1,151 Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Reviews

Firstly it reeked. It smells of sewage. The water they serve smells like sewage. Out of the 5 days we were cruising I can tell you I only had 1-2 decent meals. Bread served at every meal was hard and old. Food was always served cold. The ... Read More
Firstly it reeked. It smells of sewage. The water they serve smells like sewage. Out of the 5 days we were cruising I can tell you I only had 1-2 decent meals. Bread served at every meal was hard and old. Food was always served cold. The buffet and dinning were the worst and least edible. We literally ate out of necessity. I can't even recommend food. Bring your own snacks and mostly survive on those. The staff were extremely inconsistent with rules and with policies that were literally posted for guests to read. Multiple times policies were ignored or changed at the discretion of the employee. We provided feedback several times when asked by staff. They literally just want to shove alcohol down everyone's throat and sell you stuff every 5 seconds. Oh and they painted without any regard for any guests or notification to guests. The fumes from the paint were horrid. I would not recommend this ship to anyone. I can't say much about others but I'd never get on this one again. The Bahamas was nice. If I ever cruise here again I'd plan to visit other islands while in Nassau. You can't really get to much from Princess Cays because they shuttle you there and back. I am 99% sure the next time I come will not be on a cruise ship. Save yourself the stomach aches, frustration, and overall lack of good service and fly there. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise because it was cheap and were not expecting much, but we were blown away. The ship was so clean, the employees were the kindest people I have ever been helped by. Our three dinner servers were amazing people that made ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was cheap and were not expecting much, but we were blown away. The ship was so clean, the employees were the kindest people I have ever been helped by. Our three dinner servers were amazing people that made each night so special for my family and me. The food was delicious, we always found something yummy. Too many yummy things actually. :) The activities on board were fun and a plenty to choose from. We enjoyed crafting, games, singing performances and water slides the most. It was an incredible trip with memories to last a life time. My family consists of my husband and two elementary aged daughters. Our bedroom had a king bed and two Murphy-style twin beds that folded out from the wall, over our king size bed. The kids loved it, they thought they were bunk beds. :) There were three large closets to place our luggage and to hang our clothes. The bathroom could easily fit two people at a time which helped when getting ready for the day. The water got hot super fast which is a plus for me. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Good afternoon. We just returned from this Cruise. It was very nice overall and a very nice family getaway. Our oldest son achieved his Platinum status on this cruise so he was elated. We are a family of four. The Jacksonville Cruise ... Read More
Good afternoon. We just returned from this Cruise. It was very nice overall and a very nice family getaway. Our oldest son achieved his Platinum status on this cruise so he was elated. We are a family of four. The Jacksonville Cruise port experience was very nice. We arrived a bit earlier than our scheduled time but had no problem boarding. The first and second days at Sea were very relaxing with the Cruise Director Cam leading the cruisers. He was probably the best Cruise Director we had encountered. Very upbeat and personable young man. The Nassau port was very interesting as we ventured into the area. No planned excursions. Natives were very friendly. No issues We had to skip the Private Island due to high wind, high waves and very choppy seas. Real bumpy on approach and the Captain decided to move on. The cruise line actually allowed the Captain to dock at Freeport the next day. We spent about an hour at Senor Frogs and had a blast. Debarkation was a bit more challenging. Didn't actually get off the ship until 10:30 AM. For some reason they stopped calling decks and numbers for a while. Overall the cruise was very good, relaxing and enjoyable. The ship certainly has some flaws; however, we still enjoy all of our family cruise vacations. I hope that Carnival is reviewing the possibility of building a new Cruise Port somewhere south of Jacksonville preferably in St. John's County so that larger ships can be enjoyed without having to consider navigating under a passenger bridge. Just a Thought!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Friends booked this cruise and we decided to join also. Have been on this ship a few years ago and decor is nice except for sewage small emanating from around Atrium at all levels. We were informed that they 'were working on ... Read More
