1,143 Carnival Fantasy Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise, and although we booked with some friends originally, they were unable to go. We chose Charleston, due to having to drop our dog off with my mom. We stayed one night with her, then drove on to Charleston, which ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and although we booked with some friends originally, they were unable to go. We chose Charleston, due to having to drop our dog off with my mom. We stayed one night with her, then drove on to Charleston, which was about 5-6 hour drive. I will try to cover every aspect of our adventure, the pros and cons, but let me say there were very little cons and the cons are only worth mentioning, for future reference and advice for first timers. I am a very thorough person and I like to nail down details much as I can, to make new experiences go smoothly. I booked our cruise online, and will say that is the fast easy way to go, but I felt safer speaking to someone with my questions, and I had alot of them! The one thing that I asked about several times was when we were able to board the ship. The website said 3pm, and the customer service rep verified this. We were excited, eager, and wanted to get things rolling, so we planned to arrive, by 1:30. The parking was simple enough, luggage drop off was easy, then on to the gangway. By the time we got thru check it, it was about 2:30ish so we thought we were going good. Except for one detail: we hadnt ate since breakfast. We found out that lunch was served, and others had boarded as early as 11 am. Never figured that one out, but needless to say it was a LONG time til dinner! Other than that, we had no complaints! Every day was fun filled, too much to do, in one day! The food was wonderful. Took advantage of room service a couple of nights, after getting back to the room, for the night. Our room was an ocean view, it was large enough with plenty of closet space. We did not spend alot of time in the room. I was always excited to see what animal awaited me when we got it. The first day it was a dog. I was messing around and messed him up, so when we went out for dinner, my husband told our stewart, Joey and he made me another one! I kept him on the shelf under the tv. Every day I added to the zoo! Our first stop was Nassau, and we went on a catamaran, and snorkeling. Then dis some sightseeing and shopping. Day two was Freeport, we went to Tanio Beach where we rented jer skis, has barbque lunch and enjoyed the beach and the lazy river. Best vacation we ever took. We joined in on the games, the only thing we did not participate on the ship was the casino and the spa services. Well worth the money. Cant wait to book my next one. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
15 years ago on our first cruise (Disney's brand new ship), we were docked next to the Carnival Fantasy in Nassau. Our Disney ship was like a fine dining restaurant docked next to a Taco Bell. We vowed never to sail Carnival, much ... Read More
15 years ago on our first cruise (Disney's brand new ship), we were docked next to the Carnival Fantasy in Nassau. Our Disney ship was like a fine dining restaurant docked next to a Taco Bell. We vowed never to sail Carnival, much less on the Fantasy. It had what looked like a million Christmas lights all over it, the music was VERY loud and went on through all hours of the night, and the people never slept. You know, the "fun ship". Disney had a steel drum band and lots of elegance. Fast forward 15 years to cruise #7. Carnival sails the Fantasy out of Charleston, we live near there, the price was fabulous, and so we booked! Now, aside from that snooty first paragraph, we are very easy to please on vacation. We expect a good time, we bring along great attitudes, and have never had a bad cruise. Summary upfront in case you don't want to read all my ramblings: We loved Carnival. We love the Fantasy. There. Done. It was awesome!! Note that the time of year we sail is now always Winter and usually January. We have never been on a Spring Break cruise (probably a VERY different experience). Our first cruise (Disney 15 years ago WAS Summertime and that's probably why Carnival was rockin! We've not been on a Summer cruise since. We like the older clientele that comes with January cruising -- we are morning people.) Now for some details... Embarkation was flawless. We got dropped off at the port to save $. Charleston and Carnival have this thing locked up tight as far as procedures. Everything was a breeze. Food: Breakfast. The breakfast was exactly like the 4 other cruise lines we've been on. There is something for everyone and plenty of variety and nothing worth remembering. The coffee was very good. Lunch. We ate in the Celebration dining room once and at the buffet the other 6 days. The Caribbean buffet was phenomenal. The other stuff was fine too. Again, plenty of variety. The pizza line and the deli line take forever. Get an ice cream cone while you wait (or 2). The ice-cream machine (and frozen yogurt) is AWESOME. This is very tasty stuff, and there are machines in the dining room and outside near the pool. We each had 2 or 3 cones... per day... for a week. Legit. And these don't count towards dessert allotment. Dinner: LOVED DINNER. The 'everyday' menu and the 'today menu' were full of great choices and everything we tried was fantastic. I mean, very very good eats! Everything looked prepared with love and attention to detail. I will say that dinners aboard the Carnival Fantasy were every bit as good (perhaps better) than our other cruises. Service: We've never had anything other than great service onboard any cruise. They are all fabulous!! Some people are more outgoing and fun than others, but all provide a high level of service and do their jobs well. Dining time: We could only eat in the Celebration dining room because we did not have assigned dining time. It opened at 5:45. We got in line by 5:30 and waited with lots of other hungry people each night. The 2 times we came in after 7pm, we had to get a pager and wait for a table. The tables are mostly small here so you don't have to dine with other families. The other dining room (Jubilee) has more large tables. We cruised in January so mostly older people onboard = early eaters like us! Cabin: We had an inside cabin with a bunk for the kid. The cabin was functional and comfy. The bathroom was the same. It is not luxurious, but it is not lacking. Well, there is only 1 outlet plug. It is lacking in another plug but no harm done there. The water is hot and the toilet is loud. Same stuff, different ship. Entertainment: Something for everyone! The Beatles show was the best thing I've ever seen! The bands were great, as were the comedians. We like to watch the art auctions sometimes too. If you can't find fun stuff to do on a Carnival cruise, you are too picky. The casino was packed. We enjoyed watching other people spend their money. Shopping: There were some great deals on jewelry and other stuff. I was surprised at how the prices were very fair for many items. Drinks: Ouch. This can really drain a wallet. Carnival had nothing unique going on there though -- cruise-industry-standard liquid and standard price list. We got such a great sailing rate, many fellow cruisers spent more on bar-tab than on cruise-fare. You've been warned. Cheers! Camp Carnival for the little ones: Our son enjoyed it (he was in the 6-8 age group). It was not the best we've seen (you can't beat Disney on this stuff!). He's not picky. He went 2-3 hours a day and usually liked it...a tad bored at times, but not a deal-breaker. Pools: It was January. The (few) kids had the pool to themselves. Brrr... The big slide was not open during high wind (we had a lot of that). The small slide was fun. The splash pad is a great concept for little ones. Again, January. I'm under a towel staying warm most of the week. Ship: Some areas were very majestic and grand. Some were neon and very "Vegas". It is certainly not a new ship or a big ship or a fancy ship --but we LOVED it. This trip solidified our desire to not sail on one of the 4000+ passenger mega-huge vessels. I wish there were more ships like the Fantasy. The fantasy is big enough but not too big. We liked seeing the same people over and over and not having many long lines anywhere. Nassau. This was #6 or #7 there for us. We finally walked beyond the 1-block of Bay Street and saw something new this time! Google this: Queen's Staircase. Walk there. For FREE! You'll be glad you did--especially if you've ever thought Nassau was dull. It was lovely, it was exercise, and it was awesome! We also stumbled upon the Pirate Museum. Loved that. Other than that, we had some nice conversations with locals, bought sodas for $1 and beers for $2 and enjoyed our day walking around. The Straw Market is worse than ever now though. They have 100 vendors all selling the same exact thing. I haggled for a cheap necklace that I ended up finding cheaper in a store. Half Moon Cay: Didn't get to go because of wind. Grand Turk: New favorite port. For FREE, you get the beach (with the best view of your ship!! You feel like you can swim up to it!), good snorkeling, shells, a FREE mega huge pool and some shopping without anyone asking you to buy anything (opposite of Nassau). The vendors ignore you until you need help... brilliant. Son did the Flowrider (google that) surfing thing. He loved it but of the 8 people that were in his group, 8 wiped out multiple times. You might need a chiropractor after the Flowrider. You've been warned. Hard falls happen. It was pretty much a bargain compared to most "excursions" though. $39 for 90 minutes. After about 45 minutes, his group of 8 had dwindled to 4. He slept GOOD that night but needed ibuprofen for neck pain the next morning. We loved Grand Turk and wish we could stay longer. (left at 1pm! = Not cool, Carnival, not cool.) Disembarkation. Really, how do you mess this up? You can't. Vacation's over. Get your stuff, and get off the ship. The instructions are easy, and the process works. Some will gripe about elevators, stairs, times, etc. But really, 2000 groggy people with onset of vacation-conclusion-depression and the complaining inevitably starts -- not to mention they all just got their bar tab and final bill $$$$ --and reality set in quickly. Budget: We are debt-free, frugal, simple folks. We buy zero pics onboard (tempting but unnecessary -- we hand our camera to strangers and trade pic-taking favors), 3 drinks, no sodas onboard (you should have SEEN me sucking down those 2 Coke Zeros in Nassau!), $5 in the casino (and won!), paid the standard tips, bought 4 bottles of liquor to take home for pet sitting and chauffeur, and 2 tshirts. We had a VALUE of a vacation and didn't feel like we missed out on anything! It was GREAT! We would love to sail on the Fantasy out of Charleston again next year! Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We traveled with a group of 10, 3 children and 7 adults. Ages ranged from 7 to 60. Although the ship was old it came across to us as maintained very well. We boarded the ship around noon on the 9th and was able to go straight to our ... Read More
