4 Jacksonville Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Reviews

We sailed on the Carnival Elation out of Jacksonville on September 5th, 2016. We chose Jacksonville because it is an easy drive for us, no airfare required. The Elation is an older ship that has been renovated. We had no complaints ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Elation out of Jacksonville on September 5th, 2016. We chose Jacksonville because it is an easy drive for us, no airfare required. The Elation is an older ship that has been renovated. We had no complaints with the ship. It's not quite as large as most of the newer Carnival ships, with approximately 2,000 passengers and 900 crew. Swimming pool is rather small and often crowded. Our cabin was clean and roomy enough for us. We had an ocean view cabin on Deck 7 / Empress deck, it was nice being on Deck 7 since it is closer to dining, shows, bars, pool, everything, in fact. than the lower decks. We were pleased with the food and dining, for the most part. Breakfast and lunch buffets were mostly the same each day. Dinner provided a good bit of variety and the service was quite good with only one exception. We were disappointed that many (but not all) of the vocals in the "live" shows, were lip-synced. This was a departure from what we had seen in previous Carnival live shows. We were also disappointed that one of the performers was pretending to play a guitar during the "Epic Rock" show, which he was obviously faking. The one comedy act we saw was really funny. His name is Jimmy Carroll and we were both laughing out loud. His ad libs were even funnier than his jokes. We visited Nassau on foot, on our own, and found it was a quick and relatively easy walk to Queen's Staircase and Fort Fincastle. We also enjoyed a brief visit to the Bahama Historical Society Museum on the way. All for free! Half Moon Cay was a blast, great swimming beach and loved the "Shipwreck Bar". The "Beach BBQ" was no great shakes, hamburgers, hot dogs and marinated chicken. Nice gym with good views out of the front of the ship. The casino was smoky at times, we'd love to find ships that are completely smoke free! We were also disappointed that the $10 Blackjack tables only pay 6 to 5 for Blackjack, so there is no advantage to playing the $10 table vs. the $6 table. You have to play $15 minimum Blackjack to get the 3-to-2 payout that should be the norm. We only used room service one time for late night sandwiches, they were delivered in about 20-25 minutes and were pretty good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The cruise was relaxing. We went to Princess Cays, where we got a Sanctuary Bungalow that we enjoyed very much. We weren't fans of the Nassau market off the port since we don't like having all the vendors constantly trying to ... Read More
The cruise was relaxing. We went to Princess Cays, where we got a Sanctuary Bungalow that we enjoyed very much. We weren't fans of the Nassau market off the port since we don't like having all the vendors constantly trying to convince you to go into their shop (or get your hair braided). The food in the MDR was great. We had your-time-dining and only had to wait once. We enjoyed the music shows and went to both showings both times. I wish there had been more of them instead of only two nights. The main reason for my review is to share a warning about room E82, and really all the rooms around there. I had no idea how loud it would be in that room due to the music in the Atrium. I had researched the room beforehand and hadn't seen any warning, so I decided to add my own review afterward so that others would know better. This isn't something that would be better one or two rooms further away. The noise was loud enough that I wouldn't recommend any rooms in the midsection of the Emerald deck at all. I would recommend going with a different deck, or perhaps all the way in the Aft section. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was a last minute booking. I booked on Sep 12th around noon and got in the car to drive South. We like sailing at of Jacksonville as it is not to hateful of a drive from Ohio. We were just looking for a quick get away and Carnival ... Read More
This was a last minute booking. I booked on Sep 12th around noon and got in the car to drive South. We like sailing at of Jacksonville as it is not to hateful of a drive from Ohio. We were just looking for a quick get away and Carnival Ecstasy did not disappoint. Since we booked so late, our check in time was 1:30PM however, we showed up early on the of chance they were ahead of schedule. We were on the ship around 12:30. Fifteen minutes from the time we parked till we got up on the Lido deck. The ship is showing her age but she is slated for dry dock on October which I expect consist of a good paint job and new décor. We will find out as we are booked on the Ecstasy in November. We had a port hole cabin on the main deck. The room was extra deep based on its location. The room was very clean. For the most part, we ate only on the Lido deck, Bonsai Sushi express or room service. We looked at the dining room menus through the cruise and everything sounded good. I only packed shorts, so we did not go in for dinner. I know that you can but cruise casual to me is at least a golf shirt and pants. Its not difficult and I will they would at the very least enforce the current code even though its to lax. The cruise director Cam and the Fun Squad were very good. Everything we saw, we enjoyed. DJ Spike was one of the better ones that we have seen in a while. The dancers were really good and you could see their practice paid off. This was our first time to Princess Cay. I still prefer Half Moon. While the beach is very pretty, they cram a lot of beach chairs in the various coves so it is hard to get away if you are looking to truly relax. We would definitely go again though. We didn't spend much time in Nassau. I was not feeling great so we just walked around for a few hours Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I selected this cruise, because it was 7 nights with an itinerary we have never been to. We live in Jacksonville, which makes it a very convenient port. This was our 3rd time out of Jacksonville, but first time on the Carnival Ecstasy, ... Read More
