Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review by cmecruise1962
- Sail Date: May 2015
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Balcony
Embarkation: I had arranged for a wheelchair assist for both embarkation and debarkation. We arrived at about 10:30 am and they immediately grabbed a wheelchair and escorted us through the lines (I also had FTTF) and to a waiting area to check in and wait for them to start boarding. We waited for about half an hour and then a very pleasant young lady came and started wheeling us up to the ship. We by-passed the embarkation photo op and headed up the ramp to the ship. It got a little dicey, because the ramp was steep, but thanks to a helpful passenger, we got my mom up the ramp and onboard the ship but about 11:45AM.
Our room was ready, a balcony, one of the few. My mom was thrilled! I bought Cheers (it took a few minutes because they were being very thorough in their explanation of the total cost and benefits) and got our first Fun Ship Special! We drank it on our balcony and then decided to walk up and grab something to eat. We ended up getting deli sandwiches, a corned beef on rye for mom and a turkey and swiss on a country roll for me. Yummy!!
We explored the ship a little and then went back to our room, where we found our bags had already been delivered. We unpacked, got another drink and sat and enjoyed our view from the balcony. After a while it was time for the muster, we met on the Promenade outside of the casino. We sat at a table and the leader of our group came over and explained that when everyone else went to the lifeboat, we could wait and leave as soon as the horn sounded. Best muster ever!
We headed back to our cabin to enjoy sail away from our balcony. Our balcony next door neighbors did occasionally ”sneak a smoke” and I thought I would ignore it as long as it wasn’t chain smoking and it never got that bad. I think I only smelled smoke twice. They also played music and since we had the same taste (Journey, some Carpenters, Jimmy Buffet and other mellow music) I had nothing to complain about there either!
Dinner that night in the main dining room was good, we had anytime dining and were brought to a table for two. Our servers were pleasant and quick and the bar server quickly brought us each a glass of wine. My mom LOVED the escargot, it was probably the best I’ve had. (She was so disappointed when I told her it was only available on the first night!) Then she got the fried chicken and I had the chicken a la grec. They were okay, but nothing to write home about. Our dessert that night was a cheese plate for Mom, key lime pie for me and a WCMC to share. We also got a Bailey’s and coffee.
After dinner, we explored a little more and got a drink at the casino bar and gambled a little bit ($20 each, big gamblers that we are!) then we went and had another drink on the balcony and watched the stars over the ocean.
The next day was Key West. I was concerned about this, we didn’t want to do a whole tour, we just wanted to see the Hemingway House (well, the cats at the Hemingway House) and then have some oysters. I was concerned about getting my Mom around, we certainly couldn’t walk, I thought about the Hop On Hop Off tours, but was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to get where we wanted to go. I had decided on taking pedicabs, but couldn’t find any! And then I saw a regular cab and we were ready to go! The cab ride to Hemingway House was $10, but I tipped him well, and asked him to come back in an hour. We paid our $13 and went into the house. Lots of six toed kitties…very interesting and enjoyable. Then I had heard about Alonzo’s for oysters, so we had our cab driver, Fritz, drop us there even though they didn’t open until 11AM and it was only 10:30. I saw the menu and the oysters were $2.75 - $3.00 each! I went to find a place for us to sit and stumbled on the White Tarpon which had oysters for $1 each. We decided that was a better option for us. We had 3 beers each, 1 dozen oysters each and 1 key lime martini to share for about $60. Then we called Fritz to head back to the ship since we were leaving at 1:00PM. The line to get back on the ship was LONG but moved faster than we thought it would. There were several line jumpers…which really pissed me off, but I was on vacation, so I took a few deep breathes and let it go!
We went to the main dining room the next night and were seated on the other side of the dining room. Service was not good at all and we saw many people sitting for a very long time before receiving service, and the people next to us left because they sat finished with dinner, with lobster shells on their plates for more than 20 minutes. Our service was also very slow, but we managed to get through the meal. We started with shared alligator fritters, then mom had the caesar salad and I had minestrone soup for an appetizer. We each ordered lobster and prime rib, rare. The lobster was good but when we got the prime rib, it was the rarest I have ever seen on a cruise ship or off. I could not eat it. For dessert, Mom had apple pie and I had the grand marnier soufflé. Drink service was horrible, but we did get a glass of wine and Bailey’s for our coffee after asking several times. Everyone was commenting on haw poor the service was tonight.
Next day was Cozumel, but we didn’t dock until 1:00 PM. We had breakfast in the MDR, which was great. Service was good and the food was great. I had eggs benedict and Mom had lox and bagels. Then we went on the Jose Cuervo Experience excursion which was offered by Carnival. Our tour guide was Marrrrrtin (with 5 r’s) and he was very informative and enthusiastic about his craft. We went through a museum, saw a short film and then went into a private room for the tasting. We were given 3 good sized shots, which we tried several different ways, like a wine tasting. We were also given a small margarita when we got off the tour van. After the tequila tasting we went to the gift shop and then to another area where we had a mango margarita. It was here I bought some gorgeous glasses with another margarita for $15 each. I saw the glasses for sale for $12 each, so the margaritas were only $3 each. Good deal. After those margaritas, we went to a taco lunch, pork or chicken with rice, beans and fixings. It was all you can eat and very authentic.
Now, after the tour, it was a LONG walk back on the pier. I wish I had gotten a wheel chair for my mom. We had to stop several times to rest and I felt very bad. I got a pedicab about half way down the pier and we made it back to the ship around 5PM. We went back to our room and collapsed (was it the tequila??) and woke up around 9PM. We missed dinner in the MDR but we didn’t care and headed to the buffet right as it closed. Luckily the deli was still open so we did a repeat of our first day lunch. It was yummy again! There were many young people in the pizza line that had clearly enjoyed their time in Cozumel…someone kept blowing a whistle and the woo hoo’s were loud and enthusiastic. After dinner, we headed back to the cabin and sat on the balcony for a while and then went to bed.
The next day was our final day at sea, and we decided to start with the Sea Day Brunch and some champagne. I had eggs benedict again and Mom had bagels and lox again! LOL We also had an order of macaroni and cheese to share. I thought that the brunch items were excellent. We had a couple of glasses of champagne and then, because I had been coming down with something, a stuffy nose and sore throat, we decided to go hang out on our balcony rather than brave the crowds at the pool. So we really took it easy on our sea day. We read and relaxed and packed our bags.
Then we headed to Bingo at 3PM. We didn’t win, but really enjoyed Lord Bingo (if you haven’t bingo’d with Lord Bingo, you haven’t bingo’d!!) Then we headed to the casino to play out all of our winnings, I had $13 and my Mom had about $18 left from the night before. I kept telling my mom she needed to win enough to cover the cruise…LOL! We then strolled by the Taste Bar for some fritter type thing and some soup. My Mom loved it, so we had two tastes! Then we decided we didn’t have the energy to go to the MDR again and headed to the Lido for the buffet and the yummy deli sandwiches! We had some salad, dessert and the same exact sandwiches for the last time. We then stopped by the Atrium Bar to get a final cocktail to enjoy on our balcony. We watched a gorgeous sunset and enjoyed being at sea.
So this was a VERY relaxing cruise for me, but I knew it would be. The ship is older and smaller, but the crew was nice and attentive, especially to my Mom. Our cabin (E98) was small but we really enjoyed the balcony and it was in a PERFECT location!.
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