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Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Fantasy

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Jan 28, 2017

Review of Carnival Fantasy

Gina Mckenzie Age: 51 Occupation:Clerical Number of Cruises: 3 Cruise Line: Carnival Ship: Carnival Fantasy Sailing Date: 2016-12-3 Itinerary: Mexico Staff was fantastic very friendly. Dana aka Mr D. from China made me feel like a princess. Dewan always happy to great me. He had remembered me from previous cruise different ship a year ago pretty impressive. Food was ok. Service great. Had Mr Herman this time was a very pleasant man. Saw Drago who

was previous server on other ship a year ago he also remembered me and gave me biggest hug.I am a hugger. Room and bathroom kinda small loud because rite across from employee entrance. My room steward Johnny deserve a raise for cleaning up after my nasty travel companies. They did the best they could Shows were ok this ship is more geared to party people Did find some relaxation. Mr D never left me empty handed. Best Mango drinks ever.Mr Shancho Mr Sanchos was a wonderful experience good food. Drinks were ok but for price everything was fine.

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Dec 9, 2016

Mexico

Staff was fantastic very friendly. Dana aka Mr D. from China made me feel like a princess. Dewan always happy to great me. He had remembered me from previous cruise different ship a year ago pretty impressive. Food was ok. Service great. Had Mr Herman this time was a very pleasant man. Saw Drago who was previous server on other ship a year ago he also remembered me and gave me biggest hug.I am a hugger. Room and bathroom kinda small

loud because rite across from employee entrance. My room steward Johnny deserve a raise for cleaning up after my nasty travel companies. They did the best they could Shows were ok this ship is more geared to party people Did find some relaxation. Mr D never left me empty handed. Best Mango drinks ever.Mr Shancho Mr Sanchos was a wonderful experience good food. Drinks were ok but for price everything was fine.

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Dec 31, 2015

Bahamas

This was my very first cruise, and I was well aware that Carnival is considered the low end of cruise lines. Carnival was chosen given the convenience (driving distance to charleston) and the price was unbelievably low for a 5 day cruise. The cabin was not nearly as small and horrible as I had expected and the staff was warm and helpful throughout the cruise. However, the food was below average at best, very little entertainment, and the ports deplorable.

Everything I have ever heard about cruises was how fabulous the food is. Carnival Fantasy was horrible. We had reservations for the main dining room each night. Nothing was ever good. Prime rib one night converted to chateaubriand the next, beef tenderloin was stroganoff the following nite, etc. Every night there appeared to be leftovers as an entree. The buffets were full of outright gross dishes day after day. The only food available all the time was pizza and a deli. Pizza not bad and had a line waiting to get it all of the time. Deli was terrible. The room was fine. Small of course but clean. Lame. Comedy Club had 2 acts and they were only 30 minutes each at totally separate times, and the same act each time. Casino is only there to take your money. Lack of other entertainment coerced us to gambling and not one time in five nights did I see/hear anyone win a jackpot. Definitely pass on the "private beach" excursion in Nassau. Small crowded beach with one grossly over priced option for lunch. I would not recommend a Carnival cruise to anyone.

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Apr 9, 2015

Charleston to Bahamas

Lame forgettable cruise on worn out antiquated ship. Cruise is basically a 120 hour relentless sales pitch. Advice: bring your Dramamine and keep an eye on the ships accounting dept. Check you balance every day. They're quite tricky. Bon voyage Carnival. Heading back to the sweet awesomeness of RCI Oasis class! Not bad. Dining service is great. Carnival. Unattractive. One electric outlet? Really? Lacking. Live shows are

silly. Avoid the Nautical Snorkel trip. Treated like cattle. Bus 40 minutes late for dock pickup. Bus driver drives like drunken maniac. More waiting in the sun at the marina. Excursion duration is about half of the advertised time. Catamaran is a poorly maintained, filthy piece of junk. 30-40 ppl herded onto a boat suited for 10-12 passengers. Done.

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Jun 9, 2014

Bahamas

We took this cruise as it was close to home and it was our 30th wedding anniversary. We had gone to Nassau for our honeymoon so thought it would be nice to go back. This ship needs help! The crew on this ship needs help! Terrible service at dinner, food came out cold after waiting. Plus when we got to Charleston sat in the car an hour as it was raining and they couldn't unload bags from your car... hello - you have been going out of this port

for 4 years and you don't know it rains there. No entertainment worth seeing, no upholding the "dress" code at dinner - love going to dinner and seeing people come in dressed like they are going to work in their yard. This was not a good experience - and then when all the "fun" was over slow going getting off the ship. We should have used the self get off instead of putting bags out the night before - it was almost 2 hours from getting off the ship until we were at the car. They had 2 shuttle buses taking people to the parking garage - again, how long have you been doing this Carnival?? Will not do this again! I realize Carnival Corp. owns several cruise lines that offer wonderful service - and these have spoiled us - Not very tasty food - the self serve soft ice cream was great tho! Stateroom was nice - we had an inside - had a wonderful room steward - she always greeted us by name If you like hairy chest contests guess then you would like onboard activities.

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Dec 8, 2012

Bahamas

First cruise of many to come I hope! My expectations were repeatedly exceeded. The spa was AMAZING. Garcia and Mayleen were just worth every single penny. (Pedi and Massage) Rogelio and Yoga were our servers in the Jubilee Dining Room, 815pm seating, table 315... again, AMAZING. They were courteous, professional, called me by name (Miss Katie) every night and remembered by preferences... they were anticipating every single thing by day 3...

how pampered!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU... planning my next one now! Salty, but very good! Lunch was buffet style and my least favorite, but still, very good- Breakfast was yummy. And dinner was way beyond expectations... they have 1 stable menu and another that changes every night, so loads of selections and variety... from soufflés to shark, to frog legs and comfort style mac & cheese... the steak was a favorite of mine... as was the crab cake... if you like lobster, your elegant night is lobster and shrimp... Downside, I was sodium sensitive and didn't know it... ended up with severely swollen feet and ankles and required a saline drip, and loads of meds to stop vomiting from the dehydration... no, I didn't over drink... I ate onboard, was in sun and drank water... just not enough apparently... this is very rare; I was just affected by it... PS- free room service 24 hrs. from pb & j to steaks... Very comfortable, mattress and pillows are surprisingly very nice... I would have loved a larger bathroom, but hey, who wouldn't! :) The water is very hot and a decent pressure. Again, both were nice surprises that exceeded expectations. HUGE variety no matter your age/gender... had more fun than ever expected... LOVED the Serenity Deck on Lido... 21 and over only... so quiet and nice! Book off the boat for half the price... companies (legit) are waiting at the port to load vans and go on excursions... MUCH cheaper... our group had a blast! Also, the cruise line very heavily recommends certain stores to shop in. I heard from our guide that the liner gets 42% kickback on all purchases... don't know if it is true, but that's what they told us. Great Trip!!! I am planning a new one now for next year! Great liquor prices onboard!

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Nov 13, 2012

Bahamas

This was our second cruise on the Fantasy and we had a great time! All the staff are super nice and eager to help you, the service was 5 star. Embarkation went smooth, we were there at 11:30am to start the boarding process, went to the Lido deck, had lunch and by then our rooms were ready. Camp Carnival was awesome for my 6yr old, she went everyday. My middle schooler had a good time at Circle C and participated in most of the activities.One

thing that I do want to emphasize is that the safety drill has been kicked up a lot since our cruise last November. It was taken very seriously and lasted longer than it used to. I can only guess that it was revamped after the Costa incident earlier this year. Great cruise at a great price! The food was great! We ate in the Jubilee dining room and of course on the Lido deck. We had an inside cabin on the Empress level. It was a typical Carnival stateroom, bed was comfortable and our steward was wonderful. They had activities for just about every age group We did not do any excursions since we have been to the Bahamas several times Great family trip, weather was good, it could have been a little warmer, but no complaints here!

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Sep 1, 2012

Bahamas

Knowing this was an older Carnival ship but very competitively priced and sailing from a port only a 6 hour drive from home, we booked this 5 day cruise with reasonable expectations. This was our 4th Carnival cruise and our 25th cruise overall. With the exception of our fellow passengers, the cruise met our expectations. The food was good to very good, the cabin was better than expected, activities and entertainment were adequate and the processes

for getting on the ship and off the ship were better than expected. This was a 5-day cruise with stops in Nassau and Freeport, Bahamas, with 2 full "sea days", from Charleston, South Carolina. The food in the main dining room (Jubilee) was very good with an excellent selection, especially at dinner. Most of our meals for breakfast and lunch were taken in the buffet which offered a good selection and was good tasting at all meals. We were fortunate to have a very attentive waiter and assistant waiter (with the early seating as we do not care for "anytime dining" where the service is generally less attentive). Menus for dinner included 4 or 5 different selections each night, generally including a "beef" option, "fish" option, "comfort" food (like meatloaf or mac & cheese) as well as something "unique". Excellent appetizers and salads were available. Bread in different forms was always available, but "white" only, no wheat or multi-grain. Our stateroom, an upgrade from what we had booked, was an inside cabin that turned out to be located directly under the stage for the show room (E20). I guess we got "upgraded" to this cabin because most people would not have booked it (I know I would not have done it). It turned out to not be a problem though as the noise was minimal and short lived. Being on Empress deck, it had the advantage of being near the main atrium which facilitated boarding at the start of the cruise and disembarking at the end of the cruise. We were able to carry off our own luggage at the end of the cruise so we were able to get off the ship by 7am as we had a 6 hour drive back to the Atlanta area from Charleston. There were a couple of small maintenance issues with the cabin but they were very quickly taken care of once I brought them to the attention of the proper people.Otherwise the cabin was in good shape, very clean with adequate storage, especially for my wife who always "over packs" for our cruises. For an older ship, it has been maintained well and is very clean. On board activities were the normal ones associated withe cruises now a days, most of which generate income for the cruise lines, but also including trivia sessions, etc. Nothing exceptional but plenty to keep you busy if that's what you wanted. Keep a happy face on as the photographers are everywhere all the time. Too bad they charge so much for the photos. If they charged less they would probably sell more photos (I know I'd buy more) and actually make more money (thousands of photos go "un-sold"). We did take one ship sponsored excursion in Freeport which turned out OK and was worth the money (Coastal Cruise and Shopping) but was not run as described in the brochure. We were supposed to be able to board a 77 foot catamaran boat right at the cruise ship dock but were instead taken by bus (25 minute drive) to a different dock location to board the boat) which then went as promised along the shore to the shopping area at Port Lucaya, stopping along the way to see the dolphin show and view homes in the expensive part of the island. After shopping, we were taken by bus back to the ship. For a reasonably price cruise from a "local" port that could be reached in less than a days drive, this was just what we were looking for and expected, except for one factor: the other cruise passengers. Having cruised many times since 1983 we have seen many changes in the industry but also in the passengers them selves. This cruise had many families from Virginia and North and South Carolina, many with children (700 were on board as this was the last week before school started for many of them). The adults seem to leave their common sense, manners and morals at home when they cruise now. The kids were allowed to race up and down the hallways at all hours of the day and night, making all kinds of noise, with no supervision or control (and the cruise staff did nothing about it either). Most people give you the sense that they think they are the only ones on the ship as they block aisles, stairways, elevators, buffet food and drink stations without regard for anyone else around. The majority also lose their common sense when eating by taking enough food for 3-4 people and then leaving half of it to be thrown out.

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Mar 8, 2012

Bahamas

The Fantasy is an older ship but is well maintained. We picked this cruise due to the close proximity to our home. It is docked in Charleston, SC. The food on board was very good. The service was excellent. We really liked the anytime dinner seating. We had strong winds and could not visit Freeport, but we went to Nassau early and that was ok. The only drawback was that there were many spring breakers on board. Most were polite but some ran the passageways

late at night. The cabin was adequate but had limited electrical outlets. We attended two very good shows while on board. This ship does not compare to our earlier cruise on the Carnival Glory but we still enjoyed our cruise. The food was very good with lots of selections. The anytime seating option was great. The stateroom was adequate but had limited electrical outlets. The shows in the Universe Lounge were excellent. A good value and out of the Port of Charleston We enjoyed the cruise and the trip to Nassau was great.

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Oct 1, 2011

Bermuda

The room stewards and restaurant and Lido wait staff were all terrific. The overall cruise experience was annoying. The whole ship is not very handicapped accessible. There are not very many places to sit quietly outside - lots of empty deck space, but no chairs to sit on. The "Serenity" deck was hot, crowded and played loud music - old people's music, but loud. The ship seems to be falling apart - I got stuck in a bathroom stall outside one of

the bars - the doorknob came right off in my hand - I checked the door 3 days later and there was still no doorknob - I gave the broken doorknob to the head of housekeeping. The food was mediocre. The maitre'd was rude and unhelpful. The shoe atmosphere seems to be focused on getting as much money out of people as possible - there was nothing to do at night - a a 7 day cruise, there were 3 shows. It seems as though they thought if there was nothing to do, everyone would gamble and drink. I have always like Carnival's food, but not this time. It was mediocre. I also did not like the food themes - If you don't care for Mexican, you're out of luck for that lunch. I like having the hot dogs and hamburgers as an option, but 1 or 2 of those goes a long way. And the pizza was awful!! It was fine - once I rearranged the furniture - the standard layout of parallel twin beds left absolutely no room - I was told that was the only arrangement possible (aside from putting them together). I moved them myself into an L shape, leaving the whole center of the room open. The bathrooms and rooms could use some hooks - they want you to reuse the towels, but there is nowhere to put them to dry. Nowhere to hang your clothes while you shower. I thought they were dreadful. There was nothing to do after dinner when there was no show - and there were only 3 shows during the whole 7 day trip. No movies - nothing!! Stupid - really stupid - games played where people make fools of themselves while others stand around and watch. Nothing funny about them - and I laugh pretty easily. The ship excursions are far too expensive. This Bermuda trip was a waste of time - we got there at 4:00 on Sat afternoon and left 24 hours later - not enoguh time to do anything on Sat. afternoon and nothing is open on Sunday in Bermuda. The public transportation system in Bermuda is great and we found it to be the best way to see the sights. $12 for a whole day ticket for the buses and ferries - great deal. It was pretty bad - the cabin could not fit a small walker through the door - it had to be folded up each time and carried through the room - not easy to do when you need the walker to walk. The room fan control is in the ceiling - far to high for my companion to reach - she was freezing. Handicapped access to the Serenity deck was severely limited - could only be reached by going through one of the lounges - when the art auction was held there, we got stuck outside and they wouldn't let us go through to leave. The Serenity deck was loud (music) and hot. Not enough shade or seating - too small an area altogether.

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By Kimi_CR

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Aug 4, 2011

Bahamas

Overall, we really enjoyed our first cruise. While I can't say that anything about the cruise or Carnival in general was really horrible, there is always room for improvement in any situation & this was no different. We'll give Carnival another try since we bought a FCC onboard, which we'll use in 2013 for our 10 yr anniversary, looking forward to that. For the most part we enjoyed the food, but you may want to order 2 entrees at a time in the

MDR. Buffet was standard, Windows on the Sea served me uncooked food three times so I stayed away. Great location, easily accessible to everything on the ship. Ship entertainment was lacking for us. We enjoyed the comedic juggler and the comedians at the Punchliner best, although the comedy club is way too small. Hubby did a 2 hour waverunner excursion around the Key West island and loved it. We sailed Fantasy for our first cruise last week & enjoyed ourselves. So much so that we bought a FCC & are looking forward to cruising again. This is long because I typed out thoughts as they came to me so sorry if this isn't in the best order, but don't want to forget. I'll end with pros, cons & random thoughts. I know most are more interested in the cruise itself, but I'm adding a short review for the SC restaurant, park & cruise hotel we stayed at, & ports as well. Had dinner at Hyman's in downtown Charleston. JMHO, this restaurant is an overrated tourist trap. Food is average at best, & the wait wasn't worth it. Service was excellent though. Aloft Hotel: We did the park & cruise package here, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The hotel itself is fine, but Aloft recently picked up a contract with an airline to shuttle pilots back and forth to the airport twice a day for 2-4 hours each shift depending on how many need a ride. Since Aloft gets paid extra for that, guests aren't a priority for shuttle use unless they're going to the airport and even then pilots get first dibs. I confirmed use of the shuttle to get to and from the port several times prior to arrival (thankfully I got names of those I spoke with this helped later). Upon arrival I again asked for confirmation & this time was told that they weren't sure because Aloft no longer offered the park & cruise program. I stated that nobody informed me of this during any of my earlier inquiries, & was told I'd have to speak with the manager in the morning. I was upset not only because we paid for the service, but because I knew we'd be tired after the cruise & I had not researched other options to get back to the hotel. Yes we could pay for a cab & would have done so if necessary, but doing so made the park & cruise savings irrelevant as we could've paid much less to simply park at the port & not stayed at a hotel at all. The next morning the Aloft manager said they would honor the agreement, but we couldn't leave for the port until 1:00 PM & depending on what time we got off the ship, we'd have to wait for a return ride until after the pilot shuttles were complete. In the end, we only waited about 30 minutes for the return shuttle after the cruise disembarked, & since we stayed at the hotel one more night after the cruise returned they let us in at 10:30 AM, probably to make up for the initial drama. Nevertheless, next time I'll stay at another hotel that offers this service. CRUISE: Embarkation went smoothly for us. We excitedly arrived at the port at 1:30 PM & was onboard by 2:20 PM, having our first DOD by 2:30 PM. No complaints there but walking up that steep gangway to get on the boat was no joke! I'd happily do it again though which leads me to ... We took entirely too much stuff with us! I created a master list based on the super sized master list on these boards & was glad I didn't take most of it. We'll pack much lighter next time! We stayed in an Ocean view on the Empress deck in what I deemed a perfect location, it was easy to get to everything. I learned the layout of the ship pretty quickly, finding shortcuts to different areas, & Hubby said I was already too comfortable. Room was a decent size, but read here the Fantasy's bathrooms are larger than other ships YIKES! I'd hate to see what other ship bathrooms look like! We hung stuff up in the closet from the garment bag but for the most part we never unpacked, just lived out of suitcases. Only unpacked toiletries. I liked that on one side was some kind of fire station room so it seemed like we really only shared a wall with one cabin luckily we only heard one fight & after they cursed each other when she told him to get out, he went quietly & that was the end of that drama ... we never saw them face to face. Walls are definitely thin. Although I read several times Fantasy is this oldest ship in the fleet, she looked very well maintained. Everything was as clean as could be, damn near spotless EXCEPT for the smoking areas. Ashtrays need to be emptied more regularly there (most were overflowing with ashes & butts & when the wind blew went all over the place) & tables need to be cleaned/cleared more often there as well. Hubby did this cleaning himself wherever he/we sat every time we went there. Everywhere else, someone was always cleaning, wiping something down, or painting something. Which leads me to: Smoking section: Hubby is a smoker, I am not (used to be though). He wasn't happy with the smoking arrangements. It didn't ruin his cruise but he complained often that the permitted areas were too few & far between, & since he had no idea smoking used to be a free for all onboard, he wasn't just rebelling against a new policy. We decided on our next cruise to see if we can splurge for a balcony so that he can smoke in the room without having to walk halfway across the ship. There was a lot of talk on these boards of a foul odor aboard the Fantasy. I can only state that we never smelled anything foul anywhere at any time, & nobody I cruised with ever mentioned a bad smell anywhere either & we all stayed on different floors (Empress, Main & Upper). Silent debarkation went well, but if you're doing it to attempt to sleep in a little later as I thought I would/could, forget that! The self assist crowd will wake the dead! Plus since we were on the Empress level everyone gets on/off there so it's louder. Debarkation is very controlled by the Carnival employees & organized I must add (assuming you go when your level disembarks). But doing the relaxed mode gave us time to enjoy a leisurely hot breakfast with our co-cruisers before going our separate ways. We left our bags in the room & returned to get debark info from Channel 17, which was helpful as we got to our room just in time for them to call our dreaded debarkation number. Although I wasnt happy to be leaving, I was happy to get off a little earlier so as not to spend a lot of time on those gangways while getting off the ship, I'm sure they're safe but they made me nervous & when I looked behind me there were tons of people that seemed stuck waiting on them. Took about an hour from the time we left our room till we cleared customs & back to reality. PROs: Dwi, our room steward, was excellent! He knew us by name & greeted us every time we encountered him. He was on point throughout the entire cruise & hubby gave him something extra for doing so. On a Cruise Critic tipping thread, I wondered aloud why cleaning the room twice a day was necessary (having never cruised before, I could only compare to hotels which clean once a day) & must confess that I loved this perk, especially on port days. We'd go out, come back & the room was clean with fresh towels. We'd take showers & go back out. Return after dinner to fresh towels, etc. & the animal. That was wonderful, it really is the little things sometimes. Clothesline in the shower is nice too & although nothing ever dried fast enough it was nice to have somewhere to put wet suits that was out of the way. Although we weren't enthused with all of the employees, they do work extremely hard for whatever they're making, although neither of us are fully convinced they make as little as these boards claim and if so, then I still believe Carnival can & should do better. However, the majority of employees we encountered definitely earn the $10/per person per day we're charged in tips. Lost too much money playing Bingo, but had fun trying. Tried every DOD & they were all tasty, but especially enjoyed the one served on the first day (ordered them several times throughout the cruise) & the one served in the monkey's head ... although it was waaay overpriced (ended up giving it to a kid anyway). Food was good, we enjoyed pretty much everything we ate. Although we had some issues with the MDR wait staff, I'll give them props for working with our table mates, who were frequently late, somewhat demanding, & usually closed the dining room out during the first seating. Of course the warm chocolate melting cake was delicious, fave dinner was the St. Louis ribs which fell off the bone. The rum raisin ice cream & bread pudding dessert was absolutely DELICIOUS! Dare I say (as I do in my flame retardant suit), that the bread pudding/rum raisin combo was better than the warm chocolate melting cake! Enjoyed everything we ate at the Lido buffet, which was standard buffet fare for the most part & for some reason I loved the chicken fingers & fries. Really enjoyed the French Toast made with raisin bread in the Celebration dining room for breakfast, as well as the hot coffee (best free coffee on the ship to me). Also loved the cherry danishes for breakfast (at buffet & in Celebration). A co-cruiser loved the sushi which was made fresh at a stand near the casino, couldn't stop raving about it & said sushi served in the MDR wasn't as good or fresh. Hubby enjoyed the flat iron steak & ribs. We also enjoyed the southern fried chicken and pastas. Hubby wasn't always happy with the portion size & began ordering two entrees. Fried mozzarella was a nice treat, & the Caesar salad was good each evening. I enjoyed the prime rib (one of my faves in general) & the short ribs in particular were very tender and tasty “ even more tender than the filet mignon if you can believe that - could've used that filet mignon as a weapon! Re: birthday cake you can order via Bon Voyage, although I didn't get to taste it everyone said it was delicious. I really enjoyed my spa experience. After a co-cruiser raved about the massage she got (except for the heavy selling tactics) I was jealous & went for one myself on Wed. evening but they were booked solid. However, they agreed to honor the port special price of $99 for three services (neck, back & feet) the next morning. On Thursday, I noticed there was another round of bingo occurring at the same time, & they graciously moved my appointment back an hour. Tracey in the spa took good care of me & made me wish I'd splurged for the full body massage (tried not to be greedy since I had one the day before the cruise left Charleston!) I told her up front that I wasn't buying anything & gently advised her to use that time to take herself a longer break in between customers. She LOL, but didn't try it & earned herself a nice tip so I didn't have to deal with that. Comedy club was the height of our entertainment experience, including the comedic juggler. Comedy club is way too small though, standing room only both nights & we had to get there early to get them. We spoke with one comedian who was being flown out the next day to do a one night stand on another Carnival ship & play golf “what a life, huh?" We enjoyed listening to Henry play at the piano bar every chance we got, & had drinks there several times throughout the cruise. Luckily he wasn't far from our cabin on Empress. Various triviathons held daily throughout the ship were fun as well. Had no problem using our drink coupons (saw varying Cruise Critic posts on this). There were times when a drink exceeded the $5.75 that they offered to take 2 coupons ... it's cheaper to pay the difference on the one drink but that's up to each individual. CONs: Reading on these boards about the nonstop picture taking didn't make it easier to deal with. We eventually asked them not to take any pictures of us & ran by them when getting off the ship every chance we got. Although we were NEVER rude, demanding, and/or nasty to employees, we encountered a few that seemed to have negative attitudes, especially if you weren't willing to spend money. Maybe they were overworked or just having a bad day, but there it is I said it. Jubilee MDR wait staff (and Celebration wait staff in the mornings) were just okay, not great. Many times at dinner they'd bring food out & just sit it down in front of anybody, not seeming to care who ordered what. Sometimes food was served lukewarm & a few times different people at our table sent food back to be reheated. Many times we asked for sides and/or coffee that were never received, or we'd have to ask several times in order to get it. The MDR drink waiter was the most annoying! I know he's just doing his job, but asking every 2 minutes (literally) if I want a drink that I have to keep declining (either because I already have a drink or just don't want one) is annoying. When he didn't like the response, his negative attitude clearly showed on his face & body language. The next day he was serving drinks on the Lido deck & we ordered a few. I said to him, "See why we don't order alcohol at dinner? We do all our drinking poolside!" He laughed, but continued on in the MDR. He was so unrelenting that one guy at the next table eventually told this waiter that he was an alcoholic & the constant inquiries about drinking were going to make him fall off the wagon! I don't know if the guy was serious, but it didn't matter because the waiter returned 2.5 minutes later asking again what he wanted & pushing the DOD. It got to the point where as soon as we saw him coming we'd order a soda or something¦ ANYTHING just so he'd leave us alone (which he always did once we ordered a beverage). So I guess mission accomplished in the end, he made Carnival more money & got his tip in the process. Which leads me to: and I'm sure this will irk some folks but it is what it is: Carnival really should teach some of their employees basic English before they just send them out there to the masses and I'm not just talking about being able to recite what the DOD is or the prices, although sometimes I suspected employees knew exactly what people were saying and/or asking, & just didn't care. The two times I got a hot dog from Windows on the Sea (two completely different days & times of day), it wasn't cooked & cold on the inside. Same with the hamburger I got there & Hubby got a good laugh at my luck. I stopped trusting the food in there except for fries. Didn't like the pizza, but I'm a native New Yorker & our pizza is a hard act to follow. Oh well, whatcha going to do, right? Wasn't the end of the world since there were other food choices around. Nightlife was lacking, there just wasn't enough that interested us. We went to all of the shows, the welcome show was fun. Hubby is a fan of Beatles music & was disappointed that they didn't really sing many of the songs but instead danced to most of them. He enjoyed the old Beatles videos played prior to the show more than the actual show itself! Music Boardwalk wasn't all that in our opinion. It was almost like hearing music in an elevator but not really listening to it. Not sure if that's the attitude they're going for. I made it a point to go listen to them during the Reggae hour, but early on in the set they were playing "Brick House" by the Commodores. We didn't stay long & I wasn't feeling what little reggae music they did play. I'll give them props for their performance during the Beatles show though, the band truly was the best part of that show! PORTS: Freeport was just okay, we went to the free beach & enjoyed that. Key West hubby went on the 2-hour waverunner tour of the island & loved that. I tried to go on a parasail tour (just to ride on the boat) but think they got more people who paid for the parasailing activity, & the board left early without me. Fury Watersports refunded my money & I instead enjoyed the pool on the Fantasy for awhile since most people were in port. We enjoyed Nassau most, also visited their free beach and walked through/explored Atlantis. Considering doing a long weekend land vacation there in the future. RANDOM THOUGHTS: I was pleasantly surprised at how few unruly kids we encountered. Perhaps I just blocked them out though. But it didn't feel like the boat was overrun with kids & I worried about that since school was out. Yes there were a few rude ones, particularly in & around the glass elevators. We got on with a group of teens & one made a comment about how people were riding the elevators interrupting whatever it was they were trying to do ... I don't know if I inadvertently shot them the look of death, but the others didn't follow up his commentary in our presence. Running in the cabin halls was out of control at times, though (never looked out to see if it was kids or adults, sounded like kids though). Every single day we heard running, many times late at night. I also saw many little kids hanging & swinging from things they shouldn't have been, while parents stood around glancing in ANY direction other than where their kid was located. Just glad I didn't see any kid get hurt. I got the impression many kids were just bored & looking for something to do, especially those that were maybe too old for Camp Carnival (or felt like they were too old for it). But I would say the majority of kids/teens we encountered were good, well behaved and well mannered. I suspect that most of our MDR tablemates removed their tips, because that last night service was horrible. We sat there for a good 20 min. before our food order was taken, although the drink waiter made several stops at our table during this time. Knowing you are on the last day of your cruise is already a bummer, but what made it worse is watching everything slowly shut down around you. We went to dinner (early seating) & returned to the Lido to find the pool drained & being cleaned. I might have felt deprived if I had not hit the pool & hot tub earlier in the day for one last hurrah. Employee attitudes also seemed to change on the last day, most were less friendly, everything and everybody moved slower, & many employees seemed to have disappeared - probably somewhere prepping for the next go round. Several cruisers commented that they felt now that Carnival had gotten all they could from this crowd it was time to concentrate on the incoming group. But I guess if they don't shut stuff down, some will party until the boat docks in Charleston again LOL. We took these feelings & thoughts as a good sign that we had fun on this cruise. If we didn't, we would've been packing & counting the hours till we could get off. Good news for Charleston cruisers was cruise director said Carnival will get a new port & probably a new ship there in 2012. Bad news is she didn't think the itinerary would change much on either ship because of the amount of time it takes to get to certain ports from Charleston. We may try to fly out of Florida next time although the drive from GA to SC made this trip a lot cheaper & convenient since we didn't have to pay airfare. Strangely enough for about 2 days afterwards, at times I felt like things were moving even when I stood still & my stomach was a little queasy. Hubby is sick now with the flu & he doesn't normally get sick easily, so wondered if that was from the cruise but it won't stop us from going again! I hope this information was helpful to someone cruising the Fantasy. I would definitely cruise on this ship again. Any questions, just ask! I'd love the opportunity to be as helpful to others as people were to me.

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By Jeff_CR

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Jul 11, 2011

Bahamas

Its their oldest ship, but well maintained. The experience was overall positive, but the food left much to be desired. Perhaps its not fair to compare to other cruise lines that cost more, but I was very excited to get off the ship and go to McDonalds. The service was good, the women smiled, the men rarely did, with the exception being our steward and waiter. They seem to be very greedy. $20 for 3 bingo cards for one game? They should be doing

that at break even, not trying to nickel and dime us to death. The food was mediocre most of the time, exceptional very rarely. The selection and flavor of the buffet lines for lunch and dinner were mediocre. Breakfast was as good as you can expect, I don't expect much there since its hard to do better than fresh eggs and bacon. But lunch and dinner I would expect more than just a few selections. I can't say I would do much better serving 2663 people, but I've had better on other cruises. They will sell you a $30 "endless bubbles" card for sodas, but you have to go to the bar each time, at which time they will pour out half a can of whatever that has been sitting there. Those guys never smiled, they looked bored. I probably got 30 sodas, so I figure I paid $2 a can. You would think they would have soda dispensers at the bar instead of cans, right? Very nice. We were on the Veranda with a balcony so we had some of the best rooms. Balcony VERY tight, but you still got to see the ocean roll by. AC worked very well, too well in my kids "inside" room across the hall. They couldn't turn their AC down below a certain minimum level and they froze the whole time. Decent if you can get a chair. Some people grab a chair and put their towel on it and leave it there for HOURS. Technically the crew should remove them after 30 minutes of non-use but they don't. Some people go to the Serenity deck (back) and reserve their chair at 6am!!!! They then go to bed and come out at 9 expecting their chair. The shows were decent, the comedy was very funny, but done in a small venue. I had to sit on the floor. Excursions where nice, but expensive. If you do the dolphin encounter in Atlantis, please know they will charge you $70 for two 5x7's, or $120 for a download of all the pictures. Bring a friend that stays on shore with a good zoom lens and take pictures. Most of the "encounter" activities are you posing with the dolphin to pay for pictures later. A travesty, especially when you figure 4 of you will pay a combined $1K in fees. Their water park was fun. Snorkeling was fun, but practice snorkeling beforehand. It took me 10 minutes to get out of "panic mode" breathing under water. - 2 days at sea, normal cruise kind of stuff. - Half day at Grand Turk which was a non-event unless you want to buy gold or diamonds. Not much local traders there. Nice beach though. - Next day at Half Moon Cay (pronounced "key"). Private island, nice water, good snorkeling. - Nassau was nice, Atlantis mostly. Very expensive.

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Jun 12, 2011

eastern caribbean

Very disappointed, We left from Charleston Sc on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday afternoon one of the crew had a massive heart attack, and later that evening the captain decided to double back to Port canaveral to drop him off to be taken to the hospital. This was no problem for the passangers, until he announced that we would have to miss one of our three stops, He was bypassing Nassau so therefore we had to spend all day Sunday and now Monday at

sea. We had only 3 stops to make out of 7 days and now we only had 2 stops, Then we were told that we were getting a credit on our ship account, but much to everyones surprise we were given a credit of .61c per person, this to me and my husband was an insult, I intend to mail Carnival a check in the amount of $1.22 if this is all they can compensate there passengers for missing an entire day of there vacation they need the oney more than we do, I have cruised Canaval at least 6 times and this was the most disappointed we have ever been. CARNIVAL CAN AND SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO BETTER.

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Jun 1, 2011

Bahamas

This by far was the worst cruise I have ever been on, no dryer in room and could not provide one, they removed the room service menu from the room out of the bound book after my mother ordered one time, no glasses left in the room and room service stated they didn't have any, the television channel selection was the worst I have ever seen on a cruise previously, and the television was old and you could not even read the menu guide for the channels.

The elevators were always broken and I was traveling with an elderly family member who could not use the stairs. The cabin was the smallest I have ever stayed in and the ship is very old. The signature chocolate lava cake was undercooked and raw most nights and came with ice cream that was melted. The lobster night resulted in overcooked and mushy lobster and when we sent it back the second lobster tail brought out was the same way. Unlike most cruises, the waiter had be constantly asked for water and lemon and while the cheese grater was on the serving bar but we were never offered any cheese or ground pepper for our food or caesar salad. The pizza was cold in the pizzeria the two times that we tried it. Unlike most ships, there was no waffle station on the Lido deck. Very small, no dryer, no glasses and they took the room service menu out of the bound book after my mother ordered room service one time. Worst cruise I have ever been on.

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Apr 1, 2011

Bahamas

Ok at best. Events were not to terrible. Shows were really good. Not a lot of events or activities you could do though without paying a bunch of money for. Food was repulsive and how do you get away charging $22 for 4 beers? i guess when you have nothing else to do on the boat people will pay it. Ok at best. Food was terrible. I cannot find words to describe how terrible the food was. But to narrow it down it was basically the same old left

overs from the day before, everyday. You have a few options to choose from on the food so you were always eating the same thing day in and day out. On top of that food times were terrible. You couldn't go on the beach and make it back on time before the buffet area closes so you had to choose which one you wanted to do. I normally hate fast food but for the first time in my life I would payed double the normal price for any fast food meal over carnivals food. Room wasn't bad. AC worked, beds were not to terrible. Did not like th blankets though, felt like too rough and were really thin Activities were ok at best. Nearly all the activies cost you money to participate in and whats the point of having bingo every night? Why pay $20 for 30mins of laser tag on the stage of the auditorium? Why close the "adult" section of the hot tubs down at 10:00pm? Its an adult only section after all. Basically the only thing I did was gamble for the most part which i guess is what carnival wanted its customers to do while on the boat. Didn't do a lot of excursions. You can pay 1/2 the price by going with the locals on the beach. This was my honeymoon trip. If i knew the trip was going to be like this I would of planned something else out to be honest. I know it may sound like I am bashing Carnival pretty bad but at the same time when the people you are casually talking to on the boat bring up the same issues (mainly how bad the food was) you begin to realize you're not alone on the issue.

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By Coni_CR

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Mar 30, 2011

Western Carribean

Our cruise was planned during spring break. This was my 3rd cruise, my husbands 5th and our daughters 1st. The ship was really nice, the staff was wonderful,except for one of the dealers in the casino.. he was a little rude. Our room steward was awesome, always met every need and expectation and more that we had. My favorite was our waiter Sam... He was so wonderful with his exceptional service...I felt like he was part of my family..so willing to

go out of his way to please not just us but everyone.. and with all the people that he served.. he even remembered our names and what we had to eat the night before.. My husband and I just got to where we let him plan our dinner for us.. we didnt even look at the menu!! The Ladies in the Spa area did a wonderful job on our massages, and our hair and nails for formal night... I really dont have any complaints about the staff at all..The only problem I had with the ship is that there was people smoking everywhere.. so much where you couldnt enjoy all the activities if you were a nonsmoker like myself. Plus we went on spring break.. lol wont ever do that again.. ALOT of drunk college kids .. enough said. My overall cruise experience was good though.. I would recommend this cruise if you can get passed the cigerette smoke. The Food was wonderful, No other way to describe it.. Never was disappointed. Our cabin was V10, it was a suite on the verandah.. It was nice..A little disappointed with the size of the balcony though. when we sat in the two chairs on our balcony, we had to sit sideways so our legs wouldnt be pressed on the Rales.. If i would have known it was going to be so small..I probably would have stayed interior or one of the deluxe suites For our daughter who just turned 14, she was very active with the Circle C... I was really pleased with all the activities they had for her.. As for adults.. I can say I never was bored.. I really enjoyed all the shows, the comedians, and playing in the casino We really didnt see anything that sparked our intrest that carnival had to offer.. we already had an idea of what we wanted to do at each port so we booked the excursions privatley... not through the cruise line.. WELL DONT DO IT... we did the Black beards cay in Nassau, swimming with the stingrays, which we had done on a previous cruise and loved it... It was horrible this time around.. And I DO NOT recommend Key west Sunset sports.. that was the worst excursion ever... They take you in the middle of the ocean saying you can do all these things... then they have so many people and not enough equipment.. 140 bucks a person.. we got ripped off majorly.. Freeport was nice.. we just walked around at the shops, but mostly spent most of the day on the ship We arrived in Charleston, South Carolina that morning and went through all the processing pretty quick.. I think from the time they took our luggage till we got on the ship was a total of about 15 to 20 minutes.. of course since we had previously cruised we were VIPs. The boarding experience was great... took a little bit to get all our luggage, but that was ok.. we didnt expect it to come quick.. The ship was clean, and since it had been redone.. it was actually really nice..Once we boarded it was about 1 hour before we could go to our room..so we toured the ship.Like I previously said.. the cruise experience was good.. When arriving back to Charleston.. Getting off the ship was very easy.. The only issue we had that morning was.. we were getting off the ship at 630am and breakfast was not ready until after that.. which wasnt good.. we had a 71/2 hour trip home!! we managed though.

