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Express Man

Fasination 3/30-4/4

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Going to do a trip report, Just wanted to give a real SHORT 1 for now. I will post a full review with photos this weekend.

 

Short story Cruise was Priceless!!! Had a blast. From Port Park and ride from outside gate $40 and FTTF being on the ship bags in room to Lido deck by 11am well worth the $. Weather was amazing once out of Jax. Ports were what anybody would want sunny and clear. Shows, Liked them both both had amazing talents. Food was great not 1 bad meal. Lee was our waitress and she was AMAZINF and we had anttime and requested her every night. She was worth the auto tip and more!!! Rooms we had 1 inside for kids and OV for wife and I..Great mid ship no movement felt. Bingo wife hit the letter "X". Craig was out Cruise director and did a great job.

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Looking forward to your review - have started thinking about the Fascination for a future trip as it isn't as far to Jacksonville (to drive) as I thought. Good prices for balconies too!

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Looking forward to hearing more, great start!! I'm booked in an OV for 4/22 and looking forward to exploring the Fascination for the first time. It's real close to us so might consider making this a habit.

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Little about us, Me 45-Wife 40, Son 14 and Daughter 10 from Huntersville NC. We booked ES back in June 2012 for 1 Inside room Rivera deck mid ship.. By cruise time rate dropped so much we got a additional OV room for Wife and I at NO additional cost and kept kids in Inside cabin and got lots of OBC to spend by cruise time. WE also went on pre cruise crash diet starting Jan 19th..I myself lost 53 LBS thru Jan 19th thru March 28th..Yayy me..LOL

 

Pre Cruise Day- We drove down to Jacksonville Friday morning and checked into Embassy suites. Great location and lots to do,WE chose to spend day in St Augustine for day doing the Ripley's train tour. After long day we decided on the popular Clarks fish camp for dinner..Two thumbs up. WE knew dinner should be awesome just looking at a full parking lot and those parked up the road. Our hotel gave us VIP pass for Clarks and got us seated in minutes compared to there already 60-90 min wait time.

 

Cruise morning.. WE left Embassy suites at 10am and arrive at Park and Ride outside gate and paid the $40. At 10:45 our shuttle left for the Port check in. We had FTTF for both cabins and were checked in and seated in waiting area in minutes. A few moments later we were called to boarding area and took our photos for sail and sign cards. We walked right on board and went direct to our rooms and both cabins were ready this was about 11:20 am. We had ordered for the kids cabin the Bon Voyage Cabin Decorations and those were up and ready when kids opened cabin door. From there we left our carry on luggage in room and were up on Lido deck having lunch by 11:30..FTTF already worth every penny.

 

For sail away we chose the kids water works area..Great location and nice view. Weather was slightly cool and windy Saturday . After sail away we did muster drill in section C then walked the ship to find out all we could.

 

First sea day Sunday was nice, Spent some time in the spa room working out, pool and checking out lots of the small events during the day. WE had Anytime dining and thought it was great. Our first night we arrived at 6:15 we were seated with Lee..She was a amazing woman and was great with the kids. Needless to say we asked for her every night. After dinner we went to Bingo and saw Motor City show. Bingo my wife decided to play Bingo and bought a card..(She was a bingo junkie years ago and very luck with progressive jackpots) Well..She got lucky again and split the letter X Jackpot with 1 other person. Not a bad way to start vacation. The show Motor City we thought was great.

 

Monday Half Moon Cay- Nice day woke up to the sunrise and went to Lido deck for breakfast and watch the arrival of the tenders. We were told to meet at guest service desk at 9am. About 9:15 they escorted us down to ramp and waited 5 minutes. From there we were on second tender off. We just relaxed on HMC and did the 4 man pedal water craft and rented tubes. Lunch BBQ was great. Did a little gift shopping and left for tender at 3pm. Back to ship and just relaxed by pool and again dinner and we did the family comedy show which we all liked.

