew” together for another trip with CCL. It has been wonderful to watch your career advance through the web and the success of CCL as well.

    Happy Cruising, Happy Holidays, Go Buckeyes!

    —The Columbus Ohio Gang

  53. Rhonda says:

    What are the specials you might have going in Sept or Oct of 2008. The ship looks inviting. We just got back from one on The Glory. We went eastern Carribean. It was wonderful. Thanks

  54. Karen Davis says:

    We love the Imagination! We were married on her in 1998! We took another trip in 2005 (this was the first time we were away from our toddler). It’s so awesome that the ship has been updated! We can’t wait to take our little one on the Imagination.

  55. Harold Davidoff says:

    My fiance’ and myself took our first cruise either of us has ever taken, together, last Valentine’s day, one month into our relationship. It was the most amazing time either of us ever had. We really bonded on the Imagination, and credit our our being together today on that trip. We have since planned to marry, and include a trip on the Imagination for the upcoming Valentine’s day, and look foward to making that day a permanent anniversary where we will be guest again on the ship again and again for years to come. Everything was great, especially the crew, and thank Carnival for the oppotunity to experience the new accomodations.
    We both look foward to seeing everyone!
    Thank you again. . .

  56. sandra says:

    love your ship next year we will be making
    twenty year married hope we can spend it
    with you

  57. ANNE FOSTER says:

    DO YOU HAVE SINGLES CRUISES IF SEND ME INFORMATION ON THEM.

    THANKS

  58. me interesa mucho volver a realizar un viaje de vacaciones con ustedes, pero quisiera que me manden la informacion en español porque no entiendo ingles. gracias

  59. Cindy OBrien says:

    I just had to write in to your comments on the Imagination. The Imagination was my first cruise. Let me just say, I had the best time, the crew was amazing. I have not gone on another cruise, but I now know when I do, it will be booked on the new Imagination. Thank you for making my first voyage perfect. I can’t wait to board again!

  60. Dear John

    Happy Thanksgiving from beautiful Hong Kong!

    My family of six, had a great time at the Carnival Liberty with you.

    My husband Prakash acted as James Brown with you at the grand show.

    We had an absolutely great time and we were so thrilled to know about your blog and all the new ventures at Imagination.

    We want to sail with you again. You are absolutely the best crusie director!

    Please take care and we hope to see you in Hong Kong.

    Angela

  61. Juliette says:

    Cant wait to get there! Looks fantastic.

  62. Frank Palmer says:

    Amazing! Hope to be there soon. Thank you for this magnificent display

  63. Ray DoDo-1 says:

    HI all i am a pass cruser never had dad one i wood like a cruse of 7-10 days New Orleans — Mobile Alb. it is a long ride from Tnn. to ports in Fla.

  64. alan hunt says:

    Sad to say that after travelling on Carnival and having to deal with there customer service concerning lost baggage, that this is the one and only time i will ever sail with them.They somehow managed to lose my baggage from the time that i left it out side my room on the last night to the next morning when we got off the ship.After being given the run around by customer service and told basically we had no recourse and it wasn’t there fault they finally found my baggage 6 days after we arrived home.This would not have been bad but we spent 3 extra days in Florida after the cruise and i had to purchase all new clothes because i hadn’t anything but what i came off the cruise wearing.We complained to Carnival but never even received an apology for the inconvience and then ontop of that was sent a bill to pay the price of shipping the suit case from Florida to Montreal .NEVER AGAIN CARNIVAL
    (p.s bet you don’t even care about any of this, just like customer service!!!!)

  65. Jack Garrison says:

    Sounds great.. how about an adults only cruise one in a while…

  66. peter & beverly van arsdale says:

    john: we sail with you and heidi on the glory oct,2004 of all the carnival cruise we be on most
    remenbered cruise with{ windsor.} this was truly the most fun cruise. happy thanksgiving and god bless.

  67. Trish in Canada says:

    All I can say is wow!! You did a fantastic job, keep up the great work!! I for one thank you for changing the diningroom chairs!!
    I look forward to travelling your vessel soon!!

  68. Great looking modifications. Nice to see something unique. Will definitely sail on her sometime in the near future.

  69. Eduardo says:

    Dear John,

    The Imagination was the first cruise i went on and I just recently went on the Freedom when you were cruise director. I hope I go on the imagination during the time you are on her because you were the best and funniest cruise director i have seen.

  70. Great looking modifications. Nice to see something unique. Will definitely sail on her sometime soon.

  71. Great looking upgrades. Can’t wait to sail on her!

  72. Joe Kyle says:

    John & Heidi this Blog Thingy really has changed the way folks learn about cruising. This article is great. We may be jealous compared to the IMAFINARION, but know we will have fun.

    We leave on a little get-a-way Dec 1st. on the ECSTASY. We are taking some friends that will be first time cruisers and have had them read your Blog to get an idea of the fun-to-come!

  73. Peanuts says:

    Good Morning John and Heidi,

    I know what you are saying about “that special feeling” regarding the Imagination. Jack and I took the whole family (daughter, son-in-law, grandaughters Amanda and Nicole, son, and his daughter Madisyn) when our daughter graduated college with her BA. We had a wonderful time, so many memories, so much fun. Now that she will be getting her “Masters” in June she wants to know what ship this time!! Hopefully, one day we can do a family cruise again. The Imagination was a wonderful ship then and I can just imagine (pun intended) what she looks like now. The crew was outstanding and as always Carnival “exceeded our expectations”. No, I am not an employee of Carnival. I just know what a great cruise experience we will have when we cruise.

    You and Heidi take care and see you soon :D

    Joan

  74. "BIG" ED says:

    John, in a comment above from Joel A. Greff he mentioned a drink special of your’s a “John Heald Specials, which were 8 oz glasses of your special recipe Kamiakze shot”. I will have to try one of them if you mix it.

    “BIG” ED
    Just sitting here smelling the turkey roasting waiting for the BIG meal.

  75. John, What a fascinating blog regarding the Imagination. Now Larry and I want to book a cruise on it too. We’ll call our fantastic Carnival agent, Juan Rodriguez, tomorrow and see is any cabins are available. After the article you wrote they may all be booked by then. We’ll need to win the lottery is we keep cruising this much!
    The turkey is in the oven and I need to get everything else ready for dinner. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving. Jeri and Larry

  76. Emad al_quraini says:

    I have been with my family in Carnival fantasy in 2004 and in Carnival Fascination in 2006 … i’m looking to be in Imagination .good luck

  77. John Turnberg says:

    Amazing, in a blog on the web only 100% positive comments can be found… My family cruised on the Imagination in Dec 2006 and found it to be a less that stellar experience. The food, while plentiful, was typically of the same quality you would find at a Home Town Buffet. The crew was very attentive and very pleasant but the absolute highlight for us, was the amazing staff of of the Kids Camp and the wonderful job that they did entertaining my 3 kids during the trip. They were great and truly under appreciated by the corporation (since they are not included in the group that splits the tips).

    The ship itself was showing many signs of wear with broken items (railings, decking, games) and plumbing that made a whole deck smell like a sewer. I am sure that all of items have been addressed in the relaunch of the ship. It makes it seem like the people who cruised on her recently were given an experience that would not meet expectations today.

  78. CHANTAL says:

    HI JOHN: I TRAVELLED ON THE 19TH OCT LA/MEXICO WE HAVE A FAMILY WEDDING OF 60. I BOOKED MY TICKET FROM A TRAVEL AGENT IN LA HELEN BALDOVINOS LETS TRAVEL PH 408-972-0770 . THIS WAS MY FIRST TRIP ON A CRUISE AND WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO HAVING FUN. FIRSTLY, THIS HELEN HAD NO IDEA ON CRUISE BOOKING
    OVERCHARGED ME ALSO TOLD ME THAT THE BOAT WAS FULLY BOOKED WHEN CALLED CARNIVAL I WAS TOLD THAT WAS NO CORRECT. I HAVE WRITTEN TO CARNVAL STILL WAITING FOR A REPLY. I SAVED FOR TWO YEARS TO GO ON THIS TRIP WHAT A LED DOWN. SHE PUT ME ON THE LOWER FLOOR WITH NO WINDOW AND CONFIMED WITH ME THAT I AM NEXT DOOR TOMY SISTER AND THEYALL HAD WINDOWS. I HAD TO SLEEP WITH FAMILY AND ON DECK I ONLY USED THE ROOM TO SHOWER AND GET DRESSED.

    READING ALL THE COMMENTS EVERY ONE SEEMS TO HAVE A GREAT TIME IS THERE A
    PROBLEM THAT WE/I HAVE HAD SUCH A BAD
    EXPERIENCE.

    NEED A REPLY.

    CHANTAL

  79. Oh wow! That looks absolutely fabulous, John. What a perfect getaway for you and Heidi!

  80. John as usual the ship is beautiful! We love Carnival! We have been with you three times on cruises. We were introduced to you back in 1991 on the Ecstasy. Your or our favorite saying out of you was “Stop it!” You are the best cruise director we seen. We’ve been on 10 cruises and you’ve topped them all. We are headed for Hawaii in January. We are going to be going on “The Pride of America”(NCL) only because Carnival doesn’t travel to Hawaii at that time of the season. Just wanted you to know you are the biggest part of the reason I have went into becoming a Travel Agent. I’m retired from Caterpillar Inc and now I’ve decided to become an agent and sell wonderful trips and let other folks know what it’s like to travel on cruises.
    Thanks John!
    Mr. Jesse Rhodes
    Village Travel
    Decatur, Il 62526

  81. CHANTAL says:

    I TRAVELLED ON A WEDDING CELEB. OCT 19, 07 LA/MEXICO I TRAVELLD ALL THE WAY FROM MONTREAL CANADA. I WAS BOOKED BY
    LETS TRAVEL HELEN BALDOVINOS 408-972-0770 THIS LADY GAVE WRONG INFO PUT ME
    IN ROOM WITH A WINDOW I SLEPT WITH FAMILY AND ON DECK THE WORST TIME EVER
    WHICH I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO A GREAT FUN TRIP WHICH I SAVED FOR TWO YEARS AND DUMPED INTO A ROOM WITH A WINDOW. THIS HELEN B COMFIRMED THAT I WILL BE NEXT DOOR TO MY SISTER WHO HAD A WINDOW – I WAS ON THE OTHER SIDE ON THE LOWEST DECK.

