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Tameka Lucas

Age: 27

Occupation:pharmacy student

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Fantasy

Sailing Date: January 1st, 2004

Itinerary: BahamasI

planned a group cruise for my family and friends and was very nervous because I had never planned a cruise for this number of people (30+).

Nevertheless, everyone had a wonderful time. The first cruise that I took about five years ago was on Royal Caribbean (Sovereign of the Seas), and I would highly recommend Carnival Fantasy over Sovereign of the Seas as a great 3-night cruise. The rooms were larger and cleaner on this cruise. The beds were comfortable and had nice, crisp white duvets on each bed. The cabin crew cleans your room each morning and they come again while you're at dinner to put a chocolate on your pillow and to make sure you have enough towels for the next day.

The food was ok (no better than Royal Caribbean). We had dinner each night at 8pm in the Jubilee Dining Room. I recommend having dinner at 8pm so that you don't have to come back to the ship early to prepare for dinner. The food selection was great....lobster, prime rib, salmon, pastas, etc. but the quality was not very impressive.

There was a 24-hour pizzeria at Windows of the Sea which was also ok. The breakfast was a little above average. Overall, the quality of the food was a 4.5 out of 10.

On this cruise, we took advantage of the activities and shows a lot more, which I strongly recommend. We enjoyed the Las Vegas style show, the comedy show was not great, karaoke was fun (wide variety of songs), casinos, teen club, many adult dance clubs, spa treatments.

I was surprised that there was not much cigarette smoking on the boat. I'm not a smoker and was concerned about our cabin being full of smoke since smoking is allowed on the ship, but I think most of the smokers hung out around the sports bar.

We went on a shore excursion on the cruise to the Blue Lagoon Island. I would personally pocket that $27 and just head straight to Paradise Island and the Atlantis Hotel. If you are looking to do motorized water sports, you won't find it at the Blue Lagoon Island. We did however rent a kayak and there were other non-motorized water sports (paddle boats). The island was pretty relaxing. There were hammocks along the island and you could rent a cabana for $10 to lay under on the beach. The food was expensive. Hamburgers and hot dogs were as much as $8. Instead of going to Blue Lagoon Island, I would recommend hanging out at Paradise Island. There are beautiful beaches to enjoy and motorized sports (jet skiing, para-sailing, banana boat rides) and I highly recommend touring the Atlantis Hotel.

In terms of tipping the service people on the cruise, there is a $10 per person, per day service gratuity added to your account, so it's essentially $30 total per person. We were very pleased with our cabin steward and waiter and decided to tip them extra. You can easily spend a $100 or more in tips, so prepare for that.

One thing that did bother me on this cruise that I didn't remember experiencing on my last cruise was that I felt everything on this cruise, and I couldn't sleep well as a result. I felt every little movement. I didn't get sea sick, but if you have a history of motion sickness, I highly recommend taking something before hand.

Overall, I am very happy that we took this cruise as our second cruise. Based on the price, quality of service, food, and activities, I give this cruise a 7 out of 10. If the food had been better, I would have given it an 8.5 out of 10. Eating is a big portion of what you do on a cruise and I would grade this cruise higher if their quality of food had been better. The cleanliness and service on this cruise, however, exceeded my exceptions.

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