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April 30, 2007

"Carnival Ecstasy<br />Posted by Carole & Johnny Bensley - April 30, 2007<br />Western Caribbean<br /> <br />Galveston, Progresso, Cozumel"


Sail Date:05/01/2007
Departed From:
# of Nights: 
Cabin Type: 
Sailed As: 


Overall Value:
Overall Rating: 


Galveston, Progresso, Cozumel

Monday ? April 30

This is a group of 12. We are Military Moms and their spouses. We met at one of the moms houses and we used a limo service to take all of us to the pier. They needed a van and it was pulling a u-haul for our luggage.


We arrived about 11:30 and proceeded to the terminal. One person was checking tickets and I.D. I think they needed at least three to make this process run smoother and the line wouldn?t be so long.

We went up the escalator and went to the VIP lines for the scanners. We were told that there was some problems with the VIP check in so we were sent to the regular line. Although there were 50 or more people in front of us, it was less than 15 minutes to get to the desk. We had all our stuff in hand so everything was very quick. The lady even thanked us for having everything filled out and ready when we got there. It took about 2 minutes and we went to the seating area in the VIP section.

We boarded by noon. We went to the room and dropped off our stuff (our steward let us put it in the cabin even though it wasn?t ready). We headed for the Panorama Bar & Grill and had lunch while we waited. At 1:30 they allowed you in your cabin. We got there and unpacked our carry on and about 15 minutes later, our luggage was there. We unpacked everything and looked around the ship. I had already memorized the places on the ships deck plan that I needed to know (i.e. dining room, buffet, shops, photo gallery, purser?s desk, etc). I always do this before a cruise so I am not lost the first day. We looked around and prepared for the muster drill. This drill really should take place around 3 instead of 4 o?clock. You miss sail-a-way because you are in the drill. Disappointing. By the time it is over, you are still leaving port but miss out the part where you actually leave that dock and are on your way. We were halfway out of port by the time you drop off your vest and get back on deck.

We enjoyed the deck music for sail-a-way and then went to our cabin to clean up for dinner. Dinner was wonderful. We met our waiters, Robert and Eric. They were very attentive and everything went smoothly. After dinner, we went to the Welcome Aboard Show in the Blue Sapphire Theater.

After dinner, our group wanted to go to Karaoke. Although this have never been something we were interested in, we gave it a try. Horrible. I guess being a musician lets you hear every off key note. Not one person was good that night although many people cheered. They were flat or sharp or just plain awful. I can?t understand why someone wouldn?t try this at home, record it, play it back and see how they sound before they get on stage. We decided to try it the next night to see if it improved. I don?t like to judge something with just one try.

May 1st. Fun Day at Sea

I love sea days! You get to relax and just enjoy the ship. We went to a lot of the shops, photo gallery and even played about 5 dollars in the casino. I went to Trivia Challenge, Ice Carving Demo and Name that Tune. Got a trophy in the Name that Tune game. We had breakfast and lunch in the Panorama Bar & Grill.

There was a men?s hairy chest contest. Some of the men had barely any hair but entered the contest. It was ok. They enjoyed themselves and the crowd enjoyed it.

Dinner ? Captain?s Cocktail Party. Formal Night

We dress to the nines for formal night. It is sad to see how many just dress as though they were going to Red Lobster. Cruising has lost the luster for formal night. Very sad. I really wish those that don?t want to ?dress? would just got eat at alternate places. The dining room loses that ?fancy? feeling. We don?t have places to dress up here so it is so fun to cruise and see all the great dresses and all the men in their tuxes. Carnival loses on this one. It is too casual for formal night.

The captain?s party was more of a sit down and welcome aboard that a party. Everyone was seated in the Blue Sapphire Lounge. Other ships have a standup gathering with snacks, etc. in the Atrium area. It was nice though. We went to dinner and our waiters remembered all our drink preferences from the previous night.

We went to the evening show ?Dream Voyage? and then Karaoke again. Two good singers, and the rest left so much to be desired. John and I won?t go to more of these shows.

We went to the midnight buffet and took pictures and came back later to take a bite or two to the cabin. Yummy!

I will highlight more on the dinner shows at the end of my review.

May 2nd - Progresso

This is a very small place unless your take a shuttle into town. We just did the shopping area, which is one street and about 10 shops. We bought a few things and got back on the ship and enjoyed how quiet it is without all the guests on board. There were about 20 people who don?t how to get back on the ship when they are told. They were still coming on board 2 minutes before the gangway was pulled up.

We saw the belly flop contest. That was fun watching all these men doing belly flops and getting to vote for the best splash. We went to Trivia again and then Battle of the Sexes. It was fun. A couple of ladies from our group joined in and one of the guys too. You had to build a towel animal. The guys made a stingray (wow, that was hard) and the women made a swan, but a guy was pulled from the crowd and said the men?s was better so they won that round. There was a hoola hop contest and ball toss and few other things, It was a lot of laughs.

We went to dinner, which was perfect and then our group went to the dinner show. There was a guest Talent Show for the dinner show and it was all singing. No one did any other act. It wasn?t bad?.something to do anyway. There was also a comedian. The comedian was Tony Stone. He was funny.

The group went to karaoke, but John and I went out on deck and enjoyed the salt air and sounds of the ocean hitting the sides of the ship. We dropped about 10 dollars in the casino and looked around the photo gallery.

