Fascination or Ecstasy

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#1
1,027 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
I have been looking at a cruise on the Ecstasy which is basically the same cruise as the Fascination except its out of Port Canaveral. So I am wondering if anyone been on the Ecstasy? or better yet, both?? I'd love to know what they think. Comparably speaking, which one did you enjoy more??

In April we took a cruise on the Fascination out of Jacksonville.. I really enjoyed everything except for the port. I thought it was very unorganized and slow in getting us on the ship.We got there quite early and still waited a very long time in the hot sun, in line.. We have cruised out of Miami, Port Canaveral and Fort Lauderdale, and never had that much of a wait.. and the security people were RUDE..
So for that reason alone, I don't know if I want to go on the Fascination again.. but I did love the cruise, and the ports...
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2015 Carnival: Dream, 2014 Carnival: Paradise, 2014 MSC: Divina, 2013 Royal Caribbean: Freedom of the Seas, 2012 Carnival: Destiny, 2011 Carnival: Sensation, 2011 Carnival: Fascination ,2010 Royal Caribbean: Monarch of the Seas, 2009 Carnival: Inspiration, 2008 Carnival: Sensation
#2
842 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Went on Fascination this past June. Got to Jaxport around 11:10 am, no line outside. Lines inside went fast and was on Lido deck by 11:45 am. Didn't encounter any rude personnel. The check in staff were extremely friendly and helpful. Had several relatives cruising for the 1st time and since I coordinated the booking and arrangements I went up to them during check in to make sure everything went ok. The staff was not only friendly but very helpful for 1st timers.
#3
Jacksonville, FL
779 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Sailed on the Facination two years ago at the end of March and I found the same issues with the SLOWNESS out of Jax. Since this is the ONLY ship here, it seemed as though everyone at port was paid by the hour and wanted to make the embarkation last as long as possible.

Since there are no other cruising choices from Jax, I wanted to go to another port for a different ship and itinerary.

I liked the Facination, but after the Miracle it was a let down.
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Carnival Miracle 4-9-2004
Carnival Facination 3-30-2009
Carnival Dream 1-21-28-2012
#4
1,027 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Well maybe it was the time of year, I went in April. Maybe they just don't like spring breakers??
I did like port canaveral, it was fast and organized.

As for a let down after the miracle, I don't have that problem, I've only been on the smaller ships so far. Maybe I will slowly work my way thru all the smaller ones first, then move up to the next class
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2015 Carnival: Dream, 2014 Carnival: Paradise, 2014 MSC: Divina, 2013 Royal Caribbean: Freedom of the Seas, 2012 Carnival: Destiny, 2011 Carnival: Sensation, 2011 Carnival: Fascination ,2010 Royal Caribbean: Monarch of the Seas, 2009 Carnival: Inspiration, 2008 Carnival: Sensation
#5
Florida
7,514 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
We were on the Fascination last May and it was the most simplest port that we ever taken. Easy in and out, parked the car just 300 feet from the ship, got right in with no lines (now if you get there after 1pm you probably will get lines but thats with all ports), and was in the ship by 11:10am and eating lunch!
I am disappointed by the drastic cuts in the food quality/selection for the lunch buffets (overall basically) I believe the shorter cruises you will experience more of this, as a result, it be a while for us to go back on Carnival as Carnival will have to make changes when it comes to food quality/selection/variety. They also used to have 5-6 appetizers on the menu they now taken some off and offer 3 appetizers with two soups...the beef dish nightly changed from a better quality beef to that flat iron steak (shoulder cut more tough and higher in fat)....its a shame if you notice the amount of carnival cruises we have taken in the past you can see we loved Carnival but we won't be back for a while maybe a long time. But Carnival ships are always clean, we always have a good time, they have a nice rock in roll band on all their ships to say some positives.

I would find out when the Ectasy went into dry dock last, the fascination I believe went in late 2009 that would probably be how I would determine which ship if I were in your shoes.
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NCL Getaway, May 2016
Carnival Magic, April 2016
Carnival Fascination, December 2015
Oasis of the Seas, October 2015
Carnival Valor, May 2015
Regal Princess, September 2014
Allure of the Seas, 5-11/2014
Carnival Fascination, April 2014
Allure of the Seas, October 2013
NCL Breakaway, June 2013
Carnival Fascination, May 2013
Freedom of the Seas, October 2012
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Liberty of the Seas, May 2011
#6
Atlanta, GA
1,307 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
I'm looking forward to my cruise on the Fascination. Its only a 5 hour drive. I've been out of Miami and Tampa and can't wait to see the setup in Jax.
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#7
Texarkana USA
1,933 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by dogchopper
...So I am wondering if anyone been on the Ecstasy? or better yet, both?? I'd love to know what they think. Comparably speaking, which one did you enjoy more??

