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We just got back from a cruise on the Fascination, which was the first cruise for our kids 18 & 7. Overall, we had a great experience and because of the wonderful staff, we will definitely cruise on Carnival again. Yes, the ship is dated but that should be expected when looking at the age of the ship. Our waiter, cabin steward and other staff we encountered treated us all like kings and queens. A few things you should be aware of. A balcony room for 4 people works, but is extremely small. If your child will not participate in the kids club, there are not a ton of things to do. The pool is very small and doesn't leave much room for kids to swim. The waterpark was great, and my son enjoyed this area very much. We paid for faster to the fun, which was worth it b/c you miss all of the check in lines and are first to disembark when the boat gets back to Jacksonville (very much worth the $60 per cabin, in my opinion.) Our first stop in Nassau, we had paid for the Atlantis Aquaventure, which was very expensive but I would say is worth the money if you have children that enjoy water rides. Just be careful with the cab drivers and make sure you are with a legit taxi or they will charge you whatever they want, not the alloted $4 per person. Freeport, in my opinion, should be scratched off the list, wasn't much to see and didn't seem worth the time. Food was comparable to other ships and there was always an option throughout the day if we or the kids were hungry. The shows were great and we were able to enjoy them all as a family. Bingo is pricey and can add up for a family of 4. Carnival provided beach towels which was nice, b/c I wasn't sure if I should bring them, so it will be one less thing to pack next time. If you want a good cruise, for an affordable rate, in my opinion, you can't go wrong.

Great Cruise for the Money

Carnival Fascination Cruise Review by fiafamily

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2015
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
We just got back from a cruise on the Fascination, which was the first cruise for our kids 18 & 7. Overall, we had a great experience and because of the wonderful staff, we will definitely cruise on Carnival again. Yes, the ship is dated but that should be expected when looking at the age of the ship. Our waiter, cabin steward and other staff we encountered treated us all like kings and queens.

A few things you should be aware of. A balcony room for 4 people works, but is extremely small. If your child will not participate in the kids club, there are not a ton of things to do. The pool is very small and doesn't leave much room for kids to swim. The waterpark was great, and my son enjoyed this area very much. We paid for faster to the fun, which was worth it b/c you miss all of the check in lines and are first to disembark when the boat gets back to Jacksonville (very much worth the $60 per cabin, in my opinion.)

Our first stop in Nassau, we had paid for the Atlantis Aquaventure, which was very expensive but I would say is worth the money if you have children that enjoy water rides. Just be careful with the cab drivers and make sure you are with a legit taxi or they will charge you whatever they want, not the alloted $4 per person. Freeport, in my opinion, should be scratched off the list, wasn't much to see and didn't seem worth the time. Food was comparable to other ships and there was always an option throughout the day if we or the kids were hungry. The shows were great and we were able to enjoy them all as a family. Bingo is pricey and can add up for a family of 4. Carnival provided beach towels which was nice, b/c I wasn't sure if I should bring them, so it will be one less thing to pack next time. If you want a good cruise, for an affordable rate, in my opinion, you can't go wrong.
fiafamily’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
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Ages 7 to 9
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8A M233
Very small for 4 people, queen size and 2 fold down twins which cover the queen so you cannot walk around when one bed is down. Balcony is worth the extra money for the view and extra space!!
Main Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Freeport
    We paid $17 per person to be taken to Taino Beach, which is 25 minutes away, we were promised watersports. We got there, the beach was dirty and empty. Watersports offered were kayak, paddle boarding and jet skiing was extra. We asked for lounge chairs and were told it was $5 each but he negotiated to $2 each.
    We sat in the chair for minutes, a storm rolled in and we left. Paid about $100 for 15 minutes and didn't get a dime back. Not impressed with Freeport and wouldn't visit this port again.
    View All 1,343 Freeport Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Freeport Cruise Port Review
  • Atlantis Resort
    Atlantis was closed when we got to Nassau b/c of lightning so we had to wait about 2 1/2 hours for it to open. Once it opened, we had a blast. This is very expensive, but worth every penny b/c as a family, we had a great time.
    View All 677 Atlantis Resort Reviews