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Fantasy Review 7/4/04 to 7/8/04


hill6

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Grab a chair this is a long and hopefully detailed review you have been waiting for. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. I will pics up in the next few days.

 

We took the Carnival Fantasy 4 night cruise from July 4-8, 2004 and absolutely loved it. We booked the cruise in February 2004 after receiving an offer to do a Marriott timeshare in Orlando for 4 nights. We looked at our calendars and booked it for June 30th to July 8th.

 

Flights: We flew Continental both ways out of Newark to Orlando. They hand screened our lead lined camera bag in Newark. Our flights both left late but arrived early. In fact we changed our return flight at Orlando to be an earlier flight due to the efficiency of the debarkation process (more on that later).

 

Disney: We have been to Disney quite a few times and mainly did our favorite rides. This is much easier due to the Fastpass System they have in place that gives you return times to ride the rides and avoid waiting in line. It rained every day there and it wasn’t the 20 minute Florida thunderstorms but ones that lasted a few hours. One storm caught us on the miniature golf course on Disney property. They came running out to get us off the course as the lighting strikes were right on Disney property. I read the next day that there were over 5,000 lightening strikes that day. Overall had a great time and would do it again in a heartbeat.

 

Trip to Port Canaveral and Embarkation: We drove our Avis rental car to the drop off in Port Canaveral without incident. They had a bus fill up and leave just as we arrived. We waited maybe 15 minutes for them to return and reload. They have new buses and not 15 passenger vans anymore so they are able to do more luggage and passengers at a time. We got dropped off right at a porter at the pier. After checking our bags we waited in the security lines to get in the pier. Then up the escalator to the Skipper’s Club. They unfortunately had only one woman in there working to check in all the passengers. She had seven families ahead of us and it took about 35 minutes to check in. Apparently a lot of people never completed their fun pass and she had to manually type in the info. After getting our Sail and Sign (they have new cards with a Red, White and Blue color scheme) and our room keys we went through another security checkpoint and had our embarkation photos taken. Total time since arriving at the pier was maybe 50 minutes. It was about 1:20 at this point.

 

Booking Shore Tours: The Fantasy does not have Funvision that allows you to book your tours from your TV so you have to fill out the papers and drop them in the box either at the Shore Tour desk (they were accepting reservations when we arrived) or wait until the shore tour lecture later on. Since we had done our research before arriving I stopped and filled out the paper as soon as we got on board. We had our tickets before we sailed for both tours we wanted. So do your research early.

 

Cabin: Since we had gotten such a great deal on our Disney portion of the trip we splurged and got a Category 12 cabin. Our Cabin Number was U111. The cabin was huge in fact our neighbors were very jealous of it compared to their inside cabin. The cabin had plenty of storage space. We had a walk in closet with space on both sides to hang items. There were about 5 shelves in the closet along with the safe. You program in your own 4 digit code in the safe and you don’t have to use a credit card to open it. The cabin had lots of dark finishes and had the new duvet on the bed along with a gold bed spread. There was a mirror and shelf behind the bed along with light switches for all the lights in the room. My daughter told me I turned the lights on one night while sleeping so be careful. There was a glass wall divider between the bed and the couch. The couch folded out to be our daughter’s bed that was made up each night. The cabin also had a balcony that was about 3 foot wide by about 10 feet long. We had two white plastic chairs, plastic table, and plastic lounge chair on it. There is not a glass wall on the balcony like on the newer ships but a metal wall. It was wonderful.

 

The bathroom was kind of strange though. We had a tub in the bathroom that was raised up off the floor. I am 5’ 9” and I only had about 3” clearance before hitting the ceiling and it was a little tricky to climb in and out of. It also looked like it may not have been replaced in the remodeling since it looked like it was well worn and we had a light missing above the shower so it was a little dark in the shower with the dark brown shower curtain. The vanity was a dark brown finish and there were 4 shelves built into the wall to store stuff.

 

Dining: We ate dinner in the dining room 3 of the 4 nights. We had the 6:15 seating in the Celebration Dining Room at Table 149. It was a table for 6 and was one row away from the windows. Our team was Denis and Valentina. They were pretty good and kept our waters filled and came around several times each meal with bread. We sat with a family of 3 from Seminole, Florida. Our daughters (15 for mine and 12 for theirs) became friends and hung out together during the cruise. They have the pumpkin soup the first night, lobster and prime rib the second night. The last night they had filet mignon, roast turkey and French Onion soup. The food was very good and I was not disappointed by anything I ordered. We didn’t eat in the dining room the day we were in Nassau so I can’t tell you what they had then.

