We just returned from our 5 day cruise aboard the Fascination. It was a good cruise and we had a good time. This was our first sailing from Jaxport. Jacksonville is a great place to cruise from.
We arrived at the port at 10:45am and were allowed to check in and board immediately. :) We went to the buffet area and had a small snack as our cabin was not ready until around 11:30am. It was nice to be allowed on board early and relax before departure.
Our cabin was a suite with an extended balcony on the port side of the ship. This suite was very nice with a king size and a queen size bed for the four of us. The cabin was very nicely appointed and plenty of storage space in the bureau drawers and the closet with drawers. The king size bed also had enough clearance underneath for our large luggage. The bathroom was functional and suited our needs.
Our evening meals were taken in the Sensation dining room where we were satisfied with our meal options. There is a standard daily menu that remains static throughout the cruise and an alternate menu that changed every evening. I would say that there were enough choices available everyday to make a normal cruiser happy. The food was well prepared and tasted good. We were not disappointed.
The on board entertainment was varied and continuous. The highlight shows were very good and the comedy shows were also good. I would say that the staff and entertainers were working very hard to please the passengers. Our ships cruise director Jenn was very entertaining and very funny. She made everyone feel right at home.
The worker bee's:
All the staff and workers that I encountered were very professional and courteous. Our stateroom was always clean and well provisioned.
The actual cruise:
This cruise itinerary could have been better. Our first stop was Key West Florida. We could tell that the ship was dragging the anchor a bit to keep us from arriving early. We also were disappointed in the short stay in Key West. We exited the ship at 9:00 am and had to return by 2:30pm. There is much to see and do in Key West. The long and interesting history makes for a prime spot to linger. After boarding up and launching to Nassau we could tell that once again we were proceeding slowly to accommodate the schedule. Nassau is not a great port to visit. As usual the local peoples are pushy and pesky in their effort to secure you shopping dollars. Your best bet in Nassau is to take an excursion to the beach and relax. Atlantis is crowded and very expensive for what you get. We were only offered a half day at Atlantis as it was spring break but there was no break in the price. It would have cost my family of four over $500.00 just to get in for a half day. No passes were available at the gate due to spring break. We were in port for 13 hours in Nassau. In my opinion this 13 hours would have better been spent at Key West and the shorter day at Nassau. We departed Nassau in the evening and could tell by the on board maps that we could have been in Jacksonville around 3 hours ahead of what we did. At one time I noticed we were cruising at the breakneck speed of 9 kts. That was around 3 in the morning.
I think they need to re-think this cruises itinerary. It is in need of tweaking. All in all though, it was a good cruise and we had a lot of fun.