 

 

Tuesday Nassau- We woke up early went to Lido for breakfast and were first group off about 8am sharp. We did the free walking tour and thought it was great. Tour was a great morning walk and nice weather again sunny and warm. After walking tour we took the #10 bus to the Zoo. The Zoo was decent mostly all birds. Glad we did this by ourselves not thru CCL. WE paid $60 with bus compared to CCL $160. From there we went and did a little straw market shopping,Then decided to walk back to ship for lunch. After lunch we went back to Bay St and did a little shopping and in then had to stop at Senor Frogs and have a conch salad and drinks. SF was a amazing place and even kids enjoyed there time there...Overall we liked Nassau and would not mind doing it again. Dinner again with Lee that night and again some shows.

 

Wednesday- Pool day same thing work out and a long pool day got up and went to Lido deck at 9am and stayed till about 3pm. Watch the ice carving and lots of water time. Daughter went to the build a bear and made her special memory. Before dinner we went to see Divas and really thought show was amazing and the performers are awesome. After show we went to dinner and said our good Bye’s to Lee and gave her a special thank you for her making all our dinners feel special. After dinner we took kids to Café for Milk shakes and special cakes. After deserts we walked thru guest service area and saw the dancing and party for the final night with Craig and the show entertainers doing a great fair well party.

 

Final morning we had our daily breakfast for our last time and headed back to our cabin. WE did self assist and took our luggage. The called first group ours and made our way 1 floor down and off the ship and to shuttle in 10 minutes.

 

Overall-

 

Fascination-Great ship

Food-Never had anything bad and we tried almost every thing among us.

Service-Great no issues anywhere

 

Overall rating-10!

 

Hope review wasn’t too cheesy it was my first..LOL

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For anybody that wants a BIG dinner..Clarks has great size servings and for the MAN..Well there Prince cut Prime Rib is 3 LBS!!!! Its also great prices there and food was awesome. Right on the river front.

Edited by Express Man

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we will be sailing on the Fascination for the 4th time in 3 weeks and we cannot wait! We love this ship for a quick 4 or 5 day getaway.

 

 

We usually stay pre-cruise at Fernandina Beach (17 miles away) because it's just a neat area, but our hotel was full so we will be staying around the airport this time.

 

Thanks for a great review!!

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we will be sailing on the Fascination for the 4th time in 3 weeks and we cannot wait! We love this ship for a quick 4 or 5 day getaway.

 

 

We usually stay pre-cruise at Fernandina Beach (17 miles away) because it's just a neat area, but our hotel was full so we will be staying around the airport this time.

 

Thanks for a great review!!

 

 

We felt same way, Great ship for quick trip. Already looking at booking a summer cruise now. Have a great cruise.

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Great review. I was onboard for the 3/30-4/4 Fascination as well. It was a fantastic cruise. We did have a long delay with getting a tender to HMC, and that was a bummer (waited almost 2 hours). However, we spent most of our waiting time playing mini-golf and enjoying our time.

 

This was our 2nd time on the Fascination, and we'll definitely go back! :D

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Thank you, can you tell me what types of foods were offered on the lunch buffet minus the burgers, pizza, hot dogs and sandwiches any good hot dishes?

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Great review. I was onboard for the 3/30-4/4 Fascination as well. It was a fantastic cruise. We did have a long delay with getting a tender to HMC, and that was a bummer (waited almost 2 hours). However, we spent most of our waiting time playing mini-golf and enjoying our time.

 

This was our 2nd time on the Fascination, and we'll definitely go back! :D

 

Yea, Weather was perfect..We saw the tenders running thru out the morning . I though HMC was amazing and nice relaxed place.

 

 

Thank you, can you tell me what types of foods were offered on the lunch buffet minus the burgers, pizza, hot dogs and sandwiches any good hot dishes?

 

Italian ,French,Caribian all on diffrent days, HMC BBQ on Island .All the days in the theme buffets were Fish,chicken and pasta based. They had a carving station with Turkey and beef set up plus the Mongolian Grill. The Pizza bar,Deli,Salad bar and the comfort food area Burgers,Hot dogs, chicken fingers ect. They also had a nice Mexican Buffet at 11pm I think was day 4. Plus all the desert bars and such.[/b]

Edited by Express Man

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Thank you sure is a lot less offered than what I had on the Dream guess when you go on shorter cruises you get less....thank you for letting me know!

