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javaj 07-18-2005 11:47 AM

We (my husband, our 3 yo son (he'll be 4 when we cruise, and myself) just booked our first cruise, a 4-night cruise on Carnival Fantasy in March 2006.

A few questions:
1. Where can I get info on the children's club? -- hours, do we have to sign up before cruising, etc?
2. We booked a category 12, I thought I read somewhere that there were boarding/registration specials for those who booked suites. Where can I find info on this?
3. Dining -- how does this work exactly, do we always have to eat together? Do we have to have semi-formal attire for any meals? How do they track your meals?
4. Shows -- do any of these have to be reserved beforehand?
5. Embarkation and debarkation -- what time should we get there, and what time can we expect to leave?

Any other info appreciated! Thanks!

shelby 07-18-2005 12:28 PM

As far as Camp Carnival..we didn't use it. It looked like they had alot of great activities. You don't sign up ahead of the cruise but I think you HAD to attend the orientation the first night and we missed it. I didn't bother trying to get my 5yr old in late b/c we were only on a 3 night and we were busy enough. We aren't partiers so that was ok. We also had a 15 and 12 yr old that would stay in the cabin with her when she was sleeping so we could go to the late comedy shows. It worked out well for us.

For dinner you have the option of eating in the casual dining buffet area or eating formally. You should have been asked when you booked what setting time you wanted. You are expected to use that seating if you eat formally but if you chose not to show up and go to the buffet you don't have to notify anyone. Your seat is there if you want it. All other meals are open seating. There is no meal tracking..if you see it eat it. (except for this really cool specialty dessert section in the Galleria. It costs extra. You get dessert with your regular meal but these are like special special truffles and stuff.
As far as showing up they TOLD us 1:30 so we did and it was fine..not a bad wait. BUT someone here had told me you could go as early asa 11:30 and I forgot. After we got on the ship I realized we would have gotten a little more time on ship...more pool time the first day... and we would have gotten to do the ship tour had we gotten there early. So if you can go earlier...Lifeboat talks for us were at 4:00 and I think we left at like 4:30 or 5:00 was pouring rain when we left so there was no grand sendoff like you se in the movies... I don\'t know if it was the rains fault or if that;s just in the movies...

(this was our first cruise too so take others advice over mine

Larry in Miami 07-18-2005 01:58 PM

No special seating for the shows, just get there early if you want a good seat.

swimmersonboard 07-18-2005 02:16 PM

We did use Camp Carnival but you do have to go to orientation or at least one of the things offered the first night to sign them in. My three kids loved it and it actually made it alot of fun for them and for us. By the second day there were things we were doing together and they were begging to go to Camp Carnival instead.
A few of the nights they ate with Camp Carnival so we could go to the Emerald Room(higher dining with a $25/per person fee) and it was great! They had a pajama party one of the nights that lasted until 1 0r 2am and then they walked each kid to their cabin. My kids had a BLAST!

jbmm 07-19-2005 09:01 AM

There is a restaurant on the Fantasy called the Emerald Room? Wonder how we overlooked that? My dh won't bellieve I overlooked another place to spend $$

javaj 07-19-2005 10:11 AM

Thanks for all the replies so far.

I'd really be interested in finding out what time we should expect to leave the ship at the end of the cruise. I'm trying to figure out the best way to DisneyWorld -- probably a town car?

Cruise Specialist 07-20-2005 04:48 AM

As far as Camp Carnival, just ask your travel agent to get you the brochure on it..its full of lots of information. Or you can go to and search out the Camp Carnival program.

I would advise getting to the port around 11:00 or so, that way you will get the embarkation process out of the way and will be one of the first to board the ship. This will allow you time to explore the ship and partake of the great buffett on the Lido deck. If you havent already gone to then click here and fill out your fun pass. Make sure you print it and take a copy with you when you get to the port..this will speed up the embarkation process.

As far as leaving the ship, if everything goes on time you should be off the ship by 9:00 or 9:30 am..but there is no gurarantee since anything could slow it down. Immigration and border security has to clear the ship and if someone from another country doesnt show up for Immigrations then no one disembarks the ship. We usually tell anyone that sails out of Port Canaveral to make sure that you don't get flights out of Orlando any earlier than around 1:00 pm.

shelby 07-20-2005 05:51 AM

We were out of the port parking lot just a few minutes before 9. They start immigration folks at 6 am and like Carol said until they al show up no one can leave. I think the earliest they let you go is 8 and everyone kindof likes up at one door..It was really confusing I thought no one knew where they were going so some people just stood there holding up the line like they were waiting for an invitation. But the port stuff coming back in was so simple it was almost scary. You pretty much walked off the ship (or ran the port people wouldn't let you stop to adjust your bags..They did the same coming in..go,go,go.....) they don't check bags, xray, they barely glance at paperwork.. I was shocked.

javaj 07-21-2005 02:12 PM

Thanks for the help! We're getting really excited for our first cruise, and we're bummed that it is still so far away. Maybe we need to try to schedule another one for sooner

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