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Caribbean Buckeye

Fantasy Review (6/15 - 6/19)

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Okay, I'm going to do this cruise review a little different. First, I'll let you know a little bit about me so you can tell whether or not you would relate to my take on the cruise. Briefly, my wife and I are both in our mid-30's and we traveled without our young children. We're from Columbus, Ohio and cruised on the Carnival Fantasy (June 15-19). Needless to say, this was a much-needed break and we were going to enjoy ourselves, pretty much regardless of the circumstances.

That being said, we had an absolutely fantastic time. This is going to be the longest review you've ever read so read as little or as much as you like. Quite frankly, I enjoy reminiscing about the Cruise b/c it was so good, so I don't really care who reads what. Still, if you enjoy it, great. Here we go:

Airport / Transfer: Our flight arrived on-time in Orlando and a driver from Elegance Transportation met us in baggage claim. A very good car service (Lincoln Town Car) but for some reason, they thought we were on a Disney Cruise. Luckily, I said something to him before we got to the port and he took us right up to where the porters take your luggage. We paid $218 for the round-trip car service, which includes a 20% gratuity. I still gave the guy $10 each time we got out of the car b/c I feel funny not tipping a driver, even when the tip is supposed to be included. Probably unnecessary but it was vacation so I was feeling generous anyway.

Embarkation: This went fast and easy once we found the correct entrance to the building. There's a door that is marked as an entrance for passengers at the end of the building closest to where you give your luggage to the porter. This was locked, but since we got there before 11 am, we and everyone else figured they hadn't started accepting passengers yet. A huge line formed near this door until a Port Canaveral employee came out and asked us all to go down to the far end of the building where there was another entrance. At this point, there was probably a couple hundred people waiting but things went really quickly. Just be sure to have your paperwork (especially the Bahamas port form) filled out before you start. Have your passport or photo ID / Birth Certificate out and ready as well. My completed "Fun Pass" was never requested or mentioned, but I'm guessing they found out I had already completed this when they pulled up my name. 20-25 minutes after we entered the building, we were being welcomed aboard.

Thanks to many recommendations on this board, we knew exactly what to do when we were first on board. Since the doors were closed leading to the cabins, we couldn't yet drop off our carry-on luggage. First we went to the spa and booked a couples massage (more on that later). We also inquired about Dani (daughter of some CC members who recently left the ship) and they spoke fondly of her. She's also from Ohio so it was a connection for us.

It was still early so we still couldn't talk to the maitre d'. We did finally see him around 2 pm to change our seating assignment from a booth to a table near the window. They had originally booked us in a 6 person booth (3 on each side) where my wife was probably going to be sandwiched between strangers. The table we had was great but only 4 people showed up at our 8-person table. Our tablemates were two guys who didn't know each other and were each traveling alone. I can't imagine taking a cruise alone but they both said they just needed a vacation and booked it last minute. Very nice guys I must say. We had kind of hoped they would book us at a table with some other young couples so we'd have more in common. Probably our fault for changing the table though. Still, great people, great view next to the window. Can't complain!

Between the spa and the maitre d', we checked into our room, met our room attendant (Benny), toured the ship, took some photos, and headed up for our first drink. The foo foo drink they were peddling was something orange so I instead ordered a Bushwacker in one of the plastic souvenir glasses. It's best to get one of these early b/c refills are bigger than the regular drinks. If you don't have a souvenir glass, they charge you approx. the same price as a refill but you get your drink in a smaller plastic cup. They'll wash the souvenir cup for you between uses so you can order different drinks each time. We used ours off and on throughout the entire trip and it paid off!

Secret Door: One of the first places I wanted to check out when we got on the ship was the deck at the front of the ship, only accessible by the "secret door" I'd heard so much about on here. Sure enough, it was in the Universal lounge, all the way to the front near the stage, on the side. One warning: Because passengers rarely use this door, they don't have one of those wooden ramps on either side of the high threshhold. All the exterior doors on the ship have this high threshhold, presumably to prevent water from washing in if there's water on deck. Probably a nautical engineering thing. I didn't expect it, so I literally stumbled out onto this deck. Watch your step. Nothing special here. In fact, we never went back b/c there was never an shortage of quiet, unoccupied deck space around the ship. It was always easy to find somewhere to look at the water and enjoy a drink without people around. Usually, this was the side of the ship near the life boats.

