The Carnival Fascination was our first cruise. I read others reviews and I did not have high expectations. The cruise was great for our young family. We arrived in Jacksonville on Monday afternoon around 1pm. A porter met us at the car to take our luggage. We parked our car and caught a scooter ride to the terminal.
We waited in line for 30 minutes to board the ship. It felt like a airport boarding with all of the security screenings. Finally, we boarded the ship and we went straight to our room. The room was very clean but small. My husband and I slept in a king bed and our three year old slept in a smaller bed close to us. We relaxed and unpacked before venturing to the lido deck for lunch. We ate lunch at the grill on the lido deck. Our burgers and fries were good. It was time for the safety drill (DOD). This was horrible! My three year old did not have patience for standing packed like sardines on the deck for 20 minutes. Next, we lounged on the waterworks deck while my daughter played until dinner.
Dinner in the Sensation dining room was good and entertaining. Our Maitre' d, Joseph was hilarious. We looked forward to our nightly entertaining dinner. My favorites were braised short ribs(awesomely tender), lobster tail, onion soup, steak, and the chocolate melting cake.
Camp Carnival was great for my three year old daughter. She loved going to Camp and the workers were excellent. We took her for two hours after breakfast so we could lounge on the Serenity deck. We picked up my daughter at lunchtime. She played in the pool areas until dinner. At dinner she ate with the Camp staff so my husband and I could enjoy a quiet dinner. We were worried about using Camp on port days. She did well at Key West for a few hours until she started getting restless. We took her back to Camp and my husband and I enjoyed peaceful shopping on Key West. So, no worries about using Camp if your little one does not enjoy sightseeing.
We arrived at the Bahamas with nothing planned! It was the best thing ever! I heard everyone complaining about Atlantis so we did not want to waste hundreds of dollars. We took a taxi for $4 per person(little ones free) to Paradise Island. We had a lovely time on the public beach. We rented two lounge chairs and umbrella for $20 from locals. We had a lovely time relaxing on the beautiful beach. There was a large number of CC guest already on the public beach renting jet skis, banana boat rides, and para-sailing. I feel the public beach is the place to go! We spent $30 in total to enjoy the beach while others spent $30 per person at other excursions.
The Carnival Fascination was a great first cruise. We are definitely bargain shoppers. We received a great vacation on a bargain. We want to try other cruise lines in the future. I am certainly hooked on cruising now!