271 Carnival Fantasy Cruise Reviews

I was super skeptical of taking this cruise given the reviews, but the price was great, it fit the dates we needed and was driveable. It’s a 30 year ship so yes there is wear and tear but it’s clean and comfortable. Food: Guys ... Read More
I was super skeptical of taking this cruise given the reviews, but the price was great, it fit the dates we needed and was driveable. It’s a 30 year ship so yes there is wear and tear but it’s clean and comfortable. Food: Guys and the blue iguana were fantastic. We could have eaten here every meal. The dining room was hit or miss. Staff: They seemed to definitely have less staff, dishes set on tables longer than expected. It’d been a while since I’ve cruised carnival and maybe this is normal, but our room was only serviced once a day, no turndown service which is totally fine with us. Andy, the cruise director is fantastic! Best cruise director we’ve ever had and we’ve been on 20+ cruises. Entertainment: The shows and activities were all well ran and organized. I would take this cruise again, especially if Andy was the CD. There’s plenty to nitpick with the ship but the staff and food made up for that. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our first cruise, January 2020. We selected this cruise because it was short (5 days) and we could drive to the port (Mobile). Overall, the cruise was very enjoyable. The Fantasy ship is about 30 years old but is in very good ... Read More
This was our first cruise, January 2020. We selected this cruise because it was short (5 days) and we could drive to the port (Mobile). Overall, the cruise was very enjoyable. The Fantasy ship is about 30 years old but is in very good shape and is very clean. We didn't encounter any problems with the ship or our room. Our favorite on ship event was the "Astro Nautical" band in the Cat's Lounge. These are 5 outstanding musicians with an excellent lead vocalist. We also enjoyed the comedy show with Sean Kent. (I still don't know what the lady from Mississippi was saying). We had excellent burgers from Guy Fieri's burger joint. The ship's crew were excellent in all encounters. They always greet you in the halls. We purchased "Faster to the Fun" program ($70) which is basically an upgrade to the VIP status allowing priority boarding and debarkation as well as some other perks. This was well worth the money. We walked past hundreds of people in line to board the boat without waiting behind a single person. Same thing when we left the ship. We did have a very good time and we would sail the Fantasy again without hesitation, but here are our critiques. In the main theatre, the "Brits" show and the "Country" show were very corny and amateurish. Our biggest disappointment was the food. We had been told that cruise food is excellent but we found the food to be bland and the service slow. We ate in the dining room three nights and one lunch before we gave up on it and went to the buffet. At least in the buffet we could try different items and pick what we liked. Personally, I was disappointed that the Fantasy didn't have a good craft beer on tap (but that's just me). Other than that the bar service was fine. At Progreso we took a bus to Dzibilchatun Mayan ruins and found them very interesting. It is smaller than the Tikal site and Lamanai site (Belize), but with a unique history. The excursion lunch was in Merida and was one of our best meals on the cruise. Our guide, Gabriel, was excellent. The highlight of the trip was the VIP Catamaran snorkel trip we took at Cozumel. The weather was great and the water was clear and warm. We had opportunities to snorkel at two locations where we saw lots of colorful reef fish. The lunch was the best as was the bar service. Although they often have up to 40 guests, this time there were only 9 guests along with 7 crew members. Shelley and the crew took excellent care of us. We stayed at the Microtel in SARALAND, AL prior to cruising. We left our car there and they took us to the ship and picked us up at the end of the cruise. That worked out great. The Fantasy is a smaller and older ship but that didn't hinder our fun in any way. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this ship due to the Mobile port. We had never cruised Carnival and some of the reviews held me back of ships in New Orleans and Mobile. I decided I was not going to drive further to a port (Mobile is within 4 hours) so we ... Read More
We chose this ship due to the Mobile port. We had never cruised Carnival and some of the reviews held me back of ships in New Orleans and Mobile. I decided I was not going to drive further to a port (Mobile is within 4 hours) so we took a chance on the Fantasy. We aimed for low expectations due to reviews and we were surprised at how much it exceeded our expectations. The food in the dining room was the best food we've had on a cruise yet. I don't understand the reviews that say their food was awful. Ours was fantastic, everything cooked perfectly from their flank steak to chicken, etc. Tasty and wonderful! Our waiters were fantastic and called us by name as soon as we went in each night. They were delightful. Our room steward was also great, calling us by name daily. He was in stealth mode and would slip in almost as soon as we left and the room would be clean when we got back from breakfast or wherever. We asked for ice one time and had it refreshed daily by him and his memory everyday. Asked for extra towels and he never forgot to do that either. Our cabin was a window view on deck 7 and the location was extremely convenient. Just one flight up the steps to our dining room. It had no smells and I was worried about being hot after some reviews, but it was super cool. Air worked great. We actually had to turn down the air some and I stay hot...so I was pleased! No, the cabin is not newly decorated but the beds were comfy, there was lots of lighting, the air temp was great and our bathroom was always clean. Zero smells. All the previous bad reviews make me wonder was it the same ship. Most comfortable bed on a cruise so far. There was plenty of storage space. Tv was small (think small computer monitor size) but we got Turner classic (yeah!) and a few channels. It was better than other ships we've been on. We did not try the wifi or internet. We go to unplug. I found crew to be cleaning all the time, and the food excellent. We had been to Cozumel before so we just shopped, as we just shopped in Progresso. We found the prices far better in Progresso on blankets, trinkets, etc. We found plenty of quiet areas on the ship to sit. I am not a smoker, so I avoided the area outside the casino, etc. with the tables and chairs. Serenity had newer cushions on the chairs than youtube videos.... we always got a chair and enjoyed that. Smoke was always pretty thick there. We did venture in the casino one night and were able to play enough on what we put in to have an enjoyable time and leave with a little cash (very little but still was able to play on just a little). My husband saw someone the night before win cash from one of the grab machines...so they did pay off eventually for someone. People sat at them the entire trip! We don't use the pool really, so that was not important to us. It was always packed to the max when we went by. I'm not sure I would want to get in that anyway (too many people). Hot tubs on the Serenity deck never had more than 2 or 3 adults on it when we were on it and no kids was enforced. Husband said fitness room was fantastic. The boat was a little rocky the last day but that was when the storm was in the SE. Seems like I felt it more on this ship but one motion sickness pill and I was fine. The entertainment is where I would like to see improvement. The performers gave their all in the shows but it was not along the lines of what we experienced on other cruises. It is not the performers who we didn't like, just the shows. We do not enjoy the adult pg or plus comedians or silly shows, and that is probably what Carnival is known for. We skip those. So, entertainment s the only area I felt like was not quite up to par with what we've seen before but those kids gave their all and were fantastic in their own right. We enjoyed captains talk and lectures on another line, would love some kind of history talk or something---probably not going to be on Carnival. Lastly, the spa people would ask each time you passed certain doors or coming off the pool area from lunch, etc. if you'd like such and such at the spa. It got annoying after a while but they accepted no. The people taking pictures were the opposite, if you said no they smiled sweetly and moved on. When we took a Royal Caribbean cruise, I felt like they hounded us more for pics. All in all we had very low expectations and left the ship far above pleased and would do it again if the trip and price was right.... and the right time of the year (not spring break, etc.). Oh, and we found a mix from babies to middle age to seniors to a few college age. We sailed in Jan., so it was not a party cruise at all. Families were the bulk of this ship. Saw a lot of entire families like grandma down to babies meeting up for supper in the dining room. This was a nice mix of people. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The family and I (four of us total) went on the Fantasy for our Christmas vacation. I read a lot of reviews about the Fantasy and I'll admit I was a bit concerned about the overall condition of the ship. However, I was pleasantly ... Read More
