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3 Mobile to Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

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 ... Read More
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! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I choose this cruise because it was going to the Panama Canal and the port was close to home in Mobile. It was a longer cruise and like to travel on the ship. The more days, the better it is. We booked the cruise 11 month in advance ... Read More
I choose this cruise because it was going to the Panama Canal and the port was close to home in Mobile. It was a longer cruise and like to travel on the ship. The more days, the better it is. We booked the cruise 11 month in advance because it was filling up pretty fast. Some of my friends were going and they told us about it. This was our 18th cruise on the Carnival. We like a smaller ship and the Fantasy is one of the smallest ship in the fleet. It is the oldest. We took our snorket gear with us so when we visited Rotan (Magahony Bay) we could do some snorkeling too. The water was so clear, but not many things to see in the clear water since they had rock barriers. There were a few little fish to see. The weather couln't have been any nicer. The cabin was ready when we board and we greeted our steward. He was very friendly and we wanted ice and he kept us with ice the whole trip. The dining waiters were very friendly and worked hard for our table of 10. We had people that were late every time and they just smile and took their orders, which sometimes held our meals up. Anything we needed we just call the service desk and we got all our answers and services we needed. The ports were great and we enjoyed our cruise very much. Over all the staff was great. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The ship is far too outdated, small and therefore too boring to be selected to be part of the longer journey cruises. Food quality and selection is my biggest complaint. It had the same LIMITED choices on all the buffets, for all 10 ... Read More
The ship is far too outdated, small and therefore too boring to be selected to be part of the longer journey cruises. Food quality and selection is my biggest complaint. It had the same LIMITED choices on all the buffets, for all 10 days. The main dining room did change up the menus, however the quality of their choices were not enjoyable. Dessert selection was consistently of poor quality and taste. The cruise itinerary has 7 out of 10 as sea days so Carnival really needed to step up the on board activities. They did do fairly well in that department, however ship size limited their ability to do so. Smoking that was allowed in the Casio flooded the entire floor where most of the on board activities occurred. Very limited outdoor seating areas that were not in full sun and again the indoor sitting areas are located on the smoke filled floor. Overall I loved the journey cruise but Carnival needs to change the ship for this sailing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

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