116 Charleston Romantic Cruise Reviews

We went on this cruise to join some family and it was my very 1st cruise. Embarkment was delayed due to a medical emergency, but it felt good to know that I was boarding a ship that they made sure to take care of that person, when they ... Read More
We went on this cruise to join some family and it was my very 1st cruise. Embarkment was delayed due to a medical emergency, but it felt good to know that I was boarding a ship that they made sure to take care of that person, when they were only one of out of about 3,000. Kudos to the Captain for that. We were offered an upgrade to the Cloud 9 Spa deck and so GLAD we upgraded. I did 3 UltraThermie's with Nombali who was wonderful. Such a sweet girl. And I got great results! Will definitely do that again! Also got a massage and an an updo which all were wonderful as well! The Serenity deck was awesome and up just one flight of stairs and there! There were elevators, but chose to take the stairs. Having the Eucalyptus room available was nice as the smoke going through casino to the dining room really took it's tole on me having suffered with lung issues in the past..Finally figured out to go to Deck 7, walk to the other end of the ship, then take the stairs down to avoid the casino. The deck above the casino smelled like smoke too. Glad our room was far away. The waterfall Serenity Deck was also enjoyable and we really had no problem finding space at most any given time. Dining rooms had awesome food overall. To me, they serve too much food. I do like Lido deck breakfasts over the buffet. Buffet breakfast is good but unless you buy a glass of fresh squeezed juice for $5, there is no fruit. I can control my portions so as to not waste food and have them throw half of it away at Lido. Love the Bonsai Sushi. Wish they had a Seafood Shack as I have heard good things about them. Guy's Burgers are not for me, dripping in grease .555 Fahrenheit Steakhouse was great, but again, too much food. They need to offer lesser options for less money. We enjoyed our balcony room on Cloud 9 Spa, Deck 10, but not all elevators go that high. Overall, that did not present a problem for us though. Balcony was large enough for the two of us with a table. They did only clean the room once and we rarely saw our Steward. Tipped housekeeping but he was no where around most of the time. Mikey, the cruise director, was just constantly full of energy and so much fun. The Motown night and the 1980's night were awesome in the Atrium. He kept people entertained on Lido during the day as well. We saw two stage shows which were fantastically done. Don't know how those dancers do it on a rocking ship! Saw 1 comedian that was okay. Don't need to hear the "F" word so much though. Drinks were enjoyed by family at The Altitude, with beer available for my husband just across the Ocean Plaza. At Nausau, we booked the Holiday/Hilton Inn on our own for a Resort for Day. We were able to walk there and the beach was awesome. We had a dedicated server that brought drinks and food. Recommend the Mahi ceasar salad for $9.00 for lunch. Water was beautiful. You do go through the locals that want to braid hair, etc., but if just decline and keep moving, it's all good, and just part of it. They are just trying to make a living. Half Moon Cay as wonderful. They do fill the boats to get you there, but once there, it was awesome. We parked on chairs outside the Pirate Ship bar in the front row. Put your sandals and lotion on the chairs if you go into the water as the tides will float them away in the first 2 rows if you don't. Buffet lunch was good and the rice and chicken were outstanding. Island is beautiful. Best to wear your flip flops when going to the bathrooms as the floors are tiled and often wet. Beautiful island and would go back time and time again. Debarkation went smoothly. The elevators do shut down periodically for a few minutes when they are picking up luggage, but it cleared in about 10-15 minutes. Great cruise, great ship and would do it again. Better signage to help you get around the smoking areas would be helpful - and get a Seafood Shack on this ship! Charleston is a wonderful town to port out of and we enjoyed spending some extra time there. Hyman's Seafood was excellent with the best hush puppies ever! The Crab Shack and Oyster Bar downtown are also excellent. We did the Morris Island tour as well which was enjoyable, but bring a jacket if it is cold at all. They have a shack of a restaurant there that gets flat out busy at night - bucket of oysters for $16 plus other seafood. Not fine dining atmosphere though. Magnolia Farms is also worth seeing. Take the train ride - the guy that runs it is a hoot! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife's birthday was on the 12 of September. Bermuda was her first choice and Charleston was an easy commute from our home in NC. It was to be my birthday present to her. Once on board we were met by the "happiest and ... Read More
My wife's birthday was on the 12 of September. Bermuda was her first choice and Charleston was an easy commute from our home in NC. It was to be my birthday present to her. Once on board we were met by the "happiest and friendliest" crew compared to all our previous 13 plus cruises. While the Sunshine did show some "bumps and bruises" showing her age; the crew definitely made up for it. We all thought their most positive attitude stemmed from the top: Captain Lorenzo. To quote a familiar military phrase, " he leads from the front." His pleasing personality was always on display. Most significantly to this writer was the effort he and "Freddie," the head of Guest Services went to on my wife special day : having her picture taken with the Captain, Champagne at the dining table, special birthday cake, singing Happy Birthday by the Matte D's and personal appearance by the Captain and Freddie to wish her a Happy Birthday. My wife's reaction is hard to put into words but she did say at the time, "this will be remembered as the most special birthday and one I will remember the rest of my life." I think besides my wife's misty reaction - all in attendence also got a little moist around the eyes. The rest of the cruise was a very happy experience with the ever present greeting from every crew person, "Good morning or Day" with those broad smiles. To sum up this review, "we just finished a cruise with the happiest crew in the Carnival fleet." Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our very 1st cruise, and even though we got rained out in our ports of call and some on the ship,we had a blast! i don't think we were even in Half Moon Cay 2hrs when the Captain pulled the plug, we were thankful for a ... Read More
