I wanted to spend my 65th birthday on a beach in Mexico, so we booked this cruise on the Fantasy. We embarked in Mobile, which is close to home, and drove down the day before the cruise from Atlanta. Minus our mandatory stop at Cracker Barrel and a gas stop, it took about 5 hours. The night before the cruise we stayed at the Microtel in Saraland. They offer a great park and cruise package with breakfast all for a reasonable price. The hotel is in walking distance of three major restaurant chains, so dinner can be in any budget zone. After a good night's sleep on a great bed, we got up, repacked, had breakfast and then at 10:30 were "vanned" over to the port.
Apparently there was a medical emergency disembarking which held us up a bit getting on the ship, but no problem, we are on vacation. Embarking was easy, and we were on board by 11:45, and since we finally made platinum, got to go to our cabin.
We love to cruise, but money is tight, so to get a window, we book Interior Porthole. This cruise we had a porthole on the Empress level, close to the action, in the front of the ship. Downside? If the ship is rocking you will feel it here more than being in the center. The upside? Portholes are only for two people, so the running kids in the hall end before you get to that section. The cabin size is good, the service excellent, and our towel animals were a hoot! The shower was a good size, the only thing wrong was an odd smell, that we finally figured out was the shower water when you first turn on the water. So, not a problem in the long run. We don't spend a lot of time in our cabin, because there is so much to do on the ship.
Natural light, close to restaurant and activities. Adequate room, three big closets, one with shelves, Liquid shampoo and bath soaps in the shower- scented mango and papaya. The shower has a drying line for bathing suits. TV on wall, king sized bed, very comfortable, loved the pillows. Vanity desk with stool, one chair-lack of hooks on the wall. Storage area under bed for suitcases, and there are blankets stored under the bed, if you get cold.
We did not do an excursion in Mobile, but loved our Microtel hotel in Saraland.
Take an excursion, unless you plan to shop. The port itself was a disappointment.