A note to those considering The Fantasy from Charleston.
Three couples cruised aboard the Fantasy Dec 9-14., two experienced and one set of First Timers.
Embarkation: Driving to the Port of Charleston was a breeze. Excellent signage and direction by the Charleston Police Dept. Parking was inside an old warehouse and very efficiently done. A short shuttle bus ride to the pier. Through security and check in. Aboard the Lido deck in less than 45 mins.
Overall we found the ship to be very clean although showing her age.
Service in all areas was found to be above average. The bar waiters on deck are a bit pushy. We settled on a nice young lady and tried to give her all of our business for the trip.
Dining: We chose to sit in the Main Dinning Room for most of our meals. The food was very very good. If you are looking for 5 Star over the top dinning you will be disappointed. If you are looking for a very good meal someone else cooked, served and cleaned up from this the place for you. Our waiters Bojahn and Suliman were two of the best we have ever had. We did have a Burger on deck for a late lunch one afternoon, all agreed it was very tasty.
Ports of Call: First stop Freeport. Well laid out Pier with a market place. Proceeded out to the Cab stand. Found a driver who gave us a pitch for a day at Junkanoo Beach Club. $20 per person included round trip cab, beach chair, non motorized water sports, restrooms, cash bar and restaurant. Not a terribly classy place, but the beach was nice, drinks cold, fresh Conch salad was good. If we had it to do again, might have tried to find something in Lucaya.
Second stop was Nassau, suffice it to say, been there done that. Nice Pier, but after that it goes down hill for me. Nasty, loud, pushy people selling the same junk all over.
We took the Catamaran Sail and Snorkel tour. It was windy and rough but we had a great time and saw a lot of very colorful fish. The Rum punch served on the return trip has quite a kick....
As a side note; we were moored next to the brand new Disney Dream and in the next berth was the new RCCL Allure of the Seas. Poor old Fantasy looked like a dinghy compared to those two.
This was the first time we have taken a Dec cruise. We learned the weather can be a big game changer. The winds were strong for the whole trip. On our last sea day from Nassau to Charleston they were blowing 35-38 MPH. The crew closed the Veranda and Sports decks, forcing everyone to the Lido deck. Not a thing anyone can do about the weather but we have never experienced that in the Spring,food for thought.
Shows: We did take in three. The welcome aboard show was good. The Christmas show was well done. Don't miss the Beatles tribute. The cover band was a hoot.
Passengers: Mostly an older crowd. I would suspect that Charleston is not an Embarkation point most people fly to. If your going to fly, most likely you are going to South Florida. With that said, the price of this cruise is very reasonable and if you only have to drive a few hours to reach the Port it becomes very affordable to a lot of folks. Therefore you will not be cruising with the most socially skilled people. I am by no means a snob, but I do have manners and know how to use them.
Disembarkation: By far the smoothest we have ever experienced. Called to leave at 8:15, in the car by 9:00AM.
Overall a great 5 day getaway. Reasonably priced. Service was great. Food was very good. However I doubt we would every sail from Charleston again due to the clientele and limited ports of call.