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FWIW, we are diamond level with Royal Caribbean, with this as our second Carnival cruise. We choose this cruise due to good reviews on CC and is an easy drive for us. We stayed one night at Double Tree Hilton historic district prior to the cruise (highly recommend that hotel). Once we finally found the port (~11:10), it was about 30 minutes to get from the initial security person (where the gate starts) to getting on the bus for the terminal, and that is because we had paid for Faster to the Fun (FTTF) pass. Had we not, it would have taken us over an hour (at least) to get to the terminal. Once we arrived at the terminal and we were able to bypass the long lines because of the FTTF pass, otherwise I suspect it would have been another 30-60 minutes before getting onto the ship. Thanks to all who posted about the Faster to the Fun – it was a great tip. Ocean view rooms were spacious, especially for this ship being so old. Bathrooms were large as well. Our room (U161) had 1 extra bunk, but we never actually used it as our 3 year old slept in our bed. She hung out on the bunk when we were in the room, but there is no way I would let any of us sleep there. The safety rail was quite loose with a couple of stripped screws. I easily could have fallen through the railing (5’3” small frame) and my head would have been caught. Jonathan our room attendant was courteous and always had a smile. He made towel animals each night. We always tipped extra for anything we asked for (clothes pressing, extra towels, etc) so I suspect that helped in getting a towel animal each night. Most of our meals were at the Buffet, Grill, Mongolian Wok, Deli, or pizza. We ate 2 dinners in the dining room and were underwhelmed (bland, tough, or mushy). Breakfast was much better in dining room. Service was slow, but servers were polite. Spa was nice. I only ended up with a pedicure because it was far too cold for me to stay any longer. Gym opened late on the days I tried to go and I ended up using the running track on deck. Staff on this ship are quite evidently new, or early career. A few times situations got too out of hand for the staff to properly deal with (security/dining room). Some seemed a bit shy when saying Good morning or hello, but they did greet you with a smile. I probably had only one staff member contradict what others had told me, so overall most of them seem to be on the same page. Waterpark was great, all the kids were well behaved and had a blast. Pool was usually full, but everyone made room for whoever wanted to get in it. We were asked if our child was potty trained (she is) but they failed to ask the people with the under 1 year old babies in diapers– go figure. Mini-golf was popular as well. Deck Music was mostly 80’s & 90’s, with a few Motown throwbacks, however the speakers are poor quality and maybe a bit too loud. Deck 8 reeked of smoke EVERYWHERE since it is where the casino and bars that allow smoking. It was terrible and of course the candy store is right next to the bar where all the smokers hung out. Also the Camp Carnival (2-5) was on the other side of a smoky bar as well. Smoke was actually so bad I ended up activated allergies/asthma for the first time in a couple of years, wish I had known that I should have brought my inhaler/medication. Any clothing you wear through this area WILL smell like smoke until you get home and wash your clothes a few times. In Freeport, we went to Grand Lucaya Resort and LOVED it. The Grand Lucaya resort has everything you want. 3 good size pools, lots of chaise loungers, swim up bar, beach, water rentals, etc. About $15 per adult and worth every penny. Bring your credit card for drink/food purchases. Skip the marketplace, 1/3 of the stores were closed for renovations. However, Freeport shopping was no where near as pushy as Nassau shops, and basically the same stuff. Nassau is going downhill each time we visit. Sewage and sulfur permeates the port. Pushy shop owners, etc. We were only going to check out the port shops for one item, but ended up walking down the one street adjacent to the port. Saw a new microbrewery, bought a few beers and then back to the boat. From our previous visits, I can recommend scuba or snorkel with Stuart Cove for a reasonable cost, or Atlantis (Aquarium or waterpark) if you prefer to spend lots of $$$. The private island beach breaks are also something to consider. The other passengers on this ship generally show their southern hospitality and were very sweet. There were a few large family groups that felt compelled to share their conversations with everyone (note: Loud/obnoxious) but usually the passengers were quite friendly and courteous. Probably some of the most friendly people on any cruise I have been. One note if you buy alcohol off the ship, Carnival does not deliver it to your room, which means you can not pack it in your luggage before turning in your suitcases the last night. You need to pick it up the morning of departure (~6am) and carry off yourself. If you are flying, you'll have to repack your purchases in your luggage before your flight. Getting off the ship was the most organize event I have ever experienced on any cruise I have taken. Staff escorted groups on the elevators and made sure it was very orderly. The Faster to the Fun pass helped once again, and I highly recommend it if you are looking to get onto the road faster. Immigration/Customs was a breeze as well. All the other ports could learn something from this location. All in all, if the smoke wasn't so bad, I'd rate this cruise around a 4 star, even with the food not all that great, because the people and staff made it a relaxing and enjoyable vacation.

