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Sail Date: April 2005
Well I have to say I was not impressed. This was our first cruise. It was not the vacation of a lifetime. The food was mediocre at best. One night everyone at our table ordered steak. All 6 steaks were way overdone. The cheesecake tasted ... Read More
Well I have to say I was not impressed. This was our first cruise. It was not the vacation of a lifetime. The food was mediocre at best. One night everyone at our table ordered steak. All 6 steaks were way overdone. The cheesecake tasted like it was frozen and the brownie that was part of a dessert one night was stale. The Windjammer Cafe food was even worse. It was the equivalent of something served in a hospital cafeteria. The band at the pool was so loud you couldn't hear yourself think. The day we disembarked was the worse. We were asked to leave our room by 8am. We went to the Chorus Line lounge and sat until we were called around 11am. 3 hours in a room that was so cold it made your nose run, not to mention the ridiculous sitcoms that I guess was their idea of top notch entertainment. When we originally booked the cruise the man made it sound like you could stay on the ship at your leisure and disembark when you were ready. That was far from the truth. Not only was it cold and boring but the worse part were the ship's bathrooms. All the toilets were plugged up and overflowing. It was disgusting, and no one seemed to care. I've talked to several people that have taken cruises and they were all shocked. Most said they were able to disembark whenever they were ready, and I'm talking post 9-11. But none of them sailed with Royal Caribbean and if we ever decide to cruise again, we will go with another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2005
Sailed on the Dawn 3/27/05....our first NCL and our 6th cruise. We were very disappointed.....from the moment we embarked there were lines. Word of advise MAKE YOUR DINNER RESERVATION RIGHT AWAY!!! By day two there were not specialty ... Read More
Sailed on the Dawn 3/27/05....our first NCL and our 6th cruise. We were very disappointed.....from the moment we embarked there were lines. Word of advise MAKE YOUR DINNER RESERVATION RIGHT AWAY!!! By day two there were not specialty restaurants left. Trattoria and Salsa are not any extra $ but they book quick. Oh and don't call it will be busy the entire trip, just go down and wait on line. Also don't go to the non fee restaurants at the normal eating hour.....everyone else does too and a hour wait for a table is not unusual. And don't expect special service by the wait staff, they are over worked and cranky. Food was scarce and only passable....order TWO entrees and you won't go hungry. There is no midnight buffet so don't expect one. The buffet available is gross...no more than school cafeteria food...my teenagers even hated it! DO NOT GO TO THE BLUE LAGOON!!!You have to wait for hours at dirty tables.....food was just OK there. Coffee at the Java spot by the main reservation area is extra$$$ be careful! Kids camp stunk...my 7 year old did not want to go back after the first night....THERE IS NO PLAYSTATION IN THE KIDS CAMP! Every child was bummed. The teen center was nonexistent...my two said there was never anybody organizing functions...so watch the stair wells...that's where you will find them. The only good thing that the ship had going for it was it was clean....never again will I waste my $ on NCL...go Royal we were NEVER disappointed!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2005
Carnival Fantasy Review 3/24/05 - 3/27/05 Pre-cruise Travel This was my mine and my husbands 3rd cruise on Carnival in the past 2½ years. We have also cruised on Royal Caribbean twice in the past 3 years. So this was our 5th cruise in ... Read More
Carnival Fantasy Review 3/24/05 - 3/27/05 Pre-cruise Travel This was my mine and my husbands 3rd cruise on Carnival in the past 2½ years. We have also cruised on Royal Caribbean twice in the past 3 years. So this was our 5th cruise in the past 3 years. And we can't wait for #6. We left home a couple of days before our cruise and flew into Orlando. We had a hotel reserved about 30 minutes from the airport a little on the outskirts. We had purchased a round trip shuttle transfer to the hotel and then back to the airport with Mears Transportation ($29 ea.). Our flight got in late and we didn't check in with Mears until almost midnight. Lucky for us, they didn't have a shuttle going near the hotel we were staying at that late, so they assigned us to one of their Lincoln Town Cars and we were taken to our hotel in style. That was a nice bonus. We spent the day before our cruise at Universal Studios. The hotel offered free shuttle service to the park that left once in the morning around 9:20 (stopping at many hotels along the way) and picked up around 6:30 in the evening to bring you back. The attractions at Universal were fabulous. We had so much fun there. It was one great experience after another. There was too much to see in Universal to make the 6:30 shuttle back. So we stayed longer and decided to take a taxi back. When our aching feet finally forced us to leave the park at about 9:00, we left and had dinner at NBA City outside Universal in the Celebration City area. The food was very good there. But definitely a little pricey. But to be expected at a place like this. We saw Emeril's Restaurant on the way out and wished we had eaten there instead. We watch him almost every night and were disappointed we hadn't seen this restaurant first. We then took our taxi back to the hotel at a cost of $35 including tip and had them drop us off at Steak & Shake that was basically in the parking lot of our hotel. And we bought some yummy shakes for dessert to end our day. Day 1 (Embarkation Day) We had purchased the transfers to Port Canaveral from Carnival. So we had to go back to the airport on the morning of our cruise to catch the coach bus. We used the other half of our Mears Transportation round trip shuttle ticket to get back to the airport. As luck would have it, Mears overbooked that morning and sent us a Taxi instead of a shuttle. So we once again got non-stop service from them instead of the shuttle service we had paid for. I guess that's one of the benefits we received from staying at a hotel a little ways away from the theme parks. We got to the airport in time to catch the very 1st bus to Port Canaveral We boarded the Carnival shuttle to Port Canaveral (which happened to be a Mears Transportation bus) at about 10:30 and we arrived at the port terminal around 11:15. Embarkation was a breeze. We