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valandemmy

5 day fascination 10/24 review

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Our Amazing vacation started two days before the cruise actually left the port. We left at 10am from Southeast Kentucky and drove 8 hours to Jacksonville. We stayed at the Jacksonville airport Best Western... We thought by the looks on the website that this was an interior entrance hotel, but it wasn't... doors to the rooms were from the outside only.



 

The hotel staff offered to refund the deposit, but we decided to just stay there. The hotel was pretty nice for 50 bucks a night.. was surprised actually. the offered a hot breakfast in the morning with eggs, susauge, muffins. and even made fresh made cookies at night for the kids. the rooms were clean and neat. The did have an outside pool, but we did not use it, so can't comment on how it was.

 

We started to get hungary so we headed down to the shopping complex about 1 mile away and decided to eat at a place called sticky fingers. Supposed to be the best ribs in Jacksonville. The service was good at this place, but the food was mediocre at best, luke warm and not much flavor.

 

We were tired after the long drive, so we headed back to the room and headed to bed for the night...

 

The next day, we headed to St. Augustine, FL :D

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So the next morning we wake up around 7am, which was even easy for the kids, since we went to bed so early the night before. We went down to the lobby and enjoyed some of the FREE hot breakfast. Wasnt great..but it was FREE...

 

I had noticed the night before in one of the hotels info pages, that there was a flea market located near by, and I love a good flea market. So, we loaded up the kids and headed down the the flea market. This place was pretty cool, an acutal flea market, not like the stuff we have around here....since we were there so early, most places werent open, but we walked around and shopped a little before heading out to St. Augustine.

 

We left the flea market and headed south for about an hour to St. Augustine. None of us had ever visited before but, my wife and I had always wanted to stop by. I have one thing to say about this place... IT IS BEAUTIFUL. This is one of the most beautiful places I have been to, this is on my MUST do list every time I am in Florida from this point forward. Mostly we just walked around and took in the sites, but we did take the time to visit the Castilla de san marco fort and watch an authentic cannon firing that was very cool. Here are some pictures of today:

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I am glad you enjoyed your time in St. Augustine. My husband and I live and work in the Downtown Historic District across the street from the Fort. It really is a unique city and hope you have the chance to visit again!

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BONO'S is the best BBQ in Jacksonville. They are famous. Ditto The Pig. Excellent. I have lived in Jax..for 40 years..Sticky Fingers ????. Cotton's is also famous..but is downtown..rough traffic..city neighborhood..easy to get lost and drive and drive. BONO"S catered my DH's birthday party in August. YUM!

 

In St. Augustine..Cowboy's is famous as an eatery.

 

St. Augustine is lovely. Next time you are Florida..take in Amelia ISland..Ferdanina. You were very close..being in North Jax at the cruise port and air port. That same shopping center..has a good Red Lobster..an Olive Garden...Chili's..Panda Express...Ruby Tuesday with...great salad bar...One of the Steak Houses on Airport Road has drinks for a dollar...good too.

 

On Hecksler Dr. also in N.Jax...drive out to the Sand Dollar..right across from Mayport. SEe Apaches come in to land..HUGE naval ship at dock...shrimp boats going up the narrow channel..Picturesque to the extreme.

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I am looking forward to your Fascination review. I believe there were updates made to her since I was last on the ship a couple of years ago.

 

Please tell more...........:)

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Patiently waiting for the next chapter! We sail in 10 days on the Fascination and love reading the reviews and seeing pictures before our cruise.

 

Hope there is more when I get home from work at 11pm tonight!

 

Thank you!

 

:D

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Day 3 of the vacation....boarding the ship

 

So we woke up early, headed down to the lobby of the hotel for some free hot breakfast and packed the car back up for the short drive to JAX park and cruise. I HIGHLY recommend this place, for only 5.00 per day your vehicle is parked in a secure lot, they load your bags and drop you off at the ship. compared to the 15.00 a day at the port, this place is well worth it.

 

We got to the port around around 1050am (ship wasn't set to leave until 4pm), but my wife says..."the trip doesn't start until we board the ship"..so we always like to get there early. It was already busy, however security and check in was amazingly fast and friendly and by 1150 our zone 7 was called and we were headed onto the ship.

 

Headed to the Lido deck for a quick bite to eat before taking the kids upto the next deck for some Carnival Waterworks fun.

 

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I love getting to the ship early and having it all to ourselves...:D.

 

After the sail away, the kids got tired of playing in water works, we explored the ship some more, seemed like every other fantasy class ship we have been on. Even though the ship is older, she is still in good shape.

 

This was the first and LAST time I will let carnival choose my room :(. I was on the Riviera Deck ALL the way at the AFT of the ship... felt like I spent more time walking to the room than I did doing much of anything else.

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Aghhh we sail in 15 days on the Fascination! This review is making me even more excited and making my work day a little bit more bearable! Thank you!

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Couple of things that we (I) noticed on this ship.

1. The library already had most of the books taken off the bookshelves, alot of games remained in them though.

2. The food this time was just mediocre for the most part, nothing was every really "hot", just luke warm most of the time.

3. With the "Soda Card" is no longer part of a can of soda, it is now fountain drinks.

 

4. For those people who do not like cruising with children..this would have been the trip for you. there was only 30 kids on board...and we brought 2 of them :D.

 

 

Second day of the cruise was pretty uneventful, it was a sea day. Our daughter spend most of the day at Camp Carnival and met some great kids to play with.