Friends booked this cruise and we decided to join also. Have been on this ship a few years ago and decor is nice except for sewage small emanating from around Atrium at all levels. We were informed that they 'were working on i'. After 10 days it was still putrid smelling. Entertainment in showroom was OK, nothing special. Comedians - all 4- since we did a 5 day back to back were the worst we have hears both at family shows and late night adult shows. Lots of shouting and noises and not a lot of really funny jokes. Ship has a new chef but the food in the dining room was poor. Mostly cold when served. Baked potatoes were underdone, watered down sour cream. Steaks had to be sent back 3 times by our friends and Mahi Mahi was so tough as to be inedible. Lots of choices were overly salty and not well executed at all. Dining room staff was great and very apologetic for the mediocre food. Princess Cay was nice, some new renovations but the food there was also not very good. We caught the staff cooking the hamburgers the night before so they turned out like hockey pucks, barely edible. Hot dogs were beef? or pork? no one know but awful. Fruit was under ripe so not very tasty Lots of passengers ate like "no tomorrow"because it was 'free food'. Also the sand fleas were biting everyone's ankles and we were not advised to bring pump insecticide along. Went to 1 of the Sea Day teas. Tea had only 2 choices, regular or green, no herbal at all. Bagel that I was served was so hard that I broke a tooth on first bite. Had to have a crown put in on return to home. Had a deli and pizza place at back of dining room. Pizza was OK, nothing great. Had a corned beef sandwich that was inedible since no one know how to properly slice corned beef. It was cut with the grain, as was the pastrami, so they were stringy and could not chew them. Salad bar was separated into 2 sections so never a line but someone should check the pitted olives- many of them had pits and I wonder if anyone broke a tooth on them. Lots of condiments were served in bowl, not individually pkgd. Cheaper I guess but messy and contaminated after just a short while. Saving a few pennies sometimes reduces the quality of the experience. Have been on 25 other cruises, some as long as a month and put this one on the bottom of the list. Would not go on the ship again unless many improvements were made. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
leading up to embarkation we did hear about the infamous smell. Right off the bat stepping onto the ship it was there to greet us. While not throughout the whole ship, I feel like it’s prevalent in some pretty important areas.. near one ... Read More
leading up to embarkation we did hear about the infamous smell. Right off the bat stepping onto the ship it was there to greet us. While not throughout the whole ship, I feel like it’s prevalent in some pretty important areas.. near one of the main dining rooms and the atrium. Hard to sit and eat with that horrid smell lingering. When asked what has been done to correct the smell we were told by different people, when the ship was dry docked there wasn’t anything that could be done. If that’s the case why not park this port-a-potty. While the ship is showing its age in multiple multiple ways, (l won’t talk about the lack luster food on the lido deck), the smell is the WORST of it. For balance, there were some good on the ship. Sea day brunch was my favorite. The dinner in the main dining room was great. Along with the waitstaff. The entertainment and the cruise director Cam were great. We found our favorite bar on board by day 2 and literally lived there for the rest of the trip. The Alchemy Bar and the bartenders, Richard, Lulu and Nelson were amazing. Take those amazing things off this trash ass vessel and retire this scum bucket. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Embarking was amazing. Walked right on the ship and was handed a drink within five minutes. The energy was fun and active. It was a great way to start a kid free vacation. Disembarking was a piece of cake too. The overall cleanliness ... Read More
Embarking was amazing. Walked right on the ship and was handed a drink within five minutes. The energy was fun and active. It was a great way to start a kid free vacation. Disembarking was a piece of cake too. The overall cleanliness of the ship met my standards. Didn’t notice any smells. Our room was cleaned daily and the staff left the cutest towel animals. Cam, the entertainment director is awesome. Such high energy and the best dance moves. He really got the crowd going. I was slightly disappointed with the shower water temp, it was barely luke warm. An attempt to fix it was made by staff, but with no luck. It is also disappointing that you can’t use your drink package at Carnival’s own island. They literally take alcohol from the ship to the island, but the cheers package doesn’t work there. The hot tubs were very crowded and we often had to wait to get in. Overall a good experience and I am surprised by all the negative ones. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
After reading the reviews about this ship I was extremely nervous about this cruise; however, I didn’t experience any of the major negatives in past reviews. Listed below are my pros and cons. Pros: The cruise director Cam was ... Read More
After reading the reviews about this ship I was extremely nervous about this cruise; however, I didn’t experience any of the major negatives in past reviews. Listed below are my pros and cons. Pros: The cruise director Cam was amazing. He was really high energy and was able to included everyone in most of the onboard games and shows. The embarkment process was painless from the moment we parked out car we were on the boat within 20 to 30 mins same as leaving the boat. Most of the staff was friendly. Cons: You are unable to use the drink package on their private island. On NCL and Royal I was able to use my drink package on their private island. The drink package limits you to 15 drinks and I get it that they have to make some money but the days at sea it was easy to reach 15 drinks a day (6am to 6am). Once you reach 15 drinks they no longer allow you to get any alcoholic drinks even if you are willing to purchase them. Late night food choose not much to choose from. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I sailed the Ecstasy on January 13, 2020 out of Jacksonville. I chose this cruise as it is one of their smaller ships, easy drive from Tennessee, and I had never been to Princess Cay. I take a Carnival cruise each January from either ... Read More
