Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review by ScottHerman: A wonderful experience.
Overall Member Rating
A wonderful experience.
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
My wife and I were simply overjoyed with this cruise. Yes, it's an older ship, but I can't imagine how the experience could have been handled better. The service to the room was outstanding., The maitre'd, Joseph, made dining fun and entertaining. The first few nights, I didn't tip the bartenders to see if I would continue to get good service . I did, so I made it up to them. The Unexsco dolphin encounter was great. I will say the snorkeling tour was kind overrated. You were basically paying for equipment rental and a very brief how-to session. There was no tour.
That aside, the food was great, the service was great, and the crew did everything possible to make it a wonderful experience. I can't say enough about the Unexsco dolphin encounter. You could tell they really cared for the animals.
I loved everything about this cruise, even down to the little towel animals on the bed every night. The food was great, both in the dining room and room service. I don't gamble, More but my gambling shipmates had good things to say about the casino. The MoTown tribute was great, as was the tribute to British Music.
I think I left claw marks as I was leaving the ship!
Advice: You have two disembarkation options: Self-assist or letting them handle the bags. Take the latter option! The self-assist appeared chaotic. Take the "leisurely disembarkation" option and stay and have a late breakfast. They assign you "zones" and the groups are much smaller than through the disembarkation option.
The Serenity Deck is for adults only. No rap music! We enjoyed hanging there immensely.
The bow area of the ship was not open to passengers. I don't know if that's regular or due to repairs that were obviously ongoing.
The waterslide was a blast.
One criticism of the ship: Things aren't well marked. You just have to figure out how to get places. I was still finding connections our last day there, even though I like to roam and study places.
The crew took pride in their work and really tried to give a good experience. I was lost one day and a man came over to ask if we needed help. I later saw a display and realized he was the head of the customer-service crew. That was a nice surprise. The crew was as friendly as they could have been. Less
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Very comfortable bed. I was very good I upgraded to the window, because I'm something of an insomniac and I enjoyed watching the sea when I woke up in the middle of the night.
Port and Shore Excursions
Dolphin Swim & Encounter
It was incredible! We had a good long time with our dolphin. My wife and I got to interact with the dolphin together, which was nice. You could tell the trainers were very kind to the dolphins and they were incredibly knowledgeable. I loved the shuttle ride to the dolphin encounter, because the driver talked constantly about life in the Bahamas. It was a very positive experience. Freeport had a small-town atmosphere, and I really enjoyed it.
This was my least favorite stop. It was a party and shopping town, but I can see where some people would like that. I'm something of an insomniac, and when I was up at 3:00 am on a Tuesday night, you could hear the party still going. You couldn't walk through the port without women high-pressuring the women to give them braids, which is kind of funny because the Mrs. wears a bob. We took a taxi to the beach, and the traffic was very thick, even in the middle of the day. The beach wasn't a lot different from anything in Florida. Overall, it was a very city feeling. If you're looking for a party, you'd probably love Nassau. It wasn't for me, a rather laid-back older guy.
It's interesting to watch how the ports work. We really enjoyed the dolphins playing in the port. It was our first time seeing a baby dolphin in the wild. This was our disembarkation point. I will say the Customs agent was a little snotty. Getting back was basically an interrogation. I have a thick Tennessee accent, and he was quite zealous of proving our citizenship. I understand he has a job to do, but I think it was a little overboard. For example, having to explain our souvenir t-shirts. If we were smuggling, does he think we would have told him we were smuggling? I gathered he hated his job, and he went out of his way to be unpleasant. Of course, I may be painting the whole situation with a broad brush, based on one disgruntled employee. One thing I would do differently: I would get passports instead of traveling with driver's license and birth certificate, which we did. I noticed people with passports moved quicker.
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