4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
9 member family & neighbors had a good time, but not because of ship and crew. I was surprised how much the food was obviously rationed. Lido buffet only open for short periods of time, and often out of basic food. Sandwich and ... Read More
9 member family & neighbors had a good time, but not because of ship and crew. I was surprised how much the food was obviously rationed. Lido buffet only open for short periods of time, and often out of basic food. Sandwich and pizza counters in buffet area were not only understaffed but pretty obviously moving very slowly. Mongolian Wok place OK, but rarely open, and the appetizer tasting place didn't even open some days per schedule, and short hours others. Only thing open often and everywhere were the bars. Service was poor. Daughter and fiance rarely saw their room steward, and did not get a single request filled, including those called into housekeeping, the entire trip. Our steward in room around the corner from them was OK; the $20 tip the first day might have helped. The sit down breakfast and lunch restaurant was sooo slow, and the food was minimal and most was cold. Our dining room service was OK the first few days, but then our head waiter paid more attention to other tables and left us to jr. staff. He couldn't believe one evening when our entire table stood up and went to a nearby bar: after seated for over an hour nobody had taken any drink orders at all. Ship was clearly dated, with lots of maintenance needed. Faded railings are one thing; visible rust and one welded on repair plate on the topmost wing-like structure didn't present a very good presentation to the world. This was my wife & daughter's 5th cruise in the past 7 years, and they said it was far and away the saddest experience they had. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
A group of us sailed Nov. 30 @ Miami on the Ecstacy. Priority boarding turned out to be slower than those in our group that didn't have priority. Seems like everyone at Miami were brand new employees so that's ok. We ... Read More
A group of us sailed Nov. 30 @ Miami on the Ecstacy. Priority boarding turned out to be slower than those in our group that didn't have priority. Seems like everyone at Miami were brand new employees so that's ok. We weren't in a hurry anyway. On board, as usual, the beds orientation choice was not right but our room steward took care of it quickly. Our Jr. suite wasn't very clean when we arrived, but later in the evening it was clean and looking good. Every day, no coffee. All coffee pots empty or "cleaning out of service" but no coffee is something we can live with. However, we've never experienced outages of coffee, lemonade, and tea on any of the 12 other Carnival cruises we've been on. The empty drink issue was never addressed in a timely manner either. Comedy club is one of the few stand-outs on this cruise. Very impressed with the comedy shows. Not much else to brag about. This cruise was mediocre at best. Our group included past Carnival guests who were also unpleasantly surprised by this particular cruise. Disembarkation was slow. We were directed to go through customs, then retrieve our luggage and leave. We learned that after those incorrect directions we were supposed to get our luggage first, then head to customs. Once past customs we were not allowed entry to get out bags so we waited a few hours for Carnival to find them for us. By then the ship was empty and we were the last to leave. It's sad after all the cruises we've experienced with Carnival that this cruise was such a disappointment. We cruise at least once a year and now we're booking with Royal Carribean for spring 2016 and Norweigan for fall 2016. It's got to be better and if not, it's time to find another way to spend vacations. . Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
While planning a girl's weekend recently, the bride picked Carnival because she had heard about the "younger" crowd and wanted to have a good time where the cruise was geared toward younger people. Apparently it was a ... Read More
While planning a girl's weekend recently, the bride picked Carnival because she had heard about the "younger" crowd and wanted to have a good time where the cruise was geared toward younger people. Apparently it was a popular weekend, because there were 9 other bachelorette and bachelor parties that weekend. We were excited to all be on the same floor, as it made sense if they thought we would have similar interests. The problem is, our cruise was booked 7+ months ago and our accommodations were massively uncomfortable and demeaning. As my other complaints with Carnival, the service was atrocious and the food was mediocre on the nights that it was not awful! I was very pleasantly surprised by the ship's appearance, as it was more updated than I would have thought it to be. I do not need much but a clean bed and bathroom when on a cruise for accommodations but that did not even offer this. We booked two rooms for 5 girl's and as 3 of us are avid cruisers, we knew