Tag-Archive for » Carnival Ecstasy «

Dental Advice For Cruise Passengers

 Last week was time for the nine-month dental check-up. The dentist is an engaging guy, lots of times funny and always producing at least one clever observation.

This time, it was about cruising.

“So you’re going on a cruise?” he said. “I went on a cruise once and I wasn’t worried about putting on weight. You know what the experts say?”

With a high-speed drill doing whatever high-speed drills do, response was impossible.

“They say — and ‘they’ are the experts in gaining weight — that’s it’s physiologically impossible to add more than two pounds in one week. It’s also physiologically impossible to lose more than two pounds in one week. Physiologically impossible!”

We’d heard his reasoning before and in the interim nothing had happened to us on a one-week cruise to refute his contention. In other words, weight gain for a week was two pounds, or less.

So as many avid cruisers prepare for an escape this winter, remember what our dentist says and don’t take any guilt into the dining room or buffet.

Who’s going to argue?

With dental fingers and tools in your mouth, who can?

In the news…

• Regent pouring $125 million into refurbishing Mariner, Navigator, Voyager
• Baby boy born three weeks early on board Cunard’s Queen Mary 2
• MSC  latest cruise line to skip ports in Turkey — indefinitely

Today at portsandbows.com: New treats from Holland America

Carnival Ecstasy
4 nights
Feb.1, 2016
Miami (return): Key West, Cozumel
Oceanview: $279
Cost per day: $69

Friday File: Favorite Faces

You meet lots and lots of nice people who work on cruise ships and often we — like you — take photos of them. Almost all of the captains we’ve met have been warm, interesting individuals and often that’s reflected in their staffs. Today we’re introducing you to some of the nicest crew members we’ve met, no matter their position, and you may notice they are all men. That’s because earlier in our Friday Files we did a spread on the nicest female crew members we’ve encountered. Men, after all, do deserve equal billing…


Saravan Krishnan, who is from Mumbai, was an outstanding sommelier on the Celebrity Millennium and now has a similar position on Qatar Air, a job that keeps him closer to his young family.

2-RC-Dr. Mejia

We’ll always have a soft spot for Dr. Ricardo Mejia from Cartagena, Colombia, as much for his personable nature and caring as for his expertise when one of us was sick on Allure of the Seas.


Eduardo Angulo Solis was planning to leave the Crown Princess as a sommelier to start his own wine tourism business where grapes are a staple, Chile, and calls it Wines and Barrels.

4-RC-Saul Lance

Room stewards are all over the map, and from all over the map, and the engaging Saul Lance came to Royal Caribbean from St. Vincent and he brought the perfect personality with him.


Not our favorite picture (bad camera) but Dollerage Soares — now retired from cruising in Mumbai — is right at the top of our favorite dining-room waiters, and we’ve had many of them.


Okan Bilir is from Turkey and was maitre d’ at Celebrity’s specialty restaurant The Olympic, and he wanted us to visit him in his country, which years later is in the midst of turmoil and terrorism.


We’ve always had an affinity for people of Italian heritage and Maitre d’Hotel Giorgio Pisano, who took us on a Princess kitchen tour, became the latest to join our list of friendly Italians.

In the news…

• Happy Black Friday!

Today at portsandbows.comSports and recreation on Harmony of the Seas

Carnival Ecstasy
4 nights
January 11, 2016
Miami (return): Key West, Cozumel
Inside: $189
Cost per day: $47

Carnival Commits to Mobile

Carnival was first celebrated in Mobile 312 years ago, before there were cruise ships bearing the name. There is a Carnival season in the Alabama seaport, the state’s third-largest city. It starts in November and runs through February or sometimes March, depend on the date of Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

Carnival arrived early this year.

It started yesterday, which on our calendar is still September. It arrived in the form of a cruise ship, or the promise of one, namely the Carnival Fantasy. This, however, is not a fantasy. The ship will be in Mobile next November…yes, about the time the other Carnival season begins. It will stay for a year, at least. It will take cruisers on 4-and-5-day trips to Mexico…to Cozumel, to Costa Maya, to Progreso.

While it’s a one-year commitment by the cruise line, there are two one-year options. All of this is significant because Mobile has been without a cruise ship of any kind since 2011. FantasyThe last one there was the Carnival Triumph, and an ill-fated return from the Mexican Caribbean that made more headlines than this news will.

But that’s another story. Bad news is big news.

