1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Port: Charleston- My mom is handicap with a placard. So we got free parking, otherwise it is $20 a day. Crew members directed us to where you give your checked luggage. Then they directed us to the handicap parking where a shutte was ... Read More
Port: Charleston- My mom is handicap with a placard. So we got free parking, otherwise it is $20 a day. Crew members directed us to where you give your checked luggage. Then they directed us to the handicap parking where a shutte was waiting for us. You will take your carry on on this bus. They drove us to the front. SECURITY: We brought a 12 pk of soda each that we bungee cord to our carry on. You will be asked to remove it for the xray belt along with lap top. You will also need to have your boarding pass, id, and birth certificate handy. They told us our room wasn’t ready until 1:30. We just got on the boat and went to eat. Carry ons and all. CABIN- The cabin was great. If you are traveling with child, I would strongly recommend you get the pull out bed under the bed. The bundle bed above takes up too much room. The bathroom on the other hand smelled like sewage the hold time. In our cabin, we had two plug ins and a hair dryer. We brought a plug in adapter that had three plug ins and two usb ports. Worked perfect. The steward brought us a bucket of ice for our can drinks constantly. No fridge. We also prepaid water which was waiting in our room. We used those for walking around on port. PRINCESS CAY: This is where you take the ferry over to shore. 8-5 ... You will have to get a ticket and wait to be called. However, we ate breakfast at 8am and by the time we were done, you no longer had to get a ticket. The mad rush was gone and you just hopped on the ferry. They went back and forth every 15 to 20 minutes. NASSAU: Same thing but no ferry.... just a long walk to the shore. Strongly suggest to just get the free shuttle that will take you to the front door and you will be picked up where you were dropped off. FREE but tips are encouraged. If you are going to Atlantis or the beach, take a cab..$4 a person. They will drop you off at the front door or right at the beach. DO NOT TAKE THE FERRY!! It is the same price but the drop off is about 2 miles from Atlantis and the beach. You will be walking those miles or taking a cab to your destination. Stick with cabs. DISEMBARKMENT: We ate breakfast at 8am, mad rush was gone. We got right off the boat until we reached the location to pick up our bags. Long line to go through customs. However, I strongly suggest getting a porter to help you with your luggage. They have their own lane to go through which is shorter. They are FREE but tips are encouraged. They take you to the shuttle and load your bags for you. If you are being picked up, they take you there also. SHIP: This ship needs to be renovated. It’s very old. We enjoyed it though. They could do a lot better with the dining room food. 5 day cruise it was a $20 charge for lobster. Crazy! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
My group of 13 in 4 cars all parked at the port and arrived about 11:30am. There was a small line that moved pretty smoothly. The lot is not covered like other ports. It was not very easy to navigate as the lines painted on the pavement ... Read More
My group of 13 in 4 cars all parked at the port and arrived about 11:30am. There was a small line that moved pretty smoothly. The lot is not covered like other ports. It was not very easy to navigate as the lines painted on the pavement don't match up with the cones they have laid out and other cruisers cant seem to figure out where they should be. However, they had enough people out directing traffic and getting people back in proper lines that this wasn't a big issue. The shuttle from parking lot to embarkation lines were friendly, clean, and fast. Embarkation was about as fast as other ports we have used (New Orleans, San Juan). The lines before security were squeezed in tight, not very friendly for anyone carrying anything. Our stroller (small umbrella) and small carry-ons struggled through the poles. Other passengers with just carry on or twelve pack were struggling as well. They just have the space much to narrow. Check-in was smooth, except they placed one of our rooms on the wrong floor than promised. They also dissmissed this because it they didn't considerate it a problem. However, it was a huge hassle. We booked to all be on the same floor for easier communication and meeting up, but having one room on another floor was a headache. The texting feature on the app doesn't work, so there is not a convenient way to communicate. Our cabins were clean as expected. Our two year old still sleeps in a crib at home, but they won't assign on for 2+. Our steward got a supervisor to approve one for ours!! Saved our sanity!! We pushed the double bed against the wall with the window and had lots of room for the crib and stroller. (Extra tip for the hard to make bed lol) We did have a problem with a sink, but it was fixed within an hour. The ship was pretty clean and seemed well maintained. Nothing stood out as horrible or fantastic as far as decor goes. Our first night in the dining room was pretty horrible. Our drinks ordered the first few minutes of being seated didnt arrive until midway through our main course. It also took much longer than usual for anything. After that night we were seated in a different section and returned there every night after. No problems after being moved to a different area with a different wait staff. The food was good, but drinks take forever. We started taking one with us, ordering one when seated, and found that to be better for us. Our 2 year is mostly potty trained, but we like to use a swim diaper for accidents (just incase). We were worried that traveling may mess up his potty routine and not be able to swim or use the water slide area, but there were atleast 6 kids with swim diapers at any moment in the slide area. (He ended up being fine and did well with potty and traveling! We took a foldable potty seat that we used before cruise just so he had something he was already using.) The slides were all three kids favorite part! Ages 2-6. They did like the shows, but got so tired it was hard for them to stay up for some of them. Only the 2 year old went to the camp ocean. They were having a bubble party and he loved it, kept asking to go play!! We are home and he still wants to go to camp ocean. The other children didn't go only because of parental choice. The rocking on the ship was much rougher than our other sailings in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Sailing in the Atlantic we got a real experience of sea sickness. Take meds even if you havent gotten sick on previous trips! Ports: Princess cays: Nice beach, but it does have somewhat rocky/rough shore line. Water shoes are a must!! The kids and babies can still play in the sand, but getting into and out of water is a bit hard. If you want a shaded seat rent a clam shell for $30 on shore or get one in a package. Bubbles and Cheers dont work on this, even though you use your sail and sign for almost everything. There are plenty of seats in the sun, plenty of beach, and plenty of places to play. There is a playground and kiddy pool. Showers to rinse off. Floats and things to rent. Look into the packages to save some bucks before this port. The buffet was not good. There are four lines, but people tend to just form into the first line. Dont be afraid to jump into a shorter line. All the lines going into the same building are on the same side and serve the same food. Served some salsa/chips, salad sides, hot dogs, hamburgers, jerk chicken, rice, beans, water, lemonade, cookies, and browies. The salsa and chips were the best thing they had. Half of our burgers were undercooked, the chicken was mostly bone, rice and beans were very dry. Would have preferred to pay for fast food or just sandwich boxes. Overall we did like this port. We didn't have a big expense for excursions, so that was a nice plus. The beach was nice and the water was clean! Nassau was ok. We had a private boat excursion lined up because we couldn't find anything for our group with a 2 year old. Due to an early morning thunderstorm, ours was cancelled. We ended up just walking around and shopping. There are a lot of vendors trying to sell you something. We were told that its not safe to go out with out a carnival exscursion, but I had read reviews before we left and figured they were just trying to sell us an excursion. We had no trouble walking around close to the port and shopping. We didnt go far because the heat was horrible. I think we would have prefered to do something else if we could go back. The Suess breakfast was a nice experience for the older kids. They loved seeing stories come to life and get pics with characters. The toddler didn't care. The adults didn't care for the special dishes, but the staff was happy to get regular dishes too, just ask! The staff here was above and beyond amazing!! For only $5 a person, we felt pretty pampered for a breakfast. The line to enter could have been a little more organized, but the actual event was great! If you have kids, give this a shot- especially on this ship!! Disembarkation was a nightmare. This was our 3rd carnival cruise and by far the worst getting off the ship. We went to the disembarkation