We traveled with a group of 10, 3 children and 7 adults. Ages ranged from 7 to 60. Although the ship was old it came across to us as maintained very well. We boarded the ship around noon on the 9th and was able to go straight to our stateroom, which was very nice. We booked our stateroom with a king size bed, when we arrived it was two twins, I didn't see this as a big deal just had to find our stateroom steward to get his help to fix this. He did offend me when he told me that he didn't set the king bed thinking that it was a mother and son traveling. All I could think was YUCK! He fixed our bed and was totally amazing the rest of our cruise. The dinning hall was definitely NOT what I expected. The first night was all about serving, no smiles, no fun. On our second night they decided to dance and sing, they did this on my first cruise which made dinner so much more fun. We only ate in the dinning room assigned eating twice due to this. The kids were in the whirlpool one day, when I went over to check on them upon stepping on the wooden step a slither of glass went into my foot and I started bleeding. We got someone to come over and there was no sense of urgency that I was sitting there bleeding. I was fine, however was worried about the kids stepping out, finally about 10 minutes after sitting there and getting my foot to stop bleeding someone came over to take a towel and whip down the wooden step. Carnival to us personally was more about sales than fun. Even down to playing bingo it meant. There were no package deals on the pictures you had to buy each sheet individual, I would think they would make more money if they would offer packages rather than throwing all that paper away. We had two days of "fun at sea", although we had the fun facts with us on the last day of fun at sea they made announcements during the day telling you what was going on we thought that should have been done daily. Carnival's website advertised that the Fantasy would have the Hasbro's games on it in Jan 2013, we were informed that no they would not have it until after the dry dock they were getting ready to go under. We did excursions however we did not go with any Carnival offered. Do your research you can get better deals by not using them. We chartered a fishing boat for 4 hours in Nassau for 6 people. In Freeport we went to Paradise Cove to do snorkeling that only cost us 35 dollars per person, which included the ride to and from the ship and all the equipment. Both of these items had we gone thru Carnival would have cost us double what we actually paid. On day two Carnival automatically collected the "gratuity" charges. As other reviews stated I think you should have to earn this. Upon talking to several of their employees they honestly did not know what their gratuity was. Many travelers told us they don't pay Carnival these fees they give the funds directly to whom they want which I agreed with and we did. Although your told food will be available 24/7, please be aware the only thing really available is pizza and wraps. This was very disappointing to me. The selections of food as well to me could have been so much better than it was. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
The end of January myself and 5 friends and 4 of there children booked a cruise on the Carnival Fantasy. I booked hotel rooms because we were driving from Ohio and wanted to get in the night before so we wouldn't be rushed and tired ... Read More
The end of January myself and 5 friends and 4 of there children booked a cruise on the Carnival Fantasy. I booked hotel rooms because we were driving from Ohio and wanted to get in the night before so we wouldn't be rushed and tired the day of the cruise. After booking the hotel I decided that I needed to get some transportation for all 10 of us from the Hotel to the ship. So I called a few services and was surprised at the cost, I thought it was rather high. So I tried one more company TC Transportation. I inquired about the rate and he asked me what hotel I was staying at, when I told him he kind of hesitated and said you don't really want to be staying there it isn't the best area he said let me call around and see what else I can find for you. So he called me back and found another hotel for me with the same rates. He said it was also a lot closer and that way it wouldn't cost me as much to get to the ship,his rates are very good. So I called the hotel he suggested which was a La Quanta hotel and reserved my rooms. Then I called him back and made arrangements for transportation to the ship and back. He also recommended a restaurant and gave me the number to call. He gave me a lot of information, and when we were about 15 minutes away from the hotel, he called to make sure we could find the hotel alright, the hotel was very nice, it was clean and in the morning we had a very nice free breakfast. Thanks to Todd who went above and beyond the call of duty and made our trip so much more stress free.The next day he was right there to pick us up. Getting on the ship was a breeze much faster than any other cruise I was on. The cruise was not the greatest, we had some very crappy weather. It rained and was windy most of the cruise, we couldn't even stop at Half Moon Cay because the waves were to choppy to get on the tenders. But we still had a good time. The Crew on the Lido deck was great on the good days when we could be outside, the entertainment was great Orlando Magic kept the games the music and the fun going, and the bar staff was Johnny on the spot.So even though we had crappy weather they made every day a fun day. The comedy shows were great and so were the dancers. I would take a cruise out of Charleston again But not in the winter. Disembarking was also a breeze they do it a little different in Charleston and it went very quickly. The Carnival Fantasy is the oldest in that fleet of ships and it was going into dry dock when we got back to be refurbished, it really did need it. The food was great but alot of time they only opened one side of the buffet which caused very long lines, not sure why they did that. So other than the weather it was a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
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
We left Charlotte,N.C. at 6am saturday dec. 8th for a nice short drive to Charleston ,stopping in Orangeburgh for breakfast at a Cracker Barrel. Arrived at the port @ 10am and dropped luggage off then left and drove back around and waited ... Read More
We left Charlotte,N.C. at 6am saturday dec. 8th for a nice short drive to Charleston ,stopping in Orangeburgh for breakfast at a Cracker Barrel. Arrived at the port @ 10am and dropped luggage off then left and drove back around and waited a while till they opened for parking. They staged the cars for parking and we sat till 11:30 ,it was $119.00 for the week . We have left from this port twice and embarkation has been a breeze both times! We were thru security ( had to have our bottled water checked )on board and had my relaxing drink in hand by 11:55. As we entered the ship they were announcing the rooms would be accessable @ 12:30 . The Deli up on Lido was our first stop , I think it is some of the best food on the ship. Our 1st sea day was a CC meet & greet and Carnival supplied the Cats Lounge and some prizes, Thanks John Heald , Laura did a great job organizing the event and it was great meeting the other CC cruisers. We were very lucky with the weather , mid 80's every day. Food was fair . Debarkation was also very good , the silent debarkaton works very good , we docked @ 6:15 got off and thru customs & shuttled over to parking by 8:10 & on our way By 8:20. The ship is still in great shape and the crew was great , We will probably do the same cruise next year ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Family of four cruised on Carnival Fantasy Dec 8th-15th out of Charleston, SC to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, & Nassuah. In our group were myself, 40, my wife, 38, and our 2 & 5 yr old daughters. This was our 4th cruise, although ... Read More
Family of four cruised on Carnival Fantasy Dec 8th-15th out of Charleston, SC to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, & Nassuah. In our group were myself, 40, my wife, 38, and our 2 & 5 yr old daughters. This was our 4th cruise, although the 1st with kids. Pros: 1. The food. In both the buffets and sit down meals. All great. Only possible complaint was that sometimes the fries were not hot/fresh on the kids meals. No big deal. 2. Our room. For a cruise ship, our interior (no windows) room seemed large. Me & my wife shared a king sized bed and each daughter had their own bunk bed. This was something we were worried about, so that was a big positive surprise. Each room has stowable elevated bunk beds for the 3rd and 4th passenger. 3. The service people. These men and women are efficient, friendly, and seemingly tireless. They took great care of us. I had no problem signing over my gratuities. 4. Embarkation Process. It was easy, organized, & relatively low stress. Very friendly people. 5. Value for the money. I felt like the price we paid was a good deal. 6. Camp Carnival. Well organized day care. We took advantage of this for 3-4 hrs on each sea day. Cons: 1. Lack of enough road signs to find the parking area in Charleston. We got to the GPS address for the port and still had to hunt around for where to go. This is stressful when you've got a cruise to catch. 2. $119 to park for a week. 3. Video arcade much smaller than on previous cruises. 4. What happened to the deck-top shuffle board? It got replaced by miniature golf. I am a little biased by being a golfer, and I realize that miniature golf is just for fun, but doesn't it seem strange to play a game of rolling the ball on a moving ship? 5. 2pm leaving time from Grand Turk. Why so early? Carnival, can you at least wait until 5pm so we can get more of an experience? 