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  #1  
Old October 13th, 2012, 08:48 PM
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Default Fascination 10/8-10/13 - The Short Report

In the car driving home from Jacksonville and the Fascination - here's the short report of our cruise.

A little background first - DH and I are in our 40s and this was our 5th cruise - 4 on CCL and 1 PCL. We sailed this same cruise on the Fascination the same week last year with our 3 children - this year we cruised childless. Last year we had a balcony, this year had interior cabin. We decided the balcony wasn't worth the extra money for us, especially since last year our neighbors smoked pot and cussed each other loudly at all hours!

I have thought about what kind of review I would write of this cruise and, quite honestly, I could write two very different reviews. I could focus on the negative, be picky, overreact to minor problems and write a pretty depressing review. Or I could overlook the minor hiccups and say it was a great trip - which it was!

So which review will I write? Hmmm... Why not both? I'll give three negatives, 3 so-so and 3 positives.

The negatives - like I said these are picky and did not change our overall cruise experience - but they may have meant more to us if we had paid more for the trip.

1. We were not impressed with the live (and lack of live) music - but we expected this from last year. The lido deck duo sang a lot of slow Lionel Richie songs - I like Lionel Richie, but not on the lido deck. And I don't know why they refuse to put any music in the Passage to India lounge - I think the band would be better received in a real lounge instead of the Stars Bar hallway. But this was the same as last year, so we didn't really expect anything different.

2. The back-up comedian was horrible. I hate to say that but really he was really horrible. It was just bad for all concerned. But the headline comedian was better - not the best we have seen but okay.

3. the "fun staff" or whatever those guys are that lead the games, etc. were the worst we have seen. DH plays a lot of trivia so we get a fair amount of exposure to them and they were really not good. Couple of Examples - they played 80s music trivia around the pool area but after 20-25 minutes of song snippets they never went back and gave the answers except to the people sitting right down front so if you listened from upstairs you got all the music bits but no answers; the guy leading the movie trivia in the lounge drug it out for 40 minutes while he literally talked to himself; the others just didn't have much life to them. But no big deal.

The so-so:

1. Lido deck food. It was fine but nothing special. The lines seemed longer at the grill so we never ate there. We ate breakfast and lunch at the buffet and the deli.

2. Room location. We were aft Upper (191). We liked being interior - dark for napping - but the room staff woke us up making a ton of noise right outside our room every day when we were napping (around 5:00-6:00 pm) and this morning at 5:45 am!! That was just unlucky room location where the steward setup cart was right outside our door.

3. Weather - no storms, etc. So that's a blessing in Oct. But it was very windy and seas were choppy the last two full days.

The positives:

1. Dining room - Our tablemates were great once again (we have always requested large tables and had great tablemates). The food was good for the most part - soups were great, every appetizer I had was really good, best lobster I remember having on a ship, ....

2. Excursions. We have been to these ports (key west and Nassau) three times in the last 15 months. In key west we rented a scooter and just rode around - it was fun - even when it poured rain for about 30 minutes, DH did a standup paddle board and snorkel excursion through CCL in Nassau and he had a great time. I stayed on board and had a good time too.

3. Got just what we expected. We had a relaxing, fun and great trip. Just what we expected for the $$. (all total including room, tips, tax, sail & sign, excursions, photos... $1000-$1050).

So there you have it - the good and the not-so-good. Would I do it again? I would not have changed anything this year, but our next cruise will be to different ports and maybe on a larger ship ... Maybe.
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  #2  
Old October 13th, 2012, 09:01 PM
catnap3090 catnap3090 is offline
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Default Just got home from the 10/8 Fascination cruise!!!

Had a great time - I am a veteran cruiser and usually sail the larger ships with all the amenities. However, for the money and with the friendly staff - we loved the trip. Yes, our room was small and there was no Steak House, etc etc, but the ship is so easy to get around and we met the most amazing people - and loved the staff! Also, the cruise director - Paul Santley was a hoot - with that Britt humor and a great sense of timing. I was not that impressed with the comedians, but enjoyed the shows and casino.

