We have cruised on this ship 10+ time and will return for another cruise in October. This is the smallest of the Carnival ships. We enjoy having a fewer number of guests, shorter lines and frankly, just less people everywhere. Sometimes on the larger ships it seems like they increase the cabins but not the common areas. guests who sail on the Fantasy range from babies to seniors, but it always has a southern hospitality charm. Having sailed nearly 30 times, I can say with confidence that the crew of the Fantasy is second to none. They are open, friendly, and in the few short days you are on the ship, they become friends. The dining room staff always remembers what you doing and most of the time, my drink was sitting on the table when I arrived. The waiters around the pool are awesome. On the cruise last week, the waiter remembered that I ordered a bottle of water with every other drink-FROM THE LAST CRUISE IN DECEMBER! He just started bringing it to me again.
On the Fantasy, you will not find rock climbing walls, roller coasters or trampolines. However, the children seem to be entertained and happy playing old school games as ship scavenger hunts. Believe it or not, they even have an adult one that is hugely popular. Our favorite places on the ship are the piano bar, the comedy club and wherever the live band is playing. We do frequent the shows as well. While Country Roads is not my favorite, they are all well done and great entertainment. Sometimes on the larger ships it seems like they increase the cabins but not the common areas. I have read several reviews where people have said this is a great ship for first time cruisers, and it is. However, you will also find diamond guests with over 400+ days who sail this ship out of choice. It truly is a ship with a personality and that personality is based largely on that time of year.
During the winter months while school is in session, it is mostly adults taking a short break from parenting, holiday celebrations, and work. Summer months, the ship is all about families making the ship seem twice as crowded (4 people in cabins instead of 2). If you do a Journey cruise on the Fantasy, or any other ship, the clientele seems to be much older. I guess its difficult for working families to take 10 days or more but it is still tons of fun. Just different fun. During spring break, well, the ship "rocks" until 3am or so. I love all the ship seasons but you just have to be prepared mentally for what to expect. The dining room food is great and they will bring you one (or two) of everything on the menu if you ask. Embarkation is so easy. Mobile certainly has it down to a science. Debarkation is typical but not nearly as crazy because you simply have fewer guests leaving the ship. Finally, the Fantasy is a popular ship for people to sail back to back (and to back and to back). We met guests on the last cruise that had been on the ship for 2 months. Don't let the age of the ship (and yes, in places it shows) fool you, the Fantasy is consistently one of the top rated ships on customer service. Enjoy.