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KOS

Fanatsy Review from 6/5

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Just got back from the Fantasy today and thought that, for what its worth I’d write up a review. This being our first cruise, I know that some of the reviews were really helpful so here it goes….

First, traveling was with my wife and 2 sons (3 and 7) . I need to start off saying the weather was less than ideal-rained a couple of days, only saw a sunset the last day of the cruise, and rarely could see the horizon or the stars due to the rain and cloud cover. (I also know this is not the fault of CCL, I think :) ) . Our cabin was U193 (aft) and was nice-very little motion, and very little noise (except when arriving, and leaving the ports)

We stayed at the Radisson Port Canaveral and did their park and shuttle ride over to the port and this worked out well. They have a great pool, and the kids really loved that. Rooms were a little dated, but the grounds were fairly well kept. The area where you park your car was not secure, as in being surrounded by a fence or anything, but there must have been a few hundred cars in the cruise lot, so many people do seem to use this service. Had no problems getting to or from the ship.

-We went over to the port around 1:00 and though there was a short line, it moved rather quickly and we were up on the boat in no time-the checking in of the luggage went really well. With our luggage, we also checked on a small collapsible cooler, with water and soda in it and that went through fine.

-Day 1: First time on a cruise so we found the Lido deck and had some lunch- can really see why people can gain weight on a cruise. Not that the food was great, it was good to ok, but just a lot of choices. Went to our cabin after lunch and met with our room steward, Rallo. Very friendly and worked hard not just for us, but for everyone in the general area. Kept our cooler full of ice the entire cruise, and always had our room looking very nice. Muster drill was a pain, but necessary-too many people cramped into a too small of area-but again it was good to know what to do just in case. Spent the rest of the evening trying to find our way around the ship.

-Day 2 (At sea): Cloudy again-but explored the ship. Put both of the boys in Camp Carnival just for a couple of hours to see how they would like it (more on Camp C later).

My wife and I looked around some more, went through the shops etc. Picked up the boys and went swimming in the pools. A little hard to find a chair (people saving them it seems forever) even though it was cloudy. Had a few drinks and enjoyed the rest of the day.

Day 3 (Grand Turk): Cloudy and windy-My 7 year old and I booked the Ultimate Snorkel Trip which turned out, despite the fairly rough water, to be an excellent trip. Saw quite a few fish and even came face-to-face with a nice size barracuda. Some others in the groups said that they got really close to a school(?) of squid. A few people got sea sick on board the boat due to the weather-but the trip over all went well. Afterwards, we met up with my wife and youngest son and ate at Margaretville. Now I’m a huge Parrothead, but I would not eat there again-very limited menu, and the food was just ok. It seemed a lot of people just hung out at the pool and listened to the DJ. The pool area is nice, but very spring breakish-if I were younger, or didn’t have the kids along, would have been great, but I really didn’t see this as a family atmosphere-some cussing by the DJ, and the DJ talking about smoking weed. Again, I don’t have a problem with it per say-but really don’t want my 2 kids exposed to it.

Overall GT was disappointing. CCL has built a nice little, clean “village” to hang out in, complete with a fence around it-but is this really GT? It seemed more like an amusement park, empty until we arrived, and then empty when we left. It seems that they really don’t want you to head into town. Even the Capt. our snorkel tour (who had only been on the island for a month) said don’t bother going into town. If I had to do again, I’d probably sign up for the dune buggy trip to see the island. The beach where the ship docked was nice, but did find a few pieces of window glass in it-not good for the feet!

Day 4 (Half Moon): Rain-Raining in the morning- Was told over the PA that passengers could just go directly to the tenders and not have to wait for a number and due to the weather all shore excursions were cancelled. My son and I decided to go ashore anyway and snorkel (fish don’t care if its raining!) We saw some fish off the beach, but not many-one person did say they say a ray. After about an hour on shore it started lightening and so we went up to one of the little bars and had a drink. All of the shops, with the exception of the main store were closed, so we just sat and waited. After about a half hour the rain slowed down and it looked like it was going to clear up a little, so we decided to go back to the boat to get my wife and other son. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and were getting ready to head back over and they announced that, as the sky was clearing, and the rain stopped, they were not allowing any more passengers on shore due rough seas. I don’t really buy that one, but it was very frustrating having to sit on the ship while those who had gone over already (which by that time were quite a few) could stay until the departure time. The sun even actually came out a little bit.

Day 5 (Nassau): Had pre-planned this one and got a room at the Comfort Suites in order to get the wrist bands for use at the Atlantis. Though it was cloudy again, and even sprinkled a bit as we got off the ship, this by far was the best thing we did. The water slides for the kids were great. We also did a little shopping, looked through the aquarium, and went snorkeling. We really could have used a lot more time here. The place is expensive, especially the food, but we felt in the end, it was worth it.

In general:

Food: The food I thought was ok. We ate at the buffet a few times, and ate in the dining room three of the nights. The dining room is actually very kid friendly, but again, just ok for the food. We did have great table mates, which helped. The father of the family we sat with is starting up his own cigar business in Kentucky (complete with people from the DR to roll them). Its called Kentucky Gentlemen and should be up on the web within the year-never knew how much went into the cigar business!

Shows: The shows we saw were good (Broadway, magic show, a game show) but crowed-get there early, like 45 mins. early to get a good seat.

