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6 Charleston to Caribbean - Southern Cruise Reviews

This trip was a "Pack N Go" that we booked probably 3 weeks in advance. We were in an inside room on Deck 4, but it was still very nice and roomy. Typical of Fantasy class - no extra mirror in the bathroom which was a bit small. ... Read More
This trip was a "Pack N Go" that we booked probably 3 weeks in advance. We were in an inside room on Deck 4, but it was still very nice and roomy. Typical of Fantasy class - no extra mirror in the bathroom which was a bit small. Stewards were very nice and helpful, though sometimes a bit slow. We typically left our room at 7:30 - to get up to Serenity before the chogs - but our room was one of the last to be cleaned. The dining room staff was awesome! Vinod does a fantastic job with his waiters, and Aleksanbdra was amazing! Totally different from the Journey cruise of 2017, instead of 10 days and 3 ports - thank you Irma - we made all our ports. Only problem I had was why did we have to leave San Juan so early? We had 2 sea days to get back to Charleston. Come on! They were probably trying to conserve fuel. Food was very good, menus typical, but they are upping their game with the sugar free options,which is great. With the Journeys cruise they offered a "Good Eats" with a local chef from St. Maarten. Chef Dino was wonderful as always, and now has a cookbook out. His restaurant will be open again in July - destroyed by Irma - and I hope to be able to get there to see him. The Dutch side of St. Maarten has recovered nicely - still working to bring things back but the progress is moving along. not so much on the French side. The CD is Leon, and he is fantastic. I hope to see him graduate to another ship some day. All in all, it was a great 12 days. Friendly crew - so many came to say goodbye and give us hugs on the last day. Hope to see them next March! Have to mention the TV situation. Only CNN and it's affiliates and movies, Ocean Channel, cartoons and normal navigation and view of Lido pool area and bow. This situation stinks! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was a wonderful trip! I have been on several cruises, but this was my husbands first. We were traveling for our honeymoon. The staff was absolutely fantastic and the attention to detail was amazing. Retchie, the man in charge of ... Read More
This was a wonderful trip! I have been on several cruises, but this was my husbands first. We were traveling for our honeymoon. The staff was absolutely fantastic and the attention to detail was amazing. Retchie, the man in charge of our rooms, was fabulous - not only did he greet us by name in the hall every time he saw us, but he went above and beyond daily, from icing down beverages we'd left in our room, to offering to take our picture the night of the captains dinner! We found the waitstaff to be equally amazing, they remembered us from day to day, greeted us happily. One night at our formal dinner, we were even surprised with a cake that said "happy honeymoon". It was an experience we won't forget. I'm not sure what magic Carnival uses to seat people together, but we got along great with all the other couples at our table, and have even kept in touch with some after the cruise! The ship itself was wonderful and clean. Some reviews claimed it was small, but we found there was plenty to explore, even with two days at sea at each end of the trip. We especially liked the adult-only area where the hot tubs were, as it was very quiet. The mini golf was also lots of fun. The food was wonderful, we often opted to go to the seated dining areas for breakfast, as we prefer a sit-down meal and these were wonderful. The buffet areas did offer a good selection, and on the days of our excursions we did go there instead. Guys Burger Joint was also a neat experience with good food. Our cruise stopped at Grand Turk, which was gorgeous. We would absolutely go here again, and although we loved our excursion (horseback riding), if we went again we would be content to just shop and enjoy the beach and bars, the island was very safe and it was so gorgeous and easy to get around that the excursion wasn't needed to enjoy the stop. We also stopped at a cruise-ship owned area of the Dominican. I would not go back to the Dominican again, but to no fault of the cruiseline. I found the beaches to be basic, and the area in general very poverty-stricken. However, the staff was friendly, we did an all inclusive beach day excursion that was decently priced for what it included. The only thing worth noting about embarking would be that prior to the muster station meeting, all restaurants close down. We hadn't gotten lunch yet, and they closed about an hour prior to the meeting, so we were rather hungry when they opened back up. Not a huge deal, we know for next time to eat first, I just wish that had been a bit more clear. Overall, a great trip. I've cruised several times with Carnival and have never been disappointed! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise for the proximity of the port to our home. The ship is small, very small but accommodations are adequate. The main complaint is the smoking area of the ship is mid ship near most if not all the entertainment and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the proximity of the port to our home. The ship is small, very small but accommodations are adequate. The main complaint is the smoking area of the ship is mid ship near most if not all the entertainment and activities. Since our cruise consisted of more sea days than port days, this area was intolerable and you most always had to walk through it to get where you were going since it was the only public deck that accessed all areas of the shop. The galley is mid ship and access to most decks was blocked by it. The smoke was terrible!!! If you hate smoking stay away!!! The redeeming qualities were the staff who were friendly and eager to help. The food on this Carnival ship although similar menus to other ships in the fleet was below Carnival quality. Entertainment was good and we enjoyed the shows. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Cruised from Charleston SC. We had FTTF and embarkation was a breeze. Best $ ever spent. The ship is one of the smallest in the fleet as well as one of the oldest, but it was really nice. The rooms were nice and all areas were clean ... Read More
