6 Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Caribbean - Eastern

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
Got a Carnival gift card with some reward points - having never been on a cruise before, decided to give Carnival a try. If I had to describe the cruise in one word, that word would be GHETTO! Most of the passengers looked like escaped ... Read More
Got a Carnival gift card with some reward points - having never been on a cruise before, decided to give Carnival a try. If I had to describe the cruise in one word, that word would be GHETTO! Most of the passengers looked like escaped convicts and one was even taken off the ship in handcuffs when we arrived back in Miami. To be honest I am surprised it was only one. Embarkation was a disaster, no one knew what they were doing. We were supposed to get "priority" check in but we had to beg for anyone to help us, they just kept telling us to go sit in this room and that they would call us. How can they call us when they didn't even know we were there? They refused to take our paperwork. As far as the cruise goes, it was rowdy from the get go, people on their lounge chairs dancing in g-strings, half naked, children in the casino, the smell of sewage and marijuana filled the hallways. It was the type of people I went on vacation to get away from. I felt terrible for the crew, they were nice and tried their best. Now, on to the food. The website is a joke, it makes it seem like all the individual places are their own restaurants - they are not. They are all located in one big food court area where only half of them are open at any given time. We never did get to try the Mongolian Wok, it was either never open or had a line around the ship. How can they operate this way? How can only half (if that) choices in the food court be closed at prime lunch and dinner times?? My husband and I ate at the tiny salad bar 99% of the time because it was the only thing that seemed to be available at all times. The 24 hour pizza is a joke, thin, cheap, tasteless and ALWAYS a wait. There was never any pizza ready, the case sat empty the entire trip. As far as the dining rooms? All we wanted was a quiet corner away from the other passengers and even though it was late and the dining room was empty, they still insisted on crowding us in with all the loud, drunk, cackling idiots we did not want to be around in the first place. They refused to give us a quiet table so we could at least try to enjoy something other than the lame salad bar, but no, we were seated with the others, then looked at each other - and promptly left. The spa was nice but buyer beware - they try to upsell you expensive "at home treatments" after your service - even massages. I do have to say the employees in the spa were wonderful and very good at what they do - but I am sure corporate forces them to try to upsell product, not nice. We did not do any of the shore excursions, too expensive. We got a private taxi in Nassau and took a tour of the island, which was fun. The room we had was nice but beware if you are on V Deck, there is a gym right over your suite and they allow patrons to just drop their free weights on the floor making it sound like our roof was going to collapse. We were not informed of the gym when they called us to "upgrade" our inner stateroom to the balcony jr. suite. They open the gym at 6am and thats when the dropping begins. All in all husband and I had some nice quality time together but I will never, ever take another Carnival cruise again. Sadly it needs to be expensive to attract better quality people and hopefully get better service. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My husband and in-laws just got back from our very first cruise on Carnival's Ecstasy of the Sea cruise ship. We were so excited to be taking this cruise and from what our friends have told us about their cruising experiences we were ... Read More
My husband and in-laws just got back from our very first cruise on Carnival's Ecstasy of the Sea cruise ship. We were so excited to be taking this cruise and from what our friends have told us about their cruising experiences we were more than ready to be pampered and well fed. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Monday 2-3-14: We had an uneventful check in. Everything was quick and easy. We arrived at our inside state room and it was larger than we expected it to be. The room was rather "worn and out-dated" but we weren't too concerned because we were planning on spending our time on deck and in the pool. My husband turned the air conditioning knob located above the bed to give us some cool air and flecks of black grime started coming out. It was greasey and smeared our sheets and floor. We called customer service and the maintenance people came in about 20 minutes. They put a new filter inside and housekeeping changed the sheets and vacuumed the floor. We met "DD" our personal attendent who is in charge of keeping our cabin clean. He was very personable and called us by name. He never asked us if we had any requests such as ice in the room or another pillow, but in all fairness, he