Good Vacation for a reasonable price
Carnival Fascination Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas
Sail Date: December 02, 2010
Ship: Carnival Fascination
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Traveled As: Family (young children)
Reviewed: 7 years ago
The Fascination is a great ship... we were impressed with the size, decor and facilities. Here's some of the good things first:
- Excellent rooms, great housekeeping and room service. We took a stateroom that accomodates 5 guests (2 adults and 3 kids). The room was adequately sized, the beds were very comfortable. The kids really enjoyed the bunk-beds. The housekeeping service was impeccable. The room was always cleaned and organized for us whenever we returned. He made the beds twice in a day.
- Food was awesome. There was a lot of variety. The dinning rooms are very well decorated and the staff is very helpful and accomodating. We are all vegetarians and they accomodated our special meal requests.
- Pictures and photo sessions. We also enjoyed the photo sessions. Took a ton a pictures and ended up buying more than $200 worth of pictures.
- The shows are such FANTASTIC! The music, dance and the comedy shows were very good. Kudos to the directors and the performers... we really enjoyed all of the shows in the theatre.
Here's some of the mixed - good and bad:
- Staff was OK overall.... left a lot desired in terms of customer service. It is not that they did not accomodate most of our requests, but the way they did it made us feel that they were doing us a huge favor. Perhaps it is the European style or the accent that the staff has.... also, very surprising that most managerial staff is European and others are Asian/Latino. We later on found out that the staff works continuosly for a contract period of 8 months on the ship without any breaks.... perhaps they are just plain tired smiling and helping guests week after week and need a break!
- Kids Camp were very good. We have 3 kids and they all enjoyed the kids camps and the kids party. We pretty much left the kids to themselves in the Carnival Kids Camp and got a much needed break as a couple. The only thing desirable here is proper co-ordination with other events/excursions on the ship. We ended up running around the ship dropping/picking up kids trying to make it in time for the shows and offshore excursions. For example the kids camp requires guests to pick up the kids at 5 PM for dinner break... although on that same day the offshore excursion ends at 6:30 PM. So we could not attend the offshore excursion.
Here's the Bad:
- Information flow about the events and daily schedule is not very smooth. We were not able to plan our day ahead of time and that lead to some last minute scrambling. The website does not provide any information about the schedule of events, very sketchy information about offshore excursions, they never provided us weather information... so we didn't know what to wear. Carnival really needs to take a lesson from Disney around information flow, website and advance planning options for guests.
- The ship is not Mom-Friendly. Again part of the challenge is bad flow of information and lack of advance planning tools. When you have 3 kids in different age groups, you really need to plan ahead of time... else you will simply end up running up and down the ship dropping/picking/feeding/juggling between kids and events. Carnival MUST learn from Disney on how to make it a Mom-friendly vacation. They have all the ingredients like the Kids Camp etc... but just no co-ordination, no information flow and some attitude.
- Offshore Excursions and beach recommendations are really bad. The Bahamas public beach is probably the worst beach ever. Avoid at all costs.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Ports of Call
Don't Miss: Snorkelling was great... although we do not have any reference for comparison.
Pros: The Cruise Ship experience, Price and the relaxing atmosphere
Cons: The Bahamas beach - we went to Cabbage beach - the only recommended public beach and it is probably the worst beach we have ever been to in many years.