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bld24

Back from the Fantasy

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I’ve decided after all of the cruises I’ve been on to do my first review ever. I’ve been feeling really slack because I’ve been reading Cruise Critic since the very beginning over on AOL. It seems like that was back in 1997 when we took our first Princess cruise. I’ve gotten a lot of good information and have enjoyed everyone else’s reviews so I figured it’s time to pay back.

 

One of the reasons I picked this ship to do the review is that they aren’t that many out there for the short 3 day Fantasy. I’d like everyone to keep in mind that I had a great time on this cruise. But I am going to give you the good and the bad. I went on this trip with two of my girlfriends as a short little get away from the husband and kids.

 

We boarded Thursday around 1pm. This is the latest I’ve ever boarded a ship. We had priority embarkation due to Skippers Club. It was fast and efficient at Port Canaveral. They glanced over the documents, scanned the credit card and handed us room keys and sign & sail cards. Fantasy sign & sail do not function as room keys. We were on board no more than 15 minutes from when we entered the terminal. We choose a Cat. 12 room. Those photos on line and in the brochures make this room look huge. It’s really not. It was just fine for the three of us. It has a separate very small walk in closet with a sliding door which is perfect for changing. Lots of storage and the bathroom was adequate. One note on the bathroom, the tub is pretty high so the ceiling clearance when you shower is minimal. I’m 5’2†and I felt crowded. My friend is 5’7†and she had to slouch to shower. I would say that anyone approaching 6’ may not fit in this shower. We never could figure out how to switch the water flow from the shower to the tub, so no Jacuzzis for us. The bar area with the glasses was nice, however it and the glasses were really dusty the area was never cleaned.

 

The bad:

 

1. I’ll talk about stateroom service now. It wasn’t so good. I’ve had all kinds of room stewards from the ones who are very outgoing and fold your pj’s if you leave them out to ones that didn’t speak, but got the job done. That’s really all I care about and long as they do the job, I have no issues. This girl didn’t speak and didn’t get the job done. She always left dirty glasses, cans, bottles out after cleaning. I've had stewards who have left cans and bottles because they may not have been sure if we were done. These cans, bottles and glasses were empty! Twice we left wet pool towels on the floor (as is their request) and she left them there in a heap. We eventually tracked her down for some more and she acted very much put out. When she made the beds in the morning, they were a mess. I dare say a 5 year old could do a much better job. When she put the sofa bed away in the morning she would literally wad up all of the linens and pillows and they were in a pile on the sectional sofa. My friends who had never cruised before were less than impressed. I just took it in stride. She never wiped down the outside balcony table or the interior vanity area. **For those of you that it’s important to, she was very efficient with the towel animals-we had one every night!

 

2. We choose late dining on this cruise. Our waiter barely spoke. The service was so so slow. On the second night, I ordered dessert and about 20 minutes later he came to the table and said he would serve it after the the waiters did their show. I said no problem. The didn’t start the show for another 20 minutes. We just got up and left. I will say that I think this is an individual thing. I watched other servers who seemed to have no problems. I asked for mashed potatoes one night, which is on the "everynight available". He said he couldn't get them but brought a baked potato. That was fine, but the dropped the potato and "fled" before I could ask for sour cream. I saw him again about 20 minutes later, but I was mostly done with my dinner by then so I didn't bother even asking. I know this is a little picky, but considering his overall service it was par for the course.

 

 

***I always tip extra to my room stewards and waiters. I didn’t do it this time. I left the regular amount on the sign and sail cards but gave no extra cash.

 

3. Watch out for the bar servers. I ordered a gin and tonic one evening and the server asked “may I put it in a tall glass?â€. I said sure. Well the bill came and I was charged for a double. I caught them doing this to other people. I think it would be at least fair if they used the word “double shotâ€. But I learned my lesson and I did get the benefit of the drink.

 

4. Breakfast buffet, always the same with Carnival, pretty minimal and not that great.

 

5. The bar areas are really smoky. With the exception being the cigar bar, ventilation isn’t that great. It bothered both of my friends at numerous places-- and we all smoke! The cigar bar seems to have great ventilation.

 

 

Ok, that should be sufficient bi$ching , I’ll move on to the good.

 

 

1. With the exception of the steward & waiter, the staff was excellent. They were personable, friendly and capable of dealing with the loud obnoxious people in a very dignified way. I was highly impressed. One particular bar server at the bar outside the casino gave us some complimentary drinks. (This made up for getting duped with the double gin & tonic). We tipped him very well. There were quite a few of the loud and obnoxious. I really was planning on this as a lot of the colleges were out for summer. Majority of the obnoxious were frat type guys. Some middle aged drunk women also. We just took it all in stride, but it seemed like I was a magnet for these people. Every time I sat down, one would inevitably sit beside me. I figured it may have helped us to drink a little more than normal and get minimally rowdy and still look angelic. I actually heard one of the college kids use the f-word five times in one sentence.

 

 

2. The lunch buffets were pretty good and I think Carnivals dinner food is as good or better than the other lines. (I’ve been on NCL, Princess, RCCL, & Carnival)

 

3. The renovation of this ship is wonderful. I was on it back in 2000 and they have done a fine job. The down comforters and pillows in the staterooms are great. Other ships and lines should take a cue from the Fantasy and add these. The public areas were very nice. I like the chaises they installed along the Promenade, these got a lot of use.

 

4. The activities and entertainment options were really good considering this was a very short cruise. The really like to pack it in I guess to give people a taste of what’s available on the longer cruises.

 

5. Disembarking was a breeze. We were actually called off shortly after 8am. We ended up staying until 9:15 in the buffet area as our ride home was coming until 9:30am. Carnival staff in the terminal cruise area were very pleasant. Usually that part of the cruise brings me down and I’ve encountered very rude people in the terminal areas upon disembarking. But the staff asked if we had a nice cruise and said they hoped to see us again. Four stars for them.

 

 

I’m sure there is more I can talk about, but it’s not coming to mind yet. I’m still a little slow from all of the celebrating. If anyone has any questions about this cruise, I’ll try to help. I want to make sure people understand that I think the Fantasy is a great ship and I had a great cruise. I would sail again this week, but I don’t think I could survive another three days of intense Corona drinking. It was definitely the fun ship!

 

Linda

 

13 cruises I won't bore you with them all

 

Pending: Fantasy(5/4),Mariner(9/04),Splendour(2/05

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/bld24

 

 

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Thanks for the review. We leave for our cruise on the Fantasy in a couple of days. This will be our first Carnival cruise and I'm a little nervous about it. We're traveling with a 15, 10 and 8 year old so I hope it doesn't get too rowdy. icon_wink.gif

 

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tanneddiva

 

Hi. I think your family will have a great time. Keep in mind that the rowdy behavior was pretty much confined to the late night activities ie. bar drinking and occured mostly 11:30 pm and later. And it was only a few select groups of people-they just seemed to want to follow me around. Most was just loud "I've had a few too many drinks" kind of fun, but there was some off color stuff thown in. In all reality I've seen far worse behaviour on the 7 day cruises on all lines.

 

Your kids should have a great time. We were among the select adults who used the waterslide and talked to alot of kids and they were having a blast. I've taken my now 14 year old on 13 cruises with me-the last two she couldn't go. I've tried to convince my girlfriend who was on this cruise to take her kids, but she was always a little weary about taking kids on a cruise. She said after this cruise she will definately take the kids on one. From her-she's cautiously overprotective- thats a glowing review!

 

Good luck, have fun and if you can handle the smoking check out the piano bar. It was great fun and the piano player is great. One of the highlights from the trip.

 

I keep thinking of things. Regarding the kids clubs, they have added a tween/teen disco since we cruised on the Fantasy the last time. I took a peek in and it looks great. They have their own little bar area serving sodas, etc. and a dance floor, chairs lounges, etc. My daughter wasn't impressed with the teen offerings last time. The childrens club seemed to be geared to the younger kids on the last cruise we took on the Fantasy in 2000. She would have really enjoyed the club this time.

 

I don't think I will have any photos up by the time you leave. Actually, this cruise most of the pictures I took are of three almost 40 year old women(without kids) being silly, so it probably won't apply to alot of people.

 

Linda

 

13 cruises I won't bore you with them all

 

Pending: Fantasy(5/4),Mariner(9/04),Splendour(2/05

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/bld24

 

 

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We have a Category 12 suite when we sail on the Fantasy on July 4th. What cabin did you have?

 

What shore tours did you do?

 

Triumph 7/8/00 (Eastern)

Triumph 7/28/01 (Western)

Glory 7/26/03 (Eastern)

Fantasy 7/4/04 (4 Night)

 

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Good job on the review Linda. I've always wondered about those cat. 12 cabins. I don't mind a room steward that doesn't talk, but hate it when they don't give me clean towels!

Karren

 

Triumph Dec.2,2000

Triumph Sept.8,2001

Spirit Dec.5,2001

Victory Sept.29,2002

Pride May 10,2003

Glory Inaugural July 14,2003

Grand Princess Sept. 28,2003

Mariner of the Seas Dec.14.2003

Mariner of the Seas Sept. 19, 2004

Jewel of the Seas Nov.14 2004

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linda... thank you so much for the review... i leave on the fantasy in 25 days and i've been trying to soak up as much as i can to get ready... icon_smile.gif

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Enjoyed your review, it brought back very nice memories of our Christmas cruise. We also loved those duvets and down comforters. We thought the renovations in the cabin were excellent, especially the new bathroom fixtures. We had a great steward, though not so great waitresses. They seemed stressed and commented that they had been assigned table and menu changes because of it being a holiday. Our meals came quickly, but follow up of filling water glasses, checking to see if we wanted anything else didn't happen until the third night.

Cathy

 

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Until our **STAR** search

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June 27, 2004

 

Fantasy 12/25/03

Inspiration 4/13/03

NCL Majesty 12/27/02

Jubilee 3/23/02

Norwegian Sea 11/23/01

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We had cabin U107. The bathrooms were done very nicely. This really is a nice sized cabin. It's just a little surprising to see the real thing compared to the wide angle photos you see in the brochures and the Internet. With 3 women we never had a problem getting ready or running into each other. The balcony is a nice size with 2 relular chairs, a small side table and a modified lounge chair(it was just a little shorter than a regular lounge). Robes were provided and there was a nice amenities basket with shampoo, razors, a dental flosser and a few other things.

 

My only advice regarding the service issue is that if it's a problem for people to the point where they feel it could make or break their cruise, I would addresses it ASAP. This wasn't such a big issue for us due to it being a 3 day cruise. If this had been a 7 day cruise, I probably would have complained. I did fill out the survey at the end of this cruise. I put down that service in the dining room and stateroom didn't meet my expectations. I've never done this before, but I feel that if Carnival doesn't know about the problem then there is really no way to address it. I really felt guilty doing this as I've gotten the talk on other cruises about this being very important to the stewards and waitresses to have good marks. But, I felt that it was the truth and a situation they need to address. I think alot of first timers use the short 3-4 days cruises as a stepping stone to the longer cruises and if they received the service we did, they may not consider cruising or that cruise line again.

 

Linda

 

13 cruises I won't bore you with them all

 

Pending: Fantasy(5/4),Mariner(9/04),Splendour(2/05

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/bld24

 

 

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Thanks Linda for the positive feedback icon_wink.gif

I feel alot better now.

 

Only one of the kids going is mine (the 10 yr old), the other two are my niece and nephew. We'll probably be staying beside the pool the majority of the time, since it's a short cruise. Everyone is very excited about leaving tomorrow!! icon_biggrin.gif

 

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Linda, thanks for the info on the cabin number. We are in U111 so we may have the same steward. I will not let service become an issue as far as cabin cleanliness or dining service. I am not picky but I do want a clean cabin and I have/will open my mouth to get it and I have opened my mouth in more than one restaurant about the service.

 

Only 40 days till we leave on the cruise and 36 till Disney.

 

Triumph 7/8/00 (Eastern)

Triumph 7/28/01 (Western)

Glory 7/26/03 (Eastern)

Fantasy 7/4/04 (4 Night)

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Linda -thanks for the review,my daughter and I will be sailing July 8th.Does the Fantasy have afternoon tea like the bigger ships?

Thanks

 

SuzieQK

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NCL Leeward '97

Carnival Destiny '97

Carnival Destiny '98

Carnival Triumph '00

Carnival Paradise '01

Carnival Pride '02

RCCL Navigator of the Seas '03

Carnival Glory '04

Carnival Fantasy '04

My Miracle Cruise '05

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We had the same problem in January on Fantasy with the smokers.. I was hoping it was an isolated incident but apparently NOT icon_frown.gif The staff did nothing about it despite being asked nicely to remind people that some areas were nonsmoking. Unfortunate.

 

I pretty much agree with L's review ex. we did have a great steward on this cruise -- we were also on Upper deck,can't remember cabin no. offhand.

 

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Linda

 

Thanks for a great indepth review of your Fantasy experience. I am going to be on the Fantasy in Dec. for a 4-day cruise. I can't wait. I will be traveling in a wheelchair, but we have a handicapped cabin right by the elevators on the Empress deck. Would you say the food is comparible to what is served at Disney World? The beds just look so comfortable. Do you have any pictures? I would love to see them. This is going to be my second cruise. My first was on the Disney Wonder, and it was aweful. I hope this cruise will be much better. I want to have fun. Thanks.

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Regarding the steward, I first thought she was going to be great. I introduced myself to her, asked for an extra pool towel, ashtray and robe and she got them pronto. That was the extent of her service. I probably shouldn't have posted the cabin number because I know Carnival reads these boards and I don't want her getting in trouble, but I think a little retraining is in order.

 

I recall seeing afternoon tea listed at least once on the Capers, not sure about the other days.

 

Regarding the smoking it really was intense. Like I said, we smoke and it was driving us nuts. I think its a ventilation issue. I understand that Fantasy has disallowed smoking in some lounges and bars recently, maybe all of the smokers are now concentrated in these other bars. Piano bar and the casino bar area were filled with smoke. I felt so bad for the Piano player. We actually walked away from the Piano to have an occasional cigarette and tried not to smoke too much.

 

Regarding the food and Disney, it's hard to say. I've eaten alot at Disney from table service at the parks to the Yacht Club, Flying Fish, Grand Floridian etc. I'd say it's somewhere in the middle. The buffet lunches are ok, but it's nice that they have the Pizza service (again ok) and I really liked the sandwich area. They make your sandwiches to order and slice the meat as you order the sandwiches. It's a nice little snack. I do have to say that Carnival has really good sandwiches on the room service menu. BLT was great and the Roast beef with Brie is really really good. Buffets by virture of what they are usually aren't amazing, but I wasn't unhappy. If we hadn't been so lazy we would have had breakfast in the dining room. I find Carnivals breakfast buffets to be pretty bad. I'll eat the bacon and eggs, but it really isn't good. I've been on the Pride and Victory and the buffets are exactly the same. Fruit, Cereal, Eggs, Bacon, Pancakes, Sausage, Ham, Potato rounds(very hard) and maybe some gravy. The toast is premade hard and sitting in a big bowl. They will do fresh omelets for you, but I hated to wait in the line.

 

Beds were fantastic. I do have some pictures being developed now that I will get to posting soon. You may have to look past us silly girls to see the bed. One of the reasons I haven't cruised Disney yet (and I live so close) is the pricing and I'm afraid of the food. I have this idea in my head that it's going to be like the counter service in the Parks-I'm sure it's not.

 

13 cruises I won't bore you with them all

 

Pending: Fantasy(5/4),Mariner(9/04),Splendour(2/05

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/bld24

 

 

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icon_smile.gifIt sounds like I will be happy with my decision sailing on the Fantasy. I was wondering what type of coffee they serve on board. In the dining room I plan on having coffee at every meal.

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we had a wonderful cabin steward although i do believe on the last morning, we also encountered the female steward...we were leaving to run up to the pursurs office with the intention of coming back to the cabin for a little while. She told us to leave the door of our cabin open so that she could ready it for the next bunch...it was fairly early as we had not yet even cleared immigration. Now I do understand that they have a lot of work to accomplish in a short period of time, but we came away with the feeling, that ok, your cruise is over and its time to move along..

 

dvcmember...I am a coffee drinker from way back, and although i dont know the brand of coffee that is used, i did think it was too strong both in the dining room and at the buffet

 

5/2 Carnival Fantasy

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I do appreciate you being honest with the cabin number and hopefully if Carnival reads this that she will not get in too much trouble but maybe a refresher course in services to provide.

 

I can't wait to see your pictures once they are developed. I hope you have one or two of the balcony also.

 

Triumph 7/8/00 (Eastern)

Triumph 7/28/01 (Western)

Glory 7/26/03 (Eastern)

Fantasy 7/4/04 (4 Night)

 

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