1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise for the great deal we found. The full itinerary didn't disappoint! Check out how we saved money on the San Juan board. San Juan - As we expected, San Juan is back to normal and folks from the US shouldn't hesitate ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the great deal we found. The full itinerary didn't disappoint! Check out how we saved money on the San Juan board. San Juan - As we expected, San Juan is back to normal and folks from the US shouldn't hesitate to visit. Taxis from the airport are still expensive as Uber still can't pick you up there (only dropoffs). Embarkation was pretty easy except the escalators weren't working forcing most to check their bags. Room was ready when we got on board about 2:30 pm. Dinner was almost cut short by safety briefing. Debarkation was super easy as we carried off our luggage. Rented a car from Charlies and enjoyed the Isla Verde beach before flying out in the afternoon. St. Thomas - We love Lindqvist beach and it wasn't harmed by the hurricanes. We rented a car from Avis (not for everyone). Barbados - Browne's beach was even more beautiful than I remembered. Swam from shore (with life vests) to snorkel a shipwreck and see turtles. St. Lucia - Rain in the morning brought beautiful rainbows. We walked (not for everyone) to Vigie Beach and enjoyed it. St. Kitts - First time there. We taxied to Carambola and enjoyed the beach. Another beautiful island (the itinerary is full of them). St. Maarten - Did the Big 3 Rainforest Adventures excursion and had a blast! Beautiful views, lots of adrenaline replaced some fears! Spent some time at Great Bay Beach and that area has recovered nicely from the hurricanes. Still rebuilding in many areas. Landfill is burning again (or still burning?). It was not a problem and we didn't experience even a smell at the beach or the excursion. Steward - He was good. He's more of an "I got this" kind of guy than "What can I do for you?". I prefer the latter, but he did a good job. Food - I continue to see cutbacks in the size and quality of proteins. However the main dining room food is still adequate (especially since you can order extra) and tasty. The lobster tail was small but the best we've ever had. The prime rib was just okay both times. The tiramisu is AWESOME, but they only offer it the first night and we almost got there too late as they were closing for the safety briefing. I'm not sure why they call it Nutella Tiramisu as I don't taste Nutella at all, just the best tiramisu ever. I tried to get more on the buffet, but what they have on the buffet is nothing like the main dining room. We tried the buffet one night and decided to stick to the main dining room where the quality and selection is better. We were disappointed by Guy's Burgers. The fries were still great. We tried it 3 times and each time the quality was not the usual Guy's. I did eat at the Blue Iguana for lunch and breakfast and it was better than I remembered on other ships. I wish they offered Guy's BBQ on the Fascination. Service – Main Dining Room service was slow. The worst night was the second formal night. By the time we got in line at 7:30, the line was very long and they gave us a pager. I think the wait was about 25 min. We then spent more than 90 minutes at dinner which is too long. Our waiter seemed flustered and was consistently bringing steak knives around about 5-10 minutes after delivering the entrée. My wife and I shared a knife while I watched another lady struggle with her dinner knife. The “Shooowwwwttttiiimmeeee” is really drawn out as the restaurant manager really gets into it. While it put a smile on our faces, it’s frustrating to pause dinner when you’ve been there for so long already. Personally “Showtime” could be done on the final night only and I would be fine with it. I think the waiters are tired of it as well, but maybe they were just tired. The other thing we noticed was that other than the first night the waiters didn’t introduce themselves and there are no longer cards with their names on the tables. I can only remember 1 waiter’s name “Yan” and that’s because he served us twice and did a professional job. Entertainment – We thought Marcello our Cruise Director was pretty good. Not the best, but professional and an improvement over our last couple Carnival cruises. I think the entertainment singers and dancers were the best we’ve ever seen on a cruise ship. They were talented and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. There were 4 guys and 4 gals and actually the guys were stronger than the ladies. They did a muted performance for the Divas show because of “strong seas”. While we were avoiding Tropical Storm Kirk, there wasn’t a lot of movement and we’ve seen shows continue in stronger seas. We really enjoy the Punchliner Comedy Club and it’s one of the reasons we keep returning to Carnival. This cruise had 5 shows (2 family friendly) per night and then 2 nights back to back with no comedy and had a juggler the one night instead. We enjoyed the juggler, but I liked the old format (1 night off and 4 shows a night). We liked Happy Cole the best (good material, connected with the crowd), followed by Jamie Lissow (clever and quick wit), Lucas Bohn was okay and Jimmy Della Valle was not our favorite. To be honest the comedy club director seems like a good guy but really added nothing to the show. Ship – There’s been a lot made about the age of this ship. I have been avoiding these smaller, old ships on Carnival. However, I found the Fascination to be comparable to the other Carnival ships in the fleet and I liked the shorter lines. We enjoyed the water slide and serenity now deck. We found the 4 ice cream cone dispensers to be completely empty on more than 1 occasion, but overall the service was good and the bar staff didn’t hound us to try the drink specials. If the casino was smoke free, we probably would have tried it. You could also smell smoke in the hallways near the balcony staterooms. