I just returned from a great 5 day cruise on the Carnival Fascination, so here’s my thoughts:
1) Anticipation. I booked this cruise in July using my military (veterans) rate which made this cruise VERY affordable. Thanks to Micky Arison and everyone at Carnival for this great discount. I had a group of 5 adult guys and their sons so it made for a total of 12 men. (My son Tim is 26 and lives in Tampa, but he couldn’t make it).
For months we talked about the cruise, I gave them tips and organized everything from parking to drop off, from dining assignment to, well, it was all me.
2) Boarding at JaxPort. Our group lives about 15 minutes away from the cruise terminal at JaxPort which makes it affordable and easy. (Special thanks to Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, our city council and JaxChamber for continuing to support our cruise port!) My friend Dwight is a Platinum VIFP so he was able to get Priority check in with those in his cabin (his two teenage grandsons).What a great way to board the ship! The rest of the group boarded as usual, but it was fast! The people at the cruise terminal in Jacksonville had smiles on their faces and were VERY helpful!
3) The Carnival Fascination. I’ve sailed on the Fascination MANY times in the past and it’s always great to “come home”. Our cabins were aft on the Riviera Deck and close to each other which made it nice. The ship received a multimillion-dollar renovation in January of 2010 and it still looks great.
4) Dining. You wouldn’t think the words Carnival and escargot would be spoken in the same sentence, but my group was impressed that escargot was on the menu. My friend Dwight asked me to ask the staff if we could have escargot EVERY night. The staff was happy to fulfill our request! One night we even had chateaubriand!
5) Entertainment. Carnival recently rolled out the “Playlist Productions”. Keep in mind the Fascination doesn’t have most of the 2.0 updates, but they do have the DJ and Playlist Productions.
Click on this link from Cruise Radio to learn more:
6. CoCo Cay/Little Stirrup Cay. Carnival recently added the Cay to its itinerary. I have visited the Cay years ago while on the Monarch of the Seas and really enjoyed it. The tender ride was very short, the beach is incredible, their are a TON of beach lounge chairs and the lunch was good.
7. Nassau Nassau is Nassau. Been here many times. I do strongly recommend visiting the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort & Casino located on Cable Beach. It’s a short $7 p.p. cab ride to the resort. You can purchase a day pass so that you can enjoy the incredible pools, bars and atmosphere!
Check out all the details here:
8. Disembarkation You have two choices. Traditional or Self Assist. Traditional is where you put your luggage out your cabin door the night before you arrive in port. You have colored/numbered tags which designate when you get off the ship. Those that have to catch flights home get off the ship first, while those that drive will be getting off the ship later.
My choice was the Self Assist option because some members of my group wanted to get home (only a 15 minute car ride) immediately!
If you able to CARRY your bags without needing assistance, you can basically walk off the ship when the announcement is made (shortly after the ship clears customs). It amazes me how many people want to get off the ship as soon as possible. Why not enjoy your vacation as long as possible? It also amazed me how many people struggled with heavy awkward baggage just so they could leave the ship early. I can understand if they have to catch a flight, but it was hard watching so many people fumbling and bumbling with their heavy luggage.
9. Shout Out I want to thank the Captain and crew of the Carnival Fascination for making our vacation enjoyable and memorable. Many members of my group commented to me how impressed they were with the food, service and cleanliness of the ship. We plan on making this an annual event and I know that my wife Marty and I will be back on the Carnival Fascination very soon also. Special shouts to Micky Arison, @cclsupport and everyone at Carnival corporate who day in and day out make cruising fun, affordable and safe. Shouts to Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, our city council and JaxPort.
Follow me on Twitter @scottlara1961 and check out my YouTube videos, my Pinterest page and Facebook page using the links on the right under “Blog Roll”.