Cabin: The cabin was perfect for us. We had an ocean view room in the center of the ship (E151) on the Empress deck. This is a great deck to be on b/c it's on the same level as the purser's desk & shore excursion desk. It's also only one level below the dining rooms so getting places was fast and easy. It was only a few decks up to the Ledo so we used the stairs the entire trip and never had to wait for an elevator. The room was always clean and offered plenty of room for 2 adults. By the way, the A/C thermostat is on the ceiling near the center of the cabin. That took me a couple of minutes to find, but hopefully some of you future-cruisers will read this and find it right away. We tipped Benny some extra cash at the end of the trip, instead of the beginning. The pre-cruise $20 handshake was altogether unnecessary b/c he was on top of things the whole time. He even sent us a gift (a Carnival beach towel) for some reason. This was a real colorful one, different from the ones they give you with the cabin ($22 if you lose them). Maybe b/c I was a past guest but I'm really not sure. He kept us supplied with ice in the ice bucket, but the one time we needed more, we called room service and they had a large bucket delivered within 10 minutes. Bon Voyage had delivered a bottle of champagne and we needed extra ice to chill it down. I also had them deliver a bottle of Crown Royal and a six-pack of Coke which was also waiting on us when we got there. Nice to have in the room. I always had a couple of cocktails before dinner and sometimes took a glass with me when I went up on deck.

Food: We found the food to be excellent. Lunch on the Ledo deck was nice. As everyone says, the hamburgers are good. It's not hard to make a good hamburger though. Anytime you hear someone say "they've got a really good hamburger" when referring to a restaurant, it means they couldn't think of anything better to say about it. If you want to change it up a little, bypass the outdoor burger station on deck and go into Windows by the Sea. They had many more things to choose from, including some nice desserts. This is also where the Pizza place can be found. The pizza was good but nothing special if you're from a place where they have really good pizza. Thin crust, decent sauce, nice variety. No complaints about it though. 85% of the country would say the pizza was excellent. I guess it's not fair to expect New York or Chicago style pizza on a Cruise ship.

Breakfast: Windows by the Sea is also where you get the breakfast buffet every morning (if you don't eat in the dining room). Pretty much the same, good selection every day. I think they actually fixed the runny egg problem some have mentioned. The eggs were fresh and fluffy. The only variation I saw was some mornings they had French toast, others they had pancakes. Every day they had great hash browns, sausage, bacon, fruit, and pastries. There's also an omelet station too if you feel like waiting a bit. When you eat at Windows by the Sea, don't settle for an indoor table. If you go to the very back of this room, you'll find doors to the outside at either side. These doors lead to small, outdoor deck areas with tables and chairs. Remarkably, there were always tables available so we got to have breakfast outside every day. I honestly don't think most people knew about these areas since they're so far back in the dining room. I guess most people would get their food and find the nearest seat. Oh, and you can buy a cappuccino at the bar in the back too. It's connected to the pizza station.

Dinners were really good too. The first night I had an aged, peppercorn filet, which they cooked exactly to my specs. Can you believe they cooked it rare??? Usually, I order it rare and they still bring it medium rare. Much praise to the guy cooking the steaks. Everyone who had a steak said it was cooked correctly! The other nights also offered some good selections but sometimes I couldn't find anything to get excited about. Once again, thanks to this board, I knew I could order a filet mignon, even if it wasn’t on the menu that night. The appetizers were always good, as were the desserts. One problem with the salads but nothing big. They often showed a "mixed field greens" salad of some sort but it still was always iceberg lettuce. Not sure how that's a field green but no biggy. Overall, you'd have to be a total food snob to dislike the food served in the dining room each night. Very good quality.

