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Old December 18th, 2007, 10:59 PM
len len is offline
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Default Carnival Fascination help needed

Sorry about this but I may be posting this for a second time by mistake.

Please help me out. My wife and I are 50ish and want to travel for 4 days on Carnival Fascination to Western Caribbean with two 15 year old girls.

We have sailed on Legend and Victory before. I realize that Fascination is older than those 2 ships, but how do the amenities compare. Is the ship run down or is it in good shape?

Whats the typical age on Fascination? Will we feel really old on this ship?

I know some of the older ships were renovated after Hurrican Katrina duty. Is Fascination one of those ships?

Please help.

Thanks,
Len
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Old December 19th, 2007, 06:47 AM
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We just took the 4 day cruise on the Fascination last month. We're also in our mid-50's and we didn't feel out of place at all. There was a big mix of passengers, although not that many kids. All of the people at our dinner table were around our age.

This was our first time on Carnival, and I thought it compared well to other lines I've been on. The ship was in good shape, and service was good. We were in at Cat 11 cabin and it was very nice, although the balcony was a bit tight.

I have a few pics of the ship here: www.kodakgallery.com/davejohn
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Old December 19th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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when are you going on your cruise? the time of year also has an effect on the age group; also in that you are taking a cruise less than 4 days, it will generally be a younger group! You will not feel old!

I was on Fascination in Feb 07; part way through the refit; the interior was redone; new bedding etc and it was great; now the pool deck has been redone and I have heard that they did a great job.

IMHO this ship class is a great size; not too big to lose track of your family but big enough to have a great time.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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The plan is to be traveling during Easter break in March (We're bound by school schedules).

Does anyone know if the renovation is complete? Someone posted that their balcony was small----but from the website, it doesn't look like this ship even has balconies. Can someone confirm that statement?

I've saild on Victory (3 days), Legend (8 days), and Sapphire Princess to Alaska. From a size standpoint, I like Legend the best. Not too big. Not too small. And from an elegance standpoint, Princess was the best (but they are also more expensive). I don't want to be with all Senior Citizens, but I also don't want to be on a party boat of all 25 year olds either. My experience is that the more expensive the trip, the older the crowd (makes sense---right?). Plus---Alaska just isn't as much of a party boat. Its there if you want it, but its not overwhelming.

This Fascination cruise is a short, relatively inexpensive Western Caribbean trip (although not quite as inexpensive as I had hoped). What would the experience be like?

Thanks,
Len
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Old December 19th, 2007, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by len
The plan is to be traveling during Easter break in March (We're bound by school schedules). This is a great time if you are looking for a younger crowd - it will probably be a bit rowdy.Does anyone know if the renovation is complete? Someone posted that their balcony was small----but from the website, it doesn't look like this ship even has balconies. Can someone confirm that statement?

this is from a press release from Carnival - as I recall there are not many balconies on this class of ship
The 70,000-ton Carnival Fascination underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation last year, the first phase in the line’s extensive “Evolutions of Fun? shipboard enhancement initiative for its eight “Fantasy-class? vessels. The refurbishment included a new nine-hole miniature golf course, a patisserie, an atrium lobby bar, conference center, and expansive new facilities for children and teens, part of the line’s top-rated “Camp Carnival? and “Club O2? programs, respectively.

In addition to a completely renovated spa, all 1,026 staterooms aboard the Carnival Fascination were upgraded with flat screen TVs, an entirely new décor and completely remodeled bathrooms. Two new lavish production shows, Fiesta Latina and Far From Over: the 80s, were added, as well.

Future “Evolutions of Fun? upgrades for the Carnival Fascination – scheduled to be completed in 2009 -- include an expansive Carnival WaterWorks aqua park, a new design style and features for the mid-ship pool area, and a new “Serenity? adults-only deck area, all part of a dramatic transformation of the ship’s open decks.




