Carnival Cruise “Fantasy”
New Orleans, Louisiana
Carnival Cruise “Fantasy” New Orleans Reviews
Feb 15, 2007
I am 36 and like most people my age we watched shows such as The Loveboat and fantasized about the ultimate vacation.
The weeks leading up to the cruise my niece and I exchanged multiple emails and spent hours planning the perfect trip. I researched the fleet of ships and was mesmerized by the amenities on the boat, the entertainment, the gallery style shopping malls, world class cuisine, and the world renowned spa’s.
The Fantasy is one of the smaller vessels in the fleet however; this did not take away from my excitement or anticipation. The boat was set to sail from New Orleans French Quarter area. Which was perfect it allowed me a weekend alone in my beloved city, well the French quarter anyway?
We arrived for our departure and the excitement rose in us both. We were not detoured by the long lines or waiting. We knew that in a matter of minutes we would be thru the lines and on the deck of the boat for photos. As it was time to board the boat we were met by photographers for the cruise line who seemed irritated that we did not want our photos taken. Well we got past that and met the crowd attempting to board the boat; it was chaos to say the least. As we entered the boat we were briefly greeted by a kind young women trying to direct 2000 people single handed and meet all of their needs. At last we broke free from the crowds and headed to our room. I am picturing at this point dropping my items off in our lovely suite and running to the deck to shove off, wave at those below, and of course snap a few photos.
At this point the joy started to fade. The room well let’s just say if gave my niece and I the opportunity to get very close. We could not both open our suitcases at the same time. At that point it was still fine how much time would we actually spend in the room.
Then we got notification that there was a mandatory evacuation drill for everyone on the boat. This was one of the most unorganized and least professional maneuvers that I have ever had the displeasure to be a part of. I am not a people person and to get stuck in a room with a large group of people was not exactly my happy place. How long could this actually take? The bright spot was the announcer; he was a member of the boat crew. I don’t know exactly what he did, I could barely understand a word he said, but his voice was hot. Then we were all led up stairs to all stand together by the rescue boats. All stuffed against each other like a box of sardines. At this point seriously does anyone actually think people are going to go sit patiently in a room to be led up stairs while the boat sinks? I don’t think so. As we were ushered upstairs we were introduced to the foul stench associated with casinos in Las Vegas. The odor of cleaning material, cigarette smoke, vomit, and stale mustiness. Basically not a smell you would find marketed by febreeze.
Whatever the drill is over and it was a mad insane dash to get to the rooms and to start having fun. We spent time running around getting to know the boat. Indulged in a little sushi and some over-priced but good adult beverages. We went down to take a peek at the shopping gala that would be laid out in front of us. This consisted of 2 shops and a kiosk, needless to say not real impressed at this point. I spent the majority of the evening in the room playing on my computer. The dinner was lovely, the staff was decent but hard to understand, and the rigidness of the schedule was getting a bit old.
As we sailed down the Mississippi we had pretty smooth water and the temperature was starting to drop. The excitement of the ocean and the trip ahead was building.
We hit open sea and wished to be back on the Mississippi because apparently the boats stabilizers were out and we felt every single wave. These were only 8 foot waves but oh my goodness it sucked. The first day at sea I made my way out of the room for sustenance and internet connectivity. The internet described on the website was definitely not maintained on each of the fleet’s vehicles. The internet was expensive and the service was extremely slow. It took 20 minutes to get thru about 30 emails. At that point I gave up, got an adult beverage, headed to them room and downed a hand of motion sickness pills. The boat was rocking worse than ever and we spent most of the day sleeping it off.
Then the excitement of getting off this mobile prison was upon us. We went to book our excursion and found the most popular one was the exact one we wanted to take. This boat held 2000 people and Xcaret had space for 60 people and sold out prior to the boat setting sail. In an attempt to not sound negative here perhaps the cruise line should read their demographic cards and realize that if an excursion sells out prior to the boat sailing perhaps they should increase the number of seats available. It did not help in the least when the helpful women behind the counter said well it always sells out prior to us setting sail. To this all I could say, huh?
Well we went to Xcaret; we did not have enough time there. It was wonderful and I really look forward to going back via airplane and rental car.
By the hair on our head we made the last water taxi to the boat and successfully over-indulged in adult beverages. Spent the night sleeping it off. The next excursion was in Costa Maya and was much more pleasant. We did not have to worry about time, schedules, missing the boat or anything else. At Costa Maya we visited the ruins and what an amazing place. The tour went to 4 of the unearthed temples; there were an additional 23 spots the tour did not cover. I can only imagine the beauty left to unearth and photograph in Costa Maya.
During the remainder of the cruise I did venture out of the room occasionally the first stop was by the pool, not a place I would recommend going into without a strong dose of penicillin. We sat on deck reading and in the background listened to one of the many entertainments on the ship. This particular entertainment was a hairy back contest, ewwwwh.
The turbulence on the way back was a little better and the events on the boat continued. The boat photographers were constantly in your face and trying to take pictures. They would get a little irritated when you said, no about a photo. It was annoying to say the least.
Then the day came to get off the boat, at that point my attitude was geared more towards get me off this damn thing and less of the excitement of a fantasy. It took hours to get off the boat and it was utter madness. People getting locked into hallways, no coordination, complete lack of a support system, and no one on the staff talked to each other.
I realize this is a negative review and I must say that I hear from so many people how much they love cruises and can’t wait for the next one. I realize that the majority of the blah was me and my preference for traveling. I enjoy reaching a spot with very few plans, structure, and routine. I enjoy lounging for hours at a location without looking at my watch every few minutes and spending hours coordinating what I do. Possibly I am a control freak, who knows.
I must say that the cruise line received my letter and numerous complaints on the boat and did offer a free two person cruise to make-up for my dissatisfaction which was nice. At this point I am strongly encouraging my niece and her boyfriend to enjoy a lovely cruise, I will fly to my next trip.
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