10 Carnival Ecstasy Senior Cruise Reviews

Had a lot of talented staff on board. good shows and Guy's burgers were very good. when we got home and i realized we did not get our $50. room credit i called. We booked online under the super saver and one of the perks was the room ... Read More
Had a lot of talented staff on board. good shows and Guy's burgers were very good. when we got home and i realized we did not get our $50. room credit i called. We booked online under the super saver and one of the perks was the room credit. The excuse i was given was because i had to call to get the forms to fill out for a handicap cabin. [Our adult son is in a wheelchair.] You can't just pick out a handicap room online My original booking was done on line. and i printed out everything i needed. There is nothing you can book on Nassau that is wheelchair friendly. We booked a cabana on half moon cay and it was handicap acess.. The gate they put up was great. it stopped people from useing our private area that i paid for as a public acess. to the beach. We did have a few who just opened gate and went right through between our chaise lounges and down the deck steps to the beach. it rained and it was great to sit in the cabana and stay dry. Half moon cay is beautiful.We arrived at the port and was waiting inline to eat in just a little over an hour. Grandkids loved the childrens program and everything about the cruise even making the towel animals. They eat ice cream 4 or 5 times a day. If you want to get off the ship fast keep your suit cases and take them off your self. We had no trouble getting a shuttle that was wheelchair acess. Deck 11 and 12 are not acess. for wheelchair. Staff overall was very good. our room stewart wayan and jr. dinring hostess abigale were extra nice. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was my birthday cruise for turning 65. We had planned to do a European River Cruise this year but life got in the way and on the spur of the moment we decided to try something close by - Charleston, SC for a quick 5 day break to the ... Read More
This was my birthday cruise for turning 65. We had planned to do a European River Cruise this year but life got in the way and on the spur of the moment we decided to try something close by - Charleston, SC for a quick 5 day break to the Bahamas. Our cruise booking firm did a very nice job helping us out with the arrangements. However, one thing you need to keep in mind is that when you get a special rate (senior rate for a guaranteed outside ocean view stateroom) you are not going to be on the upper deck. We were just above the waterline. Just means you have an elevator trip to everything. Fortunately, we were near the elevator that went to the food and bar section of the ship so it could have been worse. Just saying, pay the extra $100 and pick your cabin! Charleston is not a busy port and if you are used to Florida ports you will be a little disappointed. Lots of walking to get to the beginning of a series of lines to get on the ship. Here's where being old helps - the cruise people keep moving you to the shortest lines! Nice! However, there are a bunch of them. First to check in. Then to go thru security. Then to get your cabin assignment. Then you walk up a multi-level gangway to get on the ship after running a gauntlet of photographers. And then you find out you are way down in the bottom of the ship! Ecstasy is an older boat and its smaller than the new ones and it doesn't have all the cool stuff the new ones have - but I suspect that's why it is in Charleston! The crew was very nice and the cruise director was a riot. Our cabin boss was great. Even the bed was comfortable so no complaints there other than its a really small cabin! Here are the gripes. When we went to Freeport (not a nice port of call BTW) the people the cruise line had contracted with to bus us and several hundred other people to the beach were not prepared. They did not have enough buses and absolutely no communication skills. We literally had no idea what was going on and try as we might, could not find out. Eventually a crew member came out and offered refunds so we took that and went back on board. Second gripe was the food in the dining room (dinner your way - Windstar) and to a lesser extent the buffet. The food was unremarkable and the portions were pretty small. Exception: For $20 extra you can order off the Steakhouse Menu (there's no steakhouse, just the menu). I had filet and Lobster twice and both times they were very good. Desert was uniformly not good anywhere on board with the possible exception of the molten chocolate cake. Alcohol was okay but when you ordered wine by the glass you never really knew if you were getting Kendall Jackson or a cheap substitute because they don't show you the bottle unless you buy the bottle. I also ordered Crown and coke a few times and