5 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans Roundtrip) Sail Date: January 19, 2009 Ship: Carnival Fantasy Cabin Type: Oceanview Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 9 years ago
While I will say we booked a cruise on this ship largely due to price (less than $400 each for a 5-day oceanview), we expected much more than we got in terms of the quality of the experience. We expected to be treated like very welcome friends and were more simply treated like guests who happened to be there. Maybe you get what you pay for, but having cruised a couple of times before, we expected more than we got.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
The late dining seating worked well for us. The dining room was fine, though again not fancy. The servers in the dining room were quite good, but not very proactive about learning or remembering our preferences, names, etc. Again, we have experienced better. I will say the servers did accomodate most of our requests, though every time I asked for milk with dessert (in lieu of coffee), it arrived long after dessert had been eaten. The food often arrived lukewarm from the kitchen and we're saying it was "average" because nothing really wowed us at all. I like the cold fruit soups I had, and the crab cake appetizer was very good one night, but other things were only partially eaten because they weren't very good. There were a couple of desserts that I would get again, but only a couple in the entirety of a 5-day cruise is not a very good record. The buffets were, again, okay, but nothing to write home about. Even the "Chocolate Extravaganzaa" held one afternoon was only average.
3 out of 5
The little trivia contests and games were okay (we did a lot of them) although the staff seemed only half-interested in them. The comedy shows were pretty good. The Newlywed Game knock-off was very good, very funny, but I think the material would be exactly the same if I saw it next year. The music and variety shows were ragged, including the voices of the lead male and female singers, both of whom could barely get through the final show of the trip. The live band was pretty good in the shows, but the singers and dancers appeared to need more rehearsal and more desire to perform together. The concepts of the shows would have been pretty good (A Beatles review, a "tour" of nightclubs around the world, etc.) if they had been executed better.
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
Unfortunately I have no "above and beyond" examples although we didn't really put them to the test much. The staff was fairly friendly with a few notable exceptions. That the less-than-friendly people stood out from the rest is, I guess, a good thing. As we are novices in the casino, I did appreciate the casino staff's willingness to explain the games and be patient with us.
3 out of 5
The ship is a smaller one which is good from the perspective of walking end to end to get to events, but did make it appear more crowded as well. It was not very clean in the hallway as carpets were stained quite a bit (including a fresh "seasickness" stain that never seemed to get quite cleaned up), but the rest of the ship presented pretty well. The decor defintely followed the fun-not-fancy idea that a "funship" wants to project and it was fine. The pool was very small with two hot tubs that were constantly filled with 12 or more children all day long. A thoughtful touch was the "adults only" sunning deck at the back of the ship where no kids were allowed. This was nice because it was quiet and they had some relaxing music playing and there are two hot tubs here as well. Again, the only problem is the limited space as the deck chairs were often staked out or full.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
We liked the stateroom very much and I would give it a higher rating but for three things. 1) They gave us a dirty glass which stayed in the room for the whole trip despite me trying to point out to them that it was dirty and needed to go. 2) The bathroom faucet leaked almost constantly. 3) The flatscreen tv picture was quite poor - even when I hooked a portable dvd player to it. However, the size of the room was good, having an ocean view was great, the couple of requests we made were responded to quickly, and the bed was surprisingly comfortable (very important!). Being on the U-deck made a difference too as we could have been 2 more decks lower which I think would not have been as convenient.
We did The Amazing Cozumel Race as a paid shore excursion. It was fun, about 2 hours long with lunch and instructions and such, and showed us some of the areas of Cozumel we would not have seen otherwise. We also did some snorkeling at reefs off the pier - beautiful!
Don't Miss: Snorkeling
Many folks stayed in Progresso, but we wanted to see Merida (the capital city, once known as the "Paris" of Mexico). The best thing was our cab driver who drove us 40 minutes in, waited 2 hours for us, and drove us back for $60). We walked through a beautiful cathedral and shopped a little. We really needed more time as we only got a taste of the city. Next time here, we will plan on seeing one of the ruins nearby.
Don't Miss: None
Pros: The Amazing Race Cozumel shore excursion and snorkeling
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