10 Carnival Fantasy Cruise Reviews for Holiday Cruises to Bahamas

On December 27 our family boarded the carnival fantasy for a new years cruise. This was about my 8 time on the fantasy over the last 12 years so i have other cruises to compare it to. The cruise was way over booked we knew this by the crew ... Read More
On December 27 our family boarded the carnival fantasy for a new years cruise. This was about my 8 time on the fantasy over the last 12 years so i have other cruises to compare it to. The cruise was way over booked we knew this by the crew telling us. At dinner dervice we had to wait a hour to get our food sometimes a hour just to get our appetizers. I dont know if carnival is cutting back but there cruises are nonthing like they were 10 years ago. The crew worked hard but when you have that many people to take care of you miss a lot. Shows were ok but it wasnt something you write home about. Our family was on the same floor except for one of us had a cabin on a different floor and it was right under a kitchen. And they do the cleaning every nite banging and loud noises our family in there complained and they said they knew those rooms were bad and they usually booked them at the last min.......so how we get one we booked our over a year in advance. The food quality was terrible in the alternative dining where we ate breakfast and lunch. It was like well like i read another cruiser say it was like hospital food. My mom and brother went for lunch one day and both took a bite of there chicken and it was totally RAW, they showed them and was told sorry. Unless you stood inline for a hamburger that was 30 min long or stood inline for a omlette nonthing else there was worth eating. It was a very long cruise. This cruise was expensive and figured being a new years cruise something big would be planned but the band went on the lido deck played and got a paper hat and a blow toy. I am a Platinum member but if this is the direction carnival is going then im switching to Royal. I have another cruise planned for the dream in may i hope this was just a bad cruise. As for the ship for being the oldest ship in the fleet it was clean and nice just need more balconys. BTW im sure i wasnt the only one complaining about this cruise the line at the guest services always had a line with pissed off people. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My Background: Over 30+ cruises - All major lines. Positive about the industry. A bad day on the ship is better than a good day at work. Cruising is the way to travel on a budget! Pre-Cruise: Charleston is a wonderful City to embark ... Read More
My Background: Over 30+ cruises - All major lines. Positive about the industry. A bad day on the ship is better than a good day at work. Cruising is the way to travel on a budget! Pre-Cruise: Charleston is a wonderful City to embark from. Charleston has a wonderful southern flare that can be a vacation all its own. Several wonderful restaurants encompass this beautiful historic city. We really enjoy the Charleston Crab House. Our favorite location is on Jamestown. Carriage rides, souvenirs, ghost walks, and historic sites are great ideas for your stay. If you stay downtown, you will have access to even more things to do. There are several hotels and bed & breakfasts to stay at in town. I highly recommend Vendue Inn. This is an elegant place to stay that is right on the park and battery. If you want to stay at a chain hotel that is relatively close, I recommend the marina view of Marriott's Courtyard Harbor. It's about a 10 minute drive to the port. Embarkation: Charleston is an interesting port. Many of the people that live in town are opposing the ports existence. Even thought the port has been there from the 1600's, they feel threatened by the footprint they believe the ship leaves. Due to current restrictions, they generally allow one ship at a time. The Carnival Fantasy is allowed to be here year round. I am not sure where the local governments stand right now with adding more to this port. Keeping this in mind, the port feels very retrofitted for the task at hand. I have left out of this port previously on the Carnival Victory. I knew what to expect. It has improved some over the past 11 plus years the port has been used for cruise ships. It still has a long way to go to be considered a great embarkation port for this reason. You will be asked to show up after 12:30 noon. While they will allow you to line your cars up outside of the port, you will not be allowed to go in. They will allow you to drop your bags off early, but you can not park. I definitely recommend that you do not show up early. Enjoy the town during this time. If you are parking, they will ask you to pay for the parking up front. The cost for parking was $119.00 if I remember right (7 night). If you have someone in your party that is handicapped, they will not charge you parking. This happened with another couple in our party that needed extra assistance. You will park your car in a covered warehouse. It is actually one of the safer feeling places I have parked. You will need your cruise information during this process of dropping off your luggage and heading to the lot. After you park your car, you will to a quickly moving line that will load you on a bus. The bus will take you directly to the cruise terminal. Once you enter the terminal, you will complete your check-in and get your cruise cards. One thing we noticed is that we were able to get to our rooms right away. Our luggage was delivered quickly since we were considered priority with our Platinum status and mini-suite room selection. The staff at the port was very nice. We were able to get on the ship with ease. Elevators were available. The Ship: The ship is one of the "fun ships" that Carnival has become famous for. The Fantasy is a 70 thousand ton "tion" ship. It is a money ship for Carnival. It has been improved over the years. They have not completed the 2.0 enhancements, nor have they added a steakhouse. The ship is well built, and per the customer service staff, they expect it to go back into dry dock in the future for more upgrades. There are no expectations at this time for the ship to be sold. The common areas are silver, blue, and neon. The old flash of the Carnival's past is evident around the ship. Accents have been made to give it some modern feel. You can see this most on the pool deck and in the staterooms. These areas have been improved over the years. The extra added balconies that you see on some of the other funships, such as Imagination, are not present. The ship is freshly painted. The wear has been covered some which makes the ship feel newer than it is. The dining rooms have the low