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Fascination Review 12/14/13 - 12/19/13

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Hi everyone! I just returned from the Fascination and will be starting a review soon. Hopefully I can finish it by weeks end, but with the Christmas holidays this week, who knows?!? This will be my first review, but I figured it was time I finally post a review since I use the reviews on here so often. Stay tuned...

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So here is some background information about me and those I traveled with. My name is Brittany, and I am 27 years old. This was my 10th cruise. I recently was married in May, and this was my first cruise since our wedding. I've been on numerous cruises during our dating days, but it was definitely different now that we are married. By Day 5, I was ready to get home and see my hubby! My main cruising buddy is my mom! She is 45 years old and has been on 9 cruises. Almost all of our cruises have been just the two of us. It is something we just do every year. Typically it is in January to celebrate my birthday, but every now and then, we opt for other months (like this cruise). We also invited my aunt and cousin which was a first for us. In the past the only other people we have cruised with have been my dad, brother, best girlfriend, or husband. So this was the first all-girls family cruise. My aunt is in her early 50s and my cousin is 23. We are all from North Alabama. This was my 4th Carnival Cruise. As you can see in my signature, we typically cruise Royal Caribbean. In my opinion, Royal Caribbean has better service overall, but Carnival has better food and has more things to do that I enjoy. However, this cruise was the exception, but I will elaborate on that later.

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So we picked this cruise for two reasons. One, my mom and I wanted to go back to Half Moon Cay. This is our most favorite place to go! I wish more 3 and 4 days cruises went here. To me, 4 days is perfect. 3 day cruises are just a bit too short, but by day 5, I am ready to get home! Second, was the timing. My aunt is a photographer, and she can't go in November. Well, we started planning back in August. We are all big football fans. My family all has season tickets to Alabama football games, and my husband and I have season tickets to Ole Miss football games. So finding a weekend prior to December was near impossible between the football and my aunt's work schedule. So December seemed to be the best option. I am an accountant, so January through March was off limits as well! We prefer to go in the colder months simply because heading to the Bahamas when it is cold at home helps keep us sane :D

 

Now that we booked our cruise, we needed to find a hotel to stay in the night before. I picked the Holiday Inn Express Blount Island because it was only half a mile from the port. Since I had never been out of Jacksonville, I wanted to be close by and already know where it was before the day of. It is about an 8 hour drive from North Alabama for us. However, it was still 7 pm before we arrived at the hotel. With 4 women and no rush, we definitely stopped more than normal! After we checked in, we went straight to the mall to get dinner. Plus I wanted to look at Tiffany's. We went to St. Johns Town Center. It is only about a 10 minute drive from the hotel. It was a really nice outdoor mall. Everyone wanted The Cheesecake Factory and at that time, we didn't have a wait at all. It is amazing! We have one near my in-law's, but there is always such a LONG wait, so we don't go often. Eating somewhere SO good was our first mistake. We set Carnival up for failure in the food department, that is for sure. Again, I will elaborate as I continue with my review.

 

After dinner, we finally headed back to the hotel to unpack and see our room. There was construction going on at the hotel, so it is a bit messy. I did feel that they did a pretty good job of keeping it clean though. I only have two complaints about this hotel, but the hotel staff did try their best to fix them both. First, the coke machine literally only had coca-colas in it. And they only had one vending machine. My aunt doesn't do caffeine, especially late at night, so we did complain to the front desk and asked if there was a vending machine we were overlooking. He said no, but offered us bottled water instead, free of charge. The other problem was the towels. I specifically booked a room for 4 people, but we only had 3 towels. Simple fix. I called the front desk and they brought us an additional towel. So nothing horrible, but they were things I think they should have been better prepared for since they know a cruise was leaving the next day and they would be packed.

 

They do offer free breakfast which was decent. Same quality as the cruise buffet, honestly. They also offer a shuttle which you can book when you check in. It is $35 for 2 people. Since there were 4 of us, we opted to still park at the port. It was only $5 more, and our car was there when we were ready to leave. Honestly, even if it was just my mom and me, we would still park at the port. My mom felt more comfortable leaving her car at the port than the hotel, and when we get off the boat, we are ready to leave. We don't want to wait on a shuttle. That is just our preference though. Being so close, we left the hotel literally at 10:30 am to head to the port. Details on the embarkation to come...

