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Simply Fantastic – Fascination Review 2/8/14 with pictures

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Dinner was great that night – I had the prime rib and lobster and the chocolate melting cake (that was every night for me)!


After dinner we went around and had some elegant night pictures made. We clean up good for country folk I think.




Glen and Michael couldn't wait to get out of their dress clothes so they went and changed and we took in the band for a little while before heading to see the show “Divas”. It was good I thought, but not the best I had seen.


After the show I headed back to the casino to try my luck with Maggie again at Caribbean Stud Poker. I played for a good while, but unfortunately lost all my earnings from the prior night. Oh well, easy come, easy go. I had good entertainment and still wasn't down but my initial $20!


Ronnie, Lisa, Glen and myself were sitting outside the casino when the magician came by. He stopped by and talked with us for a while and did some tricks for us. He was awesome. I was amazed at some of the things he did and was right there 2 feet away from me and I had no clue how he did them. He showed us how he did a couple of them and it was neat to see.


A little while after that the Assistant CD Jace came by and talked with us for quite a while. He asked us what we thought about the ship and if there was anything he could do for us. He said he was in charge of debarkation and promised it would be the best one we had experienced. He also told us that he was moving up in the ranks to become CD and was getting his own ship. I'm glad for him – he will make a great CD.


We joined Michael and Donna at the Stars Bar to listen to Marv and the Magic Tones. They were a really good band with a wonderful lady for a lead singer. We enjoyed them very much but were disappointed they didn't have a better venue for them. They had a big audience but there was hardly no where to dance. We also got to experience our first drunk of the cruise. She was absolutely wasted and danced with everyone that would dance with her much to the chagrin of her husband. All the men were glad because she had on this dress that the more she danced the shorter it got! Hopefully what happens on a Carnival ship – stays on a Carnival ship.


It was time for bed because we had a big day in Nassau on Monday.

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Haven't forgotten all of you following.


It's just been a beautiful weekend and I can't tear myself away from being outside but I plan on posting more tonight.


Check back later!

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My family and I are sailing on the Fascination next month and we are so excited! It will be our 3rd cruise, but first time out of Jacksonville, really looking forward to it! I'm enjoying reading about your trip! :)

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More of my review - hopefully I'll get through Day 3 tonight!


Day 3 – Monday – Nassau


We were up early and got dressed and packed our back packs and headed down to the lido deck for a good breakfast waiting for the all clear to disembark in Nassau. The Carnival Glory had already docked and her passengers were already getting off.


Since Michael and Donna had never cruised and Ronnie and Lisa usually hang with us too, we set a time to meet so we could all get off the ship together.


Glen and I had been to Nassau only 1 other time and that was in 2004 when our western itinerary got changed to eastern because of 14,000,000 hurricanes (ok – not that many, but a bunch).


This time I had a few weeks to do some research and we decided

that we would all do a resort for the day. Remember we are on a budget so all Carnival excursions were pretty much out of the question. I found on the ports of call boards that we could take a jitney to Cable Beach for $1.25 per person and pay $20.00 at the Wyndham Resort and Casino and use their facilities for the day. They offered chairs, shade, all non-motorized water sports and of course we knew we would have nice clean rest rooms to use also.


It was important to us to have rest rooms and some shade as the men in our group aren't sun worshippers like us ladies are.


Luckily we docked right next to the building you walk through to get into Nassau so we didn't have a long walk. I made the mistake of asking where we needed to go to catch the jitney while we were still inside the building and a lady said, “oh, just take a taxi” and immediately called someone over who said he would take us for $5.00 each. We at first told him no that we were going to do the jitney because it was cheaper. His reply was that we wouldn't want to do the jitney because they made several stops and it would take much longer to get to the Wyndham. Reluctantly we agreed to spend the $5 each and take the taxi.


He also recruited another couple to ride with us. They were from our ship as well and were from North Carolina and cruising with a beach band of some kind from North Carolina. They had planned on going to Atlantis to just walk around but we told them our plans so they decided to come along with us as well.