I sailed the Ecstasy on January 13, 2020 out of Jacksonville. I chose this cruise as it is one of their smaller ships, easy drive from Tennessee, and I had never been to Princess Cay. I take a Carnival cruise each January from either Jacksonville or Mobile both easy drive. Early January breaks the Christmas New Year hassles, gets me to warmer weather, and kids are back in school. I stayed at Hilton Garden Inn near the airport and around 15 minute drive to port. I never could find out if Uber was allowed in port so I parked at the port but checked and Uber is permittee and next time I will use this service to the port. I am Platinum and checked in a little before 11 am and had just sat down and were allowed to start boarding. There are ramps up to 7th deck to enter ship but you can stop to rest if you need to as they are wide enough for people to pass. I was in E185 and upper/lower on 7th deck. I find this to be perfect for me and had no issues with cabin at all, A/C was very cold and had to turn it off. I never did notice any bad smells at all throughout the ship as others have stated. I do not do the shows, casino, fun squad activities and usually spent the day at serenity. I mainly used the buffet and thought the food was good but noticed they really cut back on salad bar and fruit at continental breakfast. Very small bowls of fruit, salad fixings that quickly ran out any no one to refill. Ate brunch twice and eggs benedict were cold and had been sitting for a long time, eggs to order did not include potatoes and long time to order. they did have some good five music options and listened to some of them from time to time. Princess Cays was very good and I have been to HMC a few times and wanted to compare them. Princess Cays was enjoyable and yes there are rocks here and there and I have not seen so many lounge chairs. Most go to the left but I went to the right and found a nice spot in the shade and they have a bar and food venue on this side of the beach also. I walked to the left side and it is beautiful and lots of shops and trees and plenty of space to roam. Since this is not an island but private beach the best for me was you could walk outside the gate and there was a local bar where you can get local Bahama beer for $4. There were also souvenir shops here as well. I really enjoyed my stay and would love to return. Nassau I have been to many times and I go to my favorite bar for cracked conch and Kalik. We had good weather but the last day was rough and windy as we neared Florida. The Ecstasy is showing rust but the inside looked good to me and people were having fun, seems most the people I met were from the Southeast. For those who have not cruised much people have fun on this class ship altho the larger newer ships seem to be the way of the future which is why I now choose smaller ships with some less than 200 people for most of my trips but the Ecstasy does a good job and the Bahamas is always a fun stop for me. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
It truly was like staying in a shady motel in Myrtle beach for spring break. The decor was 70’s pornish. The ship stank worse everyday of sewage. It was definitely not worth the cost. The food was horrible! The only thing eatable on the ... Read More
It truly was like staying in a shady motel in Myrtle beach for spring break. The decor was 70’s pornish. The ship stank worse everyday of sewage. It was definitely not worth the cost. The food was horrible! The only thing eatable on the ship was the pizza and a few items on the room service menu. The drinks were weak and expensive. If you plan on having more than 3 a day including water and soda buy the drinking package. The drinking package does not include drinkers at Princess Cay. Carnival’s island. Princess Cay was nice. The drinks were more but I could have stayed there 2 days and skipped Nassau. The staff that cleaned rooms and the servers in the dinning room were very nice and accommodating. The ones that live on the boat 6 months at a time. Upper management not very helpful or nice. It truly was the dirty Myrtle or Walmart of cruise’s. I would not recommend this ship/ cruise to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I read some pretty bad reviews on this ship before we left I was a little apprehensive. But much to my surprise everything went fine. My cabin was R108 it was not noisy some people said there was only one outlet we had more than one.this ... Read More
I read some pretty bad reviews on this ship before we left I was a little apprehensive. But much to my surprise everything went fine. My cabin was R108 it was not noisy some people said there was only one outlet we had more than one.this was a New Year's cruise and I can say Carnival does New Year's right, it was a lot of fun we cruised with two other couples. it's probably been five years since we've been on a cruise and dining has changed somewhat right now I want you to pay for premium steakhouse meals like surf and turf you are no longer served that in the main dining room, which was a little disappointing. The guys burgers up on the Lido deck are excellent so is the taco bar. This is an old ship I've been on a brand-new ship before the Carnival dream and it was too big had to wait in line for everything this one had some lines for food not too bad. I've looked at other cruise lines and they are more elegantantly decorated, Carnival seems to be decorated along the cheesy lines so it doesn't really matter if you get an old ship or brand new when they're going to be decorated pretty much the same. All in all I would recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We choose this cruise for Christmas, we thought the kids would have a great time. It turned out to be the WORST cruise we have EVER took. First, the food and service was horrible. The crew was rude and messy. Second, the ship was smelling ... Read More
