Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Carnival Fascination – September 2015

Last week we cruised on the Carnival Fascination. The captain was Gianluca Longhin, the chief engineer was Valter Rossi, the Hotel Director was Pavol Drimaj, and the Cruise Director was Robin Gardner. It was only a 4-day cruise so we didn’t expect too much from it. We usually don’t have as good a time during the shorter cruises as we do the longer ones. Boy, were we wrong!

9/17/15 - On embarkation day, we left home at 5am and got to the Jacksonville port (Jaxport) around 10:30am. By the time we dropped off our luggage and parked ($15/day), we were able to go through security and check in which took about 10 minutes. We sat for about 10 minutes and then got right on the ship. We went towards our cabin (E177) but the doors were closed so we went up to the Lido deck (Deck 10) for some lunch. We were so surprised to run into Baris, whom we met on other cruises, and is now the maitre’d in the Sensation Dining Room! It was wonderful to see him again. A little while later he came back and showed us pictures of his little girl and then his wife Fatma (the food and beverage manager) came by to see us. It was so great to see some people we knew. Then we also saw Jogi who is the maitre’d in the Imagination dining room (which was where we had dinner at table 368 at 6pm).

We walked around until the muster drill, which took a very long time, and then we unpacked. We were supposed to leave at 4pm but we didn’t pull out of the port until around 5 and it took forever for us to get out to sea. It was fun to watch us go under the Jacksonville Bridge! Before we knew it, it was time to get ready and go to dinner. We were at a table for 10 but only 2 other couples showed up. They were Rita and David from Hilton Head and Morris and Nancy from Georgia. We all seemed to have a good time. After that, we went to the Welcome Aboard show but we were too tired to go to the comedy show.

9/18/15 - On the next day we sat out on the back of the Lido deck after breakfast in the dining room. We were supposed to arrive in Freeport at noon but the captain announced due to high winds and head currents, we would be an hour late. At 1pm we got off the ship and walked around the port but then decided to take the taxi ($10 pp round trip) to Port Lucaya. We walked around the casino and shops and got a couple of Coronas (2 for $5) before heading back to the ship. I was surprised how hot I was! We got back to the ship at 4pm and it started to rain just as we got back on the ship. We stopped at the Grill for a hamburger and fries before going to the cabin and getting ready for dinner. I found out that there was no dryer in our cabin. I need to make sure I pack mine for the other cruises, just in case. It was elegant night and another couple joined us. They were Sheila Brewton and Jimmy Clark from Georgia. We went to the show Motor City that we enjoyed hearing Motown hits and then went to bed.

9/19/15 - The third day we arrived in Nassau around 8am. We ate breakfast in the dining room and had a wonderful combination omelet. After breakfast we went into town to find stamps for our postcards. First we stopped near a government house and asked someone where the post office is and were told that the post office was closed on Saturdays. I had even forgotten that it was Saturday! He suggested that we go to the pharmacy that suggested we go to a souvenir shop that suggested we go to a t-shirt shop that suggested we go to a souvenir shop that suggested we go to an ice cream shop that suggested we go to the hotel (which was also Don’s suggestion). So, we ended up at the Hilton where I got some stamps and was able to mail it there. Then we walked some more around town before going back to the ship for lunch. We sat on the back deck, which was our favorite area and relaxed. Eventually we went back to cabin and napped and watched TV until dinner. Dinner was fun and then we went to see the comedy show (Kelly Terranova) which we really enjoyed. Then we walked around the ship before bedtime.

9/210/15 - Today was a sea day and we just relaxed. We went to the dining room for brunch where I got my steak and eggs for breakfast. We also got Bloody Marys with our drink coupons. Later in the day we walked on the track and then relaxed on the ship. In the afternoon we went to afternoon tea and then saw The Hasbro Show in the main showroom.  It didn’t take us long to pack our suitcases and then we realized we didn’t have any tags so I went to guest services and was told that I didn’t need any tags if we were doing self assist. We walked around the ship until dinnertime and after dinner we went to the comedy club again to see Kelly Terranova. This show was different than the night before. When we returned tot our cabin, our cabin steward had just slipped our luggage tags under our door.

9/21/15 – We arrived back in Jacksonville around 7am. We had to meet in the library at 7:45 to get off the ship so we had breakfast at the Lido deck at 6:30. We got off the ship at 8am and was in our car by 8:15. This port was fabulous for getting on and off the ship. We got home around 2pm.

Things I Learned:

1.     It is really great to see old friends on the ship when we arrive and they really made this cruise special.
2.     We really enjoy eating breakfast in the dining room.
3.     Not all ships have hair dryers in the cabins.
4.     Check what day you are in a port because some post offices are closed on the weekend.
5.     Usually hotels have stamps for postcards and will let you mail it there.
6.     Even though we had been to these ports many times, we still enjoy getting out and walking around the town.
7.     I really love the steak and eggs breakfast at brunch.

Original photo by Pat Hensley

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