We just needed a short break from our cold winter. We wanted to do the five night on the Destiny out of Miami, but settled on this cruise. This was our first cruise out of Tampa. We flew down the day before, 1/23/11 and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Rocky Point in Tampa. We got a nice cruise package that included airport pickup, transfer to the ship and a return transfer from the ship to the airport. The transfers all went well! We are VIP's w/Carnival and the Tampa port has a VIP area but it is not as easy to use as the one in Miami. We enjoyed the easier boarding and were on board in just a few minutes. The VIP area is two or three flights up from the ground floor and the terminal was very full when we got there.
We purchased a nice mid-ship cabin in Main deck. The cabin was fine and like all others on Fantasy size ships. There is lots of room for storage and our cabin steward kept the cabin clean and well stocked w/ice.
We had late seating in the dining room. We were in the Carnivale dining seated at a table w/three ladies who we enjoyed seeing over the whole cruise. They were just such nice older ladies enjoying there cruise break. We have been in touch w/them and hope to fly down and see them next spring? The meals were just excellent! We had heard some bad things about the food but we enjoyed all the meals. The buffet was nice and we enjoyed the 24 hour pizza and ice cream bar.
We had drinks at night and they were fine. They were a little more costly but not what we call over priced. The overall service was just excellent! We were off the ship on 1/29/11 at just before 9AM and were at the airport before 10:00AM. Overall we rated this cruise as a 8+ out of 10! Very pleased.