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Carnival Ecstasy Review



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 3rd, 2005, 09:02 AM
Greg M
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Default Carnival Ecstasy Review

Hi there,

We returned the end of last week from a five-day cruise on the Carnival
Ecstasy to Cozumel and Caleca, and I thought I'd post a review in case
anyone is interested. First, a little something on me. I teach at a
university. While I've traveled fairly extensively (to over 30
countries) this was only my second cruise. Both have been on Carnival,
the first on the Glory to the Eastern Caribbean last year, so I'm not a
veteran cruiser.

The Ecstasy is a fairly old ship as the Carnival fleet goes, having
been launched in 1991. I think it suffered a fairly famous fire
sometime in the mid to late 90s, and there was a rumor that it had
broken down in mid-sea only a couple of weeks before our cruise. So I
was prepared for something of a mess. What I found was a clean ship
showing some signs of wear to be sure, but nothing I found particularly
objectionable. Of course, this ship, like all of Carnival's ships, has
the goofy, gaudy, multi-color scheme that some find very tacky, but the
carpets, windows, and elevators were all clean. But I'm getting ahead
of myself.

Embarkation was trouble-free, and there was no line when we boarded.
Our luggage arrived in front of our door around 5:30. Our cabin
steward introduced himself and provided us with a key to the cabin
safe. On this ship, room keys were separate from sign and sail cards,
but that wasn't much of a hassle. The cabin was clean, bathroom well
stocked and clean. There were no peculiar smells as one poster
reported a year or two back. The beds were comfortable and cabin
service was quick and largely invisible. The cabin was vacuumed every
day, even though it didn't necessarily need it. About the only
negative in the cabin was a rather old TV with limited selection of
channels, but we didn't come on board to watch the tube anyway. The
closets were showing a fair amount of wear, but were perfectly
serviceable.

Public spaces seemed well maintained, and I saw very few signs of age
anywhere. We had signed up for late seating, and both our head waiter
and team waiter were excellent, quick, and accommodating. I ordered a
bottle of wine, drank less than half of it, and it was reserved and
placed on the table the following night when I arrived to eat. The
food was pretty good, and as always, there was plenty of it. We
attended the captain's reception, and I had a lot of free champagne.
They served lobster that night, and it tasted pretty good to me, good
enough that my daughter and I shared another order of it. Carnival
also had a free champagne reception for past cruisers. (Yeah, I do
love free champagne!) I bought a soda card ("fountain fun card") and
used it everywhere, including in the theatre for the various shows.

The shows could have been better but weren't bad. Two comedians, a
rather bizarre sword swallower, a very entertaining hypnotist, and one
extravaganza on the last night with the usual costumes and two lead
singers. I don't gamble so did not use the casino, though lots of
other people did. The decks were clean and well maintained, and while
there were times when I thought the Lido eating spaces could have been
bussed a bit more quickly, they mostly kept up pretty well. This was a
spring break trip, so the 24-hour pizzeria, the deli, and the ice cream
machines got heavy use.

We purchased an inexpensive snorkeling excursion in Cozumel but needn't
have bothered. I was just too lazy to do the kind of research that
this newsgroup so readily supplies. That said, Cozumel was pleasant,
and as I've always found on trips to Mexico, the local people were
welcoming, laid back, and warm. One serious deficiency: the ship
docked at "Caleca" near but not at Playa del Carmen. The dock is a
quarry in the middle of absolutely nowhere, and there is absolutely no
choice but to take a taxi to go to the beach. We went to Coca Beach
and had a great time, but it cost $26.00 round trip by cab. When I
asked at the Information desk, they said that they don't dock at Cancun
or Playa del Carmen because the harbors are too shallow and they have
to use tenders, but I think I would have much preferred it. That said,
we enjoyed our day at Coca beach.

Debarkation was also relatively trouble-free. There was the inevitably
long line to go through customs on the ship, but I knew it would be
long and had a book to read as I moved, and it did move fairly quickly.
After that, everybody just got off on their own--no complicated
ordering of decks and sections. Luggage was where it was supposed to
be.

