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chasinraynbowz

Fantasy - Our Cruise of "Firsts" - 8/31 - 9/5

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Ok, I will try this again.. ugh!

 

Even though this wasn't our first cruise, nor was it our first cruise on the Fantasy, it was truly a cruise of firsts. We did a lot of things we had never done before! As you read my review, you will see what I mean... lol.

 

About Us: DH is 51 and I am turning 50 (a REAL FIRSTfor me... eeek! lol). This cruise was my third on Fantasy and his second and was to celebrate my coming of age! In March, while at dinner one night, he said he wanted to get me something special for my b'day but couldn't do it without my knowing so he told me to book a cruise!! YAY!!!

 

About a month before the cruise, I got "the" letter from the Upsell (Post Sale) Dept. They offered us an upgrade from a 6B OV to a Verandah Suite, but that would have more than doubled the price of our cruise so I counter offered. Of course it wasn't accepted, but I didn't think it would be either. BUT... a week before the cruise he called back and offered me the same upgrade at my counter price and of course I accepted!! My FIRST suite!!!

 

We decided to take the train from Memphis instead of driving. We got a great deal at 20% off the train fare using the Carnival discount. On Sunday morning we left the house at 545am and headed to the train station. Our train departed at 650, but we needed to be there early to check our bags. We had both breakfast and lunch on the train and the food was pretty good!

 

We arrived in New Orleans around 330pm and took a cab to our hotel, Place d Armes. I HIGHLY recommend this hotel. Its a beautiful boutique hotel, the staff is very friendly, free breakfast and very close to the French Quarter.

 

Dinner that night was at the Acme Oyster House (another FIRST) with some new friends from CC. We were all so excited to finally meet!! The woman at the door would not seat us until our entire party had arrived, so we waited and when we had 11 people, we went in. She then told me that she had already seated 6 others.. UGH! I went in and introduced myself and met the 6 who were there and then the rest of us were seated. We had a great dinner!! After dinner, Greg and I decided to try our luck at Harrah's but turned out we weren't so lucky that night, so we hailed a cab and went back to our hotel (it was raining so we didn't want to walk... lol).

 

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Greg headed to train

 

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Dining Car

 

 

 

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Our room

 

 

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Me and Greg in Jackson Square (the same spot we were married 4 years ago)

 

 

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Our CC group at dinner

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Monday

 

We woke up around 8am, showered, grabbed some coffee and breakfast and headed to the port at about 10am. Since we were VIP (another FIRST), we took advantage of the VIP check in. While seated, a ships Officer came in and asked that all the people doing B2Bs were follow her. I realized then that Bill (wasii) who set up our M&G and Cocktail hour was there along with his son and Susan (tces) as well.

 

We arrived at the port at 1020am, were seated in the VIP area by 1040 and on the ship having lunch by 1140! Not bad at all. During our wait, we met up with some of our CC friends and met our dinner companions for the next 5 evenings! We were able to get into our cabin by 1pm. We looked around, checked out our obstructed balcony and then started exploring the ship.

 

While seated at the pool bar, Susan (tces) recognized Greg and introduced herself. We visited for a while and decided to meet in our cabin at 3pm with her bottle of champagne (thanks Susan, it was great!!) before Muster. Both she and Bill showed up (Bill brought his bottle also.. thanks Bill!!). We opened one bottle, visited and got to know each other and before we knew it they were announcing Muster. I made the comment that I would be waiting for the final call for Muster because I didn't want to stand out in that heat and OMG... there was NO final call... we missed muster drill. Another FIRST!

 

Sailaway began during Muster and once it was over and the announcements started, we headed out on deck for our first official M&G!! We had a GREAT turn out for our M&G. I met so many people and I remember NO names... lmao! Sorry folks, I am really bad with names.

 

Afterwards, we headed up to the cabin to freshen up and then onto the dining room. We had a great first meal with our new friends from the VIP area, Joe and Judy. After dinner and after wandering around a bit, we decided to play in the casino for a bit.... $20 each that was it. I won $120 at roulette and decided to call it a night!! After that, we grabbed a burger and headed up to our cabin and called it a night!

