A quick cruise review of the Carnival Fantasy

The Carnival Fantasy sails year-round from New Orleans. The base prices start at less than $300. Go to Cruise Bug Vacations to book your cruise.

We traveled in cabin U133 on the Carnival Fantasy in August, 2007, leaving from the port of New Orleans. Bugsy had bicycled to New Orleans from Memphis when he was a kid, but I had never been there. Although the French Quarter quickly recovered from Katrina because it didn’t bear the brunt of the damage from the hurricane like the 9th Ward did; the slow progress of improvement to the devastated areas tells a sad story about the government’s inefficient and inadequate response to the city. Many of the former residents have permanently abandoned the city.
cabildo in nola
Take a free tour of the French Quarter with the National Park Service.

We toured the city, enjoyed the fabulous food in the French Quarter, but kept alert when we were there on the recommendation of the desk personnel at Loew’s, where we stayed before the cruise. In the few hours that we were in the French Quarter, we saw several people being handcuffed and arrested. We try to observe our surroundings and thought that the desk clerk may have been overly concerned, until one morning as we waited at the desk to get walking directions, we listened intently as some other guests relayed their story about one of their friends not returning the prior night from his bachelor party in the French Quarter. The desk clerk calmly advised the friends of all the options and where they might start searching for their friend. Hearing that incident kept us more on-guard the rest of the time that we spent in New Orleans. Unfortunately, the crime rate in New Orleans has increased. Don’t let that fact paralyze you. Use common sense and take safety precautions especially when visiting outside the French Quarter. We had no problems whatsoever, except for being conned out of a tip by a shyster on the promenade. We stupidly succumbed to our Midwest nature and chatted with this guy. That was our first mistake. We now know to follow mother’s advance and don’t talk to strangers.

So what does all this have to do with the Carnival Fantasy? New Orleans is the home port of the Fantasy and other cruise ships. Tourism does help with the recovery of the city. You can help that recovery by cruising from New Orleans and injecting some cash into the local economy. The food and architecture in New Orleans are equally fabulous and the locals love to see some visitors. Several restaurant owners mentioned that some people think that New Orleans is still closed down. That is definitely not the case.

carnival fantasy cruise ship

Being our first cruise on Carnival, we didn’t know what to expect. If you have read previous posts, you know that we had heard mostly negative things about this particular cruise line. We walked through the terminal with an open mind, ready to deal with anything. We arrived in the early afternoon, so boarding the ship was a quick, easy and efficient process. Our first good impression of the ship was the size of our room. At 185 square feet, the room seemed huge. Most impressive were the nice linens on the beds.
swan towel animalCarnival, obviously proud of the new “Carnival Comfort Bed”, offers the bedding for sale. The incredibly comfortable bed and pillows make sleeping heavenly. In addition to the cushy bedding, robes and fluffy towels come in each stateroom. These stateroom features are all part of a fleetwide enhancement program, so you can expect the same quality on any of the Carnival ships.

Our usual method of operation is to toss our bags in the closet and start our exploration from the top of the ship. In this case, since we had an early breakfast we headed up to the Windows of the Sea Restaurant to grab a bite to eat. We heard that they made a good Reuben up there and after finding our way around, we found the sandwich station. An attractive space, Windows of the Sea consists of many stations with different types of food at each station. Although we only ate there a few times, we found that the arrangement prevents waiting in long lines.
That Reuben lived up to our expectations. We also enjoyed the goat cheese pizza. Although we tried to get soft serve ice cream, the machine was broken every time that we were there.
carving fruit on the fantasy
The Master Melon Carver

After our lunch, we started our exploration of the ship. We entered the drawing at the spa, which seems to be a rather popular activity. It certainly lessened our chances of winning anything. A woman sat next to us on the sill and remarked that she saw lots of poor people here in the gym. We refrained from replying, not really knowing how she came to this conclusion and not knowing how to respond in the first place. Maybe she was talking about us. We couldn’t figure out why she sought us out for this odd revelation. We were thrilled when she moved away.

Cruising has become quite affordable allowing more people to choose this type of vacation. Many people scrimp and save to have a cruise vacation and have just as much right to cruise as this obviously elitist woman with her huge disposable income. We met some very nice poor folk on this cruise.

Other observations and comments

  • The muster drill took place inside.
  • There is no promenade deck, which might have something to do with the muster stations being inside. One of our favorite activities is to get some walking time in. The jogging tracks on ships are usually claustrophobic or just too narrow to accommodate passing.
  • The ship has its own desalination plant. The water on the ship tastes disgusting as does any beverage – iced tea, lemonade- that uses the water.
  • We could never hear announcements in our room without opening the door. We couldn’t find a tv station that had the announcements.
  • There was a wide age-range of people and everybody seemed to be having a good time.
  • Smokers used the bars as smoking lounges. We enjoyed having a drink in a quiet place like the Cleopatra’s. Oddly enough, people came in there not to order drinks, but to smoke. The place seemed like one of those haze-filled rooms in the airport.
  • The lively casino has many slots and table games.
  • Although we were advised to remain on ship’s time, the clocks in the elevators were not on ship’s time. That was really confusing.
  • The staff was friendly and we had a good room steward who supplied us with a variety of towel animals including an elephant,dog, swans and maybe a bunny or something of the same species. Those people who refuse to ever cruise again because they didn’t get a towel animal need to come aboard this ship.
  • The food was inconsistent. We prefer the sit down restaurant, The Celebration and had some excellent food there as well as some ho-hum food.
  • The ship was clean and well-maintained.
  • The adult pool is small. The adult pool does not have children.
  • We ran into several shirtless guys in places where we thought that shoes and shirts should be required. It’s one thing to be in the pool area, but to be in an indoor bar just doesn’t seem appropriate and its rather unappetizing as well.

  • Hurricane Dean decided to change our itinerary. We had been looking forward to visiting the Costa Maya and were excited to see some new archaeological sites. That never happened as we avoided Dean. In lieu of Costa Maya, we headed east to Key West, which we had not visited before. Our time there was short, but sweet and hey, we weren’t in the hurricane. We did reach Cozumel after Dean had devastated the Costa Maya, which won’t open for a long time until the docks and other infrastructure are repaired. The Fantasy now visits Cozumel on its 4-day cruises and Cozumel and Progreso on its 5-day cruises.

    Sail Away

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    4 Comments on "A quick cruise review of the Carnival Fantasy"

    What do you think?

    Jason Hodge

    My wife and I are thinking of heading for a Carnival Cruise in Progresso, Mexico, in addition to Cozumel. It is a 5 Day trip leaving out of Mobile. Anyone have any exposure to this vacation cruise? I find it difficult to obtain many details about Progresso


    im going on this ship,carnival fantasy,too! my cruise is to the bahamas on wednesday. do you know anything about how the three people rooms are styled?