Cruised from Charleston SC. We had FTTF and embarkation was a breeze. Best $ ever spent. The ship is one of the smallest in the fleet as well as one of the oldest, but it was really nice. The rooms were nice and all areas were clean and well kept. Dining in the dining room was good. We always like the food, but think that at times it could be hotter. Food on the Lido was good and there was always room for seating. Loved the Serenity deck and it was always really busy. I know they are bigger on the newer ships, but this one is small. We did agree that this crew was by far the best we have ever had on any cruise. The CD Benjamin was always fun and upbeat and his staff were equally on point. Our waiters were so attentive and good. Went to Amber Cove and it was ok. It's really new and just a bunch of shops. They do have a really nice pool area with tons of lounge chairs. Also Grand Turk where we took the rainbow trolly tour. It was 2 hours for $29 and well worth the price. We missed our last port, Half Moon Cay, due to weather but Benjamin provided a fun sea day. The one downside was debarkation. Ugh! The port of Charleston is awful. We had our car parked in the garage and had to be bused across the street. No help with luggage or instructions on which bus goes where. My advice would be to get dropped off or a shuttle to the port. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
It's not my intent to knock the cruise down by any means, as I did not have an unpleasant time on it, quite to the contrary, notwithstanding the room size which was disappointing. A room the same size and configuration as the Grand ... Read More
It's not my intent to knock the cruise down by any means, as I did not have an unpleasant time on it, quite to the contrary, notwithstanding the room size which was disappointing. A room the same size and configuration as the Grand Suite -- one with a balcony, is basically a balcony room, not a suite, in most cruise ships, and cost much less. A suite, on the other hand, is generally a larger room that have two or more sections -- generally the bed area is one section and the living room is another. Suites also include many other perks in most ships, such as flowers, fruit baskets, and even some alcoholic drinks. This was certainly not the case on the Fantasy. Furthermore, the VIP treatment I paid for was minimal. My "priority" embarkation and debarkation turned out to be no more than everybody else's. And, just like anyone else, I had to wait in line for dining. Another drawback that I had was that in order for me to access the Serenity retreat area I have to go through an auditorium, which many times will have their chairs placed in a manner in which I can't get through without disrupting the show that's in progress (I use a power chair and can only get into the retreat through some doors and ramps in that area. Ambulatory people generally walk down a flight of stairs from the Lido deck, while I have to wheel through an auditorium on the promenade deck.) That being said, I have to admit that the service was magnificent on board the Fantasy. All of the staff members were friendly except the bar servers, who, even for the disabled, will not start anything but bar drinks for which they charge. Sometimes the bar servers are the only staff members there at certain areas, such as the Serenity Retreat, an adult only area located on the aft of the ship. Because of my disability several specialists, servers, matre d''s, and hosts have bent backwards to help me whenever they could. I can't say enough how magnificent the food was as well as the variety. Whenever someone asks me "what did I eat during the cruise?" I usually respond, "what didn't I eat during the cruise?" I could not go through even an inch of the ship without carrying my camera -- this was a must! There were very unique items to photograph, and to have photographs taken of me and the fellow I took on the cruise with me. Even the evening buffets have a unique and breathtaking feature that was worth taking pictures of. On Wednesday night they had a nice ice sculpture of which I took photo. The weather was magnificent throughout most of the cruise, especially at the ports of call we went through. In this cruise it was Grand Turk and the Bahamas. There were three ports of call overall but I could not get off at the second port of call because it was a tendered port at which I was unable to exit because my power chair. But I did take as many pictures as I could from the ship. Notwithstanding the disappointing size and lack of amenities of my state room, I still have to say the cruise was excellent and a very memorable one. If I can get an accessible room for a lot less money than I paid for this state room, I would certainly consider getting on the Carnival Fantasy for another cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012

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