Before arriving in Mobile, the Fantasy will undergo a facelift. In nautical terms, they call this a refurbishing, one that will include Carnival’s FunShip 2.0 upgrade. This ship, which has been working out of Charleston, is 25 years old. That’s probably 75 in people years. Facelifts, as people of that vintage in Hollywood can attest, can be expensive.

When she gets to Mobile, she’ll be treated like a new ship. Of the 2,056 passengers she hopes to ferry to Mexico twice every week and a half, there will be some who aren’t Alabamans. In a city of under 200,000 people, drawing from the surrounding area is a prerequisite for being a homeport.

On a list of ocean cruise ports, you’ll find the names of Bar Harbor and Cadiz and Tortola and Oranjestad. But no Mobile.

That’s about to change.

In the news…

• Regal Princess largest cruise ship ever to visit St. John's, Newfoundland
• Marco Polo, formerly the Alexander Pushkin, back in Quebec after 50 years

Today at portsandbows.com: MSC Divina back to Miami to stay

Carnival Ecstasy
4 nights
November 30, 2015
Miami (return): Key West, Cozumel
Inside: $169
Cost per day: $42

Friday File: All Cruisers On Deck

In case you think a pool deck is a pool deck is a pool deck…well, it’s not true. Cruise aficionados who spend a lot of time soaking up the rays or jumping into pools large and small — or both — believe part of the appeal of a cruise ship is its pool deck. While we’re neither sun worshippers nor avid swimmers, we always take pictures of the pool deck because, well, we never know when we’ll need them for a day like today…


This was when Allure of the Seas was showing its pool deck to North Americans for the first time, in Fort Lauderdale.


You’d probably never use “Italian” to describe this rather modest pool area, but it’s the Costa Diadema and very Italian.

Epic pool

“Unique” has always applied to the Norwegian Epic, and you won’t likely see this kind of artwork in another cruise deck pool.

AmaDara pool deck

On river ships, the pool area is usually secondary and frequently unpopulated, as it usually is on AmaWaterways’ new AmaDara.


“Busy” is always a good descriptor for a Carnival ship’s pool deck, and that was certainly the case on the Carnival Ecstasy.


A “peaceful” area on the Celebrity Reflection enhanced by huge artwork on the walls of a ship know for its artistic impressions.

On the Oceania Riviera, the upper deck is tasteful and understated, with a pool meant for dipping more than swimming.

In the news…

• Mobile, Alabama negotiating to be Carnival homeport for first time since 2011
• Amber Cove port on schedule to open October 6 in Dominican Republic
• Danube, Elbe low water levels still a challenge for river cruisers in Europe

Today at portsandbows.com: Bermuda more popular with Carnival

Carnival Sensation
4 nights
November 1, 2015
Port Canaveral (return): Freeport, Nassau
Inside: $229
Cost per day: $57

Friday File: Always Five O’clock On Ships

We have no problems with spending time at bars on cruise ships — it’s just something we’ve never done a lot. So today’s glimpse of some of the facades and ways that cruise lines try to encourage passengers to visit their “neighborhood” bar, or one of them, is hardly the work of experts. It’s just some of the bars that we thought looked interesting, for any of a number of reasons…

Allure-moving bar

The Rising Tide on Allure of the Seas is an elevator of sorts, moving three floors up and down at one end of the ship’s promenade.

Epic - OSheehans

On the Norwegian Epic, there’s an Ice Bar that’s very cool but we found O’Sheehan’s more comfortable in more ways than one.

Carnival Ecstasy

This could be any bar but it happens to be an eagle’s nest view of a bar on the Carnival Ecstasy — it shall be nameless here.


Then there's just a bar that looks nice, and classy…which is what Oceania tries to do on all its ships, in this case the tasteful Riviera.

Cruise ship Celebrity Reflection

On the Celebrity Reflection, the innovative Molecular Bar is where you “participate in Mixology 101” and learn new concoctions.


If you’re into bar conversation, it’s minimal from Quantum of the Seas robots, who needn’t worry about translation with their ship now in Asia.

Carnival Freedom

Carnival’s signature places to imbibe, here on the Freedom, and on some ships there’s a pub, a bar and beer with the RedFrog brand.

In the news…

• Holland America, Dancing With Stars to split after January 10 cruise
• No more fireworks shows on Norwegian ships Breakaway, Getaway
• Crystal Cruises owner considering buying into Lloyd Werft Shipyard

Today at portsandbows.com: New port on the River Thames in London

Caribbean Princess
7 nights
November 15, 2015
Houston (return): Cozumel, Roatan, Belize
Inside: $469
Cost per day: $67

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