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Mar 29, 2011

Bahamas

Being my first cruise I had no idea what to expect. There were 6 of us all together, 2 of which have cruised before. Boarding and parking were fairly easy and it took hours to get our luggage to our room. My daughters luggage was lost and she had gotten it back that night. Over all it was a good experience and i will book again. The food was nothing to speak of other than there was plenty of it. The meals in the main dining room was nice. Our

head waiter Bernard was arrogant. No complaints here. The bed was comfortable and out room was kept clean. The towel animals were adorable. This was the most disappointing part of the cruise. There was nothing to do,rarely music on the lido deck, nothing to do. We were bored to tears on the sea days. The shows were great. Keep an eye on the locals, they will rip you off and work in teams. I was told by one man if i paid $20 i could drink all the Bahama Mamas i wanted and when i agreed he brought another man to make my drink. When i asked to get a refill later the man said the other man lied and there are no refills. Oh well, the drink was aweful anyways. Over all it was a good experience and i will book again.

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Dec 1, 2010

Bahamas

The worst cruise I have ever taken. This ship is no where close to the wonderful experience I have received on my other Royal Caribbean cruises. The ship was way too crowded, there were no good evening activities, everyone seemed bored, most of the food was leftovers each day, service in rthe dining room was average at best.....PLEASE take me back to Royal Caribbean!! The buffet lines were boring, crowded, and the same items every day. In the dining

room there was no offer of any beverages except for the expensive alcoholic drinks. No tea, no milk, no nothing except water! The stateroom was actually the most pleasant thing on the ship in my opinion. The beds were comfortable and the air conditioning worked well. The phone was in poor condition and dialing out was very confusing. Extremely limited activities, evening shows were poor, the comedians were repeat and even they seemed bored. We did no excursions this time but had a good time while off the ship. On an overall scale of one to 10, with ten being superb, this old stinky overcrowded Fantasy possibly would rate a 3. Elevators were out of order, hand dryers in restrooms were out of order, the lower 2 decks were toxic sewage areas for 2 days of the ship.

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Oct 11, 2010

Bahamas

We had a wonderful experience on this cruise. Previous reviews state that the ship is in disrepair, but I just did not see that at all. Everything was beautiful and well groomed. The staff was absolutely amazing. We got everything we asked for and more. Our dinner servers knew what colas and drinks we wanted and had them ready and waiting on us as we were seated each evening. Our room was very well taken care of. The fun team went above and

beyond to make sure everyone was having a good time at all hours of the day. I seriously don't think they sleep. We had our 2 eleven year old children with us and they thoroughly enjoyed Camp Carnival. I felt they were safe and well supervised. On one of the days at port, we saw a maintenance crew examining a life boat and putting it into the water and inspecting it. That was something I had often wondered about and was pleasantly surprised to see them actually doing maintenance to them. The food was wonderful. There was always a new selection daily with some favorites still on the menu. Although the pool was a bit crowded, it was still fun and enjoyable by all. We will definately cruise with Carnival again and probably with The Fantasy as Charleston is a simple and convenient port to use. It was amazing how organized the city of Charleston was in getting everyone in and out very quickly.

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By Bg_CR

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Sep 12, 2010

Bahamas

Being our 7th cruise, we found ourself comparing this cruise to all others. Only because we could drive to Charleston and the rate was cheap, we just wanted to "get on the boat". Basically you get what you pay for , however our group of 18 probably had as good, if not a better time than most, by our own doings. Pool activities are almost non-existant, however we made our own activities. Band is BORING when they play; 30 minutes , same songs each

day. Most music was on PA system and not anything that sounded Caribbean. Daily ship food was average, but dinner at late seating was above par. Our staff was excellent, but we always include them in our dinner table activities. The Matre D' and all of our table staff joined us in 'farewell shots' on the last nite, with permission. Freeport is a wasted trip. We went early, came back and spent the day at the pool. Had a great time, by our own making. Entertainment,shows are below par. Left one early, did not go to several others. Comedian was corny. Ship is very smokey in public areas. Casino is below average. Our worst experience was trying to sleep at nite. The dining room was above us( 4 cabins in a row in our group) and a service corridor was behind us. Noisy all night long. No-one in our group got much sleep. Carnival tried to apologize, but gave us 20% off of nothing basically to try and appease us. I doubt we will cruise this boat again, but after Charleston rebuilds the port, hopefully another higher grade ship will sail from there. We have cruised Carnival, Princess, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. Royal Caribbean is by far the best. Daily food was average, Dinner food was above average. Only one electric outlet in stateroom, no lights over mirror in stateroom or bathroom, TOO noisy to sleep, TV channels are ridiculous. Very minimal, smokey in clubs and hallways. Freeport is boring, however if you do go ask for Earl's taxi. He will look out for you and give additional tour at no charge above taxi rate. Although it sounds like only complaining, we did have a good time overall, thanks to Senor Frog, Atlantis and our ability to create our own good times. However, if I would have paid more to get on ship, it would have been a disappointment.

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Sep 9, 2010

eastern caribbean

this was my 5th carnival cruise, 2nd time cruising on the fantasy! the whole experience on the Fantasy was much better than when my family cruised on it 2 years ago. since it has been redone the ship is awesome! most of the ship looks new, the took all the outdated carpet,statues, pool area, ect. this time we went out of charlelston, sc. i cant say that out of all 5 different ports i went to this was the easiest,smoothest opperating experience yet!

two thumbs up for charleston!!!!!!!!!! our food was great like always on this ship! our waitor was not the best we've had but he wasn't too bad. the matrid'e was awesome in the celebration dinning room!!!!!!!! very nice we had a basic interior room and it was plenty for the little time we spend in there. the onboard activites were good! i loved the FUN TEAM, i feel they went beyond their duties, they were way more present than the cruise director this cruise. we went to the beach in every port we stopped at. dont go to atlantis though way too much money! you can go to another really nice thats part of the atlantis hotel for FREE in Nassau. overall the 7 days were amazing! i wouldnt change a thing, food, casino, bars, clubs, staff, rooms, everything was great! people like to complain about the pool but thats basically how they are on every cruise! its not the best part of a cruise but who cares your surronded by blue water and most days are spent on the islands. the pools should not be a big worry, theyre there so you can cool off and enjoy your day at sea, suck it up they cant put huge pools all over the lido because its only so big and that would take away from all the other awesome things they have for you to do on your cruise!!!

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Aug 28, 2010

Carribean

This was the worst cruise I have ever taken. I have taken 3 cruises on Carnival before and they have all been awesome. My experience on this one was very different. This ship was in disrepair and the crew was very unprofessional. The chairs on the pool deck were broken, the satellites were broken, so no t.v and no music on board, stateroom service was below average, and the crew's favorite word is no. Because of this experience I will never take

another Carnival Cruise. I will definitely cruise again, just never on this cruise line. I did voice my concerns with their corporate office and their response was a standard letter they send out for all complaints. If you want to have a great cruise experience I recommend going on a different cruise line. The food was great on this cruise and puts the more expensive cruise lines to shame. You have a great selection of food at all times. Great pizza and sandwiches can be found at all hours of the day. Dinning room food was excellent even the sugar free deserts. Excellent plenty of space and our room was always kept very clean. Plenty of activities onboard, but be careful for fights breaking out among crew members. We got to watch 2 brawls between crew members during our 7 day cruise. Definitely buy tickets to the Atlantis water park, it is an fantastic facility with terrific service.

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Aug 16, 2010

Bahamas

This was our first cruise and most of us enjoyed it. We didn't have any really bad experience while cruising. Embarkation and debarkation in Charleston, SC was very organized. It is a good idea to get to the port before the time that they give you. We were told to be there at 1:30, but arrived around 10:30. We were able to drop off our luggage and then only had to wait about 30 minutes before they started the line. Everyone was friendly and informative.

We would probably cruise again, but on a different ship. There was not much to do on this ship. The food was good, but nothing outstanding. They were always serving food somewhere on the ship, so you didn't go hungry. The tea was not good. Alcoholic beverages were quite expensive after adding the gratuity. The stateroom is fine for 2 people. The bathroom is quite small. Room service was excellent!. Our room was cleaned and beds made shortly after we left our rooms and also turned down at night. We always had clean towels replensihed. Other members of our group did have a problem with their room. When the room was booked, they were told that they would have a pull down bed or sofa type bed for the third person. When they arrived at their room, they only had a king size bed and the room was the same size as our room for 2 people. When they went to customer service, they told them that all rooms were full and that a bed would be made up in their room. This was a mattress on a frame about 2 inches from the floor and took up what little walking space that was in the room. When adding a third person to your stateroom, you should be told what this will consist of. The shows were great! They did have some games and contest throughout the cruise. This boat has only one pool for more than 2000 people. We never even got close to the pool. We were able to cool off on the top deck where the waterworks are located. Other than that, there was not very much to do on this ship. There was not a lot to do in Freeport. Some of the exursions were expensive. We ended up taking a taxi to the beach and shopping. It was $10 per person round trip. There were a variety of shops, restaurants and bars and the beach was a short walk across the street. The beach was really nice. We all enjoyed Nassau. You had to walk about 15 minutes to the buses. We decided to do the Atlantis Aqua adventure, which was quite expensive....$170 per person. We all enjoyed this and wished we could stay a few days. There were water slides, rides, pools, aquarium, beaches, shopping, casino, etc. You may want to check at the main gate and see if you can get this cheaper than booking with Carnival. There are lots of shops located downtown by the bus stop. We explored some of these before walking back to the ship.

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Jul 26, 2010

Eastern Caribbean

This was the second cruise for my wife and me. We cruised on Carnival Inspiration 7 years ago and had such a great experience that we decided to try its sister ship Fantasy on this cruise. We went along with another couple and we both had balcony suites on the Verandah deck. This was their first cruise. We also chose this cruise because of the appealing itinerary and because it left out of Charleston, which we could drive to vs. fly. Charleston

was a failry easy experience, though not quite as smooth as our Tampa experience. The dinner food was the highlight of the trip. We ate every night in the dining room and the meals were excellent. Much improved from our last trip. The desserts were tenfold better - the chocolate melting cake was a nightly indulgence. Breakfast and lunch were good, though nothing to write home about. Buffet standard, basically. The downside of dinner was the "any time dining" experience. We chose this as opposed to the late dining we did last time so we could be flexible with our schedule and sit as 2 couples without any strangers at our table. But on 5 of the 7 nights we had to wait 40-50 minutes to be seated. Once we were seated it took anywhere from 60-90 minutes to complete our meal due to the slow service. Our drinks often went unfilled and rarely did all of our meals show up at the same time. Some of the waiters barely spoke English and our orders were messed up once or twice. Not once did the Maitre' D come by and apologize or explain. Instead, a steward would come by the room each night with an apology card and a small plate of peanut butter fudge. I don't like fudge! We will try scheduled seating next time! Overall: A for food, C- for service. The suites were very nice. Carnival has updated this class of ship since the last time we cruised and it looks much nicer. The rooms were clean, the beds were very comfortable, and the view from the balcony was awesome. Very little traffic comes through the Verandah cabin halls, so it is very quiet. The stewards were very friendly and made sure the ice bucket stayed full and that we had clean drink and wine glasses at all times! Two minor comments: Something besides "ship's TV channels" and CNN would be nice, and a clock would be good too. Overall: A Carnival gets an epic fail for this area. First of all, the drink prices were absolutely ridiculous. A bucket of 4 beers was $23. And the beer was never cold, despite being in a bucket of ice. I don't thing they cold stocked enough overnight to keep up with demand during the day. Mixed drinks and the daily "special" were $8.50. Not very special. Last time during the "Captain's reception" there were free whiskey sours (very good). This cruise drinks were $1 off for the reception. No thanks. The same DJ played the same 7 or 8 Reggae songs every morning and afternoon at the pool and on the Half Moon Cay beach day. There was a very talented pianist/guitarist named Rick who played one of the lounges, but he only played at the pool stage twice - for 15 minutes each time. He would have been a welcome change. The shows were not every good. The theater is terrible. Poles block much of the view and the upper deck is not tiered steeply enough to allow people to see the full stage. Basically you get to hear the show but only catch glimpses of the performers. The comedian was horrible. He had a running bit about male privates for nearly one hour. The deck with the casino and most of the bars was unbearable. The smoke was so overwhelming that just walking through the area probably took years off my life. There must be no ventilation at all. This was too bad, because I really wanted to go to the casino, but the smoke was just too much. The pool is way too small for this size ship. Basically there is only one pool and you will be elbow-to-elbow with everyone in the pool. If you want to play bingo, this cruise is for you. That seemed to be the number one onboard activity. $10 per card. No thanks. Overall: F We planned on the beach and Margaritaville and Grand Turk. Unfortunately TS Bonnie prevented us from docking there, so we turned around and sailed north to Half Moon Cay, Carnival's private island. We also planned on just hanging out on the beach here as well. The evening before we got to Half Moon, I asked guest services if we needed tender tickets. They said we did not if we were not on an excursion. Basically, we were told that once the excursion people got off the ship we could just walk down and get on a tender. No later than 11 AM (we anchored at 9) we should be off the ship, they said. The ship's daily paper, delivered to our stateroom said the exact same thing. Since we had skipped Grand Turk, we were 7 hours ahead of schedule. Nevertheless, we pulled into Half Moon about 5 minutes late from our scheduled 9 AM anchoring. Anyway, we got up and were having a leisurely breakfast when we kept hearing announcements about going to the lounge to get a tender ticket - for all passengers who wanted to go ashore. Finally, we decided we better check it out. Well, the line to get a ticket was out the door. By 10:50 we finally had one in hand. Our load number was 39 and they had only called 14 loads in nearly 2 hours! There were only 2 tenders and one other boat available at this stop. Everyone had to stay in the crowded theater because that's the only place they were announcing which groups could go load. It took nearly 2 hours to finally be called. Meanwhile, the staff made no effort to make the wait pleasant - no drinks, no music, not even so much as an apology or explanation of what was going on. The crowd got fairly unruly at one point, but again no explanation for the delay. Finally at about 12:45 we were called and got onto the island at about 1. It took another 30 minutes to get lunch, as they did not have enough burgers cooking to handle the demand. Eventually we made it to the water and had 3 hours to enjoy a stop which was advertised as an 8 hour port call. The water was beautiful and warm, so we eventually calmed down enough to have a good time. Don't plan on snorkeling here - there is no reef - just nice white sand. Nassau - we booked the Blue Water Catamaran snorkel trip through Carnival. Contrary to the description on their website, motoring to the reef is the ONLY option, as the boat does not have a mast or sails! As it was apparently too windy to beach the boat at the planned shore stop, we just snorkeled off the boat. But rather than extend the snorkeling or take a harbor tour, we just went back to the ship 45 minutes early. Again, no apologies. Skip this excursion. The good news is we had extra time to walk around Nassau and do some shopping and sightseeing. Overall: F The fiasco at Half Moon was inexcusable. It is also inexcusable that Guest Services and teh "Fun Times" paper had the wrong information. A simple explanation (which we never got) and apology would have made me change this grade to a B or C. We took this trip to celebrate our 25th anniversary. We had a great experience on our last Carnival Cruise and had no reason to expect differently this time. While we still enjoyed our time onboard, at the pool, and in Nassau, the dinner service and the Half Moon disaster tainted our enjoyment of this trip. We also found the facilities, pool, and decks to be much more crowded and busy on this trip. Perhaps to be expected on a summer cruise vs. the November one we took before. I will say that though there were many, many more kids on this cruise, I found 99% of them to be well behaved and no problem at all. That actually surprised me! Overall, Carnival doesn't seem to pay enough attention too detail and when something gets messed up they are not forthcoming in making it right, unless you like fudge. I felt as if their entire goal was to extract as much money out of us as possible, regardless of the service. This is too bad, because Carnival lost a repeat customer in me and our friends will probably not go back either.

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Jul 25, 2010

Grand Turk and Bahamas

Awful , will not cruise Fantasy again. The kids were out of control , security at pool was done by guests as security said it was not their job. Tendering to private island took from 8:oo AM until past 1:30 PM and you had to be on ship at 4:15 PM. We waited over an hour to get tickets to tender and over 4 hours to get on tender boat ; some done as we did and just gave up. Waited over an hour at Nassau for drunks to get on board. Process getting off

ship was on of the best I have seen. Food was OK in dining room and fair at buffet. Small but clean Crowded at pool alll the time with the same band every day with the same songs

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By Stan_CR

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Dec 24, 2009

Cozumel

I sailed on the Carnival Fantasy out of Mobile, Alabama on 26 November 2009, Thanksgiving Day. This was my 8th cruise overall and my kids 2nd cruise. The cruise was four nights and only stopped in one port, Cozumel, Mexico. The ship in Mobile is easy to get to and parking your own car there was $60 for the cruise duration. Check-in was painless and fast as we arrived at the terminal at 11:00AM and were on board by 12:00PM. The buffets were open

once we boarded and the fun began. Please remember to go check out all your food options before stopping at the first line you see. It's always funny to see a long line at the burger station because people don't realize the good stuff is behind the sliding doors. Our stateroom was ready at 13:30, which was an inside cabin with no windows. It's nice for allowing the kids to sleep in. We did the self assist with our luggage which worked out great. The weather on this cruise was great, not too cold and not too hot. The ship rode fine and there was minimal rocking. I really enjoyed being up on deck when we were leaving and entering port. Alcoholic drinks on board are expensive, but that shouldn't stop you, you're on vacation. I only drink beer and they charge roughly $5 for a 16 ounce one. If you buy them by the bucket, they are a little cheaper. Remember that the tip is already added in to your drink prices (look at the receipt you sign). The soda cards are a good deal if you drink a lot. I thought the food on-board was very good, but I'm not real picky either. The one place the kids really enjoyed was the pizza station and of course the ice cream area. The weather in Cozumel was nice and the temperature was around 78 degrees. We got off the ship and shopped at the International Pier area and then went to swim with the dolphins. The tour departed at 11:00, which we booked through Carnival. The cost was $165 a person and well worth the experience since the kids got to actually swim with the dolphins and learn a lot about them. The kids program on board was outstanding. There were a large number of kids on the ship since it was a holiday cruise. My son, age 12, met many new friends and they swam, water slides, putt-putted, danced for two hours each night at the disco, and just hung out. My daughter, age 9, was in a more structured program and I signed her in and out of activities. She went to activities during the day and night (one night until 2am). I felt comfortable letting my son roam the ship but kept a closer eye on my younger daughter. I had plenty of time to hit the casino and other adult areas. Recommendations: explore the ship and marvel at its ability to float, go all the way forward to the outside railing for a great view, when you first board don't stop at the first buffet line you see (explore all your options), see the shows and the comedians and if you don't like them you can just leave, check out all the bars and other areas to decide which is the best for you, bring a cheap hole punch and lanyards to wear around your neck for your sail and sign cards, sneak booze on-board in your luggage if you want to, order two entries (food was great), tip extra they work hard seven days a week, and remember there's no such thing as a bad cruise, it's just that some are better than others! Read reviews and learn all you can before you go, have fun and enjoy! All in all, a great cruise and the kids are ready to go again.

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Sep 26, 2009

Western Caribbean

Everything about this cruise was excellent! The ship is in great shape even thought it has some age on it. The food was excellent. Our cabin was adequate. The shows were entertaining. There were lots of activities to do during the day. All in all I was very impressed with the cruise especially since the rate was extremely attractive. This five Day Cruise was one of the best for me and my wife. We were very pleased and just really enjoyed

ourselves. We had an inside Cabin which was larger than other ships. This cruise was great from beginning to end!!

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Jul 10, 2009

Key West and Bahamas

This was my first cruise so of course I really have no other cruise experience to compare it to. However, I can honestly say that it was the best vacation of my life and I have many fantastic vacations! I was very pleased with the comfortable and clean cabins (I wanted to take the bed home with me!) My entire family was on board (20 of us in all) and everyone had a fabulous time. The food was incredible, the shows were wonderful. There

was something to keep everyone entertained. There was always something fun to do! The pool party on Thursday night was a blast! I think what impressed me the most was the courtesy of the crew. Their upbeat, cheerful attitude makes you feel that this was their first cruise after a long restful vacation but after chatting with many of them, I found that most of them had been on board for several months and some were quite homesick. They have no time off between cruises. We arrived back in New Orleans in the morning and by 4PM the ship sets sail with another new group of lucky people. I don't know how they do it! We were very fortunate to have one of the very best waiters in the Celebration Dining room. His name is Denis. He is from Croatia. He was wonderful to our family. He even planned a special cake for my parents 50th anniversary. I could go on and on about how wonderful my trip on the Fantasy was. The only hard part is now I have a severe case of PCD (post cruise depression)! The food was excellent! I especially loved the Thai Barbeque and of course the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake! I could not resist it and I even have a slight allergy to chocolate. The rooms were clean and had much more storage than I anticipated. Very comfortable beds and super soft linens. This ship normally goes to Cozumel but because of the Swine Flu we were rerouted to Key West and Bahamas. Fort Zachary State park in Key West is a must see! It is a beautiful beach with great snorkling. This is great to do if you are on a limited budget like us ($8 round trip cab ride per person and about $1 admission into park). You could walk from the ship to the park especially if your ship docks at the naval base-but we had little ones with us and found it easier to take a cab). Absolutely FANTASTIC!

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Jun 18, 2009

Bahamas

Everything about this cruise was awesome!! We have already booked another cruise with Carnival. We were supposed to go to Mexico but instead ended up in the Bahamas due to the flu. All crew members were exceptionally nice and helpful, always smiling. Getting off the ship was a breeze when we returned to New Orleans. If you waited where the announcer told you to wait until your floor was called you could walk right off without waiting in line. The

people that had a hard time were the ones that are incapable of following directions. Food was wonderful. We ate in the celebration dining room and Horracio was our waiter. We loved him! Room was great. Cleaned by housekeeping twice daily. Had a blast. Ready to go again!

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Jun 18, 2009

Bahamas

Everything about this cruise was awesome!! We have already booked another cruise with Carnival. We were supposed to go to Mexico but instead ended up in the Bahamas due to the flu. All crew members were exceptionally nice and helpful, always smiling. Getting off the ship was a breeze when we returned to New Orleans. If you waited where the announcer told you to wait until your floor was called you could walk right off without waiting in line.

The people that had a hard time were the ones that are incapable of following directions. The food was wonderful. We ate in the celebration dining room and Horracio was our waiter. We loved him! Our room was great. Cleaned by housekeeping twice daily. We had a blast! We're ready to go again!

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May 23, 2009

rest and shop

My husband and myself took our 18 year daughter and her boyfriend on this cruise for their high school graduration. The cruise was great we got a 7 day for the price of a 5 because of the flu. The stops to Keywest and the Bahamas were great - wish we would have had more shopping time for Nassau.T he whole cruise was great until we got to the end to dembarkament day. The whole ship that was carrying their luggage was called at the same time-----what

a mess the halls were bottle neck to a dead stop, we went down where we were suppose to at 7:30 AM. We got thru customs at 9:30 AM. We slowly moved down the halls for 2 hours. I don't know who came up with that but they need to fix it. I have been on another ship and it took maybe 15 minutes to get off. Food was great! Stateroom was nice! Activities were fun! The discover Atlantic was not worth the money!

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Apr 9, 2009

Progresso and Cozumel

Our family went on a 5 Day Western Carribean cruise. New Orleans Pier and embarktation very smooth and did not take long at all. We were VIP, so maybe that is why it only took a few minutes to board. Lido deck breakfast and lunch very plain & not too tasty, however the Celebration Dining was a wonderful experience each night. The food and service went way over what we expected. Our Cat 12 Suite very spacious and room steward again went above and beyond.

A few rocky nights, so the shows had to be modified so the dancers would not "break a leg" literally. Many passengers experienced motion sickness. Some of the repeat games, such as the newlywed game should be changed a bit. Staff were friendly. Maybe a little more effort to smile and greet passengers. The photographers were on top of the game. Shore excursions (water) cancelled due to high winds, so we mainly only got to shop at each port. Progresso, 3 words....waste of time. Cozumel was good for shopping and we went downtown to do just that. Picked up some nice gifts for friends and family. Each port we had about 6-7 hrs. More than enough time to have fun and see the areas. Overall, The Fantasy was a nice FAMILY vacation for the money. We did smell the sewer at first, but once we headed to the Gulf, the smell disappeared. Maybe it had something to do with the port and not the ship. Did not smell it again until we arrived back at New Orleans. Yes, we would sail the Fantasy again. Would recommend changing some of the shows to be more of variety. Oh, and Camp Carnival (6-8 yrs) was excellent. Our daughter loved it. Something going on at all times. Not enough hours in our day to do it all. Loved the variety. Stitch, the Asst. Cruise Director, made many games tons of laughs and fun. Book early before you arrive at ports. They were about 4 other ships at each port.

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Oct 13, 2008

Mexico

The only good thing to say about this cruise ship was the crew was great and the beds comfortable. I went out on a 5 day cruise on Oct 4-9, 2008 and there was a septic tank smell in the hallway all 5 days. I never got an explanation of why. The cruse started off poorly when the embarkation computers stopped working adding an hour to our wait to get on the ship. Then the ship was delayed 8 hours from leaving port, once again no good explanation

for this. We were supposed to leave at 4PM and left at midnight. The food in the dining room was average to poor and I left many entrees uneaten. The food outside of the dining room was tedious and of average quality. Cold beer was hit and miss with most beer (bottles) warm. People were buying 3-4 at a time with a bucket of ice so they could have a cold beer. The room was adequate and the bed was comfortable, no small matter since the last Carnival cruise I was no had aluminum cots for beds and I had a back ache for a week. The room was cold and only comfortable when the sun shined in the windows. The fee for using the electronic poker table (rake) was exorbitant at 12% and even raked when no flop was seen! The variety of food outlets was smaller than the last Carnival cruise ship I was on and this added to the lack of variety. Common area bathrooms were small to ridiculous. The ship rolled from side to side even in calm seas and sometimes the water would cascade from the pool on to the deck. This is an older ship with recent renovations, but I don't believe it has stabilizing fins like the newer ships so this is what you get. The rolling was not crazy, but annoying and fairly constant. Oh, there was a fire on deck three while in Cozumel, Mexico delaying those wanting to re-board the ship and making those in the cabins wait up on deck until under control. Once again no explanation for this, for all I know the ships engines were on fire, a rumor going around at the time. So bad that many didn't show up for meals. At our table of 8 only 1 showed up for dinner the last time I went. I sent back 3 entrees back at 4 meals. The "tiger shrimp" was a joke being 1/3 the size of normal tiger shrimp, served as an appetizer. The veal was very poor quality and could not be eaten. The pork chops were bland and tasteless. Although I didn't go for the dress up meal of lobster it got mixed reviews from the people I spoke to. The chateaubriand was very good, but 1 out of 4 is not. Soups were generally average to good and the French onion soup was better than most. The stateroom was adequate for 2, but was constantly cold. The adjustment for air has a cold to colder setting, but not one for warm. The bed was surprisingly comfortable. The lack of electrical outlets was a pain. There was one in the stateroom and one in the bathroom. Each outlet was a duplex with one 120v and one 220v outlet so you had effectively 2 plugs in the whole room. We were constantly changing out iPod and cell phone chargers with the one outlet in the room. The one in the bath room was high up and meant for shaving. The comedian was said to be good, but I didn't hear him, the ventriloquist was not funny. Stay off this boat! Mexico was nice, but Progresso is out in the weeds and you need a cab to go shopping.

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Dec 25, 2006

Western Caribbean

Carnival Cruise Lines Fantasy Cruise Review Western Caribbean C. Steffen Before Leaving – We stayed at the Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans. The room was great and it has very close access to the French Quarter and River Walk. We could see the Julia Street Pier from our room. I thought the casino here was a bit on the tight side, and the tables have some pretty high limits. Make certain that you and your significant other sign up

for the slot club, as they will validate your parking if you play in the casino for 30 minutes (if not, parking is $25.00 per day even for hotel guests). New Orleans is a great spot to visit. They have really made efforts to clean things up after the hurricane, and most of the French Quarter was unaffected. You should not be deterred from leaving from New Orleans on a cruise (or visiting for any other reason). Parking at the Cruise terminal was very easy and reasonable. Porters were available to take our luggage ($1.00 / bag is the general rate) and the parking was covered. Embarkation – The New Orleans cruise terminal is very efficient. We arrived about 12:00 (we were supposed to arrive at 1:30, but we were anxious), and only waited about 10 minutes. We arrived on the ship and went to the Lido deck grill for a quick lunch, as our stateroom was not yet ready (we were told this before boarding). Our luggage was delivered shortly after the muster. We were the only ship to leave New Orleans that day. The Casino – Last Christmas we went to Vegas, and had most of the town to ourselves. The casino is not Las Vegas, but I knew this from our previous cruise. Most of the table limits are $5 at the beginning, but they will increase as the cruise continues. The slots were still pretty tight, but again, this was expected. One of the new features in the casino is that you can use your sail and sign card for an advance at the table. There is a 3% charge for this service, and a $1000 maximum. My wife and I used cash, but I saw several people that were probably pretty upset when they settled up their accounts at the end of the cruise. The Food – The food was very good. We ate nearly every meal on the Lido deck, as we did not want to fuss with the dining rooms. The grill and pizzeria/deli are quick and filling, and the dinner buffets always have a variety. Breakfasts are still the best meals of the day, with a huge assortment of every kind of breakfast food there is. We made a habit of a before bedtime hot chocolate and ice cream snack. We did not try the room service this trip, as the Lido deck was just as convenient. We purchased several drinks aboard, but not enough to break the bank. If you are a heavy soda drinker, purchase one of the soda cards immediately when you get on board. Otherwise, bring a 12 pack of your favorite drink with you (we brought a 12 pack of bottled water). Shows / Entertainment – The “Vegas-style” shows were OK. We went to the Broadway review, and it was passable. I cringed at the renditions of Phantom and Les Miserables, but I didn’t really have very high expectations. Shopping – The ship’s shops are pretty much what we expected. The liquor prices are good, but there was no real way to compare prices as the duty free shops in Cozumel were wiped out by the hurricane. T-shirts and such are over priced as you would expect, but there are deals to be had if you wait until the last day. We shopped a little in Playa, but spent half the day wandering around Cozumel. There are some very good deals out there if you are willing to bargain with the merchants. Staterooms / Conditions Aboard – Our stateroom was great (Upper Deck, U144) – it was the exact same room that we had on the Ecstasy. The room is adequate for two people and all of their stuff. Our steward left us amusing towel animals every day, and I never met our steward, but our room was always in great condition. The strangest thing was the TV channels that the ship piped in. Being from Colorado, we had to ski to get to New Orleans and escape the blizzard, only to find that the ship had all the local Denver channels. It was surreal to watch the conditions at home while on the ship, and made it twice as hard to go back home! Day One – New Orleans, Out to Sea: The muster went really fast. Much faster than the last cruise. We had dinner on the Lido deck and enjoyed watching the sights traveling down the Mississippi River. I was very surprised how long you travel down the Mississippi to get to the gulf, and it was very enjoyable. The first night out, the casino has very low limits (usually $3) so we spent some time there. Day Two – At Sea: Had breakfast on the Lido. Again, it was very good. The weather allowed everyone to spend time out in the sun, and we did odds and ends until it was time to get ready for Formal Night / Captains Dinner. We took a lot of pictures this time, and many of them turned out pretty well. My only gripe was that they have moved from the 5x7 pictures to 8x10 for the initial shots, meaning you need to buy the 8x10 at $20 if you want to buy any other packages. No big deal, except that we really don’t need the 8x10. Day Three – Calica / Playa del Carmen: Make certain to sign up for the shore excursions early. I have no idea why folks wait to sign up until they get to the boat, but you will probably be disappointed if you do. We signed up for the Tulum/Xel-Ha tour, and it was fantastic! The ruins at Tulum are amazing, although we had to ditch our tour guide because he wouldn’t shut up. We could have spent the entire day in Xel-Ha. It is this wonderful fresh water lagoon that meets the ocean. They have dozens of activities that you can do that are included as part of the park admission. We opted to sit out on the beach near the ocean, but we will be better prepared for next time. Day Four – Cozumel, Out to Sea: The pier at Puerta Maya is completely gone, so you have to take a tender (water taxi) from the ship to the shore. The shopping area there is still not 100%, but most of the shops were open. We took a cab to downtown San Miguel to walk around ad shop. The Queen Mary 2 was docked downtown (and several other ships were in port), and it was a treat to see this HUGE ship. The shops are fun, but you should never pay the asking price for anything. After a while, we headed back so we could meet up with our excursion, the glass bottomed boat. The excursion was excellent, taking you on a 90 minute ride around Cozumel’s coral reefs. You could see forever, with the water being extremely clear. We took nearly 100 pictures of the sea life. When we arrived back on shore, we took the tender back to the ship. We played in the Blackjack tournament, and made it to bed. Day Five – At Sea: Not much happening on ship this day. Relaxed on the deck and people watched. If you miss the debarkation talk from the cruise director, it will replay 100 times on the TV. Packed or stuff and settled our Sail and Sign account (you should try to do this as early as possible). We hit the Mississippi Delta around 9:00PM, so we sat on the Lido deck and watched the scenery go by. Very enjoyable. Day Six – Debarkation: We arrived in New Orleans a bit before 5:00AM. The self assist debarkation began at 8:00. We were not in a rush, so we went for a breakfast and waited for the general debarkation to begin. We immediately found our luggage, and a porter takes you to the front of the line to get through immigration. Customs was very lax, and we made it to our truck. The entire process from the moment we stepped off the ship to the moment we arrived at our truck was probably 15 minutes. Very nice! We went to lunch in the French Quarter and made another quick stop at the French Market for last minute souvenirs before heading home. Overall – This was our second cruise with Carnival, and we were very satisfied once again. There were more children on this cruise (this was to be expected at Christmas time), but they seemed to be out of the way. I cannot speak for the “luxury” of other cruises and the Fantasy is not what I would call a “luxurious” ship, but it is well maintained, and the staff is great. We had the option of going on the QM2, and that would have been different for certain, but you really get a great deal with Carnival. We will certainly be cruising with them again! Some things to consider bringing: Room deodorizer – We brought one of the Oust fans and are glad we did. Power strip – only one outlet in the room. A power strip is a must. A pack of bottled water or soda – you can pay for it on ship or try the drink bars – or you can bring your own. $2.50 for a 12 pack, instead of a bottle.  

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Aug 19, 2006

Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Lines Fantasy Cruise Review Bahamas Matt Korang We cruised on the Fantasy the third week of August. We all had a fantastic time which I will detail below. This was our first cruise and we picked the five day Carnival cruise because of two factors: its affordability and good word of mouth about Carnival. We had some airfare we needed to use by the beginning of September so our decision was made with a little haste.