 

The Windows on the Sea is the Lido Deck restaurant. They have the buffet divided up compared to the Triumph and Glory as the salad bar is separate from the main area and they have tables set up where they serve you dessert.

 

The pizzeria is located in the back corner of the same room and seemed slower to me than the ones on the Triumph and Glory. The sandwich bar is located right next to the pizzeria. We didn’t have any sandwiches so I cannot report. But they did have the pickles on the counter and they were delicious.

 

They also had sushi each evening on the Promenade Deck during dinner hours. We didn’t have any either so I cannot report on it but it looked good as I watched the guy prepare it fresh for each customer.

 

Pool: Only used the pool and the deck chairs on our sea day. The hot tubs were loaded with about 10 little kids. No one told them to get out. There were deck chairs open all over the place with lots open up on the top deck away from the pool. Lots of drink service around the pool area so you will not go thirsty.

 

Freeport: We took the Pirates of the Bahamas shore tour here at $39 per person. We took a 20 minute bus ride to the beach and our tour guide told us a lot about the history of Grand Bahama Island and it was interesting. The beach was kind of small but it was enjoyable. When we arrived we got a complimentary rum punch. The tour included lunch of chicken, seasoned rice, and salad and fruit punch. All other drinks were not included but the prices were reasonable. They do have some shops set up at the front of the building but they were not pushy at all.

 

They have wave runners, parasailing and banana boat rentals there. My daughter and I did the banana boat at $10 per person. They take you down the beach quite a ways and they speed up if you don’t fall off. My daughter and I did not fall off until we were just about back at the starting point. The guy then helped us back onto the banana boat. After the tour we stayed on the ship and did not do any shopping.

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Here is the rest of it. It was too long for only one post.

 

Nassau: We booked the Pearl Island Treasure Hunt and Snorkel Tour at $99 per person. This may seem a little steep but it included lunch as well as all the rum punch or non alcoholic drinks including soda we wanted. We met on the pier and then were led to a boat along with the other Pearl Island tours (they separated us out by different wrist bands) for the 30 minute ride to the island. Our guide was very informative during the ride over and pointed out the celebrity homes (Bobby Bonds, Oprah, Tom Cruise and Nicholas Cage) on Paradise Island.

 

Pearl Island is absolutely beautiful. It is surrounded by gorgeous aqua green water. Our tour guide was Alex and after 10 minutes of punch consumption we headed over for our safety briefing and then it was into the water to hunt for conch shells (already cleaned out) or oysters. You are limited to one per person. Lots of people found conch shells and only two people found oysters and they got to keep the pearls that were found inside. After a lunch of hot dogs, burgers, bbq chicken, noodle salad, and salad we relaxed and waited the 30 minutes for our return boat ride. They do have a beach for you to use. Our tour allowed us to use the chairs free of charge while other tours were charged $5 per chair.

 

After returning to the boat we cleaned up and did some shopping before an early dinner at Senor Frogs. Sorry to disappoint you but we did not participate in Nassau night life but stayed on the ship instead and donated to the casino.

 

Debarkation: We booked Carnival transfers to the airport and we could not have been happier. We ate breakfast in the dining room and they announced to be in our debarkation spots by 8 a.m. Ours was at the Universe Lounge. They called our color (Green) at 8:20 a.m. as part of the first group and we went to the room and located our luggage (they have the room divided in two sections so they can call two colors at the same time). We located our luggage in a matter of minutes and had the porter take them out to the bus as we had booked Carnival Transfers back to the airport. We were on the bus by 8:30 a.m. and headed to Orlando airport by 8:40 a.m. We arrived at the airport by 9:25 a.m. and changed our flight from the 12:30 p.m. one to the 11:15 a.m. flight. It was the smoothest debarkation ever.

 

Final Thoughts:

 

1. The ship is beautiful but some spots still needed work like the bathroom in our cabin.

2. Why was the tub so far off the ground?

3. The casino was not generous to anyone we seen except for one guy who got a straight flush in 3 card poker who then walked away from the table.

4. Pizzeria needs another oven to keep up with the amount of pizza desired.

5. Loved the seating areas off the back of the Lido Deck to get food and sit out at night and eat in relative solitude.

6. Still got lost after 4 days on the ship. It is a completely different lay out than the Triumph or Glory.

7. Would I do it again…YES

8. What could have made it better?.....Another day at sea.

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Great review. After my first cruise on this ship back in the early nineties, I had no desire to cruise on her again but last year booked a last minute cruise for the July fourth holiday and was very suprised at how much she had changed for the better. She looked even better in November after her refurb. I am glad to see all of the neon removed from the atrium and promenade deck. You almost needed sunglasses when she first came out. Too bright.

