Fascination review with pics from Catmando

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#1
Stone Mountain GA
9,934 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Catmando is my DH, he is the photographer for our cruises. This is our adventure, we hope you enjoy.


Before each cruise I make a "to-do" list and I did accomplish a few of those on this cruise. We got off the Fascination the day before yesterday ad drove directly home, I suffer from post cruise equilibrium problems(feel like I am still on the ship for several days afterwards) but if I don't write this now, I will forget things.

We left Stone Mountain on 12/4 and drove straight to Jacksonville. We had booked two nights at the Holiday Inn Express Blount Island. A nice hotel, very close tot he port, but unless you just love dining at Wendy's (next door) or Quizno's(across a major intersection) there is NOTHING in walking distance. There had been a few restaurants int he area, but they were all closed. The hotel prvides a good breakfast buffet and transportation to the port, so if you fly in for the night this hotel would work well for you.

On Sunday, after our freinds from Michigan flew in, we decided to go to Neptune beach for the afternoon. It was very pretty, but very cold.


If you do have a car, and want a great seafood dinner, all of us strongly advice the Sanddollar. The girls at the hotel will try to send you elsewhere, but don't listen! It was good fresh seafood! It's on the river about 9 miles form the hotel and I guess druing the day you would actually see something, all we saw were large freighters in the dark.
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Past Cruises
Cunard-Queen Mary 1961 NY to Cherbourg
Cunard-Queen Elizabeth 1963 Cherbourg to NY
MWA- Heritage 8/05, 8/06
Carnival- Sensation-10/08
Carnival- Legend 01/10, 9/12, 9/16
Carnival- Fascination 12/10,11/11,10/13,11/14, 9/15
Carnival-Elation 1/14, 1/16, 11/17

I will try one thing today,
that I have never done before,
and when I have finished something new,
I'll go try one thing more.
aem

"Hurray for ships!.....Let us keep them alive as a token of love,to make the last romantics happy. Let us use them to cure the depressed. Let us prescribe sea journeys..." Tiziano Terzani

America-It doesn't matter what ship our ancestors came here on, we're all in the same boat now.






#2
Missouri
331 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Thank you for a review, we are on the Fascination in 2 DAYS!!!

Keep it coming! We are staying at Holiday Inn, Blount Island as well. Good information!
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Czechgal

Be a traveler, not a tourist.

Elation 1/23/2005

Miracle 2/11/2007

Fascination 12/16/2010
#3
Stone Mountain GA
9,934 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Monday-Embarkation day!
We're up, we're fed, and ready to go! We loaded the jeep up, Four adults and each of us had a huge suitcase. We drove in to the port and at security provided our boarding passes and passports. Then security singles out our car for an inspection, we were directed to another area, and DH(driver) had to get out of the car, they looked in the back, they looked under the hood, they looked at the rest of us through the windows, and then they let us go. Thank heavens we didn't have to drag out all those suitcases. Then we were directed to the unloading zone. They did not do this to every car. I guess 4 middle aged, middle class, non drinking adults looked like a safe choice for an easy random search. Go figure!

We unloaded the car, and DH drove it to the parking area(75$ for a five day cruise) and we stoold outside and waited for him. IT was cold! We all had our coats on(this was going to be the "cool cruise").

When DH returned we got in line to embark, our fireinds were VIP, we are not, but it only took an hour and 10 minutes from the time we arrived til we were eating lunch on the lido. (I had a rueben, and it was much better than the one I tried on the Legend earlier this year).

After lunch we explored the ship to find all the smoking areas. The atrium area from the Empress deck all the way up to the Lido deck was decorated for Christmas. Beautiful!



At 1:30 sharp we were allowed in our cabins. We had our first porthole cabin M14. We had been worried we wouldn't like this type of cabin because we had been "spoiled" by having balcony cabins on our first two trips. We loved it! We could hear the waves at night, we had sun light , and it would have been way too cold to sit out on a balcony anyway! Not all cabins are equal in size, and our M14 was bigger than most porthole cabins.



