Great Family Vacation!: Carnival Fantasy Cruise Review by ILMCRUISER

Carnival Fantasy 5
Member Since 2014

Overall Member Rating

Great Family Vacation!

Sail Date: July 2014
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: Charleston
Just got back yesterday from a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Fantasy. This is a long review, but I've detailed some things I didn't read on other reviews when I was researching and I hope this helps. My husband and I took 3 older kids with us - two were 20 and one 16-year old and a great time was had by all. This was our third cruise and I will say that of the three ships we've been on this one was the oldest and least glamorous, BUT, we had an outstanding time just relaxing and enjoying the islands. We picked this cruise because it left out of Charleston, and since we live in Wilmington, NC it was a quick and easy way to get there - no plane tickets to buy. I read tons of reviews before we picked this trip for our vacation and here are the things I wish I'd known before getting on the ship. The drinking water on board tastes bad and we are not a water snobs and always drink tap water, but this water tasted like a metal. One of our waiters did hook us up with mint leaves the More first morning, which he kindly put in our water bottles for us, which helped and lasted a couple of days as we kept refilling our bottles and shaking them up to reactivate the mint, but I kept wishing I'd brought some Dasani flavor drops or Crystal Light packets to put in my water bottle. You can buy water bottles all day long all over the ship at $4.25 each but with 5 of us trying to keep hydrated, it really added up. I also wish I'd brought a small cooler - your beverages get hot very quickly on the Lido deck out by the pool - they will give you a bucket of ice, but it's not insulated at all. The food in the dining room was great, although we were disappointed in the desserts - they looked wonderful, but lacked taste (all but the chocolate melting cake). The buffets were not very good at all and this was a pretty big disappointment (if you eat McDonalds a lot, you'll love it)- so we made a point to do breakfast/brunch and all dinners in the dining room. Since we are budget-minded travelers, we bought snorkle/mask/flipper kits from Costco prior to the trip which worked out great! If we'd rented them on the ship, it would have been over $300 for the 5 of us to snorkle at each of the 3 stops. None of us ended up really using the fins, so if I did it again, I'd leave those at home - you don't need them and they're hard to carry around. We did not sign up for any excursions on any stops and I thought I'd regret that, but we all thought that winging it was the most fun - we had no expectations and didn't have to rush around - we did exactly what we wanted. When you go to Grand Turk, most everyone gets off the dock and heads to the left, causing a massive beach pile-up, but we took a right and had no trouble getting chairs in the shade and the snorkling was great there! Half Mook Cay didn't seem to get great reviews, but we thought it was great, however, we did walk as far down the beach as we could where there were hammocks hung in the trees to escape the crowds. But from here, we snorkled all the way down and to the dock and back which was very fun - we saw sting rays, a lion fish, cowfish, a white flounder and picked up lots of sea biscuits! Be ready to walk A LOT on this little island. Nassau was the best of the three - again, no expectations - we knew we wanted to shop a little, see the culture and a few sights and find a beautiful beach that wouldn't have so many cruisers on it - right in the port area we found Tyrone Wilson's Taxi & Tour Service. Of all the people who approached us trying to sell us on their services, he was by far the most professional. We agreed on a very good price up front - we did not pay until the very end and he delivered! We told him what we wanted to see and do and he totally checked off all our boxes. After taking us to some historic sites and through the province, we ended up on the most beautiful section of beach I've EVER seen and there was NOBODY out there - amazing! He picked us back up right on time and got us back to the ship. He was our personal driver all day - he was very interesting, funny and most of all, had a lot of integrity and made us feel very safe - email him to book your tour ( Overall, this would be a great first cruise, but if you've cruised before and you're looking to be wowed by the ship itself, maybe choose a different one - but if you just want some great family time, unhooked from your device and bask in the crystal waters - this cruise was a hit! Less

Published 07/25/14

Cabin review:

The cabin was old and worn, but comfortable and clean - don't think Hilton - think Holiday Inn Express...

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