7 Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Caribbean - Western from Galveston

My husband and I decided to take a vacation away from the kids and taking a cruise was the most economical thing we could find. I have been on the Ecstasy before,so I knew what to expect of the ship etc. It is an older ship, but once you ... Read More
My husband and I decided to take a vacation away from the kids and taking a cruise was the most economical thing we could find. I have been on the Ecstasy before,so I knew what to expect of the ship etc. It is an older ship, but once you get used to the crazy colors, you are good to go. Getting on the ship: I have been on 4 cruises and this was by far the easiest time getting on the ship. We got there a little after 12 and by 1 we were on the Lido deck having lunch. It really was that easy. Piece of advice, take a small cooler with drinks. We took a 12 pack of soda for each of us and that got us through the entire cruise and saved us a bunch of money. Also, you can bring one bottle of wine per person which I recommend as well. Food: SOOOOOO good. For breakfast, we sometimes ate on the Lido and had the typical eggs, bacon, cereal. A few days we ate in the dining room and had eggs benedict and samon. For lunch, the lido deck was our stop and my husband had some type of sandwich or pizza and I usually stuck with the chicken fingers/hamburgers. For dinner, we were always in the dining room, you can beat all you can eat of steak/fish!! Things to do on the ship: The pool isnt that big, so if you want to hang there, make sure you park it early. We always were able to find chairs in the back near the water slides which was a quieter spot then near the pool b/c you couldnt hear the music. The slides were so much fun, a good way to cool off before getting some sun. We went to a few of the comedy shows and little activities on the ship, which were good. The staff was so nice, they work so hard and always have a good attitude. We enjoyed talking with our room steward Alit. Getting off the ship: We decided to do the take our own luggage off instead of putting it outside our room the night before b/c we were able to get off about an hour earlier with that option. It wasnt that bad once we got off. Advice: have a passport b/c the line goes alot faster then the birth cert. line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
I had no idea what to expect for our first cruise other than what I had seen on tv & movies. We decided to cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary and invited our family to join us. There were 9 adults and we shared 4 cabins. I used ... Read More
I had no idea what to expect for our first cruise other than what I had seen on tv & movies. We decided to cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary and invited our family to join us. There were 9 adults and we shared 4 cabins. I used Vacationstogo.com to book the cruise for everyone. It cost an average of $500 each for the entire week. Embarkation in Galveston was a breeze and disembarking was just as easy. We knew to be patient and that helped a lot. We chose to have our luggage taken to and from our cabins and are glad we did so. Our cabin steward, Marlon, was fantastic. Our head waiter, Manek, and assistants at dinner made us feel like royalty. We enjoyed everything about the cruise. We went to the shows, the clubs, the casino, the shops, and participated in as many activities as we wanted. Our cabins were more than adequate, except for one thing. Be aware that if you book V25 on the Ecstasy you will NOT have a view of anything except a rescue boat. I was very disappointed that I was not told that our view would be completely obstructed. We didn't get to enjoy the balcony at all and we paid twice as much for it as the other cabins. We asked to move but were told there were no vacancies. I would recommend not eating at the buffet all the time. Choose to sit down in the dining rooms for most meals. We had late dinner and are glad that we did. The food was unbelievable. We enjoyed every meal. Choose the lobster and the escargot and don't miss the Chocolate Buffet. I don't recommend playing the slots on board; you won't win big. Skip the 'talks' on the jewelry buying but do go to the shows. Take at least one ride down the Twister slide, sit for awhile in the jacuzzi on the Serenity deck, do go to the Newlywed/Marriage show (its a riot!), have a fruity drink, take lots of pictures, nap, and sleep in when you're at sea. Can't say much about Progreso. Its a typical Mexican town. Buy your souvenirs there though; better prices. We hired a driver and tour guide for our group for $15 pp and we went to ruins, salt flats, saw flamingos, stopped at a private beach for margaritas, and toured the village before returning to the market. Well worth the money. In Cozumel, we did the same for $20 pp and were taken to a private beach club for 3 hours where we could snorkel. We were then taken shopping downtown. 3 ppl in our group went diving and had a fantastic time. All in all, for our first cruise for each of us, it was a great experience. No one got sea sick, even though the boat did rock quite a bit, and we didn't spend too much money. We took advantage of everything the ship offered and had a wonderful time. We're already planning our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
