Sail Date: October 2013
Let me start off by saying how nervous I was to be sailing on one of the older ships in the fleet.... Let me also start off by saying how mis guiding some of the other reviews for this ship can be. We sailed on Halloween out of Port ... Read More
Let me start off by saying how nervous I was to be sailing on one of the older ships in the fleet.... Let me also start off by saying how mis guiding some of the other reviews for this ship can be. We sailed on Halloween out of Port Canaveral. We stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton and utilized their park and cruise. For only $35 our car got to stay at their covered garage that was also extremely cure when it came to surveillance cameras and security. It also included transportation for up to four, which worked out great for the three of us traveling. We left the hotel at 10:30 and were at the port by 11. We did make a stop at the Radison to pick up another party, but there were only a total of three groups on the shuttle. That was surprising since Sensation and the Disney Dream were also sailing that day. Check in was fast and efficient. Since we were booked in an Ecstasy Suite we had priority boarding. How great it is to sit and enjoy a glass of ice water while you wait to check in. There was only group in front of us that was wrapping up at the priority check in desk. We quickly took our pictures and received our sign & sails along with our priority boarding placard. As we headed to the boarding area I noticed how short the check in lines were for non priority passengers were. We were about to sit down and wait for them to begin calling for zone boarding when I realized they had begun priority boarding. We literally walked onto the ship and right up to the lido deck for lunch. The Mongolian wok had the shortest line I had ever seen, so we took advantage of it. The rest of the cruise that line seemed ridiculous!! Since we are onto food, let's get all comments out now: we never had an issue. With the food, whether it be from the main dining room or the lido deck. They had ample selections and if you don't like something, order something else or help yourself to another selection from the lido buffet. The duck appetizer in the MDR was superb. In my group I think we tried just about every appetizer and entree offered. Our favorites were the Turkey, Flank Steak (the sauce topping was not a fav at our table though), the Lobster (don't be afraid to order more than one... We did!), and the Veal. When it came to deserts the melting cake always wins. I enjoyed the Bitter and Blanc bread pudding too! We also enjoyed the Wind Star brunch a few days. The Eggs Benedict and French Toast were great! Really though, I've never had a problem with the food on CCL, and if I ever run into something I don't like, I voice my opinion and get it switched and move on! Halloween night was amazing! One of the biggest party atmospheres I have seen on a ship! There were many costumes, which surprised me. We spent most of our time in the Neon Piano Bar with Milburn, who is by far the best piano man on the high seas! We had him on the Legend in 2010 and he was just as fun thin time around. The casino was smaller than other ships, but we still played. Didn't have Lady Luck on our side, but enjoyed it none the less. Ports of call: Nassau we chose the RIU Palace all inclusive Day Pass. Let me say how amazing it was. We had the beach and a beautiful resort style pool complete with a swim up bar! We lost track of how many drinks we had, so that means it was fun. The food at the resort was delicious! And the service at this resort was absolutely amazing! Freeport we chose Pat and Diane's all day sail and snorkel with private beach. This was the best excursion I have ever taken. The snorkeling was difficult, as the waters were rough. However, we were out there on the coral reef at Treasure Bay by ourselves for almost 30 minutes before any other excursion joined us. We proceeded to a private beach, there was no one around at all. We enjoyed BBQ chicken, fresh conch salad, and all the bahama mamas you could drink. The waters were warm and totally enjoyable. We found Freeport to better shopping than Nassau, but that was our personal opinion based upon the offerings we came upon. Overall, the Ecstasy was amazing! Our suite was great, our steward was very attentive. He even changed out pull out bed back to a couch for us each day! This really made us enjoy the room so much more. Our balcony was the extended grand suite ones, and that is now our favorite balcony type (aside from the aft wraps on the Spirit class ships). The ship may be old, but I never felt like it needed work. Great time, great drinks, great people, great vacation! Also, the cheers program was available. We did not do it this time, as we managed to get 3 liters of our own onto the ship. However, we will be partaking on our net cruise, as it is easier to have someone else make the drink for you.... And you don't have to worry about running to your room to freshen up. Don't be shy when it comes to the Ecstasy. She my not look like much from the outside, but she is greatly taken care of. You will have a blast! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