Carnival takes LOTS of photos. Too many to buy. The main complaint would be that they take too many during dinner. Once or twice during the cruise is fine but not every night.

May 3rd ? Cozumel

On this cruise, we are not doing any excursions. We have done several in the past and we just wanted to relax. We went shopping and went around the town enjoying the sites. We got a beautiful hammock, some island clothes and my prescription meds that are over the counter in Mexico.

After several hours, we got back on the ship and had a late lunch. It was a beautiful day. Part of our group went on a snorkeling tour and the rest of us were the shoppers.

We went to dinner and then the dinner show, ?X-treme Country?, and then browsed through the shops a bit before walking around on deck and enjoying the stars and beauty of the open ocean.

Our group asked us to join them for the evening comedy show. We were there 5 minutes and the ?adult? humor was vulgar. We left. I don?t see why comedians think we need detailed sexual humor in order to entertain. Gross.

May 4th ? Fun day at Sea

We got up, had breakfast, went to a ship trivia game, sat out on deck, bar trivia and name that tune. Sat out on deck some more and enjoy the sea breezes and a cocktail.

We went to the towel folding demo, trivia and then lunch at the Panorama.

We went to dinner and saw the comedy of Kenny Miller and Tommy Drake. They were really good. They put on a good show. Tommy Drake was hard to understand at times, because he tries to talk like he is stoned or something, but he is good. We did NOT go see the adult version of their shows.

We went to the photo gallery to buy the last of what pictures we wanted, then went back to the room and organized stuff and packed the last of our stuff. We normally pack stuff as we wear it or don?t need it so there is little to do that last night.


FOOD: No complaints on taste but only on selection.

Panorama Bar & Grill:

It was good food and always plenty to eat. There was not much variety of fruit unless you wanted to mixed fruit. I would like to see more grapes, oranges, bananas, watermelon and cantaloupe that are separated so you can pick and choose what you want. The hamburgers were ok and the fries were YUMMY.

Dinner Meals: We ate in the The Windstar Dining Room. It was very pretty and our waiters were fabulous. Always good. It was prepared as we liked it and was hot. We aren?t food critics so you won?t see us complain much on that.


I was disappointed that all the shows were geared toward the country theme?..Texas theme. Sorry, but if I wanted that I would stay home. Cruises for me should be tropical themes. I will say this is more of a personal thing. Neither my husband or myself like country and we both would be out of Texas in a heartbeat if we had the money. Even without that consideration, I don?t take cruises so I can see shows that make me feel like I never left home. They need more tropical themes. I know we left from a Texas port, but if I leave from California, I don?t want every show based on California. The same goes for Florida or any other place.

The adult shows are vulgar. Very sexually explicit. We only went to one because our group wanted us to so stuff together, but after five minutes of hearing nothing but filth, we left and didn?t join them for another adult show. They say no one under 18. I say they aren?t fit for anyone.

Evening entertainment was repetitive. Comedians and Karaoke every night. Not much variety.


They had plenty of these. Many choices and people were participating and having fun. They did well on this. Lots of fun!


Exceptional. They were polite?.always helpful and always smiling.

Goose was our CD. He was always around and always seemed to be having fun. He was great. Other entertainment staff, such as Matt, were outstanding and had fun with the guests.


John and I don?t care about ports. We will stay on the ship if we don?t like one. Progresso is a waste of a port though. I am not sure why this is still a call for ships. There is a small shopping area but in order to do anything you have to shuttle into town.

Cozumel was nice and beautiful. Extremely pushy natives though. They don?t like NO. We still had a good time and we love Cozumel.


Overall, the ship was clean and maintained by crew. Areas were kept clear and although the ship was old and does show in certain places, it was still in great shape and looked fine. I don?t look for worn carpets, drapes, etc because it just doesn?t matter to me, but I would notice obvious problems. The ship was beautiful. Bright colors and very festive. I don?t know that I would go on another small ship like this but I will give Carnival another try. There just wasn?t anything bad enough to turn me off this line. I would prefer to go out of Ft. Lauderdale since it does seem to stay on the tropical theme on its ships.

Carnival?s fun pass is a great way to make sure that you go through the lines quickly, but you really need to have your paperwork ready and print those fun passes! This is what holds up the lines, when people don?t do this in advance. It also takes YOU longer. Why make it take longer to get on your way. Fill out the forms before you ever leave home.


Well, on other cruises, there was less crowding and more organization. People were standing in the halls packed in like sardines till their color was called. We waiting in the grill until the color was called but after that you are in the halls stuffed in and then you proceed to the baggage claim and stand in line for a porter, then stand in line again to go through customs. Not the smoothest transition but not the worst I have seen either.


We enjoyed the liquor tasting. It gave us a chance to taste certain things before we bought them and realized we didn?t like it. We got tickets for drawings on jewelry, alcohol, etc. I didn?t win any but it was fun!

They made lots of announcements during the day. I like this because I may have forgotten something I wanted to do, but I wish that when you are in the cabin, it could come through the speaker phone or something (with an option to turn it off if you don?t want to hear it). You have to open your door to hear announcements. Not good if you are trying to get dressed or just came out of the shower, etc.

I recommend Carnival and I think they did a good job keeping people occupied and happy.

Pros: Very happy staff/crew and always ready to please.

Waiters entertained you with dancing and singing ? it was great!

Cons: Way too many pictures during dinner time. Need to get off the Texas/Country theme. This is a Mexico/Caribbean cruise?..it needs a Caribbean theme.

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