3 Carnival Ecstasy Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Booking: We booked online and never had a bit of trouble. We also booked out Excursions online and that too was seamless. We both ordered some surprises from Bon Voyage and the only issue we had there was not asking for an e-mail receipt ... Read More
Booking: We booked online and never had a bit of trouble. We also booked out Excursions online and that too was seamless. We both ordered some surprises from Bon Voyage and the only issue we had there was not asking for an e-mail receipt and not being able to "confirm" our orders. Being a Texas Port, our Drink Tickets got to us after we had our first drinks during departure. Documents: We never had a bit of trouble with documents at any time. The system was easy to use and everything printed very easily. We both have Passports and are glad we did (more later re: debarkation). We made copies of them for shore excursions and should have had them with us but forgot. Not an issue but could have been I guess. Excursions: We booked our Shore Excursions on Carnival's site and had a very trouble free experience. We may have paid a little extra but the convenience and peace of mind knowing that Carnival knew where we were and when we'd be back was worth it to us. The tickets were delivered to our stateroom the first night and everything worked just like clockwork.Packing: We over packed. There I admitted it. We each had a large rolling check bag, a small rolling carryon bag, and a HUGE purse or reasonable backpack. Too much. We both had clothes left over, tools and gadgets we did not use, Jackets we did not need, shoes we did not wear. We did bring a Laptop for downloading pics and budgeting and were glad. Transportation: We live in Nacogdoches, Texas (120 miles N. of Houston) and added a weekend in Galveston to our vacation so we could drive down and be in town all weekend before departure. In reading all the concerns about transfers from Houston Hobby and Intercontinental to Galveston, we feel very fortunate to be able to drive down. So my best advice would be to plan on staying the night before in Galveston and taking a shuttle or walking to the terminal and not trying to juggle arriving the day of departure.Lodging: Even though this is not a review of hotels, I must include; staying at the Harbor House almost next door to the terminal was nearly as nice as the cruise itself. We left our car in their gated parking lot for $20 and walked to the terminal on Monday morning in 10 min. The rooms all have harbor views and are all what I would call mini-suites. $119 - $199 is a little pricey but if you compare that to other hotels in Galveston, it is right in line. The Tremont House is also Downtown and in walking distance but has little parking. Many other hotels on the island have free parking and a free shuttle to the terminal.Parking: As I said, parking at the hotel and walking or taking a shuttle is the way to go but, all the other parking is right across Harborside Drive from the terminal and you can even walk to the terminal from some of them.Embarkation: Never, for a single step, once we reached the door of the terminal, were we ever out of site of a Carnival employee guiding us along the route to the check-in area and then onboard. The process was smooth, the lines were reasonable; the time it took was actually a little less than expected. We left the hotel on foot at 11 am and arrived at 11:10. We were onboard at 12:15. Not bad.Sail & Sign: There was some anxiety regarding how to fund our Sail & Sign Card. We got rid of all our credit cards a couple of years ago and use only cash and Debit Cards. Our regular checking / Debit Card is like everyone else's and contains just enough to pay the bills and day to day expenses, however, we have a Debit Card attached to another checking account linked to a separate savings account that we never use unless travelling. We estimated our Sail & Sign expenses then move TWICE that amount to the other checking account that card debits, so that it would cover any reserved amount and the actual charges. Then when the charges hit and the reserve is reversed, we move the remainder in the checking account back to savings. Worked like a charm.Cash: We used cash for all other expenses and split it up between us so that either of us was not carrying all of it at any one time. Cash in the ports will get you an extra discount sometimes.Ecstasy in General: What a nice ship. Ecstasy is the only Cruise Ship we have been on, and this is our second on her but I am somewhat familiar with commercial shipping and offshore facilities