8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This cruise was booked for a birthday celebration. The group included 11 ladies split between 4 different cabins. This review is solely based on my cabin and experience. Charleston is a convenient port for those in the areas of ... Read More
This cruise was booked for a birthday celebration. The group included 11 ladies split between 4 different cabins. This review is solely based on my cabin and experience. Charleston is a convenient port for those in the areas of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and areas within driving distance. Although you can fly, the airport is a quick taxi ride to the port, this would get so much more use if they had more ships. Several people shared that the city of Charleston is only wanting one boat at a time using the port. Carnival is switching out the Ecstasy for the Sunshine in 2019. Embarkation was speedy, I made it through security and over to the check-in counter with ease. I was on the gangway within 10 minutes.Get there by 11 and you can get on the boat. They give you a special time on your boarding pass but it didn't seem to matter. Once on the boat the party was revving up on the Lido Deck. Guy's Burger Joint was ready as was the Blue Iguana Cantina and the lunch buffet. The pizza place at the very back of the Lido Deck was great, the Caesar salad was a HUGE hit. If you have the bubbles package (sodas, not alcohol) you need to pay SC tax while in port. Also, the bubbles/alcohol packages cannot be used on the private island or on room service. We were allowed to our cabins promptly at 1:30 and many bags were already there. We loved our room, small TV (not a ton of channels, not good if you are seasick or stuck in your room, thankfully we weren't). Bathroom was tiny but that's to be expected. Water pressure was not good, fuse blew when too many people were drying their hair and some cabin bathrooms had a slight odor but essential oils took care of that issue. We mustered around 3:30. This was a typical muster, we listened to the rules, walked up to where our lifeboat was and that was it. We didn't need to bring our vests. We sailed away and toured around the ship. It's a smaller ship, maybe 2000 people on board but, unless you walked the length of the boat on our deck (Deck 5 Main) we had to weasel in and out of rooms (mostly the casino on Deck 9) which was filled with cigarette smoke. There was awesome nightly entertainment near the China Town bar but the smoke kept us away. Piano Bar was fun, comedy was great, shows were great, the Love and Marriage show is always a winner and we were even able to watch the Super Bowl in the two lounges as well as the Lido Deck. The Alchemy Bar was awesome, martini tastings were a big hit and there were wonderful areas at the bar and in it's vicinity to sit and enjoy your drink. We had the late seating for dining and we LOVED it. Our server, Lucy, knew our names almost immediately, catered to the specialty dishes some of our party needed and was a delight over the entire trip. Support staff in the dining room was wonderful as well. The food was quite tasty overall, I have to admit, I was very pleasantly surprised (just ask the 8 pounds I brought home with me hahaha) Day 2 was all day at sea, the boat is older so we felt LOTS of rocking. Some didn't like that and had some sea sickness. Thankfully I didn't and found the rocking to be soothing and relaxing. Sea Day Brunch was another pleasant surprise- get the steak and eggs. The steak was tender and seasoned well. Omelets were good too I heard but on both sea days, during the brunch I got steak and eggs. The private island, Princess Cay, was great, the water was chilly and it was windy but we found a great pavilion with plenty of seats both in and out of the shade. The island lunch was okay, burgers with accouterments. Some of us headed back to the boat (you have to take a tender to and from the main ship) and before boarding you need to go through security so plan accordingly. I heard that as the time to board got closer, the lines were long, the sun was hot and if you wanted shade there were limited seats on the bottom of the tender. The next day we got to Nassau and opted to go to the Nassau Hilton, its right next door to Senor Frogs. $79 got you a day pass that included a $40 food/beverage credit to use, access to their private beach, pool, chairs, umbrellas etc. It was worth every penny. It was clean, quiet, not crowded at all. I would go there again in a heartbeat. The food was pricey, a burger was $19.75- so your credit doesn't go too far. Beachy adult beverages averaged around $10 as did a shot. Yup. A shot was $10. Note that there is a tax added to the food and drinks but gratuity is already included. On our way back, our second sea day, it was chilly- windy and somewhat cloudy so time on deck was limited. We had fun sleeping in, going to the sea day brunch, playing BINGO and taking naps. For our final dinner we headed back to the dining room (we went every night, the choices were great, rarely was there an issue choosing something yummy) and followed it up with the