that we would receive a 3rd bed in the form of a pull down/bunk etc what we did not expect to happen was have a LAWN CHAIR with the thinnest mattress possible. The end of the mattress was off the lawn chair (which they referred to as a trundle!) and I wound up sleeping in a SINGLE bed with another girl (foot to face) because we could NOT sleep on that lawn chair. It is disgusting to think that this accommodation would be adequate to anyone, so I politely asked the steward to find us another room- He told us that the other rooms with pull down beds were taken and that there were too many people on that floor with 3 or more people. That evening while hanging out with the other groups, we went in to 9 rooms booked within 4 other parties - each room contained either king beds with bunks on top, two bunks on top and one queen , etc etc Compared to our TWO SINGLE AND ONE LAWN CHAIR I would say this is an issue. If you can not accommodate people without having them sleep on a lawn chair- do not allow them to book. This type of accommodation would be something I might allow my 4 year old to sleep on, but probably not. The first night, service was fabulous in the dining room, second and third night the people were so rude they actually made one girl cry - (I forgot if it was the 2nd or 3rd night, but they were rude both nights). The "Smoking area" in the casino bar changed every hour or so based on which bartenders were there. One day I was sitting to the left of the smoking sign and bartender moved it to the other side and stated "If there are no seats you can stand behind them to smoke" - so later, I did just that but was approached by another bartender who yelled at me and told me to "put my cigarette out" if I could not find a seat in the smoking section. We were constantly waiting on bartenders to serve us and even approach us and when they did, if we ordered so much as anything more difficult than a wine, it was messed up. Luckily, we stayed in the Bahamas overnight so we had a blast spending our money offsite at Senor Frogs because quite frankly, I was not willing to give them Carnival any extra money - As far as I am concerned, being expected to sleep on the floor means I over paid them. Our steward was friendly enough, especially after a 50.00 tip between our two rooms but he still failed to fill our ice buckets and clean our room without stepping on what was expected to be a bed. (That had more foot prints on it than you could imagine because navigating the room with that on the floor was a JOKE). Disembarkation was pretty decent aside from the chaos of guests who like to act as if they are not used to be in public, which is of course, no fault of Carnival's. If I had it to do over again, I would have begged the bride to pick another cruise line, as I have traveled with 3 or 4 people in one room on NCL, Princess and RC without EVER being expected to sleep on the floor. While "fun" was had- it was a great disappointment to spend so much money and be treated like literal dirt on a shoe. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
I went on this cruise with 15 of my friends to celebrate the end of the semester. I have been on a number of cruises before while others in my group have never been on a cruise. Overall, I had a great vacation because I was with friends ... Read More
I went on this cruise with 15 of my friends to celebrate the end of the semester. I have been on a number of cruises before while others in my group have never been on a cruise. Overall, I had a great vacation because I was with friends (and the price was nothing to complain about). Here's a little breakdown of the cruise: Faster to the Fun - the best thing I ever did. I was on board the ship at 11:30am. Embarkation went very smoothly and our room was ready. I was sitting down and having lunch on the lido deck by noon with no lines and lots of tables available (this wasn't the case later in the day when the rest of my group got on board around 1pm). Food. Food was really great. The dining room was fantastic - both food and service! Every night there would be multiple entrees I would want to try! Our orders always came quickly and were the right temperature. If we ever didn't like something (which was rare) our server was always happy to get us something else very quickly and always wanted to make sure that we were happy. Also, in regards to food - go to the dining room for breakfast. It is much more relaxing than the lido deck and room service breakfast was not as great. Even go to the dining room on disembarkation day - it's the best thing to do and you do have the time to do it! Cabin. We had an interior cabin. What I thought was odd was that instead of having a drop-down bunk for our third person, a trundle bed was brought in. This took up a lot of space (that we really didn't have to begin with) and the trundle bed was always out during the day, whereas the cabins that did have bunks were put away during the day. Also, there was no hair dryer. I had to ask multiple times for one before finally getting one to the cabin. Seemed rather