I've saild on Victory (3 days), Legend (8 days), and Sapphire Princess to Alaska. From a size standpoint, I like Legend the best. Not too big. Not too small. And from an elegance standpoint, Princess was the best (but they are also more expensive). I don't want to be with all Senior Citizens, but I also don't want to be on a party boat of all 25 year olds either. My experience is that the more expensive the trip, the older the crowd (makes sense---right?). Plus---Alaska just isn't as much of a party boat. Its there if you want it, but its not overwhelming.

Really the time of year you are sailing is going to dictate the age group of the passengers; as it is a shorter cruise they tend to be the "party boat" of 25 year olds. Are you committed to sailing out of that specific port? the Inspiration is out of Tampa and it is finished with the refit; I think they have the 5 day route but then again, anything shorter than a 6-7 day cruise is going to attract the partiers during Spring Break.

This Fascination cruise is a short, relatively inexpensive Western Caribbean trip (although not quite as inexpensive as I had hoped). What would the experience be like? I have done the 4 and 5 day routes numerous times and I can say that I never had a bad cruise; they were all great. I can say however, that I will never sail during Memorial Day weekend on a 4 day cruise again, as the ship was full of kids that just graduated high school and it pained me to watch these non-legal age kids getting hammered in Cozumel (some were with their chaperones and/or parents). As with anytrip that you take on spring break; there is going to be partying going on; you will not be able to get away from that unless you go somewhere that does not serve alchol at all.

Thanks,
Len
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Old December 19th, 2007, 08:28 AM
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I guess I should clarify. I realize that Carnival, in general, is a party atmostphere. I don't mind the party atmostphere if there is something for us middle aged people to do, too. My trip on Carnival Victory had a party atmostphere, too (although there was still something for everyone).

I just don't want to feel like the entire ship is going to be like my 20 year old son's college dorm floor. Is that what it will be like?

And unrelated-----the newer ships (built after 2000) tend to have bigger staterooms. Are the rooms on this going to be tiny or will they be close to the newer ship?

Thanks,
Len
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Old December 19th, 2007, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by len
I guess I should clarify. I realize that Carnival, in general, is a party atmostphere. I don't mind the party atmostphere if there is something for us middle aged people to do, too. My trip on Carnival Victory had a party atmostphere, too (although there was still something for everyone).

I just don't want to feel like the entire ship is going to be like my 20 year old son's college dorm floor. Is that what it will be like?

And unrelated-----the newer ships (built after 2000) tend to have bigger staterooms. Are the rooms on this going to be tiny or will they be close to the newer ship?

Thanks,
Len
the party atmosphere is most apparent on the pool deck and in the disco; I can tell you that on the Memorial Day cruise I did feel like I was in a college dorm, but hey I still had fun; it is what you make it. we spent a lot of time in the piano bar and not very many of the younger cruisers (the 20 year olds) were in there; we also did the disco thing but it was a bit overrun by the 21 - 25 year olds; they did a good job of keeping the 18-20years old out; by the way I am 40 so I like a lot of activities as well. the karoake I will have to admit was the most interesting on the party cruise as these young kids will do anything when drunk! quite hilarious.

Carnival does beef up security during spring break sailings, so there should be no worries about security.


room size on this class are pretty good; however, 4 people in an interior bunk room is very tight; we have done it in the past and it really didn't bother us as we are the type that doesn't spend much time in the room
however, the oceanview aft rooms are great; a bit bigger
the carnival website has room pictures with dimensions and you could do a side by side comparision from the ships you have been on to what you are going to book
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Old December 19th, 2007, 12:29 PM
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I don't mind the party atmosphere as long as thats not the ONLY kind of atmosphere. I just don't want to have a place I can't escape to.

I would imagine that I won't be the only middle aged person with teenage kids traveling at that time---because it is school break. Wouldn't that be true?

Also, regarding size of rooms---the plan is to have 2 rooms. With my wife and I in one room and the 2 teenagers in another. Can the room be configured to make one double bed out of the two single beds?

