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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We have cruised many times and this was the worse ship ever. There was nothing to do. Our room was an interior. I usually love interior rooms because they are so dark it makes sleeping easy. Not on this ship. There is a big crack all ... Read More
We have cruised many times and this was the worse ship ever. There was nothing to do. Our room was an interior. I usually love interior rooms because they are so dark it makes sleeping easy. Not on this ship. There is a big crack all around the door letting the hallway light spill in. The way the bed was set up every time I rolled over light was shining in my face. The room was stated for 4 people and it looks like the extra 2 beds were an after thought. instead of pulling out of the ceiling they built fold down bunk beds. Unfortunately, this caused you to have a 8 inch shelf sticking out of the wall about 12 inches above your head when laying on the bed. You had to be very careful not to sit up to fast or you hit your head. This set-up also stopped your ability to lean against the headboard and read or watch tv, Since there was no other chair in the room (due to the other bunk bed sticking out where a chair usually is) you could not just relax in your room well. This also caused my other half to run into the bunk sticking out at night. The shower in the bathroom did seem a tiny bit bigger than on the last ship we were on. There is no bathroom counter space and only one tiny shelf in the bathroom. This caused a lack of storage. The bathroom and hallway smelled strongly of urine. So strong as to almost gag you but we were the lucky ones, many floors and elevators smelled of sewage. Instead of 3 closets that most of our interiors had there is only 2. Since 1/2 of one was taken up with bedding for the 2 bunk beds and life jackets you are very limited on storage. There are 3 shelves and 2 drawers and the safe where the 3rd closet usually is. One tiny draw under the desk for the hairdryer, and a barely cold mini fridge. It took 24 hours before out water was slightly chilled. We complained to the room steward and he said that that's how they all are on this ship. He called it "basically a cooler" I have no idea how you would fit 4 people and their stuff in this tiny room. Our room steward, Alexandher was awesome. Anything we asked for was quickly brought to us, such as extra pillows and Ice. He always had a smile and called us by name and asked how we were. We had any time dining and on the first night we had Richard and his team. The were quick and friendly. We asked to be seated in his section every night, even though there was sometimes a wait for his table it was worth it. The food was good and we ate there all but one night because DH got sunburn and did not feel like going there one night so we did the buffet one diner. It was ok but some of the food was cold. Lunch was mainly the buffet, pizza, deli, guys burgers and blue iguana. The staff in those areas were mostly friendly. The only one not nice was the one female in the dessert station. She acted like you were bothering her. Room service took over an hour the only time we used it and they sent more food than we ordered so it went to waste. I don't know if the other platter was for another room but she was already gone once we realized we had to many. Could not save it for later due to fridge barely cool. I only went to a few of the shows because some appeared to be duplicates from another ship we had just been on. The rock show was very good. The after noon magician was a big joke. he even gave up on one of his tricks, the others were high school magic tricks, good for the kids but not for any adults. We went to many comedy shows and most of the comedians were great. one was so so but with comedy you get that. Normally I love to do the afternoon trivia but on this ship over 1/2 of the trivia was in the smoke filled casino bar. I have asthma and could not participate. This ship had at least 4 other rooms open where they could have the trivia but they choose the smoke filled room. DH asked to speak with Kevin the cruise director and explained that we were unhappy and wanted to get off the ship with the fun guarantee. I don't drink, gamble, or sit out in the sun ( due to father died of skin cancer) so the only 2 things I do when there isn't a show or dining on the ship are trivia and games in the library. Every day at around 2 they would close the library so they could set the captains table up in there. Kevin told us he would switch the trivia to one of the open rooms and actually went over all the different games to see what ones we would be interested in and those he would switch. Why would they have an activity that children and those with heart and lung diseases join in the smoke filled bar when there are other places is so confusing to me. Kevin said corporate told them to have them their due to art auctions. but the art auction was over with by the time of some of the trivia so who knows. Since Kevin was going to change the trivia we decided to stay on the ship. This worked for a few days until we left grand turk. that was the first stop they could have flown us home from. Then it went back to almost all in the bar . We did not appreciate being lied to. The decor on the ship is beautiful but the design of the atrium was terrible for entertainment. there were the bar stools around the bar and then pushed way out the way was a small area of couches. So basically you had to stand for any entertainment. The fun staff was doing their job but only 2 really seemed like they enjoyed it. We did one excursion in amber cove - serenity vip beach. We loved it. The resort area was amazing. Every one got a beach bed and there was plenty of shade. the water was beautiful but rocky so wear water shoes. This came with unlimited drinks and food. The virgin daiquiris were great. I would definitely go back. We just did a beach day at half moon cay. I bought a pop up tent from amazon that fit in my luggage and was only 2 lbs. it worked really well for shade. Overall, I will never cruise this ship again even if it was free. There were some nice things but to many problems. The embarkation and debarkation was fine. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We wanted to do a week cruise on one of the smaller ships...thus we chose the Elation for the job. Normally this ship runs to the Bahamas, which we have actually taken on her. We were onboard prior to the refit - which was a surprising ... Read More
We wanted to do a week cruise on one of the smaller ships...thus we chose the Elation for the job. Normally this ship runs to the Bahamas, which we have actually taken on her. We were onboard prior to the refit - which was a surprising uplift to the vessel. Since our adult daughter was coming along, we got a suite for the obvious extra room...good move. The Grand Suite was a bit smaller than one on the Dream, but owing to the size difference of the ship, not a problem. Our balcony was more than sufficient, so we were glad we did not pay extra for the "extended" balcony. Service onboard was excellent! Our Steward made sure all was right. On the first day, Christian inquired about anything we needed and kept on top of any and all requests. Staff elsewhere was equally up to task. Meals in the Main Dining Room were good. No major surprises, although perhaps Carnival could update their menu....getting to be a bit too predictable. Kevin, the Cruise Director was excellent. This trip was longer than usual for this ship. We went to Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, and Amber Cove. The first two were basically beach stopovers. Being Floridians who live near the beach...it was okay. Amber Cove was what we wanted to see. We took a guided tour on a small bus that took us to Puerto Plata to see the sights. Augustin Guzman, our tour guide was knowledgeable and extremely funny - and a big flirt with the museum tour guide! We bought the tour from Carnival and got great value for our $49 each trip! One small blip on the radar...Customer Service desk was not so excellent. I made an inquiry, was promised a result - never heard from them again. Heard the same complaint from someone on the tour. (I had not volunteered my problem!) Luckily, for me, the issue was minor. But, when you try to find out something and get ignored, it is irritating. Yes - if you see this cruise offered on the Elation - grab it. It is a great one week sailing and a decent price! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
It's been a number of years since we sailed on a Fantasy class ship, but I recalled the pace feeling less frantic, not feeling crowded and having incredible service. Elation did not disappoint and reaffirmed those remembrances. ... Read More
