Fascination Jan 2013: Carnival Fascination Cruise Review by Mah62298

Carnival Fascination 5
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

Fascination Jan 2013

Sail Date: January 2013
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: Jacksonville
We sailed for 5 nights on the Carnival Fascination out of Jacksonville Fl leaving on January 28. This was our second cruise on Carnival for my Husband and I, but the first one for our daughters, ages 17(almost 18) and 16. We also cruised with my in-laws and and another couple. It was the first for them also. We stayed at the Holiday Inn that was less than a mile from the port, we used the stay and cruise package. The Hotel was clean and comfortable, the breakfast provided the morning of the cruise was simple but very good. They had a wide variety from cereals to biscuits and gravy. We boarded the shuttle at noon and arrived at the port less than 10 minutes later. At the port boarding ran very smoothly, the only hold up was we got stuck behind an elderly couple who had nothing ready. They did not have luggage tags or their boarding pass printed or attached. So we had to wait for the porter to get that info for them. Other than that we were on the ship by 12:45 and our rooms More were also ready for us as soon as we boarded. After taking our carry on items to our room, we went to the lido deck for lunch and to purchase the unlimited bubbles card for both of the kids, and had a few cocktails to start our vacation off right. The ship set sail right on time at 4pm where we went to the top deck to watch as we passed under the bridge, I am amazed at how close the ship gets to that thing! We had early dining at 6pm, Our dining staff was AWESOME, our water or tea glass never went empty and service was prompt. The only thing I have to complain about was the taste of the water and tea. On the lido deck both had an awful taste to them, but in both dining rooms they were fine. My oldest daughters name in Olivia and our waiter kept calling her Olive, which we thought was cute. We all enjoyed the song and dance routines they did after dinner also. The food in the dining room was good, the lido deck was ok, it is after all a buffet. We enjoyed the late night Mexican buffet the most.

Entertainment...we enjoyed the family friendly comedy shows, both comedians were very funny, the adult only ones were good also. I missed one night of the adult comedy, but was told by my friends that it got a little too nasty for their taste. The Diva show was also good, and my girls participated in Karaoke a few times. My oldest enjoyed all the trivia contest and even won a ship on a stick for the Beatles trivia.

Our stewards were also very good, always kept my ice bucket full and the room was always clean.

Everyone associated with Carnival was professional and very friendly.

My girls were looking forward to the teen activities on the ship, but there we very few kids their age on board. This of course was not Carnivals falt, but they had a great time anyway! Less

Published 02/06/13

Cabin review: 4Ee158 Interior

We stayed in cabin e158, an interior cabin on the Empress Deck. We had our family of four people in our cabin, and honestly it was not that bad. We have a 30 ft travel trailer and do alot of camping, so we are used to staying in small spaces. My husband and I had the king bed and there was a bunk on either wall that dropped down for the kids, we asked the steward to keep the bunks out because our kids like to take naps during the day. The bathroom was a nice size, just wish they had better exhaust fans in them. Also the outlet above the mirror was not working right. But I may have been doing something wrong, when I plugged in my hairdryer it hardly put our any air or heat. And my flat iron would not work in the outlet either. There was also plenty of closet space for our clothing, and our luggage was able to fit under the bed so it was out of the way also. The only thing my husband wishes they had was a comfortable chair to sit in while in the room. Maybe on our next cruise we can upgrade to a bigger cabin and that will not be an issue!

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Port and Shore Excursions

We did not do an excursion in Key West, we just toured the city on our own and did some shopping. Since we got here so early (7am) many of the stores were closed. But we walked to the Southern Point and took our pictures and did some sight seeing. We had lunch at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. I had the coconut shrimp and my husband had the fish tacos, Both were EXCELLENT. We also had the Blender of Booze and it was awesome also. By this time all of the stores were open and more people were out and about. The weather was BEAUTIFUL, considering it was 8 degrees where we are from. The only thing I can complain about is that every shop sells the same thing, which I have come to find is true at most places. So you can pretty much save time by buying your t shirt in the first shop you see, because every shop has the same items and they are all roughly the same price. We were back on board the ship by 130 and set sail for Nassau at 230 pm.
Read 1379 Key West Reviews

After docking at the port we made our way thru the port shops to the street and took a taxi to the Sheraton Resort. We had 8 people and the driver charged us $5 per person, he also came back at our desired time and picked us up to take us back to the ship. At the Sheraton we paid $120 for 4 people to use a room for the day and this gave us access to the beach and all of the hotels water activities. We were able to use the water bike, snorkeling equipment, kayaks and the boards were you stand on them and use a paddle, I think this is Wake boarding? Not sure. The hotel, beach and water were beautiful,my in laws had the conch fritters and they said they were very good. We chose this location so that we would not be hassled by locals trying to sell you things on the beach, and there was plenty of security that would run them off if they came onto the property. It was a nice relaxing day, which is exactly what we were looking for and we felt safe there with our daughters. After we were done here, our taxi driver dropped us at the straw market. This was not something that I enjoyed. There were a few little shops across from the Sheraton, I advise you to go there for your souvenirs, they are selling the same thing as the straw market. And you probably will not be harassed as much. I realize that this is how they make a living but I did not feel safe here with my daughters. When we first went in my husband was going to wait outside on the sidewalk, but within the first 5 minutes I insisted that he come in with me and the girls. There are just endless rows of people selling items (THAT ARE ALL THE SAME!) each row has 4-5 vendors on either side of you, so every 5 feet you are being asked to buy something. I do not know how many times I had to say no thank you just looking. I was trying very hard to be polite, but a few of the women selling items were trying to separate me from my girls. Thank goodness there were 6 adults to watch my two girls. so if you take children here, NEVER let them our of your sight for even a second! We spent about 30 minutes in here which was 30 minutes too long. But we got our souvenirs and we have good stories to tell. It started to cloud up and rain was moving our way so we were back on board in time for dinner. I would definitely visit this port again, just not the straw market
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