DH and I live in Jax and decided to do this itinerary again as we loved Half Moon Cay the first time and wanted to go back.
We arrived at the port around 11:30, made it through the lines and on the ship by noon. Not too bad a start. Went straight to the pursers desk and put cash on our acct and then to the excursion desk and got our cabana for Half Moon Cay. Yay! That was #1 on my list of things to do when we got on board. Then off to get a drink and food in that exact order...
The entertainment on the ship wasn't bad. The first sea day the 8:30 show got cancelled half way through due to techinal difficulties we were told and that they would redo the 8:30 show the next evening for those of us that didn't get to see it. That was cancelled also so we never got to see it. And one thing I did notice is that the seat saving wasn't as bad as it noramlly is. Why do people deliberately save seats when they KNOW they are not supposed to??? Same reason they put their things on a deck chair at 7 a.m. and don't come back to the chair for three hours I guess...We are not deck chair people but it seems like there were plenty of chairs this time around.
The food in the dining room was good but it seemed that the variety wasn't as good as usual. Our dining staff wasn't very good which was a disappointment. The Mongolian food bar on the Lido deck is a definate must do. We had this four of the five days on the cruise. Very good. Oh, FYI, if you want to have a bacon and mayonnaise sandwich for breakfast, you will NOT find mayonnaise anywhere on the ship and you can ask as many people as you want and you will get the same answer, "no mayonnaise". Just wait till lunch and there will be a big salad dressing jar of it sitting there for you to put on your hamburger!! But they will not know where it is at breakfast time...
Oh, one thing I found out from a friend on the cruise. If you order alcohol from the Bon Voyage dept before your cruise, if you do not drink all of it before the end of the cruise, you cannot take it off the ship when you get back. We didn't order any but I thought this might be good info for those of you that do. Of course, there are other ways. And most of you must be thinking, not drink all of it, she must be crazy!! I just thought this was interesting info...
We had more rough seas on this cruise than any other that we've been on but it wasn't unbearable. It was like hitting pockets of turbulence along the way and it would pass. Of course, with two storms picking their way along out in the Atlantic, I wasn't surprised.
I will say that the pictures are getting more expensive as the 8X10's are $21.99 now. The cheapest one we bought I believe was a 5X7 for $9.99. Whew!! Carnival must make a small fortune off of them for sure because they made a small fortune from us alone. It would be nice also if you could get the formal night photos in a 5X7 size without having to purchase the 8X10 too. The photography staff this time around was a lot more friendly and easier to deal with. In fact the crew on this ship was a lot friendlier than we expected, just not real knowlegeable on some things.
Our first port of call was Half Moon Cay and it is just as beautiful as the first time we were there a few years ago. We love this island and the cabana was well worth the expense. We will be reserving a cabana on our next trip to Half Moon Cay for sure. Such a wonderful day, it makes the whole trip worth while. I wish it had been our second stop instead of the first!!
We did the Blue Lagoon Beach Day in Nassau and were not real impressed with it at all. We were misinformed of what the time zone in Nassau is and we thought we were in time for the 10:30 ferry to the island and ended up just missing it and having to wait for the noon ferry. We didn't get to the island until 1:15 and had to leave at 4. This was not good. When we checked in we were given a wrist band. They didn't put it on our wrist, they didn't give us any buttons to attach them so we couldn't do it ourselves. They didn't tell us if we had to wear them or not and since we couldn't attach them we didn't. When we got to the island the only thing they told us was where to go if we had and animal encounter, which we didn't, and the way to the beach. I had to ask someone along the way where we could get lunch as this was part of the Beach day package we had purchased. While we were there I noticed a sign that said the lunch price is $12 per person and the lunch is choice of: Hamburger, cheeseburger, chicken sandwich, Veggie sandwich, Hot Dog - a bag of chips, two quarters of an orange and a glass of fruit punch, pink lemonade or lemonade. That's how I found out how much the lunch portion of our package cost. We booked this excursion online and they also offer for an additional price a snorkel excursion. I had to go to the gift shop to inquire about it and was told that they weren't doing it that day. I assumed it was because of the rough seas. I also told the young lady that we had purchased the Beach day package and she didn't offer any other information. If you do the all inclusive Beach Day package make sure you get everything that you are intitled to. We missed out on a lot of things because the employees don't offer you any information when you ask about things and we had already had a rough start to the day which had us flustered before we ever got there. We thought we had to pay extra for water mats, noodles and the use of the non-motorized water equipment because of all the signs that were posted saying that you had to pay to use them when they were actually included on our Beach Day package. The last ferry departing from Blue Lagoon to Nassau was at 4 p.m. and this is the last ferry for everyone on the island, staff included. I have to say that our trip to Nassau was wasted on the excursion to Blue Lagoon. The best part of the whole thing was when we got back to the Blue Lagoon ferry landing they told us that for an additional $3 per person they would take us back to the ship dock so we wouldn't have to wait to catch a taxi back. We took advantage of this.
We are booked on the Fascination again for Dec and I hope we have a better experience than we did on this Sept cruise. We booked it before we did the Sept cruise. We will see what happens.