Sail Date: August 2013
This was a my 18th cruise. It was a short (4 night) family cruise to the Bahamas, with stops in Nassau and Half Moon Cay (private island). I'll say up front that I did not choose the cruise. That being said, this is the worst ship I ... Read More
This was a my 18th cruise. It was a short (4 night) family cruise to the Bahamas, with stops in Nassau and Half Moon Cay (private island). I'll say up front that I did not choose the cruise. That being said, this is the worst ship I have cruised on (I have been on a newer Carnival ship, and that was much better). There were a few good features, but my review addresses the minuses first. Definitely do not do anything more than a very short cruise on this ship. We arrived on Thursday evening from California for a Friday departure. We flew into Orlando, rented a car with Budget, and drove to the Radisson Resort at the Port. The cost of the car was only slightly more than a shuttle for 2 people would have cost, and we wanted the flexibility of doing some personal shopping before the cruise. The room was great --relatively small, but had wonderful beds/bedding, a 6 cft fridge, and a microwave. The hotel pool was wonderful, and the breakfast buffet was good as well. Across the street is a great Sushi restaurant (Thai Thai, and yes, they also do Thai food, but we liked the sushi better -- so much so that we came back for take-out on the way home). Budget was just a minute or two up the street (there is a gas station right near-by as well), and they provide on-going shuttle service to the Port, which made returning the car and getting to the ship a breeze. The distance to the Port is less than 10 minutes. I would definitely do this combination of hotel and rental car service again. Other rental car locations are a little further away, but also provide shuttle service. The Radisson also provides shuttle service (we saw them provide four large shuttles at one time for a large group). Both the hotel and the rental car companies provide pick-up service as well. There was also a liquor store a couple of blocks from Budget, and an "everything-for-the-beach store a block or so from the hotel. The cabin was very small; with the 2-twin bed configuration, there was only room for one night stand between the beds; the other one ended up under the (also very small) desk/vanity area. The only seating options were 1 chair and the stool for the desk/vanity. Storage was very limited in both the bathroom and the cabin, and there was no mini-bar or hair dryer (my first cruise ever without those). The non-shower part of the bathroom was designed to drain to a corner drain, but the floor had subsided enough that when the floor got wet (towels/hand laundry), the water just pooled in the middle. The bathroom did not have a fan. There was also a lack of information -- no guide to tell you how to work the phone to call other cabins, operate the air conditioning (a knob in the fan in the ceiling) provide an overview of the restaurants, or even a card with the cabin steward's name and hours. I scheduled a wake-up call from the room phone on three separate occasions, following the instructions each time and getting confirmation each time, yet I never receive a wake-up call. The water on the ship had by far the worst taste/smell I have ever encountered. In our cabin, it alternated between extremely heavily chlorinated and a sulfur odor. In the Lido and Wind Song and Wind Star dining rooms you had to add juice or something to your ice water to cover up the extreme chlorine flavor. I had brought a lot of bottled water on board with me, and I was very glad I did so. My sister had an inside cabin, and it stank (mold/sewage combination). The staff tried to get rid of the odor using the ozone machine, but it made very little difference. While the major public areas are attractive and well-kept, the ship is old and it shows. There is worn and/or flaking paint everywhere in the cabin and "hidden" public areas (e.g., public bathrooms), and also a fair amount of corrosion. I attribute the odor in my sister's room and the taste of the water to the age of the ship as well. There were constant repairs going on -- I know that maintenance is an on-going activity, but it was much more obtrusively the case on this ship. There is only one pool location, and on the sea day it was basically a sardine can. The food was merely adequate. There were usually one or two really good items, but overall it was uninspired/basic -- very limited selection, especially at breakfast, and uninteresting enough at dinner that I defaulted to the "always-on-the-menu" flank steak one night, and skipped dinner entirely another night (out of 4 nights!). Lobster on 'elegant night' was very good. The Mongolian grill was really best option at lunch, and sometimes the geographically-themed food at lunch was good as well. I was unimpressed with the food on Carnival on my last cruise with them (2007), and it was definitely not any better this time around. In addition to the staff, there were a few positive notes with regard to the ship, etc.: 1. Embarcation was a breeze. We got there around noon, and were on the ship in less than 20 minutes. The gentleman doing our paperwork was terrific: competent and very friendly. 