This is the first review that I've ever been moved to write, so I'll keep it short (maybe).
Pricing vs. cabin - Paid in the $800 range for both in R14, inner stateroom. Totally adequate. Hated the step up/dwn when using the bathroom area. Seems like a big step, especially when underway.
Had some work arounds during our drive into port area, there was some type of costume running event going on, no biggie, just asked the police and they got us where we needed to be. You'll snake around this large lot via cones and cement barriers. (Have your boarding pass and ID, BC, or passport ready.) which lead you to several lines to pay for park ($90 - check, CC, cash). A bit of stop and go till you get to inside parking (late arrivers have to park outside), once there, you have to board a bus for a 500 yard ride to the ship, and no you cannot walk, gotta take bus to get on pier. Once inside things moved along great. Was advised that this ship sells-out regularly and no upgrades can be had at check-in. Told to check with Guest Services once on board, but, by then it wasn't important. We had rollaways and hustled right to our room to drop off, met room attendant, very nice. Off to Lido deck for lunch.
Lido (poolside- hotdogs, hamburgers, and fries, etc) good hamburgers and fries. Buffet inside, different theme everyday, institutional food with flair. You won't go hungry for sure, pizza available, and cold sandwich bar rounds it out. Nice touch; a drink cart person is cruising around to refill your lemonade, ice tea or water glass. Deserts are very good, with a chocolate fountain one of our days.
MDR: Food was average to above, depending on the dish. Beef short ribs were excellent and any seafood entree was A+. Some of the other beef dishes, "skirt steak" was a cut of sirloin and tough and under whelming.
MDR servers were steady, not exceptional. Lido/Buffet servers were quite frankly, broodish and unfriendly. When people are unhappy with their jobs it shows. Same goes with the bartenders staff, competent, yet no smiles to be seen or interaction. Exception: The Casino staff (Airguard, is the man), outstanding, obviously a great team lead by someone that understands the business model of service.
Shows: Didn't make it through any of them. Asst Cruise director, Craig, "your voice from above" constant refrain to "make some noise" for whatever and whomever he was talking about had me reaching for the mute button. Lead vocalist assigned to the show troupe incessant overacting/upstaging was enough make Linsey Lohan jealous.
All that being said, the value for the money spent is a bargain. We weren't there for class A service or amenities, just a getaway on the sea, which the Fantasy fit the bill perfectly. Clean public areas abound, no weird smells, short waits for dining and elevators made it a very nice trip.
Silent service as you leave the ship, all explained fully on TV (so don't kill yourself trying to make the briefing). Find your time to exit stage left and magically the elevators will be available for you. Roll your luggage off or pick up later. Customs very fast and through. All told time-wise: 35minutes.
Would we cruise with Carnival again: YES Best bang for buck!
P.S. Almost forgot the best-est, instead of an excursion- JUMP on the Chef's table dinner. Seven course, a tour of the kitchen (while early service is going) champagne with canapes (all outstanding) made especially for you and 4 other couples. A demo on making the chocolate melting cake (which you'll consume later) then you'll be whisked to the library where your table is set and the experience really takes-off. Its $75 per, but well worth it. Especially for the foodie in you, ask the chef anything, and enjoy.