I don't normally do reviews, but felt there weren't enough on this ship. Please keep in mind that we had a fabulous time even though we weren't 100% happy with our choice of cruise and that I've only been on one other cruise to compare this to (Royal Caribbean).
The good: Service was fantastic. We brought a lot of our own wine aboard and the room steward was great about keeping the white chilled and glasses rinsed. She was very responsive when we paged her and the towel animals were much more creative than what we had on Royal Caribbean.
The rooms were nice and large. We had an inside on Empress deck (4A guarantee was booked) and it was more than enough room for us. Toilet was possessed, but that's another story...
The main areas of the ship were beautiful and I don't think she showed her age at all. Everything was clean, well maintained and the "themes" for the various bars were beautifully decorated.
The mixed reviews: The food. I'd heard that Carnival was all about the food, but I think we had better presentation/quality on Royal Caribbean. The buffet restaurant didn't impress me at all and we ate in the dining room or from the deli for every meal. The prime rib was fantastic, the filet mignon overcooked, mushroom sauce was too salty and the ice cream was sinfully delicious.
Entertainment. There were two shows that we loved and the kareoke "finals" was a blast. The bingo, "game shows" and other events just seemed poorly executed. I think a few 12 year olds could have put together better stage scenes/props and been more entertaining than some of the MC's they picked. The Not-So-Newlywed game was a riot, but the Cruise Director didn't do a good job of explaining the rules, so it bounced around a lot with questions, directions, etc. I'm not saying it was bad, but it had so much more potential.
The bad: Embarkation took forever. We arrived at the port at 12:30pm and didn't get on the ship until 2:15pm. The lines took forever and didn't seem well organized at all. Maybe it was a bad time of day, but compared to our previous cruise where we were on within 30-45 minutes, this seemed to take an eternity.
I'm sure I'll be blasted for this one, but I think different people have different ideas of the style of vacation they wanted. I read one review that called the Fantasy a floating Walmart. I hate to say that I agreed. I guess you get what you pay for and maybe I'm just a snob, but there were a TON of really rude passengers and the ship seemed to cater to a lower class of clientele. The "feel" of the boat was nothing like I expected and was a huge disappointment. We had a great time regardless, but one of the things I enjoy the most about a cruise is meeting new people, making new friends, etc. There were very few that I could related to in any way.
Finally, the destination. I was really disappointed in the Bahamas. Atlantis was amazing and totally worth the $ (we did it on our own for $37 each, including RT transportation). The rest of it was much like Cozumel, but dirtier. I'm hoping it was just post-hurricane issues, but there was a lot of trash in the streets, urine/trash smell in the streets and some very pushy street vendors. I'd definitely stick to excursions vs exploring Nassau on my own in the future.