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2nd Time on the Fascination was great! 2/18/12

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We are not usually a big fan of short cruises or the Bahamas but our five day cruise on the Fascination was GREAT!!! :) We took this same cruise in November 2008 except we went to Key West instead of Freeport .

We booked a quick last minute (to me at least) getaway because I found an amazing deal on airfare. Southwest offered $59 one way to Jacksonville from Nashville so I booked the air & started watching for deals on the cruise. Two weeks later I booked the cruise. I booked a guarantee ocean view cabin for the first time because it was $100 cheaper than choosing our room & we received U29. I was a little concerned it might be too far forward because we have always booked midship but it was fine.

 

We normally fly in the night before a cruise but since we had a non-stop flight of a little over an hour I felt pretty comfortable flying in the day of the cruise. We arrived in Jacksonville at 11:25 AM & caught a cab to the cruise port. The cab was a little pricey at $33 since the cruise port is only about 12 miles but our cab driver was nice & stopped at a little market so we could buy water, cokes & two bottles of wine.

 

CHECK-IN

I was finally Platinum on this cruise so we got to go through the VIP line at the port. Yay! :D My DH is one cruise behind me :p but I let him share my perks!

Check-in was very easy & we were on the ship in just a few minutes. We got a treat at check-in with a revised itinerary allowing us to arrive in Freeport at 8 AM instead of 12PM giving us four extra hours there!

 

CABIN:

Our cabin U-29 was in an excellent location with the stairs & the elevators nearby & very close to the Sensation Dining Room & the Palace Theatre. Our cabin steward, Wy (not his real name but that is what he said to call him), was wonderful as all of our cabin stewards have been.

 

Our cabin

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And our door

 

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We are on the ship!!!!!

 

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Later that day we were in our cabin & there was a knock on the door. It was room service. I said we didn’t order room service & the girl smiled & said yes you did. It was the tray of goodies for being Platinum. Yay! They were yummy too, especially the chocolate covered strawberries. On the first sea day which is also Elegant night our Platinum gift was delivered to our cabin. We received the Carnival backpack & a Fascination collector’s pin. Thanks Carnival!!! We used the backpack the rest of the cruise.

 

Goodies

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Platinum gift

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Sailaway- It really doesn't look like we will make it under the bridge!

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But we did!

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Our escort!

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Dining:

We love YTD & had excellent service the whole week. We never had to wait for a table at all. We made some great new friends & were able to dine with them every night. :) The waiters (& all the staff) were so friendly & made us feel special. How they call everybody by name so soon is amazing! The food was good but I don’t know that anything really WOWED us except maybe the omelets in the dining room. My DH ordered the banana split off the kids menu one night (thanks CC for that tidbit) & it looked yummy. The Bitter & Blanc was excellent as always!

 

I will say that the pizza on the Lido deck was not nearly as good as the pizza on the Miracle but the salad bar was very good & fresh & the Rueben was good. I almost forgot to mention how good the soft serve ice cream & yogurt ALWAYS are! :D

 

I always love the BLT from room service but we never got around to ordering room service this cruise.

 

The water on the Fascination was not very good. :eek: We were really glad we brought on a case of water. The water in the dining room was the best water on board but even it was not very good & we don’t usually mind the water on the ship.

 

Entertainment:

Trevor Block is the Cruise Director & he does a great job & is very personable.

 

We went to the Past Guest party & again thanks to CC we ordered Long Island Iced Teas instead of the drinks they serve on the trays.

 

We enjoyed the shows (never get tired of them) but we especially liked the Hey Mambo Show on the first sea day. We had seen it before but thought both singers were excellent. We did not make it to the Showcase of the Stars the day we were in Freeport or the Activity night with Bingo, trivia games, etc. the day of Nassau. Far From Over was the show the last night & it was very good also.

 

The Calypso Music on the Lido with Caribbean Breeze was excellent!!! A couple of times I had to look to make sure it was not a recording! True Identity playing at the Stars Bar were very good too & we meant to hang out there more than we did.

 

We went to the Punchliner Comedy Club the first night to the Adult Only show with Leighanne Lord but we were not overly impressed with her. :( We meant to go see the Cowboy Comedian the next night but never made it back because…....

