I read through so many reviews before my husband and I took our cruise in January, that I thought I should come back and share our experience as well! We sailed to Key West and Cozumel on the Carnival Ecstasy at the end of January. It was my husband's first cruise and my second. It was also our first vacation without the kids in our 15 year relationship!
THE GREAT- Embarkation was easy and quick. The crew of the Ecstasy are wonderful, hard working people. I did not encounter one person who wasn't kind, courteous, and willing to help. Eden at the Piano Bar was spectacular. If he is on your cruise, definitely go see him! Also, don't miss out on the chocolate melting cake. I love it so much I found a recipe to make it at home! In Key West we rented bikes for the day at $13 apiece and rode around the island. That was one of my favorite things about the vacation.
THE GOOD- Everything was solidly good. The rooms were a good size, the activities were good, and the food was good. Not much was extraordinary, but for the amount of money we paid, it was perfect. Please don't take this cruise expecting everything to be 5 stars. If you want a 5 star experience, you have to pay for it! The shows were not spectacular, but they were entertaining. We only saw one comedian. He made us laugh, but he also went a little blue. Our excursion to a chocolate factory in Cozumel was also good. The tour guides were excellent, but I likely would not choose that excursion again.
It was an ocean view cabin. It had plenty of room for 2 people. No weird smells. Fabulous shower. And it was generally quiet. (There were a couple of bumps in the night, but nothing too awful.)
We went to a cocoa factory, though I think it was more of a tourist thing than an actual factory; a Mayan village, again, more tourist-y; a tequila tasting; and a beach. Our guides were very friendly and funny. I would have liked more history and less shopping. But I think it may just be the way Cozumel is.
We rented bikes and biked around the island on our own. It was wonderful!
Easy to get on the boat. We parked at the port for $20 a night. It was a little steep, but we were glad to have our car nearby when we got back! I will park at the port next time, too.