2. Waterpark area: This was a great area for kids, and my 6-year-old nephew loved it. There were a fair number of adults having fun as well, and it's a great place to hang out during port days (like other areas, it gets pretty crowded on sea days). I enjoyed the waterslides and other water features, too. We stayed here in preference to the pool. 3. Stripes Nightclub: I appreciated that the music started pretty early (10 pm), and the space is laid out very well -- plenty of seating and dance space, and good access to the bar. It just flows. The DJ did a great job getting and keeping people dancing. 4. Our cabin (M198) was right by the aft elevator, but was still quiet. The best part of the cruise was the staff. With only two minor exceptions, everyone was very friendly and helpful, and really did their best to make the cruise a great experience. In particular, we worked with the dining room staff to figure out a way to accommodate a group of 14 at one table (they created a slightly crowded table for nominally 12 people, by adding a table for 2 to a table for 10). The matre d' and waiters really made it work. Waiters in the pool area were present/helpful but not obnoxious. The shore excursion staff and guest services were also helpful and friendly. I wish for all of them that they could have a ship that is as good as they are. We had scheduled a shore excursion, a 10 a.m. snorkel at Half Moon Cay, and were not informed that it had been cancelled (due to choppy seas) till we got to Half Moon Cay. Because the trip was scheduled as soon as feasible after the ship arrived, we had to get up early to get tender tickets -- in other words, we had to get up around 8 to get tender tickets for an excursion that didn't happen. At the very least, they should have informed us about the cancellation when we went to get our tender tickets. We could have gone back to sleep then. Half Moon Cay is enjoyable even without a shore excursion -- it has absolutely amazingly soft sand and crystal clear water, and renting one of the shade structures was totally worth it -- it was HOT. Consider bringing your own cheap floats if you are traveling with children, rather than renting them there at high price. We did not schedule a shore excursion in Nassau, just ended up going ashore for a bit of shopping late in the day. It was also a very overcast day, but luckily it did not rain. We had a great day in the waterpark area instead (see above). Shopping near the port in Nassau is very easy, and you get a full range from the relatively cheap Straw Market to the very high end stores. Shops are within a few blocks of the port. My nephew had fun in the children's program, but it was pretty disorganized. Overall, for the price, I did not feel that I go my money's worth. This cruise, in spite of the wonderful staff, cemented my decision to avoid cruising with Carnival in the future. Disembarcation went relatively well, although there was a fairly long wait to get through passport control. We also rented a car with Budget after the cruise, because our return flight was not till the evening. It took about 30 minutes for the shuttle to arrive (they do constant round-trips), which was longer than we had expected. You could also take a cab to the rental car location for about $15; I'll do that next time. At the recommendation of the car rental staff we went to Lori Wilson State Park (a beach park) -- it has outdoor showers and restrooms, although the restrooms are definitely not suitable for changing. Getting some sun and playing the surf was a nice way to end our trip; for party-types, there are also sections of beach with bars, etc. That was not what we were looking for. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
We had no trouble embarking. They have a great system and the lines went fast. Our Room was ready by 1:30. We came with 2 of our grown daughters and their families. We had two balcony rooms and the balcony doors opened so we could share ... Read More
We had no trouble embarking. They have a great system and the lines went fast. Our Room was ready by 1:30. We came with 2 of our grown daughters and their families. We had two balcony rooms and the balcony doors opened so we could share the balcony. One daughter had an ocean view room and the other one's husband shared an interior room with some of his kids. This worked out great. The staff was wonderful, they loved the kids and was very nice and respectful to everyone. They saw to all of your needs. The dining room was wonderful, the staff great. Food could be found on the Lido deck at all times. Drinks were offered everywhere. The kids always had something to do. The Club for the teenagers was really great. We had a 16, and 2, 15 year olds with us and they had a blast meeting other kids their ages in the club. They looked forward to it. Had clubs for the smaller kids but my 6 year old granddaughter and 11 year old grandson did not want to go, however going passed the clubs looks like they were having fun. Ports of call were fun. We did not have to spend allot of money to have fun. The best port is Half Moon Cay. It was beautiful. The sand white, the water was warm. Beach chairs, were free and water masks and snorkels were available to rent. We did a shore trip to swim with the stingrays there, we did like it, we would have just liked to stay on the beach all day. Day at sea was fun. So much to do all day on the ship. You could relax or take part in many of the fun things that was just waiting for you. Debarking was fast and easy. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
