Twenty three friends took advantage of a Carnival super sale as we all live in Florida and are able to do last minute cruises. The reviews have been mixed so I had low expectations, focusing on just having a good time with friends. The ship is clean, clean, clean! I have never seen as much cleaning going on at all times as on the Ectasy.
Meals - None of us are "gourmets" and just enjoy "regular" food, which there is plenty of. I read of complaints of the same thing at the Lido for breakfast and lunch, really, there was enough variety to keep all of us happy and full each day. You could have gone to the dining room for Eggs Benedict, etc. but we prefer a more casual atmosphere during the day and save the dining room for dinner. Speaking of which, I had the BEST lobster ever on formal night, and that's from a born and bred New Englander!!! The cappachino pie is to die for and, of course, the chocolate melting cake (with double vanilla ice cream)can't be missed. I only had the chateaubriand for beef and it melted in my mouth. All fish dishes were good, especially the salmon. The waitstaff were more than attentive and pleasant, went out of their way to please us.
Cabin - Our cabin size was more than adequate. We had an outside oceanview room on deck 5 at the very back of the boat. Plenty of closet space, shower was great! No fridge. The view was wonderful and the cabin steward kept the room immaculate at all times.
Ship Areas -We spent time at the adults only Serenity Area and always found a lounger and towels. The library is opened all day but the librarian is only available 2 hours a day to pick up or drop off a book. The book selection is limited but adequate.
Shows - "Motown" and "The Brits" were both worth seeing. They are not Broadway quality shows but are fun!! The cast all have great voices, are good dancers and get the audience involved. Our group thought the "family friendly' show was lame and the "adult comedy" too raw. we saw the innagural showing of "Hasbro-The Game" one night. It is geared towards kids, kind of like Nickelodeon. would have been better done on a sea day in the afternoon for all the kids.
Karaoke - This was a blast! Some of our group were there every night and thought it was the best thing on the ship.
Negatives, just a couple - First two days found areas on the ship that had an unpleasant, sewer type odor. Gone after 2 days. We are big trivia players and thought the trivia games were too rushed, staff member had thick accent and was hard to understand.
Ship is 21 years old, is dated in some ways but is being well cared for. Does not have all the bells and whistles of the newer ships but the lower prices reflect it. We all think we got a great mini vacation for an awesome price and have come off the ship with great memories.
Vendors, vendors, vendors. Walked around, right back on ship. Would probably take a bus ride around island if I ever come back.
Fifth time here - Half Moon Cay was the port highlight for all of us. We brought snorkel gear and had a great time. The bbq lunch the ship provided was perhaps our least favorite meal but, having said that, they had to lug all the food from the ship and feed 2,000 people outside. The lunch did not detract from the day. Renting a clamshell ($20)to cover your 2 lounge chairs is a must as it is VERY hot.
Went to see Atlantis. Interesting, overpriced. Not a place I need to go back to.