and this is a very nice "old" ship. She is even a little nicer now than in 2005 when we last sailed her. My only two "complaints" about the whole trip is, the window (port) in our Ocean-view Room could have been cleaned of caulk and smears on the outside and, the toilet tissue racks should be on the wall opposite the toilet rather than beside it so you could sit straight on the pot! She was spotless, up to date, and a joy to sail. We will miss her in Galveston even as we look forward to the Magic.Lido Buffet: As soon as we stepped on board we were invited to the Lunch Buffet on the Lido Deck and the feast had begun! They were ready and fully functional and the food was very good. The first thing we did after reading so much about it in the Forums is try the coffee. It was surprisingly good and turns out that it is the same as is served in the MDR and Room Service. The problem is that it sits sometimes and gets stale and overcooked. Stateroom: They said they'd let us in the stateroom corridors at 1:30 and they were done and right on time. The rooms are very nice, spotless, surprisingly roomy, 3 closets, 4 drawers, VERY comfortable bed and bedding, good lighting, nice size shower, flat screen TV, nice freebies, good body wash and shampoo on the shower wall, good towels, plenty of good pillows, adequate simple safe with 4 digit combination, ... Room Steward: She was fantastic. She was from Thailand and just as polite and nice as she was efficient. We never lacked for ice or towels, or service of any sort. We tipped her well on the last morning! She was worth it!Drill: We had the mandatory "Muster Drill" right on time at 3:30. It's nice that you no longer have to show up in your Life Jacket. We never did find out where our actual lifeboats were but fortunately, no icebergs were encountered in the Gulf and the "SS Stockholm" was far far away. Departure: Lines were cast and thrusters were engaged right on time at 4:00 while we were still at Muster. When we were released we went up on deck and bid farewell to Galveston from the Observation Deck right above the bridge. The weather was beautiful, although windy enough that DW "flashed" the upper deck (no beads please), the water in the ship channel was a lovely slime green but the seagulls, Brown Pelicans, and the Bottle Nose Dolphins seemed to love it and escorted us all the way to the Gulf. I am amazed how the water turns from brown to green to a lovely deep blue in just a few short miles even in the Gulf.MDR: WOW! Again after reading the Forums for weeks we were very pleasantly surprised at the quality, quantity, and presentation of the food and the level of service in the MDR. The whole experience was at the level of the very nicest restaurants on the mainland, maybe not the very finest in the world but what most folks would consider a very special evening out. The Appetizers were Spectacular, the Main Courses were a small step down the quality scale at Very Good, the Desserts were Sensational (The Warm Chocolate Melting Cake was everything it was touted to be), the Drink Service was Pretty Good (a little slow), and the Table Service was Outstanding. Our Head Waiter was from Nepal and was very attentive. You ask for hot sauce once and never have to ask again. We chose early dining because that is when we generally eat and wanted the experience of making closer friends with our tablemates than we might with Any Time Dining. It worked! Room Service: The selection is not huge but what we got, mainly morning coffee and Croissants was, right on time, hot or cold as indicated and always very good. The Croissants are buttery and melt in your mouth.Day 1 at Sea: Overnight, Monday, the seas built until we were running into a 50 kt headwind and 12 foot seas. There was a little movement but the stabilizers worked well and I saw no one sick. Not even DW, Jeanell, who is prone to be. She wore wrist bands and took Dramamine. No trouble! Due to the broken cloud cover the sunrise was really nice. Got up at 4:30 and had the deck to myself for a while. Later in the morning, the Serenity Deck was generally just that, SERENE! We could not go up on the Observation Deck due to a 65-70 kt wind over the deck but it was very nice everywhere else.Spa Carnival: DW had the Fire and Ice Manicure on Day 1 @ Sea and the Pedicure on Day 2 @ Sea and loved them both. They were a little pricey and came with some mild pressure to purchase Elimis stuff but all in all a very nice experience.Cruise Formal Night: This night was special in every way. All the folks were lovely, the staff was lively, the food was wonderful and ..... I even remembered how to tie