About the Reviewer: I’m a 34 year old male who traveled solo on the 1/18/16 sailing of the Carnival Ecstasy to Key West, FL and Cozumel, MX. This was my 34th cruise and 3rd time sailing with Carnival. I previously sailed Carnival in 2005 on the Destiny (now re-named something else) on a normal cruise and on the Carnival Inspiration for Groove Cruise in 2015. This cruise fit my travel schedule and cost as much as two nights at a hotel in South Beach for the same time frame I was looking for. I was actually getting off this ship at the end and boarding another cruise on Friday when we returned. I’m an avid lover of nightlife and good quality electronic dance music. I’ve sailed on other cruise lines including Norwegian Cruise Line (with over 20 cruises on them), Princess, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean once. I prefer to write my reviews in the order I experienced things. With that said here’s my impressions:
Day 1 – Embarkation in Miami, FL
I arrived to the pier after using SAS Transportation to get from a hotel I stayed at in Fort Lauderdale to the cruise port. I arrived to the pier shortly after 10:30AM. It was quiet and a lot of the previous cruisers were still hanging outside the terminal at that point. I went inside, presented my passport and then went through security and upstairs to check in. The check in was fast as I was there early. Next was a wait and more waiting and even more waiting. The ship didn’t start boarding until after Noon so it was forever in the terminal. Unfortunately so many people had arrived that it was standing room only in the terminal. When they started to call boarding numbers it was complete chaos trying to get into the area to board. For my first impression of Carnival, I wasn’t impressed with this embark. Norwegian would let you on the ship but restrict you from your cabins until 1:30PM. Carnival did the same thing but made everyone wait forever to get on.
Stateroom E56: This is a handicap interior room by a noisy crew entrance and crew stairwell. During the course of the cruise I had to use ear plugs to get sleep but otherwise for being an insanely cheap room, it was huge for one person! Upon arrival to my cabin I also had four 12 packs of water I ordered in the Fun Shops. The cabin steward was very nice and friendly but inquisitive as to why I wanted so much water. The desk was full of water. Since I was in a handicap cabin, there was tons of space to move around but that also meant the same for water in the shower. There’s no lip to handicap bathroom showers and so when you take a shower you end up washing the whole bathroom floor too! That was a constant pain but the steward left extra towels knowing I’d need them to mop up the excess water.