    I HAVE WRITTEN TO CARNIVAL STILL NO REPLY AND READING THE PASSANGER COMMENTS IT WOULD BE GREAT IF I HAD THAT TIME IS THE REAL!!!!!!!!

    THIS TRAVEL AGENTS TOLD ME THAT CARNIVAL WAS FULLY BOOK BUT WHEN I CALLED AND TRIED TO BOOK WITH CARNIVAL THE REP SAID THAT CARNIVAL WAS NOT FULLY BOOKED. WHERE IS THE
    RESPONSE TO MY LETTER FROM CARNIVAL.

    VERY VERY DISAPPOINTED AND SAID THAT
    I HAD TO SAVE FOR TWO YEARS AND SADLY
    WHAT A MESS AND WAS BILLED FOR SERVICES I DID NOT EVEN ENJOY.

    REGARDS
    CHANTAL

  82. Bonnie Pilon says:

    Hi John,

    My husband Paul and I sailed on the Imagination for our very first cruise in 1998. Since then we have been hooked on cruising. We also sailed with you on the Glory and also on the Liberty. We are celebrating our 33 anniversary February 15th. Would absolutely love to sail with you on January 28th. What Ports are you going to do?

  83. Mike O. says:

    I am very glad to to see the refit. I have been on many Carnival cruises and like the Fantasy class ships very much. I think they are the right size. I guess for many reason the cruises lines are building larger ships. If they get any bigger they will mass transit systems, but they longer walks could be good exercise.

    I think the new slides at the rear of the ship is a good idea. I use to use the previous rear pool and hot tubs to avoid the center pool crowds. I noticed the rear pool and deck area was underused. Besides their layout looked like Mickey mouse.

    I like the idea of recycling and sometimes feel that we in the U.S. are too quick to reach for the new and not treasure the older like they do in Europe. I also think the adults only area is a haven which will be much enjoyed.

  84. Romeo Cristiani says:

    Me alegra recibir sus noticias, siempre recuerdo los buenos momentos quepasamos con mi esposa. En verdad me agradaria viajar de nuevo y les rogarias enviarme noticias en español

  85. Aleey and Dave says:

    hello to all and happy holidays. Dave and I just got back from the newly refurb. imagination, And we enjoyed it greatly. This was our 8th cruise and second on this ship. They have done an awesome job updating and upgrading the ship. It was a nice change. We brought along new cruisers and they enjoyed it also. the furniture in the rms are nice. It was a nice change. happy holidays to all

  86. Michael Andrade says:

    Please keep me posted after the first of the year as to where this ship will be and at what family prices they are.

  87. Vince Santa Maria says:

    What ever happened to summer cruises in the caribbean? Too many hurricanes, I suppose. My wife teaches and our best times are from June thru mid-August. Any suggestions?

  88. Hi John,

    Would you tell me the destinations and
    sail dates for this wounderful ship?
    We have sailed with you before on the Liberty, and just had a ball.
    We would like to sail with you again.

    Thanks,
    Johanna & Silas

  89. Doug Wall says:

    Just returned from short cruise on the imagination, Nov.19. We hated to go to our room it was so cold. Not our first cruise but will have to think long and hard before we go on the imagination again. Getting off the ship in Miami was a joke. Dozens of people making sounds like cattle and it seemed appropriate.
    We had a pleasant trip except we had to return to our room at night. We live in south Florida and are from Michigan, we are accustom to AC and cold.
    Think we will give up cruising and just go to the islands.
    It’s 83 degrees and sunny here and it’s turkey day, glad I’m home.
    Doug Wall

  90. The ship looks great, thanks for the update. we’re going on the Motley Cruise Jan 24th, can’t wait because we just woke up to our first snow storm this morning here in Peterborough, Ont. Canada. See you in Jan. Thanks… Smokey & Lisa from Kawartha Custom Motorcycles.

  91. Ray Czenszak says:

    WOW wow Wow! I am SO, SO Excited to write on the Blog this morning.
    John, again you have touched Passion.
    First, to see that people are passionate about a corporation like Carnival Cruise Corp. is awesome. I worked for Xerox Corporation for 20 years and took a package from them. I changed gears with their help and now absolutely love my new career working for a Division of Lennox International-Service Experts. I now Service HVAC equipment at high end homes on Long Island.

    To see such Passion makes me want to join the Carnival Employee Family. Like Mr. Miles Willis, I love flying. Recently I had a conversation with a friend regarding the topic of the first airplane I owned. I found out it was destroyed recently how I do not know. He said to me “like an old friend, your memories return there.”

    In a past Blog I commented how excited I felt to find out the first ship I cruised on, Carnival Inpiration, was rejuvenated. I cannot wait to return to her to see the rebirth of what I truly enjoy, cruising with Carnival. Imagination It looks like is another must to be explored.
    The future looks brighter than ever and so filled with fun for everyone who is in the Carnival Family.
    Jeanne and I can’t wait to step onboard our next Funship adventure.
    John and Heidi Thanks again. See you on Splendor in 2008,and Happy Thanksgiving to
    All .
    Ray and Jeanne

  92. benedykt nitka says:

    looking for good deals from carnival cruise.Keep me in touchg,thank you happy thanks giving

  93. John, I was ata a fun ship, getting out of Tampa in 2004, I loved it, but you need to put spanish salsa in your shows. I have been trying to bring you an excellent singer, well known, and havenot received any answers. I would like to know whom do I have to contact to send his biography or you can go to http://www.latina stereo.com and go to salsero del mes, That web contains who he is and is on the site for the whole month. Happy Thanksgiving
    eppie

  94. Nora Abou-tayeh says:

    Dear

    I want to express my regret about Carnival Cruise. I went twice , and I invited three of my friends from U.k. to come and join us . We were 9 friends , and we had the worst holiday ever. Everything was bad, the service, the food , the cleaning, the only thing that was ok was the room service. I’am sorry to say that but i will never recomend Carnival Cruise to anyone . Sorry again.

  95. Eve Buchholz says:

    Hello John and Heidi,

    We had the pleasure of sailing with you on the Carnival Freedom on a 15 day cruise in the Mediterranean. It was the March 26, 2007 cruise out of Rome and it truly was a trip of a lifetime. It was also a “family affair” with brothers, Chuck and David and their spouses aboard. Last month we sailed on the Carnival Pride and we did the Christmas 2006 Mexican Riviera cruise on the Carnival Spirit. It is difficult to say which is our favorite ship but we look forward to sailing with the Carnival Imagination. As you can see….we are Carnival people.

  96. joan baldwin says:

    dear john – recently returned from the 10/16 med cruise
    on the freedom. you are the best but you met the best
    passengers the night you introduced willie. what a blast!!
    have been on the mardi gras, fantasy (2x)fascination, holiday, inspiration (2x) spirit, destiny (2x) freedom – so
    there you are, from the smallest to the biggest. also have
    another booked on the pride in march. love carnival!!!!

  97. Iain & Mai says:

    Great blog, we’ve not been on the Imagination but it looks fantastic (as are all the CCL’s we’ve been on. Our next is both the Elation & Spirit out of San Diego to Mexico in early January. Sure beats Ontario’s Canadian weather! Will CCL have some Southern Carib sometime in the future? Keep up the Carnival sprit, it’s great.

  98. Mike says:

    My family and I sailed the Inspiration in ”06 and fell in love with the ship. I read on a cruise blog that my favorite part of the ship has beeb removed — namely, the hotpools under the glass covered ceilings near the spa. Is this true? Someone who has been aboard since refirb let me know, OK?

    Incidentally, I see the Inspiration from my office window in downtown Tampa and am so envious every time I watch her leave without me.

  99. Ronda says:

    Love the adult only section….wonderful!

  100. Alison Ramirez says:

    I would agree with Johns comment about the food on the ships but it has been that way even on the newest of ships. It is very Home Town Buffet like, and unfortunately for me I had buffet food. Honestly I really dislike the food but I love the staff and everything about the cruise. Taking care of staff I do by always removing the gratuity from my bill and personally tip those who are most helpful to me, since we never eat in the dining room and it is my understanding that they receive a large portion of the gratuities. I also smell the sewer smell but its usually towards the last couple days of the cruise, which the last cruise we were on was a 9-day. Needless to say I will cruise again and again and again all the greatness overshadows the couple downsides of it…..Happy Cruising The Ramirez’s

  101. R. Bigda says:

    Too bad you don’t ship out of Canaveral

  102. Diane, Vancouver,BC says:

    First time clicking on your blog and enjoyed your interview with Miles Willis. We will have to cruise on the Imagination next, as we have heard from others that this was a favourite ship of theirs. We just cruised with you on Aug 29 on a B to B from Rome, through East. Mediterranean and Western Med. We will never forget that fantistic trip. I must tell you, your morning “radio” program is a super idea and we enjoyed watching it. You made us laugh so hard sometimes, it was great ! The Carnival book you gave us with the lovely inscription sits in our bookshelve…thanks again. Although John, doing a B to B cruise you do find out some of your secrets……!!!! Take care.

  103. R. Bigda says:

    Too bad you don’t ship out of Canaveral.

  104. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    John and Heidi:
    Happy Thanksgiving!!

    I am so excited about our January 28th cruise.

    I know the Holiday will be fun next month….but the anticipation of the Imagination, now that we know you both will be aboard, is going to be hard to beat!!

    As “Robin from New York” said, we have about 15 folks chatting already on our roll call (some of us “chattier” than others) and looking forward to a great time!!

  105. Vivian Kerstein says:

    Our family will be cruising on the Imagination this coming Dec 13-17. I am so excited it has been beautifully refurbished and I am sure we are going to have a blast! We are celebrating my daughter’s 18th birthday on the 13th and my father-in-law’s 80th on the 17th. We will be altogeher 10 people. all hhis children, spouses and my husband and children to celebrate these two very special occasions on a very special ship!

