1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This was the first time my family cruised, and my father wanted a port close to home. Charleston is 2 hours away from where we live. My SO and I (mid 30s), my sister and niece, and my parents (mid 60s), cruised together, having staterooms ... Read More
This was the first time my family cruised, and my father wanted a port close to home. Charleston is 2 hours away from where we live. My SO and I (mid 30s), my sister and niece, and my parents (mid 60s), cruised together, having staterooms next to one another on the Empress deck. This review is based on my opinions, and since we've never cruised before, I have nothing to base any of this off of other than our experiences this past weekend. Embarkation was fine. It was a long line but the process itself was okay. I've waited in much longer lines at various airports. We selected the 12:00-12:30 boarding and finally got on the ship shortly after 1. Debarkation today was okay. A bit disorganized and the line took a while to move, but we were just thankful to be back in Charleston. Overall, we found out that we just aren't cruise people. It's okay. Different strokes for different folks. We are glad to have experienced cruising but all feel that it's just not for us. This ship seemed to be filled with a bunch of party animals, which is fine I suppose but the drunken belligerence got worse as the cruise went on. Last night at 10:20 as we were preparing to go to bed, we heard a ton of commotion in the hallway outside of our room. Someone was yelling and cursing, dropping f-bombs and you could hear bodies being thrown against walls. We opened the door to see what was going on, and doors up and down the hallway were open with people looking out, watching an all-out brawl between 2 men, one of whom had his head split open, blood pouring out his face, dripping it all over the carpet and the walls in the hallway, where it remained this morning as we exited. Just something to keep in mind, and I'm sure it happens on most ships, but I figured I'd put it out there for anyone that's never cruised before. I tried to find a way to call security but there was literally nothing on the phone that said what to dial. I guess 911 would've worked since I'm sure the one guy needed his face stitched up, but two employees in the hallway said to call room service and they'd call security. You would think there would be a direct number to call. Either way, it took security a while to get there, and other passengers were having to keep these 2 morons apart from each other. Food: We ate Guy's burgers the first day and they were okay. Nothing special. Fries were good. We had tacos several times that were DELICIOUS!! I don't know what kind of seasoning dust they put on those tortillas but it.is.amazing!! That night we had dinner in the dining room. Food was decent but nothing overwhelmingly tasty. Our server, Paul, was very nice and helpful and when telling him of an allergy, he went out of his way to ensure that none of food served contained those items, going so far as to bring the next nights menu for me to preview. The crab cake on the second night was amazing, as was the creme brulee. I didn't care for the melting chocolate cake -- it was soupy and gross! (Sorry, I know some of you are die hard fans!!) The other two nights we ate the buffet. Buffet on Lido deck was a disappointment the times we ate there, minus breakfast. Honestly, I think Golden Corral might be better, and certainly gives more options. The desserts were bland and tasteless. Most of the meats I tried were overcooked almost to the point of being inedible. The "soft serve ice cream" was more like ice milk and had a weird, granular texture -- definitely didn't taste like any soft serve I've had before. The pizza was good. I enjoyed the prosciutto pizza several times. The deli has decent sandwiches!! The dessert offerings between Guys and Blue Iguana were often warm, mushy, and gross. They should find a way to keep those chilled because the humidity and temperature made the textures terrible! Cabin: We stayed in E126 -- it had a window!! Again, I have nothing to compare it to, but it worked for the two of us. Ample closet space, the storage height under the beds was adequate for our luggage. The bathroom was probably the only downside to the room. It was horribly awkward trying to shave in such a small space. I've done it before in a tiny bathroom in an rv, but just because I've had that previous experience doesn't mean it was less awkward! lol Prior to booking this cruise, I was certain that I would be okay in an interior room but having spent the majority of my time in the room this trip, there is no way I would have survived without a window. Our steward, Kadek, was friendly and kept the room perfectly clean and kept our ice buckets filled. He was great! As I said before, this boat was full of party people. I suppose that's