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Carnival Fantasy Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,122 Reviews

Fantastic time as a first time cruiser

Carnival Fantasy Cruise Review by dolphincruiser19

0 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2020
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Porthole

I had never been on a cruise before, so I read up a lot, and ended up having a great time.

The ship itself is obviously older, and the decor is a little dated, but it is well-maintained and kept clean. Food was fine, drinks were great, and service was excellent.

I bought the Cheers package, which was a fantastic choice on my part. A great part of the fun was to drink a lot all cruise long. One of my favorite things on Fantasy was to go aft to the water slide area, which has a small hidden bar. It is far less crowded than the rest of the Lido deck, so you can easily have a chair right up against the railing, go down the water slide, and then get a drink from the bar before returning to your chair.

Cozumel and Progreso were both great. In Progreso, I got my fix of history with the incredibly detailed Mayan ruins. Our tour was comfortable and well-conducted. In Cozumel, I went to Mr. Sanchos where there were plenty of cruisers both from the Fantasy and other boats. Sit down lunch was fantastic, and the bartenders were very attentive. I tipped very well, participated in a tequila tasting where I bought a bottle.

There are plenty of food options all over the ship. I chose a fixed dining option in the main dining room. It was nice to have a fixed group of people, including some younger folks I could see around the ship. Food was okay, not mind-blowing, but enjoyable. Other dining locations were Blue Iguana, Guy's Burgers, and the Lido buffet.

The Lido buffet was always great for snacks, or a more casual meal than the main dining room. That said, I recommend stopping by the MDR on a sea-day for brunch at least once. After that, I think Blue Iguana is the best breakfast option with its burritos which are really amazing, they also have pretty good tacos for lunch. Easily the best lunch option on the ship is Guy's Burgers. They aren't just good for cruise ship food, they are genuinely amazing burgers, and the fries can double as awesome drunk food to soak up some booze. Lido is good for snacks at all hours, more than a couple times I'd grab a couple slices of pizza and soft-serve late at night after hours at the club.

As for entertainment, there was always plenty going on. I never managed to find anyone actually attending the meetups in the bars, but everyone aboard was friendly nonetheless. The music was kind of lame, I don't think this was the fault of the DJ, it seems like Carnival has some kind of policy where they can't play explicit music even in the 18+ nightclub. Kind of a bummer, but it was still fun to hang out and do shots even if there wasn't tons of dancing.

Embarkation and debarkation was obviously a long ordeal, but there's not really anything anyone can do about funneling people through a small space any faster. I believe they handle it as well as they can. One recommendation is to bring your passport NOT your birth certificate + passport, as that gets you off the ship a lot faster.

Other tips:

If you have any question about buying the drink package, just buy it.

Hang out at the back of the ship near the slide. There is a small bar back there that not many notice, and it is far less crowded.

Don't miss the chance for Guy's Burgers.

Keep an eye on the duty free shop for alcohol flash sales.

Don't wait until you get on the boat to try to buy shore excursions, especially if you have a large group.

Eat on the deck out aft of the Lido Buffet. Not sure why everyone seems to prefer eating inside.


dolphincruiser19's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Porthole

I stayed in an interior porthole cabin, and had more space than I expected or needed. There were two outlets: one by the bed and another in the bathroom. I brought a multi-plug with me which came in handy for keeping multiple electronics plugged in at once.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Mobile

Mobile was an efficient port with friendly, professional workers.

Uxmal

Tour was great, we had an air conditioned bus and tour guides who joked with us and shared history of the Maya in the Yucatan on our way there, we got tickets to enter, and then we did a guided tour of the site for half the time, and then an hour or two of free time to explore on our own or shop for souvenirs or lunch or snacks at the entrance.

View All 35 Uxmal Reviews

I purchased an all-inclusive pass to Mr. Sanchos, and it was fabulous. I was led to a beach chair where I dropped my stuff and spent some time swimming in the ocean before moving to one of the pools with a swim up bar, where I met some others from the Fantasy. It was a fantastic time, and the staff were all very attentive. I made sure to tip generously. Mr Sanchos has complimentary wifi, but while we were there it was pretty congested by everyone else trying to use it. I had a strong cellular signal however so you can make calls or use cellular data if that makes sense for you.

There is a buffet, but the all-inclusive also includes sit-down service, and I was told by other cruisers that the food is generally better made-to-order. After lunch I participated in a tequila tasting and bought a bottle. Staff wrapped it for me to retrieve on my way out. Taxis are constantly at Mr. Sanchos waiting to whisk you back to the ship at the end of the day.

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dolphincruiser19
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