a tie. DW was gorgeous in her Salsa Dress. We saw two teenagers in cut up jeans, tee shirts, and ball caps on sideways. The Maitre d' asked them to remove their hats or leave. They did so. Good for him!!Serenity: The Serenity Deck was just that SERENE. Generally it was anyway. We had one small teen invasion that was quickly repulsed, and one runaway Hot Tub that got to 115 deg before the boss intervened and had it fixed. I'm not sure the stern is the best place for it but I believe it is elsewhere on newer vessels in the fleet. Pretty much our favorite spot on the ship other than MDR.Progreso: We did not spend any time in Progreso proper. We went to Dzibilchaltun and viewed the ruins. Very informative, very organized, and did not take all day as a trip to Chichen Itza. It was hot and humid and we were pooped when we got back. We shopped a little at the terminal and went back on board. Wimps that we are. There were no other ships docked at one of the longest piers in the world. This was my choice of excursions.Cozumel: DW chose Snorkeling in Cozumel. Quite a surprise since she is a very weak swimmer; but it was wonderful. Antonio towed her and two other "terrapods" around behind a float so that all they had to do was breath and look. DW tipped him heavily. I thought she was going to kiss him! The shallow reef and beach area was destroyed by Hurricane Wilma, and has been extensively rebuilt. The coral is growing again, the artificial habitats are attracting fish and it is really amazing to see the progress. While she was being towed, I was able to dive on the reef in 12-20 feet of crystal clear water. We all saw thousands or multi colored fish, new coral, Stingrays, Star Fish, Sea Fans, ...While in Cozumel we did some serious shopping. With the help of Hila, the Shopping DIVA aboard Ecstasy, we were able to find a Ruby Pendant, we had saved (cash) for, that was perfect for DW. We also bought Vanilla, Hot Sauces, Tee Shirts, some costume jewelry, and coffee. Liquor was cheaper onboard so ... We docked at Playa Maya and it was actually a little nicer than downtown where we were in 2005. We shared the dock with Carnival Triumph (Coming to Galveston in the fall as our new 4-5 Day Cruise Ship) but since the area is so much larger than Progreso, it was not really any more crowded than Progreso. We took our S&S cards, our Driver's License, and cash ashore in a $4 watertight neck wallet and it was all we needed. We intended to take photocopies of our passports also and forgot.Day 2 at Sea: What can I say? Serenity, sea breezes, sun, a rain shower, good food, great companions, superior service, a beautiful ship; Friday at sea was magic. Dinner was my experimental evening. Escargot, Chateaubriand, Poached Pear. All fantastic!Fun Shops: The Fun Shops were just fine. A little small on Ecstasy, but just fine. Anything you might need you can get. I started a tradition; I am buying a watch on every cruise. I got a Citizen Echo-Drive Dress Watch for a very good 40% off retail, and a couple of "Box Watches" for gifts.Entertainment: The Comedy was good, the musicians were good and I'm sure the show was good, but again, as on our first cruise, we missed the show. Next time for sure. I wish they put it on more than one night per cruise. Maybe they do on a 7 day cruise?Debarkation: Beginning the night before, the instructions are plentiful, clear, and precise. WE packed up and had plenty room without taking out the extra god we brought. We attached out new Zone Tags and set them outside. They disappeared only to reappear in the terminal the next morning. We were in the third Zone after the Self Service folks; even so, we were off by 10:00 and walking to the car. No muss, no fuss, no hassle! We will try and pack better next time so as to qualify for the Self Service departure.Passports: Get a passport! If, for no other reason, the line in the terminal for customs is MUCH shorter (1/5) than the line for all other guests. It streamlines everything. Just get one!Port of Galveston: The "little" Port of Galveston is just fine and they do a very good job. They will have their work cut out for them to handle the Magic and the Triumph for Carnival, and a Princess ship, and NCL, and Disney but it can be done. There will be some growing pains but, as seamlessly as they handle things right now, my level of confidence is very high that by the summer of 2012, it will be ticking like a clock again.Summary: On a scale of 1-10, this cruise gets a 9.5 and our loyalty to Carnival as our preferred Cruise Line. I'm not saying we will not sail other lines but ... For example, we want to sail Hawaii in a couple of years. NCL bases a ship in Honolulu and you fly directly there and spend seven days in paradise. With Carnival and everyone else, you spend 12-15 days to visit Hawaii and still have to fly to the west coast unless you live there. Future Cruises: We will be booking a Seven Day Cruise out of Galveston aboard Carnival Magic for next summer. Then Hawaii, then Alaska, then .....Link to 200+ pics. Either Copy and Paste to you browser or right click and Open.https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sredir?uname=112263849042548246386&target=ALBUM&id=5622561170080288449&authkey=Gv1sRgCLuoja6dj-jf8wE&feat=email Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