It's been a number of years since we sailed on a Fantasy class ship, but I recalled the pace feeling less frantic, not feeling crowded and having incredible service. Elation did not disappoint and reaffirmed those remembrances. There was never a venue, dining room, bar, deck, etc that we were unable to easily find a seat in. Service was generally top notched and there was always something to see, do or watch if you wanted, or a place to chill out if that was desired. The ship looks really nice after her upgrades and I noticed people cleaning on a regular basis. Sunset Patrol is the cruise rock/country/80s band. Do not miss them! Every member can sing/play beautifully. We ensured we watched them every chance we got. The Divas show was great fun! Incredible energy and great songs! The Epic Rock show was good, and would have been even better if they had had Sunset Patrol playing live music. If you want a drink during the show, I do recommend stopping at the Atrium Bar on the way in, as bar service within the theater was a bit slow and/or practically non-existent. We only made it to one comedy show and the comedian was outstanding to a point, then turned a bit mean. I don't recall the name, however, I heard from other passengers that the other comedians that were on the cruise was incredible. Seating was not an issue at all and we had no problems finding a seat. We had YTD and never had to wait to be seated, whether we chose to sit with others or on our own. Service varied a bit from outstanding to some of the worse that we have had, but overall it ranged from good to great. Even the best restaurants have an off day, and we hit breakfast one morning on one of those, however the day before had had some of the best service ever at breakfast.. so it balanced out. Guys Burgers, the taco bar, buffet were all good. The pizza.....meh. Pizza Pirate is the pizza on this ship and it's just not quattro formaggio. Room service was prompt and I waited far less time than I expected to. We spent a good amount of time on the Serenity deck and never had a problem finding chairs. Bar service was outstanding as well. There was always someone walking through checking to see if everyone was taken care of The Chef's Table was pretty decent. It was the first time we have done that. A simple tour of the galley, some pretty incredible treats, a demo on how to make melting chocolate cake - recipe provided. The chef that was the host was exceptionally happy to be hosting the dinner with lots of enthusiasm for the food and his presentation. The food was pretty good, however I was having a hard time appreciating it due to severe seasickness and I had to bow out 3/4 of the way through. Everyone else seemed to be really enjoying it though! Half Moon Cay was incredible. True powder white sand, exceptionally easy tendering, and plenty of seats. The most beautiful beach I have seen in my life! We'll go back to that one again and again without complaint. Perfect beach day! In Grand Turk we did the Snorkeling, Conch and Rays excursion. This was our second time. The seas were pretty rough that day, and they were offering refunds to those who desired, and took those of us still wanting to go to an alternate dive site. It was still incredible! The staff was uber-attentive and even in the rough waters I felt very safe. While we were not able to dive for conch, we still got to play with the stingrays and have conch salad. Absolutely incredible day!! The seas were a bit rough this cruise and I got seasick more this cruise than the last 8 combined. I'll just be sure to pack double the motion sickness meds next cruise and maybe then I won't need them at all. :) Definitely recommend this ship for a relaxing or first time cruise. You get to experience a lot of the regular bells and whistles without the crowds. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Jacksonville is a convenient drive-to port, and we had not been aboard the Carnival Elation previously. Booking our first back-to-back cruises, total 10 days, we were optimistic that we would not be bored. As 80+ though active ... Read More
Jacksonville is a convenient drive-to port, and we had not been aboard the Carnival Elation previously. Booking our first back-to-back cruises, total 10 days, we were optimistic that we would not be bored. As 80+ though active passengers, we especially appreciate the perks of being "platinum" Carnival cruisers. With early check in, we went directly to our prepared cabin to unload minimal carry-on bags and then had an early lunch; afterwards, we retreated to our cabin during the boarding process for most passengers. Platinum level guests also receive free laundry, depending on the cruise length, a chocolate tray delivered to the cabin, a platinum/diamond party, and other amenities, depending on the ship. The safety drill always seems to take longer than necessary since most passengers appear to wander to their assigned stations in a leisurely manner; more emphatic announcements could help this issue. Overall, our cabin was quite comfortable despite drawer handles that are loose and aged furnishings like the wall-mounted, older TV that is a hazard for those walking to the window. An extensive dry-dock call in September, 2017 should address many issues. We love the art deco lighting fixtures and also the smaller, more intimate feel of the ship. A special spa treat gave me sparkling toenails in the luxurious setting with skilled providers. Since we are not concerned with rock-climbing or zip-line adventures, we were quite content with our accommodations and activities. The library's offerings could use updating though I did find a few books to read. My husband downloads several books on his ipad for a trip, and I enjoy games, investigating the ship's offerings, and meeting people. The art show/auction seemed inviting rather than pretentious, and I won two pieces of artwork that I am enjoying. Some ports on the two five-day cruises were the same though we did get to enjoy Half Moon Cay on an amazing day......ours was the only ship in port at the time, so the luxury of beautiful surroundings, ample chaises, and a picnic lunch ashore made for an excellent stop. We do wish for more ports like this one as shopping for jewels and over-priced merchandise (made in China with the port logo stamped on) are not appealing. Our cabin steward and dining room servers were excellent; perhaps those who complain should consider that others should be treated the way they would like to be treated. What if your entree is a bit late? Really, where are you going? You are on the ship. Overall, we are quite happy with a smaller ship and hope to sail again on the Elation, following its renovation. We are platinum members, by the way, because of the number of days on previous cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
chose this trip for convenience and price i guess....i can't recommend this ship......needs a remodeling, badly. the smell of raw sewage near the end was sickening, of course, and.should never be allowed. the bedding was beyond ... Read More
chose this trip for convenience and price i guess....i can't recommend this ship......needs a remodeling, badly. the smell of raw sewage near the end was sickening, of course, and.should never be allowed. the bedding was beyond worn out. it was our third cruise with carnival in twelve months and overall we enjoyed the first two more. I've found carnivals crews to be friendly and hard working, i don't expect to be treated like royalty, as some do, remembering my name's not required. Conversing with the crew can be challenging. this was a very, very rowdy crowd, unattended children ran the hall at full speed shouting all night, every where it seemed very loud music blasted forcing the drunks to shout over each other and the music. If they can feed everyone all they want why do they need to charge extra for tea in the dinning room???? embarkation and leaving the ship was very smooth and fast, cant complain there. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
First if you are wanting a classy cruise, THIS IS NOT IT! The ship is old but clean. Our bed was comfortable but our friends bed was hard and not comfortable at all. We had a picture tube television in our room, kinda weird. The food was ... Read More
First if you are wanting a classy cruise, THIS IS NOT IT! The ship is old but clean. Our bed was comfortable but our friends bed was hard and not comfortable at all. We had a picture tube television in our room, kinda weird. The food was not very good. The food at dinner was so so quality. It seemed to all taste the same each night. Steak was tough one night but ok another night. The stage show entertainment was pretty good. Comedy show was ok. My biggest complaint is the entertainment around the pool area. They don't have a DJ or band playing all the time. Most of the time there is no music. This sucks when you are on a cruise ship and you want to be put in a fun party mood. I thought ahead and brought my own blue tooth speaker for music and used that at the adult hot tub and pool area. We definitely got what we paid for on this ship. The beach get away shore excursion at Freeport was really good. The locals that host it were very friendly. They danced with us and kept us entertained. We had more fun on this beach excursion than we did on the ship. I will never go on this ship again. If it's your first cruise you will probably enjoy it. But don't expect too much. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
We are relatively new to cruising but have quickly fallen in love with the spoiled lifestyle on the ships. This is our 3rd cruise in 2 years and we are going again in December. We have only gone on Carnival at this point because it seems ... Read More
We are relatively new to cruising but have quickly fallen in love with the spoiled lifestyle on the ships. This is our 3rd cruise in 2 years and we are going again in December. We have only gone on Carnival at this point because it seems they have had the best price every time we looked. This ship was in fair condition. It has a lot of damage to the decor in the Tiffany;s eating area on the Lido deck. There was missing tile and the paintings had many sections peeled off. The paint job in general on the ship was in disrepair also. The workers were all above board and great to deal with except for the Serenity deck towel concierge was rude when I returned 2 towels I had taken when no worker was around (it was within the time they were supposed to be there handing them out). The food was great as it has been every time. This trip we met a great crew at dinner and decided to eat dinner every night instead of doing the buffet like our other cruises. We still would recommend Carnival but this ship may need some dry dock time:-) Read Less
