48 Charleston Entertainment Cruise Reviews

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
This was mine and my friends second cruise on Carnival Sunshine. We first sailed with Sunshine in May 2017. Last month, we went on Sunshine to celebrate my goddaughters 13th birthday. We are extremely disappointed with just about every ... Read More
This was mine and my friends second cruise on Carnival Sunshine. We first sailed with Sunshine in May 2017. Last month, we went on Sunshine to celebrate my goddaughters 13th birthday. We are extremely disappointed with just about every aspect of the cruise. I wanted to give it a second chance, especially with Charleston, SC port being it’s new home and also where I live. However, we found the entertainment lacking. Understandably, mother nature cannot be controlled however it would be nice if activities that were planned for outside could have been moved indoors in order to continue to keep guests entertained, as that is part of what they are paying for. The bars and restaurants are understaffed. There were several times where we had to wait for over 20 minutes to simply receive the drink we had ordered. We had purchased the drink package but ended up feeling like it was not worth the money we paid due to the extreme wait times at the bar. The staff in the dining room was not exceptionally friendly, especially compared to previous cruises we have been on. We were often the last to get served as well as the last table to leave due to inattention and lack of service. Another example of our frustration during our cruise occurred when we were ordering photo reprints. We were given a set time by the staff to pick them up. When I went to do so, I gave the gentleman working my two receipts and was handed an envelope. It wasn’t until after the cruise when I got home that I noticed that he did not give us one of our orders. To say how disappointing and frustrating this was is an understatement. When contacting Carnival customer service, we made them aware of this situation with the photos. They advised me that they hold paid items for 30 days and would put in a work order but I would have to pay the $20 for postage. First off, it does not cost $20 to mail 2 photos. Second, why should I spend any more of my own money when it was your mistake to begin with and I have already paid for what is rightfully mine? This is absurd. The children’s camp is also lacking, especially for kids 12-14. My goddaughter was bored and not entertained and would not stay for the camp for any length of time. When we cruised on Carnival Ecstasy we couldn’t pull her away from camp! Perhaps Sunshine should take notes from Ecstasy and other cruise ships who offer far more for your money when it comes to entertainment, customer service, and overall experience. The one positive interaction we had was with our room steward who was truly amazing, named Jaypee. He always spoke to us by our names, asked if we needed anything and was willing to answer any question we had. He went above and beyond to bring us tape to decorate our room for the birthday celebration as well as many other examples of doing what he could to ensure the best vacation possible for us. He deserves to be acknowledged for his outstanding customer service. Other than Jaypee, we are extremely disappointed with the outcome of our experience of our time on Carnival Sunshine. What could you do to make this experience better? Send me the pictures I bought free of any type of shipping charge, and issue a refund for the drink package of our expensive or something else to compensate for the lack of service received. We would be open to cruising with Carnival again but it most definitely will not be on Sunshine . Read Less
Sail Date July 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
This was the first cruise for my wife and I and we absolutely loved it. We tried to do some research before booking the cruise and asked some friends and family and they all said they enjoyed carnival. We do plan on trying some other ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my wife and I and we absolutely loved it. We tried to do some research before booking the cruise and asked some friends and family and they all said they enjoyed carnival. We do plan on trying some other cruise lines just to get some variety and be able to compare the experiences but we will definitely sail with carnival again. When we first saw the ship we realized how old it was and thought we would be very disappointed but once we got aboard we saw how wrong we were. The ship was very up to date and well decorated. First off the room, it was small but there was adequate room to move around. Some people will probably complain that the room is too small but you have to manage your expectations going in. Don’t expect a spacious hotel room, it is a boat that holds thousands of people so there’s only so much room. One negative is that there is only one outlet but they tell you ahead of time to bring a power strip (not a surge protector those are prohibited) so we were able to charge both of our phones and anything else we needed to charge. The mattress was very firm and comfy and the sheets were smooth. Our steward was amazing, every time he saw us he asked us how our day was and knew our names after the first day. He kept everything very clean and organized. Next the food, delicious. We ate at the main dining room (wind song) most nights and ate the buffet the other times. No matter which place you went the food was expertly prepared and was an extremely high quality. We selected late dining so we had the same table and same wait team every night we ate in wind song. The team was very knowledgeable, friendly, and accommodating. We didn’t know what a lot of the dishes were and they were able to explain and recommend several of the dishes based on our likes and dislikes. The one negative was the lack of options. The served the same food in the buffet room and the wind song room so really the only reason to do the reserved dining was to have the more upscale atmosphere and be waited on. The only other options on the entire ship was pizza pirate and guys burgers. The pizza was pretty disappointing, always had to wait 10 minutes and it was very thin and light on cheese/toppings. Guys burgers was delicious but anything gets tiresome if you eat it for 5 days straight. There were no extra restaurants that you could pay extra to eat at, which I thought would be included. I don’t drink but there were certainly plenty of different alcoholic options so people who like to drink will have plenty of options. Embarkation and debarkation were very smooth and easy. I did forget to print our boarding passes/ room luggage tags beforehand but they had luggage tags to hand write on and I was able to show our boarding passes on my phone for the most part until the printed one for me. Entertainment was great, I personally enjoyed the trivia, (even though I didn’t know most of the answers) and the musical shows. There was a wide variety of things for people of different tastes and ages. Two dedicated kids/teens hangouts/groups so always something for them to do. There were quite a few activities that were targeted to get you to buy things either on the ship or in the ports which was disappointing but I expected that kind of commercialization coming in. Leon, the entertainment director, was very funny and interactive with the crowd. You could see that he really cared and tried to make an impact on everyone. There is mini golf on the very top deck but it’s almost impossible to play, unless you’re docked, due to the wind. There was a wide variety of shore excursions to choose from at each port, each one we chose was easily accessed and fun. The Charleston port was very dirty and looked in very rough shape, Freeport wasn’t much to look at except for a very small shopping area right off the boat. However I don’t hold either one of those against Carnival because they have no control over that. Half moon cay was beautiful and the free beach and lunch was amazing. No activities to due other than the beach really but everyone needs a relaxation day. Nassau was by far the best port. Very vibrant culture, lots of shopping and excursions, and a private island (blue lagoon island) a short boat ride away. Don’t waste your money on the endless bubbles program. You can only have 1 soda at a time and you have to hope that the bar you’re closest to has what you want I n stock. They literally just pour cans of soda and ice into a cup and hand it to you. You’re allowed to bring a 12 pack (per person) of cans on board so I suggest doing that since it’s much cheaper to purchase that and easier to access them. On the other hand the endless cheers program seemed so be worth its money if you plan on having more than a few drinks. I can’t personally speak to it because I didn’t purchase it and I do not drink. Overall it was a great experience for a first cruise and we will definitely be sailing with carnival again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our first cruise. Since it was our first cruise, we have nothing to compare it to. We had a wonderful time and I feel we were taken care of. However, the food sucked. No other word for it. We got the social media WIFI plan and my ... Read More
This was our first cruise. Since it was our first cruise, we have nothing to compare it to. We had a wonderful time and I feel we were taken care of. However, the food sucked. No other word for it. We got the social media WIFI plan and my husband’s didn’t work the entire cruise. Mine halfway worked but I could not post a pic to Facebook to save my life. We were entertained by the shows and comedy. Once we pulled up in Nassau, we realized just how small this ship is. The ship next to us (I believe Royal Caribbean) towered us. As we spoke to others on board, they said it was the worst cruise ship they have ever been on. I guess we will find out because we definitely plan on taking another cruise soon. So, the food and ship size did not deter us from doing this again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I went on this cruise with my husband, two sons 22 and 15 , mother in law and sister in law. we had three rooms. everything was smooth and great. I give everyone from the cruise director leon, the dining staff Phillip to the stewards a ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my husband, two sons 22 and 15 , mother in law and sister in law. we had three rooms. everything was smooth and great. I give everyone from the cruise director leon, the dining staff Phillip to the stewards a wonderful rating they gave all of us a nice time our rooms clean I dropped a crumb under the bad to prove to my husband that they clean every part of the room. The activities was amazing also it seem everyone one on the ship tried to join in. I loved princess cay island also it seem private just for our ship yes I would go again already booking a trip. I would recommend this trip to family and couples. it was my husband and sons first cruise I went on a few with my grandmother when I was younger and my in laws also went on a few they all loved it Read Less
Sail Date December 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
Sail Date November 2018
My group of 13 in 4 cars all parked at the port and arrived about 11:30am. There was a small line that moved pretty smoothly. The lot is not covered like other ports. It was not very easy to navigate as the lines painted on the pavement ... Read More
My group of 13 in 4 cars all parked at the port and arrived about 11:30am. There was a small line that moved pretty smoothly. The lot is not covered like other ports. It was not very easy to navigate as the lines painted on the pavement don't match up with the cones they have laid out and other cruisers cant seem to figure out where they should be. However, they had enough people out directing traffic and getting people back in proper lines that this wasn't a big issue. The shuttle from parking lot to embarkation lines were friendly, clean, and fast. Embarkation was about as fast as other ports we have used (New Orleans, San Juan). The lines before security were squeezed in tight, not very friendly for anyone carrying anything. Our stroller (small umbrella) and small carry-ons struggled through the poles. Other passengers with just carry on or twelve pack were struggling as well. They just have the space much to narrow. Check-in was smooth, except they placed one of our rooms on the wrong floor than promised. They also dissmissed this because it they didn't considerate it a problem. However, it was a huge hassle. We booked to all be on the same floor for easier communication and meeting up, but having one room on another floor was a headache. The texting feature on the app doesn't work, so there is not a convenient way to communicate. Our cabins were clean as expected. Our two year old still sleeps in a crib at home, but they won't assign on for 2+. Our steward got a supervisor to approve one for ours!! Saved our sanity!! We pushed the double bed against the wall with the window and had lots of room for the crib and stroller. (Extra tip for the hard to make bed lol) We did have a problem with a sink, but it was fixed within an hour. The ship was pretty clean and seemed well maintained. Nothing stood out as horrible or fantastic as far as decor goes. Our first night in the dining room was pretty horrible. Our drinks ordered the first few minutes of being seated didnt arrive until midway through our main course. It also took much longer than usual for anything. After that night we were seated in a different section and returned there every night after. No problems after being moved to a different area with a different wait staff. The food was good, but drinks take forever. We started taking one with us, ordering one when seated, and found that to be better for us. Our 2 year is mostly potty trained, but we like to use a swim diaper for accidents (just incase). We were worried that traveling may mess up his potty routine and not be able to swim or use the water slide area, but there were atleast 6 kids with swim diapers at any moment in the slide area. (He ended up being fine and did well with potty and traveling! We took a foldable potty seat that we used before cruise just so he had something he was already using.) The slides were all three kids favorite part! Ages 2-6. They did like the shows, but got so tired it was hard for them to stay up for some of them. Only the 2 year old went to the camp ocean. They were having a bubble party and he loved it, kept asking to go play!! We are home and he still wants to go to camp ocean. The other children didn't go only because of parental choice. The rocking on the ship was much rougher than our other sailings in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Sailing in the Atlantic we got a real experience of sea sickness. Take meds even if you havent gotten sick on previous trips! Ports: Princess cays: Nice beach, but it does have somewhat rocky/rough shore line. Water shoes are a must!! The kids and babies can still play in the sand, but getting into and out of water is a bit hard. If you want a shaded seat rent a clam shell for $30 on shore or get one in a package. Bubbles and Cheers dont work on this, even though you use your sail and sign for almost everything. There are plenty of seats in the sun, plenty of beach, and plenty of places to play. There is a playground and kiddy pool. Showers to rinse off. Floats and things to rent. Look into the packages to save some bucks before this port. The buffet was not good. There are four lines, but people tend to just form into the first line. Dont be afraid to jump into a shorter line. All the lines going into the same building are on the same side and serve the same food. Served some salsa/chips, salad sides, hot dogs, hamburgers, jerk chicken, rice, beans, water, lemonade, cookies, and browies. The salsa and chips were the best thing they had. Half of our burgers were undercooked, the chicken was mostly bone, rice and beans were very dry. Would have preferred to pay for fast food or just sandwich boxes. Overall we did like this port. We didn't have a big expense for excursions, so that was a nice plus. The beach was nice and the water was clean! Nassau was ok. We had a private boat excursion lined up because we couldn't find anything for our group with a 2 year old. Due to an early morning thunderstorm, ours was cancelled. We ended up just walking around and shopping. There are a lot of vendors trying to sell you something. We were told that its not safe to go out with out a carnival exscursion, but I had read reviews before we left and figured they were just trying to sell us an excursion. We had no trouble walking around close to the port and shopping. We didnt go far because the heat was horrible. I think we would have prefered to do something else if we could go back. The Suess breakfast was a nice experience for the older kids. They loved seeing stories come to life and get pics with characters. The toddler didn't care. The adults didn't care for the special dishes, but the staff was happy to get regular dishes too, just ask! The staff here was above and beyond amazing!! For only $5 a person, we felt pretty pampered for a breakfast. The line to enter could have been a little more organized, but the actual event was great! If you have kids, give this a shot- especially on this ship!! Disembarkation was a nightmare. This was our 3rd carnival cruise and by far the worst getting off the ship. We went to the disembarkation show and read what was suppose to happen. Charleston requires Carnival to do a silent disembarkation, which would have been nice. However, nothing was done how they said it would be done. Self carry off was suppose to go by floor and have the forward elevators locked in for the currently called floor. This was not the case. We waited over 20 minutes during our "priority" elevator time and EVERY ONE PASSED OUR FLOOR. The employee standing at the bay was telling everyone that they had to use the stairs and the elevators were only for the top floors. We asked her about the priority elevator time for our floor and she said she didnt know when that was. Then she just left the area. Having some disabled folks, we were not able to do stairs with strollers and luggage in tow. We waited for an elevator for 25 minutes along with 4 other disabled groups. When an elevator showed up, a crew member was telling us that it shouldn't have stopped on our floor, he needed to go up. When asked why our floor was called to disembark and asked about our floors designated elevator times, he mumbled that they were busy and all floors needed elevators. The lines to get off the ship were stalled so many times to WAIT for people that packed sail and sign cards in luggage. The lines were so long, the crew was having a hard time wrapping it around just one floor. We were told that we couldn't use the handicap ramp on the 3rd level because we didn't have a wheel chair. The day before we were told we could. The disembarkation show advised anyone that has trouble with the inclines/ handicap/ or those with prams should use deck 3 to disembark. However, nothing that was said in the disembarkation show or on the papers given out was followed. This was a crap-show. I am not sure I would sail out of Charleston again. The port itself needs an overhaul and disembarkation was a nightmare. This ship was fine. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Chose this because of the ports of call, and the much shorter driving distance to port (6 hours to Charleston, SC. vs. 16 to Florida ports). *REALLY* regretting that now. Terrible food, EXCEPT Guy Fieri's burgers. They were ... Read More
Chose this because of the ports of call, and the much shorter driving distance to port (6 hours to Charleston, SC. vs. 16 to Florida ports). *REALLY* regretting that now. Terrible food, EXCEPT Guy Fieri's burgers. They were delicious, but the other stations on the Lido deck, and the dining room (we got any time dining and were in the Wind Song dining room) - were TERRIBLE. Tough meat, fried chicken that was listed as "Southern Fried Chicken" but should have been "Concrete Fried" as the breading was too hard to chew without breaking a tooth.. Lackluster service, a cabin steward who forgot to do anything in our room 2 days out of 5, servers who forgot there's an entire section above the Lido deck where a large group of people hang out on a regular basis (smoking section) .. Just a miserable experience overall. I've been on several Carnival cruises and LOVED them. I have another planned in February (2019) - different port, different boat, and I sincerely hope that this was a blip in Carnival's normally excellent service. Really REALLY pushy jewelry store associates (like put his hands on you to force you forward to see the jewelry under a light with a grip on your wrist that wasn't breakable pushy). Nobody (employee wise) seemed to want to be there, the boat is old and tired, although there was a murmur in the crowd about it being retrofitted in the near future, which it really does need. Just a generally poor performance by a normally decent company. High points: Embarkation was quick and easy, so was disembarking, and one employee that I adored. His name is Reymond, he works on the Lido deck in the evenings, cleaning up after people. He was a delight to talk to, EXTREMELY personable, knowledgeable about the ports. He's from the Phillipines and is an all around asset to Carnival. I hope they realize that. Princess Cay is basically an extension of the boat with a beach, which was fine. Everything is based on sign and sail cards (they own the entire island) and there's very little to do there. Employees come from the boat, and they bring all the food for the BBQ (food, again, terrible because it came from the boat) GREAT for beach combers and families with kids who love the water.. but WEAR WATER SHOES if you have tender feet, lots of rocks and coral right at the water line you have to get past. I didn't go further so can't speak for the deeper areas. Very clean on Princess Cay. Nassau was a bit of a disappointment, and we were offered drugs from a gentleman calling himself "Dr. Feelgood" in full view of uniformed police in front of the Royal Bank of Canada within 10 minutes of getting off the boat (certainly not Carnival's fault). My suggestion for Nassau - do the Atlantis day or an excursion. If you plan on walking around Nassau - hit up the Irish pub that's up a flight of stairs on the main drag. GREAT food, delightful staff. The straw market has some great local carvers with some very beautiful carved art. A lot of the "hand made" things in the straw market are fresh off the boat from China, however, most of the woven straw purses, etc. Mine still had the Made in China tag at the bottom. :) Worth it for little gifts for kids, though. There is a GREAT silver jewelry store a bit down from the main drag of touristy shops that is full of items imported from Turkey. Gorgeous lamps, and they have a HUGE selection of very reasonably priced Sterling jewelry, good quality gemstones, and NOT pushy at all. Coming out of the port, make a left when you hit diamonds international, it is on the same street, same side of the street, just down a few blocks. For giggles we tried a Starbucks inside what looked like a department store, and it was really good. Great employees too. If you're dying for a Frappucino from home at that point, def. a good place to go. If you want local food, ask for a cab to "Fish Fry" - Food vendors and street food where the locals grab lunch, just past Junkanoo beach. We asked two different people for local food and they both mentioned Fish fry, which is what locals call the area of street vendors there. Delicious! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My husband and I decided on this cruise because of the short driving distance to Charleston. We were celebrating our birthday and upcoming anniversary. Charleston is Charleston. Nothing new there. Our cruise ship arrived 3 hours late ... Read More
My husband and I decided on this cruise because of the short driving distance to Charleston. We were celebrating our birthday and upcoming anniversary. Charleston is Charleston. Nothing new there. Our cruise ship arrived 3 hours late on embarkation due to some apparent weather, which we had completely smooth sailing. When we finally got to board, embarkation and disembarkation process went smoothly. The ship is very dated and dirty on the outside. We had an ocean view window which was difficult to see out of bc it was dirty from the outside. There is not much to do on the ship. Shows are repetitive. Comedy was mediocre and same show over and over. Stripes dance club was enjoyable the first night but after that, don’t go back. DJ plays the exact same set of songs every night on repeat. Shows in blue Saphire lounge with cruise director, Gary, were the best on this cruise. He’s funny and the shows were good BUT hard to enjoy with the poor seating and views. FOOD was overall horrible! Taste, selection, baked potatoes not even warm enough to melt butter on. Dining room food even worse than the buffet. Pizza was not what I call pizza. Guys Burgers were great but how many times in 5 days can you eat a burger. Room service menu was a joke and after purchasing cheers program, no I will not pay for a soda in the room! Bars were understaffed with bartenders. On a ship with nothing else to do... yes we are going to drink! You’ll lose a buzz before you get another one. One female bartender from Syria at alchemy bar was extremely rude! Pools very small and crowded. Spend a small fortune in the casino because theee is nothing else to do. Getting off the ship at Princess Cay was a mess. One crew member was suppose to hand our stickers for tenor numbers for the entire ship. Finally they decided to wave the stickers, which was 1.5 hour after we were suppose to. In Nassau we didn’t get off at the port until 9am. Arrived back early in Charleston. Total of 6-7 hours cut off our cruise. Not one perk offered in return. Princess Cay is beautiful but just another way for Carnival to make money. Even though it’s a privately owned island where THEIR staff serves, cheers program does not work. Buffet that was served was HORRIBLE! Nassau was our favorite! LOVE LOVE it! We look more for dealing with locals and how people really live, getting the real experience so we wanted to stay away from the excursions. Locals on Junkanoo Beach will treat you like Royalty. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
firrst time on ecstasy. this cruise was going to a beach that we did'nt go to one year because of the weather. and the first time in a porthole room. it was a quiet floor. and it also went to nassau. the band was great the singing was ... Read More
firrst time on ecstasy. this cruise was going to a beach that we did'nt go to one year because of the weather. and the first time in a porthole room. it was a quiet floor. and it also went to nassau. the band was great the singing was great! the intertainment was great! also. the sales was great! the pools was not that full like some others ships, i dont do shore exc, like to walk around the islands. food was good in dinning. ship infor on app was good to have. which i didnt think to do, i like to read the intenarary... the beach had to many rocks'princess cay" that need be some changes in removing them big rocks!. but it was nice and hot so i just had to go futher out into the water. and with the cooler weather for september great but steal was hot!. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Our group planned a couples trip for a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas. It was my first time. It was a nice get-away from the monotony that life causes. The staff were extremely nice, going above and beyond, and made you feel welcomed - ... Read More
Our group planned a couples trip for a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas. It was my first time. It was a nice get-away from the monotony that life causes. The staff were extremely nice, going above and beyond, and made you feel welcomed - they gave you service with a smile. There were many food selections from American, Latin, Italian, Oriental inspired sides, there were also selections for those finicky eaters. The drinks, well lets just say that our "only" options were water and lemonade. With this selection, going to an island and a more than one day cruise, drinking got tired very fast. Overall, the wait times and crowd were what it expected, but what I didn't expect is for me to go back to my room at 3:00 a.m. to find the staff cleaning the halls on our 3rd night on board - we still had another "paid" day to enjoy our experience. I understand that the staff has to prepare for the another cruise, but this killed the whole vibe for that day. It was unacceptable and I don't feel that 4th day I got what I paid for. The staff's character went from "service with a smile" to that of a "Debbie Downer". Additionally, the waiters didn't seem as receptive to serving us and I ordered room service and she was a little rude. Finally, to "throw salt on the wound" I don't know if this is the normal protocol for cruises to do, but on that final day, the staff was advertising for donations. Although, I enjoyed the first few nights I wanted to have an entire memorable experience. As Julius Caesar said: I came, I saw, and I conquered. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We booked three cabins to celebrate my upcoming birthday. The cruise left Charleston right on time and we had remarkably good weather the entire trip with only a few brief showers. It is an older ship, but kept in very good condition and ... Read More
We booked three cabins to celebrate my upcoming birthday. The cruise left Charleston right on time and we had remarkably good weather the entire trip with only a few brief showers. It is an older ship, but kept in very good condition and very clean. We are experienced cruisers so the excursions didn't really appeal to us. Pros: Entertainment: Gary, the 26 year old cruise director was excellent. I don't easily pass out praise but he really kept the party going. You'd swear that he had an identical twin on board the ship as he'd be in the lounge one minute and then on the Lido Deck in an entirely different outfit the next. The evening shows were top notch with amazing talent. The comedy acts were really good and I'd say that we hit almost every show and the sets provided by the two comedians were never repeated. Food: We had 5 grandchildren from ages 1 to 5 so we learned to bypass the 2 hour evening dinner experience after the first few nights and took to the buffet on the Lido Deck. Food overall was average but two areas really stand out... Guy's Burger Joint was awesome and the fries were simply amazing! The Pizza Pirate made really good pizza and served generous portions. Rum drinks on the private island were lacking in alcohol compared to those served on the ship. Cons: It took a very long time to get our food in the Wind Song Dining Room. We had 5 small children at early dining and the wait staff (as friendly as they were) kept bringing us baskets of bread when what we really needed was FOOD. Deck 9 is the main public enclosed passageway that runs the length of the ship and houses the casino and several lounges so it was always a busy place to be. But, you'd always get a good whiff of cigarette smoke (which is permitted in several areas of Deck 9) anytime you were there. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I wasn't super impressed with the cleanliness of my room, to be honest. There seemed to be some dust, or maybe mold - the first night, my nose was going crazy. Also, aren't cruises supposed to have a ton of entertainment? I feel ... Read More
I wasn't super impressed with the cleanliness of my room, to be honest. There seemed to be some dust, or maybe mold - the first night, my nose was going crazy. Also, aren't cruises supposed to have a ton of entertainment? I feel like I was waiting for events the whole time. The food was okay. The breakfast was great, even though my girlfriend didn't really bother eating most of the stuff that was served. The dinners we found to be great. We weren't exactly "impressed", but we at least enjoyed the food and the atmosphere, so we have nothing really to complain about this. My girlfriend and I thoroughly enjoyed the music! There were live bands, and we actually got to hang out with one of the guitarists after their set. He was super cool, and he kind of made the trip worth it. We also appreciated the nearby parking with Instapark once we got back to the mainland. Overall not a bad time, but not really impressed, to be honest. Read Less
Sail Date July 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 May 2018
I chose this cruise for my first cruise with my friends to celebrate graduating from college. It was such an amazing experience, and that was in large part, due to the wonderful staff on this ship, who helped make it an unforgettable ... Read More
I chose this cruise for my first cruise with my friends to celebrate graduating from college. It was such an amazing experience, and that was in large part, due to the wonderful staff on this ship, who helped make it an unforgettable experience. The entertainment crew (fun squad), were some of my favorite, and in particular the DJ, Lee. He was so funny and just amazing at what he does. I enjoyed all the dance parties, as well as the Mardi Gras Party on my last night. Another one of the wonderful people, was our house keeper, Jurney! He was always so kind to my friends and I, he done a great job cleaning our room, always left us cute towel animals, and never ceased to greet us with a smile. I would like to also mention one lady from guest services, Ioana, who went above and beyond in helping my friends and I plan for our excursion in Nassau! All in all, we had a wonderful time laying out by the pools, the music and dance parties, and the karaoke. I do think the food could be better, but that's my opinion. There were also some weird smells on the ship that I did not like. Besides that, it was an amazing experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was my 1st cruise experience. We purchased this cruise for my daughters college graduation gift. We had a great time! Gary, the cruise director, shows are a must see. We saw as much as we could everyday. So many activities planned. ... Read More
This was my 1st cruise experience. We purchased this cruise for my daughters college graduation gift. We had a great time! Gary, the cruise director, shows are a must see. We saw as much as we could everyday. So many activities planned. Nightly trivia games, comedian, and lots and lots of dancing. It was fantastic. Food was good. We ate on the Lido deck throughout the day and dining room at night. Really didn’t have any food I didn’t like. I thought the staff was very friendly. I enjoyed hearing their accents and where they were from. It was great to talk and meet other people on the cruise. Our cabin was always clean. Our Stewart, prata was amazing. She always called me by my name. The entire staff were friendly, approachable and helpful. My only negative was it’s an older ship but it didn’t lack in any other areas! Easy embarking and disembarking. 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
This was my first cruise and I enjoyed myself so much that I didn't want it to end. The Carnival staff is just amazing! The cabin was so clean! The young men who cleaned our room Rust and Ting knew us by name and we had just arrived. ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I enjoyed myself so much that I didn't want it to end. The Carnival staff is just amazing! The cabin was so clean! The young men who cleaned our room Rust and Ting knew us by name and we had just arrived. They were so friendly I went to my room to get a few dollars for Rust and he started laughing and saying "Thank you." My roommate said "Yes, he knew you had never cruised. We tip them at the end. " This is how impressed I was with the service. The food was more than I had hoped for. I enjoyed the shrimp burritos and the burgers on the LIDO Deck. The dining room at the Wind Song is really nice with an exceptional staff. I tip my hat to Alex who is just a person with a beautiful soul. He is so devoted to the people he serves. He is also entertaining and humorous that our table was in tears laughing. Alex also has some sexy dance moves. The helpers Floyd and Putra stayed on top of things. Whenever we were done with one dish they were ready to serve the next one. Floyd and Alex did this trick balancing forks with toothpicks that blew our minds. I have to say Putra's smile is so contagious that I looked forward to seeing him each night. He also called me by name on the first night. I will always remember this wonderful staff. It is because of Alex that the people at our table wanted to get to know one another. The entertainment set up by the Cruise Director Gary and the Production Manger is a "Must See." The cast of the shows are so talented and you can't help but appreciate all the work they put in to entertain everyone. The "American Rock" show and The Brits were Awesome! I also enjoyed Gary's humor during The Love and Marriage Show. I enjoyed the different Trivia games every day. I got really close to winning the music trivia from 50's and 60's. I went to all the Effy jewelry raffles and didn't win anything. I did get a free charm bracelet. The two things I was so proud to see Gary take part in was the Military Appreciation and St. Jude Grove Fundraiser. It was an emotional day for some of the military men and my heart was heavy holding back the tears. I learned a new dance during St Jude Grove. It was a fun time. I also enjoyed Kim Harrison comedy show. She has one rather interesting song she came up with. The Bahamas has pretty blue waters. My shore excursion was the beautiful Atlantis. It is something I'm glad I got to see. My day at Princess Cays was spent on the beach which had rocky waters. I was so glad the rain stopped and I got to go for a walk. Embarkation day was just as easy getting off the ship as it was getting on. The staff does a great job at keeping the lines moving and making sure everything runs smoothly. Carnival Ecstasy, I think I love you! This South Carolina Girl Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Thought the ease of porting out of Charleston would be great-only a 3 hour drive. That's one of the good things about this cruise. Our cabin was on deck 4 with a two portholes. While we were sailing it sounded like we were hitting ... Read More
Thought the ease of porting out of Charleston would be great-only a 3 hour drive. That's one of the good things about this cruise. Our cabin was on deck 4 with a two portholes. While we were sailing it sounded like we were hitting something. Loud "bangs" and actually felt it. We asked our cabin steward what the noise was and were told it was usual noise. Wish we were told that BEFORE we booked as we would have tried another deck. When we were in port the sound of the engines running were so loud we couldn't take a nap due to poor sleeping at night. Nassau was a nice stop, but Carnivals private island was a poor experience. You couldn't really swim due to large rocks in entrance to ocean-even with water shoes. The food lines were crazy with more flies that people. We did enjoy Guy's burger joint and the crew member who made omelets every morning. Only ate at the main dining room one night. Our table for 2 was actually brushing elbows with the tables on either side of us so ate the same old food in the buffett night after night. Cruises usually go quickly but this one took forever as poor food & entertainment. This was our first and last cruise with Carnival. I wish other cruise lines would port from Charleston. 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
This cruise was booked for a birthday celebration. The group included 11 ladies split between 4 different cabins. This review is solely based on my cabin and experience. Charleston is a convenient port for those in the areas of ... Read More
This cruise was booked for a birthday celebration. The group included 11 ladies split between 4 different cabins. This review is solely based on my cabin and experience. Charleston is a convenient port for those in the areas of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and areas within driving distance. Although you can fly, the airport is a quick taxi ride to the port, this would get so much more use if they had more ships. Several people shared that the city of Charleston is only wanting one boat at a time using the port. Carnival is switching out the Ecstasy for the Sunshine in 2019. Embarkation was speedy, I made it through security and over to the check-in counter with ease. I was on the gangway within 10 minutes.Get there by 11 and you can get on the boat. They give you a special time on your boarding pass but it didn't seem to matter. Once on the boat the party was revving up on the Lido Deck. Guy's Burger Joint was ready as was the Blue Iguana Cantina and the lunch buffet. The pizza place at the very back of the Lido Deck was great, the Caesar salad was a HUGE hit. If you have the bubbles package (sodas, not alcohol) you need to pay SC tax while in port. Also, the bubbles/alcohol packages cannot be used on the private island or on room service. We were allowed to our cabins promptly at 1:30 and many bags were already there. We loved our room, small TV (not a ton of channels, not good if you are seasick or stuck in your room, thankfully we weren't). Bathroom was tiny but that's to be expected. Water pressure was not good, fuse blew when too many people were drying their hair and some cabin bathrooms had a slight odor but essential oils took care of that issue. We mustered around 3:30. This was a typical muster, we listened to the rules, walked up to where our lifeboat was and that was it. We didn't need to bring our vests. We sailed away and toured around the ship. It's a smaller ship, maybe 2000 people on board but, unless you walked the length of the boat on our deck (Deck 5 Main) we had to weasel in and out of rooms (mostly the casino on Deck 9) which was filled with cigarette smoke. There was awesome nightly entertainment near the China Town bar but the smoke kept us away. Piano Bar was fun, comedy was great, shows were great, the Love and Marriage show is always a winner and we were even able to watch the Super Bowl in the two lounges as well as the Lido Deck. The Alchemy Bar was awesome, martini tastings were a big hit and there were wonderful areas at the bar and in it's vicinity to sit and enjoy your drink. We had the late seating for dining and we LOVED it. Our server, Lucy, knew our names almost immediately, catered to the specialty dishes some of our party needed and was a delight over the entire trip. Support staff in the dining room was wonderful as well. The food was quite tasty overall, I have to admit, I was very pleasantly surprised (just ask the 8 pounds I brought home with me hahaha) Day 2 was all day at sea, the boat is older so we felt LOTS of rocking. Some didn't like that and had some sea sickness. Thankfully I didn't and found the rocking to be soothing and relaxing. Sea Day Brunch was another pleasant surprise- get the steak and eggs. The steak was tender and seasoned well. Omelets were good too I heard but on both sea days, during the brunch I got steak and eggs. The private island, Princess Cay, was great, the water was chilly and it was windy but we found a great pavilion with plenty of seats both in and out of the shade. The island lunch was okay, burgers with accouterments. Some of us headed back to the boat (you have to take a tender to and from the main ship) and before boarding you need to go through security so plan accordingly. I heard that as the time to board got closer, the lines were long, the sun was hot and if you wanted shade there were limited seats on the bottom of the tender. The next day we got to Nassau and opted to go to the Nassau Hilton, its right next door to Senor Frogs. $79 got you a day pass that included a $40 food/beverage credit to use, access to their private beach, pool, chairs, umbrellas etc. It was worth every penny. It was clean, quiet, not crowded at all. I would go there again in a heartbeat. The food was pricey, a burger was $19.75- so your credit doesn't go too far. Beachy adult beverages averaged around $10 as did a shot. Yup. A shot was $10. Note that there is a tax added to the food and drinks but gratuity is already included. On our way back, our second sea day, it was chilly- windy and somewhat cloudy so time on deck was limited. We had fun sleeping in, going to the sea day brunch, playing BINGO and taking naps. For our final dinner we headed back to the dining room (we went every night, the choices were great, rarely was there an issue choosing something yummy) and followed it up with the comedy club and show. The morning of debarkation was loud as I said above, the boat is old but don't let it deceive you, it was a really fun time. Plenty of places to relax, unwind and enjoy yourself. It's not a mega ship, it has few modern features but the size of it can be a good thing. The private beach day wasn't crowded, the deck always had seats available, getting on and off the boat happened with minimal wait time. We made our way back to the security building, grabbed our luggage (we left it outside our doors by 11pm the night before, you could carry it if you wanted to) and made it through customs quickly. I grabbed a taxi to the airport but others in my party waited in line for a shuttle to get them to the parking deck. If you are looking for a fun getaway, this is great for those on the east coast who don't want to go to the major ports. I may need to return when they put the Sunshine on rotation. Read Less
Sail Date February 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
This was my 3rd carnival cruise (4th overall). It was mostly as expected for carnival. Good entertainment and good food. The ship is smaller and older than others I have been on but they have made some updates. There is only one pool and ... Read More
This was my 3rd carnival cruise (4th overall). It was mostly as expected for carnival. Good entertainment and good food. The ship is smaller and older than others I have been on but they have made some updates. There is only one pool and the hot tubs were always completely full of 10 year olds, we couldn't even get our feet in. If you didnt get a chair before 9a, it was impossible to find one in the sun the rest of the day. I did not have this problem on other ships. Food overall was decent. The main dining room dinners take a longggg time and I noticed the buffet had most of the same food. The pizza place (although 24 hours) was shared with a grill so the line was long. Several times they didn't have anything available and I had to wait 10-15 minutes for my food. The comedy club had the same person every night but with a different show. I did appreciate the different drink menus at each bar. My biggest complaint was several floors smelled strongly of raw sewage for the last 2 days and they couldn't seem to do anything about it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
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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