This was the third time on the Carnival Fascination. And while it is a good place to start cruising I do not recommend this boat for those looking for a little nicer experience. Yes you can have a good time on this boat, but with a little planning I believe you can have a much nicer time.
The Good: Embarkation and Debarkation went as smooth as possible. I like the serenity deck. The cruise is fair value for the money.
The Bad: If you do not like to smell cigarette smoke, do not stay in a port hole room on upper deck. We have stayed in two now and the smell was horrible both times. Our room steward(who was great by the way) said he believes that the smoke smell is getting channeled there from some other part of the ship. Also there is an extreme amount of noise in the port hole rooms, especially if the seas are ruff. There are not enough pools or hot tubs. In the serenity area one of the hot tubs never got "hot" and it did not make bubbles.
I guess the most disappointing thing for me was carnivals alcohol policy. Carnival allows each adult guest to bring on 1 bottle of wine. Well this was my brothers second cruise and I gave him a bottle of his favorite champagne to enjoy while on board. He stuck it in his luggage and boarded the ship. Well when he unpacked later that evening Carnival put a letter in his luggage that said they confiscated his bottle because it was banned. I went to the service desk and found no help there. They told me the Carnival policy is you can only bring this on in your carry on luggage. I told him that did not make sense. All he could do was keep repeating the policy. I told him I wanted them to give me another bottle of champagne to replace the one they took. I don't feel that is unreasonable because people often win these, or are given them for special occasion or if you book a suite. It would literally have cost them a few bucks. And I have been a loyal customer to CCL this being my 5th cruise with them. The person in customer service said, no he could not do that. I felt very insulted. He never asked my room number or name and did not offer to do anything to make it up to me or my brother. I do realize that I should have told my brother to carry the bottle on. But I feel CCL should have done something to make a loyal customer feel appreciated.
Well I cruise CCL again? Probably. But I will most likely not cruise the Fascination again. And I am starting to shop other cruise lines where maybe I will be appreciated a little more.