My fiance and I set off on the Carnival Ecstasy on Sept 1st for a 5 day voyage. Living 45 mins from Pt. Canaveral made things much easier.
We utilized Park and Cruise for parking the car. $5.99 a day if you reserve a spot on-line and they shuttle you to the port and back.
We arrived at the port at around 10 am and by the time we were checked in and seated, we had about a 45 minute wait to board.
Boarding was FLAWLESS!!
We made our way to the lido deck for lunch. The food was ok, just what we have experienced on our other cruises.
After we ate, we took a stroll around the ship to get the layout. Having sailed on the Paradise twice before, I caught on very quickly.
Once we made it down to the cabin, it was ready about 45 mins early. So we could drop off our carry on bags. Once we entered the room, I noticed that there was no refrigerator. I checked out the bathroom and immediately noticed an odor of urine. A STRONG odor of urine. Yet for the life of me, I could not find the source of the smell. I can only assume that it was coming up through the drain as I literally watched the cabin steward clean the bathroom from floor to ceiling, and at first the smell was gone, but it would always come back after 20 mins or so. Did it ruin our cruise? Of course not! The Ecstasy is an older ship, and these things are to be expected.
So we set off for Freeport. Freeport cannot be more than a few hundred miles from Pt. Canaveral, so we were moving very slowly....VERY slowly.
We sailed the Miracle last November, and the dining menu is still the same. We chose the dishes we like again this cruise, just as always. No complaints about the food at all.
Freeport is one of those ports that was "created" for the cruise industry. There really is nothing there but a few stores set up to give the passengers something to spend their money on. We got off the ship....walked around for 20 minutes and got right back on. Nothing there for us.
Nassau is a port we have been to before, so we knew what to expect. Got off the ship, walked the gauntlet of taxi-drivers and walked up to Senor Frogs, turned around and got right back on the ship, running the gauntlet of drivers once again.
Half Moon Cay is Carnival's private island port. I had never been to one of those, so was looking forward to seeing it.
We brought our snorkel gear and we were on the first tender. We had wanted to use one of the clamshells, but they were all booked. So we made due with the shade of some trees. We snorkeled and had a burger for lunch (burgers were cooked too quickly, crispy on the outside, pink on the inside).
On the way back, we had a sea day. That was quite a lazy day for me, spent reading. My fiance spent her time playing blackjack, winning her cruise fare.
One thing we both liked was the Serenity area. No one under 21 is admitted there, which is a blessing as I had grown tired of getting run into by the little ones.
All in all, we had a great time. Although I am not sure that 5 day cruises are for us. Too short.