We wanted a short and relaxing vacation, and got a good returner rate, as it was my second cruise. Overall, we had a great experience. The food was good, we missed the Mongolian Wok desperately as it provided fresh healthy meals to ... Read More
We wanted a short and relaxing vacation, and got a good returner rate, as it was my second cruise. Overall, we had a great experience. The food was good, we missed the Mongolian Wok desperately as it provided fresh healthy meals to combat the very heavy fattening meals! Guy's Burger Joint was the highlight for everyone on the ship and the lines were very very long, so we went one day at a very late time for lunch. Very delicious!!! A few things we did:
Art Auction: I always love going to these--not necessarily to buy anything, but the auctioneer is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about art, so you feel like you're in a 1 hour seminar to learn more about art. Additionally, I got free champagne and won a raffle for a free painting. If you do win a free piece of art, you will still need to pay $35 to get it shipped, but for the painting I got, it was definitely worth the $35.
Punchline Comedy Club: Absolute highlight. We had Percy Crews II and Al Romero; Al was good, Percy brought down the house in a way that I have never seen. We were all literally laughing on the floors so hard. I would pay in a heartbeat to hear him perform again--Percy is truly talented. Get there 15-20 minutes early so you can get a seat. The last show of the night will be packed, so get there even earlier.
Buffets: The buffets were good and standard--met my expectations. I would have liked more variety and options in the evening. They had chili dogs in the buffet one night as the only option, and then had the pizza line open, but as they were custom pizzas, the line was astronomical and I didn't want to wait 30 minutes for a pizza. More self-serve options would have been nice.
Dining Hall: Normally a good experience, this was the dissapointment on our trip. On nights 1 and 2, our orders were incorrect, food not cooked properly, staffed too stressed and slammed to fill water, bring butter for the bread, get wine glasses, etc. What made it worse, however, is that there was no hello/goodbye with the service. Those of us who cruise know that it is the relationships we make with the staff that make us come again and again, and it was seriously lacking. We met with the restaurant manager to discuss all of our concerns, and he took them seriously and addressed issues with the staff. We noticed significant improvement in the quality of service nights 3 and 4, but there were still inconsistencies in the food. One example: we ordered a filet for brunch, and we wanted ours medium rare. They came back medium well. We asked to remake the filets and our waitress that night did not seem too thrilled and they brought out new steaks. Again, medium well. We did not send it back again, but when the manager came to us to check in, we did share that feedback. On night 4, we were given new steaks that were cooked to perfection with an apology. Overall, it seems that the quality in service has significantly declined in this area.
Stateroom: We had an interesting experience--we did not know that the Fantasy was one of the oldest ships, so we noticed stains and residue on the walls and mirror, and asked if someone could come and reclean them. A knock at our door and it was not only our wonderful stateroom attendent, but his supervisor, the housekeeping manager, who was very authoritative, intimidating, and it left me with the feeling that our stateroom attendant was going to be in serious trouble by him. When we showed them the issues, the manager dismissed it and said that the residue was from old posters. Well, thank you for that information, but what are you going to do about it--it was gross and unsightly. When the manager finished defending everything, we said everything was ok and they left. The entire experience made us feel very uncomfortable, but also showed the age and care of the ship.
Overall: We had a wonderful time--anyone will with Carnival! I will say that the one general area is overall service and attitudes of all staff. Not that it was bad, but again, on cruises, all staff are generally very happy to see you and provide outstanding customer service, and many of the staff in multiple areas seemed tired, not outgoing, or going that extra step. Read Less