March 2014 - Carnival Ecstasy to Caribbean - Western
My daughters (ages 14 and 17) and I just returned from our first cruise over spring break. We had a wonderful experience from boarding to departure.
The boarding experience was easy, my husband was able to park across the street in the parking lot and walk us right to the security area for boarding. We were welcomed by friendly and helpful staff. We went through security, received our room card and had one of our favorite pictures of the cruise taken there. We found our cabin to be clean and had enough room for the 3 of us. We had 2 twins and a pull down that was pulled down nightly and put away in the morning by our friendly room steward. The life boat drill was a little lengthy but is required by all guests to attend. After that we explored the ship and did a lot of walking. We found the crew to be lots of fun and entertaining. We enjoyed the Cruise Director and his daily announcements as to what was going on that day and night. There is plenty of fun to be had on this ship. The crew is often seen dancing and entertaining. There was a DJ on the Lido deck most days and the music was great. We found the food to be good and I especially enjoyed dining in the Wind Star dining room nightly. You are treated to a formal dinner with tablecloths, cloth napkins and friendly staff. My daughters enjoyed the nightly dance song that the waiters all get involved in and the napkin dance. I enjoyed my meals (and wine) every night and found we requested the same area to sit in because we enjoyed the staff (who remembered all our names and what we liked to drink ). The waiters we had were friendly and seemed to want to please us (what a nice surprise). The Motown and Brits shows were excellent and very entertaining.
Our cruise stopped in Key West where we got off and shopped and walked around the town. A trip to the store where they make Kino sandals is a must....leather sandals for $14, only found in Key West. We did take a pedi-bike and his quick tour of the town was informative and saved us the long walk back from the Southernmost Point. In Cozumel we did the dolphin experience and made great memories. It is a little pricey but worth it. We were able to swim with, dance with and receive a kiss and a ride from the dolphins. It was just under $400 for the 3 of us. My advice on this excursion is be prepared to spend a lot of money on pictures. They do not allow any cameras near the dolphin pools and their pictures are very expensive. Of course worth for the money but still! Cozumel had great shopping and we enjoyed "bartering" with the locals. The night we left Cozumel there was a huge Fiesta on the lido deck with a DJ and lots of dancing, we stayed up on deck well past midnight that night. The crew was all present and appeared to enjoy dancing with guests too. I also enjoyed a spa treatment one day. I received a hot stone massage, foot massage, scalp massage and facial for $139, a good deal! I also enjoyed the gym on board, the view from the treadmills is priceless!
I would recommend this cruise and ship to anyone. We had a very memorable vacation. I found the ship to be clean (there was visible cleaning going on all the time) and fun! I did spend a lot of money on pictures that are displayed nightly but they were worth every penny!
I am already looking to book my next cruise on Carnival this summer!