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We knew going in the Fascination is an old boat, but it has a great itinerary and only one day at sea so we went ahead and booked. Overall we were more impressed than we expected. We were a party of 5, two parents and teenagers aged 19, 18, and 14. The cabins are very clean and look updated, no wear and tear to be seen (and we were on the Riviera, so bottom deck). Beds and pillows are comfortable. Bathrooms were also very clean. There is a hair dryer in all of the rooms (online information said there was not). Plenty of closet space, but the safe is not large enough for a laptop. We had no issues with anything missing from our room. There's only one standard outlet in the room and one in the bathroom (the kids struggled for charge time!). Our room steward was attentive and friendly. Around the ship you could see a little more wear here and there, but overall not much. The public bathrooms were all clean and look recently updated. The decor is a bit out of date, but didn't detract from a good cruise experience. The ship was full, but we had no trouble finding a pool chair on the sea day (or in the late afternoons) and other than the buffet you didn't really feel too crowded. Getting on and off the ship at the ports was very easy and organized. The ports are great. We did the social WiFi for the kids and the basic WiFi for my husband and they worked fine with the exception of one day. We struggled a bit with the entertainment staff, while they were very friendly and outgoing they seemed to be screaming into the microphones, both out at the pool and inside during bingo. I am sure they have to have the volume up for some guests, but it was always so LOUD and sometimes distorted. We did not attend any of the evening shows or entertainment except the 80's dance party on the Lido deck, which was fun. We would recommend the mini speedboat tour in St. Kitts, and the Golden Eagle Catamaran on St. Maarten. Both were excellent and well run excursions, booked through Carnival. In Barbados we went to The Boatyard, which was a great day. Just get off the ship and go to the taxi stand and say the boatyard, it's $5 each to take a shuttle there and they will shuttle you back in the afternoon. It's $25 each to get into the Boatyard and that includes a beach chair and umbrella and one drink each, plus a short snorkel tour on a boat you board right off their pier. It was the best snorkeling we did all week, we saw several stingrays and a sea turtle. Food and drinks were good and not too expensive, and the staff was really friendly and fun. We had a great day there and highly recommend. I recommend getting the Carnival trip insurance, we ended up with cancelled flights that caused us to board the ship at the first port in St. Thomas. Carnival was very accommodating, they allowed us to cancel our excursion we had booked through them for that port with a full refund and arranged for our check-in that day. Upon return home I submitted the receipts for trip delay and baggage delay along with a letter from the airline explaining and we were reimbursed right away. The only real disappointments were the buffet, which is laid out poorly. You have people coming and going with strollers and wheelchairs and not wide enough spaces. The ice machines were working sporadically in the buffet and outside by the Mexican/ burger joint. Then workers would be using the ice machine to fill up glasses when customers were trying to get ice. Didn't seem to be a good system. And they seemed to be doing work continuously around the ship, varnishing railings and closing stairs, along with loud drilling. It made getting around a challenge. You would think they would take a week off and just do all the projects at once. Food was good, drinks are good but of course pricey (we don't drink enough to justify a package). We only ate in the dining room one dinner and it was fine (we aren't foodies). We wouldn't go back on this ship, but that's only because we try and go new places on each trip. If you are looking for a way to see these islands, we would recommend this cruise.

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Carnival Fascination Cruise Review by cristib1

Trip Details
We knew going in the Fascination is an old boat, but it has a great itinerary and only one day at sea so we went ahead and booked. Overall we were more impressed than we expected. We were a party of 5, two parents and teenagers aged 19, 18, and 14.

The cabins are very clean and look updated, no wear and tear to be seen (and we were on the Riviera, so bottom deck). Beds and pillows are comfortable. Bathrooms were also very clean. There is a hair dryer in all of the rooms (online information said there was not). Plenty of closet space, but the safe is not large enough for a laptop. We had no issues with anything missing from our room. There's only one standard outlet in the room and one in the bathroom (the kids struggled for charge time!). Our room steward was attentive and friendly.

Around the ship you could see a little more wear here and there, but overall not much. The public bathrooms were all clean and look recently updated. The decor is a bit out of date, but didn't detract from a good cruise experience. The ship was full, but we had no trouble finding a pool chair on the sea day (or in the late afternoons) and other than the buffet you didn't really feel too crowded. Getting on and off the ship at the ports was very easy and organized. The ports are great. We did the social WiFi for the kids and the basic WiFi for my husband and they worked fine with the exception of one day.

We struggled a bit with the entertainment staff, while they were very friendly and outgoing they seemed to be screaming into the microphones, both out at the pool and inside during bingo. I am sure they have to have the volume up for some guests, but it was always so LOUD and sometimes distorted. We did not attend any of the evening shows or entertainment except the 80's dance party on the Lido deck, which was fun.

We would recommend the mini speedboat tour in St. Kitts, and the Golden Eagle Catamaran on St. Maarten. Both were excellent and well run excursions, booked through Carnival.

In Barbados we went to The Boatyard, which was a great day. Just get off the ship and go to the taxi stand and say the boatyard, it's $5 each to take a shuttle there and they will shuttle you back in the afternoon. It's $25 each to get into the Boatyard and that includes a beach chair and umbrella and one drink each, plus a short snorkel tour on a boat you board right off their pier. It was the best snorkeling we did all week, we saw several stingrays and a sea turtle. Food and drinks were good and not too expensive, and the staff was really friendly and fun. We had a great day there and highly recommend.

I recommend getting the Carnival trip insurance, we ended up with cancelled flights that caused us to board the ship at the first port in St. Thomas. Carnival was very accommodating, they allowed us to cancel our excursion we had booked through them for that port with a full refund and arranged for our check-in that day. Upon return home I submitted the receipts for trip delay and baggage delay along with a letter from the airline explaining and we were reimbursed right away.

The only real disappointments were the buffet, which is laid out poorly. You have people coming and going with strollers and wheelchairs and not wide enough spaces. The ice machines were working sporadically in the buffet and outside by the Mexican/ burger joint. Then workers would be using the ice machine to fill up glasses when customers were trying to get ice. Didn't seem to be a good system. And they seemed to be doing work continuously around the ship, varnishing railings and closing stairs, along with loud drilling. It made getting around a challenge. You would think they would take a week off and just do all the projects at once.

Food was good, drinks are good but of course pricey (we don't drink enough to justify a package). We only ate in the dining room one dinner and it was fine (we aren't foodies).

We wouldn't go back on this ship, but that's only because we try and go new places on each trip. If you are looking for a way to see these islands, we would recommend this cruise.
cristib1’s Full Rating Summary
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