28 Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Caribbean - Eastern

Reason we chose this cruise: It was in a day drive, low budget and fit into fall break for our teen. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and efficient. Ship was old and dated and many of the areas on the ship had cosmetic ... Read More
Reason we chose this cruise: It was in a day drive, low budget and fit into fall break for our teen. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and efficient. Ship was old and dated and many of the areas on the ship had cosmetic issues - tiles off of walls, cracks and rust. After the second night in the dining room we successfully found a great service team that we stuck with for entire cruise. The last night after returning from dinner we entered the hallway to a terrible smell and crew members frantically trying to vacuum up the water that was about 4" in the hall. Many cabins were flooded and people could not get belongings. We were moved to 2 rooms as there were none that could accommodate 3. In room with my wife and teenager somebody early in the morning just walked into the room without knocking. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This ship is a joke. Room had several patched jobs with different colors. Smelled and broken furniture. Women’s dry sauna was registered at 230 degrees wet sauna had no steam (reported it twice) never changed all week Numerous medical ... Read More
This ship is a joke. Room had several patched jobs with different colors. Smelled and broken furniture. Women’s dry sauna was registered at 230 degrees wet sauna had no steam (reported it twice) never changed all week Numerous medical emergencies. Rust filled Lido deck, broken down elevators. Entertainment suitable for the gereatrics ward. Save your money because Carnival doesn’t care. Day 2 man died in E37 and family members crying and screaming. People near the room confused as man brought out wrapped in towels and rushed down the hall into the elevator. Zero words said to the customers standing in hall way. No one knows if there are physically or medically safe and Carnival only paste a red sign on the door saying “do not enter under authoring of the captain”. Red tape across the lock. Upon debarkation, federal and local law enforcement outside the room. This is a low budget cruise. SAVE YOUR MONEY! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
As first time cruisers, traveling with children, we wanted to make our experience as simple as possible. With Charleston being an easy 5 hr car ride, we chose to leave from there and traveled down the day before embarkation. We took ... Read More
As first time cruisers, traveling with children, we wanted to make our experience as simple as possible. With Charleston being an easy 5 hr car ride, we chose to leave from there and traveled down the day before embarkation. We took advantage of a hotel deal where we could stay the night, have a sit down breakfast, park our car for the week, and take the hotel shuttle to and from the port- this worked out beautifully! Hotel Indigo in Mt. Pleasant is just across the bridge. The shuttle worked out flawlessly, and was actually nicer than I had expected. For about $30 more than the price of parking at the port all week, we got a good night's rest, a meal, parking, and the shuttle. We did go out into Charleston the night before to meet some friends and enjoyed ourselves at Carmella's for drinks and desert. When we arrived at the port the next morning, there was a bit of a wait in the shuttle line and when we got off, the baggage handlers were nice enough but were obviously trying to be hasty. There was one particularly loud one shouting everything. He was nice when we realized I had not printed enough bag tags and he helped us get some on quickly, despite his loud first impression. Our shuttle driver pointed out to us where he would be during disembarkation and we headed to the terminal to go through security. The line was long, but moved quickly. It was during the line wait that I realized I made my first rookie mistake of putting my wine in our checked suitcase instead of my carry on. I researched but forgot this detail, apparently. I spent the next several hours praying it wouldn't burst all over our clothing. In the end, they ended up 'confiscating it' and we had clean clothing. Security was smooth until we got to the desk where they check birth certs and IDs, etc. My husband's documents had to be taken to customs due to his name being commonly flagged (?). The lady came back and said well, its good news since I have no customs agent with me! Well, I'd hope so!! She explained that he just had a common name, and it was often flagged. However, my husband is a Veteran and in all his travels has never ran into any issues regarding his name. I still am not sure what all this was about but did not appreciate the delay. We were finally sent to the next checkpoint and there, we weren't listed as 'checked in' due to the previous "issue" so we stood there for another few minutes while they got that sorted. This kind of initially spoiled the faster to the fun option we bought- this hiccup of Carnival's ended up costing us more time in security that I had hoped to be there, with children. However, the final checkpoint agent apologized and stated this was an issue on their end, not ours.... and we were on our way. Once we got on board, our room was not ready so we went for a drink, lunch, and some ship exploring. Once we got back to the room, we had 1 of 3 suitcases which just hours before was brand new but at this point, appeared to have been dragged through the desert a few times. We waited in the room to see if we would get the other two soon and one did arrive but not our main one (at this point I was still waiting to see if we had wine stained clothing so I was anxious to get it and get unpacked and organized). We waited a bit longer, watching the dolphins play from our cabin window, and it still didn't arrive so we left again. The main suitcase arrived sometime later and like I said, our clothing was clean but the wine had been confiscated. We never did get it back and were told they were unable to locate it during disembarkation. I did not complain- it wasn't special wine and I was relieved to not have to pay to launder an entire suitcase full of clothing but it does make me wonder why it was confiscated and couldn't have been delivered to the room since we're allowed to have it anyway. The Ecstacy is showing her age in places. The decor could certainly use an update but it was clean and sufficient. All elevators worked fine except for the last night when one was down for maintenance for just a bit. We took stairs any time we could. Our cabin was M218 towards the end of the ship and made for some long walks at times; the room itself suited the four of us fine but I would spring for a suite next time for more room, if possible. One major complaint was the sewage smell coming from the drains in the bathroom. We found that if we plugged the sink, it was somewhat better. The shower had good water pressure and was always hot, however. I brought a cheap, clear, shoe hanger for our door and don't know what I would have done with all our stuff without it! There is no storage room other than a tiny shelf in the bathroom. I think the rooms could use a dresser instead of a desk/vanity. We had to put all clothing on the shelves in the closets and they're just not easily accessible. The beds were comfortable and my girls (8 and 11) had fun sitting on the window ledge. They had a pull down bunk and a roll away bad close to the floor. The pull down made me have to crawl over my husband but thats not really an issue for us. There was a small leak in our window which ruined a book a had sitting up there, due to heavy rain and sea spray the last day. In common areas, there was often not enough seating for popular places or shows, the pool is too small (and one is not enough). For the most part, I found the staff exceptional. They really do work so hard. Our Cruise Director, Leon, was fabulous and our steward Hermogenes made our room homey and was a sight for sore eyes after a day of tiring fun- he always had a smile and a kind word for us. Our waitstaff Saw and Ni Nguyen made sure we were well cared for at dinner, remembered our favorite drinks/wine/my kids favored foods and didn't judge when we wanted two of something. haha. We had a nicer breakfast during two on board brunches and our waiter there was also exceptional though I did not ever get his name. He went out of his way for my youngest child and it was very appreciated. My second rookie mistake was skipping the first formal night. We missed the lobster which I was looking forward to. We went to the second formal night but.. no lobster that time. We did have escargot and really enjoyed it. There were a few staff, both bartenders, actually who I thought needed a night off and were less than friendly. I see a lot of complaints about the ship rocking. This is also something else I expected... you're in the ocean, no? It's no fault of anyone involved and we did have one very turbulent day on the last day at sea. The cruise shop sold a small bottle of essential oils that helped tremendously with any queasiness. We also brought non drowsy dramamine. I will be the first to tell anyone I figured all the shows would be horribly cheesy and I wouldn't be able to sit through them. We saw some great ones though! The Brits show, America Rocks, and the Motown review were pretty good. There was a cute Christmas show that my daughter enjoyed too. My kids also enjoyed Camp Ocean- they actually asked to go back to it. They spent the majority of our last night there and came back with a sweet swag bag full of stuff. I do wish the kids camps were open longer than 10pm without the extra expense of "night owls". There are many adult shows we wanted to attend and chose not to so that we wouldn't have to pay $16/ hour ($8/ child, per hour). The deck dance parties were fun but adults take their glow sticks seriously and my younger daughter's feelings got hurt over not getting a giant glow stick while the adults around her snatched for them. My girls did the Build A Bear even on board and even though they had done this before, they really enjoyed it and liked taking their animals everywhere they went. We took our kids to the piano bar and karaoke which they enjoyed. Our ports were Amber Cove, Grand Turk, and Princess Cay. We were supposed to go to Half Moon Cay but it was changed months before we left. We enjoyed them all but Grand Turk was our fave. We chose not to do any excursions and just relax and play on the beaches. While my kids really enjoyed the pool at Amber Cove, if we returned there, we would probably do an excursion to see more of the island. The port area is very commercialized compared to (for example) Grand Turk and it seems you can't really explore otherwise. We simply rented a nice snorkeling set up in Grand Turk and had fun with the kids on the beaches there. The girls got