I'm not sure I was getting Crown Royal - again you don't see the bottle. Half Moon Cay was very nice. Wish we had more time there but neither of us were feeling well that day and the water was a little cold - certainly not the fault of the cruise line! The entertainment was mixed. I liked the comedy shows (except the last one we saw which was PG rated and it was clear the guy struggles with PG). The welcome show was very nice. The farewell show - not so much. We did a few other things like the Gender Fight or whatever it was which was funny. And we saw a fabulous moonrise one night. They have a very nice fitness center with lots of equipment and the spa was okay although I think they ripped off my wife. So, we've been on a number of cruises. This was our first on Celebration. We might do it again just for a quick getaway but if we have enough time I think we'll head to Florida and more choices. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I took this cruise with my wife as part of the 40th wedding celebration. It stopped at Nassau and Freeport. Both stops were not the greatest for us; the first excursion we choose had the Charm and Beauty of Nassau well, it was a quick tour ... Read More
I took this cruise with my wife as part of the 40th wedding celebration. It stopped at Nassau and Freeport. Both stops were not the greatest for us; the first excursion we choose had the Charm and Beauty of Nassau well, it was a quick tour by bus and you couldn't really visit and the bus driver kept saying that he shouldn't but would..no I would not recommend throwing money away on this excursion. In Freeport it was the Hop On Hop Off we took. The place is not worth visiting. I hear Disney does not even do excursions there anymore. Now, the ship itself. What a nice place to be on. We took a balcony and never regretted the extra funds it cost. We did formal dining and loved it. We had E103 and let me tell you...do the balcony if you decide to cruise. We did not enjoy the constant photos and the cost of them trying to sell them to us...tends to be a little pricey Oh ya, one thing to pack for coffee lovers is a thermos. Wish we had done that. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This is my second Carnival Ecstasy five day cruise out of Charleston SC. It is an easy drive from NC. EMBARKMENT: parking is somewhat unusual, as they don't open it up until 11 am and then you snake through to the check in canopy, ... Read More
This is my second Carnival Ecstasy five day cruise out of Charleston SC. It is an easy drive from NC. EMBARKMENT: parking is somewhat unusual, as they don't open it up until 11 am and then you snake through to the check in canopy, then they tell you to pick lane one, two or three, dependent upon whether you are just dropping off passengers and /or luggage, handicap parking or regular passenger parking. It will take about and hour for this process to be completed. It is a wait, however, the parking is covered and once you park the car, you will be shuttled to the terminal for check in. CHECK IN: The process went relatively fast as this is a small cruise ship, it took about one half hour to get checked in, get you sign and sail card and get on the ship. ON BOARD: The staterooms are usually not available until 1:30pm, you have you ship diagram, go up to the Lido deck and enjoy your lunch and explore the ship until your stateroom is ready. THIS SHIP is COLD, be sure to bring a sweatshirt, as the entire ship the AC is CRANKED UP, why, I could not get any good answers, other than it is an older ship. STATEROOM: There are limited balcony and suite rooms, most are oceanview and interior. As I travel solo, I usually get a interior room. This time it was on Deck 5 called the "Main" deck, midship, M75. It is a standard Carnvial interior stateroom, one king bed which has two twins pushed together, and this room had two upper pullman beds, opposite each other, generous closet space, but only ONE 110 OUTLET, so you may need to bring a European power adapter for a second outlet. The bathroom is a shower stall, basin with only one toiletry shelf and a commode. The shower stall has the curtain, and it is about 1/3 LARGER than on the older Royal Caribbean cruise ships. CABIN STEWARDS: Carnival has implimented a either a morning room cleaning and bed made or and evening cleanup and turn down. You will need to request a bucket of ice if needed. My cabin steward, SANTOSO, was EXCELLENT, I requested the evening cleanup and bed turn down as I sometimes nap during the day. DINING: Carnival does the "my time" from 5:30 PM TO 9 PM in the main dining room, WING STAR,which is mid ship, and traditional early and late dining with an assigned table. The WIND STAR "my time" the wait time is longer, and the first and second nights for the late dining at the traditional seating in the WING SONG is slower as some of the