Review of Carnival Fascination deck 8 (Atlantic-Dining)
Palace Theatre (capacity 1300 seats, lower level 1 of 2) is the cruise ship's main show lounge with a large stage for grand show and musical productions featuring professional performances by singers, dancers, stand-up comedians, magicians. The theater lounge is also used daily for movies, gameshows, trivia and bingo games.
The Fun Shops is named the ship’s duty-free shopping arcade of stores (open between 8 am - 12-midnight) selling Carnival Cruise Lines logo merchandise (ship models, fun wear-apparel), Special Occasions (gifts, souvenirs, packages), name-brand boutique merchandise (luxury jewelry-watches, designer bags-hats-shoes-fashion-accessories-sunglasses, perfumes-cosmetics-beauty products), also liquor-tobaccos and conveniences.
Special Occasions shop sells Bon Voyage wines/champagnes/liquor, Carnival cruise packages, specialty items and gifts. The list of packages includes “Bottomless Bubbles” (unlimited soda package), CHEERS (unlimited drinks package/alcohol included), “Cruise the Vineyard” (3-bottle and 5-bottle wine packages /saving up to 25%), “Cruise Cash” cards (bar/photo credit accounts similar to the old paper coupons), beer (4-pack), juices (6-pack), soda (6-pack), bottled water (12-pack). The list of specialty items and gifts includes plush toys, bulk candies (by the once) and candy assortments, fresh-baked cookies, occasion cakes, packed chocolates/snacks, fresh flowers, gift sets, fruit baskets, Stateroom Decorations (themed cabin decoration sets – Birthday, Anniversary, Honeymoon, Congrats, Bon Voyage), canapes/party trays (assorted pastries, sushi, fruit, cheese, vegetable, finger sandwiches, desserts-petit fours), “Towel Creations Book”. Dr Seuss brand merchandise is also available for purchasing – “The Cat in the Hat Book”, themed cabin decorations, toys, Seuss At Sea gifts and packages (waterbottle, lunchbox, backpack, splash pack, towel).
Circle “C” (children club & lounge area, video games, movies, parties, planned activities, all complimentary)
Tara Library (books and board games)
88 Piano Bar (capacity 92 guests)
The galley (kitchen) is located in between both Main Dining Rooms (MDR) and also has the “Chef’s Table” (private dining room/menu). This is a small room dedicated to the multi-course Chef’s Table dinner package (surcharged at $75 per person). The room is hosted by one of the ship’s master chefs. The VIP dining package experience includes private champagne and hors d'oeuvres reception, personalized galley tour, a multi-course gourmet meal. Each of the courses is wine paired. Each of the wines is reviewed by the sommelier (knowledgeable wine steward), and each of the dishes – by one of the ship’s top chefs. Menus are different each evening depending on the Chef’s personal choice. This premium dinner package is available every night. Reservations are required (arranged via the Maitre d or the Steakhouse Hostess). Dress code is formal (age limit 12+ yo). If reservations are under 10, Chef’s Table could be canceled. Other places that can host this exclusive dinner event are the library and the conference center.
Sensation Dining Room (forward location, 650 seats) and Imagination Dining Room (aft location, capacity 658 seats) are complimentary, waiter-served Main Dining Room restaurants for Breakfast, Brunch (seadays only), Lunch (seadays only) and Dinner. On portdays, Breakfast is served between 7:30-9:30 am (closed for lunch). Dining Room hours are subject to change due to itinerary/port of call arrival times or scheduled onboard activities. On seadays, one MDR serves “Punchliner Comedy Brunch” (breakfast and lunch /between 8:30 am - 1 pm) while the other MDR serves Breakfast (between 8-10 am) and Lunch (between 12-noon - 1:30 pm). Afternoon Tea service (between 3-4 pm /seadays only, complimentary) includes a selection of teas, mini sandwiches, sweets. Dinner (seadays/portdays) is with 2 fixed/pre-assigned seatings – Early (at 6 pm) and Late (at 8:15 pm), plus Anytime (“Your Time Dining” between 5:45-9:30 pm). Dr Seuss themed “Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast” (cover charge $5 pp, reservations recommended) is once per cruise (on a seaday /itinerary based) at 8:30 am and 9:30 am. The dining experience features Dr Seuss character visits, waiters in special uniforms, themed decoration, unique menu.
The Punchliner Comedy Brunch menu is divided into 3 parts – Opening Act, Headliners, Punchline and Bloody Mary Bar. The dining experience includes 5-6-min stand-up comedy acts (family-friendly, at each hour) performed by the evening’s comedians. The “opening act” (menu 1) has flamin’ tomatoes soup, bagel breakfast, fresh fruit platter (with cottage cheese or plain), Caesar salad, Eggs Benedict, custom-made omelets, dos huevos, sides (sliced ham, cheddar grits, grilled tomato, smoked bacon, pork/chicken sausages, turkey bacon) and George’s recipes. Both recipes are special dishes created by the US comedian George Lopez- Huevos Rancheros (chicken quesadilla topped with fried eggs and cheese) and Breakfast Burrito (tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, beans, chorizo). The “headliners” (menu 2) has funny French toast, fat stack pancakes, carne y huevos (filet mignon), mac-and-cheese (fried chicken, steak or smoked bacon), pappardelle pasta, grilled salmon fillet, hen alla diavola (grilled chicken). The “punchline” (dessert menu 3) has ice cream, caramelized cheesecake, banana cream pie, Mexican churros (donuts). The “Bloody Mary Bar” (drinks menu) offers custom-made cocktails. While the food is complimentary, beverages are extra-charge (excluding coffee, milk, juices).
At dinner, in both Main Dining Rooms Carnival offers the “American Table” menu. It changes each evening and includes contemporary American cuisine dishes (appetizers, entrees, desserts). On formal dinners (1-2 per sailing /itinerary based) Carnival offers the “American Feast” menu with gourmet appetizers, prime meats/seafood, vegetarian dishes, signature desserts. The formal dining experience features live big-band music, special table decoration (luxury linens, centerpiece), keepsake menus, Cruise Elegant dress code.