September 17, 2007
Well, we just got home from the Fantasy and it was my first 5 night cruise.
Embarkation from the time we pulled into the WONDERFUL parking garage in New Orleans to the time we stepped foot on the ship was 35 min! You pay for parking prior (70.00), park on the 3rd floor and take elevator down to the 2nd floor to get on the ship. You stop on 2nd to drop off luggage. We had VIP because we were upgraded to a penthouse (there were 4 of us). The cat. 12 was totally awesome. We were VERY comfortable throughout the cruise -- and would have been very pinched for space in an OV or ST. Our cabin stewards were the best! The line to get on the ship wasn't long at 10:30 but it built up fast.
The first thing we did when we boarded was of course go to Lido to get some lunch. They wouldn't let us in the rooms until 1:30 (however we went at 1pm) Music was already playing and we were ready to set sail! The muster drill was at 3:30. It wasn't too painful -- but ONLY IMHO is a joke because our particular group had to go to the universal lounge -- then be escorted to the boats. Now, how many people in a disaster would grab their vest and go sit in a lounge before being escorted to a boat? In any event, it's mandatory -- and was over quick enough.
When I first stepped on the ship, I thought wow... this is so small. The Fantasy is 77,000 tons I believe and the last few ships we were on were the 110,000 tons with the BIG SCREEN on them. It didn't take long to love the ship as any other however! Each has its good and bad qualities. The room safe was programmed with numbers instead of a credit card which was real nice! I had ordered a birthday package for my youngest (cake and decorations) and they were in place when we opened the door. Well worth the $$ you pay for it.
We were unable to book excursions ahead of time because of Hurricane Dean --they changed from Costa Maya to Progresso -- so after sitting with the family, we decided to do the Flamingo excursion -- you can read about it online. When we got back to the room later that night, there was notice that the excursion was canceled because not enough people signed up for it. We were extremely disappointed but went to Plan B which was snorkeling in the caves of Progresso. Unfortunately, they only had 2 tickets left, so that was out also. Plan C - we went to the Progresso resort and beach break. It turned out great! Beautiful beach, beautiful pool, open bar (yep -- by noon we had had at least 4 drinks) and lunch (not the best, but not bad either).
In Cozumel my daughters went horsebackriding while DH and I went to Passion Isle -- this place was BEAUTIFUL with swaying palms, open bar also, Mexician dinner and hammocks under the palms. It was absolutely beautiful. You have to see the white sand and clear aqua water beach to fully appreciate it! The only thing I don't like about these excursions is you pay 75-80 bucks a piece for them and they want tips for everyone: people serving the drinks, the cooks, the drivers, the tour guide, etc etc etc. What was included in the price of the excursion? Quite frustrating -- we did tip the tour guide however.
We only ate in the dining room twice -- the first night and then formal night. Had to have the lobster! The rest was on the Lido deck which you can always find something to eat. I did notice however that the food wasn't as good as other ships in the Lido -- but out of my family, I think I was the only one who said that. Now, the pizza and calzones were wonderful!!!!!
The shows were totally awesome! Unlike the 7 day cruise, the talent show was mid week. The last show was a tribute to the beatles and was great! Don't miss the shows!! The comedians were really funny! It takes a LOT to make me laugh, and I was rolling with laughter!
Big Tex was the CD and he was just great! I honestly can't say one thing bad about the ship. Like I said, this was our first 5 nighter and we did miss some more sea days, but it waas kinda nice to get home and have a day to relax before going back to work.
The staff everywhere was great -- smiled and worked very hard to please everyone. Oh -- and my daughter and I hit a special where they had a full body massage and facial (total 1 1/2 hrs) for 99.00. It was wonderful!
You never felt crowded on the ship and you could always find a spot on the Lido to lay which is a first for us! Not many people saving seats. I guess because we have been on many Carnival cruises, we chose not to get involved as in the past and just watched most things. Hairy chest, ice carving, scavenger hunts, water wars, bingos, newlywed games, etc were all the same. I enjoyed just watching -- swimming a while -- laying out soaking the rays while sipping on a daiquiri and then watching the sun set on the water. The larger class ships don't have the back balconies like the Fantasy class does. This is the ideal place to see the sun set. Weather was absolutely wonderful until the last day coming home when we were hitting some high waves from the tropical depression near Florida. We thought we were going to be delayed picking up the pilot boat at the mouth of the Mississippi, but it was cleared for us to go in. Good thing!!
We did the self-disembarkation which we always try to do. It runs very smooth and they called out floor by 7:15! So off we went and another cruise under the belt.
Would I cruise a 5 day again? Would I cruise the Fantasy again? YES, YES to both! Just tell me when and where! In fact, I have the same cruise set up in 4 months from now. Just wish the activities and shows would change so I won't see the same ones, but the best part of the whole thing is enjoying the company you are with, the beautiful blue water and the freedom to be as active or laid back as you want to be.
The Fantasy is a great ship and we loved her!!!
Happy cruising and if anyone has any questions, don't hesitate to email me. Just put Carnival Fantasy or something like that in the subject line so that I won't delete it.
Happy Cruising everyone!!!