My husband took me on this wonderful ship for my birthday cruise and it was a wonderful and relaxing present! The Ecstasy is in great shape and the improvements made while in dry dock were well worth it. We had a porthole cabin on U deck ... Read More
My husband took me on this wonderful ship for my birthday cruise and it was a wonderful and relaxing present! The Ecstasy is in great shape and the improvements made while in dry dock were well worth it. We had a porthole cabin on U deck that was very roomy and quiet location. I did not hear one creak or squeak as we cruised along! On previous cruises, my cabin always creaked and squeaked. Seas were calm this trip, very smooth sailing and beautiful weather. Food was good, as always. We ate in dinning room for all breakfast except one and the service was great, food hot and fresh. At dinner, we were assigned table for 10 in Windsong dining room,late seating. We were seated with 5 other married couples and we had a fabulous time every evening!! Our waiter was JJ who went above and beyond each and every night! The waterworks area is a great place to catch some sun and watch the kiddos splash and scream! Adults too! If you want peace and quiet, go down to the Serenity level which is adult only. Comfy cushions on the lounge chairs with umbrellas for shade. Serenity was our favorite after dinner spot to lay in the moonlight and have a nightcap. Ahhhhhh....paradise! The main pool area has plenty of chairs and we never had a problem finding a chair. No chair hogs on this cruise, or else we were very fortunate! :-) First port was Progreso and I can't comment on it as we only shopped in the port then hopped back on the ship for a very quiet, relaxing day with the pool area all to ourselves!!! I'm serious! For 1 hour, it was myself and my husband in the pool. No kids....no adults... just us! Second port was Cozumel and we booked the Nachi Cocom all inclusive excursion. Beautiful resort, excellent facilities, outstanding food, white sand, blue water.... paradise! I highly recommend this excursion. You won't be disappointed! Overall, was a wonderful, relaxing vacation and I am already planning our next Ecstasy getaway! Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
Cruising from Galveston for us is the easiest and best way to cruise. No airfare! We live in the Dallas area and drove to Galveston on Sunday before the cruise and stayed at the Tremont Hotel near the Strand. It was fantastic as it was ... Read More
Cruising from Galveston for us is the easiest and best way to cruise. No airfare! We live in the Dallas area and drove to Galveston on Sunday before the cruise and stayed at the Tremont Hotel near the Strand. It was fantastic as it was Mardi Gras and we had a great time roaming the streets. Our hotel was booked through an Internet agency so we had prepaid it. Upon checking in, we told the front desk we were cruising to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and the hotel sent chocolate covered strawberries and champagne to our room as a surprise! The hotel also offers free cruise parking at their sister hotel, the Galvez so we were able to park there and the Tremont took us to the pier the next morning for embarkation. We arrived in style in their town car! Of course, this is February and the weather can be unpredictable, but we NEVER allow this to impair our vacation. Embarkation was quite easy and we were on the ship by noon, dining in the Panorama Grill on the Lido deck. The food was awesome and this was just the beginning of a five day culinary feast! The staterooms were ready by about 1:30 and we took our carry-ons and our other luggage appeared quickly after that. We booked an inside and had the beds in the twin configuration so it gave us more room to walk about the cabin. We unpacked and then went about to roam the ship. The Ecstasy is glamorous and full of life! Music can be heard from every bar area. Our chosen dining time was the any time dining and we ate every night at the same table #111 with Alvin, the best waiter on board this ship. The food each night was unbelievable and the choices were just fantastic, in fact, of all the cruises we have been on, this food topped the list! Go Carnival! On the night of our 25th anniversary, we had champagne, a cake and singing waitstaff. Each evening we were entertained by our waiters and Jamal the maitre d' was great with introductions of what was happening next. During the day, there was trivia, bingo, port talks, the casino, the library, bars and a plethora of things to see and do. We were never bored! My husband did the "behind the scenes" tour to see what the crew actually does and got to visit the engine room. He said it was the best thing he had done in many cruises. This is offered to a limited number of passengers for a fee of $55. Time just flew by and before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye. We chose the self assist and really had no problems as we were off the ship and at our car by 10:00 and back driving north on I-45. Would we book this one again........you bet! Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
I have to tell you this was the best trip we've ever taken together alone without kids. And my hubby is now a cruise lover too. Drove down from Humble to Galveston, went to the EZ Cruise lot where I had made our reservation on line ... Read More
