Triss A. Smith
Age: 31 to 40
Number of Cruises: First Cruise
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Fascination
Sailing Date: February 3rd, 2001
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
What a great trip. My husband and I just got home from 7 wonderful days on the Fascination. We had a great time. This was our first cruise and it was so much more than I could imagine. We are from the central part of Maine and took our trip February 3rd through the 10th. This was a great time to get away from the cold snowy days of winter. We very much appreciated the service that we received on the ship. We were traveling with another couple from our hometown.
We stayed on the Main Deck in a cabin that was mid-way from the front of the ship. We did get some movement while the boat was at sea. If we had been in one of the rooms higher up the movement would have been worse. The lower you are in the boat and the closer to the center of the boat the less the motion. I only felt a little queasy one day and that was the day we spent at sea. I used the sea bands on my wrist and with in minutes was feeling better. I must say that I didn’t expect to feel the motion of the ship quit this much but got use to it as the day pasted.
The food was excellent. I did not get a meal that I didn’t like. I tried foods that I had never eaten before. The waiters were very courteous. We went to a couple of the midnight buffets. The food was presented in ways I have never seen before. This was quite a treat. Took the camera to take pictures of the ice sculptures and the food presentation. I will not go into detail. You need to see it for yourself to believe the wonderful things they do.
The Captain’s night was very nice. Everyone was dressed up and the ship photographers were taking pictures of couples. These pictures were available for you to purchase. Each day the photographers would take pictures of you getting off the ship. They took photos of you in the dining rooms as well.
The entertainment was outstanding. The only complaint I have was that our late seating in the dinning room did not give us time to get a very good seat at the Palace lounge. A few times we sat up on the top level and had to look over the railings and around the pillars in the room to see the shows. Our dinner seating was 8:45 p.m. I would like to suggest earlier seating.
The cabin we had was just right. We didn’t spend anytime in our rooms anyway. There is much to do on the ship. You can be as business as you like or as relaxed as you like. I used the gym twice. Went to an aerobics class and used the machines. There was a steam room, sauna room, weight room and hot tub room. This facility was very clean and not crowded at all.
We went to St. Thomas on our first stop. This island was very nice. We did not do a tour this day but decided to get a cab to take us on a tour. We left the ship and took a shuttle into town. Cost just a few dollars a piece to take us to the shopping area. An islander that wanted to take us on a tour approached us soon after we arrived. He made a great sale as we decided to meet him at 12:00 noon so that he could take us back to the ship for our lunch and then we met him outside on the dock around 1:15 for our island tour. He was very personable. He took us to the overlook to see the harbor were our boat was docked and the great views of the island. We continue on to the top of the mountain to a place called MountainTop. We could see all of Megan’s Beach and some islands off the shore. It happened to rain just as we were standing on the deck overlooking the Bay. Just a short shower and it actually felt good as it was very warm out. From there we went back down the mountain and were taken to Koki Beach. This was the beach that our driver recommended. It was kind of crowded and seamed to be about half the size of Megan’s Beach. We spent about an hour here. My friend decided to do a little snorkeling here. She needed much encouragement, as she does not like to be under the water. We rented a chair and a floatation mat here for $5.00 to sit down and enjoy the beach.
St. Marten/St. Maarten for our second island. We decided to walk into town from the pier. It was a short walk and we went through a section of small shops that we would have missed had we taken the taxi service or shuttle. We saw mountain goats all over the side of the road on the hill sides. They were grazing the side of the hills. Did some shopping and decided to find a taxi to take us to Orient Beach. Did some dickering to get a good bye for the taxi service to the beach and then back to the ship when we were through. Found a nice taxi driver. He left us on the beach without collecting a cent and then came back for us around 2:30 to take us back to the ship. We rented chairs and umbrella’s here from a nice young man named Kevin. He was from Paris. He waited on us while were there. My girlfriend went parasailing here on this beach. I should have gone up with here. You could go double as they had harnesses to take two at a time. She was up there viewing the whole side of the island. This beach was for nude bathing, topless bathing or anything goes. Quite a culture shock for some I am sure.
Next Island was Dominica. We had decided first day on the ship to book a tour of this island. We took the tour with Roseau Sightseeing and Trafalgar Falls. It was O.K. We did not go to Emerald Pool on this tour. This Island is very tropical and the air is very humid. It rained while we were on our hike to the falls. Not anything to be alarmed about. The rain felt good, as we were very hot. We stopped on the way back down the mountain to have a free drink. You could have a rum drink or the Island beer Khabuli. I chose the beer. After our tour we went shopping in Roseau. We did not go to the beach on this Island but I heard from others on the ship that the beach was nice.
Next Island was Martinique. This Island was beautiful. I would like to go here on a vacation some day. We went into town on a shuffle bus. $2.00 fare per person. We shopped around in the tents and from there went on the ferry across the bay to Bakou Beach. This was $6.00 per person round trip. You had to be back at the landing to get the ferry back across the bay to hit the shuttle bus back to the ship. This beach was very nice but was between two hotel resort areas that had a portion of each side of the beach designated for their hotel guests. There were women here that sold bathing suits and would try them on for you right there on the beach. This was a big hit with the guys. This was a very beautiful Island and we could have stayed here to do some sight seeing. The people were quite friendly.
Next day onto Barbados. We started our day by hiring a taxi driver to take us to Harrison’s Caves. The caves are a must to see. Our taxi experience was something else. We hired a man to take us to the caves and back for $5.00 per person. He took us outside the gates at the port entrance and delivered us to his brother who owned a late model impala with no air conditioning. His brother was not impressed with the $5.00 agreement and tried to sell us on an island tour for more money. We explained that we had booked a tour for the afternoon and just wanted to go to the caves and back to the ship for lunch. He had an attitude about this and gave us a ride around a few curves on our way to and from the caves. We paid him our agreed price and a small tip. We booked a shore tour for the afternoon on the Jolly Roger. This was quite an experience. If you like rum punch this is the tour for you. We had a great time. I walked the plank and went off the rope swing into the ocean. You could also take a barge to shore to a beach to spend an hour or so. We chose to stay on the Jolly Roger. Great day.
The last day was at sea. This was a day we used to relax and catch up on our rest. We were up every night until after midnight. The day on the ship was filled with activities or you could just sun bath.
When we returned to San Juan the next morning we waited our turn to get off the ship and after checking our luggage at the curb side service for our airline we went on a tour of the city. We did not book this tour in advance. We paid half the price of the prepaid tour by waiting until we got to shore. We had a good day sight seeing with Eddie. He took us back to the airport after our tour about 1 hour before our plane was to leave. Great way to end the trip. If we had not done this and went to the airport we would have waited there for over 5 hours before our flight left. San Juan was beautiful. We tour the Fort, old San Juan and new San Juan. We did an hour of shopping and Eddie was very informative. He also spoke very good English.
This was just an awesome trip. We will definitely do another cruise.