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Old August 18th, 2007, 05:17 PM
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Default IT'S FINAL! I'm Booked/Deposited on Fascination 6-9-08!

I'm so excited! I decided to just do a shorter solo cruise in early June, and I'm happy to be going to Key West and Cozumel. I have been in Key West once, for a few hours of driving around, during my first marriage (in 1985, 22 years ago) and I have never been to Mexico.

I'm looking to pretty much do either a short a/c bus tour or beach relaxation excursion in both ports. I will look at excursion times in a few months when they become available to see if the times are conducive to doing 2 short excursions each day.

I'll be on Empress way in the back of the ship - in an inner/inner room, which is fine with me. Did the OV last month. At least it's under a dining room, not the stage/lounge so it should be quiet at bed time! If not, I don't care and I have ear plugs anyway.

Since it's the same layout as Sensation, it will be nice to know where everything it but nice that it's not as garish in color scheme as Sensation is.

I'll be flying in to Fort Lauderdale 2 days before and staying with my mom, who lives in Boynton Beach. She will drive me to the Miami port on sail day. Then I'll fly home out of Fort Lauderdale. So, I won't have the expense and logistics hassles of a rental car and hotel!

I'm so pumped!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course, I'm anxious to hear of others' experiences on Fascination so please let me know or give me a link to your review!

By the way, since I couldn't reach my TA I went through Nicole Williams, a Carnival vacation specialist. She was pretty nice. I had received an error trying to book online so I called and they patched me through to her. I will let my TA handle things for me so she can get my cruise docs and book my transfer to FLL after the cruise.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 06:11 PM
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a/c bus tour or beach relaxation excursion in both ports

Well then you probably wouldn't like Chankanaab Park unless a ratty ol beach like this appeals to you.

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Old August 18th, 2007, 06:40 PM
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wow, is that in Cozumel? looks great!

I will be looking at the excursions a lot now to see if I can manage to get in 2 short ones each port day.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 06:47 PM
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Wow Cleveland Rocks, I think the dw and I could maybe spend some time at that ratty old beach!Will definately have to check that out when we go to Coz on our new years eve cruise on the Holiday. Thanks for that ratty old picture!

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Old August 18th, 2007, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle1959
wow, is that in Cozumel? looks great!

I will be looking at the excursions a lot now to see if I can manage to get in 2 short ones each port day.
That WAS Cozumel, sorry, couldnt resist. They are just now recovering from the hurricane 2 years ago. Hopefully, they will have at least one of the piers rebuilt by the time of your cruise.

The last pier that we came in on RCI Rhapsody at I heard has just barely been rebuilt recently. Its the one about 3 miles from town we docked at this last time.

After Dean hits Cozumel.....who knows but it sure looks bad to me beforehand. Congrats Michelle.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 07:50 PM
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Default excursions

okay I looked at the excursions. Here's what I'll probably do:

For Cozumel:

Playa Mia Beach Break - Spend a fun-filled day at Playa Sol, one of Cozumel's newest beach clubs. Enjoy a fun-filled worry free day at Cozumel’s finest beach club. On this relaxing excursion you will:

Board an air-conditioned bus at the pier for a short ride to Playa Mia Grand Beach Park.
Enjoy the white sand beach, turquoise waters, a fresh water pool, beach chairs, umbrellas, hammocks and ping pong tables.
Be served your favorite soft drink or cocktail from the domestic open bar and enjoy the buffet, plus there are three restaurants at an additional
cost.
Try the kayaks, hobiecats, pedal boats, water trampolines, and the incredible “water iceberg? all included in the price.
Note: A beach towel, sunglasses and sunscreen are recommended. Rough sea conditions may deter the use of some water apparatus.
5 Hours
$$




for Key West:

Key West Deluxe Beach Break -Southernmost Beach in the continental United States.