...I don't know if I want to go on the Fascination again.. but I did love the cruise, and the ports...
We have been on both ships. They are of the same class so they were both built with the same deck layouts. From the inside you would not know which one you were on. The difference would primarily be the home port and the itenerary.

Ecstasy has a great crew and staff. The ship has won the line's prestigeous crystal eagle award for a number of years in a row now. Ecstasy's CD is extremely talented and a personable host. Even with the same itenerary, we would choose Ecstasy for any cruise.

Here's hoping you have a great cruise no matter which ship you choose. Bon Voyage!
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=Bob and Dyanne=
forwardcabin@gmail.com
past Royal Caribbean cruise:
1993: Viking Serenade, Nov 12, Ensenada
past and future Carnival cruises:
2002: Fascination
2008: Ecstasy, Family New Years Eve cruise, December 27-Jan 1
2009: Ecstasy, August 13-17
2009: Ecstasy, Family cruise, December 26-31
2010: Triumph, spring break cruise, Mar 13-20
2010: Ecstasy, August 16-21
2011: Ecstasy, January 8-13
2011: Magic, Family Christmas cruise, December 18-26, Lido Balcony 10270
2012: Magic, August 12-19, Lido balcony 10270
2012: Triumph, Family New Years Eve Cruise, December 31, 2012 thru January 5, 2013
2014: Magic, May 25-June 1, Lido balcony 10270
2015: Magic, March 9-15, 6-day spring break cruise that includes Costa Maya, Coz, and Progreso, cove balcony 2260
2015: Magic, July 5-12, 7-day to Coz, Jamaica, Cayman, cove balcony 2260
2015: Triumph 5-day Family New Years Cruise Dec 28, 2015-Jan 2, 2016 to Coz & Progreso, OS cabin 7326
2016: Liberty 8-day cruise March 18-26, to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, and Coz; Balcony cabin 6264
2016: Breeze 7-day Memorial Day cruise May 29-June 5, to Belize, Roatan, Coz; Cove Balcony cabin 2334
2016: Breeze 7-day cruise Nov 27-Dec 4 to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Coz; Cove Balcony 2285
2017: Freedom 7-day to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Coz; Lido Balcony -- 1st leg of B2B
2017: Freedom 7-day to Key West, Nassau, and Freeport; Lido Balcony -- 2nd leg of B2B
2018: Vista 7-day Halloween Cruise to Belize, Roatan, Coz; Havana Cabana
#8
Fort Worth, Texas
82 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by forwardcabin
Ecstasy has a great crew and staff. The ship has won the line's prestigeous crystal eagle award for a number of years in a row now. Ecstasy's CD is extremely talented and a personable host. Even with the same itenerary, we would choose Ecstasy for any cruise.
My first cruise was on the Ecstasy in March of '10. This is the ship that made me fall in love with cruising! The staff was amazing. The ship was not too big and not too small... just right. Galveston is an easy port to get in and out of.
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~Darchie
Carnival Ecstasy March 2010 (Grand Suite)
Carnival Conquest August 2010 (Balcony)
Carnival Magic December 2011 (Balcony)


#9
1,027 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Thanks. I suppose I will try the ecstasy just for something different,

As for the food cuts, I haven't noticed them. The cruises I've been on have all been short cruises so maybe that's why. One day I'll get to take a 7 day cruise!!!!

As for the port in Jacksonville, I did enjoy getting a primo parking space!! That was nice. We got there early so we were pretty close, but once we got in the building it was a total drag. Loud, hot and rude, thats how I describe it.
But the cruise was awesome!!!
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2015 Carnival: Dream, 2014 Carnival: Paradise, 2014 MSC: Divina, 2013 Royal Caribbean: Freedom of the Seas, 2012 Carnival: Destiny, 2011 Carnival: Sensation, 2011 Carnival: Fascination ,2010 Royal Caribbean: Monarch of the Seas, 2009 Carnival: Inspiration, 2008 Carnival: Sensation
#10
4 hours and 38 minutes from the closest cruise terminal
10,390 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by ATL2LAS
I'm looking forward to my cruise on the Fascination. Its only a 5 hour drive. I've been out of Miami and Tampa and can't wait to see the setup in Jax.
We also live in the Atlanta area and chose to sail on the Fascination because of the convenience of a fairly short drive, prices, and itinerary. I have to say that it was somewhat of a letdown. The ship was fine (older, but recently renovated). I knew that this would be a budget minded cruise, However, the overall experience just felt cheap and trashy. Many fellow cruisers were inconsiderate and poorly behaved. Smoking seemed to be incessant. The port facilities are adequate but mediocre. Its a warehouse turned into a temporary cruise terminal in an industrial part of town. Debarkation was painfully slow, even with VIP debarkation.