Our dining room service was excellent, as expected. Ari and Sonja were on top of things from start to finish. After I ordered a dirty martini the first night, they asked if I'd order one again the next night. Sure enough, they had one waiting on me every evening when we sat down. It's a good thing b/c beverage service is very slow in the dining room when you first sit down. Hundreds of people ordering complicated drinks all at once. After they get through that initial rush, service improves significantly. Our beverage waiter, Ketut, seemed to be everywhere we went. He was on deck, in the dining room, at the cappuccino bar, everywhere. He remembered us and took good care of us all the time. I usually gave him a dollar each time he brought me a drink so he'd remember me. We also ordered a nice bottle of wine on the 2nd night which my wife drank slowly over the next 3 dinners. Each night, they stored and chilled our Chardonnay and brought it out the next night.

 

Port 1 – Nassau: I've been waiting to tell you all about this. It's absolutely beautiful but shopping in that straw market is an experience in itself. It is the hottest, most crowded place on earth. Probably 100 degrees in the shade and packed with stand after stand that sell the exact same things: carvings, knock-off purses, straw purses and other hand-made trinkets. As you work your way (elbow to elbow) through this sauna, every single peddler asks what you need, what you want. They're all willing to give you "very good price." Kinda stressful really but here's a tip to help you out. The other stores around Nassau, and the street vendors for that matter, sell the same stuff for the same price or cheaper. We bargained for a picture frame in the straw market down to $15. We later found it in a regular store for $13 with no haggling. Visit the straw market but don't buy there.

Went to Senor Frogs next and had a banana dacquiri. It's right next to the straw market and has air conditioning so it's not a bad place to sit down and rest. We also went up a little alley and found a place up some stairs where we could make calls to the states for $2 (up to 6 minutes). Much cheaper than the phone cards.

Just before 1:00 pm, we went to the dock outside the straw market to wait for the Booze Cruise. They were supposed to pick us up at 1:00 pm. This is a 3rd party excursion we read about on the Bahamas board. We had almost given up on them when they finally showed up to pick us up at 1:40 pm. At first, we were kind of pissed that they were so late b/c we thought it would cut into our snorkeling/partying time on the boat. That didn't turn out to be the case since they dropped us off over an hour past when we were supposed to get back. Moral: Don't book this excursion if you're going to be cutting it close on time getting back to the boat. Luckily, we had a 2 hour window after the it was supposed to get back.

Overall, this was a really good excursion with only a couple minor problems. The snorkeling was almost an hour in length. They took us to a nice reef, close to shore, which had plenty of coral and colorful fish, especially after they threw some cereal in the water. After the snorkeling, they opened the bar, cranked up the music, and served lunch. Great lunch consisting of barbecue ribs & chicken with a side of red beans and rice. Very tasty. The staff was very curt. The only really outgoing, friendly person on board seemed to be the DJ. Despite what they told me when I booked the excursion, the included bar DID NOT included beer. The free drinks were 3 types of rum punch and rum & Cokes. Beers were pricy at $4 each.

After lunch, they took us to a private little island. As soon as we anchored, 4 guys (unrelated to the Booze Cruise) came in on wave runners for rent. The Booze Cruise announcer discouraged people from renting them and notified everyone they wouldn't be liable to injuries incurred on the wave runners. Of course, I had to ride the wave runner. Here's another warning to you: First of all, these are extremely expensive. They start at $60 / half hour and then let you bargain down to $50. Notice that these guys don't even have a watch. How were they going to know how long 30 minutes is??? After maybe 20 minutes, they waved me in. Be sure to show them you are timing it before you go out. Everyone was arguing, even the people with watches. These guys didn't care, they just wanted to get the next rider on and collect another $50. After I got off, the guy had the nerve to ask for a tip! I told him no way. $50 for 20 minutes would have to be good enough. He mumbled that I "wasn't a nice guy" and quickly moved onto the next sucker. Again, these guys were not with the Booze Cruise and the Booze Cruise warned us not to lease the wave runners. I thought they were covering their own butts but they were really making a good suggestion.

