My parents and I (3 adults being that my sister is above 21 and me 16) chose the Carnival Fantasy because of it's port in Charleston, a little more than a three hour drive from Charlotte, North Carolina. This cruise happened to be my parents second cruise and me and my sisters first. When we arrived in Charleston the parking lot workers guided us into a large warehouse where we ended up parking. The amount totaled up to 118 dollars for the week, but ensured that our car was going to be safe. Getting through security was a breeze.
Once we got on the ship and made ourselves to the main lobby I found that some of the color scheme was giving off a 90's feel but it is really easy to look past. Our cabin was very spacious: king bed, pull out couch, large balcony, plenty of counter/drawer space, good sized bathroom, mini fridge etc. The finish along with the woodwork in our cabin did not give off a 90's vibe which was comforting. Our stewardess knew all 4 off our names and greeted us every time they saw us, also they worked very hard cleaning our cabin every night. After they were done cleaning they would place a towel animal on our bed each night and the schedule for the following day.
After we checked into our cabin my father and I went and explored the ship before we set sail. I noticed that the pool on the lido deck was very small and was already crammed with people. I never got the chance to actually swim in the pool throughout the whole voyage but also never had the desire to do so seeing some of the kids and people getting out of the pool. I would recommend saving all your energy for the beach instead. The two hot tubs on each end of the pool were twice of bad. I remember witnessing 16 people in a hot tub at once. I do not see the enjoyment in having to stand in a hot tub with bodies of strangers pressed against you, some of them being little children. Now I know that this is not the ships fault but a second pool/hot tub could really come in handy.
The jogging track on the sun deck was an absolute disappointment. It was very small, just enough to have two people side by side. One of the workers told me eleven laps was equivalent to a mile. I stuck to the treadmill in the gym instead. Speaking of the gym, the gym was very nice. It had brand new state of the art machines, ocean views, the trainer was also very help and attentive. Other than the jogging track and pool/hot tubs, I'd say those are my only cons about this ship. Maybe that and the stateroom elevators, they can take a while, but the stairs are a lot more convenient.
The dining on board is absolutely exceptional. My family and I chose "Your time dining" we lined up outside of Celebration (Dining Restaurant) and were always served amazing food complete with desert. The servers were always professional taking their job very seriously. Now besides the two dining restaurants on the ship there is only one other place to eat which is the Lido restaurant. The Lido restaurant's food is sort of cafeteria style and most of the choices are very mediocre and typical. But if you want to eat hamburgers and hot dogs everyday for lunch go for it! I did. But overall I felt that the deli was the best spot to grab a bite inside the lido restaurant. The pizza place next door to the deli was nothing great.
Entertainment on the Carnival Fantasy is one of the ships strong spots. All the shows and events are worth watching and even participating! Every single one of the hosts on board boast strong personalities and display an amazing sense of humor. Some of the shows that they have on board are a once in a lifetime ordeal. The punch liner comedy club is never a bust. Sometimes there will be the same comedian doing 3 shows in one night but always has different material. There is always an event or show happening on board the Carnival Fantasy.
Our first arrival was in Grand Turk. Grand Turk was nothing special beach wise. The shops in Grand Turk were very well put together but still somewhat overpriced. There was one smoothie place that offered free Wi-Fi with people sitting outside trying to get a connection being that Wi-Fi on board the Fantasy is expensive. The beach was alright, had the nice clear blue water look but when you step in the ocean all you step on is rocks covered in sand with some moss. It was a really unpleasant feeling.
The next day we arrived in Half Moon Cay which was a thousand times better than Grand Turk. The island has a population of 25 people and waters are absolutely untouched. When I first got in the crystal clear water, I had fish swim all around me it was amazing and nothing but soft white sand was underneath my feet. This island is worth the whole cruise no matter how bad of an experience you have. The crew also sets up lunch on the island because there is no restaurant on it. There is one shop that sells shirts and sunblock but that's about it. On my way back to the ship I even saw wild chickens just roaming around looking at tourist for food.
The final port was Nassau. My family and I spent most of the day shopping in the local shops and straw market. Nassau was the best port of the three islands to buy souvenirs both price wise and selection wise.
At 11:30 my sister and I went parasailing which was alright. The captain of the boat was sort of creeping us out talking to his friend and laughing then staring at us. We did however, got to see dolphins on the ride to the parasailing spot. The captain insisted a tip because of the ride and the dolphin sighting which was not part of the package deal. Overall the parasailing was fun but very quick. We only got around 5 minutes of actual flight time but it was fine. Then at 1:30 my sister and I went on the Segway tour. We felt sort of dumb because when we got to the meeting spot everyone was wearing shoes and we had on flip-flops. I later learned that wearing flip-flips really didn't affect the ride. Soon a van came and picked us all up and drove us to the Segway place. The place looked very run down and sketchy and I was sort of reluctant to leave the van. Then three guys buy the names of C.L, Peter, and Stephano came out with big smiles and shook all of our hands. They had very thick island accents which I thought was kind of cool. They pulled out the Segway's out of an old beat down shipping container and made us wear hairnets, helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads. All of us figured out that these guys all had a hilarious sense of humor but also ensured us that safety was their primary concern. They trained each one of us individually for about 1 minute. It is really easy to get the hang of a Segway. Then we set off touring the island, they showed us all the local hot spots with absolutely no other tourists around. They insisted of taking pictures for us/with us and told us all the history about the island. They really took good care of us. Making sure traffic was clear to cross the road, giving us all a free bottle of water to stay cool, they did it all! That's why I call the Segway tour the highlight of my cruise. It is really worth booking for your shore excursion.
The Carnival fantasy is a great ship it has that diamond in the rough appeal to it. I highly recommend booking a cruise on this ship for your first time, heck I would book a cruise on this ship again. The workers on the ship are all very hard workers coming from over 150 different countries most of them native to the Philippines, but all speak and understand English. All in all I personally would like to experience a bigger more modern ship but that's up to you! I hope this review helps you decide!
Grand Turk is nothing great. Terrible beach, very rocky underneath the water. Has a tourist pool as an alternate choice. Ship docks right on the gangway. Nice shops but overpriced . Free Wi-Fi outside the smoothie shop. Jimmy Buffett's Margarita Ville serves great food with huge portions at a exceptional price.
Best beach you will ever visit in your entire life! Schools of fish swim right around you. Crystal clear water, soft white sand.Population of 25 people. Paradise at it's best!