show and read what was suppose to happen. Charleston requires Carnival to do a silent disembarkation, which would have been nice. However, nothing was done how they said it would be done. Self carry off was suppose to go by floor and have the forward elevators locked in for the currently called floor. This was not the case. We waited over 20 minutes during our "priority" elevator time and EVERY ONE PASSED OUR FLOOR. The employee standing at the bay was telling everyone that they had to use the stairs and the elevators were only for the top floors. We asked her about the priority elevator time for our floor and she said she didnt know when that was. Then she just left the area. Having some disabled folks, we were not able to do stairs with strollers and luggage in tow. We waited for an elevator for 25 minutes along with 4 other disabled groups. When an elevator showed up, a crew member was telling us that it shouldn't have stopped on our floor, he needed to go up. When asked why our floor was called to disembark and asked about our floors designated elevator times, he mumbled that they were busy and all floors needed elevators. The lines to get off the ship were stalled so many times to WAIT for people that packed sail and sign cards in luggage. The lines were so long, the crew was having a hard time wrapping it around just one floor. We were told that we couldn't use the handicap ramp on the 3rd level because we didn't have a wheel chair. The day before we were told we could. The disembarkation show advised anyone that has trouble with the inclines/ handicap/ or those with prams should use deck 3 to disembark. However, nothing that was said in the disembarkation show or on the papers given out was followed. This was a crap-show. I am not sure I would sail out of Charleston again. The port itself needs an overhaul and disembarkation was a nightmare. This ship was fine. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We sailed on the Carnival Ecstasy for our first cruise six years ago and decided to go on this ship again since the port is so close. While the ship is older and perhaps not as fancy as newer ships, it is very well maintained and clean. We ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Ecstasy for our first cruise six years ago and decided to go on this ship again since the port is so close. While the ship is older and perhaps not as fancy as newer ships, it is very well maintained and clean. We really enjoyed the addition of new restaurants, such as Guy's Burgers. Pros: -By and large, service was excellent. There were a couple of issues (which I'll list below), but waitstaff in the restaurants was wonderful. We also always has fresh towels in our room, and anytime we needed anything, it was quickly handled. -The food was very good compared to other Carnival ships I've been on recently. -There were plenty of activities to do. We went on a different Carnival cruise in December, and there was hardly any trivia or other fun stuff to do during the day besides go to the casino. On the Ecstasy, there were fun activities to do around the clock. -Even though the cruise was sold out, we seldom had to wait for anything. They had plenty of staff available, so even lines that seemed long at first went by extremely quickly. The ship is very well organized and nothing was super congested. -The cleanness of this ship (well, all Carnival ships I've been on really) is so impressive! The bathrooms were always perfect, and with hundreds of people milling in and out of the public areas, it shows how hard they work to keep things clean. Cons: -What happened to the twice-a-day room service, including turn-down, towel animals, and chocolates? We only had towel animals twice on our trip. This isn't a big deal, of course, but was definitely part of the charm on our first cruise. -The excursions were disappointing. For the Princess Cays, we purchased a snorkel package that included 30 minutes on a water bike. When we tried to use the bike (an hour before we were told the activity would shut down), it was already closed. The people running it were napping on picnic tables. When we asked about a partial refund, Carnival refused to refund half of the package (and this was half of the price of the package), saying that the excursion was on sale when we bought it. We were only asking on a refund on part of the sale price, so that made no sense. We did the dolphin swim in Nassau, and while it was lots of fun, the photo package was so expensive that I didn't have enough cash on hand to get it. (It was $100 for a disc of 10 pictures, so be prepared...they won't let you bring a GoPro, camera, or phone to take a picture yourself.) While this wasn't Carnival's fault, of course, some warning on this would have been helpful. -I fell down and badly hurt my leg. This was witnessed by one of the workers in the WaterWorks area. He said he would call for help, but no one ever came and brought so much as ice. An X-ray when I went to the urgent care after getting back showed showed that my leg was actually fractured. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
I chose this cruise because there were limited cruises left to choose from. The ship is small compare to what I have been on before. The ship had a few wears and tears. Our restroom had rust and strips loosen. We were on a ocean views side ... Read More
I chose this cruise because there were limited cruises left to choose from. The ship is small compare to what I have been on before. The ship had a few wears and tears. Our restroom had rust and strips loosen. We were on a ocean views side and the windows had small leaks. The food was GREAT!! JUST TOO MUCH FOOD. My sister and niece went along with me and they found it to be fun as well, until the ocean sickness hit my niece on the first day. When we got out to sea the Ship rocked like it was playing in a rock roll band, over the ocean blue. She has motions sickness so bad that we spent half of our fun moneys on medicine, motion waist bands, drops behind your ear to relief her of this rock and roll storm and etc... Eventually she had to just go to bed. The next day she felt a little better and attempted to enjoy the cruise. Other than that the cruise was great. The crew members were awesome especially, Brittney, the cruise Director. A big Shout out to Brittney and all who accompany her. Lee the one who hosted the BINGO did an outstanding job. James our house cleaning great job. OOPS! missed some people. Before we entered the ship the security offices were awesome. Carrie, Greg and another older Guy can't remember his name but they were so nice and they appreciate theirs job. Ioana Opris, Guest Services was good, very organized. The men dressed in all White during other Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner were very pleasant. The one in particular was Nenad! hope I spelled it right. unfortunately I will not sail this Ship again, it's not the ship its the depart. Do not like South Carolina. Nassau Bahamas; when we arrived the crooked people blend right in with the business people. Be careful who you talk to. They offer drugs, try to sell you stolen goods and sexual offers. Please be CAREFUL!!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This cruise was booked for a birthday celebration. The group included 11 ladies split between 4 different cabins. This review is solely based on my cabin and experience. Charleston is a convenient port for those in the areas of ... Read More
This cruise was booked for a birthday celebration. The group included 11 ladies split between 4 different cabins. This review is solely based on my cabin and experience. Charleston is a convenient port for those in the areas of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and areas within driving distance. Although you can fly, the airport is a quick taxi ride to the port, this would get so much more use if they had more ships. Several people shared that the city of Charleston is only wanting one boat at a time using the port. Carnival is switching out the Ecstasy for the Sunshine in 2019. Embarkation was speedy, I made it through security and over to the check-in counter with ease. I was on the gangway within 10 minutes.Get there by 11 and you can get on the boat. They give you a special time on your boarding pass but it didn't seem to matter. Once on the boat the party was revving up on the Lido Deck. Guy's Burger Joint was ready as was the Blue Iguana Cantina and the lunch buffet. The pizza place at the very back of the Lido Deck was great, the Caesar salad was a HUGE hit. If you have the bubbles package (sodas, not alcohol) you need to pay SC tax while in port. Also, the bubbles/alcohol packages cannot be used on the private island or on room service. We were allowed to our cabins promptly at 1:30 and many bags were already there. We loved our room, small TV (not a ton of channels, not good if you are seasick or stuck in your room, thankfully we weren't). Bathroom was tiny but that's to be expected. Water pressure was not good, fuse blew when too many people were drying their hair and some cabin bathrooms had a slight odor but essential oils took care of that issue. We mustered around 3:30. This was a typical muster, we listened to the rules, walked up to where our lifeboat was and that was it. We didn't need to bring our vests. We sailed away and toured around the ship. It's a smaller