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Stinger-pr

Stinger-pr's fascinating honeymoon, Fascination cruise review- Oct. 16-23, 2016

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Thank you for doing this review. It will be our turn in September. I can not wait!!!! All the ports will be new for us. I am getting some great tips from you. Looking forward to the rest of the review!!!

 

Bobbie

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Stinger-pr, your killing me!!! I'm dying to see more pictures. My family group of six will be on the Fascination in February and we are loving your review.

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Hi This is an amazing review. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it. I am doing this itinerary in January and am planning to go to Coral World and snorkeling on Coki Beach. I've heard about the dog biscuit trick, but wasn't sure it was worth bringing some, but now I definitely will. My husband and I went to Coral World on a ships excursion a few years ago and I thought how much my granddaughter would like it, and if we ever brought her with us... well, this time we are bringing her and our daughter and I can't wait to bring them there. We've also stayed in the Sapphire Beach condos a couple of times. Too bad they seem to have gone down hill. We really enjoyed staying there. It was awesome to be able to walk to the beach every morning and I would spend hours snorkeling. I can't wait to see what you do on the next islands.

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Thank you for these reviews. Our cruise is months away. Your pictures are beautiful.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

I'm glad you like it. Thanks for your words.

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Thanks for the review.

 

Thank you for following along!

 

Very nice photos.

 

Thanks!! Glad you enjoy them.

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Just love this. Thanks for taking the time.

 

Glad you like it. I'll be doing some catching up this week.

 

Thank you so much fro writing this review! This is definitely my favorite itinerary that Carnival offers, so I am optimistic to continue reading. I did it on Liberty and completely loved the ship, it's a shame that she isn't sailing from OSJ anymore. But I am excited to see more of the Fascination and how well it's holding up in OSJ!

 

Love your writing style btw! :D

 

I tell you, I was on the fence as to whether to book the Fascination or not for this itinerary but I'm sure glad I did. I think now that the ship has just enough things to do for those who book the cruise for the islands and not the ship. I also cruised on the Liberty and her sister ship the Valor before that and while the Fascination lacks some of the 2.0 upgrades, the ship never seemed lacking to me. You'll have a blast!

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Thank you for doing this review. It will be our turn in September. I can not wait!!!! All the ports will be new for us. I am getting some great tips from you. Looking forward to the rest of the review!!!

 

Bobbie

 

I'm glad I can help. When I started cruising I learned a ton from some reviews and I'd just like to do the same for someone else. I hope you enjoy the rest.

 

Stinger-pr, your killing me!!! I'm dying to see more pictures. My family group of six will be on the Fascination in February and we are loving your review.

 

LOL.... Thank you!! You guys will love it!! I wish I could do this again in 2017 but we're gearing up for a family cruise on 2018. So I guess I'll just have to wait.

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Tell me more, tell me more

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

More coming. I'm a bit behind on this but work and life happens! Should be getting some more of this done this coming days.

 

Hi This is an amazing review. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it. I am doing this itinerary in January and am planning to go to Coral World and snorkeling on Coki Beach. I've heard about the dog biscuit trick, but wasn't sure it was worth bringing some, but now I definitely will. My husband and I went to Coral World on a ships excursion a few years ago and I thought how much my granddaughter would like it, and if we ever brought her with us... well, this time we are bringing her and our daughter and I can't wait to bring them there. We've also stayed in the Sapphire Beach condos a couple of times. Too bad they seem to have gone down hill. We really enjoyed staying there. It was awesome to be able to walk to the beach every morning and I would spend hours snorkeling. I can't wait to see what you do on the next islands.

 

Thank you for your kind words. I'm so glad you're enjoying it. I've never actually been to Coral World. Not once... It was in my plans on my first cruise to St. Thomas but I wanted to do the mini sub and they expected me to sit and wait to see if enough people signed up for it during the day in order to take it out and I wasn't just going to sit around waiting for that. Besides, snorkeling has been so amazing at Coki that I haven't really missed not going to Coral World one bit.

 

How were the Sapphire apartments when you stayed? I'm not sure I'd book one now just because of the aesthetics and the general conditions of the public areas.

