Back To Line

Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Fascination

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Fascination Review

The fourth ship in Carnival’s eight-ship Fantasy-class, Carnival Fascination entered service in 1994. While the ship has received numerous upgrades over the years, including the welcome addition of balconies to some ocean-view cabins, as well as a secluded adults-only

Serenity Deck, there is no word at this writing on whether the ship will be updated to feature Carnival’s "Fun Ship 2.0" upgrades. From the north Florida port of Jacksonville, Carnival Fascination sails short four-and five-night cruises to the Bahamas and, depending on the date, also makes occasional calls in Key West, Florida.

Bathed in fiber-optic light, glitzy Fantasy-class interiors added expansive six-deck atriums and a new dimension to the original superliner concept. To keep the fun going, these ships offer an almost wearying assortment of places to have a good time. As times and tastes have changed, the ships have evolved as well, with new lobby bars, dedicated club spaces for teens and tweens, miniature golf, and Internet centers. Even newer are Carnival’s WaterWorks water park and the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat, which increase the appeal of the older Fantasy-class vessels.

Only one level below the Lido deck, the indoor promenade connects major public rooms on a single deck, with only formal dining rooms, shops, and other small spaces one deck below. Large in size and ideal for a short itinerary, these ships have sprawling outdoor pool and sunning areas, but they can feel cramped when sailing at maximum capacity. Cabins provide calm oases from sensory overload. With the exception of Carnival Sensation, Carnival Fascination, and Carnival Ecstasy, to which balconies were added to existing cabins, you'll have to book a suite if you want the solitude of a private balcony.

The world's largest cruise line originated the Fun Ship concept in 1972 with the relaunch of an aging ocean liner, which got stuck on a sandbar during its maiden voyage. In true entrepreneurial spirit, founder Ted Arison shrugged off an inauspicious beginning to introduce superliners a decade later. Sporting red-white-and-blue flared funnels, which are easily recognized from afar, new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern. If you find something you like on one vessel, you're likely to find something similar on another.

Each vessel features themed public rooms, ranging from ancient Egypt to futuristic motifs, although many of those elements are being replaced with a more tropical decor as older ships are upgraded. Carnival is also introducing features either branded by the line itself, such as the poolside Blue Iguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina and the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, or in partnership with well known brands, such as EA SPORTS to create EA SPORTS Bars at sea and Guy’s Burger Joint, in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri. Implementation of the new features is scheduled for completion in 2015.

Read More

What You Should Know

Pros

  • Central atriums are stunning when sunlight streams in through skylights
  • Surprisingly large libraries are ideal retreats for reading or playing board games
  • Freshly made pizza and calzones are available around the clock

Cons

  • Despite upgrades, the decor is still pretty gaudy
  • These are ships designed for partying, so quiet spots can be difficult to find
  • Sushi bars earn high marks for their complimentary creations, but sake costs extra
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 920
  • Entered Service 1994
  • Gross Tons 70,367
  • Length 855 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,028
  • Passenger Capacity 2,056 (2,610 max)
  • Width 103 feet
  • New

Apr 2, 2017

Review of Carnival Fascination

Rosa Age: 40 Occupation:cna Number of Cruises: 2 Cruise Line: Carnival Ship: Carnival Fascination Sailing Date: 2015-05-6 Itinerary: family Considering the circumstances I enjoyed my cruise the best I could The food was surprisingly good, tasty and fresh The cabin was clean and tidy.. Did not get involve with too much of the onboard activities but I like the sales they had Well my brother and my 3yr old nephew went on this cruise with us. We

were so excited. As we were going through the terminal my brother forgot to take out his birth certificates in his luggage. He called me and told me that they will not let him board without certificates. So I went to service desk to let them know they said they will for luggage. At 3:30pm I started worrying because all the luggage made it to the rooms except his. I was so hurt and crying when the ship sailed off without my brother and nephew. I JUST COULD NOT BELIEVE THIS!! I know this another sob story but I spent 11 months working and preparing my brother for his vacation and cruise ever. He know that it was his fault for leaving certificates in luggage. It was hard for him to explain to his son who was also crying hysterically why he wasn't on the ship. My pressure was very high so for 2 days I was not feeling well. The carnival team did not find his luggage until Sunday morning. They couldn't find it because the tag came off. On top of all this my brother had brought the insurance and they denied him. He don't want the money back just to credited him another cruise. So I am pleading on my brothers behalf allow him to take his son on a cruise. That is a lot off money and planning to go to waste. I don't know what else I can do but I am open for suggestions.

