Boarded the Fascination with 3 families on April 5th for a Spring Break cruise. The JAX airport was really nice and we reserved a Super shuttle for the 12 of us and saved a little money on transfers ($200 plus tip round trip for 12, as opposed to $480). We arrived about 11:30 and waited about 30-40 min in the twisting line to check in and then board. I really wish there would be an option to bypass the picture, as this takes the longest, and who wants a pic after they've been traveling most of the day? Any way, boarded with no issues..our cabin wasn't quite ready so we went up to Lido to eat. No long lines and the weather was great, so we were content to sit and enjoy! Cabin was ready by about 1 and then we hit the waterslides with the kids until the bon voyage. It sprinkled a little as we pulled away, but no biggie. The kids loved going under the bridge! Muster drill is much easier than it used to be since you don't have to wear your life jacket.
Food: great! We especially liked the area of the menu called "Didya ever?" that had unusual foods to try ( escargot, frog legs, sushi, alligator) Pizza was good, and the mongolian wok thing was cool. The kids loved access to ice cream, all of the time, and they loved the hot chocolate! Sea day brunch was nice..the popovers were great. They also accommodated our group of 12 at one table so we could eat together each night and we appreciated that.
Also, we sat in the same area each morning for breakfast on the Lido deck and the assistant waiter would come by each day and make napkin animals, birds and flowers for my girls--they loved it, and his extra attention made their cruise special!
Shows: some technical difficulties for 2 nights, so no shows then, but they substituted family friendly comedy and the NCAA Championship on the big screen, so it was fine. Styx came on board in Nassau for a concert, and it was fabulous!! We were so close to the stage and tix were only $20.
Camp Carnival: the kids liked a few things there, including the scavenger hunts and making the stuffed bears. There was one mix up with my 10 year old where she wasn't allowed to do the scavenger hunt because they couldn't locate her permission slip, but they made it up to her by giving her extra prizes and did apologize.
We're pretty easy going, and loved our cruise....I really only have one complaint. On the last sea day, they closed the pool on the lIdo deck at 2:45...no explanation given. With over 300 kids on board, you can imagine what the hot tub and other areas looked like after they did that. I don't know if this is a usual thing, or if something weird was going on, but no one seemed to know. Since there is only one small pool, it would seem like it would be open all day on a sea day.
Can't wait for our next cruise, I have decided that this is the best kind of vacation for Moms, no grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, or clean up!