Probably the best 5 day vacation….in the world

February 1, 2008 -

John Heald

I have not been to Nassau for many, many years. I used to come here twice a week for many years on the Carnivale and later on the Fantasy. I remember we used to stay overnight and many guests would purchase tickets to see the show at Carnival’s Crystal Palace Hotel and Casino. The show always sold out because of a magician who performed with black panthers and tigers…………..or maybe because it also featured topless dancers. There was a rumour that the penthouse of the hotel featured a robot who was programmed to serve drinks…………………..I of course never got to see the Penthouse but I do remember many fun nights spent in Nassau.

Probably most of you have been to the Bahamian capital before so I am not going to going to chat about Nassau too much. Heidi and I will see if we have time to go ashore today but first I want to praise other areas of the ship.

Before that I should tell you about last night. Following a fantastic day at Half Moon Cay, Heidi and I had dinner in the Spirit Dining Room and then I met up with my old mate Miles Willis the Hotel Director. Miles is as British as Benny Hill, Cricket, Are You being Served, Sherlock Holmes, Yorkshire Pudding and Spotted Dick.

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(Jorge Solano, Jennifer De La Cruz, Miles Willis and Me)

We have not seen each other for some time and it was good to catch up. During our after dinner conversation at the cigar bar we were approached by two sets of guests. The first were two I immediately recognized as having sailed with me on the Carnival Liberty in 2006.

They actually were on the trans-Atlantic cruise which will unfortunately be remembered by those who were onboard as the cruise where many guests were sick with the dreaded Norwalk virus or similar like many ships that season.

They were very pleased to see me and I them and when they told me they were celebrating 51 years of marriage it gave me extra pleasure to see them again. They read the blog everyday and hopefully are reading this because I am so sorry but I woke up this morning and I cannot remember their names…………….

I am sorry but I am sure you will slap on a comment and remind me. Anyway, it was great to chat with them and both Miles and I were so happy to hear how they were having such a great time on the Carnival Imagination. They have a big family group booked on the Carnival Legend in April and I hope they will come and see me on the Carnival Splendor soon.

After the guests had left I could see Miles was felling pretty good about the comments he had just heard about his ship but, of course, it is sod’s law that someone was about to change that.

Now, I have to tell you that since I have been onboard I have heard very little in the way of negative comments but I was about to hear one now. It’s funny that after spending so long on ships I can now tell before a guest says anything if they we are going to have fun or if I should clench my bottom cheeks together and await for the inevitable.

As the man approached I could tell immediately that he would not be singing “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” any time soon and even though I knew that the pending attack would be aimed at Miles and not me, my buttocks automatically closed together.

This chap was very upset because of …………………..television. The Carnival Imagination has lots of plasma televisions ……….they are behind the bars, in the lounges and along the Promenade and in other guest areas. They show shipboard entertainment, sports programming and news……………last night the Democratic Nominee Debate between Obama and Clinton was being shown and this lady was not happy…………..oh no………….he was Brahms and Listz (rhyming slang.) Apparently he felt that Carnival was pro Democrat (or Republican I cannot remember who is who but anyway he was furious that on his vacation he had to watch two ……… bleep ……………bleep………………bleep………….bleep……………bleep……………….bleep……………bleep……………idiots.

Miles, as always handled the situation in his typical way which is a cross between Dr.Phil and Basil Fawlty asking him first to please refrain from swearing. Miles then went on to explain that the debate was part of CNN’s programming. The guest continued to argue and wanted every TV turned to a different station ……………..Miles apologized but said that we could not do this on every TV but if he wanted to stay here in the Cigar Bar we could change the channel to what he wanted. The guest refused, swore some more and walked away.

The funny thing is that none of the TV’s have the volume up, just subtitles but even so this man had found someone in uniform to express his unhappiness at……………….that’s the rollercoaster ride that is working on a cruise ship.

However, as I mentioned his negativity was definitely unique as I continue to hear nothing but incredible amounts of praise and exuberance for the new Carnival Imagination. One of the areas receiving a large slice of this is “Serenity,” a tranquil retreat at the stern of the ship free of stress, noise, music and oh yes …………….. kids.

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While many guests love having the family atmosphere that kids bring to our open decks there have been those who have been asking for a place reserved for adults only……………thus as always we listened and now you have the aptly named Serenity. As mentioned this is located over looking the stern and therefore you have wonderful views of the wake of the ship as you relax in one of the deep and luxurious sun beds.

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You also have whirlpools where you have no chance of finding Junior and the gang splashing around. I particularly enjoyed the quite sanctuary this area provides. I asked Miles the Hotel Director about this. He told me had had tried classical, jazz, easy listening and heavy metal music but at the end of the day…………no music seemed to provide the most relaxing ambience……………….and I think he is right.

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So, the Carnival Inspiration and now the Carnival Imagination have adults-only areas…………….this for some people will be worth the price of admission on its own.

I decided that this blog would not be written with my usual poor attempt at humour…………..which is a shame because today I thought of some hilarious things to write but they will have to wait…………………..why?

Well, I wanted the emphasis of this blog to be on the ship …………….. nothing else…………….the ship. I have been conscious as the blog grows in popularity that sometimes people reading it for the first time may think the fun is only to be found on the ship I am currently writing from. This is why I was so honoured (spelt correctly) when Carnival asked me to sail here and write about the Evolutions of Fun, Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and the Carnival Imagination and her crew.

The Carnival Imagination has always had a special place in my heart and having watched and listened to 2,500 people these last five days I know they feel the same. I know this from the constant sounds of laughter and screams of delight as young and old explore the outrageous Carnival WaterWorks.

The sounds of WOW when people open their cabin door. The sound of…………..peace and relaxation …………..from the Serenity Deck and the sounds of families and friends having the best five or four day vacations of their lives.

The Carnival Imagination was born nearly thirteen years ago …………….. walk onboard…………….and you will find that impossible to believe.

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New Spa Relaxation Room on the Imagination

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New pedicure chairs on the Imagination

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New ladies shower room on the Imagination

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New ladies changing room on the Imagination

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New couples massage room on the Imagination

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New beauty salon on the Imagination

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New gym on the Imagination

Sometimes you here companies have spent millions of dollars on this and millions of dollars on that and sometimes its hard to see where the money has gone. Not so here, the millions of dollars Carnival has spent is plain for all to see from the Spa to the Water Works and from the upgraded cabins and corridors to the sushi bar and the adults-only Serenity deck and much much more. Add paradise to the menu in the form of Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk ……………….and you have the best four- or five-day vacation……………………….in the world.

Goodnight
Your friends
John and Heidi

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.