were on the ship by 11:45. We had booked an inside guarantee cabin and ended up getting upgraded to the Empress deck which was the same deck that the pursers desk, shore excursion desk and the atrium lounge was on. This was nice as the dining room was only one floor up. It saved a lot of time waiting for elevators than if we would have been on the lowest deck. We were eating our lunch at the Windows by the Sea by noon. It was just average buffet food. The mozzarella and tomatoes with pesto were very good though. I had seconds of that. There was some spinach/beef lasagna that was just ok. There was beef they sliced for you with horseradish sauce which was also just ok. The breads were very good and so were the roasted potatoes. And I also remember having the Pizza after the buffet food that was very good. And then there was a dessert table. My husband and I both had some chocolate cake with very creamy, yummy frosting and some cheesecake. We spent a while exploring and getting to know the ship and then headed to the pool for the rest of the afternoon. We had several very tasty frozen drinks served in Carnival souvenir glasses while laying by the pool listening to the Calypso band and soaking up the sun. It was very relaxing. The pool was open. The pool slide was open. The pool deck was full of happy people having fun. And we were no exception. Getting on the ship so early really made it seem like having an extra day at sea. Our muster drill was at 4:00 and we set sail at 4:30. We went all the way to the top of the ship in the front as we sailed down through a channel. We passed several nice boats and casino boats along the way and then passed Cocoa Beach. As soon as we were out to sea, we went back to the cabin to relax a bit and get ready for the evening ahead. My husband had fallen asleep and I was just about to get in the shower when the television went fuzzy and then all the electricity went out in the cabin. I opened the cabin door to see what was going on and there were no lights in the hall either. So I woke my husband up and we went down the hall to the atrium bar area to try to get more information. Eventually, the back up generators kicked in. But they only lit up certain areas such as hallways and gave power to the elevators so that those stuck could get out. Finally the captain came on and said that they were experiencing problems with the engine (which was no longer running either), it was being looked at and he would report back when they knew more. So here we were about an hour after we sailed, on a ship with virtually no power and an engine that had completely shut down. We were not even moving. You could still see land in the distance. But we sure didn't want to have to go back that direction. So we sat and waited. Surprisingly enough, the atrium bar remained open. So we had a beer and just relaxed on a sofa while we waited for more news. Fortunately, within an hour, the problem was fixed, we had full power and the engine was full speed ahead bound for Nassau. There were no more problems for the entire cruise once it was fixed. Since the early seating dinner was interrupted by the engine/power failure, an announcement was made that dinner would be open seating that night. This caused a little bit of a delay in being seated because so many people were waiting to be seated at the same time. So we went to the casino and made friends with some slot machines to kill some time until the line died down. After about an hour, we went back to the dining room and were seated right away. On the first night, they served both Lobster and Prime Rib. I liked the appetizer menu a little too much this night. For my appetizer, I had both shrimp cocktail and a southwestern egg roll and instead of salad, I had chilled strawberry soup and a melon & prosciutto (?) appetizer. Yes, that would be 4 appetizers. They're actually all pretty small. So it's not as bad as it sounds. I definitely still had room for 2 lobster tails (tasty) instead of one for my entrEe and for the Grand Marnier SoufflE for dessert. My husband actually had 2 lobster tails and the Prime Rib for his entrEes and indulged in the SoufflE as well. Our first dinner on the Fantasy was very impressive. We went to the show in the Universe Lounge after dinner. The theatre was nice. There was lots of neon. Some people complain about that. I happen to like neon. The stage in this theatre was huge. It was the biggest stage I had ever seen on a cruise ship. It was later than usual because of the electrical problems. It didn't start until 11:00. It was ok. It was called something "Night Club" and starred The Fantasy Dancers. But we didn't know any of the songs they were singing and we were tired. So we didn't stay for the whole thing. We had a big day in Nassau the next day and wanted to be well rested for it. So we called it a night after we left the show. Other than for the Captain's Cocktail party, this is the only time we went into the show lounge on this cruise. There was a Juggler (Victor Zuniga) and an entertainer named Tia Thompson the 2nd night that we missed. And the final show was called Broadway Fantasy with The Fantasy Dancers. There was also an adult comedy show starring Tia Thompson at midnight on the 2nd night. Day Two (Nassau, Bahamas) Today we got up and went to the dining room for breakfast. It's traditional for us to go have Eggs Benedict on at least one day of our cruise. They were good as usual. And the pastries were better than I had remembered too. Our 2½ snorkeling tour to Athol Island was scheduled for 10:00 (booked through Carnival). We met the tour operator just outside the ship. Once all the parties in our tour had gotten off the ship, we took about a 5 min. walk to the boat that would take us snorkeling. It was a double decker and we sat on top. It was nice because you could sit facing the outside of the boat with your feet hanging down and watch the scenery as you go by Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island and many very nice homes and yachts. It was about a 30 minute ride out to the island. The water for snorkeling was a bit choppy that day. But it didn't affect your ability to see the many gorgeous fish in Angel Reef. You just floated about and moved with the wavy water as you did so. There were tons of fish to be seen in all colors, bright blue, yellow, pink, purple, multi-colored, spotted, striped, you name it. They were awesome and decent sized too. We even saw 2 huge starfish about the size of a vehicle's steering wheel. And that's no exaggeration. And I saw one fish that was playing king of the rock that wouldn't let other fish get near the rock