odd that the cabin did not come with a hair dryer automatically. And the doors did not automatically close/lock to the cabin. This to me is a fire and safety hazard. Activities. Nothing lasted more than 30 minutes. Even the shows were 30, 40 minutes tops. It seemed that we were always being shuffled off to another acitivity. I also felt that there wasn't a great variety of activities for everyone. It seemed that they were trying to sell you something or get you to buy booze at events. Normally when I go on cruises, there are multiple events that I want to go to throughout the day. On this cruise, I would look at the schedule and not really see anything that interested me. The ship overall. It is an older ship that has been refurbished. I've been on similarly sized ships before and loved it. I felt that the Ecstasy did not have as many places to go and relax throughout the day besides the lido deck, serenity, and the numerous bars. On other ships, I've enjoyed relaxing in the library, various lounges, and on the promenade deck. On the Ecstasy, there was no true promenade deck. I always liked to take walks around the promenade deck or relax on a lounge chair there with a good book and watch the world go by. The only deck that was similar to a promenade deck was the lido deck, but it did not wrap around the ship entirely (so you couldn't do a lap) and as you got closer to the buffet, tables were set up for people to eat. There was a jogging track, but it was not covered and it wrapped around the mini-golf course (always was kind of worried about slipping on a rouge golf ball). The showroom aka The Blue Sapphire was okay. There were not many seats in the theater with good views unless you were in orchestra and in the front. Otherwise you either had to deal with an overhang from the mezzanine or a pillar. The seats in the mezzanine were not true stadium tiered seats so it was sometimes a little hard to see over someone's head (and I'm 5'8"). One thing that I did like was the various photo stations with the professional photographers. My friends and I got some great photos of us on the ship and there were so many different backgrounds to choose from. Just a tip for first time cruisers - if you don't like your photos, please put them in the recycling bins nearby - it helps clear up space for when more photos are put out as the cruise continues. By the end of the cruise, the photo staff had to set up tables with piles of photos because there was not enough space in the regular display areas on the walls. Ports. We stopped in Freeport, Nassau, and Little Stirrup Cay. I've been to all three ports before. There's nothing really exciting about any of them. In Freeport, the port has free wifi so there's that. Some of my friends took a taxi to a beach in Freeport and had fun. I chose to stay on board and enjoyed the pool while everyone else was away (it was nice and quiet). I didn't do much in Nassau either. A safety warning had been recently put out recommending that all passengers take the ship's shore excursions and not to wander on your own. And since I have been to Atlantis before, I decided to enjoy the ship. While in Little Stirrup Cay I relaxed on the beach. The water was cold (which I expected for December in the Bahamas) and had the buffet that was set up on the island. The buffet was okay. In the future I would make sure to get off the boat on the first tender and then head back for lunch on board. The tender service was pretty awful. It took an hour to get back on board in the afternoon and I had left earlier because I wanted to beat the last minute rush. I didn't go on this cruise for the ports, so I wasn't as disappointed as some other folks were. For some really nice islands, I would recommend Grand Cayman or Aruba when looking at cruise iteneraries. Overall, I had a good time because I was with friends and made the most out of it. Would I cruise on Carnival again? Probably not. I've cruised on Carnival before (a long time ago and the food was awful back then, so I was pleasantly surprised to see such an improvement in that area). The price would have to be really worth it for me to go again. I've felt that I have enjoyed cruising more on other cruise lines.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
So, a group of about 13 of us went on the Carnival Ecstasy in last December. We left Port Canaveral, went to Nassua, then Half Moon Cay, then back to Port Canaveral. Most of us were cruise virgins, though a few had gone before. My ... Read More
