August 17, 2012
hello. We are recently back from a 5 day cruise to Nassau and Half Moon Cay on the Fascination. We had a wonderful time. This was our third cruise (me-mid 50s; my husband-same; my son-19). We have always sailed this class (Paradise & Inspiration). Because the ships are similar, we are comfortable as soon as our foot hits the ship.
We had an ocean view cabin on the Riviera Deck (R20?). I was worried because we were so far back, but it was wonderful. We think we might have heard the anchor one morning, but it wasn't terribly loud; if I hadn't been up already, I might not have heard it. The room was clean and well maintained by Harvey. He slipped in and out and each time we returned the room was picture perfect. It seems like there is more space for storage than our last cruise in 08. My only complaint with the room is that my son's bed had to be "folded" up each day and, being a teenager he kind of likes his own space to lay around. Of course, we really weren't in the cabin all that much so it was not a major problem.
We really enjoyed the entertainment on the ship. There was a song and dance team that did a fantastic job. I wish they had been on more!! We also enjoyed the comedians (Cowboy, the Comedian and John ..... Foyt? Ford?). I thought that on past cruises the entertainment had been more varied...maybe a hypnotist or magician, but it was either the song/dance troupe or the comedians. In any case, we ended up enjoying them very much. We did not attend the talent show, but when I saw some of it on the room tv I was sorry I hadn't gone. They used one of the professional singers to "back up" the talent and they really gave it some pizzazz. We also enjoyed the many trivia contests and the game show type specials.
Now, for the food. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't awfully good, either. There was always a variety, and I never went to bed hungry, but it just wasn't all that great. We ate in the main dining room 4 of the 5 nights and the food there was slightly better. My son had been looking forward to enjoying a steak but on the first night the head waiter told us that steak would not be a good idea this trip. The lobster was good and so was the salmon and the shrimp. The rolls were always good and the chocolate melting cake was quite good. I liked that they offered the didja ever? items as well as a traditional menu each night (always the same) as well as entrees du jour. The lido deck wasn't bad, either. They had lots of fresh fruit and salad and some interesting things to try like baked fish or stuffed baked tomatoes and there were always hot dogs and hamburgers by the pool! The Mexican Fiesta food was very tasty and we enjoyed the whole thing! The pizza was blah, not enough sauce or cheese and no matter how many times my son asked for calzone and the pizza guy said okay, my son never actually received the calzone! That being said, we don't cruise to eat and it all worked out fine. We'd sail Fascination again.
Ports: I had never been to Half Moon Cay and that was a big factor in choosing this particular cruise. It was all it was reported to be!! It was a perfect beach day. There were plenty of chairs with soft soft sand and the water was absolutely perfect. I had a delicious drink and the jerk chicken and variety of salads at the luncheon barbque were very tasty. You could just sit and sun yourself, or play in the water or take an excursion. We enjoyed the beach and relaxed so we could get busy back on the ship! I was pleased that they had clean bathrooms and plenty of pic nic tables at lunch. Carnival did a great job adding to the enjoyment of the day.
Nassau: We had been to Nassau about 30 years ago and were disappointed by it this time (no fault of Carnival's, though). It was run down with lots of empty buildings. And boy, was it HOT!! It was so HOT that we actually went into Senior Frogs about 10:45 or 11 o'clock and had a refreshing drink. It was a blast. The place was loud and fun and my 19 year old really enjoyed it. He had an opportunity to order a LEGAL drink there and soak up the atmosphere. Afterwards, we returned to the pier for our excursion to tour the Dig & the Aquarium at Atlantis. The tour was very interesting and Atlantis is just beautiful. We had a nice afternoon, finishing our tour in time to grab a slice of pizza at the marina before catching the bus to return to the ship. I appreciated that while we waited for our chartered through Carnival bus to fill up the air conditioner was on!! The bus itself was very clean and comfortable.
We just loved our cruise. We enjoyed sitting outside (in the shade) and being able to people watch. We enjoyed the entertainment. Either the beds were super comfortable or we were so busy during the day that we slept quite soundly and peacefully at night!! One morning we woke up to find some water on the bathroom floor. We told our steward and after he apologized for the inconvenience, he got someone in to take care of it right away. When we returned to the cabin 3 hours later you'd never know there had been any problem at all.
We were pleased with how friendly everyone was. While walking through the hallways to get to our cabin each and every steward made sure they said hello AND SMILED!! what a way to start my day! The head waiter of our section came by every night to make recommendations and after dinner to see how everything was. The server remembered us by name (and by drink!). They were all terribly polite and did a great job.
All in all we thought the cruise was a great value for our $$$. We particularly like that if we want to busy, there is a lot to do and if we want to relax there's plenty of opportunity for that too. The cruise was lots of fun and.......we wish we were still there!! Best to all!