he was hiding under that was at least 2 feet long and very fat. He was spotted and ugly though. We've snorkeled in Grand Cayman, Jamaica and now Nassau. Grand Cayman was probably the best, with Nassau coming in a close 2nd. And Jamaica a distant 3rd (little fish where we snorkeled there). We snorkeled for about an hour and then headed back to the ship. They played some Calypso music on the way back and served rum punch and some non-alcoholic punch. It was so tasty that we each had three rum punches. But hey, they were free. We had to take advantage. They sure hadn't been free on our vacation up to this point. After we got off the snorkeling boat, we walked straight over to the British Colonial Hilton which was only about a block away. We paid $15 each to use their beach and their pool. It was a gorgeous day and their beach was equally as gorgeous with soft sand and clear, cool water. What more could you ask for? There was a pop band playing poolside that you could hear perfectly from the beach. They played some really good songs that made you want to sing along. We had beach service from the outdoor grill. As it turned out, they weren't serving alcohol until 6:00 PM that day because it was Good Friday. But after the rum punches earlier, that wasn't such a bad thing. We did have a full evening ahead with formal night and needed to save some energy. We each ordered a sampler platter of Conch Fritters, Jerk Chicken Wings, Grouper Fingers and Veggies with dip. They brought it to us right on the beach and we each had our own tables beside our lounge chairs to sit and enjoy it. And enjoy it we did. But there was a lot. So we decided to share some with the Seagulls. That was a lot of fun. We messed with those birds for the longest time and got some good laughs out of their "desperate for food" behavior. Funny thing was, the chicken was their favorite. Chicken/birds, get it? We used the pool for a while after we were done on the beach. It was a very clean pool with lots of nice landscape all around. There were mats in and around the pool that you could use to float on. My husband and I shared one to be romantic. It was nice. But the water in the pool was very warm compared to the water in the Caribbean just off the beach. After we left the beach, we did some shopping in town on the way back to the ship. We bought several souvenirs for our kids and a few for ourselves. We stopped by the Hard Rock Cafe and bought a large coffee cup. We love to drink our morning coffee at home out of our souvenir coffee cups from our vacations. It helps us to remember the good times we've had on previous vacations and then to dream about what we're going to do next. We also bought some of the local rum cake to bring home. It was $18 for a full size cake. I did see it in another store for $17 after I bought it. We haven't eaten it yet as we're now on diets trying to lose the weight we gained on vacation. But it keeps well. So it will be a nice reward after the weight comes off. We went back to the ship after shopping to get ready for formal night. There was a long line to get back on the ship around 5:30. It took at least 30 minutes to get through the line and back on to the ship. We got all dressed up and went to the Captains Cocktail party. They had some tasty hor' douvres. There was one with fish inside a type of Won Ton shell. They had fancy mini pizza's, egg rolls, fried seasoned chicken bites and meatballs. And, of course, trays of many different types of drinks floating around non-stop. My favorite is always the lime daiquiri. They serve them in Champagne Glasses. So, since they're small (and tasty), I had 5. Tonight we got to sit with our actual tablemates for the first time. There were 3 other couples. They were from Tampa, FL, Chicago, IL and Charlotte, NC. We're from Kansas City, MO. So we had a pretty spread out bunch geographically. That kept it interesting. The menu tonight wasn't nearly as good as it was the first night. I wasn't interested in any of the appetizers this time. And I had heard that you can order whatever pasta dish they are serving as an entrEe on that nights menu as an appetizer portion also. So I did that and it was very tasty. I ordered a roast chicken dish. The dish was good. But I actually like the pasta appetizer so much, that I wished I'd just ordered it for my entrEe instead. My husband had a lamb dish for his entrEe and he didn't really care for it. I had Tirimisu for dessert. This is one of my favorite desserts. And sometimes, it's just ok on a cruise ship. But this time, it was above average. So that was nice. My husband had Pumpkin Pie and he liked his dessert also. We were to be in Nassau overnight, so we were planning to go out on the town after dinner to visit Senor Frogs and partake of the yard drinks. The couple at our dinner table from Tampa also wanted to go to Senor Frogs. So we decided to all go together. We had a lot in common since we have 4 kids and they have 3. Our kids were close in age, 9 & 10 and 15 & 16 (except they also had a baby). There was a cover charge at Senor Frogs. It was $7 each. That's for cruise and hotel guests. The fee for locals was $35 each. I guess they don't want the locals coming in and taking over. So they do this to discourage them from going there. We sat out on the deck overlooking the water. It was spring break, so it was pretty wild inside and we could actually hear each other talk when we were sitting outside. It was a good view on the deck too. You could see the cruise ships all lit up. I had a Strawberry Daiquiri in a yard glass and my husband had a frozen Margarita. They were huge. One was more than enough. And at $12+ each, one was definitely more than enough. We got back on the ship around 12:45 and they were serving a Mexican Midnight Buffet until 1:00 and having a deck party by the pool with the dance band Synergy even later than that. So we all hurried up to the Lido deck and made a plate of Hard Shell Beef Taco's, Steak Soft Taco's, mini Burrito's and nacho's. Just a light snack if you know what I mean. Mexican is my favorite food. So there's always room. We sat and ate and talked to our new friends for about an hour and then turned in around 2:00. It had been a long day. But we had definitely made the most of our day in Nassau. We were glad our ship was in port overnight and we got to enjoy the nightlife. On our cruises, those opportunities have been few and far between. Day Three (At Sea) Since we didn't go to sleep until around 3:00 AM, we decided to sleep in and didn't get up until around 10:40. So we missed breakfast. I don't think that's ever happened on a cruise before. We got up and