Carnival Fantasy is the oldest ship in Carnival's fleet, first launching way back in 1990. The ship had a series of extensive upgrades over its nearly three decades of sailings, including a major refurbishment in 2008 that added a water park with multiple slides, the Serenity adults area, and an upgraded pool.
Carnival Fantasy went into dry dock again in February 2016 and emerged as the first of the line's Fantasy-class ships to receive crowd favorites such as casual poolside eateries Guy’s Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina. In addition, the 2,056-passenger ship moved out of its home base in Charleston, South Carolina, and now does three- to five-day cruises to the Western Caribbean or the Bahamas out of Miami and Mobile, Alabama.
What We Love
WaterWorks: The biggest slide, a 300-foot-long twister, starts high above the ship, plunging you down toward the deck. There are also side-by-side racing waterslides and a Splash Pad with fountains that are perfect for entertaining younger kids in the sun.
Superstar Live Karaoke: For karaoke lovers, this is a dream come true: You can take the spotlight and sing along to your favorite tunes, backed by a live band instead of recorded music.
Spirited Bars: The 2016 dry dock added two new casual drinking spots. Order frozen margaritas by the pitcher or a michelada (Mexican beer mixed with lime juice and hot sauce) at the BlueIguana Tequila Bar, or head to the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar for tropical drinks made with Caribbean rums, as well as pints of the line's own beer, ThirstyFrog Red.
Best Known For
Seuss at Sea: Carnival’s partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises means lots of fun children’s activities, including a Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast, a Seuss-a-Palooza parade with the Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and Things 2, and Dr. Seuss story time where classic tales are acted out. Expect a lot of audience participation.
24-Hour Pizza and Ice Cream: The party never seems to end on this ship. Luckily, you can find a sweet or savory treat no matter what time your stomach tells you to eat.
Spa Discounts: If you're planning on booking a massage or a facial during the cruise, take advantage of Carnival’s first-day bargains, as well as sea-day sales.
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Who It's Best For
Kids and Kids at Heart: Carnival does a good job keeping guests of all ages entertained, from the water park and well-executed children’s programs at Camp Carnival to after-hours parties that keep the dance floor full well into the wee hours — and everything in between.
The Budget-Conscious: This ship is a practical option if you're looking for an affordable vacation somewhere sunny — even in the winter. Western Caribbean cruises out of Mobile regularly start at less than $250 per person for a five-day cruise.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
There Are Few Balconies: If you want a balcony cabin, you’ll have to splurge on one of just 26 junior suites or 28 grand suites. They're also the first cabins to sell out, so you'll need to book early if having private outdoor space is a must.
Lana Gates is a Phoenix-based contributing writer for ShermansCruise.
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Carnival Fantasy at a Glance
- Line: Carnival Cruise Line
- Class: Fantasy
- Number of Passengers: 2056
- Ship Size: Large
- Launch Date: 1990
- Refurbish Date: 2016