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We drove in from San Antonio that morning and arrived around 1 p.m. I think it would have been better to arrive closer to noon to allow more time for parking etc. We prepaid parking on line with Lighthouse Parking. You park your car in their lot and they drive the shuttle right up to your car to get your luggage and take you to the port. The embarkation line looked long but it went smoothly and quickly. Our luggage arrived at our room that afternoon around 5 pm so don't put anything important in your luggage you may need ahead of time. As soon as we boarded we were directed to the buffet lunch. If you have some carry on luggage however, go to your room and drop it off before you go to lunch. Lunch was good (buffet room by pool) but warm and crowded as that first lunch involves everyone on board. Don't worry, by that night and through the rest of the cruise people are spread out eating at various places so the crowds diminish. We had an inside cabin which was roomy and comfortable. Every day, without asking, we received a bucket of ice. We rarely saw our room attendant but he always had the room clean and prepared morning and night. The dining room service and food was exceptional. And like everyone said, the chocolate melting cake is to die for. One night we had lobster tail that was fantastic; very sweet and tender. We were not able to enjoy some of the nightclubs because they were way too smoke filled. I wish the cruise line had some smoke free venues or a better ventilation system to take the smoke out of the clubs. The two pools are very small, wasn't impressed with that. Shows were great, really enjoyed them, especially the two comedy shows. Our favorite on board activity was the shows. We are not into casino, karaoke, or bingo. However, I brought a game along and it was fun playing in the game room while looking out the window to the ocean on a rainy day. I found the staff on board (except for dining room staff) not very friendly, thought they would be more so, similar to the friendly staff at all-inclusives we stayed at. For our Cozumel excursion we spent the day at El Cid Resort. That was so so. The liquor included was very limited and not very good and the resort is so close to where tour boats leave it made the water rough. We did see many colorful fish though. However, the waitress that served us on the beach, Virginia, was just fantastic. The next port, Progresso, was a disappointment. In order to go to Progresso, you have to wait on a very long line in the very hot sun to be shuttled into the city; too hot; too long wait so we just shopped at the shops on the pier and had drinks at the bar on the pier and that was enjoyable. If you purchase duty-free liquor to take home, you are allowed one bottle per person or else (you are told) you would have to pay tax on the extra. However, that is not really the case. Some people bought more thinking they will just pay the tax but when they get to customs they find out customs does not do that because it would take too long so I heard they just confiscate what you bought. So beware. Debarkation: If you want to get off the ship early you can do so by carrying off your own luggage. If you checked your luggage, you won't get off until later, however you can go to breakfast first which is nice and then relax anywhere on the ship until your deck is called. Guests disembark when their deck is called. When you get in line it takes a while to slowly work your way down the stairs to get off the ship. When you do get off the ship, it is worth your while and tips to stand immediately in the porter line, get a porter to get your luggage and take you to customs. It is faster than doing it yourself. We probably got off the ship around 10:30-11 am even though it docks very early. In summary, I would say it was a good time for the price we paid, which was a last minute discounted price. I don't think it would have been worth it paying full price because it is necessary to pay for all the excursions for each port and prepay tips which are not included in the cost of the cruise. If it were a choice of paying a full cruise price vs. flying to Mexico to an all-inclusive resort where you have access to the beach daily, I would choose the latter.

Carnival Ecstasy More Than Expected

Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review by jcmctexas

Trip Details
We drove in from San Antonio that morning and arrived around 1 p.m. I think it would have been better to arrive closer to noon to allow more time for parking etc. We prepaid parking on line with Lighthouse Parking. You park your car in their lot and they drive the shuttle right up to your car to get your luggage and take you to the port. The embarkation line looked long but it went smoothly and quickly. Our luggage arrived at our room that afternoon around 5 pm so don't put anything important in your luggage you may need ahead of time. As soon as we boarded we were directed to the buffet lunch. If you have some carry on luggage however, go to your room and drop it off before you go to lunch. Lunch was good (buffet room by pool) but warm and crowded as that first lunch involves everyone on board. Don't worry, by that night and through the rest of the cruise people are spread out eating at various places so the crowds diminish. We had an inside cabin which was roomy and comfortable. Every day, without asking, we received a bucket of ice. We rarely saw our room attendant but he always had the room clean and prepared morning and night. The dining room service and food was exceptional. And like everyone said, the chocolate melting cake is to die for. One night we had lobster tail that was fantastic; very sweet and tender. We were not able to enjoy some of the nightclubs because they were way too smoke filled. I wish the cruise line had some smoke free venues or a better ventilation system to take the smoke out of the clubs. The two pools are very small, wasn't impressed with that. Shows were great, really enjoyed them, especially the two comedy shows. Our favorite on board activity was the shows. We are not into casino, karaoke, or bingo. However, I brought a game along and it was fun playing in the game room while looking out the window to the ocean on a rainy day. I found the staff on board (except for dining room staff) not very friendly, thought they would be more so, similar to the friendly staff at all-inclusives we stayed at. For our Cozumel excursion we spent the day at El Cid Resort. That was so so. The liquor included was very limited and not very good and the resort is so close to where tour boats leave it made the water rough. We did see many colorful fish though. However, the waitress that served us on the beach, Virginia, was just fantastic. The next port, Progresso, was a disappointment. In order to go to Progresso, you have to wait on a very long line in the very hot sun to be shuttled into the city; too hot; too long wait so we just shopped at the shops on the pier and had drinks at the bar on the pier and that was enjoyable. If you purchase duty-free liquor to take home, you are allowed one bottle per person or else (you are told) you would have to pay tax on the extra. However, that is not really the case. Some people bought more thinking they will just pay the tax but when they get to customs they find out customs does not do that because it would take too long so I heard they just confiscate what you bought. So beware. Debarkation: If you want to get off the ship early you can do so by carrying off your own luggage. If you checked your luggage, you won't get off until later, however you can go to breakfast first which is nice and then relax anywhere on the ship until your deck is called. Guests disembark when their deck is called. When you get in line it takes a while to slowly work your way down the stairs to get off the ship. When you do get off the ship, it is worth your while and tips to stand immediately in the porter line, get a porter to get your luggage and take you to customs. It is faster than doing it yourself. We probably got off the ship around 10:30-11 am even though it docks very early. In summary, I would say it was a good time for the price we paid, which was a last minute discounted price. I don't think it would have been worth it paying full price because it is necessary to pay for all the excursions for each port and prepay tips which are not included in the cost of the cruise. If it were a choice of paying a full cruise price vs. flying to Mexico to an all-inclusive resort where you have access to the beach daily, I would choose the latter.
jcmctexas’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin
Inside cabin on the Upper Deck, large comfortable bed, plenty of storage room, quiet.
  Carnival Ecstasy Deck Plans