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Old September 2nd, 2009, 09:59 AM
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Default Thoughts on Fascination

Heather and I are considering taking the New Years Eve cruise next year on the Carnival Fascination out of Jacksonville. It is quite a good deal and it is within driving distance for us so we wont have to fly. But we are somewhat leery of taking a cruise on the Fascination. I know that she is going into dry dock in January to be refurbished and have balconies added. But we are concerned about cruising on an older ship. Mainly due to her size, I know she is quite small by modern standards and there is always a concern about rough seas that time of year. The ammenities, we will have just come off of the Dream next August and area afraid we might be a little spoiled after that and thus disappointed. So if you guys could help us out with your thoughts on the Fascination it would certainly help us in making our decision. Thanks so much for any help/reviews you can give us.

Randy and Heather
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 10:59 AM
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I think you just answered your own question..."we will have just come off of the Dream and are afraid we will be a little spoiled after that and thus disappointed".

In my opinion, yes, you will be disappointed sailing on the Fascination after experiencing the Dream. When I first started cruising, years ago, I booked a few short cruises on the Fascination but once I sailed on the Conquest class ships, there was no going back. Some cruisers love the smaller ships, I do not. Some cruisers say they don't care what size the ship is as long as they are on a cruise, I think it makes a huge difference. Not only do I find the food, variety and selection a notch better on the newer ships, I believe the entire cruise experience is much more enjoyable. The size factor alone means more bars, more entertainment venues, more food choices, larger casino, more deck space, etc. I would rather take one cruise per year on a larger, newer ship than three cruises on a smaller, older ship.

I think, also, it depends on your expectations of cruising. If you just like to hang out in a lounge chair and work on your tan and enjoy edible food, drink and participate in some but not a lot of activities, a cruise on the Fascination is right for you.

We were on the Fascination in October 2005 when Hurricane Wilma slammed into Florida and the Bahamas and rode out the storm on the ship. With 25-30 foot waves, the Fascination was rockin' and rollin' and listed to starboard a few times so badly that everything that wasn't nailed down went flying (including my grandson who slid across the floor slamming into a table)...liquor bottles, food, china, silverware, furniture, people, everything on our dresser hit the floor and wall. We managed to make it back to our stateroom to grab our lifejackets because we thought for sure we were going to roll over like the Poseidon. We heard that the crew's quarters were full of water and when the ship rolled, all you could see out the windows on the Riviera deck was water. Carnival could not do anything about the hurricane but the ship itself did not hold up well during the storm. I don't know if a larger ship would have done better navigating through the rough weather but with all the bells and whistles on the newer ships, I have to think so.

These are my experiences and thoughts, other people will probably disagree and I hate to discourage anyone from cruising. Having said that, my opinion is that you will be very disappointed sailing on the Fascination after experiencing the Dream.

Rose
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 11:19 AM
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My first ship was Destiny and then I sailed on the Fascination. I like the smaller ships because it seems I was able to interact with the other passengers more and easily. The larger ship I hardly saw the same people twice. I do not use the bells and whistles on the larger ships so for me it didn't make any difference in that regard. But if flow rider is your thing then you only have a few ship options.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 11:22 AM
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Guess I have a different point of view. While not as big as Conquest Fantasy class ships certainly are not small and often provide the greatest value because of cruise length or port location. We have no problem changing back and forth between ship classes knowing that there are differences. We will be on the Fascination out of Jax in 3 weeks and are really looking forward to it. As stated above, I guess it depends on your expectations. If you are going just to have a good time you certainly will on the Fascination. If you are going to be constantly comparing it to the Dream you will probably find very few ships that will measure up. 8)
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 11:39 AM
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When I mentioned "bells and whistles" in my response above, I was not talking about a flow rider, pools, etc., I'm referring to navigation systems, thrusters, engines, etc.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 04:16 PM
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I don't think that the technology has changed that much between the two classes of ships. At least not enough to make the new ones impervious to a violent storm. No ship is capable of standing up to what you described. ANd your captain was an idiot. Cruise ships can and do get out of the way of serious storms and that is what he should have done. It is has been a long time since the Poseidon, let alone the Titanic. Come on, now.
I am one of those who prefers the smaller ships. I don't care for the extreme size of monster ships nor am I interested in the extra activities they offer. I too prefer being able to get to know people and love running into tablemates ot just folks I had an interesting conversation with on a tour.
So, your answer depends on your preferences. I would go, simply because any cruise is a good cruise. And, yes, I've been through hurricanes on ships. But, I did not understand why you thought that you would hit rough seas that time of year. You are more likely to hit storms on the August Dream cruise.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 04:33 PM
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I am the EXACT opposite of the first poster to respond to your question.