their hair braided and I enjoyed interacting with the locals down the beach (away from Margaritaville). Princess Cay was very relaxing and it was nice to have lunch provided. However, the seas there were rough and we took a shuttle boat to the island due to the lack of pier there. It was fine for our family and others but we were later made aware that one of the last shuttle boats back to the main ship got stuck out in the water for hours due to a blown engine, without any communication. They had children on board and it was dusk, then dark in rough waters. We were told by someone on that boat that Carnival only offered them a $50 room credit for this. This is hardly sufficient for lack of communication when something should have been previously worked out in the event of this happening. We did enjoy our time there but the waves were rough for the kids so they couldn't swim as far as they would have liked. We enjoyed the majority of the food. Some stand outs were the Blue Iguana Tacos, Guys Burgers, of course the kids liked the pizza and ice cream; french toast and omelets for breakfast, the prime rib, escargot, and chocolate melting cake and the souffle in the dining room. We also enjoyed the fried shrimp during the last lunch at the grill in the lido. The St. Helena Merlot is a good choice for a cheaper glass of wine! We also really liked the tropical mules, and the bite of the iguana margarita from blue iguana bar. On the other hand, most of the desserts in the lido aren't worth the calories, the coffee is not good, and the pasta dishes at night in the dining room seem recycled. It is possible to eat fairly healthy on a cruise. I was able to eat salad and fruit daily, though I wish they served pineapple. I do recommend ordering bottled water to your room. I ordered 4 packs and that was too much for us, even for 7 days. Really only needed half that. The Faster to the fun really came in handy when we received priority boarding for the shuttle boats to Princess Cay. We were in one of the first boats over which allowed for us to grab good lounge chairs close to everything. It was also really helpful during disembarkation as we were off the ship quickly and hours before many others. That is helpful with children. So, don't overpack so that you cant take your own bags off the ship. Our hotel shuttle was there waiting for us when we got to him and it was again painless to get to our car and on our way home. My kids really enjoyed themselves and while we would have been able to relax more child free, this was perfect for a family vacation. We would certainly go again with a few things done differently: -We'd do the cheers packages -Take the wine in the carry ons! -Take more regular clothing- I took a lot of beach wear/coverups/comfy stuff and dresses but not much in the middle. -Dont skip the first formal night -Get a larger cabin, midship, if possible -Get more pics of the whole family taken during dinner (I swore I wouldn't want any of those, but I did! And would have gotten more if my whole family was in them) -Get Faster to the Fun again We're already looking for our next cruise! I hope this review is helpful to someone. I included things I'd want to know. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Chose this cruise based on the ports of call - St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the length of the cruise and embarkation port close to home. Pluses of the ship: Clean ship, easy to get around, great ship for smoker's, ... Read More
Chose this cruise based on the ports of call - St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the length of the cruise and embarkation port close to home. Pluses of the ship: Clean ship, easy to get around, great ship for smoker's, Negatives: For non-smoker's they must walk through the casino smoking area to get to the aft or forward part of the ship. Food: Lido - Way below par - cold food should be kept at below 40 degrees and hot food above 140 degees. This was failed to do. Guy's Burgers - NO BIG DEAL, Dining Room - Lasagna meat was on the standard of a mechanical diet consistancy. I ordered steak (filet mignon) for an additional $20 and asked to have it cooked medium-rare, it came out rare/raw, not once but twice. Glad they took the charge off of my bill. On another dining room experience, water glasses were not cleaned, found black floating piece of something, ordered new water glasses for the table only for the one of the new glasses to have a dark brown spot at the bottom, and then noticed that the remaining glasses had some floating pulp, called Maitre'D over and he replaced glasses with cleaner ones and gave the table bottled water. He indicated that it might be a problem with the dishwashing machines. One saving grace with all these food problems is that I called this cruise the 8-day cruise diet. I loss ten pounds due to being sick for 3 out of the 8 days! Thank goodness we had a great cabin steward (Jhoni) who kept me furnished with a clean cabin and ginger all and bottled water. Before booking any cruise, check out the CDC's website for cruise ships ratings. Most ships get a rating of 95 to 100. The Carnival Ecstasy's rating was a 86! Not good, this should tell you something is definetly wrong. The last Carnival ship we sailed on in November 2016 was the Magic, which had a high rating. We did our own excursions as we have been to these ports before and knew our way around. We will not go back on this ship. We are booked on a December cruise with Royal Caribbean on Brillance of The Seas. Fingers crossed that it will be a better experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I chose this cruise because Charleston was the closest port to me, next time I will probably drive farther to try a larger ship. The embarkation process was ok, you pay $20 a day to park in a warehouse and wait in line about 45 mins to ... Read More
I chose this cruise because Charleston was the closest port to me, next time I will probably drive farther to try a larger ship. The embarkation process was ok, you pay $20 a day to park in a warehouse and wait in line about 45 mins to get on the ship. This was my 2nd cruise and the last one was so long ago I didn't remember anything about it, so this was pretty much like my first cruise experience. Overall I had a good time. Pros- Food was great. Guys burger place was my favorite, the taco place was also very good. I ate at the fancy restaurant only one night because our 8:15 reservation conflicted with the shows we wanted to see, but it was really good the night I went (I had pork chops and chocolate molten cake YUMMM) The buffet was pretty good, they had different stuff to choose from on the hot bar, and a large salad bar with fresh goodies each night. There was also a pizza place that I tried once and was pretty good. The room service has some good options as far as sandwiches that will be to your room in about 20 mins, I enjoyed the tuna a couple evenings. Order b4 10 p.m. and it's free, after 10 they do charge. Service was great, all the workers were very friendly and our room steward Rodolfo was great! Our room was cleaned each evening and overall the ship was very clean. Excersion- The only excersion we did was a tour of Nassau which was 30$ a person and we enjoyed it. Cons- Entertainment- I wasn't crazy about the entertainment, I am in my 20s so the older rock tribute, tribute to the Brits, and tribute to the classics 60,70, and 80s were not really my cup of tea. The family comedy was pretty funny, we skipped out on the Rated 18+ comedy. If you love to party by the pool, they do a lot of that. The music is loud so if you are like me and want to relax and read a book try the top deck back by the water park it isn't as loud. The Love and Marriage show was pretty funny. Pool - The biggest complaint I have about this ship is there is only one pool and it is small. It's pretty impossible to swim because all the kids take over. If this ship had 2 pools it would be perfect, one day was ridicuolsy hot and the pool was too crowded to get in. Disembarktation- If possible take your own bags off the ship, if you check them the night before it will take at least 1.5 hours to get off the ship. Overall this is a good cruise option, next time I will choose a bigger boat with 2 pools. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The cruise was fantastic! The entertainment was fun good, buffets, and the workers were very friendly. The man that was helping in housekeeping on deck R named Noel was very friendly and helpful! Everyday our rooms were kept very clean, ... Read More
The cruise was fantastic! The entertainment was fun good, buffets, and the workers were very friendly. The man that was helping in housekeeping on deck R named Noel was very friendly and helpful! Everyday our rooms were kept very clean, and everything we needed was always brought on time.The Guys Burger Shop was my favorite place to eat on the ship the Burger's were amazing, and the fries were the best I've had. The music entertainment was very enjoyable the bands sounded good, and watching the Blue Sapphire shows were loads of fun. There wasn't one day were I was bored there was always something to do on the ship! In the end I has an amazing time on the ship and all the islands! The Bahamas is an amazing experience, and I recommend antoto travel there with carnival! Enjoyed my stay and I would definitely go another carnival Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise because it sailed out of Charleston, which was convenient for us. Had it been my first cruise, it would have been my last! Food was mediocre.....some meals were fantastic, other food items were horrible....most ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it sailed out of Charleston, which was convenient for us. Had it been my first cruise, it would have been my last! Food was mediocre.....some meals were fantastic, other food items were horrible....most were so so Service was friendly, but slow. Bars were staffed with one bartender....rarely two. The cabin was small....and even smaller with the kids beds in use! There was a LOT of head bumping all week long! More hooks and shelving would have been good as the desk/counter area was quite small. The weather affected us... not that Carnival has any control over that.....but having one port canceled and many shows and other interests canceled or modified really put a damper on our experience. The temperature control in the room was ineffective, and on our debarkation morning, we had no running water for a period of time. For a family of four trying to get up early and be out of our cabin, not having water was ridiculous! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
There is nothing better than ringing in the New Year at sea. This was our 4th NYE cruise and 2nd on the Ecstasy. We were fortunate enough to have one of our son's family of 4 and my wife's 2 sisters and a nephew cruise with us. ... Read More
