Carnival Fascination Entertainment
Carnival has long excelled in its major production shows, and highlights may include performances of "Fiesta Latina" and "Far from Over: the 80's," two revues featuring fast-paced musical numbers and elaborate costumes and sets.
"Fiesta Latina" pays homage to the pulsating rhythms of Latin America and the Caribbean. The show takes passengers on a journey through various musical hotspots, opening with a visit to a sultry Havana nightclub, then on to Jamaica, where singers and dancers performed a host of Latin and reggae numbers. The last stop, Brazil, features a dramatic, Amazon jungle backdrop.
"Far From Over: the 80's" celebrates the era of big hair, leg warmers and salutes, what else, the pulse-pounding sounds of the era.
Not far behind is the equally-popular Fascination talent show, where passengers become Madonna or Frank Sinatra for an evening or at least do their best trying to be Madonna or Frank Sinatra. Surprisingly, the onboard Karaoke competition held in the Puttin on the Ritz lounge, features a good act or two every night.
Casino action, dancing, game shows, trivia challenges, art auctions and truly a plethora of other onboard pursuits -- let's not forget that hairy chest poolside competition -- make for a stimulating week onboard.
Carnival Fascination Public Rooms
Designed by the line's award-winning interior architect Joe Farcus, the ship features a variety of dramatic, Hollywood-inspired public spaces.
There's the aforementioned Palace Lounge, which showcases the line's onboard revues and passenger talent shows, plus 12 bars and lounges scattered throughout to ship to tickle anyone's fancy. The Passage to India Lounge (don't forget to pose for pictures in front of the two life-like elephants guarding the entrance) and Diamonds Are Forever dance club, which, as the name implies, features an interior with diamonds as the central theme, are two of the most popular onboard locales.
For more low-key entertainment, passengers will find the Tara Library, the Galleria Shopping Mall -- discounted jewelry and Carnival-logo items anyone? -- and a card room on Atlantic deck.
Passengers will find the ship's guest services and shore excursion desks on the soaring atrium's ground floor. The small 24-hour Internet Cafe is also here -- but there's bow-to-stern Wi-Fi should you want to bring your own laptop or Wi-Fi enabled device. Connectivity is sold in a number of packages or a la carte, though per-minute prices are lower when you buy in bulk. For instance, a block of 120 minutes is $59 or 49 cents a minute; 480 minutes for $159 or about 33 cents a minute; otherwise, expect to pay 75 cents per minute.
Carnival Fascination Spa & Fitness
The new 12,000-square-foot Spa Carnival facility -- salon, massage area, gymnasium and his/her changing rooms -- is nearly as spacious and modern as that in any of the newer ships in Carnival's fleet.
Fascination offers a host of tried and true spa services, including various massages (back, scalp, foot and ankle), exotic seaweed wraps and warm stone rhythmic massage therapy, plus facials, cellulite reduction treatments and even couples massages.
Look also for teeth whitening opportunities, manicures, pedicures and men's barbering services. Specials are listed daily. Fascination also offers spa services for teens,
including facials, and private sauna and steam rooms.
On the fitness side, the ship's gymnasium is open from 6 a.m. to 8 pm daily. There are treadmills, Stairmasters, stationary bikes and free weights available for use, and the 180-degree ocean views could not be more spectacular from the Deck 12 venue. Personal trainers are on hand throughout the day to offer assistance. Look for daily stretching sessions and a series of free seminars (secrets to a flatter stomach, burn fat faster and eat more to weigh less) throughout the week. Daily Pilates, yoga and indoor cycling classes cost $10 each, and personal training will set you back $85 per session.
Carnival has a partnership with Sunrise, Florida-based Elite Golf Cruises, which offers players the opportunity to receive personalized instruction while playing some of the most challenging courses in Key West and the Bahamas. Shipboard lessons feature state-of-the-art video analysis. Priority tee times, transportation between ship and course, and equipment rentals (clubs, golf shoes and accessories) are among the program highlights.
Fascination also features an onboard basketball and volleyball court, and a jogging track.
Fascination's one pool, which received a makeover in 2010, is located midship. The surrounding deck area features metallic palms; a pair of hot tubs abutting the pool; and a stage. During sea days, this space hosts pool deck Olympics, ice carving demonstrations and plenty of live music (from calypso to classic rock covers). The ship's other area for water-based fun is the stern-situated Carnival WaterWorks, which was also added in early 2010. Waterworks features a four-story tall, 300-foot-long corkscrew waterslide; an 82-foot-long triple-lane waterslide (great for racing); and a spray park, complete with various sculptures spewing water.
The nine-hole mini course is a popular site.
The adults-only Serenity Deck, also added during the 2010 dry dock, is a teak deck space located on the stern (out of earshot from the noisy WaterWorks). The Serenity Deck has two hot tubs and loungers with plush blue padding. There are both sunny and shady spots, with yellow umbrellas and a thatched-roof overhang providing cover.