5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This ship is small, outdated, and poorly kept. Stateroom feels like staying in an old camper. We experienced a disgusting septic backup in our bathroom and guest services refused to offer anything other than a credit for a $50 bar tab. ... Read More
This ship is small, outdated, and poorly kept. Stateroom feels like staying in an old camper. We experienced a disgusting septic backup in our bathroom and guest services refused to offer anything other than a credit for a $50 bar tab. Beds and bedding are cheap and uncomfortable. Ship was cold with no heat available in room. No specialty restaurants are available. The food offerings are repetitive and boring. Free drink selection was limited to water, coffee and rancid tasting "tea." No indoor pool or solarium available in case of inclement weather. The outdoor pool, hot tubs and sundeck are ugly and overcrowded. The onboard shops were very limited and tacky. Very limited tv options in room. Other than the Atlantis excursion in Nassau, there is nothing to see or do in either Nassau or Freeport. I will not ever sail with carnival again. We were very disappointed in the condition of the ship and the ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our 12th Carnival cruise. We drove to Charleston the night before the cruise and stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites about 20 minutes from the port. Check in in Charleston was seamless. I prepaid for parking at the port. We ... Read More
This was our 12th Carnival cruise. We drove to Charleston the night before the cruise and stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites about 20 minutes from the port. Check in in Charleston was seamless. I prepaid for parking at the port. We booked a grand suite with extended balcony. We got in the building, went straight to priority check in, got our boarding passes stamped and off we go to the ship. So quick and we arrived at a peak time, noon. The guy that checked us in said our room cards would be on our door and that our stateroom should be ready now. Not sure if that’s a suite perk and I wasn’t expecting the room to be ready but the check in guy said it would be. We got to the room and our keys weren’t there and the room wasn’t ready. No big deal for us. We had just changed to that room so guest services probably had our keys. We did ask the room steward in the hall if he’d let us drop off our carry on bags. He initially said no and, how do I know who you are? Fair point but I showed him our boarding passes and he let us drop the bags. That person ended up being our room steward. He wasn’t overly friendly but I don't need him to be my best friend. He was an OK room steward. He did the minimum in our room. We got a few towel animals. He did most of his job but he wasn’t as friendly as we usually experience. At guest services, QiQi got us our cards and apologized for the inconvenience. I told her it wasn’t a big deal to us. No harm done but she still gave each of us a drink receipt for a free drink from the bar. I wasn’t expecting that at all and thought it was very generous considering how NOT inconvenienced we were. Next up we signed into the HUB to get the kids onto chat so they could communicate with me. My youngest son had the same difficulty he had last October. He was unable to use chat because a message read for him to get his parent’s permission but then nothing. Back to guest services. Tatiana saved the day and got it figured out. Lifesaver! Big high fives to QiQi and Tatiana. I gamble on cruises. I get many offers from the casino program. They like that I give them so much money. I usually lose what I budget for gambling and that’s how it goes. This time I’d upped my gambling budget a bit and I did terrible! TERRIBLE! I did nothing but lose. LOSE LOSE LOSE What are ya gonna do, right? It’s called gambling not winning. The staff was great though. Kuda, Slavcho and Federico were super. They checked in with me often. Losing didn’t feel as bad when a friendly face would stop by. Slavcho especially made the rounds and would talk to the machine trying to give me luck. He’s very personable. Kuda sent us some cookies to the room. I finished the five days with 12,800 points! The waitstaff in the casino was mostly good. One waiter was not as efficient as others. Never gave a napkin or offered a straw or called you by name. Momo, his real name is Momcila, was so wonderful. Smiling, happy, efficient, always hustling. One thing I miss in the casino is lower bet options. A penny machine sounds great until you see max bet is $5 or $8.88! Dining was good. I do wish the American Table menu would get some updates but it’s all still very good. Nikita at table 129 was very good. Our waiter at table 220 was hilarious but I won’t ask to sit at table 220 ever again because it’s in the pathway for everyone being seated in the center of the dining room. Every person walked by you. Half of them bumped my chair. The other half wore very strong perfume or after shave. You got a good whiff of everyone passing by. We ate at the sea day brunch both days. The bagel breakfast is my favorite. It’s the perfect salmon bagel. We ate at Guy’s Burgers a few times. As always, the best burger ever. I had tacos from the cantina twice as well and they are consistently good. I relaxed and crocheted a lot this week which was my goal. I don't go to shows or most other activities. I skipped dessert most nights and I regret that now. The elevators seemed out of service often so I walked a lot of stairs. That’s probably a good thing because of all the burgers I had. I could never figure out if there was a coffee card. I drank my share of lattes from the Royal Café. Disembarkation was also seamless. Just like that…poof…vacation over. Time to book again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We boarded on the ship within 20 minutes of parking the car it was truly a breeze. Once we got on at around 1:20 the room were not quite ready so we explored a little bit and went to are room. The location of a interior upper lower on deck ... Read More
We boarded on the ship within 20 minutes of parking the car it was truly a breeze. Once we got on at around 1:20 the room were not quite ready so we explored a little bit and went to are room. The location of a interior upper lower on deck 7 aft was amazing. Up the stairs one level was the main dining room and up another was city lights (Promenade) and up one more was the buffet. The Entertainment started right that night although we did not see any whole shows the whole week it was still a blast. Lip sync battle was amazing on board it was loads and of fun and was quite entertaining. The interior state room was perfect because their was still lots of room to walk around the stateroom. Although when we got into port at Freeport and Nassau the whole ship rattled and made a lot noise which woke me up. The Promenade was always fun at night with lots of people in the Casino and one night there was even a “Mardi Gras” party which was loads of fun. On board this ship there were 3 water slides technically but 2 were identical racers and they were both really fun but note it would be better when everyone gets off so there are no lines. There was a mini golf course there on board the ship it was not very decorative like RCI ships but it was still fun. The ship gym on deck 12 is very nice with its own dance studio were there are spin classes. The food on board was pretty good but unlike RCI the pizza is made to order and there is none ever pre made. The comedians on board were very funny. The staff were always so funny and are room maid was the best he always cleaned are room to perfection and replaced are ice. The best thing about this ship is the fun never ends and I think carnival does a good job with this. The ship would remind me of Las Vegas on a boat in the middle of the ocean with all the wacky colours in the carpet, light fixtures, bars, casino, everything pretty much. This was an amazing holiday and I would recommend Carnival Ecstasy or at least Carnival Fantasy Class to anyone because it is a lot of fun and worth every penny! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
The cruise was great, the ship was great. Bermuda was a great place, everything was a little expensive. The ship was originally supposed to be in port 3 nights, but for some reason we had to leave one day at 3 and return to port the next ... Read More
The cruise was great, the ship was great. Bermuda was a great place, everything was a little expensive. The ship was originally supposed to be in port 3 nights, but for some reason we had to leave one day at 3 and return to port the next morning at 930, so that really took away one of your nights in Bermuda. The food and dinning room service was great. Room service was good, Guys Burgers have the best hamburger any where. The casino was good, won some money & the casino staff was so nice This was a Primary Cruise and the gifts were really nice. The shows were good and had a great people. Deon the cruise director was one of the funnest people on the whole ship. It was always nice to hear his announcements everyday. The military show on the ship was one of the best I have attended on all my Carnival cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
First, the embarkation on the ship went very quick. We had an embarkation appointment at 1:00 p.m, but we were with a group and your company called Jett Tours. We arrived early at around lunch time so 12:00 p.m. The embarkation was quick ... Read More
