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12/18/03


GottaCruz
"We all had a great cruise. This cruise was definitely the highlight of our holiday"

TRIP INFO

Sail Date:12/18/2003
Destination:
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RATINGS

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COMPLETE REVIEW

The Ship

We just came back from another great cruise aboard the Imagination. This was our third or fourth time on this ship and we had another wonderful time. The ship was beautifully decorated for the holidays with a beautiful menorah in the atrium lobby and wreaths with Xmas ornaments all over the ship. Xmas music played throughout the cruise and the menorah was lit at 5:00 P.M. for Chanukah.each night. :P

The First Night

The first night was the Welcome Aboard show with audience participation and a comedian, Pete Michael who was very good. The cruise director was Matt Ross, who was excellent. The ship was not very busy as people were exhausted from their traveling. The midnight buffet was excellent , ribs, beans , corn, etc. Of course, being the first night , we stuffed ourselves too much. Oh well, we weren?t going to worry since it was only a four day cruise. How much damage can you do in 4 days??? Oh well, we were NOT going to worry about that. :D

Life Boat Drill

The life boat drill was a bit long but we enjoyed it as we met some very nice people that we chatted with. However, next time , we will get our preservers and go to our muster stations in advance of the drill so that we can use the elevator and not have to climb the stairs. My calves were achy for the next couple of days. That?s how fit I am.

Weather

The weather was very cool and windy. It was definitely not swimming weather for us, or for most of the people. In fact it was so windy, that signs were posted by several glass doors with warnings not to open them due to high winds. We wore jeans and sweatshirts all four days. Even in Cozumel, it was cool and several tours were cancelled due to the wind.I was so glad that I took my winter clothing rather than my summer cruise clothing. I felt really bad for those folks who never cruised at this unpredictable time of the year. Many sweatshirts were sold aboard the ship on this cruise. :)

Food

The food was great , as usual. The highlight for me was formal night dinner. I had two shrimp cocktails and two lobster tails. Everything was excellent. The service was the best and we had very friendly, enjoyable tablemates to spend dinner with. We?re hoping to see them join our forum soon. We only had dinner in the dining room on formal night because we were not hungry at the time of our assigned seating. The dinners on the Lido deck were great also. Every night we had a salad bar with delicious baked salmon one night, shrimp stir fry , roast chicken the other nights. We enjoyed the food every night. The late night , midnight or 11:30PM. buffets were pretty good. Our favorite night was the first night when they had ribs, etc. Their ribs are to die for. The Gala Buffet was something to see, as always , but we kept it light the rest of the nights with some fruit or salad . Thank goodness for their hot chocolate machine, available 24 hours, which was a big hit due to the chilly weather. People took advantage of it all day and night. It was a delicious way to warm up. I just wish they had served some key lime pie or cheesecake once during the cruise. That would have warmed me up also. Oh well, I guess they did me a favor by not serving it. Instead of the 2 and a half pounds I gained, it would have been more. :D

The People

The crowd was great. We met some lovely people- hopefully some of them will be joining our forum.It was a very casual crowd. People looked beautiful for dinner and then most changed into casual clothing either before the show or after. We stayed dressed for the evening since our formal clothing was very comfortable. We spoke to several crew members - one from Lithuania and one from Portugal. We also met the ship?s doctor at dinner on the Lido deck. He told us he has a private practice in London but wanted to work aboard the ship for a change of pace. He was extremely friendly . I asked him if , because of flu season, there were many patients this cruise and he said no. I also asked him how the crew , especially the dancers, are able to maintain their weight . He told us something very interesting. He said that many crew members are on a 3-2-1-eating plan. That means that the first day they eat 3 meals per day, next day 2 meals per day and then 1 meal and start again. He said it really works and in fact he does the same thing. By the looks of him, it certainly does work. I thought that was very interesting. :)

The Ports

Key West was great. We took the conch train with Jack the conductor from Long Island who narrated the whole time. He is hysterical. Try to take his choo choo train when you?re there. While in Key West, the area had a power failure but noone let that stop their search for souvenirs. The shop owners weren?t too happy but noone else seemed to mind. We had to be back on the ship by 1:30 PM.so there wasn?t much time but it was great to be there.Cozumel was great, as usual, with many cruisers visiting Pancho?s Backyard for some drinks , etc.Jason and I did the shopping thing. Wayne and Lacey preferred to stay on the ship, Lacey with the friends she made and Wayne, just relaxing. We never did get to Roberto?s for his black coral but enjoyed the shopping we did. We just bought souvenirs for a few people, some tee-shirts, shot glasses, etc. I had bought myself a nice necklace with matching earrings in the ship?s store. It was great just spending quality time with Jason. :D

Vittorio?s Internet Caf?

They charged $3.95 for your first connection and after that the charge was 75 cents a minute . A couple of days they had a deal, buy 5 minutes , get the second 5 free. In Cozumel the rate was 15 cents a minute and they advertise ?high speed? but their computers are soooo slow, not even pentiums. :(

The Casino

We made our usual donation ;)

Entertainment

I can?t rave enough about the entertainment. Basically, as they did on our last 4 day cruise on the Imagination in July, they squeezed the best entertainment of the 7 day cruise into the 4 day cruise. We had 2 formal night shows, even though there was only one formal night. The B- Bop show is just phenomenal. We?ve seen it so many times and love it every time. They do the Beach Boys, Tina Turner, etc. Great show! There were 4 different comedians- all very good. Our favorite is Happy Cole . His X rated show was just hysterical. On the last day of the cruise, there was a Holiday show in the afternoon, featuring the Imagination dancers and their stars plus they had the kids from the camp sing a couple of songs with them. Santa Claus made an appearance and the dancers handed out candy canes to all. The last evening was the B- Bop formal show, the guest talent show plus there was a late night comedy act. They really squeezed in so much . It was great. :lol:

Debarkation

This was a new experience- they had express debarkation. Anyone who could take all their own luggage of the ship and could get to the Dynasty lounge between 7:30 and 8:30 AM could get off the ship immediately. We took advantage of this since we each had a small pilot?s case on wheels and Wayne wanted to get to work as soon as possible. We were off the ship at 8:30, wheeled our suitcases across the street to the new parking garage and were in our house by 9:30. It certainly beat waiting for our color tag to be called. :D

Great Cruise

We all had a great cruise. We were able to spend lots of quality time together, which was very important to us since Jason left home for college last June. This cruise was definitely the highlight of our holiday

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