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose this cruise as our honeymoon. We had a great time - except for when my husband lost his wedding ring at Half Moon Cay. Due to searching the ocean for 2 hours we got really sunburned, so we spent most of our time on the ship. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise as our honeymoon. We had a great time - except for when my husband lost his wedding ring at Half Moon Cay. Due to searching the ocean for 2 hours we got really sunburned, so we spent most of our time on the ship. We didn't have any excursions planned, but decided to walk around the second port of call on our agenda, Nassau. I honestly hated it. The locals were incredibly pushy and persistent (to say the least). One woman kept touching my hair trying to get me to let her braid it (it was already braided). The port was dirty. We wandered for 30-40 minutes around the shops and did not feel safe so we went back on board and enjoyed the quietness of the ship. We loved the ship activities, and the games that were planned. Comedy was pretty good throughout. Meals were superb and well worth the cost of the cruise. We met a couple at dinner and became friends with them over the course of the week. We still keep in touch a bit. Already have our next cruise planned! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was the 3rd time we have taken this cruise out of San Juan and the other 2 times was on the VALOR--which we loved...the Fascination was such a let down and much too small of a ship. Our inside cabin was unfortunately directly below ... Read More
This was the 3rd time we have taken this cruise out of San Juan and the other 2 times was on the VALOR--which we loved...the Fascination was such a let down and much too small of a ship. Our inside cabin was unfortunately directly below the Galley...the noise level ALL hours of the night was horrific and RUINED our cruise experience on this ship. When we complained after the first night we were told to call the desk and they would send someone up to the galley to quiet down...well that lasted on 10 - 15 minutes. We were then offered ear plugs for the noise level - which did help...on the 3rd day we were offered another cabin but did NOT want to pack everything up only to unpack it in another cabin. I must say Carnival did their best to try and accommodate..but in reality these cabins should not even be available to be booked or be booked a greatly reduced rates letting guest know of this issue. Did not like the way the Casino is set up on both sides of the main isle. The small bands that were playing were in hidden areas. Our days on the island were fun and exciting. We are platinum members and will NEVER book a small ship again Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We flew into Jacksonville the morning of day of departure. We caught a cab and headed to the port. Getting onto the ship went very smoothly. Everyone was courteous and all went well. It was just before noon when we got aboard and, as ... Read More
We flew into Jacksonville the morning of day of departure. We caught a cab and headed to the port. Getting onto the ship went very smoothly. Everyone was courteous and all went well. It was just before noon when we got aboard and, as our rooms were not quite ready, we headed up to the lido deck to relax and get something to eat and drink. Our rooms were ready fairly quickly, but all of our luggage did not arrive to our room till later in the afternoon and that did not pose a problem at all. This was our 1st cruise on Carnival. After reading many reviews, I wondered if I had made the right choice. BUT, I am so happy to say that I did! We always get an inside cabin and it was immaculate. Our room steward did an excellent job, cleaning and tidying up morning and evening, leaving us a different towel creature each evening. I honestly don't understand why some of the cruisers post such critical, scathing reviews. We were on the same ship. I have learned, after sailing on RC and Celebrity and now Carnival, that you can't really depend on reviews too much. Anywayyyyy......loved the decor of the ship. We do wish there had been more seating in the atrium area, on the higher floors overlooking the atrium. Also, the entertainment in the atrium left much to be desired, I'm sorry to say. But that did not, by any means, affect the enjoyment of our cruise. We loved it! We met so many wonderful people. The crew was so kind and helpful, courteous. I never cease to be amazed at the friendliness of the crews. The entertainment in the theater left somewhat to be desired, too. We left the shows on Friday and Saturday evenings because it was just a bit too racy and youth-oriented for us. Because there were so many families on this cruise we did think the shows should have been a bit more family friendly. But the show on Wednesday night? "60's,70's and 80's" was great! Very family-friendly! We loved it! :-) I will say that we were used to wonderful shows every night on our other cruises, so we did kind of miss that, as we don't do the bar scene and late night activities. Still, we had a great time, relaxing outside and so on. It would have been good if there had been chairs/lounges on the decks of deck 7, I believe it was. We did my-time dining in the Sensation Dining Rood and the food and service were impeccable. We had steaks most often and they were cooked perfectly. Most of the time, we ate in the buffet and were impressed with the different varieties of food at each meal time. It was always delicious. We loved the outside grill offerings and the deli and pizzeria. We enjoyed our time at Nassau;purchased a tour once on shore. We learned many interesting facts about Nassua, the Bahamas. Met some very engaging locals. Our driver was very entertaining. :-) Wished we would have spent more time at the public beach which was just a short walk from our ship. I would recommend this to future cruisers. We loooooooved Half Moon Cay and would have for-gone Nassau for two days here! Heaven on earth. Carnival provided a barbecue for everyone. Everything was just perfect here! We plan to come back with our son and his family. I loved that the library had games that you could take out. We enjoyed some of those. Enjoyed conversing with George who was in charge of the Art Auction publicity. Paul, the cruise director was very funny and entertaining. And, while waiting in the Palace Theater, to complete our muster, one of the young men from the entertainment troupe kept us up and entertained. He did a great job! :-) Our least favorite part of the cruise was disembarkation. We always do early/self-departure and have always been instructed to go to the theater or conference room where we waited. Refreshments were provided. (These were two other different cruise lines.) But on the Fascination, we were told to stay in our rooms until we heard the go-ahead but most everyone waited out in the hallway. We were then directed down a narrow stairway. A huge group of passengers, all needing to get off, endeavoring to go down a narrow stairway with their travelling companions, staying together. It was a tad harrowing but we made it and once off, everything went smoothly. We will definitely cruise Carnival/Fascination again!! Great value/Great cruise!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Staff is short handed, worn out, and depressed. I get the feeling the are trying the best they can but they don't have the tools or resources that are needed. Seems like this ship is where cruise service careers begin or end. ... Read More
Staff is short handed, worn out, and depressed. I get the feeling the are trying the best they can but they don't have the tools or resources that are needed. Seems like this ship is where cruise service careers begin or end. Buffet was disgusting. It makes Golden Corral look like 5 star dining. Bar service is slow due to being short handed. Mixing is hit or miss on quality and quantity. Rooms were showing their age and cleanliness was lacking. (Hairs in the shower, cherry stem on the floor and "something" on the wall when we arrived) Casino was so smokey we could never enter. Photo taking was everywhere and in the way. Obnoxious and aggressive photographers and the photos were ridiculously overpriced. Dining room food was mediocre. It is sooooo past time to retire the dancing waiters. I felt bad for the 60 year old guys working their butts off then having to stop and dance like a monkey for no reason at all. Please stop this pathetic "show". Entertainment was all about quantity but not quality. Yes there was lot going on but nothing we could stomach for more than 15 minutes. The piano bar player was so grizzled and angry at his position in life it was like watching a train wreck when he tried to interact with the 4 person crowd in the place. We tried this cruise due to the location of the port since we are in the area. Should have known what kind of clientele this would have attracted. Basically, take a Black Friday Walmart crowd, mix in a Saturday afternoon flea market crowd and sprinkle in your local social security disability benefit fan club and you have 85% of the ship. The other 15% I would consider unfortunate tourists who got caught taking a wrong turn in cruise land or led astray by a no-nothing travel agent. In closing, cruiser beware! Run, don't walk, away from this cruise if you believe you fall into the 15% crowd. If you are in the 85% crowd then, by all means, go and enjoy yourselves. Just please remember that no one wants to see you in the buffet line wearing your complimentary robe, flip flops and shower cap. And no, this was NOT and isolated occurrence. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