There is nothing better than ringing in the New Year at sea. This was our 4th NYE cruise and 2nd on the Ecstasy. We were fortunate enough to have one of our son's family of 4 and my wife's 2 sisters and a nephew cruise with us. Having family along was icing on the cake. We live about 30 minutes outside of Charleston and it's very convenient. A family member dropped us off and we met our son at the port. We're platnium and we decided that we would board with them. One of the Carnival embarkation workers allowed the whole family to use the priority line, something we didn't expect and were greatful for. We arrived at the end of the peak time so the crowd wasn't that bad. Embarkation was quick and easy and we were onboard in less than 45 minutes. The ship is one of Carnivals oldest, but it's in great shape. The one thing I did notice was in some of the stairwells towards the back of the ship, the glass that goes from the handrails to the floor was missing. No biggie, just something I didn't expect to see. My biggest complaint was in the MDR. We love cruising and this was our 18th Carnival cruise. We are easy going and don't let little things bother us, but I couldn't get over the cold meals we were served almost every night in the MDR. If you order a prime rib medium rare, it's going to be at a lower temperature normally. When it was served to us it was cool to the point it was hard to eat. The temperature of the coffee was luke warm at best. The worst was when we did the Dr. Suess breakfast with our family. We had 2 of our young grandsons and wanted to enjoy the meal. Everything was cold. I couldn't eat the waffles and of course the coffee was cold too. Kind of upsetting and of course the waitstaff offered to give us new meals but it was already getting late so we declined. The food quality and choice was as always, good. We went to a couple of the shows and enjoyed them all. The comedy shows were great too. A hint is to get to the comedy show early to get a seat. Service was spot on, our room stewards were fantastic. We never lacked for anything in our cabin. The rest of the crew we had contact with were also top notched. The bar areas were always busy but wait times were usually minimal. The itinerary was great for a ship porting from Charleston, Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Amber Cove Dominican Republic. Half Moon Cay is alway a nice place to relax and enjoy the beach. We found some lounge chairs and enjoyed the day. Water was refreshing and the food is always good. Grand Turk is probably one of our favorite ports. We headed to Jack's Shack and enjoyed some Turks Head beer and conch fritters. And of course we got to see Topher the dog. This was our first time to Amber Cove and we were happliy surprised. We didn't book an excursion, just did some shopping at the port and our son took his family to the pool on site. They had lots of fun and joined us for a quick meal at Coco Cana. Try the calamari, it was fantasticly prepared and delicious. Coming back to Charleston we had 2 sea days. The last day it got chilly. Charleston was hit with a snow storm while we were gone and because of icy roads, disembarkation was delayed a little. Some of the workers had issues getting to work. Charleston isn't used to this type of weather and Carnival did everything they could to take care of us. Getting home was an adventure. Some roads in the city were blocked due to ice but we were able to get home with no real problem. All in all it was a great cruise and we would definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Had the misfortune of sailing from Charleston, SC to the Bahamas in a cold snap. There was no heat on the ship, not even in the staterooms. Had to sleep under 2 comforters and in 2 robes with towels wrapped around my legs the first 2 ... Read More
Had the misfortune of sailing from Charleston, SC to the Bahamas in a cold snap. There was no heat on the ship, not even in the staterooms. Had to sleep under 2 comforters and in 2 robes with towels wrapped around my legs the first 2 nights. Also had to wear a fleece jacket in the Dining room every night. The cigarette smoke from the casino made walking on the port side of the 9th floor unbearable. The good things that made the cruise "average" was the great staff, Fun crew, food and company. My dining room attendants exhibited some great dance moves! The crew also put together a lot of holiday themed events, including a snow event in the atrium. The holiday decorations were very festive. As always, the Fun and Marrage show was a hoot. But the lack of heat will prevent me from ever sailing on this ship during the winter months ever again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Chose the cruise initially because there would be a 6 month gap in cruises for us after a Bach 2 Back in February on the Magic and another Back to Back in July (family cruise). We initially booked the Sunshine Journey out of Charleston. As ... Read More
Chose the cruise initially because there would be a 6 month gap in cruises for us after a Bach 2 Back in February on the Magic and another Back to Back in July (family cruise). We initially booked the Sunshine Journey out of Charleston. As this was a repeat of the 2016 cruise, we decided to take the November Journey on the Ecstasy. Same port, close to home - winner! Well, not so much. Thanks to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the itinerary was changed to Aruba, Bonaire, Grand Turk and Princess Cays. Okay, I can deal with that. Had never been to Bonaire. Beautiful island! Weather got in the way, and with c26mph winds, there was no way we could dock at Grand Turk. A 10 day, 5 island cruise turned into a 4 island then a 3 island cruise. For us, the cruise is the destination. So, although there was some disappointment at not being able to get to Jack's Shack, or to see our friend, Fernando at Milano Jewelry, we still had a nice time. The service in the MDR for early dinner was VERY SLOW for our table. Our head waiter was supposed to be one of the "trainers", but the service was incredibly slow, at one point we were asked to leave so they could set up the next dinner seating. In 28 cruises, I have never eaten on Lido for dinner. On the second to last evening, ewe got up and left, the service was that slow. Spoke to the Food Services Manager, and it improved on our last night. This was our 5th trip on the Ecstasy. Yes, she is old. The upgrade recently done took out the "Society Bar" which was the sports bar and replaced it with an Alchemy Bar and took out all the TVs. Now if you want to watch a football game on Saturday - (Clemson and Carolina games are very popular here) you end up in the coffee shop fighting for a seat. Bad move, Carnival! Other than the small stuff, the crew kept the activities going - Gary was amazing! - and there was always something to do. The Academy of Fun, presented by Jason, was interesting. Crafts were available daily, and everyone seemed to have a great time. The older clientele with wheelchairs, walkers and scooters need to be reminded of hall and elevator etiquette. Wait your turn and be polite! Just because you are in a wheelchair, etc does not mean you can push your way over everyone else to get to the elevator that others have been waiting for. And most everyone on the ship was in summer mode - flip flops - that means please try to avoid feet - they are not in season! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was our 4th time sailing on Carnival, and we were very pleased with almost everything. We chose the Ecstasy simply because it sails out of Charleston, SC. We have several people in our family who cannot do long road trips, so close to ... Read More
This was our 4th time sailing on Carnival, and we were very pleased with almost everything. We chose the Ecstasy simply because it sails out of Charleston, SC. We have several people in our family who cannot do long road trips, so close to home was a must for this cruise. We were a bit apprehensive about the size and age of the ship, but it turned out to be a non-issue for the most part. The Port of Charleston is not really set up for cruise ships, so the drop-off and pick-up is not as smooth as it could be. The port area is cramped and busy, and hard to find your way around. We stayed at a local hotel near the airport, and took our checked luggage to the port the morning of departure, checked and dropped it off, paid for parking, and then went back to the hotel for the rest of the family. This proved to be a convenient way to do it because dropping off just people was easy. I then went to park and caught a shuttle back over to the terminal and met up with the rest of my group with no problems. Embarkation was fast and simple. The Ecstasy is an older and smaller ship but most everything has been either re-done or kept up well. The only signs of aging we saw was some rust around doorways. All the decor and furnishings seemed to be fairly new. As for the size, the only drawback I found was cramped deck space. There was no wide promenade deck like on larger ships, so everyone was confined to the pool area or the Serenity deck, which made it crowded. On the plus side, fewer people makes for shorter lines, and shorter walking distances from one end of the ship to another! FOOD: We had late seating in the Wind Star dining room, and ate dinner there every night. The menus were varied and the choices were pretty standard for Carnival. The extra cost entrees were on the main dining menu, since they have no premium restaurants on this ship. My mother-in-law is gluten intolerant and had no problems at all. The staff would provide the next evening's menu during dinner and she would choose what she wanted, and the cooks would prepare it gluten-free, including desserts. She said they were excellent. The only complaint was one we have on every Carnival cruise. The chocolate melting cake is superb the first couple of nights, then they get progressively less melty as the cruise goes on. My guess is that they make them ahead, and reheat the ones not served, so the successive heating cooks them more each night. Otherwise, all the food was as expected. One nice surprise was the addition of fruit pies each night. I had the apple pie one night and it was delicious! We ate breakfast and lunch each day on the Lido Deck. It was standard buffet-style fare, with salad bar, dessert bar, sandwiches, and different entree each day. The made to order pizza and panini sandwiches were very good. Outside by the pool you'll find Guy's Burgers, and Blue Iguana cantina. Both were very good, and offered gluten-free buns/tortillas. There is a small coffee cafe for espresso and specialty coffees and teas that was good, but it is near the casino so it gets very smoky. Anything you get there is an extra charge. Services: We had no trouble with any services we needed. Rooms were made up according to when we wanted it. Most days it was evenings only, since we like to sleep late. We did have to ask for extra toilet tissue, as our steward did not replenish. The room was clean, but the bathroom did have some mold around the ceiling of the shower. Speaking of the