Good Atmosphere, Terrible Vegetarian Options.

Carnival Fascination Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 21

Overall rating:

4.3 out of 5
Verified Review
Carnival Fascination

7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan Roundtrip)

Sail date: October 13, 2019

Ship: Carnival Fascination

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: V34

Traveled as: Large Group

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019 Dear Carnival Cruises (& Carnival Fascination), Our trip was the 7-night Southern Caribbean (San Juan roundtrip) with an Oceanview Stateroom, a beautifully prepared suite on Deck 11 with your amazing and thoughtful Xiomara (very thankful to have her as our stewardess). Our dates were Sunday, October 13th, 2019 to Sunday, October 20th, 2019. My family and friends decided to give you a try to celebrate my mom’s milestone birthday. On your website you have a “SPECIAL DIETS” page, for us that was amazing that’s why we decided to cruise with you! The words on that page stated “We don’t all have the luxury of dropping our diets when we go on vacation. If you’ve got an eye on what crosses your plate, we’ve got your back. Carnival’s chefs are specially-trained to prepare food options for a variety of diets — vegetarian, gluten-free, kosher, Indian vegetarian, or food low in carbs, fat, sugar or cholesterol — so you don’t have to let your dietary restrictions restrict you from having a great time. Or from having seconds.” I made the efforts of calling ahead 6 months, 4 months, 2 months, and 2 weeks ahead of traveling with you. My mother’s allergies included a pork, shellfish, macadamia nuts, and she is lactose intolerant. My allergies consist of meat protein, shellfish, and I am lactose intolerant. Everyone else did their call ahead allergies as well, which were pineapples, melons, pork, and cumin. Day 1 (Embark in San Juan, Puerto Rico): The music that welcomed us was great (thank you DJ Reno & DJ Eli-Sly) We get to our room only to realize that my mother’s card was not in our welcome envelop but someone name Thomas Perez. We get our stuff into the room and my mother goes to get a replacement card and they didn’t put the “Suite Guest” on the card. We figured we’ll just go down and get the sticker later. The safe was a pain do to having to leave a card unsecured because it was 2 of us in the room, we would have been delight by being able to use either both room cards or a code. Food on day one was not even palatable, but we work with what was given to us. As group we figured that you were trying to get everything together so that food would be outstanding the next day. Diamonds Are Forever with your DJs’ let me dance the night away only to realize that they were, no food options for my diet after parties. Again. I figured it was the first night, so you all are getting it together for a better impression tomorrow. After speaking to a group of vegans that I saw that night after partying, we discussed flexitarian diets. Afterwards I tried the pizza crust with just a tad bit of sauce and some mushrooms, and it was not tasty. So, I went to bed hungry after partying that night. Day 2 (Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI): This is my mother’s birthday morning and waking up in St. Thomas was beautiful view the sun was radiating, and you could smell the warm ocean breeze. We gathered our group to try breakfast at the Coconut Grove Bar & Grill, and the options were very limited. We learned about the Omelets Station (I ended up deciding to break my vegan diet due to being overly hungry at this point in the trip). My mother orders her dish first and then she asked the cooks if they had any non-pork alternatives breakfast meats, they yelled (and laughed in her face) at her on her birthday mind you. I was heartbroken to see my mother treated like if she didn’t matter. We requested to speak to a Manager for the department. They stated that they could not reach anyone after she had waited 15 minutes, we timed it on our cell phone. We arrived back on the ship after visiting the port. Again, no real options for vegetarians. At this point I feel broken because there is food for most people but none foe me. The pineapples were young and did not taste well. I requested to speak with a manager, it took over 20 minutes to get one. Once we were able to speak to someone, we ended up with a group of staff. The kindest and most understanding was Raugo, one of the managers and he even took notes. I was finally able to be filled up, I had pasta and sautéed vegetables. We were told to go to “Sensation Forward Dining Room” for breakfast and dinner due to them being able to accommodate us better. I told them about the fact that I like to go to the night club, and they said they would look into something for an after-party snack. Going back to our room it was beautifully done, especially the mirror writing and towel elephant made my mother smile from ear to ear especially after the morning we’ve had. (So much love and respect for Mara and her craft.) My mom’s birthday dinner, we were able to pre-order during the earlier meeting with the food managers. The food was alright, she had the tuna, lamb and birthday cake. I had the vegetable egg rolls, the rest I did not enjoy (it was the root vegetable pie and tapioca desert where disappointing.) We had to order dinner for the next day during the festivities. Elvis, Nulu, and Ashley were helpful. The party was amazing, and I enjoyed the atmosphere and music mix. No, after-party snack available (second night of going to bed hungry on vacation). All I could do was wonder is this how they true treat guest with food allergies that are beyond our control. I never wanted to be a “vegan” but my body shuts down with all my allergies. I’m in my 20’s and I worked so hard all I wanted to do was be able to party with my peers and eat with them, is that too hard to understand. Day 3 (Philipsburg, St. Maarten): Breakfast at Sensation was much better. The Grapefruit Brûlée was amazing that was a highlight of my morning, honestly feeling a little less disappointed. I had the breakfast bowl (which is breaking my diet, but I thought, I’m on vacation let’s do this), it was good but not breaking my diet good. Mom was okay with breakfast but not completely happy dur to struggling to get soy milk. Back on board the ship, we wanted to grab a “snack” between meals, but it was rough. We had to request Raugo/Bruno to be able to eat. My aunts’ burgers were “wet” and the had asked for sauces on the side and the fries were salty even after requesting fresh fries without salt. I was uncomfortable with getting anything especially after hearing their remarks on the food but was able to locate someone for help. Lunch for me was good, had enough to share! Dinner time, it was an elegant night! The vegetable fritters were yummy, but the root pie was gross, again. Tapioca was the chef’s desert again after we requested no tapioca at all. Shows and party went great! Again, no food for after the club ends! Day 4 (Basseterre, St. Kitts) Breakfast was an vegetable omelet due to not being able to get a breakfast vegetable stir-fry. The granola was good, but they accidently gave us milk at first! Lunch was steamed vegetables they were okay. Dinner was great for once, the chilled ginger peach soup is my favorite new dish and the vegan chocolate mousse with the fresh strawberries made me smile and the hidden pieces of fruit leather. It felt like they finally saw us and wanted to make up for the pass 3 days! Divas was a great show and the comedy was great too! The party kept me on my feet all night long! Again, no food for after the club ends! Day 5 (Castries, St. Lucia) Breakfast was yummy this morning. Mom and I enjoyed it! Lunch was bowls and they were okay. Dinner, I did not go, my asthma started to bother me due to lack of eating. My mom didn’t enjoy her meal. I got my food because my mother brought it to the suite and the dessert was tapioca. Day 6 (Bridgetown, Barbados) Breakfast was the same, decent… low expectations at this point. Lunch bowls, again. Dinner, did not go well at all. Salad was disappointing. Then I receive the most tasteless meal I’ve ever received in my adult life which was baked tomato with marinara sauce topped with fried onions with a side of steamed broccoli. Once again tapioca was the dessert! Day 7 (At Sea) Sea Day Brunch, that morning roasted tomato soup was great and the omelet was okay! Lunch was another bowl with fruits on the side. Dinner was terrible the food tasted felt like we were on a cruel punish and they gave use a pie topping as dessert. Day 8 (Disembark in San Juan, Puerto Rico): We got a rushed breakfast no time to enjoy it.


