Carnival Fascination Cruise Review by robeeen: Had the best wedding EVER on the Carnval Fascination!
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Had the best wedding EVER on the Carnval Fascination!
A couple of weeks ago we embarked on the Carnival Fascination, and after reading so many reviews I found helpful, I figured it would only be fair to post our review of our wedding!
We had no idea what to expect so I expected things to go wrong. I can honestly say NOTHING went wrong with our wedding. Prior to the wedding we dealt with the wedding department and pamphlets who I felt were pretty vague, so it is surprising to get on the ship and have it all go so perfectly! They must really know what they're doing.
We chose a cruise out of Jacksonville because a lot of our guests were from the east coast and we wanted them to be able to drive. This resulted in a lot of people being able to come. We booked our wedding onboard the Fascination while docked in Nassau. This was changed a couple of times but we decided against the beach wedding because of the heat and pictures, and also because our main goal was for people to have fun. We booked the Let's Celebrate Bigger - 2 More hour reception to follow. Prior to boarding we had been planning the wedding for at least 6 months. There wasn't much we could plan with the cruise line, but we did some stuff differently because of the helpful reviews here. I bought our flowers off of easy - they're "real touch" flowers because I felt like flowers were a main part of the overall color coordination. My Maid of Honor was a big planner so she organized things such as wishing rocks, flower pedals, the guest book, etc.. We had 36 people going and so I had to do the paperwork for the guest list quite a few times and they didn't give me a hassle to change things. We stopped the changes about a week prior. My advice to anyone doing this is, let people know that the guest list will be locked by a certain date. I figured with common wedding etiquette people would assume this, but they didn't, and it caused a lot of problems and extra money out of pocket for us. Two weeks prior to our wedding, Jessica from the wedding department called and finalized everything. She told us what room the ceremony would be in and where the reception would be held during this convo. It was a short and sweet phone call because she had it all down to a T.
Day of embarkation:
We had a TON of stuff. I carried my wedding dress on Southwest and it was tough because we had an infant as well. We stayed the night at the Holiday Inn Blount and on the day of embarkation most of the guests took the hotel shuttle to the port. When we got to the port it was hot and miserable, we had a baby and a case of water, wedding decor, our luggage and it was nearly impossible. The porters took our luggage, and we went through VIP check in and told them we were getting married on the ship and we were the bride and groom. They didn't give us one problem, even though the paperwork said you only get priority boarding if you are getting married the day of embarkation. We got on quickly and our room was ready. The luggage came quickly and the tuxes we ordered weren't in the room but we found out later that they were on the ship waiting to be signed for. When we did the safety briefing there had been a wedding in the room our briefing was in and the bride seemed highly upset and her mom was complaining. I was watching all of it and it was because she felt like she was rushed. Prior to all of this I had read the reviews and every bride said that the reception goes by fast so I am pretty sure that is what she was upset about. Shortly after we got on the ship I went to the spa and got all of the girls who wanted to get their hair done appointments. There was one guy there that did the hair and he said he would do all of our hair. Then we went and got our Cheers! Beverage program stickers. That day at dinner, our Wedding Coordinator, Vanja introduced herself. She was the sweetest person! She simply made a time for us to meet the following morning.
The Day before the wedding:
Vanja met us in the morning where the ceremony would be held. Prior to this we had a problem with the processional song length because we had 7 bridesmaids and a ring bearer and we had no idea if there were going to be stairs involved or how long the aisle was. We had a song - "you & I" by John Legend which was roughly over 4 minutes. During this meeting Vanja told us that would be fine and she showed us how everything would happen. She was so amazing. She immediately attached to our baby and she was just truly a blessing. That afternoon, the bridesmaids and I took my phone to the same room and played the song, and did a rough practice. We didn't spend a lot of time on it but we got enough done! Then we all took pictures in tank tops in front of the water and around the ship with our own camera. That night we did a girls / guys night and all became intoxicated. We ended up at the same club but the groom and I purposely did not spend time together.