took our time getting ready. We went to the Lido deck around noon to find something to eat. We decided to try the Deli. My husband had a Pastrami sandwich and I had a Roast Beef Sandwich. We both enjoyed them a lot. They were above average. We got some Thousand Island Dressing from the salad buffet and put it on our sandwiches. That made them even better. We also each had a slice of Pizza. After we left the Lido deck, we decided to go to the Bistro on board and get some good coffee. I had a Mochaccino with caramel syrup in it and whipped cream and chocolate sauce on top. Along with that, I had a chocolate covered strawberry decorated like a Tuxedo. My husband had some of the coffee with liqueur in it. He didn't care for his. But I loved mine. We left the coffee shop and decided to go to the Casino. We both had sunburns and couldn't get motivated to go sit out in the sun by the pool. We spent quite a bit of time in the Casino. My husband was ahead for a while, but decided to give it all back. He even played in the Black Jack Tournament. But he didn't win. And I would last a good long time on some of the slot and poker machines, but I lost in the end. We finally gave up and decided it was time to go eat again. So we went to sit in the shady area out by the pool and had Hot Dogs, Hamburgers and French Fries. We went back to the room for a while after that to relax a bit and check out the Capers to see what was going on during the afternoon. After relaxing and watching TV for a bit, we decided to try the Afternoon Tea in the Piano Bar, Cleopatra's. It was an Egyptian looking place. But it was kind of aristocratic and was a good atmosphere for an afternoon tea. This was something we had never done before. I chose the Orange Tea and it was a good choice. My husband stuck to regular tea without flavoring. A manly thing, I guess. They served all kinds of tea cakes. There were mini lemon cakes, harder crust cakes with cream cheese in between, mini raspberry pies, mini sugar donuts and a chocolate meringue thing filled with chocolate mousse. Very tasty stuff. They also served finger sandwiches. There was an open faced sandwich with salmon on it and another sandwich on dark rye with cream cheese and grated cucumber inside. They kept serving and serving. It was like eating another meal. It was a lot of fun. The piano player played the whole time we were in there and we took turns guessing what song he was playing. It was always a popular, recognizable song. We went back to our room and decided to take a nap since we had plenty of time before our late seating dinner. Naps at home are few and far between. So this nap was a very much appreciated. But as soon as it was over, it was time to get ready for another full evening and our last evening on the ship. There was a Happy Hour in the Century 21 Bar before dinner (out in the open next to the casino on the Promenade). They were serving chips, queso dip and homemade salsa. So we decided to eat some more (as if the 3 or 4 times we'd eaten earlier in the day weren't enough). It was so good I had to have 2 plates. My husband also had some of the sushi from the sushi bar that was open from 5:30-8:00 and enjoyed that along with his chips and queso dip. We had a little time to kill before dinner. So we visited the casino one last time and donated a little more money to the slot machines. Dinner tonight was a good one. It was our 2nd and final dinner with our tablemates. I again had an appetizer portion of the pasta dish for my appetizer. My husband and I both had the French Onion Soup and my husband had a Caesar Salad. We both had Filet Mignon for our dinner entrEe. It was wonderful. You can't always say that on a cruise. It can be hit or miss with steak preparation. This was definitely a hit. They did it right this time. They didn't give us an option for dessert. They just brought everyone Baked Alaska. This was odd since there were other desserts listed on the menu that was posted outside the dining room. But I probably would have ordered Baked Alaska anyway. And I did enjoy it. After dinner we went into the Cat's Lounge to listen to Synergy, the live dance band. They were really lively. The lead singer was a girl who would be out on the dance floor while she sang teaching people the dances she was doing. And there was a lot of participation because of her. Even when you weren't on the dance floor, she made you feel like dancing in your seat. This lounge was a really different type of lounge. The chairs were made out of leopard like material. But the back drops on the walls were very large boxes of Tide Detergent and other oversized memorabilia from the past. It was very different. After we left Cat's Lounge, we went into the Forum Theatre to listen to Karaoke. This is the lounge at the back of the ship with a decent sized stage which is usually dark and cozy. This place was all lit up and decorated with light colors. It was much different than any of the lounges I've seen in this area of any ship. It wasn't bad. It was just different. Now the karaoke on the other hand, was pretty bad. But it was fun to watch. We left the Forum Lounge and just walked around outside for a while. It was only then that we discovered that there was another adult pool (a round one) in the back of the ship. And there was also a good size children's pool too. Just goes to show that 3 nights is barely enough time to get acquainted with a ship. It was a gorgeous night and we found a little corner on the back of the ship to spend a little quiet romantic time together with no one else around. It was a nice way to end the last night of our cruise. Debarkation Day (Kennedy Space Center) We had to get up early today. We had to meet our tour group that was going to the Kennedy Space Center in Cleopatra's at 7:45. We went to the Windows by the Sea on the Lido deck and had breakfast with the friends we had met from Tampa that went to Senor Frogs with us. We had already exchanged email addresses and so we bid them farewell after breakfast and headed to Cleopatra's. Just as we got in the lounge, they were calling us to leave. We left the ship immediately, went to get our bags and were off the ship and on a big coach bus headed for Kennedy in less than 30 minutes. Kennedy Space Center opened at 9:00. We got there a little early and had to wait for them to open. There was a little kiosk outside selling souvenirs so we bought some souvenirs for our kids and a magnet for our refrigerator (we have tons of vacation magnets too) to kill some time. There were 24 people in our group. Our tour guide was very friendly and informative. Since it was Easter Sunday, it