1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first cruise. Since it was our first cruise, we have nothing to compare it to. We had a wonderful time and I feel we were taken care of. However, the food sucked. No other word for it. We got the social media WIFI plan and my ... Read More
This was our first cruise. Since it was our first cruise, we have nothing to compare it to. We had a wonderful time and I feel we were taken care of. However, the food sucked. No other word for it. We got the social media WIFI plan and my husband’s didn’t work the entire cruise. Mine halfway worked but I could not post a pic to Facebook to save my life. We were entertained by the shows and comedy. Once we pulled up in Nassau, we realized just how small this ship is. The ship next to us (I believe Royal Caribbean) towered us. As we spoke to others on board, they said it was the worst cruise ship they have ever been on. I guess we will find out because we definitely plan on taking another cruise soon. So, the food and ship size did not deter us from doing this again. 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
Sail Date: August 2018
Our group planned a couples trip for a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas. It was my first time. It was a nice get-away from the monotony that life causes. The staff were extremely nice, going above and beyond, and made you feel welcomed - ... Read More
Our group planned a couples trip for a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas. It was my first time. It was a nice get-away from the monotony that life causes. The staff were extremely nice, going above and beyond, and made you feel welcomed - they gave you service with a smile. There were many food selections from American, Latin, Italian, Oriental inspired sides, there were also selections for those finicky eaters. The drinks, well lets just say that our "only" options were water and lemonade. With this selection, going to an island and a more than one day cruise, drinking got tired very fast. Overall, the wait times and crowd were what it expected, but what I didn't expect is for me to go back to my room at 3:00 a.m. to find the staff cleaning the halls on our 3rd night on board - we still had another "paid" day to enjoy our experience. I understand that the staff has to prepare for the another cruise, but this killed the whole vibe for that day. It was unacceptable and I don't feel that 4th day I got what I paid for. The staff's character went from "service with a smile" to that of a "Debbie Downer". Additionally, the waiters didn't seem as receptive to serving us and I ordered room service and she was a little rude. Finally, to "throw salt on the wound" I don't know if this is the normal protocol for cruises to do, but on that final day, the staff was advertising for donations. Although, I enjoyed the first few nights I wanted to have an entire memorable experience. As Julius Caesar said: I came, I saw, and I conquered. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
I wasn't super impressed with the cleanliness of my room, to be honest. There seemed to be some dust, or maybe mold - the first night, my nose was going crazy. Also, aren't cruises supposed to have a ton of entertainment? I feel ... Read More
I wasn't super impressed with the cleanliness of my room, to be honest. There seemed to be some dust, or maybe mold - the first night, my nose was going crazy. Also, aren't cruises supposed to have a ton of entertainment? I feel like I was waiting for events the whole time. The food was okay. The breakfast was great, even though my girlfriend didn't really bother eating most of the stuff that was served. The dinners we found to be great. We weren't exactly "impressed", but we at least enjoyed the food and the atmosphere, so we have nothing really to complain about this. My girlfriend and I thoroughly enjoyed the music! There were live bands, and we actually got to hang out with one of the guitarists after their set. He was super cool, and he kind of made the trip worth it. We also appreciated the nearby parking with Instapark once we got back to the mainland. Overall not a bad time, but not really impressed, to be honest. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
So the ship is old and you could tell very easily. We tried the dining room three times but my husband had issues each time. We paid extra ($20) just for a steak, plain. It came with some red wine sauce on it, twice. Even though we ... Read More
So the ship is old and you could tell very easily. We tried the dining room three times but my husband had issues each time. We paid extra ($20) just for a steak, plain. It came with some red wine sauce on it, twice. Even though we specifically asked for no sauce. Very disappointing. The included lemonade made me "pucker" each time I tried it, it was so sour. The included iced tea did not taste like ice tea at all. The cabin was a normal ship cabin. But it would be nice if they actually advertised the correct size of the bed. They said on the website it was 2 twins or both twins put together to make a king size. No way it was a king size bed, maybe a queen. This ship only had one pool for a lot of people. It was a good first cruise experience for my husband but even he said we will look for newer ships when we plan our next vacation. We both liked how we could see/visit multiple islands, the entertainment/shows were good, the pizza was fantastic, loved Guy's burgers, the burritos, tacos and such were wonderful!! Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise primarily because of the departure date and port of Charleston. We had spent a day in Charleston the year prior during our Myrtle Beach trip and fell in love with the city so we drove down two days before the cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily because of the departure date and port of Charleston. We had spent a day in Charleston the year prior during our Myrtle Beach trip and fell in love with the city so we drove down two days before the cruise (Monday departure) to do more sight seeing. Our grown family of four was celebrating a college graduation and birthday. This is a bullet point review. My husband and I sailed Carnival in 1994 when it was deemed more of a party boat than a family boat, then Disney in 2005 (no comparison) and Norwegian in 2016 (Norwegian Spirit, similar age and size cruise ship as the Ecstasy). - Arriving at port...we purchased port parking online ahead of time. We arrived at the corner of Conrad and Lauren around 10:15 and were able to drive inside the gated area for early luggage check-in, which I am glad we did (our luggage was at our cabins by 1:30, much earlier than many). At this time, we also were pre-checked (boarding passes, ID) after which we were directed outside of the gated area but found parking around the corner where we sat about 10 cars away from entrance again until about 11:15. We parked and were shuttled to the port by bus and were on board by 12:30 (without the Faster to the Fun option). - There is some wear and tear on the ship, some areas of rust, worn carpet in areas, but mostly clean and interior is appealing, not gaudy. - Cabins on Riviera deck R156 ocean view - adequate in size (roomier than our balcony cabin on Norwegian Spirit), plenty of storage, nice lighted vanity with stool...great location close to midship elevator. Our bed had pee-stained sheets. Kids across the hall in R154 interior (roomy for the two but had a funky smell). We had contact with our cabin steward once; he was very inconsistent/incomplete...left dirty towels, gave kids pool towels, us none, bottled water in one cabin, none in the other. Didn't appear to do much which is unusual in our limited cruising experience. - Unlike Norwegian (which only allows smoking in the casino and outside), smoking is allowed in a few areas inside the ship, mainly lounges, bars. At times we also did smell musty and sewage smells inside at times, although not a lot (as mentioned in other reviews). - The ship is a nice size, easy to get around. Not too many people. - Muster drill did not start on time, I imagine due to passengers not arriving on time; however, it took much longer than our previous cruises, a good 45 minutes to nearly an hour. - DINING: Unlike Norwegian, there is no breakfast or lunch in the dining room(s) apart from sea days where they do offer a nice Sea Day Brunch from 8:30-3:00ish. The buffet selection is SMALL (disappointing) in comparison, but there is an omelette station at breakfast. Carnival makes up a little for the buffet by offering breakfast and lunch at Blue Iguana Cantina, and lunch at Guy Fieri's Burgers (spelling?), both of which are good. Pizza is available on the Lido deck 24 hours as is Swirls ice cream. There is a nice deli there also that is open from lunch until 11 p.m....a great option I underused. We chose early (6:00) dinner in the WindSong dining room. Our wait staff was excellent. Norwegian had an extensive wine list while Carnival had about 6-8 offerings. The food was decent, not as good as Norwegian. (I can't even compare to Disney, but you do pay through the nose for Disney.) Our milkshakes at the coffee bar were nothing more than chocolate milk. We do not drink coffee so I can't comment although my daughter had coffee at the buffet and said it was awful. Room service is free for many items, but pizza and some other items have a charge. Soda and alcoholic beverages are not free through room service even if you purchase the beverage package. - The mini-golf on the 13th (sports) deck is nice when not too windy. There are tables where you can sit. There is a small deck on the front side of the windows in front of the course where you can stand at the front of the ship and enjoy the view. This is a nice area to escape the crowds and enjoy a little quiet. The adults only Serenity deck on deck 9 at the back of the ship is another place I underused. There are thickly padded chaise lounges, a few umbrellas, two hot tubs and a shaded seating area with chairs and ottomans...a great place to spend time reading and relaxing, and just below the Lido area close to food and beverages. - Shows in comparison to Norwegian...not as good, Motown and The Brits. The Hasbro game show was fun to watch! We enjoyed the Punchline Comedy Club! - We had fun participating in the raffles at the Galleria/jewelry store and in the spa. It's a fun diversion from the sun, and with sometimes 30-40 people participating, your chances of winning of pretty good, although we did not. We enjoyed the bracelet and watch specials, 2 for $20 t-shirt sales. We also enjoyed family game time in The Explorer's Club, where there are many Hasbro games to choose from. You can have as much fun as you choose to have. My daughter and I attended a Ladies Pamper Party in the spa, which was an educational sales pitch basically but we got to use Elemis spa products for free and perform self-facials, and I got to be a model for a Sun Glow application; we had fun at no cost to us. In conclusion, we wanted a fun and affordable family cruise, and this fit the bill. The difference (which is why you pay less with Carnival) is in the details. We experienced more personal service on the Norwegian Spirit last year. Little details made the difference on Norwegian, like cooling towels upon returning from excursions, lots of staff ready at our service, better food in the dining room and choice of breakfast and lunch in the dining room. The spa on the Norwegian was nicer. We would choose another cruise line for another couple's cruise, but again, for our family, this was adequate and enjoyable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
I took this cruise with my wife as part of the 40th wedding celebration. It stopped at Nassau and Freeport. Both stops were not the greatest for us; the first excursion we choose had the Charm and Beauty of Nassau well, it was a quick tour ... Read More