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Looking forward to the rest of your review. DW and I have sailed Fascination with the last being 11/30. I might add that our cruise left us with an empty feeling when we returned, and for the 1st time was ready to get off the ship. :(

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We left our hotel at 10:30 am. Mom and I had booked Faster to the Fun, but my aunt and cousin did not. Prior to leaving the hotel, we put our luggage tags on. Since we only had one bag a piece, we put the Faster to the Fun luggage tags on everyone's luggage. We each had one carry-on as well. My mom and I brought 2 bottles of champagne and 6 cokes and 8 mountain dews. My aunt and cousin brought 2 bottles of wine and some water. We have a carry-on that has wheels thankfully!

 

When we arrived (it literally took us 2-3 minutes from the hotel to the port), we were stopped by security and had to show them all 4 of our boarding passes and ID. After they verified we were ship passengers, we were directed to the parking lot. They were not allowing us to drop anything off prior to parking. We paid to park then picked a close parking place to the terminal and parked so that we could easily pull out when we returned from the cruise rather than have to back out. It costs $75 to park for the entire cruise. They did have some guys coming around to help with luggage, but since we only had one bag a piece plus carry-on, we were able to manage without help.

 

We dropped off our luggage right before entering the terminal doors. My mom and I went through the Faster to the Fun/Priority doors while my aunt and cousin went in with everyone else. They checked our boarding passes/passport, then we went through security. Now off to check in. Since we had our own line, we were through with check in within about 5 minutes from walking in the door. It was really, really quick. We then sat down in a special area until the ship was ready to board. At 11 am, they first let the wedding party on, diamond/platinum cruisers, then Faster to the Fun. Not having Faster to the Fun, my aunt and cousin were on within about 10 minutes of us. My mom went straight to our room to drop off the carry-ons, and I went to the Shore Excursions desk to pick out our Cabana number for Half Moon Cay. The Shore Excursions desk doesn't open until 11:30, but I wanted first pick. Plus when I left, there was a line of about 5 people already. Now off to meet my family in our room...

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We booked the aft-view extended balcony room. We absolutely love having a balcony. In our early cruising days, we were happy with portholes. Two years ago, Carnival offered us an upsell from an outside room to the Grand Suite Extended Balcony. We couldn't pass it up for the deal they were giving us. That SPOILED us. While we would never pay full price for the Grand Suite again, I will definitely book a balcony in the future. We stayed on the Empress deck (E244). It was a great location since we had the extra stair well across from our room. It was an easy walk to the Serenity deck and Lido buffet. We used it quite often. My aunt and cousin stayed in E224. It was just a few doors down. Since this was their first cruise in many years, they opted to save money and stay in an inside room. They came over and would take advantage of our balcony, however. I would highly recommend this type of room and the Empress deck! It was worth every penny to us. Below are some pictures of our room

 

One of the closets:

 

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Another closet:

 

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And the last closet:

 

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Bathroom:

 

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Bathroom:

 

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View from entering the room:

 

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After getting to our room, two of our pieces of luggage arrived, so we brought those in and then went to the Lido Buffet for lunch.

 

Lunch was decent. I had a tuna sandwich and a salad. I think I had a salad everyday. I love salad bars! Of course we had to start the cruise off with a few drinks:

 

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After lunch, we went and relaxed on the Serenity Deck. This was the only day we were able to get a chair.

 

We went back to the room to see if the rest of our luggage had arrived, and it hadn't. My aunt and cousin went to their room since it was ready and I called guest services to check on the other two bags. They said it would be delivered within an hour. My first assumption was that our luggage was pulled aside and checked. That happened to me on our last Carnival cruise since I had such a large and heavy suitcase. However, upon arrival, we did not have a letter stating it had been checked. This was quite frustrating. But oh well. After we unpacked, it was time for the muster drill. We were able to walk right up the staircase and go to the Puttin' on the Ritz Lounge for the drill. After their speech, we were escorted to the deck above where the boats are. Then we were dismissed.

 

We all went back to our rooms and made last minute phone calls to our husbands. We opted to do the sailaway from our balcony. It was raining, and we didn't want to fight people upstairs for a good view when we had one outside our door

 

We decided to do the martini tasting this night before dinner. We had My Time Dining, so we decided to wait a bit before eating. For $17.95 plus gratuities, you can pick 4 of the 8 mini-martinis to try. Mom and I decided to get all 8. My aunt doesn't drink much, so my cousin and her split 4. I only could finish 2, my mom finished 4, my aunt finished 1, and my cousin finished 2. They were so, so strong.