After an hour on the island, we cruised around for a long time while people got boozed and danced to the DJ music. It was really a good time but people got waaaaaay drunk. One group off college students carried their friend off the ship and he collapsed on the beach at their drop-off location. He still wasn't up when we pulled out of sight.

All in all, a really good excursion for $55 per person. Snorkeling, lunch, beach, free drinks, dancing, etc... You can make your own decision after reading this.

We finished some shopping in Nassau after that. Liquor is incredibly cheap in port so we bought 4 bottles. Don't buy anything but the Bahamian Rum though. Everything else is even cheaper on the ship. You can get 2 liters of Crown Royal, delivered to you on the last night of the cruise, for $32.95. Fantastic!

Port 2 – Half Moon Cay: This is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. The sand is white and soft, and the water is crystal clear. Tendering is no problem at all unless you want to be one of the first people on the island. Just wait until 10 or 11 am (after breakfast) and there's little or no line.

We booked the Wave Runner (I think they call it the Aqua Trax tour) tour excursion for this island. It was a very beautiful tour but not exactly what they advertised. It is said to be 50 minutes but they don't tell you that includes the 25 minutes of transportation to and from the beach where they keep the wave runners. We were only on the wave runners for 25 minutes and they had them governored way down to run much slower than usual. The tour was single file and you're kind of at the mercy of the slowest rider in the tour. If someone doesn't feel comfortable going full throttle, you have to go slower or keep stopping to let them catch up. I have to tell you that I've never seen a guy in his 20's from Brooklyn scared of anything, let alone a wave runner. This dude refused to go fast. He was just so timid on that thing, it was frustrating to us. The other side of Half Moon Cay is completely unoccupied and it's even more beautiful than the front of the island. Regardless of what you do on HMC, be sure to book an excursion just to see the other side of the island. After getting back on the ship, we went to the purser's desk to tell them about the excursion time being only half what was advertised. In the glorious Carnival tradition of conflict resolution, the lady at the purser's desk apologized and said there was nothing more she could do except report our comments. Oh well. Still, with all that, I would probably do it again.

After the wave runners, I snorkeled for 2 hours off the public beach. I've seen people on here say there is nothing to see on this beach but they obviously didn't know where to go. If you're standing on the beach, looking out at the ship, go to the rock wall on the left. This rock wall descends into some really nice reefs. Where the real reefs end, they've built some man-made reefs too. I saw so much on these reefs. Dazzling corals and lots of fish. One huge grouper that was a little shy but fun to swim next to. Sometimes, you just have to be patient when you're snorkeling. Go up to any reef that has hiding places and just float over top of it. The fish and shrimp will eventually start to peek out to see if you're a threat. Give them space and they'll resume their natural habits. The feather duster corals also come out if you wait. Just beautiful. My wife rented a float for $6 which was great for her. She pretty much just floated

Finally, HMC had a great bar. Limited selection of drinks available but very good. Everything charged to your S&S card. In all, I can't say enough good things about this island. Better than most ports you'll visit from a relaxation and beauty standpoint.

Back on the ship that night, it was the deck party. This was a really good time too. The reggae band, Detour, was really entertaining and the night was great for a deck party. During their intermission, they had a lip-sync competition. For any of you that were on this trip, my wife was the 2nd woman, who sang R-E-S-P-E-C-T. They chose 3 women. One under 25, one 26-35, and one 36-?. She was the one in the middle who got dragged up there. When she agreed to go on, they didn't say what kind of a competition it was. She thought it was going to be one of those competitions where it's guys vs. girls and they ask the girls guy-questions and guys girl-questions. When they said lip-sync, she contemplated running. She went through with it and emerged embarrassed but unscathed. The winner was the older gal. She was a heavyset Mom who sang "Like a Virgin." She started by peeling the banana and then started shaking her booty. Really, how are you gonna compete with something that hilarious? The crowd loved her!