I have to tell you this was the best trip we've ever taken together alone without kids. And my hubby is now a cruise lover too. Drove down from Humble to Galveston, went to the EZ Cruise lot where I had made our reservation on line and was asked to follow the bus to their 2nd lot. Followed them over after waiting on them for quite awhile and parked, shuttled then to Embarkation. Wasn't too bad but did seem to take longer than my last cruise. Was so exciting walking onto the ship. We were able to go right to our cabin and drop our stuff off in our room then head to the Lido deck for some food. I do believe we tried to eat the 15 times a day that Steve Cassell our cruise director said was possible. Our cabin was wonderful. Only thing I wish we'd had an ocean view but finances said otherwise. It was much more spacious than the one I shared with my sister on the RCL Majesty in September 2009. The food on the Lido was ok, we had a hamburger, etc. from the grill. I was so excited about the ice on the ship. Not quite like Sonic but close!! Walked the deck for us to depart. Awesome seeing them turn that ship around with a derrick so close. Our first day at sea was fun. We ran around and did a few things, sat on the deck and met some crazies. Went to the Cruisin with the Crazies meet and greet. Then had our formal night, which was also our anniversary. Dining room was wonderful. We had late dining in the Windstar. We had wonderful staff who used our name through out the whole cruise and knew exactly what I wanted to drink and that i had a cappuccino every night with dessert. Food was good and OK. Mostly good however. Steve Cassell is a great cruise director and a heck of a fiddle and violin player. The shows were good. I didn't particularly care for the final show as it seemed really off kilter, weird and the female singer was screaming not singing. The country show was fantastic. Talent show had good and bad of course. The trivia contest in the Metro bar was NOT trivia it was mind challenges. False advertisement!! Overall we had a great time, wonderful people, good service, nice time and new friends. We are looking forward to our next one (hopefully sooner than later). I'd go Carnival again in a heartbeat Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
Absolutely loved it. Steve Cassel, Cruise Director, was wonderful as well as everyone on the Ecstasy. We ate too much, laughed constantly, and found out we could survive without cell phones or internet for 5 days. We have nothing, but ... Read More
Absolutely loved it. Steve Cassel, Cruise Director, was wonderful as well as everyone on the Ecstasy. We ate too much, laughed constantly, and found out we could survive without cell phones or internet for 5 days. We have nothing, but praise for this crew and all staff. We only wish there were more cruises out of Texas ports. Hubby had a stroke almost 2 years ago, and started a "Bucket List" although he fully recovered and isn't kicking any bucket any time soon, HA! But it did kickstart his thinking and has given him more initiative to do new things. He doesn't snorkel well, but loved parasailing and is willing to try scuba diving where he doesn't have to think about the snorkel filling up with water. Wants to do the ATV thing next time and I want to do the horseback on the beach. Cozumel has such beautiful water and great shopping, and I could have been there for 2 days. I left Progreso after a tour with a profound reverence and gratitude for all the things that we take for granted in the USA. These people live in very poor conditions, but are warm and friendly and kind. It is Old Mexico and the prosperity of Cozumel is in sharp contrast to what you see in Progreso. I love seeing the Mayan Ruins and the history of the place, but you have to be prepared to feel a deep pain at the reality of the poverty there and at least for me, it is very humbling. I have been through New Orleans two years after Katrina and it looks better than the normal conditions of housing in most of Progreso. We take too much for granted and I pray to remember that. The time at sea is packed with things to do and see and eat. We had great weather until we headed back to Galveston. Friday was fine until about 5 p.m. About 60 mph winds kicked up and knocked out some of the Halloween entertainment plans and shows. The dancers' shows all had to be cancelled that night and Steve was so kind and kept apologizing, but I don't think anyone on that ship wanted a show with the risk the performers would have had. I teased the crew on the Lido deck by the pool that we had a brand new attraction that night, the WAVE pool!! Everyone made the best of all the things we still had left to do and I don't think anyone felt slighted by the changes that the weather caused. We all visited, the comedian went on twice instead of once, and we slept like happy babies in our bed. The weather did rock the ship a little, but it sure didn't interfere with our sleep and at no time did I get seasick, and for someone who gets carsick sometimes, that's saying something. The cabin was larger than the Royal Caribbean I went on in 2005 from Los Angeles for 4 days and hubby said same for the Royal Caribbean cruise he took from Miami in Nov. 2008 with a group he belongs to. We both agree that Carnival room was nicer, bigger, and bed was more comfortable. The Empress deck we were on is one of the busiest, but noise wasn't a problem. We had plenty of storage space and luggage fit under bed after I unloaded all that stuff I didn't need to bring, Ha! We used the stairs