This is our second time cruising with Carnival. The first time was on the Freedom March 2010, a much larger and newer ship. But, we needed a well deserved break from work, so we booked this cruise in early summer and the timing fit the bill. The booking agent was wonderful helping me to get what we wanted to try this time, an oceanview room, lower deck midship. And that is exactly where we were. No issues, a pleasant room, a great rate, and a wonderful room steward, John. The room was clean to the maximum, and done twice a day. The corridors were kept clean and clear and the access to elevators and stairwells was more than adequate. The dining experience was fantastic, both the buffets and the dining rooms. The food in the dining room was high quality, prepared well, and presented nicely. Our dining room waitstaff was great, entertaining, friendly +, and very informative. We had such good tablemates, and the conversation was lively. The cruise director, Jen, was hilarious, informative, and you could tell she cared. The casino was kept clean and even the smoking area didn't reek, so you know the housekeepers worked hard at their jobs. On-board shows and entertainment was excellent excellent this trip.
We went to Nassau, Bahamas and Half Moon Cay. I really liked that we had a day to browse around Nassau this time, we docked at 8:00 a.m. and didn't leave until 5:30. There were plenty of activities available to make good use of the day, and we enjoyed ourselves. Half Moon Cay has a very lovely large beach with plenty of bar space, beach chairs, chairside wait staff, showering facilities, restrooms, and was a nice break from being on ship. The lunch provided on shore was very good, barbequed chicken, hamburgers, cheese burgers, any fixings you could imagine and a myriad of cold side dishes and salads. Again, there were plenty of activities to indulge in and comments from the other passengers were mostly very positive.
The Fascination is NOT a new ship, but it is a comfortable ship and laid out well. After cruising on the Freedom, we found this a bit more comfortable, actually, and for a short cruise, it was a perfect balance between pampering and comforting. We would do this quick cruise on this ship again. Next time I think we will stay midships, but move up a floor and try the balcony room on 5th. And choose the later dining time so that we don't feel quite as rushed getting ready for dinner.