Carnival Fascination Cruise Review by Regina
- Sail Date: February 2004
- Destination: Western Caribbean
I would not recommend this hotel. A well-known national chain close to the airport, but the service was terrible, the elevators worked only periodically, and the restaurant was way too pricy, took forever and not that great at all. Our morning travel to the ship was easy enough and even though the port of Miami is under major construction, there were adequate signs to guide you right to where you needed to be. We where there by about 11:00, went directly through the sign-in process (we had pre-registered via the internet which helps a bunch), and waited until around noon when they let us board. We were very pleasantly surprised to find that we had been upgraded from an interior room to an ocean view room!
We ate lunch on the Lido deck and looked around a little until 1:00 when we were allowed to go to our rooms. We were very pleased with the accommodations. We think the room (and bathroom) are a little larger than those on RC cruise line. We loved Key West and wish we could have been there a little longer. We booked our own trolley tour and saved $14.00. It was very interesting and worth the money. We booked the excursion at Cozumel through the ship. We went on a boat to snorkel, then to a beach. The snorkeling was awful and the beach crowded and not that pretty. It lasted too long. However, if you like to party, you probably would have liked it. For some reason, we had a long wait to get off the ship at Cozumel and had to be tendered in because of the number of ships in port. We were stuck in the stairwells for between 1/2 hr and 1 hr. They were very apologetic about it.
The shows on the ship were great. We went to almost every thing in the Palace Lounge. We really enjoyed the comedic juggler and the comedians. Suggestion: Go early for anything in the Palace Lounge, as the 'best view' seating goes fast. The formal dining was ok - presentation was top rate, flavor second rate, service second rate (as compared to RC cruise line). The casual dining via the buffets was the same. The best thing I had on the ship was through room service and was very quickly delivered. My daughter liked the pizza and the ice cream. We liked the fresh fruit. We didn't really see any fantastic bargains in the ship shops and we thought they were poorly located. The information desk was always very helpful and pleasant.
The Camp Carnival program was great. Our 13yr old found plenty of new friends and activities which included karaokee, scavenger hunts, pizza parties, ice scream socials, video game time, dances, pool parties, and the list goes on...Misc. Suggestions: Pack your clothes on hangers - makes unpacking easy and you'll need them. Take a power strip for additional outlets (there is only one in the room and one in the bathroom). Take a travel clock w/alarm. You'll need a blowdryer. For inside rooms take a night light. Take your own beach towel to eliminate the risk of having to pay for one of the ships that might get snatched on deck - they all look alike! The evening shows are well air conditioned - so take along appropriate dress. The debarkation went very smoothly and took around 1 1/2 hours but we sat comfortably in the lounge for all but 15 minutes or so. We left the ship and were easily guided to the shuttle that we had paid for to take us to the airport. All in all we had a good time and would cruise w/Carnival again. Although there were things about our first cruise that we liked better, it worked the same in reverse on other things. The value was a little better w/Carnival.
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