4 out of 5
The porters' were a little rude about the bags and requested payment. (Apparently it is $2/per bag, and your bag isn't guaranteed if you don't give it to them!)

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

1 out of 5
We have multiple allergies and the food was completely hit-or-miss honestly speaking. One night for my vegetarian dinner, I received a baked tomato with marinara sauce topped with fried onions with a side of steamed broccoli. Then 4 nights in a row we received tapioca for dessert, after the second night of it we requested no tapioca but they kept giving it to us. The Sea Day Brunch on Day 7 was the best food I had most of the cruise. If you enjoy dancing the night away and happen to also be a vegetarian/vegan all they have is pizza even if your lactose intolerant that's your only option.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Serenity: There were several instances were kids were running in and out which was uncomfortable. One instance there were 2 young boys one had a wallet and the other had a lighter. The main pool area was highly populated and their were children blowing bubbles in those hot tubs! My mother and aunts seem to be okay with the fitness area but the one bike that was unlocked was very uncomfortable, they are very early raisers and were a little put off honestly speaking.


4 out of 5
Parties at "Diamonds are Forever": were on point, thank you DJ Reno & DJ Eli-Sly! I danced all night long and the games at the party definitely kept me coming back! Karaoke Night: Good but needs more song selections. Adult Comedy: Good but after awhile I felt bad for "Keith", he's a platinum member with autism who ended up be the butt of many jokes.

Children's Programs

No one under 25 was in our group!

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
I appreciate Xiomara beyond word best Room Stewardess ever! I got all my footsteps in, double the amount thanks to DJ Eli-Sly, DJ Reno, and Anthony was great with the sound for the shows. They tried so hard to get food for me and I'm thankful to Raugo, Elvis, Nulu, Ashley, and one other person but I can't recall her name but she would appear like a goddess to help with all issues.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Overall it was good, got a lot of cardio. The layout was neat and well-kept! Two things: - I wish the ladies' bathroom inside Coconut Grove Bar & Grill, sink wasn't broken for 5 days. -The ladies bathroom where the night club & comedy club are is super tight and was hard to maneuver.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
The room was overall very comfortable. The size of the room was great closets were great. Our cabin was very well kept and had a fridge but no way to heat up food!

Ship tip

If you have a lot of food allergies, learn to deal with your hunger!

Ports of call

San Juan, Puerto Rico

5 out of 5
Loved it, did our own thing! Lots of activities and was able to find vegan food!

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
Loved it, did our own thing! Lots of activities and was able to find vegan food!

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

5 out of 5
Loved it, did our own thing! Lots of activities and was able to find vegan food!

Basseterre, St. Kitts

5 out of 5
Loved it, did our own thing! Lots of activities and was able to find vegan food!

Castries, St. Lucia

5 out of 5
Loved it, did our own thing! Lots of activities and was able to find vegan food!

Bridgetown, Barbados

5 out of 5
Loved it, did our own thing! Lots of activities and was able to find vegan food!


5 out of 5
Went smoothly, a little rushed!
Was this review helpful? 21


Leave a comment

Remember: Be polite and respectful. Our diverse community is home to members with different opinions and a broad range of cruise experiences.

Other reviews of this sailing