8 Jacksonville Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Reviews

Where to start... 1. Lines, be ready to wait in a lot of them. From dining, boarding and getting off the ship you will spend 10-15% of your awake time standing in some kind of damn line. Also be prepared to have terrible communication ... Read More
Where to start... 1. Lines, be ready to wait in a lot of them. From dining, boarding and getting off the ship you will spend 10-15% of your awake time standing in some kind of damn line. Also be prepared to have terrible communication from the cruise director as to where you should ACTUALLY go to stand in line as well as poor planning on how to execute service excellence Examples A. Initial boarding - 15-20 Agents are there to check international travel documentation, rolls through semi smooth. Exiting - Only 7 agents to check documentation, causing major delays in getting off the ship. *important if you have a flight to catch. I’ll also mention you are in a steel building in 100 degree Jacksonville heat with no AC. Dip security personal announces “welcome back to the real world, citing line length and to suck it up”. They already have your money, at this point they don’t care about your experience. 2700 people exiting the ship and only 7 lines. Example B. Dining We went here on our honeymoon and never once got to eat breakfast or lunch together. It’s unorganized lunchroom chaos. You can’t start out in 2 different lines and arrive at your table 20 minutes apart. Example C. Excursions If you are told to be on deck 3 to exit the ship; don’t plan on going to deck 3 and expecting to walk off. The line to exit starts on the deck 4 and wraps down two hallways. Don’t expect a carnival agent to actively be communicating this or managing the lines either. This also pertains to your final exit from the ship as well. It’s not that it’s an oversight; it’s just that they don’t care enough to come up with another system. Additionally, Princess Kays lunch had impossible lines for Hamburgers and hotdogs the entire time we were there. We weren’t going to take an hour out of our time there to stand in that line. We are when we got back on the boat. But seriously, 2700 people in two lines to get hamburgers and hotdogs. 2. The “cheers” package. If you think this is going to be all inclusive , its not. It’s limit of 15 alcoholic drinks a day (does not apply on the carnival owned Princess Kays island either, you are paying full price there). This is somewhat expected however here at the ‘extra’ limitations. A. If you are an early riser and would like a coke product or an energy drink in the morning; don’t expect to get it before 8am. Additionally, expect to wait in a separate line if you want a coke with your lunch. *Most important, they won’t give you a unopened (single can) of coke to add ice to and drink in the morning before the bar areas open. I had to ask for a supervisor after my wife requested one for me and got shot down. B. “I’d like a double” is taboo with Cheers. They don’t have the capability of pouring more than one shot at a time. You have to wait 5 minutes and get back in the line and wait for another shot to be added to your glass. Lines vary, but expect a double of liquor to take 15-20 minutes total. Additionally you can not pay extra for a double.m205 3. Beach chairs and pool size Chairs are less than an inch apart from each other on the ship and at the carnival resort. Expect to be right on top of one another and to see many people trip trying to navigate between them. If you don’t like crowds, then you will never swim in the pool. It’s filled to capacity most hours of the day. It’s roughly 1/4 of an Olympic pool size for 2700 guests. 4. Entertainment Pro- Actually really good music Cons- Emphasis on jewelry purchases and art auctions. A lot of emphasis on this. Comic/magician from Chicago was terrible. 5. Broken elevators, 2700 guests. Do the math. 6. Beds are similar to those you’ll find in a camper. 7. Dinners were all actually really good; with great service. Everything is loud. Like REALLY loud. Don’t expect to communicate with other guests if you are a stones throw from any entertainment venue. 8. Carnival rates the ship for 2056 passengers (guests). We were told 2700 were exiting the ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
So to start this review it must be known that this was my 13th cruise and 3rd on Carnival. I selected Ecstasy because it fit my travel time and location. Embarkation and debarkation was a breeze. That was very good. The ship is outdated ... Read More
So to start this review it must be known that this was my 13th cruise and 3rd on Carnival. I selected Ecstasy because it fit my travel time and location. Embarkation and debarkation was a breeze. That was very good. The ship is outdated which I did not care about. It was the 1st cruise for my adult kids so they didn’t have anything to compare it to. Entertainment was ok. No huge complaint there. Service was good. Everyone nice. My only major complaint was the food. It was bad. I like food more on the bland side but this was bad. No flavor. A lot of food wasn’t warm. We only ate in the dining room once. Meat was dry and lacked flavor. Our only saving grace was the deli. Kids liked the pizza ok. I did somewhat enjoy the lunch tacos. Guys burgers were extremely greasy. I will not sail on Ecstasy ever again. People warned me. They were right. Save your money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I was very disappointed with this cruise. Old ship which needs a face lift for sure. Saw them doing poor paint job, just touching up certain patch areas which only made it look worse. Public bathrooms were always dirty. Hand ... Read More