was taking care of alot of other people as well. NOT as personal as we expected, but what do we know. We shrugged this off. We went up to have a late lunch at the Lido Deck buffet. The food was just "ok". It was a higher grade than institutional at best. The dessert bar looked better than it tasted. The cakes are dry and other items had no taste. Thank goodness for the ice cream station. There is ample seating for everyone and the views are great. There is also the Mongolian Grill which has stir fry items. This wasn't too bad, but they kept running out of veggies. If you are 65 yrs. old or older, you will love the food. I am 54 yrs. old and expected better quality. No offense to my elders, but my in-laws loved the buffet because they could eat as much as they wanted. The formal dining room- everyone is assigned to their own formal dining area- was pretty nice. Ours was the Wind Star Dining Room. The ambiance was beautiful, but again the food was sub-par. My starter was shrimp cocktail. I recieved 5 salad sized shrimp on a plate with cocktail sauce. What the hell? I'm in Florida and the seafood should be fabulous. Not the case. My expectations from there just went downhill. I was right. My hot food was lukewarm and my cold food was not cold. Portion size is lacking and just some advice- don't order anything extra like a baked potato instead of the pumpkin puree. They will take your order, but you won't get the substitution. One GOOD thing to order: CHOCOLATE MELTING CAKE. It was awesome. Rich and delicious! You will be assessed a "gratuity" for all dining, so don't leave any cash on the table thinkiing they won't charge you the additional gratuity. Speaking of gratuities, you are also charged a housekeeping gratuity. The housekeeping staff do work very hard but I felt like I was paying their wage for Carnival. The entertainment was lacking for people my age. No- I do not want to pay to play bingo, I do not want to learn how to make towel animals and the Hasboro game show was as lame as it gets. BORING. The adult comedy show at 9pm was funny and the Britts variety show was good. Other than that, you have to make your own fun. Ecstasy has only ONE medium sized pool and 4 hot tubs. For over 2000 people, this just does not compute. The same people monopolized the pool and the hot tubs. Their was only 3 hot tubs working on one day. The Serinity Deck for adults only was nice but limited for space. Good luck finding a lounge chair. The mens restrooms were often out of service, so you needed to go to your cabin to use the restroom. The elevators were at times not working as well. Do ALOT of walking prior to getting on this boat. You will be using your legs with all the stair climbing you will be doing to get to the outside decks. Don't bother with the "art show" where you can purchase "art". No deals here. The one good deal is with their $20.00 watch sets from Bella Rosa. Very nice selection and a good deal. The jewelry shops will try to sell you their diamonds and watches, but be very careful. The diamonds may not be the quality you would normally want to purchase. The shore excursion we chose was the Twister. It was a boat ride to a private island in Cozumel. This was an all in-clusive excursion which included alcoholic drinks and a nice food buffet on the island. This was a HIGHLIGHT and so much fun!! My closing comments are: be careful about your alcoholic drinks on board the ship. $$$$ The pop is also expensive. This is an OLD SHIP that has had "some" refurbishing. I felt like I was slumming it in comparison to the other ships out there. We had a nice time but we didn't feel as though the crew went above or beyond. The senior officers didn't even speak to us in passing. Would I cruise on the ECSTASY again? NO. Will I cruise again after my first time cruising experience? YES!! Probably not with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We decided to try Carnival again after our first cruise a few years back. The first one was out of Tampa and we were going to be visiting Grand Cayman and Cozumel. This was our first cruise and as you can imagine we were initially ... Read More
We decided to try Carnival again after our first cruise a few years back. The first one was out of Tampa and we were going to be visiting Grand Cayman and Cozumel. This was our first cruise and as you can imagine we were initially amazed by the entire experience. However, once the cruise was underway we were less thrilled as the ship felt very crowded (cannot recall which ship it was but it was the same class as the Ecstasy). It seemed like the ship shrank on us as we were always standing in a line or waiting on a chair to open up. The atmosphere was very spring-break like with the middle-aged taking the place of the college kids and it felt like there was always a fog of smoke emanating out of the casino. Following this cruise we decided to try Carnival again mostly because of the low price for the 5 day and this cruise was offering 3 ports of call to places we'd never been. The ship felt just as small the 2nd time around but also seemed far less crowded! We were always able to