I have wanted to do a Med cruise for years. Finally, in July 2008 we booked this cruise based on three factors: 1. the itentairy was perfect, 2. the price was afforable, and 3. It was a brand new ship! After the cruise was officially ... Read More
I have wanted to do a Med cruise for years. Finally, in July 2008 we booked this cruise based on three factors: 1. the itentairy was perfect, 2. the price was afforable, and 3. It was a brand new ship! After the cruise was officially booked, the next 14 months was full of reading books and doing research of every port. About 5 months before sailing, I finally discovered cruisecritic. This website was an absolute lifesaver. I recommend it to everyone who is taking a cruise. Finally, it was depature day. Our first flight was cancelled. After staying in a cheap hotel we arrived at the airport the next day to discover our 2nd flight was delayed. Twice. After an exhausting flight, we were at last in the Eternal City! We went to collect our bags. I easily spotted mine. DH never came. We spent the next two hours waiting in line to talk to someone is baggage claim. Uh-oh. Our dream vacation was off to a rocky start. I used my priority club points for our pre-cruise hotel, the Intercontinental on Via Sistina. The location could not be beat;right on top of the Spanish Steps. After checking in, we went to a wonderful dinner and walked around a bit. We were starting to forget the nightmare the airlines put us through even though we still didn't have DH bags. The next day, we used the subway to go to the Coliseum and Trevi Fountain. I was disappointed we didn't have time to see the Vatican. We went back to the hotel and finally DH's bag had arrived. Good thing, it was time to head to the ship. We walked to the subway station and tooked the train to termini and then the train to Civitavecchia. This was very easy and so much cheaper than taking a car serivce. We would rather have that money to spend on ship or in ports. When the train arrived in Civitavecchia, we walked a few blocks and saw free shuttle vans to the ship. Embarktation was quick and easy. A few minutes later we were walking on to the ship. People were still painting the outside. We checked out our room: 8274. It was nice and big. No complaints. Then, we were off to discover the ship. The ship is huge. Everyday we discovered something new. The first night we ate the Grand Buffet. Very good. After that we ate dinner in the dining room everynight. We started off on late dining but swapped to Anytime Dining. The service on the ship was impeccable. The food was outstanding. We didn't go to any shows. I really enjoyed the water slides and the outdoor movie theater. I loved this ship! The only thing that tops the ship was the ports. Europe is intoxicating. A cruise is a great way to explore Europe. No packing and unpacking. You get to see so much without the hassle of transfers. Yes, it is true you have limited time in each port. But you get a feel for what cities you want to revisit and which you do not. I loved this vacation. If only cruise lines ruled the world! Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
I am in no way trying to tell people to go or not to go on this ship. This is just my story..... Embarkation: This went very smoothly. My wife and I used EZ-Park on Santa Fe street and found it to be the best option. This was our first ... Read More