6. High cost of internet connectivity / wi-fi. I'm pretty sure this is not unique to carnival or this cruise, but geez, it still sucks. A lot of people, the author included, are used to being connected to the outside world, and the cruise takes you into an information vacuum. Unless of course you pay a minimum of $29 for 30 minutes of data. It just seems really expensive, even when factoring in the satellites and other advanced technology that make it possible. Cruise Stops and Our excursion Experiences: 1. Grand Turk - We reserved a 4 person golf cart beforehand through Nathan's. $80 for the day, paid in advance via credit card (although "the day" ended too early for our preference (see Con #5 above). There were 3 or 4 golf carts in Nathan's selection and all looked like total crap, including the one we got. It was a leap of faith to trust that it would get across the island and back, but they gave us several phone numbers to call in case of trouble. Make sure you have a call phone in case you are not as lucky as we were. We joked that our cart was the Millennium Falcon, since it didn't look like much but had it where it counts. We are glad we did this as we felt more in charge of our time rather than being led around like children or staying in the commercial area around the port. We visited the lighthouse (Very picturesque) and governer's beach. Both stops are recommended. Had we had more time, we would have tried out lunch somewhere local. 2. Half Moon Cay - We took the tender to the island and just played on the beach. The place is beautiful. Given our small children, none of the excursions seemed to fit us other than the rental cabanas, which were sold out weeks in advance. But we did not regret just hanging on the beach near the children's play area. The water and air temperature were perfect (as I heard is normal this time of year), and the scenery was very picturesque. The sand is the softest I have ever felt. 3. Nassau - We choose the Atlantis Aquaventure with lunch. At $400 ($150/adult, $100 child 4-12), this was not cheap. My wife and argued over the cost. But after such a fun day, looking back we both agree it was worth it. The place is a manmade wonder. Pools and water slides are everwhere, along with gorgeous beach access if you want. We did not. All of the slides and the (not-so-lazy) river are 48" and up, and it would not have been as much fun / worth it if our 5 yr old was not tall enough, but she was. They have 3 toddler friendly pools, we camped next to the biggest and took turns on the slides with our 5 yr old and the toddler pool with our 2 yr old. There is a lot of walking to and from the buses on both ends. Having read this in other reviews beforehand, we rented a stroller from Camp Carnival ($8 / day) and took turns with the kids in it. I would recommend this for other parents of 0-5 yr olds as well. Other comments: Other reviewers describe that the Fantasy is old and "beginning to show her age". Whatever. 10% of the people will complain about anything. The ship is fine, and while you can see a piece of rust or a chipped molding here or there if you are really looking for it. If this is an issue with you, you are in the 10%. The ship is beautiful and in great shape. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We booked the Carnival Fantasy for a Christmas cruise with our kids (ages 20, 17, and 13). The Port of Charleston was easy to find but we also had directions beforehand. Parking was expensive but indoors and secure. The embarkation ... Read More
We booked the Carnival Fantasy for a Christmas cruise with our kids (ages 20, 17, and 13). The Port of Charleston was easy to find but we also had directions beforehand. Parking was expensive but indoors and secure. The embarkation process went smoothly and relatively quickly. We had two inside cabins. We found the accommodations very adequate and similar to inside cabins on other cruise lines. The cabin stewards were efficient and friendly. No one should go hungry on this cruise. While not a five star dining experience, our dinners in the Celebration Dining Room were enjoyable, generally enough options to choose from and quite tasty. A favorite dessert among our group was the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake. Having been on other cruises with a set dinner time, we enjoyed the flexibility of having Anytime Dining. Other than the first evening, where we had a 30 minute wait, we were able to be seated right away. We also enjoyed several breakfasts in the Celebration Dining Room and one lunch. Other meals were at the Lido buffet. While not as scrumptious as food in the dining room, the food was fine, there were always lots of choices, but it tended to be a bit crowded. The Mongolian Wok was good although there tend to be long lines for this. There was a wide variety of onboard activities but many of them seemed to have a dollar sign attached. We did enjoy attending the multiple dance classes offered which were of no extra charge. We participated in some of the trivia and music games which were also no charge. We attended several of the comedy shows and especially found Marvin Todd to be quite funny. We did not care for the Holiday Show the first night and left after about 15 minutes. We thoroughly enjoyed the Beatles production by the Fantasy Dancers, singers and band. The show on the final night of the cruise was pretty well done and had a lot of variety. Being on the cruise in December, we were limited in our use of the outdoor activities. The pool wasn't that big. The waterslide looked like fun, but we never tried it. Miniature golf was available and was fine for playing while in port. We had no trouble finding deck chairs but again we were there in December. Freeport was a sleepy destination compared to Nassau. Father and son went on a diving trip we booked on our own through Pat and Diane's. Both had a very enjoyable experience. The rest of us booked the Glass Bottom Boat tour through Carnival. It was a fun excursion as well. We spent very little time shopping at the Port Lucaya Marketplace because it seemed to be mostly cheap touristy goods for sale. Nassau was a very busy port. There were 4 other cruise ships docked there with our ship. We took the #10 Jitney (bus) out to the Sheraton Beach Resort for $1.25 pp each way. We bought day passes at the resort for $30 pp. We then had access to chairs, towels, the pools, water toys, etc.. just like those staying at the hotel. There were vendors nearby renting waverunners, which we did, as well as parasailing for those who are interested. After several hours at the beach we took the bus back to town, shopped some, went through the Pirate Museum and then headed back to the boat. For debarkation, we had the option of putting our luggage out the night before, or walking it out on our own. We chose the latter. This worked well and the only complaint was there was a cold wait for the bus to pick us up and take us to the parking garage. Once we were off the bus in the parking garage we had no idea where to find out car. After a little bit of wandering around we found an attendant who pointed us in the right direction. Overall, this was a very good cruise for the money. It was convenient to get to, offered fun activities for all ages, and we created many good memories from this trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
First of all, Carnival does not do a very good job of describing the departure port or parking area. The parking is in an old warehouse a few blocks from the ship. There are Charleston police blocking a lot of the roads into the parking ... Read More
First of all, Carnival does not do a very good job of describing the departure port or parking area. The parking is in an old warehouse a few blocks from the ship. There are Charleston police blocking a lot of the roads into the parking lot but they did not give us good directions around the roadblocks so we got lost several times. When we finally were directed into the parking area there is a checkpoint where the luggage is taken. We only had carry-on but were told by the baggage handler that all luggage would be taken at that checkpoint - this is not true. You are allowed carry-on luggage and if you are bringing wine onboard you can only do so in your carry-on. We arrived at the parking area 6 hours before we sailed and it took about an hour to get through security and check-in which was pretty fast. Once we were onboard we were directed to one of the buffets for lunch. The food was plentiful and not bad. The way it was handled by the people preparing it and the way it was carried to the different serving areas was not sanitary and there are no sneeze guards for the salards or desserts. The coffee machines dispensed coffee with a strange, metallic taste and there were onoly lemonaide and tea dispensers, no Coke or Pepsi products, of course those were sold from the bars. The first day my wife grabbed one of the rum drinks from the pool-side servers, it had no alcohol in it at all and was over $8. The next day I noticed those same drinks were prepared then stored in large, plastic containers. I bought one, took a sip and told the bartender there was no liquor in it so she added some. What a rip-off!!! The food in the Celebration dining room was pretty good even though it took a lot longer to be served and by the time the main courses were served they were no longer hot. Whenever we were near the pool we were breathing cigar and cigarette smoke, it was almost impossible to find an area where we could see the poolside entertainment and no be breathing someone's smoke - yuck!!! Our cabin had an adjoining suite next to it with a door right at the head of the bed and it was so noisy I tried to reposition the bed against the opposite wall. I would give this cruise a 5/10. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
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 husband and I decided in late November to scrap the family Christmas and go on a cruise instead. We found the best combination of flight price, cruise, and timing to be the Dec. 20 Fantasy cruise out of Charleston. We flew in the ... Read More