far more than the elevators both to save time and get the exercise, but elevators are convenient and plentiful if you want them. In fairness to Royal Caribbean we both loved their cruises as far as crew, service, food, etc. was concerned. They were good, but Carnival was better. We preferred the Carnival Ecstasy room and the crew was exceptional. We won't go to Miami at all, but may try New Orleans, Mobile, smaller port in Florida, etc., and we really want to go to Australia and Hawaii as well as other Caribbean locations that are available.My only complaint was with myself, for over-packing and not thinking about bringing our walkie-talkies. Although lack of communication accounted for over an hour of walking a day, so that offset the overeating of the good food. We can't wait for the next trip. Oh yes, getting on the ship and off and through Customs is so easy in Galveston. Hubby said Miami was awful and fellow cruisers said that avoiding Miami is best unless you are prepared for the hours it takes to board and get off at the end. I'll take their word for it, there are plenty of other smaller ports to use. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
I must say that my wife and I had a wonderful experience with Carnival. It started with our travel agent with Carnival. She was referred by a co-worker. My wife and I were accompanied by our friends and their daughter. Our TA booked both ... Read More
I must say that my wife and I had a wonderful experience with Carnival. It started with our travel agent with Carnival. She was referred by a co-worker. My wife and I were accompanied by our friends and their daughter. Our TA booked both of our reservations an ensured that our rooms were within close proximity and that our dining table was the same. She also followed up with us regularly and answered every question we had. This was our first cruise. It definitely won't be our last. We live in Houston and car pooled with our friends to the port in Galveston. If you drive, expect to pay between $35 to $50 for parking for a 5 day cruise. We split the cost. A shuttle takes you to and from the parking lot. Our stateroom was on the main deck upon entrance. It was a great location, we were right in the middle of everything.  Our cabin was much better than expected. It had three closets and a desk with drawers. It included a 20 inch LCD TV on the wall, which played two movies each day and local tv shows. The bed was very comfortable. The water pressure in the shower was much better than expected. I would honestly compare the room to a a slightly smaller Marriott room.It was raining when we took of, so the boat was rocking a bit. My wife gets motion sickness, so needless to say, her first day didn't go so well. Our friends old us that you can't really feel the boat moving. When we were in the Sapphire Lounge ( the main entertainment room) my wife could really feel it. We had brought Dramamine, and had tabs to stick behind your ear, but neither were very effective. We ended up purchasing these sea sickness arm bands at the ship store and they worked wonders for my wife. She felt great for the rest of the trip. The food was free throughout. If you drink soda, you will need to buy the drink pass. It is about $21 per person. We don't drink soda, so we were fine with the water, tea, and juices. Room service is free(we used it once the entire trip). My wife and I eat out often. We go to several high end restaurants. We felt that the food in the Pamorama Grill was pretty good. The food in the Windstar was outstanding. We ate there every evening. Our server was amazing. Very friendly and courteous. At times we even asked for extra appetizers and he would always say, "why not, you are on a cruise." His name was Joel. At dinner they would often sing or dance during the dinner. It's a lot of fun if you participate. The shows in the Sapphire lounge were pretty good. We especially enjoyed the comedy show. We spent some time in the casino. My wife enjoys the slot machines, and I like roulette. We ate at the sushi bar, and the sushi was adequate. Although they never served any of the fish completely raw. The pools are small, but spacious enough to accommodate everyone. Be careful upon first entry...the pool is filled with salt water. The band is usually playing music near the pools. Our room steward was great. He even helped me tie my tie on formal night. Our room was cleaned twice a day, and each evening they fold a towel into an animal. It's pretty unique. The crew on this ship had to be the most friendly and courteous group of people I have ever encountered. Everyone was very helpful and nobody seemed even the slight bit disgruntled. It was very enlightening. I would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone. Let me add that the cruise director and the maitre d were very personable. The maitre D' came to our table each night and asked if we needed anything. If you are looking to do a family cruise or a romantic getaway, this is a budget friendly option. Our experience was great and I would definitely recommend this to everyone I know. I was initially a bit worried, because of some of the previous reviews. We have absolutely nothing to complain about. It was a great time. Take advantage of the duty free shopping. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
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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