 

We did something we never do, we took an afternoon NAP....ah, yes... the joys of being on vacation....we took part in Bingo and lost, I gambled and lost...and then we got ready for Formal night

 

This was the most FORMAL, formal night I have seen since we started cruising. With Anytime dining, we came in early and wow I was impressed with the way folks were dressed up. That being said, I did see a pair of shorts, and two pair of blue jeans being worn (one was ripped and torn to shreds with the guys boxers showing). Again, today the food was just OK, my wife really enjoyed her prime rib. I had the lobster (2 tails), they are pretty small after all :rolleyes:.

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Looking forward to more! We leave in 10 days! We are excited to finally cruise again this year! Look forward to more pictures too!

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BONO'S is the best BBQ in Jacksonville. They are famous. Ditto The Pig. Excellent. I have lived in Jax..for 40 years..Sticky Fingers ????. Cotton's is also famous..but is downtown..rough traffic..city neighborhood..easy to get lost and drive and drive. BONO"S catered my DH's birthday party in August. YUM!

 

In St. Augustine..Cowboy's is famous as an eatery.

 

St. Augustine is lovely. Next time you are Florida..take in Amelia ISland..Ferdanina. You were very close..being in North Jax at the cruise port and air port. That same shopping center..has a good Red Lobster..an Olive Garden...Chili's..Panda Express...Ruby Tuesday with...great salad bar...One of the Steak Houses on Airport Road has drinks for a dollar...good too.

 

On Hecksler Dr. also in N.Jax...drive out to the Sand Dollar..right across from Mayport. SEe Apaches come in to land..HUGE naval ship at dock...shrimp boats going up the narrow channel..Picturesque to the extreme.

 

You should post this on the Ports of Call board/FL Departures/Jacksonville. Great info.

 

It's my area also -- we go to St Augustine or Feenandina/Amelia Island frequently to walk or ride bikes and enjoy the scenery.

 

Should mention, some pretty nice state park beaches are not far from the port as well - Little Talbot's Island St Park comes to mind - bath houses, picnic tables/pavillions, parking, small entrance fee.

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Day 3 on the Fascination. Port KEY WEST

 

We were very excited to be visiting Key West again. We really enjoyed it here last time we got to visit, but our daughter was sick so it we didn't get to spend very much time in the city before heading back to the ship.

 

We ordered room service the night before and had it delivered around 630 in the morning, so after we ate we headed off the ship and into the city. We were one of the first people off the ship and it felt like we had the entire Island to ourselves... it was GREAT.

 

 

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Had a great time, We visited during Fantasy Fest week, and while I am a completely open minded person, I felt that a lot of the advertisments were over the top and for a "family" destination, went to far.

 

Back to the ship, we enjoyed Diner in the MDR and went to the "LA MAMBA" production show with dancing and singing. The male singer was FREAKIN AWESOME, could sing and dance amazingly well. The Female singer was just OK at singing and couldnt dance (not sure if she was a main singer or a back up) but neither my wife or myself was very impressed with her.

 

After the show, I entered the Black Jack tourney..Made it into the top 7 for alittle while, but eventually got booted out by some other folks, the one thing I learned about this was to wait until the last few rounds before the finals before throwing your money into it, because you know the numbers you have to beat to get in and can help you bet accordingly.

 

anyway, after the disappointment of getting beat...lol, we headed to bed, tomorrow NASSAU...woohooo

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I'm so glad I found your review-seems it got placed low if only for the reason that everyone is talking tips, and not trips. I too love ST. Augustine, and my ex and I spent many weekends there, using it as a round about pit stop between Tampa and Atlanta. (LOL Which it's not) .

My DH and I loved Key West, what is Fantasy week? And since it is Key West, what was going on that we wouldn't want to see? Please come back with the update on Nassau, I leave in 2 and a half days, and I want to finish your review!:)

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We were on her Oct 10 and just LOVED that ship! One thing I wish they would have though, is late night bar food (nachos, wings, etc)...the pizza line was sooooo long at night. The Grill sandwiches were to die for and liked the MDR breakfast rather than the Lido. Tried the Frog Legs (tried all the Didja Ever), and they were my fav along w/ the escargot.

 

Loved Tommy at the atrium bar and "joe from Philly" (Phillipines) was our head waiter. Awesome staff!

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Thank you for an amazing review. Looking forward to more!

 

How was Camp Carnival? Were they open most of the time or did they open and close throughout the day?

 

Did they have any spa deals?

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Waiting to hear more! Don't leave all of us hanging! Love the pictures too!:)

 

 

We sail in 1 week and can't wait!

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We were on her Oct 10 and just LOVED that ship! One thing I wish they would have though, is late night bar food (nachos, wings, etc)...the pizza line was sooooo long at night. The Grill sandwiches were to die for and liked the MDR breakfast rather than the Lido. Tried the Frog Legs (tried all the Didja Ever), and they were my fav along w/ the escargot.

 

Loved Tommy at the atrium bar and "joe from Philly" (Phillipines) was our head waiter. Awesome staff!

 

Was Tommy an older gentleman that would sing while he mixed drinks and had worked for Carnival forever? Trying to find out whether or not he's still on the Liberty or not.

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Any updates. We will be in Jacksonville in March '11 for a retirement ceremony and was looking into the 4 day cruise. We have never done Carnival and was curious about the ship for this cruise.

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