Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review by craigsl2: Carnival cruise Ecstasy Cozumel & Key West July 2014
Overall Member Rating
Carnival cruise Ecstasy Cozumel & Key West July 2014
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Cozumel was a huge disappointment. Lots of free time here, but little to do. Unless you book a tour or get a cab to a beach (beware of where you go!), all there is there is an expensive shopping port (you can bargain prices). You cannot go off on your own due to "warnings" about traveling alone. We walked past the shops, to the local street one block away....very depressing. The shop owners are constantly approaching you to buy stuff at the port...annoying to the point you walk out of the store. You can't take pix of the Mexicans in sombreros etc. unless you pay them. The only activities here are related to the beach....all are paid activities, and expensive if booked through Carnival and once again, you are strongly advised not to travel inland.
Key West was OK ...still lots of shopping, little time to do an excursion with only a few hours to explore.
About the ship,...old, old, one tiny outdoor pool, tiny rooms with no refrig or ice bucket or hair dryer. We had a More window on deck U. Could not get information about dining or show times in advance of the trip. Very outdated furnishings and decor throughout the boat. There was no printed schedule about the ship's activities or the location of the ports in advance of the trip (that's so you can't book outside excursions). Could not use free ping pong, golf, or shuffleboard....always a line of people waiting and the players played long tournaments regardless of the line of people waiting a turn. There should be more staff supervising activities instead of trying to sell drinks.
Food is school cafeteria style and quality for buffets. No fondues, no chocolate fountains, no ice sculptures. In the restaurants, the food is basically taken off the buffet table and decorated to look appealing, but is served cold and takes forever to come to the table. You don't want to wait to get something different, because dinner is already a 2 hour commitment. The lobster tail was mushy (overcooked & cold), the shrimp cocktail was warm and mushy, the steak was dry and tough (they don't have sharp steak knives either), the pork was salty, the fish was salty and rubbery, and the gourmet soups were nothing more than blended vegetables or fruit heavily mixed with salt or cream served in a bowl. Many meals were varieties of the previous night's left overs (ex. chili, stews, stir frys). Burgers are cooked one way.... precooked and well done. The pool was way too small for over 2200 guests, many of whom squatted in the pool or at poolside chairs for the entire day - AM to PM.....no chairs available regardless of the time you went. Try asking for a deck of cards...."we'll see if we have any left" is the standard response at the beginning and throughout the trip. tried to use internet $75 charge for 10 minutes and it wouldn't connect. A few people won at the casino on the first night (that's the hook), then thereafter no one was winning. Even after prepaying gratuities, the staff always linger and keep talking after providing a service, expecting tips.
The ship was hard to navigate...there weren't straight walkways from back to front...you had to go halfway through, go either up or downstairs, and then back to the deck you were on....totally confusing. And, if you took elevators, it was the same thing....the elevators went up to certain floors, you then had to get off, walk a distance or down or up a flight and find a different elevator to get to the floor you wanted.
We were eligible for free drinks breakfast through lunch in the main dining room, but staff tells you different hours that the dining room is open (it closed 10-12), so no drinks, no sit down meal, and off to the unappealing buffet and lines of people for breakfast. And, dining rooms change and are difficult to get to (the elevators don't stop at all floors).
During disembarkation, we took the elevator (waited 15 minutes) down to deck 3 as directed, only to be told that we couldn't get off the elevator on that floor and had to take the elevator one deck up and come back down to deck 3 via stairs with luggage (had to plead to let handicapped person get off without taking the stairs!!). DISORGANIZED and potentially dangerous having people standing on crowded stairs with luggage. Elevators were not usable while staff moved luggage.
Booze, booze and more booze. The bar staff was entirely annoying, constantly waving drinks in front of you and when you refuse or ask if they are complimentary, they joke about the price and come by every 5-8 minutes asking if you changed your mind "this time" or tease you about how mouth watering and refreshing the drinks are and how "you are missing out". Even the comedians at night joke about the exorbitant price of the drinks. We had one waiter for breakfast who served everyone around us except us and we had to ask the main waiter to send our waiter back to our table...breakfast was 1 hour 45 minutes and everything was cold....dry hockey puck pancakes, hard boiled eggs benedict, and one cup of coffee (he never came around to refill). Once again, breakfast isn't served in the dining room after 10. You get all the free lemonade and ice tea when the dispensers are working.
MOST OF ALL, this particular trip out of Ft. Lauderdale was an uncomfortable hood experience....rowdy gangs of teens (wearing shorts under their butts type and women scantily clad with mile long braided corn rows piled on their heads like a bird nest) running through the hallways chanting hood songs especially at night, grossly overweight women in thongs and skimpy tops parading through indoor walkways disregarding the notice to keep pool attire at the pool, verbal cat fights between women requiring security, nude women in the hot tubs (unsanitary for anyone using afterwards with suspect activities going on in the tubs with guys), hood type music in the clubs, and just general rowdiness and low class loud intoxicated people causing ruckuses everywhere. Uncomfortable to sit outside late at night with the "rowdy element"....would have liked some staff walking around for security.
The kids seemed to be occupied, so fewer of them around to pee in the pool or hot tubs.
STRONG Advice: spend more $ and go on a classier ship! Skip Cozumel unless you like to scuba. Less
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Cabin review: U
Port and Shore Excursions
sub dive through cruise critic - nice - right off the dock, didn't see reefs, but saw fish. very little time spent steering which would have been more fun. you are hooked to a line to see fish that are brought to you. photos cost $35. still enjoyed.
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