29 Jacksonville Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

Our door would not stay locked, it kept popping open. Thus, the reason Our shoes was stolen out of our room. The wind star dinning was less than fabulous. The one night water poured out everywhere! We was eating dinner and had vacuums ... Read More
Our door would not stay locked, it kept popping open. Thus, the reason Our shoes was stolen out of our room. The wind star dinning was less than fabulous. The one night water poured out everywhere! We was eating dinner and had vacuums sucking the water up. The Buffett was also disappointing! And none of the good was offered long enough. Some of the activities was fun but overall it was a disappointing. The pools are not what they advertised. The hot tubs was not even warm! My friend got bit by a spider and had to pay $125 for medical to give her ibuprofen and hydrocortisone cream! Do not go to the public beaches in Nassau. They are gross and rather sketchy. WiFi service was expensive and did not work all the time. Oh and the ship itself was late getting to port. They did nothing to make this right! We had to find something to do for hours all while dragging our luggage everywhere. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
19th cruise, 9th with Carnival and this was the best ship out of Jax so far! M148 was large with converting twins, no elevator noise and excellent room stewards! Don’t buy the alcohol package, the ship ran out of Budlight and Michelob ... Read More
19th cruise, 9th with Carnival and this was the best ship out of Jax so far! M148 was large with converting twins, no elevator noise and excellent room stewards! Don’t buy the alcohol package, the ship ran out of Budlight and Michelob Ultra day 4 so everyone hashtagged Facebook to complain- crew bar below deck had to give up theirs so we had beer by end of day. Ship was clean, employees were polite and the ship didn’t not smell of sewage like other reviews complained about BUT no free lobster, yes we had a bar fight and a couple went to jail. A lot of pot smell but security and housekeeping cleaned house and more people went to boat jail. People who drank too much and yes we saw a few were escorted to their room, card cut off and all alcohol removed for 48 hours! Guys hamburgers were okay but definitely ask for a double and don’t take no for an answer. They have to give you what you ask for! Pool was drained and cleaned everyday, tables were always stocked...to be honest the only problem our group had was was rude cruisers with an attitude that they should be treated like royalty. The Jax Port is being refurbished so here is the best tip I can give you...get there early and forget what your boarding pass says..people who were scheduled at 2 pm were on board at noon! They have no where to make you wait at so just get on board as soon as you can or you will be standing in the heat sweating your butt off! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My daughter's dance studio performed on this cruise, normally I am not a Carnival cruiser (usually Royal Caribbean), and Bahamas is not a favorite destination. However, we did find our cabin to be larger than anticipated (U72) and it ... Read More
My daughter's dance studio performed on this cruise, normally I am not a Carnival cruiser (usually Royal Caribbean), and Bahamas is not a favorite destination. However, we did find our cabin to be larger than anticipated (U72) and it was easy to find our way around the ship after exploring. The food was not bad, but not great, and our server seemed to forget a lot of requests (ie. condiment requests, sodas for my daughter, which happened a lot all over the ship, and she was on bottomless bubbles). My daughter only went to the kids club for about 20 minutes before checking herself back out and coming to me in the Bingo event, she said it was boring, and resisted all other attempts for me to get her to go back. The pool area could use some supervision, as I had to step into a couple of situations with other children being overly aggressive (actually I was one of three moms who had to do this in a matter of 30 minutes). The shows were great, bingo was fun, the casino was VERY smoky, and the corridor to our cabin also reeked of cigarette smoke, though it was not in our cabin. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We traveled aboard the Elation as a part of a group cruise for a wedding. When we arrived at the terminal in Jacksonville, there was a long wait. So our 12:30p.m. check-in time, really turned out to be 1:30pm. Aboard the ship, we had ... Read More
We traveled aboard the Elation as a part of a group cruise for a wedding. When we arrived at the terminal in Jacksonville, there was a long wait. So our 12:30p.m. check-in time, really turned out to be 1:30pm. Aboard the ship, we had lots to do! Our room was comfortable. Our steward was nice enough. The entertainment was comical. We participated in the Hasbro game show. It was a blast! We saw the Divas show and it was not up to snuff. the singing was subpar! The bingo games and deck entertainment were fun fun fun! The food was just ok. Guys Burgers were a highlight and interestingly enough, the tuna sandwiches through room service were great! We had a fog delay upon departure resulting in us getting off the boat at 3:00pm. The crew and staff were wonderful! Overall, I had a great time! I dont know that I would do Jacksonville Port again, but I would definitely do Carnival again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was a fundraiser cruise for a children's hospital organization and a large group of our friends were going. This was our first cruise. It was nothing more exciting than I expected it to be. The embarkation was rough because ... Read More
This was a fundraiser cruise for a children's hospital organization and a large group of our friends were going. This was our first cruise. It was nothing more exciting than I expected it to be. The embarkation was rough because the ship just came out of dry dock and whoever was in charge of making that transition smooth did not do a very good job. For it to had been renovated it didn't feel like it to us. It seemed like all they did was change the room décor, maybe add new carpet and fresh paint in some areas, otherwise it looked warn and outdated. I was warned beforehand that the cabins are not quiet and I was not mislead on that part. I could here the people next door zipping up their luggage! Unruly teens were running up and down the halls all night long. Thank goodness I knew not to expect a restful trip otherwise I would have been sorely upset. The entertainment was ok. The punchliner comedy club was the best, we went to all of the adult performances even though they were a repeat, they were still that funny! The live shows were a let down. I expected impersonator singers and instead got a mix of people "performing" the songs. It was like watching dress up karaoke... And it was definitely not appropriate for anyone under 13 or so. Service was amazing, although after returning I researched the service on ships and am disappointed at all those servers put up with to make a living wage. I don't see how they do it with a smile on their face the entire time! Though I was told that after we disembarked while other passengers were leaving the crew went on a mini strike... Half Moon Cay was simply beautiful. The weather was nice, the beach sand soft and the water temp just right. Nassau was ok, but I've been there before so it wasn't that spectacular. Disembarkation was a nightmare, almost as bad as embarkation. We were told where to go but didn't realize we'd have to wait in the lobby for over an hour before we had to push and shove our way onto an elevator. I wasn't angry with other passengers because we were all in the same boat so to speak. I don't understand why they only had four elevators going and one exit point on the ship for all those people. And even though we were only one floor away from the gangway, we had to go up on the middle elevators to go down to the gangway on the front elevators because they were only stopping on certain floors and they had the stairs blocked off. It was completely baffling. All in all we had a good time but I think that was only because we were with a large group of friends. It's not something I would want to do with just my husband and child. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The cruise was chosen for us by dance director, but it was perfect. The size of the boat was perfect. It was too small nor too big, we could locate each other within 15 min. Our room had 3 adults in it, we had a standard room and while ... Read More
