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This is my review of our fun trip on the Carnival Fascination (April 9 – 14).
Me (37) – Previous cruises: Fantasy, Glory, Triumph, Liberty, Pride, and Dream
DH (39) – Previous cruises: Liberty, Pride, and Dream
DD (7) – Previous cruises: Pride
We drove down from Virginia the day before. We stayed at the Jacksonville Plaza for $57. It was okay and what I expected for the price but we will not stay here again. We will just pay more and get a room that is a little nicer. The staff was nice.
We had originally booked an interior room as usual but decided to upgrade to an oceanview because I didn’t want to have a trundle bed. We received a call to upgrade from an oceanview to a balcony for a total of $250 so we took it. We had cabin U206. I booked early saver and saved $180 or $190 (can’t remember which) off the cruise price before final payment. I also ended up with $210 of onboard credit. These were from numerous price drops. I was denied one price drop for $10 total because they said that rate wasn’t available at the time of submission. I didn’t bother trying to fight it.
On our Pride cruise, we had an interior room with the upper bunk and it worked out good at night. The head of our bed and her bunk was on the same wall. DD would get in her bunk and I could lay in our bed and we would watch a movie before bed time or until she fell asleep. With the set up of this room, she couldn’t see the tv laying down in her bunk.
In the safe, we were able to fit a Canon Powershot 5IS, an ipad with the keyboard case attached, keys, wallet, two cell phones, money envelopes, and a DS. We had to maneuver the ipad a bit to make it all fit but in case you were curious, it will fit. Beds were comfortable as always. Room steward was great.
We loved anytime dining on a previous cruise so decided to go with it again. The first night we didn’t arrive to the dining room until after 7pm. We were seated quickly but waited and waited. A server said he would be back shortly but we still waited. My DH was ready to give up and go to the buffet but I thought that would seem rude. The server eventually came back and took our orders. He was very friendly and efficient once we got started. We figured it was because of our timing. The next night we were the first people in the dining room and were seated in the same place (we didn’t request it). Same staff. Same slow start. Good service once it got going. We showed up around 6pm the next night and were seated with Gilbert, Raymond, and Soyitoni and had water in our glasses within a minute. It definitely turned around. We requested this team for the other two nights also. Same wonderful service each time.
I tried the thia BBQ at the Mongolian Grill, it was very tasty. I also loved the corn on the cob from the Rotisserie and the turkey on country roll from the Deli. We also ate breakfast in the dining room a few times and it was great.
I loved all the lights in the atrium. There was always someone dusting/cleaning in that area. Waterworks was a hit with DD7 and so was the pool. During the day, there were always kids in the hot tubs. I don’t use the hot tubs so didn’t bother me but I know it is mentioned on here frequently. I found the secret deck behind the palace theater but there was really nothing out there but two people talking on cell phones. Family friendly comedy and 60 seconds or less game show were fun. The 80s show was good. We only caught the ending of the Match Game but it looked fun also.
I heard a teen say something about swimming in Freeport. I thought to myself that someone should clue that chick in and let her know we aren’t going to Freeport. Well it turned out, I needed to be clued in because our itinerary changed from Nassau to Freeport. Somehow I completely missed the announcement. In Freeport, we ended up just getting off so DD7 could buy some souvenirs and went back to the ship. In Key West, we walked to Fort Zachary State Park. We had intended to take a cab but we wandered off the ship and just started walking and realized we were part way there. It was $2.50 a person to get in. We toured the fort then headed to the beach. We paid $30 for two loungers and an umbrella. It was not very crowded. The rocks were really bad. I definitely suggest water shoes. We brought snorkels with us and had a lot of fun. The water was very gentle and we could see some small fish but nothing really colorful. We left the beach and shared a cab with two other cruisers back to the port. It cost us $3 a person. We left from the port area and continued to tour in town.
Thanks you for taking the time to write your review. Great photos too!
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Thanks for the pictures...it gives me a good idea about the anytime dining and how close the tables for two are. We haven't done anytime yet, and will on the sensation.
__________________ Past Cruises: October 2004- Carnival Conquest February 2008- Carnival Sensation April 2008-Carnival Fantasy August 2008-Carnival Inspiration April 2010-Carnival Triumph April 2012-Carnival Sensation