I get 'cabin fever' and as we all know it's highly contagious. So within hours of my beginning to complain, Nancy has caught the 'fever'. We each went to our computer and Nancy came up with a 5 day Carnival Bahamas cruise that looked just like what we needed.
I called, Jackie Dyson our Carnival Cruise Expert and made the arrangements. She's terrific and got us a great 'past quest' rate, not only with a 2 cabin upgrade but with extra onboard credit.
We also reserve an inside cabin, but as I mentioned this time we got an upgrade to a cabin with a window. The stateroom was the same size as the inside cabins, but the window was a nice difference. The cabin had two large closets, many drawers, and sufficient room to get around. It had a TV, desk, chair and a small refrigerator, that we had requested for our medications. The bathroom was fine. The decor was very nice. Since we spend little time actually in the cabin, an inside stateroom does us just fine and we love saving the money.
On April 3rd, we headed in our car to the Econolodge on US 1 in Cocoa. The Econolodge has a wonderful package for cruisers. They allow you to park your car in their lot for free and then arrange for the Cocoa Beach Shuttle to pick up there and deliver you to slip your ship is in -- all for $10 round trip, per person. Then, of course, when your ship returns they are right there to pick you up again and return you to the Econolodge. This is really quite a deal.
We have been on many Carnival ships in the past, but this was our first time on the Ecstasy. This is a Fantasy class ship, which holds about 2,000 passengers and a crew of about 900. Some ships we've loved, some we liked and a one I liked not at all, but this ship was great. The decor was basically neon everywhere. And the neon changed colors every two minutes or so. There are fabric lined walls of bright colors, textures. Liked the light fixtures and the furniture. I really enjoyed the 'look' of this ship.
Like all Carnival ships there are things to do 24/7. Since we did not go ashore on this trip (because we've been to the Bahamas on several other cruises) we decided to available ourselves of some of the in port activities. We went to the pool, sat sunning, Nan read her book and I worked on my computer, then we had lunch on the Lido deck, took in a seminar, and then a nap and when we woke it was time to dress for dinner. On this cruise we went to several seminars, one on diamond buying, one on buying art, and another on how to get the most out of your cruising dollar. We were walking past the Chinatown Lounge, we heard singing and it sounded great, so we went in. Turns out it was Karaoke night. Kim, the DJ was a knockout. He was very funny and the performers were terrific. This was our first visit to a Karaoke bar and we had a wonderful time. As usual we went to the champagne art auction, the Captains cocktail party, and used our two complimentary cocktail coupons at the Punchliner brunch. In the evening, we went to the Broadway shows; there were two different ones and afterward the Punchliner Comedy Club. There were two comedians and each did one show a night. They were excellent. There is so much to do; you can keep busy all day. Have a desire to leave some of you hard earned money with the ship -- try your luck at the casino, there's music trivia, art auctions, seminars, almost anything you could want to do to keep busy. As well as just sitting by the pool, or in the library just reading your book.
Our last cruise, earlier this year was on the Dream. We liked the 'look' of the Dream, but it is a very, very large ship and we preferred this smaller version -- the Ecstasy. We did have one thing we did not like while on the Dream and that was the food. On all the cruises we've been on the food has been outstanding, but the food on the Dream as definitely not. We could only assume that when looking for a way to cut expenses, the powers that be, chose the food. This was not one of their best ideas. Everyone complained about the food. So, when we arrived at the dining room on the Ecstasy we didn't expect much. But as it turned out someone up high must of heard the hue and cry and went back to the old menu. The food was excellent, they had not returned to the menu some of the old expensive favorites, what was there was great. About the Dream, my complaint was that "I did not cruise to eat MEATLOAF". Which was on the menu.
Food is everywhere on a Carnival ship. The lido deck has buffet-style service. Mongolian, Italian, French, pizza, deli and on and on. Most areas open until 10 pm. Pizza open all night and deli until very late. There are 2 beautiful dining rooms, the Star Star that has appointed times dining and the Wind Song that as 'anytime dining', both a pleasure to eat in. There are also coffee shops, the Captains Table and more. My all-time favorite is: 24 HOUR ROOM SERVICE -- FREE!!
If you have children with you, there are clubs for kids of all ages, from the very small to teenagers.
The service onboard is the best. From the dining room waiters to the room steward they are friendly and always welcoming.
And finally, every ship we have been on is CLEAN. Very, very clean. There are workers, working day and night cleaning these ships.
Our 5 days went much to fast (we really prefer longer cruises) but we had a spectacular time. Before we disembarked we had a final breakfast in the Wind Star dining room that was a great way to finish off our cruise.
Disembarking was relatively fast. You were called by deck and going through Customs went very smoothly.
We waited a short time for our shuttle to arrive and were taken back to the Econolodge to pick up our car.
It is my opinion that anyone who complains about not having anything to do on a cruise either has no imagination or has their head in the sand.
This was one of the best cruises we have been on and I would take it again in a flash.