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was my first cruise, and I wasn’t disappointed. The reason we booked this boat was the itinerary. It was a seven day cruise with only one day at sea, which was awesome. All the ports were great. The service was amazing. ... Read More
This was my first cruise, and I wasn’t disappointed. The reason we booked this boat was the itinerary. It was a seven day cruise with only one day at sea, which was awesome. All the ports were great. The service was amazing. Everyone was friendly, overly accommodating, and just made everything that much more enjoyable. We chose the early dinner, which is the best option in my opinion, and the wait staff was fantastic. Our room was clean on a regular basis, and we got everything we wanted out of the staff. The food was good, but not great. I was really disappointed with the selections on the buffet. The entertainment was also just average. Nothing really stood out. The Decour of the ship is very dated, but this is carnivals oldest boat. I was also disappointed in the pool, which was very small. Overall, the excellent service made up for the lack of entertainment, and the quality of the food. I would recommend this cruise, especially considering the ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise for my boyfriends birthday and our first vacation together without kids and to say we had an amazing time is an understatement! The food was great, from the buffet, to fine dining, deli, pizza, burrito and burger ... Read More
I chose this cruise for my boyfriends birthday and our first vacation together without kids and to say we had an amazing time is an understatement! The food was great, from the buffet, to fine dining, deli, pizza, burrito and burger place! Prices for drinks were reasonable. We did not get the drink package due to not being heavy drinkers and it was worth just using our card here and there...drinks were from $8-$11 depending on what you ordered... The dining room for breakfast and dinner we went to everyday during our stay. We requested Dennie and Dennis for our waiters each time ! They are great! Our breakfast and dinner was out in minutes when we put our order in ! Make sure you request them! We had other waiters the first two days and there was a big difference in service until we met dennie and dennis! The cabin was small but it was fine for just the two of us...The cleaning service was great! Sherman was so nice and made you feel like family! Only complaint about the room was that the king bed was two twins put together so sleeping in the middle was a little uncomfortable here and there ! But we slept great! Also, there were only two outlets and the light in the bathroom had to be on each time you wanted to charge your phone. Entertainment was great! The Motown show was my favorite! The performers were great and lets me not forget the cruise director Marcello ! He was great! The only show I wasn't too impressed on was the Latino night...it was very americanized. I was hoping for a little more..but hey I stayed the whole show and singing so it wasn't to bad!! Overall all the performances and shows were great! Staff was super nice and made you feel like family! The activities were great as well! Oh and the ports were perfect!!!i highly recommend this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Best ever will always be our first. Getting on the ship was odd, as we entered in the level 3 gangway, and not the atrium. The reason, is the Atrium area is really small. but so is the whole ship. The ship was very clean, and the ... Read More
Best ever will always be our first. Getting on the ship was odd, as we entered in the level 3 gangway, and not the atrium. The reason, is the Atrium area is really small. but so is the whole ship. The ship was very clean, and the latest updates are on point. Our cabin once again was small, but works fine. The food in the dining room changes daily, with a few regular items for those who want the same food every night. It was always hot, and tasted amazing. especially the deserts. Getting into the dining room on Formal Night, was a long wait, and the service was a bit slow. The only negative I have is, Carnival has cut the amount of crew they carry on each ship, and it showed on Formal Night. The ports where all beautiful, and times at port were perfect. Getting off the ship always had a bit of a line and I put this on the new technology they use, as they use a tablet to scan everyone on and off the boat. The Entertainment was very entertaining from the big shows to the comedians. Most importantly the best part was the other guests on the ship, from our good friends that we always travel with, to the new friends we just met, from Houston, TX, Nashville, TN and Toronto, Canada! , Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We have been on many cruises and generally enjoyed this cruise. The itenerary is fabulous. We had a few issues with the staff in the imagination restaurant, which caused us not to return. This has never happened on any other cruise. The ... Read More