We prefer to take 2 or 3 cruises on the Fantasy class ships, versus 1 cruise a year on the Conquest class. (or now Dream class)

We started with 2 4 day cruises on the Sensation (older sister of Fascination) and absolutely loved the ship.

Then we tried the Glory and did not like the size and layout of the larger, Conquest class ships. (just too big and too many lines for everything onboard. Longer lines debarking in ports, longer lines at the buffett, etc...)

We gave the Conquest class one more try with the newer Freedom.
The ONLY thing we liked about the Freedom over the Sensation was the Movies Under the Stars big screen by the pool.
I would take the 15 year older Sensation, any day over the Freedom or Glory.

We are going to be on the Fascination in 16 days and have absolutely no worries about cruising in the busiest part of the hurricane season. (I'd imagine a little bumpier than January)

Then we are going on the Inspiration (another Fantasy class ship) in January.

With all the drydocks and refurbishments they give these ships, there is very little difference from the oldest (Fantasy) and newest (Dream) in their upkeep and cleanliness.

If you want the larger size and longer lines, then stick with the bigger ships.
If you want a nice, enjoyable getaway, with fewer lines and tons of fun, give the Fascination a try.
Then make up your own mind.

Bill
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Old September 6th, 2009, 02:27 PM
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I came off of the Liberty in 07 The valor in May 09 and the Fascination in August 09. YOU WILL WITHOUT A DOUBT BE DISAPPOINTED WITH THE FASCINATION,If you loved the dream. The menu selections weren't as extensive, service was not as good, in my opinion this ship is a training ground for the larger ones. Nothing was terrible but she is an older ship and it does show. Fewer public areas and they are smaller. I would suggest that you wait until after January and try her.
I must point out one thing that really ticked me off. I purchased liquor on the second day, I knew that it would be delivered the last night. When my liquor arrived I discovered that instead of a $20. bottle I had a substitute $10. bottle without explanation. I checked my sail and sign account NO Change, On departure day the pursers desk had me go to the gift shop where I was met by a staff member, She checked my sail and sign and went to get me my proper liquor. When this young lady returned she informed me that the must have oversold that particular liquor and made the substitution. My money was refunded without problem . My question, How you oversell on day 2 and have that same liquor in the gift shop all week?
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Old September 10th, 2009, 11:29 AM
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Thanks for all of the responses. Our last curise was on the Glory and we really enjoyed it. Although there were times when we thought she was a bit too big. I have read on some other posts that some people thought the service and food was some what lower on the Fantasy Class ships. Any thoughts on that?

Scurvy: could you let me know what you think about her when you get back?

As far as rough seas, I realize there wont be any Hurricanes that time of year. But in '05 when we were on the Enchantment a cold front came through and caused 18-20' waves. Even in a bigger ship that was one rough day and night.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 03:10 PM
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I will be sailing on Fascination on Oct 12 out of J'ville FL. It is my 3rd cruise and my first on Fascination. I can not be disappointed on a cruise ship no matter how big or small. If it's a smaller ship, it probably didn't cost as much so it evens out. I am sailing on Liberty in May 2010 and I'm equally excited about both of my cruises!
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Old September 12th, 2009, 07:30 AM
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Now I'm worried! I am sailing out Nov 9th on this boat. This is my third cruise (Inspiration, Sensation). I hear this is a smaller boat, yet when I check the size it shows that it is the same size as the other two I went on. We are going with a couple who have never cruised and I want their first to be magical. We live in Georgia and are really close to this port (Jax).. Should I be worried?
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Old September 12th, 2009, 08:29 AM
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I say go for it and go with an open mind the price is right, you will be bringing in the new year on a cruise with each other...try it, you might like it

each size has it's plus/minus so don't get hung on it

I've been on the Fascination, LOVED IT...I've been on the Conquest, LOVED IT....IMHO "bells and whistles" are highly overrated..if you are with the one you love, it will work

p.s...nice way to bring in the new year...don't have to drive and no hurricanes that time of year
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Old September 12th, 2009, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parnett
Now I'm worried! I am sailing out Nov 9th on this boat. This is my third cruise (Inspiration, Sensation). I hear this is a smaller boat, yet when I check the size it shows that it is the same size as the other two I went on. We are going with a couple who have never cruised and I want their first to be magical. We live in Georgia and are really close to this port (Jax).. Should I be worried?
You are absolutely correct. The Fascination is the same size as Inspiration, and Sensation.. In fact, since she will be getting her "facelift" before you sail her, I have no doubt that you'll LOVE your cruise aboard Fascination. They will have added the new "Serenity" area, and the new water park area, and lots and lots of other upgraded, and new stuff. This ship is not "small" by any stretch of the imagination, (unintentional pun) and she has something for everyone. Great cruise, and especially for the money. Book it, and have no fear,,,,you're going to love the cruise aboard "Fascination".

