Hated the Ecstasy, she was filthy, the service was appalling and the layout of the ship was terrible. There were muliticolored squares, triangles and every other geometric shape imaginable all over the walls and hallways. I felt like I was being hypnotized or tortured all the time. It is obviouse she has been dry docked and the public areas had been redone with modern glass tile, etc. But leaving things such as dirty rag mops in plain sight in a courner of the public toilets(every day!) is just not acceptable to me. Several times we sat down in the bars at filthy tables where the sugar in cocktails was still dried on and visible and had to ask for someone to come and wipe them down. One had drippy ice cream all over it and I watched an employee who was "dusting" a desk nearby who never came over to wash off the table, although she was there for 15 minutes or more. I felt like I could not put a hand on anything without wanting to go get more sanitizer! The bedding was good but nothing like we are used to being RCCL regulars. When people say the cabins are bigger, they are talking about maybe 10 sq ft bigger because the layout is so bad the extra space is wasted on things like portman beds on the wall so close to your bed you bump your head on them. The quality of construction was really substandard on most things. I liked the effort that has been made to update this ship, but even compared with older ships we have been on with RCCL, there is no comparison.
Food was pathetic. I do not understand how those on these boards always say they love Carnival, especially her food...ich! And the chocolate melting cake...O.K. one night, all raw dough the next. The only redeeming aspect was the pizza which was amazingly good and the crab cakes were tasty. Nothing else is even mentionable.
Our port days were as expected, and Nachi Cocom in Cozumel did make the cruise worth going, but after 7 times there, we expect it. We stayed onboard in Progresso and it was somewhat enjoyable to be the only two of maybe 10 people in the pool (the only time we could get into it as it was always so over crowded) and the slide is fun, we enjoyed being the only ones on it for most of the day. But we really missed having our adults only RCCL solarium as Carnival's adult retreat only had scummy hot tubs, one of which was not working at all. No pool at all.
We were determined to give Carnival a chance to wow us, but alas, there is no Wow in Carnival. This was the only cruise out of 13 taken that we could not wait to get home. The best day of our cruise...getting off! Even excusing Lee, the tropical storm that was coming in, we were 3 hours late, which is understandable, but it still took almost 2 hours to disembark once docked and we were "self assist"!
Some things, small or otherwise can be overlooked, and we are half full people most of the time, but when there are so many shortcomings thrown together, you cannot overlook them all. All I can say is that it is obvious that Carnival cruisers, or at least most of them do not have anything to compare their cruises with. They should do the same and give other cruise lines a chance to prove what I am saying about this one. We got to know some wonderful cruisers though, who made it bearable for a while. Carnival...get your act together, I don't even think we will venture upon Magic when she arrives...too scared!
We expect nothing from Carnival for this unenjoyable cruise, caveat emptor! But we have learned our lesson.