We have been on many cruises and generally enjoyed this cruise. The itenerary is fabulous. We had a few issues with the staff in the imagination restaurant, which caused us not to return. This has never happened on any other cruise. The young lady working the front is very indifferent and defensive. That being said, OSCAR (Alchemy Bar), Maris (Piano Bar but moving to the Alchemy bar :), and Win (Atrium bar) were exceptional. I am really going to miss seeing all of their smiling faces each day. They made us feel like family. Our favorite islands were St. Martin and St. Kitts. We visited an interesting restaurant called Karakter in St. Martin. The beach there is absolutely breathtaking. It was a little rough while we were there but can’t even imagine how beautiful it would be on a calm day. The ship did a great job of skirting tropical storm Isaac. Embarkation and Debarkation were very smooth. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Embarkation was a night mare, cued for. 2 hours, to have documentation checked that had already been checked, staff very surly didn’t help anyone with problems I.e. couple from Trinidad made to leave the ship because they ... Read More
Embarkation was a night mare, cued for. 2 hours, to have documentation checked that had already been checked, staff very surly didn’t help anyone with problems I.e. couple from Trinidad made to leave the ship because they hadn’t taken an ESTA, never tried to help Just said they would not be allowed in Puerto Rico with out ESTA Ship old and in need of a through clean, rust every where and general in poor repair Cabin with balcony very sparse, no tea/coffee making facilities in cabin, balcony very small And full of water on day one had to ask for it to be drained, balcony was never swept of washed for the whole week. We chose free time dining, was only able to dine one in main dining room due to over booked eating times, Food was of poor quality not what we have previously had on other cruises The so called buffets was disgusting, only one station for hot food, had to que for 1hr due to size of people using buffet instead of dining room. The food in the buffet was not edible, always cold, cheap cuts of meat, and every one Picking food up with their hands and then replacing it back in the serving dishes, children Touching food, health and safety none existent cleanliness none existent, the only thing I ate from the buffet was a jacket potato because nobody could handle the inside. Entertainment poor The workers on board were excellent, over worked and tiered but worked and tried their best The only good thing re this cruise was the ports of call, never went on excursions because They were over priced Feel that I must point our that if you embark in Barbados when you call in at Puerto Rico You have to get off and go through customs again, we had to be off the ship early morning Walked appro 4 miles to customs had to stay off the ship till 1.30 then evening meal ran from 5.45 to 7.30 then every thing closed down until 9 to allow people who boarded in Puerto Rico to have life boat drill, so because we boarded in Barbados and had our life boatdrill in Barbados we were jeopardise by not having bar, or any other facilities We have travelled on many cruises and we will never cruise with this line again it was a complete and utter farce from the beginning Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This is our second time on this ship in 10+ years. The lack of smiles on the crew’s faces was evident throughout the ship. During our cruise, several crew members opeened up to us about their unhappiness: having to work ... Read More
This is our second time on this ship in 10+ years. The lack of smiles on the crew’s faces was evident throughout the ship. During our cruise, several crew members opeened up to us about their unhappiness: having to work longer hours, “they took away a lot” and lack of appreciation from the company AND GUEST. We been on ten cruises with Carnival. It has been four years since our last cruise. We noticed cut backs such as the room service menu only being free from 6AM to 10PM and the free selections being cut way back. Room service pizza is now $5, French fries $2. Bagel, lox and cream cheese is no longer available from room service in the morning. The gym equipment was new and in perfect working order. Many of the gym locker keys didn’t work. Most notable, the gym was empty ever time I went (late afternoon). DIning room food/service was good. I cold get my lox, bagel and cream cheese there. No cutting back on the chocolate melting cake. This made my wife happy. Our room was clean and everything was in working order. I couldn’t find any printed information about the ship’s services and amenities. I had to ask for the room service menu. The entertainment on the ship appeared cut back. Most nights we enjoyed Dara Jazzlyn in the piano bar. She is talented and entertaining. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth. There is a Walgreen’s across the road from the cruise port for all your last minute items. Taxi from airport to ship for the four of us was $24.00. Cheaper than carnival transfer. Uber/Lyft not available from airport. After cruise we hire private tour operator to drive the four us around for two hours before going to airport - $120,00 Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Our group of four fiftysomethings flew in late the night before the cruise. We chose the San Juan Airport Hotel because it was right there in the airport. The hotel was not the easiest to find, but there were signs and we made it OK in ... Read More