shower, the shower was the best I've ever experienced on a ship. The water pressure combined with the shower head were perfect! Room: We had an inside cabin on deck 5, M76. It was pretty standard, with two twins (which we had asked to be combined into a king, but was not done), with two pull down berths. The room was arranged such that one bed was perpendicular to one pull down, and the other bed was fully beneath the other pull down. We ended up leaving it this way because it left a pretty large area in the center of the cabin to move around in. As for the pull down berths, be warned: the railing is NOT adequate to keep a smaller child from rolling out! The rail is about 1.5" square, in the shape of a "D", and covers about 1/3 of the length of the bunk. Not only could a child climb/roll out at the head or the foot of the bed, but could also squeeze through the rail opening itself. Also, for storage, the rail folds down onto the bed with no locking mechanism to keep it upright. My daughter folded it down several times while sleeping and could have just rolled over it and off the bunk. Very bad design! Storage is typical for a small cabin, with shelves in the closets and 3 drawers at the desk. I was dismayed to see that the bunk ladders are stored in one of the closets, severely limiting hanging space for nice clothing. In the bathroom, there was one narrow shelf above the sink, so no storing more than a couple toothbrushes there. The temperature in the cabin was always hot. The only control was on the ceiling vent, where you could turn the air flow open or closed. Not very good. Also, there was no hairdryer, but the cabin steward provide us one to use. We don't really take part in the casino, bars,shows or other activities, so I can't comment. We did play a couple rounds of bingo which was fun, and did the mini-golf, which was good (and free). You do have to climb a few flights of stairs to get to the mini-golf. The shopping on board is fairly limited. They do have a small liquor store, clothing and jewelry store. If you're looking for toiletries, they are in the liquor store. I would also suggest doing your shopping early, as they tend to run out of things. On the last sea day, they had a t-shirt sale that had long lines, but good prices. Since the stores are so small, their selection of items is very limited. One area that Carnival needs to improve is the Pixels photo gallery. Most lines have converted to digital, but not Carnival. They still print out every photo they take and display them around the walls of the Pixels area. This makes for lots of hunting and wasted photo paper! We lost a couple pictures we wanted when they turned up missing from the displays. Carnival really needs to modernize this, not only for customer convenience, but also for savings in time and resources. Our itinerary was changed due to Hurricane Maria damage to Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, so we ended up with 3 sea days to start the cruise. We visited Aruba, Bonaire, and were supposed to dock in Grand Turk, but it was too windy. We ended up with 6 sea days and only 3 port days! Not my favorite, but at least we were having fun. All in all, this was a very nice cruise. I would take the Ecstasy again, but since we like sitting quietly on deck, I'd probably get a balcony cabin next time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Convenient port from NC and slides were great for kids. Went in knowing I didn't like Carnival that much. It was about as expected, except bunks terrible! 4 in our room and kept hitting head entire week on bottom bunk. Bathroom VERY ... Read More
Convenient port from NC and slides were great for kids. Went in knowing I didn't like Carnival that much. It was about as expected, except bunks terrible! 4 in our room and kept hitting head entire week on bottom bunk. Bathroom VERY tiny! Only 1 cabin cleaning per day which I knew... Half Moon Cay & Grand Turk amazing (Nassau - not so much). Food okay. (Burgers were great and I'm not a big burger person). Pizzas good too. Ice cream machines down half the time, especially chocolate flavor. Staff were great and getting on/off ship very easy!! Spring break for many schools, so hot tubs were overflowing with children. Only one pool - small. Adults needed to use ones in adults only area. Room stayed cool and you could control it. Only adult with 3 kids/teens, so didn't do any shows or extra things. Hey, any cruise is better than no cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This is our first cruise as a family so I do not have a comparison cruise. I chose the 7 days cruise with 4 sea days and port of call at Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Grand Turks. I was pleasantly surprised by the ship and her crew after ... Read More
This is our first cruise as a family so I do not have a comparison cruise. I chose the 7 days cruise with 4 sea days and port of call at Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Grand Turks. I was pleasantly surprised by the ship and her crew after reading the negative previous reviews. I do not regularly write reviews but the recent reviews that I read definitely do not reflect my experience so I thought it was necessary. The ship had been through a recent dry dock with updates for Blue Iguana Cantina, Guy Fierri's Grill, Alchemy and the water park. I really could not imagine the ship before these new additions.The Ecstasy was visibly whiter with bolder colors than the much newer sister ship docked beside us at Grand Turks. This ship was clean and cared for. Ecstasy's crew would wash down the decks every single night, the bathrooms were always clean, the staff continuously wiped down the tables, chairs, stairs, and shampooed the carpets. Hourly, I saw an adult or child spill something and simply walk away without making an effort to clean up the mess. Those messes were immediately attended to. Our dining experience at Windstar was wonderful with the team of waiters being Mr. Jimmy, Mr. Dedi, Mr. Nikola and Ms. Wonshin. We had anytime dining so we had to wait at times but we learned for 1 person to go ahead 20 minutes and get a buzzer. By the time the rest of the family came to dine we either were seated promptly or would have a drink at the piano bar or play games in the library. The above waiting staff, especially Mr. Jimmy, were amazing! We never took an ipad or phone to the table to enjoy our family time. Mr. Jimmy would always be available for a few magic tricks each dinner and even made napkin animals for my boys. We loved the evening dancing during each dinner. My boys' experiences of dancing with the wait staff and Mr. Jimmy's tricks were the favorite parts of their week. Regards to the other amenities, 1. The putt putt course along with Hasbro games from the library were fun daily activities. 2. The aft water slides/park was enjoyable but, admittedly, best on port days due to decent amount of winds when at sea. 3. There were always activities to do night and day 4. I regularly used the gym between 6 and 8 am and I never waited for a machine. 5 (finally) I noticed that Benjamin, cruise director, or another staff member would make an announcement at 45 minutes of every hour. When I found that out, I never used a watch or phone for the rest of the cruise. My family and I enjoyed each of the ports at Nassau, Half Moon Cay or Grand Turk. I can honestly say that Half Moon Cay's sand, crystal clear water and amenities were the best part of the 7 days cruise. We took the 2nd to last tender back to the ship since we knew that it would be a long time before we experienced a beautiful beach like that again. Finally, I could pick a small thing that went wrong each day but these were minor and correctable problems. 9/10 times I didn't even bother to bring the problem up and, quite frankly, the problem was due to a fellow passenger's neglect or rudeness. The few problems that I did bring up were promptly corrected. An example would be that our power cord was not charging after a breaker tripped. When we told our steward, Mr. Suata, the problem and that there was no urgency to fix it since we were going to sleep; he promptly informed engineering department which quickly corrected the problem. In summary, I would travel with Carnival Ecstasy again. The ship is well maintained, the staff are very personable and absolutely outstanding, and Half Moon Cay was an amazing port. Some things that would make my experience different from other would be that 1. we had a balcony 2. our home is a 2 hour drive from Charleston. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This is our spring break cruise that we have done for the past 11 years. I was a little skeptical about this ship due to all the reviews. I have been on over 45 cruises and I can say that this was one of the best. There were 6 of us of ... Read More
This is our spring break cruise that we have done for the past 11 years. I was a little skeptical about this ship due to all the reviews. I have been on over 45 cruises and I can say that this was one of the best. There were 6 of us of all ages , every one was happy with the cruise The food was better than most. Room service was good. Even though the number of crew members were lower they still did a great job. Hats off to Benjamin for an exceptional job. He was always visible and lots of the cruise directors are not. Way to go.... To mention a few crew members by name. Leo table 235 , Katherine and the maitre d in the any time dining were wonderful. Tanu in the pizza place and Danielle in the deli. Ping the bar waiter was the best. Great chocolate martinis. We loved Gilbert in the Piano bar. We didn't attend any of the shows however the band with the lady singer were great. Michael in the atrium was wonderful. My granddaughter sang with him. One in our group has never been on a cruise and now she is hooked. Charleston is so close to Greenville that it makes a delightful trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We have taken quite a few cruises in the past and Carnival is still our favorite cruise line even though we are sailing with Norwegian in February. Carnival felt bad about our cruise being shortened by hurricane Matthew and really went ... Read More