Am thinking of a back to back cruise on the Fascination -after the ship emerges from dry dock at the end of January. Great value and fun!

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  #3  
Old October 14th, 2012, 08:42 AM
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Georgiagolfer Georgiagolfer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KentuckyKat View Post
In the car driving home from Jacksonville and the Fascination - here's the short report of our cruise.

So there you have it - the good and the not-so-good. Would I do it again? I would not have changed anything this year, but our next cruise will be to different ports and maybe on a larger ship ... Maybe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by catnap3090 View Post
Had a great time - I am a veteran cruiser and usually sail the larger ships with all the amenities. However, for the money and with the friendly staff - we loved the trip. Yes, our room was small and there was no Steak House, etc etc, but the ship is so easy to get around and we met the most amazing people - and loved the staff! Also, the cruise director - Paul Santley was a hoot - with that Britt humor and a great sense of timing. I was not that impressed with the comedians, but enjoyed the shows and casino.

Am thinking of a back to back cruise on the Fascination -after the ship emerges from dry dock at the end of January. Great value and fun!

Glad you both had a good cruise. DW and I are just off Fascination 2 weeks ago (3rd time) and had a good, but not memorable cruise. Have decided no more Fascination and/or older smaller ships, at least for a while. Too many other ships yet to sail.
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  #4  
Old October 14th, 2012, 09:31 AM
vivavegas vivavegas is offline
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Welcome Back! Glad you both enjoyed your cruise! Haven't tried the Facination yet, but I'm looking at it sometime next year. Jax is an easy drive from SC, so it was a great quick get-away!
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Last edited by vivavegas; October 14th, 2012 at 09:32 AM.
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  #5  
Old October 14th, 2012, 09:43 AM
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Thanks for the report.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 11:33 AM
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Thanks for the review, we love the Fascination, but I guess for the reasons that you like it, the food, the ease of getting around, and we are so laid back that the night life really hasn't been that important to us, we never make it to a comedy show, there is so much else going on. Thanks for the review, and we will be back on her for Halloween next year.
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  #7  
Old October 14th, 2012, 11:40 AM
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Nice, balanced review. I'm not a cheerleader but liked the way you started with negatives and ended on the positive.
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  #8  
Old October 14th, 2012, 06:38 PM
Cruisin 2gether Cruisin 2gether is offline
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Thanks for the review... Very informative......My family and I are going on the Fascination in December for a Christmas Cruise. Their first cruise not mine.
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  #9  
Old October 14th, 2012, 06:51 PM
sandradoo sandradoo is offline
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Sailing in Feb. can't wait!
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  #10  
Old October 14th, 2012, 07:18 PM
DG2007 DG2007 is offline
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We were on the Fascination 2 weeks ago and agree, no more short cruises, only 7+ days. We had a good time but it wasn't great. There were always lines at the grill on our cruise too, I found this crazy since I was very underwhelmed by the food there. My DH loved the Mongolian grill though and the lines were never as long there.


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  #11  
Old October 14th, 2012, 07:34 PM
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Thank you for your review...we always like ALL the facts.
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  #12  
Old October 14th, 2012, 07:41 PM
GAMOM4 GAMOM4 is offline
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Thank you for your review. We are going on the Fascination for the 3rd time the first week of December. This will be our 2nd year in a row going the first week of December - the Christmas decorations were up last year and it was so pretty. We love cruising out of Jacksonville because it is only about a 4 hour drive for us. This will be our 6th time cruising out of Jacksonville. We were on the Dream in May and we enjoy the Fascination just as much as we did the Dream .... the only difference that matters to us is that the Dream has draft beer and the Fascination doesn't (or didn't last year anyway).
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Carnival Dream - May 19, 2012
Carnival Fascination - December 3, 2012
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  #13  
Old October 14th, 2012, 08:01 PM
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AmberTeka AmberTeka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivavegas View Post
Welcome Back! Glad you both enjoyed your cruise! Haven't tried the Facination yet, but I'm looking at it sometime next year. Jax is an easy drive from SC, so it was a great quick get-away!
We live in Jax and had twenty cruises under our belt before we tried the Fascination. the reviews went one way...bad or the other...good. It does have a reputation as being one of the ships that gets the most compliments from passengers. So we went..expecting little....just close and we had a few days and a special occasion to celebrate and we HAD THE TIME OF OUR LIVES.