Our group of four fiftysomethings flew in late the night before the cruise. We chose the San Juan Airport Hotel because it was right there in the airport. The hotel was not the easiest to find, but there were signs and we made it OK in about 5 minutes after claiming our bags. Our room had some sort of leak in the hallway, and there was some sewage issue where the toilet backed up and flooded into the tub. Yuck! I was too tired to request a new room but we reported it early in the morning, and the hotel dispatched four people to handle the issue. I think it was probably a big issue and they never did fix it, but we were able to shower in the other room of our party. Other than that, it was fine. Uneventful taxi to the pier... driver gave us the low down on the hurricane recovery, etc. One bag did not make it due to airline problems. We requested it be delivered to the ship, but it would not arrive in San Juan until 2 pm the next day. Pickup of delayed bags was a 6 pm, and we were pleasantly surprised to find the bag outside our door after we returned from dinner. We dropped off bags at the pier and took off walking around San Juan, since it was too early to check in. We toured El Morro and saw lots of interesting places. We went up one street that was loaded with cats, and it turned out to be a cat sanctuary. We made a donation and marveled at the cats. One of them followed us for a while. After a time touring, we found a bar and had a beer and small appetizer, then headed back toward the ship. We stopped at Walgreens to buy wine and sodas. I had some empty carryon bags just for this. FYI - the security never looked in those bags. I don't know if they can tell on the X-ray that it is just wine and soda, not liquor and beer, but we could have brought anything onboard. I even left the ship and went back for more wine and drinks, and again, nobody said a word. In fact, throughout the cruise, they did not ever care to look at water bottles brought back onto the ship, and there was a sign on the ship saying Carnival branded water was exempt from the no-bottles policy. Just an FYI in case you are wondering, this is not a difficult cruise to bring on a little rum. St Thomas - we walked into town to get some exercise. Bought some T-shirts 3 for $10 at the flea market stalls. Walked the town but there was mostly just jewelry shops there. We found a nice oceanfront bar and restaurant which was not yet open, but they let us in because we just wanted to sit on the balcony and have a drink. Very nice experience. Afterward we found a shared cab and went back to town. I went back out later to a sports bar at the pier named "Tap and Still"... they have a happy hour starting at 3 pm and you don't need to be back to the ship until 4:30... and the prices are so much better than onboard! Dominica - did a tour with Levi's bumpiing tours. Our guide was the same guy we had twice before, first time was in 2001. I did a hike to the boiling lake with him in a later cruise. His name is Kelvin and he is an awesome guide. Went to a couple of waterfalls, saw how the forests are beginning to bounce back after the hurricane. Best island out there. Not too much in town but we did find a little bar with live music that we hung out at until it was time to re-board. Barbados - went to the Boatyard. Was a bit rainy but we went early and beat most of the rain. For $20 you cannot beat this. It included a free snorkel tour where we swam with sea turtles and snorkeled over a wreck teeming with tropical fish. Fantastic beach day! St Lucia - Taxi to Rodney Bay. We were planning to take the bus, but once we exited the port compound a taxi driver offered a rate of $20 for our group of four, and he would be back to pick us up for the return at any time we wanted, same price on the return. I knew the going fare was $30 each way, so this was a deal and we took it. Turned out to be a good choice because we saved our walking for the beach. Fantastic beach, although there are quite a few vendors, we never found one that would not take no for an answer. The guys trying to sell drugs were very subtle about it so anyone not attuned to that would not even have noticed. Word of caution - the Carnival staff seemed to be looking for it... they even opened my eyeglass case when re-boarding. They were not looking for alcohol. I was glad we are not into that sort of thing, but I imagine quite a few people are, and the ship is trying to keep it out. St. Kitts - we were planning to see Brimstone Fortress but ended up just walking around town since we had already done so much. There is a nice Independence Park, with beautiful trees and plants. Lots of places to see. Free WiFi can be found at the Ferry Terminal for anyone who does