Let me start by saying, my husband experienced our first cruise in 2006. We have been addicted to cruising ever since that time. Immediately after cruising on the Carnival Dream, we booked the cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy. We live in Central Florida, so no need for hotel accommodations nor parking issues. Our experience on this cruise was like nothing we ever experienced on any cruise before.
Living near the port saves us parking fees. We were dropped off at the port around 10:45 am by a family member. The smiling porters were readily available to take our luggage and get them safely on the ship for us. We took the short walk to the terminal. Once entering the terminal, it was a quick 5 minute check in. There was no one else in line. We could not believe it. Never had we experienced such an easy embarkment. We received our sign and sail card, and we were told the ship was waiting for us. We did not see another passenger along the way. We entered the atrium and still the only people we seen were Carnival workers. We almost thought we were the lone guests. We were told we would be able to get into our room at 1:00 pm. We went immediately to the Lido deck for a nice relaxing lunch. We then explode the ship. I must say, we were very pleased with the condition and cleanliness of this ship. The ship is beautiful. Everything is very conveniently located. Once on the Lido deck we did encounter other guests, but not huge lines, not even in the buffet lines.
Every crew member we encountered had a smile and acknowledged us with a greeting. I can not say this happened when we were on the larger ship, the Dream. The services was the best we have experienced. They were true to their word, at 1:00 pm we were given access to our stateroom. The stateroom was right off the main entrance to the ship near the bar. It was the most convenient stateroom we ever had on a ship. We were greeted immediately by our room steward. He was very friendly and accommodating to us. This being an older ship, there are not hair dryers in the rooms. I asked for a hair dryer, and he gave me one immediately as he did the ice. We never had to ask him again for ice. He always had fresh ice ready and waiting for us.
I bought a coke card, and I never had a problem at any of the bars getting service as I did on another Carnival cruise. The wait staff was always friendly and helpful. Never did I feel they were trying to push drinks on us we did not want. The shows were very entertaining. The cruise director was out and about all the time intermingling with the guests. He was just not a voice you hear on the intercom. There was always something going on, or you could find a quiet corner to relax. We never had to stand in a line for anything.
The sail-away party was very enjoyable. The muster drill was probably the only time I felt we had to wait in line. At least we were able to sit once we got in the place for the drill.
After setting sail, I decided to book an excursion in Freeport. Once again, no line. I booked it within 5 minutes. We elected to do the Shopping and Shore view cruise tour. Getting off the ship in Freeport was a breeze. Once again no line. It was not crowded and enjoyable. We were in Freeport on a Sunday so a lot of the shops were closed. This did not matter to us because all the shops have basically the same things in them. We stayed on the ship in Nassau. This was a very enjoyable experience. My husband and I reclined out on the comfortable chairs on the serenity deck and fell asleep for 3 hours. We were the only people on this deck during those 3 hours. It was like having our own private ship.
The ship has lots of entertainment if you want it. This was the first ship we have cruised that uses a live band for karaoke. This was very entertaining. During the day at sea there was much going on, if you wanted to take part in all the activities. We decided to find a nice comfortable chair and just relax. My chair was on the serenity deck, my husbands chair was at the video poker game. This is why we like cruising so much. We can each enjoy what we like to do, and still be on vacation together.
Sadly after 4 days the vacation came to an end. We put our luggage out the night before. I have to say, getting off the ship was as easy as getting on the ship. No lines, only a few people were ahead of us, until we got to customs. For some reason, this was the first time we actually had to wait in line at customs in Port Canaveral. Needless to say, we enjoyed every aspect of this cruise. I am looking forward to another cruise on this ship. It is very economical for us.