Quality not as good as in the past!
Carnival Fascination Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas
Sail Date: February 09, 2012
Ship: Carnival Fascination
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 6 years ago
The ship is comparable to its sister ships, which I have been on in the past - I always enjoy the carnival ships. However, my experience on this particular cruise was definitely not as good as prior experiences on Carnival, which makes me question whether or not quality has gone down overall.
I would not choose to go on a cruise again at this time of year - nothing you can do about the weather, but my sense is that mid January through April temperatures are definitely colder. I've been on cruises over Christmas and New Year's so I thought I'd take a chance in the middle of February but we really only had one day of warm weather and the rest of the time I was in a sweater.
Now on to more subjective things: the biggest disappointment, by far, was the quality of the food. The food on the Lido deck never changes, and all of that is pretty good, but I always look forward to the dining room experience and I can honestly say that I did not have one good dinner on this cruise. The first night I ordered lasagna, and it was very bland - edible, but not great. The second night I ordered the prime rib and it came out luke warm; I ate about three bites before I gave up - the meat quality was awful (probably the worst prime rib I've ever had) and full of fat. I decided to try a safer choice the following night and ordered the fried shrimp from the "comfort food" portion of the menu. The meal looked like a kids meal and I didn't think one could manage to mess up anything fried, but the batter was really awful.... The last night I ordered the veal parmigiana and once again, the meat was slightly cold. The overall taste was also bland, and there was barely any tomato sauce to make up for this. The desserts overall were also sub-par. The chocolate melted cake, which is a staple of Carnival cruise desserts, was not "cakey" at all, but rather like chocolate moosse (if you can wrap your brain around that idea), or like uncooked chocolate cake mix.
The stewards were not as friendly as what I'm accustomed to on Carnival ships, which is something I can easily overlook - not a big deal; they were nice, but not as energetic and welcoming as what I've been used to in the past.
I was extremely disappointed that the new swimsuit I bought for over $100 right before my trip got ruined in the jacuzzi tub on my first night. By the time I got out the color had turned from a nice baby blue to an ugly gray. The girls sitting next to me in the tub had the same experience and on the last day of the cruise I overheard someone telling a similar story, so I know I wasn't the only person to have had that experience! I've never had that happen to me in a jacuzzi tub before.... Chemical levels were way too high (scary!) and all day long, despite several hand washes and a shower, I could smell chlorine on my body.
So has Carnival gone down in quality? Was it just this ship, or just a fluke experience? Either way, I would not choose to go on the Fascination again, and I will seriously have to think about whether or not I choose Carnival as my future cruise line company. Even though I've been a Carnival fan for years and have gone on several Carnival cruises in the past, I am seriously thinking I may try a different cruise line.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Pros: The atmosphere is always great on Carnival
Cons: The food quality was worse than any other Carnival cruise I have been on... The jacuzzi ruined my swimsuit bc of too many chemicals in the tub.