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momonthego17

Bethany and Craig's Family cruise on Fascination w/ pics!

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We started our 6 hour drive to Jacksonville the night before the cruise. Craig (my DH), my two DDs Cat (13) and Sky (11) and I, Bethany bundled up into our SUV hoping for warm weather on our five day cruise. The weather report was saying high of 77 degrees for Nassau so we were keeping our fingers crossed that it wouldn’t get any colder. We spent the night at JaxPort Inn, clean but dingy, front desk pleasant but for $51 per night it was fine.

 

In the morning, we grabbed some McMuffins (no bfast provided) and drove to the port. Jacksonville Port is small and convenient. Craig dropped us off with the luggage, parked the car then joined us to check in at the Captain’s VIP room. We had this extra perk because we had been offered an upgrade from our balcony to a Grand Suite and we took it! Because we had that cabin, we got all the perks of Faster To The Fun, so we cancelled FTTF saving $50. Our upgrade total was $270 and well worth it. In the Captain’s VIP room was water with lemon slices (spa like) and we were seated on a couch to wait for check in. Our name was called and we sat at a desk as a pleasant woman checked us in. Very civilized! We were told that we could board right away, but that our room wouldn’t be ready till 12:30.

 

Fascination is a smaller ship than our previous cruises with Carnival, but we thought it was pretty and easy to navigate around. We went up to Lido to secure a table and grab some lunch. The line at the Mongolian Wok wasn’t too bad. I love the fresh veggies with a little chicken, beef and shrimp. Yum! A waiter brought us DODs as we settled in to life onboard. The air was a bit crisp but we had blue skies.

Finally, 12:30 arrived and we went to check out our stateroom. We were very happy that we upgraded! The room was practically twice the size of a regular balcony room. A king size bed was on one side and the sofa was pulled out for the girls and made up as a bed. There was a curtain that could be drawn in between the two sleeping areas, which was helpful if we wanted to read at night and the girls were sleeping. A long counter ran the length of the room with oodles of drawers. A walk in closet was great, especially for Craig to use as his own changing room. Our bathroom had extra storage space and the cherry on top was the whirlpool tub! Skylar loved taking baths in it so much, she sometimes took two a day! Our balcony was also twice the size of a regular balcony. All in all, we loved our Grand Suite and it will be hard to go back to a standard balcony stateroom, but I’m sure Carnival knew that would happen.

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Our Grand Suite!

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We checked out our table in the Sensation MDR. We didn’t want to be seated at a table for eight so we were moved to a table for four. The MDR was smaller than the other MDRs we had experienced, but still glittery and festive. Our waitstaff, Henry our head waiter, and his assistants Renatta and Alturo (I apologize in advance for spelling errors) made sure our dining experience was top notch. The menu hadn’t been changed to the “American Feast” but the crème brulee had been taken off. Henry was able to order us one and we enjoyed it on our last night.

The entertainment in the theatre was enjoyable. We saw “Motor City” and “Divas”. “Divas” was shown twice during the cruise. I didn’t know shows were repeated, since this hasn’t happened on any of our prior cruises. “Divas” was a very entertaining show with a catwalk coming into the audience. This kept the show “in your face” so to speak!

Now, back to our first day on board. We attended muster, grabbed cocktails from our room (had our usual vodka and rum from Bon Voyage) and headed up to the Verandah Aft for our Cruise Critic Meet and Greet.

Edited by momonthego17

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Meet and Greet

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Craig and Cat ready for sail away

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Bethany and her girls at sail away

We had a lovely time chatting with everyone and watching the whale tail slip under the Jacksonville port bridge. Skylar was determined to go down the slides, which she did a number of times, then wrapped herself up in towels to stay warm. Sky and Cat were hoping to meet a couple of girls that were supposed to be part of the meet and greet, but their family didn’t show.

 

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Whale tail going under the bridge

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Oh goodie a Fascination review with pics! We sail on her in April for the first time! Have sailed on Fantasy twice and Paradise once so we are very familiar with that class ship!