At Sea Day: This is the day we were scheduled at the spa. We got a "Couples Massage." I signed up for a 50 minute full-body massage while my wife got the 25 minute massage and 25 minute facial. Both ladies did a great job but the price made me think twice about doing it again. The price was $242 plus gratuity (another $35). What made it worse was the consultation afterward. Honestly, I had no idea why my masseuse was talking to me afterward. She was just telling me to stretch before lifting weights and covered some things about places I had tension. The reason she was talking to me was to distract me from the sales job they were putting on my wife! LOL This was hilarious when I look back b/c I can just see these two ladies planning it. "Okay, you distract husband while I sell to wife." As you would expect, my wife spent another $100 in facial treatments they used on her. She didn't even ask how much they were! I didn't really care though. I easily outspent my wife on wave runners and alcohol throughout the trip. It was her vacation too and that's what she wanted so what the heck. Still, almost $400 in the spa nearly doubled my S&S balance.

After the massage, we spent the afternoon on deck reading and drinking frozen drinks. At about 3:30, we moved to the Sports Bar to watch the final round of the U.S. Open. I can't believe Phil Mickelson blew it but I had a great seat next to the window and the tournament was being broadcast throughout the bar on 45" Plasma screens. I can't remember having a better time watching a golf tournament. Oh, and I switched to 16 oz. Grolsch at that point. On deck, they pour them into cups. Down here, you can drink out of the big green flip-top bottle.

Well, that's about it. If you made it this far, I congratulate you. If nothing else, maybe you killed some time at work and are that much closer to going home for the day. If you found this to be a complete waste of time, I couldn't care less.

If you have any questions, be sure to post them and I'll reply. Though I seriously doubt anyone could possibly want to know anything more about my trip. Also, I'm very bitter about my trip being over and am insanely jealous of those who still have their Cruise yet to come. Still, Happy Sailing!

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How was the condition of the ship?

 

As for changing your table, that could be why, as you noted that you didn't "match" your table mates better. I do think they spend sometime trying to match the initial seating and when you change it's not so easy.

 

On the Inspiration we ended up with an 8:30pm seating that was way too late. We asked to change and it worked well. We did have a booth for 6 but the other couples were around our age. We changed seats every night and it was fine! I prefer sit across from my DH anyway. We sat guy/girl/guy and girl/guy/girl, sometimes all the guys on one side and the ladies on the other, etc...

 

Usually if you've filled out your Fun Pass before you send final payment it is noted in your docs, at least it's always been in mine.

 

As for the length of the review, I love reading reviews....the longer the better!!!! Thanks!

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I made it through, and very well written.

My only comments questions...

Pizza - You can only get New York pizza in NY, Chicago in Chicago, California Pizza in Cali, so yeah anyone expecting that would not get that. Cruise ship pizza is it's own thing.

Dining Seating - I bet (I'm curious) that they probably had you seated with other couples your own age at your original table. Did you ever look back there and see who was seated there?

Cabin location - You were under the galley. Some people report noise in under the galley cabins. Sounds like your was pretty quiet?

Other than that, an all around extremely informative review, and it sounds like you had a great cruise!

CJW

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I was on the same cruise. Did different things. Had an awesome time. Tired and still sunburned. Happy trails! Good review!!

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Ship condition was fine. The carpeting in the cabin hallways had a permanent stain down the one side on our deck but still looked clean. It may have been old water damage or something. The rest of the ship looked extremely good. They were contantly cleaning and polishing different parts throughout.

 

CJM: Great question about being under the galley. I had meant to mention that but forgot. No noise at night to disturb your sleep. We had a late seating for dinner and never got back to the cabin before midnight. By then, I guess they had finished whatever they needed to do. A good amount of banging and dragging during the early evening hours. We took a nap one evening around 6 pm (just before first seating) and there was a lot of activity. Still, not enough to keep us from falling asleep. We're early risers too so about the time we got up in the morning there was some noise too. Not as much as the evening though.

 

As for not being able to get New York style pizza outside of New York. There are a lot of transplanted New Yorkers with pizza shops here who would take exception to that. We've even got one pizza shop owned by a guy from Sicily. Talk about great pizza. You just have to stay away from Dominos, Pizza Huts and Papa Johns if you want the good stuff. Find a family restaurant with their own family recipes.