ceilings that you do not see anymore. Both dining rooms are one story. The theater is flatter than the newer ships which causes more seating to have restricted viewing. If there is a particular show you want to see, be sure to get there about 20-30 minutes early to get a better viewing seat. The pools seem to be maintained and actually the pick-up service seemed to have the ship under close control. This is something that all cruise lines seem to have a challenge with. Very few times did I see plates stacked or drinks just sitting around for a long time. The piano bar, game room, and club rooms are really nice. The only room that could use a little update on decor is the back room where the comedy shows take place. I would like to see it look more like a comedy club basement look. Still, the ship is well maintained and looks good. Staterooms: I can only speak for the V-17 balcony that we had on level 11. The room was very nice for a balcony. The actually balcony matches the width of the standard balconies, but is very narrow in depth. It is only about three feet from the door to the railing. It sits high up above the rest of the ship. The four balconies on either side towards the center of the ship have obstructions due to life boats. V-15,17,19 all had good views with little obstruction at all. A bonus, these rooms have a lot of privacy since they are in their own little area. Very little hall noise! Nothing above or below to distract you. The Grand Suites in the middle of the ship are HUGE! My mother and father and law stayed in those during a previous cruise. The noise is much higher, the view is lower to the water, but the rooms are great! Back to V-17... The flat screen TV's are fine, plenty of storage, great lighting, and decent size showers. As most know, Carnival's rooms are generally bigger than matching categories on other lines. Dining: Dining options are more limited in regards to places to grab a bite, but they seem to be more available to serve throughout the day. Room Service is very fast! Pizza 24/7. Nice deli on the back of the ship in the lido deck. The Lido offers different choices each day. The place is kept up well. I love the seating off the back sides. Wonderful place to eat. There are two TV's in the lido deck that were popular during the college bowl games. The bar service is great unless we are in port. Since many of the staff may have leave, you may have to hunt down a few. I recommend that you tip on-top of the automatic 15% gratuity. 1$ per order will go a long way. They will remember your name and be there for you more. Remember, all Lido food on all ships have pluses and minuses. You can find something you like. If you do not like the lido deck food, then you may want to eat in the dining room for breakfast or lunch. Breakfast in the dining room is the only way to go - it is the best. Great service and the food tastes even better. Alright folks.... this "anytime dining" is really getting the raw deal. I always recommend eating at a set time each night. Early or late... The anytime dining is a huge line that means you have to wait. You can do that at home. A little secret. If you want a specific time, talk to the Matre'd. See if he/she can set up a time for you and your family that works each night. They can even have the same waiters for you if you want. This way you get a time you want, and you do not have to wait in line. Stick with the set early or late times, and you will not have a problem. If you like something at dinner - brag on it. They love this. If you do not like something - nicely tell them that you did not like it. This helps them out a lot! A steak comes out overcooked, tell them... give them a chance to make it right. The dining room staff take their craft seriously. They work very hard to get these positions. A shout out to Assistant Waiter Puthut and Team Waiter Maryna at table 370. Excellent team. The Matre'd helped us on the first night by getting us a better seat with them. They were magnificent. They really cared about the customer! They went the extra mile! The meals were excellent. Will you like everything? No! Try other things then! Don't just say the food is bad. Tell them what you like and you will be surprised. I am a picky eater, and they did wonderful! I actually like Carnival main dining over RCCL, Disney, and Celebrity. They need a steakhouse like they have on all of the 90k ton ships+. I am sure they are working on that. You can order specialty steaks/lobster for $20.00 currently on the Fantasy. They also need a Guys hamburgers. Entertainment: Carnival has always had a strong schedule for ship entertainment. They currently have a cast of 8 men and women who not only dance, but can ALL sting. They did not have a live orchestra. They are singing the program shows such as "Motown" and "The Brits." I have seen these shows on different stages. The Fantasy staff performs their shows really well. They have some very strong singers! The magician and George Lopez comedy club comedians are always packed and fun! I have seen these comedians before. The adult shows can go over the top some. Just because you can say cuss words does not mean the whole show needs to have them. A few perfectly time cuss words can make the impact that audiences are looking for. RCCL and Carnival have the entertainment part covered. Great piano bars and live music around the ship. Again, not stage band for the productions shows on this ship. Itinerary: Day 1 - Leave out - Safety drill is a little longer than some ships. Some of the groups need to be walked to their assigned life boats. This is due to recent changes and the design of the boat. 20-30 minute process. A little long, but not a big deal. Always much better than wearing the life jackets like we used to about 5+ years ago. Day 2 - Sea Day - go to the Spa - sleep late - hangout on the Serenity deck on the back below the lido. Day 3 - Sea Day - repeat Day 4 - Grand Turk - Yes, they have excursions... but why waste the money. Go to Margaritaville right at the docked port. Have some food and drinks and swim in their huge pool. Have fun with the great DJ there. If you want to swim in the ocean, it is right there at the port. Take a Taxi to the even nicer beach on this very small island. Day 5 - Half Moon Key - Hard to beat when cruise companies have their own private island. Beautiful beach, music, and fun awaits. The food is included. Drinks are not... not part of beverage plan either. You actually pay a round a dollar more for drinks. The food is free though. The only real downside, you have to tender. The use the big boats that lows up to 250, so the process is actually pretty smooth. Great stop as always. You can rent water equipment at