Our trip started in North Carolina with 7 of us in 2 vehicles. The weather was cold and snowy. I could not wait to get to the warmer weather as this winter was far colder than we usually experience in NC. We arrived in Jacksonville around 5pm the day before our cruise. Our check-in at the Quality Inn-Airport was simple and the girl at the front desk was very nice. Our rooms were clean and comfortable but a bit on the chilly side but we turned up the heat so it was warm in no time. We arranged to meet an old friend we hadn't seen in 17 years at the Mellow Mushroom and it was awesome. The pizza was much better than most pizza places.
Embarkation-It was pretty much flawless. We decided to park at the port so there would be no waiting for a shuttle. We arrived at the port around 11am and we were all on the ship by 1130am. The port was easy to find and everyone was very nice. The only problem we had was when one of our carry-ons had to be searched because my DH had his e-cig refills in there and they thought it looked suspicious on the x-ray machine but we were all so exited it didn't bother us at all. We were all in our cabins by 1230pm.
Cabins-We had 3 cabins, 1 balcony and 2 insides. All of them were clean and spacious. Our cabin steward, Rowena, was the best!! She was so friendly and always smiling. She kept our rooms spotless and always kept our cooler full of ice. We loved the little towel animals she made us each night.
Food-The food on this cruise was fabulous. We loved the varied selection. The deli made a great reuben panini!! Loved the caribbean food they had on the buffet. The jerk chicken was so good!! The food in the dining room was very good as well. Our wait staff was amazing. Ioan, Alexander, and Inyumen were so much fun and always on time with our food.
Entertainment-We loved the Motor City Show. I thought the singers and dancers did a great job. Loved rocking out to all the Motown hits. We went to the comedy club once and it was ok but nothing really to write home about.
Ports-Freeport was not impressive. It was more like a commercial shipping port than a cruise port. We took a taxi to the Bahamian Brewery on our own. It was fun, especially the beer tasting at the end. Then we just walked around a few shops and went back to the ship.
Nassau-We loved Nassau. We walked around and shopped then we went on an island tour with a local taxi. It was a little intimidating at first with everyone trying to get you to take one of their tours but once we got through all that is was fun. We used Marco Polo Tours for our tour of the island. They did a great job and were very professional. We would love to go back at some point.
Overall, our first cruise was wonderful. We had such a good time and ate some great food. We feel we got more than our money's worth!! Thank you Carnival Fascination Crew for being awesome!!