August 2015 - 4 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Ecstasy
I was very excited to go on my first cruise. My mom, daughter and I couldn’t sleep the night before just thinking about all the fun we were going to have. And then it happened, we stepped onto the ship and I was pretty much horrified. The decor was something out of the 80's, it looked like we had just walked into a sleazy motel which hadn’t been cleaned in decades. Our room was tiny and there was hair and stains all over our sheets. The water in our sink came out completely black the first time we turned it on. A plumber arrived about 10 minutes later but the damage was done, I knew that I had dumped money down the drain and that I was doomed for the next four days. That night I could hear the couple next to us having sex all night, I was mortified. I went to Guest Services and they said that essentially there was nothing they could do. We could also hear everyone that walked by our corridor, this is a major party boat so if you think you're gonna get well needed rest think again. Early the next morning I told the rep at Guest Services that I wanted to get off at Key West and stay there. I told her I was not having a good experience and that I wanted to get off the boat for good. She told me that wasn't an option and that if I did customs would charge us a fine of $300 each. She asked if there was anything she could do to make our experience better and I knew that there really wasn't. She offered to have the house keeping crew do a thorough cleaning of our room and I accepted. I didn’t see much of a difference in our room, but house keeping reps did stop by twice a day to see if we were ok. The food: it was probably a 2 out of 5 some things had flavor most things did not. They did have a lot of vegetarian options and although most desserts did taste the same it was cool to see the dessert spot filled with what looked like a array of treats. We ate at the buffet for the most part and then decided to eat at the formal restaurant on our last day. It was a huge mistake, they make you dress up and then everyone (servers mainly) pretends like you just walked into Le Bernardin, which you did not and it just all feels weird, everything including the silverware and cups look dated. I ordered the salmon entree and mid way through I found a hair dab in the middle of the fish, I got up and walked out and the servers seemed so confused by my rudeness and I was completely perplexed by their lack of cleanliness and proper food handling etiquette. Now on to the good (the little that there was) the entertainment, it was top notch. They had awesome magicians, comedians, Broadway singers and dancers, Latin artist playing live music. Overall the entertainment is what kept me sane. Also, the destinations were gorgeous, we stopped at Key West and Cozumel both were absolutely stunning and I've been to Nice and Santorini so that says a lot. I am used to a certain level of service and quality, I am not a snob and I am only writing this review to help someone who might be on the fence about booking the Carnival. Royal and NCL both have newer ships that go to the same destinations all of my friends warned me about booking the Carnival and I didn't listen. I really, really wish I had, my vacation would have been more of a vacation and less of a nightmare.