First, the embarkation on the ship went very quick. We had an embarkation appointment at 1:00 p.m, but we were with a group and your company called Jett Tours. We arrived early at around lunch time so 12:00 p.m. The embarkation was quick went straight in got through the metal detectors, went and added cash money in my Sail & Sign account. Then after about 15 minuets we were on the boat by 12:15 p.m. upon getting on the ship R41 me and my sisters room was ready by 1:30 p.m. Now, exactly at 4:00 p.m. we left Charleston, South Carolina for a fun sea day. The sea day was just going and basically eating, laying out, looking at Duty - Free Shops, and other miscellaneous things. It was the same for both sea days. I did an excursion on each of the islands we went to which we went to first Eleuthera, Princess Cays, Bahamas. On the first island me and my party went for a Adult Santuary Bungalow. The bungalow did come with food and everything and was really good. Even had soda. The bad part is with the rocks. Princess Cays is such a rocky place and I got cutband hurt many times and I was looking for rocks but they still scraped. The second island was New Providence, Nassau, Bahamas. It was so much better and we went to Atlantis. Other than being attacked by a seagull Atlantis was wonderful and the best and so fun. We had the water park and aquarium for Atlantis. To add they also did have mixers for LGBT guests to meet and mingle each day which was nice and felt very comfortable and inclusive of everyone. The debarktion process was good as well. Very quick and efficient. I was off the ship in like at 8:30 a.m. and by 9:00 was on the Charter Bus. They were no issues at all and all I needed was my License and my declaration sheet for the cigarettes for my mother. Then we were on our way. All in all it was a nice experience and I would definitely sail on the Ecstasy again. Even though it’s a older ship, a little dated, and a little more moving. It was still nice. It didn’t bother me and the staff is always nice. Gabriela at guest services even game me a free drink because I just looked like I needed one. They are nice and everything. I have no complaints really. Would 100% recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our first cruise. We had an awesome time! The service and food were amazing! Our children loved the Carnival Youth Programs (Camp Ocean & Circle C). We really enjoyed the Military Appreciation Gathering. So glad Carnival took ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We had an awesome time! The service and food were amazing! Our children loved the Carnival Youth Programs (Camp Ocean & Circle C). We really enjoyed the Military Appreciation Gathering. So glad Carnival took time to give thanks to our military, past and present. FTTF made embarkation and disemarkation really fast and easy. Even though there were a lot of people coming in, everything was quick. Getting off at Nassau for our shore excursion was really our only problem. They had 5 different groups of excursions all in the same room. The lady getting ours together did not have a microphone and no one could possibly hear what she wanted us to do or where to line up for wristbands. Getting off at Freeport for the shore excursion was much better. From the time we got off to the time we loaded the bus to get to the beach was less than 20 minutes. Definitely will be cruising again! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
The Port of Charleston was a breeze for both embarkation and disemabarkation which is a huge plus. The ecstacy is definitely showing age but our cabin was clean and comfortable. Our Cabin steward was fantastic! Service everywhere was ... Read More
The Port of Charleston was a breeze for both embarkation and disemabarkation which is a huge plus. The ecstacy is definitely showing age but our cabin was clean and comfortable. Our Cabin steward was fantastic! Service everywhere was great and most seemed happy to serve you. This wasn't my first cruise so I had high expectations regarding food. The Lido buffet did not offer as many selections or variety as the larger ships. I love eating the buffets but was very disappointed. I agree with the person who stated it was like eating at Golden Corral. The breakfast at the buffet was good, however. The food in the dining room was ok but nothing outstanding. The desserts seemed flavorless except for the chocolate melting cake..it was amazing! The drinks seemed watered down. The premixed drinks supposedly had alcohol...I couldn't tell. Lots of young kids on this trip and it seemed geared toward them Kids taking up bar stools at the bars, filling up the hot tub, etc. With one pool, the trip would have been a disaster had the weather been hot. Two thousand people trying to keep cool in one very small pool..thank goodness it wasn't hot. Went to the first show of one of the comedians and it was ok...he was funny but it was the family friendly show so he had kids in his act. The cruise director Brittney worked her butt off! She was great! Didn't do a shore excursion so I can't comment on them. I'm not a cheap person..I like to spend money, but they seemed over priced. I just didn't choose to take one. One thing I saw as a fail on Carnival's part was having loud music playing in the atrium bar which is right next to guest services. I had asked a question at guest services and could not hear the staff when they were talking. The accents sometimes are difficult to understand but with music blaring I couldn't hear him. He could have made a better effort to speak up but Since he didn't I had to lean over the counter and keep asking him to repeat himself. Relocate guest services. Unless my family insists, I won't sail the Ecstacy again. If I do it will be because of the Charleston port and not the ship. Despite my disappointment I had a good time because it was vacation. Would love to sail Carnival again but will check out the other cruise lines before I do. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
A group of us decided to take a cruise for spring break. Many of us had not been on a cruise before so we figured we would give it a shot and see how it went. I can tell you right now we will not be rushing back for another cruise, ... Read More
A group of us decided to take a cruise for spring break. Many of us had not been on a cruise before so we figured we would give it a shot and see how it went. I can tell you right now we will not be rushing back for another cruise, especially from Carnival. I am not sure where to start exactly but I will do my best. There were both positives and negatives from our trip so I will do my best do highlight those. (We did have a travel agent from Carnival help us book this reservation.) The ship, is old, small, and should not be in use. Nothing about the ship is impressive in the modern day, yeah it is cool that something that big floats, but what you see is what you get. The ship did not stop rocking from when we left the port to when we got back, and we figured the first day is just us getting used to the sea but we spoke to a man that had been on 7 cruises and we asked if this is normal and he said no. He said that he had never been a ship this rocky for this long. The weather we had was beautiful and there was no rough seas or real reasons I could think of as to why the ship is so rocky besides that fact that it is old and the technology is outdated. Many of my friends got sea sick including myself, and when you laid down for bed you could really feel it rocking. When you pull up to the port the ship is less than impressive, it is an older ship and it seems Carnival has not done much to change that. I will applaud them though that the boarding/check in process was a breeze so yay Carnival for that. We get on the ship around noon and our rooms are not ready till 2pm, which was not mentioned to any of us, so we were stuck holding our bags for a couple of hours, not a huge deal but I do not see how the rooms cannot be ready, anyways we made our way to the Rum bar on the pool deck. Yes pool, there is 1 single pool for the whole boat of 2,000 people, so we steered clear of that. The whole deck is dated, the "wood paneling" is old and needs to be replaced, the pools, water slides, stairs everything is way too old to be in use and you can tell. The rooms were old, but we were balling on a budget so we fit 4 people in an interior room and we made it work. We did not spend any time in the room besides sleeping and changing for dinner. I did not get a chance to see many of the other rooms but the cruise line did a great job of making you feel like cattle, no matter where you went or what you did it was always jam packed. The rooms was older which made it feel not clean and the sheets from the beds were not clean after every night. The interior rooms had a King bed, and two twins that pulled out of the wall, so we rotated beds every night and the staff just switches the sheets from bed to bed, but does not clean them. My girlfriend asked the cleaning service if we could get clean sheets because there was a mark on some and they responded with "Do you see how many rooms there are? We are very busy today." My reaction was, yeah no surprise you are busy, you know how many people are gonna be here and you know how much time it takes to change all the sheets, so clearly that part of the ship was unorganized After we dropped our stuff off after our room finally opened on the first day, we made our way to lunch. Anyways the food, our first day, we got lunch at Guy Fieri's burger bar and it was delicious, the burgers were very good and the toppings bar was diverse so you could create whatever you wanted. But, unless you wanted pizza, burgers, or tacos you were out of luck, I think there was a lunch buffet but that was not made clear to us at all, and we found out there was a dinner buffet the second to last night. We had dinner reservations in the dining room and besides the incredibly small portions it was actually pretty good. Our server was very attentive to us and the food did not take too long to make, so for dinners with that many people I was actually very impressed that on average dinner was an hour maybe an hour 15 minutes for a 3 course meal. So that was nice and the quality of food was pretty good, the menu was a little disappointing. Not much varied from night to night, there was steak, chicken, pasta etc. If you wanted a nicer steak or lobster tail that was a 20 dollar up charge, which is ridiculous so none of us got that. We all ordered the drink package and overall we were satisfied with it, but there were only a few bars and those on average had 2 bar tenders so the waiting time for a drink was high. The Alchemy Bar was by far our favorite bar because the drinks were more mixology and better ingredients, so they took longer to make and they only had 2 bartenders and those bartenders would try and make 7 drinks at a time which is impressive but takes more time for everyone and steered us away from that bar. The overall nightlife was disappointing, the first night we went to the club and that was a good time but we did not see it open any night after that and basically everyone ended up in the casino, so the ship could make more money. Towards the end of the trip I realized that this is all a money scheme and they took advantage of that everyday. Events, there was a couple comedy shows at night that were hysterical, but during the day there was NOTHING to do. They had "posture improvement seminars" and stuff that you had to pay more money to do, like slot tournaments, bingo, and poker but those all had buy ins. There was a show and only one of us went to see it, because it was during dinner and she came back 10 minutes later because it was "terrible". That being said there was very little to do during the day besides drink and lay by the pool, which for the most part we were fine with, but once you've been on the ship for 4 days and want stuff to do that becomes boring. Our first stop after a day at sea was Princess Cay, and what a let down that was. We were all so excited that this is our first stop, we wake up and see the island and got so excited. The pictures looked absolutely gorgeous and we were told our drink package would work on the island and none of that was true sadly. We took a shuttle ferry over to the island and the water was clear like I had never seen before, but once we got to the island, it had nothing on it activity wise, unless you wanted to pay $75 for an "excursion". We get to the bar, which was all run by Carnival employees because the island is owned by Carnival, but our drink package did