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It seems as the message on the cake says "I Love You" when you specified "I Love Life With You"

 

Actually, that's the only thing the got right! When ordering, you can specify a short message for the cake and I specified "I Love You". But they also give you the opportunity to write something else on the gift receipt (which is what you saw) I it was there that I wrote "I love life with you".

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Stinger, one question re: Fascination. Does it have the Alchemy bar? I can't seem to find it on the deck plans, but they may have just turned one of the existing bars into Alchemy-like, with the specialty martinis, etc. Doesn't look like it has a Guys burgers, either.

 

Leaving on Saturday, to catch the ship on Sunday, can't wait!

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Hi. The condo we stayed in was great. It was near the pool/bar & restaurant and our balcony looked out over the docks where the fishing and leisure boats came in and out. Beautiful. The guy we rented it from was very easy to work with and accommodating. This was 3 years ago. It was an easy walk to the beach. I'm surprised at the condition of the complex. They were so nice I thought about looking into buying one when I retire. It's such a shame. The dive shop was there when we were there and you could get burgers and drinks right there too.

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Stinger, one question re: Fascination. Does it have the Alchemy bar? I can't seem to find it on the deck plans, but they may have just turned one of the existing bars into Alchemy-like, with the specialty martinis, etc. Doesn't look like it has a Guys burgers, either.

 

Leaving on Saturday, to catch the ship on Sunday, can't wait!

Sorry that I couldn't be of any help. Hope you had a great cruise on her.

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Hi. The condo we stayed in was great. It was near the pool/bar & restaurant and our balcony looked out over the docks where the fishing and leisure boats came in and out. Beautiful. The guy we rented it from was very easy to work with and accommodating. This was 3 years ago. It was an easy walk to the beach. I'm surprised at the condition of the complex. They were so nice I thought about looking into buying one when I retire. It's such a shame. The dive shop was there when we were there and you could get burgers and drinks right there too.

 

You know? Under better conditions I would consider a weekend there as well since the location and the beach are so awesome. I haven't been there on a really busy day like when there are multiple mega ships in port but even so, when the crowds leave, the atmosphere should be amazing. They've taken so long to complete the project that other areas are showing the signs of neglect.

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Guys, I want to appologize for taking so long to come back to the review. Life happens, kids happen, work happens...you know the drill. Hopefully I can get this done soon before I end up lossing all my audience...lol.

 

So....Day 3: Day At Sea

 

Today's Fun Times:

 

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20161216_143956_zpssrecdoap.jpg

 

20161216_144047_zpsvz2ld9n6.jpg

 

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Day 3: Day at Sea Continued

 

So, we didn’t have anything planned for today and we decided to sleep in late. But I forgot to turn off my alarm and as I turned it off I turned to notice DW giving me the stink-face for waking her up early. We decided to get up anyway and grab breakfast early to try and beat the crowds at the buffet.

 

 

Lido breakfast buffet menu:

 

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FYI: The bacon police was out in full force during the whole cruise. Most of the time we would get two strips of bacon and always had to ask for more even if we didn't take away the plate when served the first strips. Even after asking for more they "fish" around to grab you an extra slice or two. I know this is nitpicking but c'mon... Bacon is one food item that rarely goes to waste. Yes?? No??

 

For those interested, here's a pic of the Sea Day Brunch menu as well:

 

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So after a relaxed breakfast on the outside eating area on the back we took a stroll through the ship. Since DW wasn't feeling very Olympic (cheesy movie refference...:D) we headed back to the room to relax. DW slept most of the morning while I watched some TV. Early in the afternoon I set out to raid the ice cream machines and to take some more ship pics.

 

20161018_083646_zpsynh2eycn.jpg

 

IMG_3696_zpsnh12smny.jpg

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Day 3: Day at Sea Continued

 

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The pool photo was taken about 1pm. There were some chair hogs around the Lido deck but the deck just above always had good spots with loungers available.

 

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Tonight was the first of two elegant nights and by nightfall, DW was feeling better and we decided to get an early start on dinner to bet the crowds a bit. And boy would this be a night to remember!! Nooo…not THAT kind of night to remember. Oh well, you’ll see…

 

There was a bit of a line forming when we arrived at 6:15pm but we didn’t wait much to be seated at a table for two. This time it was one of the tables where there’s a chair on the isle side of the tables and on the other side it’s a long booth type of seat. This setup had about 8 tables side by side. They WERE very close one to the other, but it was never a problem with conversations or such (at least not with the neighbors we had). Tonight we waited a long time to start eating. We were at the table, menu in hand just before 6:30pm and our appetizers arrived at the table at 7pm!!