 

We found the PIANO BAR & we had so much fun there we had a hard time leaving. Milburn Dumas was WONDERFUL & played such a huge variety of songs. He is quite the character & kept us all entertained with his antics. The Piano Bar on our last cruise on the Miracle was such a disappointment because the Piano Man took himself way to seriously but Milburn really encouraged us to all sing along (& believe me I can not sing)! He played everything we requested & seemed to have as good a time as we did. He is a man of many hats & let us borrow some of his props for this Kodak moment! :D

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The staff were all wonderful in the dining room from the hostess to the waiters & waitresses. I wish I could remember the name of the waitress from Russia. She had the most beautiful eyes!

 

The hostess bringing my DH to us! :D

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Happy Birthday Simon!

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Having too much fun with Milburn & some of our new friends!

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Milburn being Milburn!

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More Milburn!

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Milburn is quite funny! He was in the piano bar on the Fascination this past December.

 

Thanks for the review. Makes me want to sail on the Fascination again. Loved it!

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PORTS:

 

Freeport

 

The view from our cabin window of Freeport

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We took a cab to Our Lucaya Resort (also the Radisson). The cab was $10 roundtrip & they give you a ticket for the return trip.

 

You can go to the free beach at Our Lucaya (you go in by the police station) but we went to the resort because we wanted pools, lounge chairs, etc.

 

Our Lucaya Resort is STUNNING & HUGE!

 

We paid $15 each at the security checkpoint.

 

There are a lot of HUGE gorgeous pools including an infinity pool with a swim up bar. Drinks were expensive there though. We ordered two drinks that were $6.50 each & with taxes & built in tips the bill was $17.25. They were really small drinks & had very little liquor in them. The bartenders at the swim up bar were not very friendly either. That was our only complaint of the day. Everything else was incredible & we would definitely go back.

 

Lounge chairs are available at the pool or the beach. The pool loungers have umbrellas but I don't remember seeing any at the beach. The day pass does not include towels.

 

Jet skis, parasailing, banana boats, etc. are available for a fee.

 

Our Lucaya Resort is across the street from the straw market with plenty of shopping & restaurants. We bought my DH a goofy, touristy looking hat because his ball cap went overboard on the ship. He loses one every cruise & he even had it on backwards!

 

We ate at the After Deck Bar & Grill at the Port Lucaya straw market for lunch. My DH had a Conch sandwich & fries & I had jerk chicken with rice & peas & we had two iced teas & the bill was around $30. It was pretty good but there are a lot of places to eat at the market.

 

We headed back to the ship about 4:00. We walked over to where we were dropped off by the cab & luckily a cab was just boarding. They run every 30 minutes.

 

There is a little frozen drink stand close to the ship where you can get a 16 ounce & a 10 ounce (same flavor) drink for $6

 

We had a perfect day at Our Lucaya with gorgeous weather.

 

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Our Lucaya Resort

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Check out the white sand (& the goofy touristy hat)! :eek:

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I really though I took a lot more pictures of the pools. There were several at Our Lucaya Resort. One had a waterfall & one had volleyball. This one was the horseshoe shaped infinity pool with the swim up bar.

 

Pool Pictures

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Having a drink at the bar.

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Lounging in the sun. There were umbrellas also.

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Milburn is quite funny! He was in the piano bar on the Fascination this past December.

 

Thanks for the review. Makes me want to sail on the Fascination again. Loved it!

 

We loved Milburn. We felt like we were leaving a good friend behind when we had to leave.

Thanks. This was our second time on the Fascination & it was a lot more fun than the first time so imagine what the third time could be :D. Jacksonville is so easy to cruise from! We are ready to go back too!

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I can't wait to board the Fascination in March! As you can see from my signature, the Fascination is my home away from home. I love this ship! I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed her too!

I'm also glad to see that they are giving out the back pack as the platinum gift! Can't wait to get mine!

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Thanks for the review!

 

Anjanu - my family is cruising on the 12th also. only have about two more weeks to go!

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Yes thanks for the review...before some reason it is really had to find Fasciation reviews.

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Thanks for the review!

 

Anjanu - my family is cruising on the 12th also. only have about two more weeks to go!

 

4Spring, I saw you over on our roll call. The next 2 weeks can go by fast enough!

