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5 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Mobile

5 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Mobile

Carnival Fantasy
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Carnival Fantasy

Carnival Fantasy - Carnival Cruise Line


Exceptional service/friendly crew and passengers; tasty food; clean, comfortable cabins


Only one main swimming pool; oldest ship in the Carnival fleet

Bottom Line

Ideal for families; excellent value for singles/couples and first-time cruisers

Cruise Reviews

We chose Mobile due to proximity to home and not going near Orlando where we would be tempted to go to Disney. The staff aboard is great. They are nice, lively and patient. Marty, Gemma, and Lizzy are all wonderful fun staff members. ... Read More
We chose Mobile due to proximity to home and not going near Orlando where we would be tempted to go to Disney. The staff aboard is great. They are nice, lively and patient. Marty, Gemma, and Lizzy are all wonderful fun staff members. We also really enjoyed the variety at dinner. It was nice to try new things we had never had before. The casino is on the same floor as the Camp Ocean and smoking is heavy there. Our son had an asthma attack going to Camp Ocean one night so we spent time treating that. You could smell the smoke all over the 9th floor which also happens to be where to go for the photos each day. It's just heavy. The elegant night was less than elegant. More people in shorts and t-shirts than elegant wear. We enjoyed our time we were dressed up, so it is what it is. I just thought it was typical to dress as suggested. We are not a party family. We are very conservative in our activities so the crowd was not our favorite. It was like spring break on the ocean all week with loud adults and inappropriate behavior for a family cruise. Midnight still having people hollering down the halls was annoying as we were trying to sleep. A lot of individuals were commenting on people in swimsuits and how they didn't belong in swimsuits at all and taking photos of them so I didn't even bother trying to enjoy the water with my kids. That's on me for being self conscious though. I will also say that Camp Ocean was supposed to be separated by age, but they put the 6-8 year olds with the 9-11 year olds. There were a lot of 6 year olds so our 11 year old (who turns 12 in a few weeks) stayed with us after day 2. He was not thrilled with the activities being moved to being only for the younger kids. The atmosphere just wasn't for us. That's not to say it wouldn't be perfect for others. It's just not for a more conservative family who want to enjoy a relaxing vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We decided on the Carnival Fantasy because of the Panama Canal Transit. We had never wanted to cruise Carnival because of the reputation of "Party Ship" but the cost was great and the timing was perfect so we took a chance on ... Read More
We decided on the Carnival Fantasy because of the Panama Canal Transit. We had never wanted to cruise Carnival because of the reputation of "Party Ship" but the cost was great and the timing was perfect so we took a chance on the September 16th, 11 day cruise out of Mobile, AL. This ship was so far above my and my husbands expectations. It had just received very bad news coverage from a disgruntled inspector (after we purchased the cruise), and we were already risking the party atmosphere. We were so shocked to find not one of the things we had read or heard about the ship to be true. The staff was amazing and went above and beyond to know who we were and how to make each moment more enjoyable. This was a Journey cruise (over 10 days) so we were with this staff longer than most. We found relationships built that were genuine and positive. The captain was great at keeping us in touch and informed which made it a positive interaction as we sailed. The meet and greet with the staff was elegant and professional – as well as very entertaining with the professional ballroom dancers and Shipmonk’s performing the perfect mood setting music. Drinks were flowing and appetizers and staff met with the elegant ambiance they had set for the evening. The dinning staff was attentive to our every need - greeting us by name and having the things we enjoyed on the ready. Seon, Lady Ann, Pratama, Kataporn and Ola (short version of Ola's name) were dining room stars! Singing, smiling and ensuring our water was always topped off, our sides were always ready and available and any extra’s or additions were cared for. The cleaning staff was amazing! They were constantly wiping windows/handrails/glass as well as vacuuming and cleaning floors. Seti cared for our stateroom in way that made it a place to look forward to coming back to so we could see the surprises he had laid out for us! Selva was one who constantly worked! From the day we got on board and he was getting the luggage out … to meeting him all over the ship as he cleaned, vacuumed, mopped, dusted and always smiling and wishing us a good day. It was a pleasure to have Seti and Selva on the cruise! There was nothing about our Carnival ship that lived up to any negative reputation which had proceeded it. It was clean, run well, fun, relaxing and enjoyable. Marty was the Cruise Director for the first part of the trip and Rico the Cruise Director for the