We went on the Fantasy out of Charleston on August 8th for a 5 day cruise. This was our 35th cruise so we have been on many different cruise lines. We drove to the port and arrived at the port at 11:30 AM. It only took us about 30 minutes to pay and park the car. After you pay you drive a short distance and they unload the luggage from your car. Parking is $85 for 5 days. You park your car in a warehouse and after a short ride (quarter mile at most) on a shuttle you arrive at the check-in desk. We did not encounter any line at the check-in counter. By 12:30 PM, an hour after arriving, we were having lunch in the Lido buffet.
The food was as good as most cruise lines with the exception of the buffet on the Lido deck. So in the morning we went thru the line where they will make you an omelet or eggs to order just outside the buffet area. They use that same place as a Mongolian grill for lunch and most days we went thru that line for lunch, usually not waiting more the 15 minutes. One day we had pizza which wasn't bad and which is located at the back of the dining room for the buffet. The food in the main dining room for supper was good and as good as most ships we have been on. They have a standard menu and also a group of entrees which change every night. Their desserts in the dining room were as good as any ship we have ever been on, especially the melting cake with ice cream.
After having lunch the day of arrival we went to our room which was available after 1:30 PM.
Our room was on the Empress deck (deck 7) towards the front of the ship. The location worked out good since the My-Time dining room for supper was on deck 8 near the center of the ship. It was an ocean view room (big window, not porthole) which was about 185 square feet, While the room was not as fancy as some ships we have been on it was very functional. The bathroom was bigger than a lot of ship, especially the shower and there was plenty of hot water.
The one area where I think they could improve is the entertainment. They had only 2 shows, The Brits and Motor City, during the 5 day cruise, both of which were very entertaining. They had 2 comedians which were good but get there early as seating is limited and if you arrive 10 minutes before the show you may not get a seat.
Our itinerary took us to Freeport and then to Nassau. In Freeport we took a taxi ($10 per person round trip) to Lacaya for shopping but it leaves a lot to be desired. In Nassau we walked (about 10 blocks from the dock) to the public beach just past Fat Tuesdays which you can see when you are approaching the dock. On the way there you pass a McDonalds and we stopped and had a drink and we were able to get on our iPads since they had WiFi which actually was quite fast. The public beach was quite nice and you could rent chairs and an umbrella if you wanted.
While the Fantasy is an old ship they try to keep it looking decent. It doesn't compare with a lot of the bigger ships but we knew that before we booked the cruise. If you are in driving distance and you just want a short get away at a reasonable price then I would recommend this cruise. If you are looking for more to do, a fancier ship, and a better itinerary then you might want to consider another ship out of one of the ports in Florida.
We didn't find this port very interesting
Not bad and public beach is nice