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We loved Milburn. We felt like we were leaving a good friend behind when we had to leave.

Thanks. This was our second time on the Fascination & it was a lot more fun than the first time so imagine what the third time could be :D. Jacksonville is so easy to cruise from! We are ready to go back too!

 

Is Milburn new to the Fascination? March and May will be my 6th and 7th cruise on the Fascination and I really need to check out the piano bar. I think I will in March. Milburn looks to be lots of fun!

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The staff were all wonderful in the dining room from the hostess to the waiters & waitresses. I wish I could remember the name of the waitress from Russia. She had the most beautiful eyes!

 

The hostess bringing my DH to us! :D

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Happy Birthday Simon!

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Mary, the hostess, is the greatest!

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I can't wait to board the Fascination in March! As you can see from my signature, the Fascination is my home away from home. I love this ship! I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed her too!

I'm also glad to see that they are giving out the back pack as the platinum gift! Can't wait to get mine!

 

The backpack is really nice! I am jealous that you live so close to any cruise port!!! lol! The friends we met on the cruise stayed in Savannah at a B&B the night after the cruise & said it was gorgeous. JR & I will have to come your way & check it out.

 

Thanks for the great review--looking forward to the rest of your trip. We love the Fascination too!!

 

Yes thanks for the review...before some reason it is really had to find Fasciation reviews.

 

OMG! You live in Jacksonville?!? If I lived there I would be on the Fascination way to often spending my kids inheritance! :D And your zoo is AMAZING too! More on that later!

 

Thanks for the review!

 

Anjanu - my family is cruising on the 12th also. only have about two more weeks to go!

 

I am really jealous now! I want to go back. Hope you have as much fun as we did!

 

Is Milburn new to the Fascination? March and May will be my 6th and 7th cruise on the Fascination and I really need to check out the piano bar. I think I will in March. Milburn looks to be lots of fun!

 

I am not sure how long Milburn has been on the Fascination but he is definitely tons of fun!!! I think I read he will be on there through sometime in March but I don't know for sure & did not ask him. If you get the pleasure of meeting him please tell him Juli & JR said hi & wish we were there with you! He is GREAT!!!!

 

Mary, the hostess, is the greatest!

Thanks! I DEFINITELY could not work on a Carnival ship because I am horrible with names! :eek: I can recall them during the cruise but as soon as we get off the ship my memory is blank! I think it is to much back to the real world! She was great as was every staff member we encountered!

 

 

I will try to get to Nassau (we had way to much fun there) & the rest of the cruise soon. Trying to research our next cruise too!

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Nassau

 

We planned on getting a day pass at the Sheraton but decided to go to an All-inclusive resort in Nassau since food & drinks were so expensive in Freeport & I am sooo glad we chose to go to Breezes!!! :)

 

We caught the jitney bus for $1.25 each (you need exact change) to Breezes & we LOVED it there!

 

It was $60 & included food & all drinks from 10 AM till 6 PM. What a DEAL!!! We tried a lot of different drinks. The Dirty Monkey was really good as was the rum punch. They even have a big daiquiri/pina colada machine with a bottle of rum beside it to make your own. The food was good. They have an outdoor grill & we had burgers & hot dogs & fish sticks & chicken sandwiches & great salads. (We are not pigs, there were six of us! :D)

 

The beach is beautiful with gorgeous white sand. There was some seaweed when we were there but it was still incredible! There are lounge chairs at the beach & pool & towels are available.

 

We even lucked up & had perfect weather again!

 

They have kayaks, paddle boats, a little sailboat like thing (sorry I don't know what they are called), a rock climbing wall, a huge trapeze thing, & a lot of pool activities all included. We played volleyball in the pool. My DH played in a Horseshoe & Ladderball tournament . They have ping pong & pool tables inside & I am not sure what else because we ran out of time.

 

Our favorite part of the day was going out on the sailboat. My DH asked the young man (again my horrible name memory) & he said he gave lessons earlier in the day but he would take us out if we wanted to go. He took us way out & he was soooo charming (but I still forgot his name :o). He was 20 years old & we were really impressed with his maturity. He had the most gorgeous smile. I asked if he had braces & he said his mother told him those beautiful (my word not his) teeth came from eating so many vegetables. He had grown up in Nassau & had never left the island & said his goal was to visit the states & see skyscrapers, etc. We laughed & said most people would kill for his job! We had a really great conversation with him.