I am in no way trying to tell people to go or not to go on this ship. This is just my story..... Embarkation: This went very smoothly. My wife and I used EZ-Park on Santa Fe street and found it to be the best option. This was our first cruise but I have driven my mother to the pier and it can be a madhouse. EZ-Park drops you right off at the pier and will haul your bags (the Port of Galveston lots do not haul luggage). We got off the bus and walked right into the terminal. Total time in terminal was about 15 minutes. This was our first exposure to Carnival employees. The Check in clerk was nice. I wouldn't call her helpful but she was nice. We then moved over to the Embarkation picture area. Here is where we first saw the true face of the majority the Carnival employees. Uncaring and unhelpful. Not really rude but ambivalent. As we walked to the Embarkation photo area, the Carnival employee told us something that I did not hear. When I asked him to repeat it, he rolled his eyes and said, "I said....stand on the lizard." I don't usually take unsolicited attitude very well but my wife told me to blow it off...so I did. The camera man said nothing, just snapped the photo.... Next.. From there we moved onto the ship it self and the excitement was growing. Like I said...this was our first cruise. My mother had been on 4 previous cruises with Princess (Carnival owned) and raved about the personal attention, the food, the fun activities, and the rooms. So I have to admit, I read all the reviews prior to leaving but still I had a very romantic view of what to expect. Reading these reviews did indeed temper my expectations, but......... We board the ship with Sail and Sign in hand. We get to the front of the line and we were told to, "stand on the feet", our photo was taken, and our Sail and Sign was handed back to us. Not ONCE did ANYONE and I mean ANYONE say, "Welcome Aboard" or "Enjoy your Cruise". Not once. We were basically ushered through the line and left to our own devices. This would have been fine if we had known the layout of the ship. We didn't and it is very overwhelming and confusing. There is loud music and hundreds of people milling around looking just as confused. BUT..the most telling thing was that there were also many Carnival employees standing around. Besides talking to each other, they were not doing much. They were stationed by the elevators but giving no direction. People that just got on board were asking each other where the Lido deck was. We made it up to the Lido and for the first time, a Carnival Employee looked me in the eyes and actually spoke to me. While I was hoping for the aforementioned ,"Welcome Aboard!", I got instead, "Try the drink of the day!" Seven fifty for a drink in a plastic gift "glass". No thanks. We then tried the Lido food. I should actually call it chow. It felt a lot like a military chow line. Grab a plate and get in line. The cheeseburgers were decent. Nothing great but nothing terrible, the hot dogs were actually very good, the fries were OK if you didn't mind a random assortment of hairs from either employees or other passengers. The soft drink card was also being pushed VERY heavily. Couldn't justify $25 bucks each for one so I passed. The other drinks available were Iced Tea, Lemonade, water, coffee, coca, and orange juice. The lemonade was by far the superior drink. The water was foul. Bad tasting and smelly. They wanted you to spend $10 bucks on their bottled water in the neat little holder they included and it showed. The iced tea was decent. I don't think they used the same water for the iced tea, lemonade, or coffee. They were all decent. By the time we got done eating and listening to VERY loud Calypso music, our room was ready and off we went. The Room: We were on the Empress deck (deck 7) which is the same deck you embark on. When we got to our room, the first thing we noticed it that it was very bright and clean. It seemed smaller then in the photos but it was nice and clean. As with most things on this ship, there was a downside. We had an ocean view room and I am sure the ocean would have looked lovely if you could have seen out of the window. It was caked with grime and salt. It was very hard to see out of it clearly. Other passengers complained of the same thing. It rained our first night out and that cleaned off the grime somewhat and made it easier to see. T here was a 27" LG Flat screen in the room. We had 3 local channels from Denver, 4 ship channels, 4 CNN channels, and 2 movies channels. The movie channels had the same movie looped all day until noon the next day when the movie changed. One of the movie channels had no sound. The bathroom was clean and the shower was fine for a 6'6 guy like me. A knock on the door signaled the arrival of our Room Steward. His name was Prajuab from Thailand and while his English was lacking, he made up for it in his ability to help and his genuine concern for our comfort. He was a huge bright spot and gave us hope. We relaxed and explored the ship until the evacuation drill and then we set sail. we left about 4 pm. We headed back to the room and our luggage was there. We unpacked and got ready for dinner. The