Hubby treated me to a birthday cruise which was awesome! We've sailed with Carnival many times but this was our first sailing on the Ecstacy. One of my husband's best friends came with us and it was his first time cruising. (He had a blast!) We live in south FL, so we always arrival at the port early. We arrived around 10:30 which was a tad bit earlier than usual for us, but the traffic was pretty good for once. We got checked in pretty quickly and waited to board about 20 minutes. They boarded in groups which made it much less hectic and went very smooth. Once on board, we ate on the Lido deck. Food is always good to us on the ships but we were a bit disappointed that this ship hadn't been upgraded yet. I knew this before booking but forgot lol Anyway, our room was ready at 1 as promised. Our room steward was great! Didn't see him much but he took very good care of us. The ship is vey clean and well maintained. I read prior reviews complaining of the outdated décor but I didn't notice anything bad to be honest. I thought it was beautifully decorated and the crew always kept everything clean. Entertainment was good as well. I don't usually go to the live shows but I did happen to see the Motown show (I think that's the name) and it was awesome!!! The costumes and singers were excellent! One night, they actually brought the show out into the atrium area and it could be watched on all levels. I loved it! The comedians were hilarious as well! We usually only go to the adult only shows since we cruise without our kids. We only ate in the main dining room on formal night and the food was pretty good, no complaints. This particular sailing had us in port overnight which was really great because we didn't feel rushed at all. We slept in until almost 12 and then went into Nassau and spent the day at Cabbage beach. We boarded around 5, ate, took a nap and then got back off the ship to check out the local nightlife. Very fun! There's so many places to go to, we had a hard time picking so we stopped at 3 or 4 and then boarded again around 1am and hit the club on board. We are night owls so we stay up pretty late each night while cruising :)
Overall, we enjoyed the ship and everything offered. It was perfect for a weekend getaway to celebrate my birthday. We love Carnival!