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Carnival Fascination
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Dan Askin
Cruise Critic Contributor

Carnival Fascination Overview

A flurry of new ship launches for Carnival Cruise Lines over the past few years has overshadowed one of the fleet's more venerable vessels, Carnival Fascination, which debuted in 1994. In January 2010, the 70,367-ton, 2,052-passenger ship received phase two of its "Evolutions of Fun" upgrade, part of a $350 million program to revamp the line's eight middle-aged Fantasy-class ships through extensive makeovers to public areas, top-deck spaces and cabins.

About Carnival Fascination


Offers inexpensive seven-night sailings


Departs from San Juan and Barbados, requiring flights; balconies scarce

Bottom Line

Older ship that's great for simple warm-weather getaways

Find a Carnival Fascination Cruise

During the $34 million refurbishment, Fascination received an extensive sun deck overhaul. The ship gained the now-signature Carnival WaterWorks, with its 300-foot-plus-long twister slide, racing slides and water-spraying apparatuses. The mid-ship pool was redesigned in a tropical theme featuring massive beach umbrellas, thatched-roof-covered hot tubs and palm tree sculptures. Fascination also gained the adults-only "Serenity" area, complete with whirlpools, plush chaise lounge chairs and umbrellas. In addition, 98 balconies were added to cabins, and several suites were retrofitted with larger, extended balconies.

Despite the overhaul, the ship does lack certain amenities found on newer vessels, such as a large proportion of balcony cabins (even with the 98 new balconies) and multiple alternative restaurants (Fascination has none). Still, its year-round positioning in Jacksonville, from which is offers four- to seven-night Bahamas cruises, makes it a great ship for first-timers or vacation-challenged residents in the tri-state homeport area (Florida, Alabama and Georgia).

Fellow Passengers

A cross section of middle America -- baby boomers, families, newlyweds, Gen-Xers, seniors – converge to form the weekly make-up aboard Fascination. Add that to wedding parties, revelers, early risers and late-to-bed singles crowds, and you have a broad and boisterous passenger mix.

Carnival Fascination Dress Code

Casual day-time attire is followed by casual evening wear. Shorts, however, are not permitted in the dining rooms after 6 p.m. Men typically wear a suit and tie for formal night; sport shirts and slacks the rest of the evenings. Most women opt for a cocktail dress or comfortable pants outfit on formal night followed by casual outfits (dress or blouse/skirt, blouse/pants ensemble) the remainder of the cruise.

Carnival Fascination Gratuity

Carnival recommends $13.99 per person, per day, for gratuities ($15.99 per person, per day, for those in suites). The guidelines allocate a portion to dining room services, cabin services and alternative services, which include kitchen, entertainment, guest services and other hotel services. The amount is automatically added to your shipboard account, but it can be adjusted in either direction at the guest services desk. A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to bar bills and spa treatments. Tipping a couple dollars for room service at delivery is appreciated by the service staff.

Carnival Fascination Awards

Cruisers’ Choice Awards

2017 Best for Shore Excursions
2016 Best for Service
2014 Best for Value
2013 Best for Value

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Riviera Deck
Main Deck
Upper Deck
Empress Deck
Atlantic Deck
Promenade Deck
Lido Deck
Verandah Deck
Sports Deck
Sun Deck

Carnival Fascination Ship Stats

  • Crew: 920
  • Launched: 1994
  • Decks: 10
  • Passengers: 2,052
  • Registry: Bahamas
  • CDC Score: 90
Carnival Fascination Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 3.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 1.0 3.3
Service 3.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 3.0 4.2

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Carnival Fascination Member Reviews

Carnival Fascination
Sail Date: Jan 2019
Maarten) and since the cruise originated in San Juan, it really became a six port cruise. The Carnival Fascination is an older, smaller, Fantasy class ship but is in very good condition and has the 2.0 upgrades...Read More
Carnival Fascination
Sail Date: Jul 2018
July 15 cruise Carnival Fascination Chose this cruise because itinerary and availability of sail date fit in with family’s timing with work and school. First time cruise for me on Carnival, but...Read More
Carnival Fascination
Sail Date: Feb 2019
We chose this cruise because we had not sailed out of Puerto Rico before and we wanted to go on an eastern Caribbean tour. The ship needs some maintenance and the ship's crew seems tired and not really enthusiastic...Read More
Carnival Fascination
Sail Date: Jan 2019
Our cruise was focused around the ports of call. We decided that we would use the Fascination as a floating hotel that took us to a different island everyday pretty much. For that we required a good bed, good...Read More

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