Carnival Cruise Lines|
September 15, 2011
On 15 September I was on the Carnival Fantasy to Bermuda. They don't call these the "Fun Ships" without good reason and thus the line's reputation for a mandatory good time is merited. The Fantasy is the oldest ship in the fleet being over 20 years old, however she doesn't look the part, largely from a 2008 refurbishment. There are many things to appreciate about this ship.
*** Activities are plentiful day and night. The day provides almost endless trivia and other games. The party goes into the early morning hours.
***The super slide in the Carnival Waterworks is one of my favorite slides anywhere…land or sea.
*** Some people live to eat, while I tend to eat to live, so of course I found the food more than meets my needs. Carnival's new main dining room menus are two sided….one is traditional favorites which are every night and the other half being nightly specials. Chocolate Melted Cake is available every night !!
*** Food always seems to be available on the Lido deck.
*** The two big bang production shows provide energy and sizzle. The first one is "Nightclub Express" with a talking sofa which promotes music of varying genres. The Second show is "Ticket To Ride" and is understandably a Beatles tribute.
*** The staff, as always seem to truly enjoy their jobs and I enjoyed their camaraderie.
*** embarkation and debarkation were both simple and relatively easy considering the restrictions of being in a historic district.
While the Fantasy worked, Carnival's Bermuda itinerary just didn't function so well. The biggest problem with the Charleston to Bermuda itinerary was it allots one day in port, which is hardly worth the two days at sea effort. Unfortunately that one day in Bermuda was a Sunday when much of the island shuts down.
On Saturday evening, I enjoyed a Carnival excursion on a glass bottomed boat. For Sunday I did the ship sponsored island tour which was rush, rush, and rush ! While we visited the Gibbs lighthouse, there wasn't sufficient time to actually climb up. While we stopped for a photo at a beach, there was not enough time to enjoy that beach. We were allotted 15 minutes in Saint George, which ironically enough was sufficient since the town was largely closed down for Sunday. The tour stopped in Hamilton for about 30 minutes. There is a majestic cathedral there of which I took some photos, and then got back on the van.
If one wishes to cruise to Bermuda I highly recommend at least 2 days in port, preferably *not* on a Sunday. Hamilton seems to be a better of call than the Dockyards where we docked. While the dockyards are picturesque; they appear to still be developmental stage. It would be advisable for Carnival to make Charleston-Bermuda into a 7 day cruise ( not 6) where one gets two full days in port.
Pre-cruise I spent an extra day in Charleston where I stayed on Meeting Street and walked to historic sites.
I can highly recommend that future cruisers absorb this great historical city as part of their vacation. Between the ghost tours and the authentic Low-Country cuisine, I found Charleston to much more fulfilling that Bermuda.
In summary, I can give thumbs up to both the Fantasy and Charleston, but we needed more time in Bermuda.