not work and a beer was $8 while a pina colada was $10, so we did not drink. Therefore, we had been given false information by employees which was disappointing. So we went to look for excursions, or places to walk, explore etc. there was none of that. We found chairs on the beach and we sat there, that is al you could do unless you wanted to pay more money. The beach was not even a beach, it was a slab of concrete with "sand" on top with chunks of concrete in it. I say "sand" because it is basically powdered concrete. We then go and get lunch, and there are 4 buffet lines which probably took 20 minutes just to get the food. They had some good "local" food, jerk chicken, rice casseroles etc, but besides that a burger tasted like a hockey puck and there were flies around the food everywhere, which did not give me much of an appetite. So anyways we do not stay there long since there was not much to do, and getting the ferry back probably took 15 minutes waiting in lien to get on. That was because the carnival employees had to load stuff to take back on the ship on our ferry, I feel like they should have had their own ferry with all that equipment because it took up time and space. Overall Princess Cay was very disappointing and left us all pretty bummed out. Nassau was great, there was much more to do there and we really enjoyed our time there. No complaints besides the tourist traps in Nassau that are way too expensive, but that is not the cruise ships fault, so nothing they can do there. Overall the trip was very disappointing, the way carnival advertised it, I was expecting a much nicer trip and customer service, but those were both below par. After we got back, we reflected on the trip and it is safe to say none of us are going to be rushing back for a cruise. Also Carnival makes it very difficult to contact someone on their website to leave a review, so hopefully someone from Carnival sees this and contacts me. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Convenient port from NC and slides were great for kids. Went in knowing I didn't like Carnival that much. It was about as expected, except bunks terrible! 4 in our room and kept hitting head entire week on bottom bunk. Bathroom VERY ... Read More
Convenient port from NC and slides were great for kids. Went in knowing I didn't like Carnival that much. It was about as expected, except bunks terrible! 4 in our room and kept hitting head entire week on bottom bunk. Bathroom VERY tiny! Only 1 cabin cleaning per day which I knew... Half Moon Cay & Grand Turk amazing (Nassau - not so much). Food okay. (Burgers were great and I'm not a big burger person). Pizzas good too. Ice cream machines down half the time, especially chocolate flavor. Staff were great and getting on/off ship very easy!! Spring break for many schools, so hot tubs were overflowing with children. Only one pool - small. Adults needed to use ones in adults only area. Room stayed cool and you could control it. Only adult with 3 kids/teens, so didn't do any shows or extra things. Hey, any cruise is better than no cruise!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
This is our spring break cruise that we have done for the past 11 years. I was a little skeptical about this ship due to all the reviews. I have been on over 45 cruises and I can say that this was one of the best. There were 6 of us of ... Read More
This is our spring break cruise that we have done for the past 11 years. I was a little skeptical about this ship due to all the reviews. I have been on over 45 cruises and I can say that this was one of the best. There were 6 of us of all ages , every one was happy with the cruise The food was better than most. Room service was good. Even though the number of crew members were lower they still did a great job. Hats off to Benjamin for an exceptional job. He was always visible and lots of the cruise directors are not. Way to go.... To mention a few crew members by name. Leo table 235 , Katherine and the maitre d in the any time dining were wonderful. Tanu in the pizza place and Danielle in the deli. Ping the bar waiter was the best. Great chocolate martinis. We loved Gilbert in the Piano bar. We didn't attend any of the shows however the band with the lady singer were great. Michael in the atrium was wonderful. My granddaughter sang with him. One in our group has never been on a cruise and now she is hooked. Charleston is so close to Greenville that it makes a delightful trip. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Let me preface my review by sharing, that I’ve cruised a couple of times. This was a first for my SO and 2 children ages 15 & 9. I read many reviews prior to this trip, and read many negative reviews; but with that in mind I was ... Read More
Let me preface my review by sharing, that I’ve cruised a couple of times. This was a first for my SO and 2 children ages 15 & 9. I read many reviews prior to this trip, and read many negative reviews; but with that in mind I was determined to have a great time on this ship. On the day of embarkation, I arrive at the main gate at 1100, with the warehouse opening at 1130 for car parking. We proceeded through the first two tents: 1: checking boarding passes, as this assigns what lane to get in and 2: The tent where they checked Passports and birth certificates. We pulled up further and waited for about 15 minutes for the warehouse to open. Important to note, we were in the lane for Faster to the Fun, plus all the priority guests. Once the lane started moving, we got to our third and final tent; this is where you pay for parking and where we dropped off our luggage. I prepaid for parking, and showed my email confirmation; this made it smooth as they don’t take cash. Once we parked inside a covered warehouse, we had a short 2 minute walk to the shuttles and we were on immediately. You can walk to the pier; it’s paved and will probably take 5 minutes or less. There are plenty of police directing traffic, so it’s safe. However we elected the shuttle. We were promptly dropped off in front, with someone giving instructions for the upcoming security lines FTTF (Faster to the Fun) had their own security lines, I think there were three for passengers. Once through security we headed to the agents, where they checked our BC and Passports took our photos and gave us our Sail and Sign cards. We proceeded up the stairs to the gang plank. In total it maybe took us 30 minutes once we parked. It was so smooth. Once on board, there is so much to see; get a map until you’re familiar with the layout. We went to our room and put our stuff down. It was nice that our room was ready, however, our luggage didn’t get to our room until 530  and of course I forgot to put a swim suit in the carry on (less learned). Once on board we went to the Buffet, the one and only time we ate there. Wasn’t super crowded at that time and was very easy to find a seat. In my opinion the buffet is on the small side. Both sides were open, with the dessert and salad section open also. Guys Burgers and the Burrito place were also open; however, they were more crowded. Overall, it was a completely smooth embarkation, to which I was extremely thankful for. Unfortunately, Carnival cannot control the weather as the first night and most of the first sea day we went through pretty crappy weather, with lightening, thunder and rough seas. Food We ate dinner each night in the MDR, our server Shuu and Joko were amazing. On the first night, I notified them of my dietary needs, and they were able to accommodate me each night. There were so many wonderful choices to choose from. We were really surprised by the quality of the food. For having to mass produce food, I believe they did a fine job. On most nights we were in and out in about an hour. Formal night did take longer, but it didn’t feel like forever. Also we ordered wine with dinner every evening; the roving bartender was attentive and came by several times during our dinner. He even sells shots in cute glasses. For lunch, we ate in the MDR for both sea days…yum filet mignon. The food was really good, and for breakfast it was hot and fresh. We did eat at the Burrito place many times, and the lines moved quickly. Guys burgers, seemed to always have a line, but they too moved fast and was easy to access. The bartenders were attentive throughout the cruise. I never had to wait very long for a drink. Cabin Our Cabin was located on E deck room 194. So further towards the back, directly under the back part of the Wind Song dining room. We had the two beds pushed together and two Pullmans. The Pullmans were located over the head our lower beds and somewhat over are feet. With the beds up, we had plenty of space in the cabin to walk and look out the window. Unfortunately, throughout the entire cruise they left the Pullman’s down. I called one time to have at least one of the put up, however they never adjusted it. It is kind of a bummer to have the minimum walking space in the cabin be taken up by the beds. We did have several incidents of head bumping. And also it wouldn’t have mattered if we hadn’t had two rough days at sea, plus my 15 year old, got very sick and couldn’t leave the cabin. The steward was attentive and the room clean. Initially wiped the cabin down with Lysol wipes and it appeared very clean. The beds were comfortable, even the Pullmans. The shower was a decent size. It has a small clothes line; I brought some clothes pins to have swim suits. The room had plenty of storage space in my opinion, and it was great that the suit cases fit under the bed. FYI the cabin door itself was not magnetic, but the frame was. We did learn a lesson however, although we all fit, next time we will get two rooms; even if they have to be inside cabins. We need our space LOL Misc The casino was smoky; there is no getting around that. The candy shop was fun and the coffee shop was pretty good; the drinks are included in the Cheers. We saw one comedian, who was really awful, Geechy Guy. We also participated in the 80's Music Trivia, that was very fun. The kid enjoyed the Hasbro game show. We didn't see many shows as we were pooped by 930. (Old people problems LOL) My daughter and I really enjoyed the water works area. The slides are a blast, and truly are for any age. We never had a problem with chair hogs, but that could be because our 2 sea days were awful because of the weather. Our two ports were successful in my opinion. Easy off and easy on. Debarkation With FTTF you have the choice of early debarkation 0645, we met in one of the lounges. We were the second group to be off the ship. We had our luggage with us, so we went through custom; caught a shuttle and were in the car by 730. Very easy but so very early. Overall, we had a great time on this smaller but mighty ship. All the staff was great, and they went out of their way to be friendly and helpful. I would certainly sail on this ship again. Don’t be afraid of this port, not nearly as bad as it sounds. One last note, we love to people watch and it was truly fascinating to watch others interact with the staff. These people have a hard job (yes they get paid) but it’s hard none the less. Because of this, I went out of my way to acknowledge them and give my thanks for their hard work. Just my opinion, for what it’s worth. If you have any questions let me know. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We picked this cruise because we were taking our 13yo grand-daughter. It was her spring break and her first cruise. We are an 8 hour drive from Charleston (closest port to us). Disclaimer: my wife and I are not the beach people, but ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we were taking our 13yo grand-daughter. It was her spring break and her first cruise. We are an 8 hour drive from Charleston (closest port to us). Disclaimer: my wife and I are not the beach people, but grand daughter is. So, we wanted a shorter cruise and one that had a private beach, and this one worked great. Although any cruise is better than staying home and working, this one was not up to the standards we are used to. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the ship. The layout works. Yes, you can't get through on deck 8, but not a big deal. Yes, it is a smaller ship so they don't have as much as one of the larger new ships, but that is only to be expected. We have sailed on the Fascination (same size ship) and loved it. So... why the negativity? I will get to all that. Service in the dining room. Breakfast, this morning our juice arrived just as we finished our meal. Great timing. The table next to us, they brought the parents plates out. When they were just about finished eating, they brought out the plates for their two daughters. Mind you, one of them ordered cereal. Wasn't like they were waiting to prepare it or anything. I ordered the cream of wheat, had to ask 3 times for the brown sugar, it came after about 10 minutes. Another morning during breakfast, asked for fresh ground pepper, they said sure, and then never showed up again. At dinner, service was not only slow, but would forget stuff all the time. Our waiters had some great attitudes, and I really liked the three on the team, but they just couldn't get it together. Constantly setting the wrong plate down in front of the wrong person, taking forever as they are trying to figure out what to take where. One evening they just plain forgot my wife and my soup. They came over right before dessert and said sorry. In the Blue Saphire (main theater) never saw more than 2 waiters. I am guessing that Carnival is still making a profit. I believe they are reducing their labor costs by decreasing their staff. Therefore, you don't see as many staff. Also, if you are going to be selling all you can drink drink packages, and then you cut back on bar staff, you can make even more money because people can't get their drinks. If you cut cabin service to once a day and then give the cabin stewards extra cabins to work, you can save even more. One day the coffee shop was supposed to open at 3:00 PM. I went at 3:00, no one. Went back at 3:30 and he was just getting there and said it would be just a minute. He had to attend a training. He finally opened at almost 4. I realize there is training to be done, but I would also figure they knew about that before they printed the fun times. We love the trivia type activities. There were plenty of those to keep our attention. However, there was one day was supposed to be baseball trivia. There were a few extra people than normal for it. The girl showed up and said it would be general sports trivia, that would be better. There were quite a few of us that weren't real happy. Then there were questions like "Name the Right Guard from the Denver Broncos that played every game in 2010" I am not kidding. You might have just as well asked name 3 right guards that have ever played in the NFL.. The next night was supposed to be sports movie trivia, yep, general sports again. Not that there is anything wrong with general sports, I would be at all of them, bute do what is in the Fun Times. There were some positives. We went on our own to Ardastra Gardens in Nassau. It was great. Loved the flamingo show and the bird feeding. Would recommend this. Then we went to the straw market to pick up some souveniers and then stopped to get a conch fritter and check email. We stopped at Sharkeez right across from the ships. The food was decent (we just got a large appetizer plate and shared it.) However, the wifi was extremely slow and we paid about $35 for the appetizer plate. I would not recommend this place. My wife stayed on the ship for Half Moon Cay. My grand daughter and I had a blast. It was very good. Our Cruise Director was Ben Lambert. He was outstanding. Mack was one of his staff members. She was also great. Those two were my favorites on the cruise. Again, I really liked our Dining Room waiters even though they weren't the best, they made it enjoyable. I always found something on the American Table menus that I liked. Some of the old stuff was gone, but it was replaced with something just as good. Guy's burgers were only consumed once by me, and there is a reason I didn't go back. The taco's at Blue Iguana was another story. I had them over and over and over again. Delicious and the shortest line on the ship. Not sure I will ever sail Carnival again. I might, but it will be a while, I am sure. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
I chose this cruise because it lined up with spring break and was a decent price when we got it. There are 4 of us, 2 18's and 22, 25. We drove to the port and didn't book any excursions because they sold out. Good think we ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it lined up with spring break and was a decent price when we got it. There are 4 of us, 2 18's and 22, 25. We drove to the port and didn't book any excursions because they sold out. Good think we didn't though because it was cold when we got there and the excursions would have taken up 3 of the 7 hours we could be there. Nassau was cute, plenty of people trying to sell you things and trying to get you to do this or that. Make sure to shop around before you settle, especially on restaurants. We had one guy walk us to a restaurant and he gets paid for bringing people but when we got there the food was stupid expensive but we fell into the trap of being obligated to stay because of that guy. Embarkation was really quick and smooth once you got passed the line of cars as you first get there. We arrived at our time but I didn't know that we would be waiting an hour in the car waiting to drop off luggage and park our car (never been on a cruise). disembarkation was smooth too for the most part. If you are on a lower level you have to wait for all the other higher levels to get off the boat first before you can. The more rich you are the sooner you can get off the boat- we were only one floor above the exit and they wouldn't let us go down on the elevator (doors locked to go down the stairs) so we went up to the one evacuating and went down from there. the service. The staff is really friendly and helpful to your face or when serving you but when they disappear- they disappear. When ordering bottled water (only way you can get it) I was waiting on the line for at least ten minutes. I ordered twice throughout the trip and it happened each time. One time the line just went dead and I had to call back and wait longer. The dinners are like a restaurant, you have a server and can choose to sit alone or with others. Apparently sitting with fewer people mean quicker service. Only my partner and I attended dinner together and sat alone. From the moment we sat down to the end when we got our check (ordered a drink) or finished out dessert the whole process took 2 hours- every time! The first time I was expecting it because it was the first dinner and no one knows what they're doing so chaos= time, no big deal. The second dinner it was the captain's dinner when everyone dresses up so I had the same thought process- no big deal. By the third dinner I was very irritated and just asked for everything to go, only to still wait two hours and leave at the same time as our neighbors. We didn't go for the fourth dinner. I don't think it was the wait staff that was the problem because when we asked for our check from two other waiters they said we had to wait for our server and that he was in line waiting for another tables food- like in an amusement park. So with the boat being so old I figured they had a really small kitchen. We were lucky to see our server in between courses. The food was mediocre and under seasoned- understandable since everything was probably mass made and with allergies and sensitivities it would be hard to cater to everything. The drinking package is absolutely stupid expensive. Forcing you to buy every day, even on the only day you were at the bahamas and the day you docked (on ship barely half a day). we thought about buying it but because it was forced every day at $50 per person in the room (21+) we didn't. we drank as much as we wanted (kind of) and was still under the $400 price of the package for our room. what stopped me from drinking more was the drinks were weak for the price plus mandatory 15% gratuity. every $10 drink would have one shot or two if you wanted to drop another $3. all the drinks tasted the same and by the last day they gave me straight up oj and vodka because they were out of everything else. It may have been worth it if we drank 15 drinks a day but on the two half days drinking that much in a short time frame would just give me a sugary hangover. The pool area was so overcrowded that people were laying on the floor and there was no point in even trying to get in the pool or enjoy the sun without risking being stepped on. The entertainment was okay, some comedians just not funny or borderline too harsh in their jokes. With the other shows the boat was still so crowded I couldn't bring myself to go to half of them because of massive crowds. The second day at sea (on the way home) we all stayed in our room the entire time with nothing to do just to escape the crowd or smoke from the casino and feebly watched our tv go from black and white to color often enough to give us a head ache. Aside from the shows there was a small room with board games you could play and then the smoke filled casino, other than that there was nothing to do for adults except drink when it was too cold to go above deck (the entire trip). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This was our first cruise so we were not sure what to find , only went by what other people told us. I booked with a travel agent that was fine . the food in the dining rooms was very small portion and coffee cold , I thought people ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we were not sure what to find , only went by what other people told us. I booked with a travel agent that was fine . the food in the dining rooms was very small portion and coffee cold , I thought people told me you will not believe the FOOD ! The wait staff seem like we were bothering them . I did not know it was a spring break cruise it was filled with 21 year olds drinking til they couldn't stand up and yes i did see them fall off there chairs !!! I was on the cruise with my 21 year old and 18 year old daughters and 75 year old mother and was very disappointed . we had to fight for lounge chairs we put our belonging on the chairs and went in hot top and looked over and chairs were taken i went over and said these are our chairs the gentleman said where are your people ???? really i thought know off your business ! He said when they come back i will give you your chair !! We went on the serenity deck hoping it would be better , i put my belongings on the chairs and was told by the attendant if the other to people do not show up in ten minutes he would take the chairs away !!! I can deal with this treatment at my local pool ,i don't need to spend thousand of dollars for this treatment . I hope this is not how other cruise lines are handled !!!! We also where not able to port in Half Moon Cay because of rough seas we were told ten minutes before porting time . don' t you think they knew this before ????? Activities were gered to the spring breakers !!! I called Carnival they said thank you for the information !!!! REALLY !!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