early dining parties linger into the 8:15 PM late dining time. I was at the traditional late dining at 8:15 PM, to table 362,which seats 10, and there were nine of us at this table, our dining room waiters, SETYAWAN and GATOT, and assistant waiter ALEXANDRA, provided excellent service, however at times the food coming out of the galley took a little bit more time than you would have expected. The dinner selections are appetizers, usually shrimp cocktail with four or five medium shrimp, choice of two soups, one hot and one cold, and two salads. The "special" appetizer rotates, such as escargot, oysters rockefeller, so you have plenty to choose. The main dishes are fish, chicken, beef and / or pork and a vegeterian dishes, and several dessert selections. The quality of the food is on par or a little better than the main dining room on Royal Caribbean ships. You will note that there are no table clothes in the MDR except for the formal nights and you only usually use one fork for all the food, it appears to be a cost savings economy. THE BUFFET: Located on the Lido deck its usually similar selections each day, its fine as you have to remember its a buffet for the "masses". ENTERTAINMENT: I did not see any shows or other activities as I spend most of my time in the Crystal Palace casino. CRYSTAL PALACE CASINO: This casino has a variety of "older" slot machine with some limited variety, There is one craps table, two roulette tables, and tables for Blackjack, Let it Ride, Three Card Poker, a disappointing WSOP Texas hold em table that was virtually empty most of the time. The casino host, KYLE, was a cordial gentlemen. This was not a Carnival PLAYERS CLUB Premier VIP cruise, so the casino did not offer any "CASINO CASH", just a "ON US" drink card. If you rack up 1000 points on the slots you get the "ON US" drink card for a five day cruise and its 1500 points on the seven day cruises, but you have to get it from the casino host or ask the pit boss for it as they don't offer it to you. The casino runs a nightly give away, usually a hot seat for table and slots, pick and envelope, pick a box, BJ, Poker and Slot tournament. There is only one electronic "Poker Pro" Hold'em poker table. The casino experience is okay, the waiters are plentiful, so you don't have to wait very long for an an adult beverage. DEBARKMENT: Being a short cruise, most passengers do a carry off and they start leaving the ship about 6:30am, I was off the ship by 9 AM as I had the ship take my large suitcase and I retrieved it at the terminal. Going through CUSTOMS, took about 20 minutes. THIS SHIP IS GOING INTO DRY DOCK FOR ABOUT TWO WEEKS. According to some of the crew members, they are going to convert one of the grills by the pool to a Guy Fieri Burger Joint, then add and Italian restaurant and do some other upgrades. HOPEFULLY, they will fix the AC so you don't freeze Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We choose the Carnival Ecstasy because it was only a 4 hour drive from our home, as opposed to going to Florida to catch a ship. We understood prior to signing up for this cruise that the Carnival Ecstasy was an old ship in need of being ... Read More
We choose the Carnival Ecstasy because it was only a 4 hour drive from our home, as opposed to going to Florida to catch a ship. We understood prior to signing up for this cruise that the Carnival Ecstasy was an old ship in need of being updated. We had been on the sister ship, the Fantasy, so we knew what to expect. With regard to price Carnival is very competitive and on this ship the price was very reasonable. We arrived at the port around 11 AM and dropped off our suitcase and proceeded to park our car in the warehouse at the port. After parking our car we got on the shuttle for the quarter mile ride to the terminal. Many people walked from the warehouse to the terminal. If you don't have a problem walking I would suggest walking as it is much quicker. We sat on the shuttle for 20 minutes before getting off to enter the terminal. In the terminal it took us over an hour to get our set sail pass card and board the ship. I thought the food on this ship was fine. For lunch many days we ate at the Mongolian grill and really enjoyed it. Actually their buffet was comparable to many ships that we have been on. In the buffet dinning room you could also get pizza (didn't look bad although we did not have any) and get a limited number of fresh made sandwiches. We had my time dinning and the dinning room opened at 5:45PM and we got in line around 5:25 PM and were usually seated by 6 PM. The service in the dinning room was fine and the selection on the menu was typically what you would see on most ships. On this cruise there was no lobster on the menu unless you wanted to pay extra. Our waitress, Irma, was very nice and friendly and did a good job. We asked for her each night when we checked