ship, maybe 2000 people on board but, unless you walked the length of the boat on our deck (Deck 5 Main) we had to weasel in and out of rooms (mostly the casino on Deck 9) which was filled with cigarette smoke. There was awesome nightly entertainment near the China Town bar but the smoke kept us away. Piano Bar was fun, comedy was great, shows were great, the Love and Marriage show is always a winner and we were even able to watch the Super Bowl in the two lounges as well as the Lido Deck. The Alchemy Bar was awesome, martini tastings were a big hit and there were wonderful areas at the bar and in it's vicinity to sit and enjoy your drink. We had the late seating for dining and we LOVED it. Our server, Lucy, knew our names almost immediately, catered to the specialty dishes some of our party needed and was a delight over the entire trip. Support staff in the dining room was wonderful as well. The food was quite tasty overall, I have to admit, I was very pleasantly surprised (just ask the 8 pounds I brought home with me hahaha) Day 2 was all day at sea, the boat is older so we felt LOTS of rocking. Some didn't like that and had some sea sickness. Thankfully I didn't and found the rocking to be soothing and relaxing. Sea Day Brunch was another pleasant surprise- get the steak and eggs. The steak was tender and seasoned well. Omelets were good too I heard but on both sea days, during the brunch I got steak and eggs. The private island, Princess Cay, was great, the water was chilly and it was windy but we found a great pavilion with plenty of seats both in and out of the shade. The island lunch was okay, burgers with accouterments. Some of us headed back to the boat (you have to take a tender to and from the main ship) and before boarding you need to go through security so plan accordingly. I heard that as the time to board got closer, the lines were long, the sun was hot and if you wanted shade there were limited seats on the bottom of the tender. The next day we got to Nassau and opted to go to the Nassau Hilton, its right next door to Senor Frogs. $79 got you a day pass that included a $40 food/beverage credit to use, access to their private beach, pool, chairs, umbrellas etc. It was worth every penny. It was clean, quiet, not crowded at all. I would go there again in a heartbeat. The food was pricey, a burger was $19.75- so your credit doesn't go too far. Beachy adult beverages averaged around $10 as did a shot. Yup. A shot was $10. Note that there is a tax added to the food and drinks but gratuity is already included. On our way back, our second sea day, it was chilly- windy and somewhat cloudy so time on deck was limited. We had fun sleeping in, going to the sea day brunch, playing BINGO and taking naps. For our final dinner we headed back to the dining room (we went every night, the choices were great, rarely was there an issue choosing something yummy) and followed it up with the comedy club and show. The morning of debarkation was loud as I said above, the boat is old but don't let it deceive you, it was a really fun time. Plenty of places to relax, unwind and enjoy yourself. It's not a mega ship, it has few modern features but the size of it can be a good thing. The private beach day wasn't crowded, the deck always had seats available, getting on and off the boat happened with minimal wait time. We made our way back to the security building, grabbed our luggage (we left it outside our doors by 11pm the night before, you could carry it if you wanted to) and made it through customs quickly. I grabbed a taxi to the airport but others in my party waited in line for a shuttle to get them to the parking deck. If you are looking for a fun getaway, this is great for those on the east coast who don't want to go to the major ports. I may need to return when they put the Sunshine on rotation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Was looking for a cruise near where I could go see a Miami Dolphin, and an Atlanta Falcons football game. Charleston was the best fit time and location wise. Don't get me wrong aspects of the cruise were good, but never great. The ... Read More
Was looking for a cruise near where I could go see a Miami Dolphin, and an Atlanta Falcons football game. Charleston was the best fit time and location wise. Don't get me wrong aspects of the cruise were good, but never great. The food was good in the dining room, but lousy in the buffet. Drinks were very measured on the alcohol, but with the cheers program 15 a day was plenty. One Comedian was good(Jerome) the other meh(Terranova). The crew led activities were at best bad to really terrible. (trivia by far the least entertaining, and unfortunately the most often) Of my 12 or so cruises this was the worst. Guest services totally unfriendly, and completely unhelpful. The bartenders were by far the worst ever. Roque in the buffet area needs to find a new career. The Alchemy bar gets offended if you order a beer. "We're a martini bar, try somewhere else" Don't pre-pay your gratuities. Our cabin steward "MADE" only made the room once on a five day cruise. There was one bright spot a Barista named AYSA. Best coffee I have had on a cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because it was close to home .We have never been to cruiseline private island it was very nice the ship is a little older but still very nice.we enjoyed the shows the casino and room service. the sea was a little rough ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was close to home .We have never been to cruiseline private island it was very nice the ship is a little older but still very nice.we enjoyed the shows the casino and room service. the sea was a little rough but we had fun still we were a group of twenty. some new cruisers and some veteran cruisers we highly recommend this ship. the band was great the staff was very pleasant and professional.there was something for everyone the ship never felt crowded. we were not able to dock at freeport bahamas do to high winds so we had another seaday which gave us a opportunity to get some rest we would do the ecstasy again .this is a lovely little ship try the philly cheese steak from room service very good and we loved the guy burgers and micheal our cabin steward was amazing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Had a lot of talented staff on board. good shows and Guy's burgers were very good. when we got home and i realized we did not get our $50. room credit i called. We booked online under the super saver and one of the perks was the room ... Read More
Had a lot of talented staff on board. good shows and Guy's burgers were very good. when we got home and i realized we did not get our $50. room credit i called. We booked online under the super saver and one of the perks was the room credit. The excuse i was given was because i had to call to get the forms to fill out for a handicap cabin. [Our adult son is in a wheelchair.] You can't just pick out a handicap room online My original booking was done on line. and i printed out everything i needed. There is nothing you can book on Nassau that is wheelchair friendly. We booked a cabana on half moon cay and it was handicap acess.. The gate they put up was great. it stopped people from useing our private area that i paid for as a public acess. to the beach. We did have a few who just opened gate and went right through between our chaise lounges and down the deck steps to the beach. it rained and it was great to sit in the cabana and stay dry. Half moon cay is beautiful.We arrived at the port and was waiting inline to eat in just a little over an hour. Grandkids loved the childrens program and everything about the cruise even making the towel animals. They eat ice cream 4 or 5 times a day. If you want to get off the ship fast keep your suit cases and take them off your self. We had no trouble getting a shuttle that was wheelchair acess. Deck 11 and 12 are not acess. for wheelchair. Staff overall was very good. our room stewart wayan and jr. dinring hostess abigale were extra nice. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Well the going to the bahamas was great. However i will never go through carnival cruise line again. I had gotten the faster to the fun excursion, but we still had to get in our room when we arrived. Then the room was didn't have the ... Read More
Well the going to the bahamas was great. However i will never go through carnival cruise line again. I had gotten the faster to the fun excursion, but we still had to get in our room when we arrived. Then the room was didn't have the cake, but the manager gave us wine for that. Then we had to get wait two days for the refrigerator. I had to ask for two days to get one. My boyfriend was a diabetic. He didn't get his medicine. He got sick. And when i called carnival they said refrigerators weren't in the contact, and that there is a better way to store medicine.although it was in the notes that one had beenrequested by my travel agent. It was in there notes. Then the all inclusive shore excursion had certain drinks, which wasn't in the contract. And they made shore they kept the 200 dollars. That went to whatever gratuities they could get. Carnival is a rip off cruise line and as far as i am concerned the only thing my money paid for was getting transportation to the bahamas, and that's it. We paid grautites for sodas, our room getting clean, and the man dining room. I am done with them. The main dining food was awful. And i only ate in the main dining room twice for brunch. We only had sda, and i paid for the bottomless bubbles. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
