Age: 31 to 40
Number of Cruises: First Cruise
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Imagination
Sailing Date: September 28th, 2000
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
It’s a long process - - just be patient!
This was our first cruise, so we purchased the Fly Aweigh package and received our documents about one month prior to departure date. Our flight from Charlotte to Miami was uneventful. Once we departed the plane, a Carnival rep was waiting to direct us to baggage. Once we retrieved our luggage, a Carnival rep directed us to the bus that would take us to the pier. It’s about a 15 minute ride to the pier from the airport.
Upon arrival at the airport, our luggage was unloaded and we had to “reclaim” it just so it could be transferred by the porter and he could get his tip. This was a very frustrating and confusing process with a bus load of people grabbing for luggage! Once we reclaimed our luggage and tipped him, we did not see it again until it arrived at our cabin.
We proceeded inside to a long line to turn in our cruise documents and activate our sail & sign card. Make sure you have them completed before you get there! Then it was on to the ship. We boarded at approximately 1:45 p.m.
The ship is huge! It’s hard to imagine how big it is until you see it for yourself! We found our cabin with no problem. We were in U110. Our cabin steward was Jaimie, and he did a great job keeping our cabin straight and our ice bucket full. Part of our luggage arrived at 2:00 and the rest at about 5:00. There is plenty of storage space and the bathroom and shower were a good size.
The ship was clean and I noticed the crew cleaning different areas throughout the cruise. We went directly to the poolside grill to eat. The line was very long, but the food was pretty good, your standard hamburgers, etc. We then explored the ship and then bought the “drink of the day” to sip as we watched Miami shift to the horizon.
We ate in the Pride Dining Room each night (Table 146) and the food was always good. We had the late seating and never felt rushed. Our waiter, Garry, and his assistants did a great job each night.
We ate in the dining room once for breakfast, but preferred the food in the Horizon Bar and Grill. We never had to wait in line for breakfast there, and there was a good selection.
We ate at the Pizzaria twice and it was excellent, but be prepared to wait! The lines were always long, no matter what time of day it was.
We ordered room service once through FunVision, and we received it in about 10 minutes. The cookies and brownies were very good.
We went to one midnight buffet, but it was to take pictures only. It’s incredible what they can do with food, so don’t miss this
We went to the show each night and each was no less than fantastic - - make sure you see them! Our cruise director was Troy Linton and he was hilarious! Excellent wit and timing!
Kevin King was aboard the last night and he was very funny and performed some great magic tricks!
We did not schedule any tours for Key West; we opted to explore on our own. It’s a quaint little place - - make sure you have a slice of key lime pie! We went to the Maritime Museum and enjoyed it. It was hot and humid the day we were there. Our dinner companions did the Trolley Tour and said it was very good.
Due to Hurricane Keith, our day here was cut a bit short. Instead of arriving at 1 p.m. and departing at 10 p.m., we arrived at 11 a.m. and departed at 6 p.m. All tours were cancelled, but we did not have one scheduled. We had planned to take a taxi ($10) to Chankanaab Park to snorkel. Snorkeling equipment was $5 each plus $3 for a life vest. The water was choppy, but we enjoyed our first snorkeling experience and can’t wait to do it again! We spent about 2 hours in the water before a heavy rain began. We took a taxi back to the ship and changed clothes before we did our shopping. Prices at the pier were very good we thought. We haggled on some items with shopkeepers and were satisfied in the end.
Day at Sea:
Our last day was our day at sea. We slept in and had a late breakfast. We played bingo and attended the disembarkation talk with Troy. We played the slots and laid by the pool some. It was a very relaxing day.
We got up early and had breakfast on the Lido Deck. You can leave your carry on bags in your room until you finish breakfast. We then went to get our carry ons, purchase our last nights’ pictures from the photo gallery and then to our assigned area to wait. We left the ship at approximately 10:15 a.m. We had a great view of Miami from where we were assigned to wait, so the waiting was not too bad to us.
-One night before dinner, our outlet quit working. We called the Purser’s desk and they sent an electrician within 5 minutes. He fixed the problem immediately. It is a very good idea to bring an outlet strip for using more than one appliance at a time
-No need to bring extra hangers, we had more than enough.
-If you have an inside cabin, you might want to bring a night light.
-If you plan to use a video camera, bring a heating pad to lay it on when you’re not using it, otherwise it probably will not work outdoors due to the humidity. We had this problem several times since we forgot to bring a heating pad.
-If you are cold-natured, bring a jacket!
-Bring a tote bag with you to carry your beach towels in when you go ashore.
-Prior to our cruise, we purchased drink coupons and they worked great!
-You will have lots of opportunities to have your picture made with multiple backdrops.
-It’s easier to purchase your pictures from the photo gallery on a daily basis, otherwise at the end of the cruise, you must thumb through STACKS of pictures to find yours.
One final note: On the last day of the cruise, I accidently left a very expensive ring my husband had just given me for our anniversary in a ladies bathroom. I was devastated and figured it was gone forever. We filled out a lost report at the Purser’s desk. My husband tried to get someone to announce it over the P.A. system, but that’s against policy. Our good friend, Maryl, had it announced by Troy during a bingo game and, lo and behold, a group of ladies who had found it jumped right up and turned it in to Troy. Troy brought it to my room personally and I was just overjoyed to say the least. He did not know their names but if you are one of them and you are reading this review, thank you from the bottom of my heart! You don’t know how relieved I was to have this very special ring returned to me. It will never leave my finger again!
If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org .