 

I am surprised that they did not take care of the bathrooms in the suites as the regular cabins were totally redone from top to bottom including all hardware.

 

Glad that you enjoyed yourself and thanks again for sharing your review.

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Thanks for posting your review of Fantasy. We can't wait to go. The only questions I thought of in reading your review were, do they give you a map of the ship, can you get extras for the kids (hate to think of mine lost on this huge ship!) Also, which night is formal night??? Maybe I could tell by what you ate each night, but just wondering??? Thanks. When I think of more ?s I will let you know, as you are now my resident expert!!!:)

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Soon2bcruising

 

They have maps at the pursers desk and they hand you one when you board the ship. I went through a few of them. Also when you are by the elevators they have maps of the ship for you to reference.

 

One thing that drove me nuts was the fact that some of the elevators didn't go to all the decks. The one by our room didn't go to the Lido Deck it stopped one deck below.

 

Formal night was Monday night. Sunday was casual. Tuesday and Wednesday were casual but no shorts. Sunday was Pumpkin Soup, Chatieubriand, and Delicacies of the Sea (Shrimp, scallops in a cream sauce). Monday was Mushroom Soup, Lobster and Prime Rib. Wednesday was French Onion Soup, Turkey, and Filet Mignon and Baked Alaska. Can't help you on Tuesday Sorry.

 

Any other questions just ask away. Will be glad to help. I have the shore tour price list and times too if you are interested.

 

Oh they have lots of picture stations set up each night and they do a great job on the pictures. The photographers were not jammed up like the other ships.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow this is great ... I am going on my first cruise 10.17.04 on the Fantasy ... am going with my parents who have already taken the Fantasy last year ... imagine my surprise when I saw your cabin number ... it is the cabin we have ... now I am a bit older then your daughter ... in fact, my parents are taking me on this cruise for my 40th birthday ... so that brings to mind a question ... how comfortable was the sofa bed your daughter slept on ... wondering as I am also a larger person ...

 

The balcony sounds wonderful ... and is something my parents are really looking forward to ... would rather have 3 chairs instead of the lounger but hey we can make it work ...

 

Thanks for the awesome review ...

 

Candy

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Candy, I just spoke to my daughter and she said that the couch was pretty comfortable. The balcony was absolutely wonderful. We sat out there several times each day. That is pretty funny that you are in the same cabin that we had. It is an easy cabin number to remember. The elevator right outside the back of the casino is the closest one to the cabin for going up to the promenade deck.

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/hill6

 

This is the link to the photos that I took while we were there. I also have another posting that lists the shore tours, prices, times.

 

Have a great time and feel free to ask any more questions you may have.

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Thanks so much for the reply ... and the link to your pictures ... the cabin looks great and I am really looking forward to the cruise ... in fact I am constantly looking online to find out more and more about cruising ... am already thinking about my next cruise ...

 

Here are a couple of questions I have ...

 

1) Tell me about the Skipper's Club ... did you get to get on board earlier, Mom remembers something about lots of stairs ... and any thing else you can tell me about the club ...

 

2) How far from the cabin is from the muster station for the lifeboat drill ...

 

Candy

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Hill6, I was rereading your review (cause that's what I do!) and had been fretting over what to wear to dinner the first night - like what if our luggage doesn't show up on time, and I noticed you said Sunday was casual! Does this mean we can wear shorts or jeans that night? I notice the other nights they are not allowed. But if we could that first night that would be a load off my mind. Thanks.

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Soon2B....I always wear capris when I check on board it covers the casual dress code. I did see people in the dining room the first night in shorts. In fact my husband wore them.

 

Candy: I am not sure with the Skippers Club how much earlier you would get on board. They have a room off to the right at the top of the escalator where you check in for the Skippers Club. Unfortunately we got there behind a group of 5 families traveling together where a lot of them did not complete their fun pass so it slowed them down. The lady thanked us for having ours filled out completely. It will speed it up. She took only about 7 minutes to check us in and others took a while to check in. From there you walk across the terminal to another security check in and to get your picture taken for the sign and sail and then the embarkation picture.

 

The meeting point for the muster station is on the Promenade Deck and from there we walked up one set of steps to the Lido Deck to our station. You do have to go up a few decks on the steps to get there but they did not seem too bad. Ours was the last group to arrive at the station. Take the steps up from the set of stairs that I mentioned near the casino. That will take you right to your muster station.

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