I would just like to point out a couple of things that might make your next cruise better. The "couple" of dollars they refunded to you (probably in the form of an On-Board Credit) was the port fees & taxes for the missed port. That is normal. Why did they cancel the port call? Could it have been because of the possibility of storms at the port on your expected date of arrival? If that is the case, also normal. The cruise line has the right (read your contract) to alter the itinerary in the event of bad weather for the safety of passengers, crew and vessel. Keep in mind you paid for the cruise, not the itinerary. It is unfortunate that there could be missed ports due to certain circumstances but safety is foremost. The Ecstasy is an older Carnival ship (launched in 1991) so some of the passenger amenities such as the pool and spa areas will be smaller when compared to the more modern ships. You stated your credit card got frozen. Did you inform your credit card/bank of your plans to take a cruise? Many credit card/ banks will freeze a card if used overseas (like when at sea or when you visited Mexico). Prior to your next cruise, inform your credit card company of the dates you will be overseas and they will make a note on your account as so not to flag it as I think happened to you here. Best of luck on your next cruise! :)
Review by peanu75
In response to review, CrusinTim says ...
So sorry to read that you had a port of call cancelled. Did they explain the reason? I am assuming it was due to poor weather. Ships do not cancel ports for the fun iof it. They want satisfied passengers. The captain must have had a reason usually for safety reasons.
As for the pool situation, most ships have the same problem. I would like to see an indoor pool when the ship does not have a retractable roof.
I agree with CruisinTim's comments and recommendations (especially regarding informing your credit card company about travel).
Especially with the older ships (check the cruise line's website for each ship's profile to know exact information), the facilities are outstripped by the occupancy. When there is an unplanned at sea day, everyone who would have been off the ship on an excursion is suddenly thrust into finding a way to get sun on deck. It does create cramped quarters.
Hopefully your next voyage will go according to itinerary.
Cruising like anything in life is a learning curve. Glad that you did enjoy your first cruise and that you learned some things that will help you on your next cruise. Every cruise is different, I have had cruises where I loved it and a friend on the same ship had a bad cruise because of his cabin and cabin steward had major issues.
A cruise is what you make of it, go with low expectations and then you will be happy.
Research is a must, the cruise line, the ship and the ports so you know what to expect.