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PlaneJoy

Fascination Review - Sept 27th - Oct 1st

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Review of the Carnival Fascination – September 27 – October 1, 2004

 

We got home Friday from a great cruise! Couldn’t ask for or planned better weather! Here’s how our trip went (warning – it’s long):

 

With hurricane Jeanne passing through in the wee hours of Sunday morning, we weren’t sure how or when we would get to Miami. Flights were cancelled to most all of South and East Florida, and we are stand-by travelers so that made it difficult to even imagine getting on a airplane. We thought we were going to have to drive with 2 kids from Atlanta, but ended up getting to Miami just fine. That was a great start to our trip.

 

When we got to Miami we decided to rent a car. It was less than $30 and a cab would have been about the same. It was nice having our own transportation. We found our hotel at the beach closed, but they had made arrangements with another hotel a few blocks away to accept our reservations. So that worked out fine.

 

Monday – we returned the car and took a cab to the port. We arrived around 11:45 a.m., picked up our documents, checked in, got our keys, and were on the ship by 12:30. Everything went great. We won a ship on a stick at the Camp Carnival family party – our first one! We had ordered bar credits, however our waiter didn’t know anything about such things and we weren’t staying for dinner that night. So for anyone who is doing the same – the dining room host has the credits. That’s who you have to see. Otherwise, they will be delivered during dinner your first night.

 

Tuesday – Day at sea and formal night. Didn’t do much but relax, like we wanted.

 

Wednesday – Cozumel (The Elation, Disney Magic, RCCL (soverign?) and Holland Zuiderdam were there). We took a cab to paradise beach with the family. It was a great place to just relax and hang out. The beach and water are a little shelly and rough, but it may have been due to recent weather. I have no idea if that’s normal or not. DD (7) got her hair braided, we had a couple of drinks and swam in the ocean. We were there early so it wasn’t crowded and left before most folks got there. In the evening we checked the kids into Camp and went out to Carlos and Charlie’s. Watched the Elation leave while we were sitting there.

 

Thursday – Day at sea. Again, relax and hang out time.

 

Friday – Debarkation. We chose express debarkation and it was really quick. You do have to have all of your luggage and be able to walk down one flight of stairs with your luggage – or you couldn’t participate on our ship. We started at 7:40 and were off the ship by 8:10 (we were near the end). We then took a cab to Ft. Lauderdale airport and made it out on a 9:50 flight.

 

For those who are traveling from the Port of Miami to the Ft. Lauderdale airport – the cab fare was just less than $66 plus tip. We had booked a town car, but we were going to have to wait 25 minutes for it to get to us. We really wanted to try for the early flight, so we didn’t wait.

 

Food – we thought it was just average. Nothing really to complain about, but nothing spectacular either. The buffets on the Lido deck inside Coconut Grove were a little lackluster in their offerings in our opinion. We ate dinner in the dining room 3 nights and breakfast twice and that was all. Service was good – no real complaints there.

 

Camp Carnival – the councelors were good, most of the activities were good as well. After going on Disney, I don’t think any program could compare. But the kids seemed to enjoy themselves and that’s what counts.

 

Shows - I wonder what shows are going on, on other ships. We had “Broadway” on Thursday (that was the only one we saw). It was kind of funny b/c that was the show that was on the Imagination 3 years ago! We only saw about half then b/c the seas were rough and they had to cut it short so now we’ve seen all of it!

 

Stateroom – Anthony was our steward and he was wonderful. Our cabin was kept clean and stocked with fresh towels and ice. They said we couldn’t take him home, so I guess he’s making someone else happy now. :)

 

That’s all I can think of for now. I can try to answer questions if someone has any. It was really a great vacation. Just what we needed.

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Thanks for the review, glad you had a good time. Fascination was our favorite ship so far.

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PlaneJoy,

You had it better than we did. We were on the cruise before yours, leaving Miami Sept 24 and going nowhere. We couldn't go to Nassau due to the debris on the island. We floated around for 3 days. No complaints about that. A new friend of mine from the cruise has e-mailed me telling me her Upper cabin with a balcony had bedbugs or some kind of insect. Their room wasn't clean when the entered it. They were told to go to the nurse and she gave them cortizone cream and excederin. Our experience was ok, but not as good as our Celebrity cruise (our first) last October. Our cabin had no cups in the bathroom, we only had a towel animal one night--the formal night. We had to keep track of our spending as Carnival doesn't have your account on the tv like Celebrity does. We opted to eat only in the casual dining room since it was only a 3 nighter. The quality was good, variety was not much. A server politely cut your dessert for you at lunch. The same dessert leftovers made up the dinner menu in Coconut Grill. This time we could take what we wanted. We were given $25 per person credit for not going to Nassau and that pretty much came close to the gratuity charged on our account. Otherwise, the ship is decorated nice.

--Joanne

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PlaneJoy,

 

Thank you for the review! My wife and I will be on the Nov. 1 sailing and we're definitely looking forward to it! One question though about getting to Fort Lauderdale: Didn't Carnival have a shuttle available to use to get there? For us, time won't be a problem since our flight leaves after 5pm.

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Carnival does have a shuttle available to Ft. Lauderdale airport. I'm not sure of the cost of it. If time isn't an issue, it is a good option if it is cost effective.

 

Have fun!

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celbercrz333 -

 

Awww - I don't know if I would have liked floating around for 3 days. I need to see land sooner than that!

 

Some Carnival ships have the interactive TV, but I don't know which ones. We found that to be a nice feature, rather trying to keep tabs on what we are spending ourselves. We did okay, though and our account was in the ball park with what we had in our heads. We aren't big spenders though, so that made it easier.

 

Good luck next time. We are already planning our next cruise. Probably try RCCL this time.

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Planejoy:

 

Carnival Does have a shuttle from Miami to FLL -- but it leaves as soon as everyone is off the ship at 10:30 AM or so. In other words, if you have a late flight you'll be stuck at the airport for quite a long time -- and FLL there is Nothing to do.

 

But one option is to take one of the tours they offer. It's designed for people with flights later than 3:00PM out of FLL (they also have tour options out of MIA as well). The point is that after the tour (I don't remember what it is) they drop you off at FLL. And as I recall the cost was the same as if you simply took a cab to the airport. So you may want to look into that.

 

CTMak

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