So a few preliminaries- traveling myself and sweetness to celebrate 28 years of marital bliss. No kids, no boss. No problems Prior to boarding- night before and day of Booked into La Quinta using frequent stay points, first room had a ... Read More
So a few preliminaries- traveling myself and sweetness to celebrate 28 years of marital bliss. No kids, no boss. No problems Prior to boarding- night before and day of Booked into La Quinta using frequent stay points, first room had a funky smell. But a trip to the desk and we were moved, poolside. All is well! We booked parking through Radisson Park Canaveral, ½ half the price of muni parking and three times the service. We paid ahead to save a few dollars. Very fast service to the ship, bring a few single bills, they are much appreciated. Also for those who forgot soda and water to bring aboard both are for sale at a reasonable price… did you remember you can bring one bottle of wine or champagne per 21 year adult? Can’t buy it here stop buy a local ABC store…before you park! Boarding is very smooth, first Platinum class voyage "Woot.no problems getting through the doors to drop off our gear. The usual ship exploration, buy soda card for sweetness, unpack etc. Trip to internet café to purchase a package no "guy " available, system not up… Nice Lido lunch Any time dining positive experience one and only Night one was a hit; we asked for group seating and were sat with three lovely gals from Pittsburgh. We had a very nice meal and fun company. We ran into our ladies multi times, I played and won ship on stick with them! First in 10 cruises my dry spell is over! A nice run of casino benefiting future cruise plan finance. With tonight’s winnings I can buy three cocktails… with no extra tip Day two Nassau Bahamas " love the noon arrival time Normally we book ahead non ship excursions, IMO better and less cost. However was this trip is meant to be together time and not about the itinerary. As Floridians we have been to Nassau a lot. So we went into town to shop, collect a few freebies, and change for the ship recommended catamaran snorkel tour. Three hours. A very nice tour with some of the friendliest fish we ever met. Rum punch, as strong as you want served on the way back to port. And no working bath rooms, rest room, wash room as advertised on board. So water + rum punch+ time = need to um, relive one’s self.. Sweetness was miserable on ride home. I have to say town is a much different place after 6pm; aggressive vendors have thrown in towel. I enjoyed the walk back to the ship on the quiet island I met 25 years ago before the ships came daily. For some reason this was formal night, after our excursion, and app at senior frogs, we weren’t feeling formal, so lido Buffet. Casino let the future cruise fund grow to 5 drinks. The dice table is active and fun, a lot of arguing about pay outs, if you know dice prepare to go to battle.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
We purchased Faster to the Fun and I must say that I feel it was worth it. We were on the ship at 11 am, dropped the carrying on luggage in our already made room and went straight for the WOK. No line there, drink of the day on the Lido ... Read More
We purchased Faster to the Fun and I must say that I feel it was worth it. We were on the ship at 11 am, dropped the carrying on luggage in our already made room and went straight for the WOK. No line there, drink of the day on the Lido and people watched. Let me tell you about ourselves. I am 45 DH is 55 and we are traveling with our daughter 22 and her daughter, my first GD  she is two. Sure we had this fantasy that DGD would love Camp Carnival and we could sit on the Serenity deck sipping cool drinks. But that didn’t happen. DGD is only 2 and she is going through the “I can’t be with strangers” phase. Oh Well. I know some of you are asking, “Why did you bring her?” Because the first week of our vacation was spent at Disney, the second week, on a cruise. It was a near perfect vacation! This is our 3rd cruise. We stayed on the Empress deck in room E58 ocean view. I had booked this cruise using a Carnival PVP. I really don’t see a need for a PVP but I had ended up making a few changes to my already paid in full cabin and she was very helpful. The