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All Things Fantasy

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I have found the "All Things Shipname" threads to be tremendously helpful in providing info about particular ships.

 

Sure, there are eight Fantasy-class ships, but they all have their own personality, and since they've done the refurbishments on most, they've changed quite a bit over the past few years.

 

I sailed Fantasy twice a few years ago, out of Port Canaveral. She was my first Fantasy-class ship. I've since sailed Elation (also out of Port C) and Fascination (out of Jacksonville). I happen to love this class ship, and now know my way around and know all my favorite spots.

 

I was SO excited to hear a ship was moving to Charleston. And then I lost my job last year and had planned on moving west. Of course! Just when they put a ship with pretty-easy driving distance!

 

Anyway, I've been working a temp job (which ended today) and I'll find out next week if they're going to be able to keep me on.

 

So, impulsively, I went ahead and booked the 5/23 7-day sailing to Nassau, HMC and Grand Turk. I've been to all three several times. Going solo for the first time (other than the CTN I did last October just so I'd get to Platinum for my Miracle cruise).

 

I had been pretty underwhelmed by the prices and itineraries out of Charleston. While it's nice to be able to drive to the port, it seems pretty pointless to pay more to "only" go to the Bahamas. Know what I mean? But I tend to jump at any chance to return to Half Moon Cay. I'm not even a "beach person" and I just can't keep from wanting to return. In fact, my Elation cruise was a duplicate of the 2nd Fantasy, and was only 7 months later. I just HAD to return to HMC!

 

ANYWAY, I searched and saw lots of threads asking questions about Fantasy, but didn't see a thread dedicated to her alone.

 

How about those of you who have sailed her RECENTLY give us your thoughts?

 

I'd like to hear about the Serenity area. How's the casino these days? What are the current shows? What did you think of the food (I still think our Elation sailing had the absolute best food of any cruise I've taken).

 

If you've sailed her recently, how about posting a link to your review and your photo album? My memory is that she looked like Farcus had been having a bad-acid-trip flashback when he designed her. At least that was my feeling when I boarded Elation, which I thought was much more tastefully decorated (same goes for Fascination).

 

Please contribute your thoughts and comments!

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Alrighty then! And here I thought Fantasy had a huge group of Cruise Critic fans. :(

 

Then let me ask some specific questions.

 

Again, yes, I've sailed her twice, plus Elation and Fascination - but not since the major refurbishments.

 

Is there a bar at the Serenity area, or does one have to rely on wandering drink servers? I've looked at the deck plan. I don't see one there, but that doesn't mean one doesn't exist.

 

What are the hours of the Serenity area?

 

Are there attendants there full time? If I wanted to run up to the buffet and get some lemonade, or a mid-morning slice of pizza to hold me over until lunch time, is it possible to ask an attendant to watch my things or do I just need to be a typical Chair Hog and leave my towel & book on my chair while I make a quick trip to the buffet?

 

Do the bathrooms have a magnifying mirror? Love the one on Miracle. I had lasik surgery a few years ago and need one to do my makeup. Don't want to pack one if I don't need to.

 

Latest amenities in the bathroom? Seems my last few cruises all have had only a razor, toothpaste, some antacid stuff, and maybe a sample shampoo/conditioner.

 

Is the a/c controller the vent thing in the ceiling?

 

Are the public areas kept frigidly cold so that I'll need to bring a sweater and wrap or three to keep from freezing after a day in the sun?

 

Thanks.

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I leave for her in 9 days........I would like to know what is offered in the MDR for Breakfast and Lunch? I have seen menu's for Supper, but haven't herad much about the Breaskfast and Lunch, are they 3 corse meals like the supper is??? Do you have to sit in the same spot like when you have late seating??

Any help?? :)

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We dont sail her until July 7th ... would love to hear reviews and up to date info but not until she actually starts cruising out of Charleston .....

Just a few more weeks .. YAY!

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I don't do breakfast in the MDR any more. Last time, we were seated at a 10-top and it took FOREVER to get breakfast. Even just to get drinks.

 

No, you don't sit in any particular place; it's open seating but you'll be seated. They fill up tables in certain sections and you just sit where they put you.

 

No, certainly no 3-course breakfast or lunch. Typical restaurant breakfast fare - cereals, fruit, assorted breads, waffles, eggs, omelets, etc. Best thing is you can get tomato or pineapple juice, which isn't available at the buffet.

 

I honestly do prefer the buffet. I love the made-to-order omelet stations. Can't stomach the scrambled eggs, but discovered hard-boiled eggs. I just prefer my breakfast to be more leisurely, plus I tend to like to eat outside. In fact, one of my favorite places on the Fantasy-class ships are the tables aft and along the sides outdoors.

 

I just wish people would STOP FEEDING THE FREAKING FLYING RATS (seagulls) when in port. Sheesh. Trying to eat over here! :mad:

 

I think I'm on the 2nd sailing out of Charleston, so I'll be on my way to the port when the 1st group returns, so I won't get to read any reviews. I have done some reading on the East Coast Departures board. Sounds like Charleston is not the easiest of places for embarkation.

 

I'm Platinum now, so I hope it won't be much of an ordeal. :)

 

Trust me, I'll write a thorough review when I return.

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Looking forward to it .. this will be my 2nd cruise NOT sailing out of Florida. We sailed out of Galveston once and was disappointed that there wasnt Caribbean style sail away music or none through out the week. We heard Jungle Boogie SOOO much that week. Now everytime we hear that song my kids remember their first cruise.

Yea, I didnt like the idea of having to sit with others in the MDR for breakfast. We like to order RS to eat on our balcony or I will run and grab us breakfast from the buffet to have on our balcony. However, since we dont have a balcony on this upcoming cruise I guess we will hit the buffet.

I am really excited because I bought this cruise as a gift to my niece who lives in TX for her 18th birthday/Graduation ... I am her ONLY Aunt so I wanted to do something special for her. I want her to fall in love with cruising, too.

 

If you dont mind, please try to keep some Capers so I can get a general idea of what to expect regarding activities ....

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I'm on the rare 7-day itinerary, so don't know if my Capers will be of much help, but I always keep them.

 

My first Fantasy cruise was for my DD and her BFF for their HS graduation. She'll have a great time. Warning - it was SO HOT in Nassau. That was the latest I've sailed (usually go in May and December). Just walking Bay Street, I had to keep going in the jewelry stores just to cool off. I seriously thought I might pass out from heat stroke.

 

It is very nice to be able to put the breakfast card out when you have an early excursion the next day. Plus, I can get smoked salmon that way, which I can't get in the buffet. Yummm. When I have an inside cabin (which is most of the time), I try to spend as little time in it as possible, due to motion sickness issues. Plus, I tell myself that the hike up the stairs from Riviera to Lido to stuff my face helps burn off some of the calories, right?

 

Every cruise I've ever been on has the calypso band by the pool. Personally, I've found they've generally been really horrid. The only one that was halfway good was on the Triumph cruise-to-nowhere. Of course! One day at sea and we get a decent pool band. Eight days on Miracle in December and everytime I walked by I thought my ears would bleed! :p

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I took would like some Fantasy info. I just booked the 7 day out of Charleston that sails in August. I saled the Ecstasy 10 yrs ago.. So I know the ships have been updated since.

 

I'm with you NCTribeFan. I was thrilled to see something come to Charleston, but the prices aren't cheap. I live in the Charlotte area and can be in Charleston in 3 hrs.

 

I guess the prices are higher because they don't have the traffic that the Florida ports have.

 

Looking forward to Half Moon Cay. Never been there, but have heard wonderful things.

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I can't wait to read the reviews once everyone goes on their trip. We are booked on the Fantasy in July leaving out of Charleston. This is our first family cruise and are very excited.

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I am going on the May 8 final Sailing (7-day) out of Mobile. It will be my first time on a Fantasy class ship. First 2 were on the Holiday out of Mobile. I will be sure to post a review when I get back!

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Now, if we could just get some recent Fantasy cruisers to chime in and answer some questions! :D

 

Yes, Half Moon Cay is fantastic.

 

My current desktop photo...

 

2594267840102755439S600x600Q85.jpg

 

I was the first person off the first tender last time there. It is glorious.

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I think I'm on the 2nd sailing out of Charleston, so I'll be on my way to the port when the 1st group returns, so I won't get to read any reviews. I have done some reading on the East Coast Departures board. Sounds like Charleston is not the easiest of places for embarkation.

 

Are you sailing on the June 5th sailing? If so, have you joined our roll call? :)

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What are the shows like? I have only been on the Holiday, and I thought they were okay, it was hard to get a good seat unless you got there a hour early!!!

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I was on the April 1-5 4-nighter. I'll answer what I can!

 

What are the current shows? What are the shows like?

The shows are Nightclub Express and Ticket to Ride. I found the shows entertaining, but not great (not as good as the touring musicals I usually see). I had late-seating dinner and actually enjoyed spending the hour beforehand at the shows. I like the Beatles, so I thought that show was better. I never had trouble finding a seat (usually 1st/2nd row upstairs), but the best seats (downstairs center) will probably fill up first. There were also two comedians on our cruise, and another singer who did a short show after the comedian one night.

 

Is there a bar at the Serenity area, or does one have to rely on wandering drink servers? Are there attendants there full time?

No bar in the Serenity area. I was only there briefly a few times, and I never saw an attendant there (but I did see wandering drink servers).

 

Do the bathrooms have a magnifying mirror?

I don't recall seeing one, but I don't use one so I might have missed it.

 

Latest amenities in the bathroom?

Yep, razor, toothpaste, Pepcid. There are also shampoo and body wash dispensers in the shower.

 

Is the a/c controller the vent thing in the ceiling?

Yes, and it worked pretty well. I generally had it off during the day, and on at night, otherwise it was too cold in the room.

 

Are the public areas kept frigidly cold so that I'll need to bring a sweater and wrap or three to keep from freezing after a day in the sun?

YES!

 

I would like to know what is offered in the MDR for Breakfast and Lunch?

There are links to breakfast and lunch menus here: http://www.bookccl.com/irman/bookccl/sections/shipboard/DiningOnboard_master.html

I LOVE eating in the MDR for all meals. We always got a table for 2, and we were always served promptly (except breakfast right before getting off the ship, that was slower). I love to get away from the crowds, and we were usually still done in 30 minutes.

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JessKess.......great info, that was exactly what I was looking for!!!! Thanks for putting my mind to ease!!!!

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So excited, I will be on Fantasy in 17 days. I can't wait. I was also looking for any information on this ship. So glad I found this post.

 

Thanks for all the info. Anyone have pictures they would like to share?

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Is there a bar at the Serenity area, or does one have to rely on wandering drink servers?

 

I don't recall a bar, but do remember wandering servers. We had drinks from the Lido deck, and used the whirlpool at Serenity. No drinks allowed in the whirlpool, so we didn't worry about refills in the area.

 

Are there attendants there full time? There was an attendant present each time we were at the area. He appeared to be in charge of whirlpool security and pool chemicals.

 

Do the bathrooms have a magnifying mirror? The Grand Suites do have magnifying mirrors. On that note, the GS also has a roomy (by ship standards) walk in closet. It was very nice to be able to hang and store clothes for three people.

 

Latest amenities in the bathroom? Standard items. The French facial soap was nice.

 

Are the public areas kept frigidly cold so that I'll need to bring a sweater and wrap or three to keep from freezing after a day in the sun? We sailed her in January, so it was frigidly cold most everywhere. The garb for the sail away picture was sweater and turtleneck. I thought the public areas were comfortable, given the outside climate. If temperature variations are a concern, please err on the side of caution and pack a sweater. For me, anything above 40 degrees in January calls for shorts.

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Thanks for the info.

 

I tend to be cold all the time. I just find it really annoying to have my food get cold before I can eat it just because the dining room is about 58 degrees.

