Cold but Fun: Carnival Fantasy Cruise Review by RealPisces

Carnival Fantasy 4
Member Since 2013

Overall Member Rating

Cold but Fun

Sail Date: February 2013
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: Charleston
This was a short family cruise of just the ladies to celebrate two of our birthdays, my sister and I, and our elderly mother and aunt (both in their 80s) came too. We had 2 staterooms, my mother needed a scooter & the Carnival website said scooters had to be parked in the room overnight to charge and they would only fit in accessible rooms. So Mom and Auntie were in an ocean view (a window bigger than a porthole) stateroom (E71) and my sister and I booked a suite (U87). We wanted one stateroom with a balcony so Mom and Auntie could hang out there during the day if they didn't want to go out on the upper deck. Turns out that was a smart move!

E71 was unbelievably small for being accessible. Yes, the door was wide enough to get the scooter into the room but that was as far as it went. The bathroom door was super-sized so you couldn't open or close it with the scooter in the room. The bathroom was extremely small even though it was accessible with grab bars, a roll-in shower, More and a fold-down seat. The bathroom floor was slippery once you showered because the water goes everywhere. IF we were to charge the scooter in the room it would have not only blocked their access to the bathroom (let's envision 2 elderly women with no potty access at night...) but more importantly, it would have completely BLOCKED their EXIT out of the room!! Needless to say, we parked it in the hall, told Guest Services we were doing that and they provided us with an extension cord to charge it.

Other thing to note about E71, convenient location on Empress Deck - right around the corner from Guest Services & Lobby Bar. The room is just 2 doors down the hall, so its a busy location. The Lobby Bar played great music all day until late at night. We loved it, Mom and Auntie could hear it all. Good thing they didn't mind the entertainment.

Our suite was fantastic, large room and balcony. Typical small bathroom but you could maneuver in it. I was surprised by lack of free samples that Carnival is known for passing out. We got 2 tubes of toothpaste when we boarded and that was it. Mom & Auntie spent their days in our suite!

As for the ship, I didn't have any complaints about the food--buffets are what they are. Since it was cold out, if the lines were long, all we had to do was go outside and no line. I enjoyed dining during the open dining times, that gives me more flexibility.

My biggest complaint with the ship is the casino. Doesn't Carnival know about the invention of air purifiers? The casino was so hot and smokey! All they need to do is space out air purifiers in there and you would never know that the person next to you is smoking and it would also help keep it cooler in there.

Rather than shows, I used the spa, taking advantage of embarkation day specials. Two extras I also did on-board that were well worth the extra money were the Chef's Table and the Behind the Fun Tour on the last sea day. The Chef's Table ($75) is with the chef & a private party (12 of us I think) that started with a tour of the galley, including champagne and appetizers, proceeding to a 7-course dinner in the library. The dinner service included wine and the presentation of each course was very well choreographed. The food was wonderful. The Behind the Fun Tour ($50) was another group of about 12 people that were taken behind the scenes and shown the bridge, engineering room, laundry facility, food storage and prep areas, and some of the other staff/crew only areas. Lots of interesting facts about the workings of the ship. You must have closed-toe shoes to go on the tour and no cameras. We also had to pass through a metal detector. Lots of walking and stairs. Great if your a trivia nerd or always wanted to know how some of it works! Less

Published 03/10/13

Cabin review: GSU87 Grand Suite

2 cabins, E71 and U87: E71 is an accessible room. Ocean view which is a large square window. Room is unbelievably small for being accessible. Scooter only went into room just past bathroom. Bathroom door couldn't open or close with scooter in the room. Bathroom was extremely small even though it was accessible with grab bars, roll-in shower, and fold-down seat. Bathroom floor was slippery once you showered because water goes everywhere. If scooter is in the room it blocks access to bathroom, closet, and more importantly, the exit. Closet is small and not accessible. Convenient location on Empress Deck, around the corner from Internet, Guest Services & Lobby Bar. Room is 2 doors down the hall, very noisy area. Lobby Bar plays music all day until late at night and is easily heard in room. U87 (grand suite): Large room with pole next to bed. Sofa and 2 chairs, coffee table. Small walk-in closet. Small tub/shower combination in bathroom. Minibar with frig. Flat screen TV. Balcony had 3-4 chairs and 1 table. Unobstructed view from balcony. Quiet hallway. Scooter did not fit through the doorway.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Dolphin Swim & Encounter

My sister & I did the dolphin encounter. From the UNESCO building, you board a boat (small water ferry) to the island. On the way out, the captain took by way of the ocean and on the way in, she took through the waterways so we had a different view. When you go to the island (you can't really tell it's an island), you get off the boat and they separate group going on the swim vs the encounter. You can see the dolphins jumping around in their holding areas. Before you get in, the trainers give you some brief history and go over some instructions. While we were there it was freezing! but it was worth it! You sit on 2 sides of a square pool area. The 2 dolphins will splash & squirt you on command. The 2 trainers will each take 2 people in the water at a time with them, standing waist deep on a platform (climb in/out on a ladder). If you have a child, you will hold them. The trainer calls the dolphin over so you can pet/stroke them, the dolphin will give you a kiss (they have a photographer there too), and then they have the dolphins do some more jumps. You will definitely get wet. Bring a camera that can get wet. Bring a change of clothes and a dry towel--don't take them anywhere near the dolphins no matter how cold you are. Patrick and Phillip do a really good job with the dolphins and the people, both were very patient. A few people in our group spent $12 for a full body wet suit, great investment if you are in the least bit cold. There were 2 kids in the group, both around 3-5yo, one of them wasn't the least bit afraid, the other was terrified so it is probably hard to tell how a child will react. My aunt came, they brought a chair for her to sit by the water and watch. She didn't pet or kiss the dolphins but they did make sure she was soaked by the end (we tried to hide a dry towel behind her). After it was over, there was a fire pit that warmed everyone up in a matter of minutes. We all hung out and talked until the boat was ready to take us back to the main area. After that, we walked over to the market and did some shopping. We missed the bus back to port, so we walked across the street to the casino and caught a taxi back to the port. The taxis at the market wanted $27 but at the casino we found a driver who was willing to take us for only $10.

Atlantis Aquaventure

Prior to the cruise, we called the Atlantis to find out how much the day passes were and the availability. The man we spoke with explained they only sell out a few times a year and this time of year wasn't usually one of them. Since it was a Sunday, we went shopping first and then took a taxi over to Atlantis ($10 for 2 people from market area). The aquarium, predator caves, dig, and all of the sea life they have there is just amazing. That alone was worth the admission price. Make sure you have your camera, it is fully charged, and has plenty of memory! After we saw all the sea life, we decided to try out the water park. The first (and only) slide was the water tube that came down through the shark tunnel. That was a lot of fun; however, it was not that I passed on trying out any more of the slides (I'm a chicken anyway). Put your stuff in a locker so you don't have to worry about who's watching it. Also, no cash in the water park--cards only. The beach area was nice, chairs available but by this time the wind was making it colder than it already was, and the red flags were up so nobody was swimming. I'd like to come back here when it is warmer.

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Member Since 2013
Enrichment Activities
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