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Gaitorgirl

Ecstasy/Jax vs Liberty/PC

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Hello all!  First time cruiser so apologies if this has been asked before. ( I searched, but couldn't really find much for my situation) 

We are a family of 5 (kids 15, 14, 12) and looking to book the Christmas Bahama-Freeport cruise Dec 24-28.  The options are Ecstasy out of Jacksonville, or Liberty out of Port Canaveral.  We will be driving from Ky, so it's only a few hours difference between the two.  How are the room sizes for a party of 5?  Right now we are looking at a suite so we won't be so cramped because we are big/tall. We also have a special needs daughter, so Just wanted to know if there were any positives/negatives of either the ships or the ports.  If you want to share any tips/tricks/opinions or advice I would appreciate that as well! 

Thanks so much! 

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We have been on Ecstasy and going on it again next week.  Jacksonville is a super easy port to get in and out of.   We are booked for Liberty in Dec., so can't help yet with that ship, but PC is definitely more difficult to get in and out of due to so many cruises going out of there.  But, it's not bad.

 

As far as your booking, I'd recommend 2 cabins if possible.   2 bathrooms make a huge difference and having more space to put luggage and just chill is nice.  My kids are 11, 12, 13, and 17 with my 13 year old having special needs.   The one thing about Ecstasy that I love is it being a small ship.   It was very easy for my kids to get around on their own.  We book cabins that make it easy to get to and from the kid clubs and our next focus is near food options.  Also, when booking, we find sandwiching between cabin decks (usually 6 or 7) helps eliminate noise.  Hope someone can help regarding Liberty, but I do know a cruiser just posted a review of her trip recently. 

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ln my opinion Liberty is an easy choice. It is newer, larger, and has features like the Steakhouse and Skybox Sports Bar that Ecstasy lacks. Also, and this is subjective, I think Liberty is one of Carnival’s nicest decorated ships with all the lights that are constantly changing colors.
 

Port Canaveral is also an easy port to cruise from based on it’s layout and that it never gets very crowded there compared to other ports like Port of Miami. We live in Florida and always drive to ports in the state. We most frequently cruise out of Port Canaveral because it is the easiest port in Florida to get in and out of based on traffic.  

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1 hour ago, happylittlefamily said:

 

We have been on Ecstasy and going on it again next week.  Jacksonville is a super easy port to get in and out of.   We are booked for Liberty in Dec., so can't help yet with that ship, but PC is definitely more difficult to get in and out of due to so many cruises going out of there.  But, it's not bad.

 

As far as your booking, I'd recommend 2 cabins if possible.   2 bathrooms make a huge difference and having more space to put luggage and just chill is nice.  My kids are 11, 12, 13, and 17 with my 13 year old having special needs.   The one thing about Ecstasy that I love is it being a small ship.   It was very easy for my kids to get around on their own.  We book cabins that make it easy to get to and from the kid clubs and our next focus is near food options.  Also, when booking, we find sandwiching between cabin decks (usually 6 or 7) helps eliminate noise.  Hope someone can help regarding Liberty, but I do know a cruiser just posted a review of her trip recently. 

Thank you so much!

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My vote goes to Liberty! We've sailed on her 7 times with #8 coming in November. It's bigger than Ecstacy, newer and more things for the kids to do. We were on her in December when everything was decorated for Christmas, it was beautiful. Cant speak for the suites, but the balcony and Ocean view cabins are much, much better than the Ecstacy/Elation. It would probably be around the same price to do two cabins, say a balcony with an interior across from it, as it would be the suite. We live about an hour from Jacksonville and about 2.5 from Port Canaveral. To me, I'd rather drive to PC. Never had any problems there, most of our cruises have been out of PC. Whichever you choose, you will have a great time!

 

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Keep in mind that it's possible they will not allow five in a cabin on Liberty.  Even if they would allow five in a suite on either ship, it would be two sharing a foldout couch, and a rollaway.  What kind of special needs does your daughter have?  If it is a mobility issue and she needs a wheelchair it would have to fit through the narrow cabin door, and there is a step up into the bathroom.  EM

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I would definitely reach out to a Carnival personal vacation planner to help you with cabins and

then possibly make my decision on either the Ecstasy or the Liberty.  Since there are 5 of you and

the kids are older I would also suggest doing an OV and an Interior across the hall  or even

2 Interiors if you are looking to save some money.  The extra space and extra bathroom will

definitely be something you will enjoy, especially if you have a child with special needs. 

As Bostwick girl said above, you might end up at about the same price with 2 cabins vs a suite.  

 

We were just on the Ecstasy and when we cruise adults only we like the smaller ships but out of

all the ships I've sailed on, the Ecstasy is definitely my least favorite.  I haven't been on the Liberty

but with teens in tow, I would tend to gravitate toward a larger ship - more stuff to do and that helps

keep them busy and happy!  

 

Good luck in whatever you choose and be sure to come back and let us know!

 

Have fun - you'll be hooked just like the rest of us!

 

 

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2 connecting ocean view of balcony staterooms on Liberty would be my choice.

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