The cruise was chosen for us by dance director, but it was perfect. The size of the boat was perfect. It was too small nor too big, we could locate each other within 15 min. Our room had 3 adults in it, we had a standard room and while times it was tight it worked well for us. The dinners in the dinning room where superb, along with our waiter. He truly new his job and treated us as royalty. The shows at night fit all our ages and were very entertaining. My oldest daughter (23) loved the comedians the best and my younger daughter (18) love the musical performances. We all attended the 80's and 90's music trivia which was fantastic. The cruise director Kevin, George and Lisa where awesome. We had so much fun talking with them. Every day we came back to a clean room which was serviced by Michael, he was also very interesting to get to know. We ate breakfast twice in the dinning room, same water and same superb service. The Tiffany buffett was also good food with a lot of varieties. Tiffany's also offers late night pizza which my kids loved. I enjoyed the ice cream/frozen yogurt. There was always plenty of deck chairs to sit at on every level. I enjoyed the top levels to watch the people and the clouds. The pool was small but they did offer two of them and an adult only pool. We went to two ports: Half moon cay and Nassau. Loved Half moon cay, we did not do any itinerary's as the beach and the ocean is plenty. The staff was awesome there too. We were feed hamburgers and hot dogs. Loved the how the staff were very professional on the island as if on the ship. Nassau is a typical port city, we shopped at the straw market and did our own walking tour to the queens staircase, fort finnicale and Nassau's historical society. This port has a lot of history and we learned a lot of it from queens to pirates. Back on the ship there was late night dance parties, veteran/military get together and even Harry potter trivia. We just get to it all and would go again to catch what we missed. We were with a dance team ranging in ages from 12 - 18 and the girls all found something fun to do. Every morning several would get up to watch the sunrise and at night they would go to a show, dance party or hang out and talk. The day they performed on the ship was great, many of the performers and crew members came to watch, along with other cruisers. This was truly on of the best vacations I have been on. This is my 2nd time cruising and my kids 1st. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was my first cruise so I had no idea what to expect. Although, it took forever to get on the ship, I was greeted with champagne by very friendly crew members. Throughout the entire cruise, there was a very laid back attitude on the ... Read More
This was my first cruise so I had no idea what to expect. Although, it took forever to get on the ship, I was greeted with champagne by very friendly crew members. Throughout the entire cruise, there was a very laid back attitude on the cruise. It was fun with plenty of things to do. We met some very nice people that we still stay in contact with and plan to go on a cruise with them. My grandson enjoyed all of the Dr. Seuss and Christmas activities. On our way home, he asked me if we could go on another cruise next Christmas. The bartenders on the Lido deck and the wait crew was friendly and very helpful. They took care of us while connecting with us on a personal level. I had a great time and would recommend this cruise to my family and friends. My only complaint was the embarkation took forever and the disembarkation was a little chaotic, but other than that I have no complaints. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
American Cruise Lines has a slogan, "Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly." Yep, they certainly did it. Everything was perfect. The food was scrumptious. I liked that they offered half portions, so I was less tempted to ... Read More
American Cruise Lines has a slogan, "Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly." Yep, they certainly did it. Everything was perfect. The food was scrumptious. I liked that they offered half portions, so I was less tempted to overeat. There were only 60 on the Cruise, although the ship will carry 98. With open seating at meals, we got to meet so many interesting people. The Line caters to older passengers. They were always there to assist. The elevator for handicapped was most welcome. I have some mobility issues. Our state room was very comfortable and spacious, with a small private balcony. We could control our own temperature, or open the window for fresh air. The state room had so much drawer space that we could not fill it all, and a closet. :-) My husband was able to workout every morning on an elliptical on the top deck. The on-board lecturer was great about answering questions about the area, and gave several interesting talks. He came on some of the excursions, and added an additional dimension to local guides. Many of the excursions were accessible for the less mobile. I did not try any walking tours, although my husband did. The excursions were well planned and gave a good look at the area (Historic South). Do note that excursions are extra, and you are billed only for those that you attend. There was on-board entertainment nightly. Mostly it was some type of music or a lecture. One day, we played bingo, and I won the top prize - a big bag of souvenirs! Another day, the chef demonstrated how to make a bread cornucopia. His creations were on display for our fantastic Thanksgiving Dinner. There is no bar on the ship, but complimentary wine and beer was served at lunch and dinner. At 5:30 every evening, a very complete bar was set up in the lounge for complimentary cocktails, beers or wines. We did not lack for festive alcohol. Fabulous appetizers accompanied the cocktail hour. It is difficult to say enough about the remarkable service. The entire crew worked very hard; they were always up-beat and smiling. The captain was most accessible. He dined with the passengers when he could. Gratuities were included in your cruise price. This is not a cruise for children. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We had a great time... the staff was all very friendly... and, the food was great! Our dinner staff headed by Danilo and his team was super. And our breakfast every day at Imagination was excellent and one of the best breakfast we ever ... Read More
We had a great time... the staff was all very friendly... and, the food was great! Our dinner staff headed by Danilo and his team was super. And our breakfast every day at Imagination was excellent and one of the best breakfast we ever had. Also, our housekeeper named Norman and his partner bent over backwards to do everything they could for us. The show at night was very entertaining and all professional. It was our first time to be on a cruise and it was such a fun and memorable experience.The food on the buffet everyday are all good. And going to Half Moon Cay was such a fun experience. The only thing we miss was the lobster dinner.We would definitely sail on this Carnival vessel again! We would like to thank the whole staff who really went out of there way for us to have this wonderful experience Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Maybe we are spoiled with Disney cruises--the good food, CLEAN ship, great entertainment. A group of us adults (ranging in age from 40's-70's)took this cruise as a test drive for some of our family members who haven't ... Read More
Maybe we are spoiled with Disney cruises--the good food, CLEAN ship, great entertainment. A group of us adults (ranging in age from 40's-70's)took this cruise as a test drive for some of our family members who haven't cruised. If you are into nothing but booze-cruisin', then you may not notice that every window is grimy and hard to see out of, the dust clumped in the lighting, decor details missing and worn, the stained trodden carpet, or garbage everywhere (apparently, they don't put out trash cans--they recycle and people are I guess too drunk to put things in the right bins...when I asked what to do with my paper cup, they said, just leave it anywhere and they will pick it up! Imagine, trash by the elevators, the halls, in the elevators, etc.!) The main decks drag you straight through the thumpin', jumpin', pumpin' music with smoke and folks who indulged a bit too much. Glad I left my kid home for this one! The food was HORRID! My chilean sea bass tasted like frozen plastic--couldn't eat it! The best thing on this boat was the quick service pizza. The entertainment was okay, but only one show remotely paid homage to older generations in our party (Motown show; the rest was thumpin', pumpin' gyrating song and dance shows which were okay--great voices, but definitely not an "A" production. The comedians were funny, but I guess I'm just not into f-bombs thrown for every other word and constant sex chatter--I mean really, now, as an adult there is so much to laugh about, why limit yourself? We will stay away from Carnival cruise's after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I have been on 3 cruises. The first cruise I went on was with my parents, I can barely remember because I was like... 6 or so. We went to the Bahamas, but we didn't go through Carnival. The second cruise I went on was with my family ... Read More
I have been on 3 cruises. The first cruise I went on was with my parents, I can barely remember because I was like... 6 or so. We went to the Bahamas, but we didn't go through Carnival. The second cruise I went on was with my family and we went to Cozumel, and Key West, and I went with Carnival on the Imagination. The third cruise I took was with Carnival on the Fascination. I went with my mom and my Girl Scout troop. We went went to the Bahamas, and we were SUPPOSED to go to half moon cay but we didn't. We didn't go because the trip got canceled because of bad weather. When I say bad weather, I mean the ship was rocking from side to side so much the water touched the windows, you couldn't use the stairs or you would fall. Your soup/drink would tilt and spill out of your bowl/cup, and you needed to hold on to rails. Surprisingly most people were not sick because of the major rocking, so don't let that scare you!!! I didn't really enjoy any of the trips because there literally isn't anything "fun" to do. Everything you do on the ship, you can do on land. They make everything boaring during the "sea day"so you would spend money to entertain yourself. Weather this be drinking, gambling, eating, shopping ,etc. Then notice late at night is when all the shows and clubs are opened. This is because you will be sleepy and less likely to spend as much at night vs. during the day. Anywhoo, On my last cruise I opted out of doing excursions because I didn't find one that interested me. My mom and I, and a girl from my troop and her mother decided we were