comedy club and show. The morning of debarkation was loud as I said above, the boat is old but don't let it deceive you, it was a really fun time. Plenty of places to relax, unwind and enjoy yourself. It's not a mega ship, it has few modern features but the size of it can be a good thing. The private beach day wasn't crowded, the deck always had seats available, getting on and off the boat happened with minimal wait time. We made our way back to the security building, grabbed our luggage (we left it outside our doors by 11pm the night before, you could carry it if you wanted to) and made it through customs quickly. I grabbed a taxi to the airport but others in my party waited in line for a shuttle to get them to the parking deck. If you are looking for a fun getaway, this is great for those on the east coast who don't want to go to the major ports. I may need to return when they put the Sunshine on rotation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
This was our very first cruise and I was a little nervous after reading so many negative reviews. We LOVED it! We sailed on Carnival Ecstasy which is the oldest ship in the Carnival line. The staff was wonderful. We were NOT hounded to ... Read More
This was our very first cruise and I was a little nervous after reading so many negative reviews. We LOVED it! We sailed on Carnival Ecstasy which is the oldest ship in the Carnival line. The staff was wonderful. We were NOT hounded to buy beverages. We were not hounded for "extra" tips. Some of the food was better than others but that is to be expected when you are eating off a buffet. All in all, there is something somewhere on that ship for you to find that is delicious to eat! My favorite part: Seeing my husband so relaxed! His favorite thing to do each morning was to grab a cup of coffee (and possibly an ice cream cone!) and sit out on the deck at the back of the ship. He usually had the whole place to himself at 5-5:30 in the morning! The beds were comfortable also. Rooms seemed more than adequate in size. We packed for 5 days but actually had way more clothes than we needed. Dress up night doesn't have to be as formal as you might think. Some men wore button up shirts, no tie, not jacket while others went all out. Some women wore sun dresses while others wore prom-type dresses. Anything goes! The travel service to and from the airport went smoothly. If your primary goal is to get away from all the stresses of life and just relax this is a perfect plan. We didn't take our kiddos so I can't review on the child entertainment part of the vacation. We loved the serenity adult only deck! Our next trip is planned through Carnival on Glory and we decided to make arrangements on our own vs. a travel agent (long story) and the rep at Carnival who is our contact has been wonderful to work with. We went on one excursion in Cozumel to the Myan Ruins w/ a beach stop on the return trip to the ship. My friends enjoyed the ruins. I was bored but I'm not really into history. It was mostly a lecture style history lesson. Guide was very informative but not much to really see. The beach was disappointed. Murky water and sharp rocks to walk over. Don't recommend that excursion unless you are a history buff. I highly recommend this cruise line! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
My husband and I booked our very first cruise on the Carnival Ecstacy last year for the Carnival Live! program. Our sole purpose in booking the cruise was for our favorite performer, Gavin Degraw. We were also excited to experience ... Read More
My husband and I booked our very first cruise on the Carnival Ecstacy last year for the Carnival Live! program. Our sole purpose in booking the cruise was for our favorite performer, Gavin Degraw. We were also excited to experience cruising. If you are interested in Carnival Live!, this was one of the best shows we have ever been to, given the intimate venue and front row VIP section. As for the cruise, I was never bored! The food was good for us, and the drinks were great too. I am a huge picky eater and never had trouble finding something to eat. Dining room service can be a bit slow, but staff is entertaining. We are laid back and don't let little things bother us. We rush too much in regular life anyway, so it's nice to slow down and enjoy every moment. We went to Key West and Cozumel and had beautiful weather the entire time. The only thing lacking was the pool. It's very tiny and totally packed. We did have fun on the waterslides though. The staff is wonderful, and we couldn't have asked for better service. We were overcharged for Internet use and guest services promptly took all charges off for the inconvenience. There were a few people on the ship that mentioned the ship being small and not as updated as other cruises they have been on. However, being that we had nothing to compare it to, we thought it was awesome. One of my favorite memories is watching the sun sink into the ocean. Absolutely beatiful. After shopping around some other cruise lines, we have booked a 7 day cruise on the Carnival Glory coming up this August! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
