My husband and I (past cruisers) took my nephew & his wife(1st time cruisers) on a 5 night cruise on Carnival Fascination out of Jacksonville, FL which left July 30th 2012. They LOVED IT & we loved it! It was the best vacation they had ever had. Jacksonville is a great port to leave from if you want a smaller, more relaxed port. From what we can tell, only the Carnival Fascination sails from this port. We flew in the night before. Stayed at the Hampton Inn-East, Regency Square. Good choice. Ruby Tuesdays is right across the street for dinner. There is a Walmart within walking distance but at the gas station, right next door, you can buy your 1 bottle of wine (750ml)& 12 (20oz) colas or other non-alcoholic drinks that you are allowed, per person, to bring aboard ship (only as a carry-on - do not put this in your luggage!). Great price too! We bought our colas in plastic bottles & took them to the dining room in the evening. This ship is small enough to be personal but large enough for 1st time cruisers to get the whole jest of cruising. Our room steward, head waitress(Yves) and bar waiter (Davis) called us by name right away. The food could have been a little bit better quality, but good for the price. The dining service was excellant. We had the opportunity to upgrade our room from ocean view to extended balcony on the Upper Deck in the back of the ship where the balcony opened up between our rooms. I am now spoiled to a balcony! When it rained, we went to our room and enjoyed the rain from the cover of our balcony. In Key West we went para-sailing. Arrange your own trip on-line thru Fury and save a lot of money. Also buy your Old-Town Trolley tickets on-line too. Not enough time here. Docked at 7am..nothing opens til 9am! Had to board by 2:30pm. Not enough time in port. In Nassau, Sr. Froggs was rockin'...3 other cruise ships were in port and the place was full of people having a fabulous time. We fit right in! Horse & buggy ride is great for a 40 minute tour of town. Negotiate price to $10-$15. I am usually ready to go home after 3 days of any vacation, except this one. I and my niece were teary eyed when we left our new friends,Yves & Davis, behind on the Fascination!