This was our very 1st cruise, and even though we got rained out in our ports of call and some on the ship,we had a blast! i don't think we were even in Half Moon Cay 2hrs when the Captain pulled the plug, we were thankful for a Captain looking out for our safety! i honestly can't say enough about the staff/crew, they were all amazing! ESPECIALLY when it came to the elderly & special needs on board. I'm one to watch people, and i observed over and over the special care & priority that they took with the elderly and special needs, i was highly impressed! even if you don't drink/party {we don't} you will have a great time on board! also, the cruise director, Adam Cornes, was awesome & SO funny... I would go again just to hear him! i've also got to say, i was very pleased with our room steward, Joel, a very nice man & very diligent! I'm already in the process of planning another Sunshine cruise with my sisters, for my 50th birthday next year! Lova Mull Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
First off let me say that I am not an avid cruiser. This was my 5th cruise in a 20 year span. My family and I have always cruised Royal Caribbean and decided to give Carnival a shot since the port is only 3.5 hours from our home. To begin ... Read More
First off let me say that I am not an avid cruiser. This was my 5th cruise in a 20 year span. My family and I have always cruised Royal Caribbean and decided to give Carnival a shot since the port is only 3.5 hours from our home. To begin with I had a lot of questions about the Carnival process and came here to Cruise Critic for help and it paid off. Learning the little tricks of the ship and shore excursions from past guest definitely added to our experience. Let me start with the embarkment process. First you will arrive at the port and the folks there will unload your vehicle for you and take your luggage onboard for you. Make sure you tip the guy a few bucks! Then you will be directed to park. Be prepared to walk about 200 yards to the main building for check in. Not a bad walk at all. Have your Birth Certificate and Driver's License in your hand. A passport is great but not necessary. Once in that building you move pretty quick. They will then direct you to the charter buses outside to take you to the boarding ramp. Tip the bus driver a few bucks! Once you are on the boarding ramp you will be directed to the security baggage check line. You will then place your carry on onto a scanner machine where the friendly security folks will run it through their machine. After that you are on your way! The total time my wife and I spent at the port was about 25 minutes total and we did not purchase "Faster to The Fun" from Carnival. Once onboard you will notice friendly/Inviting staff that will answer any question. Your stateroom will not be available to 1:30 so head up to Deck 9 and grab lunch and try everything! Be aware that the tea is unsweet and the cups are very small. Once our room was available we headed up and settled in to our cabin. Our cabin number was 11008. It was on the Serenity Deck level which is adult only. Our cabin steward was Emerson and he was awesome. He made our stay comfortable and answered every question we had. Our room was a balcony suite and worth the extra money. The bed was very, very comfortable and I am very picky about where I sleep. The pillows were vey soft and big. The room itself was bigger than others we have stayed in on RC and perfect for two adults. The bathroom was big as well. The soap that is supplied for guest on the ship does not lather well so bring your own. In all our cabin was great with exception of the soap so all is good so far. After we got settleed we headed out to explore the ship and found ourselves at the Serentity Spa. Big mistake! The staff there were friendly and took my wife and I on a tour of the spa. Big mistake. They were boarderline pushy about selling their products and it detered my wife and I from ever going back in there even though we had free spa treatment vouchers given to us because we booked a Serenity Suite Room. On to the food! The Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse is the best. You will not regret it. The steaks are amazing. It cost my wife and I $38 a piece to eat there and it is a 4 course meal! The cheese cake is huge and unlike anything Ive ever eaten in the cheesecake world. Amazing! It was so good, we ate there twice. The ships buffet on deck 9 was good but Guys Burgers was great. I ate alot of Guys Burgers and they are free. The breakfast buffet is good and has just about everything you could ask for. The coffee is below average and the juices provided were average but satisfiying. On tuesday night my wife and I tried the Main Dining room. They seated us right away but that was it. We sat there for about 10 minutes and that was it. We got up and left. We then went up to the Cucina del Capiitano restaurant. It was great. The best Italian food we have ever eaten. Now for the entertainment on the cruise. The shows were good and the cast were above average performers. Adam the cruise director was great and James kept everyone laughing. However Ty was rude at times with guest and at one point told a lady that came in the wrong door to never do that again. He told her this over the PA system and made that lady look like a child. She reacted to his lecture alot better than I would have. That was totally uncalled for on Ty's behalf. Very unprofessional. Onto excurisions. Half Moon Cay was the best!! Better than any beach we have ever seen. Make sure you get off the boat early to get the best chairs but if you dont, no worries they have plenty. You do not need towels from the boat. They provide them on the island. The sand there is unbelievable and the water is perfect. The most amazing beach ever! Did I mention amazing enough about this beach? Bring your own snorkle gear and an inflatable float. It will save you money and you will have plenty of room to just float around and enjoy the sun. No beach that RC or Disney has can compare to Half Moon Cay! Now about Nassau. My wife and I booked the Blue Lagoon VIP Beach Day. It was just ok. The beach was rocky, very dangerous if you are elderly or someone with previous health injuries like neck or back surgery The staff on Blue Lagoon were very nice and attended to our every need. The VIP excursion came with snorkle gear and bottled water all day. The lunch buffet was really good and the staff was was very friendly. Also if you decide to do this exersion bring water shoes and towels! YOU WILL NEED WATER SHOES!!!!! Very rocky beach. Our overall experience was good with Carnival. The only problems we saw that Carnival could do much better at is the muster drill that happens pre-sail and exiting the boat for excursions. It is organized chaos and causes stairway roadrage with guest. Guest are literally shoulder to shoulder and nobody can move. if you dont like confined spaces wait till the crowd clears to head out. The disemarkment process was well organized. You have a choice of carrying your own luggage off or checking your luggage. If you can carry your stuff then do it but if you pack like my wife, check your luggage. The process is super easy and they will call you by tag numbers depending on the tag number you pick the night before disemarkment. No worries. If you check your bags, they will be waiting on you in the building where the US Customs Security team await. The US Customs Officers are friendly and do a great job getting you through the line fairley quickly. Once you get through customs, you and your luggage will then be directed to the charter buses to take you back to the parking lot. If your luggage is heavy, the porters there will carry them for you to the buses. Tip them! When you get to the buses they will load your luggage on trailers to carry them back to the parking lot. When you exit the buses at the parking lot, your luggage will be right there waiting on you. No worries. Then off you go back to the real world. We really enjoyed our first Carnival experience and will probably do it again. Hope this helped. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Absolutely awful cruise to go on as a honeymoon, should have just spent the entire week in Charleston instead of getting on the boat. Cons: Drinks should not include 18 percent gratuity for just grabbing a beer out of the cooler and ... Read More
Absolutely awful cruise to go on as a honeymoon, should have just spent the entire week in Charleston instead of getting on the boat. Cons: Drinks should not include 18 percent gratuity for just grabbing a beer out of the cooler and should not be around 8 ish per beer. Toilets had no water in them and I had to fill the toilet with water just to get everything down. Breakfast was awful, lunch selections good, service at dinner all but two nights was terrible and should not have charged us the extra server tip. Definitely not worth the money. Not enough selection of engaging events for mid 20 year olds when it rained all day when we were at seas on those specific days. Did not purchase alcohol package and glad we didn’t bc you can’t even use it at half moon cay. Had our drinks confiscated from us at the beginning and they didn’t give a damn about returning them to us at the end of the cruise. 1 bottle of wine per person and they couldn’t even return it to us. Lunch on half moon cay was decent but had to stand in a line forever to get it. They sit you like a foot from dinner guests and we personally like space when we eat. Don’t want to listen to others conversations. Things advertised on website are not the same as what is actually on ship. Laundry rooms suck and do not dry clothes even though they advertise as being new. Pros Nice room stewards Half moon cay is beautiful Overall: would not recommend this to a young couple who have other bills to pay, they will stick you with every little thing they can. Will not be going on carnival again. Nothing is engaged towards our age group when weather doesn’t allow you to lay by pools. If someone from carnival sees this they should just refund our money bc it was not geared towards our age group as we walked around bored the two days it rained when we were at sea. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
I have cruised before with carnival a great experience on Fantasy but this cruise on Ecstasy was terrible. The food was disgusting the only thing i could eat was Guys burger joint and ice cream. The ship and my room had a horrible smell ... Read More
I have cruised before with carnival a great experience on Fantasy but this cruise on Ecstasy was terrible. The food was disgusting the only thing i could eat was Guys burger joint and ice cream. The ship and my room had a horrible smell like a septic tank. I was not given a bootle to open on the last nighth of the cruise the bar tenders were rude. The stateroom steward was awesome. The ride going was rocky and the entire boat was sick. No storms so I was confused why it was that bad. Icalled to report all my issues to carvial, I was told they would research and call me back based on this site everyone was complaining so unsure what you need to research. I havent heard from them yet.I read this was training ship no wonder it was horrible. I would never go on Ecstasy again!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We cannot tell you how excited we were to leave on 1/6/19. We were eloping, taking our first cruise, and my soon-to-be husband was leaving the country for the first time. His name is Brandon. That'll be in important here in a second. ... Read More
We cannot tell you how excited we were to leave on 1/6/19. We were eloping, taking our first cruise, and my soon-to-be husband was leaving the country for the first time. His name is Brandon. That'll be in important here in a second. We get ready on the morning of the 9th for our wedding and go to the library to have our ceremony. The officiant is reading a manual on how to perform weddings when we arrive. That's a little odd but whatever, we get it. Wanna stay sharp. The ceremony begins. The officiant seems nervous but heck, so are we! He talks about marriage for a minute and then launches into the canned vows... my fiance and I have brought our personalized vows with us written on cards. We both stumble through the generic ones thinking ... maybe ours will go after that? What is happening? Then the officiant calls my fiance JUSTIN and we both look at each other. Something is very wrong. He then has us bow our heads and starts a prayer. Neither my husband or I have any problem bowing our heads for a prayer at other ceremonies. We however never approved a prayer for our own wedding day and certainly wouldn't have approved THIS ONE. Is it too much to ask to just be given what you paid for on your wedding day? Before we left for the cruise, the wedding planner and I had a very clear email thread where the details for the ceremony were mapped out. They weren't anything special but they were what we wanted; we were an easy couple! At no point did anyone even ask us about a prayer. I was even sent a script for the generic wedding that I edited minimally and sent back - at their request. Why did I go through any of that if they weren't going to use any of it?! Later, when we were back in our room and had recited our ACTUAL vows sitting beside one another on the bed, my husband said that during the middle of the ceremony, once he could tell there had been a mix up, he wanted to just interrupt and say "can we just do the pictures so we can go?" I completely understood what he meant. It felt like a bad dream. So we get home, and I send a colorful email to the carnival wedding team ON THE SAME THREAD where all of our instructions for the wedding were approved in clear detail, and let them know that something went very wrong. They offer me a couple hundred dollar refund for the officiant's service, which was clearly botched. Yeah, our ceremony was something out of a bad romantic comedy, but i'll just take a couple hundred bucks instead of a full refund for our wedding. Sure. So, they tell me a resolution team will contact me within 7 business days. I wait. Those business days come and go. No one has contacted me. It's been weeks. I reply on the active thread demanding they at least give ME the email address of this illusive department that was supposed to contact me. Crickets. This is a nightmare. I have yet to hear anything back. So, in tears today, I filed my first ever better business bureau complaint against Carnival. If you had told us. before our wedding, that we'd be sitting on some BBB website, filing a claim against the company that would perform our wedding, I would have laughed. I'm the type of person who would rather keep something I don't like than deal with the hassle of getting a refund. So, I do not recommend carnival cruise line for anything purely based on their indifference to handling what is a truly sad situation for my husband and myself. But also because the food was completely underwhelming, the bed in our ultra fancy suite [literally the nicest room we could purchase] was two twin beds pushed together where they slide apart if anyone tries to lay remotely close to the center - just what we were hoping for on our honeymoon, because there was cigarette smoke wafting into different non-smoking and unavoidable areas of the ship at all times, and because the entire trip felt like a weird upsell designed to get us to spend more money. One positive: the staff that maintained our rooms was SUPER kind and personable and did an amazing job Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Embarkation was very easy. We were on the ship early. No waiting for ID photos any longer. They scan the picture from your passport, on the ship in 20 minutes. We had a great time. Dining room every night. Enjoyed every meal ... Read More
Embarkation was very easy. We were on the ship early. No waiting for ID photos any longer. They scan the picture from your passport, on the ship in 20 minutes. We had a great time. Dining room every night. Enjoyed every meal there. Had the seven course meal at the chef's table, it was a great experience. The tour of the galley was very interesting. It's almost unbelievable they prepare 10,000 meals per day on the ship. Hats off to Nant our cabin steward. Room was cleaned every time we turned around. Never ever ran out of ice. Hadi did a great job at the Red Rum Bar. I kept him running with buckets of beer. Pookie danced the night away at the Casino bar. The band there is great. They can play anything. Would really like to see them again. Went to the late night party on the Serenity Deck. Twerking was the order of the day. Met some great new friends. All in all it was a great trip, would do it again. Older ship but first class service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We love Carnival , just not this ship. If you have never been on other carnival ships or this was your first cruise it was ok ,but I would suggest you try another ship and see what you are missing. Room service was very good but that was ... Read More
We love Carnival , just not this ship. If you have never been on other carnival ships or this was your first cruise it was ok ,but I would suggest you try another ship and see what you are missing. Room service was very good but that was the only thing on par with their other ships. MDR service was slow and poor, waiters mixed up orders and we had to repeatedly ask for things such as after dinner coffee. A lot of the events we attended were unorganized and were late getting started. The casino , which I tend to spend a lot of time in , was lackluster and had no feeling of energy and excitement. Workers very unfriendly. Liquor purchased onboard was not delivered to your cabin on the last night,but had to be picked up at 6am in one of the lounges the last morning. This was a mess! I got their about 5:40 to find about 30 people waiting . By the time came to pick up your order there were probably about 150 tired people outside fighting over which way the line was running and who got to go in first. Employees on hand just stood by and made no attempt to intervene into a situation that was not going well. If this would have been our first cruise we might hesitate going back but experience tells us not to judge by this ship. we are already book on Carnival again ,but will not go back on this ship 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
This was a wonderful trip! I have been on several cruises, but this was my husbands first. We were traveling for our honeymoon. The staff was absolutely fantastic and the attention to detail was amazing. Retchie, the man in charge of ... Read More
This was a wonderful trip! I have been on several cruises, but this was my husbands first. We were traveling for our honeymoon. The staff was absolutely fantastic and the attention to detail was amazing. Retchie, the man in charge of our rooms, was fabulous - not only did he greet us by name in the hall every time he saw us, but he went above and beyond daily, from icing down beverages we'd left in our room, to offering to take our picture the night of the captains dinner! We found the waitstaff to be equally amazing, they remembered us from day to day, greeted us happily. One night at our formal dinner, we were even surprised with a cake that said "happy honeymoon". It was an experience we won't forget. I'm not sure what magic Carnival uses to seat people together, but we got along great with all the other couples at our table, and have even kept in touch with some after the cruise! The ship itself was wonderful and clean. Some reviews claimed it was small, but we found there was plenty to explore, even with two days at sea at each end of the trip. We especially liked the adult-only area where the hot tubs were, as it was very quiet. The mini golf was also lots of fun. The food was wonderful, we often opted to go to the seated dining areas for breakfast, as we prefer a sit-down meal and these were wonderful. The buffet areas did offer a good selection, and on the days of our excursions we did go there instead. Guys Burger Joint was also a neat experience with good food. Our cruise stopped at Grand Turk, which was gorgeous. We would absolutely go here again, and although we loved our excursion (horseback riding), if we went again we would be content to just shop and enjoy the beach and bars, the island was very safe and it was so gorgeous and easy to get around that the excursion wasn't needed to enjoy the stop. We also stopped at a cruise-ship owned area of the Dominican. I would not go back to the Dominican again, but to no fault of the cruiseline. I found the beaches to be basic, and the area in general very poverty-stricken. However, the staff was friendly, we did an all inclusive beach day excursion that was decently priced for what it included. The only thing worth noting about embarking would be that prior to the muster station meeting, all restaurants close down. We hadn't gotten lunch yet, and they closed about an hour prior to the meeting, so we were rather hungry when they opened back up. Not a huge deal, we know for next time to eat first, I just wish that had been a bit more clear. Overall, a great trip. I've cruised several times with Carnival and have never been disappointed! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have used Carnival before and this was our second time on this particular ship. It is an older ship, but is kept very clean, what it lacks in glamour, the staff make up for in a positive attitude! First and foremost- our room ... Read More
We have used Carnival before and this was our second time on this particular ship. It is an older ship, but is kept very clean, what it lacks in glamour, the staff make up for in a positive attitude! First and foremost- our room stewards, Dedi & Sasha were excellent! They gave us extra towels, kept ice in our rooms and always stopped to socialize and ensure that our needs were met! Thanks so much guys! Cruise director, Deon was wonderful! We really enjoyed the music trivia nights with him and Double D. Also, a big thank you to Dan & Steffan for hosting the comedy shows and being so friendly! Johnny Milwater, Cee Jay Jones, Thomas Brown and Jodi White put on great comedy shows and we had lots of laughs! A special thanks to LexAppeal for your nightly performances and the rock show - we thoroughly enjoyed watching and listening to all of you! Thanks to Bandit and the burger guys, we love Guy's burgers! The pixel staff was wonderful as well! Reymond and Made were very attentive on the smoking deck as well, thanks guys for keeping everything cleaned up. We would like to send a special thanks to all of the dining and housekeeping staff on the Lido deck. The only negative thing about the cruise was the long wait for the dining room on cruise formal night. It took 45 minutes to get in the dining room and another 45 minutes to get our appetizer. That was very disappointing, but the good was good! Overall, we had a great experience and would definitely do it again! Thanks to everyone that made the trip wonderful, we met some wonderful people and thoroughly enjoyed our 5th Carnival Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I love Carnival, I thought the good was delicious, the staff was very friendly, ship was clean, it was a wonderful vacation. This was my 15th cruise so I do know what I am talking about. The captain is a sweetheart, the comedy shows was ... Read More
I love Carnival, I thought the good was delicious, the staff was very friendly, ship was clean, it was a wonderful vacation. This was my 15th cruise so I do know what I am talking about. The captain is a sweetheart, the comedy shows was hilarious. I went to all of the comedy shows. Guys burgers was so delicious i could eat them every day. The brunch at sea was my favorite meal. The filet mignon for breakfast was always cooked to perfection. The prime rib at dinner was yum. Our cabin guy was very good at his job. I liked how Carnival allowed us to buy a liter of crown royal for our room. We will be going back next month and taking our five grandchildren with us.they do enjoy cruising and they enjoy camp ocean and the green eggs and ham breakfast. Carnival keep up the good work. Read Less
Sail Date November 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
Carnival Ecstasy is overrated... Pool area is super small. Unless you get out early and reserve a lounge chair with your towel, you won't get a spot near the pool. Serenity Adult only area is pretty small as well. Hard to get a ... Read More
Carnival Ecstasy is overrated... Pool area is super small. Unless you get out early and reserve a lounge chair with your towel, you won't get a spot near the pool. Serenity Adult only area is pretty small as well. Hard to get a longer chair there, too. Drinks were abundantly available and flowing on day 1. After that, don't rely on anyone coming around for your drink order. You will wait in LONG lines to get your drink. Food was not great. Repetative menu. Buffett area was so hot, we were sweating while trying to eat. Main dining was okay. NOTHING spectacular in any food location! Room service menu also disappointing. You CANNOT use your Cheers! drink card when ordering room service. So much for enjoying that cocktail in your room. VIP Luxury Sailing Shore excursion was a FLOP! Snorkling gear fell off of boat while traveling to reef site. Spent over an hour trying to locate gear. Finally gave up looking and we were told we could swim instead. Paid $105 each for a snorkel excursion. DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY. Our room staff were GREAT! Always clean and never had to ask for anything. Overall, we were super disappointed. Won't be cruising on that boat again. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
The Port of Charleston was a breeze for both embarkation and disemabarkation which is a huge plus. The ecstacy is definitely showing age but our cabin was clean and comfortable. Our Cabin steward was fantastic! Service everywhere was ... Read More
The Port of Charleston was a breeze for both embarkation and disemabarkation which is a huge plus. The ecstacy is definitely showing age but our cabin was clean and comfortable. Our Cabin steward was fantastic! Service everywhere was great and most seemed happy to serve you. This wasn't my first cruise so I had high expectations regarding food. The Lido buffet did not offer as many selections or variety as the larger ships. I love eating the buffets but was very disappointed. I agree with the person who stated it was like eating at Golden Corral. The breakfast at the buffet was good, however. The food in the dining room was ok but nothing outstanding. The desserts seemed flavorless except for the chocolate melting cake..it was amazing! The drinks seemed watered down. The premixed drinks supposedly had alcohol...I couldn't tell. Lots of young kids on this trip and it seemed geared toward them Kids taking up bar stools at the bars, filling up the hot tub, etc. With one pool, the trip would have been a disaster had the weather been hot. Two thousand people trying to keep cool in one very small pool..thank goodness it wasn't hot. Went to the first show of one of the comedians and it was ok...he was funny but it was the family friendly show so he had kids in his act. The cruise director Brittney worked her butt off! She was great! Didn't do a shore excursion so I can't comment on them. I'm not a cheap person..I like to spend money, but they seemed over priced. I just didn't choose to take one. One thing I saw as a fail on Carnival's part was having loud music playing in the atrium bar which is right next to guest services. I had asked a question at guest services and could not hear the staff when they were talking. The accents sometimes are difficult to understand but with music blaring I couldn't hear him. He could have made a better effort to speak up but Since he didn't I had to lean over the counter and keep asking him to repeat himself. Relocate guest services. Unless my family insists, I won't sail the Ecstacy again. If I do it will be because of the Charleston port and not the ship. Despite my disappointment I had a good time because it was vacation. Would love to sail Carnival again but will check out the other cruise lines before I do. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Had a great time. This was my 6th Cruise, 5th Carnival, first time on Ecstasy, first time going out of Charleston (even though I live there). We did FTTF which I love. I am notoriously cheap on my cruises, don’t get the soda package ... Read More
