|Its all about ships
PROFILE AND REVIEW
Cruise line profile - Carnival Cruise Lines -Fantasy class - profile and review
Above: Carnival Fantasy.
Above: Carnival Ecstasy.
Above: Carnival Inspiration. (Photo
courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line).
Right: Carnival Fascination.
Left: Carnival Elation.
Below Carnival Paradise.
The Fantasy class was a series of eight cruise ships built for
Carnival Cruise Line between 1990 and 1998. Four of the ships
(Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Imagination
and Carnival Inspiration) have been retired The other four
(Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Elation and
Carnival Paradise) remain in service for Carnival.
Although these ships were among the largest cruise ships in
the world when they entered service, at approximately, 70,000
gross tons, they now would be considered small to medium size
cruise ships today. Carnival uses these ships in two roles. First,
to provide short, affordable cruises from major cruise ports.
These are intended for people who are new to cruising and just
want to see if they like cruising and for people who want a short
break. Second, these ships can be based in more remote U.S.
ports so as to provide a cruising opportunity for people in the
area that does not involve flying to one of the major cruise ports.
In both roles. the Fantasy class cruise ships provide a casual,
resort-style, family-friendly cruise experience. Although the
ships were built in the 1990s, Carnival has invested considerable
sums in them over the years in order for the ships to remain viable
in the U.S. market. As a result, the ships have versions of many -
- but not all - - of the features found on Carnival's newer and
While the original layouts were the same, the public areas of
each ship were built according to a different decorating theme.
For example, the theme of Carnival Sensation is arts and literature
while the theme of Carnival Paradise is the great ocean liners of
the past. These different themes have been executed so as to
create a fantasy-land atmosphere consistent with the line's
objective of making cruising a fun experience.
Each ship has two main dining rooms as well as a large
buffet restaurant. As a result of refits, the ships also have Guy's
Burger Joint and the Mexican-inspired Blue Iguana Cantina.
For evening entertainment, there is a show lounge, several
different bars and a large casino. During the day, facilities
include a pool, water slides, mini-golf and a children's water
park. The ship has dedicated facilities for children of different
age groups. There is also a spa and an adults-only Serenity area.
In their present configuration, each of the four remaining
Fantasy class ships can accommodate 2,,056 guests at double
occupancy. Originally, the cabins on these ships were inside or
ocean view cabins. As part of the Evolutions of Fun
refurbishments in the late 2000's, a number of balcony cabins
were added. While these additions gave the ships somewhat
unusual profiles, it all seems to work.
All of the Fantasy class ships were built at the Kvaerner-Masa
shipyards in Finland. When they were launched, each ship had a
one-word name but in 2007 the line added the word “Carnival” to
each ship's name. Thus, Fascination became Carnival Fascination.
The ships are very similar but not identical. Carnival Elation
and Carnival Paradise utilize pod propulsion while the others have
traditional shafts and fixed pitch propellers. They have a maximum
speed of approximately 21 knots, which is somewhat below
If it had not been for the COVID-19 pandemic, all of the
Fantasy class ships could probably have stayed in service for
another decade. Cruise ships are built to last at least 40 years and
with proper maintenance, can sometimes sail beyond that. While
they are no longer the flagships of the fleet, Carnival has
continually invested in the Fantasy class ships over the years to
keep them viable vacation choices in the North American market.
However, faced with a situation where the line had no income,
business considerations dictated cutting cost by eliminating some
of its older less efficient ships.
In July 2020, Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Imagination and
Carnival Inspiration left the Carnival fleet. They were
subsequently scrapped in Turkey. Carnival Fascination was sold
to Century Harmony Cruise Limited and renamed Century
Harmony. It is believed that the new owner plans to convert the
ship into a hotel in Asia.
Right: Carnival Sensation.
Below: Carnival Imagination.