the beach. They do have excursions here.... but why? The horseback riding did look pretty cool though. Day 6 - Nassau - Here is where I recommend taking a nice excursion. I also recommend you shopping here. They have added a VAT "Value Added Tax" starting this year. This does not apply to watches and jewelry. The stores may require you to pay a small refund fee for the VAT, but they have ways to negotiate with you on that. Reduce the price by the few dollars it costs. We love Venetian Jewelers on Nassau. Vince, the manager there is always great with us. Hard rock and other restaurants have free wifi. The ship wifi has not received the upgrade yet... it is slow. Go to a restaurant that is not that crowded, and you will have the faster connections. They will give you their password if you are eating or drinking. Atlantis is nice, but very expensive. If you been to Vegas, the resort will be a letdown. The beach is nice, but there are better ones you can see outside of Atlantis. Day 7 - Sea Day - do your thing! Pack Day 8 - Debarkation This is the area of biggest improvement for me. This was so awesome. The self assist platinum folks meet in the Piano Bar. At 7:20 ish. They will pick you up and hold elevators just for you to go down to the proper floor - 3. You will disembark , got through customs, and take your backs to the truck that will load your luggage and take you to the garage where you parked your car. I dreaded this process, but they have it down. Minimum wait. The driver was very friendly. To get out is very easy. I expect that the other folks leaving may experience some of the same. They will not allow you to roll your bags from the ship to your car like we used to. Again, the process went very well for us. In Conclusion: I really enjoyed this relaxing cruise. That is what we wanted. We had set our expectations appropriately which created some pleasant surprise moments. Veterans of cruising that are positive will find this ship to be nice. High expectation folks who have never cruised or have not been on Carnival may not be 100%. New cruisers reactions may differ depending on their expectations and the people they are with. Generally, most will take this vacation to be something very nice. New cruisers - this is an older ship - you will feel some movement that you may not feel on larger ships. Take a non-drowsy Dramamine, patch, or wristband, and you will be fine. It is very light. I heard very little concerns about this from the different first time cruisers we talked with. Don't let seasickness fears ever be an excuse from having fun. If Charleston is your call, then go for it!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I realize people on this site are probably seasoned cruisers but I will write this as a rookie because that's what I am. I just got off my second cruise. My first was with Carnival Fascination and my second was with Carnival Fantasy. ... Read More
I realize people on this site are probably seasoned cruisers but I will write this as a rookie because that's what I am. I just got off my second cruise. My first was with Carnival Fascination and my second was with Carnival Fantasy. Both ships are ok. I don't think I'll ever travel with Fantasy again. It isn't anything big, it's a lot of little things that add up. Fantasy is older and it shows. The staff are just a little bit less friendly and helpful. It's shopping (jewelry, clothes) didn't appeal to me as much as Fascination. The ships entertainment was not comparable. The show, trivia, etc. is higher quality and more fun on the Fascination. Embarking on the Fantasy was slow and laborious, yet on the Fascination was quick and easy. Debarkation was just the opposite. The Fantasy was announcementless yet quick and seamless. You get the directions on TV and in several handouts. It just went bing-bang-boom. The Fascination was horrible. We were stuck sitting in the stairwell for close to 2 hours waiting for things to happen. The food on both ships was similar, but again, like I mentioned before the Fascination is just a tiny bit more polished. Empress level is a good choice for me for most of the time. It is near most things happening on the ship yet not near enough to be noisy. It is one level down from our restaurant. It is definitely NOT the place to be in rough seas. I think the next time I cruise I will get a balcony. I really miss fresh air. I realize most seasoned cruisers spend very little time in their cabins, but I spend a fair amount of time there as I am a "homebody". Being alone in my own room is comforting to me. I want to be able to walk out of my room and be near the ocean. BTW - I sleep with my shades/curtains open in my bedroom at home because I don't like being closed in. I keep the curtains on the ocean view window open too. I went on the Fantasy for a New Year's Cruise - 5 days to the Bahamas leaving from Charleston. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our first time aboard Fantasy. While it's true that she's the oldest ship in the fleet, she's also lovingly maintained. For a grand lady her age, she's as fine a ship as we've ever sailed. One of our ... Read More
This was our first time aboard Fantasy. While it's true that she's the oldest ship in the fleet, she's also lovingly maintained. For a grand lady her age, she's as fine a ship as we've ever sailed. One of our newfound cruise mates had previously only sailed RCI and other $hip$ and was not sure that he'd like our cruise. He told us that his outlook had dynamically changed, that beforehand he evaluated the cruises by the amenities they offered, like rock wall climbing, which he admitted he never did, and that those "WOW" things just weren't worth the additional cost. We arrived the day before our cruise, staying at the Best Western Patriot's Point location. It was a great value; the rooms were clean and well appointed, the staff friendly and eager to help. Additionally, they offer free parking for the duration of the cruise with a stay there. The room rate, continental breakfast, and parking were less than parking at the cruise terminal. We arranged a taxi ride with Todd and his pet dog, Buddy. Todd was friendly, timely, and got us to and from the cruise terminal with ease. His number is 843-343-6568. Post cruise, he whisked us back to the BW and we were off on our way back home. Embarkation was fairly rapid. Once onboard, our cabin was ready by 1:30. Free champagne was offered to celebrate the cruise. One finds a family mix for holiday cruises, and our shipmates were mostly from the NC-GA-SC area, with a few families from the snowy regions up north. Debarking was quick. We chose to let them drag our bags off the ship. It took about an hour to clear the