June 2007 Destination:
Western Caribbean Embarkation:
We just got off the Ecstasy Thursday, June 21, and I have to say it was one of our best cruises. It was a 5-day cruise to Cozumel and Progresso. We love the layout of the Fantasy class ships especially being able to sit outside at tables on the Lido Deck. Embarkation was painless. The computers were down when we processed in which resulted in a slight delay in boarding but we were onboard and eating lunch at 12:30 p.m. Our rooms were ready at 2 pm. We were in R164 on the Riviera Deck and it was a great room. Absolutely no complaints. Our room steward kept the room spotless and we had a towel animal every single night. However, we never saw our room steward the entire trip. The ship was full with 2500 passengers but it never seemed full. There were a lot of families with teenagers and pre-teens. While walking around outside, we noticed that there were plenty of chairs to lay out by the pool. No chair hogs on this cruise - no need. The entertainment consisted of the Ecstasy dancers, More
several comedians, and a magician. We are not really fans of comedians but we did see the first one the night we sailed and he was funny. Did not catch the others. The show and dancers and singers were good but typical of the Carnival productions. Very flashy and loud. We did enjoy them. We did not catch any of the lounge shows. The weather and seas were absolutely perfect. This was our 7th time to visit Cozumel and I have never seen the water bluer than it was this time. It was beautiful. We docked at the Punta Langosta pier downtown so we could walk off the ship and do some shopping. It was very, very hot so after shopping we got back on the ship for the remainder of the afternoon. The ship was 15 minutes late leaving because one of the excursions had not returned in time. We saw them arrive in a ferry and as soon as they were onboard the ship left. Another testimony to booking a Carnival excursion. The ship will wait! In Progresso we took the Uxmal Mayan Ruins tour with lunch. I booked it online several weeks before we sailed. This was a wonderful tour. We had an excellent tour guide who gave us a lot of interesting information about the Mayans on our ride to the ruins. Then, at the ruins, another guide gave us a very knowledgeable guided tour. It was very hot so anyone taking this tour be sure to bring a hat, good walking shoes, and water. Also, plenty of sunscreen. We were given a sack lunch consisting of a delicious sandwich, chips, banana, and roll plus a bottle of water. There are clean restrooms there and also cold drinks and food are available. Back at the ship we had an hour to shop at the terminal shops. We did attend the past guest party but it was the first time we have been to one where they did not show the Carnival movie. I was looking forward to that. I love the part where everyone claps when the ships they have been on appear on the screen. Not this time. The band played some Elvis songs and Funship Freddie tried to get people to come up and dance on the stage but only succeeded in getting a couple of pre-teens to dance. Goose Newmann is the CD and is a good one. We only saw him in the lounge but he is funny. Never ran into him on the ship. The food was excellent and I believe the pizza was the best we have ever had. Much better than on the Glory last February. Let me clarify. The pizza on the Glory was good but the pizza crust on the Ecstasy was superb. The pizza was extra good. We were originally assigned the late 8 pm seating and immediately asked for an earlier seating. We were changed to the earlier seating the next night. We were in the Wind Song Dining Room at table 295. Nick was our waiter and we liked him very much. I think the highlight of the trip was hearing the Captain tell us at the debarkation talk about the orphanage in Progresso that he and the crew members are supporting on their port days in Progresso. This is not thru Carnival but rather they are donating their own time to paint, repair, and help the children of this orphanage. He even showed slides of what they did this past week in Progresso. He offered us the opportunity to contribute and also receive emails every few months following their progress. In the past 5 months they have raised over $7,000. Of all our cruises, Capt. Scala was the most personable captain. On the last sea day he offered an hour in the afternoon for anyone to come to one of the lounges to meet with him and he would answer questions about navigating the cruise and any other questions pertaining to the cruise. Debarkation was a breeze. We opted to do the self-assist and were off the ship and in our car on the way home at 8:30 a.m. They have eliminated the need to go through customs on the ship before debarking and instead just showing our passports as we left the luggage area. I would not hesitate to sail the Ecstasy again in a heartbeat, if for no other reason than to be on Capt. Scala’s ship. They certainly deserve the Crystal Eagle award that is showcased in the Atrium Bar on the staircase. If you ever get a chance to sail the Ecstasy, I encourage you to do so. Less
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