in. With regard to the entertainment, they had 2 stage shows, Motown and the Brits. They had 4 young men singers and 4 young girl singers. All of them were very good and we thought the shows we excellent even thought they we only about 35 minutes long. I have been on several Carnival ships and I think Carnival has some of the best comedians of any cruise line. This ship had 2 comedians and both did several different shows and we saw all of them. They were excellent. Many times the adult comedy is just vulgar and not funny but these were truly funny. If they would had some more entertainment to complement there existing shows it would have been better. One night there was literally nothing to do except go to the casino and we are not gamblers. Most nights they had a band on the promenade deck (deck 9) but the music was so loud you couldn't listen to it more the 20 minutes. On the back of the ship they had a serenity area (no pool) with lounge chairs. Some of the chairs were in the shade which was good and a few of the lounge chairs in the sun had umbrellas. The pool area was always to crowded to enjoy yourself and the pool was to small for that ship. We had an ocean view cabin (U29) on deck 6 which was plenty big enough for us. There was plenty of hot water and closet space. The biggest complaint was on days when we were going into port about an hour before we got to the port this motor would start up and make a loud noise for over an hour which prevented you from sleeping. Not sure exactly what it was but it was loud. When we met our room steward on the first day he asked us if we wanted our room cleaned in the morning or night. We chose the morning. He had 35 rooms to clean so I felt sorry for him. He did do a good job. Other than the first day we never saw him again. Getting off the ship was easy primarily because we chose to do the walk off with our luggage. We left our room at 7:05 AM and got through customs within 15 minutes and we walked to our car about a quarter of a mile away and we were on the road by 7:25 AM. All in all this wasn't a bad cruise. If the ship had more to offer it would have made the cruise much better. We have done over 40 cruises on different cruise lines, primarily the big Royal Caribbean ships, where there is a lot to do so this was obviously not at that level. However the price was a lot cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
For our second cruise to the Bahamas we chose to again sail from Charleston SC because it is convenient to our golf condo. it is easy to get to the port in Charleston and the procedure for embarking is rather straightforward and simple. ... Read More
For our second cruise to the Bahamas we chose to again sail from Charleston SC because it is convenient to our golf condo. it is easy to get to the port in Charleston and the procedure for embarking is rather straightforward and simple. Our ship was the Carnival Ecstasy. Once on board the ship we learned that we should have very carefully read all the fine print on-line and noticed what was missing as compared to our cruise on the Carnival Fantasy the year prior. But we will get to that. Carnival assigned us a boarding time of 12:30 pm which worked well for our travel schedule. My wife and I each had a backpack, a small carryon suitcase and a cloth bag for miscellaneous items. We quickly boarded and made it to our assigned deck before 1 pm where we found the deck closed and with a notice that cabins would not be available until 1:30 pm. Elevators were mostly committed to hauling checked luggage and so there was little availability for elevator as we went to the upper decks to find a buffet lunch and wait for the availability of our cabin.. Shortly after 1:30 we went to the cabin and were quickly dismayed to see its configuration It was extremely small and with little room to move from one side to the other. There was no refrigerator, one straight chair and one electrical outlet. When we signed up for the cruise we asked that the twin beds be formed into a Queen bed. A few weeks after signing for the cruise we received an e-mail that our cabin would only accommodate separate twin beds. We reconciled ourselves to that and were happy to discover when we arrived that we did indeed have a queen configuration. That confusion of communication was typical of the atmosphere aboard this ship. One pleasant surprise was the size of the bathroom and shower. It was much larger than that on any of the previous ships we have sailed on from any line. When we went to Customer Service to discuss the lack of refrigerator and ice bucket, we were told that the ship is so old that the power supply could not handle a refrigerator, but that Room Service would freely deliver ice to our cabin at any time. I did order ice from room service twice, but they did not deliver either time. Luckily our Cabin Steward began