Mitsugirlys FASCINATION with San Juan-review & pictorial

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 07:51 AM.
Atlanta, GA
176 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Awesome review. I feel like I'm cruising with you !!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
RCL - Sovereign of the Seas - 1998
CCL - Carnival Fascination - 1999
CCL - Carnival Inspiration - 2002
DCL - Disney Wonder - 2005
CCL - Carnival Dream - 2013
CCL - Carnival Ecstacy - 2013
NCL - Norwegian Getaway - 2014







46 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Oh I wish you hadn't shown the future cruise paper! You have put ideas in my head! Hawaii on the Miracle and Southern on the Vista sound absolutely wonderful. And I didn't even go on the Fascination yet. Wondering if I could get 15 days off work. Too many vacations, too little time.
2,234 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by mitsugirly





[/font][/size][/color]
LOVE this pic!!!!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


NCL Starward (1987), Carla Costa (1988), Dawn Princess (1989), RCL Nordic Empress (1990), Regent Star (1991), Carnival Ecstasy (1992), Carnival Sensation (1993), Carnival Celebration (1994), Carnival Inspiration (1994), Celebrity Horizon (Nov 1994-HONEYMOON!), DCL Wonder (1999), DCL Wonder (Nov 2000), DCL Magic (Sept 2001), DCL Magic (Jan 2002), DCL Magic (Aug 2003), DCL Wonder (Feb 2004), Norwegian Sea (Oct 2004-"Texaribbean"), DCL Magic (Jan 2005), Norwegian Star (May 2005-ALASKA!), Carnival Glory (Sept 2005), Costa Mediterranea (March 2006), Carnival Elation (Sept 2006), Carnival Legend (Sept 2007), Disney Wonder (Sept 2007), Costa Fortuna (March/April 2008), Norwegian Gem (Western MED July 2008), MSC Orchestra (April 2009), Carnival Freedom 8-day re-route (August 2009), Norwegian Sky (Oct 2009), Disney Wonder (Nov 2009), Carnival Miracle (April 2010), NCL Dawn (Oct 2010-10 days), Carnival Valor (Mar 2011), Costa Atlantica (Mar 2012-10 days), Carnival Fascination (Oct 2012), Carnival Conquest (Mar 2014), MSC Divina (Sept 2014) Carnival Conquest (March 2015), Carnival Sunshine (August 2015), NCL Star (Mar 2016). Carnival Valor (Oct 2016) , Carnival Vista (March 2017)

NCL Gem Mediterranean review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...69&highlight=/
MSC Orchestra review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=966161
Carnival Freedom 8-day Eastern review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...076&highlight=
OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by emdia43
The only thing is, the taxis inside the port area are licensed, insured and regulated. The ones outside.....? You have to be careful and make sure they have insurance etc. You get a lot of guys hanging around outside all these ports, willing to give you a ride, but they could be anybody....
I imagine the one who ran away had been spotted touting for business where he is not allowed.
That could be. I never thought of that. But if he was someone that wasn't supposed to be doing business, how would he have got into the port area? There's people there at the gates and I would imagine they don't just let anyone in right?

So the people that are inside wanting you to come outside for a ride, are you to assume that they are ok to go with normally?

Originally posted by seannyice81
I'm really enjoying the detail of all your underwater photos. It makes me want to look into a nice underwater camera!

I had a very similar Suess Brunch when I was on Splendor in 2014. I don't know what it was, but they just couldn't get it together. The hot mess (cold food) took over 2.5 hours and I won't go (dragged there or not) to another one again.

I absolutely love my Olympus (and my camera goggle lens). But, I really work hard for these pictures. Trust me, they don't all come out so perfect and clear. I burn up a good 4500+ pictures on a disc each cruise just to get a few hundred perfect ones. Settings, lighting, cloudiness and movement all play a part in it. Sometimes I get lucky, sometimes I don't.
OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by Diane123boys
Darn it Kim~~~ NOW we have to book on ANOTHER cruise line and go to Barbados!!!!!! I have finally figured out Bermuda after 2 times there and reading your reviews ... DANG YOU!! and FYI? If I had your daughters tatas AND her body I would not even wear clothes .. and believe me hubby would be happy with that! damn age, 3 kids and gravity on my body !

