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Richard Gallagher

Age: 67


Number of Cruises: 25

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Fantasy

Sailing Date: 2012-08-26

Itinerary: Bahamas

Knowing this was an older Carnival ship but very competitively priced and sailing from a port only a 6 hour drive from home, we booked this 5 day cruise with reasonable expectations. This was our 4th Carnival cruise and our 25th cruise overall. With the exception of our fellow passengers, the cruise met our expectations. The food was good to very good, the cabin was better than expected, activities and entertainment were adequate and the processes for getting on the ship and off the ship were better than expected. This was a 5-day cruise with stops in Nassau and Freeport, Bahamas, with 2 full "sea days", from Charleston, South Carolina.

The food in the main dining room (Jubilee) was very good with an excellent selection, especially at dinner. Most of our meals for breakfast and lunch were taken in the buffet which offered a good selection and was good tasting at all meals. We were fortunate to have a very attentive waiter and assistant waiter (with the early seating as we do not care for "anytime dining" where the service is generally less attentive). Menus for dinner included 4 or 5 different selections each night, generally including a "beef" option, "fish" option, "comfort" food (like meatloaf or mac & cheese) as well as something "unique". Excellent appetizers and salads were available. Bread in different forms was always available, but "white" only, no wheat or multi-grain.

Our stateroom, an upgrade from what we had booked, was an inside cabin that turned out to be located directly under the stage for the show room (E20). I guess we got "upgraded" to this cabin because most people would not have booked it (I know I would not have done it). It turned out to not be a problem though as the noise was minimal and short lived. Being on Empress deck, it had the advantage of being near the main atrium which facilitated boarding at the start of the cruise and disembarking at the end of the cruise. We were able to carry off our own luggage at the end of the cruise so we were able to get off the ship by 7am as we had a 6 hour drive back to the Atlanta area from Charleston. There were a couple of small maintenance issues with the cabin but they were very quickly taken care of once I brought them to the attention of the proper people.Otherwise the cabin was in good shape, very clean with adequate storage, especially for my wife who always "over packs" for our cruises. For an older ship, it has been maintained well and is very clean.

On board activities were the normal ones associated withe cruises now a days, most of which generate income for the cruise lines, but also including trivia sessions, etc. Nothing exceptional but plenty to keep you busy if that's what you wanted. Keep a happy face on as the photographers are everywhere all the time. Too bad they charge so much for the photos. If they charged less they would probably sell more photos (I know I'd buy more) and actually make more money (thousands of photos go "un-sold").

We did take one ship sponsored excursion in Freeport which turned out OK and was worth the money (Coastal Cruise and Shopping) but was not run as described in the brochure. We were supposed to be able to board a 77 foot catamaran boat right at the cruise ship dock but were instead taken by bus (25 minute drive) to a different dock location to board the boat) which then went as promised along the shore to the shopping area at Port Lucaya, stopping along the way to see the dolphin show and view homes in the expensive part of the island. After shopping, we were taken by bus back to the ship.

For a reasonably price cruise from a "local" port that could be reached in less than a days drive, this was just what we were looking for and expected, except for one factor: the other cruise passengers. Having cruised many times since 1983 we have seen many changes in the industry but also in the passengers them selves. This cruise had many families from Virginia and North and South Carolina, many with children (700 were on board as this was the last week before school started for many of them). The adults seem to leave their common sense, manners and morals at home when they cruise now. The kids were allowed to race up and down the hallways at all hours of the day and night, making all kinds of noise, with no supervision or control (and the cruise staff did nothing about it either). Most people give you the sense that they think they are the only ones on the ship as they block aisles, stairways, elevators, buffet food and drink stations without regard for anyone else around. The majority also lose their common sense when eating by taking enough food for 3-4 people and then leaving half of it to be thrown out.

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