Background: My tenth cruise and my husbands fifth cruise. This is my 6th Carnival cruise. I have also cruised with Royal,Disney,and NCL. It was my husbands 5th Carnival cruise.
Pre-cruise: We arrived in Charleston on Saturday and went shopping at the Tangler outlets and had dinner at Hooters. On Sunday we visited the USS Yorktown and watched the football games at the Noisy Oyster. We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites North Charleston/University. We booked the couples cruise package. Hotel was newer and had a free hot breakfast and free WIFI.
Embarkation: The shuttle picked us up at the hotel and from the time the shuttle arrived till the time we were on board was an hour. Quick embarkation.
Ship: I liked the Fantasy very much. I am a fan of the older and smaller ships. I liked that she had the same layout as the Sensation and we knew our way around as soon as we boarded. Our cabin looked just like the cabins we had on the Splendor and the Valor minus the couch. I think the condition of the ship was good. Very clean and the only time I ever felt crowded was lunch on embarkation day.
Food: We like anytime dining and eat in the MDR each night. Our head waiter the first night was an older gentleman and he was not friendly and the service was slow. The second night we were seated in Damira's section and she was wonderful. We asked to be seated in her section the rest of the cruise. Her team included Peter and Francious and they all worked so well together. The food was good as always. The lobster and warm chocolate melting cake are my favorites. I was disappointed there were no crab cakes or lobster bisque. The food in the lido buffet was OK. It was not very warm. The grill area had good chicken fingers. The rotisserie had mac and cheese and mashed potatoes, but they were usually cold. I think this is because on a January cruise the weather is colder and they are located outside on the lido deck. We did not order any room service this cruise. I did enjoy the late night Mexican buffet.
Entertainment: We did not go to any of the shows. We enjoy the piano bar and playing trivia and games. We won 5 ship on a sticks and a medal. My husband won game show mania twice. We thought that the comedians were funnier during their PG shows than their R shows. Not to sound mean, but these were the worst comedians I have seen on a Carnival cruise. They were OK. Not tears to your eyes funny. The entertainment staff did a good job. The cruise director Risa was ill and we did not see her until the last sea day. We were glad to see Rob in the piano bar. He was in the piano bar on our Freedom cruise in May.
Spa: This is the first time I have ever been to the spa on a ship. I went to the tour hoping to win a prize. I didn't win a prize. I booked a pedicure. I arrived ten minutes early and was put in a room. Twenty five minutes later the girl came and took me to do the pedicure. I paid $80 for the same thing I could have got at home for $40. The girl who did the pedicure did not tell me it was extra for a french manicure. I was disappointed with my spa experience.
Ports of Call: This was my 7th time in Nassau, so I wasn't too thrilled to be there. We got off the ship and wondered around and got back on and found a prime spot by the pool to lay out. In Freeport we took a taxi into the shopping area. We had a drink and looked around for awhile then laid on the beach and read.
We had a great time on the Fantasy. We would cruise on her again in a heartbeat. Each person can have a different view of the same vacation, so sail on the Fantasy and see for yourself. Glad we did.