Relax and enjoy the Southernmost Beach in the continental United States. On this excursion you will:
Relax and enjoy the beach on the Southernmost Island in the Continental United States.
Unwind on the sandy beach, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Gulf of Mexico and the world's third largest barrier coral reef sits 6 miles off
shore. Included in this relaxing excursion are a beach chair, cold drinks, and a souvenir provided by the world famous Lazy Dog Island Outfitters.
Kayaks, sailboats, and parasailing rentals are also available at the beach.
For guests wishing to split their time between the beach and Key West’s Old Town, a free shuttle is provided to transport you to attractions such
as the Hemingway House, the Southernmost Point, local art galleries and fine Duval Street shops. Note: Transportation included. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 3 Hours
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Old August 18th, 2007, 08:51 PM
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Not to be discouraging but I would watch what this hurricane does to coz. It appears to be headed for a direct hit cat 4 or 5 hurricane. the island will be in ruins. When I went last year it was just starting to come back from the previous hurricane. alot of the isle was barren not a beautiful green it should be. Hope it works out but if it does hit them hard I would consider changing to the cruise I just took on the Majesty to the bahamas. Coco cay was just like the picture posted in the second post on this thread. I wanted to live there.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 09:33 PM
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yeah, I will definitely keep that in mind. of coruse, I'm just going to be at the beaches there... hopefully they won't be in ruins... if I have to cancel, I will not have a problem but if I can't rebook another short cruise at that tie, I'll have to wait till the following year to cruise again, so I Hope things are okay. I'll have my TA check in a week or so to see what the industry is saying about the damage there and if beachgoers would be affected. Which I think would not be an issue.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 10:31 PM
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Michelle sweetie!!! Save your money. Do not book an excursion until you get really close to your cruise date or even better, on the ship. The Beach excursion can be done on your own for a lot less money.

From what I understand, there is not much on Key West and no beach. (Never been there, could be wrong)

Cozumel is not very big and there is one main road that circles the island.

I am sooooooooo excited for you. Congrats.

I have been on the Fascination twice. Nice ship. It is one of the Fantasy class that will be getting a complete remodeling in the very near future. It should be very nice by the time you get on it.

Happy Cruzin'
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Old August 18th, 2007, 11:33 PM
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IBCRUIZIN' - I know, I can't even book excursions now even if I wanted to. I just want to relax on a nice beach in both places. That's about it! I will book excursions about 2 months before the trip. Yes there is a beach excursion in Key West - the big beach that is where the Atlantic and Gulf meet!

I'll definitely need your tips for cruising solo on this one!
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Old August 19th, 2007, 09:42 AM
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Did you pay for the entire cabin or are you having a roommate?

What advantage is there for booking this type of cabin so early? I can see booking that early if you want a particular cabin, but this doesn't seem to be a hard cabin to get.

Brian
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Old August 19th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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Brian, I have the entire cabin to myself no one else I know wants to cruise, so I'm going solo. that brought the cost of the room from $399 to $549. Not bad. I wanted to book early so the cost doesn't go up, and so the rooms don't sell out, as there are so few inner/inners. Also, I had book my air as soon as I could becuase I'm again flying for FREE using AA Awards and if I don't book flights early, then there will not be direct flights. I didn't want to have to do two flights a day this time around.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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Here Michelle, Fascination was docked next us on our last trip. You should recognize the pink house. (Noooo, it's not John Cougar's "Little Pink Houses", this ones $5M.)

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Old August 19th, 2007, 11:06 AM
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Here Michelle, Fascination was docked next us on our last trip. You should recognize the pink house. (Noooo, it's not John Cougar's "Little Pink Houses", this ones $5M.)

hey, is that house I photographed next to the Nassau dock? I guess it was pink before they painted it white
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Old August 19th, 2007, 11:12 AM
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hey, is that house I photographed next to the Nassau dock?

That's it, they were askin $5M for it when we were there. It'll make someone a nice little starter house.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 11:28 AM
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Michelle and IBCRUZIN, FYI....there are quite a few beaches in Key West.

South Beach is at the end of Duval Street but has no facilities.

Higgs Beach has restrooms, picnic tables, chair rentals, etc.

Smathers Beach has restrooms, chair rentals, picnic tables, parasailing, jet skis, watersports. Seaweed can be a problem at all three locations above but if you just want to hang out, they are fine.

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park is accessible thru the Truman Annex (small fee) and close to where the cruise ships dock. It has a beach, restrooms, food, chair rentals, picnic tables, etc. You can also tour the pre-Civil War fort. The sand has lots of shells (wear your water shoes) but there is an outcropping of rocks not far from shore where you can snorkel, it's lovely.