He weaved in and out of traffic and through all kinds of roads but finally about 10 – 15 minutes later he pulled us up in front of the Wyndham. It was beautiful. We went right inside up to the desk and told the lady what we were there to do and she said she could help us. We each paid for our “day passes” and she informed us that not only could we use the Wyndham's facilities but we could also walk next door to the Melia Hotel (formerly the Sheraton) and use their facilities as well.


This was good news because I had read on the ports of call boards that the Melia was beautiful but their day pass was $30. There had been mixed reports of whether you could use it if you paid for your day pass at the Wyndham.


We made our way outside to the beach area and it was gorgeous.






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There were maybe only 3 or 4 other people out there when we got there and there was security so we felt even better about it. Not that we ever had anything to worry about because it was a really laid back place. We snagged some chairs and the men moved theirs underneath some trees and we started our day.


There were a few ladies going up and down the beach trying to sell their wares, but just a polite “no, thank you” and they went on their way. There was a gentleman who was selling drinks right up with beach from us.


The couple who travelled with us walked over to the Melia and purchased 2 drinks (in small plastic cups for $20.00). Michael decided he would go check out the guy mixing drinks from his cooler. They came in coconuts and I think he said he paid $16 for both. I don't think he made very much money because those drinks were STRONG. Michael said he told him if he wanted refills if he would bring his coconuts back he would refill them cheaper (I don't remember exactly how much he said though). The first ones were so strong though that he never felt the need to go back.


Michael, Donna, Glen and myself decided to walk over to Melia to check it out. They had 2 pools – one was heated but the other one was beautiful. It had water falls and wound around a lot of greenery. It was just gorgeous. Glen had already been over there and had made friends with their lifeguard (he never meets a stranger). We talked about how warm it was and how cold it had been here in Georgia this year. He was astounded that it had been down to 7 degrees. He said he just couldn't imagine weather that cold. He offered to take our picture under the water fall. After we checked their pools out we headed back to the Wyndham.










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The pool at the Wyndham wasn't heated but it was very nice as well. It had a huge water slide and a pool bar with stools in the water, but I don't think the pool bar was open. I guess because of the time of year and not very many visitors. Michael and Donna used the water slide and talked me into going down too. We were just like kids! The water was cold the first time you plunged in but afterwards it really felt nice. There was no one but us using the pool. We slid down the slide and got right out and went back up to slide down again. Ok – right here I really missed my kids because I was thinking how much fun they would be having if they had been there with us. Oh well, I know that Glen and I really needed this time, but I couldn't help but miss them.







Donna sliding down the slide





Beach side of the Wyndham



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t was about 1:30 or 2:00 by now and we were all getting tired and hungry. Ronnie and Lisa had purchased a couple drinks and some chips or something and the prices were kinda high. Probably about average for a resort hotel though. One note here – for some reason the casino wasn't open until late in the day and even then just the slots were open – no table games. The schedule said the slots wouldn't be open until Thursday. Once again – time of year thing I guess.


I think we had to be back on the ship by 4 and we wanted to do a little bit of shopping before we got back on the ship so we gathered up all our stuff and headed to the front of the hotel. The concierge got us a taxi (a really nice Ford Expedition this time) and our driver had been in the Merchant Marines for many years and told us about that on the way back. It was very interesting.


We had him drop us off around the straw market and we wandered in and out of a few shops and bought the usual t-shirts, shot glasses and stuff to bring back home to friends and family. Glen, Ronnie and Lisa headed on back but the rest of us stayed behind and did some more shopping. I stayed with Michael and Donna for a while and then told them I was heading to Senor' Frogs to get t-shirts for my oldest 2 daughters. Made that purchase and got back on the ship.


Pictures of our ship docked in Nassau



I was hot and hungry so Glen and I ordered room service and ate and chilled for a while.