great, and in my late teens and early 20s, I probably would've enjoyed that atmosphere, but in all, this cruise was anything but relaxing. The Serenity deck is small. It has 4 umbrellas. The 2 hot tubs hold maybe 4-6 people each. The cushions on the chairs are stained terribly and just generally do not look good. The pool on the Lido deck was very small. We didn't have a chance to use it, as it was usually full of people, obviously. The mini-golf is on the very top, which is quite possibly, the stupidest place you could put mini-golf. It was so windy that it was impossible to play, with the very child-sized clubs and foam balls. Also, it seemed to be a popular spot for the aforementioned drunk and belligerent crowd, who had great fun whacking the ball(s) as hard as they could across the ship. We didn't see any shows (though others in the party did and enjoyed them). The casino was small but those who used it had fun. All in all, I don't feel I really utilized enough of the ship to make cruising worth my while. Admittedly, I am a loner; I enjoy peace and quiet and serenity, which seems to be the opposite of what cruising is, at least on this particular ship. I'm sure for someone who's a people person, or enjoys a lot of activities and nightlife, this would be a perfect ship. Next time, we'll fly directly to an island and spend more time sightseeing. I did spend the $5 for the Carnival Hub chat feature, as did 3 others in our party. It was somewhat helpful but there were a lot of glitches wherein our messages wouldn't go through, etc. One feature that app should have is the ability to "favorite" dining times. You can favorite activities, but the dining doesn't have that ability, which could have been helpful for remembering different things we wanted to try. One last word: port day was Nassau. We decided to walk to Junkanoo beach on the advice of several people. The walk isn't too bad -- maybe 15 minutes -- we were approached by at least 20 people trying to get us to buy cigars or take tours, etc. We simply told them no and they left us alone. Once at Junkanoo Beach, we found the Tiki Bikini Hut, which was recommended to us. We were approached by a server there who offered us 2 chairs, an umbrella, and 8 drink tickets for $85. We probably could've haggled but it was hot, I was tired from the walk, and I just wanted to sit down. This "beach" is so small, so crowded, and there is construction literally right beside you. It was NOT relaxing. The water was great -- cool, crystal clear -- but for the price we paid, I wish we'd taken a taxi to a resort and bought day passes to somewhere with more beach, more amenities, less noise, less construction, less people. They really cram you in a small space on this part of Junkanoo Beach!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We sailed on the Carnival Ecstasy for our first cruise six years ago and decided to go on this ship again since the port is so close. While the ship is older and perhaps not as fancy as newer ships, it is very well maintained and clean. We ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Ecstasy for our first cruise six years ago and decided to go on this ship again since the port is so close. While the ship is older and perhaps not as fancy as newer ships, it is very well maintained and clean. We really enjoyed the addition of new restaurants, such as Guy's Burgers. Pros: -By and large, service was excellent. There were a couple of issues (which I'll list below), but waitstaff in the restaurants was wonderful. We also always has fresh towels in our room, and anytime we needed anything, it was quickly handled. -The food was very good compared to other Carnival ships I've been on recently. -There were plenty of activities to do. We went on a different Carnival cruise in December, and there was hardly any trivia or other fun stuff to do during the day besides go to the casino. On the Ecstasy, there were fun activities to do around the clock. -Even though the cruise was sold out, we seldom had to wait for anything. They had plenty of staff available, so even lines that seemed long at first went by extremely quickly. The ship is very well organized and nothing was super congested. -The cleanness of this ship (well, all Carnival ships I've been on really) is so impressive! The bathrooms were always perfect, and with hundreds of people milling in and out of the public areas, it shows how hard they work to keep things clean. Cons: -What happened to the twice-a-day room service, including turn-down, towel animals, and chocolates? We only had towel animals twice on our trip. This isn't a big deal, of course, but was definitely part of the charm on our first cruise. -The excursions were disappointing. For the Princess Cays, we purchased a snorkel package that included 30 minutes on a water bike. When we tried to use the bike (an hour before we were told the activity would shut down), it was already closed. The people running it were napping on picnic tables. When we asked about a partial refund, Carnival refused to refund half of the package (and this was half of the price of the package), saying that the excursion was on sale when we bought it. We were only asking on a refund on part of the sale price, so that made no sense. We did the dolphin swim in Nassau, and while it was lots of fun, the photo package was so expensive that I didn't have enough cash on hand to get it. (It was $100 for a disc of 10 pictures, so be prepared...they won't let you bring a GoPro, camera, or phone to take a picture yourself.) While this wasn't Carnival's fault, of course, some warning on this would have been helpful. -I fell down and badly hurt my leg. This was witnessed by one of the workers in the WaterWorks area. He said he would call for help, but no one ever came and brought so much as ice. An X-ray when I went to the urgent care after getting back showed showed that my leg was actually fractured. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
First, the embarkation on the ship went very quick. We had an embarkation appointment at 1:00 p.m, but we were with a group and your company called Jett Tours. We arrived early at around lunch time so 12:00 p.m. The embarkation was quick ... Read More
First, the embarkation on the ship went very quick. We had an embarkation appointment at 1:00 p.m, but we were with a group and your company called Jett Tours. We arrived early at around lunch time so 12:00 p.m. The embarkation was quick went straight in got through the metal detectors, went and added cash money in my Sail & Sign account. Then after about 15 minuets we were on the boat by 12:15 p.m. upon getting on the ship R41 me and my sisters room was ready by 1:30 p.m. Now, exactly at 4:00 p.m. we left Charleston, South Carolina for a fun sea day. The sea day was just going and basically eating, laying out, looking at Duty - Free Shops, and other miscellaneous things. It was the same for both sea days. I did an excursion on each of the islands we went to which we went to first Eleuthera, Princess Cays, Bahamas. On the first island me and my party went for a Adult Santuary Bungalow. The bungalow did come with food and everything and was really good. Even had soda. The bad part is with the rocks. Princess Cays is such a rocky place and I got cutband hurt many times and I was looking for rocks but they still scraped. The second island was New Providence, Nassau, Bahamas. It was so much better and we went to Atlantis. Other than being attacked by a seagull Atlantis was wonderful and the best and so fun. We had the water park and aquarium for Atlantis. To add they also did have mixers for LGBT guests to meet and mingle each day which was nice and felt very comfortable and inclusive of everyone. The debarktion process was good as well. Very quick and efficient. I was off the ship in like at 8:30 a.m. and by 9:00 was on the Charter Bus. They were no issues at all and all I needed was my License and my declaration sheet for the cigarettes for my mother. Then we were on our way. All in all it was a nice experience and I would definitely sail on the Ecstasy again. Even though it’s a older ship, a little dated, and a little more moving. It was still nice. It didn’t bother me and the staff is always nice. Gabriela at guest services even game me a free drink because I just looked like I needed one. They are nice and everything. I have no complaints really. Would 100% recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
This is my second cruise , first was Fascination so Chose this cruise since closest port to home. The major complaint is the sewage smell , while outside lounging on deck , I tried to move to several different locations but always ... Read More
This is my second cruise , first was Fascination so Chose this cruise since closest port to home. The major complaint is the sewage smell , while outside lounging on deck , I tried to move to several different locations but always smelled strong odors. The pool and hot tubs was always overcrowded, and not enough lounge chairs in shade. With the exception At Nassau, which we stayed on ship. I was disappointed with the fact I was supposed to get a two room upgrade and all I got was a tiny cabin again same size as before the bunk bed pulled out and there was no room you had to crawl to get into bed and everyone bumped there heads all week including me. Princess Cays was disappointing, it was very rocky and the sand was rough and sharp, water shoes a must. The buffet was food was bland and nothing special, flys we’re everywhere especially at dessert bar on the food so I skipped the desserts. I will try Royal or Disney cruises next time. The service from the stewards, Micheal was outstanding, the dining room food was good , and again the servers were excellent and loved the magician , they deserve every cent of the gratuities I paid 64$ per day :) Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
