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Teresa Bowman

Age: 43

Occupation:Health Insurance

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Ecstasy

Sailing Date: 03-10-2009

Itinerary: Western Carribean

Overall the cruise was great. There were a couple of bumps along the way. I was traveling by myself. Check in for the cruise was fast and efficient. We were allowed to board around 12.30 or so. The cabins were not ready so I took my carry on bags and went to the Lido deck and ate lunch. There were very few other passengers at this point so the food was plentiful and pretty good. Just your basic burger and hotdogs. Finally at 1.30 my cabin was ready and I got to go see it for the first time. My bags came pretty quickly actually before we even left port. The one thing that I will say is that I never saw my cabin steward. My cabin was cleaned and I did get the turn down service but I had tried paging him 3 times and tried to find him a few times but never was able to. I did tell the pursers desk but they said that perhaps he just was not working on those times I had tried to find him. All in all it was a great trip. I would do it again in a heart beat. I had chosen the late seating, 8.15pm, Wind Song Dinning room. I got dressed for dinner and went to the dinning room to see who my table mates would be. I was the first one there, and felt a little out of place. Joseph , my waiter, greeted me by name and I was very surprised. Turns out that he had already been notified of my food allergy and wanted me to know that he would be talking care of me. Gradually others began to join me. Almost all at my table were single or traveling alone. We were all in the same general age group. early - mid 40's to late 50's (I was the youngest at 43). 3 or 4 of us had grandchildren and we all had kids. So the Maitre D, Hatem, did a great job of seating us. I don't reacall what I had for dinner each night but I want to say it was very good and very well presented. Aniko who is Hatem's assistant came each night to take my order for the next nights dinner, to make sure it was prepared without any Dairy. I tried to pick foods that would be easy to fix or foods that would not cause to much trouble. The chef made me as special dinner of Shrimp Vindaloo one night. I love North Indian food and he was nice enough to do that for me. Totally not on the menu! I ordered shrimp cocktail and salad for my appetizers every night. I had booked a 1A and had no idea of what it would be like. I have to say I really liked it. I was on the Empress Deck and aft. I was in E189. They had a flat screen Tv in the corner up close to the ceiling. The top bed was up in the wall and only bothered me when I bumped my head on it at night! My cabin steward was non exsistant so I did not know that I could move the lower bed around, but I found that out later. There was plenty of drawer and closet space. And I brought a LOT of clothes. I was able to push my suitcases under the bed and out of the way. The bathroom was pretty small but no smaller then the 4A I had been in before. Its the same step up and over set up. The shower is fine, I am a big girl and I had no issues with its size. Not a lot of water pressure however, and I did not have any issues with the shower flooding the bathroom floor. There are 2 small tables that you can move around and set stuff on. I used one as a fan table. I travel with a small fan and it worked out great. The size is pretty comparable to a 4A. I think for the most part it's the same size, but it looks bigger because you dont have the sofa or 2 beds taking up room. I did shoot video and took photos, however, I left my memory card on the ship in the cabin safe. Carnival tells me that when they find it they will send and I will post photos and video then. Our first sea day, I spent going to different activities. I was not bored one bit and had loads of fun taking photos of the ship and learning different stuff. I have meet so many different people! I have to say I that I hardly saw kids on this cruise. I know they were there, I would see them on shore. This tells me that Camp Carnival does a awesome job! I didnt take any Shore Excursions. But I was told that they were fun and would reccommend to anyone. This was my 2nd Carnival Cruise. And also my 2nd cruise period. I had such a great time on the Fantasy back in '03 that I wanted to go again. I chose this line again because of the awesome price and the distance to the pier. Cozumel. Me and a tablemate agreed to go together and to share a cab, since the ship docks at the Porta Maya pier. It was a $7 cab ride there and $7 back and we split it. Our first stop was an internet cafe for me to call home and to check my mail. The call to the states cost me $1.00 and the internet about the same. Much cheaper then on board at $.75 per minute. We went to Senor Frogs and had a blast! I ordered the Tequila Shrimp and a bottle of water. Our table mates showed up and they seemed