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sgtmonz

Fantastic Fantasy Review (cleaned-up)

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The following is a Review of the Carnival Cruise Ship Fantasy for the sailing of June 17 through June 20. There were two of us that went, myself (age 37) and my GF (age 26).

Embarkation:

Got to the cruise terminal about 1:30 PM. We first un-loaded our 2 suitcases and 2 garment bags with the porters. They were very friendly and helpful and actually handled our bags with some degree of care.

We then parked the car and grabbed our one carry on bag each and made the short walk to the cruise terminal. We waited in a 5-minute line for our carry on bags and us to go through the metal detector and then went upstairs to the main check-in line. We waited in this line for maybe 20 minutes and then got our cabin keys and sign and sail card. Lastly, we waited in the boarding line for 5 minutes where we got our security picture taken and we were done.

Our Cabin:

Once onboard, we immediately went to see if our cabin was ready. We were booked in U226, which is on the upper deck at the very rear (stern) of the ship and is an OV or outside view cabin with a window. We got there to find the cabin clean and ready and both beds already pushed together (yeah baby! - sorry)

Carnival recently (2003) spent about $25 million on renovating this ship and in my opinion nowhere is it more obvious then the cabins. It was awesome! The carpet is new and stain free. The beds were very comfortable and the duvets are so much more attractive then the old spreads. Gone is the old “Miami Vice” color scheme and theme. The walls were a very pale beige color with red trim. The desk, closets and furniture had a medium colored cherry wood finish that looked great with the other colors. The ceiling was covered with long narrow panels with recessed lighting. The bathroom also had all new fixtures and the white and chrome helped to make it look (and I suspect easy to) clean.

The window was framed with the same wood covering from the furniture pattern and was actually large enough that both me and my GF could snuggle up there and look out. Our suitcases and hanging bags, once unpacked, all fit under the bed.

Our cabin steward, Kurt, made sure we had plenty of clean towels, the bed was made, the room clean and that we always had plenty of ice for the bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin I brought in my suitcase along with the 6-pack of tonic water I had in my carry-on. Other then that, he was invisible… great!

Alcoholic Beverages:

I had to do a special section on drinks because of one special bar tender, my new friend Lee from South Africa. We met Lee within 1 hour of boarding the ship at the Majestic Bar and had our buzz on soon afterwards. He set us up with 2 of the drink of the day specials, which was the “Bahamas Mama”. Here’s what I like; dude makes the drinks in the big hurricane glasses right? Then he pours in more 151 rum. I got to watch him mix up a batch of the drink of the day for the next day and, at least at his bar, they are not weak drinks. The drink of the day was $6.25 for the first drink and the glass and then refills were $4.95. I felt like we got more then our money’s worth for the drinks he mixed. Just remember to keep your glass and use it for refills of the drink of the day.

Dinning:

As a whole, the food was really good. A few things however stood out as being almost exceptional. Put on your do not miss list the pumpkin soup, the French onion soup, the egg roll appetizer the escargot appetizer and the lobster tail entrée.

Because of the aforementioned bar tender I can’t remember everything that we had for dinner but I’ll try to do my best.

Thursday night I had the shrimp cocktail as an appetizer, salad with blue cheese dressing and the lobster tail. My GF had the egg roll appetizer, salad with ranch dressing and some pasta thing I think… ok, whatever, I was buzzing but the egg roll she had was great and the lobster tail was pretty darn good and I’ve been to Maine. It wasn’t as good as one some lobsterman pulled from the Atlantic Ocean 4 hours before but it was good enough that I had 3 and had to be restrained from ordering more.

Friday night I had the 2 orders of the escargot (yum yum for the tum tum) another blue cheese dressed salad and the seafood bisque. The GF had that awesome pumpkin soup and some grouper thing for an entrée.

Saturday night I had the French onion soup, chicken pasta (appetizer portion) and the filet with the 3-pepper corn sauce. GF had the broccoli cheese soup, Caesar salad and the same filet.

I don’t remember all of the deserts because we had so many but I do remember the chocolate mousse cake was out of this world and the baked alaskan was pretty darn good as well.