While this cruise/ship is not the most elegant, it certainly is a lot of value. Our cabin was quite adequate (an inside cabin) as we spend very little time in it. The food was quite good, especially in the dining room, ... Read More
While this cruise/ship is not the most elegant, it certainly is a lot of value. Our cabin was quite adequate (an inside cabin) as we spend very little time in it. The food was quite good, especially in the dining room, but it is not quite as good as on previous Carnival cruises. We found the staff to be excellent. They were quick, competent, and remarkably friendly. The entertainment is quite good in the main show room, the comedy club, and throughout the ship. The ports of call (Nassau and Freeport) are a couple of our favorites. The convenience for us (we live in the Charleston, SC area) is especially good, and the staff at the terminal is remarkable. They got us on board quickly and put us in a great mood right from the beginning. What more could you ask for? My wife and I will definitely be going on a lot more cruises on the Ecstasy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
Never been there before and the ship was suppose to be docked for 3 days ,. carnival estascy , cabin was noise from engines , away from couples we were traveling with ,not what we had ask for . Dining was also not what we requested due to ... Read More
Never been there before and the ship was suppose to be docked for 3 days ,. carnival estascy , cabin was noise from engines , away from couples we were traveling with ,not what we had ask for . Dining was also not what we requested due to many of party needing to have early dining we had to have it changed to anytime dining , food was most of the time prepared very good ,a few times orders were wrong or cold . Entertaiment was very good the shows are very good in the theater , activities were not as many this time as have been on other ships , i applaud the celebration for veteran days that the estascy did i am a veteran and i enjoyed it !!! Service did their best to make everyone feel at ease on a rocking ship due to rough seas and weather.the port of bermuda we had to leave a day early . For fear of wind . Bermuda was a little boring . Really feel very disappointed this cruise .but we will be cruising again!!!!!! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Embarkation: We chose this cruise because we were taking our whole family, kids and grandchildren and would be able to drive to Charleston in under 2 hours. Port of Charleston was very disappointing. It was unorganized. The AC was not ... Read More
Embarkation: We chose this cruise because we were taking our whole family, kids and grandchildren and would be able to drive to Charleston in under 2 hours. Port of Charleston was very disappointing. It was unorganized. The AC was not functioning up to par inside and the lines were long. I have a bad knee and can’t stand for very long or walk far. My husband was unwilling for me to take a wheel chair or even a walker so I was hobbling about with a cane. The security was extremely slow. They said one of their scanners wasn’t working, but every other line was moving much faster than the one we were in. When we finally made it through the luggage scanning process, one of the port employees noticed that not only was I having difficulty standing and moving, but I was beet red from how hot it was inside. She took me to a place where I could sit and wait for the rest of my family to make it to the check-in counters. Not long afterward, she got my husband and son and brought them to me and let us check in. She offered me a wheelchair to board. I was so grateful. I could not have climbed stairs at that point nor walked all the way to my cabin. Stateroom: The ship décor left a lot to be desired. We hadn’t been on such a small ship since our first cruise on the old Carnival Tropicale. Our room, an ocean view on deck 6, seemed even smaller than our room on the Tropicale. But we had all of our kids and grandchildren with us and staying in adjacent cabins. Our cabin steward, Geraldine, came and introduced herself right away and asked if we preferred morning or evening service. We chose morning. When I saw how many rooms she and her staff had to clean, at least 30, I wouldn’t have dreamed of asking for both morning and evening. Those crew members were in the hallway morning, afternoon and evening and working hard. I honestly wouldn’t mind paying more and having more crew members with fewer cabins to care for each day. But our room was kept clean and they brought me ice everyday so that I could ice my bad knee. Food: We are not among those who are lucky enough to cruise every year, but we have had 5 previous cruises on Carnival. This was the first time I was disappointed in the food and my husband felt the same. The Lido food was only so-so. I tried to get pizza twice at lunchtime and there was never any ready. There were 2 crew members working the pizza station and they seemed to make primarily pepperoni. Any other kind you requested, they’d say it would be a 7 minute wait. Believe me, I waited much longer than that. The second time I tried to get margherita pizza. I had seen someone just get a slice. The guy said to me 7 minutes. I said forget it and that I’d take the pepperoni slice he had in his hand and just pick the pepperoni off of it. Buffet on first day was Italian. My pasta was under-cooked, cold and dry. Breakfast on the Lido wasn’t great. The eggs were much worse than I remembered from previous cruises. Waffles had no flavor. French toast was good. I wished we’d done breakfast in the MDR, but this was only a 5 day cruise. The first sea day my husband didn’t want to go there and the last sea day was the Dr. Seuss Breakfast, so we didn’t go. The soft serve ice cream was better than I remember from my last cruise. It definitely was creamy. The frozen yogurt was grainier, but still tasty. Food in the MDR was also sub-par. Some of the soups I ordered had a funny taste, like there was some unidentifiable (to me) spice that spoiled the taste. My prime rib was tough and dry instead of the melt-in-your-mouth experience I had on other cruises. Also filet mignon was tough and dry. We did get crème brulee and bitter and blanc. I was afraid only being on a 5 day we wouldn’t get the desserts I look forward to. They brought my son a small birthday cake on our last night and it was more delicious and moist than any other dessert we had all week. Also, service was okay, but like the cabin stewards, these waiters just have way too many tables to take care of. They made a point of addressing us by name. One waiter did math puzzles with toothpicks every night for us to try and figure out. We did not feel slighted by our wait staff at all, but had a sense of them being completely swamped all night long. And we had 12 people crammed at a table for 10, so we knew we were making extra work for them and we really felt cramped at our table. It would have been nicer if they had given us the tables with the bench seating on one side. We had 4 children with us and they would have taken up less room seated there than trying to get 12 chairs around a table that really is for 8 or 10. But even though it was tight, we were grateful to be seated together as it was the first time we had all of our children and grandchildren together since our 2 grandsons (4 and almost 6) were born. We enjoyed our time together. Entertainment: We are not folks who require outside entertainment to enjoy ourselves but we did enjoy the shows we saw. We saw the Motown Show, the British Invasion Show, and the Hasbro Game Show. We enjoyed them all. At the pre-show for The British Invasion Show, the cruise director, Ben, was so impressed with our family for knowing the answers to so many of his questions and for our enthusiasm and loud cheering and clapping, that he sent our table a bucket of drinks. We were happy just for the shout out. Then for the Hasbro Show, one of our daughters and one of our sons were selected as contestants, so we all went crazy cheering them on. Neither of them won (I think they wanted to let children win since the prize was a Hasbro game package) but again we just had a blast being among the participants. Our youngest son signed up for the talent show for the last night and was featured last doing a Michael Jackson number. The band was really enjoying him and he really hit it off with Ben the cruise director since he’s from our area of SC. He brought the house down. Although they did not declare a winner, he was clearly the favorite of the evening. So it was another really enjoyable experience for the whole family. Karaoke: my youngest son was the Karaoke king on our family cruise back in 2008 and it was the same this time. One of the female crew running the Karaoke lounge was really taken with him. Several of us also participated in Karaoke. And although this venue was on deck 9, it was not smoky inside the club. But as with any Karaoke experience, some folks are really good and some are really awful so you just have to decide how much of this you can take each evening. We did not see any of the comedians, although