Our party consisted of myself, my wife our two kids (one thirteen and one seven) and my mother. We arrived in Canaveral the morning of the cruise. Embarkation was a breeze. Lines were long, but there was plenty of personnel to take care of everyone and keep things moving. Before we knew it we were aboard and checking out our rooms and the rest of the ship. We headed up to the Lido deck for some lunch. The band (Innocence) was playing island music and the grills were working to provide all with hamburgers, hot dogs and French fries. My kids still talk about the French Fries. They say they were as good as McDonalds and always available. Our first evening was spent at our dining room (Jubilee 8:00 pm seating). Our table guests were not very happy and gave the head waiter (Francisco) a lot of problems. Luckily, they moved to a different seating and we did not have to deal with them again. Our personal wait-staff was excellent. Our head waiter entertained our children as well as made sure everything was as we wanted it. Our wine server remembered what we ordered each night and asked if we wanted the same the next evening. And the food was tremendous every meal. We spent the entire next day at sea. My kids enjoyed exploring the ship. They did not want to partake in the camps available so they did things with us and by themselves. They enjoyed the pools (especially the waterslide) and the mini golf on the sports deck. We spent the day relaxing pool side and attending some information presentations by the ships staff. My youngest wanted the temporary tattoo. At $10 it was advertised to last for 5-6 days but worn off by the next afternoon. Our first destination was Grand Turk. As previous reviews had mentioned, there is not much to see here so we booked our excursions for this island. My oldest daughter and I decided to swim with the stingrays. My youngest, wife and mother decide to take the semi-submersible boat tour. The Stingray encounter was well worth the cost (around $60 each). My daughter got to kiss a stingray which made a good picture op. My wife and youngest thoroughly enjoyed the semi-submersible tour. Although, if you are prone to seasickness you may want to pass on this. My oldest and I were also able to snorkel right off the beach near Margaritaville and saw plenty off fish. Our second destination was Half Moon Cay. This private island will turn some people on and some off. To me it was a turn off. Since we were planning to stay the day we decided to rental a couple of half-shell shades. When you rent, you pay at a hut and then have to see the beach attendant to set up the shell. Well, the staff was short that day and it took 45 minutes to find someone and get our shells set up. I enjoy snorkeling and was looking forward to a day of exploring the waters. Well, these waters are as barren as a desert. A blasted wasteland of ground coral sand as far as you can swim. I saw more discarded paper cups than shells and fish. Unsatisfied, I continued to swim until a lifeguard boat came up and told me to return to the swimming area. I hung up the gear at that point. The rest of the family enjoyed the powdery sand and warm water. The kids really enjoyed the kiddie area with its slides and water toys. The cruise ship crew came ashore to provide food and entertainment. My wife and I closed out the day at the grass-hut bar enjoying a pina colada while watching a 20-something guy nearly collapse. He was so drunk they must have had to carry him off the island. The last port was Nassau. We did our own thing this day. We walked the port area and did some shopping. We went to the Pirates of Nassau museum which the kids really liked. Our time was short and it was hot so we only spent a few hours. Next time we will go see the Atlantis, which we heard good things about from others on the cruise. Concerning the cruise – We attended the shows each night. They were very good, even for me (shows are not my cup of tea). The kids loved them. The food was great and plentiful. The shops had what you needed and the casino seemed large enough to satisfy those that wanted to gamble. There were plenty of options for nightlife. At least 6 different bars and clubs. Walking the promenade felt like you were walking down the street in Vegas. Different shops and clubs. Real nice. As for the ship, yes it is old, but I could not have told anyone that. Some of the décor colors seem dated, but it made no difference. One thing that surprised us was that we could feel lots of movement. Unfortunately our rooms were the last two at the end of the Upper Deck. Being situated over the ship’s props we felt constant vibration in our rooms. The boat swayed a lot despite calm seas. I attribute this to sometimes windy conditions. My wife was grateful that she took Dramamine everyday. The rooms were clean and the bed exceptional. Next we will try to move more to the middle of the ship. (we had an outside cabin btw). My only real complaint about the entire cruise was the constant shilling that went on. I can’t remember many times when I felt that I was not being prompted (urged) to buy something. Excursions, photos, drinks, tattoos, spa treatments, duty free items, jewelry, and even art work were constantly being offered like we were watching QVC. We were constantly photographed and then asked to view and purchase the pictures always with special incentives. We did (my wife could not resist) and spent $130+ on photos. We could even buy the entire bed we slept in. By the end of the cruise, I felt like I could have bought the boat if I offered enough. It was tiresome and bothersome. That is my only real complaint. Next time I will ignore it all and just enjoy myself. The crew was tremendous also. Our Steward (Rino) must have been the hardest working guy I had ever met. He was up when I got up (sometimes early) and was around when we retired after the shows. Everyone smiled and said hello when you passed. Overall, I would recommend Carnival and the Fantasy.  

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Aug 14, 2006

Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Lines Fantasy Cruise Review Bahamas Mrs. Sam Wilson This was the first cruise for my husband and I and and we really enjoyed it! The crew and all staff were very friendly and the service was wonderful. Our cabin steward was great and very helpful. Boarding was a breeze. We had all of our required paperwork and documents so there were no problems. We arrived at Port Canaveral at 11:30 a.m. and by 12:15 p.m. we were

sipping on drinks at the bar on the Empress Deck. You couldn't go to your room until after 1:30 p.m., but we were okay with that. The first night was a bit rough and the you could feel the ship rolling through the rough waters. After that night it was smooth sailing. We didn't really take in any shows on Fantasy. Everything was scheduled pretty late and we had early morning excursions so we skipped the shows. We did some shopping on board and at the different ports and it was great! The food was good and there was plenty of it! We do not have children, but there were many children cruising on the Fantasy. The Camp Carnival Director really does a great job of putting together activities for the kids. One day there was a scavenger hunt for the kids and they looked like they were having so much fun! Grand Turk was beautiful, but I was quite disappointed to see the large amounts of litter that existed on the sides of the roads that we traveled to get to our excursion. We decided to try the Clear Bottom Kayaking and Snorkeling Excursion and we had a blast! This is such a beautiful place, I hope that the litter problem is addressed. Half Moon Cay was gorgeous and we really enjoyed our time there! The water was cool and crystal clear, ust a beautiful island! We didn't sign up for any excursions on Half Moon Cay and we spent the day enjoying the beach and the water and the Pina Coladas! Nassau was great! We went on the Thriller Powerboat to Blackbeard's Cay and spent the day on the beach. It was, again, a beautiful place and we got another chance to relax. My husband and I have been to Nassau before (Paradise Island). We stayed 10 days at the Atlantis Resort and it was a little slice of heaven!!! At that time, the straw market looked pretty bad, but they have cleaned up that entire area and it was really great to visit this time! We paid a visit to Senor Frogs and had a great time before we headed back to the ship. Debarkation was a little trying, but not too terribly bad. You are asked to be out of your room by 8:00 a.m. and given several areas in which to wait. Finally, at 9:45 a.m., we were allowed to begin exiting the ship. We had all of our required documents in hand, as requested, and it was a breeze. We did not carry our luggage off of the ship with us, we left it outside of our door for the Carnival crew to debark for us. There were no problems with our luggage after exiting the ship. We walked straight to our luggage and then had a porter gather our things and we breezed through customs, without having to wait in line (the porters can get you out much faster so I recommend using one - it's worth the tip, which is not required, but is common courtesy!) By 10:00 a.m. we were driving out of the parking lot at Port Canaveral. Overall, we had a great trip and would consider going again! I can't really compare this ship to others because this was my first cruise; however, I can say that the crew were very helpful in calming the nerves of a very nervous first time cruiser.  

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Jul 17, 2006

Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Lines Fantasy Cruise Review Bahamas Jim Swift My wife and I decided that we would take a cruise for our 13th anniversary and we chose the Carnival Fantasy for our trip. Boarding was a little hectic. We had VIP boarding status and proceeded to the VIP office upon arrival at the port. The representative in the VIP office was completely swamped when we arrived with one family of 6 who had evidently not filled out any

paperwork before they arrived (there are always a few on every cruise). We waited patiently and were escorted to the main check-in desk and checked-in and on the boat in less than 10 minutes (including pictures). We enjoyed lunch in Windows of the sea and then proceeded to our room. We booked a guaranteed category 11 suite room and were fortunate enough to get a bump to the penthouse suite. The room was amazing with a whirlpool tub, walk-in closet, mini-bar, and private balcony. Our room steward was OUTSTANDING and must have cleaned the room 2 or 3 times a day. The first night we skipped main dining and opted for the buffet. On formal night and for the rest of the cruise we dined in the celebration dining room where our server (Costel) did an AMAZING job. Formal night was crowded but the other nights were slower and he took some time to sit and talk with us. When we saw him on Half moon cay and on the ship, he immediately knew who we were (calling us by name) and greeting us with a smile. Grand Turk – The island was nice, although we never made it past Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. They really should tell people about this place in the Carnival Capers. Had we known in was here we would have worn on swim suits and taken advantage of the pool. By the way, the DJ at this place is great! Half Moon Cay – A nice island. We had been to Royal Caribbean’s private island and Carnival’s does have more activities. If you find a piece of shade, HANG ON TO IT!!! There is very little shade on the island (RCCL had shade trees, hammocks, and the like) so when you find some shade, you’ve got some prime real estate. We did the glass bottom boat excursion which was nice. Even though the seas were calm, the boat moved A LOT, which made several of us nauseas. I would definitely not do it again. We did enjoy the sun and sand and the crystal clear waters of Half Moon Cay and recommend the island if you are a true beach lover. Nassau – What can I say? We shopped till we dropped and then shopped some more. We had been to Nassau before and chose to take advantage of the shopping rather than any shore excursions. We found something for everyone (including ourselves) and the prices were great. Make sure when you go to Nassau you stay in the port area if you are walking. There are some areas close to the port that you simply don’t want to venture in to. Disembarking – ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We went to the disembark talk and everyone was told not to congregate in the atrium or the hallways. We were to find a lounge or go to our designated area for early flights or shore excursions (we had booked a Kennedy Space Center Tour and were told to wait in Cleopatra’s lounge with the early flight people). Everyone on our tour was given a VIP badge for priority disembarking at 7:45 a.m. (there were 9 of us). Evidently, our group was the only one who listened and followed the rules because everyone else waited in the atrium. When the ship was cleared, all hell broke loose as people ran for the exits. We were placed on the floor above the exits and nobody bothered to bring us down for priority disembarkment. At 9:45 a.m. we finally made it off the ship and cleared customs. We found out tour person who was extremely upset that we were late (the tour for Kennedy had left over an hour before we arrived). The tour company had to arrange for transportation for the 9 of us to Kennedy so we could catch up with our tour group and we missed the first 3 hours of our 5 hour excursion. When we did arrive at Kennedy, we were not given the opportunity to put any carry-on luggage on the tour bus so we had to carry it in through KSC security. At 11:00 a.m. we finally caught up with our tour (after missing the IMAX movies, which I was told were the best part of the tour). The rest of the tour was great. Definitely check it out if you get the chance. I contacted Carnival the morning of the shore excursion (from the port parking lot while waiting on transport to Kennedy) as well as from the airport and was told that guest relations representatives were not in on the weekends and I would have to call back on Monday. I phoned Monday and a “folder was opened” for my complaint about the shore excursion. Tuesday I phoned back and was told that my wife and I would each receive a $50 on board credit on our next cruise (we paid $89 each for the excursion to Kennedy). I was told that we could have gotten a complete refund if we had phoned on Saturday or if we had contacted the shore excursion desk. The shore excursion agent was no where around when we were getting off the boat so talking with him was not an option and Carnival does not post their guest relations number on any of their tickets or billing materials (you have to call someone at carnival and have them give it to you). So now I have two $50 on board credits that I have to sail with Carnival in order to use. I may decide to try Carnival again, but will NEVER cruise on the Fantasy. On top of the disembarking fiasco, the ship moved entirely too much (we felt it every day and one of the shows even had to be stopped in the middle because of the movement). If you want to cruise and have a good time, stick with Royal Caribbean. They are cheaper and will give you much better service.  

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By Sue_CR

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Jun 10, 2006

Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Lines Fantasy Cruise Review Bahamas Sue Boarding: pretty quick and easy but filling in my "fun pass" online didn't seem to help. That informatio was lost. Despite the "no tipping" signs, porter aggressively requested tips for taking our luggage. Food: No complaints. Liked the formal dining room's food but felt a bit weird because our dining room had no windows and a low ceiling. The service was pretty quick. As

soon as one course was finished, the servers brought the next. As for the buffets, they were pretty good too (Indian, Mexican, French, etc.). Made frequent use of the soft serve ice cream machine. Atmosphere: the decor is definitely cheesy and outdated (orange hallways, etc.). Lido deck was usually very crowded so I had to resort to sitting on the topless deck just to get some space. Cabin was small but comfortable and clean. Not enough TV channels, but most people don't waste their vacation watching TV. Was not interested in going to any of the bars. I wish there were more shops on board for buying snacks. Could never understand any of the announcements made over the intercom system. They were always too quiet (compared to the ruckus) or the speaker spoke too quickly. Service: cabin steward cleaned my room at least 2 or 3 times per day. She was very nice. Price: super cheap, but then you're constantly being bombarded with messages suggesting you buy stuff or tip people. Entertainment: $10 for bingo is too expensive. Was too tired to watch comedian or magic show at midnight. Game show was not very entertaining.Hate country music. Didn't really like the Broadway-style show. Excursions: Grand Turk: there is not much on the island itself. It was nice to enjoy the beach. We did not go on an excursion this day and we never checked out the giant pool. Half Moon Cay: the ship couldn't stop here because it was too windy. They automatically put $25 on everybody's sign & sail card. Nassau: enjoyed Pearl Island snorkeling and stingray adventure. Other than that Prince George Wharf was super crowded and boiling hot so I did not have the mood to shop. Debarkation: took a long time. I think we were on the last deck to get called to leave so it must have been a 1 or 2 hour wait.  

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May 22, 2006

Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Lines Fantasy Cruise Review Bahamas Steve First of all the Fantasy for being 16 years young is a great ship with a fantastic crew. Checking in is very easy just be patient with the lines. Most people come in on the bus from the Orlando Airport so you'll end up with lines. I really liked the porter at the bottom of the stairs with his had out for his tip while there are signs everywhere telling you tipping is not necessary.

But so begins the journey. Once on the ship, Carnival is learning to block off rooms until 1:30pm so no one is allowed down to them until they are ready. So, go to up to the Lido Deck get some great food, find a lounge chair, and enjoy your early afternoon. By 1:30pm our room was ready on the Empress Deck and we checked it out. Carnival has added a new comfy bed which is great. They also put a luggage cloth on your bed to protect the covers while unpacking, a nice feature. Most of you know about the muster drill? We had a couple of employees one doing mime during the talk and that helped it go by quicker with the hot sun and all. We set sail and didn't look back. Tuesday is a full day at sea and formal night. Now I know Carnival has gone to resort casual but they are not enforcing the dress code at all. I saw shorts in the main dinning room on most nights except formal night. So that's too bad. You arrive in Grand Turk on Wednesday. Carnival is the first cruise line to be serving this port so it's being built up as we speak. The shops are there but not full yet. Now, while saying that Jimmy Buffett's Margaretville is there and what a party. Take a look at it on his website. He has a 500,000 gallon pool that is about 4 feet deep with a swim up bar and lots of places to relax around it. If your into the underwater excursions this is your port. Just 1000 yards off the coast is a 3000 foot wall that just drops off into nothingness. All the sea life you want to see is here for a diver or snorkel. They offer a helmet dive where anyone can go about 30 feet down and walk on the ocean floor around beautiful coral and you won't even get your hair wet. From there you sail to Half Moon Cay. This has been Carnival's sister company Holland American's private island and it is a wonderful stop. The island is beautiful. It's very kid friendly if the kids are coming along. There are misting booths along the walk way to cool down by. The staff comes ashore with you to continue to pamper you with great food and drinks on the beach. The water is cool with lots of sand in comparison with Grand Turk which has lots of coral, so be sure to wear your water shoes there. Shore excursions that are offered are horse back ridding along the beach and in the water, parasailing and snorkeling. There's more than you can imagine. It's a full beach day for you. Then onto Nassau. We arrived on Friday with along with 5 other ships, over 10,000 people hitting the narrow streets of Nassau on one day. Again lot's of shore excursions. I took the water taxi over to Paradise Island ($6 roundtrip) and walked through the little village and marina of the Atlantis. You want to see how the big money is spent? Take a look at the Yachats here! You can walk through some of the Atlantis for free, shop in their shops and gamble in their casino. If you'd like to see the famous predator lagoon from under the water you can pay something like $25.00 per person, and walk through the tunnel and around the pools. The pools and beaches are off limits to you. Back to the ship and out to sea. I do not know much about the ship. You have a few lounges to listen to a band or dance in the disco each night. They offer the internet cafe and a wireless connection is available all at a price. I only made it to the casino once and saw a couple of shows in the main lounge, one being the comedy show. Besides that I sail to see some new ports such as Grand Turk and relax on the ship. I love to eat my breakfast and lunch on the aft of the ship in Windows on the Sea, but always eat suppers in the main dinning area. I just wish Carnival would enforce the dress code. If your are tight on vacation time and with flying like me in on the day before, this is the perfect cruise. Go and enjoy the Fantasy and whatever you do, don't go by her age. We are only as old as we feel.  

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Apr 29, 2006

Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Lines Fantasy Cruise Review Bahamas Alexis My husband and I traveled on the Carnival Fantasy for our honeymoon. We had been together for nine yesrs before our wedding so we wanted something really special. We chose a cruise because we had heard so many great things about them and decided upon Carnival because of the value and reputation. Neither my husband or I had ever cruised before so in preparation for the event,

I searched the internet for as much information as I could find. I found it misfortunate that so many people were so negative over the smallest things. Nothing is perfect in life and it is what you make of your situation that will result in you enjoying your time or not. I did find many reviews helpful -- I added some things to my packing list because of them and it was nice to have an idea of what to expect, wear, etc. Thanks to all of those reviewers out there who were positive and made good suggestions for future cruisers. We were originally supposed to be on the Carnival Sensation but due to engine issues on that boat, all five day Bahamas cruises out of Port Canaveral are now on that Fantasy. The Fantasy is Carnival's oldest ship and although it has been on the seas since 1991 and had who knows how many people onboard, we thought it was in great shape. The decor was a little Vegas-like but it is a vacation and different can be good. The boarding procedure was simple -- it really speeds the process along to fill out your Fun Ship Pass online and print it off. I had all of our papers (Fun Ship Pass, birth certificates, drivers licences, credit card and blue reservation booklet) in a zip-lock bag on my carry-on for easy reference and for safe-keeping -- it helped a lot. After checking in and receiving our room keys and Sign and Sail cards (information about your Sign and Sail cards will come in the mail with your reservation packet) we waited in line to board the ship. The line was not long and there were chairs available in line for those who wanted to sit. They took our picture (the first of many!) and then we boarded the boat. We entered the Grand Spectrum -- you have to see it to believe that you are actually on a boat and not in a huge hotel. We took our carry-on and headed up to the Lido deck for some food. They had a nice selection of grilled items (hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken, etc) and more food was available in the Windows on the Sea restaurant (directly behind the Lido Deck). We grabbed some food, had a seat and made some last-minute cell phone calls to our family. We were excited and exhausted (14 hour drive to the port the night before) and could not wait to set sail! After eating we headed up on deck to watch us leave the port -- the wind was very strong! We lounged on some chairs, shared a drink and then headed down to find our room. When we arrived, my bag was already there (it was around 2:00). My husbands bags came within a half hour of us getting to the room. The room was a lot more spacious than what I was expecting. We had an interior room. The bed was comfortable and the room and bathroom were very clean. There was ample closet space for our clothes (hanging and folded) as well as space on the bottom of the closet for our shoes. We had a little vanity area with drawers and a large mirror. We were very pleased with the room. We brought along a battery powered alarm clock (they also have wake-up calls, though), sunscreen, pens, magazines, lots of film for the camera and high expectations -- our expectations were met and exceeded! The emergency drill was no big deal -- there were life preservers in the room in the closet -- the cruise director let us know when to go and there were plenty of signs that led the way to our waiting area. We spent that first evening exploring the ship and ate dinner in the Celebration Dining Hall. We were seated with two other couples about the same age as us -- we had nice conversations the entire length of the cruise. The food was great and the service could not have been better. They were all prompt and courteous and remembered from that very first night what you liked to drink, what kind of bread you liked, if you took coffee after the meal, etc. If you ordered something and did not like it, they were quick to replace it with a meal of your choice. You could order as many appetizers, entrees and deserts as you wanted. We chose the late seating (8:30) and it worked for us -- it gave us plenty of time to shower and all after being on shore and we did not feel rushed. And since it was our honeymoon, we wanted something a little more romantic with fewer small children and that is exactly what we got. The Pumpkin Soup (sounds strange, I know) was heavenly! We stared to take in one of the shows but I started not feeling well. We had both taken Bonine the night before but my stomach is sensitive anyway so we headed back to the room about 11:00 and we both fell asleep. The next day I felt great (I think not feelin well the night before was the rough seas and being so tired from driving). We booked our room near then middle of the ship and hardly felt the ship move. The first evening and into the first day the seas seemed pretty rough -- even some of the crew said it was rockier than usual. Just remember to take some motion sickness meds and to use the handrails and give yourself time to get used to the new sensation of being out in the middle of the ocean! Our first day was spent on the sea and we took total advantage of the lounge chairs. There are plenty of chairs and I did not see people reserving them like I had feared (from reading too many reviews!). There were several decks you could go on -- every view was great! We laid out some in the morning and then went and ate some lunch and explore the ship some more. We laid out some more in the afternoon (we both fell asleep -- the slight rocking combined with the sound of the water and the warm ocean breezes -- boy, writing this makes me want to go back even more!!). Our formal night was that night so we went to the Captain's reception and then dinner. The Captain's Reception featured free cocktails and appetizers. Every evening we had our picture taken (there are several different backdrops available each evening, color and black and white). I am a photo freak so my husband and I had to hit every photo opportunity that presented itself. We ended up buying three 8x10's and three 5x7's (the five by sevens were at the different ports of call). We also ordered one of the 8x10s in a package to share with our family. The quality of the photos makes it difficult to decide what photos to pick!! The nest day was Grand Turk. We did not book any shore excursions. We walked along the beach until we reached Governor's Beach -- we hung out there for a little while (lounge chairs are free for your use). We then headed back to the port area where we went into the little shops. They are obviously just now building the port area so there were many shop areas not filled yet, but that was okay with us --we wanted to save some money! We sat by the pool that was available and listed to some music and drank some cool drinks. We walked along the beach some more, took tons of pictures and then headed back on the boat. We sunned for a little bit until the boat left port. Half Moon Cay (the next day) is absolutely beautiful. The water is a greenish-blue and is so clear and clean! We rented a shade cover for out chairs so we would not back in the sun all day and headed for the water. The water was chilly but we got used to iit once we were in there for a little bit. We had brought an underwater camera with us on the cruise (if you buy one on the boat you will pay almost double for it) and took advantage of it's water-resistancy. We relaxed on the beach all day (we walked to one of the furher swimming areas to avoid a lot of people congestion. The weather was beautiful and words cannot do justice to the beauty and wonder of the island! They have nice walk ways for you to access the different areas of the island (very small since the island is uninhabited) and there are bar areas as well as shopping available. This is a wonderful place to sit back, relax and sock up the realization that you are on vacation in the Bahamas! Every picture you take here could be a postcard! Nassau is much more developed than any of the other ports we visited. Since we had been doing so much water and sun the past few days, we decided to visit the historical areas of Nassau as well as hit some of the shopping opportunities! We had listened to the shopping talk done by the shopping expert on Fantasy and stopped by her desk to get some awesome saving coupond and give-aways from the merchants. When we first disembarked at Nassau it was a little after eight so none of the shopping areas were open so we walked to the Queen's staircase and the water tower. Since it was so early in the morning it was cool enough to head up the hill! The Queen's stiarcase was interesting but the water tower was closed to you could not walk up to the top. We went to the fort located right next to the water tower and were able to see across the island that way. We found a little shop near the water tower that had shirts four for ten dollars so we got some for our family and by then it was time to shop. We had a fun time walking to all of the shops on our shopping map and ended up with a bunch of stuff to take home with us! We took pictures and headed back to the boat. We went to the disembarkation talk -- go to it. It provides you with all of the information you need to know to get yourself and your belongings ready to leave the ship. It was sad that last night knowing that our trip was coming to an end but we were so thankful that we had the opportunity to experience all that we had. We did not encounter one rude staff member -- they were all so friendly and helpful and they always had smiles on their faces. They are exceptional people doing exceptional jobs! Disembarkation went smoothly -- we had decided to carry of our bags ourselves -- kind of scary once we passed through customs (which was a breeze) to see that we had to take our luggage down escalators but it is much easier than it sounds or looks! We had our car valet parked and once we turned in our ticket, we had our car in about ten minutes (it was nice not to have to lug our luggage around in search of our car). This was truly a wonderful vacation. You can do as much as you want on the ship, or as little. Your attitude will make or break your trip -- just be positive, breathe in that ocean air, relax and enjoy yourself -- you are on vacation!

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Jan 8, 2006

Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Line Carnival Fantasy Cruise Review Bahamas Marilyn Miller We chose this cruise because it included Freeport as well as Nassau. Both the embarkation and debarkation on this ship ran very smoothly. Leaving at the end of the cruise was the fastest we have ever experienced - and no crowds. Our cabin was an Outside cabin on the Main Deck mid-ship. It was very comfortable. This ship was renovated last year and the beds have

soft pillows and comforters. There are robes to use in the closet. New sink style in the bathroom. Cabin Steward was very efficient. We had a great group of people at our table of eight for dinner. We took the 8:30 P. M. seating. The food was all right, but served fast with very polite waiters. If you don't care for your entree or you want another lobster tail, they are happy to give you another order. The entertainment was very good, the costumes were lavish. The slots in the casino were tight but the hosts were fun and friendly. We enjoyed Freeport which is not crowded and laid back. The beach, shopping and casino (Isle of Capri) are all located downtown which is convenient. In Nassau we went to the Atlantis Hotel and Casino on Paradise Island. Great place, no other place is like this complex. We also went to Crystal Palace Casino at night and saw their Celebrity Impersonators show. Carnival stays in Nassau for 24 hours which is what we really like. All in all a wonderful cruise to sunny, fun islands.

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Dec 25, 2005

Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Line Carnival Fantasy Cruise Review Bahamas Laura I cruised on the Fantasy with 17 family members ranging in age from 18 months to 70 years. This was my second cruise, but the first one was over 20 years ago, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Many of the others in our party also had limited cruise experience, except for my parents, who don’t have much money and tend to cruise on ships that later blow up or

sink. Knowing their history, we paid particular attention during the safety drill. We had a fantastic time on our cruise. We liked a lot of things about the ship. We were pleased with the ship’s atmosphere, which was laid back and family oriented. The other passengers were festive and friendly without being loud and obnoxious. There was a huge range in ages and ethnicities. Our cruise departed on Christmas day. We arrived early at the urging of the frequent cruisers among us. We pulled into the parking lot at about noon and were through with all the paper work in no time. We boarded the ship and headed for the Lido deck where we were greeted by waiters bearing trays of champagne (free) and fruity drinks bristling with paper umbrellas and fruit (not free). We had a buffet lunch, ran around exploring the ship, watched the sunset, and sat down to Christmas dinner, all before the ship even left the port. We had a fantastic Christmas, which surprised me since I thought the first day would be mostly taken up by logistical and administrative chores. The ship is solidly built, well maintained, and very clean. Aesthetically, some areas are lovely, but it’s a little uneven. Some portions of the ship may have been updated recently and some not. If you wish to be completely surrounded by fashionable, understated elegance, you may not be too happy with the decor. I was pleased with my cabin. It seemed roomy, considering I was on a ship, and the bed was very comfortable. We had good cabin service. The guy that took care of our rooms always seemed to be around when I needed him. At one point though, my sister and cousin needed to call him about something and couldn’t figure out how to get through to him using the phone. The worst thing about the cabin was that I was pretty cold at times and couldn’t turn off the air conditioning vent. They provide a down comforter which was great, but if you are the type that gets cold easily, bring lots of long-sleeved shirts. The dining room was also pretty chilly. Dinner time was really fun for our group. We were seated at two side-by-side tables. I thought the food was fantastic. I liked the fact that the portion sizes are small so you can try a variety of dishes. My cousin ordered about four entrees at each dinner which sounds kind of embarrassing, but the staff encouraged us to ask for whatever we wanted. The food at the buffet was several notches below the standards of the food served at the sit-down dinners. We had a drinking problem at dinner. The service was slow and confused and the charges got mixed up. At one point my cousin ordered two martinis for my uncle, a martini connoisseur, but they had olives rather than the onions he prefers so she asked that they be replaced with what was ordered. Instead of taking them back, the waiter brought them to me and my father. Since we were sitting at a different table and are frequent recipients of martinis from my uncle, we drank them without thinking anything of it, although the olives were a little puzzling. We never received receipts for any of the drinks we were purchasing at dinner and when our itemized bills were slipped under the door on departure day, we found that the reject martinis had been billed to my sister-in-law, who hadn’t ordered or drank any martinis. The cousin who had placed the original order was also charged. There were winners and losers in the drinks lottery, and I was one of the winners. I had bought a round of drinks for our table one night, a difficult feat traveling with Dad, Uncle and Brother-in-Law, but I managed, only to find that the charges ended up on Dad’s bill despite my efforts. The lesson learned is always insist on receipts at the time you receive your drinks. My cousin’s suggestion is that they install a computerized system to allow one to check on the daily charges. I was a little disappointed at some of the entertainment, but I might have been expecting too much. There was a Christmas production that was painfully bad. Other shows seemed to depend heavily on the audience to entertain the audience. Huge quantities of audience members are dragged on stage, probably in the hopes that people will be so thrilled to be on stage or see their friends and family on stage that they’ll forget the show has no content. I didn’t see the comedy or magic shows, but some members of our group did and enjoyed them, especially the comedian. The last show presented, a Broadway review, was professionally done. Members of our group went on two excursions. Three people went on a kayaking trip from Freeport and had a great time with no problems. From Nassau, a large group of us went on a snorkeling trip to Pearl Island, and also had fun but there were some glitches. The funniest thing (which wouldn’t have been funny if someone had gotten hurt) was that the snorkeling was initiated by wading into a coral reef wearing flippers. Its really difficult to wade in flippers, but with coral to trip over its pretty much impossible and people were flopping all over the place. The other glitch was getting food at lunch time. There was a snack bar set up to serve people who had purchased the “Treasure Hunt” version of this outing, but they didn’t know how to deal with those of us trying to buy a hot dog or hamburger for the starving teenagers in our group. They were set up for it, and the literature stated that it would be possible, but the execution was lacking. One of the adults in our group, a person who has spent almost no time in the tropics, was pretty aggravated because every hour of time on that tropical beach was precious to him. It is a beautiful spot and the crew handled our transport from the meeting place at the dock to the ferry and over to the island very well. The snorkeling was great once the water was deep enough to swim in and we could observe the coral reef rather than trample it. During our trip, my aunt and I were on a mission to have a picture taken of all 18 of us. Our wish was granted on Formal Night. The photographers were very, very good and were prepared for anything, even us. We were posed on a staircase and the photographer took a lot of care in arranging us and adjusting posture, feet, chins, etc. We were so impressed that different family groups all decided to have portraits done in various configurations and all came out fantastic. You have to pay for the prints of course, but you can pose for as many as you want and only buy the ones you like, or none at all. Starting when you first board the ship and throughout the cruise, photographers are taking casual photos too. At first I tried to evade them, but when the prints started to go up in the display area, I saw that the results were a cut above what I’m used to from theme parks and so forth, and began stopping for photos whenever offered. In conclusion, this was a very special event for our group, we all had a good time, and were very pleased with our vacation.

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Dec 25, 2005

Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Line Carnival Fantasy Cruise Review Bahamas Becky 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.  

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Dec 4, 2005

Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Line Carnival Fantasy 7 Day Bahamas Michelle Terry This was a family trip for Christmas with my parents, sister, nieces and my husband. We will NEVER cruise with Carnival again. We thoroughly enjoyed the rooms, dinner and dining staff as well as the bar staff. That was the highlight of the cruise and the only positives I can muster up. 2 of the 3 excursions we booked got cancelled and rescheduled (we didn't find

out until we got off the ship and ready to go on the excursion - our steward didn't deliver the notification until after dinner the next day - and he was NEVER available). Due to the rescheduling - we were not able to get to a beach on EITHER port of call. Carnival offered a $51.00 credit on $300 worth of excursions - which was a start, but did not make up for missed experiences on the islands. We booked 3 rooms - 2 in January 2005 and 1 in February 2005 - Carnival did not put the rooms close or even on the same deck - even though we requested it that way. Carnival did not book us all at the same dining table, but we were able to fix this prior to setting sail fortunately. We were surprised at the casual nature of dress in the dining rooms as well - like the passengers didn't care to even look nice at dinner. No instructions on room to room calling, room service, laundry service or any other in-cabin services were available to us. Phones did not work to call the desk most of the time and our room steward ignored any calls that we made to him to request even ice - yet we were required to tip him. There was a Bingo fiasco that my sister was appalled by. The lady calling numbers was doing it wrong and over 25 people got Bingo - then were throwing a fit because they all wanted free cruises (security was called in at this point) - they were promised another game later in the day and 3 free cruises instead of 1 - when the rescheduled Bingo came - they were told that the cruise line would not let them give away 3 cruises. Karaoke was a joke on board. The Karaoke guy couldn't sing a note, and his selection was worse than I have ever seen with a minimal selection. There was a group in this lounge that would take the Karaoke books to their rooms the night before and fill out their forms, stack them all up on the KJ's stand before he got there and put everyone else's on the bottom of the stack. We counted 12 singers in a row from this group one night until someone different from the group got chosen. We tried to participate every night and usually didn't get a song until after 11:30 each night (they began at 9:00 and closed at midnight). This event was open to children as well, which really was not appropriate - especially at a late hour. Leaving the ship was a nightmare. We were told to wait in the Universe Lounge at 7:55 for instructions. By 9:00 - we were so chapped that we got in the cattle line to exit the boat - no one ever gave us instructions. Passengers were cranky, pushing and complaining. As we got to customs, there was only one man there with a cart - we had to drag all our luggage ourselves, holding up the line behind us because we were dropping our bags. I felt bad for the people behind us. So, Carnival - thanks but no thanks. This was not a relaxing vacation - at least being with my family was fun - but we could have done that for free at home.

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Dec 1, 2005

Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Line Fantasy Bahamas Sheila Murrey My husband and I did not enjoy the Carnival Fantasy cruise to Nassau Dec 1st. We had only been on one other cruise before and Carnival just didn't measure up much less exceed our expectations (as the cruise director kept saying in his presentations). Basically, the things that made us unhappy were: Ship Layout: We just didn’t like the ship. The layout wasn't good, we couldn't

walk "around the ship" and often had to go up one or two decks to go "over" to the other side of the ship (from front to back essentially) and the signage had no connection to our room or deck and there was no crew positioned to help anyone in navigating the corridors or decks, as Royal Caribbean had. As well, the lighting was too dim to read the little map properly and the sign of the boat in between the elevators was useless due to the fact, it wasn't lit so squinting in the dark became the rule. Also this time our cabin was on the outside toward the front of the ship, so we had port holes. Those were nice when it came time to pull into port and at night to look out and see other ships going by in the distance. However, since our cabin was near the front we heard the engines/anchor and things when we came into and left port. It was fairly noisy! Private parties: I have no idea why a boat would even allow such a practice. This totally excludes the rest of the paying guests on the ship! 2 clubs closed on two different evenings for "private parties", one of which, we were told later had the best band on the ship. Unfortunately we didn’t have the opportunity to check them out. Sad. As well, when we looked in the windows their “private parties” seemed small so that they could have left the club open to other guests. Really ridiculous. Trash: We noticed that trash and dirty dishes were generally not picked up around the ship… we’d see a coffee cup here or a plastic cup there in main areas, dishes in our hallway on the floor would sit there all day, etc. Basically, the staff was inattentive to these kinds of things. Regarding the bar staff: Mostly they were inexperienced, and with obvious language barriers. Once I ordered one kind of drink and got something completely different. She just wasn’t paying attention I think. A few made up for the bad experiences with good personalities. One night some guests (in their young twenties) were getting loud and boisterous - trying to break dance on the floor in the main area bar – they were rude and obnoxious and the bartender actually egged them on a few times… there was no security to move them along or tell them to go to their rooms, etc. Embarking/Disembarking: There was confusion on arriving at the terminal and the "fun pass" we downloaded online was totally useless, it did nothing to expedite the boarding process. Upon boarding we're handed a little color coded map of the boat to find our room, it was too small and hard to read though it did match the sign by the elevators. Exiting of the boat at the finale of the cruise was a total cluster hump. No order, no design, just wait until you here the signal to disembark... instead of taking the ship in sections or decks and making it orderly and without much crowded stress... it was a joke and could have been a serious safety issue as well. Overall, the lines for people boarding and exiting the ship lacked organization, when they did try there weren't enough staff to control people and people cut in front of us and others in the lines because there was a lack of direction especially around baggage pickup. Winding back and forth in between luggage tables while people tried to find their bags was totally unprofessional and just plain stupid. Whoever designed that situation should be fired... and I’m sure it wasn't U.S. Customs because Royal Caribbean had no problems such as these. Children: Some Camp Carnival thing had counselors who "paraded" some lineup of children through the main bar area on the 9th deck I believe it was, at 9am on Saturday morning singing to the top of their lungs, and all I can say to this is not everyone is there for “this type of entertainment". Shows: The main show singer Tia Thompson only sang two songs at the show Friday night, spending much of her time preparing three men from the audience in some female get ups in order to “be her backup singers”… it was amusing on an elementary level… guess that’s why the kids who were there enjoyed it. I thought it was bad taste really. We didn't go back to see her Saturday night. The show was only offered at 10:30pm on Friday night, when that would have been better to have had one later since most people left the ship on Friday to tour Nassau. Plus, kids were at this 10:30 show and it was more adult in theme (I didn't feel it was appropriate for them to be there). The only two things we did enjoy about the cruise was that our bed was very comfortable with the down pillows and comforter and our wait staff was quite nice to us and somewhat funny at our main late dinner every evening and we had a table of six to ourselves the last two nights. I didn’t have a hair dryer in the room but when I thought to ask for one on the last night, one was promptly provided. (Aren’t these usually in the rooms? I could swear I remember one being in the Royal Caribbean bathroom). Summarizing, we shall not be cruising with Carnival again. We would rather cruise with Royal Caribbean as we did earlier this year. The Sovereign of the Seas ship was better laid out with more bars/clubs and more to do, no private parties and so forth.

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Nov 3, 2005

NOT FOUND

Carnival Cruise Lines Fantasy Cruise Review Bahamas Ivars My wife and I needed a quick “battery charge” to get away for a few days. We wanted to leave from Port Canaveral (only 10 miles away). We read a lot about the Fantasy and most of the reviews were so-so. HOWEVER it was priced right. I needed to write this review because we are VERY pleasantly surprised. It seems the ship has had a complete renovation in 2005, and it showed.

