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The Perry's

Age: 29

Occupation:Accounting

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Fascination

Sailing Date: 02-21-2009

Itinerary: Bahamas

This was our first cruise and it definetly won't be our last. My husband and I really researched and read the reviews before we made our decision, so we wanted to return the favor. I hope we can offer first time cruisers a couple tips.

If you have the option to go to Half Moon Cay....you will not be disappointed. It was BY FAR the best beach I have ever been to in my entire life!!! Pictures do not do this island justice. I would take this exact cruise again just to step foot on the island again. Matter of fact...my husband and I will most likely never take another land vacation again! We cannot wait to plan our next cruise with Carnival!!!

Please ignore the negative reviews on this ship and don't be discouraged by the few people that had nothing good to share....they are clearly just miserable people.

I think the best food was in the dining room. They will do anything to make sure that you are 100% satisfied with your dining experience. We really enjoyed the pizza and sandwich parlor in the Coconut Grove. As far as beverages...we bought the fountain soda card and used one of the thermal cups sold in the Carnival gift shop instead of using the plastic cups...so that worked out well. If you are a drinker at all you may want to skip the beer and go straight for the mixed drinks and purcharse one of the drink cards to save money....because the beer will be what gets ya. The mixed drink card is a great deal...I think it was like $28.00 and that got you 5 mixed drinks a day. The beer is about $6 for a 16oz bottle....you do the math!

Our room was great. We had a great ocean room view and it was always clean. When we got to our room, we were greeted by our main room steward and we only told him our name once....and everytime he saw us he said hello to us by name!!! The room stewards are like little magicians....we would leave our room to grab a bite to eat and come back to brand new towels and our bed all made. And then when we came back at night our bed was turned down and they would leave us a cute little towel animal with two chocolate mints. On our last day of the cruise we folded our bedding into a great big swan for the room stewards to show our appreciation).

I really don't think that it would have made a difference to us whether or not we had a window, because we really didn't go on a cruise to the Bahamas to be in our room much anyway....but it was nice to wake up in the morning and see where you are.

We took advatage of the photographers and got a lot of good pictures. We enjoyed the comedian from Comedy Central, and the Vegas Style shows. The Karaoke was pretty good too...I don't know if they hire people to participate or what, but there we a LOT of awesome singers in the audience!!! They also had Bingo, but we only played once because it was $20.00 a game...YIKES.

This is probably going to be my only complaint!!! My husband and I opted for the deep water swim with the dolphins at the Dolphin Cay at the Atlantis Hotel and we were very disappointed. We were told that our shore excursion was at 8 am and that it would last about an hour and a half.....so we planned our day around this. Basically, they just tell you this so you are where you need to be when you need to be there. We had to wait for the shuttle bus for 20 minutes, walk from the entrance of the hotel all the way to Dolphin Cay (about 15 minutes of walking), and then when we finally got to the Dolphin Cay, we were told that our excursion didn't start until 11:30. We didn't eat breakfast or anything because we thought we would be in the water swimming too soon after...so we were STARVING and none of the little snack bars were open until after the excursion had already started. So we walked around and checked out the beaches and then went back to Dolphin Cay to wait for a little over an hour. They want you to shop in the gift shops, but I really didn't have the urge to purchase a dolphin hoodie for $78.00. We were told that we would have all day access to the Dolphin Cay beach, but we were not allowed on that beach until AFTER our excursion was over.....but it was too late to hang out on the beach after we were done because we wanted to see Nassau and do some shopping. So on to the swim....if you are considering doing the deep water...please reconsider and save your money by going with just the Dolphin interaction. You don't really get to swim with the dolphins because the trainer keeps the dolphin by him the whole time and by the time you actually figure out how to use the motorized contraptions they give you it's all over. The only benefit of the deep water swim was the Dolphin foot push. Oh and the price of pictures is a huge secret too...so let me just tell you to be prepared to spend anywhere from $60.00 for one picture to $150.00 for 2 8x10's, 2 5x7's and a Kodak disk of all 20+ photos. We did get the $150.00 package because swimming with the dolphins is something we may never experience again and we wanted the memories.

There was an option to take a nature hike on Half Moon Cay, but you really don't need to pay for it because you can explore the island on your own....there are paths everywhere.

We had a great time on the ship. If we had to change anything it would be to go later in the year....the water was pretty cold, and the air in the morning and at night was a bit chilly. We could have easily wore a hoodie and jeans every day of our cruise....but we packed for warm weather. We will plan better next time.

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