I selected this cruise, because it was 7 nights with an itinerary we have never been to. We live in Jacksonville, which makes it a very convenient port. This was our 3rd time out of Jacksonville, but first time on the Carnival Ecstasy, previously we sailed on the Carnival Elation out of Jacksonville. The embarkation and disembarkation progress has really been simplified, last year we got passports, so I'm not sure if that helps with the ease, since in the past we had to bring our legal IDs along with birth certificates, etc. A new ramp has been build since the last time we sailed, you now enter the ship on deck 7, previously it was on deck 3. We are in our late 50's early 60's and did not have any difficulty with the new zig zag ramp, They will push you in a wheelchair if you have difficulty walking. Entering the ship on deck 7, the Empress deck is nice, instead of the old way on deck 3. Ship Feedback; The Carnival Ecstasy is almost 30 years old, overall I like the ship, since it's smaller it doesn't have as many eateries that you will find on the larger ships. We sailed on the brand new ship, the Carnival Horizon back in January and it has all the bells and whistles / technology you would expect. A negative, that did not directly impact us in our cabin, but we did notice a sewage type smell later in the cruise was we walked down the hall to our cabin. it was very noticeable on the last day, during disembarkation too, we were mid ship, deck 7 passing by various cabins. Cabin feedback: For the Carnival Ecstasy, we had port hole interior cabin, deck 7, cabin E2, is was the very first cabin on the left side of the ship. We did hear some noise, since there is a closet right outside the door that stores supplies etc for the staff, so they were in and out of the closet, but it wasn't enough to be bothersome at all. Having the Port Hole cabin gives you a little bit of extra storage space, which was nice, but for a cabin for 2, everything was fine for us. As of our sailing, there were not mini fridges in the cabins, only the Suites had mini fridges, we knew about this in advance and brought a small soft sided roller cooler and our cabin steward was more than happy put in fresh ice daily. For electrical outlets, there is only one 110 for US near the desk and I think one above the mirror in the bathroom. I brought a non surge protector 3 plug, since I did my research and knew about only 1 plug, also there is not any USB outlets, we brought our adapter which worked fine. There was a small hair dryer in the drawer. Dining Experience; We had early 6pm dining, which works well for us. We were at a table of 10, so we got the opportunity to meet 4 other couples and it was very pleasant. Since it was a 7 night, we had 2 elegant nights, the food was overall to our liking, we aren't big foodies and always found something good to eat. For lunch, on Embarkation, we ate at the Blue Iguana Cantina, We had the Deli once and Pizza a couple of times. For Seadays or breakfast, most times we went to the Windstar dining room, the menu was good for us. We ate on the lido a couple of days and it was also to our liking. The entertainment and activities, this sailing we didn't make it to the piano bar, but in the past, it was always fun, it's not huge space, but it's a good time. Playlist productions had 3 different shows, which were enjoyable. Motor City - which is R & B sounds from the 60's, 70's and 80's I was feeling seasick, but by husband enjoyed the show. The Brits - A tribute to the British invasion, music from The Beatles, The Who, Herman's Hermits, The Rolling Stones, and more. America Rocks - a high energy rock concert There was Clue, The Murder Mystery, Hasbro, The Game Show, Love and Marriage Show, Lip Sync Battle, Free Movies, The Punchliner Comedy, Karaoke, Piano Bar and lots of Trivia, Bingo along with all the fun going on outside around the pool, etc. This is was our 4th cruise and there is no way you can do it all, you must pick what you can do and have fun. We had 3 ports Princess Cays - FREE beach day, if you love the beach, you will enjoy this, but you must take the Tender aka Water Shuttle from the boat, since there is not a pier the ship can get close enough too. Free lunch is served in two separate locations. There are pay for extras if you want, but we just enjoy being on the beautiful beach it's rocky so we suggest water shoes. During the lunch, water, lemonade, tea are included, but anything else, you must use your Sign and Sail card and are charged. If you have the Bubbles or Cheers Package, you still have to pay for beverages while on Princess Cays. Grand Turk - FREE beach day AGAIN / Pool at Margaritaville. You need water shoes for the beach, also somewhat rocky. We didn't explore as much as we would have liked too, there is plenty of free stuff to do. For food and drinks, Margaritaville you must have money, We enjoyed the beach for a while and then went to the pool, we each got a beverage from Margaritaville. To avoid the crowds and save some money, we went back to the ship early and grabbed some free lunch from the lido deck, by the time we got there, only the deli and pizza was open, which was fine for us. Amber Cove - we did the Outback Dominican Adventure that we booked in advance through Carnival as a Shore Excursion. It was alot of fun, We did something similar in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It was an open aired bus, and for early October it was comfortable, it included lunch and beverages. We hoped to enjoy the Free pool in Amber Cove, but when we arrived back from our excursion it was raining, so we went back to the ship, it later cleared up. So we don't have any feedback on the port itself, since we were off the ship as soon as it docked to head to our adventure, the cost was about $90 each,but we thought it was a fair price for everything included. We could do this itinerary again, but we know most likely won't be offered anytime soon out of Jacksonville, FL on the Carnival Ecstasy. But if offered on another ship, we would certainly do it. In the past, on the Carnival Elation out of Jacksonville, we have been to the Bahamas: Freeport, Nassau and Half Moon Cay. Since hurricane Dorian, i'm not sure about Freeport, in Nassau we didn't do excursions and we have been there twice, we just made a plan, grab a taxi or water taxi and visited Atlantis. Half Moon Cay is similar to Princess Cays, it's Carnival owed, must take Tender / Water Taxi off the ship, everything is the same as I noted above for Princess Cays, BUT the biggest difference is, Half Moon Cay is much more a beautiful and also FREE beach day, the sand it like baby powders, something, I'd never experienced before. Read Less
Sail Date September 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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