My husband and I decided in late November to scrap the family Christmas and go on a cruise instead. We found the best combination of flight price, cruise, and timing to be the Dec. 20 Fantasy cruise out of Charleston. We flew in the morning of embarkation, took a cab from the airport (cost $30 including tip), and were at the port by 11 am. Waiting to get on the ship was confusing. One man told us to walk through a certain gate and wait for further instructions. People started walking up from the opposite direction while we were standing there, talking about checking in by the street. Unfortunately, there were no port or Carnival reps around we could ask so we stayed put. After about 20 minutes, the shuttles started to arrive, we got on and were taken to the terminal. From the time we got off the shuttle until we were on the Lido deck was about 10 minutes. We ended up being the first people on the ship. It was so simple because I had set our account up online before we left Ohio. Our room wasn't ready until about 1:30, but we found things to do to keep us busy. Once in our room, our luggage arrived within an hour. The room itself was nice. We did Oceanview Guarantee and ended up with M254 which is all the way aft on the Main deck. The bathroom was fine. The shower, despite what I had read online, was fantastic! Water pressure and temperature was perfect...strong and hot. The room had plenty of space for the two of us. The only thing that might have been helpful was if there were someplace to store our luggage. There were so many spare blankets/comforters in the closets that there wasn't space for our suitcases. The bed was comfortable, sheets were clean and soft, pillows were sturdy. The window was dirty and difficult to see out of, but they cleaned the outside of them while we were in port. Common areas on the ship were clean and comfortable. We were always able to find someplace quiet to relax. Despite the age of the ship, nothing looked worn. Carpet was bright and clean. There were almost always lounge chairs available on deck. And if not, there were some on the Serenity deck. We never had trouble finding a place to sit in the restaurant. Finding our way around was confusing the first couple of days, but the wall maps help a lot. Chairs in The Forum are not comfortable. At all. We didn't participate in many of the organized activities. That just isn't our style. We did attend the port shopping presentation and found it useless. I don't care how many times they tell us that you can get a fantastic deal on watches, I can find the same stuff online for far less. My husband found a watch in Nassau that he liked (Citizen). We didn't buy it and I just found a similar style online last night for almost half the price it was in Nassau. The one night we sat out on the Lido deck to listen to Music Degree (who are great musicians). No one was out dancing until the DJs came out and played the line dance songs. Then as soon as that was over, the place cleared out again. I would much prefer the band music to the line dancing, but clearly the crowd didn't agree. We also went to the Fun Shops for the bracelet sale. Don't waste your time rushing to fight the crowds at the assigned time. We went back later that night and they had more stock out and were offering the same prices. On our Freeport day, my husband and I both got spa treatments (Express shave for him, Fire & Ice manicure for me). He loved the shave, had a very personable girl who did the treatment, and enjoyed the experience. My manicure was ok. Not sure what the "Ice" part of the manicure was, and I paid extra for the shellac polish (the other options looked like they were bottles found in people's staterooms after they disembarked...random brands and colors). But it was worth the upgrade. I'm on day 4 and its holding up great). The only thing I didn't like was the constant attempt to sell me on other products and services during the manicure. Nassau was ok. Downtown was set up with scaffolding and bleachers for a parade, so it was difficult to get around. We walked around checking out the shops and government buildings. As I already mentioned, I wasn't impressed with the shopping, and we went back to the ship after a couple of hours. We got off the ship briefly in Freeport to check out the shops at the port. There was a band playing at the gazebo and they sounded good. Service on the ship was fantastic. All of the crew we encountered were friendly and helpful. Our room was always promptly cleaned and made up for us. No sooner would we finish eating than the plates were cleared. Jogi, the maitre'd in the Jubilee Dining Room, was awesome! He made dinner fun and entertaining, and was always around, whether it was the dining room or the buffet, keeping things running smooth. In general, the food wasn't bad considering what it is (mass produced food). It was always warm, if not hot. And there was never a shortage of it. Most people at our table ordered multiple appetizers and entrees at each meal, and no one ever said a word. The selection in the dining room was limited some nights, but I was able to find something to eat. If you haven't heard, you must try the warm chocolate melting cake at least once. I thought the selection at the buffet was poor. It was rare that I could piece together an entire meal from it. Mongolian Wok isn't worth the hype given the limited choice of sauces. If you don't like spicy, it is tasteless. The burgers and fries were good and hot. Though the workers got confused when we asked for just a hamburger patty with no bun or toppings. I guess no one does that. My husband wants to add that the fries were excellent. Not just good. The Mexican buffet wasn't worth staying up for, and there was no chocolate buffet as I heard there was. They had a selection of desserts out during the Mexican buffet but I was still so full from dinner at I didn't get anything. They did do a chocolate fountain at lunch the following day that was nice. And ice cream swans (ice cream and pastry). The ship could use at least one specialty restaurant for a change of pace. Room service was ok. Not much of a selection. I ordered the veggies and dip and got moldy veggies, so that kind of spoiled what appetite I had. Disembarkation was just as simple as embarkation. We did the self-debark and were in a cab on the way to the airport within 15 minutes. Despite what the customs form says, you don't need to continue onto a second page when itemizing. They tore our second page up and threw it out. All in all, we had a fantastic time relaxing. We would definitely cruise with Carnival again, and probably even on the Fantasy (although I would like to try one if the really large ships if possible). Charleston's terminal is fine as it is, but if they do build a new one, I bet it will get even better. And you couldn't ask for a more picturesque departure port than this one. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I traveled with my family of 5 for a Holiday cruise to do something different this year. I was on the same cruise last June. The differences I noticed right off was the food, it was TERRIBLE. Secondly, it was the service in the dining room ... Read More
I traveled with my family of 5 for a Holiday cruise to do something different this year. I was on the same cruise last June. The differences I noticed right off was the food, it was TERRIBLE. Secondly, it was the service in the dining room room, the staff was impatient and rude. Our cabin stewards, Johnson and Leka were wonderful and the Fantasy Dancers and singers were awesome as a positive note. Nassau, did the day pass to the Sheraton via the number 10 jitney (bus) and it worked out well. Gas is $5.84 a gallon and I still had to force a $5.00 bill for four of us for the ride there. Oh, and we walked in the hotel to outside by the pool and was approached by a pool shack employee, he only charged us $10.00 per person as opposed to $25.00 per person. That was cool. Included towels and goggles for the kids. Food was good too. Ocean had floating seaweed that was kind of freaky. Now Freeport is a different story, it cost us $40.00 to ride there and back packed in a van to the Grand Lucayan Resort. I bought the day pass at the info center at the port. I think it was $40 for all 4 of us. The resort was nice, they do not take cash so bring credit card. In a way I regret booking my next cruise in June before this one as I probably would have changed ships or lines. However, it is convenient as I only live 20 minutes to the port. Hopefully, more ships will be coming to Charleston. Lastly, we all got the flu and my mom spent almost the entire cruise in bed. Lots of finger licking at the buffets. next time I will do dining room only. can never get in hot tubs, always packed. Tight slots. But, I still always make the best and am grateful. Cheers! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Background: We've traveled widely with several cruises but mostly flights to resorts on land. We have fallen back in love with cruising with our Miracle cruise last Christmas since it is so easy and a great value. We chose the ... Read More
Background: We've traveled widely with several cruises but mostly flights to resorts on land. We have fallen back in love with cruising with our Miracle cruise last Christmas since it is so easy and a great value. We chose the Carnival Fantasy for two simple reasons; it is based in our hometown and our cruise fare was roughly half of just what one plane ticket would cost to Jamaica. Given our experience, I think the Fantasy is a great option for anyone who lives anywhere in the Carolinas/Georgia and wants to avoid the hassles of flying and have a great time. We are already planning our next cruise on the Fantasy with some other couples who are ready to go. Hotel/Charleston Info: We live about ten minutes from the port but if anyone has any questions about area hotels, I am happy to advise. Our area (Charleston, Mount Pleasant and surrounding areas) offers everything from some of the finest hotels in the world (Wentworth Mansion, The Sanctuary, Charleston Place among many) to some inexpensive, clean, safe convenient hotels in Mt Pleasant and elsewhere that may even let you park your car with them. Charleston is presently an extremely popular destination so you will find very high hotel prices on the peninsula but if you have the time and the cash, a night or two here before or after a cruise is a great experience. It is unlikely that you are going to be on a cruise that will take you to a better shopping destination than King Street in downtown Charleston. King Street was named along with Rodeo Drive and 5th Avenue as one of the best shopping streets in the Country. Embarkation at Port of Charleston: We were amazed. This was the easiest, fastest, least stressful arrival/check-in/boarding process we've ever experienced on any cruise line. We arrived at the entrance to Main gate which is in the corner at Concord and Laurens St, where you will be directed, at about 1:00pm and were unpacking our bags in our cabin at 1:35. Every port employee were encountered (from Port Authority to Charleston Police to Carnival reps) seemed to be extremely nice and helpful. It was the exact opposite of our experience at Port Everglades last December where the port personnel were bitter and the Carnival Check in agents seemed confused and unhappy. Maybe it is just a southern thing. Our port facility in that area was not designed for passengers, it was built for cargo, and while it isn't presently much to look at, it sure is efficient. We will hopefully be getting a new Cruise Terminal within the next couple of years. It is in the works and it is a long story. Ship Info/Stateroom: Although the Fantasy may lack some of the innovations of the newer, larger ships, most notably the giant screens that most ships now have on deck, it is in surprisingly good shape, particularly for its age (22 years). The only feature that the Miracle had that I missed on the Fantasy was the steakhouse. The biggest surprise was the bathroom in our cabin. All of the bathrooms were gutted and redone in 2008 and it shows. They look great. Water pressure is weak but tolerable and the shower was larger than expected. We were expecting to be a little disappointed in the room since we had an Ocean