As always the embarkation was easy and we were on the ship by 12:00pm. Our room was ready so we dropped off stuff and headed to Lido deck for lunch. Plenty of seating. Food selection never seems to change. We had dinner in the wind song ... Read More
As always the embarkation was easy and we were on the ship by 12:00pm. Our room was ready so we dropped off stuff and headed to Lido deck for lunch. Plenty of seating. Food selection never seems to change. We had dinner in the wind song dining room, early seating. The waiters were extremely slow and never cleared plates before setting others down. All the Carnival cruises we have taken I've never had that happen. Our cabin steward was Ada and he went above and beyond to take care of us. Room was always clean and ready. On a five day cruise we only had comedy shows two days. And major broad way style shows two days. This cruise lacked in entertainment. Freeport we took a excursion thru Carnival the Grand Bahamas and shopping cruise and tour. This I would recommend to everyone. The limbo show was great. Staff was courteous and very friendly. Nassau we did an excursion on our own. Ship was clean but had not changed much since we sailed on it in 1997. Still love to cruise so will be on the Legend in Jan.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
We are frequent cruisers and global travelers, including quite a few Carnival cruises in the past, and while this cruise was OK, it was not one of our favorite vacations. Overall, the ship is in good condition for its age, having been ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers and global travelers, including quite a few Carnival cruises in the past, and while this cruise was OK, it was not one of our favorite vacations. Overall, the ship is in good condition for its age, having been refurbished just a few years ago. Public spaces are generally clean, the pool is fairly large for a ship of this size and there were a good number of deck chairs around the pool area. Cabins were comfortable for 2 - we had a balcony cabin (U223) and the kids had an interior cabin across the hall (U225). This area of the ship was relatively quiet except for mornings around 7am when the crew was preparing dock at the various ports of call. Our cabin steward kept our cabins tidy and well stocked, and he was friendly and helpful. Food Service...we noticed that dining servers were not very attentive (never refilling water/iced tea, rarely checking if the meal was OK) and it seemed that once the bar server knew our kids had the 'bubbles' cards for sodas, they disappeared - never asking about soda refills. Service in the 'Good Eats' buffet area was hit-or-miss - sometimes tables were clean and food trays were replenished, but not always. The ice cream machines rarely worked and service at the 24 hour pizza was SLOW (we skipped it because of the long line).Entertainment was also lacking and not up to par with other cruises we've been on. The main show, Motor City, features a couple of good singers performing old R&B hits, and it was a far cry from the Vegas or Broadway level productions we've seen, even on other Carnival ships. We tried to see their other show, The Brits, but they canceled the show because of monitor malfunctions. And rather than having entertainment for every night, these same 2 shows are recycled several times during the cruise. On a positive note, we think that the cruise director, Chris Roberts, is one of the hardest working cruise ship employees we've ever seen. In addition to the usual director duties, he hosted the Hasbro game show (a cute family entertainment option) and starred in a Blues Brothers tribute for a couple of shows (versatile, but maybe overworked?). Circle C, kids club for 12-14 year olds - This is another area where we were disappointed. It seemed that they didn't have sufficient age-appropriate activities or sufficient staff to run this club and Club O2 for the older kids, so they were often grouped together for activities. Those of you that are parents of young girls would surely agree that it doesn't make sense to have social activities for kids from 12-17 years old. They have different interests and very different levels of maturity.One evening, Circle C and Club O2 had a dodge ball competition (so yes, the 17 year old boys were throwing dodge balls at 12-14 year olds)...our daughter got hurt, and the counselor in charge of the event was abrupt and unhelpful. After that, our daughter wanted nothing to do with Circle C! Finally, debarkation was a bit hectic, but not necessarily Carnival's fault - it seemed that staff at the Port and shuttles providing service to the port didn't know how to handle large crowds. Directions and help were hard to find and shuttles were slow to arrive. In the confusion, we lost one of our bags, and were unable to find capable assistance (or our bag). On a positive note, our booked excursions (Bahamas Jeep Adventure and Nassau Segway) were fun for the entire family. Also, Little Stirrup Cay is a nice little island, making for a nice beach day. Overall, it was a value priced cruise, with corresponding service and entertainment...don't expect more than that and you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
