I've been cruising since 1972, so I consider myself well versed on this mode of vacationing. We live in the area, so we just drove down to Galveston and got on board for a quick "cheap" little 5 day cruise. My best friend and I left husbands at home and went to do our hobby together on board. We wanted to sleep whenever we wanted and eat as much as we pleased and just plain enjoy a girls holiday.
We had a very smooth debarkation. Unable to go to our stateroom until later, we were directed up to the Lido deck for lunch. That was our first eye opener. The elevators were so confusing that at the end of the cruise we were still staring at the over head signs trying to figure out what button to push. The Ecstasy lists their decks by letter on the button bar and by the letter and name and (finally )the deck number on the over head signs. Everybody but the staff was forever trying to figure out the floors. It would take about an hour of easy work to fix that, but it hasn't happened in all the years since it was built, so don't count on it now.
When we finally located the proper elevator to go to our deck and got the proper button pushed, that's when our next adventure started. I have to have a handicapped room and I ride on a mobility buggy that has to go into the room and recharge over night. Our handicapped room was the size of my walk in closet at home. Yes, it had the correct bath requirements to be listed as a handicapped room. But I have never-ever- seen a cabin like that,with or without handicapped facilities. It had upper bunks in case we wanted two more people in my closet.
The dining room was nice enough and the wait staff very wonderful. We were joined by two other couples and had so much fun with them that we did not want to ask for early dining. We always eat first setting, but could not get it in advance. I'm so glad we stayed at that table. It was the high point of our trip.
As for the food--------shame on Carnival. I'll mention the highs and forget the rest. The French onion soup was heaven in a bowl. The Indian veggy dinner was great.(Indian food was only once on the menu) The prime rib was a very thin slice but was at least rare as was requested and tender, unlike most of the other beef on board. The buffet was not what it should have been. They did have a very good Mongolian grill at lunch time. Over all- the food was very disappointing. The Conquest was so much better that you would think they were different cruise lines.
As for our two ports----we missed both of them due to the hurricane. I was thrilled because I had never been to Vera Cruz and had been to the other ports many times. But I did feel sorry for some of the passengers who had never cruised and were so excited to see Cozumel and Progreso. Of course, who wants to be in the middle of a hurricane??? Not I.
We choose not to take in any of the entertainment because of the bowling alley next to our beds. We figured we needed more time to try and sleep.
The disembarkation went smoothly--no other ships were in port.
Would I go on Carnival again?? Of course, I would but not on the Ecstasy.