 

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After martinis, we went to the Taste Bar. The first night it featured food from BlueIguana Cantina. It was simply ok. Too spicy for my liking.

 

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At this point, we were starving (martinis had kicked in!). We went to the Sensation dining room to be seated.

 

At dinner, I had spinach dip, tilapia, and cheesecake. The spinach dip was extremely bland. Once I added salt, it was amazing though. The tilapia was extremely dry and overcooked. Then the New York style cheesecake was hot. On top of the mediocre food, we asked for a coke (we had purchased the bottomless beverage package). Well we didn't receive the coke until after we received the tilapia. It was quite frustrating. Our waiter was also horrible. He was just rude really. I wish I could remember his name.

 

I didn't get pictures of everything, just the main course. And of course, I had already had a few bites.

 

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Below is the best picture I could get of the menu

 

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On this night, they had a pirate coming around to take pictures. My mom played it up really well. I am not sure if she was just having fun or if it was the 4 martinis...maybe both!

 

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Here are some pictures of us at dinner

 

My aunt and cousin:

 

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Mom and I:

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After dinner, we went to the casino for a little bit. On this night, they had it set up to snow in the atrium on three different occasions. We were able to make it for one of the snowfalls.

 

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Mom and I went to the spa to view their specials. We decided to do the Tip to Toe package the next day since it was a sea day. I will post a picture of all the spa specials at the end of my review. We finally decided to call it a night.

 

This was waiting on us:

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Next is our first sea day...

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We were on the Fascination back in June...have they done 2.0 upgrades since then? I don't remember the ship having a Blue Iguna Cantina.

 

They don't have the Blue Iguana Cantina on board. They have the Taste Bar on sea day nights which replaced the sushi. They feature something from the other restaurants on Carnival ships.

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Our second day was a Sea Day. This morning we had room service delivered. We each had cereal, wheat toast, a croissant, coffee, and orange juice. We love getting room service on the cruises. Even if we end up at the buffet. It is a nice wake up call, and eating breakfast on the balcony is amazing!

 

After breakfast, mom and I had our spa appointment. I love getting a massage on our cruises. Typically we have our massages done on the island at CoCo Cay. However, since we had booked the Cabana while at Half Moon Cay we did not want to do a massage on the island and take time away from the Cabana. We did the Tip to Toe package. It was a facial, exfoliating scrub, full body massage, scalp massage, and foot/ankle massage. I had Monika, and she was amazing! It was worth every penny. Of course they try and sale you all their products, but I just say 'No thank you' and move on.

 

After our massage, we went back to our room and put on our swimsuits. We were going to go meet up with my aunt and cousin. We met them by the Waterworks where they were laying out. It was pretty windy this day, so laying out was quite difficult. We waited until the buffet opened and headed back to the Lido buffet for lunch. This day I had half a turkey sandwich, another salad, and some random items from the buffet. We also dug into the ice cream! After lunch was the mixology contest. My cousin wanted to enter her jalapeño margarita. When she went to sign up, they said you could only pick from the ingredients on the list they gave her, and jalapeños were not on it. So she decided to not participate. Instead, we found some chairs near the Lido Stage and watched the mixology contest. It was pretty humorous. Next was the hairy chest competition. We were tired of waiting though and decided to head on down to the room. My aunt and cousin stayed and said it was hilarious.

 

While resting in our room and balcony, we heard an annoucement that someone had a medical emergency and we had to go a total of 90 minutes off course so that the boat could meet up with the US Coast Guard so that they could remove the person and take them for treatment. Since we had the balcony, we were able to sit outside and see the helicopter circle the boat until it had the opportunity to send the rope down for the person. Below is a view from our room

 

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The US Coast Guard has posted a video on their website. Apparently the lady was showing signs of cardiac arrest, but she is doing fine now.

 

This night was formal night. Since we had such a bad experience the night before at dinner, we thought that maybe if we went to dinner at 5:45 on the dot, we could get better service. It was slightly better, but still not awesome. I had the Greek Salad, Lobster and Shrimp, and the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake. The food itself was much better than the night before. My cousin and I both ordered wine in addition to the coke, so they were more attentive tonight. We had our drinks before the main course. Unfortunately we had the same waiter this night, but he wasn't quite as bad as the night before.