 

I'm not a fine food snob but I'll admit to being a Pizza snob. Oh, and a beer and liquor snob too. Wait, chicken wing snob also.

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Hi,

Thanks for such a detailed review. I'm booked for 9/2 and am getting excited! But, I just sailed on the Glory which I think is so beautiful and incredibly clean. It's a lot newer than the Fantasy - so how was the ship? Clean? Not shabby? It probably won't really matter, given enough boat drinks! But just curious.

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Great review! Filled us in on alot of things on the ship for us to look forward to on our Dec. cruise on the Fantasy out of New Orleans. Thanks for your time and work on your review.

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I'll be on the 7/13 cruise to the Bahamas on the Fantasy!!!

 

I am jealous yours has already happened so I can imagine your pain to have to leave the ship and then endure the heartwrenching good-time posts/reviews to come! I am so excited about my upcoming cruise that I can burst. We have less than 3 weeks almost before my two best buds and I see and experience what you have!

 

Thanks for the helpful tips on the wave runners, as we're also planning to do a possible excursion in HMC. We're ages 28-32, so we're sure to enjoy some of the same things!

 

I do have some questions for you if you don't mind answering when you get a chance....

 

1) Was Dani still on the Fantasy in the spa? I remember reading her mom's posts about her being on the ship and I saw where you asked, but not really clear if she's still working there.

 

2) How was the nightlife on the ship? The disco, piano bar, etc., did you happen to check any of those out?

 

3) The alley near Senor Frogs where you paid only $2 for up to 6 minutes to call to the States, did you happen to remember the name of the place?

 

4) We received an upgrade to the Empress deck (E166) and I know that it's near the galley, did you experience any noise?

 

5) What seating did you have for the dining room? We are doing the late seating because we plan to have plenty of time in the ports and also plan to stay up pretty late.

 

Thanks in advance for answering these at your convenience. This will be my 2nd cruise, my two best bud's first, so I want to make sure we take advantage of as much as possible. I will remember to buy only ONE souvenir glass and keep it the whole trip and get refills. I think DH and I spent way too much money on our S&S cards last trip and I don't want to make the same mistake since I don't want to pack those souvenir cups anyway!

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We were also on this cruise. Our 1st. Didn't know what to expect, just that we knew we wanted to relax. Didn't book any excursions, basically winged it.

 

Thanks to this message board, we did learn alot before boarding. Our family, husband, daughter (17) her boyfriend (17) & our son (12). We had 2 room-both upper deck right near the elevator-inside cabins-Didn't hear 1 bit of noise from the elevators. Service was wonderful. Tai our steward kept ice in our soda cooler everyday. My poor daughter dropped a ring down the drain but the plumber was up immediately & retrieved it. Didn't get his name, but THANKS! That took all of 5 minutes maybe.

 

Embarkation was a breeze. We live an hour from the Port, so we were on board with the orange drink (I took 4 sips) in hand by 12:15. Sat at the lido deck, ate lunch. Then went to check out our cabins & they were done. So we dropped off our stuff & went to explore.

 

We had to change our dining time from 8 to 5:45 (we actully had signed on for the 6:15, but it was no big deal. Shared a table with a nice family from Virginia-also they're 1st cruise. You have to have an open mind when it comes to the diner menu. Think creative. Had the lamb the 1st night, it was fantastic. Had the lobster tail & as said before in previous reviews it was tough. Also had the won ton soup appetizer. If you like chinese food won ton soup, then don't order this. You will be disappointed. But over all the food was very good. Edgardo & Monika were wonderful servers & knew our preferences.

 

We did see some of the shows-opening night & the comedians both adult & regular. Wasn't into the glitzy Vegas shows. Spent a lot of time & money in the casinos. The kids spent most of their time taking & buying pictures. Son spent his time in the extremely hot arcade. If you're planning on taking 2 way radio's don't bother. I knew where everyone elses kids were except mine.

 

Nassau-We did hit the straw market (you kind of have to) bought the crappy "t" shirts (4/$10) I did buy a huge straw bag in a shop off the beaten path for less than at the straw market & they were impressed with it. Daughter bought a knock off-but I won't tell her that (why burst her bubble). We took a taxi to Paradise Island to the public beach. Daughters boyfriend did the ripoff jet ski ride $50.00 for 35 minutes (20 at the most) & half that time he was stalled. His money, not mine thank goodness.

 

Half Moon-so beautiful-despite the 1 downpour. we rented snorkel gear & mats. Daughters boyfriend once again did the jetski. Definetly got his moneys worth this time. Tendering was no problem. Never had to wait in line. Just a relaxing day at the beach. Loved watching the water fowl join us for lunch.

 

Sea day-pool all day. & more exploring. Played bingo, was runner up in the commercial slogan trivia game. Played with a woman (didn't get her name) who is addicted to cruise critic. So if you're out there HI!. She let me take a picture with the ship on a stick. Thanks again.

 

The only dissapointing thing was our mistake-We thought our room steward told us to put our wet beach towels in the hall & he would replace them. Come the morning, he said he was short 3 towels. Another $66.00 tacked onto the S&S card. Whoever out there has those towels, I hope you enjoy them.

 

Overall we had a fantastic time, and are planning a 7 night cruise next year for our 20th anniversary.

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Dani is back home in Ohio. Her mom was talking about trying to find her an apartment...

 

I was on the Fantasy 5/27 - 6/1...nightlife was pretty good...DH and I were always able to find something to do. We never went to the Disco though...the couple of times we looked in and it wasn't crowded, but that might have been 'cause it was still to early. We'd wind up getting distracted by something/somewhere else...Cat's (Kat's ?) Lounge was good when the live band was performing...We did the late seating (Jubilee, 8:00) and it worked out great for us. If any of you future cruisers get Thomson as your waiter, you'll have a great time! He (and his asst.) are wonderful! Oh, and by a drink from Dante at the Atrium bar if he's still there...he was coming up on a two month vacation, so he might already be gone.:(

 

The Fantasy was in great condition when we were on it. You could see some stains on the carpet in the hallways where the cabins were but other than that it was beautiful....I'll try to post some pics in just a little bit but to give ya'll a general idea....

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4) We received an upgrade to the Empress deck (E166) and I know that it's near the galley, did you experience any noise?

Great question about being under the galley. I had meant to mention that but forgot. No noise at night to disturb your sleep. We had a late seating for dinner and never got back to the cabin before midnight. By then, I guess they had finished whatever they needed to do. A good amount of banging and dragging during the early evening hours. We took a nap one evening around 6 pm (just before first seating) and there was a lot of activity. Still, not enough to keep us from falling asleep. We're early risers too so about the time we got up in the morning there was some noise too. Not as much as the evening though.

post #7;)

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What is the "Bahamas port form"? I have to look at my doc's again, but I don't recall one of those in there. We'll be on the Fantasy next week :D

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was folded around the luggage tags. Don't worry if you didn't get one though...they have them at the terminal when you check in.:)

 

Enjoy your cruise!!!!!!:D

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I'll try to anser all the questions so far in one post, but I think some of them have already been addressed.

 

The boat is really clean. No obvious signs of age. Really clean and recently updated. Like one of my fellow cruisers said, you can see some stains on the hall carpet near the cabins on the Empress deck but if you're not on the starboard side of that deck, you might not even see it. Heck, for all I know, they had just finished steam-cleaning the hallway and the carpet hadn't dried yet. It had a stain but it still looked really clean. Does that make sense? In all, don't worry about cleanliness or age of this ship. It's nice. In fact, the bars and public areas looked new. There are plasma screens everywhere so it has a nice modern feel.

 

As someone else already said, Dani is no longer on the Fantasy. Leaving was entirely her decision. After mentioning her name in the spa, our masseuses spoke at length about her departure. I'll respect her privacy with regards to the exact details, but I should say everyone spoke very highly of Dani. Cruise employment just isn't for everyone. There are opportunities in the United States that far exceed those available in other countries. That's why you see so many people in other countries occupying the jobs on the ship. It may seem glamorous to work on a cruise ship but those people work 7 days a week usually. Their reward is a half-day off each cruise. During our cruise, each crew member got a half-day off. Can you even imagine that?

