Embark/debark is a nightmare in Charleston: Carnival Fantasy Cruise Review by motherhen_25515
Overall Member Rating
Embark/debark is a nightmare in Charleston
Pre cruise hotel: Hampton Inn in North Charleston was in a nice area, rooms were comfortable and modern, free breakfast was very good, bed was possibly the most uncomfortable bed I have ever slept in. It took me two days to get over my back hurting from it. We will not stay there again.
Embarkation at port of Charleston was time-consuming and difficult. Charleston does things differently than other ports- 1st drop of luggage with porters, 2nd check ID and cruise documents with security, 3rd pay for parking, 4th park car, 5th take shuttle to terminal, 6th security check, 7th cruise check-in, 8th ID pictures, 9th board ship up a very long gangway. I must comment that no one at any of those steps offered to help with my husband's More supplies ( they are very heavy). We were not offered the disabled boarding even after explaining what everything to every person at every step. Not one person said there was an alternative to boarding that didn't include wheeling about 300lbs of fluid up 4 flights of gangway.
The Fantasy was a fantastic ship. It is very clean and all the crew I encountered were very pleasant and courteous. I don't believe I stood in line for anything and the ship never felt "full." We had an inside cabin on the Verandah deck. This was a great choice, just steps from everything and generally quiet.
Entertainment: We attended both shows. They were okay, I didn't dislike them, but they would be much better with good male vocals. We also went to the comedy club on two different nights and had a fun time.
Dining: We ate breakfast and lunch in the Lido buffet. The grill was much better than the inside buffet. Burgers are always good. I tried the Mongolian Wok once and it was very good also. Dinner in the MDR was excellent this cruise. We had Your Time Dining. We never had a wait and we went at various times. We sat in the same section each night to have the same waiters. I highly recommend this if you like the personal service that traditonal dining has. My husband and I liked all the dishes we tried, he is a seafood guy, and I am meat and potatoes. They were almost always hot and cooked properly.
Shore excursion: We chose to go power snorkeling in Nassau. We booked through Carnival. I was a bit skeptical when I saw the catamaran we went out on, but the crew was friendly and interacted well with the passengers. I highly recommend doing the power option when snokeling. It let us stay out much longer. We saw a lot of fish and coral, and even a shipwreck. It was a great choice.
Freeport has little to offer at the port. Either book a shore excursion or take a taxi to the beach or straw market. We visited Senor Frog's and had a blast.
Disembarkation: We were zone 3 (FTTF). Took a few moments to get off the ship but after that it was one long line after another. First line to wait to get into the terminal to get luggage, then in line for customs, after that a line for the shuttle back to the parking garage. We had priority disembarkation and the whole process took about and hour and 15 minutes. That is ridiculous.
In summary, the ship was fantastic but the process at the port would probably keep me from traveling out of this port again. Less
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