Indeed, aside from the dock at Caleca, my only complaint about the
whole experience had to do with Carnival's handling of my flight
reservations. My travel agent had considerable difficulty getting them
to confirm them and get our travel documents to us in time. They
eventually had to be expressed, but did arrive. The cruise itself was
fine, and the Ecstasy proved a stable, clean, and fun ship. I'd cruise
it again on a different itinerary. Not that I didn't like this one,
but I don't like to do the same one twice!

If there are any questions anyone has that this overlong review hasn't
answered, post 'em, and I'll try to answer.

Greg M.

  #2  
Old April 4th, 2005, 02:04 AM
Dean Worrell
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Default

Greg M wrote:
Hi there,

We returned the end of last week from a five-day cruise on the Carnival
Ecstasy to Cozumel and Caleca, and I thought I'd post a review in case
anyone is interested. First, a little something on me. I teach at a
university. While I've traveled fairly extensively (to over 30
countries) this was only my second cruise. Both have been on Carnival,
the first on the Glory to the Eastern Caribbean last year, so I'm not a
veteran cruiser.

...

If there are any questions anyone has that this overlong review hasn't
answered, post 'em, and I'll try to answer.

Greg M.


Greg,

No questions, but wanted to say that I enjoyed reading your review. I
sailed on the Ecstasy way back in 1992 and enjoyed the cruise.

Dean --- will be on the Conquest in 2 weeks!
--
Dean in Peoria

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  #3  
Old April 4th, 2005, 02:04 AM
Dean Worrell
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Posts: n/a
Default

Greg M wrote:
Hi there,

We returned the end of last week from a five-day cruise on the Carnival
Ecstasy to Cozumel and Caleca, and I thought I'd post a review in case
anyone is interested. First, a little something on me. I teach at a
university. While I've traveled fairly extensively (to over 30
countries) this was only my second cruise. Both have been on Carnival,
the first on the Glory to the Eastern Caribbean last year, so I'm not a
veteran cruiser.

...

If there are any questions anyone has that this overlong review hasn't
answered, post 'em, and I'll try to answer.

Greg M.


Greg,

No questions, but wanted to say that I enjoyed reading your review. I
sailed on the Ecstasy way back in 1992 and enjoyed the cruise.

Dean --- will be on the Conquest in 2 weeks!
--
Dean in Peoria

Remove the X's to email
  #4  
Old April 4th, 2005, 03:02 AM
Greg M
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Dean,

Thanks for the compliment and enjoy the Conquest. I think that's one
of the newer ships isn't it? Enjoy!

Greg M.

  #5  
Old April 4th, 2005, 03:53 AM
Dean Worrell
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Default

Greg M wrote:
Dean,

Thanks for the compliment and enjoy the Conquest. I think that's one
of the newer ships isn't it? Enjoy!

Greg M.


Greg,

Yes, the Conquest entered service just a couple of years ago.

First beignets, then the cruise...

--
Dean in Peoria

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  #6  
Old April 13th, 2005, 07:19 PM
Dillon Pyron
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Default

Thus spake "Greg M" :


report snipped

The shows could have been better but weren't bad. Two comedians, a
rather bizarre sword swallower,


A sword swallower on a ship. Anyone else see the inevitable report on
this one coming up?

Great report. The name of the port is Calica, which I believe is
Mayan for clay pit.

Did they still of the tent gauntlet you had to walk through on the way
back from the taxis to the ship?

--
dillon

Women should be obscene and not absurd.
  #7  
Old May 4th, 2005, 08:07 PM
Greg M
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Default

Oh yeah--the sellers and hawkers set 'em up the morning the ship docked
and took 'em down just as the gangplank was pulled in. At least there
was a sidewalk along the outside of the tents, so you could walk direct
without dodging hanging t-shirts and tables jam-packed with cheap
knock-off pots and Mexico key chains.

Thanks for the correction on Calica. However you spell it, it is
something of a hole.

Still liked the ship and the cruise fine, though.

Greg M.

 




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