Suite on the Miracle last December and were in a regular outside room on this ship but we were not. We are very glad we did not pay to upgrade to one of the limited number of suites on this ship. I will use the money we did not spend on a suite for the next Fantasy cruise. Despite its age, the ship was clean and no funky smells anywhere. Even the casino didn't smell too smoky. Mattresses and pillows rival those at expensive hotels, they are great. Elevators were not as plentiful or fast as those on the far newer Miracle but were in great condition. I did use the gym, steam room and shower facilities just forward of the spa. The equipment is in good shape and the men's shower facilities look new. Dining: If you can't find something you like, you are not trying. We are foodies and love Charleston's fine dining but we do not expect to experience fine dining on this kind of cruise at this price. The best food on this ship is that which is made to order, most notably the deli sandwiches and the Mongolian wok. I think the freshly sliced corned beef and swiss grilled on rye is the best food I had on board and they were as good, if not better, than you get at any good deli. Once you get the hang of choosing the best veggies and sauce to suit your taste, the Mongolian Wok dishes are truly excellent! The soups are almost all good. It makes sense. It doesn't matter whether you are making soup for 2 or two-thousand. Fried shrimp for 2,000 is a different story. The biggest problem in the MDR is that the entrees are almost all served at room temp. It doesn't really surprise me or bother me, it is just a fact. Carnival definitely shines when it comes to soups and desserts. We did the Chef's Table (a good group and the head Chef is a great guy) and I now have the recipe for the melting cake and my teens expect me to make it over the holidays. The Grand Marnier Souffle served on the last night was a lot better than I expected, that is not an easy thing to prepare in large quantities. The most common food related complaint I heard was about the bacon served during breakfast on the lido buffet. They bake their bacon to a translucent medium-rare. It is a mass production thing I guess. The little english style sausages made up for the limp medium rare bacon. The scrambled eggs are probably powdered so I just solved that problem by getting my eggs from the omelette man. The French toast was surprisingly very good as were the pastries. Activities: Exactly what we expected. The Cruise director Risa Barnes is wonderful and her assistants do a great job, particularly the Jamaican guy (Orlando) who looks a lot like Will Smith. We think it is great they have a charming southern woman as the CD on a ship that sails from South Carolina and has mostly southerners aboard. We talked with Risa a lot, she has never met a stranger. That woman can improvise on stage and she works all the time. Service: Extremely good from start to finish(with one exception) from the port employees to the Cruise Director. Cabin steward was excellent, he kept our cabin clean and our cooler packed with ice. Bartenders and many of the people we encountered did an amazing job of remembering our names. Casino staff, especially manager David and host Alexandra were great. Nearly every time I walked up to a bar, a bartender would greet me immediately. I never waited for service. I had to use Guest Services to sort out a room matter at the very beginning of the cruise, they were great. The only time we were not extremely happy with the service were the last two dinners in the MDR. We had about 30-40 minutes pass between the wait staff removing our entree plate and anyone coming back for a dessert order. It appeared they were waiting for everyone in the entire section to get to the dessert course so they could take all of those orders at once. I thought Freddy Verwaal, the Sr. Maitre D', was great. Really professional. Entertainment: The singers and dancers in the two main shows were very good, better than on our longer cruise last year. Piano guy "Larry" was excellent. The Philippine band (Music degree) are amazing at covering classic rock songs. They attracted a big following. The one comedian I saw, Merle Hobbs, was pretty good. Port & Shore Excursions: We did not book any "Excursions" as we did our own thing. My main comments on these ports (Nassau and Freeport) are: 1)Nassau had too many ships in at once so re-boarding involved a port security checkpoint line that took about 40 minutes. Getting anywhere on the island is going to take a while because of extremely bad traffic gridlock. Freeport was a nice surprise. I was last in Freeport more than 18 years ago and Freeport has always had a "big plans gone bad" thing going. There have been so many developments planned for that area and nearly all have failed, most notably the proposed Billion dollar+ "Ginn Sur Mer" that was started in West End and bankrupted its developer. Freeport turned out to be our favorite stop. We were the only ship in Port, I don't think that more than two can dock at one time anyway. It was so easy off and on the ship. The little marketplace at the port was decent and Senor Frog's had quite the pre-departure party. We took the shuttle van ($10pp roundtrip) to the Grand Lucayan hotel, bought the grounds access band for $10 and enjoyed their pool area. It was worth that minimal price to have the nice loungers and umbrella. We got a conch salad from Billie Joe's on the beach and that place was great, I could spend the day at that rustic beach bar. The Lucayan beach is in excellent shape and gorgeous. The Port Lucaya Marketplace has been around for about 25 years but looks good and it is easy to walk around and enjoy with a reasonable number of people, quite unlike the day before in Nassau. I saw several fellow Charleston passengers enjoying the $2 shots in the marketplace bar. Disembarkation: Well coordinated and fast. I like the fact that Risa, the CD, was on the job coordinating with her walkie-talkie. It didn't seem like anyone waited in much of a line, the "silent debarkation" was great. We found our luggage in a minute and the line for Customs/Immigration took no time at all. The Customs guys in Charleston have realized I think that it is extremely unlikely that anyone from the Carnival Fantasy is smuggling anything. They ask you a quick "do you have any agricultural products or any liquor above your limit?", we said "no", he asked "did you have a nice time?" we said "yes" and he said have a nice day. Done, out and gone. Far more pleasant than any commercial airport experience. Summary: Sailing from Charleston for residents of the Carolinas and Georgia makes for an easy cruise experience and the Fantasy, despite its age, has been maintained well. The ship's staff is superb and I cannot imagine encountering better crew on any cruise line at double or triple the price. In short, we will definitely be sailing on the Fantasy out of Charleston again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
From the embarkation line, this was a bad experience. The Charleston port is nasty, an old warehouse like you see in crime movies. There was a long line in the car to have documents checked, another long line drop off the luggage, and ... Read More
From the embarkation line, this was a bad experience. The Charleston port is nasty, an old warehouse like you see in crime movies. There was a long line in the car to have documents checked, another long line drop off the luggage, and then a long wait in the rain for a shuttle to the boat, and then another long line to get checked in after security. We arrived in line at 2:05 and were on the boat at 3:50. The lobby was immediately disappointing. The 80s decor, and neon lights are truly an eyesore. Most of the boat smells like stale cigarettes. There were many places to smoke and they weren't at all closed up so the smoke penetrates much of the boat. The pool was closed most of the time and the kids hot tub was always over crowded. Sometimes, this was because of weather, which is understandable, but it is very, very small, even if it was open. My son had a miserable time. He would have been in Circle C, 12, but it was small and incredibly cheesy. There were very few activities that did not cost extra. The spa services were a fortune. My husband had a shave and haircut and it was $80! The shows were mostly about the level of a decent high school show, but some were not as good. The lead singer had no talent and the directors are a disgrace, poor choices. Some of the musicians, the guitar guy and one band, were pretty good, but they played at weird times and had lots of breaks. Also, the water slide was only open for a few hours, the mini golf was very simplistic and full, and the ping pong tables were also always packed. Food: We had late seating in the Jubilee dining, which was nice. The decor was again shameful, but the food was pretty good. The service, Kevan, was incredible It was the only good service we had on the entire cruise though. The other food was mediocre at best, I was most disappointed with breakfast. The pastries all tasted as if they were 10 days old reheated in a microwave and there was no variety. I would recommend the omelet station. For lunch, the Mongolian was nice and the sandwiches were ok, the rest was like a cheap, school cafeteria food. The pizza was not good either. I actually left hungry several times, thank goodness for a nice dinner! BRING WATER! The water on the ship is nasty, I don't know how the filter it, but it still taste like the YMCA smells. You much pay $4 for Crystal Geyser water on board. Alcoholic drinks were about $8.75 for mixed drinks and cocktails, $5.75 for a 16 oz bud light, and $2 for soft drinks. All of it has an added 15% which automatically goes on your card. The drinks were very weak, I would recommend beer or wine. There was a good wine deal for dinner as well, 3 bottles for $99. Not cheap, but at least decent drinks. There is a lovely schedule given to you every day, but it focuses on shopping and activities you pay for. There is a lot of EXTRA cost!! The tipping is $11.50 \day, the parking was almost $90, bingo was expensive, the arcades was puny and yet expensive. You really need to explore yourself too in order to understand all of your options. Excursions. Thankfully, we didn't book through Carnival for Atlantis, we saved almost $100. The Aqua Adventure was truly worth it. In Freeport, we booked with Carnival and were disappointed. Freeport isn't nice. Snorkeling was great, but Freeport is dirty and poor. The historical tour had a great tour guide but it wasn't worth the money at all. I would only go to a beach or catamaran excursion. Serentiy was the adult only place, and one day it was nice but very crowded and they did not reinforce the no chair reserving which was infurating. Once we finally got a chair, it was probably the only part of the cruise we liked. Overall, we took this cruise because it was affordable and saved time since we can drive to Charleston. I would never do it again. In the end, after all the extras, it was a not a great deal, especially considering the level of service and quality of food and entertainment. We will never take this again and would not recommend it, unless it is your only choice for getting to the Bahamas. Nassau made the whole thing worthwhile, but next time I would fly and spend more on a nice hotel room. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We went on the Fantasy just after Thanksgiving 2012. This was our first time cruising and we chose this ship because of the port convenience to our home and the possibility of saving some money. Overall we had a positive experience and ... Read More