wasn't very crowded at all and that gave us extra time to spend at each area. We learned a lot about the space program and got some good pictures in a space capsule and a moon rover. There were Alligators swimming in the water next to the memorial wall and there were also some just hanging out in the grass next to the water. We got some good pictures of them to bring home to show our kids. We took a bus to the launch pad for the Space Shuttle which was really cool. The Space Shuttle Discovery wasn't out on the launch pad at the time. It was inside the Vehicle Assembly Building where they keep it while it is prepared for it's next launch. It was scheduled to be moved by the crawler to the launch pad in about 10 days after we were there to prepare for a launch sometime between 5/15 & 6/3/05. On the side of the road, there are stretches of water all the way to where the launch pad is located. In the water, we saw many Alligators. It was pretty cool. I've never seen Alligators in the wild before. We had lunch in the Apollo/Saturn V Center in a cafeteria style restaurant. I had a BBQ Pork Sandwich and Fries and my husband had Pizza. It was pretty expensive. With drinks, our meal came to $23. We had another chance to buy souvenirs at the shops there (and I bought a couple more) and then the bus took us back to the main area where we watched an IMAX movie. That was pretty spectacular and educational. After this, the tour was over and the coach bus that took us there took us to the Orlando airport. Our flight home left right on time and we even got in about 25 minutes earlier than scheduled. So after a long and busy vacation, it was good to get some extra relation time before going back to work and the real world the next day. Summary We loved the Carnival Fantasy and all it had to offer. We would definitely recommend it and our only regret is that we didn't get to stay on longer. You could never do it all. Here are some of the things we didn't have time for: The Spa, The Fitness Center, The Big Screen Movie, Volley Ball, Shuffleboard, FunShip Trivia, Game Show Mania, The Newlywed & Not So Newlywed Show, Bingo, the Art Auction, Table Tennis, Life Size Chess, Sing Along in the Piano Bar, the Men's Hairy Chest Contest, Golf Lessons, Ice Carving Demo, Name that Tune, Horse Racing and the Grand Gala Buffet. You could never possibly do it all in 3 days. We can never get to it all on a 7 day cruise either. The point is, you'll never get bored on a cruise or run out of things to do. But, you always have the option of taking it easy and not trying to do it all too if that's what you're looking for. Cruising is awesome and we would cruise on the Carnival Fantasy again any day! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2004
After five wonderful cruises, this was an incredible low to start our year of cruising! The Fascination is old but even older ships can be clean and show a sense of pride. The public restrooms (particularly by the casino where we spent ... Read More
After five wonderful cruises, this was an incredible low to start our year of cruising! The Fascination is old but even older ships can be clean and show a sense of pride. The public restrooms (particularly by the casino where we spent each night till the wee hours of the mornings) were not only unclean, but several times were without toilet paper in the stalls. I couldn't believe they had no paper towels to dry your hands as well. They had hand dryers but only one was working. Speaking of the casino, you could never find ashtrays by the slots (we had several smokers in our party) and the buckets for the coins were old and dirty! And to make matters worse, the dealers and croupiers for the most part never smiled or encouraged you to have a good time. They just went through the motions. We found this to be consistent of most of the staff on the ship. We had room service for breakfast each morning and they never got our order right -- from untoasted bagels to no cream to only one cup. The size of the suite was an embarrassment, barely larger than the regular cabins. The balcony was barely wide enough for two the plastic patio chairs (Wal-Mart variety). I know that can't be helped because it is an older ship but to have a rusty sink and white caulking for a shower repair in a gray shower was a sign that they really don't care about appearances. And no individual hangars -- some gizmo which 5 posts hang from so if you needed to remove one piece of clothing, you'd have to take off the other 4. Give me a break! When we sat out by the pool, we could not find anyone to put your lounges out and we physically had to do it ourselves -- unbelievable! To make matters worse, the lounges were old and once we took them off the stacks and moved them, two of them were broken and we had to go back and do it all over again! The one good thing were the two shows, Friday night and Sunday night. They were fantastic productions! Since Carnival was the only short cruise over New Year's Eve, our choices were limited and we expected to pay a premium. $1,900 for the above experience was a tragedy. We know Carnival is the affordable low end of their product line so we did not have high expectations, but this experience was lower than the lowest expectations imaginable! I guess the one good thing out of this, since we are now cruising two to three times a year, is that we can now narrow down our cruise choices! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2004
The CostaMediterranea is a beautiful ship (score 9.5 of 10) and the big shows were very enjoyable (score 9 of 10). The service was very poor, food was fair to poor -- both service and food a 3 of 10 score and I am being generous at that! ... Read More