    Great job Carnival!

  106. Vivian Kerstein says:

    Our family will be cruising on the Imagination this coming Dec 13-17. I am so excited it has been beautifully refurbished and I am sure we are going to have a blast! We are celebrating my daughter’s 18th birthday on the 13th and my father-in-law’s 80th on the 17th. We will be altogeher 10 people. all his children, spouses and my husband and children to celebrate these two very special occasions on a very special ship!

    Great job Carnival!

  107. Congratulations on the relaunch and upgrade, but please, something needs to be done about the food. As a recent tripper on the freedom from Rome, I had huge issues with over salted foods and cocktails and lack of choice for diabetics.
    Loved the day trips but too many stops for too short a period, never even saw old Dubrovnik due to waiting in toilet queues and it was worthy of more than a one hour stop. I even got left behind by the bus and I was on a walking stick and wheelchair, honestly!
    So to come from NZ was a huge expense and Id have liked a bit more real food. Also the Auctions, oh dear. If Carnival really likes its guests, get rid of the auctions. Im an artist and didnt realise I was buying prints. Im still waiting months later to receive them.
    Also Carnival has no facility for past guests from anywhere but USA to contact them did you know that? Very frustrating.
    But I did like the ship, the ports..just wish a bit more on the food and drinks and day trips.
    Good luck for future cruisers.

  108. Chef Jerry Taylor says:

    Thanks John, for a great blog and insight on Carnivals’ newest remodel to a “old ship” the Imagination.
    I sailed on Ecstasy in September of this year and as a double ampute in a powerchair,I was shocked and disappointed that accessability as well as accomadations for the handicap have been completely ignored/overlooked during Carnivals remodels of any of their fleet of ships.
    Perhaps Carnival should solicit input from their handicap clients to allow us the oppotunity of the totally positive experiance expected of going on a cruise.
    I am thrilled to report that Carnival responded to my concerns and I look forward to hopefully arranging a group to cruise again sooner than later.
    Wishing everyone on the water or on land, a Happy Thanksgiving today in America, and happy sailing!Much love to you all, Chef Jerry Taylor

  109. Arnie says:

    We just sailed to Cabo on the Elation a few weeks ago. Can’t wait to try the Imagination. It’s looks very nice.

  110. Leslie says:

    John,

    The Imagination is my favorite ship too – she was my first. I had the pleasure of sailing with you on her unexpected inaugural voyage that went out a week early due to the Celebration’s fire. I was on her again this past May, and it felt great to be back on the ship that started my addiction. I want to do a cruise on her before she moves to the three and four day itineraries, and I hope to sail with you again soon.

  111. Nuestra primera experiencia en un crucero fue en Imagination, fue tan grata que a partir de ese momento todas las veces que hemos podido (ya son ocho) hemos escogido cruceros Carnival como medio para vacacionar, nos encantaría a mi esposa y a mí, poder estar nuevamente a bordo en el barco Imagination ahora renovado, esperamos que en el año 2008, podamos tener tan maravillosa experiencia. Felicitamos a todos los miembros de la tripulación, con cariño

    Miguel y Golfinta (desde Venezuela)

  112. Nuestra primera experiencia en vacaciones en un crucero fue a bordo del Imagination, fue maravillosa, hemos vacacionado en Carnival Cruise Liners ocho veces después de esa primera vez, estamos muy satisfechos y pensamos volver en el año 2008
    Miguel y Golfinta

  113. Ron LaFountain says:

    Adult Only section will be our destination! Peace and quiet with no kid’s! Now that’s wonderful!

  114. sonia says:

    THANKS FOR SENDING THIS EMAIL TO ME. THE SHIP LOOKS WONDERFUL. I SAIL WITH YOU 4 TIMES AND ENJOY EVERYONE. WILL BE SAILING AGAIN NEXT YEAR. PLEASE TELL WHERE WILL THIS SHIP BE SAILING. NICE RENOVATION.

  115. just ate our turkey dinner john. the ship looks lovely. four weeks until our family cruise on the miracle. there are 12 of us, our two children, one’s hubby, and the rest grandchildren. oboy! my favorite cruise of the year is the family cruise. see you in january!

    smiles, bonnie and prince charlie

  116. Manson Patron says:

    Great reviews! We are giving another vote for 7 days out of NEW ORLEANS!!

  117. Manson Patron says:

    Great reviews!! We would also like to see a CCL 7 day cruise out of New Orleans. Ray & Linda

  118. theresa healey says:

    love the new look of this ship, very elegant looking, just sailed in November on the glory and loved it and actually think we saw this ship in dry dock. adults only section is a billiant idea.

  119. Sherri says:

    Sailed the Ecstasy x3, Elation X1 and Conquest X1. Must say I have overall had an awesome time on these cruises. Working on my permanent VIP status, I think it takes 12 cruises…looking forward to one out of California in the spring. I love CCL. You guys definitely give more “bang for the buck”!

  120. Fran says:

    Will this ship Inspiration ever be sailing out of Cape Canaveral?

  121. Lee and Kelli says:

    HI…

    Nice story on the Imagination!! We are doing the five night cruise on 1/14/08 and we can’t wait.
    We like the Fantasy size ships! We have been
    on 13 Carnival cruises and can’t wait to see this
    remodeled ship. Kelli is busy w/her travel agency but we are sure a break in the Wisconsin winter will be very welcome! Carnival does it right and there is no better vacation then a cruise! Hope to
    see everyone and Happy Holidays. Lee & Kelli

  122. EDISON STIEVEN says:

    Desfrutei deste maravilhoso navio em janeiro de 2007, com minha familia. Agora comeste novo visual, nova roupagem ficou mais maravilhoso. Parabens a Carnival

  123. Naomi says:

    I will be sailing on Imagination in 11 days! Just in time for the refurbishment. So happy I will be apart of the first to use all the new accomodations. Happy Sailing!

  124. Lynn says:

    Last time we sailed on Carnival, it was to the Panama Canal. We enjoyed the Canal so much but the atmosphere on the ship left something to be desired. I was actually knocked off my feet by two teenagers running through one of the hallways. Reported the incident but didn’t even get so much as an apology from Carnival. As a result, we’ve sailed Royal Carribbean since. It’s a shame, Carnival was always our favorite until that incident.

  125. KirstenL says:

    John,

    Thank you! WOW!!! I’m drooling and I want to cruise. I want to cruise NOW! I need to cruise NOW!!!

    I want the adults only place. I want the sea and the sunsets. I’m in withdrawls… Why is February so far away? I want to be pampered. I want to be impressed by the talent of the shows and music and the chefs and the whole crew’s caring concern of me.

    You know Carnival cruising is so great for one’s ego! Everyone makes it seem like their only purpose to exist is to make my life comforable and effortless.

    Thank you John, you’re evil and a tease!!! But the photos and interview are great!!

    Regards,
    Kirsten

  126. MI ESPOSA Y YO VIAJAMOS EN FEBRERO DEL 2007 EN CRUCERO DE 5 DIAS AL CARIBE FUE UNA EXPERIENCIA INOLVIDABLE QUE QUEREMOS REPETIR PERO EN EL MEDITERRANEO, ESPERO TENER SUERTE Y CUMPLIR NUESTRO DESEO
    FELICIDADES

  127. Doris Leung says:

    Imagination was my first cruise experience last September. I can’t wait to get my second experience!!

  128. Terry & Barbara says:

    Alaska was great on our 7 day inland passage trip.Thank you Carnival

  129. John,
    We cruised with you just last year from Rome to Florida. We had the time of our lives. It was our 9th cruise and in June we will spend our 10th cruise on the spirit in alaska.(we understand that puts us in a whole new catagory of perks) thanks for all the wonderful years past and the ones to come.

  130. Im thinking that right about now – I need to sail away…

  131. Mark Chambliss says:

    John,
    Sounds like you are ready to leave high gas prices,high groceries and all and get back to the ship life !!! What do you like best and least about your two “homes”? Any updates on the Blogger’s cruise you can share??What about Heidi giving us her latest report !!!It was awsome to see what Miles was up too these days…he was a blast on the Triumph !!!

    Mark….

  132. Chef Jerry Taylor says:

    I was disappointed but not surprised to see my comments submited today were not put on your blog here.I feel all comments submited should be printed so that all may see the pros and cons of cruise travel.
    I am sure that Carnival realizes the potential for profits if they strife to accomadate their handicap passengers,such as myself, on all of their fleet of ships especially when there is a remodel such as on the Carnival Imagination.
    Since I recently cruised on the “newly remodeled” ECSTASY, which was a very disappointing experiance for me.I have decided to give Carnival another chance to do it right this next cruise I am planning for 2008.After previewing your blog here,the IMAGINATION just very well may be my next choice for cruising!

  133. Sylvia S says:

    I like the Carnival ships. They are more popular with young people then other cruise ships, however one thing sucks on all Carnival ships. It is tooooo COLD on them. Too much A/C everywhere. Can be soo unpleasant.

  134. Donna Greer says:

    I haven’t sailed the Imagination only the Sensation. I am curious, is the Sensation due for a refurbish or has it been recently? It was very up to date and modern at the time of my cruise. I would love to sail the Imagination to Half Moon Cay and experience the island.

  135. patrick ceriello says:

    On 12 May 2006 my wife and I started out on our voyage aboard the M.S.Legend. On the forth day at sea my wife and I were up on deck looking at the scenery as we pulled into port. There were men on deck washing the floors and stairs. We stared down the stairs when my wife slipped, both feet shot out from under her, causing her to land on her back half way down the stairs. \I called for help but none of the workers would help. As I tried to keep my wife from sliding down the stairs, a nurse on vacation came over to help. We both yelled for help when a staff member came by and we told her we needed help, she said she would get help. Ten minutes later several officers showed up. They wanted to know what we wanted them to do. I told them she needed a Doctor. One of the officers went inside then came back saying he had called the Doctor. We waited on the stairs for another ten or so minutes. My wife began to pass out. I told the officers that she needed help now. Several more officers showed up and one of them went inside and came back with a wheel chair. They took her down to the Doctor who apparently was never notified. The Doctor told her to sit on a chair so that he could look at her back. He told her it was only blunt trauma and that it would hurt a lot and offered her pain medication. The rest of the trip was not pleasant need I say more. Upon arriving home we went to the emergency room for x rays. Three badly broken ribs.

