January 2014 - Carnival Fantasy to Caribbean - Bahamas
(Jan. 2014) This was our 1st cruise. My husband & I were surprised by our 3 WONDERFUL children with this cruise for our 40th wedding anniversary! We LOVED it. We had an interior room, and were surprised at the storage space. 2 small closets, shelves, & a few small drawers. The bathroom was small, but very adequate. I stored & used my hairdryer in the bedroom part, as there wasn't really an outlet for it in the bathroom. 1 outlet in cabin. we brought an extra to plug in.
Bath gel & shampoo were provided in dispensers in the shower. Small soap bars (2 or 3 times) & one small toothpaste was left the 1st day & that was it for the tolitries provided. Hair dryers are not provided in these rooms, but I understand they are in the more expensive suites? We had plenty of towels, even surprisingly 4 big beach towels which we were allowed to take with us on our Bahamas excersuion, ($22.00 per towel charge if not returned.) We had lush soft robes supplied as well. One thing we had to deal with was that the head of our bed was in the section of another overhead bed(which we did not use) but it caused us to bump our heads when getting up a few times. We had a wonderful young lady who did our rooms each morning and then came back in the evening, turned down the beds, left a different cute little folded towel animal, and 2 chocolates.She also left the next day's schedule, so we could study it and decide what we wanted to do the next day.
The meals were AMAZING.(everything except alcohol, soft drinks & juice were included.) We actually arrived on the boat around lunchtime the day our ship was scheduled to depart at 4:00PM. We had lunch from The Grill, which we were not expecting. It turned out to be my husband's favorite place to eat, as he loves good cheese burgers , fries & popcorn chicken. We ate dinner our 2nd night in the Celebration dining room. This was more formal, as we sat at tables , ordered from a menu and the waiters were dressed in tuxes etc. We were just dressed in long pants and nice shirts. The food was great! Very special desserts. But the tables were so close togrther that you were really sharing a table with others. As it turned out we were seated near great people that we had a lot in common with. My husband is very social and immediately struck up conversations with all of them. But we really would prefer to dine alone and choose our friends without it being sort of "forced". So, after this we ate mostly at the buffet. The food was equally as great. A different menu every day. A salad bar, a desset bar, and most of the time fresh fruit, which we love. There was also a 24 hour pizza place. (delicious) a deli, rotisserie,and a Mongolian grill.(the line for the Mongolian grill was always sooo long, that I only ate there once.) Breakfast was my favorite meal. a wonderful buffet, but as soon as I discovered the omlet grill, that's where I went every morning, and it was open until noon so no matter how late we slept it was open! There was even 24 hour room service, which was free! (Just asked that you tip)The only negative about the food was there was only pork sausage, bacon etc. served for breakfast. Never any turkey. We don't eat pork so would have liked to have had turkey sausage.
We accidently discovered the Serenity deck, which was for adults only.(age 21 & over). We liked it because the chairs were MUCH more comfortable, with nice pads.A vey nice deck with a beautiful view. There were nice big towels which we could sign out and use. Very nice.
We brought several books from home to read, but would have brought less had we know there was a ship library. Not very big, but adequate. Sadly the glass doored cabinets were locked, except for certain scheduled times. Also, you could go to guest services anytime and request someone unlock a cabinet for you. The books had to be checked out, like a regular library. I would have broused more had the shelves not been locked.
Smoking was allowed on certain decks of the ship. This was a little difficult for us as we are both very sensitive to cigarettes. It wasn't so bad outside, but smoking was also allowed in the casinos, which we had to walk throught to go to some other areas.
The entertainment was great. we loved the "family friendly" comedy shows. There were a couple of movies, and some contests, games like scavenger hunt...We enjoyed these very much.
We absolutely loved going to the Bahamas. It was too windy to dock in Freeport, so they skipped that and we went to Nassau the next day as scheduled. We only wanted to go to the beach, so we took a taxi ($4.00 per person each way).
We went to the public beach, and had an awesome time! There was a public restroom a little way down the beach, so this worked out great for us.
BTW, it was windy our entire cruise, so the boat continually rocked. Neither of us got sick, until the last day, and I had to buy some meds on board. i would recommend you bring some with you as they are expensive to buy there. Over $3.00 for 4 pills. I saw several people walking around wearing small round patches behind their ear. I was told these are by prescription only. Also, because it was cool and windy we tended to wear our long sleeves and jackets and long pants, which we had not packed very many . If there is a chance the weather will be cool, be prepared and pack some warm clothes.
Several times announcments were made over an intercom. If you were in your cabin or other certain places, it was impossible to hear what was said. I wish they would repeat the announcments, as we missed a few things.
One thing we struggled with a little was the gratuities were built in to your account, and they took a very large percentage. We prefer to do our own tipping and when we eat out in restaurants, try to leave 20%. You have to request this be taken off, if you want to tip yourself. But you have to be very persistent! We kept getting the "run around", and were told you cannot do it before the cruise, request it at check-in, at check-in were told you have to wait until you are actually on the ship, once on the ship were told come back the next day, the next day were told you have to wait until the 3rd day of cruise... We finally did. At least we think we did, haven't gotten our credit card bill yet!
Yes we absolutely recommend this cruise. We were so surprised at the price. not much more thana hotel, but with all the free food you want and lots of great entertainment. We don't know how they afford it. actually we figured out it was probably from alcohol sales (alcohol NOT included in free food) and the casinos.
We really appreciate our childen doing this for us as we would probably never have done it for ourselves.