January 2016 - 5 Night Bahamas (Jacksonville Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Fascination
Going into this experience, I knew there would be certain things that would end up being very pricey, like alcohol. We ended up not getting the alcohol package, because it was mandatory that we buy it everyday. We would have happily bought the package on the two days we were at sea, but we saw no point in purchasing it when we were docked (since we had to pay another alcohol fee for land).
The entertainment was also disappointing. Cruise director Robin was great and we tried to attend all of his activities. However, there was limited free entertainment during the day. We enjoyed trivia a time or two but had a difficult time because it was in the smoking bar. That made it quite uncomfortable. I would have liked to have visited the casino as well, but once again, clouded in smoke. The comedy was subpar as many of the comedian's jokes were blatantly racist. I never saw the piano bar opened, which I would have liked to have tried.
As for food, we hardly ate. Firstly, a lot of the restaurants mentioned on the website are actually just one or two that were described as being many more, like Lido, Mongolian Wok and Swirls (all one restaurant). Our last night there, we checked our balance and found that we were being charged a couple of hundred dollars for gratuity for the dining hall (which should be included on 'all inclusive'), and another fee for housekeeping, which we didn't use at all.
The last day at sea was unfortunate because of the weather, but when half of the ship is closed, there should be other activities. We were trapped and had no where to go.
It was also never mentioned that our ship only had 1 pool, which was constantly overcrowded with children.
Additionally, we were never informed of "fancy dress night." The entire ship was dressed to the nines, and the nicest thing I had brought was a sun dress. All-in-all, we would have liked better communication about the ship's activities.
The few things we enjoyed were Robin's shows and activities, trivia and bingo (though quite expensive and very short). We also liked the attention that the bartender Kanda gave us. The room service was a nice feature, too. I was surprised by the boarding. It was quite quick and efficient.
Would we do this experience again? Not if you paid us.