7 Jacksonville Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
We're in our early 60's and have cruised many times. We like small ships such as Regent(our favorite line) Windstar, The Prisendam on HAL, Azamara,etc. Not to say we haven't cruised on larger ships,as we have. We've ... Read More
We're in our early 60's and have cruised many times. We like small ships such as Regent(our favorite line) Windstar, The Prisendam on HAL, Azamara,etc. Not to say we haven't cruised on larger ships,as we have. We've also cruised on Carnival at least 5 other times. Not my favorite line, but the last time, on the same ship, we had a great experience. Not to be this time. Embarkation was easy and quick. Went to lunch in the lido-Myself, my husband and our two neighbors. Most all of our food was cold. This was to start an unfortuately consistant problem. For the first two days all of our food was cold. After the second day, as we ordered, we always asked for hot food. This helped somewhat, but usually at least one of the four, always had a cold entree. We shouldn't have to especially ask, or always send it back. They really tried, but the kitchen must be having major issues. We were ot the only ones with this problem. Every night the maitre d had "showtime" in the dining room. A loud obnoxious song dance? comedy routine? He should keep his day job, or maybe get a new one. The ship was FREEZING. It was cold leaving Jax, and only got to 74 in Nassau. There is no heat on this ship for the staterooms and it was COLD. Also the room we played MajJong in, every day, and sometimes twice a day was like ice. They brought us blankets to wrap ourselves in and hot tea. Quite a picture. Not sure why there is no heat on this ship. I'm suprised no one was sick, as so many people were in shorts and t shirts in the dining room even at night- even on formal night. We had fun with our friends and our MajJong group, but we won't cruise carnival again. I'm sure there are people who loved it. It was not our cup of tea. We like a more refined dining experience, as well as a more well traveled passengers. Also, someone had smoked in our room, prior to us embarking, and it was horrible the whole time. They ran the ozinator machine every day and even cleaned the drapes, but they couldn't get it out of the carpets, so it stank from smoke for 5 days. I will say the crew bent over backwards to correct these problems. This is the only ship I have ever been on in over 40 cruises that neither gives, nor asks for an onboard cruise review to be filled out. I guess they already know they have more problems than they can handle. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click