We are both experienced crusiers. We both work in education so summer is the time we travel. I work summer school and usually have about 3 weeks off. We booked this cruise for the first time through a on line agency. It was ok but we missed getting all the directions and cruise material from Carnival. We were staying at a condo in Vero Beach so we drove to FLL to get the Carnival bus transfer. It cost us $60.00 ecah for round trip bus transport. We did this so the car rental return would be easy. The problems began with the bus. The Carnival representatives told us " you just missed one". The next bus will be here in 15 minutes. Ha! the next one came 45 minutes later. So we waited and when we got to miami the lines were very long. Bagage was taken care of and then we waited in an overcrowded check in area. The time went by slowly,
We got there at 1:30 and did not get onboard until 3pm. The ship was completely sold out. We went up to the lido deck to get some late lunch. We have been on the Imagination before. We had taken a cruise 3 years earlier before it was remodeled. The Lido deck lunch was a joke. No seats and not too many people from the crew to clean up. The food was not very good, after 20 minutes of searching we finally got a table near the pizza stand at the back of the ship. The crew seemed overwhelmed by the crowd. After 2 slices of pizza which were very good, we decided to try and see if our staterooms were ready. Believe it or not we were in our staterooms by 4:30 pm. We had booked a inside cat 4A we were upgraded to a 6a with portholes cabin number R21. THe luggage arived at about 5:15 pm. The cabin was totally redone since last time new bedding new bathroom and closets also I almost forgot the new flat screen tv. We had an early sitting for dinner.
The main dining room has changed since the last time we took this ship. The wait staff were really good. Our waiter knew everyone's name by the second night. The first night's show was pretty good a broadway review. Not at all bad. The casino was pretty good that nite we won a bit on the slots. My wife and I decided that after the lido buffet we would try to eat every meal in the dining room. We did and did not have a bad meal all cruise.
The first port of call was Key West. Been there many times before. So only went off the ship for a litle while. The summer heat was unbearable. The pools are small and we lost 2 hot tubs when they remodeled the ship. There is now a miniture golf course where the hot tub used to be. Back to the pools and lounge chair situation. The pools were so crowded that you could not safely get in or out. The trouble with the lounge chairs is that people would wake up early and put their stuff on a chair and go away sometimes for 2 hours. People had trouble finding deck chairs.
The next port of call is Cozamel. We took a shore excursion and swam with the dolphins it was expensive but well worth it. You interact with the dolphins for about 40 minutes. Just remember that if you want pictures at the end do not use a debit card. They don't work in mexico unless you tell your bank or credit union that you will be using the card outside the U.S.
The day at sea was nice very relaxing. We decided to do self check out after a long wait we were of fthe ship by 9:30am. All in all a good cruise Carnival can.t be beat when it comes to military discounts. We are planning another trip on Carnival in Feb. 10. Met many nice people on this cruise, a cross ssection of America