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I had no idea what to expect for our first cruise other than what I had seen on tv & movies. We decided to cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary and invited our family to join us. There were 9 adults and we shared 4 cabins. I used Vacationstogo.com to book the cruise for everyone. It cost an average of $500 each for the entire week. Embarkation in Galveston was a breeze and disembarking was just as easy. We knew to be patient and that helped a lot. We chose to have our luggage taken to and from our cabins and are glad we did so. Our cabin steward, Marlon, was fantastic. Our head waiter, Manek, and assistants at dinner made us feel like royalty. We enjoyed everything about the cruise. We went to the shows, the clubs, the casino, the shops, and participated in as many activities as we wanted. Our cabins were more than adequate, except for one thing. Be aware that if you book V25 on the Ecstasy you will NOT have a view of anything except a rescue boat. I was very disappointed that I was not told that our view would be completely obstructed. We didn't get to enjoy the balcony at all and we paid twice as much for it as the other cabins. We asked to move but were told there were no vacancies. I would recommend not eating at the buffet all the time. Choose to sit down in the dining rooms for most meals. We had late dinner and are glad that we did. The food was unbelievable. We enjoyed every meal. Choose the lobster and the escargot and don't miss the Chocolate Buffet. I don't recommend playing the slots on board; you won't win big. Skip the 'talks' on the jewelry buying but do go to the shows. Take at least one ride down the Twister slide, sit for awhile in the jacuzzi on the Serenity deck, do go to the Newlywed/Marriage show (its a riot!), have a fruity drink, take lots of pictures, nap, and sleep in when you're at sea. Can't say much about Progreso. Its a typical Mexican town. Buy your souvenirs there though; better prices. We hired a driver and tour guide for our group for $15 pp and we went to ruins, salt flats, saw flamingos, stopped at a private beach for margaritas, and toured the village before returning to the market. Well worth the money. In Cozumel, we did the same for $20 pp and were taken to a private beach club for 3 hours where we could snorkel. We were then taken shopping downtown. 3 ppl in our group went diving and had a fantastic time. All in all, for our first cruise for each of us, it was a great experience. No one got sea sick, even though the boat did rock quite a bit, and we didn't spend too much money. We took advantage of everything the ship offered and had a wonderful time. We're already planning our next cruise!

Carnival Ecstasy Fun!

Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review by winde

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2010
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Junior Suite (obstructed views)
I had no idea what to expect for our first cruise other than what I had seen on tv & movies. We decided to cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary and invited our family to join us. There were 9 adults and we shared 4 cabins. I used Vacationstogo.com to book the cruise for everyone. It cost an average of $500 each for the entire week. Embarkation in Galveston was a breeze and disembarking was just as easy. We knew to be patient and that helped a lot. We chose to have our luggage taken to and from our cabins and are glad we did so. Our cabin steward, Marlon, was fantastic. Our head waiter, Manek, and assistants at dinner made us feel like royalty. We enjoyed everything about the cruise. We went to the shows, the clubs, the casino, the shops, and participated in as many activities as we wanted. Our cabins were more than adequate, except for one thing. Be aware that if you book V25 on the Ecstasy you will NOT have a view of anything except a rescue boat. I was very disappointed that I was not told that our view would be completely obstructed. We didn't get to enjoy the balcony at all and we paid twice as much for it as the other cabins. We asked to move but were told there were no vacancies.

I would recommend not eating at the buffet all the time. Choose to sit down in the dining rooms for most meals. We had late dinner and are glad that we did. The food was unbelievable. We enjoyed every meal. Choose the lobster and the escargot and don't miss the Chocolate Buffet. I don't recommend playing the slots on board; you won't win big. Skip the 'talks' on the jewelry buying but do go to the shows. Take at least one ride down the Twister slide, sit for awhile in the jacuzzi on the Serenity deck, do go to the Newlywed/Marriage show (its a riot!), have a fruity drink, take lots of pictures, nap, and sleep in when you're at sea. Can't say much about Progreso. Its a typical Mexican town. Buy your souvenirs there though; better prices. We hired a driver and tour guide for our group for $15 pp and we went to ruins, salt flats, saw flamingos, stopped at a private beach for margaritas, and toured the village before returning to the market. Well worth the money. In Cozumel, we did the same for $20 pp and were taken to a private beach club for 3 hours where we could snorkel. We were then taken shopping downtown. 3 ppl in our group went diving and had a fantastic time.

All in all, for our first cruise for each of us, it was a great experience. No one got sea sick, even though the boat did rock quite a bit, and we didn't spend too much money. We took advantage of everything the ship offered and had a wonderful time. We're already planning our next cruise!
winde’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Junior Suite (obstructed views)
Cabin OB V25
Nice cabin, great linens, comfy bed, good size, great location, but terrible view for a balcony cabin. Dont get this cabin for the view or balcony.
Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cozumel
    At the market, at the end of the pier in Cozumel's port, we arranged for a van to take our group to a private club. We didn't choose an all-inclusive resort, but it didn't matter to us. Our guide was Humberto and his son Antonio was our driver. We paid $20 usd each for 4 hours. We were taken to Cozumel Beach Club and Resort where we had use of the pool, snorkel gear, and beach chairs for 3 hours. There was a restaurant on site for food and drinks. The snorkeling was amazing! The water is beautiful there and full of sea life. We didn't take advantage of this but there were massages available for $25 and a small rock climbing wall and zip lines. When we left the beach, we stopped first at a rental house to speak to the owner in the event we come back for a longer stay. Very good deals there. Then we went downtown to the shopping areas. It is expensive there for everything so plan to bring plenty of money. We stopped right at the pier to relax before going back on board and we ordered two margaritas and chips/salsa and it was $23. Too much! Other than that, we enjoyed the port immensely. Next time, we'll go diving!
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  • Progreso
    In Progreso, we booked with an independent tour guide. Our guides name was Melonie and she was very knowledgeable about the area. We had a van for 7 of us plus another couple. We were driven about 20 minutes to the ruins of X'cambo. We were able to walk around and climb to the top of the ruins. We also stopped at the salt flats nearby and saw many flamingos. On the way back, we stopped at a private beach where we had margaritas and relaxed on the beach for awhile. The water near Progreso is not clear so we didn't bother going in. Back at port, we shopped for souvenirs in the market. The prices were very good and it is easy to haggle with the vendors. It was a laid back, nice port call.
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