Carnival Fantasy Cruise Ship Tips

Based on our trip on the Carnival Cruise ship Fantasy from Charleston to the Bahamas I have a couple recommendations to maximize fun while minimizing cruise expenses.

Our Cruise Tips

  • A big selling point to me for a cruise is the lack of internet/phone access. Technically phone/internet access is available, but at cost prohibitive rates. I found this to be the first vacation where I could really unplug in the past couple years and it made this vacation that much more enjoyable.
  • You can bring in 1 bottle of wine per person in your carry-on luggage. Take advantage of this to minimize on-board alcohol purchases.
  • We were able to get a bottle of liquor in our checked luggage onto the boat and this helped us avoid any on-board alcohol purchases.
  • There was free champagne at the art gallery opening
  • We enjoyed free cocktails at the Fun Farewell Party on the last day of the cruise again helping us to avoid on-board alcohol purchases.
  • We'd recommend getting to the Charleston port before 12:30pm on embarkation day to reduce wait time and maximize time on the boat.
  • Lido deck food lines can get pretty long. We waited up to 45min for our 1st meal. I'd recommend taking advantage of more meals in the dining room to enjoy better service and less waiting in lines. Also the food generally tended to be better in the dining room.
  • Our top foods on the ship were the Mongolian Grill, sticky buns, key lime pie, chocolate melting cake, large fresh fruit selection, and most dinner entries in the dining room.
  • See our Nassau port recommendations and Freeport port excursions recommendations.
  • We really enjoyed the comedy shows on the ship.
  • We stayed at a local hotel the night before the cruise for $145 which included round trip transfer to the Charleston port and parking for the cruise. We found it an attractive alternative to parking directly at the port for $15/day that let us spend an extra day in Charleston.

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Comments (2)


This is great information.In August, I sailed on a Princess Cruiseship. They have many of the same situations. We didnt have to wait in line for any food. The service was excellent. And there were great drink specials after 8. The internet was very pricy.

We sail on 12/11/10 and it was a cruise from hell. To start we sat in our car for 2 and half hours waiting to park and we got there at 1 pm. We then get to where they take our luggage and was informed we "had to tip" the porters. We then went to boarding area and waited again for 45 min before getting to actually board. Finally got on board and our sail time of 4pm turned out to be 9:30 pm. The ship then went full speed on rough seas to get to Nassau. The crew was in training or so it seemed as every question you asked they didn't have an answer to. Our meals were not only cold when served but undercooked even at the Lido buffet. This was my second cruise on Carnival and the first one on the West Coast was wonderful and went very smoothly. This was a trip to celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversay and my husband swears he will never go again after this experience. The crowning glory to this story is that to disembark took 3 hours!!!

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