We just completed a five day cruise to the Bahamas on the Ecstasy and were pleasantly surprised by most of what we experienced. Over the last few years we've cruised with HAL, but, as past cruisers and Florida residents, Carnival made us great offer on a "last minute" booking.
- Considering the ship was built in 1991, it was in incredibly good shape! Everything was neat with very minimal signs of wear. This ship compares very favorably to any of the HAL vessels we've been on over the last few years
- The open dining was very efficient the food was hot and there was a good variety on the menu. We had the pleasure of meeting one of the hostesses, Maja, who went well above and beyond to make the experience pleasant.
- We had an inside cabin on the Veranda deck that was well maintained and had reasonable space.
- The ship was always cold. This was a January cruise and the outside temps were in the 70s and low 80s. Inside the ship everyone was wearing jackets/sweatshirts.
- The Gold/Platinum/Diamond (returning cruisers) was held at a time that overlapped the early dining shift. This should probably have been held during the day on an at sea day.
- The evening performances were much too loud and repetitive. One performace was repeated on three nights of the five night cruise.
- The public address system could not be understood in many of the outside areas of the ship.
- There were no announcements of arrival in port, when you could exit the ship, and the deadline for returning to port.
- The open dining could use some sort of reservation system. Most evenings the line of people waiting for open seating stretched around the atrium.
Overall, we'd recommend this cruise and ship, particularly on a short lead-time basis -- but bring a jacket for onboard.