Our family of four, including our two daughters, 11 and 13, cruised on the Jan. 7th cruise. This was our second cruise, but first with the kids. We sailed the Caribbean Princess in October. All I can say is perfect! Everything was perfect. Excellent weather in Galveston, as well as our entire cruise. We stayed at the San Luis, which is a very nice hotel right on the beach. All rooms are balconies and the entire back side of the hotel is all glass, floor to ceiling. You can see clear over to where the ships dock. They have a heated pool, except it was closed for renovations in January when we arrived. They allowed us to use the heated pool at their other hotel, the Hilton. There is also free cruise parking, and they shuttle you to and from the pier. I would recommend this hotel to anyone.
First of all, let's discuss the ship itself. I must say, I was in a state of shock after getting off the Caribbean Princess, a beautiful, new ship. The Ecstasy is much older and much smaller. At first, I thought I would be disappointed, but I soon found out, I loved it. I really ended up loving the size and MOST of the dEcor. The area that lacked was the pool. I don't understand why they don't renovate that. It's very old style and IMHO should be renovated.
I thought the food was okay, nothing to write home about. I thought the pizza was much better than Princess', but the variety at the buffet was very limited. Same items at the breakfast buffet everyday, and the salad bar never changed from the first to the last day. I must say, the deli sandwiches, which are available 24 hrs are excellent! I ate that most days for lunch. When we packed for the trip, we figured on going to the dining room maybe twice, thinking the kids wouldn't want to go there. Well, that was not the case. They loved our tablemates and LOVED our waiter, Poitr, who was from Poland. Even after our most tiring day swimming and shopping in Cozumel, they insisted we shower and go to dinner. He was amazing, he wouldn't let the kids order hamburgers, he would make them order something else first, and if they didn't like it, he would bring them a hamburger. It worked out well, since we all agreed before the trip, the kids were "required" to try some new food item each day. My 13 year old, semi-vegetarian picky eating daughter ordered duck, and LIKED it! Needless to say, we loved the entire dining room experience. Activities were plentiful. The kids did say they wish there was a little more to do in the evening for kids, but I think it was just due to it being a slow week for kids. We went to every show and particularly enjoyed the country show. It was magnificent! I would have paid to see it. Kids loved it too, and they aren't into country music. The singers and dancers were great for both shows. Comedy was okay, nothing spectacular. We didn't go to the talent show, but I heard it was very good.