Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Fantasy
Sailing Date: August 19th, 2004
Considering that this was the year of the hurricane in Florida, and we arrived in Orlando just days after Charlie, the airport and Port Canaveral were in very good shape. The cruise was wonderful. This was our second cruise, but the first with the kids. My best advice...fly in a day early, book a hotel for a night - pack a bathing suit and dinner atire in a carry-one bag and rent a limo to take you to the port as early as possible. If you get on the boat early, you can find your cabin, get your soda cards, change into the swinsuits and enjoy the pool with the kids while it's not over crowded. We did not sign up for any shore excursions. We walked (2 blocks) to the straw market then hopped in a cab and asked the driver to take us to a beach. The beach he took us to was not terribly busy, but a bit more commercial than I would have liked. The natives will sell you everything from beach chairs to jet ski rides. Don't be afraid to bargain for a better price...you will usually get a better deal. The ship was beautiful, clean and offered plenty to do. We went to both shows (both excellent). Food was superb! The waiter and dining room staff were second to none! Khen (our waiter) and Dennis (our bus boy) were absolutely fabulous! They always made the kids laugh and even included them in the HOT, HOT, HOT parade on formal night! The food on the Lido deck made for great breakfasts and lunches. Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Fries on one end and native foods (jerk chicken, etc.) on the other. A pizza place (open all night) and self-serve ice cream (avail 24 hours) were also a nice diversion. Another word of advice...Gamble on the way out to sea, not on the way back to Fla. Both cruises, we won on the way out and lost on our way home. I won $250 at the blackjack table the first night. Camp Carnival was O.K. Alot of the events require 1 parent to be there and there is an after-hour fee if you want to have the kids there after 10pm. One good thing is that the video arcade is just around the corner from the casino and bars. If your kids are old enough, they can hang-out there and still be close by. Okay, so here it is in a nut shell:
Cruise Experience: 10
The carnival staff will bend over backwards to make sure that you are happy. We are definitely going to cruise again.