First of all, I had planned a 4-night cruise on the Carnival Paradise out of Tampa in November. Due to a fatal accident on I-75 I was held up in traffic for 4 hours and along with misleading directions to the port from Carnival's ... Read More
First of all, I had planned a 4-night cruise on the Carnival Paradise out of Tampa in November. Due to a fatal accident on I-75 I was held up in traffic for 4 hours and along with misleading directions to the port from Carnival's website I missed the ship. Carnival rebooked me on a 5 night cruise on the Fascination out of Jacksonville for December 6, which was a much closer port to me. I did not have the travel insurance and was happy that they consented to rebook me and gave me a better cabin. On December 6, the incoming Fascination could not dock at Jaxport due to fog until about 2:30 pm, then it took hours to get everyone off the ship and be ready for new passengers to embark. I had arrived at the port at noon and didn't get to my cabin until 9:15 pm. It was a long long day of waiting. Although I've been on several cruises before, I cruised solo for the first time and decided that it was not something I would do again. The ship was clean, people were friendly, food was good but I didn't find a lot I wanted to do. I read a lot, ate a lot, and rested a lot. I was ready to go home two days before it was over. I think this reflects more on me than on the cruise itself. I was in cabin R152, oceanview on the Riviera deck. The cabin was great for one person, although the bathroom, while clean, developed an unpleasant chemical sulpher-like smell towards the end so I kept the door closed. The advantage of the Riviera deck is to get off the ship first (after priority guests do).   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This was our second time on this ship ,we live in jacksonville so when we need a break we go,I dont know what all the complaining is about ,but we find nothing wrong with the ship or port .easy on easy off,ship is small and older but it is ... Read More
This was our second time on this ship ,we live in jacksonville so when we need a break we go,I dont know what all the complaining is about ,but we find nothing wrong with the ship or port .easy on easy off,ship is small and older but it is clean ,staff friendly ,all passengers are friendly,food good and many places to eat.we crusie about ever four months out of port carnaval so we are seasoned cruisers ,the comedian Thomas Brown was one of the best we had seen,took side trip in nassua and Freeport a wide variety of excursions. Cabin was keeped very clean and we asked for ice every morning and evening we only had to ask once,we needed four more pillows ,housekeeping delivered in minutes ,husband has reflux so we always need more pillows .shows and game shows are good ,we have seen the same shows on other carnival ships but it's good ,liked the towel creatures class I took ,while husband took the behind the scenes tour of ship which he would recommend to everyone.enjoy your cruise ! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
We stayed at the Hampton Inn at Jacksonville Airport, it was very nice and convenient to the port. The breakfast is always a nice touch and one less thing to worry about. Embarkation was easy and very quick. We did this cruise for ... Read More
We stayed at the Hampton Inn at Jacksonville Airport, it was very nice and convenient to the port. The breakfast is always a nice touch and one less thing to worry about. Embarkation was easy and very quick. We did this cruise for Halloween. We had a good time because my husband's whole family was there. But I wasn't impressed with the service and the ship definitely did not wow me. I had been on RCCL before and so I was comparing the two. I don't know if I would go on another Carnival, unless it was such a great deal that I couldn't pass up. The kids had fun in the kids clubs and they always were entertained. The shows were good, especially the costume contest, which my husband and MIL were chosen as finalists (it was so funny). Our cabins were connecting OV. We were on Main Deck and felt we were close to everything. Dining was never an issue, and they were happy to put a few tables together so we could all eat together. But our service was so bad the first two nights that they ended up moving us to another section. Half Moon Cay was my favorite port. The beach was beautiful and clean with plenty of chairs. We also stopped at Nassau, we did venture off and go the market. But if you've done it once there is no reason to do it again. The weather wasn't great, so we got back on the ship pretty quickly. All in all we had a good time, but there are too many other ships and cruise lines to try that I probably would not do this one again. Disembarkation was very easy and quick too. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
This is the second cruise on the Fascination for DH and I, and also our second cruise overall in recent years. We live within driving distance to the port, so we drove down the morning of embarkation and parked at the port. After passing ... Read More
This is the second cruise on the Fascination for DH and I, and also our second cruise overall in recent years. We live within driving distance to the port, so we drove down the morning of embarkation and parked at the port. After passing the first security checkpoint, you proceed to the line to drop off your luggage with the porters, then to the parking lot where you pay $15/day. Embarkation process with Faster to the Fun was very easy. From the time we arrived at port, to dropping off our luggage in the room was about 30 minutes. The ship: It is an older, smaller ship and it is showing its age. However, it is well maintained and clean. Any time I passed through a public area that was not in use, there was crew there cleaning floors or wiping down tables. The crew really worked hard to make our cruise a pleasant experience. The music was not overpowering on the pool deck, but surprisingly, it was a little loud in the dining room. My major complaint was that the serenity deck was not patrolled. There were too many people in the hot tub, they were too loud, and their kids came to the deck because they couldn’t get their attention from screaming at them from the deck above. This lasted for 2 ½ hours and nothing was done. Guest services was no help, saying that Carnival is “the fun ship”. So be aware, the serenity deck may not be quite as serene as you think it should be. The room: We had an Ocean View, category 6B (R132). We stayed in this same room last year, and there were some things that were better this year. The room is very spacious, with room to walk around the bed. We did notice mildew stains around the ceiling, but other than that we were pleased. The hot water left a little to be desired, as it would run hot for 2 or 3 minutes, then switch to cold for about 5. This is probably an issue we should’ve gone to guest services about, but didn’t. The air conditioner was colder than last year, as well. The amenities provided were: a pen, a travel sized toothpaste, 2 bars of soap, breathe right strips, shampoo and shower gel. I was glad that I packed my power strip at the last minute, because my hairdryer and camera battery charger would not fit in the single outlet under the mirror at the vanity. Our room steward, Adrian, was average, but he did quickly fulfill 2 requests for amenities that we had last year, but were missing this year: an ice bucket and a note pad. Other than that, we spoke to him in the hallway if we saw him (he did not speak first). If he had an assistant, we were not introduced. Dining: We had Your Time Dining in the Sensation Dining Room. We requested a table for two each night, and did have to wait about 10 minutes on some nights. On those nights that we had to wait, we were offered tablemates, but declined and decided to wait for an opening for 2. We were given a pager that worked everywhere except the staterooms and casino. The dining room is typical restaurant style, but I feel the tables are too close together. On the first formal night, we were seated at a table for 2, in between another table for 2 and a table for 4. The tables were so close, that it felt like a table for 8, but nobody was talking to each other because we weren’t really sitting together. It was a very weird experience. The buffet is nice, as well. The tables are larger, so you may end up sitting at one end and another party at another end. We also utilized the Pirate Pizza, the deli, and the grill. The food was much improved from last year and actually had some taste. The sunripened tomato soup and the lobster tail were absolutely delicious. The only food complaint I had (along with others) was the overcooked hamburgers on Half Moon Cay. We were impressed with the sea day brunch, as well. It is the same menu every day, but there is a great variety to choose from. The ship has the Mongolian Wok and the Taste Bar, but we did not visit. Activities/Entertainment: I didn’t think the cruise director made a lot of difference in the cruise. But, Corey proved me wrong! He was great and very visible. We loved the ship’s band, Marv and the Magic Tones. We were quite surprised when we found out Carnival contracted each member individually and then