 

There was not really anything DW like for an app but I had one of the items I always look forward to: the Mushroom Cream Soup. As always, it arrived hot and it was delicious!!!

 

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After the appetizer, service picked up a bit. One thing I noticed was the attention the waiters gave to the tables, as in not quite much. Most nights we had to constantly ask to be brought more water since no one seemed to notice when we ran out of water. Most nights not one server from the team stopped at the tables other than to put plates down or take them away. It became a bit frustrating and I got to consider something I said I’d never do: eat at the buffet at night. But we endured and came to the MDR every night (gluttons for punishment, I know…).

 

Or mains consisted of the flat iron steak for DW and the prime rib for me. The prime rib was a bit lukewarm but tasteful, the steak was spot on! Again no toppings were offered for the baked potatoes, we asked but by the time they arrived we had already eaten the potato (sigh).

 

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Guys, I want to appologize for taking so long to come back to the review. Life happens, kids happen, work happens...you know the drill. Hopefully I can get this done soon before I end up lossing all my audience...lol.

 

So....Day 3: Day At Sea

 

Today's Fun Times:

 

fun%20time%20day%20at%20sea%201_zpsszb1fmsa.jpg

 

20161216_143925_zpsv2kepudk.jpg

 

20161216_143943_zpsi4u442b0.jpg

 

20161216_143956_zpssrecdoap.jpg

 

20161216_144047_zpsvz2ld9n6.jpg

 

 

Boy did I F'ed up!!! These Fun Times are wrong for today. The only correct one is the first. The rest are for the 4th day (Barbados). The correct Fun Times are below. Sorrryyyy.....:(

Edited by Stinger-pr

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Day 3: Day at Sea Continued

 

So here are the correct Fun Times for the day:

 

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20161216_143854_zpskrvd9bh0.jpg

 

I tried and tried and tried to get that last picture to post right side up but the lazy thing just wants to be on its side and won't rotate. Sorry guys...

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Day 3: Day At Sea Continued:

 

Dessert...

 

For dessert we both ordered Creme Brule for dessert and were greatly disappointed with it. As you can see in the picture, the top wasn’t “toasted” evenly which left a soft side and an uneatable too-hard side. There’s always debate as to whether it should be served warm or cold but these were neither. They were both at room temperature at best and tasted sooo bland. What a waste and what a shame. We had been looking forward to the Crème Brule. We would’ve re-ordered dessert but we were running short on time since we wanted to have a few pictures taken with the backdrops and then catch one of the comedy shows.

20161018_194348_zpszdsznm98.jpg

 

When we exited the MDR I thanked DW for having the idea of coming to eat early because this was the line to the MDR:

 

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BTW, by the end of the cruise, we’d spent too much money on the “pro” shots. We had a very small intimate wedding so these pictures would become our “casual” wedding pictures. At first we were like “Whatever…we’ll do 50 poses, have our picture taken 100 times and end up buying 5.” The thing is that most of these guys are very good and we had so many pictures come out so good that on the final day we spent about an hour deciding which to really keep and buy even though we’d had already tossed a bunch we didn’t like during the previous days. (My thoughts on Carnival’s picture business at the end credits)

 

After the aforementioned portraits we headed to the comedy club to watch or first comedian of the trip. His name was Paul Lyons and while he was funny, he didn’t seem to have a comedy “routine” per se. He was good adlibbing though, since he used audience participation as part of his show. Like I said, funny, not hilarious. But he entertained us all. On the other hand, it must not be easy to perform in a room that’s ¾ empty and you can barely see the audience due to the stage lights being so close and bright (both comedians we saw during the cruise complained about the same thing).

