So I went on a cruise January 30th and well, I have to say, my expectations weren’t met… They were completely surpassed.The ship we took was named the Carnival Imagination, and it was the absolute most greatest vacation I’ve ever been on. Besides the free food, and the free food, and did I mention the free food, there was great entertainment coupled with tons to do.
Getting on the ship was a matter all on its own. You arrive, and the porters quickly harass you for luggage. We are not generous tippers so obviously, we gave whatever we had handy at the time( around 4 dollars). The porter handling our luggage immediately looked at his palm, counted the singles and said in a most nonchalant voice, “You know, most people pay a dollar per bag”. Having about 12 bags, we gave up the difference and then stood around. The porter got tired of us and demanded that we go away. He told us he’d take care of everything and that we should continue on our way.
Once we arrived at this set of double glass doors, we stood in line and waited for an old man at a desk to verify that we were actually the people whose names appear on the tickets. Took him a total of say, 1 minute or less. Very secure. The metal detectors were next, and took up the most time in this whole process. Every person with whom I was traveling with forgot that metal detectors detect…metal. So after that line we went straight to another line, and a much longer one at that. But once we were through there, we boarded the ship, where I met a very angry embarkation employee. My guest card was stuck in it’s envelope so it took me a little longer than everyone else to get it out and he had to check it. There was no one behind me and he still just took it out of my hand and basically threw it at me, growling “Keep it out”. Soured, I angrily marched into the ship.Soon enough,however, we encountered our first buffet at the poolside which was filled with burgers and hot dogs and fries, oh my! It was all very delicious; I had a burger, hot dog, fries, and cake. Mmmm, chocolate cake.
At around 4:30, the ship slowly started to turn and it was the most funnest thing ever! From there on, it felt like we were on a roller coaster all day long! Depending on your view of this, it could either be a very good thing or a very bad thing. For example, my friend’s mother was very sick by the end of the night, and finished up her first day on the ship with her face in a hole.
On the subject matter of bathrooms, ship bathrooms are so clean! They scintillate with cleanliness. When you flush the toilet, it roars at you and vacuums everything in through this very small hole. It was frightening the first few times and unexpected, but it soon became somewhat amusing. On the sink, there was also a very nice amenities basket which was very helpful.
Dinner began at 8:15, and there wasn’t really any picky people friendly items. The attendants were fantastic though, very amiable, and intelligent. Bread was tasty, butter was made available, and the table was in a very artistic section of the dining room, set upon steps, facing a window with reddish-purple drapes. It was all very elegant.
Promptly at 7:30 AM the next day, we arrived in port at the Bahamas! There was a checkout process and we sort of got lost trying to get off the ship, but we made it out eventually. It was cold and most of us were improperly dressed for such a windy day. The water was beautiful though. The ocean surface was so blue and it had a silvery coated skin on top, similar to that of hot chocolate. A somewhat out-of-place sign greeted us as we made it onto the island. And then, from every possible angle, resident Bahamians poked and prodded into our business and asked over and over again if we wanted a tour of the island. Politely, we said no to each one and kept walking on our own, not really knowing what we were doing.
After realizing that we actually don’t have any idea what we’re doing, we gave in to a tour of the island. Our guide called himself “The Magic Man”, and he promised that he would show us exactly why he had such a title, all for only 20 dollars a person. So he pulled us in, and we waited on the curb for him to bring in his van. About 5 minutes later, he came by and began to back up the van. A police officer stood by,watching. Quickly, we entered the van, and as soon as the doors slammed shut, the police officer came around the driver’s seat and gave Magic Man a ticket for “obstructing traffic”. This was no petty ticket either; A 120 dollar ticket. Now, he was forced to go to this sort of round-a-bout of cars to get his ticket. He assured us this would be quick. It wasn’t. Ten minutes had passed and no one had given him the damn ticket yet. Even worse, we were stuck behind a line of cars that would not, or could not, move. Half an hour passed, and still no movement. We all decided it’d be best to just leave now before the driver returns(he was out trying to speed up the process). Ultimately, the Magic Man was really a magician- He made us disappear…
Originally, we had proposed to rent scooters for all the couples, and now we figured we may as well do that. At 50 a pop for 4 hours, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. My boyfriend, Andrew, was the driver then, and well, he’s never been that good a driver his whole life. Yes, I was scared out of my mind since Andrew had a thing for crashing while remain stationary. One after another, each scooter followed in a zigzag order. For a while, no one knew how to drive their damn machine. Eventually, we all got the hang of it, but Andrew was never any good at it. We decided to go to the Atlantis Hotel, but to get their, we had to drive over a huge hill/bridge. It was frightening. I felt that Andrew was going to crash and it would be my final breath of life, but somehow, we made it.
