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I've read many reviews about this cruise leading up to our trip. Some were negative and some were positive. Most of the reviews I read had referenced the fact that the Fascination is an older ship. I've been on 3 other Carnival cruises and two Norwegian cruises. The Fascination is just as nice, if not nicer, than any other ship I've sailed on. It is SO CLEAN. At one point, I saw someone cleaning the floor with a toothpick! I also saw cabin stewards steam cleaning curtains and wiping the ceilings. Show me any resort that does that on a daily basis! This was such a clean ship and did not show its age anywhere. Embarkation in San Juan was simple. Our appointed time to board was 1pm. We arrived to the port around 11:30am and were directed to the 2nd floor of the cruise terminal. There was a very small line. We were shocked to find out that we could board as soon as we checked in. I've never boarded so quickly before. I almost purchased the Faster To The Fun program but opted against it. I'm glad I did. The only thing I had to wait for was our luggage to get delivered to our room later on that evening. We had cabin M225, which is an oceanview room. It is slightly smaller than other oceanview rooms on other Carnival ships(185 sq ft compared to 225 sq ft). It is a normal size room for any other ship. I brought an over the door shoe rack to store our toiletries in. It hung right over our bathroom door. I recommend bringing one because this ship does not have the larger shelves that some of the newer ships have in the bathroom. It also does not have a hairdryer. My girlfriend brought hers just in case and was pleased she did. The room does have plenty of storage for all of our clothes. We had 4 people in the cabin, 2 adults and 2 children. We chose the anytime dining and had many excellent meals in the Sensation dining room. All of the wait staff were friendly, professional, and very nice. The meals came to the table hot and delicious. The buffet was also really good. I really enjoyed the Mongolian Wok. I hear it may be getting replaced with Guy's Burgers in February when the ship receives the Funship 2.0 upgrades. I'll be sad to see it go. Its delicious! The Dr. Seuss breakfast is always a good time and is only $5 p/p extra. We went to a few shows, we liked the mentalist, Rich Purpura. He's really funny. Our favorite bar had to be the Atrium Bar on the 7th deck. Theres live music most of the time and one of the bartenders, Siti, is SO NICE. She is super friendly and makes really good drinks. Our son loved her chocolate banana smoothies. We did a few excursions. In Barbados, we went on the Jolly Roger Pirate Ship. We did not book this through Carnival and we were glad we didnt. Carnival's trip does not include food. You have to buy it when you check in to get on the pirate ship. A burger is $5, the buffet lunch which includes your choice of steak, chicken, or grilled tuna as well as many sides is $15 extra if purchased through Carnival. We found the excursion through another website and only spent $6 more per person for the trip. HOWEVER, that INCLUDED the buffet lunch. Also, we were on the same excursion as those who purchased through Carnival. So we weren't afraid that we'd be left behind if the ship left. In St. Kitts, we relaxed at a resort for a day. It was very nice. I did not much care for St. Lucia. The port is in the city and there is nothing to see. People harass you to take their tours in their taxis or shop at their stands. We got right back on the ship after only a few minutes. St. Maarten and St. Thomas are both very nice. We didnt do any excursions, just toured on our own. Overall, this was a very nice cruise. I had a great time and met some great people aboard. My only complaint is that there is only 1 fun day at sea. After the Fascination's dry dock in February, they are replacing that fun day at sea with another port in Domenica. So there will be a port day every day. For me, that is too much.

Amazing Vacation

Carnival Fascination Cruise Review by jaynash

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I've read many reviews about this cruise leading up to our trip. Some were negative and some were positive. Most of the reviews I read had referenced the fact that the Fascination is an older ship. I've been on 3 other Carnival cruises and two Norwegian cruises. The Fascination is just as nice, if not nicer, than any other ship I've sailed on. It is SO CLEAN. At one point, I saw someone cleaning the floor with a toothpick! I also saw cabin stewards steam cleaning curtains and wiping the ceilings. Show me any resort that does that on a daily basis! This was such a clean ship and did not show its age anywhere.

Embarkation in San Juan was simple. Our appointed time to board was 1pm. We arrived to the port around 11:30am and were directed to the 2nd floor of the cruise terminal. There was a very small line. We were shocked to find out that we could board as soon as we checked in. I've never boarded so quickly before. I almost purchased the Faster To The Fun program but opted against it. I'm glad I did. The only thing I had to wait for was our luggage to get delivered to our room later on that evening.

We had cabin M225, which is an oceanview room. It is slightly smaller than other oceanview rooms on other Carnival ships(185 sq ft compared to 225 sq ft). It is a normal size room for any other ship. I brought an over the door shoe rack to store our toiletries in. It hung right over our bathroom door. I recommend bringing one because this ship does not have the larger shelves that some of the newer ships have in the bathroom. It also does not have a hairdryer. My girlfriend brought hers just in case and was pleased she did. The room does have plenty of storage for all of our clothes. We had 4 people in the cabin, 2 adults and 2 children.

We chose the anytime dining and had many excellent meals in the Sensation dining room. All of the wait staff were friendly, professional, and very nice. The meals came to the table hot and delicious. The buffet was also really good. I really enjoyed the Mongolian Wok. I hear it may be getting replaced with Guy's Burgers in February when the ship receives the Funship 2.0 upgrades. I'll be sad to see it go. Its delicious! The Dr. Seuss breakfast is always a good time and is only $5 p/p extra.

We went to a few shows, we liked the mentalist, Rich Purpura. He's really funny.

Our favorite bar had to be the Atrium Bar on the 7th deck. Theres live music most of the time and one of the bartenders, Siti, is SO NICE. She is super friendly and makes really good drinks. Our son loved her chocolate banana smoothies.

We did a few excursions. In Barbados, we went on the Jolly Roger Pirate Ship. We did not book this through Carnival and we were glad we didnt. Carnival's trip does not include food. You have to buy it when you check in to get on the pirate ship. A burger is $5, the buffet lunch which includes your choice of steak, chicken, or grilled tuna as well as many sides is $15 extra if purchased through Carnival. We found the excursion through another website and only spent $6 more per person for the trip. HOWEVER, that INCLUDED the buffet lunch. Also, we were on the same excursion as those who purchased through Carnival. So we weren't afraid that we'd be left behind if the ship left. In St. Kitts, we relaxed at a resort for a day. It was very nice. I did not much care for St. Lucia. The port is in the city and there is nothing to see. People harass you to take their tours in their taxis or shop at their stands. We got right back on the ship after only a few minutes. St. Maarten and St. Thomas are both very nice. We didnt do any excursions, just toured on our own.

Overall, this was a very nice cruise. I had a great time and met some great people aboard. My only complaint is that there is only 1 fun day at sea. After the Fascination's dry dock in February, they are replacing that fun day at sea with another port in Domenica. So there will be a port day every day. For me, that is too much.
jaynash’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Onboard Experience

Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 6D M225
Our cabin steward, Putu, was very nice. The room was always immaculate. They even steam clean the curtains daily!
Empress Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews