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128 Charleston to Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

We have always cruised Carnival. We had a Cloud 9 Balcony Spa room. The few differences in the room were the colors and we had Elemis body wash along with the shampoo/conditioner in the room. I did try them both and had good results. I ... Read More
We have always cruised Carnival. We had a Cloud 9 Balcony Spa room. The few differences in the room were the colors and we had Elemis body wash along with the shampoo/conditioner in the room. I did try them both and had good results. I would book on this floor again the only downsides were our room location and every time the boat rocked so did you. I would pick a room away from the side door. The serenity deck and hot tub was amazing.The Italian food and the main dining room was amazing. The desserts on the Lidl deck was very good on this shift compared to other ships I have been on. The cakes were very good not dry at all. The actual food bar was mediocre to say the least. Not a lot of choices. The deli was ok. The Thai place was too spicy for me to enjoy.. iI highly recommend the Carnival Sunshine. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We went on this cruise with casino offer and port is close to home. So price was very good travel to and from was easy. Was a bit concerned about the bus between to get on ship but it went very smoothly not much wait on embarking or ... Read More
We went on this cruise with casino offer and port is close to home. So price was very good travel to and from was easy. Was a bit concerned about the bus between to get on ship but it went very smoothly not much wait on embarking or disembark. We had an ocean view on first floor room was larger than many balcony we have had in the past. Or room steward was one of the worst we have had we saw him the first day asked to have ice 2x per day he said they don’t do rooms 2x per day we said understand can clean room in morning is fine but just want ice due to no refrigerator finally saw him again on the 3 rd to ask again for ice did receive ice after that but didn’t always get fun times never received invite to meet and mingle and most likely didn’t receive other thing from casino. Room was clean but that was about all. Food was okay ate in main dining room with my time dining. You have to go to 5th floor to get your table assignment then down to 3 rd flor for seating or you can use app to get table assigned. We used the app first 3 nights, first two had some of the worst service ever over 2 hours to get thru meal cold food very disappointing, debating if just going to buffet would be better but don’t really like buffet on the 3rd night was seated with Gultekin as waiter. The reminder of cruise we went to 5th floor so we could request his area, he was friendly effectively took orders and served food timely was on top of his team. If you are going in next few months ask for him for sure you will not regret it.. He said he is going to the be changing ships in few months he is hopefully going to be on Magic. Casino one of my “spots” I play “penny slots” was large enough it was smoky but they have very limited areas where people can smoke so this is going to be the result. Waiter in casino Sabastin was great others were more of the regular place order and wait till you run out of money put more in machine so free drink becomes expensive lol. I enjoy slot tournament but on this ship they do not have electronic board to track seems to decrease the fun only did once because of this. Could not tell you who the host was no desk for host who I usually try to meet, as I said was on board with as casino offer not a “big” spender but usually at least once the host will come and say hello not on this ship. Had been to all 3ports before but had never had to go through customs in San Juan before not a big deal but a hassle nobody really able to answer about change but said it was because we were back in USA after other ports. For the price I paid for 8 days was a good value had never stayed so low on ship before it was not my favorite but would do again for the price. The serenity area is larger than many but due to rough seas top floor was closed for 2 days. It is not as quiet as most because it faces over main pool so you hear all the music and or movies this could be a plus to some but was one time I really missed my balcony for quiet reading time. Chair hogs abound as always but this was the first time I had a confrontation with one as I said top floor was closed and every chair or couch had towels on them a young couple sitting and reading saw us looking for a seat and said they moved stuff to take a seat and that the seats next to them with towels holding seat had nobody for an hour we decided to also move towels onto table and have a seat over the next hour nobody came back. The young couple left and someone else sat down thatt is when the fight began people from those chairs came back and started saying that they had only been gone for 20 minutes and the person had no right to take chairs we spoke up it was all very confrontational and unpleasant but the woman did not give back chair as she should not have to do they were gone at least the hour we were there and according to previous people another hour. The folks who had been in our seats came back and just took their towels they knew they had been gone to long to expect seats still be empty. Honestly unless you are going to the bathroom or a dip in the pool don’t save chairs! If people would stop doing this there would always be plenty of seats maybe you don’t get your first choice of location but so unfair to come out early in the morning save a group of chairs with no intention of returning for hours. Awww vent over! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise because it was departing from Charleston, SC and going to San Juan. The food selections and quality was amazing. The entertainment especially Zack Daniels in the piano bar was great fun every night but Thursday. ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was departing from Charleston, SC and going to San Juan. The food selections and quality was amazing. The entertainment especially Zack Daniels in the piano bar was great fun every night but Thursday. Thursday is his drinking night and he was not performing. The shows in the Liquid Lounge where really good. The Acoustic Jams with the young couple Unity entertained us almost every night. They sang a variety of songs and he whistles well while she plays the drum. Ketut and Joyce took good care of our rooms and the Omelet Station on the Lido deck in the Havana Bar was my favorite breakfast most mornings. I would recommend this ship to the 50 and older travelers. They made up 90% of the cruisers onboard. If you require a wheelchair to get on and off the ship this port and this ship does it better than any of the more than 14 ships of 6 different cruise lines I have traveled on. I can't wait for our next cruise on this ship in January 2020. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise due to length (8 nights) and ports visited (St Thomas, St Maarten and San Juan) plus it left out of Charleston SC which was convenient for our family cruise. I would recommend the Sunshine. Staff was nice and ... Read More
Chose this cruise due to length (8 nights) and ports visited (St Thomas, St Maarten and San Juan) plus it left out of Charleston SC which was convenient for our family cruise. I would recommend the Sunshine. Staff was nice and entertainment staff was great. Loved the Ocean Plaza area. Trivia, great music (2 to 12). Enjoyed the Java Café each day. The Atrium parties were fun and the cruise director, Adam, added to the entire experience. Love the Thirsty Frog and Carnivals Red Beer. Our cabin was fine (interior on 6). Towels animals every day made me smile. Ports were awesome. Excursions were fun. Met great people. Also, enjoyed Alchemy Bar and the assortment of drinks. Bartenders did a great job. LOVED the Build a Bear and made a Carnival Bear (and I'm an adult) lol Shows were good. Comedians were funny. Negatives were: the food was below par. Buffet food was cold most of the time. (Salad bar was good). Not enough healthy choices. Lack of vegetables on buffet. Limited choices. Need more fish & chicken that was edible. Deli was good and stayed busy. Pizza was not very good. NCL has much better food. Although Bar Service was overall GOOD. The bartenders don't work a bar very well. They don't honor 1st come 1st serve AND they take orders around the entire bar; make many drinks at once leaving people long waits and newcomers to bar even longer waits. Bad system overall. Other negative for this cruise was piano bar which we usually love. Zack Daniels not a very good singer but can play piano and entertain. But found him overbearing in some aspects. Also, Aretha, bingo, was rude and crude. Rest of staff was great. One other negative was the water pressure. It's an older ship but fine except for the water pressure in shower/bathroom sink. Also, Carnival seems to have problems with sewage smells around their ships that other cruise lines don't have. Public toilets over flowing (ie: Casino bathroom). Don't see this on NCL, RCI or Celebrity. We've been on 4 cruise out of Charleston (Ecstasy, Fantasy and Sunshine). We've enjoyed all 4 and are pleasantly surprised by our experiences. Love this port. This was our first Platinum cruise and we enjoyed the party and guest service priority. Thanks Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our second cruise (cruised on the Magic last year), and we were prepared after reading reviews and watching videos- for the fact that this is an older, smaller ship. Plain and simple- your cruise is what you make it. Yeah, there ... Read More
This was our second cruise (cruised on the Magic last year), and we were prepared after reading reviews and watching videos- for the fact that this is an older, smaller ship. Plain and simple- your cruise is what you make it. Yeah, there were some weird smells in the mornings. Yeah, it was a little rocky the first night (it's a boat). We actually enjoyed a smaller ship. We could walk the whole thing, there was way more outdoor and indoor seating than the Magic. The buffet food was okay. If you don't like anything on the buffet, go eat at Guy's or get a pizza; it is always good. Breakfast and desserts were great, we ate in the dining room twice. There wasn't quite as many activities during the day, we got some books and read a lot. We were on the Ecstacy for 8 days and had a great time. Kyndell Fire was our CD, she and the Fun Squad did an amazing job and brought the best energy. Because of the reviews, we were a little nervous about the Charleston port and had only sailed from Orlando. We were very pleasantly surprised. It was easy to find, the staff/security/drivers and porters were super efficient and friendly! Embarkation was super fast with no confusion. We went from our car to the boat in like 20-30 minutes. This included the shuttle, check in and all. We boarded an hour and a half before our scheduled time with no issues. Debarkation was also smooth. We were on Deck 4 and were able to leave before our scheduled deck time, staff had designated elevators and it was easy and fast. The cabin was bigger than we expected. Im not sure how we ended up with 2 pull down beds, but we didnt need them. Room was clean and steward was super nice. We visited St. Maarten, San Juan, and St. Thomas. We didn't have any excursions booked when when we boarded. We went to a presentation with Kyndell and they went over the excursions offered- we ended up booking two and I'm so glad we did! We did the Kon-Tiki party boat in St Thomas (HIGHLY RECOMMEND) and the top 10 Best of St Maarten. The ports were beautiful! While we are looking forward to cruising on the Sunshine out of Charleston next time, we have good memories on the Ecstacy. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The ship was built in 1991. This wouldn't be relevant except for the fact that the whole ship stinks. In every area during any time of the day or night there would be a sewer smell. In our cabin, off and on there would be the smell of ... Read More
The ship was built in 1991. This wouldn't be relevant except for the fact that the whole ship stinks. In every area during any time of the day or night there would be a sewer smell. In our cabin, off and on there would be the smell of a skunk smoking a cigarette. No kidding. Distinct skunk smell pumped in through the air conditioning vent. We were on the 11th floor and still had the sewer smell coming up through our drains in the bathroom. The food was so far below par too. I've never had such bland cold food. I think I actually lost weight on this cruise. We have never rocked and rolled so much either. The ship shudders and shakes more than the others I've been on. There were a lot of sick passengers. The staff was very good. No complaints there. The shows were good too. Will never sail on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
So, I did an 8 day trip to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and San Juan. I was very hesitant on this because it was 1. My first cruise 2. I was going solo and 3. All the negative reviews. I did it anyway. One thing I learned, people will ... Read More
So, I did an 8 day trip to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and San Juan. I was very hesitant on this because it was 1. My first cruise 2. I was going solo and 3. All the negative reviews. I did it anyway. One thing I learned, people will gripe if you hung them with a new rope. Was there a smell? Yes, it was hardly noticable. Did the ship list and rock? Yes, the best part about the whole trip was the rocking me to sleep. I will be going on this ship again, it's small enough to be able to walk without getting worn out but big enough to hide from the world. Don't get stuck in the negative. It is a vacation, things will happen....as is life. Take the trip. Enjoy the uniqueness of the ship. Repeat. The food was outstanding save for being lightly seasoned (bring garlic salt). Tacos were spot on, Guys burger excellent. Entertainment options got sparse during the 2 day haul back to port, but who cares, hang out on the deck and enjoy the sun. All of my excursions were cancelled due to weather, or no interest. No big deal, made my own excursions. Get the drink package. Fruity drinks are $10 plus, coffee $3 plus. I would suggest to get an interior room, I didn't spend much time in mine. Embarkation was speedy enough, debarkation was like hearding cats. Ship was clean, always. They were constantly cleaning, painting, shampooing and vacuuming carpets. I have only one complaint.....wanted to stay a few more days. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This ship is a joke. Room had several patched jobs with different colors. Smelled and broken furniture. Women’s dry sauna was registered at 230 degrees wet sauna had no steam (reported it twice) never changed all week Numerous medical ... Read More
This ship is a joke. Room had several patched jobs with different colors. Smelled and broken furniture. Women’s dry sauna was registered at 230 degrees wet sauna had no steam (reported it twice) never changed all week Numerous medical emergencies. Rust filled Lido deck, broken down elevators. Entertainment suitable for the gereatrics ward. Save your money because Carnival doesn’t care. Day 2 man died in E37 and family members crying and screaming. People near the room confused as man brought out wrapped in towels and rushed down the hall into the elevator. Zero words said to the customers standing in hall way. No one knows if there are physically or medically safe and Carnival only paste a red sign on the door saying “do not enter under authoring of the captain”. Red tape across the lock. Upon debarkation, federal and local law enforcement outside the room. This is a low budget cruise. SAVE YOUR MONEY! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Port location was motivation to sail this ship. Charleston is well equipped to handle the bag drop off and embarkation smoothly. Disembarkation was just as smooth, although all passengers were trying to do the same thing, at the same ... Read More
Port location was motivation to sail this ship. Charleston is well equipped to handle the bag drop off and embarkation smoothly. Disembarkation was just as smooth, although all passengers were trying to do the same thing, at the same time. Good assistance for handicap needs. Many did self disembarkation - saw them leaving as early as 7a.m. ECSTASY shows evidence of her age; however, inside, is clean, neat, and orderly. Good shape, imho. The gym had plenty of good equipment. Liked the Candy Shoppe and the $10 store. Casino was smokey and that odor seemed evident everywhere. Some evidence of the sewer odor, but never a problem nor lasting. Plumbing worked. A/C - heat worked. TV worked, but it didn't offer preferred viewing. We got the essentials of weather & news over and over. Inside cabin was well appointed with plenty of storage for two. No complaints. The bath was roomy considering our category. No toiletries other than small bar of soap and the shampoo and bath soap in wall containers. (hint: bring your own). Sheets were not worn; neither were they ironed. Could not get a robe nor a foam pillow. Coffee was consistently to our liking, as was the iced tea. If you prefer tea, you will pay $1.95 for their specialty teas, or drink the offered Lipton. (Another hint: bring your own if you are fussy.) To book next cruise while you are on a cruise was handled by the Shore Excursion. No incentive, imho, best to save this project for when you return home. There is a 2-wk window to do this. CD Leon was high quality. Zoe, too, was Excellent. We had fun with Kyle for his Paper Airplane Contest. Trivia is popular on this ship - many subjects and many times to participate. The theater entertainment isn't the most interesting, but performers were Excellent at what they could do in a small theater with small stage and limited resources. They made every effort to entertain us. The Holiday Show was nice. Can you believe Leon made it snow in the Atrium? The Atrium is very pretty and the hub of this ship. The dining room menus offered the usual, plus some unusual things to try. We particularly enjoyed the carved ham and carved turkey in the Lido Buffet. Desserts were good. Ice Cream in the dining rm was a good option for dessert with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Did not find many sugar free options, but did not request any, so don't know if available by request? There was a broad spectrum of age groups well represented in this pre Christmas cruise. Security was evident everywhere - never any problems. Children were not running wild. Did not see drunken behavior though the bars were always crowded. People get brave when they drink, but on this cruise, passengers were well behaved and cordial. Majority of passengers were from the Carolina's, Tennessee, Georgia. Picked up free Wifi in Princess Cays, Grand Turk, Amber Cove. Margaritas and Music were great at Margaritaville Grand Turk. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
As first time cruisers, traveling with children, we wanted to make our experience as simple as possible. With Charleston being an easy 5 hr car ride, we chose to leave from there and traveled down the day before embarkation. We took ... Read More
As first time cruisers, traveling with children, we wanted to make our experience as simple as possible. With Charleston being an easy 5 hr car ride, we chose to leave from there and traveled down the day before embarkation. We took advantage of a hotel deal where we could stay the night, have a sit down breakfast, park our car for the week, and take the hotel shuttle to and from the port- this worked out beautifully! Hotel Indigo in Mt. Pleasant is just across the bridge. The shuttle worked out flawlessly, and was actually nicer than I had expected. For about $30 more than the price of parking at the port all week, we got a good night's rest, a meal, parking, and the shuttle. We did go out into Charleston the night before to meet some friends and enjoyed ourselves at Carmella's for drinks and desert. When we arrived at the port the next morning, there was a bit of a wait in the shuttle line and when we got off, the baggage handlers were nice enough but were obviously trying to be hasty. There was one particularly loud one shouting everything. He was nice when we realized I had not printed enough bag tags and he helped us get some on quickly, despite his loud first impression. Our shuttle driver pointed out to us where he would be during disembarkation and we headed to the terminal to go through security. The line was long, but moved quickly. It was during the line wait that I realized I made my first rookie mistake of putting my wine in our checked suitcase instead of my carry on. I researched but forgot this detail, apparently. I spent the next several hours praying it wouldn't burst all over our clothing. In the end, they ended up 'confiscating it' and we had clean clothing. Security was smooth until we got to the desk where they check birth certs and IDs, etc. My husband's documents had to be taken to customs due to his name being commonly flagged (?). The lady came back and said well, its good news since I have no customs agent with me! Well, I'd hope so!! She explained that he just had a common name, and it was often flagged. However, my husband is a Veteran and in all his travels has never ran into any issues regarding his name. I still am not sure what all this was about but did not appreciate the delay. We were finally sent to the next checkpoint and there, we weren't listed as 'checked in' due to the previous "issue" so we stood there for another few minutes while they got that sorted. This kind of initially spoiled the faster to the fun option we bought- this hiccup of Carnival's ended up costing us more time in security that I had hoped to be there, with children. However, the final checkpoint agent apologized and stated this was an issue on their end, not ours.... and we were on our way. Once we got on board, our room was not ready so we went for a drink, lunch, and some ship exploring. Once we got back to the room, we had 1 of 3 suitcases which just hours before was brand new but at this point, appeared to have been dragged through the desert a few times. We waited in the room to see if we would get the other two soon and one did arrive but not our main one (at this point I was still waiting to see if we had wine stained clothing so I was anxious to get it and get unpacked and organized). We waited a bit longer, watching the dolphins play from our cabin window, and it still didn't arrive so we left again. The main suitcase arrived sometime later and like I said, our clothing was clean but the wine had been confiscated. We never did get it back and were told they were unable to locate it during disembarkation. I did not complain- it wasn't special wine and I was relieved to not have to pay to launder an entire suitcase full of clothing but it does make me wonder why it was confiscated and couldn't have been delivered to the room since we're allowed to have it anyway. The Ecstacy is showing her age in places. The decor could certainly use an update but it was clean and sufficient. All elevators worked fine except for the last night when one was down for maintenance for just a bit. We took stairs any time we could. Our cabin was M218 towards the end of the ship and made for some long walks at times; the room itself suited the four of us fine but I would spring for a suite next time for more room, if possible. One major complaint was the sewage smell coming from the drains in the bathroom. We found that if we plugged the sink, it was somewhat better. The shower had good water pressure and was always hot, however. I brought a cheap, clear, shoe hanger for our door and don't know what I would have done with all our stuff without it! There is no storage room other than a tiny shelf in the bathroom. I think the rooms could use a dresser instead of a desk/vanity. We had to put all clothing on the shelves in the closets and they're just not easily accessible. The beds were comfortable and my girls (8 and 11) had fun sitting on the window ledge. They had a pull down bunk and a roll away bad close to the floor. The pull down made me have to crawl over my husband but thats not really an issue for us. There was a small leak in our window which ruined a book a had sitting up there, due to heavy rain and sea spray the last day. In common areas, there was often not enough seating for popular places or shows, the pool is too small (and one is not enough). For the most part, I found the staff exceptional. They really do work so hard. Our Cruise Director, Leon, was fabulous and our steward Hermogenes made our room homey and was a sight for sore eyes after a day of tiring fun- he always had a smile and a kind word for us. Our waitstaff Saw and Ni Nguyen made sure we were well cared for at dinner, remembered our favorite drinks/wine/my kids favored foods and didn't judge when we wanted two of something. haha. We had a nicer breakfast during two on board brunches and our waiter there was also exceptional though I did not ever get his name. He went out of his way for my youngest child and it was very appreciated. My second rookie mistake was skipping the first formal night. We missed the lobster which I was looking forward to. We went to the second formal night but.. no lobster that time. We did have escargot and really enjoyed it. There were a few staff, both bartenders, actually who I thought needed a night off and were less than friendly. I see a lot of complaints about the ship rocking. This is also something else I expected... you're in the ocean, no? It's no fault of anyone involved and we did have one very turbulent day on the last day at sea. The cruise shop sold a small bottle of essential oils that helped tremendously with any queasiness. We also brought non drowsy dramamine. I will be the first to tell anyone I figured all the shows would be horribly cheesy and I wouldn't be able to sit through them. We saw some great ones though! The Brits show, America Rocks, and the Motown review were pretty good. There was a cute Christmas show that my daughter enjoyed too. My kids also enjoyed Camp Ocean- they actually asked to go back to it. They spent the majority of our last night there and came back with a sweet swag bag full of stuff. I do wish the kids camps were open longer than 10pm without the extra expense of "night owls". There are many adult shows we wanted to attend and chose not to so that we wouldn't have to pay $16/ hour ($8/ child, per hour). The deck dance parties were fun but adults take their glow sticks seriously and my younger daughter's feelings got hurt over not getting a giant glow stick while the adults around her snatched for them. My girls did the Build A Bear even on board and even though they had done this before, they really enjoyed it and liked taking their animals everywhere they went. We took our kids to the piano bar and karaoke which they enjoyed. Our ports were Amber Cove, Grand Turk, and Princess Cay. We were supposed to go to Half Moon Cay but it was changed months before we left. We enjoyed them all but Grand Turk was our fave. We chose not to do any excursions and just relax and play on the beaches. While my kids really enjoyed the pool at Amber Cove, if we returned there, we would probably do an excursion to see more of the island. The port area is very commercialized compared to (for example) Grand Turk and it seems you can't really explore otherwise. We simply rented a nice snorkeling set up in Grand Turk and had fun with the kids on the beaches there. The girls got their hair braided and I enjoyed interacting with the locals down the beach (away from Margaritaville). Princess Cay was very relaxing and it was nice to have lunch provided. However, the seas there were rough and we took a shuttle boat to the island due to the lack of pier there. It was fine for our family and others but we were later made aware that one of the last shuttle boats back to the main ship got stuck out in the water for hours due to a blown engine, without any communication. They had children on board and it was dusk, then dark in rough waters. We were told by someone on that boat that Carnival only offered them a $50 room credit for this. This is hardly sufficient for lack of communication when something should have been previously worked out in the event of this happening. We did enjoy our time there but the waves were rough for the kids so they couldn't swim as far as they would have liked. We enjoyed the majority of the food. Some stand outs were the Blue Iguana Tacos, Guys Burgers, of course the kids liked the pizza and ice cream; french toast and omelets for breakfast, the prime rib, escargot, and chocolate melting cake and the souffle in the dining room. We also enjoyed the fried shrimp during the last lunch at the grill in the lido. The St. Helena Merlot is a good choice for a cheaper glass of wine! We also really liked the tropical mules, and the bite of the iguana margarita from blue iguana bar. On the other hand, most of the desserts in the lido aren't worth the calories, the coffee is not good, and the pasta dishes at night in the dining room seem recycled. It is possible to eat fairly healthy on a cruise. I was able to eat salad and fruit daily, though I wish they served pineapple. I do recommend ordering bottled water to your room. I ordered 4 packs and that was too much for us, even for 7 days. Really only needed half that. The Faster to the fun really came in handy when we received priority boarding for the shuttle boats to Princess Cay. We were in one of the first boats over which allowed for us to grab good lounge chairs close to everything. It was also really helpful during disembarkation as we were off the ship quickly and hours before many others. That is helpful with children. So, don't overpack so that you cant take your own bags off the ship. Our hotel shuttle was there waiting for us when we got to him and it was again painless to get to our car and on our way home. My kids really enjoyed themselves and while we would have been able to relax more child free, this was perfect for a family vacation. We would certainly go again with a few things done differently: -We'd do the cheers packages -Take the wine in the carry ons! -Take more regular clothing- I took a lot of beach wear/coverups/comfy stuff and dresses but not much in the middle. -Dont skip the first formal night -Get a larger cabin, midship, if possible -Get more pics of the whole family taken during dinner (I swore I wouldn't want any of those, but I did! And would have gotten more if my whole family was in them) -Get Faster to the Fun again We're already looking for our next cruise! I hope this review is helpful to someone. I included things I'd want to know. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I had an 86th birthday during this cruise I took solo. Although I met many other people, older folks have more difficulty enjoying the entertainment currently offered and finding companionship. For my birthday, Guest Services recognized it ... Read More
I had an 86th birthday during this cruise I took solo. Although I met many other people, older folks have more difficulty enjoying the entertainment currently offered and finding companionship. For my birthday, Guest Services recognized it with Champagne, box of candy, a note, spa gift, and waiters singing at my dinner table. I took the 8 day cruise to the Caribbean on 9/8 so there would not be so many ankle biters aboard as they should have been in school. Each port had other ships and the streets were full of people. I took no excursions, didn't drink, enjoyed the Serenity Deck at aft of the ship and took a nap each afternoon after a good lunch and got to bed by 9:30 each night. The highlight of each day was dinner, 6:00 PM with table of 10 who were a delightful group. The Carnival Survey that I received upon return took almost an hour to fill out. Among the negatives which was the only part I saved, I wrote: My car was parked on the tarmac. I had paid parking at $20/day. On a previous cruise it was parked inside a building and I thought it would be this trip. Due to the heat initially with windows left partially down, the hurricane and anticipated storm surge, I worried about the car a lot. I purchased the Value Plan for WiFi, internet, and mail. It would not work. Guest Services worked with my computer and iPhone twice and even raised my plan to Premium but it still would not work so I did get a refund of the $80 charge. The Carnival Hub app worked well. My Sign and Sail card would not open my stateroom door and I had to get areplacement card which involved a very long line still carrying my lighter suitcase. The display case for the plaques awarded the ship were sitting on top of the American Flag using it as a mat. I did get one of their officers to correct that and show more respect for our flag. In filling the lavatory in my bathroom with water, the water was quite dark. They need to find the source of the discoloration and correct it. The hot water was more muddy than the cool. I initially sprayed my entire cabin with Lysol and took great care to use the germ killer drops outside the restaurants. However, by the evening of the 15th my throat started burning and turned white. The "bug" later caused excessive nose running and is still in my chest although I went to my doctor upon return and am taking two strong medicines. The wind from my cabin's air input vent was far too strong and blowing in my face the first night. I then got my Steward to turn it down but it was shut off completely so the next day I had to get it corrected again. We finally got it adjusted. My muster station was on deck 9 and my cabin on deck 4. In case of an emergency we were not to use the elevators. At age 86 I don't think I could run up five flights of stairs to my muster station. The initial Veteran's meeting to encourage discourse between Vets, upon entering we were asked how many in our party. I said one and was seated at a table by myself. I saw several other tables of one. I complained about it, that it did not encourage discussion and it was corrected the second day. Another Vet and I stood up the second day, introduced ourselves to the group of about 50-75 Vets, and talked a little about our experiences. I mentioned the 16 members of our Fighter Squadrons off Korea that we lost 66 years ago. Others talked of their losses. While waiting to debark and planning to roll my own bags to my car, the instructions said to wait in my cabin until my deck was displayed on TV and deck 4 would have been last. The anticipated time for my use of the elevator was later than the time we were required to get out of our cabins so what were we supposed to do? Stand in line for up to 30 minutes? Go to a higher deck and try to get on one of the forward elevators? I did the latter and did get off the ship prior to my scheduled time of about 8:30 or when the forward elevators became available. I sailed with Carnival many years ago but they lost the records of when I sailed and I could not remember the details so I didn't receive credit for previous sailings. There was something loose outside Cabin R-119 that periodically banged somewhere around the windows disturbing sleep. Also, the windows need to be taken apart and cleaned as the inside of the double panes are dirty. When you first embark, they need more attendants at Guest Services as passengers have many problems at that time and the line becomes excessive. At one port, the ship and crew had muster drills with the ship's emergency whistles blowing. I did not see or hear any announcement about this and was wondering if it was a real emergency - however, due to being hard of hearing I may have missed it. I have never seen a crew that worked as hard as on this ship. At every station, none just sat. They were polishing, cleaning, or working everywhere all the time and were always friendly. The Captain did a fine job preventing pitching and tossing and rolling of the ship. However, when he spoke, he could not speak English well but the Cruise Director always repeated his statements over the speakers. I hope this helps. The ship has an outstanding crew and they are doing their best to make the ship and cruise enjoyable. I would sail again on the Ecstasy but never solo again. Too difficult to find companionship. Thanks for letting me make these critiques. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose this cruise because it was 8 days out of Charleston, and I like Ecstasy. I live in Northern Virginia and don't mind the drive to Charleston for a cruise as long as 8 days. It would be much simpler to drive to Baltimore, but I ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was 8 days out of Charleston, and I like Ecstasy. I live in Northern Virginia and don't mind the drive to Charleston for a cruise as long as 8 days. It would be much simpler to drive to Baltimore, but I just don't like Pride as much as I do Ecstasy. When I saw the lines I thought boarding would be a problem, but nope, things moved very quickly and politely. Same can be said for debark. I ate several breakfasts and lunches at the lido buffet. For me, the breakfast offerings are so varied you just can't go wrong - cereal, fruit and yogurt one day, bread and cold cuts another, breakfast burrito or omelette or pancakes another time. For lunch i tried the deli, a very good rueben, and a taco bowl from Blue Iguana Cantina, the salad bar. A nice treat was onion rings from Guys Burgers. But I ate every dinner in the dining room. I had any time dining and usually arrived around 8 and never had to wait. The staff was very solicitous of me. I was cruising alone, and requested a table alone, and my serving team managed for me to never feel awkward. The food I ate was good. Twice I had the Indian vegetarian. I tried several of the port of call offerings. Most nights I didn't eat dessert, saving my appetite for midnight snacks of pizza and the "good eats" offerings. Good eats are available on lido from around 11 to 12 and have hot dogs and sandwiches and cookies/brownies. I tried all of it and definitely preferred the pizza. They make a very good mushroom pizza. In the mornings before breakfast I exercised by walking around all the open decks and doing laps on the jogging track, and by swimming in the pool. The pool opens at 8 and was pretty empty until 10 or so, so that was nice to be able to swim a bit. During the day I relaxed in the Serenity area; a great place for reading or just watching the ocean go by. There was always ample space and a lounge where I wanted one. The only complaint is that there was bar service when I wasn't interested in a drink and never a bar server around when I wanted one! I also tried out the water slides. Such a thrill for an over 60 lady! When taking a break from the sun there were plenty of options for trivia and other games. I went to the daytime Hasbro Game Show. A lot of fun - and I was selected to participate. Woo-hoo. In the evenings I attended some of the production shows. Nothing spectacular but entertaining. I saw two of the comics. Both funny. But interestingly, for one of them I saw his early, family friendly show which was edgy but not inappropriate, and I really liked him so I went back for the later adult only show and he just didn't connect - like he was trying too hard to hit the R-rated or X-rated notes and it just flopped for me. AND I hit the casino. It was fun. I didn't lose too much money. I haven't smoked in 30 years, but thankfully cigarette smoke doesn't irritate me as much as it does others. In the casino there are no non-smoking slots. As long as someone is playing they can smoke. The Ecstasy casino must be very well ventilated because it wasn't terrible. Yes, it is smokey as is the Promenade deck that it's on. But again, for me, not terrible. In St. Thomas I caught a cab to Coki Beach. I hadn't been there but my research told me that it was the best, easily accessed for snorkeling. It was both easy to get to, a $20 round trip cab ride, and good snorkeling. I saw lots of fish and wide variety. In St. Maarten I did the Carnival excursion Scenic Coastal Hike. This was great; a rocky walk along the coast, lots of gorgeous ocean vistas, as well as lots of goats and iguanas. After the tour I walked along the boardwalk and Front St., stopping at a little shop for excellent ice cream. In San Juan I just got off the boat and walked around and headed over to El Morro. The forts there are so fascinating. Ok. So why am I a big fan of Carnival Ecstasy? Service and layout. I just love the size of the ship and the easy access to lots of outdoor areas, not just the lido pool area. I find the service to be top-notch. My cabin steward responded to all my requests immediately. I didn't have hot water one morning, by afternoon I did. I wanted a robe and an ice bucket. Within an hour I had them. I already mentioned the dining crew. Here's the best part. I went to the meet and mingle, not expecting anything much. There were about 30 cruisers in attendance, tho many more had signed up. Carnival had laid out all these great snacks, sort of like what they offer at tea-time but even better; little petit-fours; little sandwiches and canapes. I was sitting on a couch with some other cruisers, and the head of hotel services, the head of food services and the head of guest services came to sit down with us and just chat about cruising. I thought that was so nice. Then later there was a goodie bag in my cabin from guest services! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Chose this cruise based on the ports of call - St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the length of the cruise and embarkation port close to home. Pluses of the ship: Clean ship, easy to get around, great ship for smoker's, ... Read More
Chose this cruise based on the ports of call - St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the length of the cruise and embarkation port close to home. Pluses of the ship: Clean ship, easy to get around, great ship for smoker's, Negatives: For non-smoker's they must walk through the casino smoking area to get to the aft or forward part of the ship. Food: Lido - Way below par - cold food should be kept at below 40 degrees and hot food above 140 degees. This was failed to do. Guy's Burgers - NO BIG DEAL, Dining Room - Lasagna meat was on the standard of a mechanical diet consistancy. I ordered steak (filet mignon) for an additional $20 and asked to have it cooked medium-rare, it came out rare/raw, not once but twice. Glad they took the charge off of my bill. On another dining room experience, water glasses were not cleaned, found black floating piece of something, ordered new water glasses for the table only for the one of the new glasses to have a dark brown spot at the bottom, and then noticed that the remaining glasses had some floating pulp, called Maitre'D over and he replaced glasses with cleaner ones and gave the table bottled water. He indicated that it might be a problem with the dishwashing machines. One saving grace with all these food problems is that I called this cruise the 8-day cruise diet. I loss ten pounds due to being sick for 3 out of the 8 days! Thank goodness we had a great cabin steward (Jhoni) who kept me furnished with a clean cabin and ginger all and bottled water. Before booking any cruise, check out the CDC's website for cruise ships ratings. Most ships get a rating of 95 to 100. The Carnival Ecstasy's rating was a 86! Not good, this should tell you something is definetly wrong. The last Carnival ship we sailed on in November 2016 was the Magic, which had a high rating. We did our own excursions as we have been to these ports before and knew our way around. We will not go back on this ship. We are booked on a December cruise with Royal Caribbean on Brillance of The Seas. Fingers crossed that it will be a better experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
First time on this ship. Although old and small, it was totally fine and acceptable. We will NOT cruise again during this time frame. We appeared to have been caught in a time warp - where no party people were on board. This was my ... Read More
First time on this ship. Although old and small, it was totally fine and acceptable. We will NOT cruise again during this time frame. We appeared to have been caught in a time warp - where no party people were on board. This was my eighth Carnival cruise, and I have never seen such a dull crowd. Our group of 6 would laugh out loud at dinner and people would shoot us dirty looks. Very odd experience for Carnival! Our stateroom steward was the bomb - especially after we gave him a goody bag of candy, phone card, and cash at beginning of cruise. Some dining room dinners were good, but others were disappointing. Jason, the piano man, is a great piano player, but he is not a great singer or entertainer. On the other hand, nobody can compare to Gustavo on Carnival Paradise. Embarkation was probably the easiest we have ever experienced; never gone out of Charleston before. Disembarkation was fine. Getting luggage was basically a mess due to such a small space and cruisers intercepting porters that the staff had signaled for us. All in all, we had a great time as we are not easy going and don't sweat the small stuff. The only reason I wouldn't sail this ship again is that I am ready to experience the Horizon and Vista! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We had FTTF and was on the ship and in our room in 15 minuets. Loved everything but food lacked flavor. We ate breakfast and dinner in dining room it was much better! If you want good service at a bar Sewlyn at the bar by the deli was ... Read More
We had FTTF and was on the ship and in our room in 15 minuets. Loved everything but food lacked flavor. We ate breakfast and dinner in dining room it was much better! If you want good service at a bar Sewlyn at the bar by the deli was awesome always gave me fresh drinks knew my name. Loved to talk to him. Mohammad our waiter was awesome and our room steward was as well E89. Loved location of our room. Close to everything! If you are looking for lots to do you might want another ship! It was great for us to relax! But the best was the ports. St.Thomas,St.Maarten and San Juan were beautiful it was a 8 day cruise! Loved Gary the cruise director he was so entertaining! Things I didn’t like was the smoking area was bad and that’s where our muster station was! And our dining time was 8:15 so we missed a lot of shows that was disappointing they need later shows so people get to enjoy both! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I chose this cruise because Charleston was the closest port to me, next time I will probably drive farther to try a larger ship. The embarkation process was ok, you pay $20 a day to park in a warehouse and wait in line about 45 mins to ... Read More
I chose this cruise because Charleston was the closest port to me, next time I will probably drive farther to try a larger ship. The embarkation process was ok, you pay $20 a day to park in a warehouse and wait in line about 45 mins to get on the ship. This was my 2nd cruise and the last one was so long ago I didn't remember anything about it, so this was pretty much like my first cruise experience. Overall I had a good time. Pros- Food was great. Guys burger place was my favorite, the taco place was also very good. I ate at the fancy restaurant only one night because our 8:15 reservation conflicted with the shows we wanted to see, but it was really good the night I went (I had pork chops and chocolate molten cake YUMMM) The buffet was pretty good, they had different stuff to choose from on the hot bar, and a large salad bar with fresh goodies each night. There was also a pizza place that I tried once and was pretty good. The room service has some good options as far as sandwiches that will be to your room in about 20 mins, I enjoyed the tuna a couple evenings. Order b4 10 p.m. and it's free, after 10 they do charge. Service was great, all the workers were very friendly and our room steward Rodolfo was great! Our room was cleaned each evening and overall the ship was very clean. Excersion- The only excersion we did was a tour of Nassau which was 30$ a person and we enjoyed it. Cons- Entertainment- I wasn't crazy about the entertainment, I am in my 20s so the older rock tribute, tribute to the Brits, and tribute to the classics 60,70, and 80s were not really my cup of tea. The family comedy was pretty funny, we skipped out on the Rated 18+ comedy. If you love to party by the pool, they do a lot of that. The music is loud so if you are like me and want to relax and read a book try the top deck back by the water park it isn't as loud. The Love and Marriage show was pretty funny. Pool - The biggest complaint I have about this ship is there is only one pool and it is small. It's pretty impossible to swim because all the kids take over. If this ship had 2 pools it would be perfect, one day was ridicuolsy hot and the pool was too crowded to get in. Disembarktation- If possible take your own bags off the ship, if you check them the night before it will take at least 1.5 hours to get off the ship. Overall this is a good cruise option, next time I will choose a bigger boat with 2 pools. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I just returned from my first ever cruise. We choose the 7 day cruise at recommendation of our travel agent as we had no experience. The cruise was fun and I hopefully will book more in the future but will definitely do more research of ... Read More
I just returned from my first ever cruise. We choose the 7 day cruise at recommendation of our travel agent as we had no experience. The cruise was fun and I hopefully will book more in the future but will definitely do more research of my own. To begin with, the food was far below my expectations, I think I have had better food at Golden Coral buffet, and I am referring to the food in Windstar dinning room. The Lido deck food was exactly as I expected and where I had more enjoyable food. The Dining room staff, Edy and Joseph were excellent. Show Time was my favorite nightly entertainement, loved it. Joseph and Edy are spot on. Brittany the cruise director was excellent, she was engaged daily and entertaining. I loved the game shows, dance parties, or numerous competitions on the lido deck, kept everyone entertained. My room was oceanview on upper deck and Nur was our attendant. He had our names memorized day one, was polite, friendly, and 100% there to meet the guest needs. My room was well cleaned daily and stocked with fresh linens, beach towels upon request. The day in Nassau was overcast and rainy, we found a private travel guide and took a 2 hour trip around the island. Rum factory had great pina coladas, didn't purchase rum and now regret it. Grand Turk beautiful water, we chose the snorkeling excursion and had a blast. The catamaran was broken down, but we were given a 25% discount and used a different vessel. Had a great time and enjoyed the free rum punch. Now let's get to the bad... Shame on Carnival. We purchased the alcohol package at 50$ a day, we both had to buy and for all 7days. I knew going into it I would not probably drink 15 drinks a day, but the math one drink x $9 x 5 or six drinks a day, ok probably be ok. I knew my spouse would probably drink his Michelobe ultra worth at the cost. Where do I start, couldn't get but one drink every 5 minutes, couldn't get a bucket of beer or even a bucket of ice for the beer because we had the drink card. So, by time the waiter would get back to us with the beer it would be hot. Really, you couldn't deliver the beers in a bucket of ice to even keep it cold.... To top of the frustration, remember I have a drink pass, and had to get it for all 7 days. Half moon Cay is a private island owned by Carnival, no one lives on the island. When we arrived at the island Carnival removed the contents of the blue iguana bar to stock the island, Carnival staff staffed the bar, it was a hot 82 degrees, but guess what? I had to buy drinks on the island from Carnival, because my 50$ drink pass for the day didn't work on the island. CARNIVAL that needs to be revisited, ever who came up with that policy is greedy and has poor customer service. Just a scam to get more money from their customers knowing there was no other option to self pay for drinks I feel like I had already paid for. Carnival needs to work on their dining room food and their drink plan. I will definitely look into other companies myself before I book my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The cruise was fantastic! The entertainment was fun good, buffets, and the workers were very friendly. The man that was helping in housekeeping on deck R named Noel was very friendly and helpful! Everyday our rooms were kept very clean, ... Read More
The cruise was fantastic! The entertainment was fun good, buffets, and the workers were very friendly. The man that was helping in housekeeping on deck R named Noel was very friendly and helpful! Everyday our rooms were kept very clean, and everything we needed was always brought on time.The Guys Burger Shop was my favorite place to eat on the ship the Burger's were amazing, and the fries were the best I've had. The music entertainment was very enjoyable the bands sounded good, and watching the Blue Sapphire shows were loads of fun. There wasn't one day were I was bored there was always something to do on the ship! In the end I has an amazing time on the ship and all the islands! The Bahamas is an amazing experience, and I recommend antoto travel there with carnival! Enjoyed my stay and I would definitely go another carnival Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Embarkation was fast and easy and from there it went downhill. The Ocean was so rough that if was very difficult walking and we could not dock in Nassau for safety reasons. I realize that Carnival had no control over the weather and we ... Read More
Embarkation was fast and easy and from there it went downhill. The Ocean was so rough that if was very difficult walking and we could not dock in Nassau for safety reasons. I realize that Carnival had no control over the weather and we just made the best of it. But as seniors taking our first cruise to celebrate our 50th anniversary we were not prepared for the deafening noise aboard this ship. The only place we would go to talk or read was to our cabin. The so called country singer performing in the atrium daily was awful. Everyone told us that we would love the food. The quality of food on the buffet was like eating at a Golden Coral. The dining room food was better but nothing was ever hot. The desserts were good. The staff for the most part were wonderful especially our cabin steward Pilan. They allowed smoking in several areas of the ship and unfortunately also held trivia games near those areas. Our group had to leave as the smell was overpowering. I heard many people complaining about this cruise saying things like "cruise from hell" and "never again". Disembarkation was smooth and quick. It was an experience for us, one not likely to be repeated. For the price we paid we could have gone to an all inclusive Mexican resort for 2 weeks and not had to worry about how much extra money we were adding to our sail and sign card everytime we had a speciality coffee or alcoholic drink. We won't be cruising again, especially on Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise because it sailed out of Charleston, which was convenient for us. Had it been my first cruise, it would have been my last! Food was mediocre.....some meals were fantastic, other food items were horrible....most ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it sailed out of Charleston, which was convenient for us. Had it been my first cruise, it would have been my last! Food was mediocre.....some meals were fantastic, other food items were horrible....most were so so Service was friendly, but slow. Bars were staffed with one bartender....rarely two. The cabin was small....and even smaller with the kids beds in use! There was a LOT of head bumping all week long! More hooks and shelving would have been good as the desk/counter area was quite small. The weather affected us... not that Carnival has any control over that.....but having one port canceled and many shows and other interests canceled or modified really put a damper on our experience. The temperature control in the room was ineffective, and on our debarkation morning, we had no running water for a period of time. For a family of four trying to get up early and be out of our cabin, not having water was ridiculous! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
All aspects of the cruise were great as usual. We have sailed on the Ecstasy four times now and have no major complaints except one "THE ENTERTAINMENT IS OLD AND REALLY BAD" they are still doing that British invasion thing and ... Read More
All aspects of the cruise were great as usual. We have sailed on the Ecstasy four times now and have no major complaints except one "THE ENTERTAINMENT IS OLD AND REALLY BAD" they are still doing that British invasion thing and the Motown thing. Both are old and an insult to returning cruisers. The comedians are always hit and miss but this time one was pretty funny and the other was horrible. How about a tribute to Rock & Roll and not a mention of The King Elvis or any other RR legends. If folks actually danced like that to RR it would have been trouble. In any event, the food, service and staff were terrific as always. The Ecstasy shows it's age but is kept clean and polished by the always smiling crew. Looking forward to our next cruise on the Sunshine to the Southern Caribbean. Stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in North Charleston and the shuttle was a pleasure. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I would never recommend this cruise or Carnival as a company. We went on a cruise for our honeymoon and paid around $1100 for an upgraded jr. suit. First of all, this ship looks like it came straight out of a 1980's strip club. ... Read More
I would never recommend this cruise or Carnival as a company. We went on a cruise for our honeymoon and paid around $1100 for an upgraded jr. suit. First of all, this ship looks like it came straight out of a 1980's strip club. Everything is old, purple and doesn't look like it has ever been updated. The food was mediocre, the entertainment was mediocre and the offshore activities were nothing to brag about. But honestly that's not my main issue with this cruise, had those been the only issues I wouldn't have written a review at all. I would have dealt with my sub-par cruise experience, but the way they handled our reservation and our experience with their customer service staff was so horrendous that I feel the need to actively recommend people to stay away from them and take their money elsewhere. When asking about the upgrade options I specifically wanted a room with a tub and the booking agent told me the junior suite and king suite both featured a jacuzzi tub, the junior was just a smaller square footage. We booked this trip months in advance. Immediately when we got to our room I noticed that the room did not have a tub at all, but a small shower. So we went straight to the customer service desk on the ship and asked to be moved to another room with a tub or to get a refund, because what we were told we were