towel animals left every night were very, very neat. Dinner and the Food in general: Three words.....Quantity Over Quality. Dinner was the first real meal we had on the ship. The menu consisted of (main courses only) Filet Mignon, Baked Ziti with Italian sausage, a Tilapia dish, and Sweet and Sour shrimp. We were at a table with 3 other couples. The waiter, like others before him, seemed totally uninterested in our comfort. Between the off color, sexually themed jokes and blah attitude, the cruise was off to a banner start. My filet was cooked well but tasteless. My wife said the same. Everything had an airline quality to it. Out of 8 people at out table, 5 ordered the filet and 3 ordered the Ziti. Out of the 3 folks that ordered the Ziti, not one of them took more than 3 or 4 bites, it was that bad they said. They turned down our waiters offer of something else and went to the Lido deck to eat. Not that the food was any better, just different. We opted to not return to the dining rooms again as the food wasn't all that great anyway and we got stuck with the 8:30 pm dining time even though we asked for 7:00 pm. We had our other meals on the Lido. Sub-par food but that's where the 24 hour pizza bar, the deli, and 2 buffets were. The food there had the same overall theme & flavorless but tons of it. I ended up eating more pizza then I ever have in my entire life. It was very good and usually always hot and fresh. The deli was decent but the lines were usually long and the guy running it was VERY slow. We had breakfast and lunch on the Lido most days. If I had to describe it, I would say it was an absolute MADHOUSE. Very long lines and scramble for tables made for a stressful start to the day. Breakfast was decent. Scrambled eggs that were powdered, good bacon, cold sausage, good ham and decent French toast and hard as a rock pancakes. If you want a fresh egg, go to the omelet station or ask for one if you can find anyone. Lunch usually had a carved meat of some kind, veggies, and some type of fish or shrimp. Again..decent but not really good. It's like someone left all the flavor out of the recipes. Bland would be a good word. One final note on the food service. Make sure you know when meals are served. If they say that breakfast ends at 10am, then it ENDS at 10am. No mercy. At 10am and one seconds, the food is gone and youll be damned to get anyone to care. Same goes for Lunch and Dinner. On ship entertainment: My wife and I didn't partake of much of it. Incredibly large crowds and long lines were not what we wanted so I offer no critique. We did hit the casino a couple of times and had a good time. I won $60.00 one night but that is it. The slots are VERY tight. Here is something I found that I am not sure if it is a secret or even real but I found that if I won on a slot machine, anything from $5 to $20, and I hit cash out right after, I would 9 times out of 10 hit on the same machine right after. I won $15 on a machine and accidentally hit cash out. I dropped the money right back in and hit $20. Then I lost all but $10, accidentally hit cash out again, put it all back in and hit $40. This was a trend. One word of advice, play with cash. You get charged a 3% fee to set it up on your Sail and Sign card. Ports and Excursions: We found out when we got on board that our excursion for Cozumel had been cancelled. We discovered this when our tickets were delivered for our excursion in Progresso which was our second port. We went to the Purser's desk and it was only then we were told about the cancelation. This was a 8 pm the night before we arrived. I really wish someone would have told us about it sooner so we could have made other plans but it ended up for the best cause we had a much less stressful time just exploring Cozumel at our own pace. The ship docked in Cozumel about 2 hours late due to the weather the night before. No one was told about this until we were supposed to dock in the morning and we had not. There were many, many angry people that had excursions planned (a few even had weddings planned). They were very upset that we weren't told about the delay even though the Captain had known about it before dinner the previous night. We got off the ship in Cozumel (via a tender) and spent the day exploring Cozumel by horse and buggy and on foot. Shopping and exploring in Cozumel can be described in one word&..BARTER! Bring your bartering hat and stand your ground. The horse and buggy guy wanted to charge us $40 each to ride up and down the pier. When we were done (my wife speaks Spanish which helped) we went the length of the pier and way, way back into