Hello again, everybody. My name is Jeff “Jamman” Maskall, and I am a cruise addict!! Right after the holidays, I was wandering around the Carnival website, when I spotted a whole bunch of “no single supplement” cruises being offered. This intrigued me, since solo cruisers usually have to pay 200% of the fare. Now, my wife Patti is a teacher, so cruising at any other time of the year except summer, is pretty much out of the question. We are comfortable, after 20 wonderful years of marriage, that we can take short separate vacations apart from each other. She has her interests, I have mine, and mine just happens to be cruising!! (She also loves to cruise, but not as much as me!!). One of the cruises offered was the Carnival Fantasy, sailing from Charleston, South Carolina, 5 days to Nassau, and my favorite place in the world, Half Moon Cay. This cruise was scheduled for February 11th, right after a very hectic month for me, between work and other activities I am involved with, which meant I was burning the candle at both ends. This would be a perfect way to recover!! So with Patti’s blessing, I booked it, choosing an inside cabin to save even more money. I was able to book a reasonable roundtrip nonstop flight from Newark to Charleston, flying in the day before. I was also able to get a GREAT deal on a suite at Spring Hills Suites ($82), for the night before the cruise. Now all I had to do was wait, and keep my fingers crossed that Mother Nature didn’t throw a wrench into the plans!! Now…fast forward to Monday, February 10th. In New Jersey, we have been hammered all winter with at least two snow or ice storms a week. We had just had one the previous Friday, and another BIG one was on the way. As luck would have it, the 10th is a beautiful, but cold day, and there are no flight delays or cancellations. Yippie!! I was prepared to hop in the car and drive the 12 hours if I had to!! In any event, the flight was great and on time, the hotel was wonderful; especially for what I paid for it. My mini solo vacation is off to a GREAT start, so let us begin….. Embarkation Day is here!! I can’t wait to get on the Fantasy again. This will be my third time on her. The first time was in 1990 from Miami when she was brand new. The second was in 2006 from Port Canaveral, but this will be my first time on her after her Evolution of Fun upgrades, when they put in the Waterworks, Serenity, and upgraded the Lido Pool area. I awoke to a cloudy, rainy, dismal kind of day, with the temperatures only in the low 40’s. Not at all what I expected when I booked this cruise. The good news is that it was going to get much worse in the next 24 hours with a major snow/ice storm slated to hit the area. We would be long gone by then! After eating their free breakfast, I asked the front desk to have a cab pick me up at 10am to take me to the port, which they were happy to do. I’ll say it now, that everyone from Charleston that I interacted with during my short time here, were extremely friendly, polite, and helpful! The cab arrived a few minutes past ten, and 25 minutes and $25. Plus tip later I was at the port. Things are done a little differently here at the Port of Charleston, so I’ll try to explain. If you arrive in your own car you will be directed to join the Port Grand Prix, following a course thru the orange barriers. (You will see pictures later). You will stop once to show your documents, stop again to offload your luggage, then finally park inside a warehouse. Then you will be directed to board a shuttle that will take you to the cruise terminal. If you are just being dropped off, whether it be by car, taxi, shuttle, etc, you enter a different gate, again having to show your documents, before proceeding to the baggage drop where you give your luggage to the friendly porters. Again, you will be directed to a nearby shuttle for transport to the cruise terminal. Sounds like a lot, but it went quite well. By 10:40 I was aboard a shuttle, but after pulling up 100 feet, the driver informed us that they weren’t ready to check-in new passengers yet, so we would have to wait. No problem, as I was now warm and dry. At 11:10, the driver was given the green light, and to the terminal we went. What happened next was by far the fastest and easiest embarkation I ever experienced in now my 33rd Carnival cruise. I literally walked from the shuttle, thru the security line, into the VIP line, to the check-in desk, up the stairs for my embarkation photo, to the security photo, and onto the ship in 8 minutes!!! I have arrived!!!..... To the Lobby Bar for my first drink of the cruise….. Atrium (Grand Spectrum) Elevators….. Looking up to the Skylight….. Guest Services Desk….. To be continued…..