The family and I (four of us total) went on the Fantasy for our Christmas vacation. I read a lot of reviews about the Fantasy and I'll admit I was a bit concerned about the overall condition of the ship. However, I was pleasantly surprised on how good of a shape she is in for her age. Just as I read the reviews for better insights I share here my overall experience and views of the Carnival Fantasy. Ship Condition: Overall, I felt she is in good shape. The crew was constantly cleaning the ship and in several spots they were doing some detailed repairs such as tearing up tile which was completed within a few hours. I personally didn't mind this as it had little impact and considering these ships are continually on the go, this should be expected. (Rating: 4 of 5 stars) Elevators: I know there is a lot of complaints and chatter on FB about elevators not working and here I would say this is a legit complaint. On day 1 and 2, both glass elevators worked, but then on day 3, the port side elevator was out of service. Forward elevators, 3 of the 4 were operating. Mid-ship, all four worked the entire cruise. Aft elevators, 3 of the 4 were operating. (Rating: 3 of 5 stars) Staff: Simply said, they were very professional, friendly, constantly working and helpful. I did not have a single bad experience with any crew member. (Rating: 5 of 5 stars) Dining: We ate dinner in the main dining room on four occasions. The menu changed out some. The food was good, but nothing wowed me. My favorite, sad to say was the chocolate flow cake. There is always the option to upgrade the meal at cost and on the last day I got a steak, which was disappointing. (Rating 3.5 of 5 stars) Buffet: It's a buffet, nothing spatular but it works well enough. For breakfast it was not until day 3 did I try out the omelet station and here is where I went the rest of the time. Highly suggest the omelet station. For lunch, did the deli once and that was good. I never ate dinner here. (Rating 3 of 5 stars) Guy's Burgers / Blue Iguana Grills: Perhaps the best place for lunch and if you want a mid day snack. I was surprised that they close at 6. Guys burgers are really good, but my favorite are the tacos from Blue Iguana and the variety of hot causes available. (Rating 4.5 of 5 stars) (I knocked off some points for not being open for longer periods) Bars / Lounges: Here is where they really miss the mark in my opinion. They were all too small and can not fit many people. Places like the Cats and Cleopatras don't have a proper bar in them so you have to wait for a server or go get the drinks yourself. This assumes you get a seat in the place. At the proper bars, I felt the stools were very close to the bar and very uncomfortable. (Rating 3.5 of 5 stars) Entertainment & Activity: As with any cruise there are a ton of activities / entertainment scheduled each day. Due to the size of the lounges, it can be difficult in getting a seat. So plan on arriving early and service for drinks being a bit inadequate. The girl playing the steel kettle drums was really good. Others were just okay. The DJ played good music, but he himself was not very entertaining. The comedian was lacking. The hairy chest contest... um, NO!. (Rating 2 of 5 stars) Ports / Excursions: Cozumel: We did Mr. Shanchos. Well worth the cost and we were really pleased with the food, strong drinks, and it offered plenty of actives. (Rating 5 of 5) Progreso: We took the Fantasy excursion for VIP Chechen Itza, Cenote with lunch. Don't let the two hour bus ride each way stop you from going on this. We were very please with this excursion and without doubt the highlight of our entire trip!! (Rating 5 of 5) Ships Tour: My wife and I did this at a cost of $55 per person. It was roughly 2.5 hours in length. We saw the laundry room, engine control room, part of the galley, some crew spaces such as where they eat, behind the stage and the bridge. I liked the control room the best. Was it worth it. If you've never done one before, then yes. If you've been on one already, then No, it's not worth it. (Rating 3.5 of 5) Chef's Table: There was some confusion on this as I booked this well in advance (like a year before the cruise) but upon arrival I didn't get any notice. So I went to the service desk and they didn't have me down and were starting to spin up the story that I was out of luck as there was no record of me signing up. BUT, I handed them the e-mail confirmation notice and then they changed their tune and somehow there was suddenly some space available. I was disappointed in the location of this event. I was thinking it was going to be someplace nice or a blocked off section in one of the MDRs. I was also expecting the head Chef (as advertised). The reality is they hold this event in the library and the Chef is one of the underlings. There is no preparation table side with perhaps the exception that they plop something on top of some rice or pour on some sauce, while the underling Chef explains what it is you are about to eat. Granted, what they server here is good, small portions (but like seven courses or so) and it is unique dishes. Is it worth $75 each. NO! (Rating 2 of 5) Technology (HUB - WiFi - Pixels): We used the Carnival HUB and I really liked this application. It was very convenient in planning out your day and keeping an eye on your room charges. The chat worked okay, but was not completely reliable. The WiFi worked well and I though was well worth the cost. Pixels, it was okay. I don't think you get enough pictures for the price you pay. (Rating 4 of 5) Kids running amuck: Sure, it's a vacation. Sure, Carnival caters to families. Sure, Carnival has some areas and actives very specific for kids. Great and I'm perfectly okay with that. Have two kids of my own so been there and done that. But, going on a cruise should not be a ticket for a parent to simply open up the cabin door and let the kid(s) run about the ship like a banshee and left unsupervised. 12 kids (no exaggeration) in a hot tub and using it as if they were in a deep diving pool! I was extremely disappointed that little kids were permitted to sit at the bar and take up valuable seating while they complained about being bored and wiping their noses and then handling the menus. Now, I don't want to paint with a broad brush here as there were certainly well behaved kids with parents monitoring them and enjoying the various actives. BUT, be warned, there is a good sized group of unattended, bratty kids running about on this ship. (Rating 1 of 5) In closing: Overall we enjoyed our time on the Fantasy and visiting Cozumel and Progresso. We are glad we took this cruise and has given us some great memories. There is a video from Cruise Critic which gives a tour of the Fantasy which was really good and the narrator gives a good summary at the end which I think is spot on. Which is along the liens of, 'the Fantasy is a good ship for first time cruisers and for cruises that are five days or less in duration.' I think the 5 days or less comment is an important point as on day four I was starting to feel the confinement of this smaller size ship. Would I recommend the Fantasy? I certainly would for younger generations and with kids. Overall Rating: 3.45 out of 5. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise due to price and the fact that Mobile is only 5.5 hours from home. BOARDING Got to cruise terminal around 11.30 and were parked and on ship in 25 min. CABIN..We got a outside room with a window. The ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise due to price and the fact that Mobile is only 5.5 hours from home. BOARDING Got to cruise terminal around 11.30 and were parked and on ship in 25 min. CABIN..We got a outside room with a window. The room is what you would expect small but everything in room worked and the room was very clean from start to finish. The bathroom was small but seemed bigger to me than most. I wish the room had a mini fridge but being a older ship a bucket of ice had to do. DINING. Good---Guys Burgers, Blue Iguana, Sea Day Brunch, Pizza, Deli and Ice cream machines. DINING. Bad---Buffets were weak, the pastries were bad very dry and the same thing every morning. The cakes in the buffet at lunch looked fantastic but all had a cornbread texture to them. The biggest complaint we had is that because we only had one dinner in dining room and rest in buffet is that there were no VEGETABLES TO BE FOUND. (POTATOES AND RICE EVERY DAMN NIGHT. ENTERTAINMENT- We went to all main shows and they were good, cant complain. The Casino on this ship is small but is always crowded but only about 50% gambling and 50% SMOKING THERE BRAINS OUT. SERVICE- Let me say from the time we got on this ship to the day we got off everything on this ship was spotless form interior to outside of ship to the buffet dining room with no dirty tables and people walking around cleaning plates off of tables as soon as we were done. The crew on this ship were all very nice, always saying hello and good morning. Probably did not hurt that they failed a inspection 3 months ago. Ports----I have to be honest when I say Mexico is not my favorite but we booked at last minute so you have to take what you get. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Overall this was a good cheap 5 day cruise out of Mobile Alabama. I will be taking a cruise next November on New Mardi Gra I will be setting the bar up very high for that cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Embarkation Smooth! If you're driving to the Mobile Alabama port get there early. We arrived one hour prior to our "scheduled" time and got one of the very last parking spots. Upon pulling up to the garage you'll be ... Read More
Embarkation Smooth! If you're driving to the Mobile Alabama port get there early. We arrived one hour prior to our "scheduled" time and got one of the very last parking spots. Upon pulling up to the garage you'll be directed to one of several lanes where the baggage handlers will collect the bags you don't want to carry on. Make sure your luggage is clearly marked with your stateroom printout tags. Then it's straight on to park. Traversing security you'll find the metal detectors are very sensitive (good). Getting through security was a breeze, about 20 minutes between parking and stepping on board. If you're waiting for your stateroom to be ready, one option is to grab lunch at the Lido Deck buffet (10) It will be busy. Ship experiences – food and drink Guy's burgers is awesome! I could eat there for every meal. The buffets are average. The dining room was very inconsistent. Two meals were good, one was fantastic and two were terrible. Of the terrible ones, the stuffed palermo was grossly under cooked, and a seafood plate of calamari, scallops and shrimp had all of three small pieces of each seafood with a huge serving of noodles making it hard to even find the tiny morsels. Breakfast in the dining room is great. The "your time dining" was really a "stand in line for a pager, then wait a half hour for a table dining." Onboard Activities The main pool is good, get there early if you want a lounge chair. The water slide was enjoyable even for this 50+ year old :-) Entertainment Pauly, the Cruise Director is amazing. Non-stop energy and charisma. The main stage show was pretty good, the comedy show was great especially since the comedian stayed away from politics. So tired of that. The piano bar was disappointing compared to Zack Daniels on the Carnival dream a few months ago. Service and staff Service was very good. Budi - our room steward was awesome. Dining was good, and the bartenders tried