One thing we've liked about our cruises from Jacksonville is the convenience. The city is within an easy drive of many cities in the southeast, including our hometown, and it sure beats the long haul down I-95 to port cities further south.
One thing we didn't like are the short itineraries that call only on Bahamian ports on 4-night cruises and the Bahamas and Key West on many 5-night sailings aboard Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Fascination. Don't get us wrong, we like the ship and the ports. It's just that we'd like more options. The planned 7-night cruises, although there were only six of them on the 2011 schedule, seemed like something we'd enjoy. It's just as easy to pack for a week-long cruise as it is for a shorter one. Although we'd pay more for the cruise itself and the parking, it wouldn't cost any more for gas to get to Jacksonville.
Alas, the 7-night cruises have been scrubbed from Carnival Fascination's line up. We suspect the lower fares for the shorter cruises fit more into travelers' budgets in the current economy.
It's a shame, but there's still Port Canaveral, where the choice of 7-night cruises includes Carnival Dream. And, after all, it isn't too much further down the Interstate for those of us who mix up our cruises with a road trip.