 

Here are some shots of us at dinner

 

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After dinner, we decided to try the Taste Bar. It featured items from Cucina Del Capitano.

 

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At this point we all ordered cocktails and people watched. We were waiting for the show 'Motor City' to start. About 15 minutes before it started, we headed to The Palace to watch it. It was a really fun musical. It featured music from the 50's. In my opinion, it was one of the better shows I have seen in my cruising days. Next, we went to see the Comedy show which was on the complete opposite side of the ship. He was just ok. I have seen much better. After the comedy show, we went and took a peek in the Fun Shops. We wanted to have an idea of what they had to offer before getting off in Nassau to shop.

 

As we were heading back to the room, we passed by the piano bar. Everyone was looking at us, so my cousin popped her head in. Next thing I know we are sitting inside while he flirts with my cousin. He was actually really good. Finally we called it a night.

 

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Here are some pictures of us on Day 2. In case you forgot, my aunt is a photographer, so she definitely had us posing.

 

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Now we have finally arrived in Nassau. Instead of room service, we met my aunt and cousin at the buffet at 8 am. It was pretty good. We booked the Atlantis Aquaventure package. We had to meet in the lounge at 9 to get our wristbands, and then we were escorted off the boat and onto a van to be taken to Atlantis.

 

When we got to Atlantis, they escorted us through the resort and gave us a brief tour. This was our second time doing this excursion, and nothing has changed. They handed us our towels and off we went. We found the lockers and rented one for the day. We all shared one large locker. Word of advice, Atlantis is cashless, so be sure and have your credit card handy. We put everything in the lockers and started on the rapids. Then we rode some of the water slides. The biggest negative this time was that in the past, the Rapids would take you to the Power Tower waterslides. They had that closed this time. So we had to take the stairs. We probably needed the exercise, but still. I did slip and fall walking around. It is all pretty slick around there. After riding a few waterslides, we were getting hungry. This excursion came with a meal ticket that could be used at 5 locations. However, not all 5 locations are open, and they are hard to find. We almost gave up and paid for lunch at another venue. When we finally found a place to eat, it was good.

 

We rode a few more waterslides, then we decided to dry off, turn in our locker keys, and tour the property. My aunt and cousin had never been to Atlantis. We took a few pictures around the property.

 

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After touring the outside, we went through 'The Dig' to head back to the casino. My aunt loves to gamble, so we wanted to make sure she had some time there. After gambling a bit, we went to the marina and shopped there and grabbed some ice cream. The bus stop to head back to the boat is right outside the marina, so we grabbed the bus and headed back. We walked down Bay Street for a bit so that my aunt and cousin could see things. I am not big on shopping on Bay Street, but we wanted to them to experience it.

 

After our venture, we headed back to the Festival Place. My aunt had purchased international calling, but I did not want to tie up her phone. They offer free wireless internet while in the Festival Place. I used it to Facetime my husband and talk to him a bit. Then mom and I headed through customs back to the boat.

 

We decided to skip the dining room due to our bad experiences, and we went to the buffet. The chicken fingers were really good. On this night, they were giving out a free voucher to each person who went to the casino cashier to play the 'Casino Vault' game. It was a crane game that you play to try and get money. You use the crane to try and punch a hole through whatever you want to win. My mom and aunt became addicted at this point.

 

My aunt and cousin wanted to play bingo. I opted not to play. It was $25 for one game (you got three cards). So mom and I went back to the room to change, then went back and watched my aunt and cousin play. After bingo was the Hasbro Game Show. The first game was Connect 4 basketball. The second was the Simon Flash game. It was entertaining to watch. Next was the love and marriage game show. It wasn't as funny as ones I have seen in the past. It was entertaining.

 

Now time for bed! We have a full day at Half Moon Cay waiting on us!

 

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Sorry for the delay guys! Christmas kept me busy! Now back to normal. I am working on Half Moon Cay now. Thanks to everyone for your kind words about my review!

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Sorry for the delay guys! Christmas kept me busy! Now back to normal. I am working on Half Moon Cay now. Thanks to everyone for your kind words about my review!

 

Looking forward to Half Moon Cay!