very hard to keep up. Carnival needs to hire more. They shifts they make them work are to long. The bartenders try so hard to be "up" but you can tell they are exhausted. Ship Design & Cleanliness She's carnivals oldest, and it shows. The layout doesn't flow like the newer ships and causes congestion. The shopping area seems almost as an afterthought kind of jammed into the front of the ship right by the main theater. There were constant problems with the elevators. Both atrium elevators were out of service for most of the cruise, and occasionally one of the four remaining forward elevators would be down. When underway there's an oscillation you can feel, presumably from the propellers. It’s a shaking sensation, clearly not the gentle rocking from the waves. It’s quite strong in some areas of the ship, to the point of being annoying. Overall cleanliness is good, the public area bathrooms could be kept cleaner and maintained better. One of the men's rooms sinks on the eighth floor only had scalding hot water. Cabin The cabin was big enough, the bed was two twins jammed together to make a king. It was reasonably comfy. We discovered there are a select few cabins labeled "inside" which are really outside cabins with two portholes. Score! Cabin with a view for an inside price :-). The bathroom was clean and reasonably big. The handle on the sink was broken, they promptly fixed it for us. Mobile If you're there during Crawfish season, or just dig craft beers and cocktails check out Haberdasher, 113 Dauphin St. in downtown Mobile. During crawfish season they have a free feed with a beverage purchase on Sundays. Cozumel Commercialized. You must walk through a "mall" filled with motivated sales people before you get off the dock. Get a very good 1hr massage for $25 - $40 U.S. in the shopping area across the street from the port. Fantastic Scuba diving! Really fantastic. Need more time in port here. Call for all to be onboard was 3:30pm. Pregreso Progreso is small, extending just a few blocks south of the water and 5 or 6 miles east/west following the shoreline. The dock is connected to the mainland by a 7km, 4.5ish mile pier. Buses run every 10-20 minutes, and the 15-20 minute ride from the dock will drop you off just a block and a half from the beach. There are many souvenir stores just as you step off the dock before you can get on the bus. same shtick as the mall on the dock in Cozumel. We scurried through these as we knew we'd have to walk back through them before you can get back on ship. We found better deals in town. Had fun walking around and visiting with the locals. Get a massage on the beach or elsewhere for $25 U.S. The beach is beautiful with food and drink service to the beach from Los Henequenes restaurant and bar just across the street. Wish we had more port time here. The ship was back underway by 4pm. Summary A video review is in the works and upon completion I'll post a link to it, if Cruise Critic will let me update this review. Great cruise for the money. To a degree we lucked out because the weather was fantastic, and sailing was very smooth. Cozumel is very commercialized. I'm a Scuba Diver and diving there is fantastic. Progreso was interesting, much less touristy, although something tells me that's going to change. Fun shopping for trinkets and haggling over prices. A real old Mexico atmosphere, yet we still felt safe. We enjoyed this cruise, however if one gets impatient easily it may not be the best choice. The Fantasy is showing her age, and clearly needs some maintenance. Its congested, especially the pool on the lido deck on sea days and the dining room line can wrap around the atrium. The crew, both officers and front line, are friendly and work very hard to make up for some of the ships shortcomings. I've been on much more luxurious vacations and ships, but for the money this is hard to beat. Especially if you don't mind using the stairs once in a while. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Our family of 8 chose to take the Carnival Fantasy because it was the closest port by car from our home. We have cruised with Carnival before (Victory and Vista) so we had an idea what to expect and most of our experience was similar to ... Read More
Our family of 8 chose to take the Carnival Fantasy because it was the closest port by car from our home. We have cruised with Carnival before (Victory and Vista) so we had an idea what to expect and most of our experience was similar to prior cruises. The cruise director (Paully) and table artist in the Celebration dining room (Rakin) were two standouts in our mind but the whole staff was enjoyable with only a couple exceptions. Our four kids (3, 6, 9 and 15) used all four Camp Ocean areas. They loved their experience and were asking to go to their camp rooms every day. They bonded well with the staff including our three-year old who is normally terrified of being left with strangers. The water slides that were added in January 2019 make a wonderful addition for the kids. Otherwise the pool is too small, too shallow and too full of adults for kids to really have fun in it and there are no other outdoor water options on the ship for kids. Also, there is no outdoor movie screen so movies are held in the same room where the comedy routines are delivered (at different times obviously). The Build a Bear workshop was really fun and well done and didn't really cost more than in a mall on land. For our three kids that did the workshop the cost averaged $37 per animal. Food was predictable but there are no specialty restaurants like Fahrenheit 555 on this ship. Dining food in the evening was much better with steak and seafood options and unusual appetizers for the adventurous each night like braised rabbit, frog legs and oxen tongue. Guy's Burger Joint was awesome and we hit that up frequently. Otherwise the Lido dining for breakfast and lunch felt like eating at Golden Corral and the wait at the Pizza Pirate is unacceptable especially for the poor quality of the product. The arcade was disappointing. There were 19 total machines and 13 of them were games of chance and claw machines where one tries to win impossible prizes like a PS4 or Apple iPhone. The arcade is a very small area tucked in a corner and seemed like an afterthought to us. The six "kid games" were air hockey, a solo racing game, a team dinosaur shooting game, a superhero game where you can win collector cards, a Halo team shooting game, and a 3D ride simulator. The shore excursions we selected were amazing! Probably the best we've experienced in five cruises. In Costa Maya we went to the Lost Mayan Kingdom which was extremely well run and had enough water slides and zip line activities to keep all our kids ages 3 to 20 fully entertained. In Cozumel we chose the all inclusive Passion Island with our older kids taking the Twister speedboat and the rest of our family taking the powered catamaran. Just be aware it's a 40 to 50 minutes ride to the island but the food, drinks, sand, water and staff were incredible! Comedians were OK. Sometimes funny sometimes not. I enjoyed the PG shows better because sometimes comedians seem to lean too heavily on profanity in the R shows trying to be funny rather than coming up with genuinely witty, unique comedy. And where are the women comedians? The musicians and bands were very good - some of the better ones that we've experienced but they can change frequently so our experience may not apply to your cruise after a few months. Rooms were typical. We had two ocean view rooms Aft on deck 5. Aft is a convenient location to the Lido dining room, water slides, and Camp Ocean. Room service was good with our cabin steward creating some nice animal touches for our kids each day. The ship seemed to need more maintenance than usual. We noticed a lot of rust, many windows were so dirty we couldn't take a good picture out of them, one of the elevators in the atrium was broken the entire cruise and one of the elevators in the aft of the ship constantly said 'Maintenance' most ot the cruise although it seemed to work some of the time. Overall Fantasy is a good ship but not excellent and with two days at sea on their five-day cruise it can become challenging finding something new to do especially for the kids. If you live in Alabama, west Georgia or west Florida or east Mississippi the Mobile Cruise Terminal is a reasonable drive that makes this cruise worth considering. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
For our ten year anniversary we wanted to try a cruise. It was awesome. I will bullet point this for first time cruisers. What to do: Embarkation was overwhelming. Check your bags BUT have a small bag with necessities such as ... Read More
For our ten year anniversary we wanted to try a cruise. It was awesome. I will bullet point this for first time cruisers. What to do: Embarkation was overwhelming. Check your bags BUT have a small bag with necessities such as sunscreen and cell phone charger. I would NOT recommended carrying your own bags... You will lug them around for about 3 hours until room is clean. Check them, grab your small backpack and head for the fun. When you need help, literally ask any person in a carnival uniform. Even the musicians are helpful and informed. Bring your own sunscreen and after sun (aloe) the gift shop sold out on day one. Explore- this is a big ship and navigating it is confusing...very confusing. We walked our entire hallway and found a cool short cut to serenity deck and buffet. What to not do: Do not miss dinner. The food is epic and they expect you to order multiple things. Most of the portions are smaller so it's pretty easy to have a couple apps... especially if your dinner people are cool, they may share. The buffet was not very good in my opinion. Guys burgers was what it is... A burger joint. The taco place was ok...but paled in comparison to the dining room. Same thing for breakfast. Be rude: to anyone. You will run into them again. The same room Steward, the same waitress, you will eat with same people every night. Even the musicians work during the day in some compacity. Highs and lows: Highs- Dining Comedy (pg is not always little kid friendly) Room cleanliness Desserts out of this world Cozumel- crazy beautiful crazy friendly Tiramisu is amazing The history of Mexico tour (Cozumel) was great and the little watering hole and taco place on the tour was cheap and good. Lows: Slow elevator service... We used stairs 90% of the time...more calories :) Buffet...just wasn't great Costa Maya- pushy pushy people. Forum us always packed. Hatlrd to find a seat. If you want to catch a show in universal you literally have to Sprint to the forum if you want to make the next show. Embarkation day the spa and diamond people are pushy. Just go to lido and have a drink. The menus on the app are wrong. Lots of smoke smell especially in hallways around casino. They do not police vaping and cigarettes very well. Misleads: (sure it's in the fine print) Frozen yogurt...it's just that...the word "bar" is misleading...you will find zero toppings. Pre paid gratuities- doesn't apply to bar service and they automatically add 18% which is fine...but those waiters will stare you down while you decide if you want to cough up an extra tip. Days in Port: its not a day... It's a few hours. Hidden gems: Back stairway on floor seven takes you up to serenity deck and back entrance of forum and lido. Great not having to walk though the partying. Free earplugs at guest service Overall is was great. We loved it and can't wait to go back. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I wanted to spend my 65th birthday on a beach in Mexico, so we booked this cruise on the Fantasy. We embarked in Mobile, which is close to home, and drove down the day before the cruise from Atlanta. Minus our mandatory stop at Cracker ... Read More
