Deciding to take a Carnival cruise is a no-brainer. However, choosing the ship can be a difficult task as Carnival Cruise Lines currently has 25 ships in its fleet with more on the way. The best way to narrow it down is to start with the most attractive itinerary and work from there. If you are in the market for a 4 or 5-day Caribbean cruise, these Carnival Fantasy tips will show you why sailing out of Mobile, Alabama is a great choice.
Carnival Fantasy Tips: 7 Reasons to Sail Carnival Fantasy from Mobile
Yes, the Carnival Fantasy is the oldest ship in the Carnival Fleet (built in 1990). Many people completely overlook this ship for that very reason. Having worked in the travel industry for a while now, I can attest that “newer isn’t always better.” There are many Carnival Fantasy tips that can enhance your sailing experience. Here are 7 reasons to sail the Carnival Fantasy in Mobile, Alabama.
1. The Port of Mobile, Alabama
Cruising from Mobile is a breeze as the Fantasy is currently the only ship departing from the port. The City of Mobile has many area hotels that offer Park and Cruise specials that will shuttle you to and from the port. If you feel like parking at the port, you can even pre-pay your parking before you arrive.
The City of Mobile welcomes their Carnival Fantasy guests with a program called “Very Important Cruiser.” The Very Important Cruiser program has partnered with certain area attractions that will offer discounts and promotions to anyone with a Carnival Fantasy boarding pass.
There are so many activities to do in and around the City of Mobile that you could easily add extra days to your vacation pre or post cruise to enjoy all the Gulf Coast area has to offer. Visit the Mobile Carnival Museum and learn all about the birthplace of Mardi Gras. Spend the day at the USS Alabama Battleship Park, drive across the bay and spend the day shopping in Fairhope, or drive a little over an hour and enjoy the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. There is so much to see and do.
2. The Itineraries
The Carnival Fantasy in Mobile offers two main itineraries sailing throughout the year:
- 4-Day Western Caribbean (Mobile, At Sea, Cozumel, At Sea, Mobile)
- 5-Day Western Caribbean (Mobile, At Sea, Costa Maya, Cozumel, At Sea, Mobile)
The Carnival Fantasy will offer longer itineraries with different ports of call on select sailings in April, September and November 2018:
- 6-Day Western Caribbean (Mobile, At Sea, At Sea, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, At Sea, Mobile)
- 8-Day Western Caribbean (Mobile, At Sea, Costa Maya, Mahogany Bay, Belize, Cozumel, Progreso, At Sea, Mobile)
- 8-Day Eastern Caribbean (Mobile, At Sea, Key West, Freeport, Princess Cays, Nassau, At Sea, At Sea, Mobile)
- 10-Day Panama Canal (Mobile, At Sea, At Sea, At Sea, Panama Canal Partial Transit, Limon (Costa Rica), At Sea, Mahogany Bay, Cozumel, At Sea, Mobile
3. The Staterooms
The Carnival Fantasy offers three category staterooms for guests to choose from: Interior, Oceanview, and Suites. The main difference in the staterooms is the square footage, location, and view. You can access a Carnival Fantasy deck plan here. The interior and oceanview staterooms are on average 186 square feet and sleep between 2-4 people. The main difference between the two is the location and the ocean view staterooms offering a large picture window. The suites are on average 220 square feet with an additional 30 square foot private balcony.
TravelingMom Tip: If you are looking for a stateroom with a balcony, book a suite as they are the only staterooms onboard with private balconies.
All of the guests aboard the Fantasy, regardless of which category stateroom, will enjoy 24-hour stateroom service with nightly turn down service.
4. The Food
Carnival Fantasy tip: Make sure to pack your appetite. With two main dining rooms – Celebration and Jubilee, guests can choose from three separate dining times: Early (6:00pm), Late (8:15pm), or Your Time (5:45-9:30 pm).
TravelingMom Tip: Choose to add Signature Steakhouse Selections to your meals in either of the main dining rooms for an extra charge of $20 per person. These selections may include filet mignon, New York strip, lobster, or surf & turf.
If casual dining is more of your thing, then have no fear, you have plenty of options. The Lido Restaurant (open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner) has a wide variety of food choices including Mongolian Wok, Chef’s Choice, Salad Bar, Carnival Deli and more. Even better, Pizza Pirate and the self-serve frozen yogurt station are open 24/7.
For the best burgers at sea, Guy’s Burger Joint is the place to go for lunch. If you like Mexican food, Blueiguana Cantina serves breakfast and lunch. Seaday Brunch is offered once per cruise in the main dining room areas during one of your days at sea.
5. The Onboard Activities
Carnival Fantasy offers so many different onboard activities you will never be able to do them all. Carnival WaterWorks is an onboard aqua park with an expansive spray park for smaller children and families. Featuring a 300′ long spiraling tube slide and a 82′ long double-lane racing slide, the kids (and adults) will be entertained for hours. Guests can also enjoy mini golf, the Carnival Spa & Fitness Center, as well as the outdoor jogging track.
Carnival Fantasy has a two-deck spa, Spa Carnival, that features 2 saunas, 2 steam rooms, and 10 massage treatment rooms. Pamper yourself with European-style services including hair and nail grooming, hot stones and aromatherapy. When you finish at the spa head to the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat to relax for the rest of the day. Have your kids with you? No problem.
The Kid’s Programs on the Carnival Fantasy are amazing. There are three separate programs for children ages 2-17. Camp Ocean is where children ages 2-11 go to enjoy ocean themed activities and entertainment. Circle “C” is the place for tweens ages 12-14. Here they can hang out, enjoy dance parties, games and outdoor movies. Club 02 is for teens ages 15-17. This provides teens with a place to watch movies, listen to music “from this decade”, play sports and video games, and sing karaoke.
6. The Entertainment
You never have to worry about being bored when sailing the Carnival Fantasy. There is always something to do, always. Families will love Hasbro, The Game Show. Partner up with your friends and family to play giant versions of Connect 4, Yahtzee, Sorry! and more before a live audience to win prizes. Enjoy a live musical show at Playlist Productions or laugh the night away at the Punchliner Comedy Club.
Play slot machines or try your hand at blackjack at the Club 21 Casino. You must be 18 years of age or older to play. If you like to party late into the evening you may enjoy Cleopatra’s Piano Bar, or Electricity dance club.
Families with younger children will love Seuss At Sea. The special onboard character parades, interactive story time, and arts & crafts activities. Once per cruise, (usually on a sea day morning) the Dr. Seuss Character Breakfast is held. You will need to make reservations for this breakfast as soon as possible upon embarkation. There is a $5/per person fee to attend the breakfast.
7. The Views
Some of the best views in the world can be found on the decks of cruise ships. Watching the sun set at sea with a glass of wine in your hand is the ultimate relaxation. When looking for a relaxing, fun, affordable vacation with amazing views, consider cruising the Carnival Fantasy out of Mobile, Alabama.