Muster was at 3:30 and it took 25 minutes. Now free to do our thing, we found a sunny smoking area at the back of the Lido (port side) and we sat in the sun and enjoyed some warmth. We had company several times while sitting in this area. These guys didn't even pay for the cruise.



For Sail Away we went up to the sports deck to check out the bridge.





Dinner that night was in the main dining room(MDR) and I tried the St. Louis Style Ribs, that were so highly recommeded by most of you, and I was not disappointed.
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Past Cruises
Cunard-Queen Mary 1961 NY to Cherbourg
Cunard-Queen Elizabeth 1963 Cherbourg to NY
MWA- Heritage 8/05, 8/06
Carnival- Sensation-10/08
Carnival- Legend 01/10, 9/12, 9/16
Carnival- Fascination 12/10,11/11,10/13,11/14, 9/15
Carnival-Elation 1/14, 1/16, 11/17

I will try one thing today,
that I have never done before,
and when I have finished something new,
I'll go try one thing more.
aem

"Hurray for ships!.....Let us keep them alive as a token of love,to make the last romantics happy. Let us use them to cure the depressed. Let us prescribe sea journeys..." Tiziano Terzani

America-It doesn't matter what ship our ancestors came here on, we're all in the same boat now.






#4
Stone Mountain GA
9,934 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Tuesday-Day at Sea
I was up at 5 a.m. to see the the sunrise. (another first on a cruise). I grabbed my wooden flute and my DH, went up to the Lido grabbed a coffe and went out to "serenade" the sun up. DH photographed the sunrise. What a wonderful way to start the day!

A freighter was going by at the same time.

We breakfasted in the MDR and then met up with our friend and competed in the scavenger hunt. And we Won! A ship on a stick! The coveted item for all cruisers!



Thomas, our new Carnival friend, me(marshhawk) DH(catmando) and Cheryl(ceebeesky) with the trophy.

And now for the close up-


During the afternoon I walked the track for 30 minutes and then headed down to tea where I met up with my roll call buddies. I always carry "stupid bear" with me so that I am identifiable and they can pick up their name tags from me. We had 16 attendees, a nice time to meet, visit, and talk, but the layout of Club 88 is not really condusive to that.

I also carry a folder to put all of my Funtimes and other souvenier paper work in from the cruise, so I had everyone sign it, and now I have a permanent souvenier with autographs. We let "stupid bear" hold it while we photographed him.



Dinner was "Formal Night" very yummy lobster! Just to let you know on the first night the matire'd did announce that no blue jeans, baseball hats, or inappropriate dining attire would be allowed in the MDR on formal night, and we did see 4 people being escorted out as we were entering. It was nice to see everyone all spiffed up.

After dinner we went to the show-Far From Over-the two main singers were Bree and Ben, and on this night, Bree was ON, and Ben, well ....he was juch better in a later show.
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Past Cruises
Cunard-Queen Mary 1961 NY to Cherbourg
Cunard-Queen Elizabeth 1963 Cherbourg to NY
MWA- Heritage 8/05, 8/06
Carnival- Sensation-10/08
Carnival- Legend 01/10, 9/12, 9/16
Carnival- Fascination 12/10,11/11,10/13,11/14, 9/15
Carnival-Elation 1/14, 1/16, 11/17

I will try one thing today,
that I have never done before,
and when I have finished something new,
I'll go try one thing more.
aem

"Hurray for ships!.....Let us keep them alive as a token of love,to make the last romantics happy. Let us use them to cure the depressed. Let us prescribe sea journeys..." Tiziano Terzani

America-It doesn't matter what ship our ancestors came here on, we're all in the same boat now.






#5
McDonough, Ga
6,421 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Great review so far, I can't wait to read more! I just booked the Facination this morning for a July cruise for my family and I and was eager to find a review, and here one was! Thanks for takng the time to write it!

Terri
#6
Stone Mountain GA
9,934 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Wednesday-Key West



Still cool outside, but sunny. We did our our walking tour, headed down Whitehead street, did the Heminway House Tour



then headed down to the Southern Most Point



then over one block to a short pier. There was an artist there who graduated from a now defunct college that was in the building I work in. I bought a print of his art. Feed starving artists(my mantra). Then back up Duval street (loads of shops and galleries). We had lunch at Hogs Breathe Saloon(try the Hog legs) and then we headed over to the Mel Fisher Museum (you can buy a combo ticket at the Hemingway house).