I took this cruise with my wife as part of the 40th wedding celebration. It stopped at Nassau and Freeport. Both stops were not the greatest for us; the first excursion we choose had the Charm and Beauty of Nassau well, it was a quick tour by bus and you couldn't really visit and the bus driver kept saying that he shouldn't but would..no I would not recommend throwing money away on this excursion. In Freeport it was the Hop On Hop Off we took. The place is not worth visiting. I hear Disney does not even do excursions there anymore. Now, the ship itself. What a nice place to be on. We took a balcony and never regretted the extra funds it cost. We did formal dining and loved it. We had E103 and let me tell you...do the balcony if you decide to cruise. We did not enjoy the constant photos and the cost of them trying to sell them to us...tends to be a little pricey Oh ya, one thing to pack for coffee lovers is a thermos. Wish we had done that. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Sometimes, you really do get what you pay for. I loved leaving from Charleston, S. C. It was so convenient for us and apparently a lot of other people. The food was ok, not great, not bad. We all thought it was sort of Applebee's ... Read More
Sometimes, you really do get what you pay for. I loved leaving from Charleston, S. C. It was so convenient for us and apparently a lot of other people. The food was ok, not great, not bad. We all thought it was sort of Applebee's quality. Room was ok. We were told a King bed was a King bed, not two singles pushed together, but, lol, the king bed was two singles pushed together. The room had maybe 3 channels on TV, so no college football national championship game (or anything else) available in the room. The worse problem? Smoking is allowed in the casino and in another inside area of the ship. If you walk in those areas or if you half to pass those areas walking, you need a shower to get the smoke out of your hair. The areas are open to all surrounding areas and it all closed in with no ventilation to get rid of the smoke. As a result, maybe 20% of the common area of the ship is smoke saturated. If you take this cruise, I hope you like to smoke. The price was good, very cheap actually. Sometimes, you get what you pay for... Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I'll try to keep this short and hit on the highlights. We are a couple and traveled with about 6 other couples from the Carolinas. We drove to Charleston and stayed the night before downtown. Took Uber to the port in the morning ... Read More
I'll try to keep this short and hit on the highlights. We are a couple and traveled with about 6 other couples from the Carolinas. We drove to Charleston and stayed the night before downtown. Took Uber to the port in the morning around 11AM (5 blocks) so that part was easy. Immediately met on board with free Champagne which was served pretty much all afternoon. We bought the Cheers drink package so we also had other drinks. The ship is old and in need of some major cleaning (scum, mildew in bathrooms but nothing any worse than a medium cost hotel). After all, this is Carnival (Probably my 6th or 7th Carnival Cruise from various ports) not Celebrity. We knew what we were getting but but two things were VERY below par: 1) Quality of food in the formal dining rooms. I just to brag to people that would put Carnival down and say their food was not good. For 4-5 of my last Carnival Cruises I was amazed at the quality of food but not this time. Not sure if it was because it was New years, or because it was only a 5 day cruise but we only had one decent (dinner) meal in the dining rooms. The shrimp cocktail (which used to be fairly large) were about as small as you can get. The salads were awful and most entrees were of what you would expect in a very cheap restaurant. Only the Jambalaya and Prime Rib (ironically both served on the last night were decent). And the lamb shank--it was good too. EVERYTHING else was not very good (Thank God for the 24 hour Pizza on Deck Nine Aft!). 2) But the WORST thing was the wait one had to endure in the Open Seating Dining Room (Wind Star). Unless you ate at 5;45 or after 7:45 you would have to leave the Atrium (Deck 5) and go up one set of stairs and wait in line for at least 25 minutes---only to get a buzzer that would "go off" when your table was ready--usually 30-50 minutes later!! I know this ship was built post Open Seating era but I was told that the Dining Room (Wind Song) that had the formal dinner dining times of 6:00 PM and 8:15 PM was only half full for dinners. If Carnival knows that this is the trend why couldn't it have tweaked the dining long ago to allow for more "Any time Dining" to cut the lines down? The breakfast and lunch choices were good--the Wind Star was always available (better food) and the Lido Deck buffets (though the lines could get long) always had enough eating choices. And then, when in doubt, there was the Pizza (which was very good). As far as the bars were concerned the Atrium bar was always crowded and other than one or two bartenders they were very slow. The Bullfrog Bar on Deck 10 always had Excellent service. The muster was the longest and most disorganized in all of my 27 cruises! Not sure what the thinking here was. The crew was VERY friendly and happy. This was most welcome. I'll have to think twice about sailing any Carnival Cruise again. I'm not a food snob but unless the whole industry is cutting back on quality meals I'll have to explore other cruise lines. 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
Carnival Ecstasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.5 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.7
Family 3.5 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.7
Enrichment 2.5 3.3
Service 4.5 4.1
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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