Had a great time. This was my 6th Cruise, 5th Carnival, first time on Ecstasy, first time going out of Charleston (even though I live there). We did FTTF which I love. I am notoriously cheap on my cruises, don’t get the soda package or Cheers, don’t gamble, don’t do expensive excursions but I like getting on the ship early, my room being ready right away, my luggage arriving early and one of the first to get off the ship. The Charleston port was super easy to get through. Since we live about 20 mins away from the port, my mom dropped us off at 10:30. We had to wait outside the gate for about 45 mins. but once we were inside the terminal, it was quick check in and boarding. Yes, the ship is old, but I feel like they are doing a decent job of maintaining it especially after the dry dock a few years back. I saw a few spots where paint was peeling but the ship was clean and didn’t have a lot of noticeable maintenance issues. My husband and I both agreed that the crew on this ship was top notch. Everyone was smiling and truly seemed happy to be working on this ship. The Lido was extremely well run. We saw the supervisor many, many times throughout the week. He is very hands-on and does a great job of leading his staff. The food was typical Carnival Lido food. I think the pizza at Pizza Pirate is great . Guys Burgers always good as well as Blue Iguana. But why don’t they serve tortilla chips to go with the awesome salsa bar. Next time I’ll remember to bring a bag on the ship. I’m not a fan of Carnival desserts but I really love the chocolate chip cookies and the other cookies they serve. Not sure what they are... they look like Chocolate Chip without the chips. They don’t always have the cookies out at the Lido but you can order them in room service anytime. I didn’t try the Deli but tbh it didn’t look very appetizing. The wait staff in the MDR was outstanding. We did YTD and had a different waiter each night. They were all superb. One again super friendly and fun. We had to wait about 20 mins one night for a table (we showed up around 6:15 I think) but no wait on the other nights. The soups were all very good... French Onion, Navy Bean and Ham, Beef Lentil, all good. My husband loved the Beef Brisket. They used to have pie alamode on the menu each night but this time, only 2 nights of pie. One night cherry, one night Apple. Both very good. We stayed in Room M9. Front of 5th deck. Our room attendant was good. His name was Rudita (Rudy for short). He asked us on the first day if we wanted morning and night service or just one or the other. We picked morning only and that ended up being fine. We had good weather. The ship rocked a bit at times but I always take motion control meds the first few days as a preventative and I had no problems. The ship did not feel crowded at all. I had never been in Feb and it is definitely a quieter bunch of passengers. Not a lot of kids, no Spring Breakers... mostly couples and older people. But with that being said, still a great group of people. We met so many nice couples.. a couple from Myrtle Beach celebrating their 50th anniversary, a couple from Raleigh who were retired, doing a back to back and already on their 4th cruise this year (they did 27 in 2017!), two couples on their honeymoon, a couple from Charleston that loved baseball like we do. Most people were from the Carolinas, Virginia or Georgia and I don’t recall ever cruising with a more friendly, laid back group ( maybe because most left their kids at home lol). We are big fans of Punchliner comedy but the two comedians this week were just so-so. That’s ok. We still had fun! I love Carnival. I like the crew, like the Comedy, like being able to do my own laundry, like the food better than Royal, like the people who cruise with me. My favorite ship is the Magic but I liked the Ecstasy too. There’s a lot to be said for not having to get up at 7 am to get a deck chair, not having to wait a half hour in line for my burger, not feeling claustrophobic when I walk through throngs of people. Another great trip for us! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was our third sailing with Carnival, and our last. This ship is old, and needs a complete face lift. Paint was pealing all over the deck. The food was mediocre. The breakfast buffet was the same everyday, as was the lunch buffet. We ... Read More
This was our third sailing with Carnival, and our last. This ship is old, and needs a complete face lift. Paint was pealing all over the deck. The food was mediocre. The breakfast buffet was the same everyday, as was the lunch buffet. We were drinking what we thought was iced tea, only to see one of the staff pour in a container that said "iced tea flavoring mix"..... The buffet felt more like a mess hall in the military. Plastic platters, short little yellow and green cups, silverware wrapped in old faded napkins. The only night we had dinner in the dining room, it was very rushed. We sat down, were given our menus and literally a minute later the waiter asked if we were ready to order. We said we needed a few more minutes, he did a heavy sigh and walked away. After we did order, the food came out fast. It was not a great experience. Guy's Burger Joint was about the best food on the cruise! The Comedy shows were great, just wish they were a bit longer. The staff was personable and helpful. Our stateroom was average. It was in need of paint and refurbishing. There is not a way to adjust the temperature in the room, so we had cold air blowing on us all night. Our room steward was exceptional! There needs to be a larger adult only area. The weather was not great on our cruise, but the one day it was warm and you could swim and catch some sun, the pool was filled with kids... the hot tubs were filled with kids. Had the same problem on my other two Carnival Cruises. Embarkation and Debarkation was smooth and stress free. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We mainly chose it because Charleston is a close drive for us, but also because we've cruised on the Ecstasy before and really loved it! It's an older ship and it definitely shows in wear, but we still think it's a beautiful ... Read More
