The ship is not spectacular as it is older but as always it was clean as a whistle. Leaving out of Port Canaveral was new to most of our party. Cocoa Beach has significantly deteriorated since the launch pad is no longer in use. Unless it is summer, there is nothing going on. We stayed at the Luna Sea (unless you are just someone who will lay there head anywhere, you might want to reconsider... I've stayed in worse, but not much. ) $59 per night or $99 including shuttle and parking for the week is not bad, though. We opted for the Port parking since we were driving such a long way and wanted to get going as quickly as possible after returning.
During our night in Cocoa Beach, we went out to eat and found a place called Mad Jacks Grillin Shack....The food was PHENOMINAL. Everyone tried something different. I had the ribs, Dad has the baby back ribs, both melted off the bone. The owner came out and introduced himself to us and made suggestions. They do fried Oreo's with a little twist for dessert and I really wish I had been able to hold a sample.
Back to the hotel for the night then up and at it the next morning. We arrived at the terminal at approximately 11 a.m. and were boarding the ship at 11:20. Amazing. Never had it go so smoothly and this is my 9th cruise. Up to the Lido deck for cheeseburgers to wait for the muster drill and get the cruise underway. Everything went smoothly... I had preordered a bottle of Jim Beam to be delivered to the room for Hubby and it was there waiting on us. The cruise itenary was a follows: Mon - sail away, Tues - Freeport Bahamas, Wed - Nassau Bahamas, Thurs - Key West Florida, Fri - fun day at sea, Sat - Back to port.
Freeport - not much to say about it. Took a taxi out to the shopping area, did a little shopping, played in Treasure Bay Casino for a bit, then back onto the boat.
Nassau - took an island tour with our tour guide being "Renaldo" who was extremely informative. Stopped at the Fort, shopped a little, on to Atlantis, played a few slots, back to port. It was about 2 1/2 hours for $20 per person. Not bad for the amount of information we received.
Key West - what can you say? It is always wonderful. During our visit it was very cool and windy. Bought a jacket for $10 on Duvall Street and then just wandered around enjoying the liveliness of Key West.
We had an amazing crew on the Ecstacy. One of the waiters on the Lido deck was I Ketut, who was also on the Fascination with us last year. He asked where our sons were since he was constantly cutting up with them. He is from Indonesia and a really wonderful guy with a beautiful smile. The food was great!
We also ran into a couple who were on the same cruise with us a couple of years ago. Seems we have become regulars when we start running into past guests and personnel. With a total party of 6, we had a blast. We won 3 plastic ships on a stick for our trivia skills (one of us was full of useless information!LOL) The casino was not the best I've been in... most of the slots were outdated and were extremely tight. However, we did have one lucky duck in our crew. The temps for the entire cruise were well below normal, which was unfortunate.
In closing, let me tell you that there is no such thing as a bad cruise. The activities folks are great and do their best to make it memorable. The only unhappy folks on a cruise are the ones who want to be unhappy.