The cabin we had was on the Rivera Deck (lowest) with an Ocean View. It looked completely redone with new bedding and furniture. The bathroom also looked very new. As for the ship itself, I did not find any area that looked “old”. As a matter of fact, the Toilets all over the ship were very clean and new looking (I needed to use them often because of the great “Long Island Tea” I was served. Our choice was early dinning and we had a great table of 3 other couples (all our age level). My wife and I expected very young people to be the majority passengers, but it seemed to be very well split from the 20’s 40’s and 60’s. Our cruise was 100% booked with no spare cabins. I take note of this because even though the ship was at full capacity, it NEVER seemed crowded. We even used the elevators with no problem at all. Food on the ship was extremely good at all dining areas. My wife loved the Pizza area (24 hour service) and it was even great tasting. Dinner on day 1 (Lobster) and 2 (Lamb) for me was excellent. However day 3 was a disappointment (Filet Mignon) and we did tell the chief that too. The casino was very nice, but not to my pocketbook. However the Texas-Hold-Em table was fantastic…. My wife was not pleased that I spent 20 hours at Texas- Hold–em. All in all, we were extremely impressed with the staff and ship layout. It looks like the entire innards of the ship was re-done and looked very nice. I’d also like to say that Port Canaveral has the Embarkation and Disembarkation science down pat. We arrived by car at 2PM and we were in the cabin by 2:40. As for Disembarkation, we finished eating breakfast at 8AM in the ships dinning room and arrived at home (10 miles away) at 9AM with our entire luggage in hand. The experience we had on the Fantasy was excellent and everyone should be very pleased when traveling on this 3 day Bahamas Vacation. I would recommend that the beverage selection in the dinning room be more that just juices and ice tea (good tasting), I’d like to see cola and milk be free at all times. Bring your own water since they do charge for bottled water. One final note: Carnival’s gift shops now sell liquors. The prices are excellent; even better than on Nassau. One of the couples at our Dinner Table bought 16 bottles to take home since they saved over $10 per bottle compared to prices at home. Customs only allows 2 bottles per person, put they paid duty on the others ($1 per bottle) and were cleared with no problem.

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Jun 12, 2005

Bahamas

This was my husband and I first cruise. We had to fly into Orlando, Florida the day before which was a good idea, due to the weather. The shuttle bus ride was fun and the bus driver was very helpful with making sure our paperwork and things where filled out correctly. Sorry I can not remember his name. Getting on the ship was a breeze. Our first stop was Freeport, Bahamas. We shared a taxi ride with another couple to the international

bazaar. Not what I read in the books. The ride there was not pretty. Then when we get there, there was this lady screaming welcome to International Bazaar all day long. It was not nice to shop there, maybe because they have not rebuilt from the hurricane's in 2004. Not much good stuff to say about Freeport. The Taxi driver where very rude! Oh I met this couple and all I can say is do not be late getting back to the ship before it sails to the next port. The cruise was fun. I mean this was our first cruise we partied till the sun came up. The food was ok, every one was helpful if we had any questions. My husband won about 400.00 dollars in the casino, he never wins. I got a message on the first night of the cruise that was great! I got a discount some first night special. The Fantasy ship was full all rooms taken, so one thing I did not like is that there was not enough seats in the shade to eat or sit by the pool. The ship was very clean our room was great, there where lots of entertainment on board but me any my husband loved DJ Sugar in club 21. She kept the top 20 hits playing all night long. The crew did the basic to get through the cruise. I do not remember any one's name on an special things they did for us. Next we where in Nassau, Bahamas. We had a really nice time there and the taxi service driver was really educated on the city and even took us for a mini tour through the Atlantis hotel. It is very nice there, I think we will try to go there and stay there for a couple of days. 25 dollars a couple-good deal. We saw all of Nassau. From what he said he took us by Oprah's and Michael Jackson beach home. I would wait till you get off the ship to go on a excursion. Check the prices. To disembark was a breeze. I had read many cruise cruise reviews and they where all bad about the disembark process. You should just sit back and wait for a while enjoy some breakfast. When they say it ok to leave the ship every one runs to line up and that is why they have to wait so long. All in all I was very please with my first cruise experience. It is as fun as you make it.

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May 1, 2005

Bahamas

First cruise for both me & my husband. Getting aboard was a breeze however, getting off was waiting in a long line for what seemed like forever. We dined mostly at the buffet, food was just good. Casino was great. The first night on board my husband popped a quarter slot for $650.00, second night $200.00, every night we went had a good time. Staff was very friendly and stewards were at our beckon call. Went to an illusionist show,

it was just ok, nothing to write home about. Tickets were not that expensive, so, if you want a cheap cruise go with Fantasy. I do have to mention the swim with the dolphin program we attended in Nassau was well worth the money.  

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Apr 28, 2005

Bahamas

On April 28, my husband and I left our two children safely in the hands of my mother and went to the embarkation desk. Imagine our happiness and surprise when we were told we had been upgraded! We are not sure why this happened but sure appreciated it. The embarkation process was smooth and quick -- no problems at all. We were moved up two whole decks. The room was spacious, the bed was so comfortable, and we had a nice big window!

(our cabin was E170) We were able to get our luggage (even with having our rooms moved) before dinner so we could change our clothes. We didn't dress "fancy" for the first night, but just cleaned up for dinner. We were happy to have very nice, interesting dinner mates throughout the cruise. We attended two different Vegas-type shows -- they were entertaining, but not the same calibar as Broadway. Plus, I think by the time the shows begin, a lot of cruisers are tired from the day in the sun and they just don't seem as enthusiastic as they should be for the performers. We went to a bingo game, spent time in the casino, enjoyed the piano bar and sing-alongs, and mostly just relaxed in deck chairs by the pool and/or watching the sea. It was amazing... The Carnival staff were all extremely attentive and friendly. We never had to go looking for somebody, they were always right there to see if we needed anything. The day in the Bahamas was nice -- we went to Paradise Island and to Atlantis. If/when we do this again though, we will just stay on the ship and enjoy all that it has to offer. Atlantis was a bit of a rip-off in our minds. You have to pay a $30.00 fee per person if you want to go on their "private beach" or walk through the aquarium there. We declined. We were in the Bahamas approximately 2-3 hours and then went back to the ship. It is also nice when you are in port because so many people are off the ship, that it is nice and peaceful on board. The "day at sea" is a bit more crazy with kids running around by the pools. We didn't sign up for any excursions -- we procrastinated with what we wanted to do so we missed it. Next time, we will probably do some sort of snorkeling excursion since my husband is interested in that. I just enjoy soaking up the sun! We could not have asked for a more perfect cruise -- the weather, the ocean, the atmosphere, everything was just perfect. I have heard that Carnival Fantasy was recently refurbished and if so, it shows. It was beautiful and it was constantly being cleaned and polished throughout the trip. My husband can be very picky and he also loved this trip. The food was delicious and plenty of it! When you call room service, no matter what time it is, five minutes later they are knocking on your door! We were very spoiled... I haven't cruised in years and was a bit nervous so a short 4-day cruise was perfect for me. The debarkation process was always smooth...did not take as long as I thought it would at all. I would recommend Carnival to anybody! Happy Cruising!

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Mar 26, 2005

Bahamas

I recently returned from a 3 day cruise aboard the Fantasy. I was traveling with a party of 7 which included 4 kids. This was the kids 1st cruise, that's why we chose something short n sweet. I would have to say the cruise was OK - and just OK. Nothing spectacular. There was one major problem on a cruise which kind of ruined the 1st of only 3 nights - a power outage. Not only did the ship lose power, the engines lost power as well. So

there we were floating in the dark for what seemed like forever. The outage occurred around dinner time (1st seating) which was chaotic at first b/c it was very dark in the hall ways. I was happy I had booked a suite w/a balcony so we were able to enjoy the last few moments of daylight. When the power and engines were restored, it threw off the entire nights schedule. The captain called for open seating for dinner which resulted in us having to wait an hour in a long line for dinner which was scheduled for 8p- not very pleasant with 4 hungry kids. When we were finally seated for dinner, the food was cold and the service was rushed. Carnival apologized for the inconvenience, but I think they could have done more considering 1 night of a 3 night cruise was ruined. Aside from that, everything else was ok. The food was unimpressive, the midnight buffet was sad. The pools were small and one was closed for a day. Another thing I want to add, the ship is very hard to navigate if you have a wheelchair or stroller. If I do another Carnival cruise, it will have to be on one of the newer ships.

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Feb 13, 2005

Nassau

Embarkation was extremely pleasant and fast. I was highly impressed. It took less than fifteen minutes! Our room was large and clean. The ship was clean and in great shape. Meals were above par in my opinion. The service was great and I had no problems or complaints.  Disembarkation was just as fast and smooth -- less than twenty minutes. We only had to wait forty five minutes (time enough for breakfast) before our color was called.

I have heard a lot of bad things about Carnival cruise lines and this ship. I have to say that I found everything to be great. I will book again on Carnival anytime!

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Jan 26, 2005

Nassau

Martha First of all this isn't Carnival bashing. We usually sail on Royal Caribbean but took this cruise as part of a group. We went with open minds even after reading dismal reviews of the Fantasy. Embarkation was smooth. The ship didn't look too impressive upon entry. We found our room U133. It was an outside cabin, not too bad size wise, bedding was very nice. Never met our cabin steward although the room was always attended.

The layout of the ship is very hard to navigate. I understand that the ship has been updated but the decor seemed very mis-matched and worn. The lighting through out the ship is very dismal. We only ate in the dining room once. The food was ok. The service was ok. The waiter never introduced himself. Never gave any suggestions as to the menu. We never saw a cocktail server in the dining room. Our group would have certainly ordered drinks if given the opportunity. We decided to forgo the dining room experience from that night on. Note on the food. I don't think it's as good as RCCI. As an aside I think RCCI's food has been suffering lately. The variety of food was not there. You pretty much stuck with hamburger's or hot dogs. The lack of service was very surprising. We never saw any waiter's in any of the bars. We did self serve all the way. Even the piano player had to try and find a waiter for his customers. That was probably the worst thing about the whole trip. One thing I do have to say is that the entertainment was excellent. Much better that most of the RCCI cruise's I've been on. I can't speak for the shows, we didn't go, but the Catz Lounge Band, the pool-side band and the entertainment in the lobby bar were great. That made up for the lack of service. Carnival has a reputation on being "Party Ships" and this being a 3 day week-end cruise I didn't expect anything else. The presence of security guards at the different clubs seemed to deter any problems. I will say that when any one got out of line they were escorted out quickly. We didn't do any shore excursions just toured Nassau on our own. Leaving the ship was pretty smooth. We opted for carrying our own luggage, as most of the passengers did. It made it a bit faster but carrying bags up stairs and then down stairs can be a bit of a problem. There really were no bags at baggage claim. In summation I wouldn't choose to cruise the Fantasy again. It was a saving grace that we were with a big group, we made our own fun! The lack of attention to detail is very evident in all aspects. It is a value priced cruise and if you remember that you won't be disappointed. I will have to say comparing apples to apples that RCCI Sovereign of the Seas which sails from the same port is a much better value. You can party as much as you want on that ship but can escape it if you want. The food is better and the service is 100% better. Note that Carnival adds the gratuity directly to your bill. It was 60.00 for the cabin and the dining room. We didn't bother to dispute that we didn't eat in the dining room. I know those worker's don't get paid much money. In conclusion I wouldn't sail on the Fantasy again. If you want a well rounded cruise experience for 3 or 4 day from Pt. Canaveral I would opt for RCCI. If you want to party for less then the Fantasy is a wise choice.

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Jan 5, 2005

Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Line Fantasy Cruise Review 7 Day Bahamas Mitch Imamura Our cruise was on 1-5-2006. The review form only allowed for the year 2005. The very first thing I have to say about this cruise, is that you get what you pay for. This is considered a “value cruise” not a “luxury cruise”. If you go into this cruise with that in mind then you will have a nice time. If you are expecting someone to be there for your every

need (even someone to bring ice to your room), then you need to find a different cruise. If you are looking for a relaxing no frills inexpensive couple of days on a cruise ship, then this is your cruise. One of the best things we encountered on this cruise was the staff, which was always friendly and helpful whenever we had questions (which was quite often). The ship is not very well mapped out and it was hard to find our way around when we first arrived. There was no information or literature about the days’ entertainment, dinner schedules or location, TV station guide, phone numbers for different services on the ship, do not disturb sign, or listing of ship activities in our room upon our arrival so we had to wander around and figure things out for ourselves. Late on the second day we were told by our bartender that we could get a map and entertainment schedule from the information desk which helped tremendously. The food in the buffet (Windows on the Sea) was more cafeteria style food and cruise line. It wasn’t inedible but it sure wasn’t what we expected to find on a cruise ship. Breakfast was pretty good, but how can you really mess up eggs and toast? If you don’t want to dress up and go to the main dining room, I would suggest the sandwich bar in the back of the Windows on the Sea dining area or the burgers and hot dogs from the buffet on the pool deck. The room service was pretty standard fare as far as cruise ships go (as I am told), cold sandwiches, small salads, cold cereal, and little cookies and dessert. Do not order the cookie/brownie combo. The cookies were store bought bag cookies and the brownies tasted like they had been left out on the counter for a couple of days. Definitely get a soda card and one of the soda tumblers with a lid to carry your soda without spilling it everywhere, when you get on the boat! Although in the buffet room there are no waiters/waitresses so you need to go to the bar every time you need a refill. The bars, clubs, and casino are all nice. Not too big, not too small and are all very active and fun. There are a variety of choices, but most of the entertainment doesn’t start until late. The casino is nice and roomy with a decent choice of games. The only show we tried to attend was the comedy show which did not turn out too well. We arrived a half hour early and sat in the upper level and waited for the bingo game that was in progress to end. While we sat upstairs a nice waiter took our drink order while the lower level filled up and 3/4 of the upper level filled up. When the bingo game ended, which was 5 minutes before the comedy show was supposed to start, they announced that the upper deck was closed for cleaning and everybody needed to move downstairs. We had waited for half an hour, bought 2 drinks and then were told to move to an area that was nearly to full capacity along with about 100 other people? That was wrong! We should have been told in advance not 5 minutes before the show starts. Needless to say we left, along with all of the other people that had been waiting upstairs for half an hour and could not get seats downstairs. The room was actually pretty spacious and nice. Our only problem was its location next to an office of sorts that had really thin walls. We could hear all of the conversations next door and we assume they could hear all ours as well. We did not meet our steward until I called the steward office (which I had to get from the information desk) to get bathrobes. He told us that they did not give robes to interior rooms, but would try to get us a couple. When we later returned to the room we had 2 robes, and we met our steward (who was extremely nice) when he later brought us the belts for the robes. But when the cleaning crew cleaned our room that night they took the robes and we never saw them again. We arrived about 2.5 hours before our departure and check in was pretty fast and easy. When were to leave the ship everybody jammed into the lobby where we were to get off at, which was the same floor we were staying on. Needless to say it was impossible to get through the crowd of people and to any other part of the ship other than our hallway. Luckily the hall we were confined to was the first part of the ship to depart and we were one of the first passengers to leave the ship and were in our car within 10 minutes from departure. The ship itself was small but nice and tastefully decorated. Most of the public areas were clean, well lit, and fully staffed with knowledgeable and helpful employees. Our only problem with the ship itself was the elevators. They are very very slow. Most of the time we ended up using the stairs instead of waiting for the elevators to hit every floor until they reached the one you were on. My girlfriend had the full body seaweed wrap and massage at the spa and was extremely happy with it. The staff was very personable and professional, and resulted in one of the best spa treatments that she has ever had! The only downside was they tried to sell her $435.00 worth of after spa treatment products (which she thankfully declined). A nice little piece of advice is to book your spa treatment or massage right when you get on the ship, they give you a discount for booking on the first day and they book up pretty quickly. Overall our cruise was relaxing and pleasurable. Other than a couple of bad experiences we really enjoyed the ship and staff. We did not have high expectations of this cruise and enjoyed the time away from work and just relaxed and had fun. As long as you don’t expect a “fine luxury cruise” and realize you are on a “value cruise” then you will enjoy yourself.  

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Dec 26, 2004

Bahamas

For my wife and I, this was our second cruise. Last year we sailed on the Sovereign of the Sea for our honeymoon by ourselves, but this time we were traveling as part of a group of ten, with both sets of parents, both of our younger siblings, and one set of her grandparents all along for the party. Some of the problems that we encountered are probably unique to our particular travel group, as well as time of year of travel. Others are

representative of the Fantasy in general, and probably cruising with Carnival. My wife and I traveled to Cocoa Beach on 25Dec, arriving late that evening to meet up with my parents at their hotel and exchange gifts, before moving on to our own accommodations to bed down for the night. Finding hotel space was easy, as the only people in town were those getting on a cruise the next day. Much of the area still suffers from hurricane damage, but it did not affect us at all. The next day the whole group came together for brunch, and then we hit Walgreen’s for last minute necessities and Ron Jon’s for the novelty. Finally we were ready to move on to the ship, and get the cruise underway. We encountered no real problems boarding. The porters will ask for a tip, deserved or not, and I always give them one, mainly just to ensure that my bags don’t fall over the side into the water. Parking is $10 a day, as regulated by the Port Authority and my father and father-in-law had spent much time trying to figure out how to avoid that charge. If you are driving in, just take it as the cost of doing business, and move on. The terminal was not as clean or well lit as the one we had used before, but the lines and waiting is pretty standard. Once aboard, we had no problems finding our cabin, and getting settled. It took a bit for the last of our bags (we had three) to get delivered, but finally they did arrive. We also got to meet Putu, our steward, and I hit him with $5 right of the bat, and he got us an extra robe and such. His English was less then marginal, and throughout the cruise he was unable to communicate with older guests, or those not as forceful as myself, or with short attention spans. And he almost never understood what anybody was asking of him. Shortly thereafter we did the emergency drill, and learned that if things go bad we will die in the Electricity Disco on deck 9. Oh well, at least we’ll go down drinking. My wife had already scooped out the Spa, and registered for one treatment that very first day, which netted us a 20% discount. It put her in the vacation mindset, and gave me a chance to get her a surprise present, and hit up the FREE liquor tasting they were having onboard the ship for all the alcohol they were selling. We bought 8 bottles. The MS Fantasy was built in 1980, and apparently refitted in the late 90’s or so. The ship can hold over 3’000 passengers, and a large crew. On our sailing, the ship was not booked at capacity, but you would not know it from moving about. Everything always seemed populated. But the ship is showing its age. In the various bars and night clubs, there is damage apparent on table surfaces and the rugs are worn. The décor throughout the ship is gaudy and bizarre, with bad lighting the norm. In our cabin there was often an odd smell from the toilet, and there was damage apparent to the trim, beds, closet, and doors. The windows looked badly done to me (somewhat of a concern, as we were on the lowest passenger deck, Riviera, and the water was right there), and we could not ever get the vent to stop blowing cold air. All this was new to us, as the cabin on our last cruise had been a small slice of heaven (other then the fact that the jogging track was right outside our window). All ten of us sat at one table (table 297, Jubilee Dining Room) for the late seating (8pm). We had chosen the late time to allow everybody time to do everything during the day, and then we could all eat together, and do the family thing. Also, there is always food available on a cruise ship, so nobody ever goes hungry. That first night we all got there, found our table, and got settled in without a problem. Our waiter never introduced himself, never said his name, never did anything other then take our orders, execute them sloppily, and then disappear again. This is not the standard that I have for service at a sit down dinner on a cruise ship. He did not even respond well to attempts at conversation, which did not help his cause, either. The food got mixed reviews from around the table, as I thought mine was pretty good to great, the wife and several others at our table were not that impressed. The desert in particular was somewhat lacking. I will say, however, that Carnival does not spare the alcohol when mixing drinks. My wife’s Irish Coffee contained coffee only for looks and authenticity. We spent some time in the Casino that night, losing $25, and then moving on. The ship overall gave us that worn down, worn out expression as we wandered about, trying to get our bearing on what was where. We also enjoyed some sushi, which was pretty good. However, the sushi bar did open late, and the chef was somewhat rude. Rudeness amongst the crew is a general trend we noticed aboard the ship. Without trying to compare my entire experience on FANTASY to what we saw on SOVEREIGN, the Carnival crew was noticeably less personal. Room service, buffet attendants, security personnel, sushi chefs, bar tenders, everybody seemed to be too busy for you, or very self important. This was noticeably not true in the Spa. Monday morning we woke up to find us arriving in Freeport. The bumping of the tugs brought us back to reality, combined with the knocking of room service. The attendant handed me the tray, and disappeared in a flash. Upon checking, we noticed that we had hot water for tea, but no mugs. We had cereal, but no milk. A quick call back to room service and a girl returned with milk, creamer, and a plastic drinking cup. My wife gave up, we ate what we had, and we moved on. We had booked the Kayak & Nature excursion for Freeport, so we went down to the pier with my sister and waited for everybody else. At about 0850 we boarded a bus, and traveled through Freeport to the company actually conducting the excursion for Carnival. Much of the island and city still shows serious damage from the Hurricane, in addition to not being one of the better looking places in the world in its better days. When we got to Kayak & Nature Tours, the company doing the actual heavy lifting, we transferred to a series of small Chevy and Mitsubishi vans, and rolled to the actual park. The guide for our group was Ben, a native of England who had lived in the Bahamas for sixty years now. Very knowledgeable, but somewhat deaf. He had a speaker attached to a headset he wore in the van that he used to narrate the entire trip, and to answer our questions. We got to the Natural Preserve, and he walked us through a series of caves and such, then we went into the mangrove swamp, and climbed into our kayaks. The kayaking was easy, and there is no reason to fall into the water unless you choose to. Two or so miles later we arrived at the open ocean, wandered around for a bit, then drove back to our starting point, and walked back out to the beach to eat lunch. Due to recent epidemics of food sickness and other illnesses on cruise ships, the cruise lines have instituted a policy that prohibits shore excursion vendors from providing any type of “finished” food. This means that nothing cooked can be served off the vessel by anybody operating under a cruise line contract. That must be because the cooks on the ship are so much more regulated...well, anyways. So lunch consisted of cold cuts, bread, cookies, and a fine selection of water, ice tea, and lemonade. Overall, the trip was very informative and fun, dampened somewhat by the weather. But during the spring and summer, I would recommend it. Upon returning to the ship, my wife and I went to the gym, co located with the spa. The actual locker rooms are very nice, and look clean, if somewhat small. A locker is available if you hand over your sign and sail card, and they provide towels. The showers are clean and hot, with a very unique five-nozzle system. The actual gym itself is made up of a very limited selection of free weights, some treadmills and such, and a very unique collection of hydraulic weight machines. My brother in law hated them, and I personally could not get used to them. Apparently a similar system is in use by Curves, the all ladies gym, but this equipment appeared aged and over the hill. I used a treadmill for about ten minutes, when it suddenly and for no reason shut off, giving me some odd error code. A note here about the staff of Fantasy. The gym was staffed by usually one or two attendants, whose main occupation seemed to be folding fliers. They were not knowledgeable about the equipment, or why the treadmill might have failed. There were also other staff members there, working out. If you work for Carnival, and you wear your nametag, I will approach you if I have a question. I don’t care what you are wearing or doing. If you are on your off time, and don’t want me talking to you, don’t wear your nametag. If you are on duty, and in full uniform and nametag, don’t be browsing the duty free shops in little groups. The store is only the size of a small broom closet, and I paid to be on this ship to enjoy myself. You are paid to ensure I enjoy myself. See the relationship? After my wife and I were done playing with the hydraulics, we utilized the hot tub. DO NOT USE THE HOT TUB! Let me say that again, DO NOT USE THE HOT TUB! Under no circumstances should you allow any member of your party to use any of the Jacuzzi’s or other whirlpools on the ship. The one by the gym gave my wife a yeast infection, and when we went to the infirmary to get a treatment, the young girl there simply handed us a prescription medication, simply charging us fifteen extra dollars, for a total of $39.32. Apparently this is not all that rare. We had been to Nassau before, and so we did not plan any excursion. At breakfast we meet a family who had booked the snorkeling, but due to choppy seas it was cancelled. Our families wanted to meet for lunch, so we walked to the end of the pier, and rented a scooter for the day. The cruise lines discourage this practice, and I do not recommend it for the faint of heart, but it makes getting around a breeze. Keeping to the left is not all that hard, you just stay with traffic. However, do be aware that Bahamanians treat traffic laws more as suggestions, and one must drive appropriate to ones vehicle and level of skill. But many of the drivers were understanding (a salt pepper couple on a beat up scooter, must be tourists), and let us cut in here and there. We managed to hit all three Forts, as well as the Zoo. We did not actually go into the Zoo, as we did not want to pay $12 per head. Lunch was at Conch Fritters, which Frommers highly recommends. We do not. The service was terrible, the food expensive, and it was not all that good. If you want to spend money on local fare, do so. If not, the food on the ship is paid for. With my wife backseat navigating, and me driving, we continued around a bit after lunch, and then returned to the ship. That night the ship had a karaoke contest, and my sister and mother, along with my mother and brother in law sang along to their hearts content. It was a pretty good time, and the gentleman running the show was pretty funny. Our families recommended him for the position of cruise director, as the guy who was running that part of the whole experience was somewhat lacking. After karaoke, there was a kind of beach party up on the deck, and we participated there as well. The limbo contest was non-age discriminatory, so the little kids took the prize. After that, there was sort of parody karaoke, and I won a medal by once again demonstrating my total willingness to take off my shirt in public. The next day was our day at sea, so we spent some time exploring things we had not taken advantage of yet, such as shuffleboard. My brother in law and I cleaned up on this gentleman and his son, so that was a good time. That night, there was a special desert served at the sit down dinner, and we each were given a printed drawing of the ship. We had the dinner crew sign it, and then everybody in our party signed everybody else’s. Good memory material. Overall, we enjoyed our time on the Fantasy, mainly because we had our families there with us, and because my wife and I were focused on spending as much time together as possible. However, had it not been for the presence of our families on the ship, we would have taken advantage of Carnivals offer of flying back to the US at the first port of call you come to. We have a certain expectation of what a cruise vacation provides, based on our previous experience, and those expectations were not meet. We will not cruise with Carnival again. Overall… (scale of 1 to 10, 1 being unacceptably low, 10 being outstanding) Cruise Experience: 4 Ship Overall: 6 Cabin: 7 Staff: 2 Food: 4 (not dinning room) Food: 6 (dinning room) Shore Excursions: 4

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Dec 12, 2004

Bahamas

We just returned from our 4 night Bahamas cruise. This was our first cruise (I was afraid of boats) and first vacation without our kids. After a shaky start with airport security and luggage problems, we arrived at the cruise port. We had no problems going through security at the port. The line for check in went quickly. We were told upon check in however that the cabin we originally reserved was not our cabin for the cruise. At first

we were upset until we were informed that we had been upgraded to a suite with a balcony. What a great surprise! After taking our embarkation photo, we were on our way to our cabin. It was beautiful. Very clean, large and lots of room for our stuff. Our cabin steward Donald was very attentive. He was ready to help us in anyway he could. We found a spot on deck to watch the departure of the ship (we left right on time). The ship was wonderful. Very clean, decorated for Christmas and somewhat easy to navigate. After our lifeboat drill, we continued to explore until dinner time. We had a late seating, 8:00 pm, which was a nice time. The food was incredible. You could order as much or as little as you wanted. Our wait staff team was awesome. We never wanted for a thing. As for the islands, Freeport is very ugly when you pull into port. We did a shore excursion, Tranquility Shores Beach. This was beautiful and tranquil. The buffet lunch was delicious. We even made fresh conch salad. Nassau was nice but beware of people trying to sell you everything from beads, to handmade crafts, to drugs. If you keep on walking and don't engage in a conversation, you'll be fine. The boat over to Atlantis was very nice. Our full day at sea coming home was a little rough but there was still a lot to do. Matt, the cruise director, is great. He's funny and schedules lots of fun things. The shows are great and there is an activity for all ages. Be prepared to have a great time and eat alot. We will definitely cruise again and will definitely cruise with Carnival. The are surely the FUN SHIPS!

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Nov 18, 2004

Nassau

This was the first cruise for us including 2 teenagers, both 15. They had a blast meeting new friends and staying up very late dancing to hip hop/top 40 tunes in the Cats Lounge. The two teenage girls said that Spirals (the teen club) was kind of lame and a little boring, but that it was a good spot to meet up with other teenagers, and then they went on from there. I loved everything about the cruise- Even ended up winning $1000.00

at the casino onboard! We had so much fun we already booked another cruise in April and talked my parents into going on their first ever cruise with us! Embarkation was a breeze, although I was just a little bit surprised that when you get on board no one really tells you where to go. They just hand you a mini map of the ship and say 'Here Ya Go'. It didn't bother us though, We just laughed it off and after roaming the Riviera deck for a little while, we found our cabins. The rooms were cleaned twice a day and even the beds turned down in the evening with a little 'animal towel' and chocolate left each night. We thought it was so cute we even took pictures of our animal towels. LOL The cabins were cleaned better and the service better than some 4 star hotels I have stayed in.. We all thought the staff was great! They went out of their way to talk to us and to say hello. Plenty of opportunities for drinks. Lots of partying and dancing but the ship is so big that we were also able to find a few spots out of the way that were quiet and we could just sit and talk for awhile, relax and read or even take a nap if we wanted. The food was good. Not great, but we didn't expect great. We knew going on that this wasn't a 5 star restaurant. The teens totally enjoyed the self serve ice cream and 24 pizza! The teens had a ball dressing up for formal night and walking down the huge staircase and having their pictures taken. They also enjoyed riding in the glass enclosed elevator. They spent hours in the arcade and one of the teens even had a spa treatment. She said she was treated better than a queen! We did not go on any shore excursions, but toured Nassau and Atlantis on our own. I think this time we may take a tour or two. The straw market was fun but CROWDED AND CRAMPED. We boarded expecting to have a good time and that's exactly what we had! As I said, I have already booked another cruise aboard the Fantasy for April 05 and we cant wait!

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Aug 22, 2004

Bahamas

This was my first cruise for both my mom and I. We decided to go with carnival because a lot of people said that it’s a good one to take for your first time. I was allowed to bring one friend so I brought m little cousin age 7 with me. I took her because we were going to Nassau and her and I always wanted to see Atlantis and see where the Olsen twins taped their movie. We didn’t know what to expect! My mom made sure we had a ocean

view room and midway in the ship The room was a lot bigger then we thought. We did the dolphin encounter in Freeport and discover Atlantis in Nassau. Both were worth doing. The only thing I would tell people that sometimes they sell out of a excursion so when you get on the ship go right to the excursion window. Nothing on our ship sold out but just incase. At dinner they don’t give you soda. You have to buy a soda card or put it on your sail and sign card. My mom bought soda credits on the carnival web page so we had them.( If your bring teenagers with you be ready to get a soda card) The meals were ok, nothing to go home and brag about. Freeport was nice. It was a lot cleaner then Nassau. The dolphin encounter was a lot of fun. We got to swim with the dolphins and learn facts about them we never knew. Atlantis was great. I would definitely recommend discover Atlantis. You get to go all over the hotel and in the aquarium. We thought at the end you would have to leave but we were allowed to stay on the island and do whatever we wanted. We just couldn’t use the pools or slide. We spent all day at Atlantis. Went to their beach for a couple of hours and shopped in the hotel. We just had to be back my 5pm because that is when the ferry stopped taking people back to port. I would just recommend you eat a little before going because the food you have to use your hotel card and they wont take cash, only your hotel card. You only get a hotel card if you stay at the hotel. It took us 2 hours until we found a small food place that took money. Be ready to pay about $18 for fries and hotdog and other $8 for a drink. (Welcome to Paradise) The Broadway shows were great. We went to both of them while we were there. Don’t forget the midnight buffet and deck party one night. The midnight buffet is worth going to see. They have everything nice and pretty for you to take pictures of. The last night they will tell you that you can put your luggage outside of your room or you can carry it off the ship. We didn’t know what to do so we carried our luggage off the ship. BIG MISTAKE. You are assigned a deck you have to go to and wait until your deck is called. They close all the elevators and only the stairs you can use. Next time we will leave it outside our room the night before.   If your flying home give yourself enough time because you have to be off the ship by noon and we were the last group to get off and we didn’t get off the ship till almost 12:30pm but we had flights @ 7pm that night. Just make sure when your booking your flights give enough time. Would we cruise with carnival again......yes. It’s the perfect family cruise

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Aug 19, 2004

Bahamas

Considering that this was the year of the hurricane in Florida, and we arrived in Orlando just days after Charlie, the airport and Port Canaveral were in very good shape. The cruise was wonderful. This was our second cruise, but the first with the kids. My best advice...fly in a day early, book a hotel for a night - pack a bathing suit and dinner atire in a carry-one bag and rent a limo to take you to the port as early as possible. If

you get on the boat early, you can find your cabin, get your soda cards, change into the swinsuits and enjoy the pool with the kids while it's not over crowded. We did not sign up for any shore excursions. We walked (2 blocks) to the straw market then hopped in a cab and asked the driver to take us to a beach. The beach he took us to was not terribly busy, but a bit more commercial than I would have liked. The natives will sell you everything from beach chairs to jet ski rides. Don't be afraid to bargain for a better price...you will usually get a better deal. The ship was beautiful, clean and offered plenty to do. We went to both shows (both excellent). Food was superb! The waiter and dining room staff were second to none! Khen (our waiter) and Dennis (our bus boy) were absolutely fabulous! They always made the kids laugh and even included them in the HOT, HOT, HOT parade on formal night! The food on the Lido deck made for great breakfasts and lunches. Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Fries on one end and native foods (jerk chicken, etc.) on the other. A pizza place (open all night) and self-serve ice cream (avail 24 hours) were also a nice diversion. Another word of advice...Gamble on the way out to sea, not on the way back to Fla. Both cruises, we won on the way out and lost on our way home. I won $250 at the blackjack table the first night. Camp Carnival was O.K. Alot of the events require 1 parent to be there and there is an after-hour fee if you want to have the kids there after 10pm. One good thing is that the video arcade is just around the corner from the casino and bars. If your kids are old enough, they can hang-out there and still be close by. Okay, so here it is in a nut shell: Cruise Experience: 10 Food: 10 Entertainment: 9 Staff: 10 Cabin: 10 The carnival staff will bend over backwards to make sure that you are happy. We are definitely going to cruise again.

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Aug 12, 2004

Bahamas

This was a first cruise experience for the family. First of all in deciding what cruise line to take we found that carnival was the one that we could get all five of us in one cabin. This was important to us as we have 3 kids 9,10,12 yrs old. We had plenty of room for all of us I was worried about this at first but soon found out you don't spend a lot of time in there anyway. The ship staff was very helpful never had trouble finding

someone was always around. The camp carnival staffing was great. They helped us out with our son who has special needs as he is austic they gave us a pager to keep in touch. Was really very pleased with the programs for our daughter who turned 13 while on the ship. She had the best birthday ever she was kept busy from morning till the wee hours of the moring. This was very well supervised for the teens to have this kind of fun without parents needing to worry. The food on board was very good in the main dining rooms. Was not impressed with the casual buffet of windows on the sea. The food was bland and did know what I was eating half the time. We took the dolphin encounter at the blue lagoon the kids were completely thrilled with this it was worth it just to see the happiness in their faces. We look forward to crusing with carnival again can't wait till we can book our net cruise.

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Aug 1, 2004

Freeport, Nassau

This was my second cruise, my first being my honeymoon 19 years ago on the RCL's old "Song of America". This time, we took our 11 and 12 year olds for a "surprise" vacation; a 4 night cruise and 3 nights at Universal in Orlando. First, the booking process was delightful. Joe (Jose) P. was my Carnival agent, and he was all I could have asked for. He would answer and return any call, anytime. I probably called him

a dozen times over the 3 month wait until our cruise. He was as kind and helpful the last time as he was the first. We booked the Cat. 12 suite, and since we spent the extra $, I asked him for a bit of help. And he did. They threw in 2 free soft drink cards for the kids. Nice. As for the cabin, it didn't seem quite as big as the pictures, but it was a HUGE improvement over my outside cabin on SOA 19 years previous. I originally balked at the extra expense, but with 2 kids, the expansive room, bed and balcony were certainly worth it. It was the envy of the nice couple accross the hall in an inside room (or should I say, closet!). I'll have a hard time going back to a smaller room in the future. We arrived onboard early, about 12:30PM. Skippers Club allowed us a speedy entry. Our room was even ready at that early arrival. We enjoyed having most of the ship to ourselves for quite some time. A wise choice. But word for the wise: the drink the waiter hands you at the pool comes along with a $6.25 bill, which I would have refused had I not already thought it was "free" and drank some. Pretty tacky. It took all afternoon for me to erase the "sucker" from my forehead! Food, of course, is a huge part of any cruise. I remember the spectacular food of RCL and expected no less from America's Fun Ships. I was mistaken. We were both disappointed with the bland and unexciting fare. The appetizers were small and boring. The soups WERE tasty and enjoyable. But again, the main courses didn't pass muster. The chateaubriand was served either rare or medium well. I like medium, but not bloody, so I was relegated to the latter. It came totally devoid of moisture, well overcooked. My wife's chicken was ok, but standard fare. (Carnival did have good fries!! But gee, I don't think they would stick a feather in their cap for that!) My favorite meal was the veal parmesan. As for desert, again, standard fare. Our best deserts were at all places, the NBA restaurant at Universal! Wonderful! As for the ports of call, I knew that a 4 night cruise wasn't going to make it to the remote islands of the eastern Caribbean. We visited Freeport and Nassau. Freeport greets you with beautiful vistas of a sand quarry. We took a trip to the "Pirates of the Caribbean", a beach/game/lunch trip about 9 miles away. While it was way overpriced, the kids enjoyed it and had a great time. If they were happy, so was I. And I must say that Valentine, the activities director there was the life of the party and made it fun for all. Was it worth the cash? Yeah, because the kids were entertained and that made me happy. Nineteen years ago, we visited Nassau and were quickly tired of the straw market and the constant barking of the salespeople. This trip, it was good news/bad news. The good news is that the old market burned to the ground. The bad news is that they moved it to a temporary tent 2 blocks down (with no ventilation whatsoever). I lasted 10 minutes before I could take no more. We got back on ship for lunch at Windows of the Seas, the casual diner. (we ate breakfast daily there, and it was good and quick.) We ate and changed into our swimsuits for the Athol Island snorkel tour. I am not a water lover. I grew up in Cincinnati and live in Arkansas, two landlocked places if there ever was, but I owed it to the kids to try something they might not have the chance to do again. So they dragged me snorkeling. And kids, thank you so much! It was the highlight of the cruise. It was easy, even for a landlubber like me! Fish everywhere, within inches. I highly suggest snorkeling and will do it again if given the chance! The layout of the ship itself was a bit confusing. I finally figured it out the night before we got off. The pool was always full of kids, so adults really never got the opportunity to swim. As for the spa/workout room, I was pleased, UNTIL they started their salespitch for their overpriced therapies. My wife got sold $290 worth of salves and ointments, all from a single facial. She didn't want them but felt pushed into purchasing them. I almost took them back personally, but she asked that a didn't. As for the ship, it was given an overhaul a little over a year ago. But if you looked closely, it still had some nicks and scratches. We both noticed it was a much less formal ship AND crowd than RCL years ago. And that in itself isn't bad, but we just think a cruise is a extra special occasion, and for us, we enjoyed a more formal atmosphere. Even the dress code for dinner was ignored. Many wore tank tops and shorts, even though they were not allowed.   Did we like the ship and the cruise? Yes, we had a good time, regardless of the average food and ship. Would we travel Fantasy again? No. For the reasons mentioned above, I'll try a ship that is more formal with a more reserved clientel. KRM

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May 13, 2004

3 days Bahamas

This is a great party ship for a quickie cruise. Unfortunatly I don't recomend it unless all you want to do is party. This ship is really geared for drinking and more drinking. I give the overall ship a 5, it is definately showing its age. The service is lacking. Most waiters and attendants seem to have that standard minimum wage attitude. (They could be doing better things than taking care of me.) Food was moderate and the big last night

midnight Gala Buffet was the ship getting rid of its leftovers. We had fun, but definately will not travel Carnival again.

