Bahama mama vacation!: Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review by So St. Louis

Carnival Ecstasy 5
So St. Louis
Member Since 2012
6 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Bahama mama vacation!

Sail Date: September 2012
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
I want to let everyone know that my wife and I love Carnival. It's hard for me to say anything negative about the cruise line, and we've only sailed once with Royal Caribbean for comparative cruise line purposes.

The port - we've sailed out of Port Canaveral once before on an Eastern Caribbean cruise. We aren't picky people, but this place has a not so nice feel to it that seems as though you've wandered into a neighborhood rather than a tourist destination. The people are nice, and the beach is relatively well maintained so don't think I'm knocking it. Try Fishlipps for great food and drinks right on the harbor. The Key Lime Pie margaritas are great!! We stayed at the Hilton and the hotel is showing it's age. The staff was super nice though, so that always makes for a better customer experience.

Boarding - Hilton has a park and sail option where you can live your rental at the hotel free of charge for the week while you're sailing. They arrange for a cab for More you and it's $11 for a couple to get to the ship. This was great and made the trip much easier then taking super shuttle or some other carrier. The hotel doorman also told us about a nearby Walgreen's that had all kinds of information about items you were allowed to take on the ship with you. We grabbed some diet cokes, a couple bottles of wine and some water (if you have a suite you get a fridge - if you don't have a suite this might not be worth it).
The taxi dropped us off in a separate area from general boarding and there was a luggage man waiting for us. I'm not sure if this was for the Hilton or if it was for all taxi's, but it sure was nice not to have to deal with the crowds. We had a short walk to the terminal and since we were VIP we got to walk right in. The staff was friendly as always. We were on the ship in about 15 minutes.
Ship - the ship was pretty nice. All of these ships are kind of the same, but it's nice to see the different interior decors chosen for each one. We went to the bar and grabbed a couple drinks of the day before setting out to explore the ship since we couldn't get into our rooms until 1:30. We took Lot's of pictures and made sure to see the Serenity Deck since our suite had a big balcony and we wouldn't need to go there to hang out. From what we saw the Serenity Deck seemed a bit smaller than others we've been to, but it was still nice. They had yellow Serenity Deck towels instead of the usual sandy brown which was a neat twist.
Cabin- the grand suite was amazing. We took this cruise because my wife got a new job and we had to cancel a Hawaii cruise we had already put a deposit down on - this is relevant because if we hadn't already had that investment there is now way we would have gotten a suite (the Hawaii cruise was a 15 nighter so it was a lot more expensive). King size bed - full couch and chair in a seating area, two closets, a whole wall of drawers, a bathroom with a sauna tub and shower, a mid size fridge and a deck with room for two beach chairs, two regular chairs and two end tables. I'm telling you this room was worth every penny.
Food - we ate dinner in the dining room every night and the food was really good except for a spinach lasagna my wife tried. They don't have any specialty restaurants on board which I thought was somewhat odd. We ordered room service for breakfast and lunch most days when we weren't out in a port.

This was the shortest cruise we've been on, but it was probably the best so far. I highly recommend it!!! Less

Published 09/29/12
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: ESU89 Extended Balcony Grand Suite

Cabin- the grand suite was amazing. King size bed - full couch and chair in a seating area, two closets, a whole wall of drawers, a bathroom with a whirlpool tub and shower, a mid size fridge and a deck with room for two beach chairs, two regular chairs and two end tables. You have so much room you feel like you're at home. The decks have closed in balcony spaces, so you can't even see the people next to you. I think smokers tend to get these rooms, so be aware that you may smell the smoke from time to time if you're outside. They have black out curtains so the sun won't be waking you up - very quiet hallways as well. I'm telling you this room was worth every penny.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Jeep Tour

Freeport - we signed up for the ATV Adventure - this was excellent as well. You start off with an air conditioned bus tour of the city complete with the local history and historic buildings. Our tour guide David -AKA Da Mayor was excellent. He's one of those guys that you can tell loves his job. He dropped us off with Shawny and Michael (I think was his name) - they take you on the AV tour. This was a lot of fun - we've been on an ATV tour with Carnival before, but this was much better. You have a private trail to follow for most of the tour, and you get access to some of the most beautiful beaches you'll ever see. Shawny and Mike gladly take pictures of you with your camera so you can capture the moments forever. At the end of the ATV tour you're dropped off at a botanical garden with a few small shops. Very nice and great place for pictures. We found some nice jewelry for my wife as well. (I would strongly advise you take cash if you're going to purchase any items. We've used our credit card plenty of times before and never had any problems, but this time we certainly ended up with more charges to our account when we got back then we personally made if you understand what I'm saying). After the garden David takes you to a nice beach private beach where you can eat and drink and shop if you like. They also have a few water activities that are almost all free as well except the jet ski's. David picks you up and takes you back to the ship - fantastic day.

Half Moon Cay - we LOVE this port. This is Carnivals island, so your sail and sign cards work everywhere. Great idea not to have to deal with carrying cash or credit cards. Get there early, get a couple beach chairs with a cabana top and just lounge the day away. The water is great and the drink service is typically pretty timely. You also don't have to deal with any distractions from peddlers because it's a private island. The sand is white and pristine. They serve a pretty good free lunch with plenty of tables to eat at so no worries on finding food. Perfect lazy day.


Nassau - we did the Catamaran sail and snorkel tour. The tour guides were very friendly and the sip was a lot bugger than I expected ( I think we had about 40) It takes about 30 minutes to get to the reef, but you have a lot of beautiful scenery to see so in addition to a zoom lens camera for that you may want to buy a disposable water proof camera as well. You get to see Atlantis and I can tell you the pictures on TV don't do it just based on what we saw from afar. The place is BIG. The reef is beautiful. We had some folks on board who were scared because they couldn't swim very well - no worries. They give everyone life jackets(mandatory) and flippers if you want them. They were able to participate worry free. So many beautiful fish to see. They serve a rum punch as you sail back - and it's a party atmosphere. When we got back to the dock we ate some local foods at a small restaurant then found a cowboy hat I'd been looking for but could never find anywhere. Great fun!

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So St. Louis
Member Since 2012
6 Forum Posts
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