room was spacious, clean and our steward was very attentive. Our bucket was always full of ice. We ordered room service a couple of times because the baby needs milk and we need midnight sandwiches. Room service was quick and yummy. I enjoyed our waiters for the “anytime dining” and the entire staff including the dining and clean up staff in the Lido eatery was so very friendly. The spa…. Okay. This was my first time ever having a cruise spa treatment. I have had spa treatments on land and apparently I have had some good ones because I was not impressed with the massage, the massage therapist, the room, or the whole experience. I thought it was sub par. I thought is could have been better. I got the 75 minute deep tissue hot stone massage. My daughter got the same thing. This was here first time ever getting a massage and she liked it well enough. I also went back the next day and got the Iontherarpy ( I know I have misspelled that…) but it is the therapy where that put you in a clay muddy mask and give you electric currents that make you lose inches. I did lose 6 inches. Total. I know this is an expensive treatment, but I just had to try it. I checked it off my bucket list. I thought it was a cool experience and I am glad I did it. We rented a Cabana in Half Moon Cay. I definitely recommend doing this! Well worth the money IMHO. That was the favorite part of the trip to the Bahamas. We did not do any excursions while in Nassau. DH, DGD and I just walked around town and shopped. We purchased a nice bottle of perfume and of course a couple of T-shirts. I also purchased a star fish painted up like Santa Claus. This star fish stinks. Do get me wrong, the paint job is pretty but it smells. Bad. Like they pulled it from the sea, painted it alive. IDK it is still drying out on my patio. It’s been there for 3 weeks… I liked the Ecstasy and I will advise anyone reading this to take her for a ride!   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
First of all, let me share with the readers that I am a Carnival Platinum member. I have cruised with Carnival on many different ships - Second, I am in my 40s, so it is entirely possible that the younger crowd may enjoy it more, but ... Read More
First of all, let me share with the readers that I am a Carnival Platinum member. I have cruised with Carnival on many different ships - Second, I am in my 40s, so it is entirely possible that the younger crowd may enjoy it more, but based on the people I talked to I kind of doubt it. Carnival Ecstasy is certainly a dated ship at this point. I believe it is due to go into dock for renovation before heading to Miami - and it needs it. I believe they must have moved some of the "cleaners" to other ships because of this, because it was largely pretty dirty and dingy. Food was mediocre at best - after two days it will taste very similar. Sure hope the kitchen was cleaner than the rest of the ship! The itinerary itself was pretty nice. Being able to stop at a private island for a day was nice. I doubt anyone from Carnival will read this - but I can tell you over the past three years Carnival has taken a turn for the worse. I wish I could have been platinum on Royal Caribbean at this point. Lesson learned.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
...you can't get there from here. Let me back up a bit. We just got off the Ecstasy and had a great trip. Good food, nice employees, no complaints. Getting on and off the ship was very easy (we didn't need First to the Fun). The ... Read More
...you can't get there from here. Let me back up a bit. We just got off the Ecstasy and had a great trip. Good food, nice employees, no complaints. Getting on and off the ship was very easy (we didn't need First to the Fun). The passengers were not rude, and no one dressed too trashy or complained about anything. Nassau was fine, and Half Moon Cay is even prettier then I remembered. Carnival has retrofitted this ship with a few balconies (which we opted for) and otherwise updated it as best as they can with flat screens, etc. The ship did list to the left at all ports including while anchored at HMC. She was fine at sea. Odd. Here's the issue. The Fantasy class ships have numerous dead ends. You really have to plan your route and walk to the correct elevator/stairs. You'll have fun and they are great for 3-4 day cruises. But it might be time to begin phasing them out.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Quickie review (sorry no pics) - Cast of characters: Myself53 4th cruise, DD19 3rd cruise, DD22 3rd cruise & DDBF22 3rd cruise . We had 2 Oceanviews R84 & R88. We live in St Cloud FL so it's an easy drive to Pt Canaveral. ... Read More
