Island hopping to relax

Carnival Fascination Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 22

Overall rating:

4.4 out of 5
Carnival Fascination

7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan Roundtrip)

Sail date: February 25, 2018

Ship: Carnival Fascination

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: R107

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

This cruise met my expectations for a good time but I did my research and knew what to expect ahead of time. Only you know what's most important to you so research your ship before choosing the one that will meet your needs.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
Carnival did a fantastic job getting us registered and on board. The lines were short and staff friendly. The only negative I had was in finding our way to the boat once we completed registration. They did have staff stationed throughout the walk but they did not provide direction to the boat. Twice we had to circle back because we made a wrong turn.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
The food was good although the variety on the buffet wasn't great. You really had to eat at different venues to have any variety. The also did away with the midnight buffet and chocolate buffet and replaced it with a late night snack bar serving hot dogs and such.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Sensation Dining Room

3 out of 5

Our service in the "ANYTIME" dining room was horrible with each meal taking about 2 hours to finish. The wait staff was always quick to take our order and the appetizers arrived as expected but the time between appetizer and meal was way too long. The food was good here but not worth tge time it took to get it.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
The decks were well maintained with plenty of seating for everyone. DJ Atomic was great, providing a good mix of music genres. Bar service, deck-side was slow.

Resort Style Pool

1 out of 5

The hot tubs were closed most of the time and when they were open they were filled with people eating (we watched a woman eat a hamburger while in the pool) and kids. We were told tge closures were do to the need to constantly clean and add more chemicals. I think if they did a better job monitoring the activity taking place in the hot tub they might not have to clean it as often. Since very few people use the swimming pool I think they should consider upgrading to a larger hot tub and a smaller pool. This at least would help with the over crowding.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The musical performances in the Palace Theater were good but seating here is a problem. There are very few "good seats" from which to view tge performance. We also caught a couple of comedy show in "Puttin' on the Ritz". This is a nice venue for comedy and although comedy typically is not my thing, they had ne laughing so I felt it ws a good deal.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The Carnival staff was great! My room steward, Leandro and Liza in guest services made the biggest impression on me as both helpful and wanting to help anyway they could. In addition, all the staff had a greeting for me whenever I passed their way. The only service negative would be the one previously discussed regarding the Sensation dining room above.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The ship was very clean. Layout ws a little confusing on decks 8/9 where the entertainment venues were located.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
This was my first time rooming in an inside room and I was really concerned that it would be like living in a closet. This wasn't the case at all the was plenty big enough for two adults and all our luggage.

Ship tip

I think satisfaction is as much my responsibility as it is anyone else's. To fully enjoy your vacation, do some research. If the Fascination doesn't offer an amenity you can't live without then book a different boat. Otherwise, you will be the reason you had a bad time. I traveled with a friend that couldn't get over the fact that the room steward no longer leaves a mint on your pillow at night. If that's whats important to you then bring your own mints or sail with someone else.

Ports of call

San Juan, Puerto Rico

5 out of 5
We arrived a day early and hiked to San Filipe del Morro which was beautiful. After the cruise we did the San Juan city tour with airport transfer. This tour took us around old San Juan, San Cristabol, and St. Christopher square before dropping us at the airport where our luggage was waiting. I highly recommend a visit to both forts whether on you own or via tour. Note: if your looking to stay a night in San Juan before or after your cruise I recommend staying in Old San Juan, from here you can walk to the ship.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

4 out of 5
We did the Sapphire Beach and Snorkle excursion. This is a small beach away from crowds boardered by two coral reefs so the snorkeling was great. The island itself was in dissarray, not sure if this was all from the hurricane or if its like this always.

Bridgetown, Barbados

3 out of 5
Barbados was also kind of dirty. We bookedca private beach day at the Hilton. The beach and resort were beautiful but not as breathtaking as nearby Carlisle Bay.

Castries, St. Lucia Did not visit port

We booked a private beach day with Bay Garden Resorts but they failed to pick us up.

Basseterre, St. Kitts

5 out of 5
St. Kitts was my favorite on this trip. I highly recommend doing the ST. KITTS BY RAIL AND SAIL TOUR. We traveled the northern part of the island on a double-decker train and then the southern part and back to the ship on a Catamaran. The staff on both tge train and boat were extremely accomadating and provided a lot of history of the island while serving drinks, snacks, and singing native songs. If you want to shop, the market square is right there waiting for you when you get off the boat and there are plenty of shops.

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

4 out of 5
I can envision the beauty this island must have been pre-hurricane but right now it is just destroyed. It was truly heartbreaking to see the damage there but uplifting to see the people persevere through it all. We did the TOP 10 OF ST. MAARTEN and I would recommend this to you as well. Our guide gave us a great history lesson on the island and its people. The beaches here, Maho and Sunset are the prettiest of the whole trip. I pray they are able to bring the glory back to this paradise.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
This was handled efficiently for me. I would recommend putting your luggage out the night before for the porter to take down. They now give you an option to take your luggage out yourself but creates a big back-up at the elevator.
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