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May 9, 2004

Western Caribbean

The morning of embarkation is a frenzy if you arrive to early, like we did, because the past cruisers are just getting off the ship and traffic is terrible. So wait till about one p.m. before getting to the terminal, it will save you a lot of headache. And all we got to do was set in the terminal till they let us board at 12:30. Once you get on board, head to Tiffany’s for lunch, make sure you try the corned beef at the deli! It

is awesome. My husband and I were first time cruisers, and it was the trip of a lifetime. We will be cruising with Carnival yearly now. Dinner in the main dinning rooms is fantastic; we ate there every night but one, its fine dining at its best. I am a steak lover, so ate different kinds of steak all six nights. He is a little more adventurous than I am; he tried a lot of new things. I was impressed with the nibbles I took. Don’t miss Friday night, the special desert is baked Alaska! The food is so good everywhere on the ship! Except for mabey the Thursday night buffet of Mexican food, I was not to crazy about that. Get main sitting for dinner; the service is really good because they have to be ready for late sitting after main. The service was unbelievable on every part of the ship! The crew is there to serve you 24 hours a day and they seem very happy to do it. We talked to our waiter quite a bit and he told us he works 14 hours a day 7 days a week, for 8 months. That is how his contract works. The crew is great. The nightly towel pets we really cute as well. Carnival really does keep the fun going the whole cruise. There are so many fun activities to choose from, for all different age groups. We loved the shows every night. The comics and dancers were very entertaining! If you are into trivia, go to the game shows as well. We had a blast, I even won a “ship on a stick” trophy for winning one of the game shows. The ports of call were good. I really loved Progresso, great shopping, great beach, and fun beachfront bars. The best thing about Progresso was every thing was really close together and the city is really easy to navigate. They will have maps available on the ship for each port. In Cozumel we took a Catamaran Boat to snorkel, it was one of carnivals shore excursions. It was so much fun. You have got to go snorkeling in Cozumel. So many beautiful fish. Have on good walking shoes when you go in to tour the city. Belize was my least favorite of the three. I am not really into cave tubing or anything like that. So we took a city tour from a local. It was pretty fun. Locals are waiting for you as soon as you get off the tender boats in Belize; they want to sell you tours. They are companies so don’t worry, and their prices are less than half price of Carnivals. We had a wonderful time, and

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Feb 5, 2004

Nassau

The embarkation process was totally fine we were not inline for a long time but then again we had filled everything online at Carnivals Site... so it was a breeze highly recommended... on board we went up to Windows by the Sea for lunch I was amazed at how small the ship was compared to Sovereign of the Seas by Royal Caribbean... the staff was not as helpful or as nice... the formal dining room had a many booths did not look formal at

all... the rooms were definately larger and comfier... the first night I was very sick did not even eat my dinner which was lobster the ship rocked everywhere... I didn't think I would get sick this was my second cruise... above all the second day we were able to enjoy our day in Nassau at the Blue Lagoon it is a beautiful beach... although if when you get back you want go shopping keep in mind that all shops close at 6pm... we went to the straw market total waist of time... on a scale of 1 to 10 I would give it a 7...

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Jan 25, 2004

Freeport/Nassau

This cruise was actually a Christmas present from my boyfriends parents. It was a first time for the both of us. We had a cabin on the Riviera deck without a window. The room was small, but very clean. It had two single beds, so we asked the cabin steward to push them together for us and he said that wouldn't be a problem. By the time that we came back from dinner, the beds were together with chocolates on our pillows.The size of the

room didn't really bother us, although I wouldn't suggest getting a room without a window unless you absolutely can't afford it. It made it difficult for us to get up, not to mention it felt like a cave. Plus, it just would've been nice to be able to see the water when we woke up. The food left a lot to be desired. Even in the main dining areas, it was only mediocre, but still much better than the buffets. If you can manage to stay away from them, do it. The only buffets that were o.k. were the Tropical buffet and the buffet they had on the last night of the cruise. My boyfriend and I are very much into food and enjoy going to fine restaurants, but we both agreed that even Denny's would have been better. Even the desserts were not good. Service also left a lot to be desired. The people serving drinks on the deck were friendly, but anyone who served food seemed they would rather be somewhere else. I heard other people complaining of this also. For example, my boyfriend was getting two coffees and chocolate covered strawberries from the Bistro,and was having difficulty carring it all. So he asked for a plate to put it all on. Up until this point, the server had been nice asked how he was doing, then all the sudden her smile fell from her face, gave a look of annoyance and gave it to him. Our server in the Celebration dining room was o.k., although when I asked for dessert on the second night when we had been 10 minutes late getting to our table, he seemed to get aggrevated (seating for us was 8:30-9:00, we got there at 8:40). At our stop in Freeport, we got up late so we ended up not doing what we wanted which was Lucaya National Park. Instead we just went to the beach and relaxed and rode jet ski's. Our driver took our money for a round trip ($10 per person) and almost ended up leaving us because one couple snuck on the bus. Thankfully one of the other couples realized this and they waited for us. I realize this probably wasn't the smartest thing to do, but just be warned to not do this. At our stop in Nassau, we went to Atlantis and looked at the aquariums and wandered the hotel. It's a very beautiful resort. We took the advice of the reviews online and didn't buy the $45 excursion to Atlantis, and instead paid the $25 to get a wristband. We wanted to go kayaking or something of the like, but couldn't find any, so we ended up renting jet ski's again. It's so much fun!! I found out that Blue Lagoon is a resort in it's self and has watersports equiptment. We would've gone there except it was getting to be late. You don't have to take the ship excursion there either. Can go yourself and just hangout and use the equiptment. The entertainment was pretty good. We only managed to see the Nite club express show, which was very entertaining. It had music and dancing from the 30's to the 90's. I heard that the Broadway show on the last night was also very good. I would also recommend the Cat's Lounge. The band in there does covers and the singer makes it fun. There was always people in there dancing and singing with her. She is quite a character. Overall, we had a good time. It really is what you make it. We don't really drink a lot, or gamble but still managed to relax. Because of the service and food we would definitely not go on the Fantasy again, but save to just fly and stay at a resort so we can spend more time on the islands. Although I would suggest to people on a budget to take a cruise to the Bahamas, I just wouldn't recommend this one.

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Jan 1, 2004

BahamasI

planned a group cruise for my family and friends and was very nervous because I had never planned a cruise for this number of people (30+). Nevertheless, everyone had a wonderful time. The first cruise that I took about five years ago was on Royal Caribbean (Sovereign of the Seas), and I would highly recommend Carnival Fantasy over Sovereign of the Seas as a great 3-night cruise. The rooms were larger and cleaner on this cruise. The beds

were comfortable and had nice, crisp white duvets on each bed. The cabin crew cleans your room each morning and they come again while you're at dinner to put a chocolate on your pillow and to make sure you have enough towels for the next day. The food was ok (no better than Royal Caribbean). We had dinner each night at 8pm in the Jubilee Dining Room. I recommend having dinner at 8pm so that you don't have to come back to the ship early to prepare for dinner. The food selection was great....lobster, prime rib, salmon, pastas, etc. but the quality was not very impressive. There was a 24-hour pizzeria at Windows of the Sea which was also ok. The breakfast was a little above average. Overall, the quality of the food was a 4.5 out of 10. On this cruise, we took advantage of the activities and shows a lot more, which I strongly recommend. We enjoyed the Las Vegas style show, the comedy show was not great, karaoke was fun (wide variety of songs), casinos, teen club, many adult dance clubs, spa treatments. I was surprised that there was not much cigarette smoking on the boat. I'm not a smoker and was concerned about our cabin being full of smoke since smoking is allowed on the ship, but I think most of the smokers hung out around the sports bar. We went on a shore excursion on the cruise to the Blue Lagoon Island. I would personally pocket that $27 and just head straight to Paradise Island and the Atlantis Hotel. If you are looking to do motorized water sports, you won't find it at the Blue Lagoon Island. We did however rent a kayak and there were other non-motorized water sports (paddle boats). The island was pretty relaxing. There were hammocks along the island and you could rent a cabana for $10 to lay under on the beach. The food was expensive. Hamburgers and hot dogs were as much as $8. Instead of going to Blue Lagoon Island, I would recommend hanging out at Paradise Island. There are beautiful beaches to enjoy and motorized sports (jet skiing, para-sailing, banana boat rides) and I highly recommend touring the Atlantis Hotel. In terms of tipping the service people on the cruise, there is a $10 per person, per day service gratuity added to your account, so it's essentially $30 total per person. We were very pleased with our cabin steward and waiter and decided to tip them extra. You can easily spend a $100 or more in tips, so prepare for that. One thing that did bother me on this cruise that I didn't remember experiencing on my last cruise was that I felt everything on this cruise, and I couldn't sleep well as a result. I felt every little movement. I didn't get sea sick, but if you have a history of motion sickness, I highly recommend taking something before hand. Overall, I am very happy that we took this cruise as our second cruise. Based on the price, quality of service, food, and activities, I give this cruise a 7 out of 10. If the food had been better, I would have given it an 8.5 out of 10. Eating is a big portion of what you do on a cruise and I would grade this cruise higher if their quality of food had been better. The cleanliness and service on this cruise, however, exceeded my exceptions.

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Dec 28, 2003

BahamasWell, I

just turned from a 4-day to Freeport and Nassau over the New Years holiday. Here are the things you need to know about Fantasy. 1. The reports about the ship being dated and run down are absolutely not true. The ship was recently renovated and is virtually brand new! It is very nice, clean, modern, and very well maintained including the cabins and public areas all were very nice. 2. The staff was courteous and helpful even when I

was complaining. Our cabin steward was exceptional. He really went out of the way to make things pleasant and comfortable. One thing that happened after we got to our cabin was the dead bolt on the door would not lock. I called the steward about it and within 10 minutes a maintenance guy came a fixed it. It took him 15 seconds. Also the dining room staff (Celebration Dining Room) was very good. They really made that experience great. 3. There were a lot of kids on board. That did not bother us since we expected it. But if you are looking for a more adult atmosphere just be aware of this. 4. We did not purchase any ship excursions. They seem extremely over priced. We just took a taxi for $4-6 per person. Most of the shore excursions can be purchased directly from local operators at the ports. However, if you are interested in touring Atlantis, some areas are off limit without a waistband. The aquarium at the Atlantis is not to be missed. 5. The food. Now herein lays the problem. All the horror stories about this sorry buffet on board the Fantasy are all true! It’s pathetic. That so-call buffet in the Windows of the Sea is not a buffet at all, just an all-you-can-eat of one or two entrees. This was absolutely ridiculous! And believe me, I let them know it big time; to the extent that the head person over food services offered prepare my wife and I whatever we wanted so that we would stop complaining and talking about it. I told the Carnival people straight up that they should fix this problem and stop insulting people. However, first time cruisers or someone who has not been on Royal Caribbean and feasted at their buffet might not know that something is very wrong. The dining room and the food selection there was much better. The lobster, tiger shrimp, and mahi-mahi are great! 6. The shows and entertainment were below par. However, most people might find it okay; my wife and I are a little hard to impress. The New Years Eve parties and the overall atmosphere on board was great, we really enjoyed it. My wife and I overall had a great time; we just hung and did our own thing, just what we wanted. We selected this cruise because of the itinerary (4-days over New Years, away from snow). We booked this cruise at the last minute, so we paid a little too much for what we got. Fantasy is a good ship and I would definitely recommend it as a first cruise. Most people will enjoy it. It’s also great for families with younger kids. However since my wife and I are 40+ and like to pig out and feast on great food, we will stick with Royal Caribbean. Our very first cruise, years ago, was on the Fascination. I don’t recall the buffet being this bad. so we were very surprised with Fantasy. However that was our first cruise and we were impressed with the whole experience.

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Dec 14, 2003

BahamasWe

looked forward to our cruise since last December. We booked the same Cruise, the same itinerary as last year; because we were very pleased with the Fantasy Cruise we took for our first cruise at that time. This year we went on a Family Cruise, though most people I did not know, but my Sister-in-law, her husband, his parents and of course the Cruise booker and his wife and children. So visiting them some, we spent most of our cruise doing

just as we planned this year…resting. We did not go to Bingo, Line Dancing, the Shows or Formal dining in the Celebration dining room except the one night, which was the Captains night. The Lobster was superb, the Prime Rib a bit dry. However, the whole dining experience that night was excellent. We booked the Blue Lagoon tour as soon as we boarded the ship. (Wrote it on a request slip and put it into the excursions box, because the tour window did not open until later in the day, though the slips are considered first come-first serve, and we did get our tour so they definitely don’t take them last). Freeport led to lunch at our favorite spot down in the French section of the International Market. We did a little souvenir shopping; T-Shirts for the kids, and husband bought me a pretty coconut-chip necklace. Though I promise I won’t go again, it becomes old very quickly. The Blue Lagoon tour in Nassau was worth the 27.00 tickets each. We rode the ferry out to the Lagoon at about 9:30 a.m. and it was a very nice morning, and about 80°, not to cloudy. After a bit of searching, because not sure where to go once off the boat, no one tells you, I picked a hammock in the sun right at the dock, and my husband took the camera and went hiking about. I enjoyed the sun, he enjoyed the views, and he took the best pictures of our trip there. You will not want to eat lunch there. The hamburgers and hotdogs are like $8.00 each, which is insane. We did get a few drinks at the bar, and they go half price if you wait a while…buy one get one free, several hours into the afternoon however before they begin that. (Word to the wise here, don’t get the Coconut drink…the one that comes in the Coconut itself, unless you like lots of Water…Coconut milk, and lots more water…yuck!)…However, the Pina’Coladas were great and they don’t cheat you on the rum…very tasty. Ferry ride back and then another restful day. We went into Nassau that evening, and started to walk the streets at around 5:30 p.m. Nassau closes shop about 6:00 p.m. We were not aware. They really don’t care if there are several cruise ships there with several thousand people just waiting for the night trek through their beautifully lit up city. The only thing that stays open are a few nightclubs. The rest goes into blackout at 6:00. Just so you know. They moved the smoking sections from several areas of the ship to outside only, the Majesty Bar only, and one other bar. Of course we were at the front of the ship, and all these places are at the rear end of the ship, so smoking at 7:00 a.m. in the morning, meant a good long walk to get there for any smokers at the front of ship. The rest of cruise was relaxing, even though it may sound like we were being dull, this time after one long year of work…it meant the most to us.This year we went with the normal tipping procedure. Taking about $10.00 each off our sign-and-sale cards a day, and nothing more. The rooms were clean, the beds looked new…but we had awful black dirt coming from our room ceiling vent the whole time we were there. The bed spreads were white, and the dirt would pile up on it so grossly; we kept pushing the beds to the wall, and room service would keep pushing it back under the vent, why is beyond me. Know I could have left a note to leave it alone, but I just kept pushing it back against the wall. And they also forgot to give us washcloths the last day and night, but other then that, room and bath stayed pretty clean.The showers were “much” better. Newly installed showerheads, which actually were better then home. They had lots of pressure, and lots of hot water. The coffee in the Windows by the Sea restaurant is still the best, and their food tops anything else on the ship, though still leaves much to be desired. We did speak to a nice gentleman who said that we should think about taking another cruise on a nicer ship next year. He did not like the food either. He said he had been on several other ships, like Royal Caribbean and Voyager of the Seas, etc…and though the cost was about 2 to 4 times the cost of this cruise it was worth it just for the food. We have thought long and hard about our next cruise. We would like to take a 5-7 day Mexico Cruise, maybe leaving out of Tampa next time. We will spend more but get more I believe from the next one. This cruise line itinerary has been wore out on us, and we are definitely looking for newer, more exciting places to go. One thing new they did this time that I liked was at least while waiting to un-board the ship we got to sit in the bar area (that was our color tag area this time), as the wait is several hours long. So we had access to our coffee and ashtrays. We also were able to carry our luggage off the ship, so did not have to put it outside the doors the night before to be carried away and picked up in the morning in baggage claim, saving about an hour of searching. I liked that. On a scale of one to five: (five being the best, one being the worst) I give the Captain: 5 Cabin Steward Head: 0 (He was very rude, (long story) but was very insulted by him) and was constantly opening our door, we had “no” privacy. We never knew when he’d unlock our door and stick his head in, which seemed like “always”. Cabin Cleaners: 3 Food: 2 Formal Dining: 4 Tour: 4 (Food was to expensive, else it would have been 5) Pools/Hot tubs: 0 (never have been able to get in pool/hot tub, always filled with kids, though it says Adults only) Ease Getting on/off: 3 (long waits bring this score down) We enjoyed our cruise, and the ratings were low because of honest notes taken on this cruise…however, we still are quite aware that cruising is what you make it, so we did enjoy ourselves and time together to rest even if some things were not up to par with the last cruise.

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Oct 30, 2003

Nassau

We wanted to take our boys (ages 10 & 12) on their first cruise over fall break. We chose the Fantasy because if fit our schedule and a 3 night cruise was a good starter trip for our kids. I was a bit disappointed from the beginning. I suppose I should have realized that a Carnival cruise can't compare to a Princess cruise. The embarkation took way too long. They blamed the problem on the computers on land. I was not impressed

with the buffets all day buffets at all. The dining room food was good. The presentation of the food was definitely not wonderful. Just good food. We scheduled ourselves to swim with the Sting Rays at Nassau, but the seas were too high and the tour was cancelled. Not Carnivals fault, but it was not handled well. We were told to meet on the dock as soon as we were allowed to disembark at Nassau. It took at least 45 minutes for the gang way to open. Once we were on the docks, we were told (after looking for our tour for quite some time) that the tour was cancelled. We felt they knew the tour was cancelled before we left the ship and we should have been told. We were also told that the our ship account would automatically be credited with the tour. It wasn't. WHAT A SURPRISE! It took two trips to the pursers desk. To get the problem straightened out. I tried to call the pursers desk and was treated very rudely by one of the attendants. We were on the ship for Halloween. Our youngest son still likes to participate. We were disappointed that the Halloween party on the 31st did not begin until 11:30 p.m. It was really intended for adults. The kids' party was on November 1st. Kind of dumb if you ask me. Disembarkation didn't go any better than the beginning of the trip. Although there were problems, we did still have a good time. It was an adventure for our boys. Next time, we will chose another cruise line.

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Jul 6, 2003

Bahamas

Our family of 5 went with another family of 4. We had an excellent time. There was a variety of activities for everyone. Everything was pretty easy to do-from boarding to debarkation and gathering luggage. We were off the ship in no time! The shows were wonderful. The food was outstanding and the dining room staff was exceptional. The kids loved the towel animals

and our cabin steward was very attentive to our every need. The kids got a kick out of ordering room service any time and signing their names. I strongly suggest getting the drink cards for kids. Big savings there. Camp Carnival activities were great, as long as you have "normal" kids. My husband, our friends, and I were very surprised at the lack of medical training there is by the Camp Carnival staff. Case in point, my daughter is a type 1 diabetic and must carry her blood sugar machine at all times to monitor her glucose levels. Two weeks before the cruise, I was asked to complete an information sheet on her and fax it in. I had the travel agent call the cruise line as well a week before to make sure everything was in place. When I registered her and the other kids, I got a letter saying she would have to keep her supplies in the cabin and go back to check her blood sugar. That is not acceptable. (Walking will make her go even lower.) Even after talking to the nurse and getting permission they said "no." After she had already gone in, I had to make her leave. After a heated conversation, they said she could bring it in a locked bag. Still not good enough. So....she couldn't stay (they weren't going to bother the nurse or doctor after hours). None of the other 4 kids wanted to stay because she wasn't staying. So... moms got to bed every night by 11 while the dads went out. This also applies to any child requiring an epi-pen for allergies. No needles allowed. Period. It seems with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) that such a large cruise line would have trained personnel on duty at Camp Carnival for each shift who could respond to an emergency. This is my only concern with this ship. Better communication is the solution when a special needs guest comes on board. I know the adults would have had a much better vacation, and my daughter would not have cried half the night if that communication had been there.

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Apr 6, 2003

Bahamas

Carnival will be the first and last cruise I will ever take. It was highly over rated. Once we got past the gate and on the ship we were prisoners of the Fantasy. Oh, the guarantee. Funny, you don't really know how bad it can be until you get past the first port. Then it is too late. I think gratuities should be earned. We were charged tips for EVERYTHING and I do mean everything. BEWARE: You cannot adjust tips for the beverages. Make

sure you do not get a joint account for a beverage card. You can only get one drink at a time, per card. Watch out for the beverage Nazis. You will get 50 lashes if you ask for 2 sodas at one time! Then there is the Safety Drill Nazi. You cannot sit down no matter how long it takes to go through the drill and PLEASE, do not loosen your life jacket where you can breath. You must suffocate! That’s another 50 lashes! By all means keep your shoes on the whole time you are dancing in the disco because "Francisco" the shoe Nazi (security) will threaten to remove your feet. I am sure you are getting the picture by now so let me cut this part short, the staffing was totally unacceptable. The only person deserving of a tip was our cabin steward a very quite little man who we saw only once but, he was very good and made us very comfortable without asking for anything. We had a very nice cabin, U102. It was very roomy, and very comfortable. Our tv did not work well and I did check in other cabins since we were traveling with 5 other people and their tv worked fine. This was not a big problem as we did not need to watch it except that there was a war going on. The food, was okay. The price of wine was outrageous. We were charged $21 for a bottle of wine you can buy in any grocery store for $6.99 oh, and don't forget the tip. Our servers were okay even though they could be forgetful. Excursions, RIP OFF! You can take the ferry to the Blue Lagoon for $5. or take Carnivals ride for $27. You get one beverage with Carnivals. Overall the ship was clean and orderly. No complaints. Our suite was $1800 for 5 days/ 4 nights. The service was bad. The food marginal. The staff was pathetic. Did I get my moneys worth? NO. I don't like having to eat on a schedule or having assigned seats. I don't like tipping when it is not deserved. I don't like the regiment and I especially don’t like a rude staff. Will I do it again? NO. Oh, and don't let them try to talk you in to using their phone service. Just call your own cell phone provider. It is .99 per minute with Cingular. Just register your phone. The departure procedure took longer than it should have. Finding your luggage can be a little tricky. I was very happy to get off the boat. Don't bother to complain to Carnival they already have your money and they really could care less. Even if they offered me another cruise I would not go. There were many other complaints of the same kind from fellow cruisers. I did meet some very nice people who were trapped on the same boat. Please feel free to e-mail anytime should you have any questions.

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Mar 2, 2003

Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Lines Fantasy to Freeport and Nassau 3/2/03 Sunday March 2 The trip from Gainesville to Port Canaveral was a breeze and embarkation was made very easy even though we arrived without tickets (travel agency error). We were on the ships manifest and as such were guided through the boarding process with patience. Arrival on board was exciting and lasted 30 minutes at worst from leaving our car in the well secured parking

lot to stepping onto the Empress Deck. The rest of the day and night was spent eating dinner, exploring the Fantasy and finding a margarita. Music was everywhere and so were crew members trying to get guests to buy everything from jewelry to cosmetics. I found the attitude of the crew to be very odd. With the exception of our wait staff in the dining room and our steward (who were wonderful), everyone else seemed irritated by any request. This would prove to be the case the entire cruise. The cabins were fine, being the cabins on the oldest of the Carnival fleet of superliners. The beds could have been fitted with nicer bedspreads and while the carpet was clean, it was stained pretty badly. The bathroom was very clean, so we were pretty happy. Our luggage was delivered very quickly and everything got there fine. The food the first night was not what I expected from Carnival, having been on the Imagination last year. I had the lamb and my wife had fish. It was good, but not great. My scores, one (low) to ten high); Food..................5 Service..............7 Cleanliness.......7 Crew attitude....4 Monday March 3 Arriving in Freeport, we decided to wander through the Straw Market on the pier, which took about 5 minutes. We then decided to go to the Lucaya Market. So, after paying 5 dollars each for a taxi (one way), we headed out in a stretch Lincoln limo that was falling apart. We actually had to stop one time to push down the hood that had decided to pop up while we were in full afterburner. Lucaya was pretty cool, but the constant hawking of hair braiding and buying other stupid trinkets got to be annoying. We understand that this is the way a lot of those folks make a living, so we sucked it up and moved on. We then jumped into another taxi (another 10 dollars) and went to the International Marketplace. We walked from the market to a restaurant called Geneva’s Place (10 minutes) and had a great lunch. I had cracked conch and my wife had baked chicken, both with “peas and rice” and plantains. It was wonderful local food. Back to the International Market to catch another taxi (another 10 dollars) back to the Fantasy. We spent a total of 30 dollars on taxis which was not bad, given the ground we covered. Next time I would skip the Straw Market on the pier and go straight into Lucaya. Of course, drinks were high at 6 dollars or so a pop, but if you look around the marina, you’ll find drinks for 5 dollars and beer for $2.50. Not bad. Back on board, we went to the Lido deck to rest up for a couple of hours, and I was rudely awakened by a crew member informing us that we had to get up so they could clear the deck for a dance floor that would be used in 1 and a half hours! I was angry to say the least, but got up and instead of relocating, we left. I walked that area several times during the evening and there was never so much as a single person using that area to dance. To disturb multiple paying guests in that manner was inexcusable and my scores reflect the actions of that one crewman. More hawking of Carnival merchandise and spa stuff by the crew wherever you went on the Fantasy. When we got back on board the Fantasy, our cabin was nicely cleaned and our steward had made an animal out of towels, which is kind of fun. They do this on the carnival Imagination as well. Dinner Monday night was mediocre at best, with the prime rib being flavorless. We spent that evening at the Majestic Lounge which is all the way in the back of the boat on the Promenade Deck. There were only 6 or so of us back there, but it was quiet and fun. The Majestic is also the cigar bar for those who enjoy a good stick. At 8:45 PM , my wife and I watched the variety show in the Universe Lounge and I have to admit, it was fun. The singing and dancing were not Las Vegas quality as advertised, but still were fairly well done and certainly entertaining. At somewhere around 1:30 Tuesday morning, we said goodnight and went to sleep. My scores; Entertainment...6 Freeport.............5 Food..................4 Crew attitude ....2 Tuesday March 4 I got up early and watched as the fantasy docked in Nassau. Good coffee, a beautiful sunrise, warm and sunny weather, what else could I ask for? We had booked the Blue Lagoon excursion the night before at $27 per person, so at 9 AM we were off with around 200 other folks. The 45 minute boat ride to Blue Lagoon is really nice and relaxing. Every guest gets a ticket for 1 drink while making the trip, but of course you can purchase more. Upon arriving at Blue Lagoon, you follow a cement walkway to various areas on the island, find one of the over 200 hammocks hanging up on the palm trees and settle in. While some of the folks chose to snorkel or just swim, I just wanted to swing in those tropical breezes. My wife swam some and got to know some other folks. I have to be honest.....this was a great excursion and worth every penny. Another nice 45 minutes boat ride back to the dock in Nassau and you are ever so gently deposited in front of the Straw Market. Before I go on, let me warn you of a couple of things. First, the some of the cops here carry Uzi submachine guns, so they are serious about their job. Next, you will be approached by several guys who introduce themselves as “Doobie” and want to show you “what they have”. I actually laughed at the first guy when he said he was “Doobie”. These guys are drug dealers plain and simple, so stay well clear of them. The next bunch of con artists are the guys who sell the “Cuban” cigars. I’m a cigar smoker of no few years and can tell you that if you deal with these guys, you are going to be swindled. If you want a real Cuban cigar, go to a reputable shop and buy one in a metal or glass tube. That way, you know what you are getting. The first guy who asked, “Hey mon, you want a Cuban cigar?”, got my usual, “Um, where do they come from?” response. He was plainly not amused. Look, I know they need to make money, but not by selling me a fifty cent Swisher Sweet for 7 dollars. We actually spent over $100 for $25 worth of stuff, but the lady was fun and friendly to talk to, so she got our money. It was around 5:30 PM when we got back to the Fantasy, so we rested for a little while and decided to eat dinner at Windows on the Sea, which is the cafeteria-style restaurant in the aft part of the boat. Now, here the food was actually flavorful and easy to get. We had a really good dinner and set off for our room to watch a little TV before the nightlife began. My wife actually fell asleep, so I went up on deck to smoke the REAL H. Upmann Cuban I had bought, drink a cold Corona and do some ham radio work, since I am W4JHD. After about an hour, I was ready for bed as well, so I called it an early day. My scores for Nassau; Nassau.......7 Blue Lagoon......8 Cabin Steward....8 Crew Attitude....4 Wednesday March 5 Our “Fun Day At Sea”. It was really nice to wander the ship, do some shopping and just relax. I bought some gifts for my wife and we went back to the dining room for dinner, which was quite nice this time. The grilled steak was tender and very tasty, while the turkey my wife had was every bit as good. After dinner, we knocked back a couple of Coronas and went to the casino. It is always fun to watch folks get serious about gambling and the blackjack tables had some very serious players. We watched for about a half hour, got ourselves $20 worth of quarters and promptly lost them on the slot machines. One more Corona to drown our gambling sorrows and off to pack, put our luggage outside the door and go to bed. Thursday March 6 Back to Port Canaveral to debark. The general attitude of the crew this day is, “we got all of the money from you we’re going to get, so get lost”. The announcement comes over the loudspeaker to go to one of the designated areas to await instructions on debarkation, such as calling luggage tag colors, etc. We’re on the rear Lido deck when two separate work crews begin to clean paint with an air chisel and remove some rust with a wheel sander. There is so much noise that the announcements cannot be heard and when asked to simply postpone the work for an hour so that PAYING guests can hear the “important” announcements, we’ll know what to do, the crew says no and continues to work. I go down to the pursers desk to complain and when I explain to the lady what has happened, she tells me to “move to where you can hear”. WHAT?! Good money was paid to Carnival for this cruise and they can’t wait 1 hour for the guests to clear before beginning MUCH NEEDED work? This is inexcusable as far as I am concerned. MY scores? Crew Attitude......-10 Ease of Debarkation......8 Summary A mediocre cruise. It was fun just to be away and going to Nassau, but the crew needs a little lesson in courtesy. Not that any of them were overtly nasty, but there was definitely an attitude of irritation and lack of desire to do anything more than what was absolutely necessary. The folks on the Imagination bent over backwards to make guests feel special and well taken care of, while the crew of the Fantasy just made me feel like I was taken.With the exception of the Widows on the Sea, the food was below par as well. On the upside, the dining room staff was exceptional in every way and the cabins, while obviously old, were very well kept which is a testament to the hard working housekeeping staff. As far as this particular cruise, I would not take this cruise again, nor can I recommend it to anyone else. It seems that Carnival Fantasy has forgotten who supplies the money to pay the bills or has gotten so full of itself that it no longer cares about customer satisfaction. As far as Carnival the company is concerned, I am unhappy with them as well. I turned over a pocketknife to them last year that was disallowed on the Imagination. Carnival would not honor the receipt I got for the knife from their own security people and when I asked to get the knife back, I was told it could not be found. I lost a $125 knife to somebody at Carnival who decided to “appropriate” it and Carnival could not care less. If they had simply confiscated the knife, I would accept the blame for being stupid. But they gave me a receipt along with assurances that I would get the knife back. I will not travel Carnival again.

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By AM_CR

  • New

Jan 16, 2003

Bahamas It was

my first cruise, I didn't know what to expect, I have to say that I was estactic when I first got on the boat because I didn't believe that it was humanly possible for anyone to make such a monster of boat with that much room, activities, amenities in it. We departed from Port Caranveral on a Thursday after noon in January, the date is still unclear. I immediately fell in love with the fantasy. The crew was very friendly and warm. The food

was great. We docked in the Bahamas 7:00 am the next morning. It was beautiful. We had a great breakfast, which was the best meal of the day, I think. Then we were off to explore Nassau. The trip back to Port Canaveral was the least pleasant because the boat seemed like it was rushing trying to get us back on time. It was swaying back & forth. It was uncomfortable. My husband got sick because of all the motion. We were quickly running out of things to do on the boat. It was limited; after shopping, it you weren't a gambler, there weren't anything left to do. By the time we got off the boat, I was ready. I don't think I could've stayed on that particular boat another night. Now I know that Carnival has other boats that have a lot more room than the fantasy and are more up to date. I didn't know that at first. I probably would've chosen the Carnival Triumph for vacation. But anyways for the most part I enjoyed the cruise. If I had to do it again, I would. Although the Fantasy would probably be my least favorite boat to go on.

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Jan 2, 2003

Bahamas

We had a great time. Ship was a little smelly when we first got on but went away as we left port. Food was good. Kids loved the kids club! Nassau was ok been there, done that. A great weekend getaway! Only complaint was could not here the debarkation announcements even when we were at are assigned spot! Oh and breakfast they could work a little on breakfast. We will definetly cruise carnival and the Fantasy again!

  • New

Dec 19, 2002

Bahamas

Nassau Bahamas was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The ship Fantasy offered a delightful experience. It does not take many words to describe this delightful get-away. In a nutshell the Fantasy provided the following: Delicious food served with eloquence and grace. Neat and attractive cabins. Exposure to 50 different nationalities. Good shore excursions. I plan to return to spend more time at Paradise Island. My highlight was the schedule

of many exciting activities as the Las Vegas style shows, Captain's cocktail party, the deck parties, casino, and the historical Nassau Hightlight Tour. With over 50 different countries represented, celebrating cultural diversity was a plus. It was rewarding for me to get autographs from the workers of different countries. FANTASY was indeed fantastic.

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Jul 10, 2002

BahamasI'm

sorry to see all the bad reviews this ship has gotten. This was my first cruise and I had a wonderful time. I probably wouldn't go back to the Bahamas. The food was wonderful, there was always something to do. The staff was extremly nice. Our cabin steward and waiter were the best. The only complaint I had was we took our two children one eight who had a great time in camp carnival, the other only one and you have to pay full price and

they have no services for a one year old. But other than that we had a geart time and are currently booking another cruise for April 2004. Keep up the good work Carnival

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May 8, 2002

BahamasWell I

must say that I relived my horrible cruise experience by reading the other reviews. All of which made me laugh as I recalled the horrible, cold food. My travel passenger has asthma and is allergic to pork. For those who are wondering, the Windows on the Sea dining room only served pork! We lost weight instead of gaining! Our last night in the dining room, Celebration, I ordered chicken nuggets from the kids menu. I also did not enjoy eating

at a set time. For a cruise ship that holds over 2000 passengers, only one pool was open, and it held maybe 20 people. The life jacket drill was and still is my favorite adventure. We were instructed to ask for assistance if we needed help. After several moments of being ignored I approached an employee who told me to go sit down and that my jacket was broken. I was also told to ask my steward for a new one, which I did. Needless to say I never got one, and for those of you staying in R21 I bet it is still there. I also did not like the tip thing. If you complain long and hard enough they will remove the tax from your ship card. This is what we did and at the end left our steward and waiter a nice tip. So as the saying goes, this was our "Ghetto" Cruise. The only thing I did enjoy was the towel animals and our room. We wrote to the Carnival Association and received a whopping 10% discount on our next cruise, but just so you know, if you are unhappy with your cruise complain before the cruise ends. They, Carnival, will make arrangements to send you home. Please, beware the Fantasy. I am sure that the other Carnival ships are much better.

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Sep 23, 2001

Bahamas

Out of 9 couples, 8 of us had suites. We were escorted to them, and given a very quick but nice run down. I had suite U84. The room was very comfortable size wise, and was very clean, although in need of an update. We had a bottle of champagne and a chocolate tray waiting for us, courtesy of our travel agent. Nice start. After everyone found their rooms, we all started to congregate on the Lido deck. Everyone kind of scattered, which was

fine. Luggage came in shifts. One of my bags came very late. The one with the beer. It was obvious that it had been opened and searched, but they left my beer. Works for me! I think there is a lot of other things more important right now. We had a very diverse group. Everything from a 25th wedding anniversary to a 29th birthday. Out of 18 people, none of us will sail Carnival again. Why? Where do I start.......... Very dirty. Even though I appreciate that this ship had just unloaded 2 thousand passengers to take on two thousand more, it was dirty. I'm not a prude, but old gum and wrappers should be picked up. The windows were horribly filthy. The only time any windows were cleaned was in Freeport, and then only the bottom 3 decks. I realize that, growing up in the Midwest, I am used to the very best in corn fed beef, but UGH! The lobster was very undercooked, and the rolls would make excellent hockey pucks. Desserts? obviously frozen food, and the "excellent pizza?", well, once again, perhaps I have been given too good of food for too long, but I'd rather suck cardboard. If you want excellent pizza, come to the Quad Cities. No comparison. Breakfast was "soup eggs", (otherwise known as scrambled), or lukewarm EVERYTHING else. The omelets were marginal, if you can swallow egg beaters. Our room steward, Maria, was very sweet, although obviously overworked. The waiters in the dining room were very good, with one glaring exception. The entire reason behind this cruise was one of the couples 25th wedding anniversary. This was not until the 3rd night of our cruise, so all were very aware of it. The big night comes and, voila! Everyone else gets their meals except them. Yes, they got their cake, just no main course. By the time it was realized, the had no desire to eat anything. Who could blame them? Even though I was with a very rowdy group, I felt sorry for the other passengers. None of us would have been surprised to be told to quiet down, but no one ever was. They should have been, and I offer my apologies to anyone else on that ship. Debarkation was painless, we were the 2nd group called. After all is said and done, I have realized that this is not the cruise line for me. Although I can party with the best, it won't be on Carnival. For all you who have had great experiences, I am happy for you. And sorry for me.

