Excellent Value, Fabulous Time: Carnival Fascination Cruise Review by SunFun&HappyPlaces

Carnival Fascination 5

Overall Member Rating

Excellent Value, Fabulous Time

Sail Date: October 2011
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: Jacksonville
This is our second time cruising with Carnival. The first time was on the Freedom March 2010, a much larger and newer ship. But, we needed a well deserved break from work, so we booked this cruise in early summer and the timing fit the bill. The booking agent was wonderful helping me to get what we wanted to try this time, an oceanview room, lower deck midship. And that is exactly where we were. No issues, a pleasant room, a great rate, and a wonderful room steward, John. The room was clean to the maximum, and done twice a day. The corridors were kept clean and clear and the access to elevators and stairwells was more than adequate. The dining experience was fantastic, both the buffets and the dining rooms. The food in the dining room was high quality, prepared well, and presented nicely. Our dining room waitstaff was great, entertaining, friendly +, and very informative. We had such good tablemates, and the conversation was lively. The cruise director, Jen, was hilarious, More informative, and you could tell she cared. The casino was kept clean and even the smoking area didn't reek, so you know the housekeepers worked hard at their jobs. On-board shows and entertainment was excellent excellent this trip.

We went to Nassau, Bahamas and Half Moon Cay. I really liked that we had a day to browse around Nassau this time, we docked at 8:00 a.m. and didn't leave until 5:30. There were plenty of activities available to make good use of the day, and we enjoyed ourselves. Half Moon Cay has a very lovely large beach with plenty of bar space, beach chairs, chairside wait staff, showering facilities, restrooms, and was a nice break from being on ship. The lunch provided on shore was very good, barbequed chicken, hamburgers, cheese burgers, any fixings you could imagine and a myriad of cold side dishes and salads. Again, there were plenty of activities to indulge in and comments from the other passengers were mostly very positive.

The Fascination is NOT a new ship, but it is a comfortable ship and laid out well. After cruising on the Freedom, we found this a bit more comfortable, actually, and for a short cruise, it was a perfect balance between pampering and comforting. We would do this quick cruise on this ship again. Next time I think we will stay midships, but move up a floor and try the balcony room on 5th. And choose the later dining time so that we don't feel quite as rushed getting ready for dinner. Less

Published 10/23/11

Cabin review: 6B Ocean View

Adequate space but not spacious, large closet space. The beds were not spectacular but were comfortable enough. Fairly quiet for the location on the ship. Remember, this is not a new ship, but one that has been refreshed in the last few years. It is a smaller ship, but it is very comfortable and a good value for the money.

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Port and Shore Excursions

There were extremely long and very slow lines at security. There seemed to be some confusion directing the passengers to open lines, or not having enough lines open for the prime boarding time. We can't blame Carnival for that since that is the duty of the TSA and Port Authority. They could do a little better at getting the people through and still making sure their rules are followed. After leaving Security, the Carnival staff checked us in quickly and efficiently. It couldn't have been more than 15 minutes before we had checked in, received our room Sail and Sign cards, gotten our Embarkation photos taken, and were getting settled in our cabin. If the TSA and Port Authority could improve the efficiency of the Security checks, things at the Port would have been much much nicer for the passengers.

Getting off the ship was a snap, and finding our way to the city was easy. Coming back through Customs was a bit more daunting, but there were 3 ships in port at the moment, and one was getting ready to leave. But they brought another Bahamian customs agent and from that moment on they moved a large number of people through quickly.
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