We choose this cruise for Christmas, we thought the kids would have a great time. It turned out to be the WORST cruise we have EVER took. First, the food and service was horrible. The crew was rude and messy. Second, the ship was smelling the whole time of feces. I threw up from smelling it for 3 days. And last, they canceled our excursions and we couldn’t go to princess cays. I will never take a carnival cruise line because of this experience. I would not even recommend this cruise line to my worst enemy. I just don’t know why they even have this ship sailing anymore it needs to be retired. It was definitely the worst Christmas I EVER had. I hate my children didn’t even enjoy themselves. They were so sad the whole time sailing. What a way to spend Christmas just so disappointed in Carnival !!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was a trip 8 months in the making. 16 members of our family boarded the Ecstasy on December 21,2019. We were beyond excited to be spending Christmas/Hannukah at sea. We were all on the Empress deck which is on the main atrium ... Read More
This was a trip 8 months in the making. 16 members of our family boarded the Ecstasy on December 21,2019. We were beyond excited to be spending Christmas/Hannukah at sea. We were all on the Empress deck which is on the main atrium deck. The Atrium and all the balconies above were decorated with a giant Christmas tree,garland,lights and they even had a gigantic Menorah. The 5 children ages 11 months,3,4,7&9 were introduced to the staff in camp carnival. They did enjoy their time at camp very much. Our staterooms were comfortable and our stewards were fabulous. We asked for a bucket of ice when we boarded and it was refreshed twice a day after that. The food on the Lido deck(guys Burgers,Blue Iguana mexican food) was fantastic. Just wait until you see the desserts! The free champagne flowed from embarkation through cast off. The dining room food was mostly very good. Service was great.We loved Jon Jon our waiter. To me the entertainment staff was the highlight. They sang they danced and were just all around great. The Motown Show was so awesome. The Christmas day show was wonderful. The camp Carnival counselors worked with the children learning songs and they were brought on stage to be part of the show. A Hannukah service was held each night in the atrium with Potato latkes and wine at the end of the service. We hit wind and rough seas and the Captain made the decision to not stop at Princess Cays. Many additional activities were planned to keep everyone busy. We were disappointed but managed to have a nice at sea day. This was a wonderful way to make lifelong memories with our family. Everyone had a great time and is looking forward to the next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Im embarrassed to even tell people that I went on this ship. I had no clue a cruise ship could be this bad! It was truly the worst money we have ever spent on anything. To start off the ship smelled horrible, the only escape was in ... Read More
Im embarrassed to even tell people that I went on this ship. I had no clue a cruise ship could be this bad! It was truly the worst money we have ever spent on anything. To start off the ship smelled horrible, the only escape was in the buffet area and my stateroom (deck 14), other than that the odor followed us everywhere. I called Carnival and they told me the don't guarantee public areas ,only your private room! So unless you plan on hanging out in your room all day you're going to smell sewage. It really bothered us in the dining room. You want to go enjoy your meals but the smell is too strong. You'll be tasting this strange odor over whatever meal you are trying to enjoy. We had cooler weather so figured we would spend time in the hot tub but that wasn't going to happen because the hot tubs were lukewarm. Was there anything else to do? No. No outdoor activities that you could do in cooler weather. If you wanted to do something inside that was also limited unless you wanted to spend, spend, spend. We also were late to one port and completely missed another. How did Carnival compensate us? The gave us $13 port expense back. The whole cruise was a joke. I didn't buy a drink package because we don't drink much but we ended up spending around $450 on drinks just to make it bearable. We also spent another $650 finding things around the ship to keep us busy. My total was well over $1300 on the cruise from hell. Ive spoke to Carnival and they have opted to give me a 10% discount off what I spent on this cruise to go on another, per guest. Keep in mind we spent around $5,500 but my portion is a whole $65 off another cruise with carnival. Not a refund but a tiny discount. There is no way in hell I would give Carnival cruise lines another dime. If you like to vacation at run down hotels with sewage issues then this is the ship for you! If not find something else and don't waste your money! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The buffet , other foods and service was really great. i appreciate the workers there.they were so friendly, cooperative and sincere souls. Most of them from Indonesia, india and philippines. they were working like robots. Management was ... Read More