find a couple of chairs on the Serenity deck. You could still get whiffs of smoke from the Casino and while the drinks were moving across the ship the drunken rowdiness was not there. The food in the buffet on our first cruise was great and the dining room was so-so. It was completely reversed during this cruise. The dining room was where we ate every night for dinner, and every morning for breakfast. The only line was for the dining room on Formal Night and the mongolian wok portion of the buffet on Lido. We missed seeing all of the shows except for the comedians on the 2nd night. Three back to back sets and they were terrific! Everyone on the ship was very nice from the passengers to the crew, with the exception of an older lady on formal night that decided to cut in front of us and a few other people while we were watching a couple dance in the promenade below as we waited in line for a table for dinner (we ended up getting seated at the same table - awkward!!). Our cabin was the exact same set-up as the previous ship, and never felt too small. The bathrooms on these ships really are larger than the one we had on the RC, which was also very nice. The AC is controlled manually by adjusting a dial on the vent on the ceiling. The output was AMAZING! We were always freezing while in the room, but the blankets helped with that. The only real complaints we had were that we always seemed to be waiting an extraordinary long time for an elevator. Also, a number of the lounges were frequently closed for private functions. We had heard that the Chinatown Lounge was very nice, but every time we tried to visit it was closed off as a 'Private Function'. Bottom line, we have decided that we much prefer being on the larger ships just for the variety of spaces. The Carnival experience redeemed itself somewhat on this cruise, although if we ever do another Carnival (which seems questionable now after all of the accidents and breakdowns they have had lately) it will be on one of their larger, newer vessels. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Background Information: First cruiser, 28 and single. Me and my mom went on this trip as a little early Christmas present to ourselves. Travel To Port of Embarkation: Drove from Jacksonville to Park n' Cruise. They were extremely ... Read More
Background Information: First cruiser, 28 and single. Me and my mom went on this trip as a little early Christmas present to ourselves. Travel To Port of Embarkation: Drove from Jacksonville to Park n' Cruise. They were extremely fast and took us right where we needed to be. Stateroom: The room was an interior porthole and was always clean. The portholes were very clean and we were able to see for miles through them. The bathroom was tinier than I would have expected, but it was still navigable. Ship Info: You could tell the ship was older, but it was in immaculate condition. It was always clean and it was very easy to navigate. Everything was within an extremely easy walking distance. The map by the elevators were extremely helpful if you did happen to lose your bearings. Activities: I really didn't do too many activities, but people watched from the Lido deck. I did go and see the thriller dance class, which looked alot of fun. Entertainment: Went to the Piano Bar three times and thoroughly enjoyed the singer. The Karaoke was hit or miss in terms of people, but the song selection was good. I did catch The Brits and to be honest, it was just there. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad either. The dance club for me though was the highlight of my trip. It could be just because it was something I would never do on shore, but even though I'm no where near a dancer, the people were really welcoming. Dining: I'm not going to lie, the food was extremely hit or miss. The omelets for breakfast were good, but only the potatoes from the breakfast buffet were edible. Depending on the day depended on if lunch was edible. I thought dinner in the main dining room was very good. The spring rolls were good, and the Prime Rib was the best prime rib I've ever had. The Pizza and Sandwich stations were fairly good and had I known any better, would have just eaten there for lunch. I did not have any issue with the buffet lines at all. Service: Never had problem with service at all. Our room steward was extremely friendly and knew us by name before we got in the room. He kept the room in perfect shape. Guest services was extremely friendly and prompt to answer questions even at 2 in the morning. Port & Shore Excursions: We did the brewery tour in Freeport, Brice made this trip worth it alone. The beer was just a plus. I did not get off the ship in Nassau. We hit up the Key West Shipwreck Museum and Aquarium. Both were an absolute blast and extremely educational. Mom was able to pick up some sandals from Kino's and Mallory Square was not entirely pushy. The only thing I would have changed was in Key West. We should have docked earlier in Key West so everyone could clear immigration prior to noon. Furthermore, because of being docked at the military base, it felt completely disjointed trying to clear so many passengers out by bus. This should be an easy fix should the cruise line and the city decide to do something about it. Disembarkation: Once they started calling zone numbers, it was quick. However, it still took quite a bit of time. Summary: I can't stress enough that I had the absolute time of my life on this trip. Sure there were a couple of minor hiccups, but they didn't stop me whatsoever from having an excellent time. I cannot wait to take my next cruise and hope it's sooner rather than later. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Our cruise was our first real vacation in ten years and we were all VERY excited. I almost allowed the negative reviews about the Ecstasy ruin my cruise before I ever set sail. I (41) cruised with my husband (39) stepdaughter (16) and ... Read More
Our cruise was our first real vacation in ten years and we were all VERY excited. I almost allowed the negative reviews about the Ecstasy ruin my cruise before I ever set sail. I (41) cruised with my husband (39) stepdaughter (16) and daughter (6). We drove down from GA the day before and spent the night at the Raddison at the Port, we took the shuttle over the dock the next morning. The shuttle staff were extremely nice and we waited almost no time to board. It was quite hot out but the line for embarkation moved really fast, also a carnival staffer circulated through the line with a tray of ice water. The staff helping us embark were the nicest you could ever hope to encounter. Once we were on the ship we were directed to the Lido deck where lunch was being served. There was a line but it moved well and I went through and got a plate of food to share. We were allowed in our room around 1:20, we had boarded about 12:30. The cabin was much much better than we anticipated. We had booked a balcony room and contrary to what I read on other reviews, the balcony was large enough for all 4 us to stand on it comfortable and we're all normal size. We had a queen bed, with the bunks that fold down. Again contray to what I've read the beds were SUPER comfy. I slept like a log every night and I do not not sleep well away from home. The bathroom was also a good size and we had abundant closet space and under the bed space as well. Our cabin steward Carlos was a darling! and our room was always spotless. He even posed my little one's teddy bears which she thought was hillarious. There wasn't a blow dryer in our room, and when we called for one it was delivered in about 5 minutes. The water slides were very well supervised, the staffers made sure no one horse played and made sure the bottom was clear before sending another child down. After observing for a while I felt comfortable enough relax in a lounge chair and read the magazine I had brought. The pool was usually pretty full not packed but full. The pool was over my daughter's head so once I retrieved her "armies" from the room we were good to go. Next the food.....again I had read that it was HORRIBLE and one man said that he practically starved to death. Phooey! the buffet food was very good, and the dining room food was AMAZING. I'm not some hick who has never had a decent meal either, just to clarify. My daughter and I are early risers so once we were up and I was showered we would go to the breakfast bar by the pool. There was everything imaginable, and contrary to what I have read here, there was plenty of chocolate milk and they were not stingy with the bacon!! I am a bit of a coffee snob, and the coffee on board was AWESOME. I could have just eaten the pastries and coffee and been happy! lunch was always burgers, dogs, and chicken fingers, with all the trimmings. This was always good too. My husband and I usually weren't very hungry at lunch, because we aren't used to eating such a big breakfast. There was usually a line for line but if we felt like having a snack one or the other of us would stand in line and we would share a plate. We never encountered a line for breakfast, and the line for lunch moved really well. My daughter and I had pizza for lunch after getting back on the ship in Key West and it was good too, It was fresh and hot. I experienced some unplesantness but Carnival had nothing to do with it. There was an older lady at the pool one morning that was MILITANT about the lounge chairs she had saved. I finally told her that I had a chair and I wasn't going to "steal" any of hers. There was also a little short, tattoed drunk, that hung out by the pool all day every day trying to it on women. This character said the "F" word every other breath. My children LOVED LOVED Camp Carnival and club O2. We were planning our second cruise on the second day we were at sea! We loved Key West, and Freeport. Nassau wasn't so great. The locals were really agressive and it made us uneasy. All in all we had an AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!! time. I am a real mom and this is a real review if you want to talk to me leave me a message. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
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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