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Cruise Logs - Our back to back cruise on the Carnival Fantasy for New Year 2010

Our back to back cruise on the Carnival Fantasy for New Year 2010
Posted on : 2010-07-23 by KeithnRita
Cruise Line :   Carnival Cruise Lines
Cruise Ship :   Carnival Fantasy
Cruise Region :   Caribbean Western
Cabin Number :   E178
Ports :   Calica , Cozumel , Cozumel , Progreso
Days :   10
Departure Date :   12/28/2010
Avg. Price per Pax :   $125
Tags :   Fantasy Mobile New year
Dec 28, 2009 to Jan 2, 2010 and Jan 2, 2010 to Jan 7, 2010 (cruise number 18 and 19)
The first portion was our annual NYE cruise. The second portion we were joined by cruise friends Frank and Ellie from Florida. This was our third time cruising with them.
How did I book?:
TA - Folz Travel Club
Did I get a good price?:
The 5 day NYE portion was twice as much as the second 5 day leg.
How was my trip to the port?:
We left on Saturday, Dec 26 and spent the night at a hotel south of Birmingham. We could have drove straight to port in about 10 hours, however we decided to take our leisurely time for this 605 mile drive. We also booked a pre and post cruise stay at the Marriott Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel on Water Street in Mobile. It included free covered parking for the duration of our cruises.
Embarkation/Debarkation:
We were on the first shuttle at 10:45 Monday morning and were in the first group to board, around 11:30. We were told everyone's staterooms would not be ready until 1:30, so we did our own little tour of the ship until we ended up on the Lido deck for lunch.
Champaign was being handed out on Lido, kinda reminded us of our Celebrity cruises. Apparently it was because it was a New Year cruise.
Debarkation was fine as we were staying over in Mobile so we were among the last to leave.
The ship:
The ship was very clean and the staff was very friendly. We liked the layout and once in our stateroom we liked it as well. The passenger's dress, including our, was a little weird for a Caribbean cruise--sweatshirts, sweaters, coats, and even parkas because of the cool weather. (low 40s)
Cabin:
Very nice and roomy! Our stateroom service from Noel was outstanding and Rita enjoyed the towel animals he made for us every day.
Dining:
After lunch we went to find our late dining table in the Celebration dining room and were surprised to find it was a table for two. Our TA had us set up for a table for 6 or 8 for both cruises, with friends joining us for the second cruise. Carnival had it screwed up. We got with the Maitre 'D later on and stayed with our table for two for the first cruise and choose our table for six for the second cruise with the same waiter, Nino and assistant waiter. They did a fantastic job for our ten evenings in the dining room. They food was as good or better than any of our other cruises. We had breakfast in the dining room every morning except one and had lunch there once. All were good. The Windows by the Sea buffet on the Lido deck was good, except it was very crowded on our first cruise because of all the families with kids.
Entertainment:
We attended a lot of the production shows and they were all very good. The Beatle's tribute show and music was outstanding. The comedians, Ronnie Bullard and Happy Cole, were very hilarious including their adults shows. We don't normally attend many shows on our cruises but since all the lounges with dance floors and the piano lounge were all smoking, we attended the shows instead. They did not play ballroom music so we did not get to do much dancing. This we did not like! Only a couple nights, NYE and one other, were we able to dance outside on the Lido. It was just to darn cold!
Ports & Excursions:
The ports were of no big deal to us--we got off for an hour or so both times in Cozumel to shop. In Calica and Progreso we stayed aboard and took advantage of a little warmer weather and laid out to work on our winter tans. I did get to swim in the pool one day when the outside temp was around 70. Rita though I was nuts and she's probably correct.
Overall Experience:
The cruise director's staff was very good and we became friends with Dave, who was returning to England on our departure day, and Bonnie. They would always look us up to join in the activities, and we did. Rita won the hula-hoop challenge and Rita and Ellie won a couple of the trivia contest defeating the infamous Mr Google!

All and all it was a good cruise, or should we say it was two good cruises. The only faults were the lack of our usual night life because of not having nonsmoking sections in the lounges. I smoked for 35 years and have been around smoke from welders, plasma, and laser cutters most of my life. Now cigarette smoke in a confined area gives me a sinus headache. Rita is just flat allergic to cigarette smoke. It's surpassing to us that Carnival bends over for 21% of the smoking public in spite of the 79% nonsmokers!

The Carnival Elation is replacing the Fantasy beginning in May. The Fantasy will move to Charleston. We cruised on the Elation about 10 years ago out of San Pedro, CA.
Mobile is such a convenient port for us and is a great city, however with Carnival's smoking policy and it's short (4 or 5 day) cruises we may not return. It would be nice to see other cruise lines there offering longer cruises.

Since it was my (Keith's) birthday we stayed over an extra night in Mobile. Thanks to Ellie and Frank for helping us celebrate! Also, Thanks for bringing the UNO cards. Our drive home was straight thru and we avoided the ice and didn't run into much snow until we were close to home.
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2010-07-23   Published
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