In short, Atlantis was beautiful. It was a shame we couldn’t stay there. The architecture was modern,yet somewhat medieval, and they had these huge glass sculptures in every major sector of the hotel. My favorite part of Atlantis was the aquarium. Inside, there were plenty of different species of fish, including this one odd type, which sort of lethargically swam around in groups. Their mouths seemed to open and close, open and close, and it seemed to me that were were saying “meh,meh,meh,meh” and were very nonchalant about the whole “people-staring-at-us-hrough-glass” thing. While those were very funny to observe, the manta ray was the greatest thing there. With it’s majestic fins, it swam left to right, to left, to right. The manta ray came so close to the glass, it almost felt like you could reach out and touch it. It seemed to be a friendly, underwater phoenix.
After taking enough pictures of the hotel and the aquarium to fill several albums, we returned to our parked scooters. William, one of the people travelling with me, was having trouble turning on his scooter. It refused to turn on. Several minutes of frustrated kicking, thrusting and screaming later, we decided to call the scooter rental people to come give us a new scooter. A few minutes later, two other tourists parked near us were trying to get their scooter to work. Andrew’s father offered them some tips, but they snobbily refused to pay us any attention. Soon after, the scooter rental people showed up in a truck, blasting hip hop, and just having a blast. They placed our broken scooter into the back, and gave us another one. The idiot tourists from before still couldn’t turn on their scooter,so the rental people went over there, pushed really hard on the crank, and turned on. Needless to say, they felt like idiots…Those idiots.
Then, we had to make it back to the docks but, where the hell were we? We past by the bridge again, and amazingly, I didn’t scream for my life, but once we got on the streets, my voice came right back. Bahamians don’t know to drive,man! They’re rude and just everywhere! It was really trepidating. And they say Americans can’t drive…You haven’t seen Bahamians drive if you still believe that statement. Oh, and what’s best is that Andrew almost drove us into a ditch the size an inflatable adult pool. And then we lost Robert. He reappeared 4 streets later, and by the grace of God, we made it back the docks, turned in the scooters, and then decided to get back on the ship. The others stayed behind, but Andrew and I decided we had had enough of the Bahamas.
That Same Evening
It was soon reported that Andrew’s sister was still having an allergic reaction to some sort of medicine. Andrew’s mother cried and then later, there was another phone call…For me? It was my mother, reporting some fantastic news; I was accepted to the University of Miami! Weeeeeeeeee! To celebrate, we left the ship again, at night, to the Bahamas, and into a neat,little club shack called Senor Frog’s. On the way, the porter didn’t believe I was 18, so I had to search for my license and Andrew couldn’t find it. Turns out, it was in his wallet…When we got in, Andrew’s mother brought us a foot long, ice margarita and it was good. We have another one later. We were both just fine, but the rest of them weren’t.Eventully, we left, and it was cold and we were sort of buzzed. When we got back to the ship, we laid in bed and watch television.
After that, we realized there was a comedy show tonight, so we went to see that and it was hilarious.
Then, Aida came around and asked if we wanted to go the casino, and being fresh on the 18, of course. We got there and jumped on the machine. I made the first win, of 12 dollars and 50 cents and later won a few other bucks. It was a good amount of fun. However, every 15 minutes, I got carded, so I stuck my license in my pocket and waited to people to come up to me and ask “Are you 18?”. It was quite annoying. And of course, after that, we fell asleep.
The Last Day of Fun
We spent our final day of fun eating and doing just about anything we could.We took a good bit of pictures and we traveled to places on the ship we hadn’t yet seen. When the evening came around, we attended karaoke. I really wanted to sing, but not alone, and everyone who was traveling with me were being a fruitcake. Andrew refused to sing with me, even though he usually sings around the house anyway. But oh well, it was tons of fun.
Finally, the ship arrived at the port of Miami. We had a final breakfast, stuffed ourselves, packed, and took our luggage around with us. Check out was extremely simple. You follow a line, you pull out ID, and you leave. Super quick. I figured they’d check your luggage and everything,but nothing. It was nice to not have to worry so much about leaving. We got in the car and so it ended. T__T
All in all, my first cruise was amazing. I wish I would’ve stayed up later on most nights, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m glad I went with the people I did and I’d reccomend a cruise to anyone! If only I could go again…