My family and I took the drive from Maryland to South Carolina. We stayed the night with family living in Conway S.C and headed for Charleston the next morning. Embarkation was a breeze. Most of it was done while in the car. You drove through the checkpoints for ID and boarding passes. We parked the car in a terminal and got on a shuttle to ride less than a mile to the ship. It was great. The lines were fast moving. In less than an hour we were on the Lido deck eating.
Lunch was very good. I was surprised to see that the ship was one of the smallest I had been on. I saw that it only had one pool, but a few hot tubs. It even had a very nice waterpark and a serenity deck where only 21 and over are allowed. Even thought it was small, it had all the comforts of a larger ship. After eating, our rooms were ready. My daughter had the last room on the aft side but no view of the wake. The window was on the side of the ship instead of the back. Mine was a few doors down. Our rooms didn't have a couch but that was the only thing we missed. They were quite nice with bathrooms stocked with shampoo, toothpaste packets and a clothes line for wet clothing. Towels were adequately supplied. Our beds were comfortable and nicely supplied. Our luggage starting arriving in about an hour.
Dinner was excellent. The wait staff called us by name and remembered what we liked and didn't like after a few days. That is always a nice touch. We dined with two other families at a table for twelve. It was nice to meet new people. For breakfast we sat at our a table for four as seating is by party first come first serve. At no time was there a wait. We could also opt to eat up on the Lido deck.
All in all the food on the ship was pretty good. Pizza nd sandwiches were always available. I think one of the best stations was the Mongolian Wok. You pick out your own vegetables and meat and they cook it right there so that it is piping hot and good. The line was always a little long but it was worth the wait. Soft serve ice cream is always available as well. It is so good and the kids just eat themselves silly. I don't think anyone should ever leave a cruise and complain about the food. If you don't like something, order something else or just get something else from the lido deck. Food is everywhere and the wait staff are so eager to please.
Entertainment at night was a little different from the larger ship. There wasn't as many shows . We still enjoyed our selves at the various clubs and piano bars. A lot of entertainment took place at the piano bar. Some of the small clubs with entertainment such as comedy and karaoke were too crowded. Small ships have small clubs I guess. Most nights unless you went very early, you could not get in, but there were plenty of other places to go without scheduled entertainment, that you could get in.
There was also shopping on board the ship. The ships weren't too expensive and were well stocked. There was a full sushi bar at no cost. The was a place like a Starbucks with Starbucks prices. The casino seemed to be always jumping but I did not go there except to pass through.
I really enjoyed my experience on the smaller ship. It was nice not to be lost all the time! It took no time in figuring out the layout and went from place to place with ease. The pool area was always a little crowded but everyone seemed to have a ball. The Serenity deck was an option one day. It was so quiet and located on the aft where you could just sit and watch the beautiful wake of the ship. The hot tub was empty. You even have a bartender up there and a wait staff to take care of your every need. Carnival Fantasy....I'll be back.
De-embarkation was so easy it was crazy. We put our bags out at night. The next day we took our small bag with the clothes we had on the night before and headed for breakfast. We went to the Lido Deck, took our time and had a nice breakfast. At about nine, we headed to the area where numbers for luggage were being called. The numbers come from your luggage tags. We waited less than half an hour and were on our way. How much easier could it have been! Excellent. Thank you Carnival for finally having embarkation and debarkation so easy and comfortable.getting back to our car was the same process. We picked up our luggage, went through a quick customs process and headed for the van to take us back to the car. Your luggage is loaded in the van for you and you are on your way to your car and home. No more wait staff, no more never ending food, no more animals and chocolate on your bed. See you next time Carnival!