we had to walk through one performance one evening in order to get off the Serenity Deck. It was the only way to leave the Serenity without having to climb or descend stairs. The guy seemed kind of out of it, like he’d had quite a bit to drink, but I’m sure most of the audience was in the same condition. At any rate, we are not in a position to rate them not having heard their material. Live musicians on board were sub par. A guitar playing singer in the Atrium was pretty bad. And the Atrium on the Ecstasy is so small and crowded feeling, not like the newer, larger ships with their double staircases and view of many of the decks above. There was a small group playing outside one of the bars on deck 9. First of all, all of deck 9 stinks of smoke because of the casino and 2 of the bars are also legitimate smoking areas. For that reason, I don’t care to sit there, but this group was way too loud for the space they were given. You would not be able to carry on a conversation if seated in that area, and I felt so bad for the bartenders who work at the bar right opposite the band. They cannot hear the drink orders, plus they have to stand there for hours getting their eardrums blown out and the music isn’t even good. We missed things like small ensembles like the classical ones we had seen in the Atrium on previous cruises. Camp Ocean: Our grandsons (4 and almost 6) loved it. They did all kinds of activities and really enjoyed hanging out with other kids. Our two granddaughters (8 and 11) enjoyed limited participation, based on whether they wanted to do the activity. But it gave our children, their parents, a chance to relax for a while without constantly having to watch the kids. This was the first time we had any experience with kids in camp and it was a positive one. Shore excursions: My husband and I chose the See and Sea Tour. It included a bus ride around Nassau to show us some stuff in town and then a boat ride to another boat with a glass bottom so we could see fish and other sea creatures. Because of my knee issue, I tried to get info on the amount of walking, distance, etc. on shore excursions I was considering. I got no one on the phone at Carnival who could help. I emailed Shore Excursions and never got a response although I did get an email shortly before the cruise asking me to rate my experience with the response from Carnival. I asked on John Heald’s blog if he would ask other cruisers and got no response from him or them, even though I read his FB page every day. So, of course there was a very long walk in very hot, humid weather to get to our first excursion in Nassau. After I walked the length of the very long pier, they pulled me aside and said I could take a shuttle bus to the excursion, but that wasn’t exactly true. It got me closer, but I still had to walk quite a ways to get to the boat that was going to take us on the first part of our excursion. And the return was even worse. We were so hot and sweaty and dehydrated and we had to walk and walk to the checkpoint to get back to the cruise ships. I kept asking for where the shuttle was that I had been told would take us back to our ship. Finally one came. It took us to the end of the pier and we still had to walk the length of the pier to board the ship. Once again, a Carnival employee noticed the difficulty I was having hobbling on my cane and allowed me to enter the first opening rather than walking all the way to the end of the ship with the rest of the passengers. No wheelchair this time, but still saved some steps. In Freeport, most of our family chose a beach excursion. It was a long bus ride to get there, but there were plenty of chairs and the beach was clean. It was overcast most of the time we were there so they didn’t even bother putting up any umbrellas or other shade devices. There were water activities. You could purchase the option that included lunch and/or open bar or just purchase food and drinks a la carte there. I think everyone enjoyed themselves. We were back on board before it got hot and sunny and before the rain kicked in. It was a nice way to hang out with our family and the younger ones could be as active as they liked while my husband and I could enjoy relaxing in our chairs, reading our books or listening to music or just enjoying watching the others have fun. Overall, we had a great time because we were together. I much prefer the Spirit Class ships or the Conquest class and a balcony room. I would hesitate to cruise out of Charleston again. While convenient to get to, between the hassle of the terminal and parking and only having a smaller, old ship available, Charleston is less desirable for me. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2016
It was a good cruise, i enjoyed it, so did my family, there was several great things on it, but that was 2011, and it got worse from there. PROS - *Great value *Not too big, Not too small *Fun! *Has a better waterpark than ... Read More
It was a good cruise, i enjoyed it, so did my family, there was several great things on it, but that was 2011, and it got worse from there. PROS - *Great value *Not too big, Not too small *Fun! *Has a better waterpark than the Fantasy *Has A better Camp Carnival/Ocean than Fantasy CONS - *Boring if you have gone on every Fantasy class ship except this one *Dr. Seuss replace Fun Ship Freddy *Kinda old We suggest you to go on there if you live in South Carolina, near it, or just want to have a getaway from home at a cheap price. If you go to the bahamas, look for the Grand Celebration ship, which used to be Carnival's "super-class ship" Celebration. Also if you are going to have a 10 day cruise, don't go on this because you will get bored after a while, go on the Newer ships. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
My husband requested a standby wheelchair before boarding due to being disabled that we never found. Ordered case of water the day before our cruise and it quoted us online the time it would be in the room. He needed it to take his ... Read More
My husband requested a standby wheelchair before boarding due to being disabled that we never found. Ordered case of water the day before our cruise and it quoted us online the time it would be in the room. He needed it to take his diabetic meds. Didn't arrive til 6 pm after probably ten phonecalls to room service. Elevator staff wanted husband to take stairs since elevator was in maintenance...hello handicapped! Three of the four nights we had no cold water only scaulding hot and plumbers tearing pipes apart we hours of morning but they refused to move us to another room. Don't think rooms are actually sanitized well both me and husband came back from cruise and immediately developed flu and pneumonia. Smoke in inside of boat by casino and bar fills the whole promenade deck with smoke. Buffet food is horrible. Got cloth napkins that looked like someone had thrown up on, that needed to be released and had to beg workers on Lido deck to take dirty dishes from somebody else off our table so we could eat. Dining room service for dinner was great with Ricardo. Our room Stewart Iznan ( Easy) also provided great service. We won a free cruise while we were there but will never go on Ecstacy again. Service to customers is terrible. Excursions in Nassau the shallow water at Atlantis with Dolphins was wonderful experience. Excursion of horse back riding in Half Moon Cay was also a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
I took two friends who hadn't cruised before to experience this type of vacation. I didn't choose Carnival, but because the Live Concert series was featuring Olivia Newton John...this was my choice. If not for her, I would not ... Read More
I took two friends who hadn't cruised before to experience this type of vacation. I didn't choose Carnival, but because the Live Concert series was featuring Olivia Newton John...this was my choice. If not for her, I would not have chosen Carnival. The ship was old, not very clean. I waited over an hour for assistance to print flight boarding passes as their printer was jammed after wasting too much time on minute by minute internet time. They did, however refund that first 13 minutes of printing attempts because it was due to the printer. I wasted that hour where I could have been doing something more fun. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful! They memorized our names on day one and used them to address us every time we saw them. The pool was very small, the hottubs were crowded...the Serenity deck was nice but lots of stairs to get to it. (My friends had difficulty walking them) The food in the Panarama deck was fair, the dining room provided very good meals, although our waiter lacked a 'helper' on the last day and busted his butt with not enough assistance while working up a sweat trying to accommodate all of us...KUDOS to him! There wasn't enough entertainment at the pool area compared to my first cruise. I believe I detected bed bugs (I woke with many little bites for two of the nights there) in the bunk that fell from the wall to sleep on. Very hard to get into it (had to step onto the other bed to crawl up on it. Hit my head a couple of times!) The casino area leading into the bar area was so inundated with cigarette smoke, that I had trouble breathing. While walking through there, the music was much too loud for the small area it was. The way this ship is cut up, is difficult to find your way around. The elevators announced the floor as you reached it, but by the third day, it stated the wrong floors...older guests were exiting them very confused! I will cruise again, but not on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
