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kingfish78734

Ecstacy 10/02/06 Sailing Review, VERY Long

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Hi All,

Finally getting time to do my review. Where do I start? At the beginning of course LOL.

 

We planned on leaving about 7:30am from Austin but wound up actually leaving about 8 am. Leisurely drive to Galveston with a few stops on the way and arrived at EZCruise parking at about 12 noon. Took the shuttle to terminal, the lines were shorter than our last cruise and they moved VERY quickly. Through check-in and on the ship by 1:30.

 

I went straight to the casino to look for lanyards (like I've read on this board) but couldn't find any:confused: . Met the others and ate a great mushroom cheeseburger on the Lido along with Corona and then explored the ship. We had two other couples cruising with us and they were first time cruisers, so that really added to our excitement.

 

Got through muster drill (the worst part, I think), although the picture shows us all smiling (don't know how we managed to look happy during drill, but we do).

 

The Ship: Looks like Las Vegas, gaudy and loud, but still beautiful and easy to get around. We did have to go one deck up, aft, and one deck down to get to WindStar dining room, but no big deal.

 

The Cabin: R53, which we requested (had the same room on the Elation) because it's right by the elevators, and slightly forward of midships and low, so not much rocking and rolling. Standard oceanview, but nicer than Elation because the bathrooms have been redone and are all new. GREAT HOT WATER!!! Our room steward, Inkay from the Phillipines, was superb!!! I slipped him $20 when we met him on the first day and you wouldv'e thought we were his long lost parents. He continually thanked me and went out of his way each and every day to find us and see if we needed anything. On the morning we were leaving, I left him a note on the vanity that said "Inkay, you are AWESOME". Just as we were getting on the elevator to leave, here comes Inkay, running around the corner with a HUGE smile on his face, to hug us and thank us. What a great guy!!:)

 

The Casino: Out of all of the casino dealers, 4 stood out: Marcel from the Netherlands, Noralee from Thailand, Petra from Serbia (I think), and Joseph from England. By far, Marcel was the BEST. He was personable, helped you ALOT when you weren't sure how to bet, would ask if "you're sure?" if making a BAD bet and would encourage you when you made a GOOD odds bet but still lost. This guy was GREAT. Even when you lost (I dropped about $700 for the week, but I actually budgeted $1500) you still had a great time when one of these people was the dealer. As for the rest of the dealers, it's like they were on Sominex or someone peed in their cornflakes and you couldn't DRAG a smile out of them. Above all, I had a great time in the casino.

 

The Dining Room (WindStar): The Maitre De' was Ante. We requested early seating but when we got our S&S card it said late seating, so just before muster drill on the first day, I went down to Ante to request our seating be changed if possible. He was very nice and said he would do everything he could and would send a note to our cabin saying yes or no, but, being that the ship was full and we had six of us, that the possibility was very small. Later that night we received the note saying that they could not accomodate our request.....no big deal to us. Well, each and every night upon entering the dining room, Ante apologized profusely to me and each night I told him "It's okay, Ante, really, not a big deal". He's very good at what he does:) . Our headwaitress Jana from Slovenia and assistant Valentina from Bulgaria were awesome. They never batted an eyelash when I (like a hog lol) would order 3 appetizers, 2 soups and 3 entree's. The bar waiter in the dining room, Adi from Sri Lanka, was awesome too. After my first Corona on the first night, he always had one waiting and remembered my S&S number so I didn't have to pull out my card each time.

 

The Food: Excellent. The Filet Mignon, Chateaubriand, Beef Wellington and Prime Rib were done with perfection (medium rare for me). The lobster bisque, strawberry bisque, oyster soup, and pumpkin soup were terrific. The Grand Marnier Souffle' on the last night was absolute HEAVEN. Two complaints: 1)There should be more non-chocolate options on the menu (I detest chocolate and three or four desserts out of five each night have chocolate). 2)The escargot that I was sooo looking forward to on the last night was not good. It was served in this green mealy, gritty paste that had no taste. But, Jana assured me that Carnival is going back to the garlic butter escargot very soon. I can't wait!!! Food in the Promenade Buffet and Lido burgers were also very good. I also had a pastrami sandwich, that was to die for, from next to the pizzaria.

 

The Cruise Director: Rebecca Llewellyn. Not to get too mean, or anything, but she BORED us. Fortunately, this was her last cruise (I know because, at every talk, she would say it over and OVER). She says she is taking time off to rethink her career.(?) Assistant CD Tina was good and is high energy.

 

The Karaoke: The guy (so bad, I didn't even get his name) running the karaoke shows needs to find another position. On the Elation last year, Sally ran the karaoke and the bar was standing room only every night. She created energy and fun. This guy was like watching paint dry. Monotone voice when introducing someone, adjusting things to where either the music was almost non-existent or music was blaring and you couldn't hear the singer. Just terrible. (Sorry, I don't mean to be ugly, but you had to be there to believe just how BAD it was.)

