My family of 4 (13 / 15 year old children) left from Charleston in mid October 2011 for a Cruise to the Bahamas. This was my first cruise and I was a little nervous about being "trapped". The Fantasy is most likely a smaller ship since while docked in Nassau the NCL Pearl was the same length as our ship AND another Carnival ship combined. I never got sea sick and thought the motion was soothing and relaxing. I slept great.
Our room steward, Boharti, was amazing. Constantly cleaning and helping. Made the trip perfect for us. The rooms were fine for 2, but if we had put our two children in the room with us, I seriously doubt I would cruise (at least with them) ever again. It would have been too crowded. My only complaint was the smell of cigarette smoke. Our room did smell like stale smoke, but Boharti brought in some type of machine that took the smell out fast. It would be nice to have non-smoking rooms.
The food was very good. Some stuff was average, the desserts were OK, but for the most part it was good and you NEVER go hungry. We could find food whenever we wanted. We chose the late dining, which was good for not rushing us during the day, but did overlap some of the evening events. However, we could have made it work to see or do anything we wanted. I never felt trapped into certain times of eating / going to shows / etc.
I wasn't there for the entertainment, but they certainly provided the opportunites for people that wanted that. We did really enjoy Mr. H in the piano bar. That made the evenings fun. I could have done without the constant picture takers, but I know that is a huge profit maker for Carnival.
Carnival did a good job getting us onto and off the boat. Very organized.
I can honestly say that I would choose to Cruise over most other options now. It was relaxing and stress free. We did have to wait in lines some. We did have some annoying people on board, but I think that would be the case every where on ANY vacation. We never experienced any of the negatives about the Fantasy that others mentioned, but then again, some people are only happy when they are complaining. We chose to have a good time .. and we did.