Sail Date: June 01, 2010 Ship: Carnival Fascination Cabin Type: Oceanview Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 7 years ago
First, we are usually dedicated Royal C.L. passengers. We wanted a quick, competitively priced 4 night cruise without having to purchase airline tickets. This one hit the mark on all the above. Leaving out of Jacksonville was the most convenient part. We arrived by 10:30 am and sailed right through the paperwork process. Parking was a breeze, almost right next to the ship, @ 15.00 a day in a gated, guarded lot. We left our "Royal" expectations on land, and took the ship for what it is. "The fun ship". It was not what we were used to, but I have to say, it was also not the horror stories many others have described, at least in our eyes. It was very clean throughout the cruise, the staff were very friendly and always made eye contact and acknowledge us. Our room was a little smaller than we were used to, but it was sufficient.
Food and Dining
1 out of 5
This is the area of our biggest disappointment. We kept reminding ourselves not to overly compare to Royal. There was a bit of confusion on change over times for certain areas in the Coconut Grill, which is buffet style. I'm sure if you kept track of their schedule it would have been easy to figure out, but who wants to keep looking at the clock? Some of the food was very good, but most of it was so-so. One thing that was frustrating was when trying to plan our excursions before hand, I called Carnival Customer Service to ask which night would be formal as we wanted to plan to do something onshore and needed to know which night we should be back in time to get ready and have pictures etc. They said they didn't know exactly, it was either the second or the third night. Now, mind you these are the only two days that we are docked! So, that didn't help a bit trying to figure to plan. The food in the Sensation/Imagination Dining room was very bland and not 5 star as expected.
3 out of 5
Pretty standard stuff in the way of cruises. Nothing special, but not really any complaints either.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
I cannot think of one complaint regarding the staff. They always acknowledge us with a smile and a hello. Although some accents were thick, managed to get us going in the right direction when losing our way.
3 out of 5
The ship is a nice size, not as big as some but large enough in most places not to feel crammed in. It was kept clean by a unstoppable housekeeping team, that did not go unappreciated. The sit down dining room was very understated and nothing special. It was almost like the Coconut Grill area, cheap looking.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
We had Upper (6th) floor and although smaller than what we're used to, it was sufficient. Suitcases fit nicely under the bed, and the bed itself was very comfortable. The large window in our room was very dirty on the outside and not very enjoyable to look out for any length of time. No refrigerator.I did have to put towels at the bottom of our door as the light from the hall was very bright when we were trying to sleep. We had a "do it yourself" laundry area down the hall. Iron & board, washers and dryers. It said ".25", so I imagine much like laundromats. Our room was very central to most things, easy to get to where we needed to go.
We had a planned snorkeling trip. (figures too, this was formal night) Island Marketing, Booze-Cruise. The snorkeling was horrible. They dropped us near the shore, and the so called reef was nothing. The water was extremely choppy. Most people got in and out very quickly as it was too hard to navigate, and nothing worth seeing anyway. Waste of time...don't go this excursion. The straw market is redundant after you go down one row. EVERY vendor has the exact same thing, for the same price. The shops were ok to kill some time. We made found some souvenirs at Banana Bay that was pretty much one stop shopping, so if you need souvenirs, this would be the place. Something for everyone and competitively priced.
Don't Miss: Again, first timers might want to find an excursion to suit their needs. Figure 2 - 3 hours of shopping. If you're into drinking then it sounded like it was getting pretty rowdy at Senor Frogs.
We were pretty disappointed with the Bahamas, overall. We won't be doing another cruise to this location. We took a van ride in $5.00 one way, about 1/2 an hour ride. Not too many sites to see along the way. Shopping was a bust. One thing we didn't know was that this ride put us steps from the beach by the hotels. If we had brought our swim stuff that is what we would have done. You don't have to have hotel access, very easy access. I didn't see any public facilities, and I'm not sure what the hotel does if you try to use theirs. There are bathrooms back across the street by the stores, so no biggie.
Don't Miss: There is nothing to miss.....unless you planned on going swimming there.
Pros: Cleanliness of the ship and the friendliness of the staff.
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