I just returned from a 4 day Bahamas cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy. I was very pleased with the trip! I am a single traveler, and I chose to book a balcony cabin for this trip. It was worth every penny! My cabin was U222 Aft. I was the ... Read More
I just returned from a 4 day Bahamas cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy. I was very pleased with the trip! I am a single traveler, and I chose to book a balcony cabin for this trip. It was worth every penny! My cabin was U222 Aft. I was the second to last cabin on the port side of the ship. It was very quiet. The other balcony cabin guests were very friendly, and we often waved to each other or chatted from our respective balconies. I was very pleased with the cleanliness of the room. It was a bit small, but since I was by myself I did not mind. The only thing I did not like was the shower in the bathroom. No matter what I did, I still managed to get water all over the floor during a shower, and the curtain kept blowing toward me. If anyone has a trick for keeping it closed, please let me know! I purchased the FTTF pass, which was also worth it. I embarked at around 11 AM and my cabin was ready and waiting. One of the crew members tried to tell me I couldn't go to my cabin and would not let me through until I showed him my card AND boarding pass. Don't let them try to tell you differently if you have the FTTF pass...you are allowed to go to your cabin! I chose to eat at the buffet rather than the dining room, and the food was excellent. There were many choices, and there was always pizza, ice cream, and the deli. You can also get burgers, fries, and nachos near the pool. I went on 2 excursions during this cruise. The first one was the dolphin swim at Blue Lagoon Island. I chose to purchase this excursion prior to the cruise through Dolphin Encounters because the swim was not advertised through Carnival, and I saved about $50 by booking it myself. Also, Dolphin Encounters provides transportation to the ferry, and folks that booked through Carnival had to find their own transportation. I highly recommend the swim as opposed to the encounter since the swim involves more activities. The other excursion was the stingray snorkel on Half Moon Cay, and this one I also booked ahead of time but through Carnival. I suggest that you choose the first excursion (10:00) because you will have plenty of time to relax and hang out on the beach once you are finished. The snorkel itself was also fantastic, and there was a photographer there from Carnival. If you are planning to go to Half Moon Cay but not go on any excursions, you will still want to arrive early to the island. I noticed that a large group of people arrived around 1PM and were having trouble finding lounge chairs on the beach. There is plenty of room, but most people were in large groups and could not find chairs together. I chose to park myself in front of the pirate ship - a great location! There is a DJ and bar. They also have activities right in front of the ship so I had a front row seat for the hairy chest contest... which is hilarious! If you prefer not to be in the middle of the action, there are spaces down the beach that are quieter. I am a fitness fanatic so I did not drink and I can't tell you about the drinks-sorry! I can tell you that the gym area was very nice and contained many machines, treadmills, etc. I took advantage of the free abs class and my abs are still sore. I did not take the pilates or other pay classes but I'm sure they were just as good. The walking track is very nice but it does get quite windy up there...beware! All in all I had a fantastic time and other than the shower I have no complaints. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
My friend and I flew into Orlando Airport on the first flight the morning of our cruise. Everything was a breeze. We paid for the transfers through Carnival so as soon as we got out luggage and located the Carnival desk, we jumped on the ... Read More