I was very disappointed with this cruise. Old ship which needs a face lift for sure. Saw them doing poor paint job, just touching up certain patch areas which only made it look worse. Public bathrooms were always dirty. Hand sanitizer units weren’t displayed well and encouraged to use. People were using water station to fill up their own containers. Juice seemed to be never diluted which made impossible to drink. Comedians weren’t very good. Tea time activity was poor. Didn’t even provide herbal tea except if you asked and they would then charge you $2 without informing you. Flex dining time was disturbing as 30-40 min wait. No speciality restaurant. Option in main dining room on menu but not worth the price. Lack of chicken or turkey bacon and burgers option. Only thing I enjoyed was over 21 serenity section on deck 9 but no one checked and ones under 21 were there all the time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Yes it was a great price for a suite with other spiffs thrown in. However, Dorian did cause issues. Were were not contacted with final details until 6pm the day before the cruise. Had to be at Jacksonville port between 2 and 6 pm. We ... Read More
Yes it was a great price for a suite with other spiffs thrown in. However, Dorian did cause issues. Were were not contacted with final details until 6pm the day before the cruise. Had to be at Jacksonville port between 2 and 6 pm. We would park at Jacksonville port and take a 2.5 hour bus ride port carnival and the cruise would end at Jacksonville port. Okay, not a major deal for us because we were driving. This is our second experience with Carnival not able to handle some bumps in the road during embarkation and disembarkation. We arrived at 1:30pm busses waiting. It’s 95 degrees and outside. It’s was a ridiculous wait. Had several empty busses just sitting there waiting to be loading. You had port security checking boarding passes and Id ( why I have no idea why ....we never entered the port and carnival was checking boarding passes and Id). Obvious no preplanning and no one actually in charge. Busses hold 50 people and carnival staff were trying to figure out how to load the busses. The boat is dated which we expected. Our balcony cabinet was clean and had plenty of room. Had no issues with cabin or steward. Ships’s staff was generally courtesy and helpful on the cruise. Food was below average. The only good meals served were breakfast and guys hamburgers. The buffet served the same meals for lunch and dinner. For three days they served roast beef or prime rib.(I could not identify by looking at it). They served cold baked ham the last day and 2 inch size pieces of fried chicken with little meat and mostly bones. Myself and other cruisers could not determine what part of the chicken they came from. The food in the dining room was boring. Nothing but average diner type selections. The pizza on Carnival is usually good..but not on the Ectasy. The pizza had a little sauce and some cheese and whatever topping you wanted. Pizza was dry. The deli....well I can’t give it more than a two. I ordered a BLT. It was served on sourdough bread. The bread was so tough..it was like biting into a piece of leather. The ship’s design blocks any head winds on the outside decks. If you are at the pool level you will not feel any breeze at all. If you are on the level above the pool area you will not feel any breeze at all. You have to be at the front to the ship to get any kind of breeze. This design does not go well with 95 degree weather. If you outside and not in the pool you will be roasting. The only things that worked great were the bartenders and disembarkation. We were off the ship at 8:30. I don’t recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Carnival review First I would like to say that the staff on this ship was excellent! Unfortunately the overall cruise left us rather disappointed. I knew going in this was going to be a budget get away but I expected more from Carnival. ... Read More
Carnival review First I would like to say that the staff on this ship was excellent! Unfortunately the overall cruise left us rather disappointed. I knew going in this was going to be a budget get away but I expected more from Carnival. It is obvious they cut corners to cut cost on this older ship. Now for the details: Jacksonville Port: 5/5 stars. We paid for parking at the cruise terminal and parking was right there in front of the ship. Since we had Faster to the Fun we walked right in, checked in, had our bags scanned, and were on the boat without any wait at all. Our car was safe for the week and we were able to disembark, walk out to the car, load up, and drive away within minutes of getting off the boat. No need for taxi or shuttle. Ship: 2/5 Stars. The Carnival Ecstasy is an old ship. Overall it is still in good condition but it does show its age. There was a smell of sewage or trash on occasion in different areas of the ship. I do not think it was lack of cleanliness, as the staff was very attentive to keeping things clean, but more due to a lack of ventilation on this old ship. This layout of the public areas is choppy and makes for crowded events. The pool is way to small the hot tubs are tiny. The one club with a dance floor was extremely small. The Buffet is small. The putt putt golf course is unusable space due to wind. Overall its just a poor design that lacked functionality for a cruise ship. Cabin: 3/5 stars. Cabin M262 Ocean View (6b) was a good size. The window was nice to have. On Port days we could feel a good bit of engine vibration as the ship positioned itself and the tie ropes were pulled out. However since we were already waking up for the day this was not that disruptive. Our room steward was excellent. I did notice some stains on the linens and the pool towels looked old. The room needs more draw space and at least 2 power outlets. The TV worked fine though it was small. The first night it was kind of warm but apparently they fixed something because our room stayed nice and cool after that. Food and Dining: 1/5 stars. The food was very lackluster and basic. Breakfast buffet was equal to a basic hotel breakfast. It was exactly the same every day. On 2 occasions my husband got spoiled milk! The lunch and dinner buffet was not better. It was small, had very few options, and the desserts were not good. There was a serious lack of vegetable options at all dining venues. If you are hungry later at night your options are soft serve ice-cream that melted faster than it could dispense into a bowl or pizza from the 24 hour pizza counter (which we never tried). The dessert selection was mediocre at best. I found some chocolate chip cookies a couple times that were pretty good and resorted to taking