Would like some information on this ship. This is not our first cruise, but it is our first with Carnival and first with our two pre-teen boys. We heard Carnival packed lot's of fun. Any advice? Memories from your cruise?
It's a very fun ship and a great cruise for the money. The Sunday-Thurs. cruise will be a little less active than the Thurs.- Sun. cruise but either one will be fine for the kids. Freeport and Nassau are not the greatest ports but are nice if your going for the first time.
You'll find this ship to have plenty of nighttime activity and the shows are always fun as well. Beware of the blackjack dealers though, they're brutal. <wink>
We are on the March 9th (Sunday-Thursday). We have not done the Fantasy, but have done two of her sister ships. These ships are a good size and well laid out. Our 11 year old loves Camp Carnival, but likes the idea that he had the freedom to spend time there and with us. We just look at the Camp Carnival Caper and see what he does or does not want to participate in. This will be our 7th family cruise and I have never had anything but great praise for the Camp Carnival Counselors.
From ages 9-12, the kids are allowed to sign themselves in and out of Camp Carnival. At that age, the Camp Carnival moves all over the ship. They may meet at one spot for one event and then onto another location for the next event. Their capers tell you where they are and what they are doing the whole time. Our 11 year old is not mature enough (in my overprotective mind) to sign himself out....so he knows he is not allowed to leave until I come and get him. (unless I give him some special permission on a one time basis) But that is an understanding between he and I. Camp Carnival does make the 9-12 sign their name and write WHERE they are going when they sign out. Our 11 year old also knows that quiet time starts at 10:00pm in the cabin, so that he does not disturb our neighbors. He is usually pooped by then. I do not allow him to run around unattended simply because this is still a place where there are 2,000 people that I don't know! (and because the rest of these cruisers did not pay good money to babysit (or tolerate poor behavior from) my child.
From what I understand, Freeport is not much more than a beach stop. A taxi to Port Lucaya (sp?) is about $5 each person each way and is about a 45 minute ride. I haven't been able to get much more info than that.
Nassau has The Dig (of course) which is where our aquarium nut will be the whole time we are there. It is about $5 per person each way for a taxi and $25 per person for the entrance fee. I believe the Carnival Shore Excursion cost is $42 a person for that same event. So this gives you an idea of what the mark-up is for Carnival to handle your excursion for you. $35 vs $42 per person
Of course, there will be many shore excursions offered. If you go to the Carnival website, it will list the shore excursions for each port. (not the price)
There will be video games on board and they run anywhere from .50 to $1.00 each. One of the perks of doing Camp Carnival is some FREE PLAY time...it will be listed in their Caper.
One of the things they do at Camp Carnival is divide up in groups of 4 or 5 and do scavenger (sp?) (I miss my spell check) hunts. The groups go all over the ship looking for items. And they have a family time (during the day at sea) where parents and kids party together for a couple of hours. (dance contests, etc) It is a lot of family fun. I THINK there is a couple of ping pong tables...but I am not positive. I know we have had those on many of our other Carnival cruises.
The most fun is just going and getting ice cream cones and pizza all day long.
Wow thanks so much for all that information. You sound like you have the same mindset as me and my husband where our children are concerned. Our last cruise was on RC Monarch of the Seas. I couldn't believe all the kids running around. People think that there kids can't go far, but like you say, this is people you don't know and also it's rude to let your children run around and disturb other paying cruisers just so you can have peace and quiet. Especially when there are such great programs provided by the ship. I was able to call the cruise line and get pricing for all the excursions. RC displays the pricing on their website. So far, I haven't liked all the "secretiveness" associated with Carnival. They won't tell us a cabin number until we get there. They don't display the prices of certain items. But, still we can't wait to try Carnival.
Thanks again for all the wonderful info. and have a great cruise yourself!
When you have some quiet time there is a small patio with a few tables out the back door of the Windows on the Sea bar on both sides of the ship. It is covered overhead by the deck above and it's a great place to have a drink and watch the wake of the ship. It's my favorite spot on any ship.
If you go to the digs at the Atlantis at night there is no admission charge. You can wander through at your leisure. I found this out on my own when we were there 10/01 on the Fantasy. They don't publicize that info to my knowledge. The cruise is a great value for the money. Despite some bad reviews, the ship is in good shape and serves the purpose of having a fun relaxing vacation.
Have a great cruise....it really is a great ship.
My wife and I spent our honeymoon on the Fantasy last year, sailing on 9/1/02. This was the first cruise for both of us. We had a fabulous time. The Carnival staff was absolutely great! Needless to say, we are now addicted to cruising. We are planning another one for our 1st anniversary.
As far as the ship goes, it is an older ship....but was very clean. The only problem during the cruise was with the lighting system in the lounge. We were unable to see the Vegas-style show because of this. But we never ran out of things to do. I think you will be well pleased with Carnival. Good luck and happy sailing!!
We went on the Fantasy for our very first cruise last year. My wife and I had a wonderful time and were sold on cruising. We are booked on the Conquest in April and plan to cruise at least once a year from now on. The Freeport and Nassau are OK. This was our first time out of the US and I guess we were a little naive about other countries, but we still thought the ports of call were nice (Nassau was much better than Freeport, though). As far as the ship goes...the Fantasy is an older ship but we thought it was nice and clean...but we had nothing to compare it to (and still don't until April on the Conquest). The staff are really nice. Maybe we were lucky, but everyone was very courteous and could never do enough for you. That means alot coming from me because I must admit that I am not always the easiest person to please at times. My wife and I loved it so much, I created a website and added some pictures from our cruise which I plan to update after each of our cruises from now on. Please feel free to check it out...it is just a personal website so you don't have to worry about pop ups, etc. (Note: the pictures load slow) I hope this was some help. Have a great time!!
We can't wait to check out your website. Where are you sailing on the next cruise? We did western caribbean last year with Royal Caribbean and loved Cozumel and Grand Cayman, although I liked Grand Cayman 10 times better than Cozumel. Happy cruising.