The buffet , other foods and service was really great. i appreciate the workers there.they were so friendly, cooperative and sincere souls. Most of them from Indonesia, india and philippines. they were working like robots. Management was great. Everyone was working there like anything,from heart and soul. So, i request the owner to take much care about the worker esp the housekeepers, servers and cooks about their wages. They were cleaning the rooms and other areas with no trace of dirt. It was amazing. So, the owner needs to think that, if they are not present, his ship cant float on the water. Next most of the cabins are enclosed and no access of windows or balcony. So the bedrooms seem suffocating. The ship was wobbling a lot. I have no idea but had not heard it from the experts that it would wobble. The disembarking was so late. we had to wait more than 3 hours in the ship after we arrived the port. It tortured the passengers a lot. Again there was a huge wastage of food. The buffet made the passengers grab more than they actually need. There needs good norms to charge the ones who waste food. Those who waste should be charged. So they choose the right food and actual quantity. If the owner could save that food, he could pay handsome salary to the workers. A huge sum of his income is going to the trash. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our 6th cruise with Carnival and it will be our last. We sailed out of Jacksonville for 5 days to the Bahamas. The ship is showing its' age and is not well maintained. We had a group of 10 in 5 outside cabins. The cabin ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise with Carnival and it will be our last. We sailed out of Jacksonville for 5 days to the Bahamas. The ship is showing its' age and is not well maintained. We had a group of 10 in 5 outside cabins. The cabin windows were filthy with dirt and paint drippings on them. Our toilet seat was broken and there is rust showing in many areas throughout the ship. Poor coordination attempting to start the shore excursions. Worst of all, the food was mediocre at best! The entertainment was a highlight. The shows were great and the band Sweet Emoceans were very very good. Our cruise director Alex was also great. And overall the staff was very good. Room steward Annak and Dining Room Waiter Frederick stand out for their excellent attitude and service. But the ship should be retired. One host at a trivia contest was extremely rude. I don't remember his name. A black gentlemen with a loud piercing voice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The first day was as expected very busy with getting people on and off the ship. Met our steward Juan who was AMAZING. The cruise director (Alex) was also fun himself. Our stateroom was nice we had a mini suite big enough for the two of us ... Read More
The first day was as expected very busy with getting people on and off the ship. Met our steward Juan who was AMAZING. The cruise director (Alex) was also fun himself. Our stateroom was nice we had a mini suite big enough for the two of us that went. The VIP Blue Lagoon excursion in Nassau was AMAZING (for adults only). Thats were all the positive comments end. The sewage smell on this cruise was AWFUL! The food was AWFUL. There isn't much to do in Princess Cay unless you book some type of excursion. The beach area is really nice, but very crowded once everyone is off the ship. The kitchen staff was very rude left spills in the floor also was serving adults children size portions (not like it was worth eating anyways). Finally, embarkment was the worse I had ever experienced on any cruise! They were doing the normal drills scanning sail and sign cards as you exit the ship we were stopped and asked to pull out our birth certificates and photo IDs (not to mention we are blocking the line on the atrium floor for others to exit). We were asked to follow this gentleman down to US immigration customs (at this point we are embarrassed and confused) no-one would explain what was going on. They searched our bags and in customs and finally we were free to go. I really feel they could have went about the situation a different way than stopping us in front of everyone on the ship and making this big aggressive scene. Made us seem like criminals... not cool. Needless to say if I ever decide to go back on a Carnival cruise is will definitely not be on this ship! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This being my first cruise was very fun I loved the flat ironed steak on dinner nights and the nightclub . Being 18 there’s not much to do but to have fun at the club and meet new people. The only problem was the ride i got sea sick for ... Read More
This being my first cruise was very fun I loved the flat ironed steak on dinner nights and the nightclub . Being 18 there’s not much to do but to have fun at the club and meet new people. The only problem was the ride i got sea sick for the last two days but other then that I had a blast . The buffet wasn’t the best nor the lemonade but Guys burgers were very good and I enjoyed breakfast all of the fruits were very fresh . Wish there was more dessert options and drinks. The crew members were very generous and nice. Last day was sad because I made a lot of friends. I loved Ecstasy !! I would definitely get on again . This ship is mainly for teens and college students more of a party ship which I loved cuz I’m young and wanna T up!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was a cruise that was planned more than a year ago- a Christmas cruise with friends. There were 4 of us from the Atlanta area-three of us are retired, and one still works. ( I work part time now, but I have so much fun at work, I ... Read More
