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528 Carnival Galveston Cruise Reviews

We left for our cruise on Jan 29 2005, my wife my two sons and me. We flew from Vancouver B.C., to Houston, TX, via Phoenix on America West Airlines. It was a good quick flight at a reasonable price but ill pack a lunch next time (the ... Read More
We left for our cruise on Jan 29 2005, my wife my two sons and me. We flew from Vancouver B.C., to Houston, TX, via Phoenix on America West Airlines. It was a good quick flight at a reasonable price but ill pack a lunch next time (the peanuts just don't hold you over). We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express by the airport -- great room at an awesome price. I highly recommend it. The next day we had arranged for a shuttle to pick us up at our hotel to take us to Galveston. We used Texas Shuttle Service (owned and operated by L.J. Cromier). L.J. gave us a short tour of downtown Houston before dropping us of at the pier. Embarkation: This was the quickest I've ever had getting on a cruise. Being non-U.S. citizens our line was very short and we pretty well just walked right on. I think the picture-taking took longer than the paperwork. The boat: My first impression of the Elation was good. When you first walk in you are in an eight story grand atrium -- the most impressive I've seen. Our cabin was fine, nothing fancy and more room then we've had on other boats (Royal Caribbean for example). We had a few minor problems with our cabin (a picture had fallen off the wall) and our cabin steward took care of it right away. I didn't really like the layout of the boat. It seemed like we were always having to walk past the casino and the bars that allowed smoking. The shops were great with very helpful staff. Dining: We had requested an early seating and when we got on the boat it was changed to the late seating so I had to stand in a line for 90 minutes to see the maitre d' and we were put on a waiting list. On the second night we got changed to the early seating. Our waiter and assistant waiter were good at taking care of all our dining needs. Our assistant waiter, Valentina (from Bulgaria), was very good with the kids. The food was good but not great. I had to keep remembering the great deal I got on the cruise, then the food tasted a little better. Entertainment: We were not impressed with the entertainment. We actually had to walk out on one of the comedians making ethnic jokes. The ports: Definitely the highlight of the trip we didn't get any excursions through the boat. Progresso: We went the Mayan ruins, Dzibilchaltun, and then we shopped around in Progresso. Total cost for the day minus shopping $120 and that included a private guide at the ruins and taxi rides. Cozumel: We went to Chankanaab Marine Park where we snorkeled and my wife and boys swam with the dolphins -- total cost $380. Belize: We took a tender boat from the ship to the city and walked over to the marine terminal and took a water taxi out to a little island called Caye Calker. It was very nice and easy going. We had lunch there and did a bit of snorkeling. We were too late to get a boat to take us out to the reef (the second biggest barrier reef in the world). The snorkeling around Caye Caulker wasn't that great, but the place was charming and well worth the trip over. We felt rushed there being as we had to get the 3 o'clock taxi back to the ship. Total cost for the day, $90 lunch included. Disembarkation: Again this went very smoothly. We carried our bags off the boat and we were off by 10:00 a.m. We had arranged with L.J. to pick us up by 10:30 am and he didn't pick us up till 11:30 a.m. His explanation for being late was that this time worked better for him. He then with us as his captive audience proceeded to tell us about the merits of U.S. foreign policy. He took phone calls in between his talk and ended up overbooked and dropped us off at the wrong terminal. If we didn't have a late flight we would have been screwed. All this being said, we did have a good time overall, but I think we'll try a different cruise line next time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
Hello, we went on a 5 day cruise from Galveston to Cozumel and Calica to celebrate our honeymoon. This was our very first cruise and I have to say that for the money it was a fairly good deal. When I booked the cruise they did ask if it ... Read More