Did we have fun? Yes we did! We always have fun even if things aren't prefect, byt the things mentioned above did hinder our full enjoyment of the cruise.
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#11
1,027 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
We live in North Carolina and were happy to cruise out of Jacksonville to because of the shorter drive.
With my limited experience cruising (4 so far), I've found that the port you go out of seems to have something to do with the type pf passengers you get. Out of Miami and jacksonvile it seems we ran into more "party minded people" and they were ruder too. When we sailed out of Port Canaveral it seemed the passengers were more laid back and polite, not boring, still fun just not rude or obnoxious. Not really sure why that is? So, I'm leaning towards the Ecstacy for that reason also...
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2015 Carnival: Dream, 2014 Carnival: Paradise, 2014 MSC: Divina, 2013 Royal Caribbean: Freedom of the Seas, 2012 Carnival: Destiny, 2011 Carnival: Sensation, 2011 Carnival: Fascination ,2010 Royal Caribbean: Monarch of the Seas, 2009 Carnival: Inspiration, 2008 Carnival: Sensation
#12
jacksonville,florida
681 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
That's funny didn't have any trouble going out of Jaxport this year in May for mother's day,and that was a 7 day cruise.Didn't encounter any rude people.And me and hubby didn't have to wait long outside,we probably stood out there for like 5 minute's.

It was alot quicker than port canaveral and come to think of it i have gone out of port canaveral several time's and have experienced everytime that i have been there that the people are alot more rude and inconsiderate.
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#13
1,027 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Maybe it has more to do with the time of year then??? We have always cruised in April. And the spring break crowd wasn't as bad in port canaveral than in other ports, so maybe since we are looking at mid November we won't run into the problems??
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2015 Carnival: Dream, 2014 Carnival: Paradise, 2014 MSC: Divina, 2013 Royal Caribbean: Freedom of the Seas, 2012 Carnival: Destiny, 2011 Carnival: Sensation, 2011 Carnival: Fascination ,2010 Royal Caribbean: Monarch of the Seas, 2009 Carnival: Inspiration, 2008 Carnival: Sensation
#14
jacksonville,florida
681 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Nope have been out of port canaveral in november,september,october,and february and still had the same experience.But as for miami,tampa,and jacksonville never had a bad experience at those port's.
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Carnival Jubilee '01' <<< First cruise for Me.
Carnival Glory '04'
Carnival Legend '06'
Carnival Celebration '07'
Carnival Liberty '07'<<<< Kid's first cruise.
Holland America Eurodam '08'
Carnival Glory '09'
Carnival Dream '10'
Carnival Fascination '11'
Carnival Dream '12'
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#15
9 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
I sailed on the Fascination to Nassau and Key West in January and didn't have any real wait at the port. We got there unfortunately late, at about 2:00, right before the alleged cut off time and had a porter take our bags immediately after parking, walked straight up to the desk to check in, and were on board within probably 25 minutes after parking.

As for the food, yeah it's certainly not 5 star, but I never wanted for anything, and certainly was in no risk of going hungry. I had a great time on this cruise, and think that it's an awesome short vacation for the money. The Ecstasy would likely be a good time too.
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#16
64 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Funny how experiences can be so different. We sailed out of Jacksonville on the Mother's Day cruise too. We didn't wait out in the heat for long, but once inside, we waited a very long time. The check-in staff was taking forever and were not friendly. Sure did like parking so close though We've sailed out of Port Canaveral 7 times and never once encountered long waits and everyone was always so nice. We were on the Fantasy for New Year's in 1997. Loved it! We will be on Fantasy again in 5 days!!! Never on the Ecstasy, so can't comment. Hope you have a great cruise!
#17
1,027 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Well, I guess leaving from a port is.. a crap shoot.. and Its just a coincidence that I had bad experiences in some and not others. I guess thats good to know.. makes it easier..

As for the Fascination.. I loved it.. I agree the food was everywhere and you sure cant go hungry.. I thought it was good food.. Im not used to eating at 5 star restaurants so.. I guess that's good for me.. I am looking forward to going on a cruise with just my husband, so I guess it really doesn't matter where we go, as long as we get to go alone!!!
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2015 Carnival: Dream, 2014 Carnival: Paradise, 2014 MSC: Divina, 2013 Royal Caribbean: Freedom of the Seas, 2012 Carnival: Destiny, 2011 Carnival: Sensation, 2011 Carnival: Fascination ,2010 Royal Caribbean: Monarch of the Seas, 2009 Carnival: Inspiration, 2008 Carnival: Sensation