So, a group of about 13 of us went on the Carnival Ecstasy in last December. We left Port Canaveral, went to Nassua, then Half Moon Cay, then back to Port Canaveral. Most of us were cruise virgins, though a few had gone before. My fiance and I were new to this. The first thing I should say, something that kind of tainted the whole voyage, is that the food was _horrible_. This is the danger of "all-inclusive," I suppose...the tell you food is included, but they don't say what they actually consider food. It was basically college dining hall food, only not as good: made en masse, with the poorest possible ingredients, without much care as to its quality. Worse yet, it's served in a pretty dining room (with an ocean view, obviously!), so how bad it is is especially shocking. Case in point: we got served cold lasagna at one point. And I don't just mean cold, I mean "had little pieces of ice on it." I and a friend sent it back, and amazingly, the replacement piece was _also_ cold. The waiter tried to explain that, well, you see, it _was_ warm, but then they topped it with a mayo-based sauce, and that made it cold. No, I'm sorry. I have yet to meet the mayo that spontaneously freezes lasagna. Anyway, that was the tenor of all our meals: barely edible microwave dinners. It honestly became a game of figuring out which food items would be the hardest to screw up and then praying you were right in your estimation. Even when we had the day ashore on Half Moon Cay, the "barbecue" food they served was clearly transported from the ship, and it was similarly awful. As for the rest of the cruise? Meh. I was kind of appalled at the rather outrageous rates they charge for everything from airport transfer to any of the shore expeditions. They want something like $50/person for airport transfer; we booked our own transfer through Travelynx for about $12/person. We were very happy with Travelynx, incidentally, and highly recommend them. It's not so much that I object to having to pay for "extras" as it is rather a "budget" cruise line; it's that they seem to be vastly overcharging for such services. Our room: Our room, U148, was unremarkable but fine. The bed was comfortable enough, the bathroom worked. The tv was grainy so we didn't use it. Our biggest complaint was that the window had a briney coating on it that made it hard to see out of. Could they really not have cleaned the windows before we left? The ports: Nassau turns out to be a sad little place. There's a market full of overpriced touristy mementos right next to the cruise terminal, and then the town beyond it is kind of dead and dilapidated. Some friends knew enough to take a cab out to one of the pay-for-access hotel beaches, which is probably the way to go if you want to venture away from the ship. Half Moon Cay is a private island owned by the cruise company. It's a little depressing how pre-packaged everything is; basically it's a little beach that they dump all the passengers onto at once (and then they try to get you to pay too much for extras like beach toys and waterski tours and such). I will give them that the water is very clear, and nice, and beautiful, and the island and beach are at least kept clean. All that said, we _did_ have a good time. It's fun to be out in the middle of the ocean, and it is a little adventure. But we mostly had fun because of the friends that came with us, not because of the cruise itself. Part of the problem, admittedly, was that we probably aren't the right demographic: we don't drink much, and we're introverts, so the "floating Vegas" vibe was kind of wasted on us. All in all, we don't regret going, but we wouldn't go again. If the food hadn't been so horrible, it would have probably seemed much nicer. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
This was our 2nd cruise, but the first on a Carnival ship. When booking, we were aware that Carnival is the budget line catering to the lower end of the cruise market, however a large group (32) of our friends and neighbors were going, and ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise, but the first on a Carnival ship. When booking, we were aware that Carnival is the budget line catering to the lower end of the cruise market, however a large group (32) of our friends and neighbors were going, and so, against our better judgement, we signed on (I really had to twist my partner's arm, and may never live it down!). Suffice it to say, we boarded with low expectations, determined to have a good time come what may; viewing this as just a short, cheap getaway with good friends.1) The Ship: Ecstasy is a 20 year old dinosaur, considerably smaller than more current vessels with very little in the way of amenities or activities. While I found the Ecstasy reasonably clean and well-maintained, the decor screams Vegas, circa 1980s, with lots of neon and mirrors, very little in the way of luxury. Again we sort of expected this, so it was no great surprise.2) Fellow Passengers: The ship was over-crowded; the public spaces, even the larger areas, always felt like a busy shopping mall on a Saturday afternoon with people tripping over each other and pushing and elbowing. A wide variety of people ranging from what my partner jokingly referred to as the "Walmart shoppers," to seniors and families with small children. Throw in a healthy dose of teenagers, and you get the picture. I almost felt sorry for the few honeymooners we met, as this was anything but romantic. 