put the band together. The chemistry was great. They were so good, that we used them as our entertainment for most of the cruise. We saw one comedian, John Dean Ester, in his adult show. It was actually tasteful and he was funny. We went to the first “episode” of Hasbro, The Game Show and didn’t go to the second. While neat to watch, it wasn’t all that entertaining. It was kind of cheesy, really. The Love and Marriage show, as usual, did not disappoint. There were all kinds of trivia and games and contests and stuff to keep you busy if you wanted to be entertained. Spa: I pre-booked a bamboo massage. I realized after I booked that there was an appointment available that would've worked better for me, but the links were broken for me to re-book online. So, on embarkation day I went to the spa and they were very nice about changing it to the time that I wanted. This was a deep tissue massage and my therapist made sure I was aware of that before hand. Unfortunately, because the room was located next to the locker rooms, it was not very relaxing. While there was calming music playing in the room, I could hear tennis shoes squeaking up and down the halls, and people laughing and talking loudly in the halls the entire 50 minutes. After the massage, came the sales pitch, which added to the relaxation buzz-kill. Next time, I think I will wait to see what the specials are before I book. For the day that I went, I could've gotten a bamboo massage, facial, foot/ankle/scalp massage for less than I paid for the massage alone. Service: The service was awesome. Other than our experience with guest services, all of the crew went out of their way to make our experience pleasant. Everyone was nice and polite. We booked a shore excursion for Nassau the evening before we ported there. The lady at the desk was very nice, polite, and patient while we discussed what we wanted to do. Port and Shore Excursions: In Grand Turk, we checked out the Splashdown Grand Turk exhibit. This was a nice little exhibit in tribute to the early spaceflight years. We walked the beach and hung out in front of Jack’s. Chairs were free and umbrellas were to rent. We really got a kick out of the poodle digging holes and swimming in the area. We were late arriving to Half Moon Cay and late waking up, but we were still on the first tender over about 10:30. We spent another beach day here and rented a clamshell. The breeze was nice and it was great to have shade and a covered place to put our stuff. We took the Atlantis Aquaventure full day with lunch tour in Nassau. Although a little high priced, this was a great experience and we will probably do it again sometime. We loved booking through Carnival because we did not have to worry about transportation. A Carnival rep walks you to a bus waiting for you at port, and the busses run every 30 minutes back to port starting at 1 pm. The waterslides were thrilling and the resort is really something to see. The lunch is a voucher to the food stands in the water park area, and is only for certain items (hamburgers and hot dogs, mainly). Disembarkation: We were asked to be out of our rooms before 8:30 am. At around 8, we went to our assigned waiting area. We were Faster to the Fun with checked baggage, so we were the 4th group to disembark. We disembarked around 10:30 and were in our car at 10:38. The customs officials were pleasant, and while they did thoroughly check out declarations list, they didn’t waste any time.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
We arrived at JaxPort by automobile. Jacksonville is close to home and one of my favorite ports because of the ease of getting there and parking. Embarkation is usually fairly easy at JAX. There were more people in the ... Read More
We arrived at JaxPort by automobile. Jacksonville is close to home and one of my favorite ports because of the ease of getting there and parking. Embarkation is usually fairly easy at JAX. There were more people in the Diamond/Platinum/FTTF line than the regular lines. As a Platinum we had to wait and wait until our turn. Part of this is Carnival's greed for money by selling FTTF options which decreases the perks of their frequent cruiser program. I booked a Grand Suite, U76, for my wife and myself and the suite was ready when we got there around noon. Our room steward, Joanna, was great. I can't say enough positive things about her. The cruise went to Grand Turks, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau. On the Grand Turks we have always hung around the pool close to Margaritaville, but this time we decided to see some of the countryside. We took the tram around the Grand Turks. The company tries to shove as many people into a tram as possible to the point of being uncomfortable. Half Moon Cay, we rented a cabana. It was great and well worth the money for us. We were supplied with water, sodas, and snack food. We were in cabana #10 which was close to the restrooms and a short walk to lunch. The beach was less crowded from cabana 10-15. Nassau, we have been there so many times on Carnival cruises that we don't even get off the ship anymore. We only went to one show, MotorCity, and it was excellent! We went to the Chef's table one night and it was wonderful. Chef R. Gomes and staff did a wonderful job. The food on Lido deck was ok. The dining room and brunch was absolutely wonderful. Debarkation was one of the easiest and fastest at any port. Overall, Excellent cruise Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2013
EMBARKATION: easy with RTF. OV room nice -Steward good. Weather: stank. I usually get a balcony room but glad I got OV. Balconies were closed most of treat I o due to very rough seas. Couldn't use pool due to weather. This was not a ... Read More
EMBARKATION: easy with RTF. OV room nice -Steward good. Weather: stank. I usually get a balcony room but glad I got OV. Balconies were closed most of treat I o due to very rough seas. Couldn't use pool due to weather. This was not a tropical vacation. We never saw the sun. Most active cities (hairy leg contest, etc ) cancelled due to weather. I went to bot tubs, fitness center most of trip. I d I did 2 massages on port days- deep discount. Steam room was not working most of trip. Our excursion in Bahamas was a nightmare. We were scheduled to do a private beach day. The operators took us despite rain showers. We got in a squall, rocking boat , getting rained on,- cold! They did a tourney tho g and asked for tips while going on nightmare boat ride. So wrong!they took us out to get their tips! AFTER 2 hours of misery they took us back to port and refunded our money. But they Got their tips! That's 2 hours I will never get back.I forgot name of excursion but its very popular. Due to weather, we couldn't port in Little Stirrup Cay. I was looking forward to that. Instead we diverted Freeport.not my favorite, so stayed on boat for cheaper massage. Food was good- went to Magnolian Wok daily,as well as made to order omelettes. ENTERTAINMENT DE T. W E LIKED Motown and Divas. Disembark: We were FTF and had early flights a due to some security issue, did not get off boat until 10ish.Cruise before us was 4 hours late and we didn't start. Boarding til 2. If you like no frills and small boats this cruise is for you. We go on bigger boats usually. We did Magic in Auguast and doing NCl Epic in March. We like more activities and dining choices. I would recommend this for those who want to snooze and cruise. We not go on A WINTER CRUISE AGAIN.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
We are regular cruisers. Usually between Royal and Carnival. We have been on Fascination before, so we knew what to expect. The check in process was pretty quick, even though we got to the port at peak time. Our cabin was ready so we ... Read More
We are regular cruisers. Usually between Royal and Carnival. We have been on Fascination before, so we knew what to expect. The check in process was pretty quick, even though we got to the port at peak time. Our cabin was ready so we dropped off our carry ons. The food is very adequate. The lobster tails were very good as was the prime rib and the fried shrimp. We had good but sometimes slow service in the dining room. No biggie... I was on vacation. Sometimes long lines at the buffet, but we have learned not to go at peak times. Our cabin steward did a great job. We have never had any issues with our cabin stewards. They work hard and do a great job. 99% of the crew were very pleasant and very friendly. The shows were also good as were the comedians. I have noticed that Carnival is cutting back on some things, but that is expected. We noticed that there was no bands out and around the ship. we have enjoyed the bands out by the pool and near the casino area. Still we feel we got a good value for what we paid for this cruise. We didn't do much but wander around Nassau. We went to Junkanoo Beach for a couple hours. It is a public area just about a 10 minute walk from the ship. I do recommend the beach as it was nice. Not too big. Bring water shoes as there is alot of rocks in the water. Ask any police and they will direct you there. Don't ask a taxi driver, they will want to take you there. We went to Little Stirrup Key. Very nice and relaxing island. Food over there was fair. There was alot of kids on this cruise. Don't get me wrong, we love kids(3+4 grandkids). We had to experience them running all over the ship wildly. Not the cruise lines fault. Just crappy parenting. Disembarkation was fairly quick. Could have been faster, but I'm generaly not a conplainer. We forgot a watch in our bathroom. I called lost and found to report it when we got home, only 3 hours later. They took all the required information and said they would contact us in a couple weeks. Never heard from them so I called after three weeks. They said they mailed it to us the day prior. WOW there are still honest people out there. Thanks Carnival for a great getaway. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2013
