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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!

No Stabilizers Batman!

Carnival Fascination Cruise Review by aztecdolphin

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2015
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
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!
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