Just the Facts:
Cruise: Carnival Ecstasy-4 Day Mexico
Date: October 21--October 24, 2010
Captain: Andrea Viacava
Cruise Director: Brad Calabrese
Port: Cozumel, Mexico
Weather: Very Nice
I didn't personally participate in this cruise as this was a family GIRLS cruise for the wife, daughter, sister, nieces, and grand nieces. This was DW's 12th Carnival cruise and her first time on the Carnival Ecstasy. Nine in the group in three cabins on Empress deck.
DW and DD drove to Galveston and parked at EZ Cruise Parking. They used the parking shuttle to transport themselves and bags to the Terminal arriving about noon. The others in the party flew into Hobby airport and used the Carnival Shuttle to arrive at the Terminal. They had a wait at the airport until they could board the 1:30 shuttle and didn't arrive at the terminal until 4:00 ish. The Carnival airport transfers are $30 pp each way and a private limo may be better. Whenever possible I recommend driving to Galveston for a cruise. The parking at EZ Cruise is fair ($35-55 depending on cruise) and you have a choice of using a shuttle or walking. It's just so much harder on passengers when flying into this port.
Most in the group were newbies to cruising so DW helped them along with advise, but basically all were on their own. They all attended the Welcome Show and all enjoyed the cruise director, Brad.
Dinner was in the Windstar Dining Room and they had a round ten top table. The waiters were good and they all enjoyed the dining experience. A big hit was the ice creme machines. A few really took advantage of the complementary ice creme and Room Service.
Most attended each production show and comedy show and they really enjoyed them. The shows were: Xtreme Country and Dream Voyage. The comedians were: Chris Wiles and Carl Faulkenberry. DD won a 'ship on a stick' playing trivia.
The younger ones really took advantage of the new WaterWorks park area of the Ecstasy. DD loved the neon theme of the ship, DW not so much. (I like the neon--I told them to watch the changing colors) Their favorite crew members were: Brad the CD and Miljan the bar server (I don't think they got THAT many drinks though).
Four days is a short cruise, but a good introduction. I bet this won't be the last GIRLS cruise.
The weather was typical for Cozumel: warm, humid and scattered showers. DW arranged to get a van for the day (smart move) and the group went to Buccanos Beach Bar & Grill located on the Playa San Juan beach area of Cozumel. This is the area north of San Miguel know as Zona Hotelera norte. Buccanos was very nice with a great beach, swimming pool, clean facilities (important to the ladies), showers, lounge chairs, etc. They had a great time and the food in open air restaurant was very good. The restaurant has been in the same family for many years and well known for their Mexican and Caribbean menu. After leaving Buccanos they all stopped in San Miguel for some shopping and of course to see our friend Nelly. She still has the Mayan Pearl, but has also bought a new place closer to the square (next to the 7-11) called Caribbean Angel. The girls loved it and bought pearls (all she had), handbags, and other jewelry. I believe Nelly was very happy to see this group.
The van worked very well for a group of ladies as they had a place to leave bag's, etc. and knew they would have transportation an driver when needed. I believe the charge was $150 (+ tip) for nine people for the day. A good value IMHO.