Great time on the Fascination
Carnival Fascination Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas
Sail Date: February 27, 2016
Ship: Carnival Fascination
Cabin Type: Suite
Cabin Number: V14
Traveled As: Family (older children)
Reviewed: 2 years ago
Traveling was myself, husband, both our grown daughters (21 & 23), and soon-to-be-son-in-law (26). Drove down from north of Atlanta and stayed at the Marriott Springhill Suites at the airport the night before we cruised. Had two rooms with two double beds. Breakfast was the usual cereal, fruit, eggs & sausage, and made to order waffles.
Left hotel about 9:40 to get gas on way to port. Wasn’t sure if they would let us park since the website says that the port parking doesn’t open until 10:30 but drove past just after 10:00 and we were able to get into the parking lot. Parking lot attendant checked our boarding passes and driver’s license and then we proceeded into the parking lot. Barely got out of our car before the porters came by and picked up all our check in luggage. We were directed inside the terminal and through another check point where they looked at boarding passes and passports (need to keep those two things handy). Since we were priority, we were then directed to a lounge area where they took our photos and gave us our sail and sign cards. By this time, it was maybe 10:25-10:30 when we sat down to wait. They had two wedding parties (HUGE) and had to wait for all of them to board, then it was our turn. Took our onboard photo with the family and walked on the gangway towards the ship. The Jacksonville terminal isn’t as nice as the Port Canaveral but not as bad as I had thought. We came onto the ship on deck level 2 or 3 and I immediately ran up the stairs to 7 so I could book our cabana for HMC.
Reached the Shores Excursion desk at 11:27 and had one person in front of me. We were told someone would be there at 11:30 but it was well after 12:00 before someone showed up. There were several people in line already at this point. Once the cabana was booked (#10), headed with my family to our stateroom (V14) to check it out before heading to Lido for lunch. Since I had to wait so long at Shore Excursions, the Lido deck was pretty packed. We found a table for the five of us in the back by the deli.
After lunch, we walked around and checked out our room again to see if our luggage had arrived which finally came around 2:00. We were able to get everything unpacked and put away before we headed back upstairs around 3:00ish to get ready for the muster drill.
I’ve had heard stories about the muster drill on the Fascination which was SO long. They made announcements and I think people started going to about 3:45ish. We were F which was to meet on the Lido deck by the pool. I’d say the drill lasted close to an hour which was horrible since we had to stand the whole time. Once that nightmare was done, it was time to party :D We got our bucket of beer and headed up to the deck 12 by the tail. Had a couple of people show up for a meet & greet but it was super cold up there. Stayed until about 5:30 and headed back to our room to clean up for dinner which was at 6:00.
So at this point, we knew we were leaving late and wouldn’t be able to see our departure under the Dames Point Bridge. They had a problem with the boiler, so no hot water. Went to dinner, which they was a huge line for the Sensation but they got us through quickly. We were assigned to table #339 and our severs were Eka and Nemamia (Nemo) who were very nice. Our last cruise on the Liberty last February, our servers never introduced themselves and just never had a good experience (including the food). This one was much better. We ended up eating in the MDR every night and was always a great experience.
Our first day at sea was relaxing (chilly until the sun came out) and there seemed to be plenty of lounge chairs around the ship.
Nassau - Was not a big fan of this port. Took our time getting off the ship since we didn't have anything planned except taking a water taxi over to Paradise Island. You are hassled by pretty much the second you walk off the pier. The place to pick up the water taxi was a short walk and was reasonably priced at $8 for round trip. You get a narration from one of the crew members and they pass a hat for a tip. Nothing was really opened yet (about 10:00) and walked around until Margaritaville opened at 11:00. We also hit Senor Frogs which was packed with people who had been drinking most of the morning. We tried to walk around the Straw Market but after a few minutes of people constantly hassling you, we left and headed back to the ship.
Half Moon Cay - Wish we could have skipped Nassau and spent two days here. Best port!! Since we had a cabana, we met at The Palace at 7:45 and were able to get on the tender early (8:00) and we were in our cabana (#10) by 8:30am. Was a beautiful day for relaxing and snorkeling. Went back to the ship about 2:15.
Day at sea - Another day of relaxing in the sun
Disembarkation - Arrived into port about 7:00ish. Since we were self assist, we needed to meet in the Sensation dining room at 7:45am. Made it through customs and we were in the car heading home by 8:30am.
Overall the trip was great. We loved that the ship was smaller and easier to get around. We did see the Motown show which was fun and the Diva show which was okay. Saw both of the comedians for their adult shows and enjoyed both.
Looking forward to planning our next cruise.