When my wife and I first talked about going on a cruise for our 35th Anniversary we shopped around for good prices. My wife browsed the internet sites and found a great deal on priceline.com.When we told others we were going on a Carnival cruise they all thought we were crazy. We thought with all the bad press of the recent events that the odds were in our favor.We booked a 4 night cruise aboard the Imagination from Miami to Key West, and Cozumel. Found wicked cheap airfare from Providience to Ft.Lauderdale on Southwest.I looked on the Internet for a shuttle service from Ft.Lauderdale to the port of Miami.We used easyexpress, Excellent service and free return trip to airport.we also took advanges of Carnivals Faster to the Fun, for one fee per cabin we received, priority boarding,access to our cabin when we boarded, priority disembarkation at all ports, and when we returned to Miami we were among the 1st wave off the ship, which was a huge plus seeing we had an early flight back home. Our cabin was Great, on the Empress deck, center of the ship with and ocean view. Cabin was beautiful, ultra clean and the cabin Steward Roberto was a joy to be around.We made our way up to the Lido deck to enjoy the views of Miami, and the sail away party on the deck,what a blast!!!! We were greeted by Suadnyana! what a blast this drink server ended up being my "best" friend for the week. I have never seen anybody work as hard as this guy does and ENJOY his job.Always with this beaming smile and a never ending desire to make you feel like a king or queen. We made our way to the Lido buffet restaurant and found a endless variety of food choices,all off the food from breakfast to lunch choices were endless.
During the first night we had Dinner in the Pride restaurant and again were not disappointed with the food or the service. This is where we meant our new friends from Seattle.
The evening stage show was the only real downside to the cruise, the performers well they are just not that great!We did find the comedians on board the Imagination in the comedy club were GREAT!!!
The second day we docked at 0800am in Key West Fla.We booked the Key West Pub crawl!!!! What a blast,the mission 5 bars in 2hrs before 12noon!!! We were met on the pier by our tour guide Jo, this girl was a hoot!!!We boarded the conch train and into town we went, Jo lead us to some of Key West famous watering holes,for a taste of some great tasting drinks,,, and by the way not watered down at all, with the sound of the conch shell being sounded we moved on to the next location for yet another livation!!!! At the end of the tour we had a conch shell blow off for a chance to win the beads!!! I won!!!!!!! what a blast.
A very shorted visit as we had to be back on the ship by 130pm.. They need a longer stay in Key West!!!! We set sail for Cozumel, The "dress up" night for dinner was a good time many different settings to take formal pictures were set up around the ship.
We arrived in Cozumel at 1pm the next day. The area right off the ship provided many shops to purchase many Mexican items. The shopkeepers are a little high pressure but that was expected outside. The shots of Tequila in many shops kept me very happy as my wife shopped!
While in Cozumel we went to Jimmy Buffett"s Margaritaville bar and seaside restaurant,,, Great food and drink, and a place to snorkel a beautiful reef. We asked one of the locals to recommended a beach where we could take in the sands and waters of Cozumel, He sent us to the Ocean VIP resort, south of the port. The local Taxis are a trip in its self. No real set rates, you can barter the $$ you want to pay them... when we arrived at the "Ocean Resort" it was kind of like going into someones back yard???? The host met us and said "use of the beach and chairs were "free" if we purchased drinks and food!!!! The beach was small and the water had kind of a funny smell. Also only 10yards out it became very rocky!!! Not what we were hoping for.... We returned to the port area to do some additional shopping. We did great deal on a piece of jade jewelry for my wife.
The day at sea sailing back to Miami was relaxing watching some of the sites on board the ship, and enjoying cocktails while getting some sun!!!!
As a 1st time cruisers we can say it was a good time and have already begun looking for bargains for sometime next year...