Carnival ecstasy day 1
5 day super bowl cruise with the crazies, whom I had never met before the cruise but they do seem to be a crazy group! And I mean that in a good way!
Arrival and first impressions:
Got off to a good start, leaving the house about 930 this a.m. More on that later.
Easy to find the Lighthouse parking, can see the ship from the lot. Buses waiting, park and off we go. Dropped off at terminal, give bags to waiting guy, then into building. No lines at arrival, which was 1230ish. Got thru security and check in quickly and boarded ship right away. Ship seems empty at that point, grab yummy lunch and we've arrived! Wander and find room, there's really no announcement that rooms are ready. Ship shows lots of wear and tear.
At first the very loud colors that hurt the eye, something I do get used to. Locate room, small room, beds are barely apart, didn't realize the balcony had been carved out of room (maybe??), but ok for two people. There is a faint moldy smell in the bathroom that I later think might be coming from the water/pipes. It is worse when you turn the water on initially and if we leave the door open to the rest of the cabin. Room is freezing as is most of the ship, we are wearing jeans and hoodies for dinner! Room again shows the older side but surprised as bathroom is larger than usual with shower looking also larger. Two small closets, very few drawers, room seems very sparse. Why is there no heat!
NOTE: I am to think this over and over again for the entire cruise. The ship seems very cold and our room, even after turning off the vent, stays pretty much cold until the last day!! If you are the type of person that gets cold easily, bring a sweater or a jacket to wear throughout the ship!!
Day 1 continued to evening
Ok, we ask our steward about the cold cabin and he is able to close the vent most of the way, the cabin is still chilly but not as bad as before, yay. We are too cold to change for dinner, the whole ship is fairly cold, brrr. I keep my hoodie and jeans on and this is the way we do dinner. Our table is for two, stuck into the middle of larger tables, our waiter seems harried even though he doesn't seen to have many tables. We find out later he also works the anytime dining, don't know how that works out?? Our table and two others seem to have been fitted into an area that should have many less tables. Every night we
will weave our way into and out of the dining spot and it seems that we are almost sitting with others while we are really not. NOTE: we did not request a table for two and we had originally thought to try and change it, or maybe try the anytime dining, but after meeting our waiter we decided to just go with it. The waiter does seem to be very competent (he tells us he has been with Carnival for 15 years)l and he does deliver our dinner in a timely fashion after an initial wait.
I have the salad and the veggie pie, which is surprisingly good with cinnamon, pumpkin and cheese. Yum! But the butter pecan ice cream has no taste at all so I only have one bite. That's ok, there will be many other desserts.
Note to self: even if you think you won't want warm clothing for dinnertime like a warmer top, etc, you do!
Tonight I would have been better dressed if I would have brought warmer tops, remember this for next time!
After dinner we see the show, pretty typically boring, walk the promenade, take a motorcycle pic, which turns out quite cute, and then listen to a fairly decent
country band. There are Crazy sightings all over the ship, promising for an interesting time. Tomorrow is nails in the a.m. And a seaweed wrap for dinner !
Yay for skipping the super bowl!
More stuff I thought about; the coffee in the MDR Was actually hot when it came! Omg, i think that's the first time I've ever had hot coffee from there, and it was not bad either. Now it wasn't the best in the world by far, but it actually was drinkable and I ordered a second cup! This is unthinkable for me on a cruise as the coffee usually is very bad! Do I dare hope that all the coffee on the ship will be drinkable?? Fingers are crossed.
The coffee does consistently arrive every time very hot and very drinkable - hooray!
The band from the evening was the Contenders and I would have called them country western, but they did play some other music, even a little rockabilly, a good band and danceable. Note to band: after you get a good crowd and people are dancing, it's probably a good idea to keep that dance music going and not switch. The dance floor emptied out, then the bar emptied out, and that was that! We end up listening to this band most evenings as they seem to draw a
crowd and are good at playing the dancing music, BUT, they also make the BIG mistake (in my mind) of getting a good crowd going then calling for a break, sometimes 15-20 mins after they're initial playtime, which then most people just wander away, to find something else to do. It was better when they played on Promenade deck as then people would hear them and wander back.
So next up we stop at the disco, and there we find the happening place. Good music and lots of dancing going on, I guess we have some partiers on this ship!
Another observation: the casino is larger then it first appeared, it wraps around behind the promenade, the downside to this is with it being a more closed area, it is very smoky and after a few minutes it is hard to breathe and not a fun place to be for a nonsmoker!
Promenade deck has a good amount of tables, a sushi bar stuck in the corner and lots of picture taking areas. Another note, this ship seems very good at having
the pics ready in a snap. Pics we have taken on the motorcycle earlier in the evening are up and ready for purchase by 10 pm! Wow, they are fast!
