Carnival Reviews - Cruise Ship reviews by Cruisemates Readers
Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Ecstasy
by Jae
December 27, 2008

Ecstasy 5-night 12-27-08 New Year's Cruise!


Headed to Galveston the day before the cruise, there is still a lot of devastation on Galveston Island. We saw large boats lying on their side along side the road and even in neighborhoods, lots of debris along the roads and caught in fences and numerous blue tarps still over roof tops. The Strand is little more than a "ghost town. The locals told us that if it weren't for the cruise business and their customers their city would not be as populated as it is now and it's only about 50%.

We stayed overnight at the Hilton on the Seawall and ate at The Spot overlooking the beach. We did a little last minute shopping and headed to the hotel.


There was lots of fog all day, all evening and even into the early morning of departure, but the sun came out and we were ready to cruise! The ship was in port before 8 am.

We arrived at the ship at 11:15, walked straight up the stairs, through VIP and were the first two people through the photo line and onto the ship -- Wow!

We called and text our friends and family, dropped my husband's Blackberry phone into the ocean accidentally (we have insurance) then went to our cabin E-244 to dress for 1st night's dinner. I left $5 and a note asking our cabin steward (who we never saw and that's okay with me) to leave me an extra pillow and a blanket. When we returned to our cabin, both items were there.

At dinner, we were assigned a booth for 6 people, all were our age, one was a honeymoon couple on their first cruise and feeling motion sickness, they left during appetizers and we never saw them again. Unfortunately, we did see the other couple again, we went to the maitre'd and asked for a table change after missing the next two nights at dinner. We thought of the NCL commercial where the man keeps talking and talking and talking, well it was something like that. Anyway, the maitre'd moved us to a beautiful table and we very much enjoyed our last dinner there. We tipped him on the last night by the way.

Even though the sun was shining through our cabin window, we slept 11-1/2 hours the first night, after going to bed at 7:30pm! That's unheard of, I guess we really did need some rest.


We got up the first day at sea -- ahhh -- had breakfast on the Lido, read and people watched on the aft area in lounge chairs, had an early lunch and watched some Sunday afternoon football which was showing all around the ship. Tonight was elegant night and we had the prime rib, pumpkin soup, cherries jubilee, all were wonderful, we walked around the ship and went to the cabin to prep for Cozumel.


Got up for breakfast again on the Lido as we pulled into lovely Cozumel and enjoyed the 83 degree temp and sunshine! We did the Dune Buggy Tour leaving at 10:00 and loved it, they prepared and served us food on Playa Bonita consisting of guacamole, salsa, chips, chicken, rice, tortillas, soda and water. We walked the beach, picked up some sand and shells and relaxed. We returned to the ship and had the sushi; we always look forward to the sushi! We turned in early to prep for Progreso. Before you say anything about Progreso, we LOVE Progreso, we have friends there and it's one of our favorite ports of call.


In Progreso we stayed all day long on the beach, eating, visiting, buying fun stuff and enjoying the heck out of the day! The temp was 85 degrees and sunny, I got a massage on the beach, it's always a treat and we had an awesome day. Back on the ship, we ate in the Panorama Grill for two reasons, 1) the dreaded table mates, 2) didn't want to dress for dinner. The food in the Panorama was okay that night, but nothing to write home about; once we had our ice cream, it did however fill the void in our tummies. We went to the show tonight for the first time, the comedian Brian Tassell was good and our cruise director Steve Cassel did a wonderful juggling act. He is a multi-talented man and very, very well spoken and polite. We saw him many times around on the ship. We went to our cabin, watched TV and fell asleep by 10pm -- sweet.


New Year's Eve at sea, went up for the yoga class, breakfast in the dining room -- I always love to eat breakfast in the dining room, I had salmon, bagel, turkey bacon, 2 eggs and coffee. We went to the gift shops to spend our on board credit which WAS on our sign and sail cards at arrival -- nice. I bought some T-shirts, a coffee cup, some earrings and other little things.

The sea was like glass until about 11:30am, it was so eerie and beautiful at the same time and remained calm all the way back to Galveston. Ate a light lunch, walked around the ship, went to the specialty coffee shop on the promenade and had latte's and the carrot cake. We returned to our cabin and our customs info was there along with party hats and blow out horns for the festivities later. I spent some time filling all the customs paperwork out while thinking of what to wear to our last night, New Year's Eve dinner without the "dreaded" table mates. At our newly assigned, lovely table, we had clam chowder, rib eye steak, apple dessert and the cheese assortment -- excellent!

The New Years celebration parties were held in several areas, there was food, music and specialty champagnes if you cared to purchase them. At midnight, the Captain came on the speaker and did the 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 countdown and blew the ship's horn. It was all very fun.


With our luggage (and we intentionally packed less than ever and did just fine) we were the second and third people off the ship and headed for customs. We were off the ship and in our car by 8:30am. We have a 6 hour drive ahead of us but as we were leaving Houston, I received a phone call from Carnival, I had forgotten ALL my hang-up clothes in the closet! How could I have done that? I've never done that, but at any rate the lady said I had two options. They would ship my clothes to Miami and they would mail them on to me or I could come back and pick them up.

I told her I'd come right back and be there in about an hour, she told me where to come and I thanked her. We returned to the port, I handed security my sign and sail card and told them my story, they had me sit and wait. The nice lady took my sign and sail card and went to find my clothes. After about 30 minutes, she returned with my clothes and a smile on her face. I thanked her for all her trouble and we headed back towards Galveston again.

Excellent cruise in every way -- way to go Carnival!