Bermuda is so beautiful and I would love to go back. But now I have discovered a whole new world down in the Caribbean and I want to go back. Yes, you should definitely go! Amazing itinerary for sure.
Right, I have to say damn age, 4 children and CRUISES are my problem. My weight gain has gotten out of control over the last few years.

Originally posted by rich5258
I'm sorry Mitzy I have only cruised once on Carnival explain the gift card usage and buying, does this save money?


Sent from my iPad using Forums
Carnival gift cards can be purchased at several different places (stores) and online. I buy mine online with Verizon using my Verizon points and you save money. For $100 gift card, you pay $90. For the $500 gift cards, you pay $450. Every little bit helps.
I also buy them at my local grocery store that gives you free gas, or money off gas, for "any" purchases. I purchased enough gift cards one year (when we went on the Pride) that I received free gas for over 2 months. Well worth it.
OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by SuiteTraveler
Another great review! I'm enjoying reading it!

Did you notice that the Tara Library on the ship didn't have the one thing that the library at Tara was known for? Green Velvet drapes that Scarlett later has made into a dress when she is down and out and needs money.

Also the portrait of Scarlett over the fireplace - she has a 1940's hairstyle like Vivienne Leigh wore with her 1861 hoop skirted gown - just like in the movie because in that period, the costume designers and hair stylists didn't think that the hairstyles didn't need to be the correct period. I guess they thought the actual hairstyles of the 1860's would make the actresses look dowdy or something.
I'm going to hide my head in shame and admit that I have no idea what the Tara Library stands for and I assume that the Scarlett you are talking about it Scarlett O'Harra? I don't know anything about that either and never watched it (at least I think it was a movie?). I did use to collect high end Barbie Dolls and I had the entire Scarlett series, but still knew nothing about them.

Originally posted by lilchief27
My teens are 17 &14 - They love the teen clubs. Last fall on our cruise out of NOLA, my daughter made so many friends that she has kept up with pretty well. She said the other day that she hopes the teens/teen club on the Ecstasy out of Charleston is as will be as wonderful as last year's. She has high expectations.

Because our kids love the teen clubs so much, my hubby & I get a lot of couple time on sea days. Serenity deck here we come!
I assumed that the teen place is a place for those age groups to get together and meet one another and have friends to hang out with. But there just never seems much to do in there. Now I do know that they have dance "parties" they throw for them in the nightclubs.
OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by perfect match
That's exactly what I was thinking. He was up to no good and he was about to get caught. Why else would he have been running?

Your pictures of the turtles are awesome! It looked like you had great visibility underwater. I'm surprised, though, that they let you get close enough to touch them. Most species of sea turtles are endangered and thus protected under the Endangered Species Act. Direct contact with humans is not particularly good for the turtles.
It was very clear water and ended up being such a beautiful day. The turtles came that close to us and I don't think they let us touch them, I just think Sakari being Sakari was on a mission and did it on her own. The hubby said he touched one too because it swam so close to him. We were told not to dang our hands in front of us or twirl our fingers or they would think it is food and might bite.

Originally posted by SailingRNC
Awesome review. I feel like I'm cruising with you !!
Thank you
OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by cruisers04
Oh I wish you hadn't shown the future cruise paper! You have put ideas in my head! Hawaii on the Miracle and Southern on the Vista sound absolutely wonderful. And I didn't even go on the Fascination yet. Wondering if I could get 15 days off work. Too many vacations, too little time.
I'm all new to this future cruise thing and really have no idea with the bookings, but I thought I understood that what they offer on this paper is usually cruises they are trying to get filled up (which aren't filling up) and they are trying to move them, therefore discounting them and giving you an awesome deal. So, if that's they case, wouldn't they change constantly? Is every ship a different deal?

Originally posted by CeleBrat
LOVE this pic!!!!

Thanks, I do to. I love my miniature setting on my camera! It definitely takes some interesting pictures.
OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
So remember how I was complaining that I always forget to take videos of things when I'm snorkeling? Well, as some of you may know, my son-in-law (Kendra's fiance) bought me a pair of snorkeling goggles that have the camera built in to it last Christmas. I have only used them once during a cruise, and it has multiple settings that I have yet to learn. (4 different settings that are colors-red, blue, purple, green). I can't seem to remember what color means what.

