We have sailed on Ecstasy several times and have always enjoyed. We feel Carnival gives more "bang for the buck". Since we live in Texas City we can take advantage of the 4-5 day cruises out of Galveston.
Embarkation was delayed due to the ship being fogged out for a few hours. Carnival was much better prepared for this than the last time we experienced delayed departure. We had been notified via telephone of the delay but decided to go on down to Galveston. We parked at EZ, checked in before the lines got too long and waited in the air conditioned waiting area. One of our party went out for carry out lunch and didn't have to wait in the lines that were forming, just went straight to security and brought the snacks in. Upon check in we were issued a Zone # and when boarding began the zone #s were strictly enforced which eliminated people "cutting"
Our cabin was as expected. Small but had adequate storage. We did have to find our cabin steward to put the beds together. We asked him to remove the sodas and water which he did promptly and brought us an extra ice bucket which he kept filled .
We had room service each morning for breakfast and with the exception of the last morning was always on time and as we had ordered. Even that last glitch was taken care of in a timely manner. The food on the Lido deck was okay. The pizza was great. Dining in the Wind Star each night was a bit disappointing. Seems like Carnival may be cutting expenses in this area. We had to ask for condiments (cream, sugar/sweetener, etc). Our waiter and his assistant were very attentive. The food for the most part was quite good. The exception would be the steak. I know better than to order steak on a cruise ship but keep on trying. Several times the food that was supposed to be hot was luke warm or cold. But, Oh that Chocolate Melting Cake. .Almost made up for everything.
We always enjoy the Newly Wed game and the Trivia games. Our traveling companions enjoyed the comedian. We enjoyed the casino (would have enjoyed more had we won).
We had been to Progresso and Cozumel several times before. Took the shuttle bus into Progresso, enjoyed lunch at the beach and a 45 minute massage for only $20. In Cozamel we went to Chaanaknab Park. The snorkeling was okay. One of friends tripped and got a gash on his chin. He went back to the ship where the physician stitched him up and then he came back to the park. He had nothing but high praise for the professionalism of the shipboard physician.
I realize that some folks may be expecting Queen Mary treatment on the Carnival ships but I can only emphasize that we have never been disappointed. We have sailed on Celebrity, RCL, the Mississippi paddle wheelers and Carnival and will be back. If for no other reason then for the Chocolate Melting Cake.