Read More

By Rosa_CR

  • New

May 5, 2015

family

Considering the circumstances I enjoyed my cruise the best I could The food was surprisingly good, tasty and fresh The cabin was clean and tidy.. Did not get involve with too much of the onboard activities but I like the sales they had Well my brother and my 3yr old nephew went on this cruise with us. We were so excited. As we were going through the terminal my brother forgot to take out his birth certificates in his

luggage. He called me and told me that they will not let him board without certificates. So I went to service desk to let them know they said they will for luggage. At 3:30pm I started worrying because all the luggage made it to the rooms except his. I was so hurt and crying when the ship sailed off without my brother and nephew. I JUST COULD NOT BELIEVE THIS!! I know this another sob story but I spent 11 months working and preparing my brother for his vacation and cruise ever. He know that it was his fault for leaving certificates in luggage. It was hard for him to explain to his son who was also crying hysterically why he wasn't on the ship. My pressure was very high so for 2 days I was not feeling well. The carnival team did not find his luggage until Sunday morning. They couldn't find it because the tag came off. On top of all this my brother had brought the insurance and they denied him. He don't want the money back just to credited him another cruise. So I am pleading on my brothers behalf allow him to take his son on a cruise. That is a lot off money and planning to go to waste. I don't know what else I can do but I am open for suggestions.

Read More
  • New

Mar 5, 2015

Bahamas

We sailed on the Carnival Fascination out of Jacksonville, FL on 14 February 2015 with my wife, 3 other couples, and one solo cruiser. This was my 11th cruise overall (8th with Carnival) and my wife's 4th cruise. The cruise was five nights and stopped in Nassau and Half Moon Cay. The ship is easy to get to and parking your own car at the terminal parking lot was $75 for the cruise duration. We checked our luggage with the porters in the parking

