This was our first time cruising and we went to Jacksonville for boarding the Fascination. Parking was $75 for the duration and I didnt feel as if my car would be vandalized etc as it had a secure fenced in area.
As we entered the actual port after dropping off our luggage we encountered two pretty long lines as boarding started at 12 PM. Mistake #1.....dont try to board until 3.....you will do nothing more than stand in line for 2 hours getting through security getting checked in etc....MAKE sure you have birth certificates on everyone in your party no matter what they tell you on the phone....I called 2 days prior to departure and was told me normy wife needed our birth certificates to board only the kids....BUT we had to bring our marriage certificate to show her last name....she brought that and the birth certificate for herself.....didnt have mine which presented a prob......anyhow got that faxed over and disaster averted. Meanwhile as we sat waiting for about 35-40 mins More
from about 245-320....after wards no one was coming through for boarding so if you wait til about 3.....you walk right through everything and just get right on.
As we got on went through the safety drills blah blah blah....kids wanting to see it all etc...normal typical teenagers and 10 yr old.
Food was good got to try several things that I had never tried before escargot etc....was disappointed the only night they offered lobster was on a nt they had the Captains dinner.....which i tohught hell I paid to get on here and I dont see the Rockefellers so why the hell shouldnt I be able to eat with the rest on lobster nt ( one of the main reasons I wanted to cruise).
Went to 2 "Vegas" styled shows and they were both really good hats off to all the performers as they were really good.
Hit the casino every night while on board after everyone else went to bed and the last night there loaded up with 3 other guys to take down around $7500 on the craps table in 2 sessions......Took around $2100 off the table poersonally that night thanks guys trip paid for!
Only thing that I really had an issue with is Beer and Drink prices....I understand profits not a dirty word....but working for Budweiser for a number of years and knowing what they were paying ( or cheaper) wholesale and then selling it for at $7 a pop was i thought a little pricey...throw in mixed drinks as well inthat neighborhood and i didnt consume too many. If they can sell me 4 bottles of Crown Royal for $69 in the duty free shop.....then that tells me about $10 a bottle is all they are paying most likely for liquor....by the way those pint aluminum mich lights.....about .70 apiece for those....you do the math.....suggestion to carnival....if you will go back to a $200 all you can drink alcohol card its a wise idea.....( i do understand they may not want a boat full of drunks as well).
Also anytime you use your key card which is your way of paying for ANYTHING and I do mean ANYTHING.....they automatically asess you a 15% tip.....bought myself and my two kids unlimited cokes for $75.....yep they added 15% for putting 3 little stickers on our key cards....
Nassau was great saw a guy get arrested for buying drugs and locked up so i guess hes up the creek.....Senor Frogs was the bomb....nothing like partying with the 2 kids in there!
Overall my experience was a great one and yes Iwould go back again.....now I know a little more about what to expect and will be a little more informed next time out! Less