    If any professionalism was shown it was by the vacationing nurse who came over to help. Would I recommend Carnival cruise lines. NO. It is apparent that this letter has never made its way to some one of authority as we keep on getting calls and mailings wanting us to book again. I do hope that someone takes notice of this letter and uses its content to improve Carnival cruise lines policies and procedures. If proof is needed, we have in our possession the x-rays that were taken.

    Sincerely yours,

    Patrick F. Ceriello Jr.

  136. Luis Felipe Cruz Rosa says:

    Nuestra primera experiencia eb cruceros fue con el Inspiration en nuestra luna de miel, luego en el Sensation con la familia y en despedida de año. Me gustaria repetir esta aventura, pero con toda mi familia y abordo de este nuevo crucero. Se que según lo descrito el Imagination y su nuevo y rediseñado paqute de Ëvolution of Fun” debe ser algo espectacular. Espero que este barco llegue al Caribe, en especial Puerto Rico y que tengan ofertas especiales para que los sueños de muchas personas se hagan realidad.

    Exito como siempre en sus desarrollos.
    Felipe

  137. Krystal Hudson says:

    My husband and I just cruised on the Carnival Fascination this past October. We truly loved it and definitely will return to cruise on another one of your ships…just not sure which one yet :)

    I looked at the pictures of the Imagination and the Staterooms/Penthouse Suites remind me of the rooms on the Fascination. Other than the new pool area, what’s the difference between the two ships, Fascination and Imagination?

  138. Kelly says:

    John,
    We sailed with you on a couple of cruises, our first being our honeymoon nine years ago … and so many cruises before and after that – you were – and still are the BEST cruise director for us ever. Can not wait to sail with you – and your beautiful ship again!!

  139. When advertising new upgrades you should offer a discounted rate to existing customers. You know most likely b/c of your outstanding customer service, they may want to sail with your cruiseline again. However, no one really wants to shop with an organization who only has making more money in mind when their advertising their new upgrades and do not offer previous buyers of their product a discount.

  140. Cindy56 says:

    Hi John & Heidi,

    I’m giving serious consideration to going on the Imagination Jan 28 except I would probably be going alone. Is there anyone out there that would like to share a cabin with me that is going alone too?

  141. kamar says:

    why is there only one ship that sails out of mobile i would to sail this new up-dated ship instead of the same one?

  142. kamar says:

    do this goes out of mobile ala.?

  143. Neal F. says:

    First cruised on the Festivale when CCL only had three ships. You could even open the portholes on that ship! New Orleans is “open for business” and going strong! Need to get more ships operating out of there and increase the destination choices from the Big Easy!!

  144. Pam & Danny says:

    Although we have been on 13 Carnival cruises, repeating on Fantasy and Glory, we have yet to sail on Inspiration, so this looks exciting to us. We have sailed once with John Heald as Cruise Director, and he was by far the best. We have sailed twice with Lenny Halliday, including our first cruise in 1995 on the Tropicale.
    We are planning our 2008 cruise, and will be looking at the Inspiration’s itinerary with interest now that we’ve seen pictures of her refurbished condition!
    Thanks for the updates. Carnival Rules!!
    Pam & Danny Nault, Orlando, FL

  145. dwa76 says:

    Hi John,
    Great pics of the Imagination. She looks gorgeous.
    Awesome interview with Mr. Willis.
    Thank you!
    David

  146. kate says:

    glad to hear of refurbishment ; i cruised on imagination in august for my 50th birthday;;ok cruise but cabin was the worst;;;;only one outlet no hairdrier;;;;and noone from guest services would help;bathroom tiling was grotty so glad to hear of improvements

  147. Rick and Carol says:

    Just want to let everyone know, newbie or past cruisers, that our first cruise together with Carnival was on the Imagination. Although before we became one, we have been on many other cruise lines and ships but none offer the FUN that Carnival offers. It is really excited us as to all the refits and many many nice upgrades that Carnival has done to their older ships. You guys have out done yourselves. Not bad at all. In fact, on Jan. 14th of 2007 we got married on the Miracle out of Tampa, Fl. and had a wonderful experience and outstanding honeymoon cruise on top of everything else. Keep up the good work.

  148. Gerald & Carolyn Smith says:

    My wife & I sailed in aug. 2007 it was the best vacation we ever had and wished it didn’t have to end. We can’t wait to sail again with you.

    When we planned our trip we were able to pay for it in payments, and it was set up by a friend. This time we would like to set it up ourselves, can you tell us how to do this. We need this help bad because we don’t ever want to lose this feeling.

  149. Dave Kuzio says:

    The first cruise that my wife and I took was a 5 day on the Imagination. It “hooked” us on cruising and we have taken 6 since with 2 reserved for ’08. I feel truly sorry for those people who have had bad experiences with Carnival but even on a cruise undesirable things can happen. I’ve never experienced Carnival staff be intentionally rude or ill mannered toward us. Maybe I was just in the right place at the right time? As far as the food, if you want the very best book a cruise on Cunard Lines (Queen Elizabeth 2 + Queen Mary 2) – they are a “sister line” to Carnival and cater to rich tastes. I think that Carnival offers a quality product at an affordable price, but that’s just my opinion.

  150. I thought a cruise would not be fun at all …all the crowds an being confined to a ship…Not for me…Well was I wrong…I had a blast, so much fun an so many things to do.I have been to Hawaii an I have to say I would rather go on a cruise than any other vacation….It is so relaxing an more fun than you have ever had on any other vacation….I would recomend it to all I know….Just a normal person wanting the most for their money…..

  151. "BIG" ED says:

    TO Dave Kuzio,

    You right on about the food. I’m a salt and peppering person. Drives my wife nuts because I add them to everthing. But the only thing I’ve ever had to add to food brought to me at dinner was to put butter on my dinner rolls.

    “BIG” ED

  152. Maria Stewart says:

    Hi John,
    It’s great to hear from you, Your awesome director, your a great teaser and fun, also my thanks and regards to your great staff. My daughter and I had a great time, be looking forward to see you, next cruise.
    Happy Thanksgiving.
    God Bless,
    Maria

  153. smhilgert says:

    As I’m reading this it is 20 degrees in Minnesota and I wish I was onboard this lovely ship. My cruise on it a few years ago was wonderful and I love forward to another very soon. My question is about a lap pool. Is there one on this ship? I hope so, since I enjoy lap swimming for exercise. Thanks for the daybrightner, just seeing this ship makes me warmer. Suzanne

  154. Stacy says:

    We sailed on the Imagination in October. We were the last sailing before the refirb. The crew was quite excited about the new refirb to come. All in all, it still looked great then, but looks even greater in the pix now.

  155. Larry and Kay Ascough says:

    The “new and improved” Imagination is most impressive…especially to a couple that was on the maiden voyage. We had been booked on another ship that was put out of service by a fire two weeks earlier and thought our trip would be cancelled. Then we learned that another ship was being rushed into service and the trip was still on. Although somewhat apprehensive about a brand new ship and crew, the Imagination and friendly, efficient Carnival family made it the unique trip of all our cruise experiences. It’s hard to believe that it’s been so long and that magnifcant vessel needed refurbishing. Thanks John for the walk down memory lane. It sure looks like the Imagination is ready to to serve up many more!

  156. beckysoap says:

    well, i was on the first cruise last week after the upgrades. i was with the soap opera stars. i loved it so much. i hope our next cruise next year will be on the same ship.

  157. ShelleyM says:

    Oh its been too long since I have been on a cruise. (Well ok maybe 2 years, but thats long) I will have to get back on board real soon. I have to get my boyfriend into this, he has never been on a cruise. I usually do this as a girls only weekend. Might have to plan one of those too!
    Congrats from Canada on your renovations. They look great!
    ShelleyM

  158. James & Shirley Morgan
    We have been married for 5 years and took our
    first cruise this year to the Bahamas (5 ) days on the Celebration. It was breathtaking. Every moment was a new experience. We were pampered like never before. We fell in LOVE all over again .It was full of sunshine and blue skies. We will be going from now on EVERY year. THANK YOU CARNIVAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  159. Marcia Gaydos says:

    I HAVE SAILED THREE TIMES WITH CCL AND TWO OF THEM WERE ON THE IMAGINATION. MY VERY FIRST CRUISE EXPERIANCE WAS ON THE IMAGINATION. IT LEFT WONDERFUL MEMORIES IN MY MIND AND I WOULD LOVE TO TRY THE MS IMAGINATION WITH HER WONDERFUL UPGRADES! GREAT JOB!

  160. Marie says:

    I am pleased to see that the Imagination was renovated. My daughter and I cruised aboard her last spring, however, the experience was a nightmare. Due to a passenger illness on board we missed our stop in Grand Cayman, which is why I booked the cruise in the first place. Ocho Rios was very disappointing – along the lines of Tijuana. We had the penthouse suite and it was very “aged.” The new pictures look beautiful. Perhaps you could offer an incentive to come aboard again to those of us who “paid the price?”

  161. Linda says:

    We have sailed on the Ecstasy, the Glory and the Conquest. Have always be treated very well by everyone on the ships. Our luggage was lost by the airport before we got on the Glory, and everyone on the ship was extremely helpful, and as soon as the airport located our luggage, the Glory personnel let us know and kept us informed when it would arrive. The crew work extremely long hours, for months at a time. Think Carnival does a great job. We plan to sail again in May 2008. Can’t wait!