 

Nightlife: Really great. Too many options to choose from. We didn't go in the disco but that was b/c we never got to it. Karaoke was hilarious. The host was really good and reminded me of Tom Green. Turns out, he was the guy who did our muster drill on deck. As the announcements were taking place, he was mouthing the words being broadcasted over the loudspeaker and doing physical comedy of what they might look like. It kept us attentive yet entertained. Our muster station was on the Ledo deck near the pool. Lucky us!

 

The piano bar (Cleopatra's) was also great. We only spent one night there but I'd go back there in a heartbeat if I had time. The guy was talented and entertaining, but predictable. I know I heard Billy Joel's "Piano Man" coming from that place every night I walked by. But I'm sure that's b/c he was taking requests. I really liked the setup though. They had a huge table build around the piano. Everyone sat in a giant circle facing the piano.

 

I'm thinking the name of the place where we made the $2 phone calls was "The Internet Cafe." The alley entrance was left of the straw market if you have your back to the water. Senor frogs, the straw market and the alley are all next to each other. Just look for a sign on the end of the alley which advertises calls to the States.

 

Noise in cabin 166? See my reply earlier, as CJW said. You're on the port side of the ship instead of the starboard like us though. You may have entirely diffent noises though. What was above us may be different than what will be above you.

 

By the way, I've been meaing to address the issue of ship rocking. Everyone has always talked about having a room in the middle of the ship to minimize the rocking. That's really odd though. The ships movement was more right/left, not forward/backward. To me, it wouldn't matter where you're room was if the ship is rocking right/left. Maybe there was some forward/backward rocking, but that's not what it felt like. Still, we didn't experience anything dramatic this time. Occasionally, you could feel it, but to me it was just fun. I actually liked it b/c it would remind me I was on a boat when I wasn't up on deck

 

Finally, late seating is the way to go. If we had an early seating, that Booze Cruise would have been a problem b/c we would have missed dinner. Early seating is better for people who have kids or go to sleep early. Late seating lets you nap off the afternoon buzz, wake up, shower and emerge fresh for the night's activities.

 

Keep 'em coming guys. I'll answer anything you ask. Also, thanks for the props on the review. Nice to know I didn't waste my time writing it.

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What is the "Bahamas port form"? I have to look at my doc's again, but I don't recall one of those in there. We'll be on the Fantasy next week :D

 

It's an official looking form, much like the customs one you get before you debark the ship. I hope you find it. There were so many people crowded around those desks filling them out at Port Canaveral. We were able to skip ahead of all of them b/c we had ours ready to go.

 

Don't worry if you can't find it thought. Just get there early when crowds aren't a big problem. You can still show up, fill it out, and be on the ship in less than 45 minutes if you get there early.

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I'm going on Fantasy on July 13 and your review was very informative, very entertaining, and I can't wait. I, and 5 other moms, are taking 9 18-year olds and we can't wait...should be a blast! Thanks so much for your thorough review...:)

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Thanks for answering my last question. I have another. Does Carnival provide lunch at Half Moon Cay or do we have to buy it at the beach?

 

Thanks again

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Thanks for a great review,,, loved it. We will be visiting her ( Fantasy ) in October when she comes to Nola. Thanks again

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Thanks for answering my last question. I have another. Does Carnival provide lunch at Half Moon Cay or do we have to buy it at the beach?

 

Thanks again

 

There is a huge buffet lunch that is provided by the ships crew on Half moon. Just have to pay for your sodas, beers-etc. Hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken, that kind of stuff.

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Great Review Caribbean Buckeye!! You helped me relive my cruise from last month! Glad you had a great time! I can't wait to go on another one.

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I really enjoyed your review. I am leaving in 1 week for the Fantasy and can hardly wait. Our cabin is going to be right next to where you were so I am glad to hear that there is not alot of noise.

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