lot area and tipped $1 per bag. Check in was painless and fast as we arrived at the terminal around 1045 and were on board before noon. The buffets were open once we boarded and remember to go check out all your food options before stopping at the first line you see. Our stateroom was ready at 1230, an outside cabin with two portholes, cabin number M29. This cabin had plenty of room and it was nice being able to shut the portholes to keep the daylight out. The trip in and out of the St Johns River is an added plus to this cruise. It took about one and a half hours to get through the river. Cheers Beverage Program: 5 days at $49.95 a day = $249.75 times two people = $499.50, plus $74.92 for 15% gratuity = $574.42 total. Both people in cabin must sign up for program and it does include unlimited soda drinks and you have a limit of 15 alcoholic drinks a day. Worth it? For us on this cruise without kids, Yes. It's a personal decision and depends on how you plan to use it. You don't have to drink all 15 drinks a day to break even, just the majority of them. I have a breakdown chart if interested. We actually did some things to make it worth it. We stockpiled beers in the room the day before Half Moon Cay and carried them off the ship to island and got buckets of ice in Villa. We also did a martini tasting the last day at sea with everyone in our group that had cheers program. And, we gave away drinks to folks we met onboard, so for us it was worth it for this cruise. The first port was Nassau. We got off the ship after the crowds and walked around the shops and straw market. We ate in one of the local bars and watched a cruise ship come into port and the world go by. Not overly impressed with this port as there is a lot a construction at the security check point and 4 other ships docked that day, but, we had nothing planned for the day so got back onboard early. The second port was Half Moon Cay. Awesome day!!! You tender here and that is part of the fun. It gives you a chance to see the ship from the water and the island as you approach and leave. The water was very choppy that day and it was windy, so the ride in and out was an adventure. Our group of nine rented a Villa for the day. There are only 5 Villas on the island so book early and the cost was around $500, split 9 ways, well worth it. We were the only ship at the island that day, so not very crowded on the beach. For a large group, the Villa is the way to go. You have your own hot tub, snacks and soft drinks provided, two story decks, kitchen area up top, and your own bathroom!! It made the day much more enjoyable. We did have several people try to enter Villa as they did not realize it was a private rental, but just nicely informed them and no problems. Several people asked if they could see inside and we showed it off. When you first get on the ship you need to go to the excursion desk to get your Villa ticket and choose which one you want, we had the one closest to ship wreck bar. You also get priority tendering to island with Villa rental, had to be in lounge at 0730 for first tender to island. Fun day, beautiful island, great water (a little chilly). We were on the last tender back to ship with many of the Carnival Crew, since they work on the island too. Getting off the ship was easy and we did not do self-assist. Our bags were in Zone 1 so we were first group after self-assist. Some in our group were zone 21, but when I saw all the zone bags were accessible in the terminal, I called the others to get off ship and they got to their bags right away too. The temp that morning was freezing so a rude awaking for the walk to the parking lot!! Concerns: some noise at night/mornings with doors shutting and people walking in the hallways (ear plugs are the answer for sleeping though), the ship is showing some wear and tear (but someone was always cleaning the various areas), but it sure beat being at work. The crew was very nice and friendly. Our group spent a lot of time on the Lido Deck bar area and did various activities throughout the day. Recommendations: spend the night prior in Jacksonville to enjoy the city and not be rushed to get to the ship (we stayed at Best Western Oceanfront on Jacksonville Beach, great location, nice rooms, and once you park the car you can walk to eat, shop, explore, etc), explore the ship and see all it has to offer, see the shows and the comedians and if you don't like them leave, check out all the bars and other areas to decide which is the best for you (we enjoyed the casino bar and the live bands there), bring a cheap hole punch and lanyards to wear around your neck for your sail and sign cards, sneak booze on board in your luggage if you want to, order two entries (food was great), tip extra they work hard seven days a week, and remember there's no such thing as a bad cruise, it's just that some are better than others!!! Read reviews and learn all you can before you go, have fun and enjoy!! All in all, a great cruise.

Read More

By Mike_CR

  • New

Mar 30, 2014

Nassau

Brief Synopsis: Fascination is an old ship that a makeover can’t help. Not enough activities or chairs for the number of passengers. Not enough entertainment. Drink programs are not worth it. Customer satisfaction isn’t top priority. While this has been two straight cruises with Carnival that have resulted in negative impressions, there were several guests onboard that were having a great time and didn’t have any bad experiences.