Sometime after we had gone into Nassau the Disney Dream had docked along side us. That ship is huge! I wanted to get some pictures for the kids so we headed up on deck to take pictures of her and some shots of Nassau before sail away. We started out on the Lido deck and ran into Michael and Donna so they tagged along too.





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We ended up on deck 11 at an observation area in the front of the ship right above the Bridge. It was a great place to watch what was going on and to see any pier runners! Once again, Glen struck up a conversation with a gentlemen up there with us. He was traveling alone and we discovered he only lived about 30 minutes from us in Georgia. It's amazing to me sometimes to meet up with someone who lives so close to you so far from home. I guess it really is a small world after all.


As we started to pull away, the captain blew the horn and everyone up on that deck just about jumped off the ship! As it turns out, we were right underneath the ship's horn and it was loud. Everyone got a good laugh out of it though (after we regained our hearing).


By now it was a little after 5 and dinner was at 6 so I had to make a mad dash to the cabin to get ready for dinner. I hated to leave the deck outside because it was an absolutely perfect day.


Shot of Atlantis as we were leaving Nassau



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Couldn't begin to tell you what I had for dinner but every night was good to me but one (more on that later). As usual, ended the dinner with chocolate melting cake. That was my choice every night except on cheesecake night and Tiramisu nights – those nights I had chocolate melting cake in the dining room and took my cheesecake or Tiramisu with me back to the cabin for my late night snack. I didn't eat any desserts during the day because I always saved them for dinner time. I'm just not really fond of the desserts on the lido deck (except for the ice cream) and the key lime pie (and I missed it they day they had it).


After dinner we wandered around more and ended up in the Palace Theater for the Hasbro Game Show and the Game of Love. Paul (the CD) hosted both of these and we really enjoyed both of them. They seem to have toned down the Game of Love (Newlywed game) some because they did say that it was PG and kids could stay. There were 3 couples up there as usual – 1 had been married 59 years, 1 who had been married 3 months and 1 for 3 days. Paul had us rolling in our seats with tears rolling down our faces. Really enjoyed this night.


As usual we went back to the casino to spend a few more dollars and checked out the band that played in the Stars Bar close to the casino.


It was time for bed now because Tuesday was Half Moon Cay and our first time there!


Here are a couple of random pictures around the ship.






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That's all for tonight - tomorrow is a work day - oh joy!


I do get to hear from a co-worker who got back Saturday from her very first cruise ever and guess what ship she sailed on - yep Fascination.


I can't wait to hear what her experience was. I'll let all of you know what she thought about it too.


Try and post Half Moon Cay day tomorrow or tomorrow night.


Thanks for following everyone!

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Thank you SO much for posting your awesome review! I am going on this ship in 3 weeks from today! i am SO excited to go on this ship now! I had my doubts (always ppl who bash ships) but I am excited! We are on the Empress deck and couldn't be happier. My best friend is going with me and she has never been before! Thanks again!

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Sorry for the delay everyone. I've started tiling a bathroom and was planning a cruise to Alaska but looks like that one isn't going to happen. Wanted to take my Mom who is 81 and has always wanted to go but she doesn't feel like she would be up the trip. Oh well, maybe sometime later.


Day 4 – Tuesday – Half Moon Cay


We were up early because we were excited about seeing Half Moon Cay. This was our first trip to a private island and I'd seen so much on CC about how beautiful it was I couldn't wait to see for myself.



Looked out our window and I was really surprised to see how close we actually anchored to the island.


We went down to breakfast for our customary omelets and so forth and back up to pack our bag for a beach day. We had gotten with Michael and Donna and Ronnie and Lisa the night before and decided we would go down about 8:00 to get our tender tickets. I guess we were running earlier than everyone else because we had eaten and had all our stuff together and went down to get our tender tickets. We got tender #3 and they told us to go on to the Palace Theater to wait to be called. Ronnie and Lisa were still eating breakfast so we told them we would meet up with them when they got to the island.


We ended up being on the first tender of the day which was awesome. They really hold a lot of people.


We got off and headed straight to the beach. It was pristine. It looked like someone had manicured every bit of it after the last ship had left.



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We walked a good way down the beach (much to Glen's dismay) because I had read here on CC that most everyone stayed pretty close to where you first got onto the beach and it could get really crowded. We grabbed some lounge chairs and waited on the rest of our crew. We waited, and waited, and waited. Finally I told Glen I would walk back toward the other end and see if I could find anyone. Went all the way back to the shops and found Ronnie and Lisa looking at t-shirts. We walked back down a way (not as far) and decided we would grab some chairs there instead of going all the way down. So now I had to go all the way back down and collect Glen and convince him to come back up to where Ronnie and Lisa were. Needless to say, the rest of the day I heard the “I told you so” speech about having walked down too far the first time.


We got settled and rented the umbrella thing (I believe it was $20 for the day). It was hot! I was really surprised how hot it was for February. I'm not sure I can really imagine being there in July or August – I think I might melt. I'm sure the fact that I had walked and walked and walked getting everyone together didn't help any either.


We got into the beautiful water and waded around some. Donna let out a squeal when one of the fish swimming by decided it liked her pink toenails and took a nibble on one of them. Maybe this picture will put into perspective how clear the water was. This was my foot and I was standing in water almost up to my neck. I do have a water camera and took this picture from about chest level. It was just beautiful.




By this time we could smell the bbq that Carnival was fixing for us and we were getting hungry. We decided we would head on to lunch and check out what all they had to offer.


There was a nice area underneath a huge shed that had several serving lines. There was hot dogs, hamburgers, jerk chicken (it was very good, but a little spicy) and all the trimmings. There was also potato salad, slaw, nachos, fruit and several different types of desserts to choose from. There was a drink station too with the same lemonade and tea that you can get on the ship.


They have a lot of covered picnic sheds built around the lunch area with nice picnic tables. There wasn't any problem finding a place to sit down and eat our lunch. All of our food was very good. Sorry that I didn't get any picture of the lunch area - I guess I was too busy eating.


After lunch I decided to go back down to the area where you get off the tender and do some shopping. We met back up at our chairs and everyone but Lisa and I decided they were ready to go back to the ship.


Lisa and I hung out for a while and got ready to head back to the ship. As we were leaving we stopped and talked to a couple of guys who worked there on the island. They had rakes and were in charge of keeping that beautiful beach clean. I asked them if it was normally this hot in February and he said that normally January, February and March were their cooler months. I asked him how cool was cooler and he said "Oh, it can get down to about 68 degrees"! I just died laughing because I told them in Georgia where we lived it had been down to 5 this winter. He couldn't fathom 5 degrees! I also told them we were expecting snow in Georgia that day and he was so excited. He wanted to know all about snow - how it felt, what it was like, etc. It was great to get to talk with them for a while.


We were supposed to be back on board by 3:00 or so I think and it was getting close to 2 or 2:30 so the tender we took back to the ship was standing room only.


Here are some more random pictures of Half Moon Cay.






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I am drooling at your pictures! It is a rainy day here in Florida! I am so ready to be on those beaches and that beautiful place! :) Thank you for taking time to write your experience! I am super thrilled now!!! 17 days until we head out :)

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A couple more -





The Fascination as were were tendering back to get on board!



Got back on the ship and Glen had already showered and was chilling out in the cabin. I went in and took my shower and decided I had enough time before dinner to take a nap. Being on vacation is hard work you know!