going to get off the boat and just walk. Once we got ashore all the shops were closed because it was "Bahamas independence day." I felt the day was really bad because we couldn't go anywhere because ALL the shops were closed. Then we saw this guy who was kind of heavy set approach us and ask if we wanted to take his tour. I was scared of him at first, but he turned out to be OUTSTANDING! His name is "Big- T." He isn't with Carnival, but he was nice, toured us through the island, took us to Atlantis for FREE, took us to the beach, he gave us insight and background about Bahama life, and got us back on TIME! BTW Bahamas time is the same as U.S. time and Carnival told everyone to buy a watch from the gift shop to keep up with the ship time (which was baloney!!!) Carnival was just in a ploy to extort money from passengers. Back to the story..."Big T" was just really great. He only charged 25 per person, and he collected his money AFTER the tour. BTW his car was air conditioned! I love "Big-T" and I told him when I got back home I would write him a review. I have taken other Excursions but his was by far the most entertaining. BTW he didn't pay me to say this.... he is just really an outstanding guy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I'm a seasoned cruiser and took this cruise with some girlfriends for a big birthday celebration. The suite was very nice and the decorations we ordered ahead of time were up and ready for us. The balcony was spacious with 4 chairs ... Read More
I'm a seasoned cruiser and took this cruise with some girlfriends for a big birthday celebration. The suite was very nice and the decorations we ordered ahead of time were up and ready for us. The balcony was spacious with 4 chairs and a small table. A small walk in closet had a lot of shelf and drawer space so we all had plenty of room for our clothes and other things. -There was only one working outlet in the room. Three women with tablets, phones and hair dyers, curlers, straighteners -- so one outlet was not enough. -The cabin steward was very nice and remembered all of our names. He forgot the ice and replacement towels several times though. -The food was delicious! We ate at the buffet, dining room (with a late seating) and the dining room at breakfast. Other than slow wine service a couple of times, the wait staff was fantastic! Some of the best service I've had on a cruise. -Entertainment was lacking and much of the evenings entertainment "events" centered around gambling tournaments or shopping. There was not a show every night the late seating folks could go to. The comedy club was great, the dance clubs catered to the 20-something crowd -- even on 70s night where we heard about 3 70's songs. -The tiny pool looked like a huge pot of human soup. Toward the end of the cruise the water color wasn't quite right despite the extra clorination treatments they were doing. We all avoided the pool and hot tubs in the main area. The kids area had a huge water slide, water dumps, etc. for kids to enjoy. My child was not with me on this cruise but I know he would have loved this. -The adult Serenity area was very nice but very hot with no air movements due to it being at the back of the ship and a little closed in. Misters would be nice or a plunge pool. There are two hot tubs and plenty of deck chairs. The staff does a great job keeping the area adults only. -The shore excursion manager was fantastic! We had an issue with one of our excursions and she handled it beyond our expectation. Excellent customer service. -The spa was a bad experience for me. I had 2 appointments and neither were good. The intrusive medical history questions and medication questions they ask for a simple massage is ridiculous and unnecessary. I felt disrespected and body-shamed by the person giving me the body scrub/massage. Despite my protest, the unsolicited medical advice kept coming. I will never go to another ship Spa. Never. My complaints were not handled at all except by the massage therapist who said she would be fired if I complained and I got the whole story about her having kids, etc. Terrible service. There was no AC working in the spa and the attendants seemed uninterested. Save your money and go to a good spa somewhere else! The layout of the ship was very convenient, plenty of room in the buffet, nice sized clubs and entertainment venues. Embarkation and disembarkation were the easiest I've ever seen -- smooth, fast, pleasant. Overall a good experience except for the Spa which was terribly run, extremely poor customer service, quality of treatment was poor. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We were a group of 14 women that met in first grade, traveling to celebrate our 60th birthdays! What fun we had!! I was a little concerned when the group chose to sail on the Carnival Fascination. The main reason was the quick commute ... Read More
We were a group of 14 women that met in first grade, traveling to celebrate our 60th birthdays! What fun we had!! I was a little concerned when the group chose to sail on the Carnival Fascination. The main reason was the quick commute from Savannah to JAX. I have been on 30 cruises in 40 years, most recently on Royal Caribbean. We arrived and it was easy unloading and parking. The wait to check in and board was longer than it takes on RCCL. Perhaps that is due to my Emerald status on RCCL. However, I was with girlfriends, so no worries. Once on board, I was astonished to find the older ship in such great shape. Our room and bath were more spacious than most cabins I have had in the past. We met on the pool deck for a nice lunch. I wasn't very hungry at dinner and opted for appetizers and dessert. Everything was very tasty and pleasing to the eye. I only ate breakfast in the dining room one morn and the eggs benedict was good. I thought the coffee on the ship was great, but some of my gals thought it was a bit strong. Most mornings, we ordered fruit and such from room service. Another comparison...the fresh baked breads were much better on RCCL. We tried the pizza a few times and it was very good. Many of the gals enjoyed the ice cream machine. Overall, the nightly meals were superb and much better than the last few RCCL dinners I have had. The service in the dining room and the bars was fine. Our head waiter, Luis aka Pit Bull, was great and the wait staff "performed" each night. We chose the 6:00 seating. But, enough about the food. Our room steward kept us supplied with ice and we never "caught" her in our room. The towel animals were a treat. We enjoyed the Diva's show and the Motor City show. Both were great. The DJ's in the centrum had the place rocking. We enjoyed dancing at the Diamond Club and singing along at the piano bar. A couple of us parasailed and it was great. Overall, the cruise ship was fabulous. The only complaint I have was with the staff at guests services. One, in particular, that was from Croatia was very rude. One more thing, disembarkation was slow. Not sure what happened, but we were left in the Palace until 11:00 and we were dismissed by an officer that came in and said, "We've kept y'all long enough...you may leave." It was almost as if they had forgotten us. Other than that, I will travel on Carnival, again. It is a FUN ship!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
It is sad that I write such a disappointing review of this recent cruise, because my cruise last year on Carnival Sensation was incredible. I'll list the good and the bad - starting with the good: The Little Big Town concert was ... Read More
It is sad that I write such a disappointing review of this recent cruise, because my cruise last year on Carnival Sensation was incredible. I'll list the good and the bad - starting with the good: The Little Big Town concert was INCREDIBLE (however there is a serious bad associated with going to the concert) Roger in the Piano Bar - sensational, personable, talented The band Five2One was great Hamburgers on board seem to be better (last time appeared to have more soy content instead of beef) Room steward - great, friendly Weather - perfect Now with the bad: As I'm sure Carnival has received complaints from the multitudes of other people that reserved the cruise thinking the concert was included - it was NOT! Granted, the cruise costs $170 more per person for the Carnival LIVE concert cruise than the identical cruise in a couple of weeks - there was an additional $45 PER PERSON charge to attend the concert on the ship. Basically you pay $215 to hear the concert on this ship - as I suspect is the same with the other Carnival LIVE concert cruises. The troubling part is that I reviewed the website, printed materials, registration, itinerary, etc... and there is NOTHING (not even an asterisk) beside the concert that would make you think additional tickets must be purchased or that it is not included in the increased price of the cruise. These feelings were shared with MANY other people on board. This is at the least deceiving and at the worst fraudulent. When we returned from our dinner one night - the room smelled like SMOKE! My wife and I have an extreme allergy to smoke - which resulted in the final 2 days of our cruise each suffering from a migraine. While we were prepared with prescription migraine medicine - we missed a rather large portion of both days. Comedy show - probably just me, but I didn't laugh a single time. Some others did laugh, so maybe I'm just to critical of comedians. The infamous $120 gratuity we are automatically charged on the sign and sail card. I specified that gratuity NOT be automatically charged to my card - but yet it was. The night of the formal dinner we were so disturbed by the family in front of us that was refused service (because the lady was wearing dress pants) - that we didn't enjoy the formal dining