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Age: 44


Number of Cruises: 8

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Fantasy

Sailing Date: 2009-11-26

Itinerary: Cozumel

I sailed on the Carnival Fantasy out of Mobile, Alabama on 26 November 2009, Thanksgiving Day. This was my 8th cruise overall and my kids 2nd cruise. The cruise was four nights and only stopped in one port, Cozumel, Mexico. The ship in Mobile is easy to get to and parking your own car there was $60 for the cruise duration. Check-in was painless and fast as we arrived at the terminal at 11:00AM and were on board by 12:00PM. The buffets were open once we boarded and the fun began. Please remember to go check out all your food options before stopping at the first line you see. It's always funny to see a long line at the burger station because people don't realize the good stuff is behind the sliding doors. Our stateroom was ready at 13:30, which was an inside cabin with no windows. It's nice for allowing the kids to sleep in. We did the self assist with our luggage which worked out great.

The weather on this cruise was great, not too cold and not too hot. The ship rode fine and there was minimal rocking. I really enjoyed being up on deck when we were leaving and entering port. Alcoholic drinks on board are expensive, but that shouldn't stop you, you're on vacation. I only drink beer and they charge roughly $5 for a 16 ounce one. If you buy them by the bucket, they are a little cheaper. Remember that the tip is already added in to your drink prices (look at the receipt you sign). The soda cards are a good deal if you drink a lot. I thought the food on-board was very good, but I'm not real picky either. The one place the kids really enjoyed was the pizza station and of course the ice cream area.

The weather in Cozumel was nice and the temperature was around 78 degrees. We got off the ship and shopped at the International Pier area and then went to swim with the dolphins. The tour departed at 11:00, which we booked through Carnival. The cost was $165 a person and well worth the experience since the kids got to actually swim with the dolphins and learn a lot about them.
The kids program on board was outstanding. There were a large number of kids on the ship since it was a holiday cruise. My son, age 12, met many new friends and they swam, water slides, putt-putted, danced for two hours each night at the disco, and just hung out. My daughter, age 9, was in a more structured program and I signed her in and out of activities. She went to activities during the day and night (one night until 2am). I felt comfortable letting my son roam the ship but kept a closer eye on my younger daughter. I had plenty of time to hit the casino and other adult areas.

Recommendations: explore the ship and marvel at its ability to float, go all the way forward to the outside railing for a great view, when you first board don't stop at the first buffet line you see (explore all your options), see the shows and the comedians and if you don't like them you can just leave, check out all the bars and other areas to decide which is the best for you, bring a cheap hole punch and lanyards to wear around your neck for your sail and sign cards, sneak booze on-board in your luggage if you want to, order two entries (food was great), tip extra they work hard seven days a week, and remember there's no such thing as a bad cruise, it's just that some are better than others! Read reviews and learn all you can before you go, have fun and enjoy! All in all, a great cruise and the kids are ready to go again.

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