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indygirl76

Ecstasy November 18 - 23, Live

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Hi guys! My last couple of reviews have fizzled, because I waited until I got home and then life took over. So I'm giving this a shot! 

 

A bit about us and the plan: two forty (ish) girls, both Carnival veterans. I'm a very high strung planner, and my best friend Karen only wants to know what time to be at my place to catch our flight. Perfect combination! 

 

We're flying into Jacksonville today, and the ship sails Monday. Staying at the Crowne Plaza by the airport, thanks to what looks like an amazing(!!) indoor/outdoor pool with a swimunder. Tomorrow, my aunt is driving over from Orlando to go to brunch and do some shopping. Then we'll have dinner at the Cowford Chophouse downtown. 

 

We're currently sitting in the airport bar, working on the first of many mimosas over the next week. 

 

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FYI, the hotel is undergoing renovations and the pools are closed 😫

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We stayed at the crowne last year and loved it. It’s an easy port to cruise out of but don’t try to get into it early. Unless things have changed they will not let you in the parking lot until 1030. We are setting out today as well, followed the Eation down to PC. 

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We were hungry, so we hit Bad Daddy's Burgers at the Charlotte airport. Sad to report, I do not recommend. Soggy fries are no one's friend. Off to Jax! 

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Well, we've checked in to the hotel. It's an adventure, I'll just say that. Thank god Karen is so laid back, she's horizontal. We may be moving to the Hyatt downtown tomorrow! 

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Hate to hear the hotel isn’t working out. We had a ball with the indoor/outdoor pool.  Hoping things take a turn for the better!

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Looking forward reading your review.  We cruise on the Ecstasy in April with a 1st stop at Crowne Plaza.

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We are on her in 20 days-and staying at the Crowne=so please tell, what besides the pool is wrong?

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The pool is the biggest issue for me, since it's why I chose the hotel. But also, the (poolside) bar is closed, the shuttle driver never answered the phone (we ubered after I was hung up on, twice), the a/c makes a screeching noise, blah blee blah. It's fine, I'm not going to write a terrible review or anything (except this one, ha!), but I'd just be more comfortable elsewhere.

 

I will say, the staff here is very nice. I think they're pretty over the renovation also, and it's just started! 

 

I have a bunch of Hyatt points, and was able to get a last minute reservation for tonight. We're having dinner downtown, so that will be much more convenient anyway. Onward! 🙂

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Brunch at the Omni was a victory, after the hotel selection failure! 🙂 Cold boiled shrimp and cracked crab claws, salad bar, omelette station, prime rib, every side dish known to man, the usual breakfast suspects, and a partridge in a pear tree. Plus mimosas that were never allowed to get less than half full, great service from the waiter. Highly recommend if you're cruising from Jax! 

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1 hour ago, indygirl76 said:

Sunset over the river, view from the 17th floor of the Hyatt. 

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Just gorgeous!

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Cowford Chophouse, what can I say? The crab sherry soup was very good, as were the meatballs. The barback and food runners were fantastic... which I found out because the bartender... wasn't. And that's all I have to say about that. 

We quickly decided to venue shift, and landed at Taverna across the river. (On the rec of a friendly local at the bar at CC.) Taverna was excellent, with truly balanced cocktails and good pizza. 

Now holding down the bar at the Hyatt. Good times. 🙂

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Sounds like you girls are going to have a great time! I'm following because I'm curious about the room layout of Ecstacy (ocean view and balcony). We sailed on Elation when she was in Jacksonville, right after the new balcony rooms were added. We've been on many cruises and this was hands down the worst room we ever had. We were with two other couples and all had balcony rooms. We are all a bit older. These rooms do not even have a chair to sit in, only the stool under the desk and the bed to sit on! The room description says there's a chair and when we asked the steward about it, he didn't seem to know what we were talking about! We ended up bringing a chair from the balcony inside so DH at least had someplace to sit.  Would like to try Ecstacy since it's a little closer to home than Port Canaveral, but don't want to be without a chair in the room. I know that sort of thing isn't that important to most cruisers today because you don't stay in the room much, etc, but after a lot of cruises, you've pretty much done the activities and the pool thing doesn't matter. We cruise these days to just enjoy being on the water and enjoy dining and the casino. 

 

 

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After a tasty but expensive breakfast at the Hyatt, and an easy 15 minute Uber, we are at the port waiting to board. They just called Platinum and Diamond, so we should be moving in about ten minutes (FTTF).

 

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On board, dropped the carryons in the cabin, and have our first drinks in hand (Cazadora Reposado margaritas on the rocks). 

 

@Bostwick girlthere is one small chair in the room, an ocean view on Empress deck.

 

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Before and after rearranging the beds, so that we have some actual floor space. Separate beds but arranged next to each other, are pretty claustrophobic, imo. An L shape gives you a lot more room. 

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We're fully unpacked, have confirmed the Chef's Table for Wednesday night, and obtained pre-muster cocktails: whita Russian and a Moscow mule. 

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Thanks for the info on the chair in the room! In your picture of your new bed configuration, I can see a ladder back chair. Is that the one? Thanks so much, sounds like you are well on your way to a great trip. Be sure to be on deck when you go under the Dames Point Bridge, the ship barely fits under it. It won't be but a few minutes after you sail. 

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After the best nap of my entire life 😂 we are at Alchemy for the first of many visits. Revved up mojito martini, here we go! 

(forgot to actually post that, and in the meantime, I ordered a restorative basil drop) 

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