Thanks,
Len
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Old December 19th, 2007, 12:31 PM
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From My experience I would say that if you sail in late November early December (before christmas) you will avoid the crowds and the overly college frat party atmoshpere. Having said that I saw I great mix of passengers from 2 to 80 on ALL the cruises I have ever been on.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msblackjack
when are you going on your cruise? the time of year also has an effect on the age group; also in that you are taking a cruise less than 4 days, it will generally be a younger group! You will not feel old!

I was on Fascination in Feb 07; part way through the refit; the interior was redone; new bedding etc and it was great; now the pool deck has been redone and I have heard that they did a great job.

IMHO this ship class is a great size; not too big to lose track of your family but big enough to have a great time.

Thanks for your photos, Dave, i will be on Fascination in June.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 06:23 PM
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I have been on the Fascination a couple of times. It is a short cruise which means in cruise language that there will be more 20 somethings on board. This will not affect your cruise because there is something for everyone. I was in my mid 40's when I went and tend to try to relive my youth when cruising (disco then the music stops, etc.) and didn't feel old or overwhelmed.

All and all I think the young adults who opt for a cruise over Cancun or a beach resort tend to be just a bit calmer then their land-loving counterparts. I never saw anyone overtly intoxicated (until I looked in the mirror) and had a great time.

It is a short, relatively inexpensive cruise on a ship that is in great shape.

IMPO, the inside/ov cabins on the older ships are a tad larger than the same categories on the newer ships. On the newer ships, the twin beds can not fit into the cabins in an "L" shape configuration. They are placed side by side.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 07:48 PM
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I just returned from the Fascination 12/24-28 cruise. The ages ranged from toddler to high 80's.

I'm in my 50's and took my son (28), and daughter (21) for Christmas holiday. The room was spacious - plenty of drawer and closet space. The bedding was very comfortable, the mattress, however, was a bit too hard for me, but not uncomfortable and I certainly did not miss any sleep.

The service was not as consistent with that of the Valor, but we had a wonderful time. Also, the dinner seatings have only tables of 6 or 8. If you are looking for a table of 2, 3 or 4, you are out of luck, unless the ship is not sold out as ours was. The variety of food was excellent.

The cruise director said there were just under 800 children on the cruise but I would never have guessed it.

The Passage to India club was a disappointment, the band was not very good at all. I don't think there was more than 5 people in the club at one time.

I had only 2 complaints:

1. the tender situation in Cozumel - We arrived in Cozumel at 1 pm and did not disembark the ship until 3. Didn;t get downtown until almost 4 - Our beach time was very limited at that point. Only 2 tenders were used to transport 2,500 passengers.

2. the self disembarking on the last day. We were told that announcements to disembark would begin at 6:45 am. At 7:30 we were still waiting until we decided to venture over to the Empress deck where we found everyone was already departing.

I guess overall, no biggies in the big scheme of things, but certainly a little disorganized.

You will no doubt have fun and no worries, be happy and enjoy! 8)
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Old December 29th, 2007, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahk
I just returned from the Fascination 12/24-28 cruise. The ages ranged from toddler to high 80's.

I'm in my 50's and took my son (28), and daughter (21) for Christmas holiday. The room was spacious - plenty of drawer and closet space. The bedding was very comfortable, the mattress, however, was a bit too hard for me, but not uncomfortable and I certainly did not miss any sleep.

The service was not as consistent with that of the Valor, but we had a wonderful time. Also, the dinner seatings have only tables of 6 or 8. If you are looking for a table of 2, 3 or 4, you are out of luck, unless the ship is not sold out as ours was. The variety of food was excellent.

The cruise director said there were just under 800 children on the cruise but I would never have guessed it.

The Passage to India club was a disappointment, the band was not very good at all. I don't think there was more than 5 people in the club at one time.

