First off, I was not compensated for this review. I paid for the cruise and all expenses out of my own pocket. With that said….on with the review.
I’m a bit behind in posting this review, as I took the cruise back in October 2013. We sailed the Carnival Imagination out of Miami, Florida. The ship set sail on a Friday and returned to port Monday morning. This was my second cruise and my first short cruise. My first cruise was out of Baltimore, MD and was for a whole week. The vibe on this cruise was definitely different. On the first cruise we had quite a few older folks and families. This cruise was full of weekend, young, looking-to-party cruisers. Also, being from Miami there was a high population of Latinos and Spanish was equally spoken as english.
Our agenda for the weekend was:
Friday 4pm set sail and cruise through the night to Nassau, Bahamas
Saturday – Spend all day and night in Nassau
Sunday – Leave Nassau in the morning and sail all day
Monday – Wake up and be in Miami ready to disembark the ship
Friday night my cruise-mates and myself enjoyed the comedy show. Jim Brick and Ronnie Bullard were there as part of the Punchliner Comedy Club. I really enjoyed both performances and loved how they worked with the audience and got them involved. It’s actually one reason why I don’t like to sit in the front row of the stage.
Saturday morning we woke up and were landed in Nassau, Bahamas. We had all day here as the ship wouldn’t be leaving until Sunday Morning. A word of caution while you’re in Nassau – the crime rate here has skyrocketed and there are warning all over the internet cruise boards about Nassau and being fully aware of your surroundings. Since we were here throughout the night, it would be so easy to stay at the bars, drink, get drunk and try and stumble back to the ship. If you do that, please make sure you have someone with you. Always stay in a group as the “punks” are hitting people who are alone, drunk, women, look like you have money on you, etc.
While in Nassau our large group decided to split in half – one half walked over to Junkanoo beach (about a 10-15 minute walk) to spend the whole day at the beach and the other half went to the Pirates Museum, do some shopping and then hit the beach. I went with the group to the Pirate Museum. We walked to the museum. It’s only 3 blocks up from the port. Since we were in a group, they did reduce the price of entrance to $12 for each of us. If you’re into pirates or like viewing museums, then I would recommend this stop while in Nassau. They have many life size displays of pirate life and have one person dressed as a pirate who tells a story of a pirate along with a light show. One of the best things was the displays at the end of the tour where you could pose for photos. I would estimate that it took us about an hour to go through the whole thing. They also have a gift shop but we found better prices near and in the Straw Market for some of the same items – especially t-shirts.
After the museum we walked along “Diamond Row”, as I like to call it, and did some shopping – including window shopping. Then we stumbled over to the one-and-only Senõr Frogs, for some food, drinks and lots of fun. They didn’t let us down. We all enjoyed some Mexican food and plenty of drinks.
I loved the signs on the ceiling!
Next we walked to Junkanoo Beach. It’s about a 5 minute walk from Senor Frogs. The rest of our crew had been hanging out at the beach all day and they had already consumed a great amount of beverages and made friends with one of the servers. We were greeted with a tray of shots, along with the warm breeze, warm sand and warm water. I waded out into the water and the bottom was very uneven and full of rocks. Not very comfortable. I chose to just sit on the edge of the beach and water instead and enjoy my tropical drinks.
The beach is free to use and they have free wifi. You can rent umbrellas and chairs, if you’d like. I’m not sure how much they were but the group that was there all day did rent both.
We walked back to the ship to enjoy dinner onboard. Saturday night was the dress-up night and they were serving lobster and prime rib. After taking a shower to get the sand out of every nook and cranny possible, we went to dinner. We didn’t dress up but many on the ship did. While I’m talking about eating on the ship, I will say that the food was as good as always.
Saturday night I started to not feel very good. What a great surprise it was for me to wake up on Sunday morning with what I think was the flu. I quarantined myself into my room and didn’t get a chance to enjoy the nice sun worshiping day that the rest of my group enjoyed on the Serenity Deck (only for adults). I was thankful that they had a TV in the room and that they had the Patriots game on. I didn’t do much else besides sleep, watch the football game and eat a birthday cake that was pre-ordered for me from my sisters.
My sister’s had also pre-ordered a Carnival Tote Bag and a Beach Towel – both were great to have while at Junkanoo Beach
One thing I didn’t prepare for on this trip was the lack of a blow dryer in my room. When I traveled earlier in the year on the Carnival Pride, they supplied me with a blow dryer and I didn’t even think twice that my room might now have one. Every hotel room I stay in now has one available. Luckily it was a short cruise and I could make due without one but if sailing on this ship for more than a weekend, make sure you pack on in your luggage.
Besides the hair dryer, the room also didn’t have a refrigerator in it, like mine did on the Carnival Pride.
When I cruised on the Carnival Pride, I had a balcony room. This time around I had an Ocean-view room. I loved not being enclosed with all four walls but was disappointed that my window was so dirty. If I didn’t have to spend so much time in my room being sick, it probably wouldn’t have bothered me as much. I love my balcony rooms and my next cruise, on the Carnival Splendor will be a balcony room.
Each night you are left a Fun Times which explains what’s going on, on the ship. Sometimes there will be inserts with specials from the Spa or the Fun Shops. I kept mine and scanned them for you to see what the ship had for entertainment.
Along with the FunTimes is a little piece of paper that you can rip off and carry with you on the ship. It sums up the entertainment within time frames.
When we docked in Miami, Florida – my cruise mate wanted to do a bit of exploring the Everglades while we waited for our flight later in the day. We decided to book an excursion through Carnival for the Everglades Alligator Tour. They picked us up at the cruise terminal and dropped us off at the airport. Stops were at both the Fort Lauderdale and Miami Airports.
I had taken an Everglades-Alligator Tour in Christmas, Florida while at a port call in Cape Canaveral on the Carnival Pride. That by far was a much better tour than this one. I enjoyed having the open air boat and saw 5x the amount of alligators. Plus at the end of the boat ride in Christmas, we were all able to hold a small alligator for free. On this tour, you had to pay to hold the alligator and the boat had a cover on it.
So that was my trip on the Carnival Imagination. My next cruise will be in May on the Carnival Splendor out of NYC. After that we hope to do an Alaskan Cruise.