Carnival Questions

Apr 25th, 2006, 12:06 PM
  #1  
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Carnival Questions

We're booked (well, still subject to cancellation if we want) on the Carnival Fantasy this July for 5 nights hitting Grand Turk, Nassau and Half Moon Cay. For 3 of us, this is our 1st cruise and I was just interested in getting some info from anyone who has travelled this route before. We're avid scuba divers and have travelled pretty extensively (we're military), and I was able to get what I believe is a pretty good deal ($479 pp for 2 inside rooms on the Empress deck).

Thanks!
suzski is offline  
Apr 25th, 2006, 03:29 PM
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Is the price you quoted a military rate?
kaleighsgram is offline  
Apr 25th, 2006, 05:27 PM
  #3  
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Yes it is... I got quotes from several other operators and this seemed to be the best rate. Am I looking in the wrong place?
suzski is offline  
Apr 26th, 2006, 12:20 PM
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Just keep in mind that the Fantasy is a very old ship (15 years), so don't have high expections. The price is directly related to the ship.

Since this is your first cruise you will have nothing else to compare it to, that's good. You can work your way up to newer and grander ships on future cruises.

Have a great cruise.
Frank is offline  
Apr 26th, 2006, 04:35 PM
  #5  
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Frank, appreciate the info. I did notice the age of the ship, and know that Carnival is not noted for refinement....which is okay for this trip.

We are looking at a longer trip for our family of 6 next year on a newer ship, and are using this trip as a way to get our feet wet and see what we think of the cruising lifestyle.
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Apr 26th, 2006, 05:43 PM
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Frank is absolutely right. This is an older ship which is why it's cheaper. People who have sailed before generally favor newer ships. Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay (never been there) should be beach stops. Not much at Grand Turk, but a decent beach and a large salt-water pool. Suzski, have you ever gone to the website, cruisecritics.com.? If you do, go to the top of the first screen on the left (I believe). You'll see "Roll Calls". Click on it and when you see Carnival, click on it. It eventually will lead you to your ship and your sailing date. Sign in and it will connect you with other people sailing with you. It will also give you the option of looking up your ports of call. If I'm correct, a guy named "Rev Neal" got off the maiden voyage of the HAL's Noodam. He has posted pictures of Grand Turk, in case you are interested in seeing what you've signed up for. Hope this helps.
kaleighsgram is offline  
Apr 26th, 2006, 05:48 PM
  #7  
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kaleighsgram, yes I joined the forum there earlier today, and posted on the roll call section (didn't see a roll call already posted for that particular sailing). Anyway, I will go there and check out the "Rev Neal" post...I'm very interested in diving, and wondering whether Grand Turk or Nassau is better as I don't want to desert mom and daughter for 2 ports!
Thanks again!
suzski is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 02:59 AM
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suzski, You might want to check out the threads again. There's one there called"Is there anybody back from Grand Turk." It gives you an idea of what people found there as far as activities. You might also want to consider starting a thread yourself called "If you have a Choice -Diving in Grand Turk or Nassau." I'm sure you'll get some hits.
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Apr 27th, 2006, 04:01 AM
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I think that diving will be better in Grand Turk than in Nassau and that is where I would spend my money. Grand Turk also just is starting to accept cruise ships so I think you will also find a better value there.

Nassau is ridiculously commercial and a rip off, IME. I have never been impressed and have been there as a port of call 20 times or so.

Book indepently or spend lots more money.

Half Moon Cay is lovely!
kfusto is offline  
Apr 29th, 2006, 08:01 AM
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My family is taking a Carnival cruise in late July out of Miami. We are interested in using the "roll call" link mentioned but am unable to find it as suggested under the cruisecritics.com site. Any advice on how we can meet others who'll be cruising with us? Thanks,

Karen
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Apr 29th, 2006, 08:12 AM
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When you are on the home page of Cruisecritics - upper left - look for 'boards' click on - then scroll down until you find the 'rollcall' for your line then -click on - then look for the ship you chose.

Good luck
maryann is offline  
Apr 29th, 2006, 03:33 PM
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Karen, When I googled cruise critic boards, I got a different screen than the one from that link in your message. Try that. Let me know if you're successful.
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Apr 29th, 2006, 05:06 PM
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katybird
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It's www.cruisecritic.com.

I have made the same mistake calling it cruisecriticS...no "S" !
 
Apr 29th, 2006, 06:52 PM
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I don't bother getting off the ship in Nassau. On our last cruise, 2 people were robbed and one pickpocketed. An older Carnival ship is not going to have the clientele or the amenities of a new ship. Don't let this keep you from trying again in the future. I was on the Jubilee and Sensation, and frankly couldn't wait to get off the latter. All uphill since.
LLindaC is offline  
Apr 29th, 2006, 11:27 PM
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I just returned from a 5-night cruise on Carnival's Fantasy. We loved Grand Turk, a very charming and unspoiled island. The brand-new facilities at the cruise terminal are quite nice. By using the on-and-off tourist bus we saw the entire island, including the lighthouse park. We walked the length of Cockburn Town and enjoyed the friendliness and hospitality of the locals. We found that passengers who reported there's "not much at Grand Turk" are the ones who never left Margaritaville in the terminal complex.

From all accounts, the diving in Grand Turk is superb. Snorkeling off Governor's Beach was also reported as very good.

Regarding the Fantasy and rumors about her age... I just completed a report about our cruise and focused on the condition of the ship. Sure, Fantasy is 16 years old, but she is in great shape with many improvements that bring her up to the standards of today's Carnival fleet. If you are interested, the article is here... http://cruisediva.com/fantasy_diary1.htm

Empress Deck is a great location on the ship. I hope you have a wonderful cruise and am more than happy to answer any questions you have. While we were unable to tender ashore at Half Moon Cay due to high winds, I have been there several times in the past and have info regarding it if you are interested.

