Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Fantasy
Sailing Date: December 25th, 2005
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Fantasy Cruise Review
General Info: We ended up on this cruise because FEMA took our original ship (the Holiday) to help the hurricane victims. We were supposed to go to Mexico and ended up in the Bahamas (and I probably have the only 21 year old female that doesn't like the beach and ocean). That in mind, following are my thoughts on this cruise.
There were three of us on this cruise, my husband (56), myself (45) and our 21 year old daughter. We arrived early at the port and had to wait for the line to open. Things seemed a little disorganized as to where the staff wanted us to wait. Everyone was in a happy mood though because it was Christmas. Once the employees figured out where they wanted people in line, it was much smoother. When the check out lines opened, things went quickly to get us on the ship.
We stopped by our cabin first. The room was not ready, but the cabin steward happily allowed us to drop off the luggage. We proceeded to the buffet. The food was ok, but nothing spectacular. We found this to be true of the whole trip. (more on this subject later)
Activities: There were many activities on board and we were never bored. We attended bingo games, dance classes, towel animal class, the art auction, a movie and various participatory games (such as “Match Game” and “It’s in the Bag”. There were many activities to choose from. My feeling on a cruise is you can do what you want. Many people go on cruises to relax. I go on cruises to visit different ports and for the various shipboard activities. If you are bored, it is because you are afraid to try new activities.
Shows: The shows were hit or miss as to whether or not we thought they were enjoyable. The Christmas show was a big disappointment (although the kids from Camp Carnival in the show were cute). The Welcome Aboard show comedian that was featured after that was so bad that we only stayed for a little while then left. The cruise directors’ comedy leading up to the “featured act” was so much better. We were worried after the first night if the entertainment was all going to be that bad. The second nights show was much better. The singers and dancers did well in a show called “Showtime Nightclub Express”. There was an adult comedian show late that night that was really funny. The third night, we first attended the Newlywed, not so newlywed show. This was very entertaining as the oldest couple was very nice and very funny. The featured show was a magic show by “Mr. Magic” with an opening comedy & magic act. Once again the opening act far outranked the “featured act”. The last night was a show by the singers and dancers which was entitled “Broadway Fantasy”. This show was the best by far. The only thing that surprised me was most of the dancing girls part featured them wearing thong style costumes which I normally experience in Las Vegas at an adult show, not one where families and children attended. There was another late night adults only comedy show this night also. My biggest complaint with this theater – The Universe Lounge” is the way the upstairs is laid out. It is impossible to see unless you are in the front row upstairs. So, we learned our lesson the first day and made sure to get there early for all the rest of the nights on the ship.
Ports of call: In Freeport, my husband went on the Bottom Fishing trip and thoroughly enjoyed it. My daughter and I went on the Freeport Island Tour. I would advise not wasting your time or money on this tour. We got on a bus and drove thru very poor parts of town and were taken past a few houses where so and so used to live. We then stopped at a very small market (that didn’t necessarily look safe) were about 3 merchants were open for a 20 minute shopping stop. After that we then went to Port Lucaya where we were dropped off for shopping on our own. We could stay there from 2 – 3 hours. They gave us a slip of paper to give to certain bus drivers for our transportation back to the ship. We stopped at a few merchants but were soon ready to go back to the ship. We were very disappointed in this tour and the shopping area. All 3 of us wondered why Freeport is a port of call.
In Nassau, my daughter went on the Historical Highlights tour which she said was much better than the day before in Freeport. My husband and I went on the Catamaran Snorkeling tour which was thoroughly enjoyable. My husband was disappointed that we were on just a regular boat going to the diving site though. But the beautiful clear water and reef life were worth it.
After the shore excursions in the morning, we went on our own to Ardastra Gardens. This is a very small kind of run-down park. We did enjoy the flamingos and the aviary cage where we got to hand feed the Lory Parrots. I would not have wanted to be there when there were lots of people on a shore excursion as I think the place would have been crowded. This was much cheaper to do on our own than an excursion would have been. I am not sorry we went there, but not sure I would recommend it either.
Food: The food on the ship in the dining room for the most part was just average. I did not think there were as many things to choose from in either the dining room or the buffet as there was last year when we went on a Royal Caribbean cruise (Majesty of the Seas). The best part of the food was the pizza and ice cream. Both very tasty. The grand buffet was also not as nice as the RC cruise. The dining room waiter was very nice though. We had early seating and were seated with a family that lived in the U.S. but were Indian. They were also strict vegetarians. After the first night when there was only one vegetarian choice for them for dinner, they got special food every night prepared by the chef for them. They did share with us every night so we did get to enjoy some different choices we otherwise would not have had.
Overall: Like all cruises, you were photographed many times. Most of these did not turn out well for us, but we did get a couple very nice shots that we did end up purchasing. But this is the nice thing about having your photograph taken many times, there is no obligation and the ones you don’t like, you just give back.
The staff everywhere on the ship was very pleasant and helpful. People in general seemed to be having fun (after all this was over Christmas). Hope this info helps everyone.