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We planned this cruise to celebrate our 30th Anniversary this year but due to work, we had to go in October, about a month late. We flew down 2 days early with Southwest Airlines leaving out of Tampa (Great service as usual!) to PR. We took a taxi from the airport (no Uber allowed) and shared with 2 other couples we met at the baggage pick up to the Sheraton Old San Juan. We loved the location and had a nice room as well! We explored Old San Juan Friday evening and some Saturday until it started raining around 1pm and didn't stop. We dashed from our hotel to Senor' Frogs for dinner and I have to say, I was surprised how good the food was. We had a few drinks and then headed back to the hotel to relax. I got up early and we saw our ship sail in around 6:15am. We were awake so we went ahead and got up, showered and dressed. We had friends getting off the ship and decided to see if we could catch them on their way out, we did too!! It was great to chat before they had to hurry to the airport. We had breakfast at a little cafe near the waterfront with fresh pastries and coffee. We did some walking along the waterfront to the vendor area for a few gifts to take home. We were scheduled to check in at 1pm but both of us are Platinum so we decided to head over around noon (had a late check out too). We literally walked over to the port with our suitcases and the porter took them as we entered the security area. Not pushy for tips, but we did tip! We walked right in and there was not wait at all. We checked in, got our S&S cards then boarded the ship. You do enter on Deck 3 and take the elevator up to the Lido. We dropped our carryon off then grabbed lunch. We decided since we had explored the last two days, we were staying on board. We actually took a nap then got ready for dinner. The 1st night is open seating from 5;30pm to 7:30pm so that everyone is done for the lifeboat drill at 8:30pm. We were in Muster A which was the show lounge. It took a little longer as it was done in English and Spanish but at 9pm we were leaving San Juan. We Went to the Welcome Aboard show and enjoyed it. We played in the casino some and then headed off to bed. Monday was St. Thomas. We didn't plan anything here because we have been there so many times. We had breakfast all mornings in the Dining Room which was great! We got off the ship around 10am and just walked around the shops picking up a few gifts. We decided to have lunch at the BBQ restaurant we remember smelling so much from our last cruise to St. Thomas. It was the Smoking Rooster. The BBQ was GREAT!! We shared a combo plate with two meats and sides and each had a drink and our bill was around $40.00. Well worth it. We went back to the ship and took a nap (see the pattern, lol) then got up for dinner. We went to the Comedy Club with Manny Olivera and laughed so much we had tears rolling down our face. We discovered the Piano bar with one of the best Piano players that could actually sing as well! Jason Moore was FANTASTIC!!! We went there several nights enjoying his playing and had a great time! Tuesday was our sea day and we enjoyed relaxing and playing in the casino too. It was formal night so after we took our nap (lol) we got ready for dinner. We had YTD and will not do that again. We had a wait almost every time we went to dinner. This meal took almost 2 hours and we didn't even get dessert or coffee. After dinner we did a little gambling and caught another comedy show with Jason Andors who was also funny. We went back to the Piano bar and enjoyed more music before calling it an early night since we had a tour planned for the next morning. We didn't go to any of the production shows since we have seen all of them on this cruise before. Wednesday was Barbados. We didn't have a tour booked and when we checked, the ones we were interested in were sold out. We figured we would just hang around the port area. We ended up hiring a Taxi with another couple and did a little sightseeing. We went past Rihanna's house she was born it, St. James Church, some beach then to Highlands for a beautiful view of the area and enjoyed a Banks Beer there. After that we headed back to the port area and did some shopping at the shops there. We had a late lunch so we passed on dinner in the dining room. I was lucky and had my name drawn in the casino and won $450.00!!! This was the night for the Halloween Party. I had gotten us Mr & Mrs. Potato Head clings for shirts that came with hats. They really didn't do much. There was a deck party but we were both exhaused so we went to bed. Thursday - St. Lucia - Hubby woke up sick so we didn't get to do our tour we had planned. He spent the day in bed and I got off and just did a little shopping in the port area. This is one port I really want to see so we will just have to come back again!! Friday - St. Kitts - Hubby felt much better so we got up early and grabbed breakfast before heading off the ship. We booked the Grand Tour with Grey Tours. We were the only two that were booked so we basically had a private tour We went to Romney Manor, Brimstone Fortress, Black Beaches, saw the Volcano and went to Shipwreck Beach too. It was a wonderful tour for $55.00pp Much cheaper than any offered by Carnival! Tonight was the Platinum/DIamond party at 5:15pm so we enjoyed cocktails. We enjoyed seeing one of our favorite comedians, Happy Cole then back to the Piano Bar and Casino for the evening. Saturday - St. Maarten - Our final day! - We booked a tour with Bernards Tours. The weather was terrible but we enjoyed ourselves anyway. We had Action Jackson as our guide and went to what used to be Orient Beach and is now Bikini Beach. It's beautiful and has a really nice bar and restaurant. We got there too early for food but did enjoy a GREAT drink! We left there after about an hour and he stopped at the French Bakery for pastries. They were so good! We stopped in Marigot for shopping (very pushy people with the same crap). While there, it started raining, then pouring. We had made it to the van before it really let loose and headed to Mojo to see if the planes were landing. We decided to stay in the van (still raining) and enjoy some of Bernard's famous punch (still yummy) while the others went in the rain to see a few landings. After about 15 minutes, they came back and we headed back to the ship. We had already packed our bags in the morning so we enjoyed dinner one last time and got our pics, shopping done as well. We have to say that the food on this cruise was really lacking. It was either overdone or not tasty. Breakfast was always good and Guys Burgers/Blue Iguana Cantina were good but dinners need some work. The staff were wonderful! They went above and beyond to make sure you had anything you needed. The casino staff were great! Beauty the Casino host was a doll and worked her butt off! The waitstaff were overworked in the dining room but tried really hard. Sunday - Heading home. We pulled into port around 6:30am. We had an afternoon fight so we took our time eating one last breakfast before leaving the ship at 9am. We took a Taxi to the airport ($26.00) and were there by 9:30am. We had drinks and grabbed a few things at the airport before flying home! The airport food is extremely expensive so eat a good breakfast before leaving the ship!!! FInal Notes - This was a great trip seeing 3 new islands. Would we do this cruise again, absolutely! It would have been nice to have more food options like on the bigger ships but we didn't go hungry. The Fascination is in good shape and is a great little ship! Marcelo Alverado was our Cruise Director and a wonderful man! We had cabin M62 on the port side. It was right by the forward elevators and you could hear people all night long. If you like quiet, avoid this cabin. It was very convenient for getting off the ship or going to shows too! Sorry this is so long but wanted to cover as much as possible for all of you! Any questions, please let us know!