 

Looking forward to more!!

 

 

Kim

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Oh well, we decided to hit the room and order room service. I thought the Rueben sandwiches seemed a bit skimpy so Craig and I went to the Taste Bar for a bite. Our family checked out Jimmy at the piano bar Club 88, then we had dinner at the MDR. We were happy to see that escargot was on the menu, so we each ordered one. The rest of dinner was yummy and of course, WCMC topped it off!

 

We arrived late to the Welcome Aboard show which got us seats up in the balcony. The comedians each had a turn on stage and one was very funny, the other two okay. The show was fine with lots of singing and dancing. We made our way back to our suite and collapsed.

Our first day at sea, I woke up at 6:45am to get ready for a workout. Room service breakfast arrived late, I grabbed some coffee then hit the gym. I hoped the clouds would dissipate, but hey, I am on a cruise so there you go. I came back to my stateroom and my family was ready for more breakfast so we went to the MDR. I love the corned beef hash, so I ordered the hash with two poached eggs and a side of hollandaise sauce. That was my MDR breakfast every morning. Yum! We had our past guest coupons for free drinks, so I had a Long Island Ice Tea and Craig had a bloody mary.

The girls decided to play some games in the arcade and Craig and I went to secure some seats on the Lido deck. I saw a few empty loungers near the pool and set up camp. Lo and behold, who was seated next to me but the mom of the two girls we had hoped to see at the meet and greet! I chatted with Carla while Cat and her daughter Allison spent some time in the game room. Talk about small world!

Later in the afternoon, I went to the art auction with Cat. We checked out the art and then Craig joined me for some champagne as the auction began. We picked up two pieces of art to be shipped to our house. That will be a fun souvenir!

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Tonight was elegant night, so we gussied ourselves up, had pictures taken and settled down at the MDR for a delicious dinner of lobster and shrimp. Our head waiter Henry asked how many lobster we wanted and we all decided on double portions. Oink! We waddled to the “Divas” show, had great seats right by the catwalk and waddled back to our stateroom to sleep off our food coma.

 

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Elegant Night

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Ready for the Diva show!

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Love Fascination reviews. :)

 

Divas is my favorite on-board show. Love the female lead on Fascination!

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Thanks Kim. As you know, South Carolina is snowed in, so it's a good day to finish up my review! Hope you have clear roads in Apex!

 

 

Nope, we are snowed in too! In fact, it's snowing again now. Suppose to be an additional 3". I hate it so much!! But your review is a nice refreshing read on a day like this!

 

 

Kim

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Love Fascination reviews. :)

 

Divas is my favorite on-board show. Love the female lead on Fascination!

 

Hi Robert,

 

We loved Divas as well! You can tell that the cast enjoys performing this show by their energy and attitudes. Having the catwalk out into the audience made the experience "up close and personal".

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Love your review so far. But I understood that having a suite did not get you the FTTF perks.

Just early on and off. Has this changed.

 

We have a suite next month on the Liberty and we also bought FTTF so we could get all

the perks with it. Thanks for any info.

Dawn

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Nope, we are snowed in too! In fact, it's snowing again now. Suppose to be an additional 3". I hate it so much!! But your review is a nice refreshing read on a day like this!

 

 

Kim

 

Let's just say, my DDs are happy with the snow! My DH Craig and I went for a winter walk and I pooped out near the end. Cruises are much more my speed:D.

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What time did you go under the bridge in Jacksonville?

 

I'm guessing around 5pm. It was after muster which was at 4pm. I thought there would be a "squeaky" noise as the tail scraped under the bridge. It looked that close!

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Thanks for posting. You have a beautiful fam! Looking fwd to the rest of this review. We sail Fascination in 2 weeks, can't wait. Hoping for some warm weather and sunny skies too.

Edited by tomsuelaw

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Love your review so far. But I understood that having a suite did not get you the FTTF perks.