We toodled around Mallory Square-



Had a cup of coffee and then boarded the ship.

The cool weather was wonderful in Key West for a walking tour. I did hear later that some of the water based excursions had been cancelled because of the cold weather.

We dined at the Lido deck (Coconut Grove) this evening, and while I love the desserts on the Lido, this dinner, the lines and only one serving line open, arghh! Never again. I guess I'm just a MDR type of girl.

After dinner the four of us took our ships on sticks (my BF had now won 3 and a medal) and had our pictures taken with all the photographers. You don't get charged anything for the pictures unless you buy them, so why not. It gave us the opportunity to really choose.
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Past Cruises
Cunard-Queen Mary 1961 NY to Cherbourg
Cunard-Queen Elizabeth 1963 Cherbourg to NY
MWA- Heritage 8/05, 8/06
Carnival- Sensation-10/08
Carnival- Legend 01/10, 9/12, 9/16
Carnival- Fascination 12/10,11/11,10/13,11/14, 9/15
Carnival-Elation 1/14, 1/16, 11/17

I will try one thing today,
that I have never done before,
and when I have finished something new,
I'll go try one thing more.
aem

"Hurray for ships!.....Let us keep them alive as a token of love,to make the last romantics happy. Let us use them to cure the depressed. Let us prescribe sea journeys..." Tiziano Terzani

America-It doesn't matter what ship our ancestors came here on, we're all in the same boat now.






#7
Stone Mountain GA
9,934 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Thursday-Nassau

The day started sunny, we docked on time and headed to Blue Lagoon (prepaid shore excursion). The tide was going out while we were there, so the water started at waist deep in the swimming area, and was getting shallower by the minute. The sun went behind a cloud and never returned. And the temperature kept dropping. I blew up my beach ball and threw it in the water, forcing myself to get in. I had paid for this and I was going to get wet! We didn't stay in for long, we got out, and talked with some people that had come in on the Pride, and then we went back in the water, walked across the Lagoon, up the other beach , across a bridge and then back to our beach chairs. As far as seeing fish, we saw a few small schools of very small fish(must have been kindergarten and nursery schools) and as we were getting ready to leave some pretty good size rays swam in from the deeper dolphin area. Neat!

DH got some great photo shots of the rocky side of the island, but this was by far our favorite.



We also left our non permanent mark on the island,



Every one was ready to leave early as it kept getting colder, so we left the island on time and the catamaran crew gave us a tour of the Grand Houses of the Rich and Famous on our way back to the pier. (Oprah, Tiger, Eddie Murphy, and a few basketball players).

We docked and as we were walking back to the ship the skies opened up and the rain came down! We ran to the ship as quickly as we could. (we have been to Nassau twice, one in OCT a few years ago, and once in NOV, and it has rained both times.) We showered (no hair dryers in the cabin) and headed to dinner.

After dinner DH and I went in to Karaoke, and he sang! (another first) There was another sail away party that evening with a midnight buffet. We danced two dances on the Lido deck (another first) and then we went to the back of the Coconut Grove and sat outside. The rain had stopped and we watched Nassau glitter like diamonds in the dark as we sailed away. The town was celebrating the Junior Junkeroo, and music flowed up from the streets.
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Past Cruises
Cunard-Queen Mary 1961 NY to Cherbourg
Cunard-Queen Elizabeth 1963 Cherbourg to NY
MWA- Heritage 8/05, 8/06
Carnival- Sensation-10/08
Carnival- Legend 01/10, 9/12, 9/16
Carnival- Fascination 12/10,11/11,10/13,11/14, 9/15
Carnival-Elation 1/14, 1/16, 11/17

I will try one thing today,
that I have never done before,
and when I have finished something new,
I'll go try one thing more.
aem

"Hurray for ships!.....Let us keep them alive as a token of love,to make the last romantics happy. Let us use them to cure the depressed. Let us prescribe sea journeys..." Tiziano Terzani

America-It doesn't matter what ship our ancestors came here on, we're all in the same boat now.






