I have always wanted to try a cruise, my husband, not so much. As a compromise, we opted for a 3 night cruise to give us a taste of cruising without obligating ourselves to a long trip. When looking at the choices, we chose the Fascination because it was only going to one port - Nassau, for a full 24 hours, and then a full day at sea. This would give us some time to actually do something in port, and have the experience of a full day and night at sea. The Port of Miami is about a six hour drive from our home, and by sharing the driving was not too tiring. We chose an oceanview room, mainly because I was nervous that I would feel claustrophobic otherwise. Early on Friday morning, before sunup, we set off.
We arrived at the Port of Miami around 1:00 p.m., and despite the confusion of the porters and the parking garage, we finally walked in to the building to check-in. There were an awful lot of people, but the line never once stopped moving, and very soon, we were on board. We went down to our room and dropped off our carry-ons and then up to the Lido deck for lunch. Had my first drink-of-the-day in hand by 1:45. Food on the Lido deck was so-so. Salads and fruit was fresh, the sliced turkey I had was dry. After lunch, we went back to the room and unpacked (our checked bags had arrived) and relaxed for a bit. Our muster drill was in the Palace Auditorium, and armed with our life vests, we headed off. This was completed very shortly, and when we went to put our vests away, my husband said, "look, we're moving".
We went up to the Lido deck again and watched the land recede and took some pictures. Before we knew it, it was time to get dressed for dinner in the Imagination Dining Room (early seating). Lobster tails, strawberry soup, prime rib, no room for dessert. Our head waiter was wonderful and personable and our tablemates were great. After dinner, we strolled around, donated some money to the casino, and went to see a show. We weren't at the show long, found it old-fashioned and just not to our taste. We went to the Passage of India bar and listened to a very good rock band called the Dirt Poets. Danced a bit, and then off to bed. Next day Nassau.
We had breakfast on the Lido deck (a mistake, the scrambled eggs simply are not edible) and then walked off the ship into Nassau. We strolled for a bit and then hired a horse-and-buggy ride. This was a rip-off. He said he would point out the sights, but all he really did was say things like, "There is the Starbucks, there is Burger King, etc."
We went back on board for lunch and got sandwiches at the deli - Reubens - quite good. Then off for a snorkeling excursion with Stuart Cove. A bus picked us up and took us around the island. We booked this privately, not through Carnival. It was fantastic. Loads of fish where we went, and the finale is swimming over the sharks, which we opted not to do, but we watched. There were a lot of sharks, some very large. The outfit was fantastic and worth every penny. We were back on the boat about 5:35, and it was formal night and we had a 5:45 seating. Two people showered and dressed in record time. Fortunately, my hair is quite short and towel dries quickly. We did dress for dinner although some did not. I did not care or pay any attention. I ordered the beef wellington medium rare, but it was well done. My head-waiter took it away and brought me another and had me slice it with him watching so he could see. Again, well done, so I asked for lamb instead. No hassle at all. Another walk around and some sunset pics, and we donated some more money to the casino and another early night.
Fun day at sea. Yes it was. We played bingo, read books, hung out at the bar on the Lido deck, ate ourselves silly, took naps, and thoroughly enjoyed the day. At dinner, I was serenaded with happy birthday (my birthday had been the week before). I found that in a short time, I had come to look forward to seeing our tablemates and our wonderful headwaiter. The food, as usual, was very good and nicely presented. Dancing at the Passage to India again with the Dirt Poets, a little Karaoke, the Piano Bar all good fun.
I guess if I MUST find a complaint, it was that the steward had taken our bathrobes away and I really missed the bathrobe. There was also no towel animal on the last night. It felt like we'd been dismissed already.
We awoke in Miami. We did not do self-assist, as we were in no hurry. Breakfast on the Lido deck again, but this time I waited in line for an omelette. The omelette was delicious. Back to the room for one last little nap and we debarked at 9:00 a.m. and were in our car by 9:45.
We have both said we would do this again. It was a delightful experience.