January 2, 2004
Just returned from 3 day Bahama cruise on the fascination.
Flew into Ft. Lauderdale on 12/31 and stayed at relatives for 2 days. Rented a car from Budget who had the lowest rates. $196 for an intermediate car for 5 days. It was myself, my husband, 12 year old son and 17 year old niece. Met my sister and her husband and her two kids, her son 13 and daughter who is 11. We arrived at the Miami Pier on January 2nd (Day of sailing) at 11:00 AM. Both my husband and my brother in law dropped us all off with all the bags and the kids at the Pier where we were assigned our cabins and they left to park the car in the parking garage which was $10 per day total of $30 for each car. We booked a 4A Guarantee and were upgraded to a 6A. All 3 cabins got this upgrade. I booked directly through Carnival and the rep there did a fanstasic job in keeping all 3 cabins next to each other even upgrading all of them. We also asked for early dinner seating and that was all on target with the same table #'s for all 8 of us. We were able to board the ship immediately and there was no line at all we zoomed right through with no wait at all. We went to find our cabins which were all perfect. I had hoped for an upgrade from 4A Guarantee and we got it even though our ship wa COMPLETELY sold out.
This was my 4th cruise and my 3rd one on carnival and I have been upgraded by them each and every time. So for people who say you don't get upgraded from inside to outside....HOGWASH. After going to our cabins we went up to the lido deck where we were bombarded with drink specials. We decided to try one or two each. The kids scoped out the ship as we sat on the lido deck having our drinks. The kids were in awe this being their first cruise. We then all went and had some lunch on the lido deck which was pretty good, hamburgers and hot dogs. We decided to not buy the kids soda cards as they were $22 each for a 3 day cruise. Someone on this board told me they were $13 which would have been worth it but $22 was not. We managed to bring in 4 two liter bottles of soda, 1 two liter bottle of Rum and a bottle of champage in our suitcases and the kids were fine with Lemonade, Ice tea and punch. We purchsed them a coke at dinner if they wanted it. The first night at dinner was awesome. Most of us had prime rib AND Lobster Tail. The kids were not to thrilled with the items on the menu so for the most part they had the chicken nuggets. Our head waiter was Oscar and he was pleasant just not as fun as a previous head waiter I had on past cruises. The first nights dinner was by far the best of the 3 nights. After dinner we went to the casino where I didn't have much luck. The two boys went off on their own to the arcades. The two girls went to the Show in the palace lounge which they enjoyed. There was supposed to be a comedian in one of the lounges but he never showed up which was a big disappointment. They had Karaokee going on instead. The next morning we were in Nassau bright and early. We decided not to book an excursion on the ship and go explore ourselves. After breakfast in the dining room we went into nassau. My sister and the two girls wanted to have their hair braided. They wanted $75 each but my sister talked them into $25 each. We then found Steve who gave us a ride to a beach on Paradise Island. We rented chairs for $10 each and spent the day there letting the kids have banana rides. The water was a bit chilly but didnt seem to effect the kids they loved it. Myself, My brother-in-law and sister went off to the Atlantis to do some gambling leaving the kids with my hubby on the beach. It was ok. Nothing to amazing. My hubby said the beach was the highlight of the vacation because he is such a beach person whereas I am not. The kids were so knocked out from being in the water for hours that everyone went back to the ship about 5:00 and passed out. We had to get everyone up for the Formal Dinner which was a chore in itself having to beg them to get dressed nice and be ready at 6:15. Dinner was so so. Not sure if i would pressure them again into getting all dressed up for a so so meal. After dinner again I headed into the casino again to lose lol. Girls went to a show again and Karaokee where my nieces both sang and we went to watch which was fun. The boys found some things to do for the 12-15 year olds and participated in those activities. My nice being 17 is at a hard age. They had teen night but most kids were 15-16 where she is 17 and she did not like it. And she is to young to go into the disco where they carded. The boys seemed to be a little bored with some of the activities geared for their ages so most of the time just did their own thing. The 3rd day on the ship (sea day) was fun. We ended up being picked to play the newleywed game and then my husband participated in the mens hairy chest contest which was hysterical. Dinner for the 3rd night we opted to do the buffet since the kids were getting sick of chicken nuggets. Getting off the ship was slow going. We were told to be in the Palace lounge by 8:30 we didn't get off the ship until 10:30. There was a problem with Immigration but I am not sure of what. All in all the Ship was very nice. The only thing is that the carpets are in desperate need of new carpet. I don't think that even a cleaning would help. However a dirty carpet in to way affected my vacation. It was wonderful. I also have capers of this trip if anyone needs them just email me.