Got all five of us booked for a cruise on the Carnival Fantasy. Got what I feel was a steal of a deal. So I spent the night getting all travel papers ready, now I just need to figure out what to pack. Is it better to park at the port or leave your car at a hotel you are staying at and have them shuttle you over? I am so excited, I wish there was a way to find others that will be on the same sailing as me. Thank you all so much for your help, without all of your help I'm not sure I would have decided to go. I know everyone says Carnival is bottom of the barrel low class--- but that's how I roll anyway, LOL
Congratulations on your first cruise. First, don't buy into the frenzy that Carnival is bottom of the barrel. The media has been extremely vicious in it's reporting of Carnival the past few months. Yesterday was another example when all the headlines are saying "Carnival Fascination fails inspection". The media is being shameful in that report by using Carnival as the headline. The facts are, several other ships from other cruise lines had lower inspection scores than the Carnival Fascination.
Don't start your cruise with negative expectations. Go with a positive attitude that you will have a good time.
It sounds like you're already planning to drive in to Charleston a day early. If you're doing a park & cruise package with the hotel you essentially have paid for the parking while you're on the cruise. So why not let them shuttle you to the ship. On the other hand; parking at the ship may cost more, but it is convenient and a time saver when you get off the ship.
davephillyj....Carnival is a fun cruiseline and is surprisingly quite nice, comfortable and reasonable in all its offerings. As you cruise more and more you will find all cruise ships to be remarkably alike and remarkably different.......no two ships, even within the same cruiseline/class are the same. As such each ship is an independent adventure unto itself. You are about to enjoy a whole new type of adventure.....Relax....Enjoy....You will be cruising.....Once you have tried it...You'll be back again and again!!!
Our travel agent has inform us that she will never book us on any Carnival cruises due to our age. We have gone on lots of cruises, but not this line. She says its nothning but a fun ship which we have heard is true from all of our friends that have gone on Carnival. If you like to have lots of fun, then this is your cruise line. We can't say anything as we have never gone on this line or never will..
Woodon, That's a shame because Carnival carries more senior citizens then any other cruise line. I know many myself that go on Carnival all the time. The 3/4 day cruises do draw a younger crowd because they are so cheap. The seven day and longer cruises draw a totally different crowd. Different destinations such as Alaska and Mediterranean also will draw a different older passenger mix. Many Grandparents like to take their Grandchildren on Carnival.
Congratulations on the booking, davephillyj! I'm so excited for you! Carnival Fantasy was the first of 8 sister ships built by Carnival, making the Fantasy class among the most successful (if not the most successful) ship design for the line. I like Carnival -- not my first choice, but our last two cruises on the line were fantastic and I would not rule out the line for future cruises. True, there are fancier lines out there, yet sometimes you just want to kick back. Also, Carnival is one of few lines on which I enjoy the buffet lunches. IMO, the Mongolian Wok is not to be missed.
As for packing -- given the itinerary, at least two swimsuits, water shoes if you wish as well. T-shirts/shorts will be great for Nassau and Grand Turk and for your sea days, but be prepared for the A/C on the ship. For evenings, you no longer need tuxedos and gowns, although some pax still dress up. This page from Carnival's website will help you decide on the clothing to pack.
If you haven't done so yet, be sure to purchase travel insurance, preferably a policy that includes coverage for trip interruption. You can compare policies at InsureMyTrip.com and, of course, ask any questions here. Just be sure to do it very soon as most policies will cover pre-existing conditions only if you purchase the insurance within a week or two of your initial cruise deposit. Even though you're driving to the port, you never know what might happen. One of my friends once broke her ankle getting into her car at home and had to cancel her trip. She had insurance, so was reimbursed fully.
Most importantly, have a great time and come back with a full report for those of us who are stuck on land!
Congratulations on booking your first cruise! It is truly a very exciting time and you will likely have the time of your life.
Don't listen to any naysayers...especially those who have never even sailed Carnival. My first four cruises were all on Royal Caribbean and I thought I would never sail another line, but out of convenience, I took my family on a back-to-back cruise on the Carnival Elation out of Mobile, and we absolutely loved it and had the best cruise ever. Since then we have sailed multiple cruises on both Carnival and Royal Caribbean, and I must admit that it seems like my family prefers Carnival. To us, it just seems that the cruise director staff draws us in to the activities better...we can't really put our fingers on it, but we all noticed it.
Sorry, but you will not get any of my family to travel on Carnvial. We are Holland America and Princess cruise family.
That's wonderful Woodon. Everyone needs to find the cruise line that is the right fit for them and you've chosen two fine cruise lines. I enjoy all of them, but personally for me my favorite is Celebrity. I was only stating a fact that the old "party ship" image is very out of date and there are many seniors that enjoy Carnival.