I’m a married cruise virgin who is a father of 3 taking our first cruise vacation. For the journey, it’s my wife, two daughters (11 & 17) and my son who is 18 months. From Ohio, we traveled down to Jacksonville for our first ever ... Read More
I’m a married cruise virgin who is a father of 3 taking our first cruise vacation. For the journey, it’s my wife, two daughters (11 & 17) and my son who is 18 months. From Ohio, we traveled down to Jacksonville for our first ever cruise on the Fascination for 7 day sailing. I also met a good group of people on the CC Roll Call. I recommend everyone join a roll call, you meet great friends!EMBARKATIONI decided to park at the $8 a day parking outside of the terminal. I’ve read the countless reviews of this trips delay and embarkation that left a sour taste in people’s mouth. This was not the parking lot or Carnival’s fault; it was a Coast Guard issues that delayed boarding. The cruise parking was backed up and in the confusion, people being shuttled over was a little crazy. The lot owner gave everyone free drinks from his shelves that he was selling because it was hot! The lot was very accommodating and nice in getting people over. If I had to do it again, I would use them because I’ve seen their politeness and hard work in a stressful delay. I totally recommend them!SHIPOk, I’m a newbie, so the ship looked great to me. There was no loose trash, paper or anything like this around the ship. I always noticed that areas were being swept, vacuumed, polished or wiped down. This includes the serenity area, dining rooms, shopping areas, common areas, everything was neat and tidy. Even when I walked around the ship at 4am, the crew did a fine job keeping the ship clean around the clock. ENTERTAINMENTSince having my 18 month old with me, we didn’t do a lot of the shows. We enjoyed or relaxing and sleeping. My daughters on the other hand, made friends on the ship. They were busy doing stuff every night and I didn’t see them until the next day. They took part in the deck parties, karaoke and other various stuff. I did trivia one day but that was about it. CABINWe were in R75, inside. We had the king and the 2 uppers. I’m glad a chose this, we are not “sun-in-our-face” people, we like the dark. It was quiet, peaceful and we didn’t feel any movement from the ship. The beds were very comfortable, even the bunks were good. The bathroom was ok and the shower was fine. With 5 of us, we were able to all do what we had to do. The safe was there but we ran into a problem and need someone to unlock our safe. Other than that, I was happy.WAITERS AND ROOM STEWARTThe waiters were fantastic! Ioan and Charlie were great. They filled up my son’s bottle with milk every night for me. They even made menu recommendations and we joked about the snails and frog legs! I didn’t get the soda card, but my wife and 2 daughters did. The server for this in the dining room was a little slow in the beginning days, but came around on time by the 4th day. I imagine it’s difficult to remember the room of people and soda’s.Our cabin Stewart was great; he always had fresh towels for us. He knew that my kids go thru them like water and gave us twice as much. When my daughters over slept (just about every day!), he came back and cleaned the room after they got up late. This is the area Carnival shines at, the service from their employees!CASINOI’m not a gambler, but I did stop by there once. It was always clean and the sound of someone winning always draws the stares. I can tell you this from what I saw; Roulette seems like the game the house wins the most money!BUFFET My philosophy is if you make it better than me, I’m cool with it.The buffets were better than chain buffet restaurants. The morning breakfast was good. The first day, there were no “bacon police” present that I heard about from the boards. People were taking gobs and gobs of it like there was no tomorrow! Sure enough, the 2nd day on, they were out. I like the control, it was sad to see people going overboard! For breakfast, fruit, pancakes, French toast, eggs, danishes, toast, cereal. The guava juice was fantastic!For lunch, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken fingers, fries, we did this a lot. Again, it’s ok for me, they did a good job. The buffets were open with different foods daily and that was great also. It was all about choice. I didn’t do the Mongolian Wok; the line was always long when I was hungry!MDRWe always ate dinner here and together as a family. The people that we were supposed to share a table with only showed up twice. We had 6pm dining; my 18 month old can’t wait until 8 pm to eat. The dinner was great with choices galore. They have new things to try every night like frog legs, escargot and alligator. They also have the chicken and steak as a regular menu item for people who don’t like to deviate from the “norm”. I always ordered something new and gave it a try. It was a great experience to do this all together with my family. The MDR is where we had the best time with food, wait staff and laughter. My daughter turned 18 onboard and they brought out her cake and sang Happy Birthday to her.Don’t expect a 5 star restaurant; just expect having a good time with good food.OTHER FOODOh man, of all the wonderful things on the ship, this is where Carnival must reevaluate efficiency. The 24 pizza station and deli. These places are severely understaffed and need to find a way to expedite quicker service. Every time I went, there was only 1 individual manning the areas. These were very good offerings onboard, but the lack of an efficient way to get food to people really made it difficult to go back. Ice cream and frozen yogurt was offered 24/7 as well as lemonade, water and iced tea, hot tea and coffee. I would always see someone with a cone.Room service was good, my late risers would order when they came back from being with their friends.DEBARKATIONSince we were right by the debarkation doors, took us 5 minutes from our cabin door to being off the ship. It was great!SUMMARYThe Fascination was a great ship during our 7 days. Food, staff and activities varied from adults, teens and toddlers. Again, the staff was the best part of the cruise. They made me feel comfortable, catered to all our needs and went above and beyond what I expected. I would recommend the Fascination to anyone wanting a great cruise and also a 7 day cruise! And again, it’s good to join a Roll Call and meet great cruise friends!Right now, I’m planning my next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
My brother and I are veteran cruisers. My brother has done 11 cruises and I have sailed 17. We brought our cousin along this time for his first ever cruise. This was the Fascinations 1st 7 day cruise...it was GREAT! My brother and I drove ... Read More
My brother and I are veteran cruisers. My brother has done 11 cruises and I have sailed 17. We brought our cousin along this time for his first ever cruise. This was the Fascinations 1st 7 day cruise...it was GREAT! My brother and I drove down from Rockford IL to Indianapolis IN and overnighted there, picked up our cousin then drove just past Atlanta, woke up early again and hit the road to Jacksonville FL. We stayed over night at the La Quinta Inn airport north. It was fine for a quick place to sleep, but wasn't the best. It was around a lot of restaurants. Room was ok, a bit small, kind of smelled musty, but I have noticed most hotels in Florida, do smell like that lol. I booked this cruise because of the price. for a 7 day cruise, outside room, booking 2 weeks before departure we paid $450 per person!! we also looked at a 5 day cruise for $379, but we thought..heck, for the extra $71 per person and 2 extra days, lets go big! plus were driving 18 hours, we may as well make the most of it! The next morning we woke up and drove to the port. We ended up parking at a lot right near the port for $8 a day. You are given tickets and board in order. Apparently, this is hard for adults to understand. The ship took longer to disembark due to a drug bust/arrest from a passenger that tried to smuggle in drugs (idiot!). Their shuttles from the lot started at 1030. we were numbers 41,42,43. So, they started calling numbers 1-33 to get into the first few shuttles, somehow, people that got there after us, were numbers 60, 90 etc. managed to get on the shuttle. VERY disorganized. I told my brother, if we are to ever sail out of Jax again, we pay the extra and pay at the port. Embarking was ok. We went through security and got our cards in the VIP lounge with no problems. Around noon they started boarding and announced diamond and platinum members follow us (in the lounge) which at that time FTTF people merged in with our group (even though they weren't suppose to). they again made an announcement over the PA that they are ONLY boarding diamond, platinum and suite guests first, followed by fttf people. (once again..adults CANT listen). We were on the ship very quickly and went straight to lido for lunch..we were STARVING!(and yes, our rooms were ready before 130) The ship was beautiful and clean. So much to do. the entertainment was good. Divas was ok, it wasn't terrible, but I have seen better with carnival. their Motown show was great..loved that one. the comedians were extremely funny. We played a lot of trivia. I won the ship on the stick with a friends trivia and a medal for a congeniality award lol. my brother won a ship on a stick from a movie trivia. We had room M55, just a few doors from an elevator which was great. no noise at all and very convenient. The service on board was great. I was always addressed by my first name (which is another reason why I love carnival). We visited Grand Turk, Half moon Cay and Nassau. Grand Turk we went to margarittaville for a few hours and had a blast. Half moon cay we just sat at the beach and Nassau we did the Atlantis aquaventure. this is a must do every time we sail to Nassau! Dining was great. the food was always hot. the filet migion was very good. There were never any lines for the food in the lido restaurant. Disembarking took a while thanks to customs. We did self assist for our first time just so we could get an early start for an 18 hour drive back. we were told to meet at the theater on deck 9 at 720am and we were cleared at 8am, hopped in a shuttle back to our parking lot outside the port and on the road at 830am. My cousin absolutely loved his first cruise, and my brother and I, once again, cannot wait to sail with them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2013
