13 December 2009

Fantasy the ship

One of the smallest ships I have sailed on, but still a big deal. 70,367 tons, 855 feet long, with a 21 knots cruising speed, and total guests 2,344 (crew 920), this ship is just a tad smaller than the Disney Wonder and Magic (holds the same amount of guests).

We first sailed on the Fantasy in December of 1998. I am afraid that I do not have too many photos from this first cruise. I had a film camera, and an infant and it was hard to take photos with a baby on the hip, and expensive too because I had an Advantix camera. Boy that film was high!! I have about 5 scrapbook pages from the whole trip...well, it was a 3 day cruise so maybe that is about right. We sailed from Port Canaveral on In 98' when we sailed the rooms had a orangy/pinkish decor. Very nasty, I thought even then. Today, the cabins have a very modern decor, white duvet, with reds/browns. I enjoyed the color scheme very much. It made me want to rest, and relax, and I hope that was the plan in choosing the palate and layout. There is still a white sign type thing in the corner just like before, put they have modernized the bath and the storage. Now the storage is nowhere near as nice as one of those big liners, but it is livable.

The exterior of the ship is very "old school". New liners have most of the outside cabins with a balcony, and it looks like there might be balconies on only the veranda deck on the Fantasy.

The ship looks tip top from the outside though. I am telling you, this ship was built in 1990, so it was 8 years old the first time I sailed her. Now she is nearing the 20 year mark, but she shines, Carnival has cared for her in the utmost way. I believe that she was one of the first ones that Carnival had designed and built for just them. I will have to check on that fact, but I believe that is right.

Public areas:
From the photos that I have the bars/lounges have not changed at all. The cat's lounge is still full of giant cans and forks and spoons. Cleopatra's is still full of Egyptian things, and the Majestic bar is still leathery and full of cigar smoke!! Cough cough!

The marble staircase is still there in the Grand Atruim but gone are the ropes of neon! Trust me, that is a very good thing. The ship was not decorated for Christmas like it was on December 1, 1998, and that was sad, but she did have a few Christmas decorations.

The photo gallery has been moved from a "wing" off the side of the ship to just off the Grand Atruim. The shops are very crowded as compared to the newer ships. The newer ships realize that folks will spend money and have laid them out like a real mall, but the older ships just crowded stores in where they could.

The restaurants were EXACTLY the same decor...just new furniture. CRAZY huh?

Now the sewage smell was very reminiscent of the Tropicale...that was so terrible. The smell started on E deck (Empress) and went all through the Grand Atrium NASTY! Sometimes you could even smell it outside on the LIdo deck nearest the Atrium. Sewage issues on a ship was not something that I wanted to relive EVER!!!

Other than that bit of nasty junk...the ship looked great, responded great to the water, was in good condition, and not worn out looking. Even the monorail at Disney World had frayed carpet in the cockpit and that ruined the look for me and made me wonder about upkeep. I had no qualms here about the upkeep. The captain even pushed her as fast as her cruising speed could go and there were no issues whatsoever.

My favorite part of the ship was the promenade deck, right outside the Majestic bar and the Casino. The decor was Greek influenced, with chaises lounges and tile topped tables. The sound of the slot machines was cool too, oh and so was the whirl of the coffee machine in the coffee bar. You could sit and look out at the ocean, smell the coffee, and then go into the $10 store to buy something or make a friend. This area is also a hop skip and a jump from the Universal Lounge (where they do the broadway type shows), the photo gallery and the galleria shops. So it was the perfect location for everything that you needed.

What surprised me the most? The fact that you could walk from one end of the ship to the other in no time flat. I am totally not used to that.

What angered me the most? The smoking...I loved the Paradise when she was a non smoking ship. That was a wonderful cruise. Oh course, it would all be fine if the smokers would stick to the port side rule, but they do not.

Biggest question: They moved the omelet station to the pizza station and so you had to wait forever to get an omelet. Why did you do that?

All in all, I had more fun on this time around than I did the first time that I sailed her. She was in great shape, the activities were great (not that I did many), and the itinerary was PERFECT! I really really liked the stops! Even Progresso that I heard was no good was! We saw the ruins, shopped a little and found out that Progresso is where you buy a hammock! Actually, everything was cheaper here, so if you go on this buy your stuff here, just make sure that you watch your vanilla. I saw many vanillas here with coumarin so be wary...this stuff causes cancer. Los Cinco Soles has a better flavor than any that I have ever had. Trust me on this one, I have tried lots! I am a HUGE fan of vanilla. And that is one reason that we go to the Western Caribbean so much, so I can get more vanilla. If vanilla was available like this in the Eastern Caribbean I would not go to the west again. I much prefer the St Thomas, San Juan, St Maarten and Barbados parts of the world.

Just a tidbit: When we docked in port in Cozumel we were "parked" next to the Inspiration. This is a sister ship to the Fantasy...they were so cute docked side by side on the pier. Looking like a couple of twins, very cute twins.

Just some facts:

Our smallest ship---Carnival Tropicale
Port Tampa
Tonnage 36,674
Speed 20 knots
Guests 1,022
Crew 550

Our largest ship---Carnival Victory
port Miami
Tonnage 11,509
Speed 21 knots
Guests 3,467
Crew 1,100

The world's largest ship docks in Port Everglades and holds 6,200 guests! WOW!!!

This one and the Legend were the two that we sailed when they were new. We sailed the Legend when she was less than 6 months old, the Victory less than a year old.

We were the 3rd to the last cruise Carnival did on the Tropicale. It was reduced to scrap metal after that.