This cruise stops at 5 different islands...all of which just as amazing as the last! All beautiful with TONS of options in regards to do with excursions and beaches. As far as the boat goes, all of the staff were incredible. We had a great waiter at dinner, a great guy cleaning our room and taking care of us, there were great entertainers (comedians, pianist, magician, etc). Carnival aced our table group for dinner. They paired us with 2 other couples of similar ages in similar situations that we ended up spending our entire trip with. There could have been a few more activites after dinner when the comedians were changing and the food wasn't as good at the buffet as it was on our past cruise, but overall great trip!
This Carnival cruise was a lot of fun and the crew was friendly and attentive! It had a great variety of Caribbean islands to visit and we enjoyed all of them! This was the first visit to the Caribbean for my husband and I and we had a great time, and will remember the trip for years to come!
My favorite part of the cruise is stopping at locations that I have never been and enjoying the history, culture and food of each island. Starting in Puerto Rico going to the rain forest was a wonderful experience to prepare for my cruise. The people were very friendly in the different islands, The tour guides provided a clear and good history of each island. The tour guides made sure you were comfortable and saw crafts and art work that was hand made.
The Fascination is a small ship with a big heart. Every crew member had a smile and was so helpful. My steward called us by our name every time he saw us. I received a gift card for my birthday (this has never happen before). The front desk stayed busy. The staff was patient and acommodating.
Overall, this was a spectacular cruise. The ship is older, but has been recently refurbished, and doesn't show her age in most respects. You also get to see the southern Caribbean ports that don't get hit by most cruises, and you get a lot of them. Five islands on a seven day cruise, not including the fact that you sail out of Old San Juan in Puerto Rico. The first island was St. Thomas, the only island on this cruise that we'd been to before. We took the excursion to St. John to see the national park. We got to see Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay, along with the ruins of an old sugar mill. A little hot and humid, but a wonderful trip. The next port was Barbados, and we went on the Atlantis submarine tour. Not cheap, but definitely worth it. There were thousands of fish on the reef, in addition to the normal reef fish we also saw a hawksbill turtle and a stingray. I will warn you however that they said that they had had some unusual currents for the past several days, and they didn't always have the huge number of fish out that were there when we were there. They also took us to see a sunken ship. Not a shipwreck, it was an old ship that had been intentionally sunk to create a diving attraction, but it was still neat. We went down 143 feet at our deepest point. The ferry ride to the submarine was a bit rough, but once we got on the submarine and submerged it was perfectly stable. The next port was St. Lucia. We took the tour to Pigeon island. The tour guides try to steer everyone to the beach. The beach is pretty, but the ruins of Fort Rodney are fascinating. They are on top of a fairly steep hill, but well worth the trek. The views from the top are amazing. After we went to St. Lucia we went to St Kitts, and took the Brimstone hill excursion. Although the fort is amazing, and the Romney gardens are beautiful, I couldn't really recommend it. We got 20 minutes in the gardens, you'd probably need a minimum of 45 to see most of it. We got 40 minutes in the fort, we would have needed a couple of hours. The fort is a World Heritage site, the grounds are fairly extensive and covered with ruins, it was nice to see it at all, if you're a history buff at all don't take the tour, pay a little more and get a taxi to take you there and back so that you can take your time. One other comment on St Kitts, you'll see a lot of people walking around with monkeys. If you take their picture, they'll demand payment, generally $20. They ask people if they'd like to take a picture with them and the money, and don't mention the fee until the picture is taken. The final island is St. Maarten. We walked down to Bridgetown, waded in the surf on the beach across from the boardwalk, and did a little shopping. It's a pretty island, but not my favorite.
As for the ship itself, the food in the main dining room was wonderful, but the noise level was incredibly higher than I've seen on other ships. It was difficult to converse across a 10 person round table due to the noise. The service of the waiters was excellent, and they went out of their way to please you. The buffet on the Lido deck was good but not great. On most days the only real vegetable offered was roasted tomatoes and the salad bar. I like meat, but I want a vegetables with my meat. We ate breakfast at the buffet as well, and it was fine. The entertainment was mixed, some of the performers were a bit amateurish. The magician was less entertaining than on other ships we've been on. The comedians were excellent. Overall, this was a cruise that I enjoyed a lot. It wasn't the newest or biggest ship in Carnival's fleet, but things generally worked very well, and you didn't notice the difference. All but one of the excursions were wonderful, and the islands were the key part of this cruise. If you want to sit on the ship for a week and maybe stop and a couple of islands, then this cruise probably isn't for you. If you want to see something entirely new and different almost every day for a week, then this is definitely a cruise to take.
At each port there are taxi scammers and tours. Each port we had to spend at least 50 dollars on cab ride to the beach. It was very disappointing. The last cruise we went to, to the bahamas the ship docked near the beach or on the beach and it was fantastic. This time around we had to pay much more out of pocket for 5 different ports and it came out very expensive. The carnival should have a had a shuttle to take people to the beach. would have made the experience much more pleasant.
Everything was perfect couldn't ask for better service everything was lovely it was an amazing experience me and my family will do it again, the staff was amazing to me and my family we all got what we needed as soon as we asked for it, our pictures we lovely i purchased alot of them my son loved the activities on board the teen club was good for him it gave me and my husband alone time to enjoy adult time for ourselves..
Purchase a (waterproof) camera! We loved capturing photos of our time onboard, as well as our excursions. When we went swimming with the dolphins and kayaking, we were able to take our camera in the water with us, giving us amazing photos and video!
Also, bring an air freshener for your cabin!
We brought our GoPro and used it for our excursions and just while sitting around the pool to take pictures and videos! They turned out amazing! I also brought a mini fan to use in the room. Best idea I had!
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