We have taken quite a few cruises in the past and Carnival is still our favorite cruise line even though we are sailing with Norwegian in February. Carnival felt bad about our cruise being shortened by hurricane Matthew and really went above and beyond trying to make up for something they had NO control over. Yes the ship is older and yes the ship is smaller but it still makes for a great vacation. It was very clean, the staff was very friendly. Some of my smoker friends complained about ash trays not being dumped regularly but they stated that it was just an inconvenience. Overall, I think for a vacation, this is the way to go. The staff was extremely friendly and learned our names early on and called us by our names for the duration. The DJ's, Nifty and Max remembered my line dance songs and would play them for me a quickly as they could. Our Wind Song staff was terrific, especially Madi and Everton. We never had to ask for anything. Carlos, also one of the wait staff was a nice young man that was also right there checking to see if we needed anything. Felipe our cabin steward attended to our every need as well. We had purchased faster to the fun for the first time this cruise and although it was a shortened cruise and weren't able to take advantage of all of it's perks, we decided we will always try to get it on all future cruises. I would recommend this ship to anyone that wants to have an affordable vacation and have some fun. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Our 5 day cruise out of Charleston , SC on the Carnival Ecstasy was so much fun. We had great weather. The ship is a smaller class but was clean and comfortable. Crew was very nice. Food was great. We only had dinner in the main dinning ... Read More
Our 5 day cruise out of Charleston , SC on the Carnival Ecstasy was so much fun. We had great weather. The ship is a smaller class but was clean and comfortable. Crew was very nice. Food was great. We only had dinner in the main dinning room once the rest of the time was the Lido bar and to be honest the lido food is just as good as the main dinning room, Port of Charleston is very easy to navigate. Embark and debark was very simple. The staff inn port for embark were very friendly and helpful . THe only issue we had was during debark and that was with the porters who load you luggage in the shuttle to the parking garage. They removed a luggage buddy from my luggage, i questioned why they were doing that and was told just to get on the shuttle the luggage buddy would be with my luggage. Well guess what it wasn't and the trailer & shuttle sat for another 5 min before puling away and the porters refused to open the trailer so we could see if it was still laying inside. It really confused us to why they wouldn't open the trailer and look. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I have cruised several times with Carnival and Have been a great advocate for cruising. This trip was in fact a graduation gift for my granddaughter and her family, a total of 8 people. BUT, this ship was the biggest disappointment ever. ... Read More
I have cruised several times with Carnival and Have been a great advocate for cruising. This trip was in fact a graduation gift for my granddaughter and her family, a total of 8 people. BUT, this ship was the biggest disappointment ever. When we arrived in our room the room steward happened to be in the hallway. He introduced himself and ask when we would like our room cleaned, morning or afternoon as he could only get to it once daily and wanted to accommodate us. I was surprised at the question as always before our room had been freshened twice daily. After thinking about it we decide that nite during our dinner hour at 6 pm would probably be best. He did go in while we were at dinner and even left one of the towel animals once, but we often dealt with not having enough towels and wash cloths. We ask for a bucket of ice and were told he was getting people checked in and would get back with us soon. My daughter in the adjoining room came over and ask where were the hair dryers. Imagine our surprise when we were told that he had only 6 or 8 and would give her one but might have to come back to get it for another cabin to share. There had always been hair dyers in our rooms on previous cruises. After waiting an hour for ice, I finally called room service and had a bucket of ice and some cokes delivered to our room. The steward came by and said he was glad to see we got some ice and he would keep it filed with ice. He brought ice only twice during the week and I got tired of asking. Also, there were two bottles of water in the room and while waiting for ice and cokes, we opened and used the water in the room. However, that nite the steward brought two smaller bottles of water that were free for our use. We, unfortunately, had to pay for the water we drank. Why they could not have put the "free" water In the room at the same time as the other water is confusing to me. We roomed aft on the ship and the entire week only two of the four elevators worked. This was awful trying to get to dinner at nite as these were the only elevators we could use. I was disappointed to see that in the regular dining rooms there was a $20 per person charge for lobster or filet when both of those items were included in meals later in the week. The embarkation was the only thing worse. It was unorganized and not enough employees to handle the number of cruisers. It was raining and the few luggage handlers in the luggage room were in one corner having a chat while we struggled to get our bags. My sister and myself, both over 68 years old, struggled with two bags plus a carry off each. It was extremely difficult. I soon learned why the porters didn't offer to help, they didn't want to stand outside with us in the rain as we waited for the shuttles. They formed two lines out of the building around the corner to the shuttle service. One under an awning the other in the rain. How considerate. We did not get off the ship and to our vehicles until 11:30 and then we had a long 8 hour drive in wet clothes. Pretty paint and good ports of call do not a cruise make. My suggestion to Carnival is when you have an old ship send it to the graveyard instead of charging the same prices as your other ships and giving inferior service and accommodations. This was a very disappointing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We recently we cruised with our family. This was my husband and my 3rd cruise (2nd with Carnival). My children ages 14, 12, and 10 werk aboard with us, as we're my in laws. We found the overall experience to very enjoyable and ... Read More
We recently we cruised with our family. This was my husband and my 3rd cruise (2nd with Carnival). My children ages 14, 12, and 10 werk aboard with us, as we're my in laws. We found the overall experience to very enjoyable and memorable. The ship is definitely older and shows a few signs of wear, but the staterooms were clean and functional, the staff were very friendly and seen multiple times throughout the ship cleaning. They vacuumed after each port specifically as all passengers brought sand from their excursions on the islands. The food was very pleased to fully and options abound. My youngest is quite picky and he tried many new things at dinner and always ordered off the adult menu vs the kids menu. This was quite a change from his last cruise where he only at chicken nuggets. The shows, trivia, and entertainment staff were very friendly, pleasant and engaging. The cruise director was very energetic and very informative. We found many options for all of us to partake in ... even on our first day at sea when the weather was gloomy and rainy. There is only 1 pool and 2 hot tubs on the ship so it can get pretty crowded on warm days at sea, but we didn't have any trouble using the pool, but hairs were at a premium. The water slide are also saw much use and longer lines on the days at sea, but manageable. We did experience some rough seas between two of the ports and the captain kept us informed. He slowed down the ship and chose to arrive a little late at the island instead of continuing to maintain a higher rate of speed with the waves. As it turned out, the waves subsides during the night and we were able to pick up speed and gain some of that ground back so we only arrived about 15 - 30 minutes late. Our ports of call were Amber Cove, Dominican Republic and we selected anot authentic Beach adventure. We took an open air bus through the Dominican country side learning about some of their history before spending a portion of the day at Coconut Cove. There were plenty of chairs and umbrellas and shady areas. The facilities were clean and lunch was offered, along with various beverages. There was also a variety of water sports equipment .. paddleboards, kayaks, snorkel gear and wake boars. You can tell this beach is still being developed and it will be even prettier when complete. Our second port of call was Grand Turk in Turks and Caicos. The port is very welcoming and has many little shops. There was a beach right of the Port with ample chairs and umbrellas. We chose a snorkeling excursion through Chukka Adventure's and it was very well directed. The captain was very informative and the two guides did a great job explaining the equipment and keeping us aware of our surroundings. They pointed out fish and coral and underwater caves. They brought over a stingray for us to touch. We even saw a baracudda. We were not experienced snorkelers, but we are all pretty good swimmers. We found it pretty easy to keep up, even my 10 year old. They did offer rope tied to the boat for those not as strong with swimming, as well as the opportunity to stay closer to the boat if you chose. We found this to be a great excursion and all enjoyed it very much. Our last port of call was Half Moon Cay, the private island of Carnival cruises. This was by far our favorite port. It had the most pristineffective Beach I have ever seen. The sand was white and soft and never got hot. The water was a beautiful clear turquoise. We had originally planned a kayak excursion that was canceled due to rough seas ...we were disappointed at first, but once we saw the beach we were no longer sad. Again there were plenty of chairs and umbrellas. They offered a BBQ lunch with hot dogs, hamburgers, jerk chicken, dalads, vegetables and fruit. It was well done and we enjoyed it very much. We drove from NY to South Carolina and we're surprised to learn that more than 90 percent of the cruisers drive to the port for embarkation. We found the process for embarkation and disembarkation pretty painless and we'll organized.. it took some time to move 2500 people on and off the ship, but it was pretty seamless and they were prepared for every situation. We had a great time and created a lifetime of memories. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I would like to preface my review by stating I am no expert in cruising but I do have some experience sailing with Carnival Cruise Lines. I have sailed on Carnival Victory four (4) times and one (1) time each on Carnival Destiny, Carnival ... Read More
