by Matt P
February 3, 2005
Just got back from the Carnival Fantasy on a three-night cruise to Nassau. This was our second cruise our first on the Fantasy and leaving out of Port Canaveral. We stayed in the Orlando area at the Amerisuites Airport Northwest. Hotel wasn't too spectacular but they do offer a shuttle to and from the airport and a breakfast buffet in morning. It was very easy to arrange the shuttles. We then took the transportation from the Orlando Airport to the pier. Very nice service and was pretty reasonable at $50 per person round trip.
Getting to the pier was very easy and the check in process was very smooth. When you first enter the building you show your tickets and then proceed through security. Everything went very smooth. We received forms to enter Nassau with our tickets but did not pre fill them out. They make you do this before you can get in line so I highly recommend doing this before you get to the terminal. Carnival offers the fun pass system to fill out information online before you cruise. There was no separate line for this at all. But the wait time was no more than 15 minutes so no complaints. We arrived at around 12:30 or so. Then it was a short walk to get your photo taken on the sail and sign card. Those lines were a little long as it seemed one of the two people working the machines was new and didn't know what to do. Once this is done you then proceed to take that wonderful photo before you board and you are on! Total time was no more than 30 minutes, which was very nice.
The ship was in very nice condition and a lot different than our first ship on the Holiday. It is very hard to imagine and still amazes me that they sail non-stop and are always on the go. There are some wear marks on the carpeting in the hallways to the rooms but this should be expected with as much wear they get each day. The service on the ship was outstanding which I think is what is the best part. Every staff member strives to make your experience special. Always saying Hi, smiling and greeting you the entire trip. We had an inside room since it was only three nights and we weren't in there that much. The size of these rooms was impressive. I have not been on other cruise ships but it was a very big room and a big bathroom. Plenty of closet space and luggage fits under the bed. The only thing is that the rooms are pretty cold at night, even when we turned the air off. If that is the only complaint then heck not much to complain about. Our room steward was very nice. Always had a friendly smile and hello. Room was always made up when we were out so that was nice. Doesn't compare to our room steward on the Holiday (Tanto) but we were very happy. We even lost our cell phone one night and looked everywhere for it. Mentioned it to him and it was found underneath the bed and laying there when we came back for the night.
The dining room (Jubilee) was very nice and the staff was excellent. Last cruise we were with another couple and we had a table for four to ourselves so this time we knew we would be eating with others. We were at a table for six but no one showed up the first night so we were kind of happy. We missed the dining room the second night but made it for the last night. We asked our waiter if anyone was there and he said no, so either the people didn't want to eat or we had the table to ourselves. To our surprise another couple showed up. My girl friend and I are 23 so we are a younger cruise couple and I was happy to see that the other couple was our age as well and us being from Chicago was even more surprised to hear that they were from Milwaukee. That was pretty cool. Many people ask about tablemates and how it happens and I am sure they do try their best to match people up with similar backgrounds etc. We made friends with this couple and will definitely be hanging out in the near future. They are just like us in our ways so this was a very happy time. They actually kept saying they wished they made dinner the first night so we could have met sooner.
Since it was a three-night cruise we stopped in Nassau overnight. The only other complaint I have is that Formal night was on the night we were in Nassau. I do not know why they don't do it on the last night. We did not make it as we had the early seating and were spending time in Nassau. So Carnival should change this. Other than that everything was great except the weather. But hey no one really has control over this.
As mentioned before the staff was very friendly. Matt was the cruise director and was very funny and had a great British accent. Roberto was our room steward and was fantastic as well. We also met on the last night a bar tender named Carmen who was extremely friendly. She has worked for Carnival for nine years and can tell she really does enjoy her job! You can meet her in the atrium bar. That's where she works mostly.
Getting off the ship was a breeze as well. Didn't take us more than an hour since the first colored called and the time we arrived back on the bus to the airport. We also slept in and waited in our room longer than normal. Our steward was more than accommodating and didn't bother us at all. Getting through customs and everything was simple and smooth. No problems at all.
Overall we had a great time on the ship for a short cruise. After sailing on the Fantasy we wouldn't go back to a smaller ship but definitely interested in a bigger ship next time too. I would highly recommend Carnival to anyone and the Fantasy was an excellent ship with and excellent crew!