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Fascination to Mobile in 2022


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5 hours ago, soonernstlouis said:

Ironic that you included a picture of an RCCL ship next to Fascination since you can’t embark on one from Barbados.  Nor can you embark on an NCL ship there.  Even with the Brits using that port I doubt it accounts for more than 200-300 of the 2,000+ capacity each week on that ship.

 

Don’t get me wrong-Barbados was my 2nd favorite island I’ve been to (Big Island-Hawaii #1), but it’s much more of a destination than a source of tourists.

 

British ships that home base Barbados during our winter period  U.K

BRITANNIA    3500 PAX

AZURA           3,000 PAX

MARELLA  EXPLORER   2,850

MARELLA CELEBRATION   1,200

BREAMAR   1,200

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6 hours ago, xDisconnections said:

I’m not quite sure a Conquest, Dream or Vista class ship will be coming to San Juan. This particular market hasn’t exactly been very profitable and often requires them to deeply discount the fares just to increase occupancy and room allocations. This route was previously serviced by the Carnival Victory when we sailed it and then later two Conquest class ships (Valor and Liberty).

 

They has trouble filling the rooms and needed to discount the fares. Because the ADR and RevPAR were both very low, they reduced the capacity and number of berths available for that embarkation port and is the reason why you are now seeing a smaller Fantasy class ship.

 

Last minute, this cruise has been offered at a bargain for locals and low enough to offset airfare in certain markets.


Didn’t say anything about Dream or Vista in San Juan.

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4 hours ago, so,ton saint said:

 

British ships that home base Barbados during our winter period  U.K

BRITANNIA    3500 PAX

AZURA           3,000 PAX

MARELLA  EXPLORER   2,850

MARELLA CELEBRATION   1,200

BREAMAR   1,200

My point is few of the budget US based ships are also embarking in Barbados (I think only Princess and maybe MSC).  Why put all your energy into complaining about feeling short-changed by Carnival when they actually DO embark from your island.  Obviously this reply is to you but not directed your way.

Edited by soonernstlouis
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7 hours ago, xDisconnections said:

Royal Caribbean has their Voyager and Freedom class ships doing some of the 3/4 cruises and it really makes it convenient to have a really nice weekend getaway on a pretty good ship.

As does Carnival, but one less would not hurt

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One question I had that was answered is the repositioning cruise of the Fascination.  7 days, 4 ports, pretty cheap.  Looks like fun.  I'll put it on my watch list.  The two big questions that remain are:

 

  • Where is the Fantasy going to go?  Will it replace the Fascination in SJ, will it go to another port, or will it go out of the fleet entirely?
  • What will replace the Fascination in San Juan/Barbados, if anything?
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Just to start a rumor, I think the Fantasy will go get balconies and upgrades (dry dock) like some of the other Fantasy class ships have. We are very happy with the option of balconies on a ship out of Mobile. This is a win for me.

 

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16 hours ago, Aplmac said:

 

Carnival's  "Southern Caribbean" route is one of its most popular!
The ship is always full or nearly-full.

 

It is unlikely that no ship will get posted to Puerto Rico

to facilitate this interesting loop Southward to Barbados, and back to PR.

 

South Carib itin-NEW.png

 

Believe me, I absolutely love this route. Although, I question the popularity, at least sales-wise. Looking at the pricing, the law of supply and demand doesn't seem to indicate to me that it sells like hotcakes. Just because we really like something, doesn't mean it's popular.

 

I sure would absolutely love to see any larger ship sail there. It does appear that the competition has been able to put some bigger ones there. So there's that.

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I remember a few months back there was talk of RCCL not sailing from PR beyond 2021 due to privatization of the docks, making it more difficult for the cruise lines to do their own improvements.  A Google search didn't bring up anything more recent than Nov 2019, and RCCL denied the reports.

https://www.puertoricoreport.com/port-privatization-reducing-cruise-benefits-for-puerto-rico/#.Xk1IIW5FyCg 

This article does mention Carnival as well.  

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12 hours ago, purplephenom said:

 

What is it you don’t like about this ship? I mentioned this in another thread, but I was all prepared to hate it, but no lines and easy to get chairs plus the ports made up for it. The ship has some of the upgrades- are you looking for something specific? 

 

I know now a lot of people feel the way you do, and I’m certainly not trying to change anyone’s mind. 

I personally haven't disliked any ship, but my favorite so far is the Dream, which is the newest and biggest that I've been on (granted there are several other factors that were at play). There are fewer options on the Fantasy Class ships of things to do (but fewer people does sometimes mean more availability). I'm just afraid I'd get bored of a small ship by the end of 7 days, granted the number of port days does minimize that some.