 

Now comes the Fun part:

 

After the show, we posed some more on our way forward to the theater for the Divas show. This would become one of the highlights of the trip! Previous to the show Marcelo “Marshmallow" the Cruise Director (who was on loan from the Victory while Felipe “Woohoo” Cuoto was on vacation) was warming up the crowd with a routine where they showed how quickly the lady performers changed outfits backstage (relax kids, it was all rated PG and no nudity was involved.) After the demonstration he and an assistant went into the crowd to find two couples to bring on stage. Yup... We got picked (DOH!). On stage, he asked our names and where we were from and when we said we were from Puerto Rico the place erupted…hahaha. Even Marcelo commented if we had brought our whole family and friends along. After asking how we knew each other and telling him we were just married we though we were doomed. But we were there to play a game. Us guys had to take a length of fabric and make a “dress” (more like a tunic) that resembled something close to what we had seen the performers do earlier. We guys both wrapped our significant other in the fabric and the crowd got to decide if it looked like a dress or if we had just mummified our partners. It was close (although I though we’d won) so he decided that some modeling was going to decide the winner. The catch was that at the last possible second, he pulled the ladies away and sent us guys on to the runway…hahaha.

I got a bit nervous but figured “what the hell” and milked it for what it’s worth. I had a suit and tie and walked that runway thinking I was 100 lbs. thinner and modeling for Giorgio Armani. I could barely see the crowd from the lights (thank God!!) but I could very well hear them. They were ecstatic!! I did my turn, opened my jacket, hands in pocket and basked in my two minutes of glory…lol!!. The other guy was in jeans and shirt and did his best Ice Cube-Friday-hip hop-I got Flow walk up and down the runway. Okkkkk.... The crowd clapped like there was someone in a corner with a cue card that said “CLAP”. (dude, if you’re reading this, I’m just messing, but not even Tupac walked like that, bro!). So the crowd was asked to pick the winner again and we (well...I…sorry honey) won the whole thing.

Either way, both couples got to have some fun and they gave both couples a bottle of bubbly. Everyone was dismissed…..except for DW (***??). Marcelo told me he was keeping her for a while and he almost literally had to kick me off stage to have a seat. DW is very shy (something I really started to question after this event) and I was afraid to leave her up there but Marcelo insisted that I SIT DOWN!!! He asked someone from the spa to come out and take DW backstage for a free facial as a prize…. Or so she thought… Once she was gone Marcelo explained that she would be prepped to be part of the show at the end (wait, WHAT?!?!?!). At this point I could barely stop laughing. I had a combination of nerves, anticipation and fear for my life once I got back to the room with DW after this….jajaja.

 

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Day 3: Day At Sea Continued

 

So as the show came to an end and the song ended, there was a countdown and lo and behold here comes DW, all dressed up, out to a standing ovation nervously laughing all the way but dancing and clapping with the dancers!! They did one final song on stage as it all ended with a bang, lots of confetti and a HUGE applause.

 

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One thing I got to mention. The staff was all too gracious and accommodating with me and DW. She told me how awesome they treated her backstage through all the process and with trying to cope with her nerves. As for me, they cued me in at the end, went and fetched me at my seat so I could watch from the center of the room just in front of the catwalk. They even asked for my cell to take videos and pictures themselves for me so I could enjoy the moment myself. It was truly an incredible experience made even better by such an amazing entertainment crew. Thank you guys so much!!

 

So, after all was said and done, they exited the stage through where I was standing so I could meet her and her first words to me were “I’m gonna kill you!!” I kid you not….jajajaja. They took her backstage to change, I stayed behind talking to Marcelo between pictures he was taking with other guests (heck I decided I wanted a picture too!!).

 

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I really hate that "smoothing" feature for selfies on this phone's front camera. If you don't turn it down it almost turns you into a cartoon!

 

In the end we had a blast and although she reluctantly admits it, she had the time of her life doing something that under normal conditions she would never do. At least not sober anyway…jaja. Fearing for my life, we went to the room to change and went back up to The Stars bar to catch the band After School Special perform their "Mowtown and Beyond" set which was very good and drew a pretty good size crowd.

 

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Once it ended so did our wild night. Time to get to bed and get some energy for Barbados tomorrow. In short, an uneventful day turned into and incredible night! OH, BTW: DW was awarded a gift certificate for a real, free spa facial for her participation on the show (which I think kept me out of trouble in the end…jaja).

 

20161018_195629_zpsnffxnine.jpg

Edited by Stinger-pr

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Welcome back!! I was beginning to worry I wouldn't have the end of your review (It would be like not being able to finish a good book!)

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