Cruising after a 3 year hiatus: Carnival Fascination Cruise Review by jrowland

Carnival Fascination 5
Member Since 2004
135 Forum Posts

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Cruising after a 3 year hiatus

Sail Date: May 2012
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: Jacksonville
Cruise: Carnival Fascination. May 3 -- May 7 out of Jacksonville, Florida
Ports: Freeport, Nassau
Weather: Smooth, almost like "glass" at times.
Why this particular cruise? Hadn't cruised since 2008 due to medical restrictions. Cruise port 70 miles from home.
Wanted a short/easy cruise to get back into cruising.

Cruise History: Carnival Celebration - 11/04, 11/05, 02/07, 05/12
Carnival Fantasy - 05/03
Carnival Glory - 12/07
RCCL Mariner of the Seas - 03/08
Celebrity Constellation - 02/06

Food: Breakfast -- Enjoyed breakfast each day in the Sensation restaurant. Good Service/Food
Lunch - Liddo Desk. Good Salad Bar. Hot bars were ok but nothing to "write home about"
Pizza and Sandwich (Deli) bar were good. Often found ourselves More letting our food from here. Dessert/ice cream bar were good.
Dinner - Sensation Dining Room. First two nights was very good. Last two nights weregood but no "WOW" factor. Desserts were great.
Chocolate Melting Cake is a must!! Great Head Waiter and his staff.

Cabin: Since this was our first cruise in 3 years, we splurged and got a Suite Cabin, Mid Desk on 6th floor. Was a very nice room with a large balcony and a whirlpool tub. Very efficient air conditioner! Had to cut down as I was getting "COLD". Cabin Steward was great.
This was our 8th overall cruise and this is the first one that I can remember that our Cabin Steward remembered our names and always greeted us by our names throughout the cruise.

Freeport -- Did not get off the ship. Sitting on our balcony, witnessed a barge tie up right below us, next to ship and proceeded to "fuel up" the Fascination.
Also was able to witness the Celebrity Millennium receiving an upgrade.
Nassau. Wanted to check out Atlantis but ultimately decided to visit on our next cruise. We decided to walk around Nassau on our own.
Checked out some stores selling liquor to compare prices vs those on the Fascination and found Fascination's prices were better in most cases.
Entertainment -- Evening shows were good. Female lead vocalist was a lot better than the male singer. Attended one comedy show. Comedian got me to laugh a couple of times although wished the show was longer than 30 minutes.
"Wine tasting". $10 per person. Had 6 different wines to taste with different condiments i.e. Cheese, crackers, fruit. Found very well presented and learned a lot about wine "paring" with different food types.

Embarkation -- Hadn't really realized when we reserved a "SUITE" cabin this included VIP check in. We were led to a separate room with plenty of seating and refreshments to enjoy while we were personally checked in. Had requested a wheelchair for one in our party and had a Carnival representative meet us with a wheelchair and stayed with us until we were settled on the ship

Debarkation -- Requested wheelchair assistance for one person in our group. Passengers requesting wheelchair assistance are met in the main lounge by a Carnival Representative with wheelchair. Representative stayed with us and pushed the wheelchair until we cleared customs.
Those not using "Self Assist" began debarkation about 1 hour after the first call for "Self Assist" and may find yourself waiting to get an elevator if you do not choose to use the stairs.

Special Needs. Requested wheelchair assistance for embarkation and debarkation. Both times, Carnival provided a wheelchair and a representative to push the wheelchair. On the second full day of the cruise, requested the use of a wheelchair while docked in Nassau.
Upon checking, you can "rent" a wheelchair and you the full cruise rate no matter which day of the cruise you are on or if only need for one day.
Rental rate is $80 and a $50 deposit which you get back when you return the wheelchair.
We did bring along our own oxygen bottles. You are able to keep one bottle in the room with you. The others are stored on the ship. When we needed a new oxygen bottle we called the Customer Service desk and we were able to pick one within 30 minutes.
I'm sure they will deliver to the room but thought it would be quick to go pick one up ourselves. When picking up a new oxygen bottle you must turn over your empty one for storage. NOTE: Before embarkation, suggest you remind the staff at the front desk that you have oxygen bottles in storage and that they be available for pickup when you debark. Once we got down to the luggage pickup area we mentioned to a Carnival representative we needed to pick up some oxygen bottles and they went and brought them to us promptly.

Parking: Available at the port for $15.00 a day. There is a private parking service located at the port entrance that I believe charged $7/8 per day. Have to park there and take their shuttle to the cruise port.
Jen was the cruise director for this cruise

Courtesy to other passengers. While in Nassau, the posted reboarding time to the ship was 05:30 pm with a 6 pm departing. Around 05:45 pm we went out to our balcony to rest and view the ship leaving port. Given this was 15 minutes after the requested reboarding time, we still noticed individuals, couples nonchalantly walking down the pier toward the ship like they had all the time in the world to get back.
Security staff had actually walked down the pier area trying to get folks to hurry up and get back on board. Had one woman who stopped at the gang plank and let security know she was going to finish a cigarette before she got on.
Around 05:55 pm I saw this one gentleman if you can picture this literally stumbling down the pier area, red as a "beet", stopping now and then and bending over like he was going to puke. Security was waving and asking him to hurry up and he just proceeded to yell back at them.

Final View. Would I take this cruise again -- Yes
Met my expectations -- Yes
Can't beat the value for what you pay. Less

Published 06/01/12

Cabin review: GSu75 Grand Suite

Quiet room. Air conditioner worked good. Had to turn down as got COLD. Room seward was great. Elevators close buy. Main dining room was very close up two decks as was the main lounge.

Read All Grand Suite (GS) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Just got off the ship and walked around. Nothing stood out that I can remember that was any different from last time we were here 3 years ago. Wanted to visit Atlantis but will reserve that until our next cruise.
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