I would like to preface my review by stating I am no expert in cruising but I do have some experience sailing with Carnival Cruise Lines. I have sailed on Carnival Victory four (4) times and one (1) time each on Carnival Destiny, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Fantasy, and lastly Carnival Ecstasy. I was very excited to be cruising again with friends, so much so, that we all even went so far as to pre-book another cruise on Carnival Ecstasy for January 2017 before this past sailing. We have since been informed our January 2017 cruise has been cancelled so the ship can be dry docked over the Martin Luther King Holiday. Based on our groups most recent sailing aboard Carnival Ecstasy, this could be viewed as “Devine Intervention” as we look back. My family of three (3) and two (2) of our friends were very excited to be sailing on Carnival Ecstasy to the Exotic Eastern Ports of Amber Cove, Grand Turks and Half Moon Cay despite Carnival having switched the ship to Ecstasy from the ship we originally booked out of Charleston. This cruise went from Saturday, February 6 to Saturday, February 13th. This cruise was to celebrate my birthday from last month in January, my friend’s birthday which was on February 7th, Valentine’s Day, and finally my son’s 15th birthday coming up in March. As I stated above thankfully I did have seven (7) past cruise experiences with Carnival because had this eighth (8th) trip actually been my first (1st) trip, it would have been my ONLY trip with Carnival! Upon arriving at Port Charleston, the first thing I noticed when diving up to the ship was how incredibly rusty the exterior hull of the ship was. There were numerous rust lines streaming down from almost every window on the ship from all decks I could see. This is not something I have been accustomed to seeing on a Carnival vessel in the past. Typically whenever our Carnival ship has been in port we see maintenance staff cleaning and painting the exterior whenever possible. Embarkation went without issue despite having to stand in the cold rain for the Muster Drill at 9:45 PM. Imagine our surprise when we did not set sail as expected at 10 PM! The ship did not leave port until 12:32 AM - two and half hours late! NO explanation was ever provided as to why we left late. Naturally since we left late the Captain felt it was necessary to “sail” the ship “hard” and therefore the night was filled with heavy rocking and excessive motion causing many passengers to become sea sick by Sunday morning. Two sea bands and two motions sick pills were the order for the entire first day at sea due to high speed and rough seas. Our group spent the next sea day inside due to the constant rain. This was where we noticed just how dirty the ship really was. The tops of the glass elevators in the Atrium along with all the brass work on each deck of the Atrium are caked with thick layers of dirt and dust. The display cases outside of Guest Services are filthy inside with layers of dirt and dust. Doorways and door jambs were also covered with a thick layer of dirt in the common areas. A walk along the Promenade further shows how much lack of care there really is in housekeeping duties. The lion statues outside of China Town have multiple cigarette butts inside their mouths and they remained there the whole week with no one cleaning them! The only thing we did see staff cleaning at any time during the week long trip were glass doors to the pool deck. We realize the ship is scheduled for dry dock in January but that is eleven (11) months away! Given the current condition and lack of concern, in our opinion the ship will be uninhabitable by dry dock! Fast forward to Monday night and our first (1st) “Elegant Night” in the dining room at 6:00 PM. Everything was going well despite an extra-long dinner service that lasted until 8:10 PM. Upon leaving dinner, our group decided to go up on deck to see the stars since it has stopped raining finally. We climbed the stairs to stand on the aft deck behind the funnel and Waterworks. We felt some moisture and just assumed it was a slight drizzle again as we had been having periods of rain off and on since the start of our trip. The moisture started to feel stronger so we decided to go back inside after only 5 minutes on the open deck. Upon coming back into the lights of Lido deck we could see it was not moisture from rain that was falling on us but instead it was oil spray! We were covered in drops of black oil residue that bled though our clothing to our skin below as well as covered our face! My group of five (5) immediately went to Guest Services. The two (2) ladies behind the desk at Guest Services seemed to be less than concerned and stated it wasn’t oil, just soot. We informed them that soot “blew off” like dust and this was oil as it had soaked though our clothes and could visibly be seen on our faces and arms spreading out into large dots with a rainbow film. They kept stating it was nothing, it had happened before, and someone would be in touch with us the next day. Naturally, this did not set well with my group as my clothes were ruined since I was wearing all white, my companions tuxedo was stained with spots as was my friend’s long formal dress. After pressing for a supervisor we were told that one was not available and someone would contact us the next day. It was then we noticed all the Guest Services’ Staff had on name tags that stated “In Training” on them. Feeling I was getting “no where” with this group of “new hires” I demanded to see their supervisor. I was told again that one was not available until the next day. It was not until I refused to leave the counter that one of the “trainee’s” thought they had better call for their supervisor. After an additional fifteen minutes, the Guest Services Supervisor, Christina, appeared and we were ushered into her office out of the sight and hearing of fellow guests in line. Once in her office, Christina was very apologetic and tried her best to defuse the situation. She said she would see what Carnival would do to help the situation. She ordered for our clothes to be washed free of charge to see if they would come clean. Oil doesn’t come out of white so I knew my clothes and my companions white shirt under his tuxedo were lost before this even began but we did as she asked. We were to return to our room, give or dirty clothes to the steward and take a shower to freshen up. We told Christina we couldn’t take a shower because all our towels were dirty because of Carnival’s new policy to only have stateroom service once a day either morning or evening according to our cabin steward on Embarkation day. We told her we chose morning and because we took a shower for elegant night, all our towels were wet from a couple hours ago. Christina said that she would get our steward to provide additional towels immediately… It was now 9:15 PM. Because we needed to change quickly to provide our clothes to the waiting steward, we would do so in the bathroom of our room, E-174, which was closest to our group. We waited 15 minutes with no sign of towels. We asked the waiting steward and he reluctantly went in search of bath towels and came back a few minutes later with three (3) bath towels. Upon changing out of our stained clothing, we noticed black mold growing on the top of the door and door frame at the ceiling of our bathroom. We called this to the attention of the steward who took our clothing. He stated he could not clean the mold and instructed us to find and tell our cabin steward in the morning and he left. Naturally having just experienced the problem with oil spray and a lack of bringing fresh towels to our room by our steward, we went back to Guest Services to see Christina about the black mold with a picture in hand on a cell phone. Christina seemed very concerned and called for housekeeping. The assistant to the supervisor of housekeeping arrived within minutes to our room. He inspected the mold and called for someone to clean and disinfect the surfaces. To our surprise, and I’m sure his, the same steward who said he could not clean the mold was at our door with chemicals in hand… it took him ten (10) minutes to scrub and disinfect the molded area. Fast forward to lunch the next day, Tuesday. Upon leaving the cabin to go to lunch a maintenance man was outside our cabin. He said he was sent to work on our bathroom. We told him that it was cleaned last night. He said he would check it out. Upon returning from lunch, we were met with a terrible paint odor outside our cabin door. It seems the maintenance man had decided to paint our bathroom ceiling without asking if it was okay. The paint he used obviously had a very high “VOC” content because the odor was very strong. It immediately gave us headaches upon opening the cabin door. We immediately phoned Guest Services. Guest Services sent someone down to see what the issue was. Upon reaching our door, she wrinkled up her nose at the odor. After 10 minutes of explaining the odor was so strong it gave us headaches that we could not take a nap as planned, we left her in the hallway and went to Guest Services ourselves as she was proving to be of no help in the matter. Guest Services was of no help either as Christina was not on duty. We decided to wait outside her door and sat down for the duration. After 30 minutes Christina showed up having been called by her staff about our sitting outside of Guest Services. Again we were ushered into her office out of sight and hearing of fellow guests. We explained the problem with not having been asked about painting our bathroom, the subsequent odor from the paint, how it gave us a headache, and that we could not use our cabin for a nap or who knew how long because of this issue. Christina excused herself and went to our cabin to see for herself. She returned to state there was an odor and asked her staff to locate an alternate room for the remainder of our cruise. Her staff came up with one room, one deck down and we went to see it. Upon opening the door to that cabin we were met with a paint bucket, paint supplies, and the same odor of paint from having just painting the ceiling of that bathroom… this room was no better than our current cabin and we returned to Christina’s office. After heated debate that we would no split our family into separate cabins around the ship it was determined we would not go back to our room until after our 6:00 PM dinner service. This would give housekeeping and maintenance some time to deodorize our cabin with an ozone machine and multiple fans to make the paint dry faster. It was 3:00 PM. Upon returning to our cabin at 8:00 PM, we opened the cabin to find the smell better but still present. We talked the matter over as a family and decided there was no choice but to stay in our cabin and take medication for the headaches the fumes were causing so we could keep our family together. A few minutes later, our steward knocked on our door with our laundry from the past nights oil episode. He stated the tuxedo looked okay but the white clothes were still stained. No big surprise there! We phoned Christina to tell her the news. She sent a Guest Services Representative to collect the ruined clothing along with a perceived cost to replace the ruined garments. We settled on $105 for the four (4) pieces. The following afternoon I went to Guest Services with my two friends from our group to find out where her formal dress was. As it turned out, the laundry staff had not done anything with her dress but instead just left it in a bag at Guest Services despite having been told it would be dry cleaned. I decided to check my Sign and Sail account while I was there. Imagine my surprise to find a $15 charge for the laundry that did not come clean that I was told by Christina