Most of the other meals we took at the Windows on the Sea bar and grill. And while it was buffet food it was good buffet food. Several things not to miss include the spinach stuff pastry, lasagna, southern fried chicken (and I’m a redneck and know good chicken), stuffed potatoes, and turkey-n-stuffing. Oh and the shrimp and sausage paella was really good as well with some hot sauce on it. And never did we wait in a line longer then 5 or 6 people.

Service:

At the worst I got a perfectly acceptable level of service but most of the crew went beyond that.

Our cabin steward, Kurt, I already described but wanted to say that he was exactly as I hoped for and nothing more or less. He’s not someone I’m hanging out with like the headwaiter or the bar tender so his strictly profession behavior without to much conversation was perfect.

The aforementioned Lee is the best staff member I have ever met on any cruise line. Dude could joke about anything, make any drink and made everyone at his bar feel like he was their best friend. He called me by name whenever he saw me and always remembered my sign and sail card number.

In the Jubilee Dinning Room, the headwaiter, Benny, and his assistant, Natalia, were both a lot of fun and made sure our water glasses never went empty and we never had dirty dishes on the table. They also were quick to ask if we wanted another of any of the appetizers or entrées.

The bar service waitress for the dinning room was a 6 foot tall Amazon beauty from one of the Baltic States named Erika. She was very shy so I told her as often as possible that I thought she was the most beautiful staff member aboard. She would blush every time I complemented her but she finally opened up a little bit and even caught my eye at one point from across the room and gave me a little wink. She remembered our sign and sail card number after the first night like Lee did which I thought was a nice personal touch. Our wine or drink glasses never went empty and she would always tell Lee who the drinks were for so we got them like we liked them.

Tips:

I did the prepay on the sign and sail card at the suggested rate of $10.00 for each listed person from each of us which was $60.00 total. I also slipped Kurt, Lee, Benny and Erika and extra $10.00 each. And you know, I did some thinking. If each of the 2000 or so people aboard did the same thing… wow! These guys and gals are doing ok.

Nassau Bahamas:

This was our only port of call on this trip. We got off the boat for a few hours and just walked around and did some shopping. My GF has never been out of the country so it was a trip for her just to see a different way of doing things. After I told her to never pay full price for something she wanted she had a lot of fun trying to barter for gifts. With one exception she did pretty good. The first time she tried it though the lady she was talking to said “$7.00 for this and $5.00 for that”. So I can see the wheels turning and the GF finally says “I’ll give you $15.00 for both”. The Bahamian woman and I looked at each other and just busted out laughing. I had to give her $15.00 after that.

Guests:

We met some of the best people on the planet. With one exception, I couldn’t have picked a better group of folks on the planet to cruise with us. We had so much fun meeting and partying with so many cool people. Everyone was really well behaved, even when they got drunk. It was a happy boat full of happy people. The guest truly made it a fantastic trip. The highlight of the trip… being asked to carry (and I mean literally carry in my arms) a 50-year-old woman back to her cabin who passed out at the comedy show. Now there’s a gal who knows how to party. Don’t worry; I gave her sober friend proper instructions on the caring and feeding of a passed out person and checked on them at regular intervals.

The only problem was a large (40 or so) group of young people who came in and took over the dance floor in the disco on the last night. They crowded the floor in such a way that no one else had room to dance and if the DJ played any song other then a recent rap song they would chant OHOHH! OHOHH! As loud as they could until one of their songs came on. Also, they tried to crowd me off the dance floor and when I wouldn’t move and be scared of them they wanted to “act” like they were going to be violent but, of course, they wouldn’t do anything. You know, everyone else was having a great time. I didn’t understand why this group had to act so tough and mean. They did however, very soon after starting this behavior, start a fight amongst themselves. The DJ turned the lights on and security escorted everyone under the age of 21 out of the club. After that there were no more problems.

Except for that one notable exception we had an absolute blast. We were so very impressed with the level of service, dedication and friendliness of the CCL staff. Also, I want to say again how much we enjoyed partying with our fellow passengers. It seamed like we all went out of our way to be extra friendly and courteous. I am so thrilled to be doing this same exact cruise on the same ship later this year on Dec. 2. Great job Carnival!!!

-Walt

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i wanted to give this post a bump since we got the new board going on now and also i've cleaned it up because the other one was damaged in the xfer from the old board to the new

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We loved the Fantasy when we sailed her in February! SHe was a great boat, wanted to smuggle the bed cover off the boat.