I LOVED that ship. the people..and most were Southern on the cruise last May we took...were laid back..even the college grads and high school grads...and there were plenty on there...were laid back..Yes Mam'ers...door holders...all races..genders...Just the nicest kids in the world. I did not see ONE of them druck and loud. We played Trivia a lot..enjoyed that....we had to play where a band played...and that was a bit hard...but we still enjoyed it. The casino was small....tight as usual....but never crowded.

the food was as good or better than that on The Dream and the Freedom. ( and I love the Freedom). Breakfast did not have bacon..or limited servings...but the Deli...magnificent. Pizza great. Signs on the Lido deck..so one person picking the right slice of tomato could NOT hold up the entire line like they do on the Dream..SALAD BARS ARE SEPERATE..and very good.
We loved Key West. Nassau not so much, but then we have been there many times. We are not young.
In MaY...The Fascination is doing a one week BaHamas cruise...and I am thinking of booking. We had an OV ..middle deck..Main Deck..and loved it. The location was perfect. Nothing was very far. And it was very quiet.

I might be in the minority but I think The Fascination is about the best cruise bargin going around these days!
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  #14  
Old October 14th, 2012, 08:05 PM
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AmberTeka AmberTeka is offline
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Originally Posted by marshhawk View Post
Thanks for the review, we love the Fascination, but I guess for the reasons that you like it, the food, the ease of getting around, and we are so laid back that the night life really hasn't been that important to us, we never make it to a comedy show, there is so much else going on. Thanks for the review, and we will be back on her for Halloween next year.
SHHHH.....I am looking at it for Feb. 2 or Feb 3....for the Super Bowl Sailing. I am thinking big party...with nice people..football fanatics for DH..no cooking..no washing dishes .....party hearty and then sleep late the next day.......

Hmmmmm. DH has not a clue.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 08:14 PM
Scott34787 Scott34787 is offline
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I might be in the minority
Oh crap you said minority again
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  #16  
Old October 14th, 2012, 08:43 PM
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cruise77 cruise77 is offline
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Question

Is there water works on the ship???
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  #17  
Old October 15th, 2012, 09:31 PM
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oldrailfan oldrailfan is offline
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Is there water works on the ship???
Yes. ...and the balcony upgrade...
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1) Jubilee - May 2004 - porthole, KW and Nassau
2) Carnival Glory - Sep 2007 - interior, Coz, Belize, Costa Maya (missed, storm damage) so Roatan and Freeport instead of Nassau to make up time
3) Fascination - Sep 2010 - balcony, HMC and Nassau
4) Fascination - Sep 2011 - ocean view, HMC and Nassau
5) Fascination - Apr/May 2012 interior, HMC (rained out) so Nassau and Freeport
6) B2B Fascination May 2012 - interior (never again), Freeport and Nassau
7) Fascination - Aug 2012 - ocean view, HMC and Nassau
8) B2B Fascination - Aug 2012 - ocean view, Freeport and Nassau
9) Fascination - Feb 2013 - ocean view,KW and Nassau
10) Fascination - May 2013 - grand suite, Grand Turk HMC and Nassau -
Platinum, baby!!
11) Fascination - Sep/Oct 2013 - to be assigned (code for Owner's Suite), Nassau and LSC
12) B2B Fascination - Oct 2013 - aft facing balcony, HMC and Nassau
13) Fascination - Nov 2013 - ocean view (Not anymore - upgraded: TBA - see cruise 11 ), KW and Nassau - Birthday cruise! Last second move: Added the Grandkids so they could share my birthday.


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Last edited by oldrailfan; October 15th, 2012 at 09:32 PM.
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