I wanted to spend my 65th birthday on a beach in Mexico, so we booked this cruise on the Fantasy. We embarked in Mobile, which is close to home, and drove down the day before the cruise from Atlanta. Minus our mandatory stop at Cracker Barrel and a gas stop, it took about 5 hours. The night before the cruise we stayed at the Microtel in Saraland. They offer a great park and cruise package with breakfast all for a reasonable price. The hotel is in walking distance of three major restaurant chains, so dinner can be in any budget zone. After a good night's sleep on a great bed, we got up, repacked, had breakfast and then at 10:30 were "vanned" over to the port. Apparently there was a medical emergency disembarking which held us up a bit getting on the ship, but no problem, we are on vacation. Embarking was easy, and we were on board by 11:45, and since we finally made platinum, got to go to our cabin. We love to cruise, but money is tight, so to get a window, we book Interior Porthole. This cruise we had a porthole on the Empress level, close to the action, in the front of the ship. Downside? If the ship is rocking you will feel it here more than being in the center. The upside? Portholes are only for two people, so the running kids in the hall end before you get to that section. The cabin size is good, the service excellent, and our towel animals were a hoot! The shower was a good size, the only thing wrong was an odd smell, that we finally figured out was the shower water when you first turn on the water. So, not a problem in the long run. We don't spend a lot of time in our cabin, because there is so much to do on the ship. When we cruise, we dine like Hobbits, there is always second breakfast, lunch, tea time, and dinner. I know there is a late night buffet, but we haven't made it to that for years. We had only two situations in the dining room that were disappointing, over cooked fish, which the wait staff easily remedied, and one breakfast that was delivered in reverse of how we ordered-which you cant fix, but all the meals were tasty, and delicious. We had anytime dining, the first night, we went early- and there was no wait at all. There was a 30 minute wait on Elegant night-we went at 7:30, and on our last night we went at 7:45, and was told there would be a 30 minute wait, which turned out to be 5 minutes. Breakfasts were great in the MDR, and on our last day at sea, they introduced a new brunch menu, with about 12 new items that were extra. Lobster Eggs Benedict? Peel and eat shrimp? Interesting, but I don't want to pay more for breakfast. Steak and Eggs is still my favorite breakfast. (second breakfast after banana nut bread and coffee on the Lido). We are really kids in adult old bodies, so after we donated to the casino, we enjoyed Make it with Michaels (think Camp Art) something that you make in an hour, and can take home with you as a souvenir. We don't do the art auctions, but we did participate in the Art scavenger hunt-do this as a family, it was fun, and more eyes on your team help. We got involved with Trivia pursuit, saw the new Universe Lounge Country show, and enjoyed the Comedy Club. We also enjoyed just simply relaxing on the Verandah level. We love the back of the ship, where there is no noise, but the sound of the wind, the water and the children playing on the water slides. One thing that we really enjoyed on this cruise, was that the Lido deck was not a blast of music in the mornings, It was quiet until noon. Wonderful to walk up in the morning to the sound of surf and wind. !! And for all who missed the Caribbean sound of the steel drums, well, this is the ship for you, every day, either on deck, or by the casino bar. In the Atrium Lounge there was a great country singer, and by the casino once in a while was a great guitar player-played a great Eric Clapton style. Hats off to all of the folks who work on the ship! Everyone was excellent, friendly and helpful! Alina, our MDR hostess remembered us from our last cruise, as did the assistant cabin steward, Nina. It's so nice to get a hug, and a Welcome home! The folks at the Guest services were incredible. BUT to families with kids, Camp Carnival is their care takers, not the cleaning staff. Tell your children that if they push every button on the elevators the elevator monster will come get them! In Cozumel we enjoyed a day at the beach on Isla Pasion. It was my birthday, and I spent it at the beach! The staff bent over backwards to accommodate my DH's walking disabilities-the catamaran ride to the island gives you a great land view of the main city on Cozumel, and while it was a bit too cool to swim (I was the only adult to get in the water ) we do plan to go back to this fantastic destination. This excursion includes drinks and lunch but lunch is a bit bland and lacked in variety. We did not do an excursion in Costa Maya, which since we are not big shoppers was a mistake. Get out there in the jungle, it will do you good. BUT if you like to shop, this is a great port, they will barter with you (which I never see in Cozumel or Progresso), and everything that is not the norm is well priced. We hated to get off the ship to come home, but all trips must end sometime, so you can come home and plan another one. Disembarking is always a cluster, but at least this time I can honestly say, it was not due to folks who owed on their sail and sign cards- it was every one wanting to take off their own luggage. But we did get off, called our hotel (again they were fantastic) and after only one Cracker Barrel stop, we were home by 4. Would I do it again? Yup! DH wants to spend his birthday next year at Isla Pasion! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We were looking for a 5 day Carnival cruise that left out of Mobile, AL. The Carnival Fantasy is a lady showing her age and while we were onboard the crew were doing some serious repairs and updates. The 3rd day into the cruise they ... Read More
We were looking for a 5 day Carnival cruise that left out of Mobile, AL. The Carnival Fantasy is a lady showing her age and while we were onboard the crew were doing some serious repairs and updates. The 3rd day into the cruise they closed the Blue Iguana Bar and were sanding and adding a fresh coat of varnish. There were several days we saw crew members carrying very large sections of hand rail somewhere. Some outside decks were closed because they were working on them. We heard power tools going most of the days while we were outside. The cabin was small and had a slight musty odor to it, but overall was clean and our steward "Hammie" was Excellent. The bar staff and the food staff were also Excellent and attentive. Ely at the Red Frog Rum Bar was our favorite bartender on board. She was always pleasant and we enjoyed speaking with her. Richard who was a bar server in the Lido restaurant and the Serenity Lounge always had a smile and greeted us by name no matter where he saw us on the ship. Eka who was a server on the Lido deck from the Red Frog Rum Bar took Excellent care of us and checked with us frequently to make sure we were okay. The food was okay. Pizza Pirate was good, the soft serve ice cream and yogurt are always enjoyable. The food on the Carnival Dream was better than on the Fantasy and due to the size of the ship you don't have as many choices. Guys Burgers are good, usually the longest line for food, but they are quick and you don't ever have to wait too long. The food at the Blue Iguana Cantina is also good and we ate there several times. The first and last day of our cruise were cold and windy so we never tried the water slides, although my wife did cool off in one of the fountains on our 4th day, while we were in Cozumel. Our 13 year old son liked the Carnival Dream better as it was larger and had more things for him to do. The entertainment was pretty good. The DJ needs to learn this isn't the 1920's and we don't enjoy listening to 1920's jazz music all the time. The deck parties were nice, they had one night that was 90's music and we enjoyed that. We paid for Faster to the Fun this cruise and I would say it was well worth it, especially for Embarkation. We were suppose to have priority Debarkation, but as usual no one follows instructions and people were just trying to leave the ship as fast as they can. Carnival really needs to figure out how to improve the Debarkation process. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Great little getaway cruise! Main Dining Room was wonderful for brunch, tea time, and dinner! Guy's and Blue Iguana were awesome as usual. Buffet decent for a smaller ship. Pizza was good just a bit slow. Entertainment was nothing to ... Read More