experience either. Granted it isn't such a big deal to miss the meal - the food is the same quality at the other restaurants. This couple looked "NICE", not shorts nor torn blue jeans nor tank tops, etc....the lady was dressed very nicely and this family looked much more clean and presentable than many allowed in the dining room. You could tell from their embarrassment and anger - this will be their last cruise. We simply chose to support them by not dining that evening either - but their treatment was deplorable. On this subject, a dining establishment has the right to refuse service to patrons. However, in doing so - they forfeit the right to CHARGE these patrons for food and service. Ironically, everybody pays to enjoy the dining room experiences. Therefore, Carnival should refund the amount of dinner to those that deem "unworthy" to dine with others. My wife enjoys karaoke and looked forward to finally spending a week to sing karaoke (as she typically works 6 days per week and we are rarely off together). The cruise last year was the perfect opportunity for us to sing and enjoy ourselves daily/nightly. This cruise denoted karaoke in the "Passage to India" lounge twice, but yet the karaoke did not take place. Also, karaoke was denoted in the "Putting on the Ritz" lounge one evening, but did not take place. While that may not seem like much to most people, this is the primary part of the cruise that my wife enjoys - so obviously she wasn't happy. We did realize too late one evening that they moved karaoke from "Passage to India" to the "Putting on the Ritz" - just not on the night indicated and not in time to sing more than one song. The guy running the karaoke was very friendly, but many CD's wouldn't play, feedback, sound and microphone issues, etc..... Basically, we had migraines 2 days, paid $215 EACH extra to hear a concert and didn't get to participate in the one activity that prompted our cruise. Last year was great, this year not so good....the verdict is out on whether we will risk cruising with Carnival again. Oh yes, we were scheduled to depart the ship around 8:15-8:30 am, but we didn't depart until 10 am. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Jacksonville, Bahamas, Half Moon Cay, 2/28/15, 5-nights: This was my first cruise with Carnival (I've sailed with Princess, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian before this). I went with a group of 13 'no drama women' of all ages. ... Read More
Jacksonville, Bahamas, Half Moon Cay, 2/28/15, 5-nights: This was my first cruise with Carnival (I've sailed with Princess, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian before this). I went with a group of 13 'no drama women' of all ages. Embarkation went quickly for the number of people trying to get on the ship. I did carry on 5 bottles of wine in my carry-on and was not questioned about them. I also put a bottle of Rumchata in my suitcase and didn't have any problems. Although one person in our group had a bottle confiscated. The Carnival Fascination is a smaller and older ship but is well cared for. The day we left Jacksonville it was cold (50's) and rainy/drizzly. We were able to watch the ship go under the bridge and explore the ship on the first day. The next morning, we awoke to sunny skies and a ROCKING boat. I've been around boats most of my life and can tell when the stabilizers (stabilizers keep the ship from rocking and rolling and more stable) are on - and on this day they were not. One of the crew said they turn them off to 'make better time'. The running joke was you could tell the drunk people from the sober people because the drunk people were walking a straight line....the rest of us were bouncing from one wall to the other. Of the 13 of us that went to dinner that first night, only 3 survived - the rest of us ended up in our rooms sick (they even ran out of ginger ale in the dining room that night). Several of the crew ended up sick also and they cancelled some shows that day. Late afternoon of the second day, they turned the stabilizers back on and within no time, all of us were up and moving. I asked at the front desk about the stabilizers and asked to talk to the captain...yes it was that bad (I still have bruises from bouncing off the walls!)... the front desk informed us that the captain was not available and there was nothing they could do about the 'wind' anyway....if only it was the wind, because there wasn't more than a breeze out there! If you do get sick, you can call room service and they will bring you some sea sickness pills that we thought worked better than Dramamine for a cost of $3-4. (I talked to a random lady in the airport following our cruise as she had been on the same one - she said they had the same problem, which leads me to believe they don't have enough time scheduled for that first day if they leave JAX late). The rooms were adequate size about the same as all other cruises I have been on. There were only two outlets in the entire cabin, so be sure to bring an outlet strip. The power went out on formal night and our room steward said that 'always happens on formal night'...'once the fuse cools down they can flip it back on' (oh that made me feel better - NOT). The bathroom was a little larger (I thought) but not by much. There was a odor in our bathroom that would come and go (as mentioned in other reviews) - when it came it was really foul smelling (take an air freshener!). We had several balcony rooms so we could open the balcony doors - some of the doors knocked loudly all night long, so we wedged some chairs against them. If you can get past these issues, I would have to say the cruise was worth what we paid for it. Our group will not be going on this ship again as we decided we prefer a bigger ship with more amenities. If it wasn't for the negatives I mentioned it would be a great cruise. They did have a white-night party and 80's nights, so take something white to wear and your best 80's outfit. The staff on the ship were awesome all the way around. The food was adequate on the buffet and good at dinner (what do you expect for serving 1000's of people at a time). We didn't see a lot of people winning at the casino, but the smoke got to us every time we went in there. They have a bar that is half smoking and half non-smoking, which cracks me up...in other words it was all smoking! Without the alcohol package, a fu-fu drink with tax and gratuity (THEY add 15%, and gave you the option to add more) was just under $10 ($9.75ish I believe). The shows were okay - something to do. Bingo was quick and pricey. The thing you don't want to miss is the scavenger hunt - but it is for ADULTS ONLY! OMG, I'm still laughing about that one. You don't really need to take anything as you should be able to find everything in the room. One of the things they were looking for a man wearing a woman's clothes and a woman wearing men's clothes - the lady in the booth next to us, literally threw his shirt over her head and carried his pants up there....butt naked! She didn't get the points as she wasn't 'wearing' the clothes! In the Bahamas, we did the shallow 'swim' with the dolphins at Atlantis and signed up for the early time so we could do other things in the afternoon. Well, the time you sign up for is for the 'check in' time, once they get you to Atlantis, they keep you there pretty much for the day, which killed our other plans. We didn't get to 'swim' with the dolphins as we stood on a ledge and interacted with them. There were other groups actually swimming with them - maybe the was the deep water session? Pictures are outrageously expensive (you may want to go with another group and purchase a disc and split the price). We literally only had time to do our interaction, get lunch and get back on the ship before we left port. Half Moon Cay is BEAUTIFUL - the majority of us want to move there! You can see your toes even when you are up to your neck in the water and fish come right up to you. We went to the stores and picked out what we wanted to get and decided to purchase them on the way back to the boat. The store closed an hour before the last tender left, so don't wait if you want something at HMC. Jacksonville is such a small port that debarkation was the quickest I've ever seen. The shuttle to the airport was well organized and easy to find. Overall, you get what you pay for and make it what you want to make of it. I was with a great group of ladies in the sun and sand....life is always good on vacation! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was our first cruise, but we have been on more since. My husband and I went with a large group of friends and family. Jacksonville was a little sketch but the port was nice. I do recommend the Jacksonville Zoo. Embarkation was ... Read More