Well, I had it with me twice this time: Barbados and swimming with the turtles and St Lucia while snorkeling at the beach. I just discovered them.

I "thought" I was taking pictures (which I did end up with a lot of them), but I also ended up with a lot of video as well. So, I put them together and made a video of each day. Now I want to remind you that I did NOT know that it was on video at the time. So, not the best video because you'll see me just zooming around looking, coming up out of the water, hair in the way and so on. I was unaware that it was on at the time. I have attempted to cut out a lot of the really bad "crap". So...enjoy.

Here's my swimming with the turtles video. It's a little over 2 minutes long.


OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
DAY 5: ST LUCIA!!!

This was our first time here and once again, thanks to the many people on here that helped me pick the perfect place to go to. Many highly recommended using Spencer Ambrose Tours and to head to Joulsie Beach between the Pitons for the day. I couldn't have been more happier with this choice and it was definitely another highlight of the cruise. We had the perfect day here!! This is one of those "must do" places and I highly recommend going here! If you love snorkeling, and snorkeling right off the beach, this place is THE place. I would say it's right up there with my Coki, St Thomas experience!

So on with the review.






We were due in port by 8am so that meant my alarm was piercing my ears at 645am! I got everyone up and Sakari was dragging this morning.

We headed out the door and I look at her and get this...Does anyone see a problem here?



No, let me show you a closer look...




That's how tired she was. She was so tired that she actually said "I don't want to go to the beach today" GASP!! Never in my life have I heard this come out of her mouth.

I still can't believe that she didn't notice she had 2 different sandals on. One of them is completely thin and flat and the other is sorta a high-heel on it. Only my child.

Up to the buffet we went for breakfast.

This was Sakari's plate and after her little comment about not wanting to go to the beach today...I couldn't wait to see her bite into that grapefruit. That would surely wake her up and she would snap back to reality and come to her senses. It worked! The look on her face was priceless as she spit it out. LOL




I had my usual, but they did manage to throw a new item in the mix this morning. Some kind of stuffed breakfast something or other. I did not like it, so the regular food it was. The bacon police did not give me the crispy bacon I like this morning. Boo hiss.


OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
We are here!!!









So far, it looked like a beautiful port. I was so excited to be here. It's a place I have always wanted to visit. When I was in my 20's and poor and busy creating munchkins, I worked with a friend who married into a "rich" family. She would always go here. She always talked about it. Just hearing the words "Lucia" roll off her mouth made mine water from her stories. I was envious of the pictures she showed me. It sounded like such an exotic place. Luuuucccciiiiaaa. Ahhh, the name gave me chill bumps. AND HERE I AM NOW!

"Brrushshhhppppeeekkk" went the loud noise on the pool deck and everyone jumped. That was my signal to head down to grab our things and get off the ship. No need for ice today for our coolers because all the drinks were on Spencer (I think, but I would take money just in case I misunderstood).

We were off the ship at 8am and the paparazzi was waiting like always.












OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
We met the Spencer team right outside the port and waited for about 10 minutes while they collected our remaining balance for the tour and we walked over to the boat we would be taking to the beach.



There's one thing I have learned when taking a tour by boat, always sit in the back or facing forward and not on the sides. The boat raises up when moving and you'll feel like you are falling sideways the entire time if you sit on the sides. My legs will be hurting by the time we get to our destination and it makes for an uncomfortable ride. So, I headed to the back immediately. The boat was full. I'm not sure how many people, but the seats were taken, but it was not uncomfortable in any way.

Then off we went. Goodbye Fascination...see you later today.




We were having a good time. The boat was super fast and he wasn't afraid to open up the throttle.



A selfie just to prove I actually made it to St Lucia




I took pictures along the way of course.










OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
They had 2 huge engines on the boat. It was getting a little cloudy and I was beginning to wonder what was in store for us that day.





The colorful houses sitting on the hill reminded me of houses in Bermuda.







We pulled up to "Bat Cave", which was a large vertical opening in the rocks.