Great little getaway cruise! Main Dining Room was wonderful for brunch, tea time, and dinner! Guy's and Blue Iguana were awesome as usual. Buffet decent for a smaller ship. Pizza was good just a bit slow. Entertainment was nothing to write home about but not bad. Plenty of things to do all day long. Serenity was great in the mornings! Ports were great (costa maya and cozumel). I thought that the staff were extremely helpful and probably the best thing about the cruise. Service was great- Room attendant was spot on. Of course there are some downsides to this ship. It's old, I believe the oldest in Carnival's Fleet. My wife actually enjoyed the smaller size of this ship. Main pool area was a little crowded in the afternoon but thats normal. My one big complaint was that our room was right underneath one of the speakers for the stage show. Our bed shook during the rehearsals and evening shows. This was annoying but not a deal breaker for us. Overall a great, easy, affordable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because I had just spent several weeks cooking for, and organizing, a party for my husband’s 75th birthday and I needed a break. We have been on over 40 cruises, on several different cruise lines,in the last 20 ... Read More
We chose this cruise because I had just spent several weeks cooking for, and organizing, a party for my husband’s 75th birthday and I needed a break. We have been on over 40 cruises, on several different cruise lines,in the last 20 years and some have been better than others. We have cruised Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Princess, Holland America, Celebrity, Cunard’s Queen Mary II and a couple of lines that are no l9nger floating around. I list these only to stress that we have run the gamut of ships and seen, and experienced a lot of variety. For us the drive to Mobile is relatively easy and only about 4.1/2 hours and the price was right. We had a blast on this sailing. The Mardi Gras parade and entertainment was great. We had taken beads and head gear for it but the activities team provide masks which added to the fun. It was our wedding anniversary that day so the dress up added to the celebration for us. We particularly loved Maddie in the cruise director’s’ team. She was a gem. Yes, the Fantasy is older and smaller but that did not detract from the fun and friendliness of the crew. We had a cabin on main deck, aft, which was acceptable and quite quiet. The food is more than acceptable and we liked the Blue Iguana grill. I like the Indian food selection at dinner which I find to be better than the other cruise lines that offer it. Our only quibble, both of us being English, is that Carnival have chosen not to serve any strawberry jam with afternoon tea . Sure they have scones and cream but you HAVE to have jam as well. As they used to serve it one can only assume that this is cost cutting and it does seem a little chintzy to say the least, We knew this was going to happen and we actually took jam with us! Just a minor complaint. Overall we had a very good time. There was a great band playing (name of which escapes me) and we went to hear them most nights. We enjoy a stop at Cozumel. I have mobility problems so it works for us to get off the ship, take a walk to Pancho’s Backyard, have a couple of beers with chips and salsa, listen to the marimba band and just relax. A little shopping at the same time does not go amiss. I cannot comment on Progresso as we did not get off. We have been to Merida before, which we enjoyed, so we did not feel the need to go again. We realized that the years have gone by since we first started cruising. When we went to the Love and Marriage show, 20 years ago, we used to marvel at the old folks who had been married the longest. This cruise we were IT which caused us great amusement. No we didn’t participate. It gave us the satisfaction that we had made it to 53 years and could have played along if we had wanted to. I’ve no complaints about Carnival Fantasy and this sailing. None whatsoever. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We just returned from a 5 day Cozumel cruise on Carnival Fantasy. Yes, she's the oldest in the fleet and she's small, but that didn't take away from a good time. It's my first cruise so I don't have anything to ... Read More
We just returned from a 5 day Cozumel cruise on Carnival Fantasy. Yes, she's the oldest in the fleet and she's small, but that didn't take away from a good time. It's my first cruise so I don't have anything to compare it to so I will say that upfront. I thought there were enough choice of food places to eat, Guy's Burgers was really good as were the other buffets and the sit down restaurant. PIzza Pirate was good, although they seemed behind on making pizzas. The deli was great! The room was obviously small, but I was expecting smaller so I was pleased. We even had a king sized bed and I still had enough room for two. Had a rough start with fog closing down the port at Mobile Alabama so we had several hours to kill which wasn't fun, but no fault of Carnival. Luckily for us, they had a Mardi Gras parade so we were able to see that and that was a blast. Even with the craziness of boarding everyone at once instead of splitting us up because of the delay, everyone on board was so friendly. In fact, I don't think I me ANYONE on that ship that did not look me in the eye and say hello or good morning. Even when we called, the representatives were always very courteous. Since the ship is the oldest there were obvious signs of wear, but I did see the crew taking every opportunity to paint and polish. Unfortunately because of the delay from the port closing due to fog, we had to skip stopping in Progreso so that was disappointing. We received a small refund for that, but instead we went straight to Cozumel for a day and a half instead of just one day. We did the Isla Paradise excursion which was great. Beautiful beach and all inclusive drinks and food. Not many people were there when we were so I loved that. I didn't get sea sick as I didn't feel the ship rocked too badly. The gym was nice, there's a small running track on top with a 9 hole put put gold course. Pool was fine as were the two hot tubs. (Hot tubs were pretty popular. Lastly, they had a great Military Veteran's appreciation event that was great. Loved they have such strong ties to the military and it shows! Also, there were so many events to take in during the times you are at sea. I didn't do any of the drinks packages, we just brought a 12 pack of soda each (allowed) and drank beer in Cozumel. Overall for my first cruise I was pleased and I will say I'm military so my expectations are pretty basic. I've heard from others there are much nicer ships, but there are also twice as many people. This was holds 2600, approx. The difference in price between an all inclusive resort and a cruise even with adding alcohol, the cruise is much less expensive. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Port is with in an hour drive from our home. Destination was not important as we have been there before. Our purpose was to relax for next five days. We mostly eat at anytime dinning at Celebrity Restaurant. The staff there were ... Read More
Port is with in an hour drive from our home. Destination was not important as we have been there before. Our purpose was to relax for next five days. We mostly eat at anytime dinning at Celebrity Restaurant. The staff there were excellent. Young man named Kris took care of us. Coinsurer staff was very proficient and remembered our names. Buffett was ok but lots of people eating too much food, kind of turned us off. We did splurged by signing up for Chef's Table . It was $ 75. / person. Included all the wine you wanted to drink . Fantastic service and kind of creative, rich food was served. We were 12 people only and eat at Library. Chef Roy explained and introduced all food we were served. Cruise Director Mardi was very knowledgeable and real professional. Every time we heard him at any event, he made us laugh. Don't miss Hairy Mans contest. Also don't miss Country Dynamic Duo close to Casino. Some of the Karaoke singers were great. Piano bar, was bit small. Our cabin Stewart kept our room clean. We did our own excursion in Progresso. The town of Merida was very clean and beautiful. Did not look like Mexico. We walked around in Cozumel. This ship had a nice water slide for young kids and activities for them. I do not know how we can pay so little money for 5 days of lodging, 3 full meals each day, and all the entertainment. Most of the staff were foreign and were very courteous. We left additional tip for few of them in addition to what the Ship charged. It was nice and well worth the money vacation. Parked our car in their garage at the cost of $ 90.00. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I deliberately chose Progreso/Cozumel so I could see Chichen Itza outside of Progreso. The ship's name proved appropriate because seeing the city on this cruise, as on my last scheduled one, remained a fantasy; Progreso was cancelled ... Read More
I deliberately chose Progreso/Cozumel so I could see Chichen Itza outside of Progreso. The ship's name proved appropriate because seeing the city on this cruise, as on my last scheduled one, remained a fantasy; Progreso was cancelled because of fog that kept us in Mobile's port the first evening and the entire next day. Carnival may not responsible for weather, but I remain very disappointed to miss the Mayan pyramid. More than once food served on the Lido deck was tepid at best. Food from the dining rooms was hot but nothing much past average. What was served could be unusual fare, but preparation often fell flat, though I concede that desserts were delicious. Despite my disillusionment with some of the food, Zoe, Yan, and Alit took excellent care of table # 380. They were so friendly and polite, taking care of our every need, and called each of us by name. Our steward Artawa on 6 was equally so and impressed me as he greeted my cabin mate and me by name in the hall more than once. He always had our room ready by the time we returned to it. Beds were comfortable, but overall, the room looked "tired" and in need of a makeover. (I'll settle for its current state rather than pay an increased fare, however). Most frustrating was just the one outlet to accommodate two cell phones and an outlet in the bathroom that did not work. I attended two seminars on 12 with Sebastian and a second excellent instructor. Though this cruise had some issues, I give the entire staff kudos for being topnotch, and I hope to try again to finally get to Progreso! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Pre-Cruise: Flew in the morning of embarkation. IAD to MOB (layover in Houston) Transfer to the Port. No issues. The transfer service was fantastic. The driver was fun and helpful. While I had turned on notifications because I was on a ... Read More
