by Brittany Theriot
February 4, 2008
This was our second cruise, the first one being on the Carnival Conquest in November of 2004. DH (dear husband) and I took our 2-year old daughter along with us. We were a group of 30, with about half of them being first-timers. My sister and her husband were just married that Saturday and this was their honeymoon.
Having only one other ship to compare the Fantasy to, I thought it was very nice and clean. We headed up to the Lido deck for some lunch. The grill was opened and DH ate the first of many burgers he would have throughout the trip. As expected, the buffet wasn't good, but I filled up on ice cream!
Then we headed outside to enjoy the weather and the band playing on the lido deck. And of course we were offered the "drink of the day" several times. We decided not to purchase the soda cards because I heard about so many bad experiences. We did sneak a fifth of Crown on board, as well as some bottles of Diet Coke. At $6.00 a pop, DH's favorite drink was going to get expensive! I don't drink much, but I did enjoy a few dirty banana's!
Dinner in the Dining Room
I did eat 2 lobster tails on formal night. And there was a NY Strip on the "alternative" menu, meaning served each night. So three out of five nights I had that with a baked potato. The warm melting chocolate cake that we heard so much about was very good. The rest of the food was just really odd and kind of tasteless. A big dissapointment.
We did eat breakfast in the dining room on most days. It was always good and warm. Much better than the buffet IMO, even though it's basically the same food!
Other Dining Options
The Bistro had the BEST coffee. Better than Starbucks. They also served up some yummy chocolate covered strawberries, for an extra charge, of course!
Oh, we also purchased two bottles of Jose Cuervo in their market for only $9 apiece!
Cozumel, Mexico: I love Cozumel! We had another day of beautiful weather. We walked a couple of blocks to the Park Royal Resort and paid $40 pp to get in for the day. It was all you can eat, all you can drink. We went snorkeling, enjoyed the pool, bar and buffet. One of the guys we were with owns a timeshare there, so I don't know if that has anything to do with us getting in or not. I know they sell a shore excursion to El Cid for basically the same thing, but at close to $70. I would check into doing it on your own first before booking through Carnival, especially since they are within walking distance and they can't take you off and rob you or anything.
But it was a great day in Cozumel and allowed plenty of time for shopping.
The comedians were both hilarious. I like how they had one show earlier, and then another one at midnight for adults. We didn't see the Vegas style show, but did catch the dancers and they were awesome.
My sister and her DH played in the Newylwed Game. I heard it was a lot of fun, but I was napping with my daughter!
The hairy chest contest was hilarious.
They did face painting, dancing, story time, and movies. They also fed her dinner at a specific time. This was nice because they had stuff that we couldn't get like chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. I was kind of nervous about them taking her to the buffet, but I snuck in one night to see how they did it. The area was roped off and I don't think the National Guard could have gotten by them! It was very reassuring.
We also attended the Build-A-Bear workshop and got her a stuffed dog, which she loves. We also purchased the stuffed Funship Freddy and the book Freddy Gets His Sealegs. Then there was a special book signing on our last sea day. She had a great time.
It was a great feeling knowing that she was being taken care of while we had a good time. I feel like she enjoyed the vacation just as much as we did!
After 10:00 they mix all age groups together. There is a fee of $6 an hour, which is pretty nominal in my opinion. The kids have a great time and are safe while the parents enjoy adult activities. Very well worth it.
If you do plan on taking your kids to Camp Carnival, make sure you go to the Orientation on the first day to register them. A big time saver.
We never tried room service, but heard it was good.
Bring an alarm clock!!! I forgot ours and it was frustrating never knowing what time it was, especially in an inside cabin!
We took lots of pictures, but only purchased one family shot. I thought $22 for an 8x10 was outrageous, especially when they just throw them away if you don't buy them. If they lowered the price, we would probably buy more.
You can bring a "small amount" of non-alcholic beverages on board. I suggest bringing at least water, and soft drinks if you drink them. It gets quite expensive.
We did tip extra. $20 to our waitstaff, $10 to our room steward and $40 to Camp Carnival. This was in addition to the $10 per person per day that they add to your account.
We had a great time, but I would like to try other cruise lines to see what they have to offer, and hopefully to find some better food!
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com