This was most definitely not our first cruise, in fact, I turned platinum on this cruise, and DH will turn platinum in April. But last year after a great cruise in December to the Bahamas, I said to my DH, I really miss true Mexican ... Read More
This was most definitely not our first cruise, in fact, I turned platinum on this cruise, and DH will turn platinum in April. But last year after a great cruise in December to the Bahamas, I said to my DH, I really miss true Mexican food, so when we got home from dinner, we went on line and booked the Fantasy. We had cruised to Mexico from New Orleans, but we wanted to try sailing from Mobile, as we had never been to Mobile.
We drove from Atlanta to Saraland, where we had booked the Microtel. A small hotel chain owned by Wyndom (sp) hotels. We had the park and cruise option, which was fantastic, our room was a mini suite, with a partition between the bedroom (a queen) and a living room, and the window actually opened, and we listened to the rain that night. We had dinner at the Oyster restaurant right next door.
The next morning, we got up, went downstairs to our breakfast, repacked, and were on the van at 11:30 to our cruise!
The Fantasy is not new, in fact right now it is the oldest ship in the fleet, but our cabin- R4, a porthole cabin, was huge. Considering all that there was to do on the cruise, we didn't spend much time there. But if you are looking for space, for the least amount of money, the front Riviera porthole cabins are spacious.
Embarking, really, was a long line, with a long walk up to the Empress deck of the ship. Platinum or not, it really made no difference. Your sail and sign cards are at your cabin, so while DH was having some health issues, I went down, dropped off our bit of carry on, picked up the cards, went back up, got him and went to the Casino bar, where you can smoke even if the ship is refueling. The rest of the time, smoking is at the bar, which gets crowded or up on the Verandah deck.
What made this cruise special is that we booked some easy excursions that I thought DH could do (his health is not good) and Carnival really got the excursions right! In Progresso we did the Discover the Mayan World, and we saw all that we wanted plus more. A nice bus, a great driver and tour guide (Arturo) and we saw the salt flats with the pink water, the flamingoes that winter there, the Xcambo ruins-pronounced eshcampo- a church in a truly Mayan town, and a great lunch spot on the beach.
In Cozumel, we did Discover Mexico, which is basically an art and history museum, and saw the Paplanta (sp) flyers. Trust me, you will not witness this just every day of your life.
So, the excursions were great, the dining room staff for ATD that we had, Divina and crew were great, the food was good, and in fact, we never even ate pizza this time, we actually enjoyed all that we tried.
DH's highlight was winning the Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest ( I have no idea why I even compete against him) and my highlight was being able to share information about the arts in Atlanta to the group at the Veteran's program meeting. (DH was Air Force).
Cruising is what you make it, yes I can tell you it's an old ship, and there is rust. But who cares, if floats, it provides entertainment, and it a fun time or quiet time depending on what you need.
The only downside was disembarking-here I was thinking, well I am platinum (serves me right) and we got the wrong memo, we were in the wrong place, and we almost didn't get any special service until I went down stairs and figured out what was wrong. There was a lot of lack of communication on this cruise, but we had a good time, we got off OK and we got picked up by the very sweet group at Microtel, drove back to Atlanta, and got home, by 5. p.m.. Would I do it again, you betcha-going in April.
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention, and it's a ladies room thing-they changed the locks on all the public stalls in the ladies room, to cheap breakable plastic locks, that are impossible to use, if it ain't broke why fix it? Well they changed it, and most people had terrible times trying to get out of the stalls. Just a heads up. Read Less