Sailed Ecstasy Feb 9th to the 13. Cruised with our young kids, 2yrs and the other 8 months. booked two adjoining cabins just for the space, with the price being very minimal for the extra cabin seeing as though it was an interior cabin.
This ship didn't seem to have very many balconies anyway and a port hole is not exactly what I want to be looking out of. I would rather be up on deck watching.
The programs for the kids is phenomenal. You can leave them there all day if you wish, or if they wish. We sent my daughter and she had a great time. The staff is super friendly and there are plenty of toys and activities to participate in.
The water park area has strict rules on heights, the mini slide you MUST be 36", the other slides you MUST be 42", the water was very cold, and with the weather not being the greatest it made for a chilly experience.
The main pool, the one and only pool, was salt water, real salt water like the ocean, was also very cold, my daughter didn't go in, for 2000 passengers being on board, my wife and I may have seen 50 people use the pool, get right in that is, while we spent most of the day around it.
There were a lot of people taking part in the bar service around the pool, drinks were $7+ and beer was on average just over $5.
The mini golf deck was closed for a large portion of the "bonus" sea day due to high winds, I will explain further the "bonus" sea day later.
The food was fantastic, I am not sure how people can complain about the food, I have sailed with Princess and Royal, and the food in the restaurant was on par with both.
The lineups were large, but with kids we ate at off peak times, due to their early morning wake ups. Breakfast had the standard fare, eggs bacon ham toast cereal milk (skim, 2%, chocolate) bagels, fruit. coffee, decaf and tea, o.j. lemonade were also available.
lunch you could get pizza, panini's, which were excellent, and the buffet had a carving station, with a different choice of salads, and breads and cheeses.
We ate dinner at 6 in the dining room, and there was a daily menu as well as an everyday menu. lots of different choices, chicken steak pork, and one night lobster was a choice. the guy beside us I think ate 5. My daughter loved the soups and my wife loved the chocolate melting cake for dessert.
We didn't attend any shows because of the late start times or the conflict with our early dinner, but people we talked to said they enjoyed them.
There are plenty of bars on board an the public spaces were clean and newly refurbished. The casino was packed every night with table minimums at $5.
The weather was lousy so we were unable to visit Freeport, which they turned into a "bonus" sea day, it took them a while to put together a plan, which both my wife and I thought was weird. We figured it couldn't have been the first time they missed a port and they would just have a plan B ready to go, especially a company the size of Carnival. The ship was really rocking all day so you didn't see to many people up on deck, and the winds were really high closing the higher decks.
Nassau was nothing special if you shopped like we did, prices were on par with our jewelers at home. We were looking for a 5 year anniversary band and the price was within $50.
After visiting most of the islands on other cruises Nassau blends in with the rest of the ports. The only nice thing is you can get off and look at the other ships and see a town grow by 15,000 people for 6 hours.
All and all the beds were comfortable the shower was bigger then other ships we had been on, and the staff was friendly. For the price we paid we couldn't complain, we feel that we are better suited to Princess ships, due to the warmer fresh water pools and the timing of shows and layouts of their ships.
We may sail carnival again when the kids are bigger and are able to use the water play scapes.
Almost forgot to mention we parked at the port, $75 but so easy to embark and disembark this way, rather then shuttle from hotel with all your suitcases. For the extra little dough it was worth the lack of hassle.