  162. Good evening Mr. Heald and Heidi. I hope that you are enjoying your vacation and spending time with family and friends. I have only one question Mr. Heald this evening and it’s this. We just received a phone call from our travel agent and she said we would have to pay an added $70, $35 each for our cruise. I planned this cruise way back in February, 2007 for our cruise February, 2008. We paid for our entire cruise and now suddenly, we have to pay more because of this surcharge. I can understand the surcharge but if our cruise has been already been arranged don’t you think that this is unfair to those who have already arranged and paid for the entire cruise. I’ve spoken to a few cruisers and they agree that it is unfair at this time. I can see if I plan another cruise next year the surcharge will alreay be added to the total. If this new group of powerful men controlling this Carnival Company maybe their decision making is not as brilliant as I thought they were. I know you might say it’s only $70, but suddenly I get a surprise call that I have to pay more. What gives?
    Ciao my friend.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  163. Paola & Gabriel Urunuela says:

    We really enjoyed ourselves while on board. In my opinion Carnivale has an excellent friendly staff and a very fun athmosphere . We definitely are coming back (hopefully soon)on board so we can experience the new Imagination ship, that by the way looks fantastic!!

    See you there soon !!

  164. dmw13 says:

    I agree that people can have a one time bad experience but I find that it is Carnival’s response to these situations that leaves guests with a bad taste in their mouth. The response from Carnival is nothing. They lie to you until it is time to get off the ship to appease you and then ignore your letters. And this is from my experience where I wasn’t asking for compensation.

    To the other guests out there that complain about every little thing I think they need to realize that no cruise line can accomodate everyone’s preferences. You don’t like smoking and want it banned? Well I don’t like kids and I think they should be banned. We know I’m not going to get what I want so why should you?

  165. yousef a.rahman says:

    dear john,
    as a guest of carnival freedom of the 17 aug 07 enjoying your talks in the victoriana i dont think that any other cruise manager will operate as you did ,lets talk about freedom in my openion no other cruising ship or cruising company to be compared.whatever i write of words will not be enough to express my feelings.all i could say the staff and their warm feelings under your management has made our trip realy unforgottable one ,wish you happy thanksgivings to you and heidi.
    yousef&iman–cairo,egypt

  166. Chantal says:

    everything looks great, (as for the other Chantal) girl give it up, some people are always so negative. if you can not have some fun on this ship “something mus be wrong with you”. Keep up the good work, can’t wait until my next cruise

  167. Pete & Wanda says:

    Imagination was our very first cruise ship experience in our lives. So we feel there is some sentimental attachment to the first ship we boarded on our very first time cruising. We had ”Fun”. Now Sensation have become part of our experience.

  168. Dear John,
    My family and I were on the Carnival Sensation Nov.18-Nov. 22. One of the cruise hosts, Jill was very rude to one of the members of my family. Not just once, but several times. She even told him in front of a crowd, “Oh it’s you, go, we don’t like you.” She is terrible working with people, and should not have a job working with people if she can’t work with people with all kinds of personalities. It was during the game show mania. She was the host. He was fooling around. My family member was just being his funny self. The audience was laughing and thought it was funny. She got mad at him and told him to stand in the corner. He gave her a fake name to be funny. He then got his name pulled from the bucket and when she called his name, she got mad that he used a fake name before. That’s just him. She then called another name from the bucket and when she couldn’t read the name, she said” I cant’ read this name” and put the name back in the bucket in front of the entire audience. The audience got mad. That was not right. She is not good working with the public and should not be working with people as a cruise host. She is very rude. She ruined my outlook on anymore show’s that were going on because, my family did not want to run into her again. My family member was very hurt and embarresed by her actions. Please do something about this matter. I have gone on 5 Carnival cruises in a year and a half. If this is how cruise hosts behave when you are having a little fun, then I don’t want any part of it. I am suppose to go on another Carnival cruise in September of 08, but not if your hosts act like that.

    Sincerely,
    Cherie Zimmerman

  169. Kai & Kathy H. says:

    When are you going to improve your “smoking/no smoking” policy, so that non-smokers can enjoy their cruise? We sailed 3 times on the Paradise and loved it since it was smoke free. We would cruise on the Paradise again, but unfortunately it is no longer smoke free. Our last cruise on the Valor, earlier this year, was a big disappointment. The ship was very nice and the service very good, but ….

    We paid extra for a balcony room and had smokers on both sides of our room. This was our first time with a balcony. We were looking forward to relaxing outside and watching the beautiful sunsets. In the “up wind” room next to us I think they lived on the balcony and chain smoked. We maybe used the balcony one or two hours the whole 7 day cruise because of the constant smoke. You should, at the very least, have the cabins on one side of the ship non-smoking. Also passengers did not follow the on deck policy of not smoking on one side of the ship. The service staff did little to enforce the policy. We had to get up and ask smokers to please extinguish their cigarettes on the “non-smoking” side. Some did not believe us and we had to show them the “very small” yellow signs on the railing. Some apologized, but others were very rude and indignant. Others just tossed their cigarette butts over the side. Passengers should not be put in the position of enforcing Carnival’s “smoking/non-smoking” policy on deck. The pursers on duty were of little help when we told them of the situation. They said they were sorry and took our names and cabin number, but we never heard back from them or anyone with Carnival. We also mentioned this on our comment card at the end of the cruise. We love cruising and the fresh sea air. Unfortunately we got very little of it on the Valor. Please think about your current smoking policy and how you can improve it so that non-smokers can enjoy a cruise vacation. We would come back to Carnival if we could once again enjoy the fresh sea air as we did on the Paradise.

    Sincerely,

    Kai & Kathy H.

  170. Amanda says:

    Me gusto mucho viajar en su linea de cruceros,espero se vuelva a repetir.La verdad la pase muy bien junto a mi esposo.

  171. Linda Carter says:

    Beautiful ship!

    My last Carnival cruise was in 2004 on Holiday out of Mobile. It was fun in spite of the “motion of the ocean”, but I am ready for a larger ship.

    Happy sailing,
    Linda Carter

  172. Wow!

    John, this looks terrific. Thanks for sharing all these great photos and information. I am going to link to this from the ExpertCruiser.com blog.

    Best,
    Anita

  173. JP Hanlin says:

    I went on the Carnival Imagination a couple of years ago. There were some things to be desired like the pool. I have to say with looking at these upgrades, it far and way beats out what I encountered before which was the gym with very old equipment and a pool that had no water in it. From a price point, Carnival is by far the most affordable, so you don’t have to be a high roller. Perhaps a couple other suggestions would be a have another nightclub on the ship that caters to a younger audience, not the 40 + age strata and the casino could have dealers that don’t have to rely on those card shuffling machines. Definite upgrades though all things considering. I’ll probably be booking my next cruise after New Years for late August / early September.

    Regards,
    JP Hanlin

  174. Bryan says:

    John,

    The ship looks great to sail on. Looking forward to seeing my personal favorite, the Fantasy, rejuvenated with those same innovations on the Imagination.

    Annnnd, thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes from the last entry. Hope yours was great, if you personally celebrated it.

  175. HelenJ. says:

    My friend and I have cruised extensively over the last two years (mostly Holland America Line). Then we discovered Carnival! For the price involved there is no better deal around.
    I’m glad you are introducing the adults-only section because that was the only drawback we saw. The children were set loose to wreck havoc on other passengers and the crew.
    The food was terrific, the service was exceptional and there is an adjustment on the ceiling for the complaints of being too “cold”. Just ask your room steward to show you.
    We are booked for the Feb 23rd on the Victory with over 200 guest from my park. We went last year and had a great time.
    A cruise is what you make it! Love you and yours!

  176. Linda Hernacki says:

    Hi John: I have been gone a week and while catching up on the blog I see all these NEW bloggers! WOW! We had a blast on this cruise, my favorite by far, the ship is so beautiful, Big Ed, and whoever else is going on the Bloggers cruise in January, you will LOVE this ship! It is great! Todd and Noortje are great too! You will love them, not JOHN but what the heck! At least he will be there with you to enjoy the cruise. We sure missed you. I wrote a note to Todd, and he was kind enough to call you and deliver the book and photo’s to our cabin – Thanks again John! I will treasure them always! Won’t be able to get the book signed this January as we won’t be on the 1st bloggers cruise, but will be on the 2nd, any word yet on that? Say, how about having it on the Imagination if not the Inspiration? We met some people who got off the Imagination on our way home as we take the bus from Miami and they raved about the NEW Imagination. It is our favorite too since it was our 1st cruise on that ship in 2/98 when you were CD on that ship. The Freedom is wonderful, so big, the stateroom we had on the Lido deck (balcony room) was the biggest balcony room we have had yet. The BIG screen movies are great. A friend of mine just got off the Liberty and said they served popcorn during the movie, they didn’t do that on the Freedom? We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner too. I looked for Nanette in P.R. as she said she would be sitting on a bench and would wave to us, but it was raining and we didn’t see her, we went to a show at a hotel that night, it was nice (Juan Carlos). Also took the Explorer tour in St. Maarten and shopped in St. Thomas. We had a wonderful cruise. Hope Heidi got our gifts, as you did. Sounds like Alan is on the road to recovery. Where will you be in April/May this year? Will you already be on the Splendor? We are thinking about our next cruise already. Well, glad to be back and to hear from all our blogger friends. Hi Paul P. I emailed you hope you got it as well. Your friends, Mike and Linda P.S. Oh, almost forgot Mike said to tell you he founds LOTS of burned out light bulbs on the ship! HA! HA!

    For Chantal – sounds like you got ripped off by your travel agent, don’t blame Carnival. What happens with a travel agent is they are given a block of rooms to sell, the travel agent may have been sold out, NOT Carnival per se. But your argument is with your travel agent NOT Carnival, as they have no control over what that travel agent booked for you. So, argue with them, NOT Carnival!
    Hi again John, sorry about that, but I felt the need to straighten her out where it comes to booking her cruise.