 

For me the biggest appeal to the Fantasy Class ships is that they allow 5 people, without having to pay extra. Adding a 5th person is usually just taxes & gratuities. With most other ships in the fleet, it cost significantly more to add a 5th person, often forcing us into a suite.  With San Juan that makes me want to take my whole family, which then costs me airfare for 5, which I could do, but then makes me feel like I should go on a newer ship. We considered this itinerary instead of the Magic in May, because after airfare it was a similar cost (granted only 4 of us are going on the Magic).

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4 minutes ago, Jamesatgsu said:

I personally haven't disliked any ship, but my favorite so far is the Dream, which is the newest and biggest that I've been on (granted there are several other factors that were at play). There are fewer options on the Fantasy Class ships of things to do (but fewer people does sometimes mean more availability). I'm just afraid I'd get bored of a small ship by the end of 7 days, granted the number of port days does minimize that some.

 

For me the biggest appeal to the Fantasy Class ships is that they allow 5 people, without having to pay extra. Adding a 5th person is usually just taxes & gratuities. With most other ships in the fleet, it cost significantly more to add a 5th person, often forcing us into a suite.  With San Juan that makes me want to take my whole family, which then costs me airfare for 5, which I could do, but then makes me feel like I should go on a newer ship. We considered this itinerary instead of the Magic in May, because after airfare it was a similar cost (granted only 4 of us are going on the Magic).

 

Having 5 people to travel with definitely changes things, that makes sense.  I did notice this itinerary had fewer onboard activities scheduled- but I can't help but wonder if that's intentional due to the ports.  You don't need a bigger ship to have more trivia, or dance classes, or whatever.  In my experinece, even the bars were quieter earlier at night- I think people just conk out after island hopping.  If onboard activities are important to your group (both planned and just being social), I'd hesitate to do this itinerary.  I thought that stuff was important to me (and it usually is), but it ended up not mattering on this particular cruise.  

 

And I agree about airfare to San Juan- its crazy.  I'm trying to do the credit card points game to try to fly for free, but doing that for 5 people would be a lot harder.  I've been eying up the Freedom of the Seas ABC cruise out of Puerto Rico, but we just booked an ABC cruise out of Miami for 2022.  But after that it's back to cheaper cruises for me. 

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18 hours ago, GeorgiaMomof4 said:

We love the Fantasy - maybe they will freshen her up and put her somewhere like

Jacksonville.  Not a fan of the Ecstasy which is there now.

 

 

 

My last two cruises were on the Fantasy (in June) and the Ecstasy (in October) and I actually preferred the Ecstasy. I thought the setup for the comedy lounge was MUCH better and allowed for more seating with better sight lines. And I appreciated that it had an Alchemy bar. Most other things I thought were really similar. Just curious about why you like the Fantasy better?

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30 minutes ago, purplephenom said:

 

Having 5 people to travel with definitely changes things, that makes sense.  I did notice this itinerary had fewer onboard activities scheduled- but I can't help but wonder if that's intentional due to the ports.  You don't need a bigger ship to have more trivia, or dance classes, or whatever.  In my experinece, even the bars were quieter earlier at night- I think people just conk out after island hopping.  If onboard activities are important to your group (both planned and just being social), I'd hesitate to do this itinerary.  I thought that stuff was important to me (and it usually is), but it ended up not mattering on this particular cruise.  

 

And I agree about airfare to San Juan- its crazy.  I'm trying to do the credit card points game to try to fly for free, but doing that for 5 people would be a lot harder.  I've been eying up the Freedom of the Seas ABC cruise out of Puerto Rico, but we just booked an ABC cruise out of Miami for 2022.  But after that it's back to cheaper cruises for me. 

I can often fly Frontier really cheap to and from San Juan, but not on the right days of the week, so I'd likely have an extra day of hotel on top of it, and I usually have to wait until I'm within 2 months of travel (which I'm fearful to do for a cruise).  And of course they charge for bags, which we'd ideally take at least 3 suitcases for the 5 of us for the length of the trip.

 

I agree though that everyone should give Fantasy class a ship a chance, because they are still fun, and some will actually prefer the smaller ship.  

 

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2 hours ago, xDisconnections said:

In terms of the ship and its amenities, the Indy and Navigator were a million times better for my quick getaway cruise than the Carnival Liberty.

I agree that those ships amenities are better but I also feel there is too much on those ships for a short cruise!!! 

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20 hours ago, Aplmac said:

 

Carnival's  "Southern Caribbean" route is one of its most popular!
The ship is always full or nearly-full.

 

It is unlikely that no ship will get posted to Puerto Rico

to facilitate this interesting loop Southward to Barbados, and back to PR.

 

South Carib itin-NEW.png

DH and I booked this cruise last February because of the different route. Then in June Carnival changed up the itinerary for our sail date of 1/24/2021: San Juan, St. Thomas, Tortola, Antigua, Dominica, Barbados, San Juan. I only see this route offered on 4 different dates. I'm really pleased with the change as only port I've been to on the new itinerary is St. Thomas.  So very happy to be cruising on Fascination, or any ship, out of San Juan before the change in 2022.