Prior to boarding the ship, I had purchased a pack of new t-shirts and slipped them into my suitcase. When unpacking on board the whole package was gone. BEWARE OF THE HOT WATER IN YOUR BATHROOM! IT WILL SCALD YOU. We had instructed the ... Read More
Prior to boarding the ship, I had purchased a pack of new t-shirts and slipped them into my suitcase. When unpacking on board the whole package was gone. BEWARE OF THE HOT WATER IN YOUR BATHROOM! IT WILL SCALD YOU. We had instructed the service desk to not apply gratuities to the credit card because we wanted to do cash tips. Upon arriving home we checked the credit card statement and found that we were charged the gratuities on TOP OF the cash envelopes. Food was so so, room attendant was great, the dining staff were great. The steak was good, but potatoes not done all the way through, I am glad I ordered a baked potato also. I see some of the reviews that the "class" of people were lacking, and I agree totally. The one formal night dining there were a good number of people who did suit up, but many did not, including a man in a printed t-shirt. I thought that is what the Lido deck was for. I had the unfortunate time of winding up near a highly intoxicated person too often. They tend to "take over the show", become obnoxious, or completely pass out. Personally I found the dining room seats very uncomfortable, giving my back additional pain for the length of time I had to sit there. Asking for the fruit plate with "just the watermelon" was not possible, you have to take it as it is listed on the menu. Music by the pool was too loud, too often. You can't even hear conversation if you shout. The 2 hot tubs are filled beyond capacity by children, allllll the time. What ever happened to school days? The swimming pool is small and very cold. Limited space on the outside deck to sit and watch the ocean. There is in fact, no seating on the Lido deck on the outside rail (I am not counting the storage units for life jackets), some choose to drag a lounge chair out there to get away from the loud music, myself included. Sure, if you go up one deck over looking the pool there is seating, but you have direct exposure to the loud music there too. Speaking of life jackets.... The muster drill at the beginning of the cruise was lacking in information. One of us is handicapped and uses a scooter. Elevators are out of service in a real emergency. Handicapped persons were instructed in the muster drill to remain in the theater lounge while everyone else proceeded to continue the muster drill up to the lifeboats, I assume that is where they went. We were never told. We were told that persons unable to navigate stairs would be taken care of... BUT NEVER TOLD HOW THEY WOULD BE TAKEN CARE OF. We were left in the dark of what to do in an emergency. I think I could get him down stairs, but most definitely NOT UP stairs. Another point we were not told of, do we go up or down? This was our first cruise on Carnival, and is our last cruise with them. I was really trying to keep an open mind figuring the line was working hard to improve their image from recent tragic events. But we will stick to Royal Caribbean or Celebrity, don't let Carnival ruin your view on cruising. BTW... pick pockets are on board the ship too, not just in port. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
My wife and I took the Thanksgiving 4 day Bahamas cruise to Freeport and Nassau from Port Canaveral. Wife rides a scooter due to medical reasons. We arrived at the port around 2pm. A side note here: For all who have a scooter lift on ... Read More
My wife and I took the Thanksgiving 4 day Bahamas cruise to Freeport and Nassau from Port Canaveral. Wife rides a scooter due to medical reasons. We arrived at the port around 2pm. A side note here: For all who have a scooter lift on their vehicle, parking is FREE. It is the same at Ft. Lauderdale port as well, but easier at Port Carnival as they do not have to get a manager to come sign off on it. I think all ports in Florida allow free parking if you have a scooter lift. To be sure, check online what your port will do for it. I stress it is only for vehicles carrying a lift, and not just a disable decal hanging from your mirror. On this trip, it saved me $75 I think. I pulled up to the baggage drop off area. Very organized and quick I must say. Had a porter at my car as I pulled up. He pulled the bags out of the car. Since I already had the bags tagged due to printing them the night before, it was a breeze. I dropped my wife off with her scooter then went and parked. The regular parking garage was full at 2pm so I got put into the, what I call, the south 40 area (the other side of the exit booth for the parking). This is the 2nd time in a row I had to park there due to the time I arrived. No big deal though. Gave me a little time to walk and smoke a cig before I met back up with my wife. She had already breezed thru security/x-ray and was waiting by the elevator to the sign in area. I got thru security PDQ then met up with my wife by the elevator. Lines were not moving quickly at both security/x-ray and to get your sail & sign card. Must have been at least 100 people waiting to get checked in. Since my bride of 29 years uses a scooter to go long distances, we breezed thru both lines as they give the disabled VIP treatment plus we did a on-line check in months before the cruise so all we had to do was show our passport and we were issued our cards. After checking in, we were informed where the elevator was, and we were both on the ship within 5 min of leaving the check in counter. Cabin was M230 (main deck (deck 5) aft, port side balcony). Room was ready. We met our steward (Richard) who knew my name. He was very professional and nice. Did not miss a beat in his duties. I asked for bucket of ice to always be in the cabin, and it was. He changed it out twice a day. I had a issue with the TV in the room . He got AV department on it and they changed out the TV. Balcony was plenty big for the 2 of us. We used it a lot. Me more then her as that is where I did my relaxing and smoking from. Cabin wise, it was too small for my wife's liking. Her last 3 cabins have been either suites or disable rooms (she got spoiled). This cabin did not have a couch in it, which I truly missed. It did have 1 cushion chair with a back plus an ottoman. But I knew this months before and though I would adjust. I did, but was not truly comfortable watching TV (we spend a lot of time in the cabin). The bathroom did not have a table or good place to put the bag containing tooth brushes, etc. All that was available was a corner of the sink, but it worked. Common areas were always clean. Staff was friendly. Production shows were far and few between. They had the Brit Show and the Motor City show I think were the names. We attended both. I enjoyed them both. They have a coffee shop with some small sweet items as well for sale. I found the prices to be compatible with Starbuck, or even a little better in price. The MDR food was good. Always hot or cold as needed. I found the taste on all that I ate to be real good. The waiters (3 assigned to our table at one time) were top notch and always kept my tea glass full. They did not look like a chicken with their heads cut off in a daze. I think 3 to a table is working. We had 3 on our last 2 cruises and it looks like it is working just fine. Weather was not the best. Was a bit chilly for this Floridian on most days so I stayed away from the pool as it looked like most did (am sure that hurt the bottom line in alcohol sales). There was a meet up of Cruise Critic members for a slot pull that was arranged from the roll call page on here. There were 11-12 people that showed up. We contributed $20 each at 1 slot machine, each putting $20 bill all one after another before the 1st pull then did a set number of pulls (I forgot but it was like 12 pulls each I think) for the max money amount allowed for each pull.. After all pulled, it turned out we each lost $5 bucks (was not a good machine!!! LOL). Then we all went our separate ways....I must thank a women who I met who helped me out. THANK YOU. I never did get her name. I pulled my money from the cabin safe, but left it on safe by accident. She fronted me the $20 needed, as cards would not be used. After we were done, I went back up to the cabin and found the $20 sitting just where I left it. I brought it back and gave it to her, and all was good. We did not do any excursions (most were water related and it was too cold for my liking). Only walked off the ship to walk around the pier area and surrounding stores. It has been 20 years since we had been to Freeport. They have a few dozen junket shops at the pier. Location of the pier is in the industrial area. The shopping area on the island, I was told, is on the other side of the island, or a good taxi ride away. As my bride uses a scooter, it would be impossible for us, so we just lounged around the pier junket shops for an hour or so, then came back to the ship. Nassau was Nassau. I got to see their Navy ship tied at the pier again. I think they are close to derusting it and maybe take it out once in awhile....LOL We again just went around the pier area stores. My bride was looking for a certain type of dress and found it. She was a happy camper.... I used internet connection in Nassau from a Nassau pier area source for an hour at a cost of $10. Sat on my balcony and did my thing. Used all but 1-2 min. That is the only time I got on or cared about checking the internet Our afternoons (3 of them) were spent taking naps. Was WONDERFUL. My goal was to come on the cruise to relax. We did...:) Debarkation was a breeze. After about 1 hour from tying to the pier, they started letting zones off. We spent the waiting time at the buffet breakfast area enjoying our last ship's breakfast. All the other breakfasts were at the dining room midships where we were served and did not have to stand in line with plates for our food. I found my luggage easy enough. Got in VIP line, due to wife scooter use again, for Customs, and was outside walking to my car within 10 minutes. I had 2 bags so we just strolled to the car vice having me deal with traffic at the baggage pickup area. Then we just pulled out and away we went. Overall, the cruise met my desire of relaxation. Ship was clean. Staff was great. Food was good. I am sure there is some hit and misses with some cruises. this one was a HIT!!!! .   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