Quickie review (sorry no pics) - Cast of characters: Myself53 4th cruise, DD19 3rd cruise, DD22 3rd cruise & DDBF22 3rd cruise . We had 2 Oceanviews R84 & R88. We live in St Cloud FL so it's an easy drive to Pt Canaveral. Parked at Park n Cruise 1700 Sea Ray Dr Merritt Island, FL 32953 Phone Number 321-454-2500 for the 1st time, only $3.99 & tax per night - great savings over parking at Port Canaveral! (google to get this rate!) Easy shuttle, tipped driver $5 for 4 bags, then tipped port worker $5. Arrived at 11:35 - thru security & sail card & directly onto ship by 12:05. Went to Lido & had some fresh fruit then went around exploring the ship. ALL of our previous cruises were Carnival Sensation, fantasy-class sister ship, also out of Port Canaveral, so we felt right at home. Liked Ecstasy decor better, lol! Rooms were ready at 1:30 & 2 of our luggage arrived. The other 2 (of course the ones w/RR's inside) were late to arrive. Had me biting my fingernails for a few, but by 5pm they also arrived, all intact & RR's safe & sound (1st time, will do this again! Got 'em at Dollar Tree, thanks to someone here:)) Your time Dinner in dining room, had spring rolls, fish & WMC - all delish! Tried hottubs on Serenity, nice but not hot enough, oh well. Crashed & slept like a baby! Next day Freeport & Swim with the Dolphins, booked thru Carnival cuz I am a chicken, lol. Awesome! Dinner had stuffed mushrooms, fish again, skipped dessert! Next day was Nassau where DD19 & I shopped til we dropped. Got a bottle Old Nassau Dark Rum $9 (thanks to CC peeps!) D22 & DDBF22 hung out at Senor Frogs. Dinner was salad & indian vegetarian (dang that meal is good, even though I didn't know exactly what I was eating!) skipped dessert again. Next day was Half Moon Cay - our 1st time there. We rented Cabana #11, will do this again. Our cabana was in a great location, restrooms right behind us. The lunch served there was really good too - I had jerk chicken, salad & rum cake. We stayed as long as we could, the line to board the tender was long but moved fast. Dinner that night was pasta something & fish again, skipped dessert but later went to Lido & sampled a few desserts. Most were pretty dang good! Day at sea was spent resting, visiting shops, got a bottle duty-free Smirnoff $13, We each got a complimentary drink coupon to be used in the dining room at breakfast or lunch, so we went to the dining room for lunch - got a Miami Vice (yum!) and for lunch ordered just spring roll app., then went to Lido & got the deli turkey wrap. Sadly our cruise came to an end - we did self-assist & debarked around 9:15 am, long security line but moved fast, found our Park n Cruise shuttle area, waited under a tent-thing for about 15 minutes, then were shuttled back to our car, easy-peasy! Some highlights: Had an awesome cabin steward IDA Great servers GERMAN, DVMITRY, & JOSE Coffee was good - I brought an insulated mug & discovered 1/2 cup soft serve vanilla, topped off w/coffee was an awesome beverage. So good I didn't even purchase my usual coffee from the cafe. We ordered room-service breakfast every morning, excellent! Coffee, bagels, fruit & always delivered right on time! We missed the shows but did see the adult comedy - very enjoyable. Also watched the love & marriage show where a young man was brought to the stage along w/his GF - he proposed on bended knee (awwhhh!) very sweet to watch:) Played a trivia game or 2, DD19 wanted to win a ship-on-a-stick but it was not to be... Was a nice vacation & we are already looking to book again - would sail Ecstasy again in a minute!   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Just got back from a great 5 day cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy. Just wanted to provide updates as the reviews/research that I did before going on wasn't the most accurate/outdated. Departed out of Port Canaveral, FL with my family ... Read More
Just got back from a great 5 day cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy. Just wanted to provide updates as the reviews/research that I did before going on wasn't the most accurate/outdated. Departed out of Port Canaveral, FL with my family of two kids (ages 3 and 6) and husband. Ports included Freeport, Nassau & Half Moon Cay. We've previously sailed on 2 Princess Cruises and 1 Royal Caribbean and this was our first on Carnival. In comparison to those other cruises, this was a very basic cruise. We have been in need for a family vacation/getaway for sometime now and it can be difficult to plan with two little kids in tow. So for a trip that provided fun activities for the kids, meals that I didn't have to think to plan plus a little R&R - it did the job. But...it IS an older ship. The decor is a bit tacky (but can be viewed as fun after it grows on you for a few days). Fitness: Options are very very