ship from Lido deck through customs. Our cabin was Riviera 203, located aft. It was comfy and well appointed. Our cabin steward was as meticulous as any we've ever had, and was inconspicuous. It became almost a game for us to try to catch him much as one would a leprechaun. We succeeded seeing him in our cabin just once. Yet miraculously, whenever we were gone longer than 10 or 15 minutes, the cabin was restored to order. I initially had concerns that there would be some engineering or steerage related noise. ZERO! And throughout the cruise, the weather enroute to the Bahamas and back to SC was less than ideal, yet we experienced little untoward motion. Club O2 for the 15-17 yr olds was enjoyable, according to our daughter. She quickly met and made new friends. They were kept busy and entertained, as has been our experience with each level of Club Carnival that we've experienced. The dining was first rate. Our tablemates were friendly, our wait staff excellent. Portions were generous and quite enjoyable. With a Gluten Free requirement for our daughter, we filled out the form for Carnival ahead of time, and the Dining Room manager, Aysu, was quick to ensure that our daughter's meals were GF. Aysu takes a lot of pride in her dining room and it showed. Nightly, Aysu brought us the menu for the following night so our daughter could preorder. When my wife tried to 'help', Aysu reminded my wife that this was her vacation and to let Aysu do the work. Our server, Miraslava, was the epitome of service oriented. The Lido food was, for the most part, enjoyable. The deli at the aft part was exceptional. GF pizza was available with just a short wait, and our daughter really enjoyed it. The Mongolian Wok station was busy, but moved quickly. And the food was delightful with two exceptions. The only downside for Lido food was the hamburgers, which were tolerable, but not up to what one would get at a Wendy's. And the coffee shipboard was less enjoyable than what one finds in a military mess hall. We thought that this was a ploy to encourage purchase of shipboard specialty coffee, but our dining mates told us that the specialty coffee was no better. Of course, the hot chocolate and ice cream were favorites. The entertainment ranged from great to horrible. Special shout out to Larry at Cleopatra's Piano Bar for keeping us well entertained. You simply must go to hear his 'special' version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm. Due to the weather affecting the ship roll, some events were rescheduled, so it was a little confusing as to where and when things would happen. Risa and her crew did a wonderful job juggling the changes. The two main singers were 'pitch' challenged. Quite a few of their songs left much to be desired. The dancers were good. The musical group, Music Degree, was outstanding. We attended/played a few of the guest games. The newlywed game was hilarious. Ships on sticks abounded, and some cruise friends from our roll call won at least two ships to add to their collection. The comedians.....oh what to say? Mark was funny and definitely made some new fans. Andre Holloway was terrible. His show was the first comedy show from which I have ever walked out. He's not funny. His timing and material are simply not good. Given the choice of another viewing of the on TV movie which shows for 24 hours, every two hours and Holloway's routine, I'd easily pick another showing of the movie du jour, although after seeing parts of them over a 24 hour period, one can begin to quote the dialog. The casino seems to have replaced the usual money vacuums with models by Dyson. We were cleaned out in no time from our set limit on slots, and just enjoyed watching other folks get cleaned. I do not recall anyone's winning while we were in the casino. The casino was never full, and several gaming tables were wide open or unattended. Having been to both ports, we did not do any of the excursions. It shouldn't be news that you can book the excursions directly cheaper than through the cruise line. At Freeport, we stayed in the port area near the ship. Prices were more expensive than at Nassau for the same stuff. At Nassau, we did our own walking tour, and visited Captain Blab Blab at the Pirate's Museum, which we heartily recommend. The Captain is entertaining and the museum is quite interesting. In Nassau, we actually went online for the first time, as the ship's WiFi is expensive. At Starbucks, you can get an hour of WiFi for 3 dollars. We enjoyed our Christmas cruise, which was made even more enjoyable by our roll call mates and the gift exchange. We would gladly sail Fantasy again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My family of 4 children, ages 11-14 and 2 adults sailed to the Bahamas on Carnival Fantasy in December, 2011 Christmas cruise. We have sailed a half dozen times on Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. Although a relaxing cruise, we ... Read More
My family of 4 children, ages 11-14 and 2 adults sailed to the Bahamas on Carnival Fantasy in December, 2011 Christmas cruise. We have sailed a half dozen times on Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. Although a relaxing cruise, we would not select again for the following main reasons: 1) The food. Breakfast and lunch were fine at the buffets. Dinner detracted from the experience. Our poor waiter was so overwhelmed by all his tables and new assistants that the service was poor. The food was surprisingly bad - even foods that are relatively easy to prepare. How can you botch a cheese cake? Answer: be too cheap to include any cheese - tasted like a bad sponge cake. On a six night cruise, 3 meals were fine and the other 3 were poor. Service was slow. Kids couldn't get refills on "bottomless" soda. Some nights hard to get refills on water or another slice of bread if the meal was delayed. Menus and food were disappointing. I'm a diabetic and have enjoyed sugar-free desserts most recently on Princess. In 6 nights I enjoyed only one dessert. We didn't starve - but we didn't really enjoy the meals. Carnival has skimped too much from the dining room budget. Major problem. Wouldn't sail again. 2) Camps. We were told our 11 year old camp is in a 9-11 year old camp. NOT TRUE. The camp is 6-11 most of the time. There is simply no way our 6th grader is going to camp with 1st graders. I looked at the camp schedule, there was really nothing he would have enjoyed anyway. In the other camp 12-14, we had 3 children. 2 passed, and 1 did everything. They all said the games were lacking, e.g. the basketball NBA video game is from 2007, there is nothing from after that on board to play. Nothing great - doesn't seem like there is any real effort. 