My friend and I flew into Orlando Airport on the first flight the morning of our cruise. Everything was a breeze. We paid for the transfers through Carnival so as soon as we got out luggage and located the Carnival desk, we jumped on the bus. We arrived at Port Canaveral around noon and it took us no time to get on the ship. There was a line but not very long and they had all the stations open so we moved along with ease. I noticed that this ship was a smaller one than what I've been on before. It was still nice and it's always exciting to make that first step on the ship and walk into the center atrium. We headed to the buffet and it took up some time to figure out what was where. Once we did, we grabbed a table and ate. Our cabin was in the center of the ship. We loved that because we were right on deck 7 which was the same level where we entered onto the ship right down the hall from the atrium. We were close enough to the atrium to get to what we wanted with ease but far enough to avoid any noise. Our cabin was midship so we barely felt any rocking. Sometime we weren't sure if we were moving or not. We had a window so we just looked out there. I've had a balcony before but my friend had never been on a cruise before and I knew she wouldn't have wanted to stay in the room. Glad I didn't get a balcony this time. We were only in our cabin to sleep and change clothes. I didn't particularly care for the way they did the safety drill this time. Normally, you find your muster station, and they take care of the whole drill right there. This time they had us go to the casino area where we sat and got told a bunch of instructions then they had us go to our muster stations where we had to stand there which seemed just as long as if we were to have to stand there the entire time. Seemed like a lot more confusion to me but once it was done, it was done. We got our drinks and headed up to the lido deck for the sail off. Of course, the party had started with people in the pool and all over the lido deck. It was much smaller than what I'm use to but I was still glad to be sailing. The Ship As far as the ship is concerned, I like to get in the pool but there was only 1 pool and it was small. During the times we were at sea, the pool was crammed with adults and kids to where there really wasn't any standing room. More crammed than I'm use to so I passed this time. On other cruises, because I eat late, I would sometimes wait to get in the pool when I knew people for the early dinner were about to head back to their state rooms to get ready for dinner. There are much less people then, but that plan didn't work this time. So that was a minus in my book for this particular ship. We found a terrific bartender, Michael, at the casino bar. He made the best drinks and he was so nice and friendly. He surprised us when we went the second time and he remembered our names. We only went to him for the rest of the trip. I had gotten a drink at the pool bar once and it was nowhere near as good as the one Michael made me. We went to one show which was the Motown Show. It was nice. What was the most fun was when the took the show from the auditorium into the atrium of the ship. That was awesome. Everyone was partying right there in the atrium of the ship. Even those people that didn't see the show got to party in the atrium. The performers were dancing on the bar, tables, chairs, steps. It was awesome. We also saw the two comedian at that adult shows. They were ok. One was much better than the other and he packed the house every night. Nassau I've been to Nassau before. Flown directly there and stayed in a hotel and I've been on other cruises there. I do like Nassau so I was disappointed that we didn't get there till noon. I wish we would have gotten there earlier but that was the cruise we picked so we just rolled with it. I have read other Cruise Critics reviews about Nassau and one person mentioned bahamascruiseexcursions.com where they booked a Day Pass to a hotel where it includes food, drink and access to the other hotel amenities. So before we left, I checked out their website, and chose to do a Day Pass at the British Colonial. I knew that was close to port. Plus, I had been there before years ago and I knew it was nice. Well it was. So, the person at Bahamascruiseexcursion.com sent me an email, giving me very simple instructions on what to do when I get to Nassau and told me to just print out my email confirming my excursion I purchased through them at the hotel. Then just hand that to the front desk at the hotel when we arrived. I had looked at Carnival's day pass prices to the Atlantis and they were just way too expensive for what we were looking for at that time. The day pass to the British Colonial was $60 per person and it included food and drink (up to $80), a towel, beach access plus chairs and umbrella and we could stay as long as we wanted. It was hard for the two of us to use up all of the $80 and we are drinkers. This worked out great for us because we were able to get off the ship, do our shopping at the straw market and stores before they closed and then just go straight to the hotel. No cab or bus needed. So we got to the hotel around 2 and didn't start heading back to the ship till about 6:30. We loved that we were on our own time and by us being so close to the ship, it gave us more time we could spend enjoying the water and sun. The bahamascruiseexcursions.com offers other Day Passes at other hotels and just excursions over the whole island also if you want to do something different. The Food The food on the ship was good to us. We liked breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They had Caribbean