This was our first cruise, but we have been on more since. My husband and I went with a large group of friends and family. Jacksonville was a little sketch but the port was nice. I do recommend the Jacksonville Zoo. Embarkation was so smooth I don't remember it. The Fascination is sort of small, but I thought this was a good thing. It was in September so there wasn't a lot of people on the boat and very few kids. Our cabin wasn't very trendy but there wasn't anything really wrong with it. We had an ocean view. Plenty of room for our things and the bathroom was good. The food on the ship was amazing. My favorite from Carnival is the Strawberry Bisque. We had a good view of the sea from our table but we had late dinner so we could only see black. A different cruise we went on there were no windows in the dining room. Our waiter learned the entire party's name, put the pink cloth napkin in my lap every evening, and memorized our drinks and tastes. We enjoyed the Diva show so much. I went to a free class to learn how to make towel animals. We had a good Cruise Director. He was young and friendly. I liked the Hasbro Game show but only so-so,, a little gimmicky. The Serenity Deck is the place to be on this cruise, nice and pleasant like it should be. The Half Moon Cay was FABULOUS. PARADISE. We took tender boats to the island and there were sooo many good sturdy beach chairs. We had no problem finding a large group of them with our heads in the shade and our legs in the sun. The waiters from the ship came off and were our waiters on the island. They had a food stand with island BBQ food that was included. The water is a little murky in some lagoons, but most were clear. There were clear jelly fish but they wouldn't hurt you. A man picked one up, handed it to me, and it was super cool. There are cool little fishies to swim with too. Bahama was fun too. We got our picture made playing drums and straw hats for a tip. Other tourists kindly take other peoples pictures in front of the famous welcome sign. We rode a carriage around the square. That was a little dirty. Then the whole group paid a cabby with a van to take us around the island together. $20 each and he treated us like royalty. He took us to see famous peoples homes, the rum factory, a dried up coral beach, Atlantis for about an hour, CLIMBED A TREE AND PICKED A FREAKING COCONUT and smashed it open with his crowbar. He bought us a unique fruit soda, sang us songs, told us about his kids, took us to a safe restaurant to pee, and pretty much was the highlight of the cruise. He brought us right back to the safe straw market and we tipped him more for being so awesome. He treated us so well because since we were in a large group his fare was HUGE. We could see him innocently bragging to his friends about it. It was sweet. I traded some USD for Bahamanian money in the strawmarket and got postcards and we left. IT was a great time. I would definitely do this cruise again. I would like to bring my mom and dad next time too. They are up in age and not cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I've been on the Fascination MANY times because it's only minutes away from my house in Jacksonville, Fl. The Good Relatively easy to board. Very nice porters and check in crew. I wish they would let you bypass the ... Read More
I've been on the Fascination MANY times because it's only minutes away from my house in Jacksonville, Fl. The Good Relatively easy to board. Very nice porters and check in crew. I wish they would let you bypass the photographers when you board! The food is okay, but could be improved. The Serenity deck is a great place for adults. The shows are ok, and I like the gym. Little Stirrup Cay is great! Everyone in the MDR was great! Fast service and friendly! Assistant Cruise Dir Alex was GREAT! The not so good I think it's time for dry dock. The ship needs a freshen up and include FunShip 2.0! It's time for the karaoke equipment to be updated. Ship is very cold throughout. I will be sailing on the Fascination again in Jan. I recommend the Carnival Fascination for a good vacation experience.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
This was the best idea I have ever had. The ship was well kept, the staff was friendly, we all had a blast, and I have the absolute best wedding photos. The Ceremony was quiet and intimate, everyone cried including our Wedding ... Read More
This was the best idea I have ever had. The ship was well kept, the staff was friendly, we all had a blast, and I have the absolute best wedding photos. The Ceremony was quiet and intimate, everyone cried including our Wedding coordinator, Vanya. She was one of the highlights of the package. She was attentive, understanding, helpful, and my wedding would not have been the same without her. I read previous blogs about he photographs not turning out well, which I'm sure depends on the photographer that you get, but Wayan was FANTASTIC and made me turn in ways that made me look so good in the pictures! I think I lost 10 lbs in front of his camera. The reception had the best food on the ship. It was also never ending so when all the delicious fruit martini glasses were eaten - they would just bring more! Also the open bar was fantastic. A couple things to look out for: I was a little disappointed that I had to choose between a Social Host and an Entertainment Specialist. This meant I had to choose between my own playlist with my friends announcing things like the first dance or a dj picked top 40 with a professional announcing the activities. I chose my own playlist and my man of honor and matron of honor did a great job, but I don't understand why I had to choose. Although everything turned out great it was a little nerve racking knowing that the flowers (with your input) was pretty much up to the local florist. Also, the rooms were not 100% guaranteed until a week beforehand -- however, once I got on the ship I realized any of the lounges would have been a great place for the reception. Advice to couples looking to get hitched on the boat: 1) Keep it small (this is cheapest, most manageable, and most fun) we did about 20 people. 2) Start early. The earlier the better. We started about 1 1/2 years before to give the guests time to get vacate and such. 3) Plan, plan, plan - we brought (6) tall vases from Hobby Lobby with fake flowers (real ones not allowed on the ship unless from the local florist) as well as fake flower petals for the aisle. It turned out magnificent. 4) Have all of your guests cruise with you (perfect atmosphere for bachelor and bachelorette parties) 5) Make your spa (hair/makeup and nail) appts really early on board - as in right when you step on the ship. 6) Gift baskets can be delivered to the room (make sure all water is unopened) for a $1 fee. This added so much to the experience of our guests. We included a water spray fan, deck of playing cards, disposable camera, walkie talkies, and bottled water. 7) Oh yea, walkie talkies are a MUST to keep in contact, but avoid the crazy cell phone roaming costs. Overall I would rate the Wedding a 9/10. On board it was actually a 10/10, but the planning process made me dock that one point (I had to be over prepared to get what I wanted). It was fantastic! Thank you Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Embarkation: Jax port took a lot longer to embark than my previous cruise on teh Fantasy, we waited in line for about an hour and a half and then discovered that one of the security cameras had broken and that was the cause for the delay. ... Read More
Embarkation: Jax port took a lot longer to embark than my previous cruise on teh Fantasy, we waited in line for about an hour and a half and then discovered that one of the security cameras had broken and that was the cause for the delay. They did offer leamonade and water while you waited which was nice, i thought. First impression of the ship: I loved the fantasy, the fascination was 'dark' in color and was no where near as pretty as the fantasy, in my own opinion. But... it was spotless and well taken care of and i had no other complaints, just personally did not like the decoration of the ship, thats all. Dinning: I liked the food WAY better than on the Fantasy. I have no idea why it was so much better but it was. Our food was always cold on the Fantasy, but on the Fascination it was always hot, and cooked exactly as it should be. Was really a wonderful experience. our wait staff was amazing and went out of the way for us, calling us by name and remembering our drinks from the night before. I also enjoyed the dancing and singing that they did for us. The Buffet was closed at odd hours and even though it was open enough hours, it just seemed like we always hit it at the wrong time. Food on buffet was good. Entertainment: The show "Hey Mambo" was not my cup of tea. We only stayed the first half hour and then left. We dont speak spanish and it was confusing to watch a show that was a lot of spanish singing. I never got it. The 80's reveiw show was excellent!!! WE loved it very much! would like to see it again as a matter of fact, do not miss this show! Besides the shows, the entertainment was very much lacking on this ship. Sure, they had the hairy chest contest, the sailaway party and the mega deck party, but that was it the entire rest of the cruise. NO LIVE MUSIC EVER!!!!!!!! Not even DJ music for most of the day and night. I really did not understand this at all!!!!!! who does not want music on the lido deck????? It made for some very boring nights of just sitting around chit chatting on the lido deck because nothing else was going on. This is my biggest complaint, the entertainment on this ship. The captain's celebration was a joke as well. We rushed to get ready for this and upon arrival at the bar it was suppossed to be held at, there was not a soul in sight. We asked if this was the celebration and was told "yes" because it was $1 off drinks. hmmmm... no captain in sight, no live music, no people. WE asked when the captain would be there and were told that he would wonder in at some point and say hi... guess what? he did NOT. So we sipped a few coctails and went on our way to dinner, which was good. Ports: Half Moon cay was amazing. We did not do any excursions here as we just realluy loved the beach. BEST ever!!!! The island BBQue was good as well, no complaints. THis place is like paradise!!!! nassau: Would like to avoid this stop again. Other than going over to Atlantis for pictures, i didnt enjoy this port at all. i think this port takes a lot of planning ahead. If you go here, please book an excursion or you might as well just stay on the ship. There is a free private beach but its not a great beach, just an okay one in my opinion. Overall: It was a wonderful cruise, mainly because the staff was so wonderful. My kids enjoyed the camp carnival very much and it kept them pretty busy. I will not sail this ship again just based on the lack of entertainment on the ship. I would rather not be bored on my cruise next time. I did enjoy the casino but there is only so much time and money you can spend in there. I will continue to cruise with Carnival because the service is great, the ships are clean, and i trust them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We were on the Carnival Fascination from October 13th thru October 18th. Overall, we had a great time. This was our second cruise but my first time experiencing sea sickness. The water was very choppy on our first night at sea, it was ... Read More