3) There isn't much to do in the Bahamas. Freeport is basically a waste. We went to the beach on our own in Nassau (the Sheraton Hotel - $5 taxi, and $25 beach fee - both per person) and had a nice afternoon. Key West is completely overrun with tourists - a shame because when I went 20 years ago it was special. 4) Entertainment: the carnival dancers were great - when they performed (2 nights and a holiday show in 6 evenings). The other three nights there was a terrible blues singer from New Orleans, and C-rated comedians. However, the costumes and enthusiasm of the carnival dancers was wonderful on the nights they performed. [Note the theater of this old vessel has poles, and the balcony slopes very little making it hard to see from the 2nd row upward - want to get there early to watch]. Staff is nice, ship is in great shape for 20+ year old vessel - little noise or shaking. Showers are hot, nothing bit us. Only issue is with public bathrooms being dirty - but the boat is small and it is easy to get back to your room. There was also an odor in a few of the hallways. Rooms are fine (we were interior - no problems). No lines of any significance except for laser tag. Convenient port to our home in Atlanta. Charleston port is inefficient takes over an hour to get in and it is easier to take your own bags off the boat than let them remove them. Candidly, if they would fix the food, it would be fine for the money - as it is, I would spend more on airfare to cruise elsewhere. It isn't bad and you will have nice memories with your family. It just isn't special - and that's a shame because we would cruise annually out of Charleston if we enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
There was four of us going on this cruise. My mother and her mother (my grandmother) were in one cabin. My boyfriend and I stayed in another cabin. Embarkation- We were on the ship within 20mins. of getting in line!! Cabins- ... Read More
There was four of us going on this cruise. My mother and her mother (my grandmother) were in one cabin. My boyfriend and I stayed in another cabin. Embarkation- We were on the ship within 20mins. of getting in line!! Cabins- Together we occupied cabins R11 and R19. R11 is a porthole in the fwd. starboard part of the ship. R19 is a interior "sideways" room in the fwd. starboard part of the ship. Our cabins were GREAT. The sideways room had a lot more room to walk around in the room. This factor alone made the room seem MUCH bigger. BEWARE: If the two beds are placed together in the sideways room then I think the room would seem MUCH SMALLER. Room Steward- What an amazing "team" of people!! Our rooms were clean and fresh. I loved coming in every night and having my bed sheets turned down. My pillows were fluffed, there was an amazing towel animal every night, and the beds are AMAZINGLY soft! We brought two of our own pillows just because I like my own and every night the steward would place our pillows on the bed. Food- The Lido was really good at times. The grill has extremely good hamburgers and the Wok is always a treat. I know I was on a News Year cruise but a lot of the food I thought was going to be on this cruise wasn't. The bacon mac-n- cheese was never on the menu in the main dinning room, nor the bitter and blanc, or cappuccino pie. However, we did have other foods such as chilled champagne soup (which was excellent). The 24-hour pizza was good and I NEVER went hungry. Room service was always quick and was good for a late night snack when I didn't feel like going to get pizza. We order breakfast to our room on port days which was a great idea. We were able to eat and get dressed. We were usually the 1st people off of the boat on port days so that we didn't need to spend the hottest part of the day on land. During the hottest part of the day we would come back to the boat and relax near the pool. We had plenty of time to shop and enjoy the beach. TV- Not a lot of channels but who goes on a cruise to watch TV? We enjoyed looking at the channel with the Lido camera. This allowed us to know how crowded the Lido was before we went searching for chairs. Rough Seas- Our 2nd to last night we had rough seas. I wasn't sea sick until this night. When you see the ship you can see how far up the porthole is from the bottom of the ship. This night the waves were covering the porthole window (the made a gurgling sound that made my stomach roll). I NEVER felt the ship movement until this night. Comedy Show- HOW FREAKIN FUNNY!!! I had such a good time! WARNING- Don't go to the Children shows and the adult shows. These shows are the exact same jokes with cuss words and sex added for the adult show. I still cannot figure out why they have not moved the shows in the Universal Lounge. The Forum Lounge is to small for such a large crowd. Every show people had to sit in the floor and stand. It's time to move the shows to a bigger spot!! The Shows- AMAZING! The lead singers were excellent and was very professional.There was nothing amateur about them. Debarkation- Went VERY smooth! We were off the ship and on the hotel shuttle within 15mins. of leaving the room. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
My mother, sister and I take a girls cruise every October. We are all over 55 and mom has a scooter, oxygen and other health equipment she takes along for the cruise. First let me say our cabin was huge. We were pleasantly surprised at ... Read More
My mother, sister and I take a girls cruise every October. We are all over 55 and mom has a scooter, oxygen and other health equipment she takes along for the cruise. First let me say our cabin was huge. We were pleasantly surprised at how much room we had and that they actually have these rooms on a ship. We had a full sized door, which would have accommodated mom's regular scooter but we didn't know that, so we rented a smaller one, to be on the safe side. We had a dining room with a full sized table and four chairs, and on the other side of the room, a long dry bar. The balcony is by the bar. Our living room was large with a king sofa that converts into a bed. There is a coffee table, two sitting chairs, one with an ottoman, a writing table, and a large flat screen TV with a DVD player. There was plenty of storage throughout the suite as well as ample outlets to plug in anything you might need to plug in or charge-up. The king sized bedroom had a large chest to store all of your belongings and a large flat screen TV above it and another DVD player. No DVDs and none to check out or rent. No one told us that they would be in our suite, so they really were a waste. The vanity area was very spacious with two sinks and usable outlets. To your left is a walk-in closet with rods on both