2nd time on the same cruise from Charleston to Bahamas : Carnival Fantasy Cruise Review by markwiz

Carnival Fantasy 4
Member Since 2010
208 Forum Posts

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2nd time on the same cruise from Charleston to Bahamas

Sail Date: May 2012
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: Charleston
Background - I took this same cruise in December of 2011 and again in May of 2012. In December, my wife got a job offer and had to start when when were scheduled to go on the cruise, so I went with a friend. In May my wife could go so we booked the cruise again. Not because it is such a great cruise but because it is a convenient drive from Raleigh and the price is right, especially when you account for cost savings of driving rather than driving.

In December, the cruise passengers seemed to be a lot of young African American professionals. They were a lot of fun and really knew how to party. I would hate to see their bar bills. The May cruise I call the red-neck cruise. Enough said. They were fine just not what I am use to. There were more families in May than December. The kids were well behaved and well occupied by the Camp Carnival staff. The kids seemed to be having a very good time.

Pros - As with any cruise, no laptop and no cell phone makes a vacation for More me.
Food was adequate. Cabin service was very good. The gym is adequate. The entertainment was OK. NCL usually has better entertainment than Carnival but NCL disappears from the Caribbean in April. The Boardwalk band was the best on the ship. As in December, they did a really good Beatles cover during the Beatles tribute show on the last night. They also play more of a rock mix of music during their other performances on the Lido deck. The tribute to nightclubs show still stinks. Carnival needs to fire their entertainment producers. A flying and talking couch, really? They had different lead singers from December but they were no better. The dancers were good. The comedians in December were funnier than the ones they had on the May trip but they were still good. The serenity deck is the only place we hung out. It is quiet and there is shade.

The food was OK. The only issue I had was the noise level in the main dining rooms was pretty high. We had 10 people at our table and it was difficult to hear the people across from you. The waiter, Lois, was very good. The staff in general were very friendly. They seemed to like it when you ask about where they are from etc.. They work very hard. I was disappointed they did not offer the kitchen tour on the May trip like they did in December. My wife would have enjoyed it. I found it fascinating when I did it in December.

The cons- The entertainment was marginal at best. The main thing that I really disliked was disembarkation in Charleston. Carnival was OK, it is the port layout that stinks. Once you get through customs you have to wait forever for the shuttle buses to take you to the car park. Even after that you have to still walk out of one building, cross the street, and into the next building. It would have been faster and easier to walk from the port building to our car. Charleston needs to fix this. It took 2hrs from the time we got in line to leave the ship till we got to our car. That is stupid.

Would I do it again? Maybe, because it is so convenient from Raleigh and the price is right when compared to 5 days at the beach. If Charleston fixes their processes, then my answer would be a definitive "Yes". Less

Published 05/28/12

Cabin review: 4Ar179 Interior

We always get interior and as low as we can in the ship. My wife gets sea sick so this exposes us to the least amount of movement. The room was huge for an interior stateroom. It had a king bed and we could walk all around it. It has to be the largest room I have ever gotten on a ship. It was clean and well maintained. It had adequate closet and drawer space for a 5 day cruise. A 7 day cruise, storage my be a little tight. The steward was friendly and efficient. The room was always cleaned when we got back from our excursions.

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Port and Shore Excursions


The snorkeling trip was nice. Lots of fish. Water was excellent. I wish the guides showed pictures of the fish we could expect to see so we would knew what we were looking at. The only reason I knew what some of the fish were is because I had done snorkeling on other cruises where they identified the fish. After snorkeling you had the rest of the day to spend at the market, where they sell the same tourist junk like everywhere else, along with the overpriced jewelry stores. You can go the the beach also. The last bus leaves at 3:00 but there are taxis if you want to stay later. In December I did the Freeport bike tour. It was great but the weather was a lot cooler. In May, the heat would have been oppressive on the bike tour.

If you do your research you can do a day at the beach for a couple of dollars. There is a beach that is walking distance from the ship, or you can take the #10 bus to Cable Beach for $1.50 each way and the Sheraton sells day passes. Or you could just walk on the beach like we did, not knowing about the day passes. BTW - Across from the Sheraton, there is a shack that makes some of the best frozen Daquiries. They are $6 and $10 and they use all fresh fruits.
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Member Since 2010
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