Just early on and off. Has this changed.

 

We have a suite next month on the Liberty and we also bought FTTF so we could get all

the perks with it. Thanks for any info.

Dawn

Hi Dawn,

The way the Carnival rep explained it when she was offering the upgrade was that we didn't need FTTF since we got all the perks by having a suite. We did get priority boarding, and when I went to Guest Services I was helped in the VIP line. Now, I noticed that my FTTF red badge was still on my card so did that make a difference? I don't know. When we were ready to get on a tender for LSC, the woman at the theatre (meet spot) first said "you need to get a sticker, 2 floors up" I said "we have an excursion booked" and she said"oh, go on down and get on". No one asked to see my tender number or my excursion voucher. Can I answer your question? Not completely, it just seemed to work out for us.

I hope you have a wonderful cruise!

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Tonight was elegant night, so we gussied ourselves up, had pictures taken and settled down at the MDR for a delicious dinner of lobster and shrimp. Our head waiter Henry asked how many lobster we wanted and we all decided on double portions. Oink! We waddled to the “Divas” show, had great seats right by the catwalk and waddled back to our stateroom to sleep off our food coma.

 

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Elegant Night

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Ready for the Diva show!

 

 

 

 

Great start to the review, very nice family photos as usual.

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Our morning in Nassau started off with fluffy clouds in a blue sky. The air temp was warm, but I was hoping it would be hotter. I hit the gym, then enjoyed some continental breakfast while the ship came into port. I had booked a sailing snorkeling excursion. Craig and I did this excursion in September 2010 so we hoped the girls would enjoy it as well. The minivan picked us up and we boarded the sail boat at the marina. The total number of snorkelers was twelve which made for a more private experience. The sail out was crisp with blue skies but surprisingly the water was comfortable.

 

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Cat and Sky on sailboat

 

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Cat the headless mermaid

 

There was not as many fish this time, but we had a good time. We changed into dry clothes for the sail back and had the minivan shuttle drop us off at the Marina Village on Paradise Island. We strolled and shopped till we made our way to the Atlantis Hotel.

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Marina Village

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Cat and Sky with a pirate (statue!)

We found our way to the turtle pond and near by was a cave. We accessed the cave and found the glass walls of the aquarium. Small sharks, sting rays, and schools of fish passed right in front of us which made for a nice finish to our day. We took a cab back to the port and purchased a coconut for Skylar. The coconut milk inside was surprisingly good.

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Bridge to Paradise Island

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Thanks for your review! We are leaving on the Fascination on Monday!!

 

Hi Dare2Believe,

Remember to check out the deck just above Lido, above the pool. Nice and warm with little wind. Have a wonderful cruise!

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Thanks for posting. You have a beautiful fam! Looking fwd to the rest of this review. We sail Fascination in 2 weeks, can't wait. Hoping for some warm weather and sunny skies too.

 

Thank you! Remember to look for that warm deck above Lido by the Owner's Suite. It curves out and says "Fascination".

Have a great cruise!

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Tonight was elegant night, so we gussied ourselves up, had pictures taken and settled down at the MDR for a delicious dinner of lobster and shrimp. Our head waiter Henry asked how many lobster we wanted and we all decided on double portions. Oink! We waddled to the “Divas” show, had great seats right by the catwalk and waddled back to our stateroom to sleep off our food coma.

 

CopyofDSC02417_zps567bcfb3.jpg

Elegant Night

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Ready for the Diva show!

 

I remember your family. You cruised with your beautiful mom last review I read. Your room this time is fabulous. I have never cruised this class of ship, but wouldn't mind if we could with Grandkids in that room! :p

Edited by 2 cruzen

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I'm loving your review and the black dress(Gorgeus!). You have a lovely family. Looking forward to more of you review.

 

thanks Imares1968! I love that dress too! I saw Mike the Mounty's review and his wife Tracy had it on. I ordered it through a Canadian website. Don't you love all the info we get on the CC website!