ice service daily on Monday. the weather was cool and there is no way to heat the cabin, so on Monday morning I called the Cabin Steward and asked for a blanket. When we returned to the cabin later that day I found an order form to purchase a blanket. I again called the steward to say that I did not want to buy a blanket, just use one so we could sleep warm at night. the ship makes a great effort to sell items to cruisers. Let me digress to drinks for a moment. Carnival does allow one to order delivery of bottled water in advance. One pays for that separate from all other cruise charges, but the price was very reasonable, $3.45 for a case of bottled water. We had ordered this and it was in the cabin when we arrived. There were also two 32 ounce bottles of water in the cabin which we could have opened for $3.75 each. Carnival also allows one to bring up to 12-12 ounce CANS of soda per traveler, or to carry on a dozen bottles of water per passenger. We each brought 12 cans of soda. soda on board can be purchased at $3.95 per can, plus the ususal 15% gratuity. And each adult passenger can bring one bottle of unopened wine. the soda and the wine bottles were inspected individually as we boarded. Our soda had been in unopened paper cartoon, but each was opened and all the cans removed for inspection. No hard liquor may be brought on board, nor can any bottles be purchased on board for use in one's cabin. Individual drinks are available from bars throughout the ship. there are even automatic beer dispensers. We took a balcony cabin as we like to sit out in the afternoon and evening. the balcony was small, but adequate. We signed up for anytime dining and were assigned a dining room on the other end of the ship. It opened at 5:45 pm. Our dining room had long waiting lines beginning about 5:15 each day and lasting until late in the evening. We ate all of our meals in the buffet on the Lido deck. the food in the Lido was fine with an adequate variety each meal. there was not a lot of availability of tables for dinner since the staff did not clear tables as people finished. There was also plenty of opportunity to each all meals outside on deck. We often did this except for those times when the wind was blowing so hard that it was uncomfortable. Our first stop was Half Moon Cay which seems to be owned by one or more cruise lines. this is obviously a manufactured stop but was very enjoyable. I thought the designers and managers must have spent time working for Disney before creating this location. It is well laid out, very clean and with clean and pleasant bath facilities for cleaning up after walking in the sand. We went to the water sports area and swam and snorkeled in the clear warm waters. Afterwards we ate lunch at the free BBQ buffet provided in a secluded pavilion. There was tram service from the main area to the dining area. the destination had well laid out paths to go to the vaious locations. The bay is shallow so were were tendered from the ship to shore in large pontoon boats. there were not enough tenders so we had to sign up for a tender on board and then wait for an hour for our turn to tender in to shore. Entertainment on the ship mainly consisted of Bingo, audience participation trivia games of various types and a lone guitarist playing in the mail lounge. One night there was a very good, but short musical production in the main lounge. and on two nights we were able to watch kids selected from the audience to play Hasboro games. There are constantly "Sales" gong on in the shops. The upper deck, like all Carnival ships has water park with two large and two small water slides. the very top deck has a decent putt-putt course. The casino is larger than on most ships we have been on and seemed to have a great deal of action. I did like the Carnival Hub app for my phone which allowed me access to our on board account, a map of the ship, a listing of daily activities. One could have added a "Chat" feature for $5 for each person one connected with. the daily bulletins were small and repetitive with little changing other than the name of the daily drink. The cruise had many, many children, which surprised us since school was in session this week. There is babysitting available on board until 1 am. All in all it was a fine experience, but not as nice as our previous Bahama Cruise on the Fantasy, and certainly not as nice as other lines. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our second trip on this ship this summer and our experiences were very different this trip. Overall, we had a good time, staff did everything to make us feel welcome adn took care of our basic needs. We just sailed on this ... Read More