They got the boat really close. You could hear the bats inside and Sakari swore she was able to see a few. I was looking at my camera screen, so I didn't really see any.




We could see the pitons. What the heck are pitons? I had read it was a "plug" or something. Plug of a volcano. So it's a volcano that has a plug in the top of it? It's plugged until it decides to erupt again? I wasn't sure but I was calling it a volcano and we let everyone know back home that we were headed to the volcano's. LOL This is not one of Sakari's "know-it-all" subjects, so I couldn't even ask her about it.




OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010




We were pulling up to this little village. I looked around and didn't see a beach. Could I have been wrong about where we are going or it was the place they drop you off at and you walk to the beach? Or maybe shuttle there? I noticed some smoke coming from there.





I believe they said this was the sulfer coming from the volcanos? Can anyone confirm it's located right there in that little village? I thought it was weird, but you could definitely smell it.







We pulled up to the dock and everyone was getting out. Everyone except us I guess. He told us we were going on to the beach. We were the ONLY ones that didn't take the tour everyone else was doing. At that point I had regrets. I had ask the hubby which tour he wanted to do. Just the beach or the tour to the volcanos and mud bath. I personally thought the mud bath would be so awesome to do and would make for some great pictures (and everyone knows when I go some place, I have taking pictures on my mind). But he said "no way" and I only booked the beach portion. Now I regretted listening to him. I mean he leaves things up to me and is always just along for the ride. He usually never knows what we are doing or where we are going. I should have just booked and not worried about it. He would have went anyhow. But I didn't. Had I known for sure that Kendra was coming on the cruise with us, I would have booked the mud bath tour for sure! We would have had so much fun with that! Next time!!!

Off we went on a boat with just the 5 of us.








OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
We have arrived to our Jalousie beach. They pointed over to the side and said that was the snorkeling area and it ran up and down that side of the mountain. I looked over and it really didn't look like too big of an area to me. Long, yes. Wide, no. A bit of disappointment started to come over me, thinking this was not going to be what I expected, but I was going to have fun anyhow.




This is the other side of the beach where Jalousie Viceroy Sugar Beach Resort is located. This is a very luxurious resort where they have movie stars visit and have weddings. I looked it up once and the pricing was outrageous of course. Maybe some day when I decide to become a doctor...which would be never.

Now they did tell us that all the beaches in St Lucia belong to St Lucia...even if it's a resort or a private residence. Anyone is allowed there. They (St Lucia) own the first 100 feet of the beach property up and anyone is free to use it. The beach chairs (lusciously padded) there at the resort, you can rent, for $50. LOL I guess that's a way to keep others off of them and they made sure they are beyond the 100 feet limit. But they did have the floating water thingys in the water. Since that water belongs to St Lucia, that meant we were free to use them as well.




This is the "free" beach area and chairs. As you can see, we are the first one's here. We had our pick of where we wanted to sit.




It wasn't a very big area, but it was perfect to us.

Our boat at the dock.




At first we had picked one of the areas with the palapa over it. But, it was a little far away from the water for me and I like to be where I can actually see the water and my child. So, we ended up moving over to the side. There were 2 rows of seats that was located under the trees. The second row was up on an area that was raised and had steps leading up to it. I thought it was perfect and being raised up we could see the water.

Immediately Sakari wanted to explore. (Notice how dark it is...yikes)



She immediately brought me this as her first find of the day on the beach.




It started to pour!!! We had the trees above us, which was blocking a lot of it. But, we were still getting wet. Spencers team told us we could sit under the palapa's and move if we wanted. We declined and I said, we are here for the beach and will be getting wet anyhow. No big deal. We kinda hung out for awhile and the kids immediately hit the water after that. They were hanging around the edge where you entered and it seemed like they were really fascinated by something under there.

OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
The heavy downpour lasted for maybe 5 minutes, the rain subsided within 10 minutes and all was good. I ask the Spencer team if our tour included drinks and they did confirm that it did...free of charge. They had some yummy (not) water, soda (both regular and diet), rum punch, and beer of course. We helped ourselves and the caffeine gave me the energy I was looking for to head off into the water to explore.