This was my 1st cruise experience. We purchased this cruise for my daughters college graduation gift. We had a great time! Gary, the cruise director, shows are a must see. We saw as much as we could everyday. So many activities planned. ... Read More
This was my 1st cruise experience. We purchased this cruise for my daughters college graduation gift. We had a great time! Gary, the cruise director, shows are a must see. We saw as much as we could everyday. So many activities planned. Nightly trivia games, comedian, and lots and lots of dancing. It was fantastic. Food was good. We ate on the Lido deck throughout the day and dining room at night. Really didn’t have any food I didn’t like. I thought the staff was very friendly. I enjoyed hearing their accents and where they were from. It was great to talk and meet other people on the cruise. Our cabin was always clean. Our Stewart, prata was amazing. She always called me by my name. The entire staff were friendly, approachable and helpful. My only negative was it’s an older ship but it didn’t lack in any other areas! Easy embarking and disembarking. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
I chose this cruise for my first cruise with my friends to celebrate graduating from college. It was such an amazing experience, and that was in large part, due to the wonderful staff on this ship, who helped make it an unforgettable ... Read More
I chose this cruise for my first cruise with my friends to celebrate graduating from college. It was such an amazing experience, and that was in large part, due to the wonderful staff on this ship, who helped make it an unforgettable experience. The entertainment crew (fun squad), were some of my favorite, and in particular the DJ, Lee. He was so funny and just amazing at what he does. I enjoyed all the dance parties, as well as the Mardi Gras Party on my last night. Another one of the wonderful people, was our house keeper, Jurney! He was always so kind to my friends and I, he done a great job cleaning our room, always left us cute towel animals, and never ceased to greet us with a smile. I would like to also mention one lady from guest services, Ioana, who went above and beyond in helping my friends and I plan for our excursion in Nassau! All in all, we had a wonderful time laying out by the pools, the music and dance parties, and the karaoke. I do think the food could be better, but that's my opinion. There were also some weird smells on the ship that I did not like. Besides that, it was an amazing experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
Chose this cruise based on the ports of call - St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the length of the cruise and embarkation port close to home. Pluses of the ship: Clean ship, easy to get around, great ship for smoker's, ... Read More
Chose this cruise based on the ports of call - St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the length of the cruise and embarkation port close to home. Pluses of the ship: Clean ship, easy to get around, great ship for smoker's, Negatives: For non-smoker's they must walk through the casino smoking area to get to the aft or forward part of the ship. Food: Lido - Way below par - cold food should be kept at below 40 degrees and hot food above 140 degees. This was failed to do. Guy's Burgers - NO BIG DEAL, Dining Room - Lasagna meat was on the standard of a mechanical diet consistancy. I ordered steak (filet mignon) for an additional $20 and asked to have it cooked medium-rare, it came out rare/raw, not once but twice. Glad they took the charge off of my bill. On another dining room experience, water glasses were not cleaned, found black floating piece of something, ordered new water glasses for the table only for the one of the new glasses to have a dark brown spot at the bottom, and then noticed that the remaining glasses had some floating pulp, called Maitre'D over and he replaced glasses with cleaner ones and gave the table bottled water. He indicated that it might be a problem with the dishwashing machines. One saving grace with all these food problems is that I called this cruise the 8-day cruise diet. I loss ten pounds due to being sick for 3 out of the 8 days! Thank goodness we had a great cabin steward (Jhoni) who kept me furnished with a clean cabin and ginger all and bottled water. Before booking any cruise, check out the CDC's website for cruise ships ratings. Most ships get a rating of 95 to 100. The Carnival Ecstasy's rating was a 86! Not good, this should tell you something is definetly wrong. The last Carnival ship we sailed on in November 2016 was the Magic, which had a high rating. We did our own excursions as we have been to these ports before and knew our way around. We will not go back on this ship. We are booked on a December cruise with Royal Caribbean on Brillance of The Seas. Fingers crossed that it will be a better experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
First time on this ship. Although old and small, it was totally fine and acceptable. We will NOT cruise again during this time frame. We appeared to have been caught in a time warp - where no party people were on board. This was my ... Read More
First time on this ship. Although old and small, it was totally fine and acceptable. We will NOT cruise again during this time frame. We appeared to have been caught in a time warp - where no party people were on board. This was my eighth Carnival cruise, and I have never seen such a dull crowd. Our group of 6 would laugh out loud at dinner and people would shoot us dirty looks. Very odd experience for Carnival! Our stateroom steward was the bomb - especially after we gave him a goody bag of candy, phone card, and cash at beginning of cruise. Some dining room dinners were good, but others were disappointing. Jason, the piano man, is a great piano player, but he is not a great singer or entertainer. On the other hand, nobody can compare to Gustavo on Carnival Paradise. Embarkation was probably the easiest we have ever experienced; never gone out of Charleston before. Disembarkation was fine. Getting luggage was basically a mess due to such a small space and cruisers intercepting porters that the staff had signaled for us. All in all, we had a great time as we are not easy going and don't sweat the small stuff. The only reason I wouldn't sail this ship again is that I am ready to experience the Horizon and Vista! Read Less
Sail Date: May 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
This was my first cruise and I enjoyed myself so much that I didn't want it to end. The Carnival staff is just amazing! The cabin was so clean! The young men who cleaned our room Rust and Ting knew us by name and we had just arrived. They ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I enjoyed myself so much that I didn't want it to end. The Carnival staff is just amazing! The cabin was so clean! The young men who cleaned our room Rust and Ting knew us by name and we had just arrived. They were so friendly I went to my room to get a few dollars for Rust and he started laughing and saying "Thank you." My roommate said "Yes, he knew you had never cruised. We tip them at the end. " This is how impressed I was with the service. The food was more than I had hoped for. I enjoyed the shrimp burritos and the burgers on the LIDO Deck. The dining room at the Wind Song is really nice with an exceptional staff. I tip my hat to Alex who is just a person with a beautiful soul. He is so devoted to the people he serves. He is also entertaining and humorous that our table was in tears laughing. Alex also has some sexy dance moves. The helpers Floyd and Putra stayed on top of things. Whenever we were done with one dish they were ready to serve the next one. Floyd and Alex did this trick balancing forks with toothpicks that blew our minds. I have to say Putra's smile is so contagious that I looked forward to seeing him each night. He also called me by name on the first night. I will always remember this wonderful staff. It is because of Alex that the people at our table wanted to get to know one another. The entertainment set up by the Cruise Director Gary and the Production Manger is a "Must See." The cast of the shows are so talented and you can't help but appreciate all the work they put in to entertain everyone. The "American Rock" show and The Brits were Awesome! I also enjoyed Gary's humor during The Love and Marriage Show. I enjoyed the different Trivia games every day. I got really close to winning the music trivia from 50's and 60's. I went to all the Effy jewelry raffles and didn't win anything. I did get a free charm bracelet. The two things I was so proud to see Gary take part in was the Military Appreciation and St. Jude Grove Fundraiser. It was an emotional day for some of the military men and my heart was heavy holding back the tears. I learned a new dance during St Jude Grove. It was a fun time. I also enjoyed Kim Harrison comedy show. She has one rather interesting song she came up with. The Bahamas has pretty blue waters. My shore excursion was the beautiful Atlantis. It is something I'm glad I got to see. My day at Princess Cays was spent on the beach which had rocky waters. I was so glad the rain stopped and I got to go for a walk. Embarkation day was just as easy getting off the ship as it was getting on. The staff does a great job at keeping the lines moving and making sure everything runs smoothly. Carnival Ecstasy, I think I love you! This South Carolina Girl Read Less
Carnival Ecstasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.8
Family 3.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 2.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 5.0 4.3

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