First off let me start off with that I LOVE Carnival, and I will sail with them again. My family and I recently sailed on the Ecstasy. My third trip on her, and my 7 cruise on CCL. My family consisted of my husband(48), 4 of our ... Read More
First off let me start off with that I LOVE Carnival, and I will sail with them again. My family and I recently sailed on the Ecstasy. My third trip on her, and my 7 cruise on CCL. My family consisted of my husband(48), 4 of our kids(17,14,13,11) and myself(37). The good: Embarkation - This was seemless as always. Charleston is such a small port, that there is rarely any wait time, especially if you go when you paperwork tells you to go. However I know many cruisers are so excited/anxious to get on board, they flood to the port early, which only makes it more difficult for the people who are debarking. Our room - We were in Balcony room E232 and Interior E234. The rooms were exactly what we expected, however when we first arrived, the bed setup(king instead of two twins for the kids) was wrong and it took until the second evening for our room steward to fix it. See notes below about the furniture setup altogether. Entertainment - As always the entertainers were on point. The comedians were phenomenal, and I still laugh when I think about some of the jokes. The Musical entertainers were very interactive, and kept the guests engaged while doing the sets. The shows were pretty great from when I hear, but that is just not my kind of thing. See cruise director notes below. Food - I can not say enough good things about the food. There was not one time where there wasn't something available to would please everyone in our group. My kids loved the room services, just watch your bill if you tip in cash, 4 times we tipped in cash but then our SS card was also charged for the same amount. The dining room staff(MTD) did awesome with the exception of birthday note below. Zdenko, our waiter 2 nights, was the absolute best! Parking at the port - After reading many horror stories, this had me very anxious. Although we did had to sit for 1 hour in our cars after getting into the port, it was pretty routine. We arrived at gate #2 at the corner of Concord and Laurens(strongly advise checking things out ahead of time if possible). We were directed in by a police officer and various clapboard signs, but it might have been hard to find if we hadn't checked it out the night before. We dropped our luggage at the porter station, dove though cone lanes before coming up on the credentials tent, which is where they check your cruise tickets and passport/identification. It was immediately after this tent that we sat for about an hour in 10 minutes with no explanation about the hold up, even when we asked. Once we started moving again, we came through a second tent that had several employees standing around but we didn't get stopped. The third tent structure was where we paid for parking. I recommend cash it is much quicker. We then we directed into the warehouse that we parked in(Blue) and easily parked and found where to board the shuttle to board the ship. I wish I had purchased FTTF, but the wait inside the building was incremental. The staff was very nice and accommodating. HMC - Amazing! We rented a cabana and will never skip that again. Well worth the investment! Pixels: Never a bad shot. Circle C - Kept my daughters engaged and had tons of activities they enjoyed. To the extent the my husband was "lonely" because our girls didn't want to hang with him! The Bad: Furniture setup in the room - I do not like the way the upper Pullman frame juts out over the headspace of the king bed in balcony rooms, and I bonked my head a few times before catching on that I need to scoot down in the bed before sitting up or laying back down. This is especially trying when the pullman bed is down for use. When the bed was down, it was impossible to sit upright on the bed as if to watch TV. Our Room Steward was AWFUL. Not once did he greet any of us by name, he let our neighbor into our room by mistake(thankfully he was an honest guy and told us and didn't take anything), he didn't bring ice even after we requested it verbally and by leaving a note on the door, didn't make beds or do turn down service in our kids room even though we requested it be down twice a day(he offered) on three nights of the 5 night sailing, he didn't restock towels, we had purchased two Serenity deck towels(yellow), and he had taken them back on the 4th night, so we had to nag to get another new set because he shouldn't have taken the ones we bought(which he brought to us so he knew that we bought them). He also took $15.00 of my kids money that was left on the desk/vanity area. When questioned about it, he said he thought it was a tip. Cruise Director - Adam I was not impressed with this guy. I rarely heard anything from him, other than the occasional voice in the sky. Never saw him once. The ship stabilizers - Didn't seem to be working for the duration of the cruise, and especially so on the last night when we sailed through a storm. It was really choppy that night and I went to bed about 8 pm because I wasn't feeling too well and most of the ship activities were cancelled due to dangerous conditions. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We recently we cruised with our family. This was my husband and my 3rd cruise (2nd with Carnival). My children ages 14, 12, and 10 werk aboard with us, as we're my in laws. We found the overall experience to very enjoyable and ... Read More
We recently we cruised with our family. This was my husband and my 3rd cruise (2nd with Carnival). My children ages 14, 12, and 10 werk aboard with us, as we're my in laws. We found the overall experience to very enjoyable and memorable. The ship is definitely older and shows a few signs of wear, but the staterooms were clean and functional, the staff were very friendly and seen multiple times throughout the ship cleaning. They vacuumed after each port specifically as all passengers brought sand from their excursions on the islands. The food was very pleased to fully and options abound. My youngest is quite picky and he tried many new things at dinner and always ordered off the adult menu vs the kids menu. This was quite a change from his last cruise where he only at chicken nuggets. The shows, trivia, and entertainment staff were very friendly, pleasant and engaging. The cruise director was very energetic and very informative. We found many options for all of us to partake in ... even on our first day at sea when the weather was gloomy and rainy. There is only 1 pool and 2 hot tubs on the ship so it can get pretty crowded on warm days at sea, but we didn't have any trouble using the pool, but hairs were at a premium. The water slide are also saw much use and longer lines on the days at sea, but manageable. We did experience some rough seas between two of the ports and the captain kept us informed. He slowed down the ship and chose to arrive a little late at the island instead of continuing to maintain a higher rate of speed with the waves. As it turned out, the waves subsides during the night and we were able to pick up speed and gain some of that ground back so we only arrived about 15 - 30 minutes late. Our ports of call were Amber Cove, Dominican Republic and we selected anot authentic Beach adventure. We took an open air bus through the Dominican country side learning about some of their history before spending a portion of the day at Coconut Cove. There were plenty of chairs and umbrellas and shady areas. The facilities were clean and lunch was offered, along with various beverages. There was also a variety of water sports equipment .. paddleboards, kayaks, snorkel gear and wake boars. You can tell this beach is still being developed and it will be even prettier when complete. Our second port of call was Grand Turk in Turks and Caicos. The port is very welcoming and has many little shops. There was a beach right of the Port with ample chairs and umbrellas. We chose a snorkeling excursion through Chukka Adventure's and it was very well directed. The captain was very informative and the two guides did a great job explaining the equipment and keeping us aware of our surroundings. They pointed out fish and coral and underwater caves. They brought over a stingray for us to touch. We even saw a baracudda. We were not experienced snorkelers, but we are all pretty good swimmers. We found it pretty easy to keep up, even my 10 year old. They did offer rope tied to the boat for those not as strong with swimming, as well as the opportunity to stay closer to the boat if you chose. We found this to be a great excursion and all enjoyed it very much. Our last port of call was Half Moon Cay, the private island of Carnival cruises. This was by far our favorite port. It had the most pristineffective Beach I have ever seen. The sand was white and soft and never got hot. The water was a beautiful clear turquoise. We had originally planned a kayak excursion that was canceled due to rough seas ...we were disappointed at first, but once we saw the beach we were no longer sad. Again there were plenty of chairs and umbrellas. They offered a BBQ lunch with hot dogs, hamburgers, jerk chicken, dalads, vegetables and fruit. It was well done and we enjoyed it very much. We drove from NY to South Carolina and we're surprised to learn that more than 90 percent of the cruisers drive to the port for embarkation. We found the process for embarkation and disembarkation pretty painless and we'll organized.. it took some time to move 2500 people on and off the ship, but it was pretty seamless and they were prepared for every situation. We had a great time and created a lifetime of memories. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was a last minute cruise booked for spring break, and it being our first cruise we were really excited! We left out of Charleston -- the only port within reasonable driving distance from our home -- and explored the city in the ... Read More
