We sailed for 5 nights on the Carnival Fascination out of Jacksonville Fl leaving on January 28. This was our second cruise on Carnival for my Husband and I, but the first one for our daughters, ages 17(almost 18) and 16. We also cruised with my in-laws and and another couple. It was the first for them also. We stayed at the Holiday Inn that was less than a mile from the port, we used the stay and cruise package. The Hotel was clean and comfortable, the breakfast provided the morning of the cruise was simple but very good. They had a wide variety from cereals to biscuits and gravy. We boarded the shuttle at noon and arrived at the port less than 10 minutes later. At the port boarding ran very smoothly, the only hold up was we got stuck behind an elderly couple who had nothing ready. They did not have luggage tags or their boarding pass printed or attached. So we had to wait for the porter to get that info for them. Other than that we were on the ship by 12:45 and our rooms were also ready for us as soon as we boarded. After taking our carry on items to our room, we went to the lido deck for lunch and to purchase the unlimited bubbles card for both of the kids, and had a few cocktails to start our vacation off right. The ship set sail right on time at 4pm where we went to the top deck to watch as we passed under the bridge, I am amazed at how close the ship gets to that thing! We had early dining at 6pm, Our dining staff was AWESOME, our water or tea glass never went empty and service was prompt. The only thing I have to complain about was the taste of the water and tea. On the lido deck both had an awful taste to them, but in both dining rooms they were fine. My oldest daughters name in Olivia and our waiter kept calling her Olive, which we thought was cute. We all enjoyed the song and dance routines they did after dinner also. The food in the dining room was good, the lido deck was ok, it is after all a buffet. We enjoyed the late night Mexican buffet the most.
Entertainment...we enjoyed the family friendly comedy shows, both comedians were very funny, the adult only ones were good also. I missed one night of the adult comedy, but was told by my friends that it got a little too nasty for their taste. The Diva show was also good, and my girls participated in Karaoke a few times. My oldest enjoyed all the trivia contest and even won a ship on a stick for the Beatles trivia.
Our stewards were also very good, always kept my ice bucket full and the room was always clean.
Everyone associated with Carnival was professional and very friendly.
My girls were looking forward to the teen activities on the ship, but there we very few kids their age on board. This of course was not Carnivals falt, but they had a great time anyway!