Hello, we went on a 5 day cruise from Galveston to Cozumel and Calica to celebrate our honeymoon. This was our very first cruise and I have to say that for the money it was a fairly good deal. When I booked the cruise they did ask if it was to celebrate anything and I did tell them that it was our honeymoon. I expected to receive something in our stateroom for our honeymoon, but we didn't receive anything. We did have a song sung to us by our waiter at the formal dining night congratulating us on our marriage. This was fun. Our room was as expected for a cruise ship. We did not have a balcony or anything fancy. We did have a window which I loved. It was awesome to wake up and see the ocean every morning. Plus, we could see as we pulled into port. The food on the Ecstasy was a whole other story. First off, the buffet at the back of the ship, the Panorama Bar & Grill, was horrible. Just the thought of that room makes me sick. We did not have a good food experience on board. The cruise director kept making jokes about how all or your clothes would magically shrink when you got home, but my husband and I actually lost about 10 lbs each. We did order room service a lot, however, the room service menu never changed and got a little bland. I was under the impression that you could order the same meals that were being served in the dining room that night, but I was wrong. The activities on the ship were decent. We did attend the shows and the comedians. The pool was not big enough for all who wished to get in. I also think that every ship should have an adults only pool. The pool on the Ecstasy was filled with children every time I walked by. Our cabin steward was excellent. She had our room clean as soon as we stepped foot outside. We could go to the bar to get a Coke and come back only to find our bed made, towels replaced and a little towel animal saying hello. We chose to do the dolphin encounter in Cozumel and I highly recommend it. Although you don't actually get to swim with the dolphins, you do get to pet, touch and kiss them. They also take your picture kissing the dolphins and put it up for sale in the souvenir shop. The pictures are a bit pricey but I think they are well worth it. Unfortunately my picture was never put up on the wall for some reason. My husband's was though. In Calica we chose to do a shop/beach tour. The cost was $30 a person and I do not recommend this tour. They take you to several different areas on the island to shop, but they only give you about 30 minutes at each stop, so you have to rush through the stores and you really can't enjoy it. Then they take you to a private beach resort. This was a very nice beach. They have a little restaurant and bar. It was cloudy the day we went so we didn't get the whole effect. I do not recommend taking a cruise that stops in Calica. Your ports is a limestone mine and there isn't much around. You have to take a taxi or a excursion to get to anything worth while. Overall, our experience with The Carnival Ecstasy was average. For a first time cruise it was as expected and worth the price, however, now that I know what I am doing I am going to try something a little nicer. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
This was my fourth cruise and my husband's sixth. He had been on Carnival before, but I had cruised on RC and Princess. We love to cruise. We had a pretty good time, but will never cruise on this ship or Carnival again. The ship is ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise and my husband's sixth. He had been on Carnival before, but I had cruised on RC and Princess. We love to cruise. We had a pretty good time, but will never cruise on this ship or Carnival again. The ship is dark - art deco decor - and nearly always seemed to be crowded and even smelled bad!! Lots of sloppy, dirty people in the cafeteria, which is on the stern of this ship, nearly any time of day or night. The food in the dining room, however, was good. And Carnival did a great job of finding maybe the only eight people on the ship that we had things in common with for our table mates -- and all of us at the dining table agreed on that. The walking track on the upper deck was so short it made me dizzy going around it. Our room was big and clean, and it was OK, in spite of the unattractive brown and orange (Halloween?) decor. I don't even remember a fitness center or exercise programs. The shows were mediocre, and the trivia was all individual and for winning you get a cheesy little plastic ship-on-a-stick instead of the cruise loyalty items on RC and Princess. Believe me, Carnival would get much better advertising out of a hat than a ship-on-a-stick!! If you want to wear a wet swimsuit to dinner and be around folks who smoke while breathing on an oxygen tank (strange but true!!), this is the ship for you. In fairness, it WAS a fun ship - lots of folks were having LOTS of fun and being really loud - which is fine. And the ports of call were the same W.C. ports whichever ship you sail, and they're fun! If you're a frequent cruiser who likes a pretty ship and a cleaner atmosphere, I'd opt for one of the RC or Princess ships from Galveston. The price is even similar. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
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