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Fascination Berlitz Review

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Berlitz Rating:

Lively Partygoers
Ship Beam (ft/m):
Ship Builder:
Kvaerner Masa-Yards (Finland)
Ship Cabins (for one person):
Ship Cabins (total):
1,026 or 1,028
Ship Cabins (wheelchair accessible):
Ship Cabins (with private balcony):
Ship Casino (gaming tables):
Ship Crew/Passenger Ratio:
Ship Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
Ship Elevators:
Ship Entered Service:
Jul 1994
Ship Former Names:
Ship Hot Tubs (on deck):
Ship IMO Number:
Ship Length (ft/m):
Ship Library:
Ship Onboard currency:
Ship Passenger Decks:
Ship Passenger Space Ratio:
Ship Passengers (lower beds):
Ship Propulsion:
diesel-electric (42,240 kW)/2
Ship Self-Service Launderette:
Ship Size:
Mid-size Ship
Ship Size Range (sq ft/m):
Ship Star Rating:
Ship Swimming Pools (outdoors):
Ship Tonnage:
Ship Total Crew:
Ship Wheelchair accessibility:
This is a vibrant, floating movie set for casual family cruising

Carnival Cruises - Fascination

Overview: Carnival Fascinationis the fourth in a series of eight almost identicalFantasy-class ships. It’s all about partying and having fun – for the whole family.

The Ship: Carnival Fascination is the fourth in a series of eight almost identical Fantasy -class ships. It’s all about partying and having fun – for the whole family.The open deck space is really tight when the ship is full, because it’s crammed with Carival Waterworks , including a long ‘Twister’ slide – great for the kids. The aft decks, however, tend to be less noisy, because most activities are focused around the main swimming pool and hot tubs (one with a thatched shade). There’s also a topless sunbathing area, and Serenity – an adult-only ‘quiet’ lounging space on Deck 9 aft. While there isn’t a walk-around open promenade deck, there is a short jogging track atop ship. The lifeboats, six of which double as shore tenders, are positioned high in the ship – not acceptable in new ships today.The interior design – the work of architect Joe Farcus – is clever, functional, and extremely colorful, and includes plenty of neon and glitz. He calls it ‘entertainment architecture’ and treats every part of a ship as a piece of a giant jigsaw puzzle. The design theme is Hollywood and the movies..The ‘open’ atrium lobby has a balconied shape, spans six decks, and is topped by a large domed roof. On the lowest level you’ll find the purser’s desk, shore excursion desk, a popular Atrium Bar (with live music), and a small sushi bar off to one side; it’s a good central meeting place.There are public entertainment lounges, bars, and clubs galore, with something for everyone (except quiet space). The public rooms, connected by a double-width Via Marina Promenade, combine a colorful mix of classic and contemporary design elements. Most public rooms and attractions lead off from this boulevard, which runs between the showlounge (forward) and the Puttin’ on the Ritz aft lounge.Gamers and slot players alike can grab a piece of the almost non-stop action in the Club 21 Casino. There is also a nice-looking library and reading room, but few books, and there’s also a 1,200-sq-ft (111-sq-m) conference room. As for the ‘art’ in the Art Gallery it’s rather tacky, to say the least!There are great photo opportunities with some 24 life-like beloved movie characters dotted along the Via Marina Boulevard, so you can have your photo taken with stars such as Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Lucille Ball (outside the casino). Clark Gable is in the Tara Library, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman are seated at the piano in Bogart’s Café; Lena Horne and Sidney Poitier are outside the Beverly Hills Bar, while Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy are inside it.A Carnival cruise is all about having fun, which begins at sundown with sound, lights, and shows. From venues such as the Diamonds are Forever Dance Club/Disco to the Beverly Hills Cigar Bar, the the ship will certainly entertain you.On the down side, there are many annoying announcements, and a never-ending hustle to get you to buy ice-filled drinks. Also, be warned – super-loud rap and rock music is everywhere.

Families: Youngsters have their own play areas, with children’s programs divided into five age-specific groups under Camp Ocean (ages 2-11 – with children ages 2-5 called ‘Penguins’; 6-8-year-olds called ‘Sting Rays’; 9-11-year-olds called ‘Sharks’). Tweens have ‘Circle C’, while teenagers have their own ‘Club O2’ – a chill-out (no adults allowed) room/disco. Also, soft-drinks packages can be purchased for children (and adults).By the end of 2015, the world of Dr. Seuss was added as part of the children’s program- from ‘green eggs and ham’ for breakfast, served by waiters in Dr. Seuss-inspired uniforms, and characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and Sam attending, to special showings of movies such asThe Cat in the HatandHow the Grinch Stole Christmas(shown outdoors on the poolside Seaside Theater screen on Lido Deck) 

Accommodation: There are several grades of accommodation, priced by size, and location. Standard outside-view and interior (no view) cabins have plain, non-memorable decor. They are fairly comfortable, however, and spacious enough (most are of the same size and appointments), with good storage space and practical bathrooms. However, in a queen-bed instead of a twin-bed configuration, note that one person has to clamber over the bed.Outside suite occupants receive more space, and some eclectic decor and furniture. These are mildly attractive, but so-so, and they are much smaller than those aboard ships of a similar size of competing companies.Room service items are available 24/7 but in standard cabins, only cold food is available; suite-grade occupants get a greater range of items (both hot and cold) from which to choose.

Cuisine/Dining: The two large main dining rooms, Sensation and Imagination, are located midships and aft. Both have ocean-view windows and attractive, but very bright decor, but they are noisy. Choose either fixed-time dining (6pm or 8.15pm) or flexible dining (during opening hours).The food is not very inspiring (it’s banquet-style production catering, after all). The selection of fresh green vegetables, breads, rolls, cheeses, and fruits is limited, and there is much use of canned fruit and jellied desserts. There are no wine waiters. The waiters sing and dance – so ‘service’ equates to ‘foodertainment’ and lacks finesse.A lido café, called Tropical Coconut Grove Bar & Grill, features casual self-serve buffet eats, and includes a deli counter and pizzeria. A patisserie offers specialty coffees and sweets (extra charge), and a so-called sushi bar off to one side of the atrium lobby bar on Promenade Deck is open prior to dinner; if you know anything about sushi, don’t expect authenticity.There is no specialty (extra-charge) restaurant, as aboard some of the larger ships in the Carnival fleet.

Entertainment: The Palace Showlounge is the venue for large-scale production shows and major cabaret acts – although 20 pillars obstruct views from some seats. During a typical cruise, there will be several high-energy production shows, with a cast of singers and dancers, backed by a large live band.

Spa/Fitness: SpaCarnival is a large, glass-wrapped health, fitness, and spa complex located on the uppermost interior deck, forward of the ship’s mast; it is typically open from 6am to 8pm daily. It has a gymnasium with ocean-view windows, and good muscle-pumping electronic machines, an aerobics exercise room, men’s and women’s changing rooms, sauna and steam rooms, beauty salon, and body treatment rooms. Some fitness classes may incur an extra charge. A common complaint is that there are not enough staff to keep the area clean and tidy, and used towels are often strewn around the changing rooms.Sporting types can play basketball, volleyball, or table tennis. There is also a banked jogging track outdoors on the deck above the spa, and a mini-golf course.

Berlitz Guide © Apa Publishing 2017

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