This was a cruise that was planned more than a year ago- a Christmas cruise with friends. There were 4 of us from the Atlanta area-three of us are retired, and one still works. ( I work part time now, but I have so much fun at work, I don't feel like it's work). I was the driver, and a smoker, so about every hour and a half, we made a pit stop. I drove from Oxford, used some back roads and cut out a lot of the Atlanta traffic. We got on the highway in McDonough, and it was no time at all until we were at stop # 1, the Macon Cracker Barrel. LOL, it is my go to for my pit stops. We stopped later to fill up the tank, and then we stopped at the Florida Welcome Center. I was sad to see no more free orange and grapefruit juice. Not in the budget anymore. We got to our hotel-the Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Airport around 4:30. There were two reasons why I booked this hotel-they had an indoor pool, and the prices at my normal Holiday Inn Express on Blount Island had sky rocketed. Well they were remodeling, and the pool was non existent, and once they added all the taxes, the prices were comparable to the Holiday Inn. The hotel was nice, quiet, well landscaped, and they had an onsite restaurant which was good! I didn't eat healthy, but I was happy when we left dinner. Their breakfast was very good-free when you are an IHG member (or I didn't notice the charge) otherwise it was 15 dollars. To me that was too high a price. so glad it was included. The hotel also offers a shuttle service to the port ,which I didn't know about until we arrived, but we needed to hit the road early when we got off the ship, so parking our own car worked well for me. DH and I are platinum, our friends were Suites, we basically parked, found a porter, walked into the line, and onto the ship. DH and I had cruise cash on our account, but the folks in the ports didn't see that, so we had to explain that we didn't need to put cash on our account. This separated us from our friends, but we caught up with them when we got on the ship. From the hotel, to getting on the ship? 30 minutes tops. Fastest boarding we have ever done in any port. Disembarking was a disaster- not sure why, but folks who think they are going to get off faster by taking their luggage with them, need smaller luggage they can handle. The Ecstasy is a Fantasy class ship, in other words if you have been on one, you know the lay out. I don't believe we cruised full, but this class of ship never seems full except for the first day lunch on the lido. The more we cruise, the less we do, and the faster the days go by. Five day cruises just don't seem long enough. We went to one comedy show with Al Katz, very funny, very adult. We played miniature golf (when the ship was not moving) and DH beat the heck out of me. We went to the Make it With Michaels twice, and enjoyed making a Christmas tree ornament that looks like a wreath, and one day we made a card. It was supposed to be a letter to Santa, but I already had what I wanted, a cruise with my DH and friends. We were on the Empress deck, Cabin #7, a porthole. We enjoy this area, it is close to activities, but far enough from the atrium and elevators that you don't have hall traffic or noise from the bar and parties. The bed was comfy, and I slept very well, and went to bed early (11) every night. Because our friends eat early at home, we chose early dining. We had great table mates, not such great service, not bad, but they often forget our coffee refills. One night, one of our tablemates went and got the coffee. The staff apologized profusely, but forgot again the next night. I would not choose an assigned time dining again. It seemed that dinner took too long, more than an hour and a half each night-and I feel that that was time I could have been doing something else. Not sure what, but something. Food on the lido was ok, the cakes have really improved! I did donate money to the casino, as did my DH and my BF. The entire casino is smoking, not just part of the casino, and even though I am a smoker, I think that part of the casino should not be. Service overall was very good. Our steward and assistant were great, the girl who worked in the 10 dollar store was fantastic. I had purchased a watch, and it stopped within 12 hours. She replaced it, no problem, and the second watch died once it got wet. It wasn't water proof, it was my fault, but she still replaced it. There were two guys who cleaned ashtrays, I think they made friends with all the smokers. They worked non stop. We had two ports-Nassau-where we created our own excursion. We got a cab to Ardastra, the Bahamian Zoo. It was pretty pathetic compared to American zoos, but to see the Flamingo show, be a flamingo, and feed the lory parrots by hand was a once in a life time opportunity. Think of something that you enjoyed back in the 60's. Nothing computerized, nothing upscale, just a fun experience. And yes, we want to go back. We got a cab back to the port, and had lunch at one of the restaurants on the main road. Next time I will eat on the ship- 57 dollars, for 12 wings, two cokes and two small conch pies (appetizer for 10) Princess Cay was great, sunny, warm and the water was clear and fantastic. However, I do recommend water shoes ( l left mine on the ship) I strongly recommend sun screen ( I left mine on the ship), and we had booked the Coastal cruise, which was cancelled due to high winds. The waves wouldn't bother me, but some one hurling off the side of the boat, would. We still had fun, and don't stay on the ship when you are there! Overall we had a great time, we didn't want to leave the ship, and we did talk about booking a back to back in the future. The couple across the hall from us, was doing one, and then I saw her go pay for parking-they decided to make it a B2B2B. We have three future cruises booked, so would I go again? Heck YES! I had read about a sewage smell on the ship, yes there was, but not throughout the ship. Only near the casino area. I think it might be a clogged drain in the bar area. So don't panic, cruise happy! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were extremely worried about this cruise because of the amount of negative reviews indicating that there was sewage smell around the ship. We were relieved to find that the ship did not smell like sewage. Our room, R208, had some ... Read More