We were on the Carnival Fascination from October 13th thru October 18th. Overall, we had a great time. This was our second cruise but my first time experiencing sea sickness. The water was very choppy on our first night at sea, it was extremely difficult to walk without stumbling into someone. Past Fascination cruiser and even some of the crew members said that it was the worst that they had experienced. We still had some rockiness on the following days but no where near how it was one the first night. Our cabin was much smaller than it was on the Legend, I guess since it's a smaller ship. The food in the dining room was good and our waiters and bar staff in the Imagination Dining Room were awesome; however the staff for breakfast or lunch in the Sensation wasn't as good. The food everywhere on the Lido deck except the Mongolian Grill was comparible to a Golden Corral, but I don't really expect much better for any buffet; the Mongolian was good but the lines were always extremely long. The shows were ok, the break dancers in "Far From Over" were awesome but the rest of the dancers need to work on their choreography and I've heard better singers at talent shows. My daughter had a blast on the slides at water works which were surprisingly never packed, she also enjoyed Camp Carnival but I felt that the staff was no where near as good as it was on the Legend; they just seemed to be there to collect a check. That's pretty much how we felt about most of the staff on this ship. The dining staff, Fernando, Francisco, Rolando and Davis and our cabin steward, Joe, were the only ones that actually seemed to be trying to get a tip. The shopping specialist, Taryn, was anything but. The only shops that she knew about in port are the ones that Carnival has a deal with; I asked her if there was a Pandora store in Nassau and she said that she did not know. There is one on Bay Street inside John Bull as well as one at the Marina Shops on Paradise Island. I bought a coupon organizer during the shopping show on the ship specifically for a free necklace that we were supposed to get; the shop that was giving them out said that they ran out of them weeks ago and offered me earrings instead, I don't wear earrings because of an allergy. I told Taryn about this and the only thing that she tried to do to correct it was offer me a cheap metal ship charm. She was very nonchalant about the whole thing. Half Moon Cay was absolutely beautiful and I want to go back there but not on the Fascination. Nassau really didn't impress me at all, it seemed very dirty for a major port city and there were way too many people trying to hussle us!! I will definitely cruise Carnival again because I feel for our budget and with having a young child, they are our best option, but I don't think I would cruise on this ship again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
i just sailed on the carnival fascination on oct 27th-nov 1 out of jacksonville fl.i live about a 1/2 hour drive from the port easy to get to no traffic. embarkation was relative long due to computers or cameras not all working caused ... Read More
i just sailed on the carnival fascination on oct 27th-nov 1 out of jacksonville fl.i live about a 1/2 hour drive from the port easy to get to no traffic. embarkation was relative long due to computers or cameras not all working caused a backup with the lines.was on ship in about an hour .rooms were all ready by then so we did not have to wait for those to be done. stateroom was m73 and had enough storage for everything bathroom had good shower pressure bed was very comfy and the stateroom very clean. this cruise was on halloween and there was a ton of kids on board some of them were very rude and did not care about any rules for adult venues after hours.carnival needs to enforce this. waterpark was closed most of the time due to high winds so they were all in the whirlpools all the time. dinning was good to very good on this ship i would highly reccomend doing the chef tabel at least once it is very well worth it.dinning room was very good tabel was #265 behind the matrd station alexander and his team were great no problems.the rest of the staff were very nice and helpful they do work very hard to make everyone happy due to sandy we switch coco cay with freeport did not care for freeport at all and then we did nassau went to atlantis impressed and did the queens staircase . entertainment on board was good did not see any main shows. disembarkation was nice and easy was off ship by 1100 .overall a great trip Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We did cruise and travel package with a local tour company.They provided overnight transportation to Jacksonville. After stopping in Georgia for breakfast, we preceded on Jacksonville. Weather: a bit chilly!! We thought once we got ... Read More
We did cruise and travel package with a local tour company.They provided overnight transportation to Jacksonville. After stopping in Georgia for breakfast, we preceded on Jacksonville. Weather: a bit chilly!! We thought once we got closer to the Bahamas,the weather would improve--wrong!! This was the coldest cruise I have experienced in a tropical climate--thanks in part to Hurricane Sandy. Very windy and chilly became the norm for the majority of the cruise. Lines were long, but moving in the cruise terminal. One of their camera's was down, which slowed the process. We were on board the ship by 1pm. We went by our cabins (which were ready) to drop off our carry luggage. Other luggage did not arrive to later on that afternoon. Lunch was good. Your usual ship selections--hotdogs (I did not like the hotdogs and I am a big hotdog fan), hamburgers, chicken, stir fried selections, salads, deserts, ect. Following the muster drill, we set sail for Half Moon Cay--so we thought until later on it was announced that stop was cancelled and we would be going to Freeport instead. Freeport is okay, but I as well as a lot of others were looking forward to Half Moon Cay. When there is hurricane devastation, changes occur. Arrival in Freeport was chilly and windy-go off ship and was back on in less than 30 minutes. Everyone had on sweaters, jackets, and whatever they could put on to keep warm. Even back on the ship, everyone was up on the Lido deck was trying to find the warmest, windfree location to relax at. Inside was cold-did not need the air conditioning running full blast today. Nassau: It was a little warmer when we arrived here. Did some shopping-we found some good bargains. We returned to the ship for lunch. We did notice a lot of excursions were cancelled due to the weather. Food: food was very good. We alternated eating breakfast and lunches up on deck or in the main dining room. We had late seating for dining. We throughly enjoyed each meal. Food was served hot. We had an excellent evening wait staff, who addressed us by name. Every desert I ordered in the main dining room was very good--but some of the deserts served up on the Lido missed the mark. We did make it to the last midnight buffet on deck , but we did not stay long due to the chill and wind. I did try the pizza and it was very good. The deli station stayed busy, but I did not try a sandwich from there. We were also entertained by our evening wait staff. All of the wait staff did very good job. We missed most of the entertainment. I did lose my $20.00 allotment in the casino. Did not use the spa. We just wanted to relax and have a good time. Over all, this was a good cruise despite the weather and the noise outside my cabin wall--it sounded as if something was lose and hitting up against the ship. We did complain to guest services--but that's another review in itself. It did get a rocky at night and one night it was almost impossible to walk without holding on to something. It was comical seeing everyone staggering around without being drunk. Disembark went smoothly and we were back on the road heading home by 10am. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We are a retired couple with, including the one under review, 42 cruises completed. The Eurodam is our fifth HAL ship. This was a full charter cruise with the theme of music of the '50s and '60s. Aboard as entertainers, to ... Read More