Best, Linda
---
Linda Coffman
Author, Fodor's The Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises
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May 1st, 2006, 11:36 AM
  #16  
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Linda, thank you so much for your excellent review of Fantasy. I found out today that I can shave an extra $70 pp off our cruise due to deeper discounts on our sailing, so we are now paying under $100 per day pp for our trip. We are using this cruise to "get our feet wet" for when we take a 7 day cruise next summer with the entire family (which includes 3 teens). It sounds like Fantasy is the perfect jumping off point and we are definately looking forward to our trip (except our 9 year old, who, as a summer surprise, won't find out about where we're going until we pull up to the pier!).
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May 2nd, 2006, 06:01 AM
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Interesting review, Linda. I wanted to clarify my post a bit. I took my then 11 and 15 yr old on Spring Break on the Sensation, a sister ship. If you will look at the deck plan on deck 6, the Promenade, you'll see that to get to the theatres, games or especially Internet access, you have to walk through a Promenade that has LOTS of bars and tables where people smoke.
http://www.carnival.com//Deck_Plan.a...=FA&deckCode=P
It's the poorest design of any ship I've ever sailed. I had so much smoke exposure that I got a bad bronchial infection which required weeks of antibiotics. There were also children running through the halls at night knocking on our cabin door at 4 am. In the buffet, the chairs were metal and cold and they had few healthy choices at all- never a low fat or fat free salad dressing. The vegetarian meal they offered was Fettucini Alfredo- oh boy, that's healthy. The gym had 2 treadmills and a sign that said "no running". It was tiny and cramped in there- I couldn't get a machine or a set of weights the whole time. Have they renovated the gym? There was also smoking going on in the halls, in front of the elevators and even on the non-smoking sides outdoors where I asked crew members why they wouldn't stop this.They just shrugged. Seeme every time I found a place to sit and eat, a table full of people would light up, ignoring the rules. That was my experience. My review is posted on several websites. I hope you have a better experience than I did. I have sailed Princess and Royal Caribbean and been very happy ever since. No more Carnival "Puffing" ships.
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May 2nd, 2006, 07:00 AM
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Beg to differ with you, CruiseDiva. We toured Grand Turk last month & felt that $44 per person was an exhorbitant fee. We went out to the lighthouse, where there was a little gift shop; there was no access to the lighthouse, and according to the woman who is renovating it, never will be accessed (too narrow). It was a lovely & unspoiled island, but we felt we could have done without it. The locals were not particularly friendly & the shops were full of very standard beachy items. The newly constructed port area was half empty, with the exception of a Margaritaville (I guess Jimmy Buffett discovered Grand Turk). I would never go back there.

We stopped at Half Moon Cay (thought that was HAL's private island) last summer & didn't get off the ship.
 
May 18th, 2006, 04:41 AM
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Hi Ladies,

Linda, I'm not sure about Sensation, but on Fantasy the entire length of the indoor promenade is a no-smoking zone. Smoking is allowed only at the casino bar and in a very small area of the aft lounge. We saw no smoking in the hallways or elevator lobbies. The lobby bar is no-smoking as well. I heard some smokers say they were told they couldn't smoke outside at the tables aft of the lido buffet, although there were no signs there indicating that. So, at least on Fantasy, that wasn't a problem (unless you were a smoker).

Fantasy received an extensive make-over last fall and the Camp Carnival facilities were greatly expanded. The gym and spa were reconfigured and renovated at that time as well. From what I understand, Sensation has received a similar makeover since the Katrina charter ended. We were originally booked on Sensation and Carnival "swapped" ships.

As for the kids running in the halls... our cruise was Easter week and, yes, the kids were noisy. That behavior has never been as much of a problem on any other cruise I've taken (over 60 cruises thus far), but I hadn't sailed that particular week before.

Sue, yes the on-and-off bus at Grand Turk was pricey. The reason they don't allow anyone to climb the lighthouse is because the stairs are narrow and not terribly stable. We enjoyed the hiking trails there, though, and the scenery was natural with a wild and untamed beauty. We all look for different things when we travel and I was quite pleased to visit an island that is just beginning to develop their tourism base for the very reason that it is so unspoiled.

Interestingly, I learned that potential vendors in Grand Turk were initially dragging their feet somewhat at opening shops at the new Cruise Center. They didn't want to be disappointed if the ships didn't really come. When they began seeing them arrive, they started stocking their little shops and I hear that most were open for the port's "official" Grand Opening celebration last week. I spent a bit of time with two sisters who moved to Grand Turk from the UK some years ago and bought a unique necklace at their shop.

You're correct that Half Moon Cay is the private island developed by Holland America Line. Carnival is stopping there on days when there are no Holland America ships scheduled.
A lot of work has been done there over the past few years and it's gorgeous and very accessible. The miniature water park for children is a great addition. I'm not much of a beach person myself, but I really appreciate the opportunity to go ashore on cruise lines' private islands, especially Half Moon Cay because it's so nice and there is a lot of shade.

Suzski, that's great news that you received an additional discount. I hope you'll let us all know your impressions when you return.

Best, Linda
---
Linda Coffman
Author, Fodor's The Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises
CruiseDiva is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 09:51 AM
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Thanks for the update, Linda! It's good to know they've changed the smoking rules. That's what Princess did in it's public areas. I wish RCCL would keep the Promenades smokefree.
Now, is the Sensation still orange and purple? LOL. That was the gaudiest ship I've ever seen!!
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