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Old 11-02-2008, 07:33 AM
 
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We just returned from a five day cruise on Fantasy. The only other time we have cruise was with NCL. My question is if the food on the Fantasy is typical or does is vary from ship to ship. My only complaint, while realizing this was an older ship, was that the food was simply terrible compared to NCL. We couldn't even eat a lot of it and we are not picky eaters. I was wondering if since this was an older ship, less pricey for the cruise if that was the reason for the bad food. We enjoyed everything else. The staff were nice, the cruise director was great and for the age of the ship, we thought it was nice also. Any thoughts from you folks who have been on different ships from Carnival's fleet?
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:07 AM
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I've always felt Carnival did a good job with the food. Some of the best has been on the Holiday, which is their oldest ship so ship age has nothing to do with it. I will say that on the Holiday in July things seemed to not be as good as they were on previous Holiday cruises - but I still found most of the food to be fine. Perhaps it was just "one of those weeks" on the Fantasy.
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:21 AM
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We just got back from the Fantasy also. This was my ninth Carnival Cruise and for a ship just coming out of dry-dock, the condition of Fantasy was pretty disappointing. I am sure a lot got done, but there was a lot I saw that didn't!

I am still curious as to what caused us to stop and spend most of the night anchored in the river. That was a big plus because we got to see the river and its mouth the next morning in daylight hours.

We were in the Jubilee Dining Room and the food was not what I have grown accustomed to receiving on Carnival. I do not want to sound negative, but the whole ship seemed "out-of-synch." Of our group of 18, many were first time cruisers and they think I am a nut for recommending this cruise! We had a great time anyway.

The new Waterworks addition is great and the Lido Deck additions made a huge difference, especially the multi-colored lighting in and around the pool! The entertainment on the ship was fantastic.

Not making excuses, but re-staffing a ship after dry-dock has got to be a logistical nightmare. Add to that what I see as a "sub-par" drydock and the logistics compound.

After the dry-dock and re-staffing bugs are worked out, Fantasy will be back at its game. If you were on the same cruise we were, don't use it as a benchmark for comparison. At least there was plenty pizza!
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:13 PM
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Thanks for the report, tn. I've been reading a lot of troubling reports about the Fantasy lately - most of them having to do with what seems to be a lousy dry-dock job by both the shipyard and Carnival. This is really not typical for Carnival. I agree - don't let this cruise be your benchmark for Carnival. They really are a great company.
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:47 PM
 
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Thanks for the comments. I will give Carnival another try once Triumph comes to New Orleans. I agree with tncruiseman, the pool area was very good. Much better than the cruise we took on NCL. I also agree with tncruiseman that everything did seem out of sync, but I couldn't put my finger on it. We had a great time and as long as we made both our ports, having to anchor did not bother us. The sewer smell is bad though. They really need to get that fixed. I guess for the money, we might give her another try. As for booking the Triumph, I hear you saying that we should expect better food because if we thought the food would be the same, we definitely would not go with CCL, it was that bad. The lobster was like rubber and had a bad taste, my wife told me not to eat it. Her fish, which was Talapia and usually has a very mild flavor, was very fishy tasting, more like Cod. She didn't eat her's either. The room service cheesecake was good, but the dining room desserts were very bad. We would always order our dessert from room service, once we learned that it was different. And yes, pizza and salad was our main food for the cruise and since you can't mess up a salad and the pizza was descent, we were good with that. I also liked a chicken wrap that was on room service menu. Had a great time in Cozumel and we thought Progreso was very nice, or at least a lot nicer than what we were expecting. Also had a good time on Halloween. Overall, the weather was great and the staff were nice enough. I liked that on this cruise the wait staff did not ask you every minute (and I'm not exaggerating) if you wanted a drink from the bar like on NCL. Also my TA told us that Carnival was going to go to freestyle dining next year, has anyone else heard this? I sure hope they do if we continue to use Carnival because I do prefer that over being told what time to eat and NCL will let you stay in your stateroom until it time for you to disembark, that is a nice plus as well.

Please give us your thoughts on Triumph. We want to take our three grown sons (ages 23-20)with us next time and this will be their first cruise so I want it to be a good one for them so they will want to do it again. If Fantasy had been my first cruise, I don't think I would be in any hurry to do it again.
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Also my TA told us that Carnival was going to go to freestyle dining next year, has anyone else heard this?
Not "totally". They are going to make one of the restaurants available for open seating. They are still going to have traditional dining times.

Dwayne
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:55 AM
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Triumph is a nice ship. We were on it in November 2006 and there is a review posted on this site. You will enjoy it a lot, especially the 7-day Roatan/Belize/Cozumel itinerary which will be our first choice.

I didn't mention the sewage smell, but since you brought it up....if you ever heard anyone on U deck forward singing "ooo ooo that smell" that was me. The stench was intermittent but awful in the hall right outside our door. I think I have the smell issue figured out..the ship tour video says they use treated sewage for heating and a/c. If something wasn't quite right in the treatment process, there ya go! Since the smell is isolated to certain areas, I will bet money that there is a compressor/cooling coil nearby. It was also fun when getting on the elevator to use a word for the desired floor...."L" for "Lunch" "S" for "Slide" and "U" for "ooo ooo that smell" etc. I had fun with it anyway!
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:09 AM
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Sorry, I got carried away on the smell and didn't address your food question. They real key to your food experience will be your dining room servers. If something isn't right by your second meal, talk with the maitre'd and get a different table or dining room if possible. You can always re-order a different entree if the first one doesn't suit you and they are not offended in any way. We also must keep in mind that we are nearing a recession and every company is making cuts where they can. At least they aren't cutting back on fuel! The only cut in food service I noticed, other than smaller portions of certain items, was NY Strip has been replaced by "Flat Iron Steak" on the alternative menu. They would be much better off with hamburger steak in my opinion. OH I ALMOST FORGOT!! Onion Rings are now available at the cheeseburger bar!
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:14 AM
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Dave, the Fantasy is going to work great for Mobile. I'll download some pics of the new Lido Deck area soon. When it does get to Mobile, I can see us going on it at least once a year if not more. One thing different, the Verandah cabins have the same regular bathrooms as the rest of the ship. The better bathrooms are on Upper Deck (6) with the "Penthouse Suites" a name that makes no sense at all to me!
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:45 AM
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We've been on the Mardi Gras, Carnivale, Jubilee, Elation and Holiday. I've always enjoyed the food. I don't like any ship's lobster, unless it's a specialty restaurant. Even then I usually don't order it. I love the chocolate melting cake on Carnival, did y'all try that? To my taste, Carnival's food is better than Royal Caribbean, but that's my taste. Princess is my favorite, so far, but I wouldn't hesitate to do Carnival again. I do hope the Triumph turns out better for you. Sorry to hear of the troubles on the Fantasy, but am glad the ports were good. Did y'all try the buffet at all? Usually they have good food. I'd give Carnival another chance, it could have just been an off cruise. Best wishes!
 
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