I geared up and headed for the water....OUCH!!!

This is what you have to walk over in order to get in the water.




I immediately noticed how pretty is was under there and what the kids had been staring at was more than just a few fish hanging out at the shore line.




See the hidden fish that blended in?




A bunch of blue striped baby grunts




Blue head Wrasse





Ogden, Utah
1,616 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by mitsugirly



We were pulling up to this little village. I looked around and didn't see a beach. Could I have been wrong about where we are going or it was the place they drop you off at and you walk to the beach? Or maybe shuttle there? I noticed some smoke coming from there.





I believe they said this was the sulfer coming from the volcanos? Can anyone confirm it's located right there in that little village? I thought it was weird, but you could definitely smell it.





We pulled up to the dock and everyone was getting out. Everyone except us I guess. He told us we were going on to the beach. We were the ONLY ones that didn't take the tour everyone else was doing. At that point I had regrets. I had ask the hubby which tour he wanted to do. Just the beach or the tour to the volcanos and mud bath. I personally thought the mud bath would be so awesome to do and would make for some great pictures (and everyone knows when I go some place, I have taking pictures on my mind). But he said "no way" and I only booked the beach portion. Now I regretted listening to him. I mean he leaves things up to me and is always just along for the ride. He usually never knows what we are doing or where we are going. I should have just booked and not worried about it. He would have went anyhow. But I didn't. Had I known for sure that Kendra was coming on the cruise with us, I would have booked the mud bath tour for sure! We would have had so much fun with that! Next time!!!

Off we went on a boat with just the 5 of us.






Yes that village "Soufriere" is the place where the vans used to meet a boat at the dock there when Spencer Ambrose did a land tour portion (a year or so ago they quit that) then you would get on the water taxi and go around the Piton to the beach in between. Yes the Drive through Volcano is just up the road from that little town, as are the Mud Baths (since the two are next to each other) they also take you to a very pretty waterfall where you can get in the cool water. Worth the trip next time you are there. We did the mud baths the last time we were there (in 2015) with Spencer Ambrose. He is a great guide/guy. You can definitely smell the sulfur... which is actually a good thing. When you can't smell it the volcano is getting ready to erupt Your review is bringing back so many great memories.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


1/18/2015 Carnival Valor 7 Night Southern Caribbean out of San Juan Puerto Rico http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2173623 My 2015 SanSe Festival, Valor Review
6/1/2013 NCL Pride Of America 7 night Hawaii inter island
12/16/2012 Carnival Victory 7 Night Southern Caribbean out of San Juan Puerto Rico http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1768746 My 2012 Victory Christmas review
3/26/2012 Carnival Ecstacy 5 Night Bahamas out of port Canaveral FL
5/29/2011 Carnival Valor 7 Night Western Caribbean out of Miami Fl http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1430764 My Valor Review

2/07/2010 Carnival Victory 7 Night Southern Caribbean out of San Juan Puerto Rico http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1150670 My 2010 Superbowl Victory review
1/16/2009 Celebrity Galaxy 11 Night Southern Caribbean out of San Juan Puerto Rico
6/01/2008 Carnival Paradise 4 Night Mexico out of Long Beach CA
11/14/1993 Celebrity Horizon 7 night Southern Caribbean out of San Juan Puerto Rico
OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I spotted some Christmas tree worms. These are the same as the feather dusters, just shaped like a Christmas tree and they come in all different colors. I just love them! They are so pretty.




A red sea urchin







Feather duster worm








Ocean Surgeonfish





OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010



This coral was HUGE



I could have put my head in there...if I had the guts of course. Maybe I'll tell Sakari...she'll do anything.




I don't think I have ever seen pink (light) coral before.







This red coral was beautiful




OH
24,044 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I really was amazed at the snorkeling there. It just went on forever. I just kept going further and further out (and I thought I was alone).







I will say that for the most part, in the beginning, you can go up and down the wall to the edge and it's not very deep. Of course the further you get out, along the wall, the deeper it would get.

However, if you went even a few feet away from the wall, it got deep quickly (as in the area between the wall and where the dock/boats were)...which is not a very big area to begin with. It's just a sorta-fast decline into the deep.