about a dozen back to our room to have as a snack after the evening comedy show ended. The main dining room food was good but not "great", for example the steak was flavorless. The staff at the main dining room was great though sometimes they took a little too long to bring dessert menus or refill our water glasses. There were a few things that were good but overall Carnival needs to up their game on this cruise’s menu. Entertainment and Activities: 2.5/5 stars. Before 7pm it was total boredom unless you wanted to hang out at the pool which was way too small and over crowded, play bingo, or gamble in the casino. After 7pm the entertainment was pretty good. The evening stage shows were excellent. The Comedy guys were pretty good. One guy was better than the other one but both made us laugh. Beyond the stage shows and the comedians there was a piano bar /sing along which was cool until overly drunk people came in and were so loud and obnoxious you couldn’t enjoy it anymore. There was a violin duo which was very good but there wasn’t much room to sit and listen or dance while they played. There was a band at another bar area that was great but it was right in the main walk through so you couldn’t dance there either. There wasn’t really anywhere to go to dance other than the one “nightclub” room that was small and had a DJ that played music based on a theme (80’s, 90’s, Motown etc) for about an hour. Service: 5/5 Stars. The staff and crew are all very hard working and attentive to the guests. Only one staff was somewhat rude. My husband stopped a buffet staff member to tell him about the spoiled milk and his response was “get another one” and he walked away. Later we let the head staff member know about the milk and he seemed aware there was a problem. Ports and Shore Excursions 2.5/5 stars: We went to Half Moon Cay which was beautiful but lacked activities in my opinion. We did not try to eat at the cook out on the island and went back to the ship for lunch. In Nassau we just walked around close to the port since we stopped here right after a major hurricane and there was a huge influx of refugees from the other Bahama Islands. I was happy to find a Starbucks for some coffee and we shopped at the touristy souvenir shops. Obviously there is more to this beautiful Island but we just did not venture very far. There were a lot of people urging you to take their taxi or carriage ride or buy from their shop. This is expected and no one was too aggressive, a polite “no thank you” from us and they moved on to the next passenger that walked by. We took the Behind the Fun tour on the ship and it was enjoyable. If you like to learn how the ship is ran it’s a great experience. Unfortunately we had rough seas the day of our tour and by the time it ended we were quite sea sick. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Reason we chose this cruise: It was in a day drive, low budget and fit into fall break for our teen. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and efficient. Ship was old and dated and many of the areas on the ship had cosmetic ... Read More
Reason we chose this cruise: It was in a day drive, low budget and fit into fall break for our teen. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and efficient. Ship was old and dated and many of the areas on the ship had cosmetic issues - tiles off of walls, cracks and rust. After the second night in the dining room we successfully found a great service team that we stuck with for entire cruise. The last night after returning from dinner we entered the hallway to a terrible smell and crew members frantically trying to vacuum up the water that was about 4" in the hall. Many cabins were flooded and people could not get belongings. We were moved to 2 rooms as there were none that could accommodate 3. In room with my wife and teenager somebody early in the morning just walked into the room without knocking. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Ship smelled like raw sewage the entire cruise . My stateroom was on deck 7 and I about puked every time I walked to and from my room . The light switch to my room was hanging off the wall wrapped in black tape . The balcony as filthy , ... Read More
Ship smelled like raw sewage the entire cruise . My stateroom was on deck 7 and I about puked every time I walked to and from my room . The light switch to my room was hanging off the wall wrapped in black tape . The balcony as filthy , drain was clogged with the nastiest crud I've seen in along time. This ship just got out of dry dock the week before so you would think it would have been in better shape . Princess Cay is a complete joke , reminds me of a yard sale in a litter box . If you buy the cheers package remember it doesn't apply while your off the ship at Princess Cay this was my second and last cruise with Carnival , I will not waste my time or money on anothe Carnival cruise , going back to Royal Caribbean where they appreciate thier customers and give them value for thier money Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was to be a girls getaway the food was horrible in the dinning area, There where two fights on the boat, strippers in the club, but this is a family ship. The towels for the pool were dirty. When trying to leave the boat we followed ... Read More
This was to be a girls getaway the food was horrible in the dinning area, There where two fights on the boat, strippers in the club, but this is a family ship. The towels for the pool were dirty. When trying to leave the boat we followed the direction given to leave once we got to deck 7 the employee closed the door in our face and said go to another deck. This is one ship I will never get on again. When i called to complain I was told ok we will give you a 25.00 on board credit what is that, I spent way more than that booking the cruise. There was work being done on the boat ( painting, fixing equipment as we were sailing.) This cruise line has got to do better. I have sailed Carnival before but after this experience and speaking to customer service never again . Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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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