This was our second trip on this ship this summer and our experiences were very different this trip. Overall, we had a good time, staff did everything to make us feel welcome adn took care of our basic needs. We just sailed on this Carnival ship in June of this year, but this trip left us feeling that Carnival must have reduced their level of staffing by half. The staff that served us did a great job. As one example, the dining experiences on the Lido deck (buffet) was disappointing. Most days both serving lines would be ready with hot food and servers in place but neither line opened until 0730 or later. Early risers had no where to get breakfast except for cereal and fruit. When the serving lines were opened, only one side was opened at first which resulted in LONG lines. At some point later both serving lines would be opened to help with the diners. Other areas apparently affected by reduced staffing were the pool and hot tub areas with some hot tubs not opened until around 1000. Cost cutting efforts undertaken by Carnival make actually backfire on them. I prefer crisp bacon and have never had a problem getting it on past cruises; however, on this cruise most bacon was very, very limp and not to my liking at all. Bacon was also served by the staff and only two strips of bacon were served unless you asked for more. I tried to have crisp bacon, but ended up leaving my bacon on the plate to be thrown away. What a waste! The staff were all very accommodating, hard working, and helpful but the total numbers of staff were apparently reduced resulting in long wait times at bars, dining areas, etc. Hopefully Carnival will address these issues as we have one more Carnival cruise booked for this year and other Carnival cruises booked for next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We were looking for a fast escape from our hum-drum life (going stir crazy) and had friends already on this cruise so booked at the last minute. There were only a few balcony cabins available a week prior to sailing so I booked one and ... Read More
We were looking for a fast escape from our hum-drum life (going stir crazy) and had friends already on this cruise so booked at the last minute. There were only a few balcony cabins available a week prior to sailing so I booked one and then found out that Carnival also had a thing called "First to the FUN" Since our friends were in a suite I tried to get that to allow us to be with them as much as possible. Carnival said that they could NOT book us at the same venues and meal times since we were NOT in a Suite. "First to the FUN" was sold out, but they agreed to wait-list us for a suite just in case one opened. Then it was a few days later, just 4 days prior to the cruise and we got a call from Carnival - Customer Services and Sales. It appeared that a Suite was available, if we wanted to upgrade. NO, it was NOT a free upgrade (Carnival does nothing free, but more on that later.) The Suite available was NOT listed on any Deck Plan; it was the Owners Suite and very spacious at around 1100 Sq. Feet. We thought about it for about 5 seconds and said, "YES!" Then my wife began REPACKING. We loved the Suite - Penthouse 1, but in reality, it was SO BIG it was ridiculous. We would never do it again, BUT happy we did it once. Some previous cruisers complained of noise from the LIDO Deck, but it did not bother us. Lets talk about bring ON the Ecstasy now. Built in 1991 so do not look to closely. from our balcony we could see 3 places in the combing above our deck where it had rusted through. The crew was constantly doing Maintenance and doing a very good job of it, don't get me wrong. The crew WORKS hard to maintain the ship AND make the Customers HAPPY and they do a good job of both. Entertainment is very good and that staff and the entertainers work so hard to make the cruise FUN! Entertainment everywhere. Advisory - Weather out of Charleston this time of year can be IFFY! our first night and day were sort of rough (by civilian standards - I am 30 years Navy). Many people were affected by motion sickness, so be prepared. After that it was much smoother. Remember if you stay low and toward the middle of the ship it moves less. Having said all above here is the some of the bad. Expect to be Nickle and Dimed to death. We start every morning at home with English Breakfast Tea and every night With decaf tea of some type. If you want tea other than Lipton or Bigelow Green, then it is $1.99 for a single tea bag! On Holland American and Princess (both owned by Carnival they are still free. Maybe I should not mention that.) Okay we upgraded to the "Owner's Suite" Bottled Water still costs $3.95 for a large bottle and about $2.00 for a small one. All Water on other cruise lines and Viking River cruises is FREE daily for each cruiser. Our Suite did not have a Microwave - I wonder if I could have rented one - and unlike some ships there were none in public areas. Okay I get that you may want to tip your waiter if you get a drink, but a mandatory 17% service charge and then they ask for another TIP? Really? Okay that is enough for now. Our Cabin Steward(ess?) did a marvelous job and was right on every time we needed anything. Our Wait Staff - Excellent. If you want a great time aboard - take the Behind the Fun Tour. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Cabin U119: toilet stained, bathroom floor soft, spongy, broken. Couldn't close a/c vent - cold (finally repaired, 2nd day). Room steward poor attitude -- didn't want to do things the way we wanted -- bed arrangement, remove ... Read More