#8
Stone Mountain GA
9,934 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Friday-Day at Sea
Another day at sea, and again-morning sunshine. We strolled around on deck, looking for a warm spot out of the wind. We ended up by the water slides in the back of the ship, and I kept smelling BBQ. I then went and walked the track(very windy) while DH went down to donate money to the casino.

Lunch was in the MDR-and guess what? They had BBQ baby back ribs, so of course after smelling that all morning I had to get them. The food on this ship was really very good.

We played putt-putt and I lost terribly, it was so windy the balls kept rolling back to the starting place. Putt-putt is all par 2, but when the ship is moving and the wind is blowing, they should adjust the par to 4, 5, maybe 6. LOL

At 4 p.m. there was a Holiday show in the Palace. It was lovely....no games....just the dancers with Bree and Ben and Ben shown. Some of the staff came out with battery operated candles, the lights were dimmed and we sang Silent Night. The Camp Carnival kids were included in the show, they sang a few songs, Jen (our cruise director) read a Snowman story, the Christmas tree was lit, and then Santa arrived, bringing toys to all the Camp Carnival kids. With all of us in the "cruise mode mind set" it put all of us in the right space in our hearts. Both BF and I teared up a bit.


On our last night, we picked out the pictures that we wanted with our friends and then DH and I headed back to our cabin to pack up, and we did one more thing on our "to do" list- we watched a movie from start to finish.

Films this week were- Prince of Persia, A-Team, Toy Story 3, Marmaduke, The Karate Kid and two others, I knew nothing about. We watched Toy Story 3.

Our bed was wonderful, our waitress Yves was fantastic (and yes, she remembered and called us by name each night), our cabin was always clean, although they did forget about ice on the last two days. Our phone did not work, not sure if they ever did fix that....we never needed a wake up call, and for once we did not use room service...But the towel animals were fantastic!



Our roll call was fun, and it was nice running into our new friends while we were out having fun! This was a fantastic cruise.

So, what's left to do on the "to-do" list? Well there is still the water slides and the Indian dinner.

The Fascination is one fo a few ships that offers a future sailing OBC-here's how it works- You put down $100.00. Then book your next cruise within 48 months(4 years). Pay your down payment, mail in your certificate, and they apply the 100 to the cruise, and then give you up to 200.00 OBC for that cruise. (The 200 would be for a 12 and more day cruise). You can't use it for a pre existing cruise-but Alaska 2012-Here we come!

For those of you who want to know if we ever got to see the sun in the afternoon-on our last day at sea.......
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Past Cruises
Cunard-Queen Mary 1961 NY to Cherbourg
Cunard-Queen Elizabeth 1963 Cherbourg to NY
MWA- Heritage 8/05, 8/06
Carnival- Sensation-10/08
Carnival- Legend 01/10, 9/12, 9/16
Carnival- Fascination 12/10,11/11,10/13,11/14, 9/15
Carnival-Elation 1/14, 1/16, 11/17

I will try one thing today,
that I have never done before,
and when I have finished something new,
I'll go try one thing more.
aem

"Hurray for ships!.....Let us keep them alive as a token of love,to make the last romantics happy. Let us use them to cure the depressed. Let us prescribe sea journeys..." Tiziano Terzani

America-It doesn't matter what ship our ancestors came here on, we're all in the same boat now.