Pre-Cruise: Flew in the morning of embarkation. IAD to MOB (layover in Houston) Transfer to the Port. No issues. The transfer service was fantastic. The driver was fun and helpful. While I had turned on notifications because I was on a plane I didn’t see the messages about being delayed (fog) until I landed in MOB. They asked everyone to show up about 2 hours later than assigned. It worked out well because we had to sit for about 30 minutes on the runway at IAH. Embarkation: I had the boarding pass pulled up on my phone and was told no you need the paper copy. Luckily I print out everything! I had priority boarding as a suite perk. It took roughly 20 minutes from drop-off to stepping onto the ship. I set up my sail & sign account as “CASH”. I had $50 in OBC and added $0 to it. She seemed reluctant but I told her I didn’t plan to buy anything. My room was ready as soon as I boarded. However, luggage didn’t arrive until after sail away. I think that was due to the fog delay. Stateroom: Loved my cabin and there will pics and details in the Cabin thread. Junior Suite - V1. Service: Wonderful service from our stewards and wait staff. I didn’t see my steward often but the room was always tidy and my towels always replenished. I LOVED my dinner servers. Jorge, Sedana and Matilda were A+. Bartenders and bar servers were also pleasant and fun. Cozumel - It rained our whole first day. I was excited to see sun! Up and off early. I spent most of the day at Nachi Cocom Beach Club. I booked this outside of Carnival. They handed me a glass of prosecco and showed me to a lounger under a palapa. I laid there for about 45 minutes. I then headed to the pool/spa area. It was fun. The one thing I’d mention is that the food is not all you can eat as it would appear on the website. Adults receive one appetizer, one soup/salad, one entrée and one dessert. Children get 3 items. I don’t eat that much and didn’t care. Others seemed very upset by this. I got a chicken quesadilla that was very good. Drinks were good. Wait staff was not around much. Had to go to the bar to get most of my beverages. Food: I like GOOOOD food. I consider Ruth Chris a good steak not a great steak. I was expecting a solid three based on reviews (scale 1-5). That is what I got. I am not unhappy with the buffet or the MDR. I ordered Flat Iron steak the first night. It wasn’t seasoned and was very chewy. I didn’t eat but two bites. The canneloni and the Beef Tenderloin from the last evening were amazing! One night they had a meatball appetizer. There was a veal parmesan entrée. I asked for the meatballs on the pasta instead of the veal. That was yummy. The service was always good! Drink selection (mostly red wine and Bourbon) I found to be fantastic. I drank a lot of Woodford and Layer Cake Pinot Noir. I never got a burger at Guys (the line was always long). The Blue Iguana is good! Of Note: There are things that I have always considered common courtesy, if not rules. I saw people eating the cheese cubes off the salad bar with their fingers (GROSS). I also saw people refilling plates and cups at the buffet. The two hot tubs on the Lido deck were mostly overrun with children. At one point there were 15 kids in the covered one and they couldn’t even move it was so crowded. WHY? I did not get in the pool or hot tubs because RARELY did I see these children, or the adults, get out to use the restroom. I saw people going into the restrooms on the pool deck WITHOUT SHOES ON! While almost everyone dressed up on elegant night, they allowed men in jeans (not nice fancy ones or “church jeans” but old ratty blue jeans) and ball hats into the Jubilee Dining Room (I had late seating and ate there each night). They also allowed a young woman in black tight athletic pants, a t-shirt that was printed like an athletic jersey and a fanny pack into dinner on elegant night. Disembarkation: I was up at 6:45am. I did walk-off. I had priority debarkation, went to the Universal Lounge, got an elevator to the gangway deck and was on the shuttle by 7:30. I had a credit of $4.72 (left for St. Jude's) on my final bill the rest of the $50 was used for tips to bartenders. I tip my room steward in cash and in person. Final Thoughts: The woman in the piano bar, Laura, was amazing. Unfortunately, she was leaving the ship after this trip. The cruise director, Marty, was great! The ship is headed to dry dock. I think a spiffing up is needed but I loved the Fantasy and the size of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
So different people cruise for different reasons right? We took this cruise to give our 2 1/2 year old grand daughter her first experience. I am platinum on Carnival and my husband is gold. I have five cruises booked at this time to ... Read More
So different people cruise for different reasons right? We took this cruise to give our 2 1/2 year old grand daughter her first experience. I am platinum on Carnival and my husband is gold. I have five cruises booked at this time to give you some background. We drove from Tallahassee and it only takes about three hours so travel was easy. It was puzzling to me that coming from the east there was very little direction to the terminal. We found our way but not without a lot of turning around. Fantasy is an older ship but easy to navigate. We walked right on the ship without waiting in line more than five minutes. We arrived about 11am. We went right to the room and it was ready. We had an ocean view room and the bed was very comfortable. Our room steward was very helpful and we did ask that he service our room twice daily and bring ice. There was no refrigerator in the room. The window was stained and foggy but it was still ok. There was no bad sewage odor like you smell on some of the larger ships. Our room was very clean. This was a Getaway offer from the casino so we got gifts everyday and that was a nice perk. There were two drawstring bags the first day, champagne the second, chocolate covered strawberries the third and cookies the fourth. We also got the platinum gift which was the gray backpack. I already have one and found it very useful on my last cruise. The casino also treated us to a bottle of wine in the dining room. We did the green eggs and ham breakfast and the parade with our granddaughter and she loved it. We only ate in the dining room once and the service was ok. The food was normal Carnival fare and ok. We had room service once and it was very prompt in arriving. The rest of the time we ate pizza, burgers and marketplace food. We know how annoying kids can be in the dining room and tried to avoid spoiling anyone's dinner. We didn't do any shore excursions in Cozumel. We just got off the ship and walked around a little. We uses the time on the ship for her to play in the waterworks. The ladies in Camp Carnival were very helpful but she only went once and then refused to stay after. A little too much separation anxiety I think. I have to say that I've been on few ships that the staff was any nicer than on Fantasy. Everyone was very helpful and eager to assist at any moment. We did self debarkation and it was quick and painless. Off the ship by 8:45. By the time the cruise was over our gd had adjusted and was opening the door with her room key, sanitizing her hands frequently and telling everyone hello. I think it was a good experience for her and hope that this is the first of many cruises. I have a cruise booked on this ship in February and look forward to going back. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Embarkation in Mobile is not as easy as it used to be, but everyone was friendly and helpful. Lines moved pretty quickly. Our room was ready at 1.30, like usual. We had a handicap room and were pleased with the accessibility of the shower. ... Read More
Embarkation in Mobile is not as easy as it used to be, but everyone was friendly and helpful. Lines moved pretty quickly. Our room was ready at 1.30, like usual. We had a handicap room and were pleased with the accessibility of the shower. There was plenty of storage, but not in the bathroom. Dining at the Celebration DR was nice. Good food. I have the waiter order for me. Wi, our waiter, and his staff were diligent and attentive. Entertainment was pretty good. Shows were fun. Singers, Connecting Souls, were great. We spent most of our time at the Atrium bar where Iko and Pinky attended the bar there and are terrific. Even though the Fantasy is the smallest and oldest ship in the fleet, we found everything immaculate, in good working order and a fantastic crew. There is only one pool and it was always very, very crowded. Everyone was helpful, from the Guest services desk(Florita) to the ladies at the Celebration DR. I would definitely go on this ship again, but schedule while school is in session. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My husband and I have taken four cruises together (including the honeymoon that became the reason for my screen name), but our 2 children had never been. We really wanted to introduce them to cruising and hoped they would love it as much ... Read More
My husband and I have taken four cruises together (including the honeymoon that became the reason for my screen name), but our 2 children had never been. We really wanted to introduce them to cruising and hoped they would love it as much as we do! We chose the Carnival Fantasy because Mobile is the most convenient port to us, being only a short 5 hour drive away. The kids were out of school for Labor Day, so less missed days. And the cruise was very reasonably priced which helped make the decision easy! Our kids were 5 and 2 at the time of travel and they LOVED our cruise. The staff was wonderful with them and made them feel like royalty. Both kids were excited to go to Camp Carnival (the fact that 2 year olds can use the kid’s clubs on Carnival is definitely a point in their favor!). Water Works was a huge draw for the kids, although my 2 year old was sad not to be big enough for the slides. Both kids wanted to play in the pool, but were disappointed by how small it was. So it was nice to have Water Works to make up for that. The food was very good in the main dining room, but we felt the buffet was somewhat lacking. Blue Iguana and Guy’s were both excellent. The kids actually really enjoyed going to the main dining room. The Seuss breakfast was awesome - food and characters were both wonderful! We did the Carnival sponsored Isla Pasion excursion and is was wonderful. The island is stunningly beautiful and we enjoyed playing in the sand and splashing in the water. The food was also very good, although there was not a huge selection. I only wish we had longer at the island. Overall, I think this was a great first cruise for those with small kids to “test out the waters” (pun intended)! Four days was a nice starter length and we loved having multiple sea days to really explore all the boat had to offer. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This cruise was a last minute decision. It was either rent a condo on the beach or take a five day cruise. With no groceries to buy, no cooking and cleaning, no beds to make, and no towels to wash and dry, my wife voted for the cruise; ... Read More