Great cruise but very port intensive!

Carnival Fascination Cruise Review by Vidimom

15 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We planned this cruise to celebrate our 30th Anniversary this year but due to work, we had to go in October, about a month late. We flew down 2 days early with Southwest Airlines leaving out of Tampa (Great service as usual!) to PR. We took a taxi from the airport (no Uber allowed) and shared with 2 other couples we met at the baggage pick up to the Sheraton Old San Juan. We loved the location and had a nice room as well! We explored Old San Juan Friday evening and some Saturday until it started raining around 1pm and didn't stop. We dashed from our hotel to Senor' Frogs for dinner and I have to say, I was surprised how good the food was. We had a few drinks and then headed back to the hotel to relax. I got up early and we saw our ship sail in around 6:15am. We were awake so we went ahead and got up, showered and dressed. We had friends getting off the ship and decided to see if we could catch them on their way out, we did too!! It was great to chat before they had to hurry to the airport. We had breakfast at a little cafe near the waterfront with fresh pastries and coffee. We did some walking along the waterfront to the vendor area for a few gifts to take home.

We were scheduled to check in at 1pm but both of us are Platinum so we decided to head over around noon (had a late check out too). We literally walked over to the port with our suitcases and the porter took them as we entered the security area. Not pushy for tips, but we did tip! We walked right in and there was not wait at all. We checked in, got our S&S cards then boarded the ship. You do enter on Deck 3 and take the elevator up to the Lido. We dropped our carryon off then grabbed lunch. We decided since we had explored the last two days, we were staying on board. We actually took a nap then got ready for dinner. The 1st night is open seating from 5;30pm to 7:30pm so that everyone is done for the lifeboat drill at 8:30pm. We were in Muster A which was the show lounge. It took a little longer as it was done in English and Spanish but at 9pm we were leaving San Juan. We Went to the Welcome Aboard show and enjoyed it. We played in the casino some and then headed off to bed.

Monday was St. Thomas. We didn't plan anything here because we have been there so many times. We had breakfast all mornings in the Dining Room which was great! We got off the ship around 10am and just walked around the shops picking up a few gifts. We decided to have lunch at the BBQ restaurant we remember smelling so much from our last cruise to St. Thomas. It was the Smoking Rooster. The BBQ was GREAT!! We shared a combo plate with two meats and sides and each had a drink and our bill was around $40.00. Well worth it. We went back to the ship and took a nap (see the pattern, lol) then got up for dinner. We went to the Comedy Club with Manny Olivera and laughed so much we had tears rolling down our face. We discovered the Piano bar with one of the best Piano players that could actually sing as well! Jason Moore was FANTASTIC!!! We went there several nights enjoying his playing and had a great time!