We were extremely worried about this cruise because of the amount of negative reviews indicating that there was sewage smell around the ship. We were relieved to find that the ship did not smell like sewage. Our room, R208, had some slight concerns. There was a slight mildew smell and there was a soft spot on the floor near the bed. Neither ruined our cruise. We would just advise not choosing R208. This was a great value cruise. We knew it wasn't going to have all the bells and whistles. It was 5 days to decompress and the mission was accomplished. I can honestly say there were far more positive things about the cruise then negative. Positive: The ship did not smell like sewage Crew was friendly and hard working While mature, the ship was clean The fellow passengers were lovely Didn't have a bad meal (main dinning and brunch) Comedian Mike Estime had a good clean show The Live Rock Show, had far more hits than misses Complimentary steam room and sauna in the Spa (bring your own flip flops) Negative: Clean comedy is tough, the other comedian resorted to picking on a guy in the crowd Rooms fit 2 comfortably, 3 or more I'd recommend a bunk bed setup Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have used Carnival for many years and have enjoyed it and considered it a good value for a vacation. Traffic, waiting in line to get on and off the ship is expected and a concession you’re willing to make when the rest is relaxing and ... Read More
We have used Carnival for many years and have enjoyed it and considered it a good value for a vacation. Traffic, waiting in line to get on and off the ship is expected and a concession you’re willing to make when the rest is relaxing and paid for except for the drinks. There was 11 of us and we will probably be willing to pay more for more enjoyment and less annoyance in the future. A lot of people feel this way. Upon getting on the ship there was an incredible stench off raw sewage. It was much better the next day but was intermittently noticed throughout the trip. Room cleaning has been reduced from 2 to 1 time daily. Twice is nice for rooms this small. Lobster now cost $20 extra as are some other items that used to be included. Smoked salmon, one of my favorites, was no longer offered. Food was good not great and pretty common items. Nothing special. Pizza and sandwiches were good if you were willing to wait. Even the safety drill was incredibly long with no explanation. We were entertained by having members of the audience tell jokes while waiting to be released. Announcements were particularly annoying since we had to go into the hallway to be able to hear and they were pretty much always commercial announcements. But you had to listen in case it was an emergency. Returning from shore excursions, was somewhat unpleasant due to constantly being told to keep moving whether. There was anywhere to move to or not and some of the cattle herders were impolite. Overall atmosphere was that there was an effort to cut costs through reduced services and personnel as well as general maintenance and food costs. Also very notable that exiting the cruise ship was very slow and some people appeared to randomly be searched or at least their luggage was. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We booked a family vacation for 8 and drove down from NY to Jax. Immediately the smell onboard was off putting but we decide to ignore as best we could and have a good time. Staff appear to be working hard and the entertainment was good . ... Read More
We booked a family vacation for 8 and drove down from NY to Jax. Immediately the smell onboard was off putting but we decide to ignore as best we could and have a good time. Staff appear to be working hard and the entertainment was good . The food was sub par tasteless and lukewarm. Pizza was good so we ate that a lot . Buffet is in supervised by staff and kids were touching everything. No one was encouraged to wash hands. No one enforced rule of hot tubs . It really was a germ fest. On Weds 12/5 our youngest began to vomit . Now on our drive home all the kids are sick IN THE CAR trapped! Worst cruise ever. The Ecstasy needs to be retired and the Head chef needs to be replaced and forced to eat from the buffet! It really baffles me why Carnival continues to sail this ship. Such a waste of money for us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We just came off a cruise on RCL Allure of the Seas, but Carnival had great last minute prices, and our schedule was open so we jumped. It's not fair to compare the world's largest cruise ship to one of the smallest and oldest, ... Read More
