Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Cruise - Carnival Ecstasy

It’s the last full day of the cruise at about 1:20. I decided to take a break in my room and have a glass of wine. I’ve had a chance to reflect over my vacation so far and have been craving my blog. Since, I’m in the mood, I’m writing my thoughts now and will upload them later.

In an attempt to keep the flow of my story interesting, I’ve decided to break it up into a few segments. One will be about the cruise, one will be about my travel companion and the other, about The Cowboy.

There are many different types of cruises out there to select from. We selected the Carnival Cruise. My criterion for going with this particular line was that it sails out of Galveston. I was adamant about not having to take a plane to catch a cruise. I wanted to drive to the boat, drop our bags and begin playing.

We had a 4 night, 5 night and 7 night cruise to select from during our preferred date range. We both felt that 4 nights was too short and were afraid that 7 might feel too long.

The itenerary of our boat, The Ecstasy, was as follows: We sailed out of Galveston at 4 pm Monday, 6/23. The following day we spent a full day at sea. The next morning we docked in Progresso Yucatan for about 7 hours, then headed towards Cozumel. We docked at Cozumel at 8 in the morning, and stayed for 7 hours. Then we began our journey back to Galveston, which is where we are now. We should be docking by about 8 a.m.

We picked the cheapest cabin which was to be in the inerior of the boat, no windows and about the size of a closet. The first thing we discover when we arrive is that they upgraded us to an exterior room with a port hole. Our room is about the size of a small hotel room and we are ECSTATIC about how much space we have. We never planned on spending much time in our room but knowing that if we needed a reprieve we could do so without feeling cramped.

Every night, we had a new "towel" animal on our bed. We're not sure exactly what this is but it looks like he's expecting some action. :). Other animals included an elephant, seal and monkey.

I took a cruise about 20 years with my parents with Carnival on The Mardi Gras. At some point that boat was retired and turned into a casino boat in Galveston. I don’t know if she is still in operation or not. Anyway, Carnival has improved its cruises by tenfold.

Our ship had a lot going on. Game shows, a casino, several bars and dance clubs, a fabulous spa and gym. The swimming pool was nice and of course there several outside decks with a ton of deck chairs. Our first concern was with the number of kids on the boat, over 800. Neither of us wanted to be bothered with them. Thankfully, we found adult only decks. As well the cruise had what’s called Camp Carnival, designed to free the parents up and sort of herd the children as far away from adults as possible. I think that they did a really good job.

Nightly, they had really cool vegas style shows for the passengers to view before dinner. They also had a comedian on board that was pretty good. The dinner menu was really good. We got our lobster fix the second night. I didn’t have any steak on the ship. It wasn’t quality meat.

During our first day at sea, I laid out on one of the decks and began enjoying the fancy drinks with umbrellas in them. I absolutely loved lying out, drinking the fancy drinks and listening to familiar tunes played calypso style. Lunch on deck was the same every day: hamburgers, hot dogs, coleslaw and potato salad. I think they served something different in the dining room but I never ventured. I really liked having hamburgers. When we got to Progresso, I stayed on the boat. A lot of people did. It was really nice having so few people to share the deck with but I missed the calypso music.

The day after Progresso we arrived in Cozumel. I was up early enough to sit out on the deck and watch our boat arrive to the deck. This was a day I was really looking forward to. I had booked an excursion on a speed boat that was supposed to take us to a private Island where we could eat, drink, snorkel, and lay out in the sun all day.

We got there at 8 am. And then, at 10, dark storm clouds rolled in and stayed. We were still able to take the speed boat to our destination but for some odd reason the temperature dropped tremendously and it rained most of the time. The food was served under cover but I was so cold, wet from the ride over and just miserable. All I could think of was a warm shower and dry clothing.

So, here we are today, the last full day at sea and it’s still overcast. I’m ok with that because I’m really tired and want to nap a little. I’d feel guilty if it were sunny and bright outside.

When we docked this morning both Row and I felt very sad. We both had a really good time and sort of found our groove on the ship. We weren't ready for it to end. The boat rocked quite a bit while we were on it and I still feel like I'm rocking even though I know I'm on land. I feel like Captain Jack of Pirates.

Both of us are beginning to look up potential cruises to take in the near future. We'll see.


Michelle Jackson said...

You responded to my blog, so I figured I'd return the favor. Plus, I wanted to see what you had written about your cruise experience. It's too bad it rained on you in Cozumel. Usually, it's just a quick storm and then gone again.

I noticed that you were afraid 7 days was too long, but then at the end felt you needed more time.

I would love to help you next time you cruise as that's what I do everyday, cruise consulting.

I love cruising and can't wait to go again - waiting for September. Yeah!

Hope to hear from you again soon.

Michelle Jackson (Jackson 9)
SeaMaster Cruises
(210) 858-6399

A Girl From Texas said...

Michelle, thanks for stopping by. Do you know anything about cruises in November to Mexico? Is it warm in the gulf?

A Girl From Texas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle Jackson said...

I haven't been in November, I've been in February and it was beautiful. The water was still warm, although not bathwater like it is now. This time, you should do the 7 day cruise, which goes to Cozumel, but also Grand Cayman and Jamaica or some of them go to Roatan, Honduras. Wonderful places to visit. If you'd like more info, you can email me directly and I'll answer any questions you may have.

doggybloggy said...

what a fun time but I am afraid I would get sea sickness

SunWolf said...

You look like you had a wonderfoo time! Love the fancy drinks with umbrellas in them! What a nice way to relax!

But I wouldn't trade my trip to St Andrews Scotland for all the cruises in the world. It was so good.