lunch one day and we loved the jerk chicken. I have been on some cruises where they would serve turkey sausage or turkey bacon but this one didn't. I just adjusted. Didn't care for the powered scrambled eggs but once we tried the omelette station, we were hooked. They were good. My friend had the molten chocolate cake that I heard so much about from other reviews on Cruise Critics and she said it was so good that it was sinful. So she ordered it every night in the dining room. Our waiter was great. He told us a joke every night. Some of them were really good. It still amazes me how they put out so much food for all those people. Tip: If you are an early riser, it is great to eat breakfast early. We are. So we were up and ready to eat between 7:30 and 8:00 in the morning. There isn't hardly anyone around, so it makes for a peaceful morning. No lines for breakfast, and we just sat outside to eat and enjoyed the morning air plus coffee. We even had a really nice guy that was working, but he came and asked us if he could bring us more coffee or tea. We took him up on his offer a few times and wound up just talking to him a bit. It was a nice relaxing peaceful way to start our day. Half Moon Cay Not much to say about it except the sand was so soft it felt like walking on soft carpet. The beach was really nice. We had to take a tender over so we got a number and then had to wait in the show lounge. That was great because I've been on cruises where everyone is crammed in the stairwells for at least an hour waiting for them to get everything ready. With the number system, you get a number and wait till your number is called and that group then goes down and just walks right on the tender. We went and got our number early and were in group #6. That turned out to be really good because we had a huge selection of what beach chairs we wanted and where. We noticed that those people that waited, had problems finding chairs and they were walking around in the heat looking for chairs. Some folks wound up putting their stuff on the sand and couldn't occupy any chairs. My advice, go early. Overall, we had a nice relaxing time. It was a good short vacation. Just enough time for people who have never been and great for a short weekend vacation.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
My husband and I wanted to get away by ourselves to celebrate our anniversary. Due to time and finacial constraints, we selected the 5 day instead of the 7. We took the 5 night Bahamas cruise on the Ecstasy. This was my second time ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to get away by ourselves to celebrate our anniversary. Due to time and finacial constraints, we selected the 5 day instead of the 7. We took the 5 night Bahamas cruise on the Ecstasy. This was my second time cruising on the Ecstasy but the first for my husband. Embarkation went smoothly. We parked off site and saved a bundle. The shuttle that took us to the port delivered us timely. We made it through and got on the ship. When we board, we usually go buy the soda card for me and then go to the dining room to talk to the Maitre D' about my husband's food allergies. The Maitre D' on the Ecstasy is "Joseph - your super charged Maitre D'". He is so much fun and was incredibly accommodating. Carnival has done a fantastic job each time of working with my husband on his menu and accommodating his allergies. Each night the hostess comes over and brings the menu for the following night so he can select what he wants and they prepare it accordingly. It works out beautifully. The first night we were seated at a table for 8 and would have stayed their the entire cruise because we generally enjoy meeting and talking to new people. However, there was one family of 4 and the parents were the most negative people we've ever encountered. I kept wanting to say "lighten up - you are on vacation!!" When we left the dining room, we talked to Joseph and told him the predicament and told him it was our anniversary and we didn't want to be around these negative people. He moved us to a table for 2 and each night he greeted us as "the lovebirds". Our waiters were wonderful. Our cabin steward kept our room spotless and greeted us by name every single time he saw us. He asked if he could get anything for us. What a hard working bunch of folks! We got off in Nassau and just shopped around a little bit but didn't book an excursion because it was our 3rd time there. There were celebrating their 40th anniversary of independence downtown so that was interesting. We got off in Freeport and took a taxi to the downtown area. Freeport is pretty disappointing to me, it was my second time there and don't care to go back. Granted, we didn't book a beach excursion so maybe they are better. We had been so looking forward to Half Moon Cay! I had been there on my previous Ecstasy cruise and it was amazing! My husband really wanted to see it but unfortunately the weather kept us from tendering. It was too dangerous so we had another day at sea. We played trivia and spent a lot of time on the Serenity deck. We LOVE the Serenity deck on the Carnival ships (21 and older) and spend our time there usually. Our only request is that they put more umbrellas but other than that it was great. The shows are pretty good although I had already seen them but we still enjoyed the Motor City show. The Hasbro game show is fun too. The comedian, Dean Gaines did a family show that was hilarious!! But if you are easily offended DO NOT go to the adult show. fair warning. We had a great time and we would recommend this cruise for sure. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
