Carnival Fascination Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Third Mate

1 cruise (first)


Helpful Votes

2 out of 5


Sail Date: March 21, 2013

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Inside

My husband and I recently took the four night cruise to the Bahamas on the Carnival Fascination ship, but unfortunately the cruise did not meet our expectations. I would like to say, however, that most of our disappointment was not due to issues with the cruise ship or staff. The ship was very clean, the staff was very friendly and helpful and the food was amazing!

I really wish I could give this cruise a five star rating, but we just weren't impressed. My main complaint is that the cruiseline did a promotion for "Kids Sail Free" shortly before we were due to leave, which caused the ship to be completely overrun by young children!! I understand that Carnival has been battling some poor publicity lately, and I'm sure they just wanted to encourage some additional ticket sales, but I fail to see how a bunch of children running wild and ruining the paying customer's vacations will be helpful PR.

Every morning we were woken by kids running down the halls and babies/toddlers crying (the walls are paper thin and you can hear everything!). We were not able to enjoy a swim in the pool or a dip in the hot tub the entire time because there were as many as 15 young kids (literally two years olds with arm wings!) in both hot tubs all day and dozens of kids jumping splashing in the pool (there is only one pool on this ship). There is a waterslide on the top deck, but the weather was a little cool so the kids stayed at the pool where there was some wind protection. I can't even tell you how many times I was almost knocked down the stairs or how often shrieking kids ruined a peaceful dinner.

If they wanted to do a children's promotion, there are some things they could have done to make things tolerable for the other passengers:

1) Isolate the adult only guests to one section of cabins and put the families in another.

2) Divide the dining room in the same manor. (For our worst dinner experience, an extremely bratty child was throwing a tantrum the entire meal and then actually flung spilled milk at us before falling off his chair and knocking over our table!)

3) Do NOT allow children under 12 years old in the hot tub! It is both a safety concern for them and a courtesy for the adults.

4) Have more adult only areas of the ship as well as organized children activities. (I believe there were children activities, though, so maybe they just chose not to do them?)

Besides the issue with all the kids, I was very overwhelmed/disappointed by the two ports we stopped at. Both Freeport and Nassau were grungy and intimidating with barbed wire over the alley ways and creepy people trying to sell you everything from a handmade necklace to a bag of random drugs. I know that this has nothing to do with the cruise line, but it was still an aspect of the trip that I thought I should share. If you can afford to do so, I strongly recommend purchasing a shore excursion. That being said, though, I feel that Carnival should provide pre-approved taxis for passengers to purchase tickets for. If you are only interested in seeing the ocean, for example, then you have to find your own transportation and the local taxis are dangerous and overpacked (usually 15 adults and a couple of kids in an 11 seater van!)

Another friendly tip, DO NOT RENT A SCOOTER! Another passenger on our ship rented one in Nassau and then it was "stolen" while he was in a shop. When he told the rental people, they said he had to pay for it for $1,200 or he would go to jail. He went to the island police himself to tell them about the situation and they pretended not to speak English! The passenger ended up writing a $1,200 check in order to avoid being put in jail. Very shady!!

In summary, our ship was clean, the staff was amazing and the food was great, but I am very disappointed in the promotional decision made by the marketing people. This is the only vacation my husband and I have had in 7 years of marriage and we will most likely not be able to take another for quite some time, so having it ruined because our tropical party was turned into a floating daycare was very upsetting. If we are to cruise again in the future, we plan to look into other cruiselines and even look for adult only cruises. We won't risk wasting thousands of dollars on a disappointment again!
Ship Quality
Food and Dining
Cabin / Stateroom
Service and Staff
Children's Programs
Onboard Activities
Destinations and Excursions
Jacksonville, Florida
Freeport, Grand Bahama Island
Barbed wire, dirty, confusing
Nassau, Bahamas
Huge, overwhelming, expensive, dirty


If you want privacy, but still want the ocean air and some sun, spend the extra money for a balcony!! We wish we had!!!!

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