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  • New

Aug 5, 2001

the fantasy cruise

Being only 16 years old, I wasn’t really looking forward to being on a cruise ship for 4 days but luckily my parents allowed me to bring a friend. The ship was beautiful and there was lots and lots of room to just relax and laze around. People were friendly and the staff was helpful. The rooms were a lot nicer than we expected (very roomy) and the room stewardess did an amazing job of keeping the room tidied up. She even left us mints on our pillows

and towel animals. The food was ok in the buffet but the dining room food was excellent. The pizzeria also served some good pizza and Caesar salad. The pools weren’t exactly what we expected, it seemed like enough space for five normal sized adults so we didn’t use them. They have a wonderful bistro where you can get mixed drinks, cookies, cake, banana splits, ice cream and milkshakes. There is also a teen disco which me and my friend where not interested in, seeming as how the music was mostly backstreet boys and teeny bopper pop. There really weren't many people our age on the ship so we explored the ship on our own. The formal night at dinner seemed to be a lot more formal than we had planned for but it was a nice time all the same. The ship had some wonderful photographer staff who did formal portraits one night and the rest of nights they did casual. My friend and I bought our pictures because they came out so wonderful. The gift shops are extremely over priced, and duty free really doesn't make a difference. We paid $3.50 for a can of Pringles potato chips and the playing cards were 10 dollars. I advise you to bring your own snacks. If you get seasick you can get free Dramamine at the information desk. You can also get free playing cards from the front desk. All in all the trip was really good, but I think if had been any longer I wouldn't have had fun.

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Jul 6, 2001

Bahamas

I decided to spend my 25th birthday aboard Carnival's Fantasy. It was the best birthday I've ever had!!! The entire experience was wonderful and created beautiful memories that I will cherish always. The staff were friendly, the food excellent, and the entertainment aplenty. The only complaint I have is the cruise was only 3 days, way too short!! I am already planning to take another one in a few months, this time I will definitely book a longer trip.

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Oct 5, 2000

p>

My girlfriend (now fiancée) and I took the 3 day Fantasy cruise to Nassau back in October....what a blast! A few "words to the wise", though. 1)PACK SOFT DRINKS IN YOUR SUITCASE!!!  I read one review that said the price of drinks on the ship was comparable to that of the ones "back home".  Where does he/she live?  Disney World?  I'm sorry, but $2.75 for a  Coke is highway robbery!  Granted,

they do serve coffee and tea and juice for free with meals.  2) If you get a room on the front of the ship, you might want to consider taking some Dramamine with you.  You will be able to feel it every time the ship turns, and whether you get motion sickness on a regular basis or not, it can get to you.  3) We took the Ahtol Island Snorkeling tour, and had a ball.  It was also much cheaper than the other tours (around 20 or 30 bucks per person). DINING I cant attest to the quality of food in the formal dining rooms, because we never went in there.  It seems that every time we were hungry we would hit the pizza bar or one of the buffets, and by the time dinner rolled around we were stuffed.  We also did not feel the need to tip our waiter and busboy since we hadn't eaten there.  All of the food we had at the buffet was great. SHOPPING IN NASSAU I didn't find any of the "super deals" I hear so much about in Nassau.  I did, however, purchase a bottle of Obsession for men cologne at 20 dollars per bottle below the prices here. The ship in general was amazing to me.  I think it was mostly because it was my first time, but its kind of hard to believe that they can fit so much stuff into one boat.  We stayed on the Upper deck, and my only complaint was that there was some sort of funky smell emanating from a panel just past the main stairway. All in all, its probably the best vacation value you can get.  We cruised for less than $650.00, and we plan on taking the kids with us on the Fascination in September.

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Aug 20, 2000

Bahamas

My wife and I went on this, our first cruise with some friends who had been on a number of cruises.  Our expectations where high and the Fantasy did not let us down . . . much.  We expected a big ship, and boy did we get it.  We got lost several times trying to find this or that dining room or club.  Activities galore aboard the fun-ship, though I didn't get to use the pool.  I was told there was even a topless area somewhere

on one of the upper decks, but I never was able to verify that either (my wife wouldn't let me).  My kids stayed out of our hair for most of the cruise, allowing my wife and I to enjoy ourselves as we pleased, which means we lost a bundle in the casino.  The formal meal sittings where a bit too extravagant for our tastes, but the alternative buffet meals where just fine.  Food was plentiful and delicious.  Even a 24-hour Pizza Bar, and the sausage pizza is to die for!  Our waiter was not the friendliest guy on the boat, but our busboy more than made up for it.  What a sweetheart!  Thank you Watchara, you made our dining experience a real pleasure.  We hope you are promoted to waiter very soon! The only downside was the midnight buffet.  Our friends had hyped it up so much, we were a bit dissappointed.  Presentation of everything was lovely, but I think they spent too much time preparing the vegetable flowers and animals and not enough time preparing the food! All in all, a first rate vacation.  We really enjoyed this cruise.  I participated in the talent show, I was the first act, and everyone was so responsive and so nice, I felt like a celebrity for the rest of the cruise.  I would definitely recommend a cruise vacation to anyone. My wife and I are planning our next cruise already.

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  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

(2) I wonder if there is anything that can be done that would make it easier for the passengers to get to destinations in Nassau and Freeport? There seemed to be no choice but to take a taxi (at $5 USD per person) to get to the beach. These two Ports of Call were a tourist trap--you can't walk two feet without someone jumping in front of you asking if you want your hair braided or if you want a taxi ride, or if you want to buy something from them

at the straw market. On the morning of debarking, there will be all sorts of announcements to tell people to clear out of their cabins and go to certain areas. Our suggestion: Just take your time. Debarking takes a couple of hours. Have a leisurely breakfast and relax--they have 2400 people to get off the ship, so unless you have an early flight home or an appointment, just sit and cool your heels. We sat in the Universe Lounge for over an hour waiting for debarkation (we had rushed though our breakfast to get to the Universe Lounge at the directed time). Feel free to email me if you were on the same sailing dates or if you have any questions about our experience.

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  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Well, I’ve decided I can bear the guilt no longer. After savoring the most exciting vacation of my life so far for four months, I’m finally giving back to the online cruise community by writing a review. Pretty bold statement considering this is just about the least expensive way to cruise, at least in the contemporary price range but I’ve found that in every memorable event in one’s life there are “moments” that really define the

event as special. For me I’d have to say there were at least three on this cruise. This review is intended to help people who want to have a good time on their vacation, for any ship or destination. Read on…. TIP: When you get on a message board or review site, sort the results by rating if you have that option. Don’t submerge yourself in other people’s negativity or you’ll develop unnecessary anxiety. The good reviews will tell about the things to watch out for. The bad ones might convince you you’re going to have a lousy time no matter what. I’d been cruising virtually on the Internet for almost a year when I found myself in a situation where I could plan a last minute getaway. And I really mean “last minute.” We had less than two weeks to put it together. My wife and I went to a reputable travel agent in town and inquired about a four or five day cruise to the Bahamas or W. Caribbean and we got set up with the four day Fantasy with an inside cabin for which the total fare for a late Feb. sailing came to about 1200 dollars for the two of us. A few days later the TA called and said he’d found us an ocean view for a little over 900. These figures included taxes, port charges and insurance. Naturally we were delighted. Sorry if some feel it’s tacky to talk price but I thought some might want to know. As a lower middle-income folk it’s important to me to get my money’s worth out of a vacation dollar. As I said before I’d read a lot of reviews and tips on the net, so I guess you could say we were over-prepared, if that’s possible. I took concentrated ginger capsules (to avoid sea-sickness) for a day or two prior to sailing, which turned out to be a huge mistake for me because, as I would soon find out after pondering my extreme abdominal pain and the fact that I often have trouble digesting oriental food, I am allergic to ginger. Don’t worry, though. I didn’t let it keep me from having a good time or enjoying the food on board. I didn’t eat as much as I normally would, the first two days, though. We also had the whole list of cruise kit contents, which I’ll try to run down now. - Less-drowsy formula Dramamine (which we ended up giving to our poor tablemates) - Camera - Film - More Film - Little 99 cent fold-up-into-nothing nylon shopping bags and rain gear - Comfortable clothes, including a couple of sweaters for cool evenings and mornings - on upper decks - Sun screen - Portable music player - At least one good book - A wind-up or battery operated clock (The steward will have to unplug it to vacuum.) Aside from this we packed all the items that went into our carry-ons in gallon-sized zip-locks so that any inspecting could be done in a snap. We also drove to the port the day before and stayed in a hotel to avoid any rushing or panic in the event of a delay in traffic. And although the security folks wouldn’t let us drop off our baggage until after 11:00 AM, we got to the port at 10:30 sharp to try to be the first ones on the ship. I guess we were about number 20 or so. We were on board shortly after 12, and the line behind us quickly grew into hundreds of people. This would probably be a good time to talk about pacing one’s self. There is a need to be somewhat alert and rushed when you’re preparing to embark, but once you’re aboard the sooner you can adjust to a leisurely pace the better off you’ll be. We also found that for us there was a tendency to try to pack as much of the cruise experience into the schedule as you can. This probably comes from the nagging notion that this might be the last time you get to go on such a vacation. Try to avoid this if you can. It could easily ruin your trip if you’re normally laid back like we are. More about this later. We were greeted by smiles and found our cabin and went to lunch at the “Windows on the Sea” grill. Nothing to write home about, but then I wasn’t expecting nor was I particularly in the mood for gourmet food at that point. Traffic moved well enough in this area, and the food was tasty and hot. There is salad and juice and condiments and crackers and just about anything else you’d want to put atop, underneath or aside of your chow here. I don’t know if the pizza was going at this time or not. It’s in the same area. Don’t ask me if I liked it. I live in an area of Pennsylvania that has a genuine Italian Pizzeria on every other corner. We hate Pizza Hut and Domino’s, if that tells you anything. TIP: We found out early on that the best way to travel from the forward to the aft areas and vise versa is to find the nearest elevator, take it to the Promenade deck and walk down the “boulevard.” Beats the heck out of walking down the narrow walkways adjacent to the cabins. After lunch we went back to our cabin, straightened up a bit (I think the luggage was already there by now) and headed up to the pool area for a drink and a plastic chair. MOMENT NUMBER ONE: This is hard to describe. Picture walking through dimly lit corridors and elevators and then suddenly finding yourself on a wooden deck with the sun shining brightly overhead and then as you walk to the railing, just below and before you is the sight and sound of the island shirts and dreadlocks and “Stir it up, Little Darling.” This was the point at which it became clear to me that I was really here and this was going to be a hoot. So we ordered up drinks and relaxed for a while. We soon found out that we preferred the pina colada smoothies (they were exceptional) to the alcoholic drinks, and believe me, they’re just as happy to serve these. I don’t drink anyway and I’m not proud or ashamed of it. The only reason I tried the booze was to numb the pain of the ginger capsule misery. I can only imagine what the “moment” would have been like without this distraction (putting it mildly). The order of things is a bit of a blur after this, so bear with me. The condition of our cabin was clean but obviously used. There were no malfunctions and everything seemed to be well maintained, but 12 years of Middle America running in and out was evident. I didn’t ask for a new mattress, but I’ve since heard that it’s pretty easy to get one. Mind you, we wanted for nothing, the steward never failed to clean the room twice daily, and he left the obligatory towel animals (they were cute), fancy bedding arrangements and mints on the pillows. We saw him twice, and he smiled brightly and genuinely both times and spoke friendly to us. I can’t remember his name or where he was from. I did notice that a lot of the hotel and restaurant staff were from Indonesia and Romania. I guess this would be a good time to talk about service. I can honestly say that I didn’t get a single bit of bad service. The closest thing I can remember to what some would actually stretch to call bad service were as follows: One day at lunch our waiter brought my fish and chips which were supposed to be served with malt vinegar (mandatory for me) without malt vinegar. I asked him for some and he remarked (notice I didn’t say argued) with friendly words to the effect that this was the way he always served the dish and that it must be in the batter or something (I don‘t think so). I persisted and he very politely said he would go and check on it. Sure enough, he quickly came back with a bottle of malt vinegar and a smile. Now for some poor folks who write reviews, this would have come under the heading of arguing and poor service. Like I indicated before, I consider arguing to be at least more than one protest and as far as poor service goes, hey, the guy’s from India and he serves fish and chips to Americans twice a week. What does he know about malt vinegar? The second incident was one night when I called for the steward ten minutes before he was to go off duty and he didn’t respond. ‘Nuff said. Actually, one day I forgot to tip room service and I was so embarrassed that I called them, they sent her back down and I gave her a big bill. TIP: If you do run into someone who looks or acts like they don’t enjoy the job, try to get away from that person. Most of these ships are big enough that you can do that. And if you want to spend precious moments of your vacation time on the phone and at the purser’s desk complaining about unimportant things, I guess I can’t stop you but I sure do feel sorry for you. By the way, I weigh in at about 350 pounds and I felt more comfortable on this ship than I have at any hotel or restaurant on land, for what it’s worth. The shower in the cabin was huge. Food: Such a hard subject to tackle. It seems that you can get on any forum or review site and find two different people saying two opposite things about the same food. I think I could clear this up if people would listen and heed this tip: TIP: If you’re from Philadelphia, don’t order a cheese steak. Floridians, eat your key lime pie at home. I live in the northeast and I’m originally from Florida. I tried the pizza one day when I was relaxing at the grill and I tried the key lime pie one night at dinner. The pie was green. For those of you who know your key lime pie, that would be enough information, but consider this: If you were serving several hundred pieces of key lime pie twice a week and they were coming back because people thought they were being served the wrong kind of pie because of the color (lemon and lime juice are mostly clear, you know), what would you do? That’s right, you’d start puttin’ some green food colorin’ in them puppies. The pie was actually fairly tasty. I can also understand why they make the pizza the way they do. It appeals to the larger part of the customer base. That’s what you’re supposed to do. Wifey is quite a French onion soup aficionado and she didn’t care at all for the offering on this ship. In fact, I think we had a bit of an awkward moment when after everyone else raved about it, she reluctantly admitted it was the worst she’d ever had. My favorites were the vegetable curry, the mushroom polenta, the salmon, the chilled apple soup, the roasted pumpkin soup, and the dessert soufflé. We had breakfast in the dining room once. Wifey didn’t like it. I did. I lost. We had the rest of them at the grill, which is hard to beat, anyway. Wifey says I have to say more about food. We noticed that there was more variety to choose from than you might expect. Also, the portions were somewhat small for American tastes, but whereas some reviewers see this as a demerit, I think it actually makes it easier to try more different dishes or have more of the same thing, whichever you like. TIP: I hope this isn’t in the same class with hanging towels on lounge chairs, but if you arrive to dinner a minute or two late you can practically get in line and walk in the dining room at the same time. No wait. Our tablemates were all friendly and just about our speed when it comes to enthusiasm. We tend to be low-key, yet humorous. The couple sitting diagonally from us was from Georgia. They were a scream. The man was into denim dress and hamburgers. He ordered the beef Wellington the first night, hated it, and after that I guess they ate at the grill. The couple sitting across from us was from Missouri, I believe. We went to the show with them a time or two. The man got pretty green when we ran into 8-foot seas the first night. We gave them our Dramamine. We figured if we were doing okay even with my ginger capsule misery, we wouldn’t need it. The couple sitting aside of us was from Wisconsin, and I think we might have clicked with them more than the others if we had paid more attention to them. It’s just easier to chat with the folks sitting directly across from you. The night we were in Nassau, the Missouri couple didn’t make it to dinner (they did the dolphin encounter thing and they really enjoyed it), so we moved and sat across from Wisconsin and we warmed up to them pretty well. We didn’t care for the pictures taken by the ship’s photographers for the most part. They were over-exposed and too rushed, understandably. We did get a 5X7 of us at dinner, though. And a portrait of the ship in a souvenir portfolio thingy. I took some pretty decent pictures if I do say so myself (and I do). TIP: We weren’t careful to pack formal clothes that matched (mine to hers, that is). We clashed with each other on formal night. Wifey could have handled this (I don’t have a clue), but we just overlooked it. This factored in to our decision not to get the formal pictures. The Port of Freeport was fairly nice although I wasn’t prepared for the industrial look of the area when we approached, and it seemed that this island (Grand Bahama) was something of a has-been. I think I read that it was really hopping in the sixties with celebrities, casinos and new hotels. We went to the International Bazaar, which was barely open (it was early), and did some shopping. There was a kind of one-man steel band playing and he remarked about our taste in selection of bags. He seemed to know which vendor we had dealt with from just looking at them. I can’t remember her name but she was the oldest lady there, I think. Wifey has exceptional taste in trinkets and such. If you or those with you don’t, just ask the one-man band who to buy from. Tell him the fat guy with good taste in bags who put the 5-dollar bill in his jar sent you. I have since read that there is a place called “Ocean Motion” which is supposed to be a very pretty and relaxing place to spend your day in Freeport / Grand Bahama. Nassau is a beautiful place, I’ve decided. I don’t necessarily mean to the eye. I’m sorry for those of you who have memories of this place in earlier days that are long gone. However, we found in this area a charm that is hard to describe. The locals have an almost protective maternal-type affection for Americans that I have not seen or heard of anywhere else. A woman fell off the edge of the dock while talking to some Bahamian sailors aboard their tugboat and immediately the locals were in an urgent flurry to rescue her. A loud cheer went up when the sailors fished her out, apparently unhurt. I was just a little embarrassed. What must they think of us, I thought? “Stupid Americans, can’t even stand on a dock without falling off,” I thought. I am now a lot embarrassed to say that we even made fun of her later (after all, she wasn‘t hurt), expecting a taxi driver to join in with us. He maintained a polite and friendly tone, but he was having none of it, and he was eager to know if she was all right. We asked him about this affection, as I called it earlier, and in a nutshell he explained that we are their bread and butter, and they are proud, grateful and not resentful of it. Here’s to them. Anyway we did the ship-arranged sightseeing tour here in the A.M., which was very nice and informative. Then we went back to the ship for lunch, called room service for some sandwiches to brown bag with us to the Paradise Island beach trip in the afternoon. I guess you could say I did my share of snorkeling in Guam when I was a kid (Navy brat) so I wasn’t about to pay for a ship sponsored snorkeling tour. Besides, I was hoping to top what I experienced as a boy, and I couldn’t see going with the crowd to some picked-over spot. Anyway, we took a taxi to the Cabbage Beach drop-off point ($10 for 2 people I think), and walked down the hill to the beach with our gear. We didn’t really know where we were until we got to the shoreline and could see where we wanted to be about a mile and a half to the east. The info I got from the excursion desk was that it was short walk. Well the soft pink sand doubles the effort of walking any given distance, but I was on a mission. Wifey stopped about half way to lounge and I trekked on and made it to Snorkeler’s Cove, and it looked like a fine place, but the water was really rough and there were about 5 people in a 50 yard radius, so I think I knew the story before I even got into the water. I’m glad I broke down and got fins and a life jacket because the water was really rough and there was nothing to see but translucent-brown seaweed. Back to Wifey. MOMENT NUMBER TWO: Wifey could see that I was disappointed and she genuinely consoled me, talking about how beautiful “this place” was and how she never would have thought she’d see anything like it. I guess I could have walked another 3 miles to hear her say that. Odds and Ends: We didn’t do any of the night life stuff in Nassau, even though this a 24 hour port call, but we did do and enjoy an art auction, where Wifey won a signed 16” X 20” seriolithograph of Linda Le Kinff’s “Accords.” I think she’s the only woman artist featured in the Louvre. The background info on the artists was interesting and the champagne is free, if you care to indulge. We also enjoyed the Austin Powers dance class and the Game Show. Amateurs can be so entertaining. Some even stole the show. Wifey didn’t care for the women’s outfits in the Vegas-style shows. I didn’t notice it much. The midnight buffets were impressive, at least to look at. We hade late seating so we weren’t very hungry at midnight. We had the Carnival Line champion of ice carving on the ship, so you can imagine the demonstration on the Pool deck went over pretty well. Go to the Captain’s reception. Interesting info on crew and staff and free drinks of all kinds. Even non-alcohol. If you drink a lot of soda, get a soda card. MOMENT NUMBER THREE: I was little irritable the last afternoon, I guess because I could feel our dream vacation slipping away from us and Wifey suggested I go up top with my portable music player and try to relax. Well the view of the Sunset/Sea with some soft music on the side was just what I needed. I began to reflect and realized that I really hadn’t made any personal effort to make this trip romantic for Wifey. They’re different than we are, you know. I made a special effort to at least be relaxed and patient for the trip. Finally: Again, this review is somewhat general purpose in nature. I hoped to give some good advice for setting the mood for getting the most enjoyment out of your cruise, no matter the ship or itinerary. I hope I helped someone. We figure if we could enjoy the cheapest contemporary Bahamas cruise on the market, things can only get better. For Photos go to: http://www.photoisland.com/servlet/GuestLogin?USERNAME=dalanw Guest password: cruise The slideshow feature is really nice. Notice also the “View Original” feature (Not really original, but bigger). Scanned with a $50 scanner, and by the way, the pictures taken at the beach were the product of an $8 water-proof camera - Sorry.

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  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

The Entertainment: Lounge shows: The main “Vegas Style” shows were not bad. The comedy acts and other “fun shows” (game show, dance lessons, newlywed game, etc.) were all fun. Lido deck party: Very fun and addictive! Children: Absolutely nothing for 14-17 year olds! Camp Carnival activities sounded good for younger kids, but only offered N64 for the older ones. Late night “Teen Parties” in the disco yielded maybe 5-10

kids at the most. Throughout the cruise there was a constant stream of teenagers “cruising” the ship, all floors, all decks, just looking for something to do (and personal experience tells me that bored kids tend to find trouble easily). There should be something earlier in the evening for them, and more activities in the main lounge geared towards teenagers. Shore Excursions: Very disappointing. We took the Athol Island snorkeling trip and were disappointed. 70 people in a very small area of water trying to look at the same fish is ridiculous. I would strongly recommend venturing out around the island on ones own schedule, timeline, and itinerary (something we will definitely do if there is a next time). The Spa: I opted for a total body massage in the ships’ spa. This turned out to be a mistake as the therapist used a heat pack, which resulted in 2nd degree burns to my back! Apparently this had never happened before. The minimal was done (refunding the price of the massage) in response to this, but I got another experience to comment on…. The Infirmary: After I realized how bad the blistering on my back had become, I contacted the pursers’ office and they sent me to the infirmary. The on call nurse arrived quickly and after filling out a few papers, she treated me quickly and professionally. I was slightly taken aback by the attendance of the ships 2nd in command security officer during the visit, but I got over it. The subsequent, nurse requested visit to the doctor the next morning was a disappointment as he was “in a meeting” and could not see me. Overall: Not what we had expected. If we do cruise again, which is a big if; it will likely not be on Carnival. Do your homework before going.

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  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

This Cruise was Awesome!! I read a lot of reviews before going and I must say I found nothing to complain about. Everything was Great!! Our room was a balcony on the verandah level. If this is your first time cruising and you are a couple get the balcony!! We brought our 8 year old on this Cruise one of the reason for picking this cruise line and ship. It was everything we could have imagined and more. My wife son and I all loved hanging out on our

own balcony watching the sea and ships go by. The balconies are small but well worth it! Our son loved this ship with all the thing to do. We could hardly ever find him, once we got over the fact that there is no place for him to go were on a ship. We set him free with a room key and a soda card (must get a soda card for the kids). He found every kid his age in the first day unbelievable. Every night he insisted on going to the pajama party in camp carnival, this feature is awesome 10 till 3 am party for kids with the staff. I checked on him and he would be asleep before midnight but we knew he was safe and having a great time. They did scavenger hunts ice-cream parties etc...This gave my wife and I time to go to the late shows I recommend this, very funny and entertaining. By the end of the night we could not wait to get back to our room to see what our room stewardess Eugina had made for us in the way of towel animals! These people work hard. Our room was always clean and she even put away our dirty laundry! I tipped her 20 bucks the first day as a bonus wow did we get the royal treatment. These people work for the tips they don't get paid much This is one person who can make your trip great and she did. The food was great everywhere on the ship but dinners were the best!! The first thing our waitress does is unfold your napkin and put it in your lap then unfolds your menu and puts it in your hands WOW! I thought she was going to work the fork for me too ha ha. This is a 5 star event dining on Captains night was the best though. I rented the tux well worth it especially for the photo opportunities. I did not have to pack a sport coat this way and I looked great next to my wife! Get dressed up for the formal night play the part of a king and queen it was fun! I could not decide between the lobster and the prime rib dinner so I ordered them both no hassle or problem. Go to one of your finer restaurants and try to do this. The menu changed every night so I recommend you go every night you don't want to miss out on anything. We missed dinner the night in Nassau. We were so tired after the dolphin encounter we went back to our cabin for a nap and slept through dinner. No problem there is food all over this ship. so we got to try the buffet that night. It was great. Breakfast buffet was great too. Some people said in other review that breakfast buffet was bad. When have you ever been to a 5 star buffet for breakfast? It is breakfast food We all thought it was great. Our trip into Freeport was a blast. I did not book anything through the ship we did our own investigating before we went on the cruise. I found everything to do at this place called Ocean Motion the cab drivers all know how to get there. They have everything to do there in one place and cheaper than the ship charges. The beaches were white and the water clear!!! It was so beautiful there we did not want to leave we almost missed our ship. I never found crowds of people, plenty of places to stretch out. The ship was the same way never found crowds unless a show just let out. Nassau was just as fun we did the dolphin encounter I booked it my-self before going about 20 bucks cheaper than the ships price per person. $75 each. Well worth it though even bought the video. Blue Lagoon Island is breath taking must have used a whole roll of film there. I have never seen colors of blue like there. This is a must if you like this kind of thing we did! All in all what can I say but this cruise was Great! The day we got back we were looking at carnivals cruises to the Caribbean for 7 days we are going on the Victory on March 30 of 2003. Be careful you may get hooked on cruising we did. I have been on a lot of vacation trips in my life but this is the tops! I only want to go cruising now! The only way to go on vacation where everybody gets a vacation even dad no driving yea!! I am sure I have left things out so e-mail me with any questions and I or my wife will answer them!

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  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Cruise Line: Carnival Sailing Date: December 15th, 2002 A note before you begin reading our review: The first cruise really is a “learning experience” and we now know everything we need to know to totally not miss anything on our next cruise. And yes we are already in the process of getting together with our booking agent to schedule for next December, the same cruise ship, and the same 4-day lineup. Because although I will say

things that we didn’t like in this review, that is only to help the new-be like we were to understand things that we did not know, which would of helped us had we known. We had the most beautiful time, relaxed, pampered, waited on hand and foot, no thought of kids at home, no thoughts of work. It was like we dropped off the face of the earth for four days and we didn’t have to lift a finger to do anything but enjoy ourselves, and after 25 years of marriage and never having a honeymoon, or romantic get-away in all that time, this was the most elating experience we could have chosen. It was more then we ever dreamed, and more then we ever expected. Worth every cent, and we feel that each and every person on this earth should take at least one cruise in their lifetime. We are hooked. We intend to take one every year. And anyone who doesn’t enjoy the cruise…well that’s got to be the saddest thing I ever heard. So as I write this review to you, any down spots I mention I don’t even think about. They were small, trivial, and all are listed only for information purposes, for the new-be, because that’s what we were, and had we been armed with more information, well we could have known what to do to fix them, avoid them, or become a lesser part of them. Enjoy - and I hope that the stuff written here will help you on your cruise to come. That is it’s sole purpose. Embarkation: We left home (south coast North Carolina), and traveled toward Lumberton to pick up I-95. What a straight shot to Cape Canaveral Florida. You don’t even need a map. We only stopped in St. Augustine, Florida because we were told about a nice Best Western there, and we thought it would be nice to get close to ship (1 ½ hour more to drive), and pick up the rest the next morning. It was a lot easier. The Best Western wasn’t anything to go “rah” about, but it was clean, and cost about $60.00 for the night. We ate at a nearby family restaurant, (honestly there was more food on the floor then on peoples tables, very sad…but we were learning right?) Embarkation the next morning was a snap. Nothing to it. We pulled into Port Canaveral after taking the Beeline hwy out to the port, and everything was clearly marked. Fantasy this way, Majesty of the Seas that way…and the route was simple and straight forward. No way to get confused. Just watch the signs (they are lit up for you to read, and the information scrolls across it, and plenty of time to read it). We drove to the luggage drop off and gave the man 2 dollars a bag to carry our 2 bags on ship. They have carts there they load, so don’t think they run off with yours and come back…that’s a ludicrous thought. They put about 50 bags on a cart and off they go (later) when the carts full. We parked the car in about the 4th row of the parking lot, walked back to the ship, (it’s right there, no long walk)…and went through the line to show our birth certificates, ID and tickets the agent gave us. The booklet the agent gave us for sign and sail cards and other info, I filled out ahead of time, so she just ripped out what she needed, and that was that. The sign and sail cards are given to you there. You will need these to purchase everything you get on ship and for tours you book through the cruise line off the ship. Very handy. A special note here: If you use a major credit card for the Sail & Sign card you will not have to wait in the long lines at the end of the cruise to settle any outstanding balances. We were thankful for this. They give you two statements, one mid-cruise and one on the last night, so you know how much you spent. We walked through the embarkation gate onto the ship and had our picture took at 11:40 a.m. (They take pictures of you everywhere and you have the chance to purchase them in the Photo area, and they are listed by event, so they are easier to find). We hadn’t been there over 30 minutes, so felt it was very fast. Had these visions of thousands of passengers and miles of line to wait in. The messages boards gave me that impression. Wrong impression number #1. No hassles here, AT ALL. A little later we had the Emergency drill with our life jackets, no problems here. We were told to meet in a certain area when the Captain gave the proper whistle blows on the ships horn, and we went along with everyone in our area to the proper place, and then out onto the proper deck and lined up 3 rows deep (probably the hardest part, when you feel quite big with jacket on, and everyone else does too. Trying not to step on anyone’s toes and then it was over, and we marched back to our rooms to put life jackets away. They are stored under a table in your room, (one with a lid, so you can find them, and I suggest you try them on, and learn how to do the straps before the drill, to save time, and keep the straps from dragging when en route to deck. They “will” get stepped on by the throng of passengers going with you down or up the steps…I seen this happen). Once back, you are free to continue to watch the ship leave port, and enjoy the greatest experience of your life. Things to know once on the We got on ship and made our way to our room, Main 97 and what a great room, midship (the best place for balance), outside and perfect sleeping. I took 100 seasick pills with me, and never cracked the seal on the bottle. (Each elevator has a ship plan next to it, so read these and you’ll get around much easier, they are there for a reason, however we used the stairs many times, and I think because we did, I only gained 1# on the whole cruise, and I did eat a lot)! First experience…taught me this room is perfect, but still will get a balcony next time if possible, because I think that it would be grand to sip our coffee on our own private deck at midnight, and dawn…I spent a lot of time sitting in the window, 4 a.m., etc., just admiring the ocean and its magnificence and savoring the cruising experience. If you didn’t look over, or out, you’d never know you were on a ship in the ocean, the ship is perfectly balanced. Met our room steward, Agus. What a guy. He was the reason we were so comfortable on this ship. He did everything to make us comfortable. Our room was always tidy and plenty big for both of us. There were always soda and water bottles left on the counter (you must pay for these, you will see them billed on your sign and sail card if you drink them, so be aware of this, it was okay with us). Restroom clean and plenty of space, and “Yes”, the noise the toilets made was always a laughable experience. As one of the comedians at the midnight show put it one night, “I’m always afraid the guy in the next room is going to flush the same time I do, and the next thing I know, this guys going to get sucked down, and come up between my legs)…HaHaHa. They are extremely powerful. Be aware, move all objects away from this area when flushing. The shower power left a lot to be desired, but there was always plenty of hot water, and it was a hand-held wand, so you could soap up, and then hold the wand over your head. It worked. Agus always made us towel animals, a Lobster, a Dog, and an Elephant. Another joke of the midnight comedian. He asked how many of us walked into the room, (he was also very theatrical with his motions), and looked over to see a towel elephant on the bed, and went “ooh, ooh, look at the elephant…quick get the camera”, and take a shot of you and the towel animal. Everyone clapped and raised their hands. Me included. I have a picture of me from the day before doing the same thing with the towel Lobster. Hehe. As far as tipping goes, you now have your sign & sail cards automatically billed the American Express minimum figures, which you can also adjust up or down to your desire. We left it the way it was, and yes, I am going to give you the extra figures we added in, because they were well deserved. (There are envelopes on the main floor Information desk to put tips into). We gave Agus and extra $10 the first night, and then and extra $5, and another extra $5 on following nights. Our headwaiter received an extra $20 on the last night, and our assistant waitress received an extra $10 on the last night. I do not know if others want to give the extra tip, or even more, I just know that was within our budget, and “THEY” are the folks who make your cruise the great experience it is. So, I suggest giving the extra. It’s up to you how much. This was one of the questions I tried to find on the review boards that no one wanted to come right out and declare. I find it very easy, and I hope that it helps someone. I understand the $2 bill thingy. I read about it a lot, but find it not as convenient, and believe our service never suffered at all the way we tipped. I saw many tipping their waiters envelopes on the last night, so I think that is the expected method. Our service was always splendid, and they didn’t know if we were going to tip extra or not. They never wavered from perfect service for one moment. Day #1 Fabulous day. The only downside was the food on menu in the dining room. We had the Celebration dining room, and the first experience here says, “Wow, how beautiful”. And it was beautiful. Our Mater’d made a quick appearance, and then Joseph our headwaiter (who was fabulous, and Violeta (from Peru) was our Assistant Waitress. They were both great, but just wasn’t happy with menu, and to order something special takes a few hours advanced notice, (which no message board mentioned. They all just said ask, and you can order anything you want if you don’t see anything on the menu you like. It really isn’t that way. You must give advanced notice, and I can understand that). Well we weren’t into Escargot, Lamb or Duck, (just so you understand us; were just a typical southern couple who normally eat just plain ol’ meat and potatoes or meat and rice meals; pork, beef, fish & seafood, and chicken). So we ordered the Scallop and Shrimp with some wine sauce and it wasn’t good. Tasted quite “yucky” to us, so we scoured the boat for other places to eat. We figured if the fare was like this on a nightly basis, we would likely go hungry, and couldn’t understand how everyone kept saying you’ll eat until you explode. Eat what? Duck? Lamb? Escargot? I don’t think so. We checked out the Windows by the Sea restaurant, and tried some of their fare. Anyone want Curry? I couldn’t even breathe let alone eat the food. My husband ate it okay, but agreed that the curry was used way too much (on everything…not just as a vegetable seasoning…it was on everything). However, the Windows by the Sea restaurant had the most fabulous coffee, and this is where we went morning, noon, and night for a good cup (and Danish in the morning), and then we’d carry it out through the back door of the restaurant onto a small deck with about 10 tables on the very back of the boat. Windows by the Sea also had great looking lunches and breakfasts, although we are not breakfast eaters, I enjoyed their Danish very much. This quickly became our favorite spot on the boat, during night and day cruising, leaving ports, entering ports, just to watch the stars, or gaze at the sea and the other two ships who followed us through our whole trip. One was the Majesty of the Seas, and the other was the Carnival Disney ship. Nice companions. Anyway, if you love coffee, don’t spend $4.50 or more a cup for it at the Bistro…it’s to bitter there anyway, even with the whip crème and the shots of liquor. Get it at the Windows by the Sea for free, and it tastes absolutely divine. The other thing is, you will get discouraged a bit at trying to understand you waiter/waitresses. Violeta was absolutely perfect as a waitress, but it was hard for us to understand anything but maybe every 6th or 8th word she said. Which made us feel bad, because we wanted to talk to her more and learn more about her, which after the first night, and then the 3rd night (we skipped the 2nd), we began to understand a little more of what she said, and learned much about her and her homeland. Quite fascinating. Well, I mentioned that we skipped the 2nd night, (which was the fancy dress-up night, and that hurt because we had brought our nice outfits and had looked forward to it for so long, needless to say it was to bad we missed it, because a nice lady we spoke with told us they had Lobster that night…Lord above that was the meal I had been thinking about since like, 5 months ago when we booked the cruise). I was heart-broke. This was also when I noticed there is a menu outside the dining room door that tells you what you will eat that night. Had I known about it, I would not have missed Captains night. However, to show you how these folks go the extra mile for you, this was my experience: I went to the Matre’d the 3rd day, and asked her if there was any way we could enjoy a meal of Lobster on the 3rd night. She said it would take considerable planning, and asked what table we sat at etc…and then shook her head to say she didn’t think it was possible. I was sad. Told her I was sad, not disappointed, nor did I act belligerent, just told her I had looked forward to that Lobster since the beginning, and though it was my fault we didn’t come to dinner on captains night, I guess I could understand her stance, but I was still sad. Well, dinner the 4th night we had decided on steak, because it looked like something we could eat well enough, but Joseph our head waiter, came to the table, and he says, “you need not look at the menu tonight, I have something very special for you both. I am going to bring you Lobster”. Well the Matre’d went by and put her hand on my shoulder and said for us to enjoy our Lobster. I can’t tell you how I felt. You look around and see 1000 other people sitting there, and realize that she took the time to care about “you”. What a trip. We were beside our selves to realize they care for every person on that ship and insist on making your cruise special for “you”. Not as a herd of cows being pushed through. Each person is cared for in a special way. It was more then heart-warming to see such care given to one of 2500 passengers for that moment alone. A special note here as well: We changed our seating from Main to the late seating (8:30 p.m.) and asked for a table for two. They didn’t have one, but gave us a table of 4, and no one but us was at it, so was still a table for two. Do this on the first day as soon as possible for a good shot at getting the seating you desire. It wasn’t that we didn’t want company, we were there for a different purpose altogether. To be with each other for a bit of renewal, and they went the extra mile to help us to just that. Freeport, Day #2 After our first night in dining room, we were both kind of hungry, and it took us a while, but we found a Dominos in the straw market, and we ate it like we had never eaten before. We did have trouble finding something to drink with it, and we stopped at a little place that sold us beer for $10.00, much to our dismay. We then walked further and found a stand that had Miller and only cost $5.00 for 2, so here we learned valuable lesson #2…walk a little more…look a little more. You’ll find a better price on everything if you’re not in too big of a hurry. The taxi driver was a story all by himself here in Freeport. Valuable lesson #3…look around for a good taxi. I mean one that hasn’t been broken in half, and bolted back together. Because they are going to cram as many people into one of those things (and you can’t blame them). We traveled about 30 miles over the speed limit and fishtailed all the way. When we were riding the front of the taxi was always diagonal to the back of the taxi. It was one of those experiences that have you kissing the ground when you ever do get out. God be with you. $4.00 a person. Valuable lesson #4…If you don’t want to pay $4.00 a person act like you’d rather walk. The second taxi driver, (really cool dude) couldn’t stand that. He’d go, “okay, okay $3.00, alright, alright, a dollar 99”. And you can go much cheaper. We didn’t mean for the conversation to go that way, it just did. They want you to ride. Anyway, in Freeport after the Straw markets, I guess they called it the International Market, we walked behind some hotel, and actually had our first wade in the “blue” waters of the Bahamas, and “yes, they are truly blue”. The most beautiful blue-green you’ll ever see. And there were the ladies on the beach ready to braid your hair. I didn’t get mine braided, but may get it partially braided next time. I later saw that most girls just got the front of their hair done in braid, and it really looked pretty. I just recalled an experience as a young girl where a friend had did my whole head and it was horrid getting it out, and turned to frizz, even after 3 washes. But, yes…I will do it partially next time. The ladies were not insistent…a friendly “no thank you” was all it took each time I was asked. The weather was 80 degrees and sun the whole time. We couldn’t have received better weather. Our trip was Dec 15-19, so wasn’t sure. Not disappointed at all. It was beautiful. Larry Nixon was the comedian the second night at midnight and was so funny. The show before was great. Dancers all were fabulous, and even did a skit on the YMCA song. Guys were Chiefs, Construction workers, etc…and they were awesome. All were very skilled dancers, and they put on a fabulous show…and the singers were great too. We got back on the ship at 2:30 p.m., and we went back to the room and took a nap until about 4:30 p.m. Then we had hamburgers (large yummy ones) out on the Lido deck and then our favorite place on back of ship (Lido level) for coffee from the Windows by the sea restaurant. We watched the ship turn around and set sail for Nassau. Our first chance to ever to see the Sun set on the ocean in the West. A first experience for us. I woke up before dawn and sat in the window ledge of our room, and watched the sun rise as we pulled into Nassau that morning, and it was a grand experience. Day # 3 Nassau We booked a Shore tour to Atlantis. We took a ferry ride over to Atlantis, and our guide took us all around the underground aquarium. Many fabulous sea life to see here. We enjoyed it very much. One thing I did know, and learned again, was you could book this yourself and pay a taxi a bit to take you there, and get in for half price. But as new-be’s we didn’t think we should stray from a safe route the first time, so was glad we didn’t. Was organized, and could see without worry. Next time, though we will book ourselves. Atlantis also has a huge luxury hotel, where Michael Jackson was the first visitor and paid $25,000 a night to stay there. Others still pay anywhere from $200 - $25,000 a night to stay there. Found a great Deli across the street from Atlantis and ate lunch. The Deli had comparable prices to subway, but nowhere near subway taste. MUCH BETTER. These sandwiches were piled high (asked for rye bread, better)…and could hardly get your mouth around. Sat outside in a patio style café to eat them, and ordered two cold millers from restaurant next door. Felt so good to sit in the sun (or shade if you wanted), and enjoy that ice-cold beer and enormous deli sandwich. I ate it like a starved puppy. After all, I felt it was “real” food. Remember, duck, lamb, escargot on the ship up to this point, because we didn’t know better. Bought a liter of duty-free (tax free) Grand Marnier, and another liter of Bailey’s Irish Crème on the ship that night to carry home. Very cheap. Both were half the price as states. They keep the liquor until last night, when the send to your room, and you pack in your carry off tote and take home (then open). Here’s another lesson…we were drilled for over an hour in the disembarkation meeting on 3rd day about customs when getting off the ship. Unless you look like whoever they’re looking for, you aren’t bothered at all. Getting off the ship was a piece of cake, and no one even scanned us, or checked our carry off luggage. I was like ready for the strip search and baggage dump the way they talked. Lesson number #5 I guess. That doesn’t mean get away with what you can, just don’t let the talk scare you to death. I seriously wondered if I even wanted to get off the ship when they finished their speech. Shoot! Nothing to it…Walk off, and don’t hide anything you shouldn’t and you got no problems. Much faster then getting on, except the 1 ½ wait in the Universal lounge waiting for our luggage tag color to be called. One good thing about booking an upper floor room is you get off first. Those of us towards the bottom two floors had to wait the longest. But about the time you don’t think you can bear sitting there anymore, your tag color is called and off you go, and finding your luggage isn’t the hassle I expected. Lesson #6…Tie a ribbon on it, or take which is even better a unique piece of luggage. Don’t get blue or black luggage. Everyone has blue and black luggage. Our one piece of tan leather luggage was highly visible over everything else, and we grabbed it right away. Our Dark blue however took about 15 minutes more of looking for. Anway…kind of getting off of Day #3 here, but it was coffee on the Lido level back deck (our spot), to enjoy the scenery, because we were not leaving port until 7:00 a.m. the next day. Day #4 Woke late, and pulled out of Nassau at 7 a.m. Could make out buildings when I woke up and looked out the windows. I’m telling you if you didn’t look out, you’d never know you were cruising, so smooth sailing. Today is overcast, so my plan to lay out on Lido deck and get the suntan I’d been relishing getting is out. Today was the day at sea, and wish I had not waited to lay out in sun. I did get 20 minutes the other day when husband was grabbing a bit of breakfast in the Windows by the Sea restaurant on Lido deck. Had sun in the afternoon however. Tonight was the night we were treated to Lobster by our Waiter. But with dinner being at 8:30 p.m., we also had been to our other favorite hang-out the Majesty Bar. It blends into the Casino area, and we had our Casino time on this evening. We also had Wings and Beer around 5:00 p.m. They had a ton of them, and you can eat and eat and eat, there was so much. After dinner (our Lobster), we went back to Casino where we played Poker slots. Put $5 in and won $21., so cashed out, and went to another machine later and played the $21 until I lost it all, (hey that’s the point right?), and think by the time we finished we were $7.00 down, but it was all so much fun. It was my first casino experience. Hubby had had slot experience before, so he showed me how, and had a blast. Had paid $24 for an hour of time in the Internet Café, took a couple nights but finally got up with daughter on Yahoo messenger and caught up with kids and how all was doing. I say kids, but one is off on her own, and the other nearly 18, so it was fairly easy not to worry about them, but still was nice to talk to them a bit from the middle of the ocean and tell them we hadn’t fell off. They were more worried about us then we were them. The hardest part is knowing we are returning. We fell off the face of the earth for a while, and have already made the decision that this will be a yearly thing for us. What an escape. As I sit here and right this review, it’s now the 24th Christmas Eve, and I still long for the peace, and pampering and the Majesty of the whole experience. Waiting another 12 months will be the hardest experience of all. I did buy a large Poster frame board the other day, and I took all the best pictures, sail & signs, daily itinerary newsletter, placemats, and anything that had anything to do with our travels, and placed it into a mirage display within the poster glass. I hung it right above our bed. Every time I go to bed or get up, we can dream about the best four days we have ever had in our lives. I am trying to think of anything else that might help those new to cruising and help them on their journey. But I think the best thing is to not become disheartened by those who had what they call a bad experience. Cruising is what you make it. You learn on your first cruise, and know what to adjust on those to come. Take it, enjoy and savor it. You will be hooked. Happy Sailing to you and yours, Bon Voyage. Nannette M. Padgett, NC

