ukoldav

ukoldav
Third Mate

Joined: 05/06/2015
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ukoldav's Past Cruises

Carnival Ecstasy

January 2016 - Carnival Ecstasy to Caribbean - Western

Value, Fun, Sun, Explore!

My wife and I had a good time on the Carnival Ecstasy...plenty of music, lots of young folks (20's-30's), but also families, etc. The ship crew did a fantastic job keeping things going, cleaning, cooking, activities and the like. The Cruise Director Adam was good at his job.

 

We had a beautiful sunset leaving Miami on a short promenade deck on deck 10! that, followed by a delicious Lobster Tail dinner (+$20: worth it) that was memorable and repeated later in the cruise.

 

I always recommend "Your Time Dining", I can't stand being stuck with eight strangers for an entire week at a pre-set table or even four days with the set-time dining. We never waited more than 10-15 mins. max. there were some very nice people on the cruise, some which we met in the dining room ("share").

 

I jet-skied for the first time in Key West (a blast).  I snorkeled at "Aquarium" beach (short boat stint) at Cozumel. If you are reading this, I always also recommend renting a scooter ($35/day + gasoline) in Cozumel: the road is straight, flat and fantastic! (Up to two people per scooter.)

 

Punchliners with standup comedy was LOL funny!  Even the 18+ late night stuff was hilarious...not bad language, but naughty imagery! Really, much better than the other cruise lines.

 

Plenty of bars, lounges, entertainment was top notch. We missed the musical/dance shows but saw the "Love & Romance" game - you're familiar with it on other Cruise Lines - and it was LOL funny!

 

We had to say goodbye after four days, but a great value. Do it! And, especially if you are a first-timer and wary,...a four night cruise is the best way to test the waters! :-)

 

Only two negatives: Loud piped music at dining room. No Song List booklets at Karaoke.

 

 

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Norwegian Breakaway

April 2015 - Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda

Megaship cruise: Staying away in the future

Getting more passengers on a ship may be more profitable for the cruise line...but it doesn't satisfy my level of comfort on this 7 day vacation. Main central corridors at times felt like a transfer tunnel at a subway interchange. Elevator banks at times felt like a black Friday sale before the doors opened. Entertainment offerings on Megaships changed from the usual generic musical-dance variety show/stand-up comic/magician/tribute singers to a specific high budget-recognized name Broadway Musical Licensed Show. In this case, Rock the Ages, is over-the-top unnecessarily sexually raunchy (plenty of warnings posted), with so-so music, all in the name of a "famous" Broadway show.

Highlights: Breakaway Bermuda Debarkation Pier party w/crew dancing alongside a welcoming Red Carpet.

Dining  superbly excellent (Food, Service) in all Main Dining Rooms (no specialty restaurants necessary - save your money).

Heated pool and Jacuzzis.

Bermuda: Most welcoming hospitable and civil people in the World!

Bermuda: Snorkeling and beaches, good transportation offerings including fast ferries (Hamilton, St. Georges).

Negatives: For the first-time cruisers, be aware that the 40-70 hour crossing from NY-Bermuda more than 50% of the time has a 6-8 hour window of Rough Seas with swells often 10-15 feet. This is especially true in Sept - Oct. but is true in other months as well. Once you pass the continental shelf (about 8 hours out), the waves have a tendency to be at the very least "choppy" as the Captain says.

This is not usually the case on the NY-FL-Bahamas itinerary or any Carribean itinerary (Eastern, Southern, Western).

Negatives: Not sure how to navigate the ship's layout. More steps between stateroom and any activity...sometimes leading to unnecessary frustration (as compared to a smaller or mid-sized ship).

Negatives: Entertainment lounge "Hardliners" has improbably designed hard-wooden chairs that are very uncomfortable nor appropriate for a club. Atrium stage -where the cruise staff are forced to present much of their "group games"  (i.e. New Newlywed Game; Deal or No Deal, etc.) - does not have sufficient seating for those who would like to watch.

All in all, my next cruise will be more ship specific (i.e. Pearl, Gem, Jewel, Dawn) so as to keep the fellow passenger count down to below 2,800.

Good Luck on your selection!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Norwegian Dawn

January 2014 - Norwegian Dawn to Caribbean - Western

Carnival Miracle

January 2013 - Carnival Miracle to Caribbean - Bahamas

Norwegian Pearl

July 2009 - Norwegian Pearl to Alaska - Inside Passage

ukoldav's Tips

Cozumel, Mexico - Try renting a scooter. Also most of the beaches offer a snorkel experience (by boat....approx. 45 mins.) Bring granola bar to feed the fish!
Miami, Florida - Yellow flag at beach means Watch for Heavy Rip Tides, very dangerous.
Carnival Ecstasy Carnival Ecstasy - Nice wide corridors. Elevators took a while to get used to. Some of the elevator shafts do not go to top or bottom. Go with the flow. We enjoyed breakfast at Wind Star dining room.
Norwegian Breakaway Norwegian Breakaway - At Dockyard Kings Wharf, there is an imitation pirate ship on water which is actually a small bar, free admission, ...they have a plank open to anyone (at your own risk) that you can jump off of the ship for a 30 ft. drop to the water below. A thrill to try (for adults or children alike).

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received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Breakaway cruise review - Megaship cruise: Staying away in the future

uploaded a photo album from their Carnival Ecstasy cruise on 2016-01-25

shared a quick tip for Carnival Ecstasy"Nice wide corridors. Elevators took a while to get used to. Some of the elevator shafts do not go to top or bottom. Go with the flow. We enjoyed breakfast at Wind Star dining room."

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Breakaway cruise review - Megaship cruise: Staying away in the future

commented on the roll call for Jan 25, 2016 cruise on Carnival Ecstasy - "I wonder how "Your time dining" works? I..."

checked in for the roll call for Jan 25, 2016 cruise on Carnival Ecstasy!

checked into January 25, 2016 cruise on Carnival Ecstasy roll call and is traveling with 1 other guest. Interested in meeting:- Other couples

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Breakaway cruise review - Megaship cruise: Staying away in the future

uploaded a photo album from their Norwegian Breakaway cruise on 2015-04-26

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Breakaway cruise review - Megaship cruise: Staying away in the future