 

The atmosphere when we were at Breezes was tons of fun but not over the top partying.

 

The staff & the people staying at Breezes were all really friendly. We had so much fun we actually checked on going back for a few days.

 

I can't believe I did not take any pictures of the lobby. :eek: It was really cool looking. We asked to see a room but they didn't have any vacant since they were at full occupancy but the pool/beach area was not horribly crowded.

 

We left at 6 PM & the jitney bus had already stopped running for the day so we had to take a cab back. The cab fare was $5 each.

 

We ran in Senor Frogs for a few minutes before we headed back to the ship.

 

My water camera was having 'issues' the day we were at Breezes so a lot of my pics are really fuzzy. Sorry. I took some at the beach but they are to fuzzy to post. I hope our friends have some because I would love to have them as a memory of our great day there.

 

We will DEFINITELY go back to Breezezs next time we are in Nassau.

 

 

Photo Op at the Port

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Fuzzy pics from Breezes

 

The Horseshoe Tournament

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DH came in 3rd!!! (some of my only pics with the gorgeous white sand)

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The sailboat

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Check out that (fuzzy) gorgeous smile!

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More fuzzy pics

 

Pool volleyball (the water was really cold)

 

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The swim up pool bar

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The trapeze (you have to have socks to try this & be dry inside & out as they put it, no drinking before you do this)

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The Rock Climbing wall

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Part of the resort

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We love the Fascination and agree about the Lido deck water - its too....sulphury for us. Typical FL water, lol!

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Hi neighbor! We will be on the Fascination in just over a week. We too booked the great southwest deal!!!! Would you mind scanning the fun times? I would like to check out the teen clubs and let my girls know so they will be more up for it.

 

thanks!

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Hi neighbor! We will be on the Fascination in just over a week. We too booked the great southwest deal!!!! Would you mind scanning the fun times? I would like to check out the teen clubs and let my girls know so they will be more up for it.

 

thanks!

 

I will try. No promises though. Computers are not my thing! :eek:

 

I don't think the kids & teens things are on the Fun Times but I have been known to be wrong before! :D I think they will get their own agendas.

 

How old are your girls? My DD was 15 on one cruise & had a blast. She made a lot of new friends that she stayed in contact with.

 

Don't you love Southwest?!? I want to go back!!!

 

I have never seen as many kids as there were on our cruise! Over 700!!! I don't know if there were so many because we cruised over President's Day? They were not a problem though & seemed to be very well behaved. Camp Carnival was definitely busy!!!

 

I have a few pics of the ship & the waterworks area I will post soon. I didn't take as many as usual because we had already been on this ship before.

 

I don't think I mentioned Breezes in Nassau is adult only. I think I read it is 14 & up & 18 & up during spring break.

 

Juli

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We love the Fascination and agree about the Lido deck water - its too....sulphury for us. Typical FL water, lol!

 

I am not usually that picky about water (DH is) but I didn't even like it. We ran out of bottled water the last day & refilled our botlles on the Lido & I had to make myself drink it. Maybe it was just the week we cruised?

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I will try. No promises though. Computers are not my thing! :eek:

 

I don't think the kids & teens things are on the Fun Times but I have been known to be wrong before! :D I think they will get their own agendas.

 

How old are your girls? My DD was 15 on one cruise & had a blast. She made a lot of new friends that she stayed in contact with.

 

Don't you love Southwest?!? I want to go back!!!

 

I have never seen as many kids as there were on our cruise! Over 700!!! I don't know if there were so many because we cruised over President's Day? They were not a problem though & seemed to be very well behaved. Camp Carnival was definitely busy!!!

 

I have a few pics of the ship & the waterworks area I will post soon. I didn't take as many as usual because we had already been on this ship before.

 

I don't think I mentioned Breezes in Nassau is adult only. I think I read it is 14 & up & 18 & up during spring break.

 

Juli

 

no worries on the fun times, i was just curious. my dd is 14 and her bff, also 14, are going. they want to do the teen clubs, but are a little anxious about it. ;)

 

where did you get the info on the breezes resort? would love to check into it.