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31 minutes ago, RumpunchGirl said:

DH and I booked this cruise last February because of the different route. Then in June Carnival changed up the itinerary for our sail date of 1/24/2021: San Juan, St. Thomas, Tortola, Antigua, Dominica, Barbados, San Juan. I only see this route offered on 4 different dates. I'm really pleased with the change as only port I've been to on the new itinerary is St. Thomas.  So very happy to be cruising on Fascination, or any ship, out of San Juan before the change in 2022.

 

Hey we're on that cruise too.  I've done the other route, but this one has 3 new ports for us.  it's going to be awesome

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33 minutes ago, RumpunchGirl said:

DH and I booked this cruise last February because of the different route. Then in June Carnival changed up the itinerary for our sail date of 1/24/2021: San Juan, St. Thomas, Tortola, Antigua, Dominica, Barbados, San Juan. I only see this route offered on 4 different dates. I'm really pleased with the change as only port I've been to on the new itinerary is St. Thomas.  So very happy to be cruising on Fascination, or any ship, out of San Juan before the change in 2022.

You are absolutely blessed to hit those alternative ports rarely visited by mass market cruise ships.  Dominica might be my favorite island in the Caribbean.  Now for those that think Nassau is 'plenty Caribbean for them', perhaps not a great choice.  Not a tourism place at all but if you can find a great guide, immerse yourself in the culture, and look past the American expectation about material wealth = happiness, you'll have an amazing experience.  

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We are on the Fascination this coming Sunday for the 5th time.  We love the small ships.  Took a cruise on Princess to Hawaii, we were miserable.  Lines everywhere. No place to sit at the buffet.  Could not get into a show, they filled up 1/2 hour to 45 minutes before the show and so many people saving seats. You had better have fixed dining, because the wait for your time was sometimes 1 hour or more. Had to make reservations for everything on the ship.  What's the point of having all the amenities if you can't experience them because of the crowds. 

 

We were not going to sail on the Fascination in 2021 as we had booked other cruises, but may have to change our minds when we see what ship if any will take her place. I hope they do not replace her with one of the larger ships.  We can drive to Mobile, maybe we can catch a quick cruise on her when she home ports there.  Very sad to see her leave San Juan. 

  

Edited by LittleYiaYia
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2 hours ago, marshhawk said:

They could always keep two in Mobile, one for Progreso and Cozumel, the other to Key West and Costa Maya.  I love the Fantasy, my upcoming Journeys cruise will be on her in 2021.  I will miss her.

I doubt we'll see two ships in Mobile anytime soon.

 

By 2022, Carnival Fantasy should be the oldest ship owned by Carnival Corporation:

 

AIDA - AIDAcara (1996)

Carnival - Carnival Fantasy (1990)

CSSC ("Carnival China") - Costa Atlantica (2000)

Costa - Costa neoRomantica (1993)

Cunard - Queen Mary 2 (2003)

HAL - Maasdam (1993)

P&O Australia - Pacific Explorer (1997, built as Dawn Princess)

P&O UK - Auora (2000)

Princess - Sun Princess (1995)

Seaborn - Seabourn Odyssey (2009)

 

I wouldn't be surprised to see another departure in 2022 or 2023 if Carnival doesn't elect to return to San Juan. Imagination and Inspiration would both be vulnerable since like Fantasy they are lacking non-suite balcony cabins. On the flip side, expanded service from Norfolk, New York, San Diego, and/or San Francisco could be in play.

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11 hours ago, marshhawk said:

They could always keep two in Mobile, one for Progreso and Cozumel, the other to Key West and Costa Maya.  I love the Fantasy, my upcoming Journeys cruise will be on her in 2021.  I will miss her.

 

A year ago there was an article about Mobile. Parking is the issue. Limited parking means none of the bigger ships, and just one ship working the port. Mobile is the closest port to me.

 

 

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Mobile cruises seem to be doing OK, or Carnival wouldn't have come back with a different ship.  I noticed this a few months ago, and although it is more targeted to Cargo vessels, the cruise ships will definitely benefit from especially the turning basin widening...

 

https://www.al.com/news/mobile/2019/09/plan-to-enlarge-mobile-ship-channel-cleared-to-proceed.html

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Waited and waited on a different ship than Fascination to do the Southern Caribbean again.  Seven years.  Last time I believe was on Victory.  Gave in and sailing next month on Fascination.  I did not care for Fascination when I sailed before out of Jacksonville, but will love doing these ports again.  Who knows?  Maybe I will like the ship better this time.  Will have fun no matter what!

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On 2/19/2020 at 11:00 AM, Stick93 said:

I agree that those ships amenities are better but I also feel there is too much on those ships for a short cruise!!! 

You may be right, but I think the driver is the number of rooms that they can fill on shorter cruises.

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