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My Husband & I have been on this cruise 2 times. We loved it and had a blast! There are tons of things to do on the boat, most of the time I forgot I was even on a boat. The most relaxing days were the days at sea. Rooms: Our first time we got a room on the Rivera Deck, Oceanview. We weren't planning on staying in our room all day, so we didn't see the point in paying more for a suite. Our second time cruising on this ship we wanted to be on a different floor, so we booked on the Empress Deck. This was the exact type of room we had before. No big deal, we were not on a cruise to stay in our room the whole time. (Be careful if you book a room with a balcony. If you want private moments then ask exactly where it is located, for example by any stairs. As we were walking down the stairs from the track/mini golf area, we were basically right there on someone's balcony. I could tell they were upset, and they told me several people throw their half empty glasses onto their balcony.) However, the rooms are nice, and larger than what I expected. I slept the best I ever slept before. The rooms are VERY clean. Our stateroom steward was the same guy on both cruises (kind of funny that happened!) Each night, your steward pulls back your covers, makes a neat animal out of towels, and leaves mints on your pillow. One time the monkey (made out of a towel) was wearing my sunglasses. The Boat: The ship is very clean, and COLD! Bring a light jacket with you, even if it is suppose to be 150 degrees outside! Our first cruise I ended up purchasing a jacket from the gift shop for $60! It was worth it in my opinion. There is a lot of entertainment, see as many shows as you can, and contests going on all the time. We had the late seating dinner, both times. You still get to see the shows that are shown during your dinner time. They call it now, the Early Seating Show and the Late Seating Show. On Formal Night you will attend the Captain's Cocktail Party. Free cocktails are served along with hors d'oeuvres are served. There are also people that are running around taking your picture all the time while you are on board. These pictures are a very good quality. And with quality comes the quality price, $20 each! We splurged... they were really good pictures! The pool area of the boat is nice. We never got in it because of the slew of kids sliding down the water slide, we preferred the quieter side of the ship. But if it is important for you to get a lounging chair by the main pool, get there EARLY. There are lounging chairs everywhere and on various decks. For those of you who suffer from motion sickness, don't worry. The crew offers motion sickness medicine. I think you can get it at the Pursers Desk. I can easily get sick on rollercosters and stuff like that, but I was not affected by the movement of the boat. At night you can barely feel it moving from side to side. Nothing major, I thought of it as the boat rocking you to sleep. :-) The Food: Stay up for the Midnight Buffets and we made sure we went to the dining room every night. The food was so pretty and you meet some neat people too. The first cruise the food tasted plain, but that's probably because I didn't eat any of the sauces that came with the meats (I'm just that way). My husband was pleased most nights with the food. Desserts were really good. If we were still hungry after dinner, we went to the Lido Deck. Around 11:00pm every night I had my final ice cream cone of the day. It is true you gain 5 pounds the week you are on the cruise. That's when the gym and the track come in handy. We visited this once and reminded ourselves we were on vacation and we didn't need to do this! :-) Spa: The spa is wonderful! We absolutely LOVED our massage. One thing that is a MUST DO is go to their informative review the first day you set sail. They tell you about all of the services the spa offers. This is located in the spa area of the boat. They also take your names and put them in a box. Throughout the meeting (it only lasts about 30 minutes), they draw names to win spa packages. I won a pedicure (regular $50) and my husband won a couples massage (regular $280). We've never been so lucky... especially in the Casino... we broke our winning streak. Throughout our cruise we called it the Carnival Donation Center, just to kid around. We did see a lot of people winning, we just weren't so lucky! Cozumel: This was our first stop both times. First Cruise: We visited the Mayan Ruins in Tulum. It was very informative (we are both history nuts) and very beautiful. Behind the ancient civilization is a bluff that leads to a picture perfect, turquoise Caribbean Sea. This is a must do if you love history. Second Cruise: went to the Playa Mia Beach Party. We purchased the 4 hour one. We wore sun screen and still got blistered. But