Also, if you just want to hang out at a beautiful fresh water pool, eat a yummy lunch (fish tacos are great), and have a few drinks, walk over to Monty's on the dock...it's an open air restaurant, very casual, that has a huge pool for customer's use, nice way to spend a couple of hours.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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unless there are new excursions announced that appeal to me more, I will probably do these:

Cozumel: Playa Mia Beach Break Deluxe/5 hrs/$$
Enjoy a fun-filled worry free day at Cozumel’s finest beach club.
On this relaxing excursion you will:
Board an air-conditioned bus at the pier for a short ride to Playa Mia Grand Beach Park.
Enjoy the white sand beach, turquoise waters, a fresh water pool, beach chairs, umbrellas, hammocks and ping pong tables.
Be served your favorite soft drink or cocktail from the domestic open bar and enjoy the buffet, plus there are three restaurants at an additional cost.
Try the kayaks, hobiecats, pedal boats, water trampolines, and the incredible “water iceberg? all included in the price.
Note: A beach towel, sunglasses and sunscreen are recommended. Rough sea conditions may deter the use of some water apparatus.

Key West: I hope to be able to schedule both of these excursions, but if not, just the beach one will have to do:

Key West Deluxe Beach Break/3 hrs/$
Relax and enjoy the Southernmost Beach in the continental United States.
On this excursion you will:
Relax and enjoy the beach on the Southernmost Island in the Continental United States.
Unwind on the sandy beach, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Gulf of Mexico and the world's third largest barrier coral reef sits 6 miles off shore. Included in this relaxing excursion are a beach chair, cold drinks, and a souvenir provided by the world famous Lazy Dog Island Outfitters.
Kayaks, sailboats, and parasailing rentals are also available at the beach.
For guests wishing to split their time between the beach and Key West’s Old Town, a free shuttle is provided to transport you to attractions such as the Hemingway House, the Southernmost Point, local art galleries and fine Duval Street shops.
Note: Transportation included. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Conch Train/Old Town Trolley Tour/1 hr/$
You won't want to miss this one-hour narrated tour of over 100 historical points of Key West and all of its eccentricities.
On this fascinating excursion you will:
Climb aboard a trolley bus or the unique Conch Train to begin your journey.
Pass such famous landmarks as Ernest Hemmingway’s home and museum; the Audubon House; the infamous Harry S. Truman retreat, “Little White House?; and the famous marker indicating the southern-most point in the continental United States.
Choose, at the end of the excursion, to take your own tour around town or return to the ship.
Note: Motorized wheelchairs can be accommodated with a lift, please advise the Shore Excursion Manager on board.
This is a non-stopping excursion; guests are not permitted to disembark the train/trolley during the tour.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 01:28 PM
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Congrats Michelle:

I did the same Route in 2000 on the Ecstasy and as I recall paid about the same for a single cabin. As the Fastasy Class Ships are being upgrade IMHO you got a better deal. Better set the cruise clock .

Key West - I took the trolley tour then got off downtown for lunch and a bit of shopping. Really interesting shops downtown. The trolley back to the pier is free.

Cozumel - Was going to go Snokeling but never got to the beach. Ended up making "friends" at Carlos & Charlies for the evening .

I am sure you'll have a great time
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Old August 20th, 2007, 02:35 PM
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[quote="rosetattoo"] Fort Zachary Taylor State Park is accessible thru the Truman Annex (small fee) and close to where the cruise ships dock. It has a beach, restrooms, food, chair rentals, picnic tables, etc. You can also tour the pre-Civil War fort. The sand has lots of shells (wear your water shoes) but there is an outcropping of rocks not far from shore where you can snorkel, it's lovely. [quote="rosetattoo"]

thank you, actually this above sounds nice, like I could go there for a qhile and then hit some stores afterwards, on the way back to the ship. Is this beach less than a mile walking distance from the ship?

I want to walk and pick shells and take photos, relax and just listen to the waves lapping against the shore... I will have my flip flops or perhaps buy water shoes.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 03:20 PM
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Michelle, I cant tell if you are planning on taking the excursions thru the cruiseline or on your own from this. Someone else posted its usually just as easy and cheaper to do them on your own.