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Half Moon Cay is the main reason we booked this cruise. We knew we wanted to go back here SO bad. We absolutely love this private island more than CoCo Cay. We booked one of the smaller cabanas. We booked one on our past cruise when it was just mom and me, and we definitely knew that was a must. It is really nice to have all the amenities, a place to store your belongings, snacks, etc. We booked Cabana 12. In case you missed it, right after embarkation, go straight to the shore excursion desk to book your specific cabana. You cannot pick it out online. I don't understand this myself, but I have no control, so I just play be the rules and get there ASAP!

 

We used room service as our wake up call again. We had it delivered around 6:30. My aunt and cousin missed the memo on room service, so they went upstairs and had the buffet. Our meeting location for the early shore excursions (cabana is considered early since it is an all day one) was in The Palace Theater. We had to be there by 7:45 am.

 

*Side note 1: Typically with the private islands, I despise the food. So we started bringing sandwich baggies on board. Then we would get things from the buffet like banana nut bread, etc that wasn't perishable and take it with us on the island. This time it wasn't needed since we had the cabana and were provided with plenty of snacks. However, the food was still terrible, but more on that below :)

 

*Side note 2: Since we booked Faster to the Fun, we had priority tendering all day long. But since we booked the cabana we could use the first tender regardless. They never once looked at our ticket to confirm our early shore excursion, so realistically anyone could have walked off with us if they knew. People with their tender tickets were already waiting in The Palace with us and some even managed to ride over on the first tender too.

 

Ok, enough with the sidenotes. After meeting my aunt and cousin at the buffet, we walked over to The Palace. They directed everyone with early shore excursions to sit on the left side of the theater, and those with tender tickets to sit on the right side. Around 8, they lined those with early excursions up and escorted us to Deck 3, I believe. It was a bit frustrating because we just stood in the stair well for about 10 minutes waiting. I still am unsure why they made us wait there instead of back in The Palace. It wasn't getting full or anything. They crammed as many people as possible on the tender. People were even having to stand on the bottom deck of the tender which I was quite surprised by. But luckily the four of us got a seat.

 

After about a 5-10 minute boat ride, we arrived at Half Moon Cay! We went straight to the info desk so that they knew Cabana 12 guests made it, and they lead us to the bus stop. From my understanding, anyone can use the bus stop. It is just a large truck with nice bench seats in the back. It can take you to the outdoor buffet, to the restrooms, and to the cabanas. We simply told the gentleman our cabana number and he took us straight there. It is nice because they don't wait for it to fill up. And it seems one is always there waiting whenever we needed it. Within about 5 minutes of being on the island, we made it to our cabana.

 

When we walked up to the cabana, it was not completely ready, which was fine with us. One of the ladies was putting the final touches on it, which was simply wiping everything down. We went up and put our stuff in the cabinet and lathered up with sunscreen. After about 10 minutes, they slowly started delivering things. Our beach mats were already there, but over about an hour span, they delivered the snorkel gear, snacks, drinks, cooler of ice, cups, and plates.

 

One of the recent complaints I have read has been that the food was covered with ants and left out. First, we did not have any ant problem. We did have a lizard that arrived, but it wasn't a real problem. If you are not there when they bring the snacks, they will leave it out on the counter. Since we were there, we simply wrapped the perishables (the dips) and put them in the refrigerator. Everything else we left either on the table or in the bin they left us. The drinks don't stay super cold in the fridge, so we put some of them in the cooler of ice. We designated the left side of the cooler for drinking ice, and the right side was for our actual drinks. The cups they give you are small, but it wasn't a big problem for us.

 

Another piece of advice is that the clam shells are free here as opposed to CoCo Cay. It costs $50 for two people to rent a clamshell at CoCo Cay (at least it did in January). So if you want some shade, but don't want to shell out the money for the cabana, get there early and get a clam shell. Down towards us, there were PLENTY of clam shells available.

 

Picture time!

 

View while inside the cabana

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Cabana 12

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Right side of the cabana. Directly next door is one of the larger cabanas that is two stories.

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Left side of the cabana

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Another view from inside of the cabana...I miss that view!!!

 

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Here are more pictures of the amenities...

 

LARGE bag of chips (we didn't even finish half of them)

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Veggies (celery, radishes, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks) and Fruit (watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew)

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8 cokes (When you pick out your cabana number, you also tell them what flavor drinks you want. You will get 8 regardless. You can do 2 Sprite, 2 Cokes, and 4 Diet Cokes. It can be split however you like.) and 2 1.5 liters bottles of water

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Guacamole, Sour Cream, Pico de Gallo

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You can't tell, but this is the blue cheese dip they give you for the veggies. I hate blue cheese, but you have no option here.

