Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review by simplelife: Fun and relaxation aboard the Ecstasy
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Fun and relaxation aboard the Ecstasy
Background Information - This was the 7th cruise for DH and I (the fourth with Carnival); our travel party was just the two of us (empty nesters) We booked this cruise at a very good past-guest rate. The primary aim of our cruise was relaxation. Despite rain for almost the entire duration of the cruise, we had a very good time. In fact the rain was very conducive to relaxation.
Hotel Info - We drove to port, staying the night before the cruise at Hampton Inn in Titusville on HHonors points -great hotel - very clean and comfortable. WE used Park-n-Cruise on Merritt Island - I HIGHLY recommend them. They were reliable efficient and friendly. We arrived at Port Canaveral about 11:00. Embarkation was very smooth by zones and fast - by noon we were already sipping our first drink at he pool bar and our room was ready by 1:30.
Ship Info - The ship is in very good condition for its age. We knew pretty much what to expect from Ecstasy, having sailed this class of ships More before (Imagination and Paradise). The ship decor has been updated and the serenity deck added. Ecstasy doe not have as many amenities as the newer, larger ships - only one pool, a smallish one on the lido deck, and no specialty restaurants nor mini-golf, climbing wall. etc (This was not a problem for us, as we usually do not use any of these).
Stateroom - Our cabin was U61 (Upper deck, ocean view, midship/forward was very conveniently located (near the midship elevators). Our cabin was smaller than I expected, not room for much more than the bed and one chair - I have previously been in cabins with a small table and/or a sofa. Storage space was adequate though not plentiful. Reading lights and an outlet right next to the bed came in handy for using my Kindle. The bed was very comfortable with the updated duvets and luxury linens. The small bathroom had almost no storage. but everything was in working order. Once I figured out the shower, I had plenty of hot water and the spray was sufficient; there was an electrical outlet in the bathroom also.
Activities - We spent most of the time relaxing on the lido deck and serenity deck - I spent a lot of time in the hot tubs on both areas. I was very surprised to find that neither of these areas was crowded and did not see much chair-hogging. We spent a little time in the casino at the draw poker machines (DH and I each spent less than $20 and DH came out about $12 to the good).
Entertainment - The best thing going on this cruise was the cruise staff - The cruise disrector Steve Cassell, his assistant Gary, and Tricia, one of the entertainment staff members. The singers and dancers were just so-so, but the house band and comedians were very good. The guest shows - love and marriage and the talent show (in which I participated) were fun. There were a lot of activities throughout the evening until late night. The entertainment we enjoyed most was the piano bar, with "Mr. H". We missed the captain's party on elegant night, but did enjoy the past guest party on the last afternoon with live dance music, and free drinks and Hors d'oeuvres.
Dining - We had fixed dining, late seating. We found late seating to be a bit too late for us, as we usually eat early at home. We ate mostly in the MDR. IMO the best starter was the stuffed mushrooms, the best entree was the Chateaubriand, and the best dessert was the Bitter and Blanc, a white- and dark-chocolate bread pudding. DH liked the various soups, the steak, and the chocolate melting cake. The buffet did not seem as extensive as I have seen on some cruises - and we found the lines were long at times. Our favorites there were the made-to-order panini sandwiches in the deli and the mongolian beef salad.
Service - Service was very good. Our steward, MDR waiter staff, and all of the bar staff we encountered were courteous and efficient. We could not have asked for better.
Port & Shore Excursions - Our ports were Key West, Nassau, and Freeport. We did not do any excursions. Despite pouring rain and flooded streets, we donned ponchos and explored Key West on our own, spending time at Sloppy Joes and at a cafe in a beautiful old home where we sat on the porch, drank coffee and people-watched. We loved Key Wast and plan to go back for a land vacation. In Nassau, considering that we had been there several times before and that is was still raining, we choose to just stay on the ship. In Freeport, we took a taxi out to Taino Beach ($15 pp for the taxi and $5 pp for a beach chair) - a nice public beach with clean restrooms and a snack ba
Disembarkation This was the easiest and smoothest embarkation we have ever experienced. Once we ate breakfast in the MDR, we waited in the comfortable library for a few minutes until our zone number was called and then just walked off the ship, collected our luggage clearly arranged by zone and literally breezed through customs with no lines. Our shuttle form Park-N-Cruise was there within minutes.
Other - There were a lot of family groups aboard this sailing. Overall the dress was casual. Less
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Cabin review: 6CU61
Our cabin was U61 (Upper deck, ocean view, midship/forward was very conveniently located (near the midship elevators). Our cabin was smaller than I expected, not room for much more than the bed and one chair - I have previously been in cabins with a small table and/or a sofa. Storage space was adequate though not plentiful. Reading lights and an outlet right next to the bed came in handy for using my Kindle. The bed was very comfortable with the updated duvets and luxury linens. The small bathroom had almost no storage. but everything was in working order. Once I figured out the shower, I had plenty of hot water and the spray was sufficient; there was an electrical outlet in the bathroom also