We were on the only 7 day voyage out of Jacksonville this year and our expectations were not high knowing that it was an older ship and did not have all the bells and whistles. They certainly exceeded our expectations and a good time was ... Read More
We were on the only 7 day voyage out of Jacksonville this year and our expectations were not high knowing that it was an older ship and did not have all the bells and whistles. They certainly exceeded our expectations and a good time was had by all. We have been on 11 previous cruises with various cruise lines. We had 2 Inside cabins on the Main Deck. We tried the $8 park & Shuttle at the entrance to the port and they did a terrible job coming and going. I am planning another trip hopefully out of Jax next year and we will definitely find an alternative Park/Shuttle. The ship itself is older and shows some age, however we were blessed with great weather throughout the cruise and the service and staff were all excellent. Donald, Elecia and Felix at 2nd seating Imagination Dining Room were point on with their service and Wayan & Zantance were excellent Room Stewards. We ate all dinners in the MDR and they were great. Breakfast I preferred the MDR but family wanted buffet. We ate lunch in all areas and they were great. Shows and comedians were average to above average. the ports were great, Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay & Nassau. I was going to buy a future cruise certificate but when I met the Ambassador she said you had to book your definite itinerary now in order to buy one. I did not have any idea as I probably get 2 emails a day from Carnival and that was never told to me. In the past you could use up to 2 years. Shame on Carnival. We did have a great time and if you are looking for a great value cruise to have fun, worship the sun and just getaway, I would without hesitation recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
This was my 1st solo cruise so I was a little nervous, but it was great. Met a great group of guys in the Imagination dining room the 1st night and hung out with them and a couple from Illinois the entire trip. The food was good (try the ... Read More
This was my 1st solo cruise so I was a little nervous, but it was great. Met a great group of guys in the Imagination dining room the 1st night and hung out with them and a couple from Illinois the entire trip. The food was good (try the escargot and lasagna bolognese for sure on the 1st night!) pretty much the entire trip. The only thing to look out for is the penne mariscos on the final night in the Imagination dining room; they use shark scallops instead of the real thing, and the pasta was undercooked. Very yucky. The Divas and adults only comedy were great. The Divas show is really for younger folks since the older people won't know many of the songs. The songs were all from female singers in recent years, so it was party time! Willie the comedian is nasty but hilarious. NO kids under 17 at his show, for sure. The ship itself was very clean and nice. The room was great; stayed in R236. The 1st night out the water was rough and it was fun to see the spray hit the window since the water wasn't but about 15 feet below me. Could have been farther down, but it didn't look it. Quite mesmerizing! I stared at it for about an hour before going to sleep. Be sure to pack motion sickness meds b/c there were a lot of folks getting sick that 1st night. I don't get sick on the water at all; my luck I get sick when I get back on land. Was dizzy and queasy the whole weekend when I got home. The DJs are good, DJ Goa especially. Went to 70's night in the Diamonds disco and it was a blast. 80's night was the final night, but I was pooped so went to bed early. Key West was beautiful; take the River City bus tour around the city, and you can hop on and off all day. The driver was very informative, but he was obviously reading from a script. He didn't have much inflection is his voice; just like he was reading from a page. Learned a lot though! The ice cream shop right in front of the bus stop isn't very good and is incredibly expensive. $10 for a coke and 2 scoops of cuban coffee ice cream. I ended up throwing the ice cream away after a couple of bits; it was grainy and not creamy like it should be. In Nassau, they cancelled my snorkel trip after I waited for an hour due to the boat's mechanical difficulties. That was frustrating, but I took advantage of the fact that all the kids were off the ship to jump in the lido main pool and float around while the waiter brought me drinks. That was pretty great! A bunch of folks went down to Senor Frogs (walk through the Festival Marketplace, then turn right and go down to the end of the pier; you can't miss it), and came back tore up from the floor up. They had a great time; there were conga lines and free shots all around. Be careful in Nassau with your belongings, though. The couple I met was robbed as soon as they walked to the straw market and had to spend 2 hours at the police station. The straw market is just a bunch of stalls packed into a huge building; very stuffy and it's the same things over and over. T-shirts, cups, magnets, hair barrettes, cheap cloth purses. When you go deep inside they offer you drugs, so stay away! They are not legal in Nassau; no matter what they say. Don't want to spend your vacation in prison. A lot of tweens were hanging out in the lido's atrium area the last few days and getting in the walkway, which made me wonder where their parents were. My only complaints about this cruise were the snorkel trip being cancelled, and the penne mariscos on the last night. I had the penne on the elation last November and it was great, so I was really looking forward to it. All in all, had a ball! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
We just returned from a 5 day cruise aboard the Carnival Fascination. We embarked without any problem at all. Once aboard the ship we were able to check into our cabin right away, however it was about 2 hours before some of our luggage ... Read More
We just returned from a 5 day cruise aboard the Carnival Fascination. We embarked without any problem at all. Once aboard the ship we were able to check into our cabin right away, however it was about 2 hours before some of our luggage arrived and then another hour before the rest of it arrived. The room was fine, closet space was very good, but for the cruise line to say that we had a balcony, was a gross exaggeration. It had two chairs and a table on it, but you could not move on the balcony unless you moved the chairs around so you could at least get your body between the chair and the railing. It was probably 3x6 and the view was not very good either. I think our biggest disappointment on the ship was the food. The burger/hot dog grill had cold food and the fries were cold each time we had them. Not everyone likes the same food and two days the Lido Deck had food that was not to my liking...one day French and the other day Carribean and we heard others saying the same thing. I know that people go to "Party" aboard Carnival Cruise Lines, but this was not spring break, however, there were plenty of drunken people on board. When others like to try to enjoy the sunshine and relax it is diffcult when you have a party of six next to you that started drinking when the sun came up. I know that is not Carnivals fault, but they should have some type of security to prevent this. Some people were so drunk that they were actually falling down. This is not my type of vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Our cruising experience is with Royal Caribbean, which we always enjoyed. We chose Carnival for a few reasons: -- Timing of this cruise worked well with my daughter's college break -- Carnival has the reputation of being a ... Read More
