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Carnival Cruise Lines

Fascination's multimillion-dollar makeover unveiled by Carnival

Mark Szakonyi  Feb 01, 2010

Carnival Cruise Lines unveiled its multimillion-dollar renovation of its more than 2,000-passenger cruise ship Fascination, which now features 98 balcony staterooms and a water park.

The ship revamp follows a record year in business for the cruise line. Nearly 185,500 passengers sailed on the Fascination out of Jacksonville in fiscal 2009, which ended Sept. 30. The number of passengers has grown by 34 percent since Carnival began sailing out of Jacksonville in 2005.

The Jacksonville Port Authority will need to build a new cruise terminal in the coming years if it wants to keep the growing industry. A new terminal is needed because the site of the present terminal at Dames Point will be the home of the Hanjin Shipping Company Ltd.’s new container terminal in 2013.

The chairman of the authority board, David Kulik, said the authority will continue to look at new cruise terminal sites, and it will not have to make a decision until the engineering contract for the Hanjin terminal is awarded.

The authority is waiting for a letter of agreement between the South Korean shipping company and the longshoremen’s union before it chooses the terminal design firm, Kulick said.

The authority’s board voted unanimously in March 2009 to pull back on its plans to build the $60 million cruise terminal to focus on its cargo business and see how the cruise industry handles the recession.

Some Mayport residents said if the cruise terminal was built at Mayport, it would hurt the area’s character and shrimping industry. Supporters of the cruise terminal countered that it would do the opposite by bringing more money and jobs into the area.

The Carnival Fascination’s sailing schedule consists of a four-day cruise to Freeport and Nassau, the Bahamas; and a five-day trip to the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and Nassau.

The revamped Fascination includes an adult-only retreat area and a resort-style main pool area.

Fascination's multimillion-dollar makeover unveiled by Carnival
Carnival Fascination / Image via


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