Thanks for reading my review!

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Cat and I waved at the ship docked next to us from our balcony.

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Cat waving farewell to departing ship

We managed to get ourselves together for dinner in the MDR although we felt tired from our day. I’m glad that we did since we had a delicious dinner and the waiters danced to the song “Low, low, low”. We crawled back to our stateroom and into our pajamas.

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Our waitstaff getting “low”

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I woke up the next morning to beautiful blue skies and I could see Little Stirrup Cay from the gym windows as I worked out. We were excited to go to LSC, since the last time was a couple years ago when we were on a Royal Caribbean cruise. We got on a tender right away because we had an excursion booked for the girls. Cat and Sky spent an hour climbing and jumping on the inflatables out in the water while Craig and I watched from our lounge chairs.

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Fun on inflatables

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Bethany and Craig on LSC loungers

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Cat walking down beach

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Cat taking pic of Fascination

The air temperature was perfect, not too breezy and it remained that way for the whole day. When the girls were done bouncing, we grabbed some lunch from the bbq area. I had the jerk chicken, which was tasty. The salads and desserts were good as well, but nothing really stood out. To finish off the day, Craig and I had a Bahama Mama. Sky had some braids put in her hair and picked up a cute necklace from the straw market. Cat got a funky soda can that had been fashioned into a toy camera. Very cute!

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Cat and Sky in hammock

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Whoops!

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Great review so far!! I heard about your snowstorm and feel for you with the weather. We've had one of the worst winters that I can remember up here in the far north :). Lovely family you have.

Can't wait to read the rest.

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Hi Dare2Believe,

Remember to check out the deck just above Lido, above the pool. Nice and warm with little wind. Have a wonderful cruise!

 

Ooh! Thanks :)

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Everyone wants a pic of Fascination

We took the tender back to the ship and Sky decided to spend some time on the slides , Cat read and Craig and I spent some time in the Serenity area. There were two Jacuzzis, one noisy, one quiet. We picked the quiet Jacuzzi and had our moment of zen. We got ourselves ready for dinner early because we were excited about the “didja” which was frog legs! We each got an order and they had to be the best ever. I needed to work off some of the calories so I joined the conga line that snaked around the MDR. After we finished up with Grand Marnier soufflé we decided to call it an early night.

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Bethany in the conga line

Woke up to our last day at sea and I decided to forgo working out. Room service breakfast arrived which Sky and Craig enjoyed but I wanted more. More corned beef hash! Cat and I got to the MDR in time to be seated at a table for eight. We had a nice time chatting with our tablemates. The skies were blue, but it was a bit on the cool side with a breeze. We tried to relax down by the pool, but it was chilly with a breeze. Craig decided to check out the deck above the pool. Right in front of the Owner Suites is a narrow deck overlooking the pool. We set up camp there and it was perfect. Hot enough to sit out in my bikini and not too windy. Sky and I checked out the chocolate buffet, but it was pretty minimal with just a choice of three things to be dipped in the chocolate fountain by the attendant. Our last cruise on Liberty, the chocolate buffet had many choices that took up at least three times the counter space.

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The girls and I decided to have high tea at the piano bar, Club 88. We sat at two small tables near the window and enjoyed tea with tasty little sandwiches and desserts. The piano player entertained us with James Taylor songs since we are from the Carolinas.

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Cat and Sky at high tea

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Bring that tea cart over to us, please!

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Pinky up!

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DH and I always do High Tea - we love it!

 

What tour company did you use to snorkel in Nassau?

 

 

Kim

Edited by LUVMYGSDOG

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Thanks for doing another one of your fine photo reviews. :):):):)

 

Hi Cruiseclues! I'm glad you enjoy my reviews. I didn't take as many pics this time, so my selection was a bit limited. Thanks for reading my review!

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Enjoying your review!

 

I am from SC also and enjoyed the snow for the few days we had it and now I am ready for Spring and my upcoming Fascination cruise in April.

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