paying for was not what we got at all. They told us they could not help us, because no rooms on the ship have jacuzzi tubs and no other suites were available. We were told that they would put in a complaint form and someone would get back to us. After 2 days of no one getting back to us we went back to the desk and they told us to call carnival ourselves. We called carnival and spent almost 2 hours of our day, which I would have much rather spent enjoying my cruise on hold waiting to speak with someone about the issue only to be told there was nothing they could do for us. We then called the booking agent, but did not get ahold of him until after we got off the cruise. He admitted that it was his fault. He told us the system must not be correct and it is their error that we were told our room would have a tub when it did not, but that we would not be able to get a refund, because we needed to request one on the first day of the cruise. Even though we had been dealing with this since the first hour on our cruise and had requested a refund right away. We were eventually elevated to some kind of manager who was incredibly rude and absolutely no help. They took zero responsibility for what was obviously their error and were out over $1000 on an upgrade that I would not have purchased had I know what was actually featured in the room. Our room was barely better than a regular cabin, the only difference was that it featured a couch and a couple extra sq. ft. I would have rather not paid more than $1k for. We were only offered 10% off a future cruise for something that was completely their fault that we had tried to fix since the first day on the cruise. I would have gladly stayed in a regular cabin for the duration of my cruise and taken a refund, but I was told that was not an option and that was then used against me as further excuse not to give me a refund after my stay ended. I am so angry about the way this was handled, it was dishonest and nothing was done to apologize for or repair the fact that we were lied to in order to get a lot of money from us. Take your money to another cruise line who is honest and cares about their customers, because it is not Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
There is nothing better than ringing in the New Year at sea. This was our 4th NYE cruise and 2nd on the Ecstasy. We were fortunate enough to have one of our son's family of 4 and my wife's 2 sisters and a nephew cruise with us. ... Read More
There is nothing better than ringing in the New Year at sea. This was our 4th NYE cruise and 2nd on the Ecstasy. We were fortunate enough to have one of our son's family of 4 and my wife's 2 sisters and a nephew cruise with us. Having family along was icing on the cake. We live about 30 minutes outside of Charleston and it's very convenient. A family member dropped us off and we met our son at the port. We're platnium and we decided that we would board with them. One of the Carnival embarkation workers allowed the whole family to use the priority line, something we didn't expect and were greatful for. We arrived at the end of the peak time so the crowd wasn't that bad. Embarkation was quick and easy and we were onboard in less than 45 minutes. The ship is one of Carnivals oldest, but it's in great shape. The one thing I did notice was in some of the stairwells towards the back of the ship, the glass that goes from the handrails to the floor was missing. No biggie, just something I didn't expect to see. My biggest complaint was in the MDR. We love cruising and this was our 18th Carnival cruise. We are easy going and don't let little things bother us, but I couldn't get over the cold meals we were served almost every night in the MDR. If you order a prime rib medium rare, it's going to be at a lower temperature normally. When it was served to us it was cool to the point it was hard to eat. The temperature of the coffee was luke warm at best. The worst was when we did the Dr. Suess breakfast with our family. We had 2 of our young grandsons and wanted to enjoy the meal. Everything was cold. I couldn't eat the waffles and of course the coffee was cold too. Kind of upsetting and of course the waitstaff offered to give us new meals but it was already getting late so we declined. The food quality and choice was as always, good. We went to a couple of the shows and enjoyed them all. The comedy shows were great too. A hint is to get to the comedy show early to get a seat. Service was spot on, our room stewards were fantastic. We never lacked for anything in our cabin. The rest of the crew we had contact with were also top notched. The bar areas were always busy but wait times were usually minimal. The itinerary was great for a ship porting from Charleston, Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Amber Cove Dominican Republic. Half Moon Cay is alway a nice place to relax and enjoy the beach. We found some lounge chairs and enjoyed the day. Water was refreshing and the food is always good. Grand Turk is probably one of our favorite ports. We headed to Jack's Shack and enjoyed some Turks Head beer and conch fritters. And of course we got to see Topher the dog. This was our first time to Amber Cove and we were happliy surprised. We didn't book an excursion, just did some shopping at the port and our son took his family to the pool on site. They had lots of fun and joined us for a quick meal at Coco Cana. Try the calamari, it was fantasticly prepared and delicious. Coming back to Charleston we had 2 sea days. The last day it got chilly. Charleston was hit with a snow storm while we were gone and because of icy roads, disembarkation was delayed a little. Some of the workers had issues getting to work. Charleston isn't used to this type of weather and Carnival did everything they could to take care of us. Getting home was an adventure. Some roads in the city were blocked due to ice but we were able to get home with no real problem. All in all it was a great cruise and we would definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Had the misfortune of sailing from Charleston, SC to the Bahamas in a cold snap. There was no heat on the ship, not even in the staterooms. Had to sleep under 2 comforters and in 2 robes with towels wrapped around my legs the first 2 ... Read More
Had the misfortune of sailing from Charleston, SC to the Bahamas in a cold snap. There was no heat on the ship, not even in the staterooms. Had to sleep under 2 comforters and in 2 robes with towels wrapped around my legs the first 2 nights. Also had to wear a fleece jacket in the Dining room every night. The cigarette smoke from the casino made walking on the port side of the 9th floor unbearable. The good things that made the cruise "average" was the great staff, Fun crew, food and company. My dining room attendants exhibited some great dance moves! The crew also put together a lot of holiday themed events, including a snow event in the atrium. The holiday decorations were very festive. As always, the Fun and Marrage show was a hoot. But the lack of heat will prevent me from ever sailing on this ship during the winter months ever again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
So the ship is old and you could tell very easily. We tried the dining room three times but my husband had issues each time. We paid extra ($20) just for a steak, plain. It came with some red wine sauce on it, twice. Even though we ... Read More
So the ship is old and you could tell very easily. We tried the dining room three times but my husband had issues each time. We paid extra ($20) just for a steak, plain. It came with some red wine sauce on it, twice. Even though we specifically asked for no sauce. Very disappointing. The included lemonade made me "pucker" each time I tried it, it was so sour. The included iced tea did not taste like ice tea at all. The cabin was a normal ship cabin. But it would be nice if they actually advertised the correct size of the bed. They said on the website it was 2 twins or both twins put together to make a king size. No way it was a king size bed, maybe a queen. This ship only had one pool for a lot of people. It was a good first cruise experience for my husband but even he said we will look for newer ships when we plan our next vacation. We both liked how we could see/visit multiple islands, the entertainment/shows were good, the pizza was fantastic, loved Guy's burgers, the burritos, tacos and such were wonderful!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017

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