This is a great ship! I am sad it is going to Louisiana. Our room, cabin U1 on Upper Deck (6) was nice. The two beds pushed together held my hubby, me and my 10 year old daughter, and my hubby and I are really big. The bed was comfortable ... Read More
This is a great ship! I am sad it is going to Louisiana. Our room, cabin U1 on Upper Deck (6) was nice. The two beds pushed together held my hubby, me and my 10 year old daughter, and my hubby and I are really big. The bed was comfortable and our steward was Dana...he was amazing! He always talked to us by name, made sure we had everything we needed and was very nice. I loved all the towel animals we got...we had a monkey hanging from the a/c vent one night after I had mentioned I'd like one and my mom got a bat! It was too cute! My mom was in the stateroom next to me. My daughter loved our porthole. It was big enough for her to get up and sit in and look out the porthole. The bathroom smelt a little in ports but it was bearable. Our steward always made sure our room was clean though and bathroom too. The ship was surprisingly easy to get around and didn't really take that long to go from one side to the other. My daughter enjoyed Camp Carnival, when she decided to go. She spent a lot of time on the lido deck pool and the jacuzzi. She and her two friends spent most of their time there. The water in Progresso and Cozumel especially was beautiful. Pretty blue. We got back in plenty of time for the ship to leave but in Progresso we had to wait about 15 to 20 min for a few late arrivals to get back to the ship and the same in Cozumel. We left port late there too! the dining room staff was awesome and our head waiter was getting ready to finish his contract and go back to India to see his family. Sodas are $1.95 per 12 oz can. Do yourself a favor and buy the unlimited bubbles soda card, the site says $35 for adults but it was only $30 once we got on the ship. With the way my hubby drinks Dr. Pepper and with me not liking the cruise water or tea, we sure got our moneys worth on the soda cards. We got one for our daughter too. Cruise water they serve in the restaurants is really nasty, imo. Take bottled water if you don't want a soda card. My daughter and the rest of us had an awesome time! We will definitely do another cruise in a couple of years. Met so many wonderful people and my daughter made 2 friends that she hung out with almost the whole time. Thanks to Camp Carnival!!! Hope everyone else had a great time too! Only two negatives were the excursion I booked in Cozumel, was a waste of time and money. Do not ever book Day at the Beach through Cruises Only. 2nd negative was getting through customs. We got put in the non US citizens only line and we stood in it for about an hour and we were only half way down. By the time we got there we were through in about 5 min. All in all, it was awesome! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
Though the Ecstasy is an outdated ship, it still had its charm. I was looking forward to taking my 80 year old father and Mother, along with my nephew on this 4 night outing. When cruising, there is something for everyone! This would ... Read More
Though the Ecstasy is an outdated ship, it still had its charm. I was looking forward to taking my 80 year old father and Mother, along with my nephew on this 4 night outing. When cruising, there is something for everyone! This would have been the case as well, had it not been overshadowed by the horrendous service and horrible attitudes. Of course, not all were like that, but most. Check In was a breeze (highly recommend the VIP check in) - the easiest ever! Loved the people that assisted us at every turn. My father was in a wheelchair and they made him feel so comfortable and it was speedy! I thought this was going to be a great cruise!It didn't take long after boarding to discover the major flaws in service. Where was the "welcome aboard" smiles and assistance... non-existent! After a lunch on the lido deck, it was time to explore our grand suite. Nice digs, nothing special but far better than a regular stateroom with a balcony. These rooms are small, no matter what category you choose. And, with 4 people, it was even smaller. However, it provided adequate space and the balcony was a plus.Waiter at dinner - horrible! I gave him 4 nights to improve, it never happened. We were always the last table to be done as service was SO SLOW. In addition, he continuously put plates in front of us that we didn't order. Don't know if the guy was new to being a waiter or not, but he was unfriendly and stressed to the maximum. First time ever I didn't get a picture of our waiter with us. Not a memorable experience at all.Food - hit and miss. Lunch in the restaurant was by far the best meal. Soups were awesome and the butter on this ship is amazing (could be the 80% fat content). We found that if we ate the bread and butter along with a soup, it was very satisfying. Other than that, it was scary. Lobster was HORRIBLE and the gulf shrimp they had to go with it was not edible (rubbery). Other entrees tried were just as bad including a salmon that I swear had been frozen for the past year! On the last night, a few of us tried the crab cake as an appetizer, took one bite and literally spit it into our napkins. Fishy, mushy, and a texture that told us if we ate this we could quite possibly get sick. I will also say that this ship has an excellent baker/pastry chef. Deserts were always above par and again, the bread was a highlight for us all. The buffet on the Lido deck was unedible as well unless you got the hamburgers.That brings me to another food related catastrophe - ROOM SERVICE. The worst room service food and service EVER! Having elderly parents with horrible sleep patterns, coffee was VERY important to us all in the mornings. We put our continental breakfast tag out every night and it was delivered on time. However, the coffee was un-drinkable (old like it had been sitting overnight). And, one morning, the 2 pots they brought us were delivered with no lids on the pots (little desert bowls were teetering on the top). That means when you went to pour it, coffee spilled all over you. In addition, one of the cups that they brought was cracked all the way down the side and when I poured the coffee in for my Dad, it leaked all over him and me. I was shocked at the lack of quality control and that they would allow a coffee tray to be sent to a room with cracked cups and pots with no lids. And, that wasn't our only room service mishap, not enough cups, not enough cream, no spoons, it went on and on. One evening it was late and we were back from Cozumel... we decided to have sandwiches and salads in our room. 3 salads - one dressing, 2 iced teas - 1 iced tea. 2 Reuben sandwiches - both with no sauerkraut and the meat was pressed something (mystery meat). Oh, and one morning I ordered danish because my dad was in need to something on his stomach... when I told them to send 8 (2 per person) they told me the rules were 6 maximum! OMG - did they really say that to me. Other problems rampant - service for 3 not 4 - this was a trend. It was sad to see how far Carnival has declined in service to their customers.Spa - booked a massage for my father and upon the reservation, was assured that they had male therapists, as he will not go to a woman. I left the ship for an excursion and left him at the spa. Upon our return, discovered that they have NO MALE therapists and he was given a woman. They lied to me outright and I believe it was only to book the appointment that was non-cancelable. He was embarrassed and upset about the whole experience.Casino was a joke as well. Based on what I observed, they certainly made their weekly quota at the casino. Dealers were so hot we had some that would deal themselves 3 to 4 blackjacks in a row. I am not saying they are cheating, but I am an experienced blackjack player. I was given two three's during one hand, and drew 2 more. About 4 more hands into it, those same 3's came