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430 Miami to Bahamas Cruise Reviews

We just returned from a 4 night cruise to the Bahamas on Carnival's Fascination. It was actually a family and friends cruise as 23 of us went. Overall, everyone had a good time, however; I believe everyone who was on our last cruise ... Read More
We just returned from a 4 night cruise to the Bahamas on Carnival's Fascination. It was actually a family and friends cruise as 23 of us went. Overall, everyone had a good time, however; I believe everyone who was on our last cruise on Royal Caribbean will attest that this cruise did not meet the standards set by Royal Caribbean. My background - 32 year old male who has been on eight previous cruises. My previous Carnival experience was on Inspiration and Imagination. These were my first two 7-day cruises. Embarkation: This process moved quickly and efficiently. We were on the ship within 15 minutes of walking in the front doors. Ship: To me, the ship was in excellent shape for its age. The only truly visible signs of wear was in the carpeting on the Riviera deck hallways. You would see obvious water stains all the way down the hall from when the rooms had obviously flooded. Other than this, the only other wear I saw was on the elevators in the Atrium area. The brass was very scratched around the elevator. Of the three Carnival ship's I've been on, this was the most tastefully decorated. I thought the usual bright neon was subdued throughout. Food: The poor food quality is the reason my partner and I ventured out and tried a cruiseline other than Carnival. Up until this cruise we had not been on a Carnival cruise since 1997 and were really hoping that the food quality had dramatically improved. I'm happy to report that the food quality was much improved, but it still was not up to what I have experienced on other lines. On this cruise, we did not eat in the dining room - a first for us, so I can't speak personally on the dining room food. We did attempt to go to the dining room for lunch when in Nassau only to find out they don't open the dining room on port days. On the Lida buffet was available - disappointing. Others in our group said the dining room food was good, but nothing exceptional. The alternative dining, from my viewpoint is lacking. The quality is OK, but the selection is minimal at best. I don't eat hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza at home and surely don't want that on vacation and everyday, half the alternative dining was nothing more than hamburgers and hot dogs (Lunch and Dinner). I believe Royal Caribbean does a much better job with alternative dining and from what was told to me by others in our group in the dining room as well. For this reason alone, I doubt I will return to Carnival anytime soon. Service: Service onboard the ship was average. All the staff were cordial and polite, but no one smiled. It was like the were all going through the motions. The only exception to this was our cabin steward - we was friendly and bubbly. Carnival still pushes alcohol sales. On the pool deck it turned into badgering. They were just in your face. They didn't just walk around announcing bar service and if you wanted a drink you signal them. They would come right up to you and say, "Bucket of beer for you? Need a drink?". This was non-stop, because a couple minutes after that waiter stopped and asked, the next would come by and do the same thing. One other thing about the ship was that it was very cold. The promenade deck was absolutely freezing. Some in our group bought sweat shirts to wear around the ship to stay warm. Overall, as I said above, I had a good time, but not a great time. If you are looking for a quick cheap basic getaway, then this may be the ship for you. If you are looking for the vacation of a lifetime feeling, as I have usually felt when leaving a ship, then you will probably want to look beyond Carnival. I'm glad I tried Carnival again, but it just solidified my preference for Royal Caribbean. Happy sailing. Shawn Read Less
Sail Date September 2004
Hi, My husband and I sailed on August 13, 2004, we were on the empress deck, cabin E2. The room was adequate for us. It was a king size bed with 2 port holes, a tv and vanity, the bathroom was small but functional and clean. It was our ... Read More
Hi, My husband and I sailed on August 13, 2004, we were on the empress deck, cabin E2. The room was adequate for us. It was a king size bed with 2 port holes, a tv and vanity, the bathroom was small but functional and clean. It was our first cruise. Day One Embarkation went smoothly, no problems. It's much easier if you have carry on bags, you don't have to wait to have them tagged. You just walk right into the ship and the staff will direct you to a line where you'll wait to be seen by an agent where she will confirm your booking and set up the sail and sign card, it basically allows you to charge anything you like on the ship with either a credit card or check card, they place a hold for whatever amount you want. Don't expect to use cash on the ship for purchases, they require a sail and sign card and they withdraw the purchases from your card. I suggest you take cash for the casino, if not, you'll have to make an ATM