 

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Greg with our Zone 1 card before boarding

 

 

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Our Cabin

 

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Our "Obstructed" view.... but it was a balcony and a view... lol

 

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Our Cabin

 

 

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Our cabin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*

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Tuesday

 

I awoke at 7am and headed to our balcony and then to the front of the ship (on the Verandah deck) to see my first day at sea! Room service was delivered at 730 and by 830 we were both up, showered and headed to the breakfast buffet. After breakfast we wandered a bit and then met up in the Library for our next CC function – the gift bag exchange. I guess someone complained (darn that grumpy old man… lol) so we were moved to the Conf Room. The gift bag exchange was a success – everyone was to bring something from their home state and the only requirement was, when your number is called you can’t pick your own bag. Immediately after that, was our Cocktail party. For $14 per person, we got drinks and snacks (crackers) for an hour. Since Bill had won the “Master Mixologist” competition he had most of the room drinking his “Terydactyl”. Myself (sorry Bill) stuck to Pina Coladas… lol. We had another great time visiting with folks we had been chatting with for months!

 

 

 

 

After the party, Greg and I decided to head up to the cabin and rest before dinner. When we woke up we realized there was NO way we were making formal night… lmao! Another FIRST!! We had laid down between 2 and 3 and didn’t wake up until 6 on the nose!! So we headed to the buffet and had our “formal night” dinner there… lol. The good thing was, they were serving the same food in the buffet that they were serving in the dining room, so we really didn’t miss out!

After dinner, we watched the show, Nightclub Express and came back for the comedian Diane Ford (who was hilarious by the way) and then headed to bed.

 

 

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Our first Sunrise

 

 

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Me on our balcony

 

 

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Gift Bag Exchange

 

 

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The beginning of our zoo!!!

 

 

Sorry I didn't get anymore pictures of our Gift Bag Exchange or the Cocktail party. If anyone has them, please feel free to post them! LOL, I was just too busy having fun!!!

Edited by chasinraynbowz

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Wednesday

 

We woke up around 7am to a fog horn and realized we had slept thru room service… another FIRST... lol. I called and they said they would bring it up immediately… which they did. Greg and I both enjoyed our first cup of coffee out on our balcony as we watched us coming into port. We showered and headed out for our first visit to Progreso.

 

Progreso is a very different port. The ship docks at the end of the pier which is about 4 miles from land and you are then shuttled to land. After the shuttle, we jumped on the double decker bus and took the $2 tour. After the tour, we walked around the market and haggled a bit to get us each a hat (it was hotter than hades there that day), bought a few gifts and then headed back to the ship.

 

After a brief stop at the duty free stores to buy smokes (if you can, wait till you get there to buy your cigarettes. On board they are $22 per carton. In Progreso, they were $18 per carton!) we were back on the ship and enjoying wonderful AC!!

 

Once we were back on the ship, we put on our bathing suits and headed for lunch and then the pool. It was nice having the pool to ourselves while everyone was out on excursions. We headed back to the cabin to shower and clean up and then up on deck to watch sailaway. After sailaway we headed to the dining room for dinner and then wandered around the ship before getting coffee and heading back to our cabin.

 

 

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Duty free shopping as soon as you get off the ship

 

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Dancers

 

 

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On shuttle bus heading towards land

 

 

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This was taken from the shuttle. I love this picture, its my favorite this trip!

 

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Double decker bus in Progreso

Edited by chasinraynbowz

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My family will be on the Fantasy Oct. 3 and are looking forward to the towel animals. That was quite a cruise critic group! Thank you for your review.

 

How was the pool area?

 

jan

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More Progreso... lol... sorry this should be the last one

 

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We saw LOTS of jellyfish all around the ship while docked

 

 

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The Duty Free stores and the mainland in the background

 

 

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The pier and the mainland (taken from the ship)

 

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Our escort leaving Progreso

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My family will be on the Fantasy Oct. 3 and are looking forward to the towel animals. That was quite a cruise critic group! Thank you for your review.

 

How was the pool area?

 

jan

 

There is only one pool and the only time I got in was during both ports. The water was wonderful (salty, but wonderful... lol)

 

I should have a few towel animal pictures coming up... lol!

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Thursday

 

We woke up with room service and after showers, decided to head to port as early as we could so we could get what we needed and get back on the ship for breakfast! We were off the ship by 930 am and back on by 11!! Since we had been to Cozumel twice before we knew what to expect and we knew what we wanted, so it was quick and painless…. And VERY hot!!

Back on board, we dropped off our purchases and I changed back into my swimming suit and off to breakfast we went. After breakfast, Greg headed back to the cabin to cool down and I headed straight for the pool! Again, it was great with everyone gone on excursions. Bill and Logan and I chatted in the pool for a while and then I got out to dry off, get some sun and then some lunch. After lunch, I went to the cabin to change and ended up taking another nap!! LOL Got up just in time for dinner.

