My family and I just got back from our cruise on the Carnival Fantasy.
You can get to the port early. Make sure you check in your bags first. They must be tagged and checked in prior to parking your car. Parking is $15 per day $90 in total. Once you park your car you will catch a shuttle bus that will take you to check in. There they will issue your sign & sail card and you can enter the ship.
You will have your choice of credit or cash account aboard the boat. You can bring a limited amount of drinks on the ship. I saw a family take a few cases of water and soda with them. If you are a family that can't live without soda bring your own (if you want to) as it is not included. Also, 1 liter water is $4 on the boat so you may want to bring a few bottles especially if you have kids. I was totally happy with giving up the soda for the week. Lemonade, iced tea, coffee, tea and water are free.
I found the boat to be clean. The staff was polite and receptive. They were always cleaning and anytime I asked someone for something they were eager to help.
I chose the your time dining in the Celebration Dining room 5:45 - 9:30pm. The host (Penelope) I believe that was her name was a pleasure. She always greeted my family by name and with a smile. It is a good idea to get to the dining room early if you want a window seating (which you can request). Otherwise the typical wait was 15-30 minutes at peak time. The food was excellent! The choices were very good, the portions were spot on and you can order as much as you like. The chocolate melting cake was EXCELLENT!!! I gave the chef a thumbs up on that. On occasion the food arrived warm not hot. Otherwise all was good. You can also choose a set time in the Jubilee Dining Room. Otherwise the Lido deck has the Mongolian Wok, Burgers, hot dogs etc. They close at 3:30 for lunch. Overall I was very happy with the food selection and my kids loved that they can eat ice cream all day.
There were many children and teens on the ship. Camp Carnival was excellent. My kids enjoyed going and at times it was hard to get them out. The camp counselors were pleasant and they issued me a phone so I can call in and check on the kids.
The boat is not too large and for me that is a good thing. I wanted my kids in plain sight. On the larger cruise ships you can get lost. Since this is my first cruise with kids I was worried they would get lost. They had fun at the water slide, hot tub and pool which were easily accessible and they made their way back to the cabin with no problem. Camp Carnival gave my wife and I some private time with was nice. I enjoyed just sitting on deck and enjoying the views. There is a spa (extra charge), track for running, mini golf, swimming pool, hot tub and I believe a fitness room (I didn't get there so I can't comment on it).
Entertainment: They had various shows on the ship. I caught the end of a comedy show (it was very funny). The Beatles tribute was nice. I really enjoyed the live band. They had an 80's show that was great! Lots of dance classes. I wasn't into the hairy chest and the newlywed game.
I didn't plan any excursions. My wife was angry at that but I didn't want to get wrapped up in the
Key West: I went on my own excursion and saved alot of money. On the ship Parasailing was $90 per person. I called Parawest once I arrived in Key West $38 per person and $30 for photo& video. Saved $100. No reservations necessary. The rest of the day was dedicated to a bus tour and we went to the butterfly conservancy. My kids enjoyed that. The beach in Key West was rocky and not impressive. This port of call is for shopping and drinking. Not for me. You can just stay on the ship and enjoy the facilities if shopping and tourist sights are not for you.
Freeport was surpisingly nice. Most people scheduled the Dolphin Experience (you can only do this from the cruise). Unesxco will not reserve for you directly if you are on a cruise. I went to Junkanoo beack (Taino beach). I had a great time. It was a $8 taxi ride (roundtrip). At the beach you pay $ per person to enter the beach and they have paddle boats, kayaks and chairs for your enjoyment (included in the entrance fee). The water was gorgeous and we have a great time. Try the fresh Conch salad. Ladies watch out your man is going to be frisky after eating the salad :). We took a speed boat ride to the pirate ship and a bana boat ride (in Freeport they charged us $25 per person for the banana boat in Nassau it was $10 per person) I think they got me on that one. Negotiate! They will work with you especially if it is a slow day. Our speed boat captain stopped in the middle of the water and spotted a star fish which he dove in to get. That was nice. Our Lucaya beach is slightly more expensive but it is on a private all inclusive beach with access to a pool. I would do that on a next trip. Either way you will have a nice time.
I took the ferry to $4 to Cabbage beach next to the Riu hotel. Similar to Junkanoo / Taino but much nicer. From the ferry it is a long walk I would recommend a taxi cab ride for the same price and they will drop you in front of the beach. I found the chair salesmen to be very pushy and I didn't like that. They got me for $10 for a chair and $10 for an umbrella. The beach here was gorgeous!!! It is on the same beach as the Atlantis resort. There were 4 cruise ships in that day and I didn't feel like spending $900 to stand in line for water rides at Atlantis. When I asked people that went to Atlantis they said it wasn't enough time to enjoy. I had a perfect day on the beach with the family. That's all I can ask for. We got back to the boat with time to spare my kids spent the rest of the day in the pool and hot tub.
Overall this trip was fantastic! A good value and I would highly recommend it. I hope you found my post helpful.