sides of the closet.To the right, is a huge bathroom, with a large glass shower, a large jacuzzi bathtub and a higher than normal commode. The bathroom has a towel bar and a hook for robe or towel. We really enjoyed the room and all it had to offer us. However, the bar was not useful without wine or other drinks, which were not a part of the fabulous room. The dining table was not much use when we couldn't order meals from the dining room. Room service was available but they only delivered certain items. We still had to go to the buffet to get grits and omelette and other items. I would have thought a nice set of salt and pepper shakers would have been on the table, but no. On other cruise lines I have traveled, suites automatically had concierge service or accommodations for the services, free wine, beer and/or soft drinks as well as ordering from the main dining room menu. None of this was offered or a part of the suite. We were told the last day, that we could have brought a bottle of wine in our carry-on, to be enjoyed in the privacy of our cabin. A little late then. As you can tell, things could be handled in a better fashion than they currently are, to help maximum the full potential of this suite. Not sure I'd pay the price for it on this ship again without all the perks available for free on other cruise lines. There were about 10 full length windows for great views all around. I'll be glad to answer any questions. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Drove through a snowstorm on Christmas night from New Jersey to Charleston to beat the blizzard before it hit NY area. Virginia/NC got 10 inches or so, but we took it slow and steady - we were determined to make our cruise!!! ... Read More
Drove through a snowstorm on Christmas night from New Jersey to Charleston to beat the blizzard before it hit NY area. Virginia/NC got 10 inches or so, but we took it slow and steady - we were determined to make our cruise!!! Charleston: A very nice city - we spent a night before cruise ate at a great seafood restaurant (Hymans) and loved it. We stayed overnight at the Best Western they have a park and stay package, very nice hotel I would recommend it. They provided a taxi for the five us us to get to ship, did not include round trip though, which we were not aware of. Embarkation: Very messy port to use. It is a muddy mess, you cannot walk or be dropped off with luggage, you have to check your luggage in at a tent location, then get on a shuttle bus to take you to building. Ship was late getting into port due to rough seas night before (blizzard) and someone died on the ship that morning (freaked my kids out alittle). Once we were in the building we were on the ship in 20 minutes. Lines moved fast. It was just getting into building that was a bit annoying. Charleston has alot to see and do, so spend time doing this before, once you are on ship you cannot get off. Terminal is right infront of customs building in downtown Charleston, walkable distance to shuttles from downtown area and fleamarket. Ship is small, but nicely kept. It does show its age though, carpets and stairways look older. Ship is clean though, they work hard to keep it this way. We booked two cabins, an ocean view and an inside for our teenaged children. They were right across the hall from us, very convenient and they are older so I felt ok about it. Oceanview rooms are roomy and the inside rooms are a bit smaller it seemed. There was three beds in it though. Kids were happy, they could sleep as late as they wanted, no windows, they did not know the time!!! We had to bang on their door to wake them up. Cabins were clean, bathrooms were clean and big enough. No blowdryers, you had to ask for one. No irons, but there was a laundry room down the hall with two irons for use and 4 washer dryers, which with all my cruises I did not know you could do laundry!!! Very convenient with kids!! Next time I will pack less. One bad thing - very noisy, walls and doors were thin, so we did not sleep too well, heard noise all the time. I had to put a pillow over my head to sleep well. Our room was under a kitchen we think so we heard alot of noise. Dining: Breakfast - Windows had a buffet breakfast with standard food, not as nice as last cruise (Norwegian) but OK. My hubby and I only ate once, we went to Celebration dining room other mornings for a sit down breakfast - much better quality and fast service. I enjoyed this very much. Kids slept in and ate later or missed out all together and ate lunch for breakfast! Lunch: We ate on Lido deck and windows on the Sea all days, except for day infreeport, ate at Our Lucaya restaurant. Food was plentiful and good. Not great just good. Dinners were great, I thought food was very good and nice selection. We ate in Jubilee late seating. Our waiter AJ was great. Entertainment: We only went to one show and it was very good. Other show was a Beatles tribute and we opted to do pictures instead (it was New Year's Eve and we were all dressed up). Water park is great, but I can imagine it gets crowded on hot days, our weather was cool. Serenity deck is nice for adults, but small and was shady and cold most days. Two nice hottubs though with no kids peeing in them!! I recommend this deck. Nice cushioned lounge chairs, gotta get up early though to claim one!! Pool area was nice too, they did a nice job redoing this deck. I have been on this ship before renovations, very nice job renovating the decks. Kids clubs: My 13 year old loved her club, she is very outgoing and social so she made lots of friends, my 15 year old boy went to his club a few times, did not like it as much as she did. My 19 year old was bummed that he could go to bars and casino, but not drink. Carnival has 21 or older strict policy. Other lines are 18 with parents consent. He spent alot of time in casino - feeling like a big man. He also went to disco a few times to laugh at all us old folks!!! New Years Eve was a very spectacular night, Carnival really went out of their way to make it very special, exciting and entertaining. Champagne was flowing (for free no less!!!) Everyone was dressed to the nines, just like a formal night. It felt very special and it is one of the main reasons we did this cruise. Big party on Lido deck with a big 2010 Neon light that changed to 2011 at midnight and ship blew horn, alot of fun!!! Want to do it again next year. Nassau - we just shopped and walked around Bay street - we have been here three times, so felt like just shopping and enjoying the ship when it was empty! Kind of wish we did the beach or something though, ship was chilly and windy. Freeport - did the sanddollar snorkel cruise you can book online. It was TERRIFIC! It was only