This was our second cruise and second on the Fantasy -mainly because Charleston is only 3 hours away. The other passengers were great (both time) and the crew was wonderful both times. Our first cruise was April 2012. There were five of us this time. Our daughter took her best friend.
I recommend getting to the port around 12pm-1pm. (Parking is now $85 unless your have a handicap sticker then it is free). You won't have to wait in line very long before you are allowed to park in the parking garage. Getting through customs is a breeze.(Passport or birth certificate, boarding pass is all you need) . You will do the safety drill around 4pm - it might last about 30 mins.
THE SHIP - Of course everyone knows the ship is an older ship and yes it could use some cosmetic fixes but other than that it's pretty nice. We had a little different experience our first time on the Fantasy vs our second: First time seemed like there was a lot more things for younger couples during the More
day than our second time. There were more gambling and bingo games going on then I remember the first time. There was stuff going on every 15-30 mins but not a lot that we were interested in. The cruise director was a different person this time - maybe that had something to do with it. I'm not sure who is in charge of the activities. The two comedians on the first cruise were very funny. This time only one was. The other guy - not so much. The food is good. Some better than others but overall pretty good. Just remember if you don't like something - go get something else -it's free! Alcohol, sodas cost extra. If you have to hand your Sail and Sign card to anyone and sign a receipt - you are being charged for something. Be careful - we overheard a group of ladies get hit with a dose of reality when they checked their charges and one of the girls said #@$# $3,000!!
CAMP CARNIVAL: My son loved it. There are times when they are closed. If you don't get there on time, you might get charged a late fee.
FREEPORT: First time there we did the dolphin excursion. It was pretty cool. This time we took a taxi ($10pp round trip) to Port Lucuaya Marketplace. Everyone said how great the shops were there so we thought we would give it a try - they were ok. Unless you want to go to the beach - shop at the straw market near the ship and save the taxi fare. They really weren't that different. You have some that bug you and others will wait for you to come into their shop but they have to make a living somehow. We did walk to the public beach. It is down a path near the police station. It was a small beach and very rocky.
NASSAU: First time there we did not book a shore excursion. We did take a taxi and a tour of the island with some shopping. Haggle the price!!!! Some of the people in our group paid $50 a person. The taxi driver told my husband it would be $25 per person (four of us) he said he only had $50 and the guy said ok. We saw some historic sites, did some shopping and held on for dear life because of their crazy driving! It was fun and memorable. Second time there we decided to go the Melia hotel (use to be Sheraton). For $30 adults, $22.50 for kids, we got a day pass - 4 pools, a water slide pool, beach chairs and beach. It was pricey but worth it. It is really beautiful and clean there. We did take a taxi - also ($10pp round trip) We did our shopping right inside the gated shopping area - also were customs is. Those people are wonderful. No one bugs you to buy anything. Once you step outside the gate - it is a whole other story and we got a warning on the ship before we got off that some tourists have been mugged.
My husband and I did the behind the scene tour on the ship - last sea day. I don't think this was offered the first time we were on the Fantasy. We almost did get to do it because we did not see that you need closed toe shoes. My husband only had sandals with him. I brought water shoes and my daughter brought tennis shoes so we were able to go. It was really cool. $55 a person 2 1/2hrs. We got to tour the crews hangout area, the kitchen, backstage, dressing room, where all the food is stored, engine room (not the engines themselves), & captains area. We also got a picture with the captain.
DEBARKATION: I highly recommend taking your luggage with you as opposed to letting the crew take it off the ship. You will wait a long time. Our depart time was 8:15. We were off the ship, through customs, bus ride to the parking garage by 9am.
OVERALL: This is a nice ship. For the price per person (it came out to $360 for us May 16th) you can't beat it. 5 days, Bahamas, food, lodging, entertainment. We will be going on the Fantasy next April for our 20th wedding anniversary! Less