This was my second cruise with Carnival since the last one in 2001 was less than memorable. The price was right for our group of 10 so we booked hoping for the best...and we got it! The room (interior with fake window) was roomy with ... Read More
This was my second cruise with Carnival since the last one in 2001 was less than memorable. The price was right for our group of 10 so we booked hoping for the best...and we got it! The room (interior with fake window) was roomy with lots of closet space and robes. NO HAIRDRYER BUT that was expected due to CC reviews.Our room steward "K" made great towel animals and always had our ice bucket full. The ship is small but that makes it easy to get around, elevators are very fast. Friends did the Chef's Table ($85) but it was a wonderful experience. Wines, great food and a magician! Our dining room staff: SUPARTA, ICETUT EDI AND WINAYA, table 390 late dining, were very good, attentive and helpful with meal suggestions. Cruise dir. Matt very entertaining esp. at 50's Rock and Roll. Only complaint-needs a better location. Was to one side of walkway in front of Metro bar. Bar had signs "no Smoking" but ventilation is poor and smoke drifted out. In fact I was surprised there was so many smoking areas- but they really need better ventilation. Freeport: private shuttle ($10 roundtrip up front) was reluctant to return without a full load so one couple barely made it back. Key West free shuttle to city where we paid $21 for City View Tour (very good guide and can hop on hop off) can get an even better ticket price on line. The future cruise talk was informative but later to sign up, had to wait in walkway, no chairs, no appt.-needs better location. Would have booked another Carnival cruise at the time but I am not wasting vacation time in line. Overall a pleasant cruise and good winter get away. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2012
I've been fortunate to take 2 cruises over the last 4 yrs, working on my 3rd for next year. My first cruise were with my sisters on Carnival Inspiration it was 7 of us. For 5 days we went to Grand Caymans Island and Cozumel Mexico. ... Read More
I've been fortunate to take 2 cruises over the last 4 yrs, working on my 3rd for next year. My first cruise were with my sisters on Carnival Inspiration it was 7 of us. For 5 days we went to Grand Caymans Island and Cozumel Mexico. Some of us Parasailed an others did the bottom glass boat in the Grand Caymans. In Cozumel we all did the Tequila farm. Can u say "Toasted". It was exhilarating an explosive. The best time I ever had with my sisters in a long time. The food was exceptional. I had no problems with anything from maintenance to servers. In fact, our servers were so fun they remembered us from the first day and continued to service us outside the dining hall. They sang songs, danced an did Congo lines in the dining hall. We met a lot of great people on the boat some a little snobby but we made the best of it cause it is a "Fun cruise" after-all. Since then I had the chance to go back for another 5 days and be on the Carnival Ecstasy. On this trip I went with a friend, ("seemed like more couples on this trip"), and our spots were Nassau, Freeport, an Key West. In Nassau we did the Atlantis Aquarium along with our own exploring the city. Gorgeous place recommend it to everyone. Freeport on the other hand don't bother. It's more of an industry for business nothing else. Last Key West, I didn't do any tours here. It was nice to just walk around and look at the shops an historical points. I also stopped at a few of the local bars one in particular Captain Tony's. It's the oldest bar in Key West. I'm not going to spoil it because this is one place you definitely have to checkout for yourself a lot of interesting things going on in there (women bras), just to say. Although this cruise didn't have a lot of entertainment like the Inspiration I found the best bartender they had, and I still made the best of it from the previous time. Between the 2 cruises I'm hooked. Carnival Inspiration has set the bar. No more 5 days for us were looking for longer trips to enjoy the cruising sensation and/or experience. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2009
We actually started our vacation early as we drove from Iowa to Texas, a long drive but enjoyable, making stops anywhere we wanted along the way. After we picked up cousin in Texas we headed to Galveston. We had not been on the island ... Read More