The food was good. Not great, but good. There were problems with the number of areas that offered food at specific times. The selection was much less that what I'm use to on other ships. The quality was ok. The servers were not very social. Major issues with the stateroom. We upgraded to a Jr. Suite and was horrified as to the conditions of the room. The balcony was so small that two people couldn't walk out at the same time. The bathroom was very small and had no storage for toiletries. Our robes were missing; the toilet wouldn't flush, the in-cabin safe wouldn't open; and worst of all, there fitness center was directly above us. The Junior Suite was a disappointment. We expected something elegant but got plain. The bathroom was too small with no storage for toiletries. The balcony was to small and didn’t allow us to stretch out and enjoy ourselves. There was no way to even walk by another person. The Cabin was directly under the fitness center which resulted in many complaints due to loud noise, thunder-like booms on our ceiling. We found out that the staff use the fitness center when it closes to passengers. The toilet broke on day two. The safe malfunction on day 4. It seems like every day was a new issue. Read more details below. There were limited activities. Even when the ship couldn't make port due to weather, there was nothing to do. No shows, no way to go outside in the rain and wind. Carnival failed to provide quality entertainment. I’m probably not the best person to give a Carnival Cruise review, but then if you want someone to give you the honest, although not pretty, experience we shared on Carnival Cruise line, then this is for you. The review from a pair of cruisers that swore we’d never cruise on Carnival again. Our last cruise two years ago was the cruise to nowhere. We left out of Miami on a cruise to Jamaica and several other ports. Our first night at sea we were told that the ship had lost propulsion and that we would not make our first port. A few hours later we learned we wouldn’t make any ports. We drifted at sea for days before being told we could make one port (and thus not be eligible for any type of compensation) and spent the night in Nassau. Really? We’ve been to Nassau numerous times and had no desire to make this unplanned stop. Anyway, back to this most recent cruise. This was a high school show choir spring break trip and my wife and I were a couple of the adult chaperones. We agreed to put bad experiences behind us and try and enjoy this trip. I wanted to make this the best trip possible, so I surprised my wife and purchased an upgrade to our package from a regular cabin with a balcony to a Junior Suite. I also surprised her by purchasing the onboard Cruiser Drink program. Little did I know we’d have problems with each. Here’s where the issues began. Upon boarding the ship, we went to the Atrium bar and had the drink program added to both of our cards (more on the Atrium bar below). We immediately ordered our first drink and was shocked… in addition to the $250 (plus gratuity) we just paid for our package, we were charged an additional tax on each drink we purchased. Really???? Furthermore, we had to sign a receipt that asked for more gratuities. Secondly, we were told that we were limited to 15 drinks per day (on an unlimited drink card), and that we couldn’t get water, coffee or any other specialty drink, even if the cost was below the $10 limit. To top it off, the glasses were not much bigger than a double shot glass. Double really??? The Atrium bar is the first bar you see when you board the ship. It’s located between Guest Services and Shore Excursions. This is the place where many passengers congregate and is also one of a limited number of places you can purchase your drink packages (either alcoholic or soft drink). The bar was packed with eager cruisers ready for their first trip and instead they were greeted by an overworked bartender that was less than enthused to be there. It seems that this would be the one place that you would want to shine. Two or three bartenders would have been great during these high usage periods. Carnival could really use an efficiency expert to help them become more productive and help customers enjoy their vacations. Each time someone ordered a drink, the bartender had to swipe the card, print out a receipt and then have the customers sign it. IF there was additional gratuity added then another entry was required. Bartenders were also very precise on their drinks, measuring each time. Trained bartenders know how much to pour and could save more time if they weren’t required to be so stringent. Especially for the customers that purchased the “all you can drink” packages. After a couple of drinks it was time to get checked into our room. I was so excited to show my wife the Jr. Suite that I had upgraded her too. After opening the door to our room I was a bit taken back. I expected to see a lavished stateroom. It didn’t look much different than a normal balcony suite. Speaking of the balcony, it was so small, that you had to walk in a line formation, as there wasn’t any room for two people side-by-side. Literally, it was 3’ by 5’. When sitting down, you couldn’t even stretch out our legs. Very uncomfortable. The balcony wasn’t even over the ocean, it was over another deck with and observation post in front of the ship directly looking at us. No privacy at all. But this isn’t the only thing that made our Suite special. The bathroom was so small