we didn't realize that till we got back on the boat. The water there is crystal clear. There were lots of things to do, like climbing an "iceberg" in the ocean, a water trampoline, snorkeling, and did I mention the open bar?? There was also a Mexican buffet included in the price... I prefer the Tex-Mex version of Mexican Food. It wasn't very good, but that's only my opinion. Watch out for the Golden Man you think is a statue... he's really a person that can stand extremely still. He scared the crap out of me! The souvenirs are a lot more expensive in Cozumel, so if you can wait to buy stuff, Progresso has the same stuff and they are a lot cheaper. They are also more apt to wheel & deal with you. Progresso: When you walk off the boat you are greeted by a really neat mariachi (sp?) band! You'll walk through a really neat shopping area (both times this is where we bought all of our souvenirs), and then head off on a bus to your destination down the longest pier in the world (not kidding). First Cruise: We did the Corona Beach Party. This was SO much fun! There is an open bar at this one too. They also have waiters on the beach to wait on you! They will bring you anything you want. We also ate some of the best salsa and guacamole we have ever had! Be careful, the sand is very soft, but when you get close to the water (also in the water) it feels really rocky. There are shells everywhere. Second Cruise: We paid a little extra and went to the Reef Resort. It was a little bit of a drive to get there. The resort was VERY pretty and had a very large beach. The water was warm and apparently good for snorkeling. I am not much on snorkeling! I was in knee deep water and I was chased out of the water by a funny looking brown/white fish! Not kidding. Soon after that there was a whole school of them swimming around really close to the shore. Neat to see, but I headed to the pool! There was an open bar and buffet at this one too. Food here was a little bit better, but I still prefer the Tex-Mex version. If you choose not to do an excursion there are bus rides to the mainland. These round-trips are FREE. There is a really neat local market at the end of the pier. Final Day of Cruise: If you are ready to get out of there, get up EARLY and head to the Main deck. There will more than likely be a line formed already. Make sure you have already filled out the Customs form you stateroom steward left you. Heading out early is reserved for guest carrying off their luggage, if you set your luggage outside of your door to pick up, they will call you later by the Deck you were staying on. (We didn't want to go on a hide-n-seek venture for our luggage, so that's why we chose to carry ours off. Our suitcases are black, and so were everyone elses!) Carrying off your own luggage is very easy to do, between the 2 of us we had 4 hands. Doing it this way gets you through Customs first. One thing we learned by watching the people in front of us is- you cannot bring Cuban Cigars back into the states, and you are only allowed to bring back 1 liter of alcohol if you are a resident of Texas (it's different for other states- just check on it.) Be honest with the Customs Agents. Most of them are very friendly, but if they suspect you lying to them, things can get not so pretty (that was mainly because the couple in front of us were drunk- both of them.)

Twice! Great Cruise

Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review by intx2

Trip Details
My Husband & I have been on this cruise 2 times. We loved it and had a blast! There are tons of things to do on the boat, most of the time I forgot I was even on a boat. The most relaxing days were the days at sea.
Rooms: Our first time we got a room on the Rivera Deck, Oceanview. We weren't planning on staying in our room all day, so we didn't see the point in paying more for a suite. Our second time cruising on this ship we wanted to be on a different floor, so we booked on the Empress Deck. This was the exact type of room we had before. No big deal, we were not on a cruise to stay in our room the whole time. (Be careful if you book a room with a balcony. If you want private moments then ask exactly where it is located, for example by any stairs. As we were walking down the stairs from the track/mini golf area, we were basically right there on someone's balcony. I could tell they were upset, and they told me several people throw their half empty glasses onto their balcony.) However, the rooms are nice, and larger than what I expected. I slept the best I ever slept before. The rooms are VERY clean. Our stateroom steward was the same guy on both cruises (kind of funny that happened!) Each night, your steward pulls back your covers, makes a neat animal out of towels, and leaves mints on your pillow. One time the monkey (made out of a towel) was wearing my sunglasses.