not want to purchase a beer and get free WiFi at the many bars nearby. Very nice, laid back time. Many vendors charcoal grilling chicken and ribs over near the Ferry Terminal too... smelled oh so good, but there is too much free food on the ship to purchase any food off of it. St. Maarten - water taxi to town. $7 per person round trip and it is good for multiple trips (I did two.) Walked around town, had a few drinks at a beachfront bar, kicked back and marveled at the incredible colors of the water. There were lots of possibilities on this island but we wanted another laid back day so did not venture very far. The Ship - we had an interior on the Veranda deck, and found it just an ideal location. One deck down to the Lido and all the food there. Three decks down to the Sensation dining room where all our breakfasts and dinners were at. I liked the layout and found it easy to navigate. The ship was in good condition and I had no complaints about it. We did not use the pools, whirlpools, lay on the deck chairs, etc. We did this all on shore. The pools seemed to always be jam packed with kids having a blast. Fun to watch, but no way were we going in there! We caught the Divas production show, and it was a lot of fun. We did not make it to any of the other shows... we get up and retire early. Did not set foot in the casino. Our travel companions did but said it was not too busy and they did not gamble. Embarkation - pretty easy but it was a long haul from the street and the 3-story escalator was broken, so it was all walking or wait for an elevator. Disembarkation - easier still. We waited as long as we could and got out of there with minimal hassle. One of my bags was missing because another passenger took it by mistake... but it was returned and all was well. Taxi to the airport was easy to get, and same flat rate. Food - great as usual. Always ate breakfast and dinner in the dining rooms. Lunches were ample and do not remember any time there was a line... probably because we get an early start on excursions and are back early. Did get one order of chicken strips from the room service for $5 ... well worth it. Service - great again! Staff went out of the way to greet us. We felt welcome and special. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
From the moment my boyfriend and I stepped on the ship, to the second we stepped off we were racially profiled! They would hover around us and pace back and forth watching us. They even flagged our bag for the police to check! There was no ... Read More
From the moment my boyfriend and I stepped on the ship, to the second we stepped off we were racially profiled! They would hover around us and pace back and forth watching us. They even flagged our bag for the police to check! There was no paraphernalia in our suitcases but some how the dog “smelled” something in our bag so our bags were searched and we were stripped search for one reason only - because we are two young black adults. They were determined to harass us until they found something on us! This was most definitely a case of profiling. Also, the food and service on the boat all around was just nasty. Beware of this Carnival Fascination Cruise out of Puerto Rico as a young black adult! Hands down, the worst experience ive had for a vacation. Will never give any money towards any other carnival cruise ever again! I pay all this money to have a good time and escape from the reality of the world i live in on a day to day basis but instead i was harrassed the whole time and treated with the upmost disrespect ive ever experience in my life. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Worst cruise boat we have ever been on. Food was absolutely horrendous even in the main. Dining room. Served cold and same very evening. Even the dress up evenings, off which we went to 2...same cold horrible food...I actually lost ... Read More
Worst cruise boat we have ever been on. Food was absolutely horrendous even in the main. Dining room. Served cold and same very evening. Even the dress up evenings, off which we went to 2...same cold horrible food...I actually lost weight... Our cabin had a engine noise that made it impossible to sleep. We reported it 3 times and then gave up... they do not care They push alcohol on you at breakfast lunch and diner ..every thing costs....nothing is complementary. Bottle of average wine 45dollars in dining room and then 8 dollars to open it...robbery. Entertainment was rubbish...seriously bad This boat caters for mainly American ,Mexican and Puerto Rican people..as Europeans we felt like aliens... Even in the ports the locals do not like this boat as they know most guests are on last minute specials and won't spend a dollar locally. Only saving grace was the ports...some were truly great stops , except st.Thomas and Puerto Rico ....rubbish and extortionate Got off and back on in less than an hour...waste of time We will stick with Norwegian one million times better quality and value. Why virgin holidays uses this cruise ship is a mystery AVoid at all cost Read Less
Carnival Fascination Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 3.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 3.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 3.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 3.0 4.2

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