This cruise was a last minute decision. It was either rent a condo on the beach or take a five day cruise. With no groceries to buy, no cooking and cleaning, no beds to make, and no towels to wash and dry, my wife voted for the cruise; I wholeheartedly agreed. We spent the night before the cruise at the Renaissance Riverview hotel across from the port. The Cruise& Park rate including tax is $167. This includes free parking for the length of the cruise and a van to take you to the port and return you to the hotel. If you park at the port, it will cost $20/day. So, that makes the room at the hotel $67/night. Now to the cruise: Embarkation was quick; once the long train that blocked the access to the port had cleared and the Customs officials could get to the port to disembark the previous cruisers. This delayed us about an hour; but the shuttle from the hotel waited for the train to move and then took us over. Once in the terminal, checking in was quick. A tip: if you have a carry-on and are not Platinum or above, you may have to roll it around while you eat lunch. Or you may opt for only carrying the valuables and essentials in a small backpack or for the ladies, a small beach bag until you can drop them off in your cabin.. The ship is OLD. That being said, she looked pretty good for her age. She had a few wrinkles of rust showing. Once onboard, the atrium, the hallways, the dining rooms, the pool and hot tubs and the lido deck in general showed that the interior had been updated. Our cabin was a sea view on the Main deck. The carpet and the furniture had no signs of wear and the bed was quite comfortable. Our steward, Muz was very efficient and pleasant. We asked for ice on the first day and the bucket was refreshed each day. The food: The food in the buffet was fine. If you want eggs that are real eggs, go to the Omelet Station (After breakfast, it becomes the Deli). For the remainder of choices for breakfast, if you can't find something appealing, you probably shouldn't be eating breakfast in the buffet. For lunch, the buffet has hot entrees, salads, and desserts. Additionally there are self-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt machines in the buffet. Out by the pool, there is a Guy Fieri's hamburger station on the starboard side, a mini buffet in the center, and a burrito/taco station on the port side. The burgers and fries were wonderful as were the burritos. Most surprising to my wife and I was the food in the main dining room. Rarely have we eaten every dinner in there on any ship or any cruise. However, the menu was so appealing that we dressed appropriately to be presentable for admission. My wife commented that it was worth the effort to have the food served rather than wander around the buffet looking for an entrée and sides. We found the food rivaling that on Princess, Royal Caribbean, and other Carnival ships. We have cruised forty-two times, mostly on Royal Caribbean and Carnival; so I believe that we can make this statement fairly objectively. As for the service, it too was top notch. Our servers were from Jamaica and Indonesia and they were two of the most attentive waitstaff that we have encountered. We chose Anytime dining and had to wait to be seat a few times; never more than 15 minutes. The Serenity section on the stern of the ship is quiet and reserved for adults The only downside is the lack of a pool and being blocked from a breeze by the upper decks. The spa is typical of all ships. Variety of services and products; all with a premium price. The Gym isn't Golds, but one can still find enough equipment to work out. Lastly, a few negatives. We never saw the captain; not walking around on the Lido nor be present at the reception for the Platinum and Diamond cruisers. The cruise director was not great by any means. She tried but did not give off a warm and fuzzy feeling to the passengers. She also made her announcement that must have had the PA system at maximum volume. There were a LOT of cruisers with their hands over their ears to keep the ear drums intact. Finally, the shows in the main theatre were, at best lacking. Including towel animals in the production did not impress the adults. Several left within ten minutes of the show beginning. In conclusion, if you want a luxury cruise with a lot of bells and whistles, this ain't it. If you want an inexpensive cruise with a friendly and helpful crew, wonderful food, and great service, I recommend it. It IS an old ship; the oldest in the fleet, but it still suitably maintains its aesthetics and a super crew. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This cruise was my 8th cruise. I have gone on some of the newer boats as well as some of the older Fantasy class ships. This was a family vacation with my husband, almost 2 year old, my mother and 2 friends. This was our first time ... Read More
This cruise was my 8th cruise. I have gone on some of the newer boats as well as some of the older Fantasy class ships. This was a family vacation with my husband, almost 2 year old, my mother and 2 friends. This was our first time driving to a port as we usually fly. But Mobile was about a 6 hour trip so we drove. Mobile was also the most disorganized port I've been to. We were told that the Fantasy was an hour late getting back to port and so that there were delays with getting on the ship, which could explain some of the disorganization but not all. The staff were no help at all and we stood in long, unorganized lines until a loud and very rude lady who told me she "ran the place" came and started yelling at us for forming a line that was blocking the traffic in the parking garage. However two other workers just stood and watched us form the line without giving us any direction on where we should stand. To make a long story short it was all a mess. And the lady was very rude and inconsiderate and if she really is the one who is supposed to be running the whole operation I see why it was such a mess. Once we finally got inside things were much better and people were nicer. And the process of getting our room keys was fast and easy. Once we got to our room we noticed that the crib that we had requested wasn't in the room and our room steward Elfreda was great and called for them to bring one. The boat is noticably old and in need of repair. But it was kept very clean. The staff was great and always smiling. We had your time dining in the Celebration Dining room and Delroy and his team were great. We appreciated that they brought our daughter's food out first without us even having to ask. The only issue we had was that our friends stateroom was extremely hot with no working A/C and smelt of gasoline. After two nights they were switched to another room. We also smelt gasoline at times in the hallways. We only went to one show "The Brits" me and my husband stayed for 10 minutes and then left for karaoke which was more entertaining in our opinion. The show was very cheesy and the singing and dancing not very strong compared to other cruises I've been on. The food was good, but the desserts were not impressive. We went to Costa Maya and Cozumel. Costa Maya we didn't do an excursion, just shopped around the port. Cozumel we did the Catamaran sail and snorkel and beach. It was great. The beach was beautiful and the snorkeling was fun. They had free drinks which were watered down. But we aren't big alcohol drinkers and brought our own bottled water so we didn't care. The staff was very nice and we're very serious about safety. They take pictures during the excursion and sell them to you on the way back, $12 each. Disembarkation was equally as chaotic as embarkation. Once we got our bags a worker came up and asked us if we had passports, we told her we all did except for my daughter who had a birth certificate and she said that was okay. She led us to a shorter "passport" line when the same rude lady from embarkation came up to us. Apparently we couldn't go through the passport line with a birth certificate. Which is fine. But the fact that were given wrong information was frustrating. We only were trying that line because a worker came up to us and told us it would be okay. It didn't help that they only had 3 people checking passports/birth certificates which made the line move slow. It's interesting that a port with only 1 ship, the smallest one at that, is the slowest and most disorganized one I've been through. All in all it was a good cruise. The boat didn't have a lot the new upgrades and is in need of some TLC. But the staff made it great. Everyone was great with my daughter. I think I would go again. I heard she was being dry docked in January 2019 so curious to see if she gets some upgrades. I've never bought Faster to the Fun but I definitely wished I had it for this cruise due to the disorganized port! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our third cruise all with Carnival. Our first was Liberty and second was Triumph. All of them were pretty great in their own way. The Triumph had a bad sewage smell but we still enjoyed ourselves. Now on to Carnival Fantasy. It ... Read More