Day 2 on the Ecstasy
Wake up a little , well actually still awaiting room service. Then I can report back on the coffee.....
Two things we learned about the Crazies: they like to party, they like to dance, sounds like a good thing to me!
Today has been a good day, woke up, had coffee in bed, had a mani pedi. That went well except for the push for a sale, I really dislike that part! Got thru it and continued on...this afternoon flew by, lunch in the MDR, typical stuff, had a steak salad and some nondescript soup. Meet and mingle with the Crazies at 230, followed by the drink and dance fun. All you care to drink with munchies
were $11.00, it was even more fun when the DJ showed up and the music began, about 45 people showed up and most in the dance floor, playing new and old but party just the same. Had a fun time. Next super bowl for LLS, and about 75% of the ship was in either theater, there was apps for free and reduced drink specials. I drop lls off and head to my spa evening. Seaweed wrap and massage, all 1.5 hours, hoping it goes well and I enjoy. Later we will meet up and see what's going on for the evening, Ship is good, people are nice, all is well so far, weather is warming up, and onto Progresso tomorrow for a double decker bus and a beach day.
Ahhhhh, what a relaxing time, and I end up getting a free facial with my massage as you get a free treatment when you are platinum and schedule the first night. Two and a half hours after the start, I was so relaxed, my skin just felt like heaven, and they could have rolled me downstairs on a stretcher. But I took a shower, and went to find LLS as the game was ending. Plus I was getting hungry as we skipped dinner so we headed to the buffet with chicken strips in mind, I just love Carnival's chicken strips, yum! By now it is 10 pm and we wander, finally settling in the main promenade to listen to the country guys. They attract many people for dancing in the aisle and we have fun watching with an occasional dance while sipping wine. 11:30 rolls around and we are tired, head off to bed, first putting in our coffee wake up for Progresso.
Carnival ecstasy day 3
Coffee and cereal arrive promptly at 730 and we wake up with the view of an industrial port out our window.
After donning bathing suits, sunscreen and our cover ups, we head to deck zero to find the free shuttle to downtown. Many vendors have popped up here as the usual tours, hey lady....you want ???? Fill in the blank. We find our shuttle and take the quick 10 minute ride to the downtown where we find the double decker bus for a three dollar island tour. Which is not a tour at all, ends up being a 15 mins ride around the square, so we jump off and head the short walk to the beach.
The beach is only partly full when we arrive at ten a.m., mostly locals selling massages, bracelets,the usual Mexico stuff. We find the bar that we had heard with the cheap drinks and are seated in the shade on the beach. Here we sit and enjoy drinks, chips and people watching as a parade of people come by with their wares. We do break down and buy a cute wooden bowl, two for fifteen and I end
up getting a henna tattoo and one braid in my hair, what can I say, I'm on vacation! About one o'clock when we head back toward the shuttle, stopping but not buying at various booths. Make it back to the ship and I flop on the inviting bed for a short nap, then it's a shower and Internet for a while before we will dress for formal night and dinner. What a relaxing way to spend the day in Mexico!
Note on the beach here; the water was very murky not too much seaweed but lots of shells, smaller ones in the sand. Straight in walk to the water but very crunchy and slightly hard to walk without shoes. Not something I wanted to swim in but fun to walk on and a pretty view.
Getting used to the lay of the ship, we are in a convenient locale although I will say I like to be a little closer to lido for a walk to my coffee in the a.m. But being midship or is it meed sheep(??) we have a very stable cabin and it is quite quiet all the time. The loudness of the ship (as in the colors) starts to become the norm as you walk around and I'm beginning not to notice all the clash of colors throughout. To contrast our room is so plain, it almost hurts your eyes when you come out of the room! Another note: no fridges
in this cabin and we have been ordering buckets of ice to chill our wine before dinner.
Quiet evening, dressed for dinner, elegant night. Normal dinner fair, had the lobster, wasn't that appealing. Ended up with cherries jubilee for dessert, not many choices....had the waiter bring me a cookie to dunk into my ice cream. Went to Extreme country, the "show" to see, wasn't anything special. The only appealing feature was Steve Cassell the cruise director fiddled and he is good. I started nodding off half way through, after the show decided was just too sleepy and went to bed! the ship was rocking a lot, just makes me sleepy, zzzzzzzz! Fell into bed and fell fast asleep, slept all night, woke up about 6 am, but fell back asleep until room service knocked at 7. We are deciding if we are doing our snorkel today, seas are rough, it is very gloomy and cloudy and we're not sure it is the type of weather to snorkle.