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Nov 30, -0001

Freeport/Nassau, Bahamas

My husband, 17 year old daughter and I were very excited to be cruising for the first time. We drove down to Cape Canaveral on Saturday from South Carolina and spent the night at the Radisson, very impressive. Porters: If you don't tip anyone else, be sure to tip these people. Your luggage is at their mercy. Be sure to carry anything breakable, such as binoculars in a carry on. Due to the amount of luggage being taken to the ship, mine

were broken. Embarkation: Because we wanted to board the ship as early as possible, we were the first in line. The desk clerk was very helpful and kind. After completing all necessary paperwork, we were shown to a lobby with comfortable seating to await boarding. After about 30 minutes, a Carnival staff member told everyone in this area to go to a different section to wait(very uncomfortable chairs). The reason for our having to move was that a few of the Fantasy crew members needed to have a "little meeting." So much for our comfort. Boarding went smoothly. Although, we were snapped at quite brusquely when we asked for help in finding our cabin. We encountered this type of rude behavior each time we stopped a crew member for information. Cabin: Since I had never cruised, I was very surprised when I opened the door. Small doesn't even begin to describe what I saw. But, our cabin attendant was very good. Our luggage arrived in what I considered a reasonable time. Nothing was lost or misplaced. We were especially surprised when we found our first towel animal wearing a pair of my daughter's sunglasses. These were a favorite part of our cruise, along with having our beds turned down every night and receiving a chocolate on our pillows. The bathroom was a decent size considering the size of the cabin. The problem here was water. We hardly had any. We arrived in our room one afternoon after a shore excursion completely covered with sand and sunscreen and couldn't wait to get a shower. Bad idea! No sooner had I lathered my hair with shampoo and was beginning my bath did our water flow completely stop. No drip, no nothing. My husband immediately reported this, and reported this, and reported this. I stood in the shower with shampoo in my hair and soap drying on my body for 25 minutes. No explanation, no apology, no nothing. I was not a very happy cruiser for the remainder of the evening. From then on, I was gun shy when it came time to shower. Dining: The Windjammer was pretty good, what I expected. We loved the 24 hour pizza. And room service was wonderful. I asked for a pastry and a cup of coffee and received five different kinds of pastries and a pot of steaming coffee in little time at all. Very impressive considering the amount of people I'm sure who were requesting room service. But, the formal dining room was an experience in itself. We had to request soft drinks more than once each meal. We never had refills without asking for them, and even then most of the time we just finished our meal without something to drink. The food was always served in very, very small portions and was not what the brochures had portrayed. We "never" saw the headwaiter until the night before tips were to be handed out. Needless to say, we got horrible service, so the tips we had set aside for the waiters were given to our cabin attendant. He was really the only person on board worthy of tipping. Entertainment: The shows were beautiful. There just weren't enough of them. If you didn't like to gamble or drink, there wasn't much to do. And teenagers could just forget it. They were just on their own to find age related entertainment. Ports: Freeport was filthy, and very expensive. People worrying you to death wanting to braid your hair mam. We finally agreed on a price of $60.00 to have my daughters hair completely braided - front to back - top to bottom. The person braided the front and stopped. Another $60.00 for the rest. Now, who in the world would want half of their hair braided. After much arguing and bartering, we finally got her down to $50.00. What a waste of money. Be sure you get negotiated prices in writing with exactly what you're paying for specified. Nassau: Well, we didn't see much here. We had scheduled a two hour snorkeling tour which would have given us time to sightsee in Nassau. Apparently, the waves didn't cooperate and this tour was cancelled. No hope of getting our money back though - we had to choose another tour. Refunds were not discussed. So we chose the Blue Lagoon tour. Another waste of money. There was nothing to do here but sit in the sun or get drunk. I felt somewhat that Carnival had been a little dishonest with us about the snorkeling tour because we saw people from other cruise lines participating in this tour. The Blue Lagoon was more expensive - could have been a set up. By the time we got back to Nassau, all the shops were closing. We didn't get to take any sightseeing tours. We did hire a taxi over to Paradise Island and toured Atlantis. One word - beautiful. I'm not much for aquariums, but this one was awesome. Don't miss this. Stingrays the size of a dining room table. The landscaping was spectacular. There was an island wedding going on and we watched the procession, feathers, horns, drums and all. This was worth the trip over. Although, we will never cruise Carnival again, there were some things worth partaking in. The sunsets and sunrises from the deck of the ship left me speechless. The sounds of the waves as the ship sailed were absolutely peaceful. Being on the ocean with nothing else in sight gave you a sense of calmness and serenity. I have never before felt such emotion. We will be cruising aboard Royal Caribbean's Sovereign of the Seas in June, 2002. I don't plan to miss a thing this time. I do not for a minute believe that all cruises are like the first one we encountered. This year we will be celebrating my daughter's high school graduation. Hope to see you there. Cheryl, Scott and Elisabeth.

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Cruise Line: Carnival Sailing Date: December 29th, 2002 Embarkation: That was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. The only complaint I have is they will not take a hospital issued birth certificate! It has a seal and two original signatures on it but it is not good enough for them I guess. We got on the boat probably around noon. We went to our room first. Since the boat was built in 1990 of course it was a little out

dated. We had an inside cabin. The room was a little small but all you are really using it for is sleeping and showering so that was no biggie. Next time I will have to have a window though. In the mornings it really does not feel like morning without that sun coming through. The boat: After reading lots and lots of bad reviews I was expecting the worst. Surprisingly it was not half as bad as people made it out to be. Like I said before the boat was built in 1990 so it is going to look a little outdated but other than that it was wonderful. The activities on the boat were loads of fun. The Vegas style shows were awesome! You could tell they really worked hard to make that great. The Woman singer was fantastic! She had a range from as low as a woman can go to as high as a woman can go! I only went to one of the "seated" dinners. The food was ok to me. I really don't care for weird foods so that was not my thing. We just ate at the buffets. The buffets were great for me. Almost every morning we would order room service for breakfast. That was good because it was free! Freeport: There was not really anything to do in Freeport. As soon as you get off the boat there is a straw market with maybe 5 stores and women begging you to let them braid your hair. We took a cab to a beach. I forget the name of it but it was really nice. The cab was $5.00 a person one way. It was about a 45 minute drive. There is a huge straw market there and a great beach to lay on. Nassau: We took a tour with the boat to the Blue Lagoon. That was the best part of the trip! On the way there we took a ferry with live music and free alcoholic drinks. It was probably an hour ride to the lagoon. Once we got there it looked like paradise! The water was crystal clear no waves no hotels, just wonderful. The island only had one gift shop, one bar, bathrooms and a place to eat. Lots of hammocks under palm trees. We stayed there from around 10 am to 2 pm. Once we got back to the boat we decided to check out Atlantis. That was also amazing! Only thing is if you want to see the aquarium you have to go with the tour or have a room key to the hotel or they will not let you in. The casino was bigger than anything I have ever seen! The agriculture detail to the whole hotel was beyond imagination. If you were staying in that hotel you would never have to leave. It has everything! You can pull your yacht up to it. There is a mini mall in it restaurants, gift shops, casino, ice-cream store if you need it, it's there! Overall this was a great experience! I don't know if I personally will go on a cruise again. It was loads of fun but the cruise is just not my thing.

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Cruise Line: Carnival Sailing Date: November 24th, 2002 We had booked this trip through a bus touring company whom we had traveled with previously and were satisfied with previous standards of cleanliness etc. and had expected to find the same or better standards on a cruise. We were extremely disappointed to find that the ship and especially our cabin M170 was a disgrace. Our shower had black mould on the walls and under the shower

mat. Under the small bunk beds, which were not very comfortable we found used tissues. Definitely every night we would find our beds turned down and sometimes the towels were made into animal shapes. I felt that time would have been better spent cleaning. We found that this was not a cruise for older people. We had hoped to at least be able to enjoy the pool but even if it had not been always occupied by children it was not a tempting sight. One small pool for over 2000 passengers. The dining was pretty good but water was heavily chlorinated which made it unpleasant to drink and did not improve the taste of the tea. Bottled water was supplied in the cabins at $3.25 per bottle. Soft drinks were $2.50 each. We found while walking on the deck that at a certain point in the ship we would have to turn back because of the smell. The entertainment was too loud and unless you liked to drink or gamble there really wasn't much to do. We never found the exercise room. Getting around the ship was very confusing and we found most people were having the same problem. Long waits for the elevators were the norm. Freeport and Nassau are not worth the expense to tour. We found the Straw market at Freeport quite clean and pleasant but the shopping in Nassau was not. The lifejackets which we were rushed to take and go up on deck for emergency drill as soon as we'd reached our cabins were filthy. I would not have put that on even to save my life. I doubt if they had even been cleaned let alone sanitized from the first sailing of the ship. Altogether an experience I never want to repeat.

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Neil Malender Cruise Line: Carnival Sailing Date: November 24th, 2002 A 4-day cruise, with one day in Freeport (Grand Bahama) and Nassau (Bahamas) each, and one day at sea (one day was the departure day) was just about ideal for me & wife, relative newcomers to cruising. It was inexpensive at just under $900 for both of us including port taxes. They added ~$40 in mandatory tipping per person for the length of the cruise, which was

more than fair. We gave additional tips to the waiter and room steward. Room steward was super efficient, the towel animals were interesting. He was out of sight but always managed to get in to do his good work when we were not around. Freeport, Grand Bahama was the first stop and it wasn't all that interesting an island to be honest. The weather was in the mid-70s and sunny which was fine but the beaches were not the best. We knew enough not to pursue the tours arranged by the ship. Cabs are a lot cheaper, plus they allow you to go to places not promoted by the ship. For example, the International Marketplace is the best place to shop and Xanadu beach is one of the best on the island, but there were no tours there. Nassau was much better. Apart from the downtown and shopping areas, the fort and the water tower (all of which are walking distance from the port which is nice), you can take a public bus for $1 to the Cable beach area, get back to the pier, take a ferry to Paradise Island, check out Atlantis, come back and get a meal at one of many fine restaurants, catch a night show if the ones on the ship aren't good enough, and get back in plenty of time for the departure time of next morning at 7 am. Nassau is the Honolulu of the Caribbean.. lots of traffic and people, but still enough nice beaches. The night shows were all very good and included Broadway-style, Las Vegas-style, and a comedy & magic show. The food in the formal dining rooms was uniformly excellent. Service was very good. Now for the negatives: the buffet restaurant on the Lido deck was very average except for breakfast which is typical. And the cutlery there was usually dirty. Pizza from the 24-hour pizzeria was poor. Pools are lousy and the few jacuzzis are near-unusable with the crowds and kids. The gym was small, but it was hardly ever crowded. (Spa treatments were expensive if you care for that kind of thing.) There was no hair dryer in the room, you queue up at the information desk to get it and pay a deposit of $20 which is returned when you queue up again to return it the night before returning. Laundry facilities were only on one level. Information/purser desks always had very long lines. Photos (which they take a lot of) are ridiculously expensive, especially the 8 by 10 which went for $20 each. Some of the above will be true regardless of which ship you go on, I would think. They had a couple ping-pong tables and a giant chessboard which was fun. Bars and casino were OK. Cruise director was a bit overwhelming and wasted inordinate amounts of time on lame jokes even during the "debarakation briefing" which had the auditorium jam-packed. The rooms were decent size and the bathroom/shower seemed especially generous. Lots of hot water at high pressure, even better than many hotels! Responsiveness to a complaint we had (noise from next-door room) was excellent and they actally checked with us 4 times during the cruise to make sure we didn't have any problems in that regard! I think it really depends on who you talk to, in this case the lady we spoke with at the information desk was just fantastic.. at another time when queuing up for info we ran into one of those efficient, snappy types who just wants to get on to the next guest. The ship was very stable and we were never troubled by sea sickness. The crew keep the ship very clean and well-maintained. We had to change our dinner time to late seating and that was no problem. Overall it was a very pleasant and fun experience. There's always something to do and the crew is mostly friendly and genuinely helpful. The ship is relatively old, built in 1990 if I remember right, and there will be bigger and more feature packed ones with nicer decor.. but for the price it was an excellent vacation and we would recommend it to anyone!

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Nov 30, -0001

4 days, Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas

Our trip began with a four night stay at the wonderful Disney Yacht Club. We had a room on the concierge floor with continuous food and a room with never used furniture, bedspreads, and carpeting. Can’t get accommodations better than this! Had lots of fun in very hot (100 degrees) Disney. We then took a limo to Port Canaveral to begin our first cruise. We learned one thing from this cruise: despite the fact that we like great accommodations,

you don't need them to have a good time!! We are pretty positive people and read many reviews before we left home. We were prepared for all the negatives but had a great time. We have four children ages 5-15, and each one of them enjoyed the cruise so much. Even though there were times with no activities planned or the activities planned were not appealing to our kids, our kids had so much fun walking the boat! Our oldest child (teenager/hard to please) hooked up with a bunch of kids his age and hung out with them the whole trip. Two of them were at our dinner table. Nice to see kids from all across the U.S. have fun together. Our twelve year had fun with her soda card and the freedom we gave her to walk the ship. The younger two did many activities at Camp Carnival. Mom received a beeper when I left the five year old incase I was needed. I checked on him five times in one night, thinking he might want to leave Camp Carnival, and he gave me such a hard time since he wanted to stay. The counselors were fun and full of energy. The activities were real cute: games, t-shirt decorating, stories, etc. The final night had a farewell party at the disco. As for Mom and Dad, we enjoyed the very friendly staff at the casino, and all our family loved the very outstanding shows: Broadway medleys, comedians, magicians. Mom is a musician who was most impressed with the great singing voices, musical arrangements, dynamite choreography, and big jazz band on stage, outstanding dancers, and overall exciting shows. Despite bad reviews about sodas and dinnertime, once we ordered our favorite drinks on night one, we found those same drinks at our seats at all the other dinners remaining. We had the cutest waiter from the Philippines: Romel. Great personality and wonderful service. We ordered everything!! We tried anything that sounded interesting on the menu. He brought it right out with a most friendly smile. Loved the Jubilee Dining Room. Only place we ate. In the morning we didn't want a heavy meal before departing on the islands, so we ordered room service: toasted bagels, fruit salads, etc. The kids loved that 24 pizza bar at the Windows on the Sea deck and especially the soda cards. We love sushi, and all of us tasted everything the sushi bar chef was making each night. Very tasty. The sushi bar was right near the casino. The casino staff was fun. Dad won the blackjack tournament on the last night. Our room was not small at all. We had two rooms next to one another, three people in each room. The boys had their bachelor pad (mess) and the girls had the neat room. The stewards were SO great and efficient. We came back from a beach at Nassau full of sandy bathing suits. After we left our room, the room was immediately cleaned. Each room fit three twin beds easily with an 8x6 area in the middle of empty space. Bedspreads ok, blankets very worn, beds comfortable, bathrooms old but clean. We booked our cruise only a week before we took it. Our rooms were on the Riviera Deck, and we heard a lot of rumbling whenever the boat went in or out. Like an alarm clock. That's because our rooms were at the front of the ship over a thruster. By the second morning, we slept through it! We rarely felt the boat moving, but had great sailing weather the whole time we went. Our family had a great time. It was so neat and beautiful to see all people from countries around the world work and travel together and get along. Most guests were not from New York like we were but rather from out west. Almost all employees were from foreign countries. The islands were beautiful. We did not do any of the recommended excursions. We got off the boat on both days and asked our cab driver ($4 per person) to take us to some place beautiful that would have snorkeling, parasailing, jet skiing, beautiful beaches. This worked out just fine: no crowds, lines, and our cab driver returned earlier than when we asked. Some of the activities we did on the islands included renting jet-skis, parasailing, snorkeling, glass bottom boat rides, shopping at the straw markets, and enjoying the very pretty beaches and lovely white sand. As for the hairbraiding, we were pre-warned about the bargaining. We set the price, and only paid a little more for a tip. It took our hair braider two full hours on the beach doing one of our daughter's hair. This woman is the mother of five children. We paid her $90 with tip. She said she made about $700 a week doing this but paid her babysitter and supported her own children. As she was doing our daughter's hair she pointed to the men on the beach who fathered her children. The straw market was colorful and fun. The Bahamian people were warm, friendly, and great salespeople. We bought all kinds of inexpensive items and got a "great deal" on everything. My husband paid a little boy to sing a song for him. We had no problem with any of these people. They were all kind to us, and this made the trip fun. The cab drivers were very helpful, and we were happy to tip them. Still a lot of good people in this world. This trip was a pure indication of that. We got such a kick out of the continuous flow of people asking our second daughter if she "wanted to have her hair braided!" The ship had all kinds of sales/promotions going on. Before the third night, we all got very pretty watches we didn't really need, gold necklaces and bracelets, etc. As I said before, you don't need a perfect room to have a good time. The staff on this boat was very, very friendly and accommodating to us. We never had to ask for anything more than once. Thank you to all the Carnival staff for making this a fun cruise and trip for us!! We most likely would take another Carnival Cruise since the Disney Cruise has no casino. Both Carnival and Disney allow smoking in special spots on the boat. We are not smokers and were somewhat repulsed by the smoking in certain spots. When we first got on board, we were a little hesitant about a lot of things: smoking, old bathroom, etc. The entire cruise experience grew on all of us, and by the third day, we got used to where everything was and were most happy with the friendly staff and services. The formal dining room was a real treat. Delicious appetizers, salads, main courses, and especially desserts. Wish we could have eaten more. Very full but happy. The Windows on the Sea was a less formal eating area with help yourself type food, not fancy, but very welcome when we first got on the ship or when we wanted a pizza or ice cream. We probably spent an additional $1500 besides the price of the cruise on limo transportation, drinks on the cruise, gift items, excursions, but we are six people. The cruise ran about $3200 for six people for four days plus the extra spending money of about $1500. . We had the porthole cabins. There were very few cabins with balconies. While walking around the ship, we went to the area where the balcony cabins were and got to see one. Little disappointing that the balcony faces the side of the big orange life saving boats attached to the side of the ship. Hard to see the pretty view of the water. Why have a balcony cabin if you are a facing a boat and can't see the water? I am sure not all balcony cabins were like this. If you are the kind of person who is positive and finds something good in any situation, then you will enjoy this cruise. Probably the only three things that weren't perfect were the old bathrooms, frayed blankets, and cigarette smoke in the casino area. But our bathrooms looked real good when we returned from the beach and were covered with sand and desperately needed a shower. Suddenly, we weren't so fussy! Our next cruise will be on a newer ship and will most likely be Carnival. The Camp Carnival kept our younger children very happy and busy. They have strict rules about not grouping kids together because they are siblings. Kids are grouped according to ages only. At the beginning, I was worried how the five year old would do until I watched him laughing and playing games geared for only his age. He had the best time with the counselors and was always laughing since they were funny and exciting to him. Our nine year old made friends with other girls at Camp Carnival and joined in activities. I am writing this review only a day after getting off the ship. Still fresh in my memory. We had fun. Hope you will too. Bring expandable clothing. You’ll be eating a lot. Very funny comedian on night one. Told the story of how he performed on a cruise that had all nude people on it. He wondered where they kept their Sail and Sign cards!!! Really funny. Warn your small children about the toilet flushing noise that sounds like a bomb/machine gun!! Think we wrote enough. Hope your trip is as much fun as ours!! As I write this my husband is going through the paperwork/brochures. We are laughing that the cruise-given tour order form asked each person to pay $27 per person for the glass bottom boat. We didn’t order the tour from the ship but walked directly to the boat right near the cruise ship in Nassau. Problem: we forgot to bring money. Had only $90 on us for six people. They had no problem letting us go on. So we only paid $15 per person. Guess everything down there is something to bargain! If you made it to the end of this really long review, thank you and hope you enjoy your cruise. When you get back, you’ll be like me: wishing you were sitting at that very pretty formal dining room with three delicious appetizers in front of you. Time to go. Still doing that laundry from six people being away for eight days. Bye!

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Well we just got back from our cruise and regretfully I would NOT recommend this cruise to anyone other than singles who want to mingle and families that have children between the ages of 4 and 13. There are VERY limited activities for 14 to 20 yr olds. There is only one pool to accommodate all guest (2200). Personally I thought the food was not good. There was no variety on lunch buffet. Daily it was burgers, dogs and cold salads. The same for breakfast

buffet, same thing daily. The dinner menus for main dining, were varied and tasty. Portions were small, but this is a 5 course meal. Soda is extra cost of $2.50. No refrig or space for snacks in cabins. No couch, only 1 stool and a chair for 2 in each cabin. You will pay much more for shore excursions if you book thru cruise. Do it yourself via e-mail. Many more things to do offered than what ship offers. Freeport, fill your day with an excursion. To far between places. Need a taxi to get around. Nassau has much more to offer. Negotiate all prices for everything. Don't think you'll insult anyone with your low price. In Nassau there is a common bus that will take you around the whole town and you can get off almost any where. The price is $1.50 one way for 1.The island does offer much shopping but be careful on what you buy and how much. Lots of their goods are brought in from Florida and elsewhere. On the plus side. Nightly entertainment was WONDERFUL. The comedy acts were hysterically funny. Early shows for families. Late show has adult humor and foul language( but not to be missed) Gala nite is like a fashion show. Gala buffet is so eye appealing that you have a full hour of viewing to take photos, before you can eat it. There are no labels to let you know what your eating. I must admit I used my napkin several times to remove foreign (food). There are no radios or clocks in rooms. Bring your own seasick medicine. Sm. fortune on ship. There was no pressure to buy drinks in any of the 6 clubs. Be prepared to wait for disembarkment. Out of cabin by 8am. I would think twice about booking on this so called "Fun Ship".

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Nov 30, -0001

New Orleans to Cozumel

The check in process was very long. The cabins were fine. Food was ok..nothing exceptional..we had great waiters which made dining fun. Cruise Director Big Tex was heard but not seen. Karoke was fun but needs to be on the Lido Deck. Not enough activities. The shore excursion was a joke..don't i repeat don't take Glass Bottom boat tour with Snorkeling..boat very small and snorkel equipment is only rinsed off not santized. Boat is in terrible

condition and costs $40 pp...not worth it !!!!!!! Find a lounge chair and relax and enjoy sailing. BINGO OVERPRICED AND NOT FUN!!!!!! Souvenier Pictures are overpriced $21. for 8X10. Overall i wouldn't sail on Carnival again...The debarkation process toook a long time. Liquor prices were very good a great time to stock you bar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Try a Norwegian cruise much nicer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok. Nothing exceptional...but for the amount of people that have to be served you can't expect much more. Eat on th e lido deck Clean. Bed was comfortable They need a new Cruise Director. Big Tex is more Seen but not heard. Stay away from a GLASS BOTTOM BOAT TOUR...IT is a joke. The boat doesn't have a glass bottom only a smalll box in the middle with a glass about 12x36 Ok. wouldn't recommend Carnival

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Nov 30, -0001

Western Carribean

This was my second cruise and though we vowed never to go on a Carnival Cruise, we did to celebrate a family birthday, a last minute decision and we chose Carnival out of New Orleans since the drive was close to home. Carnival is the party cruise, great for singles and young people looking for drinking games, pool games and maybe the hook-up. The staff was great on this cruise and I felt bad for some of these hard working professionals to have to

put up with a long weekend of drunken idiot cruisers. The food was palatable, but not noteworthy. The shows were great. We did not book any excursions since we have cruised to Cozumel before, we knew where to go and had fun on the island. This was a budget cruise and you get what you pay for. If all you are looking for is a quick weekend trip anywhere and don't expect much, then this cruise line is for you. The food was very average, the only thing that made any meal special was the ingredients (lobster, escargot, etc.) but the preparation was not good compared to the other cruise I went on. Clean, worked out okay. Did not participate in the silly games. Don't miss the National Park in Cozumel, though you can go on your own by either renting a car or taxi. You do not have to book a visit through the cruiseline. It was a good time with my family but if you are looking for a great cruise experience look to another cruise line/ship.

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Nov 30, -0001

Cozumel and Progresso

This was my 5th Carnival cruise and I had great expectations since this would have been the first time I would be traveling with my 4yr old daughter and I wanted to Experience Camp Carnival. In addition I had read this ship had recently undergone a renovation. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Camp Carnival was verfy difficult to find as it was located behind a bar. The renovations were not what I was expecting, as I was looking

forward to the slide. The slide was located on the aft part of the ship where it felt as if the wind was the highest. This greatly discouraged me from even trying it. Furthermore there was ONLY one pool and it was not heated which caused everyone to flock to the heated jacuzzis. So in each of two small jacuzzis there were 8 to 14 people at most times who were using it as a pool. I refused to believe there was only one pool to I asked a staff memeber who confirmed it was the only pool. The food was ok. I would rate it a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. It was very abundant, but not great tasting. Stateroom was small, but clean. There was evidence of an attempted renovation on the plastic covered wood by the window. We only saw the room steward once. Onboard activities were varied and adequate. We were not impressed with Progresso. It was not pretty at all. You have to board a bus for the 15 min ride into town where the bargins could be fould. In Cozumel I would recommend you get a taxi to take you to the beach. The cost is $26 round trip and some drivers will wait for you. The overall trip was just OK. The ship was not nearly up to my expectations.

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Nov 30, -0001

Progresso and Cozumel

This was my first cruise ever and now that I am home, I feel like it was all a wonderful dream. I would say that service is something that no one can control, so if one person was more friendly than another, I do not blame the cruise line. Keep this in mind when traveling anywhere: when people are around their managers, they are totally different people and since managers can't be around all the time, don't base your experience on people. Base it

on the fun that you create for yourself. I was sick most of the time, but had an excellent time. There was always something to do. Our cruise director was so friendly and informative. He even participated in the Mardi Gras party that went around the ship! I felt like that said a lot about the cruise line. It said to me that they appreciate their guests and want to be around them to ensure their happiness. He was ready to face any issues that should arise. It was great to see our pictures posted up every evening! Our service in the Jubilee Dining Room was fantastic! The food was great for me as I am a very simple eater. I found the menu to be diverse enough for anyone and the staff was accomodating to my strange requests for no onion or tomato or a side of french fries with ranch. lol. The entertainment was also great during each dinner. The room was small, but I guess it has to be to accomodate so many people. I like for things to be cozy so this didn't bother me much. Shaving legs in the shower was a difficult task, but I managed! The walls are super-thin. I know this is something that can not be corrected, but unfortunately, we had very loud neighbors! The activites were endless. I had such a great time playing games and watching shows. The comedian was excellent! I always felt like I was missing something if I were sleeping! Progresso was a bit disappointing only because there wasn't much to do. We went into town and were harrassed by people trying to sell stuff. I would highly suggest staying on the ship and enjoying the, hopefully empty, hot tubs. Take advantage of the lack of crowd on the ship. There is a store just as you get off of the ship that had some great deals on perfume and liquor, so I would suggest getting off for that and then getting back on! Now Cozumel was different. Get off asap and go enjoy the beautiful water! It looks like they put blue food coloring in it! We went snorkeling for the first time ever and it was amazing! Our tour guides were very funny and made the excursion very fun. It was the jeep and snorkle combo. We were going to go parasailing, but it was too windy. They do allow you to switch it once the decision is made to cancel the excursion. This trip was fantastic. I work in the hotel service industry and we love our guests and I can tell that they do as well! I think that people complain about things that are completely out of the control of the company. Let the little issues go and just have a good time....excuse me, excellent time!

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Nov 30, -0001

Mexico

I returned from taking my 2nd Carnival cruise yesterday. My first Carnival cruise with some girlfriends was not a happy experience, but I was willing to give Carnival one more try. Needless to say, I was left quite unhappy and will NOT cruise with Carnival again. The food was mediocre at best. On the last night, dinner in the Dining Room was downright BAD. The buffet food left much to be desired---overcooked, dried out, and bland. Breakfast

was fairly acceptable if you don't mind low-grade breakfast meat. The fruit offered both at dinner and on the buffet was over-ripe and mushy---kind of a gross mouthful when you are eating mushy cantelope and honeydew. Room service was acceptable, but only because there was no extra charge. Lots of hype regarding the sushi bar and the chocolate explosion buffet, but both were unexciting and left a lot to be desired. We decided to splurge and go for the Penthouse suite. What a total waste of money!! First, the room was quite smaller than it appears on the computer virtual tour. You do NOT get the robes complimentary when you book a suite. Our complimentary bar set-up was 2 cokes and 2 sprites---big whoopie!! The balcony isn't wide enough to even stretch your legs out on. The T.V. had many missing channels due to "no signal." All excursions booked by Carvival cost much much more than if you make your purchase at a tour office off the ship. Don't pay double when you don't have to!! We were very disappointed with the food, the onboard activities, and most certainly the room. I had cruised Carnival once in the past and was willing to give it one more try---mostly because my cruise agent assured us that since we were booking a penthouse suite that we would really enjoy it much more. WRONG WRONG WRONG. The ship's decor is better than it was in the past, but nothing to catch your breath over. Our room steward was a treasure!!!! But unfortunately, as the week wore on, service from other staff members on the ship steadily went downhill. I can truly say, it's better to save your money and go with another cruise line; such as Princess or Holand America!