#10
4 hours and 38 minutes from the closest cruise terminal
11,224 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Marshhawk:

Thanks for posting your review! It's always interesting to read someone else's opinion of the same exact cruise. I will be posting my own review later. It will be hard to top your pictures though!
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TAPI
SAILED:
1981 Cunard Princess / 1982 Cunard Countess / 1984 The Victoria / 1991 Carla Costa / 1993 Monarch of the Seas / 1994 Tropicale / 1996 Royal Majesty / 1998 Viking Serenade / 1999 Dolphin IV / 2000 OceanBreeze / 2000 Carnival Destiny / 2003 Carnival Fascination / 2004 Empress of the Seas / 2005 Carnival Fascination / 2005 Carnival Liberty / 2006 Carnival Imagination / 2006 Carnival Fascination / 2007 Carnival Sensation / 2007 Holiday / 2008 Carnival Liberty / 2009 Carnival Imagination / 2010 Carnival Fascination / 2011 Allure of the Seas / 2011 Carnival Dream / 2013 Westerdam / 2014 Enchantment of the Seas / 2014 Golden Princess / 2016 MSC Divina / 2017 Disney Fantasy


NEXT:
2018 EMPRESS OF THE SEAS - Cuba / 2018 MSC MERAVIGLIA - Mediterranean / 2019 CARNIVAL FANTASY - Western Caribbean / 2019 REGAL PRINCESS - Atlantic Canadian Provinces / 2020 CARNIVAL PANORAMA - Mexican Riviera


#13
NE North Carolina
43 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by Tapi
Marshhawk:

Thanks for posting your review! It's always interesting to read someone else's opinion of the same exact cruise. I will be posting my own review later. It will be hard to top your pictures though!
Just wanted to say that the pic of the dog in your signature always makes me smile!
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#14
Roanoke, VA
3,925 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
I loved your pictures and it so neat to see the ship all dolled up for Christmas! I was on her Thanksgiving weekend!
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MY REVIEWS:
My Review of My Memorial Cruise for My Son Fascination 2010
<a>





RCCL Oasis, June 2018 ~RCCL Oasis, Jan 2018 Girls Cruise~ Carnival Magic Sept 2017 ~ Carnival Dream, Oct 2017 Girls Cruise ~ Carnival Sept 2017 ~ RCCL, Jan 2017, Girls Cruise~~Carnival Valor, Jan 2016 ~ Carnival Valor, May 2015 ~ RCCL Explorer of the Seas Feb 2015~Carnival Glory, Dec 2014, Bahamas All Girls Trip~ Carnival Sunshine, Nov 2014, Family Trip ~ Carnival Sunshine, May 2014 ~ Disney Dream, May 2013, DD, DSL, GC ~ Carnival Fascination, Feb 2, 2013, Bahamas ~ Carnival Fascination, Oct 2012, Bahamas VIP (20 Years with employer; THANKS Kathy)~Carnival Fascination, April/May 2012, Bahamas ~ Carnival Miracle, Jan/Feb 2012 - Rockin Waiters ~ Carnival Dream, May 2011 - Just Dreaming, Western, Belize~ Carnival Fascination Dan's cruise - Love and Miss you! 2010~RCCL: Monrach of the Seas Sept 2010 ~ Carnival Spirit: North to ALASKA May 2010 ~ RCCL Granduer of the Seas 2009, Bermuda ~ Carnival Pride 2009, Bahamas ~ Celebrity 2004, Panama ~ Carnival Sensation 2003, Western~ RCCL Sovereign of the Sea 2003, Nassua ~ Carnival Pride 2002, Western ~ RCCL Sovereign of the Sea 2001, Nassua ~ Carnival Destiny 1998 Jamaica - Bingo, Girls Cruise
#16
4 hours and 38 minutes from the closest cruise terminal
11,224 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by roobear512
Just wanted to say that the pic of the dog in your signature always makes me smile!
Thanks! She's an awesome dog. We love her.
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TAPI
SAILED:
1981 Cunard Princess / 1982 Cunard Countess / 1984 The Victoria / 1991 Carla Costa / 1993 Monarch of the Seas / 1994 Tropicale / 1996 Royal Majesty / 1998 Viking Serenade / 1999 Dolphin IV / 2000 OceanBreeze / 2000 Carnival Destiny / 2003 Carnival Fascination / 2004 Empress of the Seas / 2005 Carnival Fascination / 2005 Carnival Liberty / 2006 Carnival Imagination / 2006 Carnival Fascination / 2007 Carnival Sensation / 2007 Holiday / 2008 Carnival Liberty / 2009 Carnival Imagination / 2010 Carnival Fascination / 2011 Allure of the Seas / 2011 Carnival Dream / 2013 Westerdam / 2014 Enchantment of the Seas / 2014 Golden Princess / 2016 MSC Divina / 2017 Disney Fantasy


