Hello Everyone and thank you for viewing this review of the Carnival Fascination.
This was my 10th cruise overall and 3rd with Carnival.
Here is my review for the Carnival Pride from Jan, 2013 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=114622
Here is my review from the Carnival Ecstasy from May, 2012 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=102249
On this trip, there was myself, my beautiful fiance' Gina and our two children Abby and Jack.
We drove down from Hamilton ON to Jacksonville in a swift 18 1/2 hours, trying to keep ahead of the Polar Weather that the entire East coast was enduring. We arrived in Jacksonville to pretty much record cold temperatures. We stayed at the Comfort Inn Airport, which was a nice enough hotel for our needs.
We took the Faster to the Fun Package for $49 which ensured us a swift embarkation process onto Fascination.
Our cabin and such was quite suitable for our needs, we had a king bed and 2 upper berths for the kids.
With 2 teenagers, this is the last time we are doing this, lack of room and especially lack of privacy being the main issues. That and......Gina and I got married in Key West.
The wedding went off without a problem in Key West, it was a wonderful event with our daughter acting as maid of honor and our son was our best man. If anyone is thinking of getting married in Key West, just email us and we will give you the details of this great wedding outfit that did it for us for under $1000.
So....what went wrong with the cruise.
You cannot control the weather, it was cold. You cannot control the fact that both kids might get sick during the cruise, and on our wedding night. (seriously)
Carnival has great activities for the kids, Abby was in Club 02 and Jack was in Circle C and both kids raved about the programs.
There were some issues about the cruise (and I am certain this is all of Carnival ships) that we just simply disliked. Firstly is the blatant way that Carnival tries to separate you from your Sign N Sail card. Everything costs you, it seems. $25 Bingo. $7 Beer. $9 drinks. $1.10 per video game. $25 photos. Decent coffee? $3 The list is endless.
Secondly, the food was simply brutal this time. My other two reviews said how GOOD the food was. This one was bad. One night, the best option was meatloaf. Meatloaf. On a Cruise. Someone make a joke about this, quick. Another night? Roast Turkey....with BAKED potatoes. No mashed in sight. The desserts were nothing special. Would it kill them to bake a pie? mmmm Apple Pie. NOT on Carnival. The sandwiches were great, but I am on a cruise. I don't really want a sandwich. Even the lemonade was not that great and what's with the weird tasting water?
Entertainment....okay but nothing special. I LIKE special. Divas was a fun show as was the guest talent night. The comedy club was okay, but short sets. The endless trivia was fun and we won our third ship on a stick. Naps were good.
Disembarkation was a total nightmare. No way should it take 2 hours for customs to inspect the non American passengers. Add that to the stampede out the door and you have chaos.
Here is the worst part. It took me time to actually remember the name of this ship to write this review and it was only 2 weeks ago. I gave Ecstasy 4 stars and Pride 4 1/2 stars. Fascination gets 2 1/2 and that was because it got us to Key West to get married.