Our family drove from Tennessee to Charleston to take the Carnival Fantasy cruise to the Bahamas. We were celebrating our daughter's high school graduation and we all had a great time.
Embarkation went smoothly- we checked our luggage early and spent some time walking around in Charleston. Parking for the cruise was in a warehouse (if you get there early enough) which was nice since the weather was really hot. Check-in was pretty easy, and we entered the ship early enough to eat lunch at the Lido deck buffet while we waited for our staterooms to become available. Our rooms were very nice, with an adjoining door between to our kids' room (kids are age 18 and 28). We never met our room steward, but we never had to call him, and our rooms were always cleaned and serviced well.
The food was great- we chose the "anytime dining" in the Celebration dining room and never had to wait for a table. The menus always had something we all enjoyed, especially the chocolate melting cake! The service was really good, from the welcome we received every night to every different server we encountered. We ate breakfast each morning at the Lido buffet, and lunch also, along with the pizzeria (on at sea days).
We thought the ship was beautiful- it is one of the older and smaller ships but is luxuriously decorated. All bars, lounges, dining areas and the theater were well-appointed and clean, as well as pools and decks.
Ports were Nassau and Freeport. At Nassau, the kids did Atlantis Aquaventure water park- I bought tickets online through Majestic Tours for the same price as at the park itself- 70 dollars less than the excursion through Carnival. Well worth the price- they took a group cab there and back for 5 bucks each one way- and had a blast. My husband and I went to Cabbage Beach at Paradise Island- took the water taxi both ways which was fun. The beach was pretty nice- food, drink and restrooms pretty handy and easy to rent chairs and umbrella. Lots of peddlers, though, and the water was really rough and had a big drop-off close to the shore. Not a great beach for little kids- lots of folks got knocked down by the waves and undertow.
We enjoyed the beach at Freeport (Our Lucaya) more- just a really nice setup. Only a 10-minute cab ride to beautiful, calm water and clean beach. There were 2 snack/drink bars on the beach. Nice shopping area and casino there too.
We all enjoyed the entertainment offerings on the ship. The shows were great, especially the Beatles tribute show on the last night. The music on the pool deck was enjoyable (not all steel drum) and our daughter enjoyed the deck parties and dancing and conga lines.
We chose the self-assisted disembarkation and it went super-smoothly. We were on the road within 30-40 minutes of leaving the ship.
All in all, we thought it was a great, laid-back, totally enjoyable vacation.