Cleanliness: It seemed to me the longer the cruise went on the dirtier the ship got. Spills, glasses, and cups just left around on the stairs, in the elevator, etc. The crew worked hard, but it just seems that in general they were less impressive as the cruise went on. Extremely friendly though!!

Camp Carnival- Camp worked out great for everyone involved. The kids had a great time and we got small breaks from the kids. Love them, but with the not so great weather, we needed a break. The counselors were nice but strict, and were very rigid when it came to signing the kids in and out (having to show our sail and sign cards, and actually checking the signature each time), which made us feel good!

Overall: Would probably not go on a CCL cruise, as a family vacation again. We had fun, but it was not like-this was the best vacation ever or anything. The weather was less than ideal and though Camp Carnival was great, there are not a whole lot of things for kids to do when the weather was like it was. I think this would be better for singles and couples, and maybe families with older kids-this is just my opinion though. If ya’ll have any questions, I’d be happy to help out.

KOS

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One other thing-I think in Nassau, a group of 4 missed the boat. They paged these four girls just prior to us leaving (all from the same room), and then the ship left.

 

KOS

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Thanks for the review KOS! Sounds like you did your homework prior to your first cruise and were well prepared. The weather can really make or break a cruise. Our last cruise in January was pretty good except the weather which shortened our stay in Grand Cayman and Costa Maya. Of course they say a bad day at sea is better than a good day at work!:D

 

I would give Carnival another shot but on one of the new ships. A lot more stuff to do and see, even for the little ones. My kids are older and loved all the ships we have been on. The smaller ships and shorter cruises are popular with couples and the younger crowd.

 

My DW and I are going at the end of July with my sister and her husband. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for us!

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Hope your cruise goes well- We probably would have had a better time of it if the weather was a bit nicer-kind of like going to the mountains to go sking, but there's no snow. Anyway-maybe we'll try a different CCL ship next time-Thanks.

 

KOS

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Thanks for the review. I agree with cubdaddy try a newer ship. Our first cruise was on the Glory and had a blast!! We had such a good time we are going again. Thanks again.

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KOS, tell me about the Comfort Suites room. How much was it? How many wrist bands can you get? When you talked about the slides, did you get to use Atlantis' slides? Anything you can tell me would be great!! Thanks!!

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Hey,

 

The CS is about a block away from the Atlantis. We paid like $189 plus taxes and fees which came to about $226. We made the reservations in advance. So you go to the CS pay, and register. They will offer you room keys, but we opted not to take them (though you can bring your reciet back to the front desk to get them anytime during the day). Then they give you a registration card which you will have to show over at the Atlantis to get your wrist bands. To get the bands, you go to the towel stand closest to the Coral Tower and show them your card. It was me , my wife, and two boys (3 and 7) so we got 4 of them. From my understanding, you can get a maxium of 4 per room (then you'd have to book 2 rooms to get another one). Anyway once the bands are on, you have the run of the place. Security asked us once for a room key, but we just showed them our cards from the CS and she said ok (even though we had our wrist bands on).

There are three "adult" water slides in which you must be over 48" tall to ride and are located on a Mayam Pyramid looking structure. Two over them, one using tubes, and another that makes it seem like your about to fall off the face of the planet take you through glass enclosed tubes with real sharks swimming around them (though on the non tube ride, I had to keep my eyes closed for most of it because I was worried that my contacts were going to get washed out, also, make sure you keep you legs crossed:) ) The other one one the pyramid is actually a set of slides where you can race some one down to the bottom-takes between 4-5 seconds, but fun!

The kiddie slides are all over, and dump into various pools.

There is also a new (we were there 3 years ago and it wasn't built yet) kiddie area (that even my 7 year old loved) that has smaller twisty slides, and water guns, buckets of water that dump on you, and every 10 minutes or so, a huge amount of water is dumped on the whole area by a big bucket-really great fun!!! Our only complaint was that we wish we had more time there (we also walked through the aqurium, and my 7 yr old and I went snorkeling in the lagoon there.

Now the down side (always has to be one of those) The food at the Atlantis is pricey!!!! For the 4 of us for lunch it came to $68 (the automatically add the 15% tip on) But honestly-if you look at the cost of doing some of the other excursions its not that much more to do the Atlantis (heck the 4 of us went and saw "Cars" yesterday and with snacks that came to almost $35. Point being for us I thought it was worth the money, we had a great time, the kids had a great time, and we could stay there as long as we were able. Which we had to be back at the ship at 2:30 and we left the Atlantis at 2:00-would not cut it any closer than that, because we got to the ship and a line at 2:30. Anyway-sorry this is so long-if you have any other questions let me know-good luck!!!

 

KOS

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Thanks for the great reply. There's a lot of us and I figured there was a limit. My husband wants to just stay on the ship that day as we've been to Nassau several times. I'm just looking for a cheap way to get to a beach. Did you do five day or four day? I didn't think the ship left that early from Nassau. I need to check on that.

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We did the 5 day Fantasy-it rained, or was cloudy much of the time so we (with 2 kids) needed off the ship for awhile. The ship leaves at 3 but they tell everyone to be back at 2:30 at the latest-and they do leave at 3. Beach wise-I think there are a couple of excellent ones nearby, maybe Cabbage-there's a lady on the Nassau post named like surfgirl or surfergirl who lives in Nassau and knows a lot about the area so you may want to address a post to her-anyway-glad I could help!

 

KOS

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KOS: Do you have any contact information on the Comfort Suites. We would love to use the Atlantis. This is exactly what we wanted.

 

Thanks,

Lyn

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