We mainly chose it because Charleston is a close drive for us, but also because we've cruised on the Ecstasy before and really loved it! It's an older ship and it definitely shows in wear, but we still think it's a beautiful ship and we had a fantastic time. All the crew members were so friendly and helpful, and always took the time to chat with us and tell us some great stories. The entertainment staff did a fantastic job putting on some great shows and parties for us. The Comedian Doug Williams was HILARIOUS!! Definitely enjoyed his shows the most out of all we've seen. The food was excellent for every meals, and we loved the addition of Guy's Burgers and the new Cantina - the burritos are fantastic! Princess Cays was absolutely breathtaking, gorgoues beaches and the water is the bluest I'eve ever soon. Would definitely go for a 3rd time on the Ecstasy! 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
This was our first trip aboard ACL and the small ship experience was totally perfect for us. Staff were friendly and helpful. Loved the food by Chef Jose - tried almost all the seafood they had to offer each meal. Happy hour in the ... Read More
This was our first trip aboard ACL and the small ship experience was totally perfect for us. Staff were friendly and helpful. Loved the food by Chef Jose - tried almost all the seafood they had to offer each meal. Happy hour in the lounge included drinks and appetizers. Sometimes those appetizers were enough to be a dinner by themselves! Being from the west coast the history of each port was fascinating to both of us. We had never heard of "tabby" as a building material nor the "Gullah" community in the low country. Our docent on that trip was extremely knowledgeable about the history/people/culture of the Southeast. The rear cabins can get a little noisy when sailing / docking since they're over the props/engine & thrusters. Otherwise we loved the room and balcony. Be aware the Jacksonville dock isn't available currently, we had to disembark in Fernandina, Fla and bus ride to the airport / hotels after that. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Was looking for a cruise near where I could go see a Miami Dolphin, and an Atlanta Falcons football game. Charleston was the best fit time and location wise. Don't get me wrong aspects of the cruise were good, but never great. The ... Read More
Was looking for a cruise near where I could go see a Miami Dolphin, and an Atlanta Falcons football game. Charleston was the best fit time and location wise. Don't get me wrong aspects of the cruise were good, but never great. The food was good in the dining room, but lousy in the buffet. Drinks were very measured on the alcohol, but with the cheers program 15 a day was plenty. One Comedian was good(Jerome) the other meh(Terranova). The crew led activities were at best bad to really terrible. (trivia by far the least entertaining, and unfortunately the most often) Of my 12 or so cruises this was the worst. Guest services totally unfriendly, and completely unhelpful. The bartenders were by far the worst ever. Roque in the buffet area needs to find a new career. The Alchemy bar gets offended if you order a beer. "We're a martini bar, try somewhere else" Don't pre-pay your gratuities. Our cabin steward "MADE" only made the room once on a five day cruise. There was one bright spot a Barista named AYSA. Best coffee I have had on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was so last minute, but very exciting, you see I was on this ship when she first arrived in 1991 my very first time cruising. ECSTASY has been very well maintained plus a few changes. I will begin with yes we drove from New York ... Read More
This was so last minute, but very exciting, you see I was on this ship when she first arrived in 1991 my very first time cruising. ECSTASY has been very well maintained plus a few changes. I will begin with yes we drove from New York to South Carolina, we decided to drive down the day before. First we looked into a hotel that would be close by found A Best Western and this worked for us just fine. Up early and ready to cruise, drove to port followed instructors and the process began, very smooth. Went to cafe nice lunch, and before you knew it cabins were ready. Cabin E187 was nice, neat and clean. Met the room steward Ma’de ( always w/ a smile and could not do enough for us including getting us a bed ( our cabin had an upper berth). We had the anytime dinning and this worked for us. Food was excellent, first night I chose the pork chop with carmelized onions with apples, tender as tender can ever get. Everything else I chose was just as good. Scallops, shrimp, dinners just as good. The boy friend enjoyed the steaks and pork chops. Entertainment : plenty to enjoy. Lots of activity to choose from. Carnival never disappoints. Did an excursion, a tour with shopping enjoyed the tour lots of information re: the island of Freeport. Loved loved loved the private island. Boyfriend did the snorkeling excursion said it was great - me I enjoyed the PI. PS. It was great seeing the ROLLS ROYCE AGAIN ! Opps! Almost forgot $$$ Casino was great ! And yes I would book last minute again Read Less
Sail Date November 2017

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