Glad you had a great time!

Stef

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Nice review Walt. We sail on her in 10 days (wow) on the four night sailing. Where is the Majestic Bar located on the ship? I will have to seek Lee out. We are also on the Upper Deck. We booked one of the Category 12 cabins (did you happen to get a peak at them) since we got a great deal on our Disney vacation before we sail.

I am so happy to read that they still have pumpkin soup but it appears it is on the same night as the seafood bisque. I hope they have them on two separate nights on our trip or I may have to have two soups with dinner (LOL).

I am so excited about going and promise you Suzie that we will leave the ship in one piece. I will be the one crying at the pier that I don't want to go home.

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hey hill6-

you know, i was walking past one of the cat 12 (they are on the same floor) and peaked in and what i saw was really nice... totally remodeled like the other cabins... the cabin steward said i could get my camera and come back and take a picture but i got sidetracked when me a the gf got back to the cabin... it's completely understandable and dawg'll back me up on this one if you don't believe me... anyhow i think you are going to love it...

the majestic bar... from the upper deck, walk back to the rear (stern) (aft) most elevators and take them up to the promenade deck and he'll be right there when you get off the elevator... please tell him that i (walt-big guy-gf with large um hums-06/17 sailing) sent you... he will treat you right... accept NO substitute!

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hey gordon... it was just like those pics you posted... i thought i was going to really miss not having a bigger cabin but it was great... i still like the balcony cabins on the ships that have them and the suites of course but for the money i couldn't get over how great the cabins were

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Thanks Walt for the info. I heard that the remodeling turned out great. This is our first trip on this class of ship. Our prior cruises were the Triumph and the Glory (on her inaugural Eastern Carribean). I will be sure to say hi to Lee for you and your GF.

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hill6, you are more than welcome to stay onboard with us for another 3 nighter-lol. Its just my daughter and I, maybe someone after us would be willing to do the same for us then-lol.
Have a great trip!

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Walt,

My husband and I were on the same cruise. It's was for our honeymoon and we also saw that same group of people on Friday night with the same behavior problems. Other than that, we had a terrific time. We were in U158, also an OV cabin. We had a great group of people in the dining room. WE had two couples from Savannah, GA and the other two from Texas. We are from Atlanta, so it was a really nice to meet nice people. We, too plan to cruise again December 2 with the kids.

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[SIZE=2][COLOR=Teal][FONT=Comic Sans MS]I heard that they revamped the Fantasy. I have also seen some pictures and it looks great. We have not been on this class ship since our first cruise. (Imagination)

I can not wait to be pampered again!

Now I'm REALLY Jones-ing! [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE] ;)

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hey yolanda... give me an e-mail closer to cruise time in dec. and we'll meet for a drink with lee... i'm going with a big group from work for the dec. cruiuse... not sure yet who i'm taking with me this time though...

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Me...me...me.... I wanna go, pick me!! Sounds like you had a great time, kinda wished I could've been there to meet the 50 year old woman, that would have been fun!

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Walt...glad to hear you had such a good time! You make me want to go back to my travel agent tomorrow! You guys sound like so much fun, I wish I could plan to go at the same time you are going again! And you can carry off a 40 yr. old drunk this time...LOL! You had me in stitches about that! I had a great time on my cruise also meeting other fun people, but only wish I had remembered to get email addresses or something...DUH! I guess it was all them Bahama Mamas and Yellow Birds and whatnot! Thanks for the great review...you should get paid for advertising for CCL! (At least a discount cruise!)
Julie from GA

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hey julie... great to hear from you... and now i've added pictures at this link: [url]http://community.webshots.com/user/sgtmonz[/url]

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I have a couple questions for you. I noticed in your picture album that you and your wife are a younger couple. I was wondering if you found it easy to meet people of your own age and interests. My jusband and I are in our mid 20's and will be taking our first cruise in August. We are so excited to meet new people and have a lot of fun while on our cruise. Can you tell me a little more about your expirience with this. Thank you for all your help!

P.S. If you don't mind me asking how old you and your wife is? I am 22 and my husband is 23 just to give you a better understanding of why I am asking this.

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Sorry SGTMONZ, I should have read your post better/first. I just went ahead and asked the question without reading your thread first.

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