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Whole Oranges (they are in a bin that they leave there all day. You can also store other things in here you don't want bugs to get to.)

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Plates, napkins, utensils, cups

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Another shot of the cups to give you an idea of their small size

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Cooler of ice with an ice scoop

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They provide you with 4 towels, so there is no need to bring any from the boat.

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There were bartenders that walked up and down the beach. Their special for the day on the island was the Bahama Mama. I don't do Bahama Mamas, so only my mom and cousin had a drink the first time around. We snacked around 10 on our veggies and fruit. The buffet opens at 11:30. So around noon, my aunt, cousin, and mom went for food. I can't tell you enough how much I hate the food on the private islands. I don't do grilled hamburgers or hotdogs. They have jerk chicken, but I am one of the few people who doesn't like it either. But mom still picked me up a burger for me to have something to snack on. If I do eat red meat, it has to be well done. NO PINK. My husband hates this. He literally goes to restaurants and orders his steaks rare. I am just super picky about these things. So my burger was literally burnt on the outside, and the cheese was not melted. My aunt and cousin had the same issue, but ate theirs. I bit into mine, and it was cold and red on the inside. (My aunt and cousin did not have this issue.) It was not even close to being done. I took another bite on the other side and same thing. I spit both bites out and quit eating. I just snacked on our chips, veggies, and fruit. The chocolate chip cookies from the buffet were amazing though!

 

After lunch, we laid out a little longer until the bartenders came back around. Then we all got drinks. My mom and cousin had the Bahama Mama again, and I got a Kiss on The Lips. This is my favorite cruise drink for sure! Once our drinks came back, we all got our float mats, and went to the ocean and laid out together. We connected all four mats and laid out until around 2. The last tender was at 3, and my aunt wanted to browse the gift shops. Unfortunately, by the time we returned, some of the shops had already closed, so we browsed what was still opened, and got in line for the tender. We had to wait about 15 minutes, but Carnival had water they were handing out.

 

Bye Bye Half Moon Cay...

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One more of Half Moon Cay

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When we got back from Half Moon Cay, we showered and napped. We were exhausted from the sun! We didn't want to get fixed up (so no pictures from this day of us), so we went back to the buffet. The food again wasn't great. The only thing I saw was a baked potato, but I wasn't feeling it. So I went for pizza. The problem with the pizza is either there is a line or no one will help you. I opted for another salad. However my mom is the stereotypical mom, and when she found out no one would help me at the pizza place, she was not having it. So she went and asked the sandwich guys to help her. I finally had my HOT pepperoni pizza. After dinner, we went to the casino for a bit. Then we went to see the scavenger hunt. It was a lot of fun. Our team was winning until the last question when it was worth enough points for the opposite team to beat us. But we were cracking up laughing! I went back to the FunShops to look around. I was eyeing a Carnival wine glass. I really wanted it, but couldn't justify spending almost $20 on it. Especially since I only drink wine on rare occasions. After a bit of shopping, they had the Talent Show. 5 different people sang. Some were really, really good. It was fun to watch though.

 

After the show, we went back to the casino. My aunt loves to gamble. This night was the night she got her "drinks on us" card. She finally reached 1000 points. After my aunt went and got her card, we decided to go try out the Mexican Buffet. In all my cruising I alway passed the midnight Mexican buffet. But my aunt said it was great. Surprisingly to me, it was amazing. I regret not going in the past now. After eating a bit, we called it a night and went to bed.

 

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Next up, another sea day! I'll post more on it tomorrow!

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Just a note. Clam shells are not free. They rent for 20.00 I believe. We love HMC. We go every year at least once.

We go on a b2b on the Fascination normally in Oct. This year we went in June as we cruised to Hawaii in October. I was surprised that the water was so cool when we went as it is always warm in October.

I have been reading a lot of complaints about the ants. I have never encountered this in all the times we have been there. I wonder if they have been stirred up by the building of the villas. I hope they get this under control. I like a number of people wonder why they can't put the food in containers that the ants can't get to. Costly I guess.

I am not a fan of Carnival's buffets. I like RCI's better but Carnival does the MDR better. We rarely eat on the lido except for pizza and deli sandwiches.

Thanks for all the pictures. They are a great reminder of our cruises there and a great way to show our besties what they are going to see when they take their first cruise (a b2b) on the Fascination in September.

