This 3 day cruise was my second cruise and my husband's first. We selected it mainly to find out if he would like the atmosphere, experience and being on the water for so long. We are not fancy people. When not working, (I'm a ... Read More
This 3 day cruise was my second cruise and my husband's first. We selected it mainly to find out if he would like the atmosphere, experience and being on the water for so long. We are not fancy people. When not working, (I'm a teacher, he is a general contractor) we prefer jeans, shorts, classic cars, his Harley. I have my eye on several longer cruises, down the road, and we had to find out if he would share my enthusiasm. I could make a long story short by saying that he loved it but I have too much to say to do that!
We flew into Fort Lauderdale at 10:10 am, waited for awhile for a shuttle bus to arrive and then fill up, and arrived at the Port of Miami at 11:30. Because we had booked a suite (the only cabin category on this class of ship to have a balcony), we were whisked through VIP boarding. By 11:45, we were aboard the ship and making our way to the Lido deck to check out the buffet. There were quite a few people on board already, with some in the pool, others already having lunch, a few sunning themselves on loungers. I immediately felt that we were "on vacation". After eating lunch at the buffet, we found the most outrageous dessert! A creamy, dark chocolate, puddingish cake with a raspberry on top. If you see it, get it! It was our favorite dessert offering of the trip and we never saw it again after that first lunch! We toured the sports deck for awhile, (miniature golf, basketball court, jogging track) then made our way to our cabin at 1:30. It was bright and airy, nice bathroom, plenty of closet space and great bedding! (My husband slept straight through for 8 hours on the first night, something he has never come close to doing in the 19 years that I have known him!) We took a nap, went to the muster drill and then headed to the dining room after the ship left port at 5:30. (We were supposed to embark at 4:15 but the ship waited for 7 late passengers! We never heard the details about that situation but assumed that the passengers must have been late due to Carnival error for them to have waited so long for them!)
Maybe because we had only left port a few minutes earlier (5:45 seating in the Imagination Dining Room), there were very few people in the dining room. As time passed, more arrived, but we wound up only having 6 at our table for 10. We were seated with two nice couples, one of which we had so much in common with, we were amazed. Dinner was great! Strawberry soup, pumpkin soup were both pleasant surprises. We both had the lobster tail (Maine) and tiger shrimp, both of which were excellent. The chocolate melting cake was good but did not compare to the yummy chocolate with raspberry cake we had found earlier. As it turned out, we never made it back to our scheduled dining time. On Day #2 we were not onboard at dinnertime and on Day #3, we were too stuffed from overindulging earlier in the day to sit down to a big meal again! Suffice it to say that we enjoyed all of the food, from the dining room to the buffet, to the 24 hour pizza and 24 hour room service. There was always a wide selection of salads and desserts at the buffet as well as different selections of meat, fish, pasta, rice and vegetables every day. We were never at a loss for something good to eat!
In Nassau, on the second day, we took the #10 Jitney bus ($1) to the Wyndham Resort Hotel on Cable Beach. After paying $15 per person, we had unlimited access to their nice beach, nicer pool (towels and chairs were provided) and hotel and casino areas. It was a nice way to spend several hours. We returned to the ship, had lunch and a nap and took a taxi to Atlantis. ($4 per person and they do wait for several people to get onboard before they leave the pier.) Needless to say, we were not as successful at the Atlantis casino and returned to the ship by 9:30 pm. (In time for the show that night!)
We went to the ship's casino 3 times during our trip. It was also great, in my opinion. It was larger than I had expected and that loud slot machine/ gambler combination sound that I love filled the air! The slot machines were not cheap in paying out, either. I had expected to be really disappointed with that but was pleasantly surprised. I saw, heard, several people with big wins and I, myself, left all three times on the plus side. I was up $220 by the end of the trip. We went to one Bingo event and only one show, The 80's Revival Show. It was very good, quite crowded. We had gone in early and had great seats. It was a lot of fun. They had a lot of things going on every day on the Lido deck, like Ice Sculpting and Hairy Chest Contest which were fun to watch. People watching was also a favorite pastime with a nice mix onboard. I'd say 25% between 20 and 30, 30% couples or singles between 30 and 40, 30% above 40, and the rest kids and teenagers. We never saw anyone disagree or raise their voice unless cheering a favorite competitor. We had occasion to ask for information at the Purser's desk a few times and found them to be very helpful. We purchased our limits at the Duty Free Shop on board and printed our boarding passes for the plane in the internet cafe, 24 hours before our flight home.
In general, both my husband and I felt that this was the perfect long weekend vacation for us. Once the muster drill was out of the way, we were on our own schedule 100% of the time! We ate, slept, sunned, socialized, left the ship, toured the ship whenever we wanted to. All of the Carnival employees were very friendly and courteous. The ship was clean, spacious, not crowded at all. Although it was filled to capacity, we never had a problem finding choice locations for our loungers, easy seating in the buffet, someplace to hang out by ourselves, other than our cabin. We loved having the balcony, loved the robes and the comfy duvet and pillows. We have both decided that cruising will now become our main way of traveling (other than Las Vegas and visiting the kids in Tn, Ca, Mt and Fla). I am already looking into rebooking on the Fascination next Spring for the 4 day trip, and will try to get the same cabin. The location was perfect. We loved the ship and will definitely sail her again. Carnival has won couple of new customers! Read Less