We booked the Carnival Fantasy for a Christmas cruise with our kids (ages 20, 17, and 13).
The Port of Charleston was easy to find but we also had directions beforehand. Parking was expensive but indoors and secure. The embarkation process went smoothly and relatively quickly.
We had two inside cabins. We found the accommodations very adequate and similar to inside cabins on other cruise lines. The cabin stewards were efficient and friendly.
No one should go hungry on this cruise. While not a five star dining experience, our dinners in the Celebration Dining Room were enjoyable, generally enough options to choose from and quite tasty. A favorite dessert among our group was the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake. Having been on other cruises with a set dinner time, we enjoyed the flexibility of having Anytime Dining. Other than the first evening, where we had a 30 minute wait, we were able to be seated right away. We also enjoyed several breakfasts in the Celebration Dining Room and one lunch. Other meals were at the Lido buffet. While not as scrumptious as food in the dining room, the food was fine, there were always lots of choices, but it tended to be a bit crowded. The Mongolian Wok was good although there tend to be long lines for this.
There was a wide variety of onboard activities but many of them seemed to have a dollar sign attached. We did enjoy attending the multiple dance classes offered which were of no extra charge. We participated in some of the trivia and music games which were also no charge. We attended several of the comedy shows and especially found Marvin Todd to be quite funny. We did not care for the Holiday Show the first night and left after about 15 minutes. We thoroughly enjoyed the Beatles production by the Fantasy Dancers, singers and band. The show on the final night of the cruise was pretty well done and had a lot of variety.
Being on the cruise in December, we were limited in our use of the outdoor activities. The pool wasn't that big. The waterslide looked like fun, but we never tried it. Miniature golf was available and was fine for playing while in port. We had no trouble finding deck chairs but again we were there in December.
Freeport was a sleepy destination compared to Nassau. Father and son went on a diving trip we booked on our own through Pat and Diane's. Both had a very enjoyable experience. The rest of us booked the Glass Bottom Boat tour through Carnival. It was a fun excursion as well. We spent very little time shopping at the Port Lucaya Marketplace because it seemed to be mostly cheap touristy goods for sale. Nassau was a very busy port. There were 4 other cruise ships docked there with our ship. We took the #10 Jitney (bus) out to the Sheraton Beach Resort for $1.25 pp each way. We bought day passes at the resort for $30 pp. We then had access to chairs, towels, the pools, water toys, etc.. just like those staying at the hotel. There were vendors nearby renting waverunners, which we did, as well as parasailing for those who are interested. After several hours at the beach we took the bus back to town, shopped some, went through the Pirate Museum and then headed back to the boat.
For debarkation, we had the option of putting our luggage out the night before, or walking it out on our own. We chose the latter. This worked well and the only complaint was there was a cold wait for the bus to pick us up and take us to the parking garage. Once we were off the bus in the parking garage we had no idea where to find out car. After a little bit of wandering around we found an attendant who pointed us in the right direction.
Overall, this was a very good cruise for the money. It was convenient to get to, offered fun activities for all ages, and we created many good memories from this trip.