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I must say that my wife and I had a wonderful experience with Carnival. It started with our travel agent with Carnival. She was referred by a co-worker. My wife and I were accompanied by our friends and their daughter. Our TA booked both of our reservations an ensured that our rooms were within close proximity and that our dining table was the same. She also followed up with us regularly and answered every question we had. This was our first cruise. It definitely won't be our last. We live in Houston and car pooled with our friends to the port in Galveston. If you drive, expect to pay between $35 to $50 for parking for a 5 day cruise. We split the cost. A shuttle takes you to and from the parking lot. Our stateroom was on the main deck upon entrance. It was a great location, we were right in the middle of everything.  Our cabin was much better than expected. It had three closets and a desk with drawers. It included a 20 inch LCD TV on the wall, which played two movies each day and local tv shows. The bed was very comfortable. The water pressure in the shower was much better than expected. I would honestly compare the room to a a slightly smaller Marriott room.It was raining when we took of, so the boat was rocking a bit. My wife gets motion sickness, so needless to say, her first day didn't go so well. Our friends old us that you can't really feel the boat moving. When we were in the Sapphire Lounge ( the main entertainment room) my wife could really feel it. We had brought Dramamine, and had tabs to stick behind your ear, but neither were very effective. We ended up purchasing these sea sickness arm bands at the ship store and they worked wonders for my wife. She felt great for the rest of the trip. The food was free throughout. If you drink soda, you will need to buy the drink pass. It is about $21 per person. We don't drink soda, so we were fine with the water, tea, and juices. Room service is free(we used it once the entire trip). My wife and I eat out often. We go to several high end restaurants. We felt that the food in the Pamorama Grill was pretty good. The food in the Windstar was outstanding. We ate there every evening. Our server was amazing. Very friendly and courteous. At times we even asked for extra appetizers and he would always say, "why not, you are on a cruise." His name was Joel. At dinner they would often sing or dance during the dinner. It's a lot of fun if you participate. The shows in the Sapphire lounge were pretty good. We especially enjoyed the comedy show. We spent some time in the casino. My wife enjoys the slot machines, and I like roulette. We ate at the sushi bar, and the sushi was adequate. Although they never served any of the fish completely raw. The pools are small, but spacious enough to accommodate everyone. Be careful upon first entry...the pool is filled with salt water. The band is usually playing music near the pools. Our room steward was great. He even helped me tie my tie on formal night. Our room was cleaned twice a day, and each evening they fold a towel into an animal. It's pretty unique. The crew on this ship had to be the most friendly and courteous group of people I have ever encountered. Everyone was very helpful and nobody seemed even the slight bit disgruntled. It was very enlightening. I would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone. Let me add that the cruise director and the maitre d were very personable. The maitre D' came to our table each night and asked if we needed anything. If you are looking to do a family cruise or a romantic getaway, this is a budget friendly option. Our experience was great and I would definitely recommend this to everyone I know. I was initially a bit worried, because of some of the previous reviews. We have absolutely nothing to complain about. It was a great time. Take advantage of the duty free shopping.

