We traveled with a group of 10, 3 children and 7 adults. Ages ranged from 7 to 60. Although the ship was old it came across to us as maintained very well. We boarded the ship around noon on the 9th and was able to go straight to our stateroom, which was very nice.
We booked our stateroom with a king size bed, when we arrived it was two twins, I didn't see this as a big deal just had to find our stateroom steward to get his help to fix this. He did offend me when he told me that he didn't set the king bed thinking that it was a mother and son traveling. All I could think was YUCK! He fixed our bed and was totally amazing the rest of our cruise.
The dinning hall was definitely NOT what I expected. The first night was all about serving, no smiles, no fun. On our second night they decided to dance and sing, they did this on my first cruise which made dinner so much more fun. We only ate in the dinning room assigned eating twice due to this.
The kids were in the whirlpool one day, when I went over to check on them upon stepping on the wooden step a slither of glass went into my foot and I started bleeding. We got someone to come over and there was no sense of urgency that I was sitting there bleeding. I was fine, however was worried about the kids stepping out, finally about 10 minutes after sitting there and getting my foot to stop bleeding someone came over to take a towel and whip down the wooden step.
Carnival to us personally was more about sales than fun. Even down to playing bingo it meant. There were no package deals on the pictures you had to buy each sheet individual, I would think they would make more money if they would offer packages rather than throwing all that paper away.
We had two days of "fun at sea", although we had the fun facts with us on the last day of fun at sea they made announcements during the day telling you what was going on we thought that should have been done daily.
Carnival's website advertised that the Fantasy would have the Hasbro's games on it in Jan 2013, we were informed that no they would not have it until after the dry dock they were getting ready to go under.
We did excursions however we did not go with any Carnival offered. Do your research you can get better deals by not using them. We chartered a fishing boat for 4 hours in Nassau for 6 people. In Freeport we went to Paradise Cove to do snorkeling that only cost us 35 dollars per person, which included the ride to and from the ship and all the equipment. Both of these items had we gone thru Carnival would have cost us double what we actually paid.
On day two Carnival automatically collected the "gratuity" charges. As other reviews stated I think you should have to earn this. Upon talking to several of their employees they honestly did not know what their gratuity was. Many travelers told us they don't pay Carnival these fees they give the funds directly to whom they want which I agreed with and we did.
Although your told food will be available 24/7, please be aware the only thing really available is pizza and wraps. This was very disappointing to me. The selections of food as well to me could have been so much better than it was.