I'll start by saying I was very worried about sailing on Carnivals oldest ship in one of their worst cabins,with a predicted tropical storm, but no worries. I booked this 8 days out on the carnival site based solely on price and then ... Read More
I'll start by saying I was very worried about sailing on Carnivals oldest ship in one of their worst cabins,with a predicted tropical storm, but no worries. I booked this 8 days out on the carnival site based solely on price and then got all worried after I went on the boards. The boat is small so less walking. The boat is old but seemed decently maintained. The art work and neon are ugly but kinda fun and cruise cheesy, changing neon isn't for everyone. The food is by no means five star but sure was plenty good since I gained 5 pounds. The boarding process was great. We did off site parking at cruise parking and touched no luggage which my husband was a huge fan of. we walked right on the ship and had lunch and a cocktail with in 10 minutes. The pool was hopping and the music was playing lots of fun dance tunes. Sailaway was nice with lots of silly line dances and plenty of tropical drinks. We were assigned late dinner 815 at Windsong. this was confusing bc Ive never been on a ship with more than one main dining room and of course we stood in line at Windstar and had to march up a floor and down a floor on the other side of ship. Night one, the dinner was fine and most people were in dresses and nice slacks. Our staff was so so, one great(Nancy) and one nice but flustered. Their dancing was terrific and they made the dancing "show" fun every night.Formal night the dinner was nice, prime rib and lil lobster tail. Night 3, the dinner was terrible, 3 entrees between us, pork, fish and chicken...all no good. But there was a Mexican buffet at 11, that was muy bueno!!!Night 4 dinner was amazing, I think we had all 6 apps between us and all were great. The pasta and the roast chicken were both very tasty. The buffet was fine for breakfast, lines at some parts, walk right up at others. Standard breakfast stuff at all with nothing unique like on some other lines.Day 2 we sailed into Nassau at 12 and rented some mopeds. Getting off and on was quick and easy and Nassau was not very crowded bc no big ships were in port. Went to the new rum factory, Gatlings, terrific beautiful stop. people at our table had paid 200 plus for Atlantis and did not seem so thrilled. We ate fried fish and cruised around and had a nice day. Day 3 was half Moon cay which is a terrific stop. The island was beautiful and had an area for everyone, A crowded family area, a loud area in front of a giant pirate ship bar and deserted enclaves further down. Much to my husbands displeasure, I chose the area with loud party music and dancing. He did love the Captain Morgan bar and sat on the top deck admiring the view and smoking cigars. There is all sorts of stuff to do, for pay or free. DH enjoyed a nice nature hike while I enjoyed laying around. Day 4 was a sea day and sadly it was misty and not great out. We ate lunch in MDR(nice) and played silly games like scattergories and family feud with the staff in the Metro Bar. I enjoy the art auctions so sat in that and then resumed eating and drinking.... The night life was pretty decent up until about 1. Metro had fun songs that everyone knows and cruise director did a nice job leading a greatest hits event. Pool parties and Stripes had lots of dancing. Piano bar was a disappointment bc of its poor location, never much going on there. One show was ok at best and next night was a Marriage and love game show, barely entertainment. There are a bunch of comedy shows which is nice. Pretty raunchy comedy for the adult shows, did not make it to family shows. The ship is small so all the public ares are right on top of each other which makes it easy to check out whats going on. The pool is typical,small. The water slide looks the same on all the ships. Hot tubs were crowded and not very hot but still fun. This was not a dream vacation but was still worth the the price. I would go again tomorrow. (; Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
This was our third cruise for 2013, one with Royal Caribbean, one with Celebrity Cruise Line and this one was Carnival. I have to say and my wife who is a Royal Caribbean fan had to admit that was the best value for our money. The customer ... Read More