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By Neha_CR

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Nov 30, -0001

NOT FOUND

Hello, I thought I would just write a review on some of the things I noticed on my cruise instead of giving you a day by day detail of what I did. We were on the 3 night cruise to the Bahamas. There were 2 senior citizens, 2 30yrs olds and 3 kids (5,9 and 10) on this cruise. Kids My son (5yr old) loved Camp Carnival. They painted him like a pirate and did a treasure hunt, he colored a cup, painted a t shirt, etc. They gave me a beeper

to contact me in case of any emergencies. My nephews (9 and 10) didn't care too much for it. All three kids were separated due to their ages. My only complaint with Camp Carnival is their hours. They were open and close different times during the day. You had to pay attention to their hours. The pool on the lido deck was 5ft deep and very small. That's the one with the water slide. My son and my nephew couldn't swim in it. Also it's salt water, so be ready. There was a kids pool on the promenade deck, however, I thought it was pretty boring. No one really went there. There's an arcade on the boat. It cost a $1 to play each game. That can get expensive. The kids still had a great time. Tips: 1. Take a badge holder. The only thing you need on the boat is your sign and sail card. 2. Take an alarm clock. There isn't a clock in your cabin. 3. They serve free coffee, hot tea, milk, lemonade, ice tea, punch and apple juice on the promenade deck. If you want a fountain card, it cost $12 for the 3 night cruise. 4. I saw some people with the two-way radios. 5. If the Lido deck gets wet, it is very slick. I saw quite a few people wipeout. 6. You will get a flyer each morning of that days activities. It might be helpful to go to the information desk and see if you can get a flyer for all the days activities. It will make planning on what you want to do much easier. 7. Don't be the first one in line to get off the boat. We got off around 9:30am and didn't have much of a line at all. 8. Do try and go to dinner in the main dining hall each night. The food is better than eating a buffet on the Lido deck. I would recommend signing up for the later dinner time. We weren't hungry by the time the early dinner seating was. Also, even though you signed up for a specific dinner time, you can go to the other time as well. However, they will seat you 15-20 minutes after the room has opened to see where there are vacant seats. Also, we went to eat around 6:20 and didn't have to wait in line or for the restaurant to open. Other people showed up at 5:45 and sat there waiting for the dining room to open. 9. Do try and attend the shows on board. The comedian and the broadway musical shows were excellent. 10. Beer cost approx. $3.25 for a American and approx. $4 for imports. 11. The elevators are very slow due to stopping on every floor. Either get a room higher on the ship or be ready to take the stairs. 12. Going through customs was a breeze. We just filled out the document and that was it. They didn't open our bags or anything. FYI...You are allowed one carton of cigarettes and 1 liter of alcohol. They will confiscate any additional cartons of cigarettes and you have to pay something around $1.50 tax on extra bottles of alcohol you take with you. This is all I can think of right now. If you have any questions, email me at [email protected] and I will do my best in answering them. I had a great time and actually looking at booking another one in Dec. The only thing I am having a hard time finding info on is busy season. One person went in June and couldn't find a seat anywhere due to the crowd. I go a month later and have no problem finding a chair.

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Nov 30, -0001

Port Canaveral, Freeport and Nassau Bahamas

I was truly impressed with the cruising experience.  The food served in the dining rooms is first rate.  The musical review shows can be a bit stale but are well done considering their location.  Comedy shows are funny! Staterooms are spacious and clean but not extravagant.  Service is good but not great. At least for this cruise - its what you make it.  Carnival provides lots of activities but there is also the opportunity

to relax.  Not really a party boat due to the Disney crowd that was on board but some rowdy fun can be had if you seek it out. Definitely recommend!

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Nov 30, -0001

4 day- freeport-nassau

  2000 This was probably the worst vacation of my life. The ship was full of un-supervised children. This was my first and last cruise, at least with Carnival. I am recovering from surgery, and am using a cane to walk. I was tripped 2 times while on the cruise, one time was in the casino, by un-supervised children. Two nights in a row kids were running up and down the halls, knocking on doors at 3:00 am. My wife and I could not

get into the pools or the hot tubs, because, they were over filled with kids. We have nothing against kids, we have 6 of our own. More than once the dealers in the casino had to yell at kids to get out of the casino. I saw teenagers drinking on the top deck at night. I can say something nice though, the room service was extremely fast, and the cabin was very

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Nov 30, -0001

Port Canavaral, Freeport, Nassau

We had a mixed opinion of the cruise on the Fantasy. If you went strictly by the stock questions that the cruise line asks you, the results would be a high ranking. The food and food service were very good. Also the cabin. You wonder why only 3 stars. I think the 3 star ranking is about right. For one thing we never got to Nassau. The other thing is the 2 hours standing in line just to get on the ship. I can't believe that they can't do something

about that if they wanted to. I would rate the cruise as only fair.

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Nov 30, -0001

Port Canaveral - Nassau

A group of 18 took the cruise to the Bahamas. What a disappointment!! I had done this same cruise 2 years ago and it was wonderful. I had a lot of first time cruisers (2 years ago) and they were in awe of how the service was, the entertainment, and how wonderful the crew was. This time we had 4 new cruisers, so they had nothing to compare it to. The service was awful in the dining room. I never knew my waiter's name and the busperson had not bathed

in quite a while. The entertainment on the first night was bad but they redeemed themselves on the last night. The crew had changed completely and the current crew had no personality, made us feel like we were intruding on their time. I must say that our cabin steward welcomed us with a smile and also introduced herself to us immediately. She was wonderful, pleasant and made sure our room was always impeccable. I noticed they include the tip on your sign & sail card now, but you have the option of changing that. I chose to give my cabin steward more money. But I kept the amount the same on my bill. In the past I would have given more than required because the service in the past had been awesome. The food was luke warm and I had a lot of food left on my plate and the waiter never asked what could be done to make my dining experience better. The port of call I really enjoyed and I see the straw market is back in business after the fire. I found the cab drivers in Nassau very helpful and courteous. We had asked if they could return at midnight to pick us up from the Atlantis Hotel and they were there (we needed to vans) before midnight. The group had a great time among ourselves. Those who have cruised with me before said I want to go back to Royal Caribbean. I would not at this time recommend the Fantasy to any of my clients, great fares or not. I have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Carnival many times. By far Royal Caribbean has my vote.

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Cruise Line: Carnival Sailing Date: December 19th, 2002 My husband Chris and I took the three day cruise out of Port Canaveral on the Fantasy to the Bahamas. We arrived at port around 10 AM. Chris teased me a lot about going so early but this proved to be a very wise decision as we had to pick up our documents there and getting there early allowed us to get a parking place up front. Since we only had carry on luggage we got all the

papers/passport things finished and we sat down and waited to board. Embarkation was a breeze as we each got our picture taken for the sail & sign card. We were about 25th in line so we went through with no problems. We found our room which was an inside on the upper deck. We were really surprised at how nice and big and well made the room was compared to what we were thinking it was going to be. The bathroom shower was huge ...bigger than our second bathroom in our home! Once we got things unpacked in our room we went to the Lido Deck to have lunch. The Lido buffet was average not anything bad or spectacular. We then explored the rest of the ship and went back to our cabin to read the daily paper while we waited to sail. We had late seating so we chose to go wandering to figure out where everything on the ship was. We enjoyed the walk around the ship and finally we were on our way. We went to the muster station thing which is required and then headed back to our cabin to put away the life jackets and then relax some. The ship was nicely decorated for the holiday and all the staff was very friendly at all times during our cruise. We were We went to dinner and the food at dinner was very good...I had the broiled lobster and Chris had the prime rib. The maitre'd and the waiters were all very good and kept us in beverages and whatever we needed all through dinner. I did not hear any waiters singing though except once when they sang happy birthday to someone. We were pleased with dinner and went to visit promenade deck afterwards. We enjoyed the gift shop which was reasonably priced we thought but then we did not have to buy the disposable cameras which were about 14 bucks there. At Nassau we took the shore excursion to swim with the stingrays at Blue Lagoon. This was fun and we got a lot of great pictures from this snorkeling experience. We then decided to just explore the night in Nassau after going back to the cabin to shower after our swim. After exploring Nassau for a bit we much preferred the quieter ambience of the piano bars and the lounges to the loudness of the Lido deck. We ate the rest of our meals in the casual dining area as we felt more like relaxing than anything else. The sushi and wings were really delicious. All in all, this was a great cruise and we want to cruise again someday. This is a good first cruise to try out your "sea legs" so to speak for cruising. I loved it and did not get seasick at all. Although the Fantasy is an older ship both Chris and I felt she had a lot of things going for her and many more years left to sail. The only thing negative I would say was the long lines at the buffet and the very slow elevators. We ended up using the stairs a lot but we needed the exercise too. All in all, we enjoyed the cruise a lot and hope to cruise again in the future.

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Kitty Park    Fantasy (Carnival) 3-day Bahamas Cruise – November 25-27, 1999 Preface An introduction of the travelers: Me, three prior cruises, one on Carnival and two on Holland America, and my adult son who is happiest when pedaling his bike, training to win races. Brett was leery about being cooped up on a ship, so this three-day cruise over the Thanksgiving weekend was ideal to test his confinement limitations.

Embarkation The Fantasy sailed out of Port Canaveral. Since Brett lives in Orlando, I flew down the day before and we made the hour-long drive to Port Canaveral late Thursday (Thanksgiving) morning. Road signs to the port are easy to follow. The parking fee ($7/day) was collected when we entered the lot. Our travel documents, properly filled out before arriving at the port, were processed rapidly. After pausing for the mandatory precruise photo, we boarded the ship. Stewards placed strategically to aid passengers in finding their way, were noncommittal when we asked for directions to reach Main Deck. Twice in answer to our question we received finger points in "that" direction.  The Ship The Fantasy is well maintained both inside and out. Colors … I remember lots of blue and gray with accent scatterings of red. Overall, a pleasing décor. It took me all three days to learn my way between decks. Although there are many elevators, the wait for one was usually interminable. Thus we used the stairs. Big ship, LOTS of stairs. Our cabin was on Main deck, midship. Although we saw cabin stewards during the cruise, we never knew which might be ours. However, he performed flawlessly by replacing towels, making the expected towel animal, and supplying the chocolate-on-the-pillow at bedtime. Our dinner assignment was second seating in the Jubilee Dining Room (aft). The dining room staff was friendly and courteous, and the headwaiter came by nightly to ensure our needs were met. The food (both preparation and presentation) was less than I had expected from Carnival. Foods that should be served hot were tepid at best.The tiramisu I had for dessert on the second night was frozen in the middle. I had expected a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Thursday. Well, there was turkey. And there was dressing. But the mashed (white) potatoes tasted like parsnips and there was a swirl of orange on the serving, perhaps to resemble sweet potatoes or yams. I remember seeing two small brussel sprouts rolling around on my plate. The bite sampled was cold. The remainder remained on my plate along with a rubbery piece of something that resembled a giblet. One of the entrees available our third night was steak. Those who ordered it knew they would be disappointed because the waiter failed to ask how they’d like it prepared. The steaks were served well done, dry and difficult to chew. We ate lunch in Windows on the Sea Restaurant on the Lido Deck. We were disappointed by the limited selection: hamburgers and hot dogs, which were also available at the outdoor grill, plus chicken and vegetables served one day with rice and the next with noodles. There was also a salad bar and, of course, the 24-hour pizza bar. On-Board Entertainment and Activities We had only two days on the ship: Friday and Saturday. Friday’s port-of-call was Nassau, and I suppose for that reason on-board activities were minimal: "Trivia Fun" at 3:00 PM, followed by the Captain’s Cocktail Party at 5:00 and again at 7:15. Saturday, which was spent at sea, had more activities to offer during the day. On Thursday evening entertainment in the Universe Lounge was a production show presented by The Fantasy Dancers. There was no entertainment on Friday evening (we remained in port until Saturday morning), and on Saturday evening, The Fantasy Dancers performed again. There was also a midnight adult comedy show on Saturday. The weather on both days was sunny and breezy. The early birds got the deck chairs. I would have liked to sit on deck away from the noise and activity of the Lido deck, but it appeared that deck chairs were available only in that area. Shore Excursions There are a variety of shore tours ranging from snorkeling to sightseeing. We opted to take a water taxi ($6 round trip per person) to Paradise Island to visit the Atlantis Resort. We entered through the casino and were able to walk along the portico but could not go farther onto the grounds without purchasing a $25 (per person) pass. The resort is beautifully developed. Floor to ceiling glass on the dining room’s exterior wall enables visitors to view fish in the outdoor aquarium. After returning to port, we walked the few steps to the shops and paid a visit to the Straw Market where stall merchandise is plentiful, colorful and quaint. The vendors are eager to sell you goods, but stop short of being rude. When we’d had enough shopping, we returned to the ship. It was then that I regretted not taking a tour of Nassau. As it was, we were now tired and out of the mood to go explore the city. In the future, I’ll take a tour early in the day and use the time available afterward to shop and/or visit attractions near the port. Summary A three- or four-day cruise is an ideal way for a novice to see whether this type of activity is suitable for his/her interests. I found the ship adequate to meet my cruising expectations. I was less impressed by the restaurant wait staffs and utterly disillusioned by the food service. I won’t go so far as to say I won’t sail with Carnival again, but with so many cruise lines offering specials, Carnival will not be near the top of my list the next time I book a cruise. As for Brett’s thoughts: he’d consider going again (1) without his mother and (2) with one or more friends his age! Questions? Feel free to e-mail me! [email protected]   Kitty Park

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Nov 30, -0001

Freeport

Sunday morning we called from the hotel and was told that our itinerary had been changed because of hurricane FLOYD. They said that we would be going to Cozumel Mexico instead. That was fine with us since this was our first cruise and we were excited just to go. We had booked on Carnival for the Camp Carnival program since we were taking our 2-year-old with us. We were told that there would be lots of family activities on board.   Sunday

we arrived at the ship and went to our stateroom, It was quite adequate. We got our Capers and saw that the camp carnival program was having a tour of the ship so we got ready and went. We found the playroom only to be told that the tour had been canceled because there were only 75 children on board. We should have taken this as a sign of things to come and got back off of the ship! We went then to the Lido deck. Food was OK, Pizza was good, the lemonade was water they finally fixed that the night before we left. We walked around the ship to try to find everything.   There was nothing going on at all! We had early seating in the Jubilee dining room. When we got there, it was pretty much find your own table. Once we found it we sat down and the first person to great us was from the bar! They are always pushing alcohol on this cruise. We are not big drinkers and ordered Coke instead $3.00 for a 20-oz twist on! Dinner was nice and well presented but not a lot of selections and small portions. They never acted like you were allowed to order more than one item.   We went back to the playroom only to discover it had never opened. Walked around the ship some more and the only thing open was the casino. Back to our stateroom we tried to order room service but the phones did not work! Our cabin Stewart told us the next day that the ship had been hit by lightning two weeks before and they had to change the numbers. I thought that this should have been posted in the room. They gave you the bar specials every day it could have easily been posted on there.   We woke up Monday in Freeport Bahamas! We were told that we had to be back on the ship at 11:30 so there were no shore activities to do. The only thing we had time for was shopping. The Taxi ride into town was $4 per person and the shops pretty much had the same items. If you go, you can bargain with them. After two hours of shopping we went back to ship. We were then told that we were going to Key West on Tuesday. We were a little disappointed that they had taken us to the Bahamas for only two hours after we were told that we were not even going there! Again there was nothing to do on the ship except drink or gamble!   The play room was open and we took our son there for a little while. The counselors were great once they finally opened. The only shows on board are after 10. I believe they do this so that the people with children have to pay for babysitting. On Tuesday we woke up and were still on the sea. We did not have permission to dock at Key West! We sailed around pretty much all day. We went to the pool (saltwater). The children’s pool had no water! About three they announced we could finally go to Key West. We went to book some shore excursions. There were quite a few to choose from. We could not get off of the boat because of problems with immigrantions. By six we could finally get off the ship but the only tours that were still open were Ripley’s and a train tour.   There was a bunch of people having to get refunds for their canceled tours. We chose the train tour and it was nice, after the train stopped it started to rain. Everything was closed except for a few shops and the restaurants/bars. Back to the ship! Christopher went to the playroom and we tried to find the concert that was scheduled. Someone forgot to tell the musicians because they never showed up! There is one other thing I would like to say. They canceled breakfast in the Jubilee dining room and no one was informed. Everyone was waiting in the hall way only to be told it was not going to open! Overall we had an OK time and are planning to go on another cruise (Disney this time) There was just too many things wrong on this ship that could have easily been taken care of if someone had been doing their job. If you have any questions please email me and I will get back to you.

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Cruise Line: Carnival Sailing Date: October 31st, 2002 Food - a lot of it, but little variety and very little flavour. Windows of the Sea is the best choice for most meals. Rooms - Room Stewarts are great. Be sure and tip these guys they work hard to please you. Shows - not the best I have seen - very cheesy. Just not what I expected - just not very entertaining. Nassau - dirty little town with lots of cars and expensive stores selling

t-shirts. There are a few bargains, but very few. Gambling on boat - never heard any winners announced, but heard a lot of losses. Other Activities - a lot of dead time unless you drink. Kids on Board - too many for me and they were always in the pool. Kids are not suppose to be in the hot tub, adult pool, or casino - but they were there. Camp Carnival - the kids have to go thru a bar with people drinking and smoking to get to the kids area - not a good thing. Value - good cruise for first timers at a low price, but dont have high expectations.

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Cruise Line: Carnival Sailing Date: October 23rd, 2002 Carnival is the best cruise I been on. I have been on Disney  and Holland. ok back to Carnival the ship Fantasy is very nice I love there food its good. The crew was not so nice but they did there job and my family and I had fun in Nassau. Any questions e-mail me because my mom is a cruise agent pleases e-mail me if you wanna go on a cruise

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Nov 30, -0001

Nassau

This was a great first-time cruise. It was just long enough to find out if you really like it. I loved it! The food was wonderful and the service was great. We really enjoyed the ship activities like the game show and the talent show. Our day in Nassau was great too. I took the advice of a friend and did not book any excursions on the ship. Instead we went down the dock and took a taxi tour of Nassau and Paradise Island. He charged us $25

each, but he was with us for 2 1/2 hours. He took us all over the island and gave us a lot of information and history. We went up in the water tower where there is a wonderful view of Nassau and Paradise Island. He drove us right to the door of the Atlantis (with the ship tour there is a lot of walking) and he took us through the hotel lobby where we toured the aquarium, casino, and outside to view the private beach area. We got back in time to have lunch on the ship, then we walked to the straw market to shop. The taxi driver told us to go to the British Colonial Hilton where the kids could snorkel, so we walked there from the straw market ( about 1 block). The last boat had already left, but the girl gave my kids the snorkel gear and they played in the water at the beach there. They actually saw a lot of fish! We headed back to the ship @ 5 pm to get dressed for dinner (formal night). I took way too many clothes and not enough of the right kind of shoes! It is not necessary to dress up every night for dinner, only the formal night. Next time I will take more casual clothes and a comfortable pair of sandals. Also, take as many opportunities as you can to have you picture made. Then you will have more to choose from. You do not have to buy them if you don't want to. Also, buy an underwater camera at Wal-Mart before you go, if you plan to be in the water. We didn't and the kids really wished they had one. This was a great family vacation.

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

we had the time of our lives. it was the most relaxing vacation we ever had. the staff was great. here is a few hints.. first, do all your booking thru a travel agent. you don’t have to worry with any of the small details and everything is handled for you and packaged in one small envelope for you. second, if you go with a group, take some walkie-talkies so that you can keep up with each other. third, take clothes that you are comfortable in. no

need to dress up everyday. remember the formal evening, it was worth it. "the windows by the sea" has just as good of food as the formal dining room. but i do suggest going to the formal dinner. we were on the upper deck and we had a great view everywhere we went. although i do suggest checking your ship and sail account occasionally, for extra gratuities that you may not be interested in or may not wish to spend that much. they were all to happy to adjust our account. i also suggest getting involved in the games and the entertainment that they offer on board as well as on land. one of the women in our group of 6 won $500.00 in bingo....nice.. she shared. take plenty of film, film and more film....i wished that we had carried more. if you plan on going to the atlantis in nassau, buckle up for your ride with the cab-driver. he only knows the right peddle!! but we quickly realised that you have to live there to know how to drive there. also, if you are paying in cash on your days out at nassau, watch when your change is given. we had a couple that didn’t want to give us our full amount of change that was owed. i guess to sum it up, we are ready to go again....and yes we would definitely go on the fantasy again, only a little more informed about it....feel free to email us if you have any questions......

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

I believe that Carnival Cruise lines has some of the greatest food I have ever tasted in my entire life. I had dinner in the Jubilee dinner with my family. I just wanted to comment on the beautiful colors of lights, and the timing on when the food arrived there. I never made it to the midnight buffet but from what people tell me , and what I saw on the video diary on TV the next day I wish I had made it there. They had all sorts of designs at the

midnight buffet, ice sculptures, fruit made in different designs and many, many fun activities. There are abundant activities for children of all ages. Camp Carnival is a good way for children to make friends and have fun, there is a good thing in Camp Carnival for parents to. They could leave their kids with the Camp Carnival instructor and other kids and go off and enjoy romantic time alone! Activities I believe younger kids would like are the cookie decorating, t-shirt decorating, ice cream and play time in the Game Room aft. For the teenagers they have my things to do to, for example, they also can do cookie and t-shirt decorating, but in the Game room aft, in the room for the older kids there are computers with millions of computer games, along with Sega Dreamcast games. Shore excursions are a good way to make friends aboard Carnival Fantasy because there is a enormous variety of them snorkeling, swimming with the stingrays, dolphin encounters, parasailing, or you could just explore. Me and my family did snokeling, and were a little disappointed because when you get off the ship you have to walk at least a quarter of a mile and then you have to like 30 minutes and the boat ride is 40 minutes long and you have to wear a life jacket to go snorkeling and I would not recommend the snorkeling for a shore excursion. The room stewards are very good at what the do they clean the room twice a day once during the day while you are out having a good time and again while you are at dinner. They make little towel animals and leave little mints on your pillow. The beds are very comfortable and clean. It’s just like at home, I make a mess and someone else cleans it up for me, but I wouldn’t take advantage of that. Embarkation is fast, easy and simple, just make sure you have all forms filled out when you go up to a desk. There they will give you your room keys and sail and sign card witch lets you on and off the ship when in the Bahamas. From there you go get your picture taken witch is saved on your sail and sign card, then off you go to enter M.S. Fantasy on the Empress deck Carnival is a great cruise line and I WOULD recommend sailing Carnival Cruise Lines!

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Nov 30, -0001

FREEPORT AND NASSAU

2000 This was our 3rd cruise; the 1st on Carnival, the 1st w/kids (daugther 11, son 8).  We paid less for the four of us than we did for the two of us 10 years ago on another cruise line, and having read the mixed reviews about the Fantasy, we didn't have the greatest of expectations.  We just wanted to have a fun "family" vacation that would please all of us.   Well, we were very surprised that this cruise exceeded

our expectations in almost every aspect.  We found it to be a relaxing, fun, fabulous vacation and a real value.  The complaints we have are few and shouldn't weigh in heavily in a decision to sail the Fantasy.  Also, we took the 4 nite Sunday - Thursday cruise, the weekend cruise might be different in some respects (more singles, couples, different schedules, activities, etc).  BON VOYAGE! We flew into Orlando and picked up our luggage at 10:45am.  There were three people with Carnival signs at baggage claim to direct you to the Mears shuttle ($15 p/person one way).  We did not get transfers ahead of time, we thought we would check out the taxi's and other options but Mears was definitely the least expensive.  There were 3 Mears busloads loading ahead of us so we waited in line untill 11:20 to get on the next shuttle.  The ride was only 40 minutes but the last 15 minutes of our bus ride was a grueling tale of woe about how the porters make "no money at all" and how we should tip them because of this.     When we got off the bus a very animated porter was at the bus door shouting in all of our ears, "I'm your porter!  Support your porter!  I'm your porter!  You all need to tip me NOW!"  It was quite funny actually but quite annoying to a lot of passangers.  We found out from other families we spoke to that they endured an entire 40 minutes of this non-stop "pressure" tip lecture on their bus.  So, bring a walkman!  Embarkation:   Arrived at Port Canaveral 12:00.  There was a super long line to check in but it was very organized and efficient and moved very quickly.  Carnival definitely has the best embarking process.  We handed the staff our paperwork, showed our passports/birth certificates for the kids, showed our credit card.    We carried on 2 bottles of champagne and 2 bottles of wine, wrapped in bubble wrap in a small carryon.  I was also armed with a printed copy of the new liquor policy from the Carnival Senior Internet Specialist that I got from the message boards.  I noticed they gave the couple in front of us a hard time about their wine until the couple asked to speak to a supervisor.  They let the couple through and didn't even question us.  DO NOT forget your corkscrew!  Seems the Carnival staff has "convenient" memory about their new liquor policy.  Short term memory loss maybe?  We boarded the ship at 12:45 and were given our room keys and sail and sign cards.  We were in a quad outside cabin (2 uppers for the kids) E-199, Empress Deck, rear of ship.  Lunch is being served on the Lido deck until 3:30. Cabin:   Whenever we cruise I am always shocked by the close quarters when we first open the cabin door.  But I must say the cabin was quite roomy, even w/2 uppers.  The large window instead of a small porthole was great. The bedspreads and curtains were very worn.  The carpeting appeared to be newer and clean. Cabin/bathroom were neat and clean.  There is a desk w/mirror and stool, chair and small round table, corner built in table and tons of storage.  When I started unpacking for a family of 4 that evening, I couldn't belive all the storage space there was.  Large suitcases fit under the beds easily.  It's very well designed.   There must have been 6 ft. of shelving in the bathroom medicine cabinet.  Two robes and soap were provided.  Do remember to bring extra hangers  and an "octopus" outlet (one outlet in cabin).  The bathroom was nice and roomy w/room for 2 in the shower.  The shower curtain was also worn.  All in all we were quite happy w/it and especially it's location near the Camp Carnival playrooms for the kids.  We were concerned about noise from the Jubilee dining room above us but it was very quiet and we never heard a thing.  I will say we did feel some vibration when docking and pulling out but only for 5 minutes or so.  Do bring spray air freshener as our cabin steward had a terrific problem with body odor one day and we were too embarrassed to tell him.  There are safes in all the cabin closets.  We went to the pursers desk and paid $40 for a key to the safe which you get back when you return the key. Cabin Steward:  Josico was awsome and wonderful w/the kids.  Chocolates on the pillows every nite, two big chocolate chip cookies w/happy faces on them for the kids one nite, elephant made of towels one nite, bunny rabbit.  He always kept our wine chilled and the cabin picked up and clean.  There is no ice machine so remember to tell your steward to  keep you stocked w/cubes if you wish.  With anything on this cruise, all you have to do is ask and it will be done.  He even called me one day to tell me my son was on TV doing the YMCA dance and how funny it was and to turn it on.    Elevators: I had read many trip reports that complained about the elevators and this problem still exists.  The first day there were 3 out of 4 working elevators at each bank of elevators.  By the third day there was only 1 operating  in each bank.  The Empress Deck was really convenient in this respect.  We just had one or two flights of steps to whereever we were headed.  I wouldn't recommend decks lower than the Empress if you have trouble with stairs. Lido deck:   We had lunch on the Lido deck the first day which is cafeteria-like and was OK.  We decided we would eat in the dining room whenever we could.  Although we all did really enjoy the 24-hour pizzeria on the Lido deck  that had wonderful pizzas, Calzones, Ceasar Salads etc.  You can bring any of these to your cabin if you wish.  The Camp Carnival registration meeting and tour was at 2:10 but we missed it since we were still lunching.  We stopped in at the Camp Carnival playroom later that night and it took all of 5 minutes for the counselor to explain how the whole program works, get the kid schedules and to fill out a registration form so I would skip this meeting if you have something more fun to do.  The playroom is for 2 to 5 year olds, the teen room (directly across the hall) is for 9-12, and the 6-8's sort of float between them both depending on the activity.  My 8 yr old loved using the 5 Nintendo 64's (free) in the teen room.  The arcade in the rear of the disco was another favorite haunt.  On the last night of the cruise they deliver a bag to your child w/all their artwork, a growth chart, yoyo, ship puzzle, ship T-shirt the kids color themselves and memory book Carnival makes by taking pictures of the children during activities that week and copying them in a book - I was very impressed.  Most of the kids activities are videoed by the staff and are playing on channel 6, which, unfortunately we could not get in our cabin.   Keep in mind if you want some "alone" time, a lot of the activities on Wednesday (sea day) are "family" activities where the counselors direct activities, they do not watch the kids, you have to be there too.  So take advantage of some "private" time on Monday and Tuesday.  There is a slumber party (babysitting) for all ages every night from 10pm - 3am ($5 first child/$3 siblings/per hour).  Kids 9 and up and sign themselves in and out (although they had my daughter call me to let me know where she was going which I really appreciated).  The Family Welcome Aboard Party helped get the kids acquainted.  The kids talent show was so great and the Farewell Party was a favorite too.  The kids really liked to wind down with their "movie nite" from 7-9 then a pizza/ice cream party 9-10.  Main Dinner Seating (6:00): If you have the main seating as we did because of the kids, BE SURE to pack a separate carry-on with your dinner clothes for the first night!!!!  Also, toiletries so you can take a shower before dinner.  AND don't forget to ALSO carry it on the shuttle bus because the bus stops to deliver your luggage at at different location at Port Canaveral BEFORE it drops you off where you embark.  The other families at our table had still not gotten their luggage delivered to their room by dinner time.  So there were a lot of people still in their sweats and shorts feeling a little grungy at dinner.  All luggage was delivered by 8:00pm.  So late seating, you're OK there.  If you want a table for 4 you need to see the matre'd as soon as you embark.  We asked when we went to dinner and the best they could do was change us the next nite.  As it turned out we were seated with 2 lovely families with kids our kids ages and we all had a great time so the next night when he came over to change us we declined.  We had read so many mixed reviews on the food that we did not have very high expectations but the food in the dining room was absolutely excellent!  We made it to the dining room every night and for most other meals and one meal was better than the next.  The waiters always gave the children the adult menu and the children's menu for them to choose from, they also got a different activity book w/crayons each nite.  There were banana splits, brownies and many other deserts for the kids.  The only thing negative I have to say about the dining room was that on the nite you got complimentary champagne w/dinner they only filled the glasses half-way and I thought they should use smaller glasses rather than look a bit cheap. Also, if you wanted 2 entrees, as someone at our table did for formal nite (prime rib and Lobster tail) she received an entire prime rib platter and when she was completely finished they brought her an entire lobster tail platter.  On our other cruises this was treated much more discreetly with both items on one platter.  It certainly doesn't encourage you to order more than one entree.  So if you want two entrees specify how you want it brought to you.  The service otherwise was very good indeed.  You ask for it, you get it, and happily.  Liquor: It was so nice to be able to bring a few bottles of wine and champagne on board.  We found the wine selection at dinner to be excellent and priced as they would be in most nicer restaurants.  As for the drinks we ordered (we don't drink beer) we found them to be 3.50 to 6.00 which was not bad at all (at least not in Philly).   By the way, drinks are NOT free in the casino.  We bought one soda card $11 for the kids which they shared.  They got free soda at all meals and kid activities and only used the card around the pool.  You can purchase them at any of the bars on board. Room service:   The menu is very limited (cold sandwiches, salads, breads, bagels, pastries, fruits and drinks) and the best service we've ever seen.  It's free, available 24 hours and delivered in 10 minutes or less.  How can you beat that?  The kids loved the PB&J's w/chips and 2 cookies and chocolate milk.  Coffee delivery in the am is great.  The BLT's were really good too. Midnight Buffets:   We just weren't hungry by then!!  We were told if we had only one to go to it should be the formal nite buffet because it was the nicest.  So we went and it really wasn't much at all compared to the other ships we've been on.  One ice sculpture, a few carved watermelons, lunchmeat, roast beef was the only hot item, lots of aspics and salads and stuff I don't care for myself.  We went to the one in the Jubilee dining room at 11:45.  There is one in the Celebration dining room at 12:15 -- maybe that one is different or better?  It's open seating so you can go to either one.  This really didn't disappoint us because we were so pleased with the food we had had all day long. Formal Nite:   Don't miss the Captains Cocktail Party w/butlered cocktails and hor'dourves.  Formal nite was quite informal.  My husband wore a sports coat (no tie), I wore a long cocktail dress, daughter a dress, son khaki pants, oxford shirt & tie.  I saw no tuxes.  All the men had coats on though.  I only saw 3 other women w/long dresses on.  Most had on short cocktail dresses or daytime Sunday dresses.  I felt a bit over dressed.  Little girls were in dresses/sundresses, young boys/teenage boys, Docker pants w/collared or golf shirts.  I do think however that the late seating for dinner may be a little more dressy (couples and singles).  The lobster tail was fabulous!  The waiters performed during dinner most nites. The early show after dinner this nite is PG if you want to bring little ones to a show.  Also, the kids really loved the kids "Coke-tail" party in the disco complete w/drinks and hot/cold hor'dourves. Pools/waterslide:   They are not open Sunday in port.  Compared to the other two lines we've been on, we thought the pool was a nice size and clean.  The two jacuzzi's were a nice size too.  We didn't find the jacuzzi's overcrowded this time of year.  The weather thru our cruise was 70-73 degrees and mostly sunny (cold front).  The way the pool was situated the kids swam everyday and the wind the one day seemed to be buffered by the sides of the ship.  The pool closes at 7pm.  Beach towels are provided around the pool.  The waterslide hours are 2-5 Monday and Tuesday and 11-1 and 2-5 on Wednesday (seaday).  There's a line you have to measure up to to use it and my son just made it at 3'10".  The baby pool was in the rear of the ship and 2 feet deep.  At Camp Carnival children up to age 8 use the baby pool for their water activities so my son wasn't interested in the camp water activities because the pool was too "baby."  My daughter enjoyed her "swimming under the stars" from 7-8:30 on formal nite. Ship Activities:   Don't miss the galley tour (kind of long getting started, but well worth it).  We enjoyed the napkin folding and towel/animal arranging afterwards too.  The piano bar was great. Had a ball in the casino (won $245 at blackjack).  Everything around the pool is fun.  Took my daily jog on the sports deck.  We all enjoyed the shuffleboard and ping pong on deck.  Comedian was good.  Everyone at our table enjoyed the other shows too. Excursions: Nice beach towels are delivered to your cabin for goinig off shore.  These towels must be returned to your cabin steward on Wednesday or you will be charged for them.  DO Pack an extra trash bag to bring the wet/sandy towels back to the boat w/you.   Unfortunately, we didn't snorkel (my kids eye's were bothering them) but other families who did (in Freeport and Nassau) really enjoyed it.  People who rented the ship's snorkel equipment were sorry they did because the price was the same everywhere they went and they had to drag it all around with them.  We have been to Freeport twice and we had decided ahead of time since the cruise was a short one, we would stay on the ship and enjoy/explore the ship which was really a fun day and not crowded at all.  Although I must say even though the ship was full it never seemed crowded anywhere.  We got off the ship in Nassau and thought we'd play it by ear.  We didn't take an excursion because we didn't want to be stuck for 4 hours or more if the kids weren't enjoying themselves.  It seemed EVERYONE was going to the Atlantis in Paradise Island or Blue Lagoon.  I spoke to quite a few people who took these excursioins and the Blue Lagoon Beach Party seemed to be the best thing to do.  They said it was crowded but really beautiful and fun.  The people who arrived at the Atlantis were surprised to find you had to pay $35 p/p to see grounds, use the pools.  One family said they used the beach for free but then they got hungry and you cant even eat at the Atlantis without  a "card" so they came back to the ship.  Most people felt it was a rip-off.  We took a cab $20/4 people to the other side of the island (he gave us a tour along the way) to the Marriot Crystal Palace on Cable Beach.  We walked in the front door through the casino and out the back door to the huge pool, waterslide, waterbar and grill, jacuzzi and beautiful beach w/snorkeling, sunfish and jetski rentals, hair braiding ($1/braid for my daughter), parasailing & boat tours.  Our beach towelsl were the same color as the hotels so we fit right in.  In fact, the two other couples having pina colodas w/us in the jacuzzi we ran into later at the pier on the way back to the ship.  We rented a sunfish for 2 hours/$20 and had a ball.  There were only a few people on the beach and tons of lounge chairs around the pool. There are quite a few hotels in a row there so you can sightsee a little too.   We had a great day.  We hit the straw market on the way back to the ship.  That's always fun.  DO try to make it to the deck party w/music out on the Lido deck the night the ship is docked in Nassau. TIPS:   Envelopes for tipping will be delivered to your cabin the last nite before dinner.  We prefer to tip the waiter and assistant waiter  half the first nite after dinner and the cabin steward half when we meet him for the first time.  We just feel we get better service that way.  Then, the last night we made up the rest.  In full, we paid a little more than was recommended.  We did not tip the matre'd or headwaiter of the dining room.  Also, they don't mention tipping any of the counselors at Camp Carnival but the last night after the kids farewell party we tipped our kids favorite two counselors $10 each, for they surely deserved it.  Recommended tips were: (for the 4 nite cruise) Cabin Steward $14 p/person; Table waiter $14 p/person, assistant waiter $8 p/person.  Debarking:   There is a debarkation meeting they urge you to go to on Wednesday.  We skipped it because it's on TV all night long so I watched it while I packed up to leave the next morning :(. If you have an early flight the morning you debark you need to show your airline tickets to the pursers office the night before so you can get off the ship first.  Everyone must have your luggage outside your cabin by 10:00pm Wednesday nite.  Remember to leave out clothes for the morning!  On Thursday morning there is no room service available, main seating breakfast is at 6:15am, breakfast is available on Lido deck till 8:45am.  Everyone must be out of their cabins by 8:00am and go to the lounges or Lido deck till they call your color luggage tag.  First call was at 8:25am, then every 10 to 15 minutes thereafter.  They called our color at 9:30, we were off the ship, we picked up our luggage and were in the parking lot by 9:50.  If you're renting a car from there, Avis and Budget have shuttles every 15 minutes.  By 11:00 we were driving our rental car to Tampa.  The end!

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