We went on the Fantasy just after Thanksgiving 2012. This was our first time cruising and we chose this ship because of the port convenience to our home and the possibility of saving some money. Overall we had a positive experience and would definately cruise again. Embarkation: We got there early due to great service from our "Stay and Sail" package at the Hampton Inn at Isle of Palms. Embarkation was pretty smooth and fast (other than a search of a couple of our carryons.) Having pre-regiatered online really smoothed the process and having only carryons worked fairly well, although a tad bulky to keep with us while we waited for room to be ready. Debarkation: In Charleston it has to be silent because Charlestonians don't want to hear early morning PA announcements. We did self assist and were off the boat and through customs with our carryons very quickly. Stateroom: We are glad we did an oceanview with a window. The stateroom was adequate but noisy particularly on the last day as we were right above the gangplank. (Riviera Deck, room 153) However I did get a good view of the pilot boat at one port! Our stewards did a good job, just missing cleaning up our room one morning. I guess we confused them with our schedule that day. We always enjoyed seeing what towel animal they would come up with. Our stateroom was fairly central to elevators and hallways. Ship layout: Seemed a little choppy and confusing. I wish I had figured out a better plan right from the start, thinking of the ship in thirds. I got turned around more than once but ultimately found my destination each time. Food: The food was adequate. We'd rate it a 3 out of 5. It seems more about the availability than the quality at times. Several times, food from the buffet wasn't particularly hot nor held its heat, something we prefer. We never went hungry, but neither were we especially impressed by the taste of anything. Activities: I took advantage of several activities and enjoyed them. They provided a good mental break. I admit I expected to have more down time and in the future may pace myself better. I tried karaoke for the first time which was fun. When wanting to sunbathe, we chose the Serenity Deck. The Lido deck was too loud and active and accessible to smoke than we preferred, although we did go up there for the deck party so I could do some line dancing. Why so many places insist on blaring their bands is beyond me. It takes away from hearing their talented voices as much. We played bingo a couple of times. We also enjoyed the piano bar...Larry was talented and entertaining and it wasn't overwhelming in loudness. It gave time for nice fellowship with new friends we met on the cruise. Shows: Although others have said the shows are cheesy, we were very impressed by the quality of dancing, costume changes, and special effects. We somewhat enjoyed the comedy shows and some of the game things like the adult scavenger hunt also. Ports: Enjoyed power snorkeling in Nassau and the Jeep adventure in Freeport. Both were worthwhile and the Jeep one was educational. While it is necessary for the excursions to keep to a schedule, we found it somewhat less than relaxing to have limited time in each area we were visiting. In the future we may select an excursion that allows you several hours in one place to do things at your own pace. Money: we did pretty well staying in budget. We did succumb to buying a couple of pictures, particularly since on elegant night, it didn't even occur to us to ask someone to take our picture with our own camera. So the $21 formal photo was the only way we could capture the memory. We'll be wiser next time. The near constant stream of beverage hawking (we are only light drinkers) got somewhat tiresome and $20 to play bingo seemed a little high. Staff: most staff were pleasant and the fun crew was mostly enthusiastic and willing to be silly in front of a crowd. The waiters we experienced all seemed to do their jobs well. They led in singing a song for our 25th anniversary and brought out an extra piece of cake to celebrate. Our stewards put a towel heart on the bed the last night. I think they saw a 25th anniversary card in the room. We got to meet and chat with the cruise director which was kind of cool and also enjoyed speaking to a security guard. I'm fascinated by how things run behind the scenes and considered paying to go on the behind the scenes tour, but decided to allow time for relaxing and do that another time. The cruise director did a great job adding humor to the debarkation meeting. It was his last cruise on this boat and he told us that type of thing can get boring so he liked to add some life to it. While the Fantasy is an older ship, it was a good first time experience for us that wasn't too overwhelming and because of it's reasonable cost and proximity to our home, we would probably sail on her again. We would like a balcony and may consider a suite to get one. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
I had very low expectations, having previously cruised on the Carnival Fascination in August 2011. I have to admit that I have no complaints. I learned too late on my last cruise to stay away from the mess hall (LIDO). We ate breakfast ... Read More
I had very low expectations, having previously cruised on the Carnival Fascination in August 2011. I have to admit that I have no complaints. I learned too late on my last cruise to stay away from the mess hall (LIDO). We ate breakfast every morning in the Celebrations Dining Room and Dinner in the Jubilee Dining Room. The food was outstanding. We stayed in Room E159 on the Empress deck. Every time we left the room,it was clean when we came back. Matt69 really nailed everything in his review. He was part of our roll call, and I never had the opportunity to meet him even though his room was down the hall from ours. My only complaint is the Charleston Port. There are a number of ramps that you have to climb to get on the ship. There is also quite a bit of chaos when you get off the ship and have to traverse the ramps on the way down and go into a warehouse to find your luggage. Remember the location Code! It could be quite taxing if you are not in great shape or carry on a number of bags/booze. We did the Park and Cruise at the Sleep Inn in Mt. Pleasant. Rooms were clean and it was a convenient location. You do have to find your own shuttle to the port.We used Most Wanted Transportation to shuttle us to the Cruise port. They were very reliable and professional. It costs $15 each way and I highly recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
The cruise out of Charleston, SC was a great trip. However the port of Charleston, needs some work as the water at the port stinks really bad. Embarkment was smoother and quicker than my last experience, on the ship less than ten minutes ... Read More
The cruise out of Charleston, SC was a great trip. However the port of Charleston, needs some work as the water at the port stinks really bad. Embarkment was smoother and quicker than my last experience, on the ship less than ten minutes of arriving to the customs. Bags were delivered to our room at two different times.. One was early and the other came later that evening. The boat was large, but you can definitely tell it was the oldest ship of Carnival line. The ship was refurbished in 2010 and it still holds up well. The casino is a joke, seriously was humorous watching everyone try to win an IPAD in the coin machine. I believe they took some of the items out to make it appear that people can actually win. And the coin machines are magnetized as there is no way a quarter or stack of them could be basically over the ledge and not fall. On the good note the hubby was able to win $123 off of playing five bucks on the one machine, that we witnessed pay off to at least two other passengers. The shows were entertaining and the dancers and singers were all very talented. The best game show was in my opinion the couples game (similar to the newlywed game). Bingo was always a perk to watch as I love to watch people win. The food was alright. The desserts were better. We mainly ate in the lido deck 10 (buffet). I thought the food here was much better than my experience on Royal Caribbean 10 years ago. We chose the my time dining in the celebration dining hall and the buffet was much better. The lines for the my time dining literally extended around the deck and the decks above and below. The food portion sizes were humiliating as they were enough to feed a baby only. This was my first time eating in the main dining room and unfortunately it was the last night of the cruise. My sister later informed me that you could ask for another entree if you wished to.. of course they didn't tell us that in the dining room. Breakfast on the lido deck was good as you had an option to eat from the grill area or the lido hall, they even had an omelet station. The complimentary drinks were sometimes watered down, but hey its a cruise and they expect you to pay for more quality drinks and sodas. We loved the sushi bar. The room servants were excellent. Seemed like every time we left our room, we returned to it being touched up and cleaned. The staff were great especially in remembering your name and what you liked. Nassau was absolutely the key to the trip. I didn't pay to go to Atlantis especially not through the cruise. We did pay $15 bucks to get a horse driven carriage ride through the historical parts of town near the port. I have to admit I was very skeptical of this because I had to make the local show me his badge as he had it tucked in his shirt pocket, and they did take us through the "hood". But usually that is where some of the historical sites are. We also did the glass bottom boat, which should have just been called a coast line tour of the homes of the rich and famous. There were some tropical fish to see at the bottom of the boat, but nothing spectacular. The water was clear and beautiful. as so was Oprah's home and guesthouse. The boat ride was about an 1.5 hour and I do think that it was worth it even though I didn't see any big fish. Senior Frogs is must do, the food and the scenery right there on the ocean is beautiful. Freeport was a huge disappointment as it is very industrialized. literally there is a cargo dock right there on the port and oil rigs were very present. The only key is that the port has some local outlets right there on port, but it may be worth just staying on the boat. The best part of Freeport was leaving the port as the staff at Senior Frogs (they have one too) stood on there counters and serenaded the cruise on departure. I did forget to mention the first two days at sea were very choppy and the boat rocked severely. But after reaching the Bahamas, the weather was much calmer. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We just returned from a five day trip out of Charleston on our favorite ship the Carnival Fantasy. We love it because it is smaller and far less gaudy than other ships in the fleet. When you schedule a meet and greet, there is a far ... Read More