 

The Ports: 1) Progresso....we had heard a little good and ALOT of bad about this place. I can tell you that we had a FANTASTIC time here. We got off the bus, hooked a left and walked two blocks to the beach (all the while drinking $1 Coronitas). All three of us men were offered cocaine(?) (or some white/amber powdery stuff in a little baggie) from this vendor selling shirts on the sidewalk that runs along the beach, which we DECLINED, btw, and weren't bothered again. Corona Beach was very crowded and noisy so, after our wives got their hair braided, we decided to walk down the beach, as there are palapas all along there. As we were passing one place, these two waiters come running across the street and asked us to sit under these particular palapas on the beach and they would bring us menus. WHAT A FIND!!! The name of the place is Lafitte's Seafood House (it's in my pics). We had Dos Equis and Sol and Negro Modello and Superior beer and the BEST Shrimp and Octopus Ceviche I've ever had. These guys were running back and forth across the street to the beach for something like five hours serving us. The bill for my wife and me was $14......amazing!!! I've read some people say they HATED Progresso and that it's dirty and the beach is ugly and the people pushy and annoying. I could not disagree more. The beach, while it's not the Bahamas, is still beautiful. The people could not have been more friendly, courteous, and hardworking. Yes, they're poor, but I've been to far worse places, such as the Dominican Republic, the Phillipines and eastern Kentucky, so I've SEEN poor. Don't let anyone keep you away from Progresso, it's wonderful. We've even started looking at real estate online. Oh, I also bought two handmade hammocks in the open-air market for $15 each (Online they're $80 to $125). Great deals in the market if you like haggling. At about 2pm we walked back to the bus to get back on the ship by 3, but just inside where the bus drops you off at the pier, there is another little palapa bar. We still had 45 minutes so we decided to have another beer (just FYI, none of us were "drunk" yet"). We sat down and were the only ones there, and then Patty, the one in black top and shorts (Larry's wife) made a deal with this beer seller. She started hawking beer and inviting arriving busloads of people to come and sit down. For every 5 beers that Patty would sell, the guy gave her 1 beer free. Pretty soon the bar was full, our wives and some other ladies were dancing on the bar, and all three of us husbands were drinking FREE BEER!!! Music was playing, people were dancing and we had a BLAST!!! (P.S.: I'm the one in the cowboy hat and Fredda, my wife is wearing green shorts.)

2) Cozumel...another GREAT time. We tendered in, which wasn't bad at all, and walked down the pier to where all the taxis wait. I had been REALLY practicing a couple of Spanish phrases and asked a driver in Spanish "How much to take us to the Reef Club"? I was pretty proud of myself and was prepared to try to understand his (Spanish) reply, when much to my surprise and chagrin, he says "26 dollars for all six of you" in the most perfect, unaccented TV reporter voice you've ever heard!!!! Everyone laughed at me (including me LOL). The Reef Club was awesome and cost us $40 a person, which included all you could eat and drink and all of the non-motorized stuff and snorkeling gear. I don't usually drink foo-foo drinks but my wife asked me to try a Banana Mama and it was delicious (I had the bartender, Marcos, add more rum) so it didn't taste so foo-foo after that, hehe. The garlic butter grilled fish was terrific. After snorkeling, the ladies doing numerous shots, all of us laying out on the beach and stuffing ourselves, it was well worth the $40. I would recommend the Reef Club to all but the MOST serious snorkeler. (Snorkeling wasn't bad, we did see alot of fish, but probably more action at Palancar or somewhere only a boat can take you). Trip back was uneventful, and I got a couple of good pics of Ecstacy from the pier and the tender. Great Day!!

 

Debarkation: We did not do "self-assist" so we put our bags outside our door at about 8pm. Ship docked at 8am in Galveston. Got off the ship at 9:30, no problems with customs and the lines moved VERY quickly. Got on EZCruise shuttle at 10:15 or so and discovered (as we were driving up to the lot) that my hubcaps had been stolen. Much headache (I started a thread called "Stolen Hubcaps" in the Gulf Coast Departures section about this), but now all is well between me and EZCruise.

 

Summary: We had a WONDERFUL time and hope to cruise again, maybe on Conquest, in April.

 

(I warned you this was LOOOOONG :) )

 

 

Click on this picture for pics:

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That is a good solid review...

I agree those 4 dealers are tops....Petra from Serbia is she the Blond/Brunett with short hair and Colbalt blue eyes... if so she was fun !!!!

 

 

John

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Hi John and thanks.

 

Petra (again I THINK, from Serbia but not sure. I know it's one of the former Eastern Bloc countries) was awesome. She now has (dyed I think) auburn hair.

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I was on the Ecstasy the week for before you and parked at EZ cruise....my hubcaps are intact, but I think they are bolted on. Sorry to hear about that, did they do anything for you?? Isn't it an insured lot?? Just curious, I have used them 3 times without incident but it makes me wonder if they are really "secure" - especially lot 2 which I had never had to park in before. Glad you had a good trip, we really had a great time as well. Unfortunately we didn't have as much fun as you in Progreso, we picked the Progreso Beach Break and it is a dud!!

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I was on the Ecstasy the week for before you and parked at EZ cruise....my hubcaps are intact, but I think they are bolted on. Sorry to hear about that, did they do anything for you?? Isn't it an insured lot?? Just curious, I have used them 3 times without incident but it makes me wonder if they are really "secure" - especially lot 2 which I had never had to park in before. Glad you had a good trip, we really had a great time as well. Unfortunately we didn't have as much fun as you in Progreso, we picked the Progreso Beach Break and it is a dud!!

 

Yes, after many posts, Cindy, the owner, called me and agreed to pay for my hubcaps. She also refunded my $35 I paid to park there (I didn't even ask her for a refund, only for replacing the hubcaps).

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Yes, after many posts, Cindy, the owner, called me and agreed to pay for my hubcaps. She also refunded my $35 I paid to park there (I didn't even ask her for a refund, only for replacing the hubcaps).

 

Kingfish...thank you for posting a review....we sail in Jan and so GLAD to hear EZ parking is going to refund you the money for your hubcaps! According to an email I received from Cindy they are or have hired a security guard as well.

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My husband and son work at ezcrusie and Cindy is a fair person and I am glad to here you were reimbursed for your troubles. Please park there again if you cruise from galveston.

 

 

 

 

Yes, after many posts, Cindy, the owner, called me and agreed to pay for my hubcaps. She also refunded my $35 I paid to park there (I didn't even ask her for a refund, only for replacing the hubcaps).

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