This was our third cruise all with Carnival. Our first was Liberty and second was Triumph. All of them were pretty great in their own way. The Triumph had a bad sewage smell but we still enjoyed ourselves. Now on to Carnival Fantasy. It was the smallest and oldest we have been on but there are advantages to that. The lines were not really long for the restaurant's on the Lido deck. All of the other cruises we had long lines. I don't know if it was how they had it set up or because this was a smaller boat. We had dinner in the Celebration Dining Room every night and although we never had to wait when we would leave we would see long lines and people being given beepers. We had the Your Time to Dine but we always went about 5:45pm. All of the food was amazing. The service exceptional. I had read complaints about the cabins being hot but that was not the case with our cabin. We were in R149 and our sons in R147. The air vent is on the ceiling and it blew really cold. I personally sleep better when I'm cold so I was happy. The pillows and bed were ok but nothing is like your own bed and pillows. We planned an excursion to the Mayan Kingdom waterpark. When we arrived in port it was raining but we though hey we are going to get wet anyway so why not? So we headed down the pier and it began to pour. A lot of people turned around and headed back but we kept going. The rain did stop and the sun came out. We got to the water park and headed into the building that holds the water slide and zip lines. I read they had an elevator so I was good with this. Well the elevator was out of order. I'm 50 and overweight there was just no way I could climb all the stairs. So I found a chair at the kiddo pool and just relaxed. It was still a good day although a waste of money for me. The kids and husband had a good time. The next excursion was Isle of Passion. It's a 45 minute boat ride to the island. It is beautiful there. Our guides were awesome. The water although beautiful had a lot of seaweed stirred up recently and that did kind of gross me out but I didn't let it stop me from going in. There was buffet that was provided in with the costs and it was decent. The food is better on the boat but this was ok. Another 45 minutes back to Port where you can do shopping if you aren't too hot and too tired. I was both and when I saw the long lines to check out I decided I was ready to go. All in all it was a great day. We did see several of the shows. Love and Marriage is always great. We watched Motor City it was pretty good especially if you like old Motown songs. We played trivia several times. We played some family games in the library. We did visit the casino every day. Be sure to put a limit on your daily spending and keep to it. Do yourself a favor and if you do win, cash out and go pull up your account on the Kiosk and pay on your bill. That bill can be scary on the last night of your cruise. We did not try out the pool or the water slide. The pool is always full and none of us were interested in the waterslide. Also, I need to mention smoking. It is hard to find anyone telling smokers where the smoking area is. So yes I am a smoker and it is the first place I look for. On this ship it is one stair up past the pool on your left. (Sorry I can't tell you port side or anything because I'm pretty new at this) Also, there is smoking in the casino. Please be aware that until you leave port or on the day you arrive back in port there is usually no smoking outside. You must go to the casino. Embarkation was great. We parked easily and went smoothly through the line. The whole process was at the most 30 minutes. Debarkation was a nightmare to me. On the other cruises they let the people who don't have checked baggage off early. The other two cruises debarkation was about 8:30am but we got off both around 8:00am. This time they did do that but it was by decks. The process started on time at 8:30am but we didn't get off until 10:00am. We waiting in the checkpoint line a long time also. Their was a guy holding up the line who didn't have the proper paperwork. We had a great time on all of cruises. This one was just as good as the others. The ship is old but still looks great. If you are looking for negative things you can find it but I'm a very positive person and it takes something really bad to set me off. I only got annoyed on two occasions and both were due to drunk people. One who decided to sit on our row and decided to enter from our end when the other end was clear. The lady stepped on my toe, didn't apologize and then didn't even stay on our row. She was drunk and moved three more times. The other time was on our boat ride back from Passion Isle. There were free drinks there and a lot of people took advantage of it. They were loud and obnoxious. The boat ride back didn't have much air flowing so it was hot also. I understand that drinking is one of the reasons people go on cruises and while it annoyed me I was still ok with it because I did expect it. Thanks for your time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We enjoyed our cruise. We did buy Faster To The Fun (FTTF) got on first thing, we went right to our cabin and was able to change clots and put up our carry on's. The cabin was clean and ready for us .. our luggage did not arrive early ... Read More
We enjoyed our cruise. We did buy Faster To The Fun (FTTF) got on first thing, we went right to our cabin and was able to change clots and put up our carry on's. The cabin was clean and ready for us .. our luggage did not arrive early .. its was delivered with everyone else..we did anytime dinning the staff was over the top. We play in the casino and the table games were $5 to $6 I think this helps as people new to table games can play and not feel like they spent a lot .. the shows where great also food was great and more than you can images .. the ship is smaller and older but still had a great time for the value .. we book again.. we carried our bags off the boat and was by the time we dock we were in our car in the deck at 7:50am which helps if your driving Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was the first cruise ever for my husband, 11 year-old, 9 year-old, and me. Having researched the Fantasy extensively ahead of time, I already knew it was the oldest ship in the Carnival fleet, that the decor would be outdated, and ... Read More
This was the first cruise ever for my husband, 11 year-old, 9 year-old, and me. Having researched the Fantasy extensively ahead of time, I already knew it was the oldest ship in the Carnival fleet, that the decor would be outdated, and that the ship was one of the smallest. If decor and asthetics are important to you, you will want to pick a different ship. Those things are not important to us, however, and we believe we can make our own fun no matter where we go, so we made the 12-hour drive from Indiana to cruise on the Fantasy. We LOVED it. Everything you’re reading about the friendly and accommodating staff is absolutely true. It seems like they never sleep and are always smiling. They made our kids feel special and they treated us like family - i have nothing but high praise for all of the staff we encountered during our five days on the ship. The food is just fine - it's better that what i can cook at home, so no complaints here. I wasn't expecting a five-star buffet, so i wasn’t disappointed. My kids had at least 15 ice cream cones a day. The bottomless bubbles for the kids so i didn't have to listen to them ask me for soda all week was priceless. My husband and i were happy with the tea and lemonade, and a few cocktails a day. Shout out to Denzil and Jorge in the Jubilee dining room for ridiculously amazing service every single night! We had a room with two upper pullmans and a king bed. I wanted to throw myself overboard a few times because of the sheer CLOSENESS with the fam in that one room, but it’s not Carnival’s fault I had to watch Teen Titans Go every night before bed. Next time we’ll get two rooms and that will solve that problem! Beds were comfy, not a alot of storage space but we got creative and made it work. Huge props to El for being the best cabin steward of all times, and greeting us by name every time she saw us - in room or out. Entertainment was plentiful and there was never a time where something wasn’t going on. I plopped myself in a deck chair by the pool from 8am - 5pm and read all day, but the rest of the fam went to shows, towel animal-folding demonstrations, learned the Thriller dance, met the cruise director, watched Black Panther, did some trivia, attending a stretch class, and played giant chess. Keeping the extroverts AND introverts happy at the same time = worth every penny. Embark and debark was organized. If you’re patient and you follow the instructions, you’ll be on and off in no time. We did the catamaran/snorkeling excursion in Costa Maya, and it was perfect for beginner through advanced snorkelers, and included time at a beach (with free drinks!) afterwards. We did the dolphin ride at Dolphinaris in Cozumel and THAT was magical. (Pro tip: i booked that excursion directly through the Dolphinaris website and saved about 70% off the Carnival price. We received the same experience that our fellow cruisers received, including free lunch and free drinks! The only thing we had to do separtely was grab a taxi.) The pool IS small. The ship IS old. But there is way more good than bad on this ship. If you’re looking for something to complain about, you’ll find it, but if you’re looking to relax and enjoy yourself, i think you’ll find that too. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise because it departed for Mobile(only an hour from home) and we were interested in relaxing on the cruise and not planning on getting off the ship for excursions. The ship is one of the smallest in Carnival's ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it departed for Mobile(only an hour from home) and we were interested in relaxing on the cruise and not planning on getting off the ship for excursions. The ship is one of the smallest in Carnival's fleet, which was a plus since my wife cant walk long distances. We enjoyed the friendliness of the crew and the lack of the crowds that can be overwhelming on the larger ships. The entertainment was excellent considering the small theater and limited number of other venue's The main complaint I had was the food. I found that the dining room selections were more limited that on previous cruises on the Carnival Dream and Conquest. Even on Elegant night, the Entree's did not include Lobster tail and Filet Minion as was included on previous cruises, although Lobster tails were offered for an additional fee. I also found the preparation was not very good with most of my dinners overcooked and dried out and the steak was mealy and grizzly. While the Wait staff was for the most part friendly and helpful, I found the pace of dinner extremely slow, which probably the reason most entree's arrived cold. During breakfast in the dining room, I usually received my toast 5-10 minutes before I received my eggs, which were overcooked 2 out of 5 mornings. Another issue was people "Vaping" in the passageways and on the pool and Serenity decks. Even when crew members observed the "Vaping" they said nothing. Overall I enjoyed the cruise and am considering taking another on the fantasy in the not to distant future. I do hope that Carnival will work on improving the food service Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
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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