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Since we are past cruiser, we received a coupon for a free drink voucher to be used at breakfast, brunch, or lunch in the MDR. I was hoping they would offer the Seaday Brunch this day. I remember someone mentioned it was on a past Fascination sailing, but maybe since it is still new, they don't offer it every cruise. However, we did decide to go ahead and have breakfast in the MDR. I have never had breakfast anywhere except the buffet and room service. It was probably one of the best meals on the cruise. We met my aunt and cousin around 8:30 and went to the MDR. I had a mimosa as my free drink, and I ordered the French Toast, bacon, and hashbrowns. I also ordered a coke and coffee. With meals I prefer coke, but I drank the mimosa and coffee before the food arrived. I will note the French Toast had raisons in it. This didn't bother me too bad because it was only a few, but it was not noted on our menu.

 

After breakfast, my aunt, cousin, and I went to the FunShops because their t-shirts went on sale this morning. We wanted to be one of the first to make sure we got the sizes we wanted. You can mix and match any of the 2 for $20 shirts, including the ones inside the shop. The shirts varied in price the more you bought the cheaper it was per shirt. So I bought 5 for $45 and my aunt paid me back for her portion. I just bought my husband and myself one. I have most of them, but I bought two we didn't already have.

 

Now time for some sun! We went and grabbed a spot by the pool because the Serenity deck was full again. We really wanted to get in a hot tub during this entire cruise, but it was always full. On this day, there were literally 15 kids in the hot tub in front of me. It was really ridiculous in my opinion. Granted, I don't have kids, but I felt the parents should have been better monitoring what their kids were doing. For instance, water was thrown on me a couple of times because kids would go to the buffet and grab cups. Then they would get a cup full of water from the hot tub and throw it on each other. Whenever a Carnival employee noticed, they would remove the cups, but the parents should have been doing it before Carnival had to. Just my opinion, of course.

 

We had lunch at the buffet and just sat in our seats by the pool. It was actually decent. I had chicken fingers, a few fries, and mashed potatoes. They also had a chocolate fountain with various fruit and pastries they would dip in it for you. It was ok.

 

After lunch, we watched the ice sculptor, then headed to lay out on the upper deck. This was mainly because it began to get shady where we were sitting. My aunt and cousin didn't lay out much longer because it is much windier on the upper deck, but I was determined to get sun! Around 2 or so, we headed back to the room to relax on the balcony. We got fixed up this night and decided we would attempt the MDR at dinner again. We took a few pictures before dinner. I will post some of those pictures later tonight. The computer I am using now will not let me.

 

I had the onion soup and crab cake for appetizers, roasted chicken for entrée, and warm chocolate melting cake with two ice creams for dessert. Service was the best this night. We had a different waiter and bartender. I even was able to get a refill of coke on this night! Food was just ok.

 

We decided to check our luggage instead of carry it off, so we headed back to the room to pack up so we could still have the rest of the night to enjoy the ship. We were in such a hurry, we forgot all about the Taste Bar! I was kicking myself about that around 9, but oh well! After packing things up, we changed into comfy clothes and ordered orange juice from room service and popped a bottle of champagne. We sat around on the balcony and finished a bottle of champagne, then I did my final shopping. I bought me some Tortuga chocolate and bought one of the multi packs of Tortuga Rum Cakes to give to my family and friends as souvenirs.

 

Then we decided to go watch 'Divas'. Both shows (Motor City and Divas) play twice during the cruise. So if you miss the first showing, you can always catch another one another day. It was more of a concert than a musical, in my opinion. But I really enjoyed it. I knew almost all of the music and it was fun to watch and sing to. We left the show about 5 minutes early though because we wanted to see the second comedian, and it was in the lounge on the opposite side of the boat.

 

We made it in time to grab a good seat, and she was really, really funny. Much better than the first comedian we saw earlier in the cruise. It was adults only as well. We went back to the casino for a bit, then decided to call it a night since we had a long drive the next morning.

 

Later tonight I will post pictures. Then this weekend I will post about the debarkation process and also post pictures of the Fun Times and Specials.

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LOVE this review!!!

 

Nassau and Half Moon Cay were my first ever cruise destinations, and I loved HMC. I could stay there for a week.

 

Sigh.

 

 

I'm getting vacation sick now. I need a fix!!

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