We are a retired couple with, including the one under review, 42 cruises completed. The Eurodam is our fifth HAL ship. This was a full charter cruise with the theme of music of the '50s and '60s. Aboard as entertainers, to fulfill the legitimacy of the theme, booked through MaltShopcruises.com, were such notables as Frankie Avalon, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Darlene Love, Ronnie Spector and numerous groups as the Marvelettes, the Duprees, and others. It was hosted by Jerry Blavat, a friend and confidante of the late Dick Clark, of American Bandstand. I will not say much more re the theme itself as it would hardly be of interest to those not on this or a future sailing, details at their website. Worthy of note, a number of Elvis "copies" aboard, but of course, not the original, long now the late Elvis. As Hurricane "Sandy" approached the East Coast, numerous ships had to change course and planning. The Eurodam was originally set to sail from Ft.Lauderdale but as it was coming from a journey ending in Boston, it found its course taking it not away from but directly into the storm's pathway. It was then changed to dock and embark from Port Canaveral but the storm worsened & it became unfeasible to said that far South. It was later announced that as the original boarding had been Ft.Lauderdale, HAL and its theme sponsor, TimeLife, had attempted to find hotel rooms there as most passengers had of course made plans to board at that point. Attempts were made to find hotel rooms but as there was a boat show currently at the same venue, only 500 rooms were available for the 2000 plus passengers. Plans were then made (and much credit to HAL and Maltshopcruises/TimeLive) to bus the entire passenger group to Jacksonville, by then considered a safe port. We arrived at the port in Ft.Lauderdale and were aboard a bus and enroute to Jacksonvlle at 1:00PM. A box lunch was made available on board and there was one rest stop halfway through. We arrived in Jacksonville before 7:00PM and were, on order of arrival, processed through what was ordinarily Carnival Cruises' terminal, after passing through security posts. We then reboarded our buses and were taken directly to the ship, all in all a most well managed emergency situation that could have been far far more difficult. Again, credit where due, as noted, and rightly so. Aboard, we were able to eat either in the main (Rembrandt) Dining room or the Lido buffet. We chose the Rembrandt and were not disappointed. Not only were we given complimentary drinks to soothe the ruffled feathers of travel, but the first of what turned out to be many truly exceptional meals. As seas were still rough, the Captain decided to wait until 4:00AM to set sail. This caused us to miss our first scheduled port of Turks and Caicos but was a prudent move, as the delay had been purely in the interest of passenger safety and comfort. Our cabin, termed a "Deluxe Veranda", was perhaps the usual size for its class, having a small sofa, as requested twin beds moved to configure a queen, writing desk, and a convenient too oft overlooked, adequate night light for reading in bed, this in the form of an adjustable gooseneck. Wife mightily applauded the magnifying mirror for makeup. Interestingly enough, at night with lights out, the mirror outline formed a most excellent nightlight in green, enough to light your way about but not to disturb sleep. Storage was superior to most, three adequate closets for hanging clothing. An ottoman also has storage space, and suitcases (at least ours) fit neatly under the bed. The nightstands contain two drawers underneath the telephone. Stewards Ari and Tri were competent and friendly. Staff are always smiling; a greeting is seldom missed. Customer service desk well staffed and competent, willing to do the extra if possible. Digests of the New York Times and other language newspapers available daily at their desk. As earlier noted, food in both MDR and Lido were in our opinion, so good that I even wrote a thank you to the Hotel Manager. In the Lido, staff, if possible in busy times, will help with your tray; a rolling coffee and tea refill cart makes the mealtime rounds. Any language disparity with the mostly Indonesian staff is more often hilarious than bothersome, and easily overcome. They too, go the extra mile. When a selection of breakfast pastries was offered in the MDR, wife asked for a chocolate croissant. The assigned staffer had none left on his tray, and said he would get one for her, and quickly followed through. To its credit, HAL consistently offers Fresh squeezed Orange Juice, without the added charge some lines add. Twice, when the MDR had run out, staff went upstairs to the Lido to bring us ours. We also applaud the option (MDR only) of steel cut Irish oatmeal, in addition to the regular. By way of note, a dinner companion (we were traveling with two other couples) offered that his Prime Rib was the best he had ever eaten. (Trust me here, Roy knows prime rib!) I felt some meals to be well above the quality of higher tariff lines. We noted that HAL seems to have solved the problem of hard to move chairs, as they moved easily to the touch but never slid unexpectedly or freely moved out of place. A bit more re entertainment, as this was a music themed, as noted earlier, charter, we must say that this too was very well handled. Two main dinner time shows featured two principal acts, group and/or solo entertainers, while at other times there was almost continuous entertainment in one of the several lounges or other venues. Well known Comedian David Brenner headlined several shows, two in the main Theatre and two in one of the featured lounges. A hospitality desk was set up, and in addition each night brought a nice gift from the sponsors, left on your bed. Ports: We did not go ashore in San Juan, P.R., having been there several times before. At the second of three stops, including private island Half Moon Cay, we were docked at the Crown Bay Center, a shopping center at which the ship may dock directly, not having to tender into the main town center of St.Thomas/Charlotte Amalie. The final stop, Half Moon Cay, is a favorite of ours. Beautifully planned and maintained, a BBQ lunch is served at this, the final stop before return to Ft.Lauderdale. Food is efficiently served at multiple identical stations and there is ample covered outdoor seating. Necessary tenders arrive in less than ten minutes each way. Oh, my, it's over. Well, embarkation was well and efficiently handled. We were off the ship at the requested time and there was an adequate number of staff to direct your exit, and also adequate customs officers, not always the case at every port. We would summarize this as one of our best voyages ever, the theme fit our interests, staff was commendable, friendly and desiring to please, and food may have been the best ever. We are seriously considering booking this same (now yearly) theme charter for 2013. Summary: We were pleased with the Eurodam itself, which we had read had an absolutely outstanding fitness center. We would have to agree, there were many exercise machines we had not seen before, and several we are familiar with were missing, but we believe these have been, as to benefits, incorporated into the newer machines. We applaud the addition of a digital scale to keep track of results of any excess desserts... The ship is laid out similarly to others of the "Dam" vessels have been on. Hallways and stairways are decorated in the main with paintings of notable Dutch figures, artists and others of historical significance. The dark wood used extensively may be seen by some as stately and luxurious. --- 30 Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
This was a group cruise consisting of several certified medical coders in need of continuing education credits. We went to class for 4hrs on each of the sea days. That way we didn't miss any of the fun!! BTW, the main instructor was ... Read More
This was a group cruise consisting of several certified medical coders in need of continuing education credits. We went to class for 4hrs on each of the sea days. That way we didn't miss any of the fun!! BTW, the main instructor was my sister. Her DH was the coordinator of it all. This was DH and my 3rd Carnival cruise, first on Fascination. All of our Carnival cruises have been coding cruises! We drove down to Jacksonville a day early. We stayed at the Holiday Inn closest to the port. Very nice hotel!! Would definitely stay there again!Oh, for anyone that might be into antiques, downtown Jacksonville has two very nice antique shops (across the street from each other) EMBARKATION was a bit sticky for us AGAIN! The last two cruises, we also had difficulties at embarkation. The first two cruises were out of Mobile..won't go into detail about that embarkation except for the fact that it could have been handled better than it was. This time, we were in line, moving right along. Then the employee that was directing the line, sent us in a line where a man didn't realize he had to empty his pockets, etc. So, we were delayed while everyone behind us went to the speedy line. Then, as our carry on luggage went through the xray, it was decided that they needed to look in our bag. we were pulled over to the side, where the nice (really, he was)security agent very carefully unpacked our stuff so he could see that my diet mt dews and diet pepsis were indeed sealed. He did apologize about having to do it and put everything back in the best he could. The line wasn't too terribly long to check in. After we were checked it we went directly on the ship. went to the lido deck for lunch. We ran into others in our group. CABIN: our cabin was very nice, we had an oceanview on Deck 5, Main. Our room was always clean! However, we never met our room stewart, don't even know their name! After a couple of days, I realized it was probably the shy, young girl that was in the hallway folding towels. DINING: We had great wait staff. Reuben was our waiter and I can't remember our asst waiter's name. Joseph, our super charged maitre'd, was very nice too. Food was good, especially the warm chocolate melting cake! It was very disappointing that we weren't seated with our group! It is probably because we requested to be seated at the same table as some of our friends (also with the group)We were on the other side of the room. I thought if we were with a group, they would seat us at least close together. I mean, there were about 30 people seated together from our group. We (3 couples) were seated elsewhere. You would think they could have seated us close. Oh well, didn't let that get to me. The cruise was still great! ENTERTAINMENT: It was really good. There were 2 comedians,one was the cowboy and I can't remember the other one's name. The cowboy, in my opinion, wasn't so good. The other one, was very good! The cruise director was good too. STAFF: For the most part, the staff was very nice and helpful. There were times when we would pass a staff member in the hall, it was like they wouldn't dare speak! Then other times, some went out of their way to speak. PORTS: Half Moon Cay was awesome!! Very clean! DH and I walked around, saw the stingrays, I did get in the water for just a bit. too cold for me!! Went to Captain on the Rocks bar, had a drink and listened to music. Nassau was good too. We did the segway tour, which was great! wish I could get one of those! Ate at Senor' Frogs. did a little shopping. disappointed that they didn't really have any baby tshirts unless you wanted to pay $20 for a onesie! We brought back our 4mo old grandaugter a tshirt a few sizes too big! DEBARKATION: Went very smoothly. We were off the ship, through customs and in our truck before 10:00, I think. There were a few glitches in this cruise, but all in all it was good! We are cruising again next February (another coding cruise) this time it's out of New Orleans. 7 night. We need the 3 sea days to get our CEU's!! Happy cruising everybody!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