Key West is approx a 4.5 mile square. The excursion you posted is non stop, you cant get on and off. Depending on when you arrive, Id do this one on my own so you can get off and look at the butterfly museum or Hemingway's House and his cat's descendants and get back on and off. It should also take you close enough you could probably walk to the beach.

The only problem is if you arrive very late in the day, the trolly stops running so you cant jump back on the trolley to take you back...

The other thing is say your cruise arrives at 2 pm...and you do the trolley, by the time you take it round trip its now about 4 pm lets say. By then is awfully late to be going to the beach to swim, but its still time to walk along the beach. Its a very small beach by beach standards.

I didnt read thru so maybe I missed when you are arriving in Key West. We had one cruise arriving at 2 pm and staying until 11 pm, excellent because night is when the place is hopping. But my Disney cruise we arrive earlier in the day. Rhapsody we barely got there in time to ride around on the trolley before it closed up for the day. Great for going to Margaritaville though Dont miss the frozen key lime on a stick.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 04:22 PM
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Our family just came back from the Fascination this past Monday. We did the Nassau route. The ship was really nice and clean. The food really good and the shows fun. Our cabin steward was wonderful.

The only thing we didn't care for was the wait staff for dinner. Our main server was downright awful. He seemed aggravated most all the time. We cruised ten years ago on the Ectasy and the waiters were more fun and silly. There seemed to be a big difference this time around. They were more upscale and professional. My kids acted great at the table where other tables had loud/screaming kids. Not sure why he was like that. Hopefully you won't have the same problem.

All in all I'm sure you'll love the boat.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 06:07 PM
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Now I have to take out my Sensation packing list and edit it as I'm going to dress for formal night this time around, and bring less casual stuff, but still only travel with one carry on bag and my laptop case.

flowers: I was going to take excursions but I think I'll just explore the areas by the port myself or hopefully with a few other solo cruisers I hope to meet!!! I will check out all the shops, have a snack (key lime pie, for sure) and take tons of photos and videos. We are in key west from at 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. I thought I might do an 8:00 conch tour ride then explore what I want on my own, wander back to the ship in time for lunch on the Lido deck at 12:30 - I think the conch tour DOES make a few stops along the way? If not, I'll walk to where I want to go, that is, within half a mile from the ship at the most, probably, due to my bad leg

darah513: I'm glad you had a great time, did you post photos in the gallery yet? there are so few photos of fascination there! I hope I get a better waiter than you had!




joe323:L thanks, I like your idea of the trolley tour then doing some shopping, I'll keep that in mind! as for cozxumel, I may try C&C's - for a drink, anyway, I'm really not much for drinking but one drink is all I would have. Hear the food & atmosphere is great!

rosetattoo: I think I'll skip the beach, I'm really not one for lying in the sun. I'm 48 and usually get mistaken for 28. Actually on Sensation, the girl who gave Ian and me our mini golf clubs and balls thought I was his older sister! he's 14. Ian and I had a good laugh about that! He was annoyed as he thought she meant that he looked old and I explained that it means she thought that I looked young. I love that girl! staying out of the sun is one of the things that keeps me looking so young.

ClevelandRocks: as I stared out at that (now white) house from our cabin in Nassau, I kept telling Ian that if I won a huge lottery, I'd buy that house. I thought it might go for $10-15 million. $5 would be a steal!
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Old August 25th, 2007, 01:46 AM
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Congrats! Hope you enjoy your cruise. Im looking forward to the Fascination moving to Jacksonville so i can get a good price on airfare!
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Old August 25th, 2007, 04:23 PM
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jpmaximus: try and get a debit card (or credit card) that is tied to a frequent flyer account, like I do. you can "charge" rent, groceries, gas, etc. to it and that builds up free air mileage. That's how I went on Sensation and how I'll go on Fascination!
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Old August 25th, 2007, 05:17 PM
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I'll try in a few days or so to get some pics up for you in the gallery. I'm not very good at it buy my husband will help. He used a digital and I had a regular 35mm and I jut got my pics back today. Glad you asked.
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Old August 25th, 2007, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle1959
jpmaximus: try and get a debit card (or credit card) that is tied to a frequent flyer account, like I do. you can "charge" rent, groceries, gas, etc. to it and that builds up free air mileage. That's how I went on Sensation and how I'll go on Fascination!
thanks for the tip! I'll look into it
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