Our cruising experience is with Royal Caribbean, which we always enjoyed. We chose Carnival for a few reasons: -- Timing of this cruise worked well with my daughter's college break -- Carnival has the reputation of being a "party" boat, which I thought would suit the aforementioned 20 year old -- Jacksonville is a convenient port for us. As they say, the best laid plans..... My daughter came down with mono days before departure. (Thank goodness for travel insurance.) Since she decided to stay at her house in school, my husband and I chose to go on the cruise without her. We should have stayed home. Within minutes of boarding, I knew this cruise wasn't for me. The buffet lunch was reminiscent of cafeteria food. (It never got better.) Our room was adequate, but the counters were sticky and there was mold in the shower. I saw multiple staff members cough, sneeze .... then handle food without washing up. There were Purel stations by the buffet, but apparently they were pretty much there for show. I rarely saw anyone sanitize their hands, and no staff member there to enforce use. (They were vigilant about this on the Royal Caribbean cruises we went on!) While I don't expect anyone to wear their best clothes on a cruise, a good percentage of Carnival's customers looked, well -- inappropriate: a shirtless guy at the buffet, a husband and wife wearing bathrobes to lunch, ripped shorts, dirty looking tee-shirts..... C'mon. On the plus side: -- Anytime dining is a great feature. We were always accommodated soon upon arrival, and the tables were close enough together to enable conversation with other passengers. --Boris, the Croatian waiter, is excellent. Ask for his table if you can. --The singers and dancers were great. A talented group of entertainers in well-choreographed shows. (The comedians however, were awful. An adult show can be risque without being lewd. These guys went for the shock value of filth. I'm not a prude, and I don't know any adult who found them funny.) -- It was easy to board and disembark at the Jacksonville port. In summation, I didn't hate Carnival enough to say "I'll never use them again." I just hope with time and schedule parameters, I don't have to. And about them being a "party" boat? Certainly didn't see it with this crowd. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
We are a retired couple with, including the one under review, 42 cruises completed. The Eurodam is our fifth HAL ship. This was a full charter cruise with the theme of music of the '50s and '60s. Aboard as entertainers, to ... Read More
We are a retired couple with, including the one under review, 42 cruises completed. The Eurodam is our fifth HAL ship. This was a full charter cruise with the theme of music of the '50s and '60s. Aboard as entertainers, to fulfill the legitimacy of the theme, booked through MaltShopcruises.com, were such notables as Frankie Avalon, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Darlene Love, Ronnie Spector and numerous groups as the Marvelettes, the Duprees, and others. It was hosted by Jerry Blavat, a friend and confidante of the late Dick Clark, of American Bandstand. I will not say much more re the theme itself as it would hardly be of interest to those not on this or a future sailing, details at their website. Worthy of note, a number of Elvis "copies" aboard, but of course, not the original, long now the late Elvis. As Hurricane "Sandy" approached the East Coast, numerous ships had to change course and planning. The Eurodam was originally set to sail from Ft.Lauderdale but as it was coming from a journey ending in Boston, it found its course taking it not away from but directly into the storm's pathway. It was then changed to dock and embark from Port Canaveral but the storm worsened & it became unfeasible to said that far South. It was later announced that as the original boarding had been Ft.Lauderdale, HAL and its theme sponsor, TimeLife, had attempted to find hotel rooms there as most passengers had of course made plans to board at that point. Attempts were made to find hotel rooms but as there was a boat show currently at the same venue, only 500 rooms were available for the 2000 plus passengers. Plans were then made (and much credit to HAL and Maltshopcruises/TimeLive) to bus the entire passenger group to Jacksonville, by then considered a safe port. We arrived at the port in Ft.Lauderdale and were aboard a bus and enroute to Jacksonvlle at 1:00PM. A box lunch was made available on board and there was one rest stop halfway through. We arrived in Jacksonville before 7:00PM and were, on order of arrival, processed through what was ordinarily Carnival Cruises' terminal, after passing through security posts. We then reboarded our buses and were taken directly to the ship, all in all a most well managed emergency situation that could have been far far more difficult. Again, credit where due, as noted, and rightly so. Aboard, we were able to eat either in the main (Rembrandt) Dining room or the Lido buffet. We chose the Rembrandt and were not disappointed. Not only were we given complimentary drinks to soothe the ruffled feathers of travel, but the first of what turned out to be many truly exceptional meals. As seas were still rough, the Captain decided to wait until 4:00AM to set sail. This caused us to miss our first scheduled port of Turks and Caicos but was a prudent move, as the delay had been purely in the interest of passenger safety and comfort. Our cabin, termed a "Deluxe Veranda", was perhaps the usual size for its class, having a small sofa, as requested twin beds moved to configure a queen, writing desk, and a convenient too oft overlooked, adequate night light for reading in bed, this in the form of an adjustable gooseneck. Wife mightily applauded the magnifying mirror for makeup. Interestingly enough, at night with lights out, the mirror outline formed a most excellent nightlight in green, enough to light your way about but not to disturb sleep. Storage was superior to most, three adequate closets for hanging clothing. An ottoman also has storage space, and suitcases (at least ours) fit neatly under the bed. The nightstands contain two drawers underneath the telephone. Stewards Ari and Tri were competent and friendly. Staff are always smiling; a greeting is seldom missed. Customer service desk well staffed and competent, willing to do the extra if possible. Digests of the New York Times and other language newspapers available daily at their desk. As earlier noted, food in both MDR and Lido were in our opinion, so good that I even wrote a thank you to the Hotel Manager. In the Lido, staff, if possible in busy times, will help with your tray; a rolling coffee and tea refill cart makes the mealtime rounds. Any language disparity with the mostly Indonesian staff is more often hilarious than bothersome, and easily overcome. They too, go the extra mile. When a selection of breakfast pastries was offered in the MDR, wife asked for a chocolate croissant. The assigned staffer had none left on his tray, and said he would get one for her, and quickly followed through. To its credit, HAL consistently offers Fresh squeezed Orange Juice, without the added charge some lines add. Twice, when the MDR had run out, staff went upstairs to the Lido to bring us ours. We also applaud the option (MDR only) of steel cut Irish oatmeal, in addition to the regular. By way of note, a dinner companion (we were traveling with two other couples) offered that his Prime Rib was the best he had ever eaten. (Trust me here, Roy knows prime rib!) I felt some meals to be well above the quality of higher tariff lines. We noted that HAL seems to have solved the problem of hard to move chairs, as they moved easily to the touch but never slid unexpectedly or freely moved out of place. A bit more re entertainment, as this was a music themed, as noted earlier, charter, we must say that this too was very well handled. Two main dinner time shows featured two principal acts, group and/or solo entertainers, while at other times there was almost continuous entertainment in one of the several lounges or other venues. Well known Comedian David Brenner headlined several shows, two in the main Theatre and two in one of the featured lounges. A hospitality desk was set up, and in addition each night brought a nice gift from the sponsors, left on your bed. Ports: We did not go ashore in San Juan, P.R., having been there several times before. At the second of three stops, including private island Half Moon Cay, we were docked at the Crown Bay Center, a shopping center at which the ship may dock directly, not having to tender into the main town center of St.Thomas/Charlotte Amalie. The final stop, Half Moon Cay, is a favorite of ours. Beautifully planned and maintained, a BBQ lunch is served at this, the final stop before return to Ft.Lauderdale. Food is efficiently served at multiple identical stations and there is ample covered outdoor seating. Necessary tenders arrive in less than ten minutes each way. Oh, my, it's over. Well, embarkation was well and efficiently handled. We were off the ship at the requested time and there was an adequate number of staff to direct your exit, and also adequate customs officers, not always the case at every port. We would summarize this as one of our best voyages ever, the theme fit our interests, staff was commendable, friendly and desiring to please, and food may have been the best ever. We are seriously considering booking this same (now yearly) theme charter for 2013. Summary: We were pleased with the Eurodam itself, which we had read had an absolutely outstanding fitness center. We would have to agree, there were many exercise machines we had not seen before, and several we are familiar with were missing, but we believe these have been, as to benefits, incorporated into the newer machines. We applaud the addition of a digital scale to keep track of results of any excess desserts... The ship is laid out similarly to others of the "Dam" vessels have been on. Hallways and stairways are decorated in the main with paintings of notable Dutch figures, artists and others of historical significance. The dark wood used extensively may be seen by some as stately and luxurious. --- 30 Read Less

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