last. They were amazing! Why different Cruise Directors on one cruise? There was a special event we never know about held where Carnival and St. Jude’s are in a partnership, Carnival does various little events on ships to raise money they give to St. Jude’s. This was so touching to learn about. We had our fund-raiser onboard and our ship raised over $15,000 for St. Jude! It was incredible to be a part of. But, back to the reason Marty left the ship mid-way. Marty was selected as one of a very few Cruise Director’s to go and present St. Jude with the monies raised, as well as getting the opportunity to meet with some current families at St. Jude and talk with staff to see exactly how the monies are used to help each family personally. It was a blessing to learn of Carnivals involvement with such a wonderful purpose. Once Marty left and Rico took over – it was just as amazing and Rico’s heart and joy were evident in his calling as Cruise Director. The promotion mid-trip allowed us all to see how much each person values their various roles onboard. The majority of the staff was just as much as professional and fun while being available to complete whatever task was on hand for them. Even in the photo department the ship was not pushy in any way and we found Fresca was so kind and yet fun and willing to capture a great shot, or let us move on by when she saw it would be an interruption. That alone was amazing. The ports of call were different on Carnival than other cruise lines. They ensure you have a wonderful experience if you are even just visiting the port. It was cleaner and easier to get off and back on the ship than others we have sailed. The excursions were well explained and when we did take them (we did not at each port) the staff was highly educated in the experience we were about to embark on. The transportation was in new buses with air conditioning and bathrooms, locations were clean and organized and it was safe and so fun and entertaining! Overall we had so many positive experiences and interactions on our Panama Canal cruise we were amazed. It wasn't all perfect, as with anything when you are with people in the same place for 11 days there will be a snafu to two, but the good was actually great and we are looking forward to taking future cruises with Carnival - hoping to run into some of the same staff again to catch up and see how they are doing – as well as meeting up with people we met on the cruise for creating new memories to last a lifetime. Thank you Carnival for completely changing our impression and view of Carnival cruise line. We are glad we took a chance and grateful for the amazing Panama Canal crossing experience! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Fair warning, we have sailed on Princess for our previous 4 cruises after switching from Carnival after 6 cruises with them, on various ships (Holiday, Fascination, Elation, and Miracle). And yes, I’m long winded and critical, but I do ... Read More
Fair warning, we have sailed on Princess for our previous 4 cruises after switching from Carnival after 6 cruises with them, on various ships (Holiday, Fascination, Elation, and Miracle). And yes, I’m long winded and critical, but I do give props where they are due. My wife and I decided to try Carnival again as Mobile is a very convenient port for us versus driving to Fort Lauderdale to sail with Princess. We previously sailed in Grand Suites with Carnival and planned to this cruise as well, however we were offered an upsell to an Owner’s Suite, which we (foolishly) took. Don’t take the upsell unless you NEED the extra room as this cabin has PLENTY of extra room (it’s over 900 sq ft!). There are only 4 elevators that go to the forward Sports deck where these cabins are located. The 2 atrium elevators (which are both currently broken and not scheduled to be replaced until December 2019, at the earliest) and the two forward, port side elevators, 1 of which routinely takes a minute or two to settle on the floor it is stopping at, and the other which seems to operate properly, but seemed to be down for maintenance very often on our cruise, the last 2 full days of the cruise, specifically. The other 2 forward elevators stop at Lido deck, 2 decks below. So for 3/5 days of the cruise, there was only 1 working elevator that could take you to Verandah or Sports deck. Ok, back to the cabin, PH1. These cabins are ENORMOUS and look fantastic in the various photos and videos you can find online and are emailed when offers the upsell. Buyer beware, these cabins, at least PH1, was not very well maintained or deep cleaned very often. Nice coat of dust everywhere, marble floors in serious need of mopping/polishing, broken/missing lightbulbs (and the cabin, in general, is not lit very well, at all) and while the views should look amazing through the wall to wall windows in the living room and bedroom, they aren’t tinted or mirrored (everyone on Lido can see you!) nor are the outside of the windows ever cleaned. Even if you don’t mind the dirty windows, don’t leave the shades open very long as the cabin AC cannot keep up with the heat from the windows, the room will get very warm, very quickly. Room steward: Very efficient, however also responsible for some (most?) of the cabins on Verandah deck, so she would call to make sure we were out of the cabin before coming up with fresh towels and to refresh the room. I never