This was a last minute cruise booked for spring break, and it being our first cruise we were really excited! We left out of Charleston -- the only port within reasonable driving distance from our home -- and explored the city in the days before. What an amazing and charming place! I highly recommend doing a walking tour and enjoying some amazing seafood while you're there! Our embarkation process was dreadful, we got there early and still had to wait in massive lines, it took hours for us to get on the boat. Once we finally did, the ship was delayed in leaving port, but I mist admit it was nice to have the view over old Charleston from the deck. The first night we were both sick from rough seas, we couldn't sleep at all and it made for a rough night. But the days on the ship were nice! It was an issue finding a place by the pool, even early in the morning. We ended up finding chairs up by the waterslides. It was a little noisier, but you would feel a nice mist from the splashes every now and again when the wind blew the right way, so I would not recommend if you are against getting a little wet. We LOVED Half Moon Cay! Such a pleasant beach day. I would recommend not booking an excursion and just enjoying the beach. Carnival provides lunch and there is a pirate ship bar. We rented floats for $10 each and just enjoyed being in the water! In Nassau, we did the Atlantis Shallow Water Dolphin Experience. The staff was amazing and we had an awesome time! For older kids/adults I would recommend the Deep Water Swim as it was longer and you got more for your money. Be prepared to shell out for the pictures though (just one picture was almost $100) and they do not let you take your own pictures. We spent some time walking around Atlantis Resort, and then returned to the downtown area where we walked around and went to Señor Frogs. It was St. Patrick's Day and spring break, so there was a party around every corner. People will try to sell you stuff though. Some will even give you a "free gift" but expect to be given a tip, so be careful. My one complaint about the cruise would be the food. The dining room kept serving the same food night after night, and we found ourselves resorting to grilled cheese room service in the evenings to make up for what dinner lacked. The Sea Day Brunches were fantastic though and the food on the Lido Deck was hit and miss. There was also a lack of specialty dining onboard as it is one of Carnival's oldest ships. We had a port hole cabin, it was clean and more spacious than we were expecting. We were on a higher deck (Empress) and towards the front of the ship, so you could feel the movement of the boat a little bit. Our stateroom attendant was phenomenal! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
They say you get what you pay for, we paid for a great time and got it. My husband and I have cruised twice before, but this was my girls (18 & 20) first time. We needed something inexpensive and able to fit into our spring break ... Read More
They say you get what you pay for, we paid for a great time and got it. My husband and I have cruised twice before, but this was my girls (18 & 20) first time. We needed something inexpensive and able to fit into our spring break schedule. Several of my friends said "don't use Carnival it's a cheap party cruise, but we've used it before and enjoyed it. I will start by saying Yes, the ship is old and worn, it's the oldest ship in the fleet and you can tell. But that didn't detract from the amount of work the staff puts in to make your stay fun. We were on the Riviera Deck with an Ocean View. We had all 4 of us in one cabin, so getting ready for dinner was tight, but really we were only in the cabin to change and sleep, so preferred to spend our money on other things. The cabin was clean, housekeeping was friendly and accommodating. Bathroom was larger than expected. The shower was great! Excellent water pressure and perfect temp. We spent most of our time on the Lido deck enjoying the sun and music. People do save chairs early, so if you want a chair by the pool get up early. We preferred the second deck because we could see everything really well. We sat just in front of the dance stage so we could look down and see all the goings on. My girls spent a lot of time dancing and participated in some of the on-deck games. We also attended "The Brits" performance (very good), the Hasbro game show (Adam the cruise director is a ball of fun), we did the "Thriller" dance class and various other events. The food is average. We did "your time" dining which we preferred because we ate at various times depending on port, activities and general hunger. On a high end cruise the food would of been much better. It wasn't bad, just average. I always like to order a couple of starters to try to new foods and felt they had good choices. Their desserts were excellent! The food on the lido deck was so-so, like eating at any fast food restaurant. That would be my biggest complaint. I went and got my food from the Panorama (where I could get a salad and better desserts) and brought it on deck for lunch. We stopped in Nassau and Freeport. We did Sting Rays in Nassau then hung out on beach and shopped. Our snorkeling in Freeport got cancelled due to high winds, so we took the advice of Martin from the "fun squad" and took a taxi to the public beach in Port Lucaya. Great decision. We paid $10 round trip for the taxi, walked into the public beach and sat just a couple of yards from the carnival passengers who paid for the "Beach Excursion" They did get a mea (I think it was hamburgers), but when we were hungry we just walked across the street to the market and paid $5 for conch fritters and $6 for hamburgers & fries. I will definitely cruise with Carnival again. I'll probably try a bigger ship next time. Not because I disliked the Ecstasy but because I'd like to go somewhere different and try something new. P.S. The smoking in the metro lounge area is terrible. I wish they couldn't smoke indoors at all. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2016
It was a good cruise, i enjoyed it, so did my family, there was several great things on it, but that was 2011, and it got worse from there. PROS - *Great value *Not too big, Not too small *Fun! *Has a better waterpark than ... Read More
It was a good cruise, i enjoyed it, so did my family, there was several great things on it, but that was 2011, and it got worse from there. PROS - *Great value *Not too big, Not too small *Fun! *Has a better waterpark than the Fantasy *Has A better Camp Carnival/Ocean than Fantasy CONS - *Boring if you have gone on every Fantasy class ship except this one *Dr. Seuss replace Fun Ship Freddy *Kinda old We suggest you to go on there if you live in South Carolina, near it, or just want to have a getaway from home at a cheap price. If you go to the bahamas, look for the Grand Celebration ship, which used to be Carnival's "super-class ship" Celebration. Also if you are going to have a 10 day cruise, don't go on this because you will get bored after a while, go on the Newer ships. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
My adult daughter, 3 grandchildren ages 10, 13 and 16, along with myself decided to do a Spring Break cruise for 4 nights. Carnival Ecstacy is a very good 4 night. The ship is smaller than some of the new ships but very easy to get around. ... Read More
My adult daughter, 3 grandchildren ages 10, 13 and 16, along with myself decided to do a Spring Break cruise for 4 nights. Carnival Ecstacy is a very good 4 night. The ship is smaller than some of the new ships but very easy to get around. Plenty of activities and entertainment. Very good food in the dining rooms as well as the buffets. Service was excellent. This was my third time on Ecstacy and it looked as good now as it did the first time in 1998. Love the beds and linens! So comfy! Our cabins were kept immaculate by our cabin steward. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
and you love crowds, waiting in line for everything and rude bartenders, then by all means do it! We usually go to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico where the drinks (as many as you want) are included, there is a variety of dining options, ... Read More
and you love crowds, waiting in line for everything and rude bartenders, then by all means do it! We usually go to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico where the drinks (as many as you want) are included, there is a variety of dining options, you can enjoy a leisurely and quiet day on a beach and the employees (from the bartenders to the maids) treat you like royalty. Cruising is NOTHING like that. We took a 3-day cruise to Nassau from Miami. We fell for the spiel about upgrading shortly after booking and had 4 Junior Suites for our 8-person group. Then we found out that my husband's motorized scooter would not fit through the door and we could not store the scooter in the hallway. Also the ADA compliant room that we had asked for had a step going into the bathroom and a step out onto the balcony. He cannot do steps without help. So, not wanting to ruin everybody elses trip, we just moved our room to a fully accessible room. It turned out to be on the 4th level (our friends were on the 11th) and at the rear of the ship (they were at the front). In other words, our room was just about as far away from them as physically possible. And of course, we didn't realize this until we boarded and by then it was too late to change. In addition, the ship boasted that they were "wheel-chair accessible" which turned out to mean little make-shift ramps to get a wheel chair over the threshhold of a door. If the level of the ramp matched the height of the threshhold, everything was fine. However, the majority of them were not matched so when my husband tried to go over them in his scooter he was nearly bucked out of his chair. Sometimes the front wheels would go over but the back wheels would get stuck between the ramp and the threshhold and we would have to struggle to push him up and over the bump. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
We were surprised to find the Carnival Ecstasy in such good condition given its age. We sailed in January on the Carnival Pride, and it was getting run down despite having been recently remodeled. It was apparent that the Ecstasy crew ... Read More