the REAL Cozumel, stopped at a local market wayyyyy off the tour path, stopped a Corpus Christi Cathedral to say a prayer and back (over an hour total) for $30 bucks total. A $10 tip made the guy very happy. Everyone in Cozumel takes American dollars (except the stuff way in the back). The prices there a VERY inflated. Most Americans just pay it. DON'T DO THAT!!!! Bargain!! If it is marked $8 offer $5 they will either counter or say no. Go from there. If they never get to a price you like, leave. Two things might happen. They will either run after you and say OK or you walk a street over and find the same crap and they will take your price. In Progresso, we took the all inclusive Resort Beach Break excursion. This is NOT the Corona Beach Break. This is the Beach Break that drives you to a private resort deep in Progresso/ Merida. The resort is called the Hotel Reef Yucatan. It is a private resort that allows cruises to uses their facilities. It was amazing. Beautiful beach, beautiful pool, free booze, free, cokes and juice and a buffet of bar food. We spent the day swimming in the ocean, swimming in the pool, laying around in a hammock, and mainly just relaxing. ****A word of warning to people with Children. Be very careful on this excursion!!! Booze is free and some of the adults take full advantage of it. By the end of the day, the bus ride back to the port was VERY loud and sometimes R-Rated. Very drunk people telling off-color jokes can be a tad uncomfortable for parents of young children.******* Overall Impression: My overall impression was very poor. The crew spent the entire trip being very ambivalent or just flat out not giving a crap. The exception was our room steward. My wife and I decided we were not happy with the tipping arraignment (you pay $10 per day per person tips on your Sail and Sign) we found ourselves tipping the folks we felt went above and beyond and anyone else that helped. Since we were doing that, we went to the Purser and adjusted the $10 per day tipping on our bill. You can set it to whatever you like from $0 to whatever. This is not very well advertised. We didn't feel it was right to tip people that had no impact on our trip whatsoever. On the final day, we handed the room steward $50 bucks and he divided it up among his crew of 4. We gave him an extra $20 and he said he would also spilt that up. It ended up being more than they would have gotten from us to begin with as the tip break down would have given them a total of about $32 bucks to split up. He was very happy and I made sure I mentioned his name in the comment card as being exceptional. We tipped as we went and it worked better for us. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, look elsewhere. This is a VERY loud ship. Everywhere you go from the Casino to the dining rooms (all of them), to even your room sometimes, is very loud. Music, chatter and just overall crowd noise are persistent. My opinion is that this ship is for two kinds of people. People too old to care and people too young to care. With drinks costing $6 or more it can get pricy. If you are going on a trip with a lot of people, you might have a better time as well. Keep in mind there are only about 12 total rooms with a balcony and they are all suites. None of the Standard ocean view rooms have balconies. In closing, we had fun but mainly when we were away from the ship. We didn't have a bad time on the ship&just not a good time. We realized it wasn't for us. The crew never asked us if we were enjoying our cruise and they acted like they already had their tips so why bother caring. At the end of the cruise, the cruise director spent 30 minutes of the Disembarkation talk almost begging us to write a positive review of our cruise and not to let 1 bad experience make us write a negative review. We didn't just have 1..we had lots. Some folks had a wonderful time but, sorry Carnival & we won't be returning. One last note......When you get off the ship, if you are able, use Self Assist disembark. You get off 2 hours before anyone else does. We docked at 6 am and were able to Self Assist disembark at 7:15am. We were off the ship, off the bus, and in our car and on the road by 8:30am. Regular color coded disembarking didn't start until 9:30am. Read Less
Sail Date September 2006
Carnival Ecstasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.5 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.7
Family 3.5 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.7
Enrichment 2.5 3.3
Service 4.5 4.1
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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