My wife and I wanted to visit Charleston, and since we love cruising, we booked the Fantasy as part of our visit. We enjoyed Charleston, but we were sad to learn many people in the city were less than happy about Carnival using Charleston as a port. This was evident by the signs against Carnival all over the place. Charleston has some beautiful homes, but the beauty is tarnished by the signs they are hanging. Also, the hospitality we heard was famous we found to be in question by the residents who hate carnival. Anyway, some people in Charleston have some issues.
The embarkation and debarkation processes could not have been easier. From the first line in the parking lot to the food line was about 45 minutes. Leaving the ship silent debarkation was maybe 30 minutes. We found no problems at all with any of this.
With the exception of the cabin steward, Dewi, our cabin, E89, was the worst cabin we have ever had in our 10 cruise history. However, I want to be clear, Dewi was probably the best room steward we have ever had. We originally wanted to book a cabin with a porthole, but the Carnival agent talked us into the interior in midship. The noise was the worst part. The noise from the Atrium, which was just down the hall, was terrible. In addition, they had art shows on the other side of one wall. and that was loud. Finally, it had a connecting door with the next room. Unfortunately, the door must have been paper thin. We heard every word the other guests said, and I am sure they heard us as well. Thank goodness they were not crazy party people, but none of their conversations were private.
The Fantasy has seen better days. She is old, but I guess she is still a money maker for Carnival. We did meet some wonderful people on the cruise. Indeed, the fellow cruisers were the best part. We found that there were many first time cruisers. Sadly, the last day at sea was the worst weather we had ever experienced on a cruise ship. People were sick everywhere. I don't know if the rocking was due to the small size of the ship, perhaps the stabilizers on the older ship simply did not have the latest technology, or if the weather was simply that bad, but we have never experienced anything like the rocking we experienced on the Fantasy.
I must say the food was only so so, at least compared to other cruises. We sailed the Carnival Glory in 2011, and it had some of the best food ever of any ship. I could go into specifics, but if you have never sailed before, you might think it is the best ever. It was better than fast food, but less than a steak house.
Overall, we had a good time. This was mostly because of the other guests we had the pleasure of meeting. After this cruise, I think we are going to take a break from cruising. Also, I am not sure we will go with Carnival again. We are not saying never, and I hate to sound like a cruise snob, but the Fantasy lacked many of the things that make cruising special. We have never sailed on Celebrity or Royal Caribbean, so I think that is where we will try the next time. It is time to expand our horizons.