We were surprised to find the Carnival Ecstasy in such good condition given its age. We sailed in January on the Carnival Pride, and it was getting run down despite having been recently remodeled. It was apparent that the Ecstasy crew takes much more pride in their ship than does the crew of the Pride. Food was FAR better on Ecstasy as well. We speculated that the food may taste better on Ecstasy because the water on the ship was so much better. The tap water on the Pride is nearly undrinkable -- it tastes so bad you'll rush to brush your teeth. Ecstasy tap water tastes pretty good, actually. I have children who attended Circle C and Club o2. They had a great time, but we were disappointed that activities were so often scheduled during the "family" type events (like the magician, Hasbro game show, family stand up comedy, etc), which caused our kids to have to choose between spending time with us or their new friends. Guess who won :( If you're looking for a place to dump off your kids, the activities on board will suit that purpose, but if you're planning on taking a "family vacation", Ecstasy may not be the ship for you. Activities for the kids included daily scavenger hunts (guess they ran out of ideas), games, attendance at Motor City for the older kids, and t shirt decorating. There is only one pool on Ecstasy, but that didn't seem to be a problem. The Serenity deck was a bit of a joke -- too small and no fun hammocks or sun chairs like on Pride. It was plain Ecstasy's Serenity deck was added as an afterthought after the fire years ago, so we just ignored it. There is a good bit of outdoor eating available in the buffet area on Ecstasy, so this is a big improvement over Pride which has none. REO Speedwagon was the Carnival Live concert on this cruise. Those dudes are older than my father, but they can still jam. Enjoyed the concert. Did not enjoy Motor City. Grinding, pelvic thrusts, and faux stripping just aren't my thing. The singing and dancers were better than we've had on many cruises. It's unfortunate they had to make it so dirty. I was especially uncomfortable when Club O2 staff brought in the 15-17 year olds and sat them on the front row where they were looking up skirts as dancers hitched their skirts up and mere feet away from the pelvic thrusting. It was like being a strip club. We actually had to remove our son when the female stripping started, because who knew when it was going to stop -- our Pride cruise had dancers in thongs and pasties. Thank God the stripping stopped at thong with a nightie over the top, but still. It was outrageously inappropriate for kids. The water slide on this ship is very, very slow. The side-by-side slides are actually more fun. We enjoyed shuffle board even though it was in a main walk way. Wish they would have had another giant chess board. Even though this ship is small, there was plenty of ways to entertain ourselves, and we all had a very good time. We traveled during our spring break. Our break is at the end of the season, and though there was lots of drinking, it didn't bother us nondrinkers. It did provide some amusement for us when some college co-eds were so plastered at muster they thought we were already in Mexico. We laughed even harder when at they end of the muster one said, "Hey, high five for safety!" and then they missed their high five. Carnival does have more of a party vibe than other lines (Royal Caribbean is our favorite), but if you're worried that drinking, gambling, might affect your children, we found our cruise on Ecstasy was fine for our family. Key West and snorkeling at Port Zach were particularly fun. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
It was a family affair, husband and I were persuaded by son, daughter-in-law and 15-year old grandson to accompany them for our first ever cruise. We travel often, worldwide, using air miles and carry-on luggage, making our own ... Read More
It was a family affair, husband and I were persuaded by son, daughter-in-law and 15-year old grandson to accompany them for our first ever cruise. We travel often, worldwide, using air miles and carry-on luggage, making our own itineraries, so cruising is not something we had ever contemplated. Surprise!!! My husband loved the spectacle of watching a ship full of frolicking (and staggering and vomiting, etc.) Spring Breakers; that was his favorite entertainment. The live music was good most nights, and the food was not bad. Breakfast pastries were not great, but the sourdough dinner rolls were outstanding. Liked best: lobster, salmon, crabcakes, lunch buffet French themed. Never even sampled pizza (we're picky) or Mongolian grill. Coffee was good, and was especially pleased that they have real butter and real half-and-half. I am immediately turned off by margarine (although they had that as an option). Had one massage (courtesy of my daughter-in-law) and found it uninspiring; masseuse from Thailand seemed mentally challenged and more interested in pushing products. Later they double charged my daughter-in-law's account which necessitated an irritatingly long wait in a line for correction at end of trip. We had a very nice cabin, clean and clean-smelling, with a wide oceanview window. I had been apprehensive after reading reviews of bad smells, mildew, engine noise, etc. That was certainly not the case with our cabin, even though there were some late night noises from the exuberant Spring Breakers. I was up watching TV (a nice, unanticipated bonus) while husband slept soundly. Cabin steward Tom was a joy - remembered our names and tidied up discreetly. I fail to see the charm of towel animals, but they were a curiosity more than a nuisance. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
It is very apparent that Carnival has turned this cruise into a bargain basement cruise. If you are looking for value for your money, then this is it. If you are looking for a special vacation, then look somewhere else. Embarkation ... Read More
It is very apparent that Carnival has turned this cruise into a bargain basement cruise. If you are looking for value for your money, then this is it. If you are looking for a special vacation, then look somewhere else. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. Nothing to add here that hasn't already been said. The ship is older. The decor is a bit dated. It was perfectly fine! It was clean and well kept. I am not sure why some people base their opinions of the ship on decor. If the looks of the ship are important, then this is not the right ship. The staff kept everything clean and neat. This was definitely a spring break cruise. It was filled with unattended kids running around and drunk yahoos. We sort of expected this given the timing, and do not blame Carnival for their guests. They should have stopped serving drinks to a few people though. The room was great. We had E42 and E38. They are adjoining with a door between them. We had plenty of room. Housekeeping was good and everything was nice and clean. The beds were comfortable. The bunkbed for our kids worked well. I have nothing put praise for housekeeping. My only minor complaint is that the rooms are so well insulated, but the hall doors are like cardboard. We had a lot of dunk party people across the hall which was annoying, but that is not Carnival's fault. The kids went to Camp Carnival one time. They are 3 and 5. They were fine there for about an hour. When I dropped them off and picked them up, all the kids looked pretty bored. Of the 4 staff members we saw, only one of them ever smiled. It felt safe, but I felt bad for our kids and did not take them back. Now, here is why we would not go back. Admittedly, we have only been on one other cruise (with Celebrity), but the food and general atmosphere was really bad. Carnival was pushing their "party" boat feel, but it was very obvious that the staff is not going to play along. They looked miserable. I think some if it is the auto tipping system. This being a low priced cruise, the staff has no expectation of getting any additional tips and did the bare minimum. We had several waiters and staff and only one of them actually smiled and talked to us. The rest were just churning orders as quick as possible. The housekeeping staff were the only ones who actually engaged us (and thus were left an additional tip). This brings me to the food. It was bad. Plain and simple. When I talk to people about their cruises and on our previous cruise, the food and the chefs were an integral part of the cruise and a huge selling point. Not on this cruise. There was no special buffet on our day at sea. There was no presentation of the chefs and display of their culinary skills. It showed in their food. The presentation was OK but the taste that was horrible. It was very clear that there was no one tasting this stuff before being served. The buffet was pretty low quality and the food was old. I was watching some of their procedures at the buffet. I saw a cook, make some fried fish. He would cook a batch and put it into a serving pan. He would pull out an older batch from the warmer and serve people the oldest fish first and put the fresh crispy fish away for later. The steamer turned the crispy fish completely soggy. The end result was the fresh food was put away until it was soggy and bad. It seemed like all the food was like that. I have a 3 year old that can put away more food than most adults. She would not even touch the scrambled eggs - her favorite. In the main dining room, we had anytime dining and were seated pretty quickly for all meals. I was watching one of our waiters at his station. He would take the orders from several tables and group them into one large list (4 chicken, 3 fish, 3 pasta, etc). He would then give them to the assistant waiter who would return 4 minutes later with a huge stack of plates which would then be distributed. The food was very obviously prepared well in advance and not fresh (your could not customize your orders either as everything was pre-made identically). I then saw 50-60% of all the food being sent back uneaten. The food was flavorless or downright bad. The thing that is irritating is that all of this is easily fixable. Spicing and taste can be improved with such little effort, but for some reason it was not important on this ship. They were lacking in basic quality control. There was no one being held accountable to keep everything up to high standards. If the food was slightly older, but still tasted good I would be OK with that given the price of the cruise. The only thing we had that was great was mushroom soup and some mashed potatoes. Even the lobster was rubbery and old. In talking with friends and relatives, we have come to the conclusion that Carnival must be treating this ship as their bottom-of-the-barrel cruise. Others have had cruises with Carnival that they say were nothing like this. It was obvious that they were doing the absolute minimum for the most profit. Realistically, I would be OK with that if they told us that ahead of time. I expected a cruise, but we got a floating hotel with a large continental breakfast buffet. If you are going to spend any time on the boat, I would highly recommend choosing another cruise line. Over Easter we were talking with the in-laws about taking an Alaska cruise next summer. We have essentially said that because of this, it cannot be on Carnival. I would gladly pay more to use a slightly nicer cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
My husband and I booked this cruise three weeks out for a relaxing break from work and Spring Break for my husband, who went back to college. My parents booked the cruise about 2 weeks out, because it was also time for a break for them! ... Read More