withdrawal and the machine will charge $5.50 for the withdrawal. The room was roomy enough for the two of us. The steward introduced himself to us and was very polite and pleasant. Expect the steward to come in at least three times a day to clean up and fill supplies, unless you place the do not disturb sign. BIG TURN OFF was the push on the alcohol drinks, as soon as you go the lido deck, you are pushed into buying a drink, i guess that's one way they make their money. We purchased a soda fountain card, for sodas and ice water. Bottled water and alcohol are separate cards and fees. DINNER- You will recieve a card stating the dinner time you've picked and on the card will be the dining room you've been assigned to and the dinner table. You have the option of eating at the dining room or go casual and attend the casual restaurant, but I warn you if you miss the first night of the dining where by the way the food is much better, gourmet food, the next night you decide to go, you will feel pretty unwelcome, why? because on the first night you will be assigned a table, with a group of 8, there you will get to know your fellow diners and the waiters will also get to know you, we made the mistake of missing the first night and when we arrived the second night the staff had replaced our seats with other diners, apparently the other diners expected the other diners to show up. Let's just say they didn't seem to happy to make new friends. If you're shy this type of dining is not for you. You must be able to sit and chit chat or you may just sit there and not say a word, but you'd enjoy it more if you try to be a little social, makes the time go by faster and you'll enjoy the meal. That's one thing i didn't like about the ship was the forced dining with total strangers, i did ask for a table for two when they said no, i said no thanks, and they found a table for us. DAY TWO We arrived at the bahamas at 8:00 a.m. we picked the blue lagoon snorkeling, it was a beautiful island, i loved it, the only bad thing, you have to walk about 20 minutes to get to the ferry, so if you have bad knees or feet, i don't recommend it. Also they squeezed as many people as possible on to the ferry, i stood on the ferry for 45 minutes, my husband who suffers from foot problems was able to get a seat, thank god. We arrived late about 11:00 a.m. and left about 2;00p.m. but you can stay until 4:00p.m. if you like just don't miss the ferry, they will state what time you should be at the pier. DAY THREE We set sail back to miami by 6:00 a.m. We played bingo, went to the casino and explored the ship and the foods, oh the food was not as good as i had expected, the gourmet food at the dining room was much better. They also had the newlywed game and the quest talent show, that was very amusing. I loved the cruise director, Greg Hutson, he was funny and charming. He looked just like Jessica Simpson's husband! For you woman out there, bring a hairdryer and curling iron, they don't offer one in the room. Also as soon as you get into the room they will have a launderette for you to wash, dry and iron your clothes, for the formal night make sure you iron your clothes as soon as you get there, or you will have to wait on line, and it gets very busy on formal night. On the lido deck they'll have a casual restaurant where you may sit where you like and they will have the hairy chest contest. There is a live band to entertain you while you lay out in the sun or swim, i found the pool to be a bit small, but so go in early morning if you can, it gets crowded after 11:00 a.m. Would i recommend this ship? No, the food was not very good and i felt the shore excursions should have been explained better with regard to what to expect for example, the long lines and walk to the ferry. Also if you don't like crowded, smelly markets, do not go into the market place in the bahamas, it was disgustingly crowded and smelly and the prices are not very good, you must have to haggle to get a good deal. I actually witnessed two bahamians fighting over a customer, both wanted to braid this young girl's hair and they were fighting over who would get the sale. It's not worth it, you're better off going to the air conditioned privately owned store right on the same street, next time i'll try Royal Caribbean, i've heard it's much nicer and bigger. Good luck, Jazzbunny Day Two Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
Our 3 night cruise included 1 full day in Nassau and 1 day at sea. This was our second cruise overall, taking a 7 day NCL cruise to Alaska a few years ago. In summary, this cruise was acceptable, but not in same class as the NCL cruise. ... Read More
