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Old 05-09-2006, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Olney, TX
Posts: 378
Hey all of you cruise lovers . Wife and I just got back from 5 night on Ecstacy out of Galveston and wanted to share our experience. We just turned 50 and this was our first cruise. If you have any questions after reading this, just fire away.

PARKING - we used EZCruiseParking (go to ezcruiseparking.com for reservations) and I recommend them to anyone. $35 for 5 night and highly protected - just make a reservation ahead of time to guarantee a spot. Friendly staff and free shuttle to and from - just give a small tip.

EMBARKATION - we arrived around 1:00 pm and were on board by 1:45 pm. We barely got to our room and they were bringing our luggage! That was great! This process went very smoothly for us and there were TONS of people embarking at the same time. Very smooth operation.

FOOD - everything was great except for the Mexican Food Buffet at 11:30 pm one night. I heard from several people that they thought it was bad, probably because it had been prepared too early and was sitting out. Other than that, all or our meals were great. We are in the Formal Dining for all Dinners and relly had great service from our waiters. Our table mates were nice people and we hit it off good from the first meal. Get the steak with 3 peppercorn sauce. Mmmmm. Good! We tried sit down breakfast every day and really, really enjoyed that. You can order what and how much of anything. We ate sit down lunch and Lido deck buffet for lunch. Try the fresh made-to-order sandwiches at the Deli. Pizza was good.

ENTERTAINMENT - wow! What can I say. All of the shows were excellent! We really enjoyed the full show on the second night with all of the dancers and costumes. They probably changed 7 or 8 times! Excellent shows.Excellent show band. And, you just have to go to the Karoke at least one night. I am no professional singer, but I can tell you that some of those people were....just go see for yourself!

ROOM - our room was excellent on Upper deck inside. We never missed a window as were did not sit still long enough to need one. My wife enjoyed the darkness so she could take that afternoon nap! Take a nightlight so you can see to go to the bathroom! Our bed was soooo comfortable and those brand new down filled comforters and new pillows. Our room steward kept our room so clean and was always bringing fresh towels and a bucket of ice!

GENERAL SHIP CONDITION - overall the ship is in very good shape to me. I think that they have done an excellent job cleaning 24 hrs/day and keeping her fresh. We really didn't see any torn carpet or anything. Loved all those neon lights and bright carpet and wall coverings in the lobby areas. Was neat to us. We enjoyed the classical music in the lobby and the China Town Bar was a great (non-smokey) area to listen to the band, dance if you want and relax and have a good time. Pool area was a favorite area and lots of people, but we always found chairs and a table. Not a problem with chair hogs, as I have read.

PORTS - we didn't get to go to Progreso as planned because of extremely high winds. The Mexican port authority closed the port for our safety and the safety of the ship and dock. Oh well, we didn't let that bother us. Cozumel was fun. Went to Paradise Beach (American owned) and had a great time swimming and relaxing under the shade of the umbrella. Food was great there as well. Try the grilled Mahi-Mahi sandwich! Bought some t-shirts for $4 on the way back to ship. We passed them up when we forst got off because they were selling for $12...we got a bargain! Oh, take a taxi ride for a trip of your life!

DEBARKATION - went very smoothly for us. We ate a leisurely breakfast and took our time packing. The self-debark people were crowding the hallways, stairs and elevators, so we had to go around them. We were not in any hurry, so just took our time and waited for our color to be called. We left our room around 8:45 am and we were in our car at 10:00 am. Not bad! Nobody was pushing or shoving or complaining a bit.

OVERALL RATING - A+ we will go Carnival again and and hope to be on Ecstacy again. Loved it!
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2006, 02:51 PM
Jim C.'s Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 5,115
Rodney- Thanks for the great review. We live in the Fort Worth area so we will be doing the Galveston trips (NCL in October) a lot. We will most likely try the Ecstacy in the near future. Glad to hear that the EZ cruise parking worked for you... we will use that in October.

Thanks, Jim
================================================== ==========
Carnival Cruise Lines:
28 cruises

NCL Dream October 2006,
RCCL Mariner OTS June 2007, RCCL Liberty OTS 2016
Celebrity Silhouette 2013
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2006, 07:14 PM
Piggie's Avatar
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 24
Paradise Beach
Thanks for the review. Was there a fee to access Paradise Beach? Were people snorkling there?
5/25/06 Carnival Ecstasy
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2006, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Olney, TX
Posts: 378
Your welcome Jim. It was an honest review.

Piggie. No there is no fee for the Paradise Beach. You can use their chairs and umbrellas for free, but to play on the trampoline, climbing the floating "iceberg" and use snorkel equipment is $8 for all day...a good deal. They only ask that you purchase a minimum of $10 per person in food/drink. That is no problem with the tourist prices, but everything was delicious. We had strawberry smoothie and strawberry/banana smothie, delicious. Wife had chicken taco plate and I had grilled Mahi-Mahi sandwich...all very tasty. Totalled $29 for both of us and gave a $6 tip. We didn't see many snorkelers because the reef is so far out. This beach is a typical beach for people relaxing and soaking up rays. BE CAREFUL. The sun is extremely hot and you will burn in a short time without high sunscreen. We used SPF 45 and still got a little pink, but no burn. Go to www. paradisebeach.com to check it out. We will go again!
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