Looking to book a cruise, but don’t know which one or what dates? Let me tell you about the Carnival Fantasy! Remember, not all Carnival ships are created equally. This is a much older ship and that’s something to be taken into account for a frequent cruiser.
This cruise was a 4 day Cozumel Plus-Western Caribbean cruise that departed from Miami, FL and visited Key West, FL and Cozumel, Mexico.
Being a Halloween fanatic, James and I decided to book this Halloween cruise for the second year in a row. However, this year we traveled on the older ship, the Fantasy. By older, I mean this ship was originally launched in 1990, just a year older than me! To date this makes the Fantasy the oldest ship in Carnival’s fleet. When we booked our trip, we did not know this information, so hopefully this helps in making your decision!
Having some past experience cruising, I wouldn’t necessarily say you won’t enjoy this ship because of its age. Whenever I cruise, I tend to have a blast! It might be one of my favorite ways to travel. Accommodations, food, entertainment, and visiting new foreign islands?! YES, PLEASE! However, if you’re a seasoned cruiser or looking for something a little upscale, I wouldn’t recommend this ship for you.
If you’re a first time cruiser, looking for a great deal, obsessed with Halloween, and like to party, sign yourself up ASAP! Different strokes for different folks, nah mean? In other words, what might not work for me, will work for someone else. James and I had such a great time, but I can’t lie about how we truly felt cruising on this ship. We knit picked at everything, from the rust on the outside of the ship, the quality of the blanket on the bed, the alcohol packages (same on all Carnival ships), and the overall feel of an old ship. We were able to notice all these things because of our cruising background. After four cruises, we’re officially CRUISE SNOBS Y’ALL! *Dies on the inside*
Key West, Florida
Being born and raised in Florida, you’d think that Key West wasn’t such a fun stop for us, but it was! We haven’t been able to travel to or explore Key West as much as we would like to, but that all changed on this trip! Visiting the “Southernmost Point” with an open perspective allowed us to appreciate everything it has to offer. Learning about the unique architecture, the long history of shipwrecks and conchs was fascinating to say the least. (Fun fact: If you hate squirrels, this is the place for you! They’re not native there!)
We learned so much about Key West thanks to the Conch Tour Train! As our first port stop we didn’t really plan out what we wanted to do in Key West. We decided after arriving that it would be nice to do a tour and experience a true tourist experience while getting a nice breeze on a hot day. Tickets cost $31.45 per adult and gave us the ability to hop on and off at the stops when we pleased. We enjoyed it so much, we rode it twice! The tour guides that shouted information via their microphone made the tour so fun, each giving their own personal style.
So if you’re looking for a fun, cultural, learning excursion, and a way to see as many sights as possible around Key West, check out the Conch Tour Train. Carnival might offer this as an excursion package, so check online for possible discounts and offers.
This port stop was the primary reason for our trip. This cruise was called “Cozumel Plus,” because we were able to spend more time at the port than usual. We actually arrived on the last day of the Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead. This Mexican holiday is celebrated throughout Mexico, primarily in central and southern regions, however we didn’t see much of the celebration by the time we arrived. As our tour guide mentioned, the celebrations don’t carry out well in high tourism areas.
An excursion I’ve always wanted to do if given the chance in Mexico was to explore their underground caves. This is exactly what James and I did! We took an awful stomach wrenching speed boat to Playa Del Carmen where we hopped on a bus to get to our final destination, Chaak-Tun Cenotes. Check out this tagged spot on Instagram! This place is amazing!! This is hands down one of the most beautiful places I’ve experienced. The water in these underground caves were super chilly and filled with sleeping bats.
As our 6 hour excursion came to a close, we got to explore a little bit of Playa Del Carmen and their outdoor market and mall. If you don’t like being yelled at or haggling with foreigners, I would suggest giving them a firm “No, thank you!” because they will not stop. These types of places I call a “Tourist Trap,” it’s the sort of place where they want you to think you’re getting a good deal, when in reality they’re overpricing you. For example, I bought a lovely purple sugar skull because I’m #basic and the cost was $10 paying in cash, but if you wanted to pay with a credit card it was double the price. Even though the gentleman over the counter said it was priced the same, I know how to speak Spanish, and I completely understood he was trying to take advantage of me. Jokes on you buddy!
Overall, this cruise was okay. Excursions were AWESOME, but we’ve been on better. We got our mixture of relaxation and adventure in. What I later found out was that we were actually the last ones to embark to the Caribbean from Miami. If you do end up wanting to sail the seas on the Carnival Fantasy, you will have to do so from Mobile, AL the new home port for the ship. Despite my mediocre review of the Fantasy, I haven’t given up on the “fun ships” just yet. The next ship I’m dying to set sail on is the Carnival Vista! The Vista is the newest ship in the Carnival fleet and yes I know I’m *EXTRA* I hope this helped you in finding the right ship for your vacation needs. If you’ve been on the Fantasy before I’d love to hear about your experience and what you thought of the ship.