My husband and I booked this cruise three weeks out for a relaxing break from work and Spring Break for my husband, who went back to college. My parents booked the cruise about 2 weeks out, because it was also time for a break for them! This was my 6th cruise, my husband's 4th cruise and my parent's 3rd cruise. Yes, we love cruising! We woke up to a sunny and beautiful Florida day! We made our way to the port around 9am and got to the port around 10am. My husband and I previously checked-in in online and had our baggage tags already. My parents couldn't check in online for some reason, so they had to check in the old fashioned way, standing by a table in the sun while a person went down a very very long list of names! They got their baggage tags, and we dropped off our baggage. Ahead of time, I researched and did not want to pay the $90 to park. So instead, we opted to park at the Radisson, which charged $4.95 a night ($35 total). It was nice because we had already dropped our baggage off, so when we drove to the Radisson to drop off our minivan and get into the shuttle, it was relatively easy and painless. (Boy my opinion changed by the end but save that for later) We walked and waited in a very short line to officially check in. We learned from our last cruise that the Sign and Sail card, which was attached directly to our bank account was a bad idea, so we just put in $120 cash. ($20/day plus some wiggle room). We had previously paid for the one ship's excursion as well as for the tips. We got our embarkation Zone number 10 and after our picture was taken (one of MANY) we were directed to sit until our number was called. They were on zone 2 when we sat down but it went fast! Around 11am, we were able to board. yay yay! Our rooms weren't going to be ready until 130, so we were able to grab a table on the lido deck and a pool lounge chair as well and we ate our first meal on the boat. My mom enjoyed the mongolian grill, which at that time was a short line and we chilled on deck. We took turns exploring the ship as well. I was originally presented with a blue first timer S&S card, because I last cruised with CCL with my maiden name. After proving I was the same person, I got a gold one!! at around 1pm, My husband went to go see if our room was ready... and it was!! We didn't see our room steward much, but he was good! We ran and got our stuff and my parents, and we unpacked and chilled until our muster drill, which was scheduled for 330. We were excited for our first window view! My husband says that now that we've had a window, we can never go back to exterior! uh oh :-p Mustard (i mean muster) drill time! We went down to our muster station around 320 pm, and there was no one there! Most people meandered around 330, and we didn't get started until 4pm. As they were directed us on how to put on our life jacket, our boat started moving very slowly. So much for a "Bon Voyage" (I don't know why, but I always imagine a ton of people on the dock waving and cheering as we leave, and it never happens!). Something that was different than that last time we cruise (last Summer, RCI) was that we were directed to go to the lifeboat deck. After we were released, my family and a couple of others stayed to watched the boat do a massive three point turn and head out into sea. Dinner time. We chose Anytime Dining because we had a good experience on the last cruise we went to. We never waited more than a few minutes, and we usually had the same table and waitstaff in a good location. This was NOT the same on this cruise! Every time I went past the line it was wrapped around the atrium.. this was about 7-8pm. Luckily, the sickies in the family didn't even want to think about food until after 9, and by that time there was no line! The food was ok... and the waiters did everything they can to make my DH and my mom feel better.. by the end of the meal, they were feeling ok (i think the meds kicked in) and it was time for the Welcome show! DH decided to go back to the pool deck to settle his stomach, so my parents and I went to the show. It was ok.. short. We met Chris the cruise director for the first time, and the comedians did a few minutes as well. They were scheduled to have adults only shows at 11pm and 12am. On the way to the 11pm show was the CASINO! Sigh.. what a money grabbing place. After my husband and I each donated $10, we made our way to the first comedian. He was funny so we decided to wait for the 12am comedian.. which was ehhh.... We then decided to turn in for evening and NOT set the alarm....ahhhh it was like a hammock! Nassau - See below Back on board... Elegant Night. Although.. I would name it Not so Elegant Night. I have to stop comparing this cruise to our last cruise.. which was a European Cruise with RCI. We had three formal nights.. and there were many, many tuxedos (including my husband!). this one seemed a lot more casual, and I guess the food matched. I did have a thought and comment for improvement. After the first night which we dined late, we chose to eat at the earliest time which was 545. Yes the line wrapped around the atrium and even overlapped, but we were just waiting to be seated and didn't have to wait for people to be done with their meals. So for the second and third nights, which was early, we were seated in the middle, in the middle of the dining room. this meant that everyone else who were seated after us, also in the middle, walked by while we were seated. This was kinda uncomfortable, because the tables were a bit close to each other and sometimes we were bumped. I would suggest that they started loading from the rear? I guess it would create the same problems though... never mind :-p Lobster and Prime Rib tonight.... yum! and of course.... the Chocolate Melting Cake. I think my mom and traded off each night who got to order it! The show that night was Extreme Country. I am not a fan of country music, but the show wasn't bad at all. The fiddler was good, and we were able to see the dancers, some cool scene changes and enjoyed both the male and female lead singers. My mom and I chose to watch (my DH stayed on the pool deck and watched Top Gear on our Ipad and my dad went wandering). We watched from the top deck because we were a few minutes late, and didn't mind the view (although we couldn't really sit back and watch because of the railing, which blocked the view). at one point, it was funny because the way I was sitting, the lead singer's body looked like it was separate from her head! I think we turned in early that evening.. the boat wasn't rocky anymore and tomorrow is Half Moon Cay Day! (see below) The show tonight was a tribute to the Blue's Brothers.. starring our Cruise Director Chris!! He was very good, and he announced that it was his last sailing on this ship. We then participated in one of the trivia games (I was top 3... so close to getting a Ship on a Stick!) We watched the crazy college kids to the Carnival Quest, which was like an adult scavenger hunt. It was so funny to watch! Next... onto Freeport! How can I forget about our Day at Sea!!! We woke up nice and slowly... so slowly that I forgot to attend the Towel Animals class! Oh well... I bought the book on the Dream 2 years ago so no loss. Something that was REQUIRED for me to attend was the Newlywed Show! We were the "Honeymooners" during our honeymoon, so it was a very memorable time! This time was funny! I LOVED the 60 years of marriage couple.. they were so cute! This was the only day we had lunch in the dining room. I had the steak salad. VERY yummy! We also attended the Ship's Q&A session with our Cruise Director Chris. I learned a lot! Of course, the questions that Chris did not answer was anything about salaries or money, and he did not answer any questions that dealt with the "recent events of the cruise industries". Bummer. Oh well... I learned how the hiring process went, as well as how family of the crew can sail for cheap! We also did Tea Time. I thought it was cute! good piano music at the piano bar, and cute little goodies and snacks. Although, they were serving slices of cake that I thought was really big for a tea party! Freeport Day! (see Below) We got back to the room, and we saw that we had zone 16. a quick to call to my parents, and they had zone 2. So we were able to switch to zone 2.. yay! Dinner was good.. I think? I don't really remember anymore after all our feasting! Haha I DO remember saying goodbye to my FAVORITE dessert! Saved the best.. err worst :-p for last.... Disembarkation day! Our schedule for zone 2 was to be called for 1005-1015am. Around 10am, it was announced that zones 1-5 were cleared we can get off! The elevators were being used for luggage and loading, so we took the atrium elevators until level 7 (the lowest the go) and took the stairs down until level 3. (I'm glad we didn't have our luggage.. it would have been a challenge to drag it all down 4 flights of stairs!!! Off the boat we went and sent to our zone table for our luggage. We got everyone's except one of my mom's! I guess her tag fell off and there was a pile of "unclaimed" luggage. There was a bit of a line to get through customs.. but once we were there we just showed our passports and our customs form ($60 worth of souvenirs!) we strolled past the port parking lot to wait for our Radisson Shuttle. Luckily, I gave my DH the receipt for our return shuttle! There were a few people who lost their receipt, but they were able to get on anyways. The shuttles are SMALL.. only about 4-5 parties were able to fit at a time. They also only had around 2 shuttles. (The guy stated that there were 4 ships in port that day, and they had 10 shuttles, but still.. they should have been prepared!) We waited for about an hour and a half. LOOONG time to wait around in the sun! the "big bus" arrived which held 30 people. They put all our luggage in a trailer and FINALLY off we went! the driver said because we were still on vacation.... he would drop us off individually in front of our cars and he would unload the luggage.. no problem. WHAT?? How would that work!! We were one of the first people to board the bus ... which meant our luggage was waaay at the back! So right after we entered the complex, two girls said... our car is the silver truck on the right. haha I think the WHOLE bus but off at this point.. no one wanted to wait for each family to be unloaded in front of their car! It was quite the trek back to the van, but we got there, got gas and started driving the 2 1/2 hours back home. ++++++++ VACATION! - beautiful weather - it was nice traveling with a small group - all our excursions and adventures - the price (about $389 for an OCEANVIEW!) not so ++++++ CROWDED and full of Crazy College Kids!! (But what was I expecting, smack in the middle of Spring Break) , and parking. Would I do it again to save $60? probably! Yeah it was an older ship and there were some rainy spots.. but we didn't it it RAIN OR OUR PARADE! :-D Read Less
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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