martinassociate

martinassociate
Second Mate

Hometown: Des Moines Iowa
Joined: 12/21/2015
5
Cruises
3
Reviews
15
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martinassociate's Past Cruises

Carnival Ecstasy

December 2015 - 4 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Ecstasy

Good Value for the money

First of f let me say that I sometimes wonder what cruise some of these reviewers have been on. One review positive 4-5 stars and one review 1 star for the same cruise! Knowing that the Ecstasy is an older ship gave me pause, and you could see the age in her but it was well maintained by the ships staff.  Embarkation was flawless as I purchased Faster to the Fun so I got on early (12:00) and was able to place my carry on's in my room right away and visit the guest services in the priority line to place my gift cards on my sign & sail account. After that I had plenty of time to explore the ship and have lunch. I cruise as a single and I would like to see them have something for us. I was able to be placed at a group table 2 nights in the AnyTime dining room, but it would be nice if they had a meet & greet in one of the lounges as well. I'm sure had I gone to the nightclub that wouldn't have been an issue but I found it was mostly for the 20-40 age group. My roll call was devoid of fellow cruisers ( only 4 ) probably due to the fact that it was a short cruise.  The food was as expected in both the MDR and the Lido. The Mongolian Wok for lunch was very popular as was the omelette station for breakfast so arrive early to avoid the long lines. The Maitre'd in the MDR was very personable as were all of his staff. If you want the most exceptional dining experience I suggest trying the Chef's Table ($75pp). It is very limited in seating ( only 14 guests) but the 8 course (with wine) was awesome. Champagne & appetizers start you off along with a tour of the galley. It will give you a better appreciation of how volume meals can be prepared and not lack in quality. You also get to see how their signature warm chocolate melting cake is prepared ( they even give you the recipe) The whole experience lasts around 3 1/2 hours.  I had been to both Key West & Cozumel before. I rented a 7 speed bike and did my own tour of Key West. We were only in port till 1:00 so it wasn't feasible to do much. The same went for Cozumel as we arrived in port late and the longer excursions couldn't be made. Mr. Sancho's closes at 5 so people who went and got there at 2:30 were refunded their money.  Debarcation was a little slow due to customs port clearance. I parked ar Premier Cruise Parking and had little wait time after leaving the building for our van. Total cost was only $35 ( including the shuttle both ways) for the 5 days I parked there. It was valet parking and they call in your key tag number prior to leaving the port so your car is waiting up fron for you when you arrive!  Overall a good value for the money 

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Carnival Splendor

November 2014 - 8 Night Exotic Eastern Caribbean (San Juan To Miami) Cruise on Carnival Splendor

Carnival Freedom

January 2014 - 6 Night Western Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Freedom

Carnival Victory

October 2013 - 5 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Victory

Carnival Liberty

November 2012 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Liberty

martinassociate's Tips

Falmouth, Jamaica - Long 1 1/4 hour drive to Dunns River Falls and the Jamaican Bobsled run but it was fun
Nassau, Bahamas - Been here before and just got off the ship to visit the shops and go to catholic mass at St Francis Xavier ( take a cab but not one right at the port as they wanted $15 I walked a ways and found one for $3/pp it's up a hill!) Sunday mass at 8:30 is one with their Choir and they're great!
Port Canaveral, Florida - It's a busy port but they are improving. You have to take the time to visit the Kennedy Space Center if driving. It costs $10 for parking and $50pp for entry but well worth it.
Norwegian Epic Norwegian Epic - Reserve your dining preferences as soon as they come available online. Some dining venues you could just walk up and be on a waitlist but I don't recommend it. I did just walk up to the Comedy Club on Standby and got right in. Same way with The broadway show.
Oranjestad, Aruba - Sonny Binns tours thru Trip Advisor the best and a small van as opposed to the huge busses.
Grand Turk Island - Jacks Shack for sure down the beach at the end at the left as you leave the cruise port shops.
Carnival Sunshine Carnival Sunshine - Book a 4J on the Lobby Deck it's close to the elevators and atrium bar. Get FTTF (Faster To The Fun) if you need to go to the Service desk often.
Key West, Florida - If you've been here before rent a multi speed bike and you can tour where you want. As it's a short day in port ( we left at 1:00 ) you can't do much
Cozumel, Mexico - Been there but if you get in to port late the excursions aren't worth the time We got in at 2:00 and Mr sanchos beach closed at 5
Carnival Ecstasy Carnival Ecstasy - The serenity deck at the aft of the ship was great and if you got there early on a sea day you could get a good lounger and the bar service was always coming by. If not it was just one deck up. The Punchliner comedy club was a definite hit if you like adult Comedy I went to BOTH adult shows.

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Recent Activity

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Ecstasy cruise review - Good Value for the money

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Sunshine cruise review - Fun With the Sunshine Gang

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - Organized Confusion

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Sunshine cruise review - Fun With the Sunshine Gang

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - Organized Confusion

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - Organized Confusion

shared a quick tip for Norwegian Epic"Reserve your dining preferences as soon as they come available online. Some dining venues you could just walk up and be on a waitlist but I don't recommend it. I did just walk up to the Comedy Club on Standby and got right in. Same way with The broadway show."

added Dec 2, 2017 cruise on Norwegian Epic to their profile.

reviewed their Caribbean - Western cruise on Norwegian Epic and gave it 4.6 stars!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Ecstasy cruise review - Good Value for the money