During dinner, I asked Stan (the maitre d’) if the Chef made Crème Brulee. He told me that it was only made on longer cruises, not the short ones… but he would see what he could do. After dinner, Greg headed to the show and I headed to the casino. We both had a great time!! We met up afterwards for a quick snack, some tea and then headed to bed.

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Cozumel

 

 

 

 

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Me resting in the shade in Cozumel

 

 

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Look at this water!! A storm was on the way.

 

 

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More creatures for our Zoo!!

 

 

 

From Weds night:

My husband went into the bathroom on Weds night and I heard him giggle. When he came out he told me to be careful going in, there was something in there. So, I slowly opened the door and when I saw it, I let out a little scream... lmao!!

 

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He was waiting for us!!!!

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Thanks for the photos,esp of the train!! My girlfriend and I are sailing on the Triumph in March and will take the train back home.

I know they state reserved seating on the website. Do you receive the seat assignment after purchase or when you check in? I want to make sure that we are seated together

Also, how early do you need to check the luggage in?

Thanks for the pictures in Progresso. The person that I'm sailing with is going on her first cruise.

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Great review so far. Excellent way to start the trip by taking the train. Let someone else do the driving. Can't wait to finish reading it.

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Thanks for the photos,esp of the train!! My girlfriend and I are sailing on the Triumph in March and will take the train back home.

I know they state reserved seating on the website. Do you receive the seat assignment after purchase or when you check in? I want to make sure that we are seated together

Also, how early do you need to check the luggage in?

Thanks for the pictures in Progresso. The person that I'm sailing with is going on her first cruise.

 

 

There are NO seat assignments. Its on a first come basis. When Greg and I got to the station, there were very few people going. It was empty enough that he sat in front of me part of the way so I could lay down and sleep... lol. Also, if you are taking the train because of the cruise, call your PVP or TA and get the code you will need to get a discount. We got 20% off (we paid $160 vs $200). On the way back, it was crowded, but again... no seat assignments. Just a reserved seat for you and your friend.

 

Be at the train station one hour prior if you can. All baggage must be checked 45 minutes prior to leaving.

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Thanks so much for doing this review. DH, the kids and I will be on the Fantasy in a little under 2 weeks. Can't wait. Your review is just fuelling my excitement!!!

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There are NO seat assignments. Its on a first come basis. When Greg and I got to the station, there were very few people going. It was empty enough that he sat in front of me part of the way so I could lay down and sleep... lol. Also, if you are taking the train because of the cruise, call your PVP or TA and get the code you will need to get a discount. We got 20% off (we paid $160 vs $200). On the way back, it was crowded, but again... no seat assignments. Just a reserved seat for you and your friend.

 

Be at the train station one hour prior if you can. All baggage must be checked 45 minutes prior to leaving.

 

Thanks for the info!! I will call my travel agent in the morning and asked about the discount.

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Hey for those going on the fantasy in the future. I learned this from Noel on the one I just got off. When you get to your last day do not put your luggage outside the room carry your own off the next morn and when you get to baggage area grab a porter and get rushed through customs. Give the porter a good tip for it and you just beat everyone else through.

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Hey for those going on the fantasy in the future. I learned this from Noel on the one I just got off. When you get to your last day do not put your luggage outside the room carry your own off the next morn and when you get to baggage area grab a porter and get rushed through customs. Give the porter a good tip for it and you just beat everyone else through.

 

 

Hey Randy!! We put our luggage out the night before and it didn't even take an hour from the time we got into line till the time we were in a cab headed to our hotel. We had TOOO much luggage to carry off ourselves... lol.

 

As for the porter, we got one but didn't get "rushed" thru customs. Not sure you can get rushed... lol. Our porter got us into line and we had to answer a question and then he said welcome back and we were on our way. I did overhear a couple in another line getting all kinds of questions, bu then again I wonder if they were completely honest when filling out their form.

 

It was great meeting you by the way! Did your Mom ever see you sing?

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Did you think the suite was worth the extra that you paid for it? It doesn't look bigger than most regular balcony cabins, and you had an obstructed view.

 

I was on the Fantasy and those balconies looked really small and not very private.

 

Really enjoying your review and all the pictures.

Edited by CorvetteLady

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Pam, I'm so relieved the board is back up and I found your review. I am enjoying every word and photo. I'll be looking forward to the rest of your review.

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Pam, its a great review so far and I love the pictures......can't wait for the rest of it. Sounds like you had a great time.:)

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