us and three others, normally 20-40 people. Catamaran was very nice (except for restroom - yuk) and reef was great. We have snorkeled before and never saw this many fish. It was great! Included all you could drink Bahama Mamas!!! Only $45 per person too, much cheaper than any ship excursion. Did a facial in the spa - a bit pricey by nice. It was a special on first day - the oxydermy facial, including a microderm abrasion and collagen treatment. Nice and relaxing hour! Fitness room is small, hot and very crowded early morning. I opted to use aerobics room and use freeweights and my pilates routine. I did use a treadmill twice but had to wait to get it. There is a sports track around mini golf area that you can run/walk on, windy though. Embarktation - a nighmare. We were told you could either carry luggage off and then they start letting you off at 7 am (early for me) or wait till 9 and they took your luggage night before. We opted for latter, but they told us only use elevators no stairs- total nighmare, so we tried stairs and they lied - we easily go right off ship if we had waited for elevators,like others, we would have been waiting over an hour at least. Very unorganized. Port is small, luggage was all crammed together you had to run off line to grab luggage then try to get back on line to go thru customs, then if you did not have a private ride, you had to get on shuttle bus and let them take your luggage again!!! We had a private ride - much easier, but still involved alot of walking with luggage and tired kids. Not fun. New port to open in a year, then I would go out of Charleston again, it is really a beautiful town and an easier drive than Florida from NJ and cheaper than NY Cruises!!! Overall a great cruise for the money and a great job by Carnival celebrating the New Year!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Let me begin by saying that the wife and I had a great time on the Fantasy for the Thanksgiving sailing. Personally, I am not a fan of the smaller ships, and I think there was room for improvement in a few aspects of the ship. Let's ... Read More
Let me begin by saying that the wife and I had a great time on the Fantasy for the Thanksgiving sailing. Personally, I am not a fan of the smaller ships, and I think there was room for improvement in a few aspects of the ship. Let's start with embarkation. First of all, Carnival did a good job with what they had to work with. I've read in some previous posts that the port staff was unfriendly/unhelpful, and that was not our experience in any way whatsoever. We found the people to be nice, professional, and courteous. What was an issue, however, was the layout of the terminal. We had to go one place to drop off luggage, then drive another place to park, and then catch a shuttle to the terminal, then get in line to check in, then go upstairs to get your picture taken, then go downstairs to get on the ramp to get in line to board the ship. I heard that there were going to be some upgrades to the port by the end of 2011, so this may not last forever, but I can tell you that by the end of 2010 the process just wasn't as streamlined as it is in other ports. Our sailing was the last sailing of the Fantasy for two weeks. She is going into dry dock to renovate the common areas. I thought the layout was fine, not as gaudy as most Carnival decor, but I guess some modernizing wouldn't hurt. Our cabin was a decent size. It was our first time sailing with a balcony, and I don't think we could sail without one again. Our room steward was great. We had early dinner seating, and loved, loved, LOVED our wait staff team of Elder, Sigit, and Janet. They were AWESOME! The food wasn't the best I've had, but far from the worst. I'm sure that in trying to please as many palates as possible they can't get too creative or inventive. Dietetically, I'm pretty adventurous, but my wife is not. She seemed to be fine as long as she stuck to steaks and fruit and potatoes. I experimented with dishes I wouldn't normally eat. I liked some a lot, and some were just so-so. Nothing was bad. Oh, and the sushi at the sushi bar was really good. I thought that the entertainment was a pretty weak, overall. Not much else to be said about that. I didn't get our cruise director "Sexy Craig E." I'm sure many people find his schtick funny, but I wasn't one of them. You're wacky and crazy because you always wear two different colored socks... and because everyone you introduce is a good friend of yours... and it is always their birthday... and they should get a big kiss when you see them... It was old by day 2. I thought the activities were thin as well, especially on days at sea. Port 1- Nassau: We only shopped in Nassau. Some decent shopping, but I think we got off of the boat too early, because many of the shops we still closed at 9:30, and by the time we were done, we just didn't backtrack. Port 2- Freeport: We had a beach day, and apart from it being a little overcast, we had a great time. Port 3- Key West: We rented an electric car and drove up and down the streets of Key West. We got the car for three hours for $85. and it was probably the best $85 we spent. We got to see so much more of the island than we would have on foot. In rereading what I have, I'm afraid it seems like we didn't have a good time, and that was far from the case, but as with most things in life, your vacation is what you make of it. The wife and I had a fabulous time. As for the ship, I think that they may need to work some things out first. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Reviewer This was a family cruise. DH and I have cruised six times, four of them on Carnival. Our kids are 4 and 7. This was their third cruise, all on Carnival. We live NW of Baltimore and drove to the port of Charleston. ... Read More
Reviewer This was a family cruise. DH and I have cruised six times, four of them on Carnival. Our kids are 4 and 7. This was their third cruise, all on Carnival. We live NW of Baltimore and drove to the port of Charleston. Photos http://picasaweb.google.com/cyntil8ing/ThanksgivingCruise2010# Pre-cruise We hit the road as soon as my daughter got off the school bus Friday afternoon. We headed west hoping to avoid DC rush hour, but a mishap with our GPS had us heading right back into the thick of it. It was after 7:00pm before we got around DC. After that, we made great time down I-95. We stopped for the night in Florence, SC about 2:00am. We slept until 8:00, ate breakfast at the hotel and continued on without delay. We stopped at a grocery store for last minute items and arrived at the Port of Charleston just before noon. Embarkation The line to check documentation (boarding pass and passports) was fairly long, but since we were in the comfort of our car, we just popped in a Jimmy Buffet CD and made the best of it. It probably took about 20 minutes. Next, there was a less than five minute wait to pay for parking ($15/day) and then another five minutes to drop off the luggage. We parked our car, caught a shuttle bus across the street and got in line to go through security. Again, it was only a few minutes. We waited about 10 minutes to get our sign and sail cards and were onboard by 1:00. Cabins were not available until 1:30 so we were taken up to Lido for lunch. Cabins This was our first inside cabin. We've always been balcony snobs. We originally booked an inside guarantee because the price was too good to pass up. Then, about three weeks before the cruise, the prices dropped even more and we chose a 4C. We were in U196, which was port side aft on the Upper deck. We liked the location, except for early in the mornings when we were docking. The thrusters were loud and vibrated the room enough to wake up me and dh. The kids slept right through. Our cabin steward was very efficient and kept our room nicely. Our shower head broke one morning and it was replaced by the time we returned to our cabin that afternoon. Main Dining Room We were waitlisted for anytime dining, but ended up assigned to late dining. This has always been our normal choice anyway as we rarely eat before 7:45 at home. The kids enjoyed the dining room and my seven year old occasionally tried some new things from the adult menu. My four year old stuck to the kids menu. Many nights, they ate plain pasta. We were seated at a table for 10 and had hoped to meet some new people, but we were alone at the table every night. Our server told us another family with two kids about the same ages was assigned there, but I guess they always ate at the buffet. We were disappointed. When we boarded, we checked the table size and had it been a four top, we were going to ask if we could move to anytime dining so we could eat with our roll call friends. But since it was a large table, we decided to wait and meet our dining companions first. Our wait staff, Amira, Jean Paul, and Alexis were fantastic. They were the best we have ever had. I'm not sure if this is fleet-wide, though I suspect it is. About two months ago, they told us they switched to three person teams so that there would always be one person with the guests. We found our needs anticipated and when my daughter accidentally knocked over a glass of water, they were cleaning it up before she even reached the glass. The food was good. I am doing Weight Watchers, so I ordered from the Spa menu every night. I enjoyed most everything. DH had his warm chocolate melting cake every night and has started our seven year old along the path to the same addiction. We ate breakfast there twice, but we weren't normally ready to go to breakfast before they stopped serving. We ate there for lunch all three sea days. I really enjoy dining room lunch. It's relaxed and the food is interesting. I am not a buffet fan. Buffet Nothing remarkably good or bad here. We ate breakfast here most mornings. The kids had cereal and I had fruit and yogurt. DH tried many things. For lunch, we tried the pizza and the deli and were pleased. I waited for the Mongolian Wok twice and thought it worth the long wait. Other food DD and I enjoyed tea time all three times it was offered. It was very crowded at the beginning, but within 10 minutes, there were always empty tables. It was held in the piano lounge. The salmon sandwiches were very good. The sushi bar was open most nights and it was ok. We're sushi fans and this was nothing to rave over. Entertainment We went to both the production shows and enjoyed them. We went to Punchliners family shows for all four comedians. We liked one and the other three were just ok. We always went to the 7:30 show, which fit well with our 8:15 dinner. We arrived 20 minutes early to get seats up front. The one time we got there about 5 minutes before the show started, I had to hold ds on my lap and dh stood in the back of the room. We dropped the kids at Camp Carnival babysitting and went to the disco one night. We were the only ones in there for nearly half an hour. It was after midnight before the place picked up. We left to get the kids at 1:00. The seven year old really enjoyed Camp Carnival. She went at least some every day except the Key West day. Every evening that there was dancing at the disco, she was there. My four year old only went twice for about an hour. He isn't as social as his sister and preferred to hang out with us. We did the family activities, even winning a ship on a stick in the scavenger hunt. Ports Nassau. We walked around the port area. DH bought a pair of cigars and sampled the local beer (Sands). Freeport. We took a taxi over to Our Lucaya ($5 each, even though DS sat on my lap). We walked along the beach for a bit then wandered through the shopping area. It rained for about an hour. Key West. Another walking around day. Since we were in port for so long (8:00am to midnight) we spent the morning at the deserted pool and water works onboard. Around 2:00pm, we went ashore and had lunch. We walked to the southernmost point and watched the sunset, then went to the Key West Toy Factory store. Debarkation We were in no rush, so we used general debarkation. We got number 15. It was about 9:45 when our number was called. It took quite a while to get our luggage, get through immigration, on the shuttle and back to our car. It was 11:00 before we got on the road home. Here's a hint -- choose the immigration line to the right. There are six immigration stations and two lines. However, the left line shares the stations with the special assist line so the wait is much longer. Also, the left hand line goes out the side of the terminal building and all the way around to the front where the shuttles are. The right side goes out the front of the terminal building. I'm sure we lost a good 30 minutes by choosing the left hand line. Overall This was my favorite cruise. I really liked the atmosphere. It was a holiday and everyone was in a good mood. Fellow passengers were pleasant and polite. Our last cruise was on the Valor, and the ship was just too big and busy for me. I liked the smaller Fantasy much better. I would do this cruise again, even with the unexciting itinerary and the long, long drive to the port. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Carnival Fantasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.1
Dining 3.5 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 5.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 5.0 4.2

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