saw a cart or other cleaning supplies, and I didn’t find a stash in the room, so yes, that did make us suspicious regarding the cleanliness of our cabin..... Food: Dining room: Only dined in the dining room once, for seaday brunch. Service was good, as was the food, although apparently, for brunch, the wait staff rotate through serving different sections of the dining room. Once your area’s tables have all been served, do not expect anymore service as the wait staff waves bye and moves on to another area (I wish I were joking). Buffet: We tried to eat at the buffet mainly, however it is extremely small, and the options are very limited. You are lucky if you have 3-4 options somewhat similar to what is being served in the dining room for lunch/dinner. That’s about all they have room for, and both “sides” of he buffet serve identical items. The salad “bar” is very lacking and the dessert area had, at most, 6-8 options, including the sugar free and whatever other dietary options they include. Side note, for parents as we used to cruise with our son, who is now grown - I seem to recall there always being fries, chicken fingers, Mac and cheese, etc (think kid friendly items) on the buffet. We didn’t see any, that we can recall, on the buffet ever, so parents beware. Guys Burgers: Best burgers and fries I’ve had at sea to date. Get the usual toppings from the servers and make it your own at the Toppings bar, which has just about anything you would want to put on a burger. Beware, the operating hours vary and they usually don’t start serving until Noon, even on sea days and might be open until 6, if you’re lucky. Blue Iguana Cantina: If you think Guys’ has weird operating hours, good luck getting anything from the Cantina as we never got to try it because they were either closed or had an enormous line during their few open hours. They do open in the AM for breakfast burritos (and never had a line, so unsure if it was worth trying for breakfast, which we didn’t) and reopen for lunch around noon, but always seemed to be closed by 330. Deli: Very good, usually a long line, but was worth the wait (and they have fries). They have daily specials as well as the usual menu, be sure to read the sign. Pizza: This pizza can’t be called pizza, sorry. And I used to like Carnival’s pizza. To be honest, I dislike Princess’ pizza as well. But to describe this “pizza”, Think of a tortilla with some red sauce slathered on it, with a few globs of melted cheese, and a sprinkling of toppings. A piece of pepperoni pizza (2 slices they way they serve it, half a “pizza”) had a total of 5 small pieces of pepperoni. Where you would expect more pepperoni to be was where the globs of cheese were. Room Service: Very good and very prompt delivery, however be sure to ask for every condiment you may need and check the order for the requested and advertised condiments upon delivery (for example, the Firecracker shrimp ($) is advertised as having a sweet Chile dipping sauce, ours were served plain, with no dipping sauce). Also, and this may be specific to PH1/2, our breakfast room service cards were never collected 2/4 days. A quick phone call the first time did get us coffee and the assurance it wouldn’t happen again (it did). Bar service/drinks: Do yourself a favor, drink beer, from bottles. Every drink we ordered, frozen or on the rocks, was very weak, and we aren’t big drinkers. And those drink packages? They charge you taxes while in Mobile, on a full size serving. We had the soda package and paid $.25 in taxes for every soda we got until we were far enough away from port. Between the 2 of us, we paid $3 in taxes on $2.50 sodas on embarkation day. Keep in mind, with the soda package, they don’t give you the entire can (which retails for $2.50), only a glass full, which was maybe 1/2 a can with the amount of ice in the glasses. Yes, we have sailed from Mobile many times and yes, we have always gotten the soda package. We have never had to pay taxes like this before on sodas from a soda package. Embarkation: We arrived at 10:30, dropped our luggage, parked in the garage (you pay through text and mobile browser, or they do have a kiosk or two if you don’t have a smartphone) and due to being in a PH, were promptly escorted through checkin and waited until 11:15 to board and shown to our room by a Carnival escort, behind the wedding party. Disembarkation: Since we were upgraded to Platinum status due to our cabin, we did Platinum self disembark which met at 730 and were through customs and on the road by 800. During Cruise and PostCruise Communication: We honestly felt forgotten on the ship, no sales flyers, etc from anyone other than the ones given to use by our room steward. Plus the room service issues. We also politely explained to the spa staff the first 5 times they met us at the elevator that we were staying across the atrium from the spa and did not need their services, but that didn’t help. We were hounded every day, the moment we stepped out of the elevator, as to which spa service we were there for, which was pretty funny when I was carrying 2 trays from Guys’ burgers, LOL. Also, Carnival used to hand out end of cruise surveys onboard. We didn’t get one either onboard or via email, so maybe they have stopped caring what you thought about your cruise? Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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