3) Dining: forget it, go on a crash diet, unless you actually enjoy dining at Lubby's or Ryan's 3 times a day. The food was actually the worst part of the cruise for us; as a matter of fact, for everybody in our group. In the main dining room (WindStar) hardly a meal arrived that wasn't cold, and/or over-cooked or undercooked. The portions were miserable, and the quality was really, really subpar. This was one category where our expectations were actually not low enough, as a neighbor had led us to believe that the dining was the best part of a Carnival Cruise---NOT SO! The only thing good I can say about it, was the staff were all very pleasant and eager to please. After the third day, we simply stopped visiting the dining room. The only other options for feeding were the "Trough," better known as the buffet on Lido deck, or room service. These are actually worse than the dining room. Long lines of people jostling over too few tables and all for lousy, dried-out steam-table fare. The selections were pathetically few and never appetizing. One or the other of the two drink stations was invariably "out-of-order," creating a crush of people fighting for ice water, tea, or lemonade---which were the only choices. I don't remember the coffee machine ever being in working order. The one plus: the pizza station and deli at the very back of the cafeteria was surprisingly okay, and for the last 2 days, my partner and I ate there exclusively. Again from the long lines at these areas, I'd say we weren't the only passengers to do so. Roomservice was non-existent: no matter what time of day or night we placed an order, we were told it would be an hour to an hour-and-a-half wait, with nothing on the menu but cold sandwiches. We could never get ice sent to our room: I called our steward, who told us to call room service, who then told us to call our steward. We ended up fetching our own ice from the cafeteria.4) Service: excellent and friendly in certain areas, terrible in others. As I said, the dining room staff were all very nice, attentive people, as was our steward for the most part (except for fetching ice). The bartenders and waiters/waitresses were also very friendly and attentive. However the clerks in the on-board shops (particularly the jewelry store and the liqour/cigarette store) were extremely rude with no interest in their customers. Likewise the Guest Services Desk, where their motto seemed to be to help as few people as possible while offending everybody.5) Activities: a sad joke: the scheduled shows and entertainments never ran for more than 20 minutes at a time, and were mediocre at best. The parties and special events were boring and often poorly attended (surprising on such an over-crowded ship). The pool area, and the water-slides were swarming with kids and teenagers making it impossible for anyone else to use these facilities. We never could find seating on the pool deck, even in the bar area; they were always packed. Our principle forms of passing the time at sea were to drink in the various bars on the Promenade deck, or gamble; there was really nothing else to do. Our favorite haunt was the Neon bar just off the atrium, where the piano player was fantastic and the waitress kept a steady stream of alcohol flowing in our veins. On a side note: the kids club was directly beside the Neon bar, which I thought was a terrible design flaw, as all the kiddies coming and going were exposed to our drunken antics through the large glass windows.6) Casino: I don't enjoy gambling, so I'm probably not a good judge, however many fellow passengers complained about the "tightness" of the slots and the dishonest practices of the table-dealers. Apparently there's no regulation of gaming practices at sea. My advice, save your cash for the real thing in Vegas.7) Spa: my partner received a deep-tissue massage and was thoroughly pleased, so there's one plus.8) Cost: for a cheap, budget cruise, it really wasn't all that cheap. My partner and I spent roughly the same amount that we did at Atlantis, Bahamas last year, which is considerably more upscale than a Carnival Cruise. Since there was very little to do on the Ecstasy, we quickly ran up a hefty bar tab; not to mention the spa treatment, bingo games, casino nights, a little (very little) souvenir shopping---Carnival suckers you in on the cheap fares, then nails you on the incidentals.9)Motion: the rolling and rocking of the ship was bad, particularly on the return trip. Strangely, the sea was relatively calm, yet the ship still rocked for 2 days straight. On the last day at sea, it was so bad that passengers had difficulty walking or standing. We came to suspect (pure speculation) that the Ecstasy decided to cut fuel costs by sailing with the stabilizers retracted on the return trip; either that, or they simply weren't working. Overall: the only thing that made this trip enjoyable at all was sharing it with our friends: we kept ourselves entertained by our own merits, otherwise it would have been perfectly horrible. This will be our last time sailing with Carnival. Read Less
Carnival Ecstasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.5 0.0
Enrichment 2.5 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates N/A 0.0

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