NEXT:
2018 EMPRESS OF THE SEAS - Cuba / 2018 MSC MERAVIGLIA - Mediterranean / 2019 CARNIVAL FANTASY - Western Caribbean / 2019 REGAL PRINCESS - Atlantic Canadian Provinces / 2020 CARNIVAL PANORAMA - Mexican Riviera


#17
Stone Mountain GA
9,934 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Tapi-would love to read your review....waiting....as we were on the same cruise and never met. How can that be?
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Past Cruises
Cunard-Queen Mary 1961 NY to Cherbourg
Cunard-Queen Elizabeth 1963 Cherbourg to NY
MWA- Heritage 8/05, 8/06
Carnival- Sensation-10/08
Carnival- Legend 01/10, 9/12, 9/16
Carnival- Fascination 12/10,11/11,10/13,11/14, 9/15
Carnival-Elation 1/14, 1/16, 11/17

I will try one thing today,
that I have never done before,
and when I have finished something new,
I'll go try one thing more.
aem

"Hurray for ships!.....Let us keep them alive as a token of love,to make the last romantics happy. Let us use them to cure the depressed. Let us prescribe sea journeys..." Tiziano Terzani

America-It doesn't matter what ship our ancestors came here on, we're all in the same boat now.






#18
4 hours and 38 minutes from the closest cruise terminal
11,224 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by marshhawk
Tapi-would love to read your review....waiting....as we were on the same cruise and never met. How can that be?
Hey! Review is now posted. We had a good time, but I'm sorry to say that we didn't enjoy it as much as we would've liked. It's all explained in my review.

I was planning on coming to Tea Time but I remembered AFTER the fact! duh!

Oh well. Thanks again for your review...!
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TAPI
SAILED:
1981 Cunard Princess / 1982 Cunard Countess / 1984 The Victoria / 1991 Carla Costa / 1993 Monarch of the Seas / 1994 Tropicale / 1996 Royal Majesty / 1998 Viking Serenade / 1999 Dolphin IV / 2000 OceanBreeze / 2000 Carnival Destiny / 2003 Carnival Fascination / 2004 Empress of the Seas / 2005 Carnival Fascination / 2005 Carnival Liberty / 2006 Carnival Imagination / 2006 Carnival Fascination / 2007 Carnival Sensation / 2007 Holiday / 2008 Carnival Liberty / 2009 Carnival Imagination / 2010 Carnival Fascination / 2011 Allure of the Seas / 2011 Carnival Dream / 2013 Westerdam / 2014 Enchantment of the Seas / 2014 Golden Princess / 2016 MSC Divina / 2017 Disney Fantasy


NEXT:
2018 EMPRESS OF THE SEAS - Cuba / 2018 MSC MERAVIGLIA - Mediterranean / 2019 CARNIVAL FANTASY - Western Caribbean / 2019 REGAL PRINCESS - Atlantic Canadian Provinces / 2020 CARNIVAL PANORAMA - Mexican Riviera


#19
Stone Mountain GA
9,934 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by rdalmeida
Was on this cruise and had a blast.
We missed you at the tea, I had a name tag for you!
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Past Cruises
Cunard-Queen Mary 1961 NY to Cherbourg
Cunard-Queen Elizabeth 1963 Cherbourg to NY
MWA- Heritage 8/05, 8/06
Carnival- Sensation-10/08
Carnival- Legend 01/10, 9/12, 9/16
Carnival- Fascination 12/10,11/11,10/13,11/14, 9/15
Carnival-Elation 1/14, 1/16, 11/17

I will try one thing today,
that I have never done before,
and when I have finished something new,
I'll go try one thing more.
aem

"Hurray for ships!.....Let us keep them alive as a token of love,to make the last romantics happy. Let us use them to cure the depressed. Let us prescribe sea journeys..." Tiziano Terzani

America-It doesn't matter what ship our ancestors came here on, we're all in the same boat now.