We just returned from a five day trip out of Charleston on our favorite ship the Carnival Fantasy. We love it because it is smaller and far less gaudy than other ships in the fleet. When you schedule a meet and greet, there is a far greater possibility of running into your CC friends than on the larger ships. It was drizzling and rainy on embarkation day. We went through the security line and got our S&S cards pretty quickly. We were dropped off at 12:45 and on board by 1:15 Directly to the room to leave our carry-ons bags of stuff then to the Lido deck to graze. We had to meet "Larry the Legend" who was the bartender at the Majestic Lounge in the rear of the ship on Deck 9 Promenade. He lived up to his billing that Dave "PinkFloydFan" had given him. The Majestic is the inside sports bar on the ship and is always jumping when College Football was on. We got our checked bags in the room about 3-4 PM as I remember. We never encountered any rude or discourteous staff member be they crew, staff or contract. Be sure to take the "Behind the Fun Tour" and you will learn the difference as well. Everyone was met with a good morning, or good afternoon each and every time. I think Carnival must have some sort of mandatory training that simplifies how to remember someone's name simply after seeing them only once, then never forget for the entire cruise. Amazing! The first sea-day was wet and rainy, but when we'd arrived at Freeport it was sunny and mild. The next day Nassau was quite windy but mild with the temps in the high seventies, but hey, this is November! We had a very wet and rainy sea-day when we returned. High winds, over 50 MPH at times. This limited the on-deck experiences but the bars, casino and clubs were jammed. Regrettably the rock and sway of the ship was too much to allow the dancers to perform the nightly show in the Universe Lounge up front, but when was the last time you high kicked in four inch heels? We were about two hours late for our arrival into Charleston. My guess, due to the weather, the decision was made to keep the speed down a bit and the customer comfort meter up as far as possible. The "silent debarkation", (a Carnival term & only Fantasy does it) went really well with the "carry all your stuff off group" followed by the "relaxed method". We were off by 1030 which is not bad for a two hour late arrival. Our checked bags were exactly where they were supposed to be, congratulations Carnival! There was only one negative experience on this trip. On the second day, our first sea-day I used my electric shaver in the outlet over the mirror in the bathroom. I had just completed shaving when I detected a burning smell coming from it and thought the old Norelco I'd kept alive for many years past its prime had succumbed to age. It was not until I had my reading glasses on the next day, reading of course in the bathroom, that I noticed the little 115/230 slide switch on the bathroom outlet was in the 230 position. Let me explain. In an effort to save space Fincantieri, the shipbuilder, decided to use a dual-purpose female outlet on this outlet. I would consider that our flat bladed 115 outlets versus the 230 round outlets would have both fit negating the possibility of the switch in the first place but they didn't ask me. Anyway be warned to check the switch before you plug in your hair curler or whatever! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
I should start this review with the good about this ship: 1. We found the staff was very nice and great helping us around the ship 2. Food was great in the dining room and the Lido deck was pretty good too 3. If you love watching crazy ... Read More
I should start this review with the good about this ship: 1. We found the staff was very nice and great helping us around the ship 2. Food was great in the dining room and the Lido deck was pretty good too 3. If you love watching crazy fun people...this is the ship for people watching. 4. A great ship for first time cruisers Okay now the the NOT so good part: This ship has a few (very) few balconies so if you want a balcony book EARLY. We did not book early so we got a room with a window. Okay this started my cruise on the wrong foot.... One plug outlet in the entire stateroom No hairdryer (glad I read that before I left home) One straight back chair (which means you HAVE to sit on the bed or at least one of you do.) Small rooms...but you really need to be out and about instead of the room anyway. Not too much activities or maybe I was not paying attention, but seemed like a lot of things for young adults like: Limbo contest, corn hole game, dancing on the stage. I repeat...fun watching people. Lot's of people smoking which surprised me. My hubby likes to play in the casino and every night we smelled like we had just smoked a pack of cigarette's, which I don't mind some smoke but it did seem like a lot more than on other cruises we have been onLeaving the ship was easy and very timely...no problems. Everyone seemed to moving along nicely. Over all I would rate this cruise as a "B-"...Like I said I really think this would be a great first time cruise experience knowing that it only gets better and better on another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
This was my eighth cruise, all on Carnival, second cruise on the Fantasy and as a solo cruiser. I had a Great time. Here is the break down. Port: I did drop off. It took me about 15 to 20 minutes to get on board once dropped off, ... Read More
This was my eighth cruise, all on Carnival, second cruise on the Fantasy and as a solo cruiser. I had a Great time. Here is the break down. Port: I did drop off. It took me about 15 to 20 minutes to get on board once dropped off, they do a great job for such a small port. Debarkation, I did self assist. It took maybe 10-15 minutes to get off ship once my debarkation time began. The Charleston port does a great job and I can't wait for new port to be built. Ship: Clean, maybe needing a little refurbishing. Overall it was fine Crew/Staff: Everyone I met was friendly and very helpful. The wait staff were awesome as were the cleaning staff....my cabin steward was a ninja, only caught up with him once. I did not have any interaction CD so I really cannot comment. Food: I thought it was great. I could not have asked for better. MDR early seating. Entertainment: The band Music Major was great. I enjoyed them every time they played. There was lots of trivia and I enjoyed it when I played a few times. The shows were the same from my last cruise so I did not attend. Comedians were very good. The dance club was great, although on Halloween night..I have no idea what the DJ was thinking, one of the worst playlist ever, so I went and enjoyed Music Major. Ports: Grand Turk..very nice. The beaches were beautiful. I took an Island tour sponsored by the Grand Turk preservation society. It was a very good and informative tour. We missed our HMC stop because of storm damage...maybe next time. Nassau, well it is what it is...I had a great beach day. Cruise Critic Friends: Meant some awesome people from our roll call, they helped make my vacation a memorable one. I hope to cruise with them again. Mishaps: Only one. At some point my suit bag got wet before it made it to my cabin. All of my dress shirts had to be laundered to remove the water stains on the sleeves. They all came clean with exception of shirts that had something that looked like blue paint on them. They were a loss. Fortunately I always over pack and I did not let it ruin my trip. Rude passengers: Only ran across one, older lady on a scooter, who was determined to get were she was going regardless of who she ran over. Well that's my cruise, looking to book another. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
This was my first cruise, as well as my two girl friends I brought along. We are all in our early 20's and enjoyed the different age groups that were among the ship. Everyone was happy and in a good mood all of the time. Friendships ... Read More
This was my first cruise, as well as my two girl friends I brought along. We are all in our early 20's and enjoyed the different age groups that were among the ship. Everyone was happy and in a good mood all of the time. Friendships made with complete strangers and always good conversation. I stayed on the lido deck the majority of the time. They always have fun events happening on stage. My friend and I got dragged on stage for a limbo contest. I didn't want to do it, but it turned out to be a blast. The two men/employees that hosted all of the stage events were awesome and very lively. Embarkation: It was very easy to get through. My only frustration was after we boarded the ship, we sat in the room for about an hour and a half waiting for our luggage to be dropped off. We didn't want to have it left in the hallways. Service: I have read complaints before from other reviewers but I have to say the men and women who service on this ship were remarkable in every aspect. They went out of their way to make the journey spectacular. Small details I noticed in these humble individuals are things like remembering your name and your card number from day to day. Every individual has a story. These people leave their families for months on end to earn a living and make our vacations that much more pleasurable in the process. Fully appreciate every one of them. Food: Ahh-may-zing! So much variety. We chose the anytime dining, which I think was a mistake, considering the cruise was quite long and it would have been nice to have assigned seats to meet others on the ship. The room service was great, although we couldn't really understand the person on the other end and they didn't seem to care when we had questions about what could be served. Guest Services: My only disappointment with this cruise. They were unbelievably rude every time we went to ask a question or had a problem. Cabins: Very clean and the housekeeping staff was extremely nice and attentive to our every need. I honestly have nothing negative to say about the working staff. They were incredible in every aspect. I highly recommend this cruise/cruise ship. It's worth the money and you'll have a BLAST! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Family of three including our 8 yr old daughter, and we had an awesome time! My coworker is an avid cruiser and goes on the Fantasy often. She had someVERY helpful tips for us : 1- Take a power strip, only one outlet in our room 2- You ... Read More