with no storage for toiletries. There was a smell of raw sewage (covered up with a lot of cleaning chemicals/vinegar) in the bathroom and a mildew smell in other areas. Later we found that our bath robes were missing. The bathrobes were an easy fix, but just one more thorn into all the things that went wrong. After the most annoying, uncoordinated lifeboat/safety drill I’ve ever witnessed (and I’ve been on over a dozen cruises) we went up top to watch the ship leave port and sail out to sea. Dinner was good. We were a bit taken back by the lack of social skills by our waiters. They didn’t take the time to get to know us, ask us our names, or even try and communicate with us; unlike other cruises where we built a rapport with our waiters. After dinner we toured the ship, took in a show, and then retired to our room to get some rest. The next morning we were woken up early with the sounds of loud, thunder-like, booming concussions coming from above us. It comes to find out that our cabin was located under the fitness center, more specifically directly under the free weights area. As the weight lifters were lifting the bar bells they would drop them to the floor. BOOM as they bounced off the floor. Over and over again. We complained to the room steward who contacted her supervisor and made a visit to the fitness center. I went to the fitness center as well and spoke with the manager. He said that he couldn’t watch every person that used the weights and would tell new people that he saw (after the fact) which was no good to us. My wife went to Guest relations several times about this issue. Neighbors in adjoining cabins had the same problem. This is not a new issue. The weights have always been over these cabins, so I’m sure other cruises have had the same problem. Very frustrated and tired from not getting a good night’s sleep, we decided to have breakfast and then find chairs on deck to get some sun. Holy smoke. There were no available chairs to be found. We joined the dozens of passengers circling the ship like vultures waiting for someone to get up so we could find a place to sit. There were 40 to 50 passengers that had resolved to put a towel on the deck and lay on the ground. This caused some problems as we had to step around them while walking (very unsafe). By this time my wife was in tears and ready to just go back to the room. We’ve only been on the ship for 24 hours and not a single thing had gone right. Fortunately, as we were making our way back, two ladies got up and freed two chairs (which I quickly confiscated) After a couple of hours we went back to the room to freshen up; only to find that the toilet wouldn’t flush. This was very inconvenient and just one more thorn into a very bad experience. We had to delay our activities for 40 minutes while we waited for the plumbing to be fixed. Day three was a stop at Nassau Bahamas. Very nice visit to the island again. We took a few people over to Paradise Island and enjoyed the beach and other amenities. We got back to the ship a couple of hours before sailing so that we could get a bite to eat and then get cleaned up. We were shocked to find that there were limited places to eat. Both buffets on the Lido deck were closed and the only place we could eat was at the sandwich bar. Really? After a hot day at the beach we were tired and hungry (as were hundreds of others) and we all had to gaggle towards the only area left open to eat. This bottle neck wasn’t limited to the food options, but also towards entertainment. There wasn’t enough simultaneous activities to support the number of passengers. This meant that a lot of people were meeting at the same locations. I just returned from another cruise on Celebrity and was astonished by the number of shows they had, the quality of the entertainment, and the overall experience. Carnival has been a huge let down. The shows were good, but compared to Celebrity it was like community theater verses Broadway. I hate to keep referring to my last cruise, but every aspect of our cruise reminded me of how much better Celebrity was. The in-room entertainment, for instance, consisted of on demand movies where you had your choice of numerous titles that could be watched at any time. On Carnival you got one movie per day that only showed every three hours. You shouldn’t have to plan your cruise activities based on when the movie in your cabin was going to come on. The weather was beginning to get worse which prevented us from docking at our second port (Half Moon Cay). Looking at the weather channel on the in-room tv, we could see the severe storms north of us. We could also see clear sky south of us. Since we couldn’t make port that meant two days at sea. Instead of heading south for clear weather, we proceeded north into the storm. This increased the motion of the ship ten-fold and also increased the number of people suffering seasickness (including my wife). Now her experience is going down hill fast. I’m sure there is a good reason for it, but as passengers that can see sunshine in one direction and lightening in another, I feel we should have been give an explanation. Sure, Carnival would have had to spend a few more dollars on fuel, but just think about the customer satisfaction that would have been garnered by going south, verses north. Needless to say this “perceived” disregard to customer needs was the last straw. This experience has forever tainted our views of Carnival and we resolve to never use this cruise line again.