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Old September 13th, 2009, 08:18 PM
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The Fascination goes to dry dock in Jan. After that she will be a different ,albeit, a smaller class of ship. Remember, A bad day cruising beats a good day at work.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 09:40 PM
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Where is she going into dry dock ?does anybody know?
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Old September 14th, 2009, 09:48 PM
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We did our first cruise on the Facination in 2008. LOVED IT! The only negatives were;

1. We were on the Rivera deck and there was a noise like a chain banging at night. Would last 5 minutes or so, then go away for for about half an hour. It was somewhat annoying.

2. Every time we lifted the toilet lid there was a sewer smell.

3. Went to the Adult pool and kids were everywhere. We didn't sty in them long as they were jumping on the edge and splashing everyone. In addition, someone had a baby in the hot tub who was spewing mucus everywhere. There was a security guard there but he was to busy chatting with the bartender to enforce the adults only rules.

Even with the above, we still enjoyed our time on the Facination. Great food, wonderful entertainment and beautiful scenery. We cruised on the Valor this year and it was nice too. Have fun on your cruise!
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Old September 26th, 2009, 09:21 AM
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Just off the Fascination and had a great cruise. Food, service, ship condition were all very acceptable plus it was a great value. The ship currently does not have a great deal of
"Wow Factor" but that should change with the Water Works refit.
Would I do it again??.... YES 8)
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Old September 26th, 2009, 11:17 AM
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I am sure I am out of my circle here - but my first cruise ever was on the Facsination back in May. True - I do not have anything to compare it to - but we had such a great time - we are planning on going again. We really really loved the karoke bar.
( Although - we will be doing the one out of Charleston. )

I agree with Venice -- go in with an open mind.

I thought the Fascination was off the hook ---- now you have me wondering what else I am missing???
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Old September 27th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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I agree with Admiral. I don't cruise for all the "bells and whistles". I cruise to have fun, relax and to know that I DON'T have to keep up with the Joneses. I love the relaxed atmosphere of Carnival. I will say that I hope to cruise Dream some day mainly for the water park!!
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Old September 27th, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Just got off the Fascination on Thursday morning....

The main place she shows her age, is in the public restrooms.

Other than that, the rest of the ship was in comparable shape to the Glory, easily.

Whoever stated that the crew is in a training mode is way off the mark there.
DW and I were actually stunned at how much older this crew was compared to the crews on our first 4 cruises.
Usually the crew in the Lido buffett is probably all from 20-30, tops.

Over half the wait staff was 30+ easily.....Definitely NOT a rookie crew being trained.
Very fast an efficient clearing the tables and serving.

The counter space in the bathroom was less than the Conquest class, but the shower was definitely larger than the Conquest class showers. (loved not having a shower curtain hanging on me every time I moved in there.)

The in cabin TVs were all new LCDs....
But they did not have the interactive menus, excursions channel, etc...

The free movie selection on this cruise was 100% better than what we had on the Glory or Freedom. (only 2 that had even been released on DVD yet were Watchmen and Wolverine, which just came out 2 days before we sailed.)

Bill
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Old September 27th, 2009, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parnett
Now I'm worried! I am sailing out Nov 9th on this boat. This is my third cruise (Inspiration, Sensation). I hear this is a smaller boat, yet when I check the size it shows that it is the same size as the other two I went on. We are going with a couple who have never cruised and I want their first to be magical. We live in Georgia and are really close to this port (Jax).. Should I be worried?
Relax. What we are discussing here is how monster a monster ship needs to be. The Fantasy class is only one and a half Titanics, while the Dream is three Titanics.
I do have one thing of substance to add, though. If you read the factors that cause hurricanes on NOAA's web-site, you will find that lack of shear wind is one of the factors. In other words, hurricanes cannot form over rough waters, so you can expect that, between storms, waves will be smaller during hurricane season than during the winter/spring. We have some friends who cruised the eastern Caribbean in January 05 on Navigator of the Seas, and they assured us that all ships will pitch and roll when the water gets rough.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 04:33 AM
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The Fascination (been on it 2 times) is NOT a "small" ship... It may not be the Dream (not sure I want to be on "cityship") but is quite large. It carries over 2000 passengers.

Our last trip was this past Jan. and mostly it was great. The ship was fine, the suite (cat 11) was wonderful and I would do it again... except in May the Fantasy (same class ship) comes to Charleston, SC and I will have no reason to drive to Jacksonville!

The only problem was the MDR food... service was great but the food just was not up to par... so we went to the Lido. The rest of the trip was fine. We have been to the Bahamas so many times that we kinda wished for a new port but what you gonna do?
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