(3:45 p.m. EST) -- After nearly four months out of service, Carnival Fascination has returned to offering year-round Caribbean cruises from San Juan.
The ship had been charted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide housing for Hurricane Maria relief workers in the Caribbean, from October 15, 2017 to January 28, 2018. It then underwent a multimillion-dollar dry dock, where it received a handful of new restaurants and bars.
Passengers who boarded the ship on February 18 were the first to experience the updated spaces, which include Carnival favorites such as Guy's Burger Joint, the BlueIguana Cantina, Alchemy Bar and Bonsai Sushi Express (an offshoot of the line's sushi restaurant found on other ships). Additional upgrades include the pool bars, which now consist of the RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar, as well as the Cherry on Top candy shop.
"We're delighted that the Carnival Fascination has returned to year-round sailing from San Juan better than ever with a wide range of great new dining, beverage and retail options for our guests to enjoy," said Carnival's president, Christine Duffy.
Carnival Fascination offers weeklong Caribbean cruises to St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas and St. Maarten, departing every Sunday, roundtrip from San Juan.
--By Gina Kramer, Editor