The CostaMediterranea is a beautiful ship (score 9.5 of 10) and the big shows were very enjoyable (score 9 of 10). The service was very poor, food was fair to poor -- both service and food a 3 of 10 score and I am being generous at that! The help is slow, getting water at your meal at the formal dining room (1st seating) was very slow and dinner a 2 1/2 hour ordeal. Not one time was the high chair cleaned off when we arrived. Head table waiter was very disorganized, the assistant waiter by the 3rd of the 5 days put himself together. The other members of our table after the 1st night went to the buffet, never to return to the formal dinner as did many other people. The cabin steward was slow and sloppy, getting to our cabin by dinner time, failing to do the cabin 2 days, and only fully cleaning our cabin 1 time, the day before we left. She stated she had been on the ship for several months and relied on tips for most of her money. She was painfully slow and never delivered our crib (thank goodness I brought a portable playpen). I cruised the Celebrity Summit over the summer and the service and food on Celebrity (5.5 star) was a 10 of 10. Here I give room service a 3. I tipped everyone except my head waiter because he deserved nothing because he did less than nothing. My son went upstairs to the 9th floor to get himself a drink and food faster than the waiter on the 3rd floor could do. This is the first time I failed to leave anyone a tip, although I believe no one deserved anything. The service at the desk was also awful. Upon leaving for an excursion, one of our 4 cards was not functioning properly to disembark (working fine to charge us but not to leave?) and we were told by security that they would contact the excursion and inform them we would be late. I RAN to the front desk only to find I had to wait another 15 minutes because so many other people had this problem too. By the time they let us off the ship, more lines, we missed the excursion and the head Costa Excursion Manager said too bad for us and was nasty and not helpful. We heard people all the time complaining about bad Service, bad food and lack of help. There was definitely a major language barrier for English; they say Yes, Yes, but evidently have no idea what you are saying. I would give the Celebrity Summit a 9.5 of 10 and the CostaMediterranea a very generous 3! So sad to have such a gorgeous ship and everything else LOUSY. Might I add, my baby was in their wooden highchair and a moment later my baby disappeared and I heard screaming. I look around and realize my child is on the floor, the middle piece of the high chair broke/or maybe was never put together properly and my child is lying on the floor to my horror and shock. I scoop up my child and after making sure she was OK and calming both her and myself down, and my other 2 shocked children, I tried to get someone FROM THE SHIP to help me and no one cared less, they just took the chair away. Afterward, I tried to go down to the service desk to report the incident, 15 minutes waiting in line with no hope in site, I realized this was no Celebrity Cruise ship and unless you are dying, or they want your money, forget it. I tried calling the desk from my cabin but it was busy, busy, busy, probably with so many people always complaining. Disembarkation was another joy. I was up clearing my account at 6:30 in the morning and again at 7 a.m. to readjust the tips. Upon leaving, my first child left first with the stroller, the security placed our cards in and again the baby was held up and we had to go back in the ship to clear the account. evidently the ship was able to charge soda to the baby's account and had not billed us. They would not allow my son (age 12) back on the ship and I was stuck inside the ship. I had to leave my 10 year old by the exit unable to leave, my 12 year old had just exited and I yelled for him not to move and I went back upstairs a 3rd time to clear the account. Although there were massive lines with more people than I could count in 6 lines complaining and trying to clear their accounts (also problem with Costa's credit card and computers), I cut up in front of the lines because my kids were downstairs without supervision and I couldn't get my son back on the ship. Unhappily again they assured me it was my problem that the soda tab was not paid because the baby did not receive a bill...whose problem is that given I have been there already twice since 6:30 a.m. and it was now 10ish in the morning? Another lovely note, I bought the 20 sodas card for $35 at the beginning of the ship and I asked if the kids could share one card and the gentleman told me that they could not (when in reality they could have). On the 4th day, the ship ran out of SPRITE, so with 9 sodas left, there was no more Sprite either at the 9th floor buffet or at at least 2 of the bars upstairs.... again their running out of Sprite Soda was our fault! Again, gorgeous ship, service lousy, help lousier!!!!! On Celebrity, we never heard anyone complain because if you had a complaint, they bent over backward to correct and improve immediately! CHOOSE ANOTHER CRUISE!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2004
This was the cruise from Hell. We were told that Categories 11 & 12 would be escorted to the VIP Skipper's Lounge with our bags from the curb and then to our room. Not the case at all. We were met by a porter as soon as we arrived ... Read More
This was the cruise from Hell. We were told that Categories 11 & 12 would be escorted to the VIP Skipper's Lounge with our bags from the curb and then to our room. Not the case at all. We were met by a porter as soon as we arrived and he advised us to tip him and he would take care of everything. We NEVER saw him again and the bags were promptly loaded onto the bag cart with the rest of them that arrived several hours later to our room. The lounge turned out to be an office with a desk to sit at instead of a counter to stand at while answering questions and giving credit card info for the sign and sail card. After the boat drill, we decided to visit the Lido deck for the departure and "fun." We were shoved a Rum Punch and a ticket to sign to the tune of $6.25 apiece. On Sunday, near this same area, bees were swarming and parked on the soft drink overflow trap. The employees just kind of stood around like it was a novelty. I doubt that it was since they sail twice a week and this was probably a normal occurrence. The publicized 24 hour Ice Cream Parlor consisted of a stack of cones and a soft serve machine. Our suite was lovely and the steward, very friendly. Thank goodness for the verandah that we used in the middle of the night to warm up. The rooms were extremely cold and there were no thermostats. By the way, no clocks or radios, so you'd better take your own. We received turn down service and a mint nightly. Who said something about chocolate chip cookies? (professional review) I never saw any. People were sleeping in the terry cloth bathrobes and using the extra duvets in the closet and were still cold. Dinner was the only meal with an assigned table. Everything else was open seating and the menu was VERY limited. Dinner was the best meal of all and nothing that outstanding. The dinner staff was very nice. Never could figure out what the Maitre'd was actually doing, other than making an announcement each night, since our tables were already assigned. He wanted a tip though and had envelopes placed in each stateroom. $10 per day, per person was automatically charged for gratuities to the wait staff