This was a spring break/senior trip for my daughter and I, and we had an amazing trip. The Imagination was the perfect ship for this 4 night adventure.
Embarkation-The Port of Miami is organized, clean, and kept the line moving. We arrived at 12:30 expecting huge lines, but were pleasantly surprised to see all lines open. We were onboard in a matter of minutes. We were surprised to see that there were very few people taking advantage of the beverages you are allowed to take on board. Don't forget each person is allowed 12 sodas or waters and everyone over 21 can bring on a bottle of wine. I opted for a screw top Flip Flop brand so I didn't need an opener.
Ports of Call-Key West was warm, sunny, cozy and laid back. We opted to do some walking around in Old Town Key West. The tram drops you off on the north side of Duval Street, and because it was only 7:30am, we walked down to the southernmost point giant concrete bouy to take pictures. We were the only ones there because the tram tours hadn't gotten that far yet. So nice not to have to wait to have our picture taken there. We took our time coming back stopping by the Hemingway House and Lighthouse which are right cross the street from one another. We didn't go in either, but enjoyed looking. We walked up to Mallory Square, did some picture taking and some shopping. Anyone looking for an amazing bargain on some amazing sandals needs to hit Kinos at the corner of Firtgerald and Greene. They are made on site, super cheap, really cute and last forever.
Second stop was Cozumel. We took a private tour through Cozumel Bar Hop and this was our favorite thing about the whole trip. It's a private tour that I HIGHLY recommend. They take you to 4 bars on the eastern side of the island where the scenery is to die for, there is no electricity, and the drinks are strong. They provide a drink at each bar and a t-shirt along with a history of the island. We met some great people and had a terrific day.
The ship-Relaxing, easy to navigate, and very well kept. We did anytime dining and never had to wait. The food was good and my daughter teasingly asked the waited for lobster at every meal. The Lido buffet was never crowded and my favorite thing was the Mongolian Wok where you got to choose your own veggies, meat and sauce and they cooked to order. We ordered room service for our day in Key West when we knew we were docking early. We asked for a 6am delivery time and they showed up at 5:40am so be prepared for them to show up while you are still sleeping. The Serenity area was very quiet and relaxing and I never saw one child there for more than a minute.
Room-We had an interior room for this trip and it was perfect. Who needs a window when all you do is shower and sleep in there anyway? Our room steward, Rommel, was an angel and when I told him I was taking him home he said "Ok, Just let me go pack", lol. He called us by name EVERY time he saw us. Impressive. My daughter, who is a huge nap fan, said her favorite part of the whole trip was the bedding which is super lush.
Entertainment-The comics were hysterical and the shows fill up fast so get there early. We enjoyed the pool games and even won a coveted Ship on a Stick. The Newlywed game is always a riot. There was a lot of poolside dancing which my daughter loved, but I miss having the live calypso style band playing. It just makes me think vacation...and oh yeah...bring me another special of the day. Speaking of the drinks, the poolside staff are a little pushy with the drinks and will ask every few minutes if you want something from the bar.
Debarkation-Can we all say nightmare? We decided to do self assist debarkation because we had an 11 hour drive ahead of us. They call you in the order of the deck you are on, but most people don't pay any attention to this. Whether they are just plain rude or really feel entitled, they didn't feel like they had to follow the rule. It would have been nice for Carnival to regulate this at all and try to make people actually wait their turn. Customs was checking everyone that day do it took us almost 3 hours to get off the ship and back to our car.
All in all, this was a great trip. I took this one 2 years ago with my oldest daughter when she graduated and will do it again a few years from now with my son. The Imagination is beautiful and I look forward to coming back.