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The cruise terminal like the airport is modern and spacious and we are soon walking up the ramp to board Fantasia. We head to the Zanzibar Buffet on deck 14 for some breakfast as it is still only 9.30. We then have a few hours to kill before our cabin is ready at 1pm. Seems the whole ship had overnight flights as people are asleep everywhere. On sun loungers, chairs and various sofas through the ship. We find a quiet spot to snooze for an hour or so before heading to our cabin just before 1pm.
Our cabin, 12223, is situated on the Incanto deck. The cabin is very similar to the cabin we had on Splendida except that the balcony on this one is much larger and deeper. We unpack and again we notice that storage space is less than what we are used to on other cruise lines. It’s not a problem is just means you have to be more organised. More coat hangers would be useful and a bit more drawer space would be helpful. By the time we unpack its time for some lunch and then a proper snooze as we have not had much sleep in the last 24 hours. Muster drill tonight is at 8.30pm, Dinner 9.15pm and we leave port at 11pm.
Cabin 12223 MSC Fantasia
Next is the mandatory muster drill. Our station was in the Tex Mex restaurant where we joined several other passengers. Definitely not the most enjoyable part of a cruise but very important. MSC still dictates that you bring your life jacket with you for muster. Seems a little archaic when most other cruise lines have dropped the need for this. Apart from the fact that each step in being shown how to put the vest on is repeated in 5 different languages it’s all over fairly quickly and we all disperse.
We arrive for dinner promptly. We are shown to a table for 8 people. It’s always a little apprehensive meeting your table mates for the first time. Will we like them, will they like us. I don’t recall all the names of the people that joined us but we did like them and we hope they liked us…they seemed to. We had an older couple from Belfast.
A family from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire (Mum, Dad and grown-up daughter) and a solo traveller from Huddersfield (Greg) I think his name was. Turns out we are the most seasoned cruisers at the table but everyone had done more than one cruise before.
The menu was extensive. Service was a little slow, especially when it came to serving the wine. As its an Italian cruise line there are about 6 courses to choose from. Most of the Brits on the table order the starter, main and dessert but I have the seafood platter to start, then a rustic salad, Veal for main and Tiramisu for dessert. Peter has Caprese, Rustic Salad, Veal and Apple Strudel with ice cream. It was all very tasty and nicely presented.
By the time we had finished Fantasia had slipped her moorings and manoeuvred out of Port Rashid. After dinner, we headed for the bars for some drinks. We tried a variety as we were wide awake and not ready for bed. About 1 am we returned to our cabin to find out tomorrows excursion was at 8,30 am and so needed to be up for 7 am to get breakfast first.