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SA

Age: 28

Occupation:Engineer

Number of Cruises: none

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Fascination

Sailing Date: December 23rd, 2005

Itinerary: Nassau, Bahamas

My wife and I planned this cruise for our year-end vacation. Since this was going to be our first cruise we opted for a short 3-day trip. Our vacation on Carnival’s Fascination exceeded our expectations.

Carnival Fascination is not a luxury liner and that should be kept in mind. However, in no way did we find it shabby or unclean. It was just perfect for the price that we paid. Because of the number of people on the ship, there were 5-10 min. waiting lines on many occasions, but this wasn’t particularly bothersome. At times the ship appeared a bit crowded, but that is simply economy of scales - More people allowed better fares.

Choice of room: We were told that it doesn’t really matter whether you take a sea-view room or a room without a window. Even though we paid for the latter, somehow we got upgraded to a sea-view room, and that was awesome. If we do this again, we wouldn’t mind paying extra for the view. However, if one is prone to sea-sickness, watching the moving water may not be very exciting. In terms of the deck or level, we felt that even though lower decks were the cheapest they didn’t have any disadvantage. It simply meant an extra flight of steps or an extra few seconds wait in the elevator.

Sea-sickness: Even though the cruise line reassured us that the ship movement is not perceptible, that wasn’t the case. If the sea is rough, which it was for a while during our cruise, the ship motion was very noticeable. My wife had to take a motion sickness pill (which they provide for free) and go to bed for a while, and everything was fine after that. Obviously, a bigger ship would move less.

Hospitality/Food: Overall, the ship staff was wonderful. Our two waiters on the three dinner nights were the awesome. The room service people were great. Hardworking and pleasant is how I would describe the people. Food was ample and good, but there were limited vegetarian options. Of course there were salads, fruits, yogurt, pizza etc., but no good main course meals. However, the dining staff came to our rescue. On all three nights they specially got ‘good’ Indian vegetarian food made for us. Without this gesture, our food experience would have been below average. For people with no such dietary restrictions, I learned from others on the ship that the food was excellent.

Shows/Entertainment: Shows were pretty good. There were other activities as well that were great fun. The cruise director provided good entertainment. The best part is everything was free. There was a good gym, open running track on the top most deck, Jacuzzi pools for not additional cost.

Nassau is a good place to spend a day. They provide enough information on the ship as to what to do on the island. You can take a guided tour run by the ship or enjoy equally well on your own.

Conclusion: In any trip, one of my main concerns is: Are we getting ripped off? Have we been charged more than the true value of the service provided? Our experience was a very satisfactory one. There was ample indication that everyone on the cruise was trying hard to make our experience and stay an enjoyable one. Would certainly recommend this cruise to first-timers.

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