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Hi Juli,

It was nice to meet you and JR. It was good to read about your port days, since we only had a couple minutes to hear about it at debark, and it really sounded like fun. So glad you wrote a review. Amy and I will definitely look at doing these next time.

David

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no worries on the fun times, i was just curious. my dd is 14 and her bff, also 14, are going. they want to do the teen clubs, but are a little anxious about it. ;)

 

where did you get the info on the breezes resort? would love to check into it.

 

They will have a great time!!! My kids are now 21 & 24 but they always loved to cruise & came home with so many new friends.

 

I think birdy who was on our cruise scanned the funtimes & is going to post them in her review & she had teens with her so you might ask her.

 

I got all the info on Breezes in the Ports of Call forums & googled Breezes in Nassau. I pulled this off their site: Breezes Bahamas welcomes singles, couples and families, 14 years and older.

 

We absolutely loved our day at Breezes but I don't recall seeing many teens there so your girls might have more fun somewhere else.

 

Juli

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Hi Juli,

It was nice to meet you and JR. It was good to read about your port days, since we only had a couple minutes to hear about it at debark, and it really sounded like fun. So glad you wrote a review. Amy and I will definitely look at doing these next time.

David

 

Hi David,

We enjoyed meeting you & Amy too!

Sorry we didn't ever get to hear Amy sing. During our breakfast Annette said she is really good! Hopefully next time! :D

There was just so much to do on the ship we kept running out of time to do all the thing we wanted to do. And I meant for this to be a relaxing trip!!! :p J.R. knows me well so he knew better!

I wish y'all had joined us in the Piano Bar. We had so much fun there (even though I REALLY can't sing)!!!

I would highly recommend Breezes in Nassau & Our Lucaya Resort in Freeport. They were both wonderful & we will definitely go back to both of them when we go back to the Bahamas!

Juli

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WEATHER:

It was a little chilly the day we boarded the ship but we had PERFECT weather the rest of the week which is incredible for February. We had really smooth sailing until the last sea day when the ship was rocking a bit & some people looked a little green. Made me sleep like a baby! :D

 

The waterworks area

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We loved this deck. A great view & we could hear the music from the Lido deck.

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Passage of India

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The Beanbag Toss (Cornhole) J.R. was not on his game that day & the lovely lady beside him kicked his butt! :D

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Loved your review. We sail in 8 days on the Fascination and I can't wait. This will be our 2nd cruise on this ship and I hope it is twice the fun, like yours was.

 

We are taking our 13 year old son and 20 year old daughter, so it should be interesting at least.

 

Count down!!!! wooohooo, again thanks for the review...I love reading about the ship I am about to sail.

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I can never resist buying the Elegant Night pictures (actually 2 or 3 of them)! I think the photographers see me coming & think here is an easy sale!

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I always buy this one too! lol! Helps me remember what ship & when we went!

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More pics from Breezes in Nassau (Thanks Simon for taking this pic! We had so much fun that day!!!)

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Simon & Mary at the beach at Breezes

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LAST DAY:

 

OMG! Our five days on the Fascination flew by!!! We had breakfast in the Coconut Grove Bar & Grill with our new friends & had planned to rent a car from Hertz since our flight was not till 5:10 PM & hanging out at the airport all day with luggage is not a great way to end your vacation. Hertz will pick you up at the cruise port & you can turn the rental car back in to the airport.

 

We planned to go to the zoo for the day. Our new friends had planned to drive to Savannah to spend the night but decided to spend the day with us. Yay!!! They had an SUV so there was plenty of room for all our stuff. Thanks so much Mary & Simon for spending the day with us!!! And it was Simons birthday!

 

We went to the Jacksonville Zoo & Botanical Gardens. I think it was one of my favorite zoos. The Botanical Gardens were gorgeous. We had a great lunch there & it was very reasonable. The animals looked well cared for & I even got to feed the giraffes.:D I have never seen giraffes where you can get so close to them. We had such an amazing (& once again perfect weather) day at the zoo & it was so nice to spend our final day with some of our new friends.

 

We had such a great time on the Fascination!!! Of course we bought a Future Cruise Certificate for our next cruise!

 

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I stood in line with all the little kids :o to get plants to feed the giraffes. It was really cool!

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