  177. Carole Parma says:

    Just came back from a Carnival cruise leaving San Diego on the “Spirit”. Have cruised 4 times before and always on another line..cruised Carnival for the first time. the best thing about the cruise was our carnival reservationist, and our room. We had a large balcony stateroom and it was Great. If anyone wants to book a Carnival cruise the should get in touch with Kristan Thomas at Carnival reservations. We feel that she gave us all the discounts and help we would ever need or want, she is very attentive and extremely pleasant!!!!! Now, what is wrong w/Spirit? the sea was calm, but the ship rocked always and sometimes the screws (Navy talk by my husband) chattered and groaned. The Dining room fare was boring after the 2nd day, waiters had no personality, too serious always, and why does NO ONE ever check on the ages of the young people drinking and attending the adults only shows, it was very disrupting to have these young adults acting (and maybe being) like teeny boppers and being disruptive. I wish “adults only” cruises were available. the Spirit is very loudly decorated not soothing at all. the most friendly staff was in the boutiques and room service. Our head room guy was so solumn, didn’t talk & seemed like he didn’t care. We are 68 & 70 respectively & really wanted to have a good time but sometimes it wasn’t too fun. Leaving on a good note the people we were seated with were wonderful, we have made lifetime friends!! Oh yes I forgot to mention your Special Dinner Resteurant at the top. We all (our reg dinner partners) went there and couldn’t have had better service and food any where else in the world. If we ever go on another Carnival cruise (because of Kristan) we will pay the extra just to go to the Special Dinner R….We are contemplating going on the Florida to Panama Cruise w/C but will have to see the ship pictures first. The Spirit needs HELP.

  178. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fasoldt says:

    We recently got back from a cruise on the Triumph and just booked an upcoming cruise on the newly refurbished Inspiration. That’ll be our 9th Carnival Cruise. We’ve decided to only cruise the Fantacy class ships from now on because the cigarette smoke problem seems so much worse on the larger ships. We miss the smoke free Paradise very much. We cruised on that wonderful ship several times because of the smoke free atmosphere. We’re looking forward to our cruise on the NEW Inspiration!

  179. Mike & Cindy says:

    We are booked on the Imagination 12/22-27 and really looking forward to it!! We have been on 12 cruises, most of them with Carnival! We haven’t had a bad cruise yet!! We are bringing our 24 & 27 year old sons this time………..hope there are some young people for them to meet that week!!

  180. Donna says:

    Just got back a couple of weeks ago from sailing on the Conquest. I sailed on the Elation in 2003 and loved the ship and everything about her. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the Conquest. I was so disappointed in the ship itself (it’s so garish and big!) that I’ve been looking at other cruise lines for my next vacation. Until reading this blog and seeing your pictures.

    John, the Imagination looks wonderful! I want to sail on her so badly! One question, though: Why are there no sail dates for November 2008?

  181. FAYE & LARRY fRANSSON says:

    Looks like a great ship. Look forward to sailing on her somtimes in the future. Faye

  182. Suzanne B says:

    My sister & I took a cruise on the Conquestjust before Katrina hit & absolutely loved New Orleans & the cruise. Looked for it to return but no luck. Went back to New Orleans March -07 but had to take RCI cruise lines. They did not compare & I sill would like to see the Conquest back in “The Big Chill ” again. I’ll be waiting. In the meantime, my husband & I are booked on Carnival Liberty in Feb-08 . Looking forward to it.

  183. CruisinSue says:

    Hi John and Heidi

    I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and thank you for the Thanksgiving wishes to all of us.
    Glad to hear that Heidi made it home safe and sound. I hope both of you are having a wonderful vacation. Also, glad to hear Alan’s recovery is going well. (Heidi—Sorry about all the underwear you had to wash and shopping you had to catch up on. Leaving it for you-that’s a man’s thing…lol)
    We are looking forward to our cruise on the Pride in January. I wish we could go on the blogger’s cruise or the Imagination, but we will be on the Mexican Riviera cruise. It has been a bit over a month since our cruise on the Freedom, and we still talk about it almost every day.
    I am excited about the renovations on the Fantasy class ships, especially the Imagination, since that is my favorite Fantasy class ship. I have cruised on all classes from the Mardi Gras and Carnivale to the Conquest class and I have my fav’s in each of the classes. We are booked on the Splendor in the fall of ’08 and are looking forward to seeing the new class..we can’t wait.
    I hope you holidays are filled with joy. Enjoy your time with the family and come back to Carnival refreshed and rejuvenated. We miss you and can’t wait to cruise with you again.
    My best to both of you
    Sue

  184. Katy says:

    My husband and I took a 7-night vacation on the Carnival Conquest out of Galveston earlier this year. It was by far the WORST vacation we have ever taken. The food was AWFUL (btw, roast is NOT fillet migon), the employees could not speak English if their life depended on it and it took us over two hours just to find our cabin on the first day because no one would help us (no one ever helped us in the entire 8 days with anything!) and the lay out was very strange (you can not travel from one end of the ship to the next on the same level, you have to take a couple of evevator rides and travel a couple different floors.)It was AWFUL!!! We even tried room service 4 times and never once did we receive the correct order. We were so happy to get back to Galveston, the first thing we did was stop at the very first resturant we saw to get something ediable. After nearly 8 full days, we were starving!!! We were also seated with a very strange couple in the formal dinning room even though we had requested our own table at the time we made our reservations —and there are plenty of 2-person tables in the Monet Dining Room. Every time those “people” showed up we asked to be moved to one of the many open tables. Every time we were rudely told no. What a bunch of crap!!! We are travel agents and after our awful experience we refuse to sell any Carnival cruises.

  185. Rachel & John Biagé says:

    Our first cruise was with Carnival Imagination. Of the 6 cruises we made, Imagination was the most wonderful. First of all, because it was our ‘first’ one and we enjoyed the friendly and helpful cruise members. The entertainment was always great and the food was excellent. We hope to cruise again with Imagination, maybe in autumn 2008.

  186. karen gee says:

    Just arrived home from 7 nights on the Triumph it was fantastic and we pulled up alongside the new look ship in grand turk and it looked great !
    Adult area looks good after 1000 kids on thanksgiving break last week !

  187. Virginia says:

    I would just like to thank you and Carnival for a fantastic cruise. We just came back from a Thanksgiving cruise and I can’t say enough good things about the “Imagination”. It was our second cruise on the Imagination. This ship is so clean it squeeks! The new ports are fantastic (Half Moon Bay & Grand Turks). We look forward to our next cruise. Thanks again..

  188. Mike says:

    Just returned from a 5-day cruise on the Imagination. My wife and I have cruised many times on many different cruise lines and ships and I hate to say that this time I was very disappointed.

    The ship was beautiful and we had a great time. However, the food left a lot to be desired and the staff, with the exception of our waiter in Pride dining hall, was terrible. We felt as if we were a burden to several members of the crew… Spa personnel didn’t even return a hello when me as the guest gave one to them (this was several times not just once). My wife misplaced her sign and sail card; when I went to the information desk to get another one the unfriendly women treated me as if I were asking her to pay the balance. I asked the room steward what time we were pulling into port. His response was, “I don’t know, I never get off the ship”. I have been on other cruises, even with Carnival, where the staff not only knew the ships itinerary but everything about the port of call.

    The entertainment was not as good as expected either. The show on the last night was terrible…don’t have people that can’t sing be the stars of your show.

    Glad you spent so much money to upgrade the ship, it looked great. Spend a little bit of money on teaching the crew how to be friendly and helpful.

    Feel free to contact me if you want more specifics…..

  189. DeLaine Hunter says:

    In 2005, I my wife, and our best friends sailed on the Imagination to Ochos Rios. We loved the ship and its activities then, and I’m sure the upgrades will make the cruise even more enjoyable. We have taken several Carnival Cruises, plan to take more and have no intentions of trying another cruise line. Thank you Carnival for the repeated excitement. God bless you all that make Carnival Cruises’ memorable vacations for a lifetime.

  190. Cathy G says:

    Just booked out first cruise together and it is on Nov 29 Imagination…see you there

  191. Rose & Craig says:

    Hi John,
    We absolutely agree…The Imagination to us, was a wonderful dream come true. We met on the Imagination on October 28, 2002. I am British, like you, and had flowen in from Israel to meet friends on the Imagaination for a singles cruise. Craig was on board with his family and had no idea this was a singles cruise, he caught my eye on the first evening and the rest is history. A year later I had packed up and come to live in Fort Lauderdale, married Craig and here we are. We always said that we would one day have our wedding on board, as our wedding on December 5, 2003 was in the local Court House with his parents and a breakfast in I-Hop after that, not as romantic as the wonderful way we met on the Imagination..but maybe one day…. I’m not going to go into the whole story of how things developed on the ship, all I can say is, it was fate and meant to be, maybe one day, we’ll write a short story about how we met, it really is very romantic and whenever we tell the story to people, they sit there bleary eyed and “ahh and ooh” about it and keep repeating “oh that’s such a lovely story, so romantic” many of my single friends have been on the Imagination since hoping to find a fairy tale ending like mine. Thank you Imagination for a wonderful cruise and helping me find my perfect man!!!

  192. Shyama lama ding dong says:

    Well, I stepped off the newly refurbished Imagination 36 hours ago…kicking and screaming!! I spent Thanksgiving in Grand Turk, more specifically at the pool bar in Margaritaville! I was not stuck in the kitchen cooking, however, I had my closest loved ones aboard with me. We were a group of 12, and had every accomodation met for us. We had no idea that the Imagination had an extreme makeover, just an extra bonus for an eager group of cruisers! I love Carnival, and am hesitant to wander outside of it’s territory. Since my husband and I spent our very romantic and memorable honeymoon with the Legend in a suite, we quickly bonded. We celebrated our 1 year anniversary in June ’07 aboard the Destiny, accompanied by a post cruise stay in San Juan! When I heard about the deal for Thanksgiving ($450 p/p) how could you pass that up???…I surprised my darling hubby with the cruise as a birthday present! Carnival has my heart…and I have to give a shout out to Harvey aboard the Destiny!! He is a life saver…let’s just say I had an accident with a 1.5L of Merlot in my suitcase, and all of my white clothes wrapped around it! Not pretty!! As for the Imagination….beautiful! I spent all of our day at sea in the Serenity lounge…kid free!! If anyone else was on our cruise…I was with the group who was related to Ricky Martin in the Carnival Legends Show on Fri 11/23/07! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the newly made over Imagination! Thank you Carnival for being our provider of a little R & R!
    -The Wittmans

  193. Mary and Jerry says:

    We have recently returned from our 7th cruise. We are also Carnival Vacation Club members.The latest one was on the Miracle. We did notice a few improvements from the other ships we have been on, i.e.,quieter rooms, newer decor, adults only area patrolled and controlled by staff. But what we have not seen was a decrease of the smoking areas, i.e. casino and nightclubs, we do not even attempt to go in them. Sad because we would like to listen to the music, but we cannot sit there in the enclosed area inhaling all the smoke. But on this ship you have to pass through the casiono to get to the other side of the ship and walk through through the smoke. Talking about the food, I have eaten the same food on various cruises and did not really see anything “new” but the alternate selections. And yes, the food is very salty. Service was just ok, slow at times and we were left usually the last to be served, we have had better. We had the Cruise Director of Brent and he was very good along with Fuzzy and Big Sexy and PeeWee. Also, used to have private party for the Vacation Club members as a Thank You for investing in the Club, well we saw no appreciation on this cruise as a member. Heard that they are not having the Club anymore. Wondering Why?? We will cruise again with Carnival just don’t know which one, too bad Imagination is not a 7 or 8 nighter, since they are the ones we we go on.

