We have cruises 3 times before and 2 of those have been with carnival. While we had a good time together as a family on our cruise, I have to say that we will be trying a different cruise line on our next cruise. The Fantasy was an older but well maintained and updated ship. The issues we had with the cruise were related to service and entertainment.
We dined in the Celebration dining room and booked and had confirmation we were on the early dining. We noticed on our sign and sail card at checkin that they had moved us to late dining which really wasn't good for us in that we travelled with an 8 and 11 year old. After several attempts to change the time to what we booked, we eventually had to resign ourselves to the late dining.
We have always had great service from dining staff on past cruises but were very disappointed on the Fantasy. The staff for our section were not friendly or very service oriented. We are not very high maintenance customers but receive similar service from disgruntled workers at fast food chains. Of course their were exceptions to the service but for the most part, we were not very impressed.
We have purchased the wine packages on past cruises without incident but on this cruise we had multiple issues while trying to use the plan with our dinner. While maitre'd did come to the table and apologize (we had not complained so I'm guessing the staff told him of their mistakes), we won't buy the package again due to all of the hiccups. We understand mistakes but a good attitude from staff would have gone a long way.
The steward staff was excellent and were always pleasant. They never seemed to sleep and the room was kept very clean.
The ships entertainment was the worst. The shows were laughable (except for the comedians!) to the point where our kids even asked if we could leave. One of the comedians was pretty good (Darren ?) but the "cowboy comedian" needs to get back to the rodeo! Very nice guy around the ship but sorry, just not funny on stage.
Not sure what the cruise line could have done about the last issue we had other than maybe more visible security but the crowd on this ship were really out of control. I don't mean just the normal drinking and partying that is typical for cruises. This cruise (and I don't know if it was just this particular week) definitely seemed to have catered more to young black cruisers which i have absolutely no problem with except for the large groups that were roaming the decks being very pushy in the lines and cursing loudly no matter if kids or senior citizens were present. We saw incidents of threats and near violence that has no place on a family friendly cruise. Again, obviously their were lots of friendly people of all races on the ship but the behavior of the obnoxious few definitely affects our decision not to take this cruise again.