out again to someone else, and again about 5 minutes later. Are those machines shuffling the cards? The video poker machines ($.25) were where my Mom and Dad spent their time. However, the max bet is $2.25 not $1.25 because it takes 10 quarters to bet max. We love Piano Bars and tried the Neon Bar one night. This guy was so loud that you could hear him 2 decks down. We didn't last long in there as every song he sang was screamed into the microphone. Chinatown Karaoke was our favorite and since it was my Parent's 61st wedding anniversary, the crowd went crazy and made them both feel so very special. Mind you, these were fellow cruisers though, and not the staff. They didn't give a flip. Which was apparent at dinner when I mentioned it to our waiter and nothing was ever done about it.Entertainment was horrendous... the shows were outright HORRIBLE - not even up to high school standards. The bands throughout the ship, for the most part, were subpar singing off note and off pitch.Cleanliness of ships was also an issue - tables left uncleaned for hours, public restrooms dirty, etc... I could go on and on but I won't. I have been on many, many cruises and don't expect a lot. I am not a picky traveler and everything does not have to be perfect. However, I was shocked at how very bad this cruise was. We made the most of it and enjoyed our time together. However, I would not recommend this ship to anyone for any amount of money. One interesting note... we had a missing passenger on the 2nd night. Have never experienced this - and they were extremely thorough by waking us every 1/2 hour all night with announcements in the staterooms for this passenger to call 7777 immediately. At around 4:00am they even did a room to room search showing everyone her picture. It was a night of no rest. Thankfully, they found her early the next morning passed out somewhere. Don't know why they didn't find her earlier! That was the talk of the ship for sure. Again, unless they address the serious service issue on this ship, stay away! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
Family Dw (61),DD (40), DGD (8) Grandpa (62). I'm limited by COPD. This info will help to understand levels of cruise features.Family flew in to Houston from Michigan April 1st I drove in from Louisiana picked them up and off to ... Read More
Family Dw (61),DD (40), DGD (8) Grandpa (62). I'm limited by COPD. This info will help to understand levels of cruise features.Family flew in to Houston from Michigan April 1st I drove in from Louisiana picked them up and off to Galveston.Friday in Houston at 3:30PM nuff saidWe stayed at the Bestwestern seawall which we find to be fine for overnight every time in Galveston.Saturday cruise day we used Lighthouse parking for the third time covered parking great service. Arrived at the terminal 11:00 AM used porters for luggage which is a must for me. Carnival provided wheel chair boarding for me and allowed rest of family to follow which was very fast on the Lido deck at 12:10 PM.My DGD is gluten intolerant and we spoke with Dining room hostess and arranged for her help everynight for next days meals for grand daughters meals. This was handled very well even with ATD and plenty of food on board that she could eat.I would say the food overall was good to very good and at the right amounts for our family's liking.The ship and crew are very well maintained and trained. Room steward was excellentkept my cooler drained and full of ice at all times.First port day family did Dzilbilchaltun ruins with Autoprogreso tours and had a great day.Second port day Cozumel was of to Chankanaab park and the Dolphin swim booked on our own before the change. This was a wonderful excursion for our grand daughter well worth the cost for a life time memory.Final sea day and off the ship weather was outstanding all week and sea weremoderate.I would say I think Carnival still provides a very good overall service for the cost.Overall a wonderful cruise and upon returning we stayed three days at the Casa del Mar in Galveston which we found to be perfect for the four of us the rooms are small condo type and very well located with two pools and a Kroger and Golden Coral you can walk to. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
I've been cruising since 1972, so I consider myself well versed on this mode of vacationing. We live in the area, so we just drove down to Galveston and got on board for a quick "cheap" little 5 day cruise. My best friend ... Read More
I've been cruising since 1972, so I consider myself well versed on this mode of vacationing. We live in the area, so we just drove down to Galveston and got on board for a quick "cheap" little 5 day cruise. My best friend and I left husbands at home and went to do our hobby together on board. We wanted to sleep whenever we wanted and eat as much as we pleased and just plain enjoy a girls holiday. We had a very smooth debarkation. Unable to go to our stateroom until later, we were directed up to the Lido deck for lunch. That was our first eye opener. The elevators were so confusing that at the end of the cruise we were still staring at the over head signs trying to figure out what button to push. The Ecstasy lists their decks by letter on the button bar and by the letter and name and (finally )the deck number on the over head signs. Everybody but the staff was forever trying to figure out the floors. It would take about an hour of easy work to fix that, but it hasn't happened in all the years since it was built, so don't count on it now. When we finally located the proper elevator to go to our deck and got the proper button pushed, that's when our next adventure started. I have to have a handicapped room and I ride on a mobility buggy that has to go into the room and recharge over night. Our handicapped room was the size of my walk in closet at home. Yes, it had the correct bath requirements to be listed as a handicapped room. But I have never-ever- seen a cabin like that,with or without handicapped facilities. It had upper bunks in case we wanted two more people in my closet. The dining room was nice enough and the wait staff very wonderful. We were joined by two other couples and had so much fun with them that we did not want to ask for early dining. We always eat first setting, but could not get it in advance. I'm so glad we stayed at that table. It was the high point of our trip. As for the food--------shame on Carnival. I'll mention the highs and forget the rest. The French onion soup was heaven in a bowl. The Indian veggy dinner was great.(Indian food was only once on the menu) The prime rib was a very thin slice but was at least rare as was requested and tender, unlike most of the other beef on board. The buffet was not what it should have been. They did have a very good Mongolian grill at lunch time. Over all- the food was very disappointing. The Conquest was so much better that you would think they were different cruise lines. As for our two ports----we missed both of them due to the hurricane. I was thrilled because I had never been to Vera Cruz and had been to the other ports many times. But I did feel sorry for some of the passengers who had never cruised and were so excited to see Cozumel and Progreso. Of course, who wants to be in the middle of a hurricane??? Not I. We choose not to take in any of the entertainment because of the bowling alley next to our beds. We figured we needed more time to try and sleep. The disembarkation went smoothly--no other ships were in port. Would I go on Carnival again?? Of course, I would but not on the Ecstasy. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
This was our 4th cruise, 3rd on Carnival. We traveled with my sister and her family- all first timers, to see how they would like it.The good news is that they all had a wonderful time and plan to go on another cruise in the future. ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise, 3rd on Carnival. We traveled with my sister and her family- all first timers, to see how they would like it.The good news is that they all had a wonderful time and plan to go on another cruise in the future. Ecstasy is small compared to the other ships in the fleet. While I missed the spaciousness of ships like Conquest, it would be ideal for anyone who has difficulty walking distances. The ship has nearly everything available on the larger ships, just in a more compact form. It does not have an upscale specialty dining restaurant. Cabin U69 is a modified, not fully accessible, ocean view cabin. The only changes were a wider door, a somewhat lower bathroom step up, and a fold-down shower seat. It just barely worked for us. Although we had confirmed early seating for dinner, we were assigned to Anytime Dining upon arrival. It worked well for our group, but I really prefer the regular seating. It is nicer to get to know people over several days and the service is more personal. Anytime Dining feels more like going to a restaurant rather than cruising. I have also noticed a huge downgrade in the formality, menus, and special touches (like the elaborate midnight buffet) fleet wide since our 1st cruise in 2003. At least they still have the towel animals. Read Less
Carnival Ecstasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.5 0.0
Enrichment 2.5 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates N/A 0.0

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