June 5, 2003
We were on the Carnival Imagination June 5th, 4 day cruise to Key West and Cozumel. We had a great and relaxing time. We arrived at the ship at about 2:15 and zipped right through the whole checkin process in 15 minutes. It was very easy and simple. We went onboard, checked out our room, Main Deck 81 with a window. (if you want to pay more, go higher but it is not a big deal, plenty of elevators and stairs and noticed that anybody who had a balcony suite, never used their balcony, DA!) The room was clean and ready to go. Yes, they had robes and all the ammenities for all your bathroom needs. The size of our room was great. We went up to Lido deck and checked things out, grabbed a bite to eat as they were serving food already and waited to go back to our room to get the life jackets for the drill. WE went back to the room to get the lifejackets and were surpirsed that our luggage had already been delivered before 4pm.
We had a late seating for dinner in the Pride Dining Room and sat with 3 other couples. WE all ordered wine and had a great time getting to know eachother. We have to compliment Carnival, as the food and we mean all the food they served was great.
We arrived in Key West, got up about 8am, had breakfast on Lido and headed to town on the tram that Carnival provides form the ship. We hung in Key West just a short time, about 2 hours then headed back to the ship, found a couple of deck chairs and ate lunch back on board (remember to eat back on the ship than in town)(save the bucks). We enjoyed the afternoon away, leaving Key West at 2pm and headed to Cozumel.
We arrived at Cozumel at 12noon the next day. Once there we just threw on our swim suits, some sandals and a bag filled with some lotion and goodies and grabbed a cab to Chankanaab National Park for some great snorkeling. The cab costs $10 and entrance to the park is $10 PP. Third time there and it is still beautiful. We went to the last snorkel rental stand and it was $6 US to rent the mask, snorkel and fins. We headed inot the water which is crystal clear and saw so many different kinds of fish and the "resident barricuda". At the park they also have thached covered "cabanas" that you can use(there are tons of them) and also come with a louge chairs when you want to relax and just lay there on the beach. They also have a few restaurants and you can order drinks while laying there. $2.50 for a Tacate beer.(Cheaper than in Chicago):) A couple at our Dinner Table did the Mayan Ruin Tour, They said it was hot, and way to long, plus they were stuck at a jewelry shop for an hour. We have heard that before on previous cruises form others who went on the "Ruins" tours.
We headed back to the boat about 5pm on a cab $10 back, took a shower and grabbed an earlier dinner on the ship, grabbed some chairs, had a few drinks and relaxed while the ship was sitting at Cozumel. Remember alot cheaper to eat on the ship. There restaurants in Cozumel if you want authentic Mexican food and tons of shopping, shopping and shopping if thats what your into.
We headed out of Cozumel at 10pm for a "fun day at sea" before being back in Miami
As for the Imgination, the ship was very clean and kept that way throughout our cruise. The Food was great and there is plenty of it 24 hours a day. The drinks as you probably know by now, you pay for so that's up to you on how much you want to party. We were able to bring aboard in Miami a large bottle of wine, which was great to have handy in out room or in a glass on deck.(saved a few bucks) The crew(cabin stewards, wait staff, and everbody else were very nice and made sure that we enjoyed our cruise. As they always reminded us, that "this is your vacation". We especially liked Carnival's tipping policy where the cabin steward and wait staff tips are automatically added to your "sign&sail". This SAVES alot of hassle for tipping during and at the end of you cruise.
We arrived back in Miami Monday morning, up about 7:30am, went to Lido to eat breakfast, then went back to pack our bags.(Hint: You do NOT have to have your bags out the night before as they say, You can take them with you off the ship yourself, then no searching for it in the baggage warehouse). We simply took our bags and left when they called out luggage tag color. It went smooth and hassle free, went thru customs and to our bus and over to Miami Airport. The bus is $11PP right from the dock to the airport and can be purchased at the pursers desk that day before on the ship.
Hats off to Carnival and the entire crew of the Imagination. Great job. We will be back!