I'm back from my cruise on Fascination last week. Had a great trip and made lots of great memories.
This was my first time on a Fantasy Class ship and Third time on the Southern Caribbean itinerary out of San Juan. I don't do reviews anymore but here's some thoughts from my cruise.
Carnival Fascination was... Great! For my first time on a smaller ship, I was impressed. To be honest, it didn't really feel 40,000 Gross Tons smaller than the Conquest Class ships I started out on. A good amount of public space. The only crowding issues I encountered was trying to walk to/from lido and the photos around the atrium, where the floor narrows. No biggie though. Parts of the ship did feel some dated, but the Joe Farcus decor wasn't too over the top. For a ship that entered service in 1994, it was in pretty good condition. Service this cruise was honestly the best I've ever experienced. Nathan and Kelvin in the Imagination Dining Room were outstanding. Rivian at the Stars Bar went out of his way to make little surprises for one of the children traveling in my party. All staff I interacted with were great people with awesome attitudes. Even the captain was the most personable I've experienced. Dare I say I liked this ship much more than most I've sailed, especially Vista. I frequently saw people cleaning the ship as well. Especially the stairs.
My cabin was M5. Main Deck, forward, starboard side, porthole cabin. Everything about the cabin was great, except for one thing. I was awaken every time we started to make/leave port. My steward, Bagus provided great service and was cool to joke around with.
My third time doing this itinerary and I still feel like I could do it again. I think it's best experienced with at least one sea day though. As much as I'd want to see Antigua or Dominica again, I think it's just a little too busy to have ports every day.
-St. Thomas- Took the ferry from Red Hook over to St. John. Hung out in Cruz and Trunk Bays. Even after all the devastation, St. John is my little slice of heaven.
-Sea Day- Behind the Fun tour with only 5 of us. Missed going out on the bow again, but no biggie.
-Barbados- Pirates Cove. Snorkeled with turtles and shipwrecks. The kids loved Pirates Cove. Wasn't a big fan of their cafeteria. NOT A FAN of the beach vendors who quarrel over who sells who what.
-St. Lucia- Cosol Tours. The order of stops had changed since I last tried them in 2013. Was a good tour, but felt a little too crammed towards the end.
-St. Kitts- Went to Carambola and Reggae Beach properties. Carambola was nice with a better beach, but Reggae was more fun.
-St. Maarten- Went to Rainforest Adventures and did all the zip-lines including the Flying Dutchman. Was very fun and had a spectacular view from the top of the mountain.
-San Juan- Pre-cruise we stayed at an Airbnb in Old San Juan. Portal Del Sol was nice and the hosts were very friendly. Only downside was no AC in common areas, only bedrooms. Not a big issue for us, but even with the fans going, air didn't move much. Lunch at Barrachina was good again, but it took a longer time to be served than previously. Post-cruise we bought a tour of San Juan for half the price of the ship excursion. We had a late flight and it was cool to explore a little more while our luggage stayed with the bus.
Overall, I really enjoyed this cruise and wouldn't hesitate to book it again. Same itinerary, same ship. If you're considering it, book it!