Tuesday was our sea day and we enjoyed relaxing and playing in the casino too. It was formal night so after we took our nap (lol) we got ready for dinner. We had YTD and will not do that again. We had a wait almost every time we went to dinner. This meal took almost 2 hours and we didn't even get dessert or coffee. After dinner we did a little gambling and caught another comedy show with Jason Andors who was also funny. We went back to the Piano bar and enjoyed more music before calling it an early night since we had a tour planned for the next morning. We didn't go to any of the production shows since we have seen all of them on this cruise before.

Wednesday was Barbados. We didn't have a tour booked and when we checked, the ones we were interested in were sold out. We figured we would just hang around the port area. We ended up hiring a Taxi with another couple and did a little sightseeing. We went past Rihanna's house she was born it, St. James Church, some beach then to Highlands for a beautiful view of the area and enjoyed a Banks Beer there. After that we headed back to the port area and did some shopping at the shops there. We had a late lunch so we passed on dinner in the dining room. I was lucky and had my name drawn in the casino and won $450.00!!! This was the night for the Halloween Party. I had gotten us Mr & Mrs. Potato Head clings for shirts that came with hats. They really didn't do much. There was a deck party but we were both exhaused so we went to bed.

Thursday - St. Lucia - Hubby woke up sick so we didn't get to do our tour we had planned. He spent the day in bed and I got off and just did a little shopping in the port area. This is one port I really want to see so we will just have to come back again!!

Friday - St. Kitts - Hubby felt much better so we got up early and grabbed breakfast before heading off the ship. We booked the Grand Tour with Grey Tours. We were the only two that were booked so we basically had a private tour We went to Romney Manor, Brimstone Fortress, Black Beaches, saw the Volcano and went to Shipwreck Beach too. It was a wonderful tour for $55.00pp Much cheaper than any offered by Carnival! Tonight was the Platinum/DIamond party at 5:15pm so we enjoyed cocktails. We enjoyed seeing one of our favorite comedians, Happy Cole then back to the Piano Bar and Casino for the evening.

Saturday - St. Maarten - Our final day! - We booked a tour with Bernards Tours. The weather was terrible but we enjoyed ourselves anyway. We had Action Jackson as our guide and went to what used to be Orient Beach and is now Bikini Beach. It's beautiful and has a really nice bar and restaurant. We got there too early for food but did enjoy a GREAT drink! We left there after about an hour and he stopped at the French Bakery for pastries. They were so good! We stopped in Marigot for shopping (very pushy people with the same crap). While there, it started raining, then pouring. We had made it to the van before it really let loose and headed to Mojo to see if the planes were landing. We decided to stay in the van (still raining) and enjoy some of Bernard's famous punch (still yummy) while the others went in the rain to see a few landings. After about 15 minutes, they came back and we headed back to the ship. We had already packed our bags in the morning so we enjoyed dinner one last time and got our pics, shopping done as well. We have to say that the food on this cruise was really lacking. It was either overdone or not tasty. Breakfast was always good and Guys Burgers/Blue Iguana Cantina were good but dinners need some work. The staff were wonderful! They went above and beyond to make sure you had anything you needed. The casino staff were great! Beauty the Casino host was a doll and worked her butt off! The waitstaff were overworked in the dining room but tried really hard.

Sunday - Heading home. We pulled into port around 6:30am. We had an afternoon fight so we took our time eating one last breakfast before leaving the ship at 9am. We took a Taxi to the airport ($26.00) and were there by 9:30am. We had drinks and grabbed a few things at the airport before flying home! The airport food is extremely expensive so eat a good breakfast before leaving the ship!!!

FInal Notes - This was a great trip seeing 3 new islands. Would we do this cruise again, absolutely! It would have been nice to have more food options like on the bigger ships but we didn't go hungry. The Fascination is in good shape and is a great little ship! Marcelo Alverado was our Cruise Director and a wonderful man! We had cabin M62 on the port side. It was right by the forward elevators and you could hear people all night long. If you like quiet, avoid this cabin. It was very convenient for getting off the ship or going to shows too!

Sorry this is so long but wanted to cover as much as possible for all of you! Any questions, please let us know!
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 6C M62
Right near front elevators. Room was clean. Windows do have lots of sea spray on them but that's to be expected.
Upper Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews