Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
GeorgiaMomof4

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

Recommended Posts

In case you’re wondering about Michael and Donna – we haven’t thrown them overboard! They did their own thing too. We did meet up with them every night at dinner and several times during the day we would bump into them and hang out for a while. When I booked the cruise I told them that Ronnie, Lisa, Glen and myself had traveled so much together that we knew we could do our own thing or hang out together if everyone wanted to. I told them it would be the same with them – if they wanted to hang with us that was perfectly fine, but if they wanted to do their own thing that was great too. The main thing was that they had a good time. I didn’t want them to feel pressured to do what we wanted to do. We had cruised before and knew what we liked to do and I wanted them to experience their first cruise but I wanted them to experience it in their own way! It worked out great!

 

OK – back to our last sea day. We had gotten our little coupons for a free drink earlier in the week but they had to be used in the dining room for breakfast or lunch. Lisa and I decided we would take ours (actually we took ours and Glen and Ronnie’s) and go have lunch.

 

I didn’t realize it was the Seaday Brunch thing they had going on. Let me say here that I really wasn’t a fan. Don’t get me wrong, the food was good and the bar waiter had no hesitation in bringing Lisa and I our drinks using our coupons and Glen and Ronnie’s using theirs. I just wanted lunch not breakfast and there wasn’t a huge lunch selection in my opinion. Now, maybe this was my fault – I should have paid more attention to the sea day lunch and breakfast dining room options, but I had already eaten breakfast and wanted lunch. I ended up having the mac and cheese with chicken and it was good. Service I thought was a little slow but that may have just been our waiter I’m not sure.

 

Lisa said she was going to try and find Ronnie and I told her I was going back to our spot. I stretched out and did some reading and napping – a perfect day. I was beginning to think Lisa had gotten lost but she finally made it back and said she had gone back to the room to do some packing – Yuck!

She hung out with me for a little while and then decided to go on back. I couldn’t leave just yet because I knew this would be the last sunning for me for several months. I stayed until I knew I had to get back and start packing and getting ready for the Past Guest Party that Glen and I had been invited to since we turned Gold on this cruise.

 

While we were getting ready for the party we had our tv turned to the Miami news channel to try and find out more about what was going on weather wise at home. They were still saying that Atlanta could get 2 inches of ice! They also said there were bad storms in the Tampa and the Miami-Dade area – which included high winds, lots of rain and even some tornado watches. More on this later!

 

We were skeptical about going to the party but decided – hey, free drinks and appetizers would be nice and if we didn’t like it we wouldn’t be chained to a chair and made to stay. It started at 5:00 which was a good time I thought since it gave everyone time to enjoy their day but still have time to dress for dinner. It was held in the Puttin On the Ritz lounge so there were lots of seats for everyone. There were quite a few people already there when we got there just a little after 5.

 

Honestly, we didn’t hardly get in the door and we had waiters giving us drinks and appetizers. The drinks they were offering were the Funship special, martini, whiskey sour and maybe 1 or 2 others. We aren’t really drinkers (right you say after lunch today) so I got a funship special and Glen got a whiskey sour. We found us a seat in the front and enjoyed listening to the band that was playing for us. They only played a few songs and then turned it over to Paul the CD. He talked a little while about Carnival and did a survey to see how many Gold, Diamond and Platinum guests there were. There was a gentleman sitting at the bar who was on his 99th Carnival cruise! I just can’t imagine. I can only hope that one day I can afford to cruise all I would like to also. Maybe I should start playing the lottery!

 

I had always wanted to try a martini so when he came back by I got one of those. First and last time for me! Did not like it at all. They played the clip of all the Carnival ships and everyone was supposed to clap when a ship came on that they had sailed on – that was a lot of fun. Next a DJ came out and started playing music and Paul got a few people up to dance who got more up to dance and it ended up that both Glen and myself were chosen by other people to be up there. By this time the ship was really rocking and rolling – literally! We couldn’t hardly stand up to dance and trust me – it wasn’t the drinks.

 

By now it was about time for dinner so we headed down to the dining room.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for taking time to do a review. Really enjoy reading and viewing the pictures. One day soon I hope that hubby and I can cruise out of Florida. We've cruised from Long Beach & LA California. We will cruise from New Orleans in October, so Florida will have to be next.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was our last dinner with our waiters and everyone was sad that our time on the Fascination was coming to an end. I ordered the Chateaubriand for dinner tonight and was not pleased. I’m not sure if it was just me, but it didn’t have a good taste. Alex asked if he could bring me something else and Ronnie had gotten the fish and shrimp and said it was excellent so that is what I ended up having and it was delicious. This was the only night that I wasn’t happy with my dinner but thanks to Alex it was made right.

 

We had prepared our tip envelopes for our waiters and our maitre d. We normally give them a little some above and beyond what is charged on our sail and sign accounts if we get really good service and we did this trip. I will say that I have never had any interaction with a maitre d before but this one was great! His name was Jogi and he always made it a point to come by our table and ask us if everything was okay and be sure there was nothing we needed.

 

There could have been a reason for that though. When we booked so late and had been wait listed for early dining I had sent John Heald a message on facebook asking about the shows or for a copy of the Fun Times on the ship because we were trying to decide if we wanted to try ATD or just do late dining since early was wait listed. He kindly replied about the shows times and told me if there was anything he could do to help with dinner to let him know that he would be happy to try and help. We all agreed that we really wanted the early dining so I messaged him again and asked him to put in a good word for us to the maitre d for early dining. I know some on here don’t care for John but he was our first CD and I loved his style. He seems to be a truly good person and in my opinion is a wonderful CD (my opinion only). I would say he is paid well by Carnival to do what he does but I do believe he enjoys his job as well and it shows. Anyway, evidently John did contact Jogi because we got our early dining and he was very attentive all week long!

 

After my last chocolate melting cake of the week, we said goodbye to our wonderful waiters and wished Alex well with becoming a new parent and went on our way.

 

I Wayan and Alex

DSC03219_zpsf176fbf3.jpg

 

Since I had procrastinated about packing we went back to the cabin so I could finish that arduous task. We had been texting our kids to find out what was going on at home and it was snowing again. We were now worried that we wouldn’t be able to make it through Atlanta to get home on Thursday!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was very happy to see more of your review today!

 

I know you are very busy and thank you for taking the time to write it!

 

 

 

Kim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is where our excitement for the night begins!

 

Glen was lying on the bed watching tv while I packed. All of a sudden the ship listed hard to the starboard side and then listed more to the starboard. When I say listed, I don’t mean we were moving back and forth – we listed to starboard and stayed that way. We had mugs and cups falling off the corner shelf and the desk area onto the floor and items in the bathroom falling to the floor.

 

I heard a knock on the door and went to see who it was and it was Ronnie and Lisa. Lisa’s eyes were as big as saucers – she was scared to death. The first words out of her mouth were – “I don’t like this”. Ronnie and Lisa had been waiting on an elevator and said when the doors opened that the people pretty much fell out.

 

They came in and we were still listing I would guess at about 15 – 20%. I’m not really sure why neither Glen or myself panicked or were worried, but we just weren’t. After a couple of minutes the ship eventually righted back to normal position. This was a first for us.

 

After a few minutes Paul came over the intercom and said we had run into rough water and high winds (remember those storms that were near Miami earlier in the evening) well evidently they had caught up with us. He said the captain had slowed down and hopefully we wouldn’t have any more issues. He said to just use caution as you walked around the ship and that all the outside decks had been closed as a precautionary measure.

 

I finished packing and we headed up toward the gift shop to do some last minute shopping before we went to the Motor City show which was supposed to start at 9:00.

 

We ran into Michael and Donna who had been down in the jewelry store when the “listing” occurred. They said there were boxes and jewelry flying everywhere and the manager of the jewelry store was trying to calm everyone down and told them not to worry he had seen it worse before! All I can say about that was I’m not glad I was on that trip.

 

The gift shop had closed because there were jewelry racks turned over, shirts, knick knacks and all kinds of stuff strown all over the floor.

 

Gift shop after the "list"

DSC03238_zps83c45447.jpg

 

 

They had to cancel the 9:00 show of Motor City because the 7:00 show had been going on when we listed and some of the props had been damaged they said. They were also concerned for the dancers in case we hit bad weather again. I was disappointed about that because everyone said that was the best show of the week.

 

We heard that there were people sitting out by the pool and when the ship listed a lot of the water came out of the pool and soaked the people sitting by the pool – that would have been a site to see. Vladimir told us that his cabin mate had been up on the bow of the ship and water had come over the bow and he had gotten drenched as well. I just hope that no one really got hurt.

 

I’m not really sure we got the whole story to the listing episode – just the PR version I’m sure.

 

Anyway, Paul brought the dancers out to the Atrium area and they did some dancing and interacted with the crowd out there. That seemed to get everyone’s mind off what had happened.

 

Atrium

DSC03245_zpsac199ce2.jpg

 

DSC03224_zps19447035.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We all thought we had enough excitement for one day so with one last trip to the ice cream machine we had our last chocolate ice cream for the cruise and talked about the evening we had. Lisa was still wide eyed and quiet. She told Ronnie that she thought she was done cruising for a while. Since then though we’ve already been talking about scheduling another one and I think she’s over her fright.

 

We all headed to bed knowing our time of R and R without any kids had come to an end.

 

Now then – will we make it back home on Thursday or not?

 

Got to go for now but I’ll try and post debarkation and some final thoughts on our cruise tonight or tomorrow.

 

Hope everyone is still enjoying the review.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you for taking time to do a review. Really enjoy reading and viewing the pictures. One day soon I hope that hubby and I can cruise out of Florida. We've cruised from Long Beach & LA California. We will cruise from New Orleans in October, so Florida will have to be next.

 

 

 

Thanks for following! You will love the Dream. I did a review of it after our cruise in April, 2011. With the search engines off I can't find a link to it or I would post it for you. It was a blast. I hope the Blackjack Band is on board when you cruise. Check them out if they are - they are on Deck 5 in the Ocean Plaza.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am loving this review. We sail her May 3 and this report is getting me even more excited!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am loving this review. We sail her May 3 and this report is getting me even more excited!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

I'm jealous! Wish I was going again. You'll have a great time! Let me know if you have any questions.

 

Thanks for reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have so enjoyed your reviews. Thank you. We are traveling in April on our 3rd Carnival cruise and will be aboard the Fantasy. There are 7 in our family. We dock in Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk. Your info was so very helpful. We are still debating between Atlantis and Melia/Wyndham in Nassau because we will have 5 teenagers with us (ages 14 and 15). We are only in port 8-5 and, although I think they would love Atlantis, I am not sure the cost is justified for a short day. Your info an Half Moon Cay was great. It is nice to know we don't have to think us an 'excursion' to keep everyone occupied for the day. Lastly we go to Grand Turk - any suggestions based on any of your prior cruises? Thanks again for all the time you put into your postings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have so enjoyed your reviews. Thank you. We are traveling in April on our 3rd Carnival cruise and will be aboard the Fantasy. There are 7 in our family. We dock in Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk. Your info was so very helpful. We are still debating between Atlantis and Melia/Wyndham in Nassau because we will have 5 teenagers with us (ages 14 and 15). We are only in port 8-5 and, although I think they would love Atlantis, I am not sure the cost is justified for a short day. Your info an Half Moon Cay was great. It is nice to know we don't have to think us an 'excursion' to keep everyone occupied for the day. Lastly we go to Grand Turk - any suggestions based on any of your prior cruises? Thanks again for all the time you put into your postings.

 

 

 

I'm glad you enjoyed it and thanks for reading. It does take a lot of time (just ask my husband) to post a review but I feel like I need to do them because I get so much info from here on CC before I cruise.

 

I really think your teenagers would enjoy the Wyndham too. There is that awesome waterslide there and the pools at the Melia are awesome not to mention the beach. By the time you get off the ship and get there it's probably going to be 9 or after and then you will have to be back on board by 4 and will probably want to do some shopping or something before getting back on board so you might actually have 5 hours or so there? I'm just not sure I could justify the cost of Atlantis for that period of time but I'm a stickler for finding good things to do on a budget.

 

Let me know if you have any more questions. I do have more pictures of the area but didn't post them all here if you are interested in seeing those.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for your review! I have been a little nervous about sailing on a smaller/older ship (We did Dream back in October) but your review has gotten me excited! I am leaving my kids home this time too (as well as DH). We were planning on doing Melia for the day but your tip about the Wyndham will save us some money, thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you so much for your review! I have been a little nervous about sailing on a smaller/older ship (We did Dream back in October) but your review has gotten me excited! I am leaving my kids home this time too (as well as DH). We were planning on doing Melia for the day but your tip about the Wyndham will save us some money, thanks!!

 

 

 

Most definitely check out the Wyndham. It was such a nice relaxing day especially for adults. I do feel like there would have been enough to keep my kids busy there too but no doubt it's great for adults and the saving money part is a great bonus. Have fun and let me know if you have any questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just curious is there a basketball/volleyball court on the ship?

 

 

 

You know, I don't recall seeing either on the ship - just the mini golf but it looked really nice. My husband did say when he went up there and looked, the putters they had up there looked like they were all for younger (shorter) people. Not sure if they had all the ones they had up there or not though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have so enjoyed your reviews. Thank you. We are traveling in April on our 3rd Carnival cruise and will be aboard the Fantasy. There are 7 in our family. We dock in Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk. Your info was so very helpful. We are still debating between Atlantis and Melia/Wyndham in Nassau because we will have 5 teenagers with us (ages 14 and 15). We are only in port 8-5 and, although I think they would love Atlantis, I am not sure the cost is justified for a short day. Your info an Half Moon Cay was great. It is nice to know we don't have to think us an 'excursion' to keep everyone occupied for the day. Lastly we go to Grand Turk - any suggestions based on any of your prior cruises? Thanks again for all the time you put into your postings.

 

 

 

Sorry - just realized I didn't address your Grand Turk question. We have actually never been to Grand Turk - sorry! That may be one of the ports we will be going to on our next cruise - we are trying to decide what we are going to be able to do next.

 

It's really hard to schedule something when you're trying to work around a college schedule, high school schedule, and middle and elementary school schedules plus our jobs! We are working on it though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't look like there have been many readers lately so I guess it's ok I've been so long in finishing this review.

 

I'm going to wrap up tonight though!

 

Debarkation -

 

We had received Zone 25 for debarkation but we knew we were doing self assist so it didn't really bother us that we had such a high number.

 

After being away from our kids for 6 days and knowing our cruise had come to an end we were all anxious to get back home.

 

Lisa had asked the night before about self assist and had been told that we could wait by the stairs just up from our rooms until they called for self assist to start debarking the ship.

 

We had asked and been told that we would need to be out of our rooms by about 8 or 8:15 so we all were up early, dressed and went down for our last breakfast on the ship. We gathered all our luggage and went up toward the stairs to wait for the announcements.

 

At about 8:15 the first announcement was made that self assist would start with the Riviera Deck and the Main Deck. Since we were Riviera Deck all we had to do was walk down 1 flight of steps and off the ship we went.

 

Honestly, this was the easiest we have ever gotten off a ship. Being down low in the ship definitely has it advantage when debarking!

 

They had several lines set up for customs and I had our paper filled out and ready to be given to the gentleman there. He took one look at it and asked me what we purchased for the $150 I had listed on the sheet and I told him t-shirts, shot glasses and general souvenirs and he said thank you very much and have a nice trip home.

 

That was it!

 

We were out waiting for our shuttle back to our cars by 8:30 or 8:35! Jase (the assistance CD) had told us earlier in the week he was in charge of debarkation and had it down to an art - I believe him. It was so quick.

 

It was freezing cold! The wind was blowing so hard and we were all freezing after getting used to those warm temps we had been having.

 

I called Jetway Parking and was told one van was there and another was on the way. They only had room for 2 so Michael and Donna went ahead and we waited in the next one. About 10 minutes later it came and we headed back to get our car.

 

One quick trip to the restroom and we loaded up into our cars for the 450 mile drive home.

 

We pulled out of their parking lot at 9:05 am!

 

We were in touch with family back home and were really hoping that all the snow and ice would be melted by the time we were ready to drive through Atlanta.

 

We had no trouble making it home back to our children so all was well.

 

We had a great trip and I wouldn't hesitate to sail on the Fascination again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for taking the time to write your review! I have found it very helpful in planning our upcoming trip. I have never been on a smaller ship but after reading your experience, I have zero worries and think we are really going to enjoy it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some final thoughts on the Fascination -

 

Palace Theater -

 

Don't sit up in the balcony - those seats sucked in our opinion. Maybe if there are only 2 of you and you can get one of the seats in front of the half circle seats you might be able to see, but there was 6 of us. We ended up sitting down on the main level after the first couple shows and liked it much better.

 

 

The band -

 

They were great they just didn't have them playing in the right area. They always had them doing their shows at the bar right outside the casino and it was along the Promenade and there was no room to dance or really party. We really thought they should have moved them to a better place because lots of people enjoyed hanging out and listening to them.

 

The windows in our cabin - They were in great need of a good cleaning! It was disappointing to have an oceanview but with such dirty windows! They really need to work on that I thought.

 

 

We just didn't really have any great complaints other than we wish they had given us more information on our little "listing" incident the last night of the cruise. We were really concerned that some people could have been injured when that happened.

 

Overall we loved this ship which really surprised us since we were worried about it being so much smaller than what we were used to.

 

Glen is sitting here with me and he said he would give our trip a 97 overall and I would too.

 

There were no lines to speak of for any of the buffets (maybe right at 12:00 on sea days for the hamburgers and hot dogs) but not long enough that we weren't willing to wait a few minutes.

 

The ship flowed really well as far as getting from forward to aft.

 

We just really had a great time - I'm sure with it being our first vacation in so many years without the kids helped but it was a nice trip.

 

We're already contemplating another cruise on her next year. Can't decide between the Fascination again or maybe the Sunshine this time. All the kids will be going this time though.

 

The main thing when you go is just remember to go with an open mind. There is no vacation - on land or sea that is going to be perfect. Vacations are what you made them to be - so have fun and don't fret the little stuff.

 

Hope all of you enjoyed my review. If you have any questions or comments - please feel free to ask!

 

Thank again for reading!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you very much for the review. We are sailing in 11 days and it will be the first time on the Fascination. We learned a lot of great information.

 

All of the pictures were great. We are getting more excited about the cruise actually seeing what to expect.

 

Again, Thank you!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your review, I really enjoyed it! I can't wait to be on there in 19 days, especially after today, a lot of ice/sleet/snow! Makes me ready to go even more!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally enjoyed reading your review and so happy your husband is well and you were able to enjoy your easy going travel couples on an easy going Fantasy class ship and you could celebrate it all being well and being away just the right amount of time, missing the kiddos without too much pain..sounds like it was just right...you are so right..many of us not going quite as often as we want are still very very fortunate and that perspective gives patience and gratitude which ends up bringing the next opportunity faster..congrats on everything and enjoy next one with your children. Missing them is just so sweet..you really see the happy families on this Carnival section...Sarah

Edited by sjn911

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you for taking the time to write your review! I have found it very helpful in planning our upcoming trip. I have never been on a smaller ship but after reading your experience, I have zero worries and think we are really going to enjoy it!

 

 

 

I hope you love it as much as we did! I know we were really in need of some time away so that may have helped with our experience but we really did enjoy the ship and the crew!

 

Have fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...