Read More
  • New

Sep 19, 2013

Bahamas

9th cruise on Carnival but due to security problems on this ship, we will unfortunately not do business with Carnival again. Fantastic food selection, temperature and quality in the main dining room. As for the Buffett - mediocre and long lines fro much of the food. The Asian food on the pool deck was great. Old decor, no refrigerator and bathroom floor was sagging. Found an empty bottle of blackberry wine and half full bottle of sex

lube under the bed. Remote control did not work and cabin attendant told us to change the channels via the TV itself. We stayed on the Serenity Deck, away from the craziness. Freeport has little to offer at the port. In Nassau we did a Sandals day pass and visited Goldy's in Fish Fry for conch salad. My wife and I were passengers on Carnival Fascination, sailing from Jacksonville on Thursday August 29. On this cruise we witnessed an assault and Carnival employees failed to help the female passenger that was being choked by a male passenger. Carnival has assigned a Case Number for this incident. After completing forty one total cruises, nine on Carnival, we will never again do business with this company due to their unwillingness to rescue a passenger under assault. At approximately 10:30 PM on Friday August 30, my wife Lynn and I left the dining room. As Lynn was in the ladies restroom, I witnessed a male grab an female by the neck. He was yelling at her and holding her up against a wall while two small children yelled at him to stop. I immediately notified a Carnival worker that was in the ship's liquor store and told him to call security as a woman was being assaulted. A few minutes later, a young female Carnival worker appeared and I again asked her to call security. This woman identified herself as a gift store manager. Both Carnival workers witnessed the assault but did nothing to help the passenger. The gift store manager called Guest Relations and spoke with Aaron another Carnival employee and asked for security to come help the passenger. I could see down to the Guest Relations desk and a Carnival employee wearing a black blazer with a gold insignia of a shield on his lapel spoke with Aaron who pointed up to us. The Carnival employee with the gold badge would not leave the Guest Relations area and come up to the reported assault. The man stopped choking the woman and both ultimately left the area. I estimate the total time of the assault to be 8-10 minutes. After immediately notifying a Carnival employee of the assault, never in that 8-10 minutes did approach the woman, restrain her attacker or detain him for questioning. I immediately went downstairs and spoke with Aaron at Guest Relations to express shock that Carnival never helped a woman being choked. Aaron confirmed that he told the Carnival Security worker to help but that the Security person would not go one floor up to help. I asked to speak with a ship's officer and was told that an email would be sent to the Staff Captain. Three days later, that officer never responded to Aaron's message. Twice, while getting on and off the ship, my boarding card set off a security alarm. Apparently someone at Carnival had flagged me as a problem due to my reporting of this crime. On Sunday night my wife and I met with the Head of Security for this ship, his Assistant and a Guest Relations Manager in the security office. We explained what we witnessed and how we could see the security guard ignore the request for help. Protection from violence is something that all cruise passenger guests should expect from Carnival. On my cruise, Carnival simply ignored a woman being choked in front of her children and flagged me as some sort of trouble maker. Carnival and their security team should be held accountable. This security guard was obviously on security camera as Aaron asked him to help the passenger. I will not step foot on a cruise ship owned by Carnival ever again. I hope that by bringing this assault to the attention of the US Coast Guard Carnival management can be called to better protect future passengers. My wife and I are willing to answer any questions on this matter. Thank you for your service to our country and your time today. (In addition to the assault we encountered on this ship poor cleanliness of our stateroom. We found an empty bottle of Arbor Mist Blackberry wine under the bed as well as a half full bottle of sex lube. it took two days to obtain a working TV remote control from the stateroom attendant. He suggested that we use the buttons on the TV itself to change channels. On the morning of debarkation, the stateroom bathroom was covered with inches of foam that came out of the shower floor drain. It was soap, shampoo and everything else that others rinsed down the other cabin's drains. My wife and I sailed Carnival 9 previous times. Carnival Fascination was the first ship we ever sailed on back in 1998. Since then we have been on 41 total cruises, 9 with Carnival and the rest on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Things go wrong on cruise ships - we get that. But cruise ship workers refusing to help a victim of an assault tells us that we are doing business with the wrong company.) Never again Carnival....

Read More

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?

Service

Food

Décor

Value

Cruise Forums

Have a cruising question? Ask our Fodorite community.

Cruise News

Read our latest news about cruises.

Store

Shop our travel guides on European, Caribbean, and Alaskan cruises.

Back To Top

No Thanks