1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Carnival Fantasy
We decided on the Carnival Fantasy because of the Panama Canal Transit. We had never wanted to cruise Carnival because of the reputation of "Party Ship" but the cost was great and the timing was perfect so we took a chance on the September 16th, 11 day cruise out of Mobile, AL. This ship was so far above my and my husbands expectations. It had just received very bad news coverage from a disgruntled inspector (after we purchased the cruise), and we were already risking the party atmosphere. We were so shocked to find not one of the things we had read or heard about the ship to be true. The staff was amazing and went above and beyond to know who we were and how to make each moment more enjoyable. This was a Journey cruise (over 10 days) so we were with this staff longer than most. We found relationships built that were genuine and positive. The captain was great at keeping us in touch and informed which made it a positive interaction as we sailed. The meet and greet with the staff was elegant and professional – as well as very entertaining with the professional ballroom dancers and Shipmonk’s performing the perfect mood setting music. Drinks were flowing and appetizers and staff met with the elegant ambiance they had set for the evening. The dinning staff was attentive to our every need - greeting us by name and having the things we enjoyed on the ready. Seon, Lady Ann, Pratama, Kataporn and Ola (short version of Ola's name) were dining room stars! Singing, smiling and ensuring our water was always topped off, our sides were always ready and available and any extra’s or additions were cared for. The cleaning staff was amazing! They were constantly wiping windows/handrails/glass as well as vacuuming and cleaning floors. Seti cared for our stateroom in way that made it a place to look forward to coming back to so we could see the surprises he had laid out for us! Selva was one who constantly worked! From the day we got on board and he was getting the luggage out … to meeting him all over the ship as he cleaned, vacuumed, mopped, dusted and always smiling and wishing us a good day. It was a pleasure to have Seti and Selva on the cruise! There was nothing about our Carnival ship that lived up to any negative reputation which had proceeded it. It was clean, run well, fun, relaxing and enjoyable. Marty was the Cruise Director for the first part of the trip and Rico the Cruise Director for the last. They were amazing! Why different Cruise Directors on one cruise? There was a special event we never know about held where Carnival and St. Jude’s are in a partnership, Carnival does various little events on ships to raise money they give to St. Jude’s. This was so touching to learn about. We had our fund-raiser onboard and our ship raised over $15,000 for St. Jude! It was incredible to be a part of. But, back to the reason Marty left the ship mid-way. Marty was selected as one of a very few Cruise Director’s to go and present St. Jude with the monies raised, as well as getting the opportunity to meet with some current families at St. Jude and talk with staff to see exactly how the monies are used to help each family personally. It was a blessing to learn of Carnivals involvement with such a wonderful purpose. Once Marty left and Rico took over – it was just as amazing and Rico’s heart and joy were evident in his calling as Cruise Director. The promotion mid-trip allowed us all to see how much each person values their various roles onboard. The majority of the staff was just as much as professional and fun while being available to complete whatever task was on hand for them. Even in the photo department the ship was not pushy in any way and we found Fresca was so kind and yet fun and willing to capture a great shot, or let us move on by when she saw it would be an interruption. That alone was amazing. The ports of call were different on Carnival than other cruise lines. They ensure you have a wonderful experience if you are even just visiting the port. It was cleaner and easier to get off and back on the ship than others we have sailed. The excursions were well explained and when we did take them (we did not at each port) the staff was highly educated in the experience we were about to embark on. The transportation was in new buses with air conditioning and bathrooms, locations were clean and organized and it was safe and so fun and entertaining! Overall we had so many positive experiences and interactions on our Panama Canal cruise we were amazed. It wasn't all perfect, as with anything when you are with people in the same place for 11 days there will be a snafu to two, but the good was actually great and we are looking forward to taking future cruises with Carnival - hoping to run into some of the same staff again to catch up and see how they are doing – as well as meeting up with people we met on the cruise for creating new memories to last a lifetime. Thank you Carnival for completely changing our impression and view of Carnival cruise line. We are glad we took a chance and grateful for the amazing Panama Canal crossing experience!

A Very Positive Surprise!

Carnival Fantasy Cruise Review by ShipAshore

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We decided on the Carnival Fantasy because of the Panama Canal Transit. We had never wanted to cruise Carnival because of the reputation of "Party Ship" but the cost was great and the timing was perfect so we took a chance on the September 16th, 11 day cruise out of Mobile, AL.

This ship was so far above my and my husbands expectations. It had just received very bad news coverage from a disgruntled inspector (after we purchased the cruise), and we were already risking the party atmosphere. We were so shocked to find not one of the things we had read or heard about the ship to be true.

The staff was amazing and went above and beyond to know who we were and how to make each moment more enjoyable. This was a Journey cruise (over 10 days) so we were with this staff longer than most. We found relationships built that were genuine and positive.

The captain was great at keeping us in touch and informed which made it a positive interaction as we sailed. The meet and greet with the staff was elegant and professional – as well as very entertaining with the professional ballroom dancers and Shipmonk’s performing the perfect mood setting music. Drinks were flowing and appetizers and staff met with the elegant ambiance they had set for the evening.

The dinning staff was attentive to our every need - greeting us by name and having the things we enjoyed on the ready. Seon, Lady Ann, Pratama, Kataporn and Ola (short version of Ola's name) were dining room stars! Singing, smiling and ensuring our water was always topped off, our sides were always ready and available and any extra’s or additions were cared for.