Carnival ecstasy day 4
Cozumel and Chefs table night
Slept well last night, woke up when room service delivered the coffee, today they brought our sammiches, hooray, nothing like a sammiche to start the day. But today is drizzly, warm but drippy, We are not enthused to do our snorkel. We decided against it, as who knows if it will be a rocky, wet voyage and even though we would be getting wet once in the water, so not looking forward to spending time on a boat, drenched and chilly! We end up just taking a cab to downtown and walking the stores, do a little shopping and walk most of the way back to the ship. Time for a nap and I am looking forward to my cleopatra soak/massage. Then at 530 is the Recruiser party, followed by the Chefs table at 630. Hope it all goes well. The food on here has been ok, nothing special,although they do have the yummy chips, salsa, cheese and also the chicken strips I enjoy, so have munched those a few times.
We have only done the room service, cereal, etc for breakfast, so don't know how the MDR is for breakfast, lunch one day in mdr was nothing great, buffet has had the same as always so all is just typical Carnival fare, as I don't cruise for the food it doesn't really matter, I am curious how the Chefs dinner will be.
Also tonight will be the Mexican buffet and late night deck party we'll see if we make it!
We gather at 6:30pm in the atrium by the bar to meet up with our fellow diners and the Chef. Having done the Chef's dinner before (and really enjoyed it) I was anticipating pretty much the same as before. This dinner proved different. First off, the Chef in the Ecstasy did not seem as charismatic, he did not engage very much in conversation or explain the food as thoroughly as at a previous C.D. We were a small group and had a fewer number of servers, but this was fine as our two were just excellent, always there to refill our glasses for water or wine. The food was comparable to my previous venture and the evening went by fast, when we finally left the library (where our dinner was held) it was 11pm!! Wow! As we have just finished a huge meal and we are quite full, we
decide to work off some of that dinner by some dancing, first with the Contenders, then later finishing up at the disco, getting to bed probably about 1am! Sleepy time but a sea day tomorrow so this will be fine.
Carnival Ecstasy, day 5
The Final Day, sniff, sniff
This has been a great cruise, much relaxation, made some new friends, had some good experiences. Today I have booked the Behind the Scenes tour, and meet up is again in the library at 8:45a.m. This tour only takes up to 16 people and starts with refreshments and a security check (wanded) and handing over of the phone/cameras, before we can proceed. I will say it was a very informative and
interesting tour, one I had done almost exactly previously (on another cruiseline that I will not name here) but still very good. One thing I enjoyed the most was that we got to spend time in the crew area, not their cabins but did get to see things like their recreation area and their dining rooms, which was of interest to me. The woman that lead the tour (and I'm sorry I don't remember her name) was very good with information and had been with the company for a while. Very cheerful and lively and gave a good tour. At the end you get a wonderful cap, lanyard and bracelet that shows you were on the tour. I high would recommend for anyone that is interested on how things work behind the scenes. You do end up also with a tour of the bridge, engine room and a pic with the captain (group photo).
The rest of the final day is mostly made up of relaxing, tried our luck at bingo (nope) watched a few games going on, read, etc. Had dinner in the MDR for our final night, to say goodbye to our good waiter and staff. Enjoyed another magic trick, could not figure that guy's tricks out for anything!! It is a nice touch that Carnival has him go from table to table and show a little magic. Food
again was normal, no big surprise there. I again had the veggie dish, which is the same I've had on other Carnival ships, very good and predictable. WE use up our credit in the casino, and LLS is happily surprised to increase her winnings - W00T! I sadly went through my $20 and had nothing left to show, but then again, I didn't expect to!
The evening goes quickly with a little time listening to the Contenders, but they're many breaks (2 in about an hour) make us decide to make our way down to the disco, where some of the Crazies (wearing glowy things) have congregated for the last evening. We spend our last few hours dancing the night away, and then quickly back to the cabin before midnight to throw our stuff into the suitcases
and out the door for them. Again, Carnival comes through with the little hang tag for our breakfast!! Yeah, more cereal and hot coffee before we need to leave our fun girls weekend!
Leaving the ship and last thoughts:
On our last morning, breakfast comes 10 mins early, but we are already up as the night was rocky and as we pulled into port, we both seemed to pop out of our beds. Quick showers and coffee and we were already to vacate the room and be on our way. We had the #1 tag as being Platinum that is one of the perks, so we make our way to the Starlight lounge to wait the clearance. After that, it kind of was a wait as clearance did not happen as fast as thought, but when we heard the call we made our way down to disembark (with the many sea of people) got off smoothly, located the bags, through customs and out on the sidewalk in no time. Found Lighthouse Parking bus very easily, boarded and were at our car in minutes. Started up the car, loaded the bags and were on the road. Dropped LLS off at the airport by 11am and were back home by noon! Another successful vacation and relaxing time! Thanks, Carnival!
NOTE: these observations and thoughts were mine and did not reflect the thoughts or feelings of my good friend and cabin mate, who will write her own review, I am sure). Read Less