Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review by disneyfans: OK, but not one of Carnival's best
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OK, but not one of Carnival's best
We are frequent cruisers and global travelers, including quite a few Carnival cruises in the past, and while this cruise was OK, it was not one of our favorite vacations.
Overall, the ship is in good condition for its age, having been refurbished just a few years ago. Public spaces are generally clean, the pool is fairly large for a ship of this size and there were a good number of deck chairs around the pool area. Cabins were comfortable for 2 - we had a balcony cabin (U223) and the kids had an interior cabin across the hall (U225). This area of the ship was relatively quiet except for mornings around 7am when the crew was preparing dock at the various ports of call. Our cabin steward kept our cabins tidy and well stocked, and he was friendly and helpful.
Food Service...we noticed that dining servers were not very attentive (never refilling water/iced tea, rarely checking if the meal was OK) and it seemed that once the bar server knew our kids had the 'bubbles' More cards for sodas, they disappeared - never asking about soda refills. Service in the 'Good Eats' buffet area was hit-or-miss - sometimes tables were clean and food trays were replenished, but not always. The ice cream machines rarely worked and service at the 24 hour pizza was SLOW (we skipped it because of the long line).
Entertainment was also lacking and not up to par with other cruises we've been on. The main show, Motor City, features a couple of good singers performing old R&B hits, and it was a far cry from the Vegas or Broadway level productions we've seen, even on other Carnival ships. We tried to see their other show, The Brits, but they canceled the show because of monitor malfunctions. And rather than having entertainment for every night, these same 2 shows are recycled several times during the cruise. On a positive note, we think that the cruise director, Chris Roberts, is one of the hardest working cruise ship employees we've ever seen. In addition to the usual director duties, he hosted the Hasbro game show (a cute family entertainment option) and starred in a Blues Brothers tribute for a couple of shows (versatile, but maybe overworked?).
Circle C, kids club for 12-14 year olds - This is another area where we were disappointed. It seemed that they didn't have sufficient age-appropriate activities or sufficient staff to run this club and Club O2 for the older kids, so they were often grouped together for activities. Those of you that are parents of young girls would surely agree that it doesn't make sense to have social activities for kids from 12-17 years old. They have different interests and very different levels of maturity.
One evening, Circle C and Club O2 had a dodge ball competition (so yes, the 17 year old boys were throwing dodge balls at 12-14 year olds)...our daughter got hurt, and the counselor in charge of the event was abrupt and unhelpful. After that, our daughter wanted nothing to do with Circle C!
Finally, debarkation was a bit hectic, but not necessarily Carnival's fault - it seemed that staff at the Port and shuttles providing service to the port didn't know how to handle large crowds. Directions and help were hard to find and shuttles were slow to arrive. In the confusion, we lost one of our bags, and were unable to find capable assistance (or our bag).
On a positive note, our booked excursions (Bahamas Jeep Adventure and Nassau Segway) were fun for the entire family. Also, Little Stirrup Cay is a nice little island, making for a nice beach day.
Overall, it was a value priced cruise, with corresponding service and entertainment...don't expect more than that and you won't be disappointed. Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Ecstasy Balcony Empress U223
U223 nice balcony room for 2, somewhat isolated from ship noises by cabin decks above and below.
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