We actually started our vacation early as we drove from Iowa to Texas, a long drive but enjoyable, making stops anywhere we wanted along the way. After we picked up cousin in Texas we headed to Galveston. We had not been on the island since Ike hit, we were pleased that the rebuilding is moving along. We met up with several people at The Spot for snacks, drinks and fun, a great way to start a wonderful vacation. Embarking, we didn't know that the boat was late getting in until we were in the lobby of the hotel getting ready to hop on the shuttle. Oh well we would have to wait somewhere so we headed to the terminal. It was actually nice to walk in and not wait in line to check in. We did have to wait comfortably seated in the chairs and we got to visit with some of our new friends and a couple from Iowa. It turned out that their son worked for the same company I work for when he was in college, small world. Once on board we checked out to see if our rooms were ready as it was close to the time they said they would be. No, not quite ready but we could put our bags in there so we wouldn't have to lug them around. Then up to the Lido deck and the first DOD! Tasted good; even with the weather being a little on the chilly side for Texas it felt good and we were on the boat. Next the lifeboat drill, a formality that you have to do. We were crowded into Chinatown then on to the Lido deck. Again saw some people we knew and met a few more people, made the best of things. I did like the fact that we only had to put on the life vest and could take it off right away, I tend to be claustrophobic. Drill out of the way ready to set sail, woo woo! Our room steward was okay, met him on Monday, our first day on ship and then I ran into him on Wednesday night as he was coming out of my Mom's cabin, he finally remembered where he took the remote from and returned it. Other than that never saw him but he did come in and make the room up and turn the beds down. Don't understand why he threw the note my cousin left for him in my bag of souvenirs but stranger thing happen. It is disappointing that they can no longer use sunglasses or other stuff laying around to decorate the towel animals unless that is just a tale our steward told us. Let's breeze past the diner experience as it was not up to par and I would rather not focus on the bad. The food was okay but the service wasn't what we have come to expect. We did let the maitre d know of the problems and he did try to correct the situation. On the bright side since I have a food & beverage background the maitre d and I talked about a variety of things. I would like to mention that on the Lido grill after asking for mushrooms in my omelet every day but one and always being told NO! I finally got them on the last morning. I believe his was Sundeep, he acted like it was no big deal, but it was to me. Entertainment! WOW! I have always enjoyed the trivia, shows and activities that Carnival offers. Cruise Director Kirk, Assistant CD Jason, Ben, Jared, Kenzie and Jessica were all friendly and made you feel welcomed. They put a lot of fun in "Fun Ships". There was a little mix up with the M&M set up for our group, we were told one time and place before cruising, then it was another in the capers and there was a sign for a different group by the door, but no problem we adapted quite well. There were several of us that knew each other from a prior cruise and then we met at The Spot in Galveston before sailing, so we had no problem talking amongst ourselves and entertaining each other. We even managed to practice a karaoke routine that we preformed another night. Others sang some songs which were remarkable. I was not real fond of the first comedian on the cruise; partly because he was a ventriloquist ( I like Jeff Dunham and his Walter). This guy was hard to understand and his lips moved, but others thought he was okay, it is personal preference. Then came the switch, I was standing in front of the shops in Cozumel and overheard a lady talking about a double wide trailer. I asked her if she was talking about the comedian on board the Fantasy. She was talking about Kim Harrison our next comedian. For a minute the lady thought that I was her and told me how much she enjoyed my show. I unfortunately had to correct her and explained that I wasn't her; but I had the great pleasure of seeing her last September while aboard the Conquest. We agreed that she was marvelous. I loved both of her shows and the fact that she hung around to talk after the shows just made for a more enjoyable evening, very personable and friendly! Another department that needs acknowledge is the Atrium Bar. More specifically Diana, she was a great bartender. Not only was she friendly while on duty, she saw me walking by the photos; stopped me to ask how "my sisters" were doing, they had a bit much to drink the night before with genuine sincerity in her question. Debarkation was mediocre this time around. We like to do the self assist, but before we were on the elevators to go down to the gangway they had started calling the floors. We were the last of the self assist to be called, so there we were with our suitcases while others were trying to get off the elevators and complaining that we were taking up to much room. Even had they waited and given self assist time to get off the boat we still would have had the line for customs. I think it took about an hour to get off the boat, but it was just a few minutes waiting under the red flag when our shuttle showed up. Read Less
Carnival Ecstasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.5 0.0
Enrichment 2.5 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates N/A 0.0

Find a Carnival Ecstasy Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise