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Jamman54

Our Fabulous Fascination cruise (with pics!!) 8/2/14

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Enjoying your review and sad to hear about your loss. Been on the Fascination twice years back and seeing changes from your pics and I’m sure to see more to come.

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Couple of things from a local that loves the Fascination too. That isn't a nuclear power plant. The are two conventional power plants in this area that feature that type of cooling towers - the one you photographed in the Arlington area and another about 35 miles southwest in Palatka.

 

The "string art" bridge you photographed is commonly called the "Dames Point Bridge" but is officially the "Broward Bridge" for former Florida governor Broward.

 

Great review you have going - I'm looking forward to the rest!!

 

Thanks for reading, and thanks for setting the record straight on those two points. I learned a couple of new things today. :)

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After watching the pilot boat pick up the pilot, it was time to head back to the cabin to relax, and then get ready for our first dinner. We had booked this cruise about a month before sailing, and in order to save some money, I booked the three of us into an ocean view guarantee. About ten days before sailing we received our cabin assignments, and much to our surprise, we had been upgraded into a balcony cabin.

 

Normally, on a Fantasy class ship, in order to have a balcony you would need to book a suite. But when the Ecstasy, Sensation, and Fascination were dry docked for their Evolution of Fun upgrades, they added some regular balconies on three decks mid ship and aft.

 

It was one of these balconies that we received, cabin U224, on Upper Deck, the very last cabin on the port side. It turns out that it is a handicapped accessible cabin, so the bathroom is a little larger, but the cabin area itself was a bit tight for the three of us, but we managed.

 

Our cabin is the last one on the right in the middle row…..

 

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Looking down the hallway on Upper Deck port side towards our cabin…..

 

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Our cabin…..

 

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Strange bed configuration. Ryan slept in the top bunk, and Patti and I had to be careful not to bump our heads when we got in and out of bed!

 

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There was only room for one closet….

 

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To be continued…..

Edited by Jamman54

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That one closet was easily filled…..

 

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The safe on this ship had the swipe type locking system…..

 

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Large handicap accessible bathroom…..

 

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Looking out towards the small balcony which had two chairs and a small table…..

 

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Ryan on the balcony…..

 

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To be continued……

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Soon it was time to go to our first dinner. Ryan decided to skip dinner and head to Club O2 to meet some new friends. We had late seating in the Imagination dining room, which is the dining room at the very aft of the ship, on Deck 8, Atlantic Deck.

 

We were seated at Table # 336, which was a four top…..

 

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We have been lucky on our last several cruises to have excellent wait teams. This cruise was no exception. These three guys were wonderful all cruise. All of our food was delivered hot and in a timely fashion. Water and bread were always available without asking. I would like you to meet Jason, Ketut, and Eku…..

 

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We also had a wonderful bar waiter who made sure we were well taken care of each night. His name was Norbert…..

 

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For my first dinner of the cruise I chose to have a couple orders of shrimp cocktail, spring rolls, and the pork steak, followed by the strawberry cheesecake for dessert. Patti elected to have the Spinach and artichoke dip, green salad, vegetable lasagna, and butter pecan ice cream for dessert. It was all very good!

 

After dinner, we took a stroll down the promenade. Patti decided that she was going to do some shopping, and I decided to check out the casino. I played blackjack for a while holding my own, until it was time to go check out the 11:30 adult comedy show at Punchliners, (Putting on the Ritz Lounge – Deck 9 aft). The comedian, Azeem, was not that good. Anyway, here is the entertainment schedule for our cruise….

 

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Afterwards, I went back to the blackjack table until about 1am, losing about $200 in the process. Not the way I wanted to start!! I went back to the cabin where I met our first towel animal…..

 

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Patti and Ryan had already ordered room service. Here is the menu in case you’re hungry…..

 

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It’s time to call it a night. It’s great to be back at sea again!

 

Coming up next: Our first day at sea, a Kevin story, and food porn!

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I can't believe that I have never read any of your reviews! I am looking forward to reading this one and the one on the Liberty.

 

I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I can't wait to read your Kevin story later in the review.

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Great review! Looking forward to more. I am so sorry about Kevin. My DDs are 12 and 14 and I couldn't imagine that loss. I am looking forward to hearing a Kevin story as well! Thank you for taking the time to write this review and all the pics ( I know personally how much time and effort that takes)!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums mobile app

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Thrilled to see this review as I have the Fascination booked for our family cruise but have been so torn trying to decide if I should pay out xtra dollars for Liberty. Now that u have done both back to back maybe u can tell me if she is worth an extra $550 for same days and itinerary?? I'm so torn dont know what to do. Jax is only a 6 hour drive for us. Port Canaveral 9. I have been on all the fantasy class ships except this one and have not been on a conquest class ship but not sure if its worth the xtra drive, gas and dollars. PLEASE HELP. So far I have kept fascination and have a cabana and FTTF for my parents and brother with the extra $$. My dd is 7 so figured she would love water works. Just so torn. Input very much appreciated. Loving the review.

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Thrilled to see this review as I have the Fascination booked for our family cruise but have been so torn trying to decide if I should pay out xtra dollars for Liberty. Now that u have done both back to back maybe u can tell me if she is worth an extra $550 for same days and itinerary?? I'm so torn dont know what to do. Jax is only a 6 hour drive for us. Port Canaveral 9. I have been on all the fantasy class ships except this one and have not been on a conquest class ship but not sure if its worth the xtra drive, gas and dollars. PLEASE HELP. So far I have kept fascination and have a cabana and FTTF for my parents and brother with the extra $$. My dd is 7 so figured she would love water works. Just so torn. Input very much appreciated. Loving the review.

 

If it were me, I would stick to the Fascination for the shorter Bahamas itineraries, especially those with calls at HMC or LSC. Smaller ship means less people to tender and less crowded beaches. The Liberty is a fabulous ship, with all the 2.0 bells and whistles, so save her for when you are able to do a longer cruise to more distant port of calls. Not worth an extra $100./day on your same itinerary IMHO.

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Great review, so sorry for your loss! But glad you all decided to cruise to honor him good choice!!!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Thanks for reading, and thanks for setting the record straight on those two points. I learned a couple of new things today. :)

 

We're just happy you folks enjoy your trips to NE Florida and "our" little ship. You might be interested to know that the Dames Point Bridge clearance at high tide limits the size of ship Carnival (and everyone else) can bring to the existing cruise terminal - and beyond. There was a move afoot two or three years ago that had JaxPort building a new cruise terminal in the "historic fishing village" of Mayport. That is the same general area as the Navy Base I'm sure you noticed at the mouth of the river. Contemporary news accounts said other cruise lines were extremely interested in coming here if the height restriction imposed by the bridge was removed. Think about it! This is a clean industry; it creates jobs; creates opportunities for local food, beverage, and service industries; and is great for the entire area which is somewhat depressed at this time. Instead local "activists" protested the new terminal and the political will to go forward wasn't there. Truly a shame - it'll be years for the opportunity to re-emerge.

 

Thanks again for your review!

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Really enjoying your review..a back to back for there may be something I do one day...hate to fly that far for even just 7 days...Sarah

 

Thank you for your sharing your loss with us..honored and very sorry...I have similar beliefs and yet still struggle terribly with loss of my mom 2 years ago August 2nd. I was 52. The loss of a child is the worst.

 

Did they suggest "deet" on your stops? Did you see many mosquitos? Thanks for that one.. Mildly concerned and weighing it out for me right now because of stuff i already deal with.....may hang on west coast a bit longer since here..however there are not too bad back to back prices now for a solo from there and a few other Carnival deals..I am getting close to needing a month away..totally get it and glad you did...whatever I do will be fairly last minute.

 

Thanks soooo much for sharing it all..Godspeed..Sarah

Edited by sjn911

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Really enjoying your review..a back to back for there may be something I do one day...hate to fly that far for even just 7 days...Sarah

 

Thank you for your sharing your loss with us..honored and very sorry...I have similar beliefs and yet still struggle terribly with loss of my mom 2 years ago August 2nd. I was 52. The loss of a child is the worst.

 

Did they suggest "deet" on your stops? Did you see many mosquitos? Thanks for that one.. Mildly concerned and weighing it out for me right now because of stuff i already deal with.....may hang on west coast a bit longer since here..however there are not too bad back to back prices now for a solo from there and a few other Carnival deals..I am getting close to needing a month away..totally get it and glad you did...whatever I do will be fairly last minute.

 

Thanks soooo much for sharing it all..Godspeed..Sarah

 

Thanks for reading Sarah. We appreciate your kind words.

 

They recommended deet on our Liberty cruise for all three ports of call, Aruba, Curacao, and Grand Turk. Nothing was mentioned on our Fascination cruise. Don't recall seeing ANY mosquitos anywhere.

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Time to tell you about our first day at sea…..

 

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We all slept in today…..

 

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We got up around 8:30 and decided that we would start off with the Sea Day Brunch. The brunch is served in the Sensation Dining Room, located on Atlantic Deck 8, mid ship, from 8:30am until 1:00pm. On port days, this dining room would be used for open seating breakfast from 7:30 to 9:30am. We got a table just for the three of us, and the first thing we were served was this lovely basket of breakfast breads and pastries…..

 

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There were many breakfast and lunch selections to choose from. I selected the huevos rancheros…..

 

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Ryan tackled the fat stack pancakes……

 

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Patti settled for a cheddar cheese and tomato omelet. We brought our VIFP free drink coupons with us. Here’s Patti is enjoying hers…..

 

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To be continued…..

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Our waiter was happy to take a picture of us…..

 

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We enjoyed the brunch very much, and planned on coming back on the last sea day. On the way out we took this picture of the dining room’s namesake…..

 

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Here’s Ryan and Patti on the stairs in the Atrium…..

 

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Patti took this picture of Ryan and I…..

 

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Here are a couple of pictures of the Palace Lounge, the main show lounge, located on Decks 8 & 9 forward…..

 

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To be continued…..

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At this point, Patti and Ryan decided that they were going to do a little shopping, and then catch the morning session of bingo…..

 

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I needed to go to the internet café to set up an account, so that we could check emails, and communicate with the cat sitter back home. The internet café is located in the Atrium Lobby, Deck 7, starboard side…..

 

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Here are the internet rates and information…..

 

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After finishing up at the internet café, I wanted to head up to the Lido Deck, taking some pictures along the way. Here’s the Guest Services Desk, also located on Deck 7 in the Atrium, right next to the internet café…..

 

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To be continued…..

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Club 88, which is the Piano Bar, located on Deck 8, next to the Sensation Dining Room, in the Atrium…..

 

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Looking down on the Atrium Bar…..

 

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Looking up at the huge skylight…..

 

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The entrance to the Lido Pool area…..

 

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The Lido Pool Bar, port side…..

 

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To be continued…..

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The Lido Pool and hot tubs…..

 

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Plenty of chairs still available at this point…..

 

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But if they do get filled up later, here is a message for any would-be chair hogs…..

 

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Here is the omelet station, located by the Lido Pool area, port side. This is open from 7:30 to 10:30 on sea days, and from 7:00 to 10:30 on port days…….

 

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The Lido Pool area drink station…..

 

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To be continued…..

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This the breakfast grille line, located by the Lido Pool area, starboard side. This line is open from 8:00 until Noon every day, for those late risers…..

 

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These are the two breakfast grille lines, located inside in the Coconut Grove Bar and Grille, one on each side. These are open from 7:30 to 10:30 on sea days, 7:00 to 10:30 on port days…..

 

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You can have a Continental breakfast every day from 6:00 to 10:30…..

 

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The Coconut Grove Bar, located all the way aft on Deck 10…..

 

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The Serenity area is located all the way aft on Deck 9…..

 

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To be continued……

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Thanks for reading Sarah. We appreciate your kind words.

 

They recommended deet on our Liberty cruise for all three ports of call, Aruba, Curacao, and Grand Turk. Nothing was mentioned on our Fascination cruise. Don't recall seeing ANY mosquitos anywhere.

Thank YOU for helping my neurosis on the mosquito thing..between you and Wrigley I am in heaven right now...thanks soooo much..

 

I really love the Fantasy class..you have FANTASTIC photos...and a fantastic family...here and just beyond the veil...looking so forward to both reviews..:).

Edited by sjn911

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Seeing as how we just got off the Fascination in late June with two grands...14 and 11...I am just loving your pictures...you are bringing it all back..thanks so much!!

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Here’s a view of Serenity from a deck above…..

 

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Sitting in the shade under the overhang looking aft at the wake…..

 

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The Serenity hot tubs, port and starboard sides…..

 

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Sailing through a rain shower…..

 

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It was getting near noontime, and I had promised Patti that I would meet her in the casino for the first slot tournament of the cruise. I stopped at the casino cashier to pick up my Platinum perk BOGO (Buy One Get One) entries for the slot tournament, giving one to Patti. Cost to enter is $25, but new to me, is that once you pay the original entry fee, you can re-buy for $15 if you want to try your luck again.

 

I was unsuccessful, but Patti qualified for the final round…..

 

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To be continued…..

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