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Thanks for the review. We booked last minute and are looking forward to sailing May 6th.

 

Our itinerary has Little Stirrup Cay, looking forward to finding out more about it. I had thought about the zoo in Nassau. We may skip it if mostly birds.

 

This is a true leisure trip for us. Not making big plans and are going to take it easy.

 

Thanks again,

 

Karen

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Thanks for the review. We booked last minute and are looking forward to sailing May 6th.

 

Our itinerary has Little Stirrup Cay, looking forward to finding out more about it. I had thought about the zoo in Nassau. We may skip it if mostly birds.

 

This is a true leisure trip for us. Not making big plans and are going to take it easy.

 

Thanks again,

 

Karen

 

Yes, Zoo was OK..Just glad we did it on our own. Decent LITTLE place. Could be seen in about a hours time + the bird show. No excatally what we expected. Free walking tour was great and lots of neat stuff. Senor Frogs is a must stop for a drink even if its a soft drink, Its a true party feeling there and great place. Map for walking tour and info here we found worked out great.. http://www.bahamas-treasures.com/ When you stop in the straw market make sure you work there prices down..LOL WE had lots of fun working deals with the locals there.

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Great review. I was onboard for the 3/30-4/4 Fascination as well. It was a fantastic cruise. We did have a long delay with getting a tender to HMC, and that was a bummer (waited almost 2 hours). However, we spent most of our waiting time playing mini-golf and enjoying our time.

 

This was our 2nd time on the Fascination, and we'll definitely go back! :D

 

What was the delay in getting a tender to HMC?

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thanks for the review and pictures:) We're sailing on the Fascination in November...will be our third cruise out of Jacksonville.

 

Is the ES downtown? How is the parking there? Also how far was it to Clark's...have thought about trying a different hotel this time! We've stayed one time on the beach and the second time stayed right near the port area...convenient..but no restaurants there:(

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Embassy was about 15 minutes from Port. Closer to downtown. A lot of places to eat and such with in 1/4 mile. There is also a steak house inside Embassy.

 

http://www.reservationcounter.com/hotels/show/128759/embassy-suites-jacksonville-baymeadows/?TID=iTUUyKyL|pcrid|1112968668&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=embassy%20suites%20jacksonville%20fl&utm_campaign=Hotel%20Chain%20E&mm_campaign=61e23501c3a7666376c173fa44c75e69&keyword=embassy%20suites%20jacksonville%20fl&hotelid=128759

 

Clarks, Great place.. They were also located about 15 minutes away.

http://clarksfishcamp.com/

 

Parking at Embassy was great, Well lit lot and easy in and out. They also have Free Happy Hour every night at Embassy. Really like room layouts. Nice having TV area up front with pull out couch and its own tv area for kids and bedroom other side of room seperated by bathroom area..also the wet bar area in room.

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Embassy was about 15 minutes from Port. Closer to downtown. A lot of places to eat and such with in 1/4 mile. There is also a steak house inside Embassy.

 

http://www.reservationcounter.com/hotels/show/128759/embassy-suites-jacksonville-baymeadows/?TID=iTUUyKyL|pcrid|1112968668&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=embassy%20suites%20jacksonville%20fl&utm_campaign=Hotel%20Chain%20E&mm_campaign=61e23501c3a7666376c173fa44c75e69&keyword=embassy%20suites%20jacksonville%20fl&hotelid=128759

 

Clarks, Great place.. They were also located about 15 minutes away.

http://clarksfishcamp.com/

 

Parking at Embassy was great, Well lit lot and easy in and out. They also have Free Happy Hour every night at Embassy. Really like room layouts. Nice having TV area up front with pull out couch and its own tv area for kids and bedroom other side of room seperated by bathroom area..also the wet bar area in room.

 

Thanks for the info:) Will check them both out...we've stayed at the ES in Fort Lauderdale and Raleigh...like them and have heard about Clarks and would like to eat there:)

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