limited. The gym is small - about the size of a smaller hotel gym - not too many options to pick from. There is NO basketball hoop despite folks saying there is one - we walked the ship a couple of times looking. The only real option is a jogging track that you have to go 11.5 times around to equal a mile - so if you are into counting in your head 50 laps for a good run - have at it. Dining: Options are limited. Very basic here. Same food different days - truly. You are looking at burgers, hot dogs, a good Mongolian grill that's open only during certain hours for lunch. The sit down dining options weren't that great (the meatloaf was a bit scary looking and tasted like a sponge) - but hey, it's a nice meal that's cooked for you and you can eat as much as you want. You would hope that the midnight buffet was some sort of special offering/treat...nope, burgers and hot dogs. I was really disappointed in the kids menu. It's truly: burgers, chicken nuggets and pizza for five days in a row! When you ask for spaghetti or some other sort of option - the waiters get annoyed with you and there's no other option. So for the week I felt bad for my kids - I'm sure it's great and all - they are on vacation, etc - but as a mom that tries to mix foods up for them to make sure they aren't eating burgers or carbs all the time it was very disappointing. Staff: Overall decent. I was expecting Princess & Royal Caribbean treatment - folks say hi, if they can go out of their way to make your trip a little more pleasurable. I was put off by the Carnival Ecstasy dining crew - esp when they wouldn't help with different options for the kids - it was - hurry up and order type of scenario. Our room steward was a ghost - haha, but kept our cabin clean (which is a task in itself with two boys!). Ports: Not that bad actually. Freeport - we got a taxi right off the boat and decided to venture out on our own. Took a taxi (beware - they try to upsell you on other outings!) and went to the Straw Market & Grand Lucayan Resort area. Wish we started off at Grand Lucayan...gorgeous hotel that you can buy a day pass to - it has a zero infinity pool overlooking beautiful white sand beach. The little shopping area across the street wasn't all that great - it took us about 20 minutes to get through and realize they were mostly the little souvenir trinkets - nothing distinctly Freeport. Next we went to Nassau with the same idea - to explore on our own. Right when you get off the ship it was insanity - everyone was pushy and trying to get you to buy into their tour/excursion. Very pushy - I was getting frustrated and was about to give in just to get it done with. But when you move past all of that and get out onto the main street - it's easy to navigate - sidewalks are narrow - but my family handled it fine. We went over to the Greycliff Hotel (they have a small chocolate shop there) and also the John Watling's Distillery (this was great - they had coloring pages for the kids) and then took the Jitney to the Fish Fry area so my husband could get Caribbean food. Couldn't find the free beach that everyone spoke of - plus it was blazingly hot so we just walked around a little more and called it a day. Next time we head to Nassau, we will definitely research and potentially put down the money for Atlantis - it may have been more fun for the kiddos. Lastly, Half Moon Cay...gorgeous! But HOT HOT HOT! I thought I was being smart by getting one of those "clamshells" for the day...but rarely used it. It was far from where the kiddos were playing (they were all located in the back row) and there was no ventilation, hotter in the clam shell than sitting out on a chair. After a couple of hours I couldn't take the heat and took the kids back to the boat. Overall, the boat did it's job. The kids had fun (oh! one bummer was that Camp Carnival had odd hours - like on the first day it opened at 8pm and closed at 9:45pm...you would think after a big travel day they would help parents out! ha), we got some good meals out of it and got R&R. Not many activities onboard - we aren't big drinkers - we enjoyed our fruity drinks but not to the levels of other passengers and weren't casino goers. Oh and there's a large smoking area INSIDE on the ship - that was a little off putting too. Shows were ok - good diversion - but nothing to make sure you don't miss - the lead guy sang off key you wish he would just lip sync haha. We will think about Carnival again - but definitely only the newer ships that have more options for food, etc. Otherwise we'll be trying to go back to Royal Caribbean or Princess. Read Less
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
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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