Cabin U119: toilet stained, bathroom floor soft, spongy, broken. Couldn't close a/c vent - cold (finally repaired, 2nd day). Room steward poor attitude -- didn't want to do things the way we wanted -- bed arrangement, remove duvets, provide blankets, etc. Potable water bad chemical taste. People across hall played with very noisy young child in hallway until they were finally convinced they were bothering their neighbors. Excellent room location for our activities. Shops out of Patron tequila 1st night. Bought two 375 ml bottles in shop at Freeport for $66. No bargain, that price should have been for 750 ml bottles -- this is my fault for buying a no-bargain. Ecstasy shops should not have run out of this item on first night. Hallways: strong sewer gas odor for over 24 hrs. This seems to be an occasional problem on many cruise ships and eventually goes away. Dining Room: waiter - slow, forgetful, very nice -- sometimes had helpers, sometimes not. Matre' d hyper, noisy. We had made special request for a table for 6. At first gave us a table for 8 -- when 2 outsiders were seated with us, I found Maitre' d and complained -- he moved them -- turns out they were assigned to another table anyhow. I was very embarrassed. Menu OK, not great. Lido OK. Maitre' d ignored us after first night. Table set for 6 on subsequent nights. Table so close to wall the waiter had to hand the food across the table. Casino: Sam Henderson mgr - young, very personable, great with passengers. Malan slot mgr - very good. Manish host - very good. Mary asst host -- learning fast. At first the video poker machines limited out at $1500 and went to hand pay which took at least 15 minutes -- finally convinced Casino Manager that he was losing at least $500 of my play while waiting for hand pay -- he changed it to $2500 -- I was happier, I think he was also. Casino Point Rewards: 15,150 points: 1st offer; 20% off next cruise (3 -- 5 day, oceanview) + $150 credit (I was insulted by this), 2nd offer; cruise (3 -- 5 day, oceanview) for one + $150 (this was also insulting to me), 3rd offer; cruise (3 -- 5 day, oceanview) for two + $150. By the time we got to the 3rd offer, I was totally upset. Royal Caribbean International rewards the same points with a free seven day cruise for two in a balcony cabin plus approximately $2500 - $3000 cash. Something new regarding casino drinks -- a drink card. I was prequalified for free drinks while gambling, but could not buy drinks for my wife. Convinced casino host to provide drinks for my wife. Bar Server rules: no water with wine -- drinks must be 15 minutes apart, water is a drink. Customer must be playing table games or slots to be served. No doubles (see 15 minute rule). Afraid to order Bailey's and coffee -- surely rules against this. No comment cards provided for passengers to fill out. Carnival Sensation seems to be consistently better than Carnival Ecstasy in all respects -- Why? Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
OK, I admit it -- my wife and I cruise because we love to eat. We have sailed on over 15 cruises, including 3 prior cruises on the Ecstasy. In the past the food has mostly been good with some being great, and occasionally being poor. This ... Read More
OK, I admit it -- my wife and I cruise because we love to eat. We have sailed on over 15 cruises, including 3 prior cruises on the Ecstasy. In the past the food has mostly been good with some being great, and occasionally being poor. This time the food was mostly poor. I'll start with breakfast and lunch, and then I'll do a day-by-day breakdown of dinner. Note that this was a 5 day cruise, leaving on Monday and returning on Saturday. Breakfast: As with most cruises, breakfast is the same each day. On this cruise, the bacon tasted "old" and not very flavorful. The eggs benedict was overcooked; I prefer runny yokes. My wife had a omelet and asked for salsa, and instead was given pico-de-gallo -- not the same thing at all. The orange juice was watered down. Overall breakfast was poor. Lunch: Very poor. The Lido buffet had several choices, but few were really good. The tomato soup was excellent -- thick, and flavorful. Other soups often had way too much onion. Entrees were usually dry, presumably from being set out too long. Entrees were not very hot, so I don't think they were drying because of heat lamps. And the