My wife and I have been on 15 plus cruises to include Princess, Royal Caribbean and Carnival and we keep coming back to Carnival because the value is there as well service. Over the last 10 years many things have changed but one that has stayed amazingly similar is the price to cruise on Carnival. While the shows have gotten better, water parks added and ships refurbished the prices have stayed stagnant which has allowed our family the luxury of an awesome vacation. On the Fantasy we had nothing but a diligent staff who worked super hard for our every need. Our lead waiter Roy even went so far as to cut my sons meat for him (he is 10) when the ship was rocking and making it very difficult for him. We ate in the dining room 4 of the 5 nights and while the selection is not as varied as it once was the food quality was awesome and very tasty. Each night they covered each category of beef, poultry, seafood and chicken along with at least one interesting appetizer. The only negative on the food is they are still counting the bacon! (though I can remember seeing tons of bacon thrown away and would rather pay less for cruise and only get the bacon I am going to eat.)
Enough of the food. Rob at the Piano Bar is so much fun. This was our second cruise where he was playing and he never disappointed. I was hard pressed to come up with a song he could not play. He did his best to get us all involved and singing. There was always music going on somewhere and you were only bored if you wanted to be.
I saw the family friendly comedy shows and had not a problem with my family sitting through them. That was a real plus to know that I can safely suggest them and not have to worry about young ears.
The water works is a blast. How can argue with a slide in the middle in the Ocean. My ten year old loves to play in this area and it is exciting enough to even keep the adults coming back. The hot tubs were crowded as usual though thanx to the chilly weather and water you could have the pool to yourself!
The bartenders were all friendly and helpful. I had a soda card and it is an awesome deal if you are much of a soda drinker which I am. After they had checked the card they often remembered me and a diet coke. When we ordered the adult drinks I never felt like I got a short pour.
The art auctions are one of my favorite parts of the cruise and Park West outdid themselves with an excellent Auctioneer and staff. They also had some deals that were amazing for a Peter Max lover like myself, though since this was our second cruise this year I had to be content with a Medvedev and a couple of wildlife portraits by Andrew Bone. If you are looking to be entertained and learn something about art plus free champagne this is the plus to go!
Camp Carnival for the 11 and under kids is so much fun for the kids it also allowed my wife and I to enjoy other activities like the art auction without boring the kids though my 12 year daughter truly enjoys the auctions as well.
It seemed like there was always a trivia contest or some other game going on to keep you occupied if you needed something to do.
Nassau as always was great we went snorkeling and shopping. The people there are awesome and I love the Conch fritters. Freeport we stayed on the ship as it is our least favorite port. I heard a rumor they will be changing the itinerary.
As a father of 2 the cost certainty that I have on Carnival is what I love. I do not need to open my wallet unless I choose to and it is just for true extras. I hope that your family has as great a time as mine did