Cruise for Smokers

Carnival Fantasy Cruise Review by Bo Girl

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2015
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View
FWIW, we are diamond level with Royal Caribbean, with this as our second Carnival cruise. We choose this cruise due to good reviews on CC and is an easy drive for us. We stayed one night at Double Tree Hilton historic district prior to the cruise (highly recommend that hotel). Once we finally found the port (~11:10), it was about 30 minutes to get from the initial security person (where the gate starts) to getting on the bus for the terminal, and that is because we had paid for Faster to the Fun (FTTF) pass. Had we not, it would have taken us over an hour (at least) to get to the terminal. Once we arrived at the terminal and we were able to bypass the long lines because of the FTTF pass, otherwise I suspect it would have been another 30-60 minutes before getting onto the ship. Thanks to all who posted about the Faster to the Fun – it was a great tip.

Ocean view rooms were spacious, especially for this ship being so old. Bathrooms were large as well. Our room (U161) had 1 extra bunk, but we never actually used it as our 3 year old slept in our bed. She hung out on the bunk when we were in the room, but there is no way I would let any of us sleep there. The safety rail was quite loose with a couple of stripped screws. I easily could have fallen through the railing (5’3” small frame) and my head would have been caught. Jonathan our room attendant was courteous and always had a smile. He made towel animals each night. We always tipped extra for anything we asked for (clothes pressing, extra towels, etc) so I suspect that helped in getting a towel animal each night.

Most of our meals were at the Buffet, Grill, Mongolian Wok, Deli, or pizza. We ate 2 dinners in the dining room and were underwhelmed (bland, tough, or mushy). Breakfast was much better in dining room. Service was slow, but servers were polite.

Spa was nice. I only ended up with a pedicure because it was far too cold for me to stay any longer. Gym opened late on the days I tried to go and I ended up using the running track on deck.

Staff on this ship are quite evidently new, or early career. A few times situations got too out of hand for the staff to properly deal with (security/dining room). Some seemed a bit shy when saying Good morning or hello, but they did greet you with a smile. I probably had only one staff member contradict what others had told me, so overall most of them seem to be on the same page.

Waterpark was great, all the kids were well behaved and had a blast. Pool was usually full, but everyone made room for whoever wanted to get in it. We were asked if our child was potty trained (she is) but they failed to ask the people with the under 1 year old babies in diapers– go figure. Mini-golf was popular as well. Deck Music was mostly 80’s & 90’s, with a few Motown throwbacks, however the speakers are poor quality and maybe a bit too loud.

Deck 8 reeked of smoke EVERYWHERE since it is where the casino and bars that allow smoking. It was terrible and of course the candy store is right next to the bar where all the smokers hung out. Also the Camp Carnival (2-5) was on the other side of a smoky bar as well. Smoke was actually so bad I ended up activated allergies/asthma for the first time in a couple of years, wish I had known that I should have brought my inhaler/medication. Any clothing you wear through this area WILL smell like smoke until you get home and wash your clothes a few times.

In Freeport, we went to Grand Lucaya Resort and LOVED it. The Grand Lucaya resort has everything you want. 3 good size pools, lots of chaise loungers, swim up bar, beach, water rentals, etc. About $15 per adult and worth every penny. Bring your credit card for drink/food purchases. Skip the marketplace, 1/3 of the stores were closed for renovations. However, Freeport shopping was no where near as pushy as Nassau shops, and basically the same stuff.

Nassau is going downhill each time we visit. Sewage and sulfur permeates the port. Pushy shop owners, etc. We were only going to check out the port shops for one item, but ended up walking down the one street adjacent to the port. Saw a new microbrewery, bought a few beers and then back to the boat. From our previous visits, I can recommend scuba or snorkel with Stuart Cove for a reasonable cost, or Atlantis (Aquarium or waterpark) if you prefer to spend lots of $$$. The private island beach breaks are also something to consider.

The other passengers on this ship generally show their southern hospitality and were very sweet. There were a few large family groups that felt compelled to share their conversations with everyone (note: Loud/obnoxious) but usually the passengers were quite friendly and courteous. Probably some of the most friendly people on any cruise I have been.

One note if you buy alcohol off the ship, Carnival does not deliver it to your room, which means you can not pack it in your luggage before turning in your suitcases the last night. You need to pick it up the morning of departure (~6am) and carry off yourself. If you are flying, you'll have to repack your purchases in your luggage before your flight.

Getting off the ship was the most organize event I have ever experienced on any cruise I have taken. Staff escorted groups on the elevators and made sure it was very orderly. The Faster to the Fun pass helped once again, and I highly recommend it if you are looking to get onto the road faster. Immigration/Customs was a breeze as well. All the other ports could learn something from this location.

All in all, if the smoke wasn't so bad, I'd rate this cruise around a 4 star, even with the food not all that great, because the people and staff made it a relaxing and enjoyable vacation.
Bo Girl’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 6C U161
Ocean view rooms were spacious, especially for this ship being so old. Bathrooms were large as well. Our room (U161) had 1 extra bunk, but we never actually used it as our 3 year old slept in our bed. The safety rail was quite loose with a couple of stripped screws. I easily could have fallen through the railing (5’3” small frame) and my head would have been caught. You can feel movement in the ship when sailing, so choose your room wisely if you get sea sick.
Upper Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Suite Cabins