We traveled on the Fascination from Jacksonville on 6/25. After reading all the bad reviews (mainly on this site), I just knew we were going to be in for a disaster. After being on the boat for a couple of days I made my own opinion.
Our Embarkment was good, as we only waited about 1 hour. Once on the boat, you are allowed to go to any public area, as the rooms aren't open until app. 2pm. When we got on the boat it was great. Yes you can tell in some parts that it is an older boat (chipping here, small dent there), but overall it was nice. We walked the boat until they called for the muster drill. Yes you have to find your area and walk out onto the deck to your designated life boats in the heat. But let me clarify something, do you really not want to know where you are supposed to go or what you will be doing if the boat sinks? I've read several posts on here about it and all I can do is laugh at those people. While I'm safe and sound in my life boat, I pray they can find something to float on.
Our Ports varied dramatically. Half Moon Cay is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, as we could have stayed there forever. We went to the Pirate Bar, did the Jet-Ski Excursion (DO IT! We went by sharks, sting rays, beautiful reefs, etc), and played in the water. The BBQ on the island was fair, but we did get there late due to the Jet-Skis. Nassau was pretty bad. We did the Atlantis Aquapark Excursion (almost $200 per person, waited in line for 4 hours, and got to do 4 things). Then we went by the straw market with people touching us and trying to "give you something for a donation" (Avoid). So we went back to the boat early and got in the pool and waterslide.
Both days at sea were great as there was always plenty to keep us busy. Comedy clubs, Casino, and shows were good. And the only rough weather was after we left HMC, we had 40mph winds so the seas picked up some but you could just barely feel it.
The food on the boat was actually pretty good. I know some previous people have posted how bad it was but we didn't have the same thing at every eatery at the same time, food was hot, and no one had any issues. We ate at every place on the boat except the Sushi Bar, and it was all good. Yes I saw the captain come to the Coconut Grove to eat. I wasn't mad about it as it tells me that he likes the food, and he would talk to anyone.
Another big issue that I saw on posts were the personnel were rude. The personnel on the boat work extremely hard. They clean the decks, pools, hot tubs, etc daily. You stateroom is also cleaned twice per day. Yes you could tell that some were having a bad day, but I also saw just as many guests berate them for the simplest item. Our favorite server was Ma Christine from the Phillipines and she went well above and beyond for us. Our room steward was also great, but I can't remember his name. And we had a girl on the boat dislocate her shoulder at Nassau, and the doctor on the boat took care of her with no questions asked (he did recommend not going to the hospital in town though).
It was an awesome cruise for a good price. The food and service were good and we were treated great while on the boat. I think some people cannot be pleased if they are catered to 100% without lifting a finger, so it creates some issues.
Do as we did go and see for yourself we had a great time.