3 Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Mexican Riviera from Galveston

We were so excited to be going on vacation on our first cruise with our 3 yr. old and 6 yr. old. However, as soon as we stepped on the ship we noticed the foul, musty smell and also noticed how ugly the carpet and interior was. Kind of ... Read More
We were so excited to be going on vacation on our first cruise with our 3 yr. old and 6 yr. old. However, as soon as we stepped on the ship we noticed the foul, musty smell and also noticed how ugly the carpet and interior was. Kind of surprising. But it was ok, there was lots of fun to be had. Who cares, we'll get used to the smell and just won't worry about the ugly interior. So we get to our room. No complaints about our room, in fact the bed was very comfortable, but our bathroom smelled like a port-o-potty. First thing we did was go eat some of the buffet food we heard so many good things about. It was nasty!!! Next we get ready to go swim. The pool was TINY and packed full of adults who were all drinking and 4'9" deep. Not exactly kid friendly. So we went upstairs to the slides. It was better up there, but my 3 yr. old could only play on one little slide. That was the only thing available for someone his age to play in/on. We did take advantage of Camp Carnival for the kids and they enjoyed that. But unfortunately there just wasn't much for all of us to do together. During our time on the ship, we ate dinner in the restaurant. It was ok but not great. It was much better than the buffet's though. The buffet was never good. When we stopped in Cozumel, we had a blast. It was beautiful there and the food was great. We wished that we had just spent our money to fly straight there and spent those days in Cozumel instead of on a smelly, crummy ship. All in all, we went expecting a Carnival and that's far from what we got! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
This was our first Carnival cruise and we sailed with a 6 y.o. and an 8 y.o. The kids loved Camp Carnival and at one time refused to be picked up. The counselors there did a very good job. Our cabin was lovely, the balcony was a winner -- ... Read More
This was our first Carnival cruise and we sailed with a 6 y.o. and an 8 y.o. The kids loved Camp Carnival and at one time refused to be picked up. The counselors there did a very good job. Our cabin was lovely, the balcony was a winner -- beautiful view every day, not too windy. The bathroom had a stale urine smell that I could not get rid of. They cleaned the room very well twice a day, but I don't think they could do anything about the bathroom -- it was definitely clean, but just smelly. The shower was nice and hot with good water pressure. Nice toiletries were provided. We had two bunk beds in addition to a queen bed. We were told that the queen bed would be separated into two queens for safety once we would be using the bunk beds, however, the steward agreed easily to keep the queen bed together so my husband and I could sleep together. Of course, that made is difficult to get to the balcony and we also bumped our heads a lot. However, it helped tremendously to have it set up that way, because our children fell out of the bunk beds twice and they had our queen bed to fall into. They don't have good railing to hold the children in the bunk beds like Disney does, the kids kept falling out and our kids are definitely old enough for bunk beds. The ship was very unstable -- it rocked nonstop, even when there were no waves. Somehow we did not get sea sick, but the rocking was extremely annoying. I have been on many ships before and this is the most rocking I have experienced. In the middle of the night, sometimes there would be horrible noise -- we assumed it was the stabilizers turning on. The ship was clean and well-kept and had many public spaces inside, so you always had plenty of space for everyone, but outside places were very lacking and poorly designed. There was only one tiny pool, covered in kids. The pool was icy cold and our kids refused to go in it. there were two hot tubs extremely overloaded with people in the main outdoor area. There was a nice Serenity area, but it was impossible to get to it -- took us two days to find it -- and it only had hot tubs in it, not a pool and it also did not have a bar. The only sports area was on the top of the ship and there was a tiny mini-golf spot and a tiny jogging track. Both could not be used the entire trip due to incredible winds that took your breath away and threw your golf ball around. We kept trying to go up there many times a day, but always ran back down. It was not even windy outside, but the area is just badly designed. There was no basketball and only two ping-pong tables. It took us three days to get a turn at ping-pong. There was smoking almost everywhere on the ship. Smoking on the pool deck (the only pool deck), smoking by the restaurants, smoking in the main music/bar/casino area. Not good for families! We had to really search to get a table away from smoke. The food in the main restaurant was pretty good, but nothing amazing. We loved the anytime dining, walk in anytime and they sit you right away and the service was wonderful. The wine package was great also and the wines were good. The food in the buffet was quite terrible except for breakfasts and desserts. I never got to eat a burger because of the huge line every day. The sushi was hit/miss, the worst was that he would only make three kinds of sushi. One day rice tasted like bleach. The entertainment was good, we always felt entertained and it was quite fun. they had lots of tours in port, although we did it on our own. Playa Mia Beach was terrible -- don't bother! The worst part was disembarkation -- we were late into port because of the fog -- by 3 hours. It took 4 hours to get off the ship! We finally got off at 2 pm. They did not feed us lunch! The kids were exhausted and frustrated and we were near tears. The porter told us this was the worst he has seen in a long time! Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Background: I went on this cruise with my mother and grandma. I have been on several Carnival Cruises and an NCL. My mom has just been on Carnival, and this was my grandmothers first cruise. We booked the cruise in September for about ... Read More
Background: I went on this cruise with my mother and grandma. I have been on several Carnival Cruises and an NCL. My mom has just been on Carnival, and this was my grandmothers first cruise. We booked the cruise in September for about 330$ per person. We had an inside cabin, U96. We were a little nervous about going on the Ecstasy because of the dry dock and previous reviews. When we got to the port in Galveston(around 11:30) we were told we would board around 12:00. Well we didnt board until 1:30. This was not a big deal, except I would have liked them to not tell me a time at all if they were not sure. No big deal though we made a mad dash to the buffet line and had a good lunch. Explored the ship, very clean. When we started walking to our room we noticed a strong sewage smell in the hallways. Turns out it was in our room too. We ignored it and continued exploring. We do not spend a lot of time in our rooms, so the inside cabin for three people worked for us. I would not recommend for people who like a lot of room. At dinner we met our waiter Jaime, what a great guy. Overall the food in the main dining room was good. One day we even had special Halloween desserts. I forgot how much I liked having the same waiter every night. Jaime always made our dining experience the best. As for the buffet it was good, buffets stress me out though. The food was good and it was busy most of the time. But thats expected! The staff around this area work so hard to keep up. They really do a great job while still being friendly to everyone. Dont know how they do it! For the next 4 days the smell around our room remained. This was honestly my only complaint on the cruise, I have no idea where this smell came from and sometimes it was stronger than others. We had some spray and used it often! Other than that we loved our room and the location. The shows on the ship were also great. Comedians were okay, but I did not go to the late show where I am sure they were much better! Bar staff were great, I can't remember a time where I hade to wait more than a minute! Also, I thought the drink prices were very reasonable. If you looked for specials and didnt mind not having a souvenir glass. Many of my drinks were 4.95$. Also went to the spa/salon. For $79 I got a neck massage, foot massage, and facial. Thought that was a good price. Although the location was not my favorite, I got put where everyone was talking and it was hard to relax. Very good though! Cozumel was perfect as well. We did the MExican Cuisine and loved it. Spent the first few hours cooking and drinking, then we ate and drank, then we hung out at the beach and could use all of they facilities there. It was a great time. Getting off the ship was another rough area for me. We were about an hour late because of weather. Then everyone was in a mad rush to leave. Although they were calling floors not many passengers were listening and that caused us to be delayed again. All said and done I enjoyed my cruise on the ecstasy, i thought the employees on the ship made my trip great. I would definitley consider sailing on the Ecstasy again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
Carnival Ecstasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.5 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.7
Family 3.5 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.7
Enrichment 2.5 3.3
Service 4.5 4.1
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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