and room steward. We arrived at Nassau at 8:00am, but the stores didn't open until around 10. The perfume was more expensive than what we pay in US department stores and certainly more than we pay at the perfume warehouses. We opted to do what is called "self assisted debarkation." Unless you are triathlon trained, forget about it. We were told to bring all of our luggage to a designated lounge on Hollywood Blvd. along with our customs form, proof of citizenship, ID and Sign & Sail cards all in hand. At the appointed time, a group of Carnival employees told us to drag our luggage down two flights of stairs and through the Empress level where we finally presented the sign and sail for closing. We then had to get on an escalator with the luggage and go down another level and through a maze of lanes to a customs inspector for a brief interview. We were not allowed to use the elevators until after that was over. By that time, we didn't need an elevator, we needed a stretcher. We will take another cruise, but it will never be on Carnival. As my husband put it, this was a stickup without a weapon. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2004
Our cruise on the Dawn was extremely disappointing. We have sailed Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, and Princess in the past. This was our first NCL cruise and will definitely be our last. Some highlights - they ran out of breakfast ... Read More
Our cruise on the Dawn was extremely disappointing. We have sailed Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, and Princess in the past. This was our first NCL cruise and will definitely be our last. Some highlights - they ran out of breakfast and juice 1 day at 10:00 a.m. The pool was not filled on at sea day until 1:00 p.m. and the kid's program was poor in comparison to other lines. They had no activities for children of families that stayed onboard on port days. They wanted you to pay for group babysitting whether or not you left the ship. Many days the program opened after lunch at 2:00 and closed 3:30. It reopened again at 7:00. Many of the acitivites - i.e., pizza making, water balloon toss, pool time required "parents to attend to supervise." The pool was extremely small for a ship that size, and these are just a few things. I purchased a soda sticker and was supposed to be able to get 2 sodas at a time. Some places honored that and others charged me $2 for the second. Forget about finding the cruise director to lodge a complaint. You only saw him at the parties! The kicker - they changed the itinerary due to Hurricane Frances which was fine. However, they decided to stop at Freeport instead of Nassau and left instructions for passengers at the shore excursion desk. They said we could go to the beach at Xanadu and/or the Bazaar. We followed instructions and took a taxi to the beach first. We were dropped off on a very small, dirty area of the beach. There were condoms on the the sand, dirt, rocks, several trees, etc. We were told to walk to the end to Xanadu. Well...Xanadu was boarded up and closed. The security guard would not allow any passengers to stay on their beach. He also advised that the manager of Xanadu called the ship at 6:00 a.m. and advised that 3/4 of the island was already evacuated, the beach and shops were closed. However, NCL staff were on the pier directing you to taxis. Shame on them! It cost me and about 1,000 other passengers $60 for a taxi to a closed beach and boarded up shops. Turns out the bazaar was boarded up from the night before and never opened at all the day we were there. This was my first NCL cruise and definitely the last! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2004
My husband and I booked the carnival fantasy as a late honeymoon. This was our first cruise. We liked the itinerary the best after researching all of the other cruise lines. We had a good time but there was definitely a lot more cons than ... Read More
My husband and I booked the carnival fantasy as a late honeymoon. This was our first cruise. We liked the itinerary the best after researching all of the other cruise lines. We had a good time but there was definitely a lot more cons than pros. First, We booked a balcony suite number V23, so that we would be able to enjoy the ocean air. We were very disappointed because there was a lifeboat obstructing half of the balcony. The people in V21 had an entire lifeboat in their balcony. Who wants to just sit and not be able to see out? I understand the need for lifeboats, but they should have put them on the rooms without windows or balconies like the other name brand cruise ships. We were also disappointed with limited activities onboard and for shore excursions you had to wait in a huge line when you first get onboard. Why can't they have reservations for shore excursions when you make your cruise reservations to eliminate the lines? It makes more sense to me. My husband and I are both in our early 20's and were surprised at the groups of people onboard. Many were single 30-40 year olds that only liked to party and get drunk. We were surprised there weren't many people in their 20's. I also do not recommend the spa onboard. I had a pedicure and a body wrap/massage. During the pedicure the lady lectured me about being out in the sun because I had gotten sunburned the first day. (Excuse me, I am a nurse, I think I know the harmful effects of the sun's rays). She also pressured me to buy the Elemis products and then when I did buy a couple she said I had to tip her the total of the products and the pedicure. Even though I didn't think she even deserved a tip, I gave her 20% of the total costs of the pedicure. What a rip off when you are going to relax to be lectured and pressured into buying things!!!! The last night of the cruise (the day at sea), the ship rocked terribly. You couldn't even stand up and walk around. My husband got very sea sick. Thank goodness I had bought some motion sickness medicine a few nights before because the gift shop was completely sold out. After my husband was feeling better, we went to dinner in the main dining room. Many people looked sick. I felt so sorry for them. Part of it was probably the lack of medicine at the gift shop. My husband said the men's bathroom was filled with vomit on the floor. As for shore excursions, we went to Atlantis resort. It was alright but definitely not worth 80.00 for two people. If you take a water taxi over to the resort. You will only have to pay about 45.00 for 2 people. The pros were excellent food and our cabin steward was also great. The captain's cocktail party was fun, the shows were pretty good, and the pictures were fun. I definitely would not recommend carnival fantasy. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2004