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Went down to dinner as usual and had a great meal. We found out tonight that our waiter Alex was getting ready to be a first time Dad. He seemed so excited about it! He told us that his wife wanted him to stop working for Carnival because she didn’t like him being away from home so much. He said she was due in June and was going on vacation in late May so he could be with her when the baby was born. He planned on staying home at least 3 months and then deciding if he was going to renew his contract. Alex said he was a teacher in his country before he started working for Carnival. He said he had been telling his wife since they started dating – just one more contract – and that she was loosing patience. Alex told us that the average income in his country was about $400 to $500 a month. It’s no wonder he feels like he has to keep renewing his contract. We just really don’t realize how fortunate we are here in the United States. We take so much for granted.


Tonight was the Showcase of the Stars show night (guest talent show) and we decided we didn’t really want to go. We went to Puttin On the Ritz instead and listened to Superstar Live Karaoke with Marv and the Magic Tones. This was the same band that played a lot in the Stars Bar. We had a lot of talent onboard our ship. Lisa decided she would sing and she was really hoping she would be able to sing after someone that wasn’t quite as good. Well, as luck would have it they had her going right after one of the ones who sounded great! She did a great job though! Go Lisa!


I think I wandered back through the casino. Big mistake. My luck from the first night had definitely worn off. This was my last trip to the casino because I had lost more money than I had ever intended!


We decided we would explore the ship some because it was a beautiful night. We walked all the way forward and explored around the Sports deck and found a good spot to hang out on our last sea day. Here is a shot Glen made while we were exploring!






Tonight was also deck party night and we found us a table on Lido right close to the stage and all the action. We listened to the music and they started the party out by throwing out beads and doing some line dances and so forth. It wasn’t as big of a deck party as I’d seen on some of the other ships but it was still a lot of fun. Lisa and I got up and danced some while Glen and Ronnie just took everything in.


Off to bed now to get ready for our last sea day.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to post this review! The pictures are so fun to look through. Our cruise isn't until August, but I get giddy when reading reviews like this one. Thank you again!!



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Flash back to yesterday –


We had been keeping an eye on the news and weather because we had been hearing that our area in Georgia was due to get some really bad weather. It had actually snowed some on Tuesday and the weather we were seeing (which was the weather out of Miami) was saying that Atlanta and north of Atlanta (which includes where we live) was going to get up to 2” of ice and more snow on top of what we already had. We were in a panic because here we had gone off and left our children home you know! Our daughter Whitney had driven back to Kennesaw on Monday afternoon only to find out about 2 hours after she had gotten back that her classes had been cancelled for Tuesday. After we got back on the ship Tuesday from Half Moon Cay and watched the weather, we called and asked her how the roads were and she said they were fine at that point. We told her to pack her things and head back to Dalton because we didn’t want her to be stuck in her apartment with no heat if the ice did come and the power happened to go out. I felt better about having her at home with the rest of the troops as well.


Vacation was actually catching up with us I think so Glen and I both stayed in bed later than usual. We did eventually get up about 8 and ventured down to the Lido for breakfast. It was a beautiful day for our last day at sea. I had mixed feelings – I was sad my vacation was ending but I knew my ended vacation meant I would be back home to see my children whom I was really beginning to miss.


I decided that today was going to be total R and R for me. Went back to the cabin after breakfast and changed into my swimsuit, got my sunglasses, book, towel and sunscreen and headed forward to the Verandah deck to find me a good spot for sunning. There are some great spots up there that over look the Lido deck pool and stage area. I was hoping we could get a breeze from up there because it had gotten really warm down on the Lido deck on our first sea day. Glen and Ronnie were going to hang out and probably eat, explore, eat, do trivia, eat – do you get the picture?


Hung out up there for a while waiting on Lisa and she evidently slept in too. It wasn’t quite as cool up there as I was hoping so I got up and tried to find me a better spot. I ended up on Deck 12 aft right in front of the whale tail. Lisa finally got up with me and we settled in for the day. It was a great location – we could see the ice carving and hear the Lido music but we did have a breeze and it wasn’t crowded at all. Another plus was that we were right near the slide entrances so if we got hot we could zip down the slide, cool off and climb back up one flight of stairs and be back to our chairs. Perfect!


Some shots of the Lido area -




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