would be free! Guest Services debated a couple of minutes, went behind a curtain, and returned with Christina. Again I was ushered into her office out of sight of the other guests in line. She apologized for the charge and said it would be removed. It seems my friends cruise experience, while not as traumatic as mine, was not without problems. They asked for blankets on the first night and never received them; a large picture in their cabin was rattling and needed to be removed only after some confusion about who should do this; oil spray on a formal full length dress that wasn’t cleaned (as I mentioned already); two separate charges for excursions they did not book; and a call from the excursions desk on the last afternoon asking if they had lost their room key… which they were currently wearing around their necks and went to the excursions desk to prove! On the next to the last day, Christina let me know what was going to happen about our issues. Carnival was paying $105 for our ruined clothes; they submitted a letter instructing my companion to have his tuxedo dry cleaned and email the bill to Carnival for consideration of payment; a credit of two days cruise fair only – nothing about our pre-paid gratuities or taxes was mentioned. On our last night of the cruise it seems the Captain was late for something again as we were rocking and rolling on the waves once more at 6:00 PM dinner service. We all watched as the glasses of water sloshed from side to side. We left dinner to see the early show and ran into Christina outside Guest Services. We mentioned the rush the Captain seemed to be in yet again and she stated that she was even a little sea sick from all the motion and was going to her cabin to lie down. After the show and upon entering our cabin to pack, I turned on the television to see where we were on the map as to understand the need for driving the ship so fast again this evening. Imagine my surprise to see our position off the cost of Georgia at 9:30 PM! We would idle off the coast of Charleston until the following morning. I do not understand the need for the Captain to rush the ship and make so many people sea sick again for no apparent reason. Having experienced wonder vacations with Carnival in the past, we expected a great time this cruise… how wrong we were! It’s understandable that certain things happen beyond our control but this cruise was fraught with issues that were controllable on Carnivals part. The oil spray, black mold, and overall dirty condition of the ship are issues with staff on board the Ecstasy. We did not ask for nor expect anything like what we experienced. There simply is no excuse for what we experienced. To sum this up… having been through all the above I have to seriously question the cleanliness of the Galley aboard Carnival Ecstasy and discussed this opinion with Christina before leaving the ship. Having explained the issues of our vacation on board the ship, I would like to take a moment to mention our three (3) ports of call… Amber Cove: This was our first visit to the port. Having been purpose built by Carnival, it was as we expected. There were the usual tourist areas, plenty of clean restrooms, benches, pool and nice bar areas. The only negative were the numerous vacant shops, but again the port is only a couple months open. Grand Turk: We have been to this port before and were anticipating an enjoyable stop… WRONG! After walking off the pier, we were met with large ponds of water along the walkways where the rain does not drain… not a big issue but worth noting for anyone who has a disability walking. What is a surprise is the amount of beach erosion from past storms that has not been addressed, such as the closed wooden dock just off the pier. The dock is taped off with yellow caution tape but I have to question why it has not been repaired instead of just left untouched after storm damage from some time ago. Also surprising was the amount of animal excrement that is allowed to build up on the public sidewalks from farm animals and livestock roaming around the port area. I realize animals roam free in some countries; but in a purpose built port it would seem Carnival would take more pride and tend to this issue instead of ignoring the health concern it could cause. Half Moon Cay: We have been to the island before and again we were anticipating an enjoyable stop… WRONG… WRONG… and WRONG! Tendering to the port was an issue in itself. The Ecstasy crew obviously needs more training in this matter as we stood in line on the Rivera Deck for an hour waiting to board a tender boat at 10 AM. The tender crew also needs more training as they are just plain rude and lack personality. Once on the island we were disappointed to see the condition of Half Moon Cay. The vegetation has been allowed to overtake the paved walking paths so only one person can use most of the path. The water works shack was completely roped off to guests due to storm damage some time ago and was only being used by bar waiters as a place to hide and sleep instead of working. Why Carnival would not spend the money to repair a vital building is beyond comprehension. Beach erosion was the most disappointing thing to see around the swimming area. One would think Carnival would spend some time working on these problem areas since they are the first things guests see! The BBQ lunch was a complete disaster to say the least. Long lines due to a lack of refilling empty food trays was the main issue as staff just did not seem to be in a hurry to do anything. Overall not a pleasant adventure and given the opportunity again, we would just skip the island all together and stay on board… in fact, given a choice between Half Moon Cay and Freeport, we would choose Freeport and that says a lot! Please take my issues and review for what they are… customer service problems that can lead into more dangerous issues regarding health and safety. Carnival really needs to step up to fixing the port areas it controls as well as retraining staff on basic housekeeping. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
My children and I decided to take the cruise during the Christmas holiday in place of more clothes, video games, tech things they already had. Boarding the ship was okay, lots of places to "check in" with each station doing ... Read More
My children and I decided to take the cruise during the Christmas holiday in place of more clothes, video games, tech things they already had. Boarding the ship was okay, lots of places to "check in" with each station doing something different. But not too bad. The wait to actually get on the boat was not long either. Our room wasn't quite ready yet so we were ushered to the Lido deck for the set sail party. Music, food, drinks!! It was great fun! Our room was small but that should be expected - you are on a boat after all. Closet space was good. Remember to bring a small surge protector as there is only one outlet. The kids, 21, 18, and 13 all enjoyed the 24 hour grill by the pool A LOT! And I enjoyed that I wasn't "nickel and dimed" to death asking for money for the snacks, drinks, et. My 13 year old did the Circle C Club and they always has plenty of things to do for them -- even a dodge ball game! He had a great time. The food in the dining room was super! The wait staff was super! Our room Steward was AMAZING!! The only bad thing was that my daughter got sea sick (we had rough weather during the night the whole cruise) and getting that under control not so easy. The comedy shows were laugh out loud funny. Everything really was well worth the money. We all want to go back and soon! (maybe not my daughter though.............) Great vacation!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This ship is old, shaky and noisy...I was on cabin M192 and literally could not sleep with the engine sound! At times, the water on faucet and shower would come dark, kind of brown in color. In Key West, we docked at 7:30AM, and ship left ... Read More
This ship is old, shaky and noisy...I was on cabin M192 and literally could not sleep with the engine sound! At times, the water on faucet and shower would come dark, kind of brown in color. In Key West, we docked at 7:30AM, and ship left at 1:00PM (very short stay). In Cozumel, same thing, got there at 1:00PM and had to be back by 9:00PM. Food is OK, but you have to be in line a long time to get it. The "serenity" area, in the back of the ship should be renamed to: "let's party and make noises" area. Loud music from loudspeakers, young adults drinking and talking very loud (some profanities too). I have cruise with Royal Caribbean, and I can tell this Carnival (particularly this cruise) is horrible. I was so happy when we finally docked in Miami. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I found a great deal on the Ecstasy. I took my wife and 2 kids and paid a little over $1K. Not bad. When we got to the ship, the inside looks tight, like a small bus. They only had one pool. Very few shows and seems that everybody there ... Read More
I found a great deal on the Ecstasy. I took my wife and 2 kids and paid a little over $1K. Not bad. When we got to the ship, the inside looks tight, like a small bus. They only had one pool. Very few shows and seems that everybody there wanted you to buy something. The first night there was a pool party and all these college kids were partying like there was no tomorrow. Too raunchy for my teenagers. I mean very flaunty bikinis, sexual gestures and drunkenness seemed to be the theme of the day. When we landed in Cozumel, we were scammed and rented a 40 year old volkswagen for $60. Never, Never use CP Rentals. They are slick trying to rent broken down cars for as much as they can. My kids had a great time at Las Uvas. I highly recommend Reyes the snorkeling instructor. Great beach front, drink, bathroom, hamacas, snorkeling and pool for only $12. Not bad at all. We were unsure as to where to eat and my kids were traumatized with the how poor the natives live so we chose to dine at the ship. With regards to Key West, we were standing in line for 1 hour before imigration decided to start checking people off the ship. By far the worst part of the trip. And when we got off, again, another tourist trap. everyone selling the same thing trying to get you to buy their cheesy shirts and hats. We rented an electric car only to find out that we toured the entire key west in under 2 hours. After that, boring. All in all, I can't complain about the waiters and the food on the ship. Persy Crews II the comedian was the best. The other guy George, should quit his job as a comedian. It is a great trip for the money. I won't do it again, though. I'd rather pay $500 per person and go on Royal Caribbean. Much nicer ships, shows and ammenities. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Just got back from a great 5 day cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy. Just wanted to provide updates as the reviews/research that I did before going on wasn't the most accurate/outdated. Departed out of Port Canaveral, FL with my family ... Read More