First, let me say, we had a wonderful cruise on the Carnival Fascination. We had 6 in our group. My wife and I, an accountant and travel agent respectively, have had 18 cruises, 14 of them on Carnival. (This was our fourth cruise on the ... Read More
First, let me say, we had a wonderful cruise on the Carnival Fascination. We had 6 in our group. My wife and I, an accountant and travel agent respectively, have had 18 cruises, 14 of them on Carnival. (This was our fourth cruise on the Fascination.) Also with us was my brother- and sister-in-law (a retired police officer and his wife); they cruise with us most of the time, so they have as many cruises as we do. The final members of our group were two sisters (a registered nurse and administrative assistant) who were on their first cruise. My DW and I booked a suite since we were celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary. The suite was nice, but for the extra price we paid, I think next time I will just stick to a balcony or ocean-view depending on the class of ship. We are planning a 15-day Hawaii cruise on the Splendor in 2013; I think we will have to book a balcony on that one. I love leaving the door open at night and listening to the sea. We checked in at Jaxport about 10:30 Saturday; by 11:15 we were on the ship. We parked at a local park-and-ride lot for just $5 per day, and they were Johnny-on-the-spot as far as getting us to the ship and being there when we got off. In contrast, the cruise port in Jacksonville charges $15 per day to park. I noticed as we set sail the Jaxport parking lot was only about 1/3 full, even though we had a almost full ship. It appears that cruisers are cutting corners by using these park-and-ride lots around the cruise ports. Can you blame them? Our first night at sea was a great kick-off to our cruise. Our wait staff, WeeWee and PeePee, were great. Our drinks were kept full, the bread hot and fresh. Our food was delivered in a very timely manner and was pretty good. Carnival has changed their menus and some of the dishes. My wife, who loves soups, commented that they were very good but not as good as past. I had a steak one night that was on the tough side, but the next one I had a couple days later was much much better. Our first full day was a "Fun Day at Sea." The food throughout the day was very good. Lines were not too bad; I don't think anyone in my party had to wait in one more than 15 or 20 minutes. The pizza was great, and the deli sandwiches were outstanding. All day long there were plenty of activities. I've read several pieces that have put down the CD, Jen. However, I thought she was pleasant and did a good job. Her staff was well prepared for all the activities they were responsible for. I have been on cruises where the CD staff was late for every event. Our sea day also included Formal Night. I really am disappointed that a good many of the passengers do not dress up for formal night as they did when we first started cruising 10 years ago. I have a tux I wear, and my wife will dress up also, but I only counted three other tux-wearers in our dining room. 650 people in our dining, and many of them were dressed like it was any other dinner seating! And the other nights the dress for dinner has gone downhill. At one time, shorts and T-shirts were not allowed, but that's not the case anymore. The show the first night was the same old tired show that Carnival has been doing for 5 or more years. It's a great upbeat show, but I think it's time for a change. The weather and seas were a bit choppy that day. We had a passenger get very ill around dinnertime, so the CD announced that we would have to go into Miami to get the passenger off the ship. As we made the turn back to the west, the waves went from 4-6 feet to 8-10 feet. As we got closer to Miami's port, the rain was hard and winds picked up. It took about two hours to get into the Port of Miami, get the sick passenger off and get back on our way. We were scheduled to get into Key West at 7AM the next day; however, we didn't dock there until about 8:30. We did get to stay until 4:30. Though our ride to Key West was bumpy, the day is Key West was absolutely gorgeous. We docked at the Navy base and had to ride a tram to the main areas. That went very smooth, and there appeared to be a steady flow, so I don't think anyone had to wait long. This is a wonderful island, and we enjoy our time there. This time, we just made our pilgrimage to Kermit's Key Lime Shop for a frozen slice of pie dipped in milk chocolate. Baby, this is so good, "It would make a puppy pull a freight train!" Day three we found ourselves in Nassau. We have been there several times. We now take the #10 bus from downtown to Cable Beach, $1.25 each way. We visit the Sheraton, which charges a daily fee of $25 per person to use their beach, pools, and non-motorized water sports. It was windy, and light showers moved in and out as the day progressed. We splashed around in the warm waters and enjoyed the time relaxing. On our way back to the ship on the bus, part of Bay Street was blocked for road work, so our driver took us the scenic route. If you have never seen the neighborhoods of Nassau, it's something to see. The people along the path we took were very poor, but they appeared happy. Some of the roads we traveled down, I wasn't sure if they were actual roads or someone's driveway. At one point the traffic was backed up and our driver had to aggressively apply the brakes, leaving some tire marks on the road and making the passengers on the full bus gasp. However, no harm, no foul. We made it back to the port area and were walking into the terminal/mall, and I noticed that the usual tourist harassment about taxis, hair breading, etc. wasn't as in-your-face as it has been in the past. There was some, but a polite "No, thank you," seemed to do the trick. We were not slated to leave Nassau until 10PM that night, so dinner population was light. This was a good thing, though, since this was the night of the past passenger reception. I don't drink, so I wasn't there for the free alcohol, but to cheer at the ship slideshow. I did get on stage for the Carnival trivia contest. I won it two years ago on the second question; this time, I was out on the second question. I couldn't remember the first Carnival ship that had the "whale tail." We didn't go to the show that night as we had seen it several times before. We elected to sit on the Lido deck and play several rounds of cards. I did sample a calzone from the pizza bar. It wasn't a tasty as is looked, so I picked it apart and shared the pepperonis with my wife, Shirley. The next day, the ship turned north, and we had a great day at sea. Between my wife and me, we totaled three 24-Carat-Gold-Plastic Ships-on-a-Stick. My wife also won a medallion. We really enjoy playing the trivia games. I also got on stage for the disco dance lesson. I did it to get our two "blue card" cruisers up there. I did pretty well since it had been several decades since I did my last disco dancing. The show that night was based on the 1980s. Before the show they played a 30-minute video of 80s commercials and TV shows. I like it; it brings back some good memories of my younger days. The Carnival dancers were very good; the male dancers were some of the best I have seen on Carnival. The two lead singers were good as well. We have had the female singer on other ships; she tries to sing notes that are too high for her, but she did blend very well with the guy. Getting off the ship when we returned to Jax was flawless. One of the CD staff told us the night before that Carnival already knew they would not be able to sail out for the next cruise until 8PM because of the high tide and bridge clearance, and they had already canceled their port call to Freeport. Bummer for the next cruisers. Overall, we had a great cruise. Of our 14 Carnival cruises, this would be in the top half of all of them. I read a lot of the reviews, and I see many negative remarks about Carnival. They are a good cruise line. Are there some problems? Yes, but what large cooperation doesn't have them? Can they do better with customer complaints? Many times. But there are people who will let one irritation fester the rest of the cruise and will then blast everything about the cruise. My DW and I try to find the positive and just enjoy our time together getting away from it all. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011

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