Our 3 night cruise included 1 full day in Nassau and 1 day at sea. This was our second cruise overall, taking a 7 day NCL cruise to Alaska a few years ago. In summary, this cruise was acceptable, but not in same class as the NCL cruise. The restaurants served good standard fare, but nothing outstanding or exceptional that you would remember. Service was fairly good, but not great either. The room steward was very attentive, although he spoke very little English. Whatever we needed, after the communication was taken care of was taken care of quickly. The visit to Nassau was nice. Interestingly, though, the cruise was scheduled to leave Nassau at 7AM, but left at 4AM instead. The teenage activities were a BIG disappointment. The teen disco was closed for the duration of the cruise. The adult disco didn't allow anyone under 18 admission, and enforced that at the door. So, what were our teens supposed to do in the evenings? Complaints onboard the ship didn't help at all. The purser's desk would have a different reason for the closure every time we came to ask about it. My teens paid full price, but received less than the full activities that we paid for! When I wrote a complaint letter to the President of Carnival asking for a partial refund, I received a form letter back, ignoring our specific complaint with a 10% discount on a future cruise within the next 18 months. So, I am dissatisfied, but their only response is to try to push me onto another cruise for which I may be dissatisfied again? That is totally unacceptable! Overall, as stated above, an acceptable cruise for the adults, not so for the teenagers, but nothing special. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
My husband and I have never cruised and were excited to go on the Majesty with our 18-month old son. Unfortunately, the cruise was extremely disappointing. In short, cruises are not good vacations for young toddlers. Here's why: 1. ... Read More
My husband and I have never cruised and were excited to go on the Majesty with our 18-month old son. Unfortunately, the cruise was extremely disappointing. In short, cruises are not good vacations for young toddlers. Here's why: 1. Long line-ups: if you wanted/needed to use a stroller, you had to take an elevator and sometimes we would wait 10 minutes for one! To board, disembark for a port or disembark at the end all required long, long lines. To clear customs, we stood in a hallway with no a/c for 45 minutes until our screaming son caused a purser to move us to the front of the line! And we couldn't go ashore to Key West until everyone had cleared customs so we didn't disembark until almost lunch (and nap time). 2. Awful food: neither my husband nor I are picky eaters, but honestly the food in the Windjammer was atrocious. I don't think the chef even knows what pancakes are supposed to taste like. And my poor, picky son became a cranky nightmare because there was so little for him to eat that he liked. We thought at least the pasta would hold him off at lunch but it turned out to be too spicy for a toddler. We would have had breakfast in the dining room if we could, except for point number 3 next.... 3. Long, drawn-out dinner: it took at least 2 hours to eat dinner. Thank goodness they served the children first. Unfortunately, the kids menu was really limited -- pizza, chicken fingers, fries, fish sticks (no vegetables in sight anywhere!) and my son was quick to tire of all this junk food. At least the head waiter caught on and brought ice cream and sprinkles early on so my son could at least play with the sprinkles for a while. 4. Tiny, tiny, tiny cabins: they may work for 2 adults, but not 2 adults and a rambunctious toddler. Plus, the shower frightened my son and we would all end up soaked by the time we had him washed each night. Any good points? Some. The entertainment was good. The food at dinner was good. The service at dinner was good (our assistant waiter should have received the biggest tip, not our waiter, who seemed more interested in dancing and singing than serving). Our stateroom attendant was extremely helpful. And the babysitting service was excellent (in-cabin). Would I do it again? Not on your life. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
I found this to be a very enjoyable cruise. Boarding was very easy, we were picked up at airport swiftly and processed in a very timely manner. Crew were ALL very helpful and friendly. No complaints about the food it ranged to good to very ... Read More
I found this to be a very enjoyable cruise. Boarding was very easy, we were picked up at airport swiftly and processed in a very timely manner. Crew were ALL very helpful and friendly. No complaints about the food it ranged to good to very good, nothing exceptional but no complaints either. Servers were excellent! Suite was very comfortable (3 women) and clean. It really does need to be updated, but that was no hindrance. Coco Cay was wonderful, we parasailed , took wave runners out , snorkeled and ate and just relaxed on mats!!! We were surprised at how much fun it all was , the BEST part of the trip Nassau of course is nothing to look at , we did take a taxi to Paradise Island which is beautiful(would like to spent a vacation there) but we spent most of that day on ship by the pool. Unfortunately, all of the good was undone when we tried to get off the ship at the end of the cruise!!! We had booked out trip thru RCCL and therefore were under the (dumb) impression that they would give up a color tag to get us off in time to make our flight that they had booked! As time got short we tried to reason with the crew to let us off and were finally granted an exit, however, we were late and had to grab the 1st taxi and race to make our flight. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004

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