entrees often had little to no taste -- even the jerk chicken. Note that on Carnival, the lido buffet lunch has different selections on the port and starboard sides (unlike RCCL which usually has the same selections both sides), so check out both sides before you make your selections. The pizza was OK, but drier than in the past (read that as "needed more sauce"). The made-to-order sandwiches were good -- don't miss this at the back of the Lido deck. Out by the pool, there was a hamburger grill (they will also grill chicken); this was OK. So were hot dogs. The french fries were OK if you got them hot from the frier, but the ones that have sat a while were tough and dry. I did not try the Mongolian grill also by the pool area (new to this ship). We ate in the main dining room for lunch on Friday. The wife had fish which was terrible. I had the ribs which were OK but room temperature. Now...On to the main dining room dinners. I'll break this down by days. Monday: I had a steak which was really quite good -- cooked medium just like way I ordered and quite juicy and tender. I don't remember what the wife had. The odd thing is that the side dishes now are all the same regardless of what you order; I don't remember that in on past Carnival cruises. So I was served mac-n-cheese with my steak, and not a potato. Shrimp cocktail was good, and you can have this every night. Soup must not have been memorable, because I can't remember what I had. Tuesday: This is meal most people look forward too -- Lobster and Prime Rib. And both were quite good. I had two lobsters and one prime rib (medium rare). However, the "au jus" was really a brown gravy -- good, but not really "au jus". Now, I always love the "West Indian Roasted Pumpkin Soup". But not this time. It was watery and not creamy or thick like in the past. I was very disappointed. Wednesday: I was not very hungry. I tried the chicken fettucini. The chicken was dry, and the fettucini was too pasty and not enough sauce. My wife tried the Mahi Mahi (available every night) and it was BAD -- very fishy and dry and tough. She could have ordered something else, but chose not to. Thursday: We both tried the chateaubriand -- mine medium rare and hers medium. It looked like it was cooked as we ordered, but both were dry. The only way I think this can happen is if it is under a heat lamp for a long time. But the worst of the meal was the lobster bisque soup. It was horrible. It smelled very fishy when served. We each took one small taste and pushed it away. Very disappointing. I wonder if anyone ate the lobster bisque that night. Why would any chef prepare something so horribly tasting? Friday: I had the beef short ribs. It was like an overcooked pot roast. My wife had the veal parmesan and said it was very good. The French onion soup was very good too. Well, on to other stuff. Music: The music was so-so. The ship's band was down to 5 pieces (keyboard, bass, guitar, drum, sax), and none of the musicians were great. They also had a female singer who was OK, but off-key on some songs. Other musicians were not very good. The best was probably Loraine in the piano bar, but it so smokey in there that we had too leave. No classical music at all this time. The covers on the real pianos in the atrium and also by the Rolls Royce were never removed to my knowledge. I love live music, so this was a real disappointment. Shows: The shows were pretty good. However, most of the singing-and-dancing shows use pre-recorded sound, so of course it sounds good. The main singers sing live. The dancing was good to excellent sometimes. The two comedians were funny. The talent show Wednesday night was fun as usual. The best entertainer is Steve Cassell, our cruise director. He play the violin/fiddle and also juggles. Steve is one of the best cruise directors I've had. My wife has multiple sclerosis, so we did not get off the ship and I cannot review the ports. The cabin was fine. We had an inside cabin, and usually do. We had some things that needed fixing, and these were fixed immediately. The shower always had plenty of hot water. On all of my past cruises, the ship's tap water was fine. This time the tap water had way too much chlorine, making it almost impossible to drink. I'm glad we brought a gallon of drinking water. Tip: Stop somewhere and get a gallon or two of drinking water. You'll need it if they don't change the water on this ship. Would I go on the Ecstasy again? Probably. For the money, it is OK. Just don't expect too much. Also, I have heard that food quality on all cruise lines seems to be declining. That is too bad. Does it really cost that much more money to fix a tasty hot meal rather than a bland dry room temperature meal? Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
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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