6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
ust got off our cruise on the Ecstasy out of Charleston, and I thought I'd share a few notes with you all. The embarkation went faster that we had hoped in Charleston. We arrived at the port at 11am and were onboard and in our cabin by ... Read More
ust got off our cruise on the Ecstasy out of Charleston, and I thought I'd share a few notes with you all. The embarkation went faster that we had hoped in Charleston. We arrived at the port at 11am and were onboard and in our cabin by 11:30. Eating lunch 10 minutes later. Having FTTF helped. Guys Burgers were great, as were the tacos and burritos at Blue Iguana, pizza at Pizza Pirate, and sandwiches from the deli. All great. Not so great were the Lido buffet each night. This was our 11th cruise with Carnival and the first time we've felt the buffet food quality has declined. But with the above mentioned options were we well fed every day. One positive note: The deli was still making sandwiches to order. No premade sandwiches stacked on shelves like other ships have gone to. Never had a problem finding a table or chairs on Lido deck to sit and eat or relax. Never waited longer than a few minutes for food at any of the eateries. That's always been one of the perks of the smaller ships for us. Princess Cay was very nice. Enjoyed our time there. Nassau was Nassau. We walked around downtown and in the Straw Market. Souvenir prices have gotten outrageous there, and also on Princess Cay. The ship itself is showing considerable wear. Had a couple of issues with our stateroom. One was fixed asap (loose toilet seat about to come off), and the other issue they said they couldn't fix (very low water pressure in the shower). They suggested showering at off hours when not so many were also showering. Tried that. Didn't matter. We made the best of it. A few holes in the cabin curtains, a very hard bed, but nothing we couldn't deal with. Debarkation went just as fast as embarkation for us. With FTTF we walked off the ship at 8am with no wait. In our car and heading out at 8:30. All in all a good time, but I think we will pass on the Ecstasy for future sailings. Regards, Oletruckdude Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
This cruise was booked for a birthday celebration. The group included 11 ladies split between 4 different cabins. This review is solely based on my cabin and experience. Charleston is a convenient port for those in the areas of ... Read More
This cruise was booked for a birthday celebration. The group included 11 ladies split between 4 different cabins. This review is solely based on my cabin and experience. Charleston is a convenient port for those in the areas of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and areas within driving distance. Although you can fly, the airport is a quick taxi ride to the port, this would get so much more use if they had more ships. Several people shared that the city of Charleston is only wanting one boat at a time using the port. Carnival is switching out the Ecstasy for the Sunshine in 2019. Embarkation was speedy, I made it through security and over to the check-in counter with ease. I was on the gangway within 10 minutes.Get there by 11 and you can get on the boat. They give you a special time on your boarding pass but it didn't seem to matter. Once on the boat the party was revving up on the Lido Deck. Guy's Burger Joint was ready as was the Blue Iguana Cantina and the lunch buffet. The pizza place at the very back of the Lido Deck was great, the Caesar salad was a HUGE hit. If you have the bubbles package (sodas, not alcohol) you need to pay SC tax while in port. Also, the bubbles/alcohol packages cannot be used on the private island or on room service. We were allowed to our cabins promptly at 1:30 and many bags were already there. We loved our room, small TV (not a ton of channels, not good if you are seasick or stuck in your room, thankfully we weren't). Bathroom was tiny but that's to be expected. Water pressure was not good, fuse blew when too many people were drying their hair and some cabin bathrooms had a slight odor but essential oils took care of that issue. We mustered around 3:30. This was a typical muster, we listened to the rules, walked up to where our lifeboat was and that was it. We didn't need to bring our vests. We sailed away and toured around the ship. It's a smaller ship, maybe 2000 people on board but, unless you walked the length of the boat on our deck (Deck 5 Main) we had to weasel in and out of rooms (mostly the casino on Deck 9) which was filled with cigarette smoke. There was awesome nightly entertainment near the China Town bar but the smoke kept us away. Piano Bar was fun, comedy was great, shows were great, the Love and Marriage show is always a winner and we were even able to watch the Super Bowl in the two lounges as well as the Lido Deck. The Alchemy Bar was awesome, martini tastings were a big hit and there were wonderful areas at the bar and in it's vicinity to sit and enjoy your drink. We had the late seating for dining and we LOVED it. Our server, Lucy, knew our names almost immediately, catered to the specialty dishes some of our party needed and was a delight over the entire trip. Support staff in the dining room was wonderful as well. The food was quite tasty overall, I have to admit, I was very pleasantly surprised (just ask the 8 pounds I brought home with me hahaha) Day 2 was all day at sea, the boat is older so we felt LOTS of rocking. Some didn't like that and had some sea sickness. Thankfully I didn't and found the rocking to be soothing and relaxing. Sea Day Brunch was another pleasant surprise- get the steak and eggs. The steak was tender and seasoned well. Omelets were good too I heard but on both sea days, during the brunch I got steak and eggs. The private island, Princess Cay, was great, the water was chilly and it was windy but we found a great pavilion with plenty of seats both in and out of the shade. The island lunch was okay, burgers with accouterments. Some of us headed back to the boat (you have to take a tender to and from the main ship) and before boarding you need to go through security so plan accordingly. I heard that as the time to board got closer, the lines were long, the sun was hot and if you wanted shade there were limited seats on the bottom of the tender. The next day we got to Nassau and opted to go to the Nassau Hilton, its right next door to Senor Frogs. $79 got you a day pass that included a $40 food/beverage credit to use, access to their private beach, pool, chairs, umbrellas etc. It was worth every penny. It was clean, quiet, not crowded at all. I would go there again in a heartbeat. The food was pricey, a burger was $19.75- so your credit doesn't go too far. Beachy adult beverages averaged around $10 as did a shot. Yup. A shot was $10. Note that there is a tax added to the food and drinks but gratuity is already included. On our way back, our second sea day, it was chilly- windy and somewhat cloudy so time on deck was limited. We had fun sleeping in, going to the sea day brunch, playing BINGO and taking naps. For our final dinner we headed back to the dining room (we went every night, the choices were great, rarely was there an issue choosing something yummy) and followed it up with the comedy club and show. The morning of debarkation was loud as I said above, the boat is old but don't let it deceive you, it was a really fun time. Plenty of places to relax, unwind and enjoy yourself. It's not a mega ship, it has few modern features but the size of it can be a good thing. The private beach day wasn't crowded, the deck always had seats available, getting on and off the boat happened with minimal wait time. We made our way back to the security building, grabbed our luggage (we left it outside our doors by 11pm the night before, you could carry it if you wanted to) and made it through customs quickly. I grabbed a taxi to the airport but others in my party waited in line for a shuttle to get them to the parking deck. If you are looking for a fun getaway, this is great for those on the east coast who don't want to go to the major ports. I may need to return when they put the Sunshine on rotation. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
The staff was great and I enjoyed the entire cruise. Brittany kept the fun going and Ronodolph was always on the spot when needed for the stateroom. Everyone that were there to support you KNEW you by name and did a great job making ... Read More
The staff was great and I enjoyed the entire cruise. Brittany kept the fun going and Ronodolph was always on the spot when needed for the stateroom. Everyone that were there to support you KNEW you by name and did a great job making everyone feel right at home. Jerome the photographer was my BFF while on the boat and kept the pictures displayed. The kids had Camp Ocean the ladies in there were very professional and attentive to the kids. My boys did not want to leave. The Dr. Seuss theme was so much fun for the kids as well as kids at heart. There was even a parade and Dr. Seuss pics. Food was plentiful and always good. The burgers are juicy and cooked fresh in front of you. Don't go on cruise to relax because there is ALWAYS something to do. When I got home I needed a couple days to rest. :-) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our third sailing with Carnival, and our last. This ship is old, and needs a complete face lift. Paint was pealing all over the deck. The food was mediocre. The breakfast buffet was the same everyday, as was the lunch buffet. We ... Read More
This was our third sailing with Carnival, and our last. This ship is old, and needs a complete face lift. Paint was pealing all over the deck. The food was mediocre. The breakfast buffet was the same everyday, as was the lunch buffet. We were drinking what we thought was iced tea, only to see one of the staff pour in a container that said "iced tea flavoring mix"..... The buffet felt more like a mess hall in the military. Plastic platters, short little yellow and green cups, silverware wrapped in old faded napkins. The only night we had dinner in the dining room, it was very rushed. We sat down, were given our menus and literally a minute later the waiter asked if we were ready to order. We said we needed a few more minutes, he did a heavy sigh and walked away. After we did order, the food came out fast. It was not a great experience. Guy's Burger Joint was about the best food on the cruise! The Comedy shows were great, just wish they were a bit longer. The staff was personable and helpful. Our stateroom was average. It was in need of paint and refurbishing. There is not a way to adjust the temperature in the room, so we had cold air blowing on us all night. Our room steward was exceptional! There needs to be a larger adult only area. The weather was not great on our cruise, but the one day it was warm and you could swim and catch some sun, the pool was filled with kids... the hot tubs were filled with kids. Had the same problem on my other two Carnival Cruises. Embarkation and Debarkation was smooth and stress free. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Just returned from a cruise with friends. While Carnival is usually not my cruise choice and while the weather wasn’t what we’d hoped for, we had a great time. The staff on the Ecstacy was amazing. We LOVED several of the ... Read More
Just returned from a cruise with friends. While Carnival is usually not my cruise choice and while the weather wasn’t what we’d hoped for, we had a great time. The staff on the Ecstacy was amazing. We LOVED several of the entertainment staff, especially Houston, who was all over the ship and was the BEST karioki mc, the musician who played in the Atrium (and other places) and the guy in the piano bar. Also liked the variety of activities, though we wanted to do several things that were in the smoking area of the ship but the smoke made it impossible for us to do them. Our room was ok, though we only had ONE working electrical outlet (US) for 3 people, which was a challenge charging devices. However, our room steward was very good. Carnival now has an app you can use for texting, which cost us $5 each for the duration of the cruise. The concept is great and in the beginning it worked well (we were with other people in other rooms, so could coordinate more easily), but toward the end of the trip our messages would take forever to go through and it was really useless. It’s a great idea, if it worked, but definitely not worth more than the $5 we paid. Disembarkation in Charleston is very different and fairly amazing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We mainly chose it because Charleston is a close drive for us, but also because we've cruised on the Ecstasy before and really loved it! It's an older ship and it definitely shows in wear, but we still think it's a beautiful ship and we ... Read More
We mainly chose it because Charleston is a close drive for us, but also because we've cruised on the Ecstasy before and really loved it! It's an older ship and it definitely shows in wear, but we still think it's a beautiful ship and we had a fantastic time. All the crew members were so friendly and helpful, and always took the time to chat with us and tell us some great stories. The entertainment staff did a fantastic job putting on some great shows and parties for us. The Comedian Doug Williams was HILARIOUS!! Definitely enjoyed his shows the most out of all we've seen. The food was excellent for every meals, and we loved the addition of Guy's Burgers and the new Cantina - the burritos are fantastic! Princess Cays was absolutely breathtaking, gorgoues beaches and the water is the bluest I'eve ever soon. Would definitely go for a 3rd time on the Ecstasy! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Had a great time. The weather in January is hit or miss and it was a miss. Sea was very rough. Embarkation went very quickly (faster to fun passes) and we were on ship in about 30 minutes. Parking at Charleston port went very smoothly ... Read More
Had a great time. The weather in January is hit or miss and it was a miss. Sea was very rough. Embarkation went very quickly (faster to fun passes) and we were on ship in about 30 minutes. Parking at Charleston port went very smoothly except for people who did not have their luggage tagged correctly and held up the line. Recommend prepaying for parking. Parked in warehouse. They had ample buses to drop you off right at terminal. Ship was nice but towards end there was a terrible smell in the atrium. We had set dining at 8:15 and the wait staff were wonderful. Had my granddaughter (7) and myself up dancing which was a lot of fun. Band at metropolis bar was very good and the stripes bar was fun. Service at casino and metropolis bar was great!!!! Knew exactly what I was drinking and didn’t have to tell them. We left Charleston in 23 degree weather so our room was cold but ask for extra blankets. Our rooms were E251 and E253 aft with balconies (last rooms) and very comfortable and quite. Our steward, Madie, was great. Paid special attention to our granddaughter. Had our granddaughter signed up for the kids camp and she really enjoyed. She wanted to be there a lot. Did not use water slide, pool orhot tub because of weather and seas rough. Did self walk at Nassau and was good. Did not get off ship at Freeport because of weather and the market was closed. Deparkation was very organized and back at car in about 45 minutes. Get a porter to help with your luggage. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
This was my 3rd carnival cruise (4th overall). It was mostly as expected for carnival. Good entertainment and good food. The ship is smaller and older than others I have been on but they have made some updates. There is only one pool and ... Read More
This was my 3rd carnival cruise (4th overall). It was mostly as expected for carnival. Good entertainment and good food. The ship is smaller and older than others I have been on but they have made some updates. There is only one pool and the hot tubs were always completely full of 10 year olds, we couldn't even get our feet in. If you didnt get a chair before 9a, it was impossible to find one in the sun the rest of the day. I did not have this problem on other ships. Food overall was decent. The main dining room dinners take a longggg time and I noticed the buffet had most of the same food. The pizza place (although 24 hours) was shared with a grill so the line was long. Several times they didn't have anything available and I had to wait 10-15 minutes for my food. The comedy club had the same person every night but with a different show. I did appreciate the different drink menus at each bar. My biggest complaint was several floors smelled strongly of raw sewage for the last 2 days and they couldn't seem to do anything about it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
There is nothing better than ringing in the New Year at sea. This was our 4th NYE cruise and 2nd on the Ecstasy. We were fortunate enough to have one of our son's family of 4 and my wife's 2 sisters and a nephew cruise with us. Having ... Read More
There is nothing better than ringing in the New Year at sea. This was our 4th NYE cruise and 2nd on the Ecstasy. We were fortunate enough to have one of our son's family of 4 and my wife's 2 sisters and a nephew cruise with us. Having family along was icing on the cake. We live about 30 minutes outside of Charleston and it's very convenient. A family member dropped us off and we met our son at the port. We're platnium and we decided that we would board with them. One of the Carnival embarkation workers allowed the whole family to use the priority line, something we didn't expect and were greatful for. We arrived at the end of the peak time so the crowd wasn't that bad. Embarkation was quick and easy and we were onboard in less than 45 minutes. The ship is one of Carnivals oldest, but it's in great shape. The one thing I did notice was in some of the stairwells towards the back of the ship, the glass that goes from the handrails to the floor was missing. No biggie, just something I didn't expect to see. My biggest complaint was in the MDR. We love cruising and this was our 18th Carnival cruise. We are easy going and don't let little things bother us, but I couldn't get over the cold meals we were served almost every night in the MDR. If you order a prime rib medium rare, it's going to be at a lower temperature normally. When it was served to us it was cool to the point it was hard to eat. The temperature of the coffee was luke warm at best. The worst was when we did the Dr. Suess breakfast with our family. We had 2 of our young grandsons and wanted to enjoy the meal. Everything was cold. I couldn't eat the waffles and of course the coffee was cold too. Kind of upsetting and of course the waitstaff offered to give us new meals but it was already getting late so we declined. The food quality and choice was as always, good. We went to a couple of the shows and enjoyed them all. The comedy shows were great too. A hint is to get to the comedy show early to get a seat. Service was spot on, our room stewards were fantastic. We never lacked for anything in our cabin. The rest of the crew we had contact with were also top notched. The bar areas were always busy but wait times were usually minimal. The itinerary was great for a ship porting from Charleston, Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Amber Cove Dominican Republic. Half Moon Cay is alway a nice place to relax and enjoy the beach. We found some lounge chairs and enjoyed the day. Water was refreshing and the food is always good. Grand Turk is probably one of our favorite ports. We headed to Jack's Shack and enjoyed some Turks Head beer and conch fritters. And of course we got to see Topher the dog. This was our first time to Amber Cove and we were happliy surprised. We didn't book an excursion, just did some shopping at the port and our son took his family to the pool on site. They had lots of fun and joined us for a quick meal at Coco Cana. Try the calamari, it was fantasticly prepared and delicious. Coming back to Charleston we had 2 sea days. The last day it got chilly. Charleston was hit with a snow storm while we were gone and because of icy roads, disembarkation was delayed a little. Some of the workers had issues getting to work. Charleston isn't used to this type of weather and Carnival did everything they could to take care of us. Getting home was an adventure. Some roads in the city were blocked due to ice but we were able to get home with no real problem. All in all it was a great cruise and we would definitely do it again. 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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