The cleaning staff was amazing! They were constantly wiping windows/handrails/glass as well as vacuuming and cleaning floors. Seti cared for our stateroom in way that made it a place to look forward to coming back to so we could see the surprises he had laid out for us! Selva was one who constantly worked! From the day we got on board and he was getting the luggage out … to meeting him all over the ship as he cleaned, vacuumed, mopped, dusted and always smiling and wishing us a good day. It was a pleasure to have Seti and Selva on the cruise!

There was nothing about our Carnival ship that lived up to any negative reputation which had proceeded it. It was clean, run well, fun, relaxing and enjoyable. Marty was the Cruise Director for the first part of the trip and Rico the Cruise Director for the last. They were amazing! Why different Cruise Directors on one cruise? There was a special event we never know about held where Carnival and St. Jude’s are in a partnership, Carnival does various little events on ships to raise money they give to St. Jude’s. This was so touching to learn about. We had our fund-raiser onboard and our ship raised over $15,000 for St. Jude! It was incredible to be a part of. But, back to the reason Marty left the ship mid-way. Marty was selected as one of a very few Cruise Director’s to go and present St. Jude with the monies raised, as well as getting the opportunity to meet with some current families at St. Jude and talk with staff to see exactly how the monies are used to help each family personally. It was a blessing to learn of Carnivals involvement with such a wonderful purpose. Once Marty left and Rico took over – it was just as amazing and Rico’s heart and joy were evident in his calling as Cruise Director. The promotion mid-trip allowed us all to see how much each person values their various roles onboard.

The majority of the staff was just as much as professional and fun while being available to complete whatever task was on hand for them. Even in the photo department the ship was not pushy in any way and we found Fresca was so kind and yet fun and willing to capture a great shot, or let us move on by when she saw it would be an interruption. That alone was amazing.

The ports of call were different on Carnival than other cruise lines. They ensure you have a wonderful experience if you are even just visiting the port. It was cleaner and easier to get off and back on the ship than others we have sailed. The excursions were well explained and when we did take them (we did not at each port) the staff was highly educated in the experience we were about to embark on. The transportation was in new buses with air conditioning and bathrooms, locations were clean and organized and it was safe and so fun and entertaining! Overall we had so many positive experiences and interactions on our Panama Canal cruise we were amazed. It wasn't all perfect, as with anything when you are with people in the same place for 11 days there will be a snafu to two, but the good was actually great and we are looking forward to taking future cruises with Carnival - hoping to run into some of the same staff again to catch up and see how they are doing – as well as meeting up with people we met on the cruise for creating new memories to last a lifetime.

Thank you Carnival for completely changing our impression and view of Carnival cruise line. We are glad we took a chance and grateful for the amazing Panama Canal crossing experience!
ShipAshore’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Carnival Fantasy price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 4I
Our cabin was clean and everything worked inside. The ship is one of the oldest out there, so don't expect perfection. But for the age and class of our cabin it was great. Not a lot of noise from the outside and great air control inside to have the temperature just to our liking. If you want a mini fridge in the interior cabins, be sure to request one ahead of time.
Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cozumel
    We again, only stayed in the port area here. Having been to Cozumel a few times before we just wanted to stretch our legs off the ship a bit. It was very interesting how the port for Carnival was so clean and the shops were diverse but the feel was a bit nicer than when we have come into the other ports with other cruise lines. Carnival seems to maintain a higher standard at their ports - which showed. Same items and opportunities, but a little different feel. It was another nice surprise.
    View All 6,721 Cozumel Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cozumel Cruise Port Review
  • Mobile
    This is an area where if you are in the right spot it seems safe, but there were some areas where you don't want to be once dusk hits. We only stayed overnight in a hotel near the port and then went to the ship. Once we returned we drove a bit before filling up, as each gas station we stopped at had one issue or another.
    View All 43 Mobile Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Mobile Cruise Port Review
  • Ziplining
    We were greeted early by the excursion staff right at the end of the pier. They invited us to come and site on the bus while we waited for the additional members of our party where it was air conditioned and out of the hot sun. Our guide was highly educated in the history of the country, the area and the excursion. He gave a very educational talk while we traveled the 30 minutes to the site of the zipline. Once there we were greeted by more delightful people who explained the process, outfitted each of us quickly and got us ziplining through the rain forest in no time. They were good at calming fears and encouraging all. The system was very safe and they did a triple check on all equipment before we started. We were able to see a sloth and some iguana's while there. They took pictures and video and it was a very reasonable price (under $30 for the two of us) to get all the pictures and video. The fruit was refreshing at the end and you can order home cooked food if you order right away when you get off the zip line. There are other refreshments you are able to purchase and a gift store too. They provided water and fruit. The trip back was even more fun with a lot more information about the country. Overall it was a great excursion and we would recommend it to anyone who has never zip lined before. The majority of our group were between 35-65 years of age.
    View All 9 Ziplining Reviews
  • Roatan
    We only went into the port here and we walked around. It was nice with options for people who did not want to do an excursion but did want to get off the ship. Food was good and shops a-plenty. They also had hair braiding on the beach, massages, and those little fish who eat the dead skin off your feet if you are into that. Quiet places as well as wild and crazy. Very clean and organized port.
    View All 2,846 Roatan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Roatan Cruise Port Review