My first comment is to state I will never sail on Holland America again!! The cruise we took was on Feb 8th to the Bahamas, St. Martin, Tortola. The cabin category was a Deluxe Verandah Suite. (Only 60 on this ship). Problems started ... Read More
My first comment is to state I will never sail on Holland America again!! The cruise we took was on Feb 8th to the Bahamas, St. Martin, Tortola. The cabin category was a Deluxe Verandah Suite. (Only 60 on this ship). Problems started from the beginning. I had made arrangements in advance to have a table for two at dinner near a window for 2nd seating. I had even called the corporate office a few days before to confirm this. When we got to our cabin it showed dining for 1st seating and the table was not near a window at all. We had to call up to have this changed and were not notified until after first seating had already started. The first night I got seasick and decided to have dinner in my cabin. I was told it would take a while. It took them over two hours to deliver dinner. When it arrived the plopped it down on the glass table on a tray. Nothing setup at all. No tablecloth nothing. The major problems we had with this cruise was service issues. We would order room service and either the item we ordered wouldn't show up or we would get something entirely different. This occurred at least four times. One time we had just ordered diet cokes. They delivered them still with the plastic wrap around the cans. No ice and no glasses. When we did get the items we wanted they would deliver them and plop them down on a tray. No tablecloths. The food in the lido restaurant was gross. At one point we had asked one of the people behind one of the buffet areas if they were open. Since most of the other areas were closed. He gave us a weird look as if to say "Yes I am open stupid". The food in the main restaurant was okay. Nothing special. The service at dinner was good. Although at lunch was a different story. We had asked for a table of two at lunch and we even stated it twice. We were seated at a table for six. The next time we asked the same thing to be seated only at a table for two. We were taken to a table of four with two people already seated. This time we did not just sit down. We went back and made them seat us at a table just for two. It wasn't busy as if they had no tables of two. Just another thing to piss us off. When these problems first started we had made complaints to the food/beverage manager. He did not respond to them until five days into the cruise. Then he was going to notify the Guest Relations manager but never did. We ended up placing a second complaint with her. Needless to say neither one of them did anything to resolve the issues. I will say that I have cruised many times before and would not recommend this cruise line to anyone!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2003
This was my 6th cruise with Carnival, my husband's 3rd , and our 2nd cruise on the Fantasy and it will be our last. We were so disappointed with the cruise and the ship that we considered getting off at Freeport on Monday. Had it not ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise with Carnival, my husband's 3rd , and our 2nd cruise on the Fantasy and it will be our last. We were so disappointed with the cruise and the ship that we considered getting off at Freeport on Monday. Had it not been our 10th wedding anniversary trip and planned for so long, I think we would have. 1. The ship is filthy and in need of much repair. Carpeting is stained and dirty. The public restrooms are terrible and the service personnel do NOT clean them. Both of us noted on several occasions that personnel walked into the restroom, signed the sheet saying they had been there 10 min. and did nothing. My husband left a beer bottle sitting in the restroom by the casino on Mon. night and it was still there on Wed. night. Trash cans were not emptied and toilets were not cleaned. Electric hand dryers did not work most of the time. Why the maintenance men had to get out their scaffolding and replace lighting in the Grand Spectrum at dinner time is beyond me. 2. The food was horrible. The desserts were disgusting. We were seated at Table #178 for the late seating. Our waiter, Campbell, ignored us, got my order wrong 3 out of 4 nights, rushed us through our meals, removing our plates before we had finished, my husband had to ask at least 3 times for a glass of tea. The person sent to open my bottle of wine didn't know how to use the corkscrew and almost corked the bottle. One night I ordered a cappuccino and did not receive it until after everyone had finished their dessert. The floor in the Windows by the Sea area was always sticky and greasy. However, we got better service there than from our assigned table waiter. 3. Bar service is slow and practically non-existent in the casino. We established a relationship with Evanston and whenever he was working, we got excellent service but if he was not around we literally had to beg to get a drink. 4. Photographers left MUCH to be desired. This is the first cruise we have come home without any shipboard photos. All photos taken of us were just terrible - eyes closed, bad positioning, etc. Then we could never find our photos in the gallery........ 5. The art auctioneer was lax in getting us our invoice and when he finally did, and I returned the signed invoice, the Purser's office did not know what to do with it. I hope I receive my purchases. 6. When I booked the cruise, I was told we were guaranteed a Category 6A but by leaving our reservation as TBA we would get a minimum 2 category upgrade. In my book 6A to 6B is only 1 category. 7. Nassau Recommended restaurant - Senor Frog's - we were seated and after 10 minutes left because no one came to even take a drink order. The saving grace was that our stateroom was kept in excellent condition. Carter was a fantastic room steward and catered to our every need. And the cruise was not a total bust. We did meet some great people. The dealers in the casino were wonderful, especially, Brian and Gillian. And we just adored Tyrone and his music! We do not cruise every year but in the past have sailed at least every 3-5 years; however, due to our current financial position we are looking at sailing at least every year or two. I believe that we will start looking at Royal Caribbean or other cruise lines for future cruises. For us, Carnival no longer has the "Fun Ships". Read Less

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