Im surprised that you found the food of poor quality along with the service, I went on this same ship (ecstacy) for five days in October sailing from Galveston, TX....While our cruise unfortunately had no poker room set-up, they did have one electronic table which was really hard to get a game on, and I hated the thing really. I was so bummed there was not a single poker table. When a game did get going I ran really bad/played really bad and just overall hated playing on that machine, so I preferred throwing my money away at the roulette wheel in the end....Anyways, I thought the food (atleast in the main dining room for dinner) was really good, and the service was excellent all around, in fact, I had absolutely zero complaints or problems with the service or food at any time, I was actually pretty impressed.
The ship itself however, was a bit dated looking, and the decor was pretty ugly, and the room we had was tiny, yet cleaned thoroughly everyday and the guys assigned to our room would bring us anything we wanted every day and were real friendly. The entire staff consists of people from all over the world and they were really pleasant people I thought, really couldnt say any bad things about the service.
Just found it interesting that they can possibly vary like that from one cruise to the next, because there is no way I could see anyone saying the food we had was bad or of poor quality, so it must vary from trip to trip or something....everyone was mostly really happy with the food and I gained 10 pounds to prove it
I had actually heard that the ship lines were known to be a 'party' type cruise and somewhat low rent, catering to young party go'ers etc. and they were trying to 'up' their image and appear more luxurious, and offer nicer cruises...atleast this is what some cruise veterans we met who go on them alot stated, however they rated the cruise we were on as pretty average as compared to some of the really nice ones, so this being my first cruise I dont have much to go on....
Also, I went with a buddy who won the cruise through his office, so perhaps the fact that my room and board on this thing was free might have swayed my opinion a little since I felt so lucky to be on there for nothing, but in the end I spent quite alot on the cruise in the form of booze/gambling/touristing in the port towns that it really didnt feel very free at all in the end.