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Carnival Fascination Cruise Review
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
982 Reviews

Brilliant 1st Time Cruise

Carnival Fascination Cruise Review by Avid Reader10

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: the Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony

We're from the UK so embarked at Barbados after flying direct from London. This is the only Carnival cruise which has two embarkations (Sunday is San Juan, Wednesday is Barbados). We flew in the previous day, one night in a hotel, then taxi to the port at 12 noon the next day. When we embarked there were only 160 getting on at Barbados and check in was really simple and quick. Our luggage didn't take long to arrive.

We had anytime dining which worked well. The staff were great and greeted you by name each evening. If it was busy you were given a small handheld device which vibrates when they are ready for you - we never had to wait more than about 20 minutes. We chose a sharing table each evening because this is a brilliant way to meet other guests. Every evening we were sitting with different people which was great. The food in the dining room was good but the main courses could do with being changed more often, however the quality was good. We did have lunch in the buffet restaurant which had lots of choice and is open 24 hours a day. I liked the section where you could have a sandwich/wrap made up for you. You can get juice/water/coffee in the buffet at any time of day. We tried the burger place and found the burgers very tasty.

Service was excellent 100% of the time throughout the whole ship. I liked the fact that when you passed a member of staff they all smiled, said hello and asked if you were having a good time. Nothing seemed like too much trouble. Our room steward was excellent - we did have a couple of small issues with our cabin which I reported and they were sorted out within a few hours.

We loved the adults only serenity deck. It's right at the stern of the ship and had two hot tubs as well as loads of sunbeds. We met some lovely people here. Entertainment was varied and good. The cruise director (Marcelo) was lovely, as were all of his staff. We liked the piano bar and the shows in the Palace Theatre (especially the Love and Marriage show). The comedians were also excellent, although some of them need to slow down as they speak far too quickly and it's easy to miss the punchline!

We both used the gym which was huge and had loads of equipment. There was also a studio with mats where you could do floor work. We also used the spa and my husband declared his full body massage the best he had ever had. The therapists were lovely.

We had a balcony cabin on the main deck which was an excellent choice as we chose to have room service breakfast every morning on the balcony whilst watching the ship dock. There is no charge for room service (apart from within certain hours in the middle of the night).

The debark process at Barbados a week later was also quick and simple. If you want to you can stay on the ship until 1pm, but you need to vacate your cabin by 9am.

All the islands we visited were great. This was a lovely way to see so many places.

This was the first time cruising for us, but will not be the last. We had a great time and will be back.


Avid Reader10's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8B M127

We had a balcony cabin on the main deck (starboard side) which was an excellent choice as we chose to have room service breakfast every morning on the balcony whilst watching the ship dock. We docked on the starboard side at every island apart from San Juan. Our steward was great. I loved the different towel art each evening. The room was much better than I was expecting with plenty of storage space. The bed was huge and very comfortable. It was lovely to have the balcony. Saying that, I wouldn't have wanted to have more than 2 people in the cabin.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Barbados

We embarked from here and then spent 5 nights at the Mango Bay Hotel in Holetown after the cruise. I can recommend hiring a car and visiting the north of the island - the Animal Flower Cave was great (this is where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean).

Brilliant speed boat ride up the coast with commentary. Includes lunch, mud baths, waterfall, snorkelling under the pitons, Absolutely brilliant, we loved it. Soft drinks on the way there and alcohol on the way back.

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We did the ride out to Creole Rock. Shaun was our guide - he was great. It ended up being a private tour as the other 3 people who had booked didn't turn up. We had a blast (literally) and it is the most fun you can have on water. A "must-do" on St Martin. You will get very wet on the ride so wear suitable clothing!

I booked this trip independently, rather than through the cruise line and we saved a lot of money. We got a taxi to Simpson Bay from the cruise port which cost $15 for the two of us. We were intending on getting a taxi back but the guy in charge (sorry, cant remember his name), walked us out to the bus stop outside the venue and stayed with us to wait for the bus to come and then told the driver where we needed to be dropped off - the bus cost us $2 each so a big saving on the taxi back. Great service!

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San Juan

We visited the two forts on the island - walked between them. $7 per person gets you into both. It was great.

St. John Tour

It was OK. The ferry across to St John was good and the tour was OK - we saw lots and our tour guide was very informative.

View All 195 St. John Tour Reviews
St. Kitts (Port Zante)

We just got off the ship, walked around the port and took some pictures and did some shopping. It was nice having a drink in the bar in the port.


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Avid Reader10
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