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Amy Casanova

Age: 23

Occupation:Cardiac Admin Assistant

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Fascination

Sailing Date: September 28th 2007

Itinerary: Bahamas

I booked this cruise at the last minute because my brother announced that he was getting married on the ship at last minute. We arrived in Miami at 6am, didn’t have to be at the port until 10am. We took a taxi to South Beach and had breakfast.

Boarding was smooth but our rooms weren’t ready, so we dropped off our stuff and headed to the Lido Deck for lunch. After lunch we got ready for the wedding. Anyone that is looking for a short, to the point wedding with a lot of fun, this is the way to go. I wish I would have thought of it for my wedding. We headed back to the room for some sleep. We woke up just before dinner. We were part of a party of 10 but they could only fit 8 of us at the table for that night. So my husband and I missed out on the prime rib and lobster dinner, everyone else said it was great.

After dinner we partied in the Casino then headed to an adult comedy show. I have seen a lot of comedy shows, this BY FAR was the WORSE I HAVE EVER SEEN! The comedian was horrible, about 20 minutes into his set the place was empty. Most of us left to head back to the casino. My parents stayed through the whole thing just to say that it got worse as time went on.

The next day we woke up in the Bahamas! We took a short walk to get the boat for the Atlantis Excursion. They took us on a boat ride thru a canal and showed us the different sites of the Bahamas “On the left you will see so and so's house, then on the right that is the house of a famous author” blah blah blah. At first I thought, wow, how cool is this? The Atlantis casino is really pretty, but coming from Las Vegas, I didn’t think it was anything out of the ordinary. Then we went down into the aquarium were a tour guide showed us all types of sea creatures and such. This was really neat and I’m very glad I did it, but it was $49 per person. You could do this same thing for free, minus the tour guide. I think it was overpriced. But again, I’m glad I did it. On top of that you still have to get a taxi back to the ship. There is a large water park that you can play in; we didn’t get to because we had another excursion planned. But I would recommend enjoying the water park to get your monies worth. We had just a few minutes to walk thru the Straw Market and eat at Senor Frogs. Then we headed on the “Yellow Bird Party Boat” This boat has free rum, but don’t be fooled the drinks are made very weak. They took us down the same canal the Atlantis boat did, except this time everything was different, so and so's house house now belonged to someone else, the author's house was a king of some sort, so on and so on. I think they just make it up as they go. That was disappointing. In fact some of the jokes they told on this excursion about the home owners were some of the same jokes the comedian had told the night before. They took us to Black Beard’s Cove, it’s a beautiful beach were you can swim, get your hair braided, snorkel, or just get some rays for about an hour of two. That was fun, I’m glad I got to do that. One the way back everyone was dancing and doing the limbo. If you’re into wild dance scenes you’ll like this.

When we got back we headed to the ship to get ready for the formal dinner. I thought it was weird that the formal dinner was the same night as the night we were in the Bahamas and it wasn’t the prime rib and lobster dinner. We had dinner, and then we got ready to head back to the Straw Market, which was closed. I think it closes around 7pm.

The next day I woke up and we were at sea. I watched a movie in bed, and then did some laundry which was really nice to have a self serve laundry mat. It was $2.00 in quarters per machine, but the machines are really large. My husband and other family members watched football in the Hollywood Bar. The bar was packed full of football fans, I’m talking like 40-50 people packed inside a small bar, we had to fight with the waitress to get her to change the channel so everyone could watch it. After our go, go, go day it was nice to have a day just to kick back and really relax. After dinner we watched some karaoke and went to another adult comedy show. This guy was funny, hilarious in fact. I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time.

Woke up the next morning and we were already back in port. I was so shocked to see how smooth the debarkment process was, they were getting people off of that board faster than I could count them, why can’t more cruise lines be like this? They really have their stuff together when it comes to this. I had booked another excursion for the everglades. This is great and well worth the $35 per person, plus they drop you off at the airport. You get to see the alligators and lots of animals in their natural habitat, it’s great. It was pouring rain and I still had a great time. Then it was back on the airplane to head home, which I missed so terribly.

Cons: I’m from the west coast; I’m use to the dry heat. Miami and the Bahamas were horribly humid and hot. In fact, I have no desire to ever go back. Carnival automatically charges gratuity, most cruise lines you tip what you feel you they deserve. Well, because the staff was already getting tipped the service was pretty bad, most of the people were rude and short, the waitresses/waiters were slow and I couldn’t understand anyone. Their accents were so strong and their English was so poor I had to ask them to repeat themselves four or fives times. I thought it was just me, but several people were complaining of this. The ships décor was tacky; it was decorated in black, purple and copper. Even the dinning room was tacky, which in my opinion that room should be stunning. The ship’s layout was confusing; it wasn’t easy to get around. The decks all have names instead of “Deck 5”, you can never remember where you are. You have two keys instead of one, you have a room key and a sign and sail pass, other cruises I have been on before this was one key.

Pros: Boarding was smooth; the rooms were very updated, nice and big. The self serve laundry mat was really nice. 24 hour pizzeria and deli was great. Right when we got on the ship everything was open, you could get a drink, get a bite to eat, schedule your tours, whatever; everything was ready to go. Debarking was fast.

The food wasn’t anything to brag about, but neither was it on any other cruise I have been on. It’s more about presentation than taste. Carnival is trying to get away from their “Spring Break” reputation, well, on this cruise they didn’t accomplish that. The casino and bars were packed; all of the activities were empty because most people were at the bars. If you are looking to party this is a great cruise for you. Overall, I don’t want to say that I won’t cruise Carnival again, but next time I’ll know what to expect. I hope this doesn’t sound too negative because I really did have a good time, but I was comparing it to Royal Caribbean cruises I have been on and RC is just a different type of cruise line.

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