Life on a Carnival Cruise Ship
Last week we went on our first cruise to the Bahamas. We always shied away from cruising, opting for vacationing and exploring new places at our pace. But with an active 5 year old who gets bored pretty easy, roaming through a new city and finding new restaurants isn’t exactly his idea of fun. So to take a break from the usual theme parks and camping, we decided to take a cruise with Carnival to the Bahamas.
I never realized how much fun activities there were for kids on a cruise. Right after we boarded and had lunch, my son spotted the water slides and that’s where we stayed as we left port and for the next few hours. We raced down the slides, trying different ways to go as fast as possible. It was so much fun, especially because the lines were so short!
Carnival also has Camp Carnival, just for little kids. The play area is filled with all sorts of games and the staff are incredibly friendly and love interacting with the kids. My son was begging to get away from us and go to Camp Carnival everyday, especially after they gave him this cute pirate mask! And guess what, the camp is open till 10pm for free! So mom and Dad can have some quality time while the kiddos play! And if you running late, or even really late, Night Owls, Carnivals after hours kid’s camp, runs to 3am and is available for just $6.75 an hour.
Most of Carnival is for families, but they also have a few things just for adults to like the peaceful serenity deck, no kids allowed. There’s also a casino, which my son mistook for the most beautiful big arcade he’d ever seen. Oh and did I mention the food! Oh my gosh, it’s everywhere, all the time. My favorite was the desserts. They are all made from scratch on the ship and change everyday. I couldn’t help but try every piece of cake, pie and other sweet I could find.
These sweets were my favorite, the cake is a chocolate cookie cake, and the mouse is an espresso mouse. Both were just out of this world.
There’s lots of shows, and they’re okay. But on the last day there was a High School dance team that preformed, and they were so incredible. There was one dancer who only had one leg and one arm, and she was amazing! The most beautiful graceful young woman I’ve ever seen. She literally brought tears to my eyes.
Our room was nice, cozy and very clean too. We had a balcony room off the back of the ship. We were able to enjoy the most gorgeous views like the one above every evening.
And the water, wow, it was so clear and beautiful. I go this shot from our balcony too.
We had a blast on the ship and loved exploring in the ports. My son got to pet dolphins in Freeport, learn about sharks in Nassau and explore the beautiful island of Little Stirrup Cay. (I’ll share more of those photos tomorrow.)
Among all the excursions we did though, I’d say that the Chef’s table was the most impressive. (Carnival’s chef’s table is only available on the smaller ships; the larger ships have chef’s steak restaurants) We got to hang out with the chef, along with 4 other couples, three of them newlyweds, for the entire evening. We dined and chatted and had pretty much I’d say the best fancy dinner I think I’ve ever had.
We started off with a tour of the galley. There was unlimited champagne and wine. We tasted Parmesan Core and Olive; Chorizo, Dates and Piquillo Sofrito; Focaccia, Mascarpone Cream and Prosciutto Crudo; and Langoustine and Sundried Tomato Jam Fritters.
We also learned how to make Carnival’s most popular dessert, the warm chocolate melting cake by the pastry chef. Next we made our way to the library for an intimate dinner. There were 7 courses of perfection:
- Tomatoes Our Way – aerated tomato juice, cocoa butter coated, charddonay poached
- Tuna Banh Mi – Lemon Bread, Sesame Crisp, Miso Cream Avocado gel
- Cornish Hen – Caramelized, Butternut Squash, Sofrito
- Bavarois – Spinach, green peas, warm turnip and apple juice
- Salmon – herb pesto, cured tomatoes, carrots, fava, mushroom earth and condensed beets
- Wagyu – slow stewed short ribs, potato pebbles, pumpkin fudge , tomato dust
- Chocolate “88F” – aerated pistachio and mango cake with Mascarpone Cream, Guava and Caramel Praline
The weather was absolutely perfect for our trip. We didn’t run onto rain until the last day, but with sun and rain, comes rainbows! And while the weather was dreary outside, we explored the ship even more.
We had a great time on the Ecstasy. Even though it’s one of the oldest and one of the smaller ships in the Carnival fleet, it was still amazing. The ship is small enough you can easily get from the stern to the bow in a matter of a few minutes. Your steward, dining room waitstaff, guest service person, and everyone else you come in contact with will know your name by day 2. You’ll also be able to make friends with people from all over since so many people come to central Florida to cruise with Carnival.
All pictures were taken with my iPhone.
Thanks to Carnival for having us for the week! The cruise tickets were complimentary, but we picked up the tab for all the extras. All opinions 100% mine.