I had only 2 complaints:

1. the tender situation in Cozumel - We arrived in Cozumel at 1 pm and did not disembark the ship until 3. Didn;t get downtown until almost 4 - Our beach time was very limited at that point. Only 2 tenders were used to transport 2,500 passengers.

2. the self disembarking on the last day. We were told that announcements to disembark would begin at 6:45 am. At 7:30 we were still waiting until we decided to venture over to the Empress deck where we found everyone was already departing.

I guess overall, no biggies in the big scheme of things, but certainly a little disorganized.

You will no doubt have fun and no worries, be happy and enjoy! 8)
IN COZUMEL, did you have a carnival excursion? or were you delayed because they got those with a carnival excursion off the ship first?
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Old December 29th, 2007, 09:42 PM
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just FYI I think they rotate the bands that play in the passage of India and other music venues from ship to ship; when we were in there it was a blast. I have pictures somewhere of us dancing; lots of fun. (it was an Asian band that played classic rock - they were great). now the solo player by the cigar bar near the casino, wasn't so good -
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Old December 29th, 2007, 09:43 PM
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Michelle,

We did not plan a Carnival excursion in Cozumel. We took a taxi to Paradise Beach.

The passengers who had a Carnival excursion did have the privilege of disembarking first, but they also did not leave the ship until 2.

8)
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Old December 29th, 2007, 09:51 PM
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Shahk,
Who was the cruise director? Last I saw, Danny Blake was going to be leaving the Fascination and I have not yet heard who was replacing him.

Did you go to the shows? I had heard that the 80s show was not to be missed - what did you experience (or hear from others)?

Thanks,
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Old December 29th, 2007, 10:03 PM
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Marcia,

Trevor Block is now the cruise director.

Yes, the 80's show was very good, as well as the Fiesta Latina show. The costumes were fabulous.

Linda
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Old December 29th, 2007, 11:32 PM
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Are there any adults only areas to sunbathe on this ship?
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Old December 30th, 2007, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahk
Michelle,

We did not plan a Carnival excursion in Cozumel. We took a taxi to Paradise Beach.

The passengers who had a Carnival excursion did have the privilege of disembarking first, but they also did not leave the ship until 2.

8)
wow, I know some of the excursions start at 2:00 so hopefully no one was late coming back so the ship wasn't delayed waiting for returning excursions.

I guess for tendering purposes, it would pay to have a carnival excursion.

Thanks for the information, will probably do a carnival excursion just so I can make sure to debark early and have more time in the port
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Old December 30th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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Michelle,

I would definitely recommend booking a Carnival excursion in Cozumel, if you are planning any excursion.

If you are not doing an excursion, tender ticket numbers are assigned in the morning at the stage on Lido Deck. Make sure you are there early to be in front of the line for a low number. Although, we did see people with #17 departing with the # 1 and #2 people. Totally not fair, but no one from Carnival followed through. One passenger got extremely irate with the waiting - I thought he was going to flip out.
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Old December 30th, 2007, 11:49 AM
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Do you know who was playing in the piano bar? Any feedback about him/her?
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Old December 30th, 2007, 12:01 PM
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Jamie was performing at the piano bar. All I can say is, it was not a popular area.

Actually, we didn't find any entertainment area to be popular on this cruise, except for Christmas night at the disco and that's because a lot of the crew members had the night off and were partying.
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Old December 30th, 2007, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahk
Michelle,

I would definitely recommend booking a Carnival excursion in Cozumel, if you are planning any excursion.

If you are not doing an excursion, tender ticket numbers are assigned in the morning at the stage on Lido Deck. Make sure you are there early to be in front of the line for a low number. Although, we did see people with #17 departing with the # 1 and #2 people. Totally not fair, but no one from Carnival followed through. One passenger got extremely irate with the waiting - I thought he was going to flip out.
I'm leaning towards either the beach break deluxe or the historical/shopping bus tour in cozumel
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