We just came off a cruise on RCL Allure of the Seas, but Carnival had great last minute prices, and our schedule was open so we jumped. It's not fair to compare the world's largest cruise ship to one of the smallest and oldest, but there are some physical issues on the Ecstasy that could be improved. To begin, I have to say the cruise itself was good. Our room steward, MDR waiters and bar staff was great. The interior of the ship was spotless, indicated by the constant presence of crew members cleaning and dusting every surface. My concern is the exterior of the vessel. Granted, it is 28 years old and near the end of its' service life, but we've been on old ships before and they manage to look better. The photos below show that it is sloppy maintenance, not age that is showing. There were many rusty areas that clearly need paint. We heard that they just came out of a yard period, and if so, they did some interior work, but clearly nothing exterior. Our cabin porthole was like looking through wax paper due to a large paint smudge on the outside. (see photo) Ok, enough of that. Being a small ship, there aren't a lot of bells and whistles like the mega liners but the kids activities we saw seemed to be enjoyable and they were broken up by age groups. The main shows were ok, but the nightly music trivia games in the atrium were well attended and a lot of fun. The 6 deck open atrium layout of this class of ship makes it easy for many people to have a good view of whatever is going on, and the sound system is excellent. The various music groups ran the gamut of decent to excellent, with the surprise being the violin duo. With programmed backup tracks, they played contemporary as well as classic rock tunes that drew a large audience wherever they were. Another surprise was the fact that we had no issues finding deck chairs! This being cruise number 21 for us, it's a first. We had two sea days and there were still many places to lay out and relax. There was a definite absence of roaming waiters on the upper decks, so we had to go down to the pool deck to get drinks every day. We are not impressed with embarkation in Jacksonville. There were several chokepoints and they didn't seem too efficient. Debarkation was fast though, and we were off the ship 15 minutes before we were scheduled. Maybe it was because they started with deck 7, which is where our cabin was, so we got off before delays started. Carnival is not always our first choice of cruise lines, but you have to admit, they have some good deals and any cruise is more fun than sitting at home! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I was on the ship for the 11/14 and 11/18 cruises. I must admit it was a WHOLE different group of people on the 4 day cruise vs the 5 day cruise. Everyone complains of a smell on the ship. I only smelled a slight odor in the ... Read More
I was on the ship for the 11/14 and 11/18 cruises. I must admit it was a WHOLE different group of people on the 4 day cruise vs the 5 day cruise. Everyone complains of a smell on the ship. I only smelled a slight odor in the Jacksonville port near the atrium bar. After that, I did not smell anything of what previous cruisers complained of. The staff was amazing on this ship. I spent most of my time in the alchemy bar and atrium bar. Zoran, Richard and Nelson are fun to harass. However watch out for Rosita's drinks... they sneak up on you. The do "happy hours" in the casino bar on embarkation day and when we are in Nassau. The stopped smoking at the bar which made the area a little easier to hang out in. Food was meh on the ship. It was nice trying the new brunch menu but the only thing I found enjoyable is the granola. Igor in the MDR at least kept my meals interesting. Alex the cruise director is super awesome! I will book another cruise with him again. Freeport - Taino beach with open bar was worth every penny. It takes a little to get the drinks flowing but once the waitress sees you, she will bring you doubles upon doubles. The sand was super soft. Nassau - I walked to Graycliff and Watlings. Unfortunately it was raining so the tour was limited. HMC - I rented Villa C. It was perfectly located. Not too far from food. Close to the bars. Not too close to the loud music. B2B - This was my first and now I am hooked. I booked the same room so I did not have to pack my suitcase on the first debarkation day. The hotel coordinator person on the ship sent a small gift, we took a group picture (there was 4 of us) and we had a "welcome" drink at 9:45 as the last of the first group of cruisers were leaving the ship. We did a quick customs thingy and were back partying around 10:45 when the first group of the next cruisers were coming aboard. If I have any complaints, well I have two... one is I felt there were not enough activities (dance classes, deck parties) going on during the day. Second is the attitude of some of the other cruisers. You're on vacation. Leave your negativity at home. Bad attitudes can certainly foul up a room. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a last minute cruise for us - we booked it one week before we left. We booked it because Jacksonville was close by and my husband had to take a week of vacation or he was going to lose it. That said, we've cruised on 5 ... Read More
This was a last minute cruise for us - we booked it one week before we left. We booked it because Jacksonville was close by and my husband had to take a week of vacation or he was going to lose it. That said, we've cruised on 5 Carnival ships and this was the smallest class ship we've been on. I definitely prefer the larger cruise ships - being smaller, we felt a lot more movement and lots of passengers were complaining of sea sickness. The food was hit or miss. Sea day brunch with steak and eggs was a favorite. The worst part of the trip was the stench that you could smell in various areas of the ship. Just a sewer smell - like you were stuck in an outhouse. They really need to do something about that smell. Waitstaff was great. We had a great dinner staff. The casino is smaller and not enough slot machines for the amount of people wanting to play. It was hard to find a machine in the evenings. Overall - you get what you pay for. We paid less - it was a smaller ship, it's older, it smelled - and next time we will book a larger ship and a newer ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 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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