This was our third cruise for 2013, one with Royal Caribbean, one with Celebrity Cruise Line and this one was Carnival. I have to say and my wife who is a Royal Caribbean fan had to admit that was the best value for our money. The customer services was great, food was excellent, the shows were very good. I read other reviews that made negative comments regarding the shape of the ship, but we did not think that it was bad, actually for the age of the ship I found it to be clean and nice. The lunch buffet was great, the MDR was great for dinner and had lunch once and it was very good. I had dinner at the buffet once and it was average, I heard from other passengers that it was much better the first three nights.We did early disembarkation and it was very smooth. Embarkation went well no problems.I know that in the past Carnival has gotten bad reviews because problems with their fleet; however, I think that the past problems are helping them to improve their cruise experience. I will definitely cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Our cruise was from 17 Jun , 22 Jun 2013. This was our first cruise aboard this ship. Prior to this we had been on one cruise and that was the Carnival Legend. I will make several comparisons of the two ships during my review. We left ... Read More
Our cruise was from 17 Jun , 22 Jun 2013. This was our first cruise aboard this ship. Prior to this we had been on one cruise and that was the Carnival Legend. I will make several comparisons of the two ships during my review. We left Port Canaveral on Monday afternoon on time. The first stop Tuesday morning was Freeport. I read a lot of bad reviews about Freeport so I didn't have any plans for this stop. We left the boat and wandered around the dozens of small shops at the pier. We spent a couple of hours there and then went back to the boat. After returning to the boat we talked to a few couples who had more extensive activities planned in Freeport. One said it was terrible and we made the right decision and another said they had fun. Not sure what each had planned but after reading all the negative reviews about Freeport I think I made a wise decision. Wednesday we stopped at Half Moon Cay. We were the only boat there. This is a tender port so be ready for the lines and waiting for a tender leaving the ship. The island is beautiful. We spent the day on the beach and in the water. We rented a couple of what they call clamshells, which are just small covers for the lounge chairs so you can get out of the sun. The water is crystal clear and you can see lots of small fish swimming around. If you like the beach you will love this place. I believe we were on the last tender back to the boat and did not want to leave. My 8 year old asked if we could quit our jobs and move there. Thursday was Nassau. We hired a local driver to show us the sights. If you get off the boat and walk in towards the town you will see these guys selling their services. The tour lasted about 3-4 hours. He took us through the rich and poor neighborhoods, by beaches, government buildings, etc. It was a pretty thorough tour. We stopped at the Atlantis resort for about an hour. Unless you stay there or purchase one of their packages you really can't see or do anything there. Be warned this place is very expensive. We ate at a bar-b-q restaurant on site. For four sandwiches and drinks it was over $80.00. Prior to our stop I had thought of making that a family vacation spot but after seeing the prices I doubt we will. It was pretty and it looked like there was plenty to do but it is not worth that much. Friday was an at sea day and we returned on Saturday morning. Now for the boat. We had an oceanview room which was small but adequate. It did not seem as big as the balcony room on the Legend that we had. The boat overall did not seem as big as the Legend. The dining options at the buffet seemed to be about ½ of what was available on the Legend. The boat was clean and we experienced no problems. The stateroom steward was excellent as was everyone on the boat. This boat has 3 waterslides which my 8 year old really loved but for some reason they closed the entire water park at 6:00 pm each day. I can't imagine why as this was probably the most popular place on the ship. Carnival needs to correct this. By 6:00, especially during the summer, things are just starting to cool down so that you don't bake when you are out there watching your children play. As I pointed out earlier the food options seemed much more limited than on the Legend although the food I ate was all good. On the Legend they put on a big show in the main dining room, complete with lights and dancing. We only ate in the main dining room on the last night but the show was just a guy singing a song or two. The waiters did not dance, etc. as they did on the legend. We went to the Brits show and it was good. We did not attend any of the comedy shows. Overall it was a good cruise. I did not enjoy this boat as much as the Legend but it was still a fun time. The million dollar question is would I go on this boat again. Probably not on this boat but I would sail on another Carnival ship and would certainly go to the Bahamas again. Read Less
Carnival Ecstasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.5 0.0
Enrichment 2.5 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates N/A 0.0

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