This was a great cruise in so many ways and a disappointing one in a couple of ways.
First, embarkation: we booked the cruise package at the Hampton Inn & Suites University Blvd. Fantastic hotel. The service was top notch, they kept our car for the week, and provided transportation to and from the port. Great way to go. Once we got to the port, things were pretty easy. Our main complaint here is the VIP check-in. My husband has been platinum for the last few years now, and this is one of our favorite perks. In Charleston, it just didn't seem to exist. All our VIP check-in let us do was to bypass the line. Don't get me wrong, that was nice as there was a pretty long line, but then we went to a regular check-in person (not VIP) and while she was nice, it took her a long time to find our room keys because we were VIP. Just not the same service we're used to.
Now, the ship: were not impressed by the ship itself. I know she's old, but we've sailed on the Jubilee, Celebration, & Holiday and liked them all better than the Fantasy. Way too much chrome & neon for us. The renovation of the pool area and the addition of the serenity deck were the 2 things we did like.
Service: we had some of the best service we've ever had on a ship. Our room steward team & dining room team were top notch. They helped make the cruise special. Our room steward was Gede, and our head waiter was Oliver. Both are showing their assistants how service is supposed to be done!
Ports: We enjoyed both Freeport & Nassau. I'll give a full report of those in the ports section.
Entertainment: We LOVED the comedy club on board. The 2 comedians were fantastic. We didn't see the first production show, but did see the Ticket to Ride show. IT was great. Didn't do too much else (game show, marriage show, etc.)
Debarkation: Pretty smooth. Again, there's really no priority debarkation for VIP. In the past, we've met in a room at a certain time, and a staff member escorted us off the ship. Not this time. They offered the above ONLY if you were doing self assist (taking all your luggage off yourself.) Since we weren't doing self assist, we got our number 1 luggage tags and were told to wait in our room until it was called. They called number 1 and we went off with everyone else that had the same tag number. Our ride back to the hotel was there and waiting. We were back to our car, gassed up and on the road by around 9:30 am.
All in all, we did have a great time, there were just a few things that were a little disappointing. Hopefully when the new port is built in Charleston some of the kinks will be worked out there. But until they assign a new ship to Charleston, I don't think we'll be going back.