Great trip on the Ecstacy

Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review by Guerreroci

Trip Details
I must say that my wife and I had a wonderful experience with Carnival. It started with our travel agent with Carnival. She was referred by a co-worker. My wife and I were accompanied by our friends and their daughter. Our TA booked both of our reservations an ensured that our rooms were within close proximity and that our dining table was the same. She also followed up with us regularly and answered every question we had. This was our first cruise. It definitely won't be our last. We live in Houston and car pooled with our friends to the port in Galveston. If you drive, expect to pay between $35 to $50 for parking for a 5 day cruise. We split the cost. A shuttle takes you to and from the parking lot. Our stateroom was on the main deck upon entrance. It was a great location, we were right in the middle of everything.  Our cabin was much better than expected. It had three closets and a desk with drawers. It included a 20 inch LCD TV on the wall, which played two movies each day and local tv shows. The bed was very comfortable. The water pressure in the shower was much better than expected. I would honestly compare the room to a a slightly smaller Marriott room.It was raining when we took of, so the boat was rocking a bit. My wife gets motion sickness, so needless to say, her first day didn't go so well. Our friends old us that you can't really feel the boat moving. When we were in the Sapphire Lounge ( the main entertainment room) my wife could really feel it. We had brought Dramamine, and had tabs to stick behind your ear, but neither were very effective. We ended up purchasing these sea sickness arm bands at the ship store and they worked wonders for my wife. She felt great for the rest of the trip. The food was free throughout. If you drink soda, you will need to buy the drink pass. It is about $21 per person. We don't drink soda, so we were fine with the water, tea, and juices. Room service is free(we used it once the entire trip). My wife and I eat out often. We go to several high end restaurants. We felt that the food in the Pamorama Grill was pretty good. The food in the Windstar was outstanding. We ate there every evening. Our server was amazing. Very friendly and courteous. At times we even asked for extra appetizers and he would always say, "why not, you are on a cruise." His name was Joel. At dinner they would often sing or dance during the dinner. It's a lot of fun if you participate. The shows in the Sapphire lounge were pretty good. We especially enjoyed the comedy show. We spent some time in the casino. My wife enjoys the slot machines, and I like roulette. We ate at the sushi bar, and the sushi was adequate. Although they never served any of the fish completely raw. The pools are small, but spacious enough to accommodate everyone. Be careful upon first entry...the pool is filled with salt water. The band is usually playing music near the pools. Our room steward was great. He even helped me tie my tie on formal night. Our room was cleaned twice a day, and each evening they fold a towel into an animal. It's pretty unique. The crew on this ship had to be the most friendly and courteous group of people I have ever encountered. Everyone was very helpful and nobody seemed even the slight bit disgruntled. It was very enlightening. I would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone. Let me add that the cruise director and the maitre d were very personable. The maitre D' came to our table each night and asked if we needed anything. If you are looking to do a family cruise or a romantic getaway, this is a budget friendly option. Our experience was great and I would definitely recommend this to everyone I know. I was initially a bit worried, because of some of the previous reviews. We have absolutely nothing to complain about. It was a great time. Take advantage of the duty free shopping.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 63
Our cabin was much better than expected. It had three closets and a desk with drawers. It included a 20 inch LCD TV on the wall, which played two movies each day and local tv shows. The bed was very comfortable. The water pressure in the shower was much better than expected. I would honestly compare the room to a a slightly smaller Marriott room.
  Carnival Ecstasy Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cozumel
    We purchased our excursion once we arrived at port. You can get your excursions cheaper if you bypass the first group of sales people. Everything Carnival offers is offered by the local companies. We spent $80 to go snorkeling. The same tour with Carnival would have cost us $110. We rode on a boat that had a glass center console to see the ocean floor. Our guides took us to two snorkeling locations. It was amazing. They even took a picture of us under water with the fish. Unfortunately, we lost the picture. We had the opportunity to see a barracuda preying on a school of fish. Our guides were skilled divers. One of the guides went down about 35 feet, through a coral reef and then returned to the surface. Pretty impressive. The boat offered free drinks. To include beer. The beer is not offered until after the snorkeling, for safety reasons.
    The ocean in Cozumel is beautiful. It is deep blue and clear. Simply breathtaking. After snorkeling we walked through the city. Ate at a reataurant down one of the backstreets. We tried to avoid the touristy places. We were looking for an authentic local favorite. Afterward we went shopping. My only disappointment with Cozumel is that we didn't have enough time to really thoroughly enjoy it. We plan on making a trip to Cozumel soon.
    Cozumel was our favorite location.
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  • Progreso
    We did not purchase an excursion through Carnival. We departed the ship and got a great offer on a trip near the port we paid about $58 for both of us. We did not go to Chichen Itza, because we felt that it was too far away. It is about 2.5 hours away. We did not want to spend that much time on a bus. We went to the Dzibilchaltun Ruins(30 min away). This gave us some time to walk through the city and see the beach. If you go to the beach near the city you can get a great deal on a massage on the beach. We were even offered a 60 min. massage for $15. If you go to the ruins, wear tennis shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking. The ruins were very interesting and our guides were great. After walking through the ruins we swam in a cenote. It is a fresh water watering hole. They say it may have been created by a meteor. We thought it was beautiful. Bring a pair of goggles if you swim. This way you can see the fish swimming. On our way back to the bus we even spotted a few iguanas. If you are adventurous, I would definitely do one of the dune buggy rides. We had never seen the ruins. Next time we will do something more adventurous. When you get off the ship in Progreso, you have to take a shuttle to town.
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