Just got back from a great 5 day cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy. Just wanted to provide updates as the reviews/research that I did before going on wasn't the most accurate/outdated. Departed out of Port Canaveral, FL with my family of two kids (ages 3 and 6) and husband. Ports included Freeport, Nassau & Half Moon Cay. We've previously sailed on 2 Princess Cruises and 1 Royal Caribbean and this was our first on Carnival. In comparison to those other cruises, this was a very basic cruise. We have been in need for a family vacation/getaway for sometime now and it can be difficult to plan with two little kids in tow. So for a trip that provided fun activities for the kids, meals that I didn't have to think to plan plus a little R&R - it did the job. But...it IS an older ship. The decor is a bit tacky (but can be viewed as fun after it grows on you for a few days). Fitness: Options are very very limited. The gym is small - about the size of a smaller hotel gym - not too many options to pick from. There is NO basketball hoop despite folks saying there is one - we walked the ship a couple of times looking. The only real option is a jogging track that you have to go 11.5 times around to equal a mile - so if you are into counting in your head 50 laps for a good run - have at it. Dining: Options are limited. Very basic here. Same food different days - truly. You are looking at burgers, hot dogs, a good Mongolian grill that's open only during certain hours for lunch. The sit down dining options weren't that great (the meatloaf was a bit scary looking and tasted like a sponge) - but hey, it's a nice meal that's cooked for you and you can eat as much as you want. You would hope that the midnight buffet was some sort of special offering/treat...nope, burgers and hot dogs. I was really disappointed in the kids menu. It's truly: burgers, chicken nuggets and pizza for five days in a row! When you ask for spaghetti or some other sort of option - the waiters get annoyed with you and there's no other option. So for the week I felt bad for my kids - I'm sure it's great and all - they are on vacation, etc - but as a mom that tries to mix foods up for them to make sure they aren't eating burgers or carbs all the time it was very disappointing. Staff: Overall decent. I was expecting Princess & Royal Caribbean treatment - folks say hi, if they can go out of their way to make your trip a little more pleasurable. I was put off by the Carnival Ecstasy dining crew - esp when they wouldn't help with different options for the kids - it was - hurry up and order type of scenario. Our room steward was a ghost - haha, but kept our cabin clean (which is a task in itself with two boys!). Ports: Not that bad actually. Freeport - we got a taxi right off the boat and decided to venture out on our own. Took a taxi (beware - they try to upsell you on other outings!) and went to the Straw Market & Grand Lucayan Resort area. Wish we started off at Grand Lucayan...gorgeous hotel that you can buy a day pass to - it has a zero infinity pool overlooking beautiful white sand beach. The little shopping area across the street wasn't all that great - it took us about 20 minutes to get through and realize they were mostly the little souvenir trinkets - nothing distinctly Freeport. Next we went to Nassau with the same idea - to explore on our own. Right when you get off the ship it was insanity - everyone was pushy and trying to get you to buy into their tour/excursion. Very pushy - I was getting frustrated and was about to give in just to get it done with. But when you move past all of that and get out onto the main street - it's easy to navigate - sidewalks are narrow - but my family handled it fine. We went over to the Greycliff Hotel (they have a small chocolate shop there) and also the John Watling's Distillery (this was great - they had coloring pages for the kids) and then took the Jitney to the Fish Fry area so my husband could get Caribbean food. Couldn't find the free beach that everyone spoke of - plus it was blazingly hot so we just walked around a little more and called it a day. Next time we head to Nassau, we will definitely research and potentially put down the money for Atlantis - it may have been more fun for the kiddos. Lastly, Half Moon Cay...gorgeous! But HOT HOT HOT! I thought I was being smart by getting one of those "clamshells" for the day...but rarely used it. It was far from where the kiddos were playing (they were all located in the back row) and there was no ventilation, hotter in the clam shell than sitting out on a chair. After a couple of hours I couldn't take the heat and took the kids back to the boat. Overall, the boat did it's job. The kids had fun (oh! one bummer was that Camp Carnival had odd hours - like on the first day it opened at 8pm and closed at 9:45pm...you would think after a big travel day they would help parents out! ha), we got some good meals out of it and got R&R. Not many activities onboard - we aren't big drinkers - we enjoyed our fruity drinks but not to the levels of other passengers and weren't casino goers. Oh and there's a large smoking area INSIDE on the ship - that was a little off putting too. Shows were ok - good diversion - but nothing to make sure you don't miss - the lead guy sang off key you wish he would just lip sync haha. We will think about Carnival again - but definitely only the newer ships that have more options for food, etc. Otherwise we'll be trying to go back to Royal Caribbean or Princess. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We booked this cruise to celebrate our son's graduation. For 4 travelers, we had 2 Ocean View cabins on Deck 5 (Main) and were very pleased with the location and the big window. We usually book a balcony, but this was fine for a ... Read More
We booked this cruise to celebrate our son's graduation. For 4 travelers, we had 2 Ocean View cabins on Deck 5 (Main) and were very pleased with the location and the big window. We usually book a balcony, but this was fine for a short cruise. There are a very limited number of balconies on this ship. This cruise was the winner of the easiest boarding process. It was also the winner of the easiest disembark process. We really liked all of the seafood offered at both the dining room and Lido Deck buffet locations. It is always fresh. I actually got the salmon 4 nights in a row in the dining room because it was so hot and fresh. The two 23-yr olds liked the ribs, steaks, and lobster. They also tried the chocolate melting cake and baked Alaska for the first time and thought they were the best. We also received room service twice for breakfast and it was right on time and consistent as usual. Again, the smoked salmon on a bagel with cream cheese and capers is very good. The younger guys ordered cereal, yogurt and fresh fruit. As far as service, we thought it was all excellent as far as dining, cabin maintenance, and room service. We spent some time each day on the "Serenity Adult Only" area on the back of the ship. The 2 whirlpool tubs are too crowded. Carnival should put some time limits on how long passengers can stay in there. One group of 9 stayed in there for 2 hours and they were loud because they were drinking a lot. One whirlpool was hot and one was luke warm. There was no problem getting a lounge chair and they had an attendant who checked out big yellow beach towels for that area. We ordered drinks and thought that they were very weak (Mojito and Hurricane)and not worth the price. A "Classic Mojito" is $8.75 with 15% gratuity ($1.31) for $10.59. We ended up going with a bucket of Coors Light 16oz. for $25.41. The shows were good and the comedians were hysterical. Best overall: Food and Service Worst Overall: Whirlpools Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
I took my 81 year old Mother on a cruise for her birthday on the Carnival Ecstasy and it turned out not to be so "happy" after all. I am normally a very positive person, especially when on vacation, but Carnival made this cruise ... Read More
I took my 81 year old Mother on a cruise for her birthday on the Carnival Ecstasy and it turned out not to be so "happy" after all. I am normally a very positive person, especially when on vacation, but Carnival made this cruise very had to stay that way. There are a few positives: 1. Fastest embarkation I've ever had. The port crew are awesome. 2. Room steward was very attentive and friendly. 3. Dinning staff also did a nice job and were friendly. 4. Our room was right off the center lounge area and we could not hear the music once inside our room. Now the negatives: 1. Ship is old and has a while I had read about the fowl odor in other reviews I was going to remain open minded. Unfortunately the smell was noticeable in the hallway where our room was. 2. Paid for a handicap room, but the only thing that made it classified as handicap was bars on the wall of the bathroom. My mother can walk, but had she been in an actual wheelchair she would not have been able to get into the bathroom because it had a step up in to it. There was a fold down seat in the shower, but when it was folded down there was no room to move at all in the shower. On day 2 the the handle on the sink broke off. 3. My mother had a scooter and when we asked the information desk if she could take the scooter on the tender to Half Moon Cay, they said no, it could not accomodate a scooter. After I talked my Mom in to walking to the tender and standing in line to get on it, once we got to the island we found other passengers roaming the island on their scooters. Not only could the tender take scooters, it had a ramp built specifically for it. The information team had no clue! 4. We booked an excursion with Carnival for Nassau that was mark mild activity. Turns out after walking almost a quarter of a mile just down the pier to get to the guide meeting place, we had to walk another quarter mile to get to the shuttle. Again, Mom couldn't take her scooter so she had to walk to the shuttle. She almost passed out. Had we known how far she would have to walk we would not have booked it. 5. This was my 4th cruise on Carnival, and I should have gotten a past cruiser sail and sign card when I boarded, which normally includes tickets to the captains party later in the week, but I was given a 1st time cruisers card. I did straighten it out with the front desk, but they did forget my captain's party tickets again. 6. There are only 2 musical shows and they repeat them throughout the weak. Neither are that spectacular. 7. There were not very many musical choices in the evenings and the seemed to end fairly early. As I said, this was my 4th cruise with Carnival and probably my last. I think it's time to check out something a little classier. Yes, it was a reasonably priced cruise, but I don't think I even got my monies worth on this one! Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
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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