to be having a great time as we were leaving. After Senor Frogs, we just walked around and shopped. I bought my granddaughter a pretty blue Mexican style dress and paid $20 for 4 t - shirts. I also went to the Hard Rock Cafe to get a souvenir glass, since I have collected them from all over the US and the world. The small shot glass was $13, more than what it would be in the states. I really did not care that much for Cozumel. We ended up going back to the ship only after about 3 hours. Progresso. I loved Progresso. I did this by myself. My first thing was again to find a phone or internet and call home. Again it was very cheap. I would go back to Progresso in a heart beat. I loved everything about it. I got a 45 minute massage on the beach for $10. I feel asleep laying there listening to the sound of the waves and the wind. I took the Progresso tour for $3 and it was very nice. I ended up going back to one of the restaurants that we passed on the tour and having 2 Pina Coladas for $4, plus they brought me chips, fresh salsa, black beans and some sort of potato. All this for $4, I made it my lunch. I got back to the ship about an hour or 2 before it sailed. That was the good now for the bad. I was asleep in my cabin, E189 (on the Empress Deck), and woke up to alarms going off. I immediately smelled smoke, I got up and realized that there were people screaming and yelling in the hallways. I opened my cabin door and the hallway was filled with smoke. There was a lady in her under wear screaming that the ship was on fire and for us to get our life jackets and get off that deck. I got dressed, grabbed my purse, my room key and my life jacket and headed down the hallway to the stairs. I met my table mate, P**, on the way up. Her cabin was on the Upper Deck, the same deck as the fire. She said that she did not know what was going on, only that there was a fire. We headed up to our muster station at the StarLight lounge. At NO point did we see any crew members direct us where to go. One elderly lady was hurt and another was having an ashtma attack. The smoke was not so bad on the Atlantic deck as it was below. About 15-20 minutes into the fire we saw our first crew members. They seemed as confused as we did. I was pretty angry about the non direction from the crew. On our first day, we had a fire drill and was told that if in the event of a fire or evacuation then there would be crew members who were wearing bright florecent green hats to direct us. They showed up about 5 minutes before we were given the ok to go back to our cabins. Those who were on the deck of the fire had to wait about 3 hours to return. I was lucky I got to go back only about an hour after everything happend. I do not know who or why the fire was started. Rumor said some guy lit a bag of towels and linen in his cabin. I did see the Customs Agents taking someone (white male) off board in handcuffs when we docked back in Galveston. I was in line behind one lady at the Pursers desk who had been on the same deck and next door to the fire who had to be moved from her cabin, and I was sitting with a older couple who were 2 cabins down from the fire who said that their floor was soaking wet and had been kept out of their cabins for 3 hours. Carnival Cruise Lines is stating that it was a small fire and that no one was injured or inconvenienced. I dispute this. I am sure that everyone that was awoken or had to be moved or made to wait for 3 hours to return to bed feel that they were inconvenienced. And there was an injury and Carnival knows this. A elderly lady fell hurting her leg when she was trying to evacuate. The ships medical repsonse team carried her away on a back board. She was in our muster station and I saw what happened. I am also upset with the response time of the medical team. Other passengers where helping the injured lady for over 15 minutes before the medical team showed up. Carnival has a lot of explaining to do. I do not blame them for the fire of course, however, I am very upset and angry about their response or should I say NON respone about the situation. I did try talking to the Pursers desk as to why the response was lacking. Her response was that it was in the middle of the night and that they had to get up and see what type of fire it was and so on. Nothing she said made any sense to me. I have managed hotels for years and when a fire alarm goes off, we have a box that pin points where the fire alarm is and we call the fire department. I know that this floating city can not have anything less. I want a valid explantion as to why the crew did not follow the set standards for response to this this emergency. I also want them to acknowledge that there were people who were inconvienced and not to try to brush it under the rug to avoid bad press. I realize that it could have been alot worse than it was, but a fire aboard any ship in the middle of the ocean is an EMERGENCY.

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