Carnival Fantasy Cruise Review by jlangiew
- Sail Date: February 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Interior
- Service. The service and staff were amazing. Friendly, engaging, great with our children, and overall professionals.
- Camp Ocean. The camp ocean children servoces were great. We feel bad about placing our children in these types of settings; however, after their first visit -- they wanted to go back. The staff were friendly, professional, and great with our 5 and 9 year old daughters.
- Food. The food in the Main dining areas was incredible. We all tried exotic foods we'd never order in a restaurant (e.g., rabbit, escargot). The food was well prepared and the presentation was high end.
- Disembarking. The Disembarking process was organized and speedy.
- Cruise director and selling. The cruise director, Marty, was great. Unlike some of our other cruise experiences, there was little selling pressure. We enjoyed the freedom from pressure to buy or provide extra tips during the trip.
Now for the criticism. To be clear, I'm trying to be fair given the age of the ship and factors in and out of the crew's control.
- The ship. This is a nearly 30 year old ship, which obviously has undergone some upgrades over the years. Nevertheless, she's pretty worn. The dining areas are out of the late 1980s. There are areas of weather wear and corrosion. The outside areas are small and offer limited water space (e.g., spa, pool) given the passenger load.
The port. This ships sails out of Mobile, AL. Embarkation was a nightmare. The parking area is at the end of a traffic funnel, situated on the far side of active railroad tracks. This made for wild traffic (nearly 2 hours).
Entertainment. The venues on this ship are akin to a holiday inn meeting room. They're just not modern. The acts offered were well done, however. I'd like more variety, but it wasn't enough to really complain about.
Smoking. This was the worst aspect of this ship. The casino and adjoining bar are mid ship, near the mid ship stairway and elevator bank. The ventilation is poor or non exisitant, making the entirety of the center of the ship a smelly, smoke-filled space (from deck 4 through to deck 9. For a family friendly ship, this was a major drawback. There was no escape from the smoke.
Here are a few more obtuse items that the crew really couldn't control... But big carnaval could have done better.
The arriving passengers were delayed a few hours due to fog. This delayed our boarding from 12pm to 6pm. The fog also delayed our embarkation ~24 hours. Interestingly, during the warmest and clearest part of the following day... we did not embark. Fantasy embarked closer to 3pm.... after the fog rolled back in heavy (heavier than the previous day and night). It was interesting we could leave the port in this heavy fog... but we did. In the end, our boarding was delayed half a day and we lost a port of call. Carnival refunded shore excursions and port fees. This was an unfortunate and frustrating experience.
The passengers. Cruises tend to yield a good cross section of America and, inevitably, some drunks and jokers. For those more conservative parents, these aren't attractive attributes in close quarters. This was certainly true of this cruise. There were a fair share of drunks exposing a bit too much, dancing in what I believe they percieved as sexy, and throwing their children in the one pool everyone shared. Some of this was driven by games hosted by the cruise (e.g., hair chest competition... Where contestants had their chest hair pulled, naked torso smelled, and butt slapped by three lady strangers on stage).
I'd sail Carnaval again... But not from Mobile or on Fantasy.
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Room was good and fit three adults and two young children.
The air was very dry... So we all left with sore throats and stuffy noses. I attributed this to the time of year (Winter).
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