Carnival Cruise Lines, which has subtly updated, but avoided dramatic revolutionary change on its middle-aged Fantasy-class series of ships, now has plans for a dramatic re-do. In its upcoming "evolutions of fun" program, which will take place in stages on the ships during scheduled dry-docks (and will be fully completed by 2009), key enhancements include:
The addition of 50 interconnecting cabins, aimed at families traveling together, on each ship.
An adults-only Serenity area (similar in concept to that found on Crown Princess and the soon-to-be-launched Emerald Princess.
Children's water parks
Redesigned sun decks
Updated Club 02 and kid-gathering facilities for teens and 12- to 14-year-olds, respectively.
An overhaul of the 12,000-square ft. spas
Ships considered part of Carnival's Fantasy class include Ecstasy, Elation, Fascination, Imagination, Inspiration, Paradise and Sensation. Fantasy, the original, was launched in 1990.
The ships have already been refreshed in certain ways; in a program that began in 2005, staterooms were remodeled, public areas were made over, and additions, such as nine-hole mini-golf courses, New York-style delis in the Lido restaurants, and updated sound and lighting systems in performance venues, have already been made.
Imagination and Inspiration are the first ships to get the new stage of enhancements; the expanded and updated pool deck, including the water park and serenity area, will be added to those vessels during dry-docks this fall. The remaining ships will get the upgrades during scheduled dry-docks in 2008 and 2009.
Some aspects of the "Evolutions of Fun" enhancements have already been completed on the Fantasy, Ecstasy and Fascination and partially executed on the Sensation, Elation and Paradise. By 2009, the entire Fantasy-class fleet will be completed including the fabulous new transformation of open deck areas.
Other upgrades, incorporated fleetwide, include the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high-quality linens and pillows, a variety of cuisine enhancements, as well as Wi-Fi Internet access in virtually all public areas and cellular phone service.
--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor
Carnival Introduces Festive Fantasy-Class Enhancements
March 30, 2007