Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Ecstasy
Sailing Date: April 23rd, 2005
Itinerary: Cozumel/Playa Del Carmen
In celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband and I chose Carnival’s Ecstasy from Galveston to Cozumel and Calica/Playa del Carmen. It was awesome! Never being on a cruise before, we really didn’t know what to expect other than what friends had told us about their cruise experiences.
We drove from Oklahoma to Galveston, spent the night, then boarded the ship on Saturday. We had pre-arranged our parking at ezcruiseparking.com (based on a review that I read on this web-site). They loaded us up and dropped us off at the cruise terminal with instructions for pick up when we arrived back in Galveston. Nothing to compare to since this was our first cruise, so we will use them again. They were where they said they would be and no problems. We allowed the porters upon arrival, however we chose to carry them ourselves once we got off the ship and went through customs. More on this process later.
We arrived at the cruise terminal around 12:30pm and was promptly processed, showing photo ID’s, cruise tickets, and presenting a credit card for our sign and sail cards. ( You can give cash as a deposit if you like.) We waited in the lobby of the terminal until embarkation began. Approximately 15 minutes later, carry on luggage in hand, we were on the ship. We dropped off our luggage to our cabin and headed for the buffet. The food was excellent. We used 24 hour room service a couple of times for lunch and ate at the 24 hour pizzeria twice. The food service crew aboard the Ecstasy were awesome. Well organized, and friendly. We had our life boat drill and away began our cruise to Cozumel. One thing I quickly realized about a cruise, you can do the activities you want or do nothing. We did an excursion, which I booked through Carnival, while in Cozumel going to Punta Sur Eco Park in the All Terrain Truck. What a blast! Our guide, Jose was awesome and made us laugh. Once through the tour, snorkeling was an option or just laying on the beach. I will say, the road through the park is VERY rough. If you have any sort of back problems, you probably shouldn’t go on this excursion. After the excursion, we shopped in Cozumel and went back on the ship for the rest of the day. We woke the next morning in Calica, took a taxi to Playa Del Carmen and did some shopping there. The taxi ride was $10 one way. We returned to Calica via Taxi and left at 4pm heading back to Galveston.
The cabins weren’t exactly huge, but for the amount of time spent in them, they certainly were livable. The stewards and housekeeping staff were awesome. I enjoyed the towel animals and having my bed turned down every evening.
Our dinning experience was excellent. Our waiters Jose and Mario in the Wind Song Restaurant were great and remembered our names every evening, along with those dining with us.
The days at sea were game filled, dancing, lounging fun days. Our cruise had 350 children on it, we never saw more than 50. Carnival does a great job of ‘containing’ the children.
This was a great first cruise experience. We will sail again with Carnival.