 

One of my favorite indoor spots on the Fantasy-class is along the Promenade Deck, but it's always freezing there. Maybe they're trying to disperse some of the smoke from the casino by blasting artic wind. :mad:

 

I'm driving to port, so packing isn't so much of an issue, but I try to pack lighter for each cruise. I'll pack a wrap and a sweater, and I'll find the smallest magnifying mirror I can. I'm in a 1A - a long way from a suite. :p

 

I've seen Ticket to Ride on Miracle. In fact, when I saw it in December, it was the first show I'd gone to since I saw it 2 years previously!

 

Is there a Filipino dance band? Where do they play and are they around every evening?

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...In fact sailed her TWICE since her refurbishment. Forget about the age of the ship. They have totally revamped her (it was famously 90's Vegas neon before) and I think I would call her "beautiful" with still a touch of that famous Carnival fun feel.

 

I also have sailed the Holiday (I think I saw a poster whose only cruise until booking the Fantasy was Holiday)...and this will be a BIG step up.

 

We enjoyed the Serenity area ("Serenity Now!" Frank Costanza)....however; it's not overly large, and no dedicated bar. It's perhaps not as special as it's made out to be, but we took advantage of it none-the-less.

 

Most of the questions have already been answered but if you have any other, post away or email mitchinam@yahoo.com

 

 

Mitch

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Thanks, Mitch.

 

My first cruise was Jubilee, Holiday's sister. I wish I'd sailed one of the others in that class before they all left the fleet.

 

Can you tell me about the bands in the lounges at night?

 

Oh, and good to hear about the current decor. She was rather "loud" when I sailed her.

 

Do you have current photos?

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Just going to add to the topics one at a time. While these tips are from our cruise on the Fantasy in January, they apply to most cruises.

 

Room Service: We used room service each day for a light breakfast, coffee, juice, pastries, etc. while we got ready and as a wake up call - they were very prompt (within minutes of the reqested time).

 

MDR: We used the MDR on sea days (more for time element and relaxing opportunity). The menu is ala carte style where you order your own combination of eggs, meat, pastries, fruit etc. It's very much like the buffet in terms of ordering but we found it offered more selection (juices, eggs benedict) and fresher quality. It's all about being pampered.

 

When we arrived at the MDR desk we were asked if we wanted a table for two or a shared table. We always say shared and are usually seated with another couple at a table for four.

 

Buffet: We would use the Mongolian Rotisserie Grille area rather than go into the Windows buffet area. Here you can get made to order eggs/omelets on the port side and bacon, ham, potatoes, hash browns, cereral, fruit etc. on the starboard side. Then we would grab a table outside to sit and eat around the pool area.

 

We usually have breakfast between 8:00 and 8:30 and didn't have lines in MDR or Buffet areas. I seemed most busy between 9:00 and 10:00.

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Are you sailing on the June 5th sailing? If so, have you joined our roll call? :)

 

We will be on the June 5th sailing from Charleston. Just joined the roll call this week.

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This time next week I will be sitting in my Mobile hotel room waiting for my cruise to begin!!!! It's going to be so hard to sleep that nite, I'll never get my eyes closed, to excited to sleep!!!!!

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My fiance and I will be on the May 30 sailing from Charleston: Nassau, Key West, Freeport. His parents are cruising the week before us, on that same Half Moon Cay, Nassau, Grand Turk- which are the ports fiance and I went to when we went on the Destiny last year. They're all awesome ports but we did a booze cruise in Nassau so I don't remember much of that one, hehe. Good excuse to go back :p

 

I was also disappointed in the Charleston itineraries. It's ALL Bahamas. I'm glad we found one that at least includes Key West, which is where I'm really looking forward to :). Hopefully it will help cruising really take off in SC and in a few years they'll add more destinations.

 

As for the price difference, the only thing I can figure out is since CHS is further north it takes more fuel to get to the destinations than from say, MIA. I know the cruises from Baltimore are a lot more expensive probably for that reason as well??? But after our last cruise we swore we would NEVER drive to MIA again... :mad:

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