The Boat: The ship is very clean, and COLD! Bring a light jacket with you, even if it is suppose to be 150 degrees outside! Our first cruise I ended up purchasing a jacket from the gift shop for $60! It was worth it in my opinion. There is a lot of entertainment, see as many shows as you can, and contests going on all the time. We had the late seating dinner, both times. You still get to see the shows that are shown during your dinner time. They call it now, the Early Seating Show and the Late Seating Show. On Formal Night you will attend the Captain's Cocktail Party. Free cocktails are served along with hors d'oeuvres are served. There are also people that are running around taking your picture all the time while you are on board. These pictures are a very good quality. And with quality comes the quality price, $20 each! We splurged... they were really good pictures! The pool area of the boat is nice. We never got in it because of the slew of kids sliding down the water slide, we preferred the quieter side of the ship. But if it is important for you to get a lounging chair by the main pool, get there EARLY. There are lounging chairs everywhere and on various decks. For those of you who suffer from motion sickness, don't worry. The crew offers motion sickness medicine. I think you can get it at the Pursers Desk. I can easily get sick on rollercosters and stuff like that, but I was not affected by the movement of the boat. At night you can barely feel it moving from side to side. Nothing major, I thought of it as the boat rocking you to sleep. :-)
The Food: Stay up for the Midnight Buffets and we made sure we went to the dining room every night. The food was so pretty and you meet some neat people too. The first cruise the food tasted plain, but that's probably because I didn't eat any of the sauces that came with the meats (I'm just that way). My husband was pleased most nights with the food. Desserts were really good. If we were still hungry after dinner, we went to the Lido Deck. Around 11:00pm every night I had my final ice cream cone of the day. It is true you gain 5 pounds the week you are on the cruise. That's when the gym and the track come in handy. We visited this once and reminded ourselves we were on vacation and we didn't need to do this! :-)
Spa: The spa is wonderful! We absolutely LOVED our massage. One thing that is a MUST DO is go to their informative review the first day you set sail. They tell you about all of the services the spa offers. This is located in the spa area of the boat. They also take your names and put them in a box. Throughout the meeting (it only lasts about 30 minutes), they draw names to win spa packages. I won a pedicure (regular $50) and my husband won a couples massage (regular $280). We've never been so lucky... especially in the Casino... we broke our winning streak. Throughout our cruise we called it the Carnival Donation Center, just to kid around. We did see a lot of people winning, we just weren't so lucky!
Cozumel: This was our first stop both times. First Cruise: We visited the Mayan Ruins in Tulum. It was very informative (we are both history nuts) and very beautiful. Behind the ancient civilization is a bluff that leads to a picture perfect, turquoise Caribbean Sea. This is a must do if you love history. Second Cruise: went to the Playa Mia Beach Party. We purchased the 4 hour one. We wore sun screen and still got blistered. But we didn't realize that till we got back on the boat. The water there is crystal clear. There were lots of things to do, like climbing an "iceberg" in the ocean, a water trampoline, snorkeling, and did I mention the open bar?? There was also a Mexican buffet included in the price... I prefer the Tex-Mex version of Mexican Food. It wasn't very good, but that's only my opinion. Watch out for the Golden Man you think is a statue... he's really a person that can stand extremely still. He scared the crap out of me! The souvenirs are a lot more expensive in Cozumel, so if you can wait to buy stuff, Progresso has the same stuff and they are a lot cheaper. They are also more apt to wheel & deal with you.
Progresso: When you walk off the boat you are greeted by a really neat mariachi (sp?) band! You'll walk through a really neat shopping area (both times this is where we bought all of our souvenirs), and then head off on a bus to your destination down the longest pier in the world (not kidding). First Cruise: We did the Corona Beach Party. This was SO much fun! There is an open bar at this one too. They also have waiters on the beach to wait on you! They will bring you anything you want. We also ate some of the best salsa and guacamole we have ever had! Be careful, the sand is very soft, but when you get close to the water (also in the water) it feels really rocky. There are shells everywhere. Second Cruise: We paid a little extra and went to the Reef Resort. It was a little bit of a drive to get there. The resort was VERY pretty and had a very large beach. The water was warm and apparently good for snorkeling. I am not much on snorkeling! I was in knee deep water and I was chased out of the water by a funny looking brown/white fish! Not kidding. Soon after that there was a whole school of them swimming around really close to the shore. Neat to see, but I headed to the pool! There was an open bar and buffet at this one too. Food here was a little bit better, but I still prefer the Tex-Mex version. If you choose not to do an excursion there are bus rides to the mainland. These round-trips are FREE. There is a really neat local market at the end of the pier.
Final Day of Cruise: If you are ready to get out of there, get up EARLY and head to the Main deck. There will more than likely be a line formed already. Make sure you have already filled out the Customs form you stateroom steward left you. Heading out early is reserved for guest carrying off their luggage, if you set your luggage outside of your door to pick up, they will call you later by the Deck you were staying on. (We didn't want to go on a hide-n-seek venture for our luggage, so that's why we chose to carry ours off. Our suitcases are black, and so were everyone elses!) Carrying off your own luggage is very easy to do, between the 2 of us we had 4 hands. Doing it this way gets you through Customs first. One thing we learned by watching the people in front of us is- you cannot bring Cuban Cigars back into the states, and you are only allowed to bring back 1 liter of alcohol if you are a resident of Texas (it's different for other states- just check on it.) Be honest with the Customs Agents. Most of them are very friendly, but if they suspect you lying to them, things can get not so pretty (that was mainly because the couple in front of us were drunk- both of them.)
intx2’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 193
Great size, and it was a lot bigger than I expected. The hallway was noisy at times, but we were right by the enterance from the elevators.
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