Travel- We travelled from NY to Orlando one night before the cruise. We rented a car from Budget, and drove to Cocoa Beach. We stayed at Days INN, it was the cheapest hotel in that area. The hotel was nothing to brag about. It was clean and they did serve breakfast in the morning.
Embarkation- The day of embarkment was my birthday. We got up early had breakfast at the hotel. Then we drove out to pick up some last minute items. We returned our rental car back to budget at 11am, which wasn't to far from the hotel. We was shuttle from Budget to the ship terminal. It was a very smooth check in, we was on the ship in about 15 mins no wait at all. We was on the ship around 12 noon.
ship- My first impression of the ship was it's an average looking older ship. Nothing exciting but it was very clean and the staff was very friendly and hard working. I have read many reviews on this ship and I have read that it had a stink sewage smell. I did smell it towards the last night of the cruise. It was also coming through our air vent. We called housekeeping to complain and of course the smell was not present when they came to check. They did tell the room steward to refresh our room, but since it was coming from the air vent we had to turn it off and on because the smell would come and go.
Stateroom- I felt the stateroom was comfortable and enough space for two people. I wouldn't be able to stay in it with more than two people though. I have also read that some people were complaining that the beds are hard. I though the beds were comfortable and not hard at all. Out room steward Indie was very professional and helpful. he introduce himself to us the first day. We gave him a tip at the end of the cruise for his great service.
Activities- There was a lot of activities available. My BF participate in the ping-pong tournament. Other than that we didn't participate in anything else. Entertainment- We did not go to any of the shows. The seas were very rough at night, which cause my BF to become sea sick. We did hang out in the casino and we went to city of lights to listen to the band play a couple of nights.
Dining- I thought the food was warm to hot, and it was good. We had anytime dining in the windstar dining room, and we had a table for two. The first night we were seated at Danilo, I putu, and Mihalo area and every night we request there area. We gave them a tip at the end of the cruise for there great service as well. We also did the Chef's table which was great. The food, wine and the other diners were fun to be with. Shout out to Chef Michael he was great!!!
Fitness- They have a nice gym with a lot of machines to use. We went to the gym about 3 days. I also used the jogging track to get my morning walk in. We also participate in the spa raffle and seminar.
Port & Excursion- The ports were OK, Freeport we went to the marketplace and walk around and took pictures. Nassau we went took an independent tour and hung out in the terminal to use the free wifi until it was time to go back on the ship. Half moon Cay was nice even though we lost half the morning, because of high winds. I had rented a cabana, but I didn't really get to enjoy it because of the time we got to the island. I spent as much time in the water as I could. We didn't go to the BBQ, because we ate on the ship and we were still full.
Disembarkation- We had Zone 23, which gave us time to purchase some pictures, cashed the check we got from left over money on our sail and sign card. It was very smooth and painless getting off the ship.
Overall, I had a great time on Carnival Ecstasy. This was our first cruise so I do not have anything to compare it too. I would say do not take the negative reviews you read about the Ecstasy as gospel. You have to go on the cruise we an open mind, and do not let anything that happen ruin your cruise. I had a blast and I booked another cruise for next year on the Carnival Valor.