  194. Carol Schoenberger says:

    Dear John & Heidi,

    Good morning and I’m just now catching up on 4-days worth of blogs. Before I get side-tracked – Nani it is good to hear about your father doing well – excellent news and my thoughts are still with you. And John, the same about Alan.

    Chantal needs to contact her travel agent if she thinks she got ripped off – IT’S NOT CARNIVAL’S FAULT!!!!

    ok, done.

    Thanks for the Imagination update – it looks like once again there are a whole lot of new (and sometimes strange) bloggers joining us. It is just one more week for me – One week from today I will be sailing on the new Imagination and cannot wait. You asked me to remind you about my cabin number – ok, Empress 122. Now since you and Heidi will be sailing on her next year, maybe I won’t tell you my experiences – ok, yes I will. Now I understand why there is a pole in the Cat 12 suite.

    I have so many e-mails from the 4 day holiday that I know how you feel about all your blog thingy comments. Except mine are almost all junk mail from stores & websites selling stuff. I just delete them – what a waste.

    And instead of buying fancy French sparkling water – just buy selzter (do they sell it in Britain?). Here it also comes in flavors. For guests just put it in a carafe – they don’t have to see the bottle.

    I am looking forward to my first drink on the Lido Deck, and the Lobby Bar, and the….. I see you were a wild and crazy guy on the Holiday.

    Anyway, I digressed again – I have to get to work.

    I’ll check back later.

    Regards & hugs,
    Carol

  195. Ruth Jamison says:

    John,
    I finally found a way to reach your blog and I am so excited! It seems like forever since I was able to sit and leisurely read to find out all the juicy tidbits about what is going on!
    I realize that today is D Day and the eagle will land. I am sure she will understand about the hefty pile of laundry. Now the sofa and the pan are totally different issues.
    It was good to hear that Alan is improving. I have been remembering him every morning during my quiet time. It is also good that you are off the ship and have the opportunity to spend quality time with him.
    Thanks for the great pictures from the Imagination. I think my husband and I are going to return to the Caribbean routes during summer of ’09. We may try taking one of the refurbished ships. We have nexer sailed on one of the smaller ships.
    Enjoy your reunion with Heidi and give her our best.

  196. Jan Alden says:

    John,
    If the Imagination is any better than the Spirit and our curise this year to Alaska, then I don’t know how we could deal. The Spirit is truly a magical ship and if she is slated to recieve this make over I can’t wait to sail on her again. Don and I made a pact to never sail on any any other ship; we just might have to re-adjust our thinking. Thanks Carnival for always looking to take service to the next level. Are you looking for a couple of old fogies that would love to come work for you?

    Jan Alden and Don Hall from Mt. Holly, North Carolina

  197. Vincent Perla says:

    Thank you for your BLOG.
    I rarely do this type of responses but the Inspiration is a very special ship for me. I got Engaged on the top deck on a star filled night. I am glad that the Inspiration got an upgrade but I am really hoping though that the crew hasn’t. They are the best and made all the times I cruised on her the best. The last time I sailed I brought a bunch of freinds and made a real party of it. Your crew was Fantastic and the service was in a word Ouststanding. My friends who never been cruising were so impressed by them that I kept telling them that no the cabin boy don’t sleep under the bed. They make the difference between a real vacation or just a plain old trip. An example of this was at diner in the main dining room, My best friend Drew could not decide on his main entre but decided on one but was still dying to try one of the other. I told Him Drew, remember Here you are KING so ask. So he asked the waiter if could get like a sample. The waiter came back and said I am sorry we don’t do samples, Here have full entre. You had to see the smile on his face. My friend still talks about it today.

    As I mentioned eaelier, I normally do not write these type of responses. The only other time I did write a response, I won’t mention names but we had such a bad experince that we swore we will never cruise again (I do love cruising and I have many times and we wont go unless it on Carnival). I actual posted a response to how bad that cruise was on a cruise review website. My point is that the Crews on the other Boats don’t get it, where yours Crew Did! Please do not change the crew. The Ship could be coated in Gold but if the Crew does not make you feel welcome and comfortable then it just another Hotel.
    Your Crew made us feel comfortable and welcome so that we could let our Hair Down and have real fun. So Don’t Change the Crew

    Thank you again for your BLOG and I can’t wait to see Inspiration again.

    Vincent Perla

  198. Michele & Mike Casale says:

    Our second annual cruise with Carnival was on the Imagination, 8/15/07 to Bahamas, Grand Cay and Freeport (fabulous Islands) and we became quick friends with a wonderful couple. The dessert night and Pride dining room was a treat to remember. The food was good and all the shows were spectacular except the last one (should have been called a gong show). Our cabin steward never introduced himself and didn’t make towel characters until day 3 for which I was disapponited. Also, we ran out of toothpaste and though we paged him at least 3 times he never responded. We saw him only twice the whole trip. Even still, we hope to cruise with Carnival again as the prices are most reasonable and maybe next time we will be captured on the video. We kept watching for ourselves but don’t know what could have happened? We attended many events and saw lots of video being taken but were left out. boo hoo…Oh well, maybe we will have better luck next time.

  199. Pingback: New CARNIVAL IMAGINATION Water Works - Cruise Line Fans: Cruise Reviews and Chat From Real Cruisers

  200. darlene schaller says:

    Hi John,
    Thanks for the new upscale of the imagation. We sailed on her in 1997 for our 25th anniversary. you made our cruise a very memerable one. Especially the bedtime story with mary. we were on the legend last nov. it was not as nice as the imagation. hope to sail with you again.
    mike and darlene

  201. John, congratulations on your successful blog! I’m not surprised since you’re everyone’s favorite cruise director. My first Carnival ship was Imagination (boy, we do date ourselves).

    A big hug,
    Anne
    ShipCriticBlog

  202. La'Tonya says:

    Thanks for showing me the upgrades. The ship looks great. We’re planning another cruise on the Imagination in September and I’m more excited than ever.

  203. Mike L says:

    John,
    Are you still there? Haven’t seen a blog in a while. Just checkin’.
    -BigMike

  204. Buzz says:

    Excellent feature on the new Carnival Imagination! My best friend and I are sailing her in 6 days (Dec 3-8) and we are extremely excited to sample her new fittings!

    I am especially looking forward to the Serenity area, as many times the children can be a bit overwhelming to us party-type cruisers…

    Keep up the great blogs! I enjoy reading all of your insight!

    Buzz

  205. Linda Hernacki says:

    For Katy-the travel agent, as a travel agent I am sure you are aware that you can ask to have a reassignment of tables in the dining room, instead of complaining to your waiter you should have gone to the person in charge to do that, Carnival food is fantastic, so what were you looking for gourmet food to please your palet and you didn’t get that? You are unreal! As a GOOD travel agent knows there can be kinks so to speak in certain areas that CAN be worked out, apparently you didn’t even try to remedy the situations you encountered. You must have been rude or had an attitude, and YES Carnival hires foreigners as well as Americans. ALL people deserve a job, so if they don’t speak good English, learn to deal with that, don’t be so negative, I would not want to book a cruise thru you that is for sure.

    For Mike, I don’t understand what happened on your cruise, I met a couple this weekend, on our way back from a cruise on the Freedom, on our bus, they just got off the Imagination and couldn’t stop raving about it. Don’t know what you expected, but apparently others don’t have the same opinion as you did about the food, etc.

    Hi John, just had to vent a moment, people are so rude sometimes, if they have a problem with something they need to address it when it happens not wait till they get home to complain, right? I mailed you a Christmas package today, as I am sure it will take weeks to arrive in the UK, so long as you get it by Christmas. Enjoy! Talk to you soon! I noticed this time I didn’t have my sea legs when we got back, wonder if that is because our stateroom was on the LIDO deck (so high up). What do you think? Linda & Mike (he is still outside decorating the house for Christmas, it usually takes him 3-4 days to complete).

  206. "BIG" ED says:

    To Michele & Mike Casale,

    I’ve been reading the comments on John’s Blog since March and yours is the first one to say anything bad about a bad cabin steward. I t.hink you found the one and only bad cabin steward. I just love the cabin steward you never see but like Magic you leave your cabin and when you return everything is cleaned.

    “BIG” ED
    54 days to the BLOGGERS CRUISE

  207. kiciaski says:

    Hi John and Heidi,

    Hope you’re finally enjoying some together time alone. Hope Alan is doing well.

    We are getting ready for our cruise this Saturday, Dec. 1 on the Glory but won’t really pack until Friday. We’re about 85 miles from the port now so we’ll be there early. I don’t believe we’ve ever sailed with Wee Jimmy so that should be an experience. This is our 4th cruise on the Glory. (We really need more ships, ports and longer cruises from Port Canaveral or Tampa.)

    I don’t think we can make the Imagination trip the end of January because we have to move again Feb. 1. For the 2009 Bloggers’ cruise try to make it as early as you can after the Splendor South America trip because a lot of snow birds will be leaving Florida after Easter. You’ll get more people that way.

    For Donna – the Imagination sail dates for Nov. 2008 are: 4 day – Nov. 13 & 27; 5 day Monday departure – Nov. 3 and 17; 5 day Saturday departure – Nov. 8 and 22. Hope that helps.