Family of three including our 8 yr old daughter, and we had an awesome time! My coworker is an avid cruiser and goes on the Fantasy often. She had someVERY helpful tips for us : 1- Take a power strip, only one outlet in our room 2- You can take soda on in reasonable amounts, and 1 bottle of wine pp over 21 3- Take a lanyard for everyone and have guest services hole punch your room card 4- Room had shampoo, body wash in shower and women's deodorant sample 5- Take hairdryer, not one in room 5- Take dvd player for kids nothing on tv for them if you plan on staying in at all 6- They provide beach towels for you in room 7- just say no to photographers if you don't want to buy pics. We did formal night but only then 8- If you like to sip on drink a lot take your own cup. I filled up before we left beverage areas and never went thirsty and I didn't bug our room steward. They did have ice bucket that our steward kept full which was great since we brought our own soda 9- You can book excursions cheaper outside of the cruise line. At Nassau, we booked dolphin encounter thru Blue Lagoon Island. We had a great time! We did the dolphin encounter because website said our girl was too young but found out we could have signed waiver and done the swim. It was fabulous and worth the 98/per person we paid. Its not worth the upgrade for full beach day which included lunch and inflatable water park. It was very mossy and my daughter wouldn't go near them and most of the handles were ripped off. We could have stayed and had beach day without upgrading and just paid for lunch. It was a dream come true to interact with dolphins and swim in the clear water though. Just be careful and watch ferry times so you don't miss your boat. BTW there is a ferry from cruise terminal that we didn't find out about until our way back which saves money on taxi. As for Freeport, if you want souvenirs you can find them right there when you get off the boat but we took taxi to shopping area and found same things. It was a learning experience. As for the boat, we enjoyed it. My daughter enjoyed camp carnival and we let her pick what she wanted to do. Don't miss the Beatles show "Ticket to Ride" in the last sea day. Coffee at shop on mid deck 9 was wonderful and so was Barista's. They remembered our names and drink of choice. I wish they would have a few more shows or comedy acts but we had a great vacation. Oh, forgot to mention the dolphins playing outside our room at port in Charleston and saw sea turtle swimming by our room on day two! Stay away from room R144 and surrounding room. We could hear water running almost constantly and it wasn't just shower from another room. There was also a clunking noise from underneath our room that I heard off and on the whole trip which was annoying. I have to say that the good times definitely outweighed the bad and I would definitely go again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Service was excellent in the dining room and from the room steward. Dining room waiter and asst. waiter wrote down our names (11 of us at the table) and remembered all our names the entire 5 days. Food was great (just sailed on a ship ... Read More
Service was excellent in the dining room and from the room steward. Dining room waiter and asst. waiter wrote down our names (11 of us at the table) and remembered all our names the entire 5 days. Food was great (just sailed on a ship in April twice as big as this one) and the service was terrible in the dining room and many nights at dinner the food was cold and entrees for our table arrived at different times. Bigger is not always better! We ate on the Lido deck for breakfast and lunch (when we were on the ship) and there was always a huge variety and the hot food was hot and the cold food was cold. Mongolian Wok, Grill, and Deli were all great. Omelets at the pizza area for breakfast were great. Had an ocean view cabin and the only thing about the room was when the pullman bed was down at night, you had to crouch down and go under it to go to the bathroom at night. But during the day, the steward put it up so no problem during the day. Also, no couch, but we survived. Who's in the room much anyway??? There were plenty of deck chairs up on deck, unless you got up there at 1:00 or 2:00. I did notice a guard/police looking person in a uniform watching the much prized chairs by the pool, and it seemed that if someone left stuff on the chair more than 30 minutes, they'd move it. That's the way it should be!!! Every time we encountered a worker in the hallway, they always said good morning/good afternoon. Very pleasant people. Room service was very fast - only took 15-20 minutes to arrive and pretty good selection. Shows were pretty good. We didn't go to any of the comedy shows. Parking was a bit pricey, but if you do your homework ahead of time, you're prepared to pay $85. Also, I've seen people complain about no hair dryers - DO YOUR HOMEWORK before you go. You could have gotten one from the cabin steward. I've been on 15 cruises and this was my 9th Carnival cruise. It's one of the best cruises we've ever taken. Great service and good food is what's it all about. Also, the port only being a 3 hour drive from our home is great too! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Having taken 3 cruises on Disney Cruise Lines with our entire family, we had lowered our expectations for this 5 day cruise with Carnival. I can happily report that this cruise exceeded our expectations! We travelled from Winston Salem ... Read More
Having taken 3 cruises on Disney Cruise Lines with our entire family, we had lowered our expectations for this 5 day cruise with Carnival. I can happily report that this cruise exceeded our expectations! We travelled from Winston Salem to Charleston the day before we were to set sail. We chose to stay at the Hampton Inn and take advantage of their Package that allowed us to keep our car parked at the hotel and they provided a shuttle to the port. It worked well. The shuttle delivered us to the port and the driver offered much helpful information. At the end of the cruise the shuttle was waiting at the time the driver had promised. Check-in at the Carnival counter was seamless and the lines moved at a reasonable pace for such a large crowd. Upon embarkation we found our cabin and it was ready. We stowed our carry-ons and had lunch. Our luggage had been delivered to our cabin upon our return. Our cabin was clean and sufficient for the two of us. Our cabin steward was friendly and very helpful. Throughout the cruise all crew and staff members we encountered were courteous and helpful. Previous reviewers noted the age of the ship as a negative but I never saw anything that indicated that the ship's age hampered our experience. It was clean, colorful and fresh. Odds and Ends We took some bottles of water and soft drinks. Using the cooler we packed, we kept our drinks cold thanks to the daily refills of ice provided by our cabin steward. We took a power strip as suggested in many of the reviews but used it very little. We chose the Your Time Dining option. All meals were taken in the same dining room. We had a short wait each evening(15 min) and experienced a variety of servers. All of them were accommodating, some more conversational than others. Service was good. Menus were varied and the quality of the food good. We ate lunch at the various offerings on the Lido deck. The food was plentiful and good. We attended several of the entertainment offerings. The shows were worthwhile, the comedians funny. The cruise director was quite the showman and served up many laughs in the various game shows and other offerings. For those seeking the late evening party atmosphere it is available. For those seeking a time rest and relaxation it can also be found on board. Our cabin was always a quiet place to take an afternoon nap or get a good nights sleep. The beds were comfortable and the cool Air was always flowing. We chose the self-assist disembarkation option. We headed to the main lobby at 615am and as scheduled the disembarkation began at 630am. We processed through customs and were seated on our hotel shuttle at 7am. Best disembarkation we've ever experienced. Overall, a great cruise experience for a very reasonable price. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
After overcoming our worries about party-ships, we had cruised with Carnival in Feb to Mexico, and were very impressed. The Fantasy is an older ship and is less fancy than their Splendor (where we were spoiled with a Tandoori grill), but ... Read More
After overcoming our worries about party-ships, we had cruised with Carnival in Feb to Mexico, and were very impressed. The Fantasy is an older ship and is less fancy than their Splendor (where we were spoiled with a Tandoori grill), but the people on board made up for it all. It seems most were locals from the SC or NC areas, polite and friendly - you know you're in the South! Freeport was great - a cabby took us to a -small- public beach; a large area of that beach was unused, belonging to the hotel and would have required a fee. A small stand made delicious cocktails for $5. Later, we ate at a local restaurant around the square which was fantastic. Many fellow tourists had their hair braided (not cheap, $30 for a quarter scalp). Nassau has changed since I was last there in the mid 90's.. loud, traffic, car exhausts.. we gave up after walking around for a little while. On the way back, we barely missed hurricane Isaac - funny how they never announce anything on Carnival: they just ran a tape across the sliding doors and said the outdoor areas were "off limits" for now, while the storm was raging. We had also switched itinerary (went to Freeport first) without any announcements; no bother, just interesting how they handle things. Overall, Carnival has it down to a science, hardly any waiting/lines on embarkation or deembarkation. We bought a deposit on a future cruise (recommend that) and we'll be back! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Carnival Fantasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 3.5 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 5.0 3.7
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 5.0 4.3
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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