Wow SheriNtexas!! It IS almost time for you to leave!! I'll probably be panicking when I'm down to 4 days! No...I'already am! Can't wait to hear about your cruise, because we leave on the Esctasy on Nov. 27...and you can give me all the details! I've been shopping!! Too much! I think I'll end up eating my words.."I'm not over packing this time"!! hahaha
I personally don't know about the cell phones on the Ecstasy. I asked this question a while back, and was told that some of the ships had some service, but the charges would be really high. Well, if it is that high, I may just use the ship phone to "check in"! Then maybe buy a phone card to use in Cozumel etc. I guess the best way to find out for sure is to call Carnival and ask.
As far as the locks on your suitcase. I think it a good idea, not only to keep it closed, but from what I've read on this site, security is less likely to open it, if it is locked. Also, you don't know who has access to it after you check it in to the cruise line. Don't leave any valuables in it. Many have suggested a plastic tie wrap also to keep it closed. But if you use these, remember they have to be cut off and you'll need scissors or a knife to do so.
Another suggestion about your luggage, is to tie a colored ribbon on each of your suitcases or bags. This will distinguish them from everyone else's..when you pick them up after the cruise. Whether you have black, or red or whatever color of luggage, there will be others that looks, from a distance, just like yours and will save you time.
Hope these things help you alittle! Have a GREAT cruise, take a lot of pictures and relax!!!
If you learn any info on the phone situation...please post it! I have Verizon service...so they probably have Cingular! ha!