    I guess I just don’t understand what people are talking about when they say the crew/staff are rude and unhelpful. We’ve been on 12 Carnival cruises and 7 other cruises and have never found a rude employee yet. We love to talk with them and they’ve been very helpful every time. I can’t believe we’ve just been lucky.

    Enjoy your time off and we’ll talk with you soon.

    Linda & George

  208. Corinne Zajac says:

    We are soooooo there!!!!
    Please send us more info on rates and destinations. This will make a wonderful Anniversary present for us!
    Thank you.

  209. I took a group on this ship in July. We all had a blast. It took me a month to recouperate. I did sail a compeditor to remain unbias when recommending a cruise line. I had an awful time with a list of complaints. I can say that I feel comfortable recommending Carnival to all my clients and I know they are in good hands. I should have been warned that my face would get sore from smiling and laughing sooooo much!

  210. Hi John,

    The ship looks great – can’t wait for the same treatment (well, much more than a treatment) for Fantasy.

  211. Robbie says:

    Hi John & Heidi,
    Love the page! Have great memories of our cruises with you as our cruise director. Just wondering if perhaps, Carnival might be getting any Flowriders(simulated surfing machines) on any of their ships soon or in the future. My son is a competitive Flowrider surfer and I’d like to take him on a cruise that has one on board. I know some other lines have it, but we’d like to cruise Carnival.
    Thanks!
    Robbie

  212. Paul says:

    My wife and I went on an imagination cruise in August of 1995, one of the first sailings of this ship. We have since cruised that ship again, a few years later. We love it! There was a great audience show where an audience member knocked you down to the tune of “You can’t touch this”! I later heard that that was contrived and not spontaneous, as it was portrayed to be … is that true??? Anyway, we love the ship and hope to sail again some day. –Paul

  213. Sally R. says:

    We had a family vacation on the old Imagination. Unfortunately due to hurricanes that year we were unable to go to the one of the islands. At first we were disappointed, but after we boarded the ship and took in all she had to offer we had the best time imaginable. I cant wait to cruise on the NEW Imagination! I love the changes!!!
    Sally

  214. Sally R. says:

    We took a family cruise on the old Imagination a few years back. Unfortunately we were unable to go to one of the islands due to hurricane damage. We were disappointed…until we boarded the ship and took in ALL that it had to offer. We had wonderful time! I like the changes and cant wait to sail on the NEW Imagination.
    *Sally*

  215. Mattie Morris says:

    We went on a family and friend cruise Oct 14, on the Destiny and had a wonderful time! the Destiny
    was great, but now I am really excited and think I
    will plan our cruise for 2008 on the great Imagination. I am not suprised that you would
    make those great changes, that’s what makes Carnival cruise line the most exciting one of all…
    *Mattie*

  216. Patricia Lewis says:

    I’m really excited about the upcoming three & four day crusie. I’m planning on taking my parents, siblings, niece and nephews on a cruise for their college and high school graducation in June 2008. This is just the thing, and should fit nice in my budget.

  217. Theresa says:

    Thank you for the great reminder of the super time that my family and I had on our cruise. Carnival was fantastic but when you take your children and they talk about the Camp Carnival fun they had it makes taking another family cruise on Carnival worth every penny. We traveled with my sister and her husband who are annual regulars as we hope to become. Thank you for a focus for our next vacation with Carnival Cruise Lines

  218. Karen B says:

    Carnival’s Imagination was my favorite ship and now I am truly excited about booking another cruise to Jamaica, my favorite port on this newly renovated ship. The last time I was aboard, the environment presented itself in a luxurious fashion with much personality. The crew were not only professional but personable. I was under 50 then. I am ready to see how attentive you are to an over 50 individual. hahahahaa… who still loves to have much fun. See you soon.

  219. MARILYN says:

    First time I was on the Imagination was in Feb.97 for my birthday.
    I have sailed on the Imagination 8 times with 2 more already booked. The first one is Feb.2008 as a birthday present, and the second is in Sept.2008. Both on the new Imagination, and I can hardly wait to see the new improvements.
    By 2008 I will have sailed with Carnival a total of 20 times, and enjoyed even minute.

  220. MARILYN says:

    First time I was on the Imagination was in Feb.97 for my birthday.
    I have sailed on the Imagination 8 times with 2 more already booked. The first one is Feb.2008 as a birthday present, and the second is in Sept.2008. Both on the new Imagination, and I can hardly wait to see the new improvements.
    By 2008 I will have sailed with Carnival a total of 20 times, and enjoyed even minute
    We are leaving this Sat. to sail on the Freedom and hope to meet you and Todd.
    Cruzmama59

  221. Queenie_tmr says:

    I’m bringing my son on the Imagination ship for his first time come March and I’m excited about it!

    Is the internet cafe free or separate charge? I know he’ll be hitting that all the time.

    This’ll be my second cruise with Carnival as I was so impressed with my journey with Victory. Keep up the good work!

  222. Jim says:

    John:

    Glad to see the Imagination with a new look. I was on the Imagination over Christmas of 1997. It the first cruise for my wife and me. You were the cruise director, but I think it was only for that particular week. I think the regular director was on vacation, and you came over from the Destiny. You may remember that this was the cruise when you brought the Baptist Minister on stage one night for some type of game. He acted nothing like a Baptist Minister, if you recall!! It was a riot! Keep up the great work.

  223. Ron Ghosh says:

    Hey John,

    It’s been a long time since I was the IS Manager on board the Imagination. She was my first ship on my first contract with Carnival. After working for Carnival for only 3 years and moving arround ships, I left in 1998 when I got married to a Stiener, Miryana. We got married on Jan 7th 1998 in Gand Caymen. As it turns out I will be back on the Immagination as a pax/cone/guest tomorrow Jan 5th to cellibrate out 10yr Anniversery in Grand Caymen. I have not really keep much in touch with many people, but I look forward to seeing some familiar faces. I see Hedi & you are doing great. I also look forward to seeing all the recent changes to the Immagination.

    Regards,
    Ron from Canada

  224. Lisa Baker says:

    When is the Carnival Fantasy scheduled to be upgraded?

  225. Nila Gilbert says:

    Hello John my first cruise was on the sensation in 1994.As you know you were the cruise director.Thinking at the time of my first cruisethat it would be my one and only cruise.I am not counting the days until my 6th cruise with carnival.no one warned me it would be so addictive.I have enjoyed all the cruise dirctors and staff but by far you have been my all time favorite. Cant wait to see you again on board the Freedom on march1.

  226. Iain & Mai says:

    We just got back from cruise Jan 12 on Elation and Jan 17 on Spirit out of San Diego. As usual great time was had by both of us, services and food were fantastic. Only problem was we didn’t think weather would be as cold as it was in San Diego and for the 1st two days southward on both cruises. No one except a couple of kid penguins made it into the pool. Not Carnivals problem but enough to return us to the Southern Carribean for next years January journey, likely on the Miracle or Victory.

  227. Chris says:

    Hello! My family and I are taking a cruise on the Carnival Elation near the end of March and I know that ship is in line for the “evolutions of fun” upgrades. My question is: Do you have any idea when Carnival Elation is due to get her turn in the “Evolutions of fun?” I’m dying to know!

  228. Norman Buhagiar says:

    Hi John,

    My family were on the inaugural cruise of the Carnival Liberty in July 2005 which left your favourite tongue twister of Civitavecchia !!!!

    You were the cruise director and I must say you have been the most hilarious and outstanding cruise director we have come across in our seven cruises so far.

    Our next cruise is the 6th August sailing of the brand new Carnival Splendor cruising the Baltics. It would be great to have you as the cruise director again.

    Norman from Malta

  229. Cliff Mills says:

    A super blog! I am booked for a short cruise with my partner and youngest children, on holiday from Cambridge and Leicester universities, on Imagination on January 2nd 2009. I doubt you are cruise director now but, having cruised with Carnival many times, I very much look forward to it. ( Hope a fellow Brit is cruise director!!!).

  230. Jon Clark says:

    I’m booked for my first cruise ever for November 17th, 2008.. It seems from what I’ve found on the internet I may have made a wise choice with the Imagination.. I hope it’s as pleasant an experience for me as it seems to have been for those before me.

    Tony Clark
    Palm Coast, Florida

  231. Lanny Fisher says:

    John, long time no see. We first met on the Imagination back in the mid 90’s. Dick Golden was on the cruise with us. I’m sure you remember him. Anyway we have been back on her 3 more time. The last time was last month. Your right, they did her up right. It’s like working on a brand new ship again. Thanks for the fun times….

  232. These guys are most of the time dead on their political comments. The Young Turks endure as a fresh view. I pray The Young Turks will always be brave enough to tell it like it is and oppose the GOP sponsored Fox Network propaganda.

  233. Paula Stringer says:

    I’m so excited! I’m going to my first cruise in March on the Imagination! I love the upgrades and can’t wait to see it in person!

    • Kevin Boerio says:

      Hey, Paula
      I just wanted to know how your cruise went on the Carnival Imagination? I hope that your cruise on her.Went alot better then mine and my girlfriends cruise did. We just got off her on her Jan 23,2012. I bet you also where very disapointed with the updates. Like me and her where about the ship. How she is missing the Palm Trees and yellow Unbrales in the pool area and the removed the benches off the pool side. In our view. She was in good shape for age and all. But, we also felt that she needed some major need of repairs and updates more done to her.In our view she is not at all what the photos lead you to belive,Agree! I was truly dispointed that the water slid on her was badly faded, the adult only area was to small and didn’t have a pool, some of the lights in the main atruim where burnt out.Other then that we had a ok time.Beside pushy bar staff pushing drinks and dinning room staff in the spirit dinning room not understanding people or not paying attetion to some guest. But, other then that. We had nice weather and enjoyed the Keys and Cosumel.

  234. sharon grimes says:

    I sailed the imagnation in is early days. I always enjoyed that class of ship best. I enjoyed looking at the changes on the ship. I must be time for me to call Juan again and make another cruise.

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