The Day of the wedding:
My hair appointment was at 8am for a 1pm ceremony (I think his name was Sasha - AHHHH I am so mad I forgot because he was a wonderful stylist and I am PICKY!!!!) to allow enough time to do all of the girls. I was tired and hungover but I made it and so did the girls. I told the groom to be out of our room when we got back :) We had already planned for him to get ready in a groomsman's stateroom. We got back from the hair salon at about 10 or 10:30, we ate breakfast and then it was time to do makeup. They don't do make up at the salon so one of my bridesmaids did my make up and she finished at 11:45. She had to be down at the ceremony at 12:30 so she was rushing because she still hadn't showered or anything. Moral of the story - 8 am hair appointments are not too early :) The photographer came by and said he would be back at 12:15 for pictures before the ceremony. That left 30 minutes for me to get dressed. I was rushing. At 11:45 I started to get dressed and at 12:15 our photographer William knocked at our door. He was patient and the Maid of Honor and I followed him and took pictures around the ship. We went up to the Spa where he took a picture with the stylist and made it look like they did my hair with the dress on. The photographer was amazing too!!! I can't say enough good things about him. He took us back to my stateroom where we waited for Vanja's call. Vanja called and said she was running late, but to stay put, then she called again about 5 minutes later and said she was coming to get us.
The Ceremony: (Puttin' on the Ritz Room)
Vanja came to get us and escorted the Maid of Honor and myself to the Ceremony. She made us hide so that people inside couldn't see us. The wedding people from the Island were there too, making awesome things happen. One was at the door having the girls walk in, and the officiant was inside. They were PERFECT at the timing, they had it down to a science!! I saw my baby and my teenager and started to tear up but I made myself stop. The baby freaked out when he saw me so one of the bridesmaids carried him down the aisle. Vanja told me to stand by the aisle and the Island lady told me when to go. My teen son walked me down the aisle and when we walked in my husband's back was toward me, it was the most romantic thing ever!!! They told him when to turn around and he started to cry. We wrote our own vows and the entire thing was PERFECT! It took about 10-15 minutes and then the photographer started taking pictures. It was funny because he did a ton of pictures then he said he wanted one of the "friends". I told everyone to come up and he looked shocked. I said, "they're all our friends". He said, "oh... ok!" and that is one of my favorite pictures that he took :-) After that everyone went into the reception hall and they called us in.
The Reception: (Passage to India Room - same floor as the ceremony).
We walked into the reception and I hadn't seen it yet. It was BREATHTAKING! From the table with the guestbook that Vanja set up for us, to the food table with the ice sculpture, to the bar! We had a host for entertainment and we brought our own CD's. I walked over to him and told him to turn it up because the music was low and he said that usually people like it lower that's why they start it like that, but they have no problem turning it up! We are people who love to dance and party so we got it started :) The crew asked where we wanted our table at and they set us up a table. The drinks were the BEST on the entire cruise. We all danced and thanks to these reviews and knowing that it would go by fast, we didn't do any speeches. All we did was the bride and groom dance, the mother and son dance, and then we got the party started. Later they did the cake cutting (Vanja asked us when), and then we did the bouquet toss and garter song. They warned us before the last song.
After that the photographer took the groom and I around the ship for pictures. He was impeccable! He was highly skilled and it was rough taking the pictures because he was a perfectionist but when we got them the next day we could see why! They're the nicest wedding pictures we have ever seen. We got a huge canvas print, a book, a disk and a movie. The entire thing was PERFECT! Thank you Carnival for an amazing wedding!!!!
The next day we went to Half Moon Cay where we booked the Private Oasis excursion. THAT was amazing too!!! I hear it's hard to get, but we had 24 people opt in (because we had too many people, I made it optional and those people paid $100 a person and we covered the rest). Unlimited drinks, food, snorkeling time, our own music, a slide, rafts - AMAZING!!!!
I've been on cruises before and honestly if I HAD to complain it would be about the water taste on the lido deck and the food wasn't great (except for the wedding). Other than that, WONDERFUL TIME! If anyone is getting married and has questions, don't hesitate to email me. firstname.lastname@example.org Less
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