278 Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Reviews

This was a last minute booking. I booked on Sep 12th around noon and got in the car to drive South. We like sailing at of Jacksonville as it is not to hateful of a drive from Ohio. We were just looking for a quick get away and Carnival ... Read More
This was a last minute booking. I booked on Sep 12th around noon and got in the car to drive South. We like sailing at of Jacksonville as it is not to hateful of a drive from Ohio. We were just looking for a quick get away and Carnival Ecstasy did not disappoint. Since we booked so late, our check in time was 1:30PM however, we showed up early on the of chance they were ahead of schedule. We were on the ship around 12:30. Fifteen minutes from the time we parked till we got up on the Lido deck. The ship is showing her age but she is slated for dry dock on October which I expect consist of a good paint job and new décor. We will find out as we are booked on the Ecstasy in November. We had a port hole cabin on the main deck. The room was extra deep based on its location. The room was very clean. For the most part, we ate only on the Lido deck, Bonsai Sushi express or room service. We looked at the dining room menus through the cruise and everything sounded good. I only packed shorts, so we did not go in for dinner. I know that you can but cruise casual to me is at least a golf shirt and pants. Its not difficult and I will they would at the very least enforce the current code even though its to lax. The cruise director Cam and the Fun Squad were very good. Everything we saw, we enjoyed. DJ Spike was one of the better ones that we have seen in a while. The dancers were really good and you could see their practice paid off. This was our first time to Princess Cay. I still prefer Half Moon. While the beach is very pretty, they cram a lot of beach chairs in the various coves so it is hard to get away if you are looking to truly relax. We would definitely go again though. We didn't spend much time in Nassau. I was not feeling great so we just walked around for a few hours Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The cruise was relaxing. We went to Princess Cays, where we got a Sanctuary Bungalow that we enjoyed very much. We weren't fans of the Nassau market off the port since we don't like having all the vendors constantly trying to ... Read More
The cruise was relaxing. We went to Princess Cays, where we got a Sanctuary Bungalow that we enjoyed very much. We weren't fans of the Nassau market off the port since we don't like having all the vendors constantly trying to convince you to go into their shop (or get your hair braided). The food in the MDR was great. We had your-time-dining and only had to wait once. We enjoyed the music shows and went to both showings both times. I wish there had been more of them instead of only two nights. The main reason for my review is to share a warning about room E82, and really all the rooms around there. I had no idea how loud it would be in that room due to the music in the Atrium. I had researched the room beforehand and hadn't seen any warning, so I decided to add my own review afterward so that others would know better. This isn't something that would be better one or two rooms further away. The noise was loud enough that I wouldn't recommend any rooms in the midsection of the Emerald deck at all. I would recommend going with a different deck, or perhaps all the way in the Aft section. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our second cruise (cruised on the Magic last year), and we were prepared after reading reviews and watching videos- for the fact that this is an older, smaller ship. Plain and simple- your cruise is what you make it. Yeah, there ... Read More
This was our second cruise (cruised on the Magic last year), and we were prepared after reading reviews and watching videos- for the fact that this is an older, smaller ship. Plain and simple- your cruise is what you make it. Yeah, there were some weird smells in the mornings. Yeah, it was a little rocky the first night (it's a boat). We actually enjoyed a smaller ship. We could walk the whole thing, there was way more outdoor and indoor seating than the Magic. The buffet food was okay. If you don't like anything on the buffet, go eat at Guy's or get a pizza; it is always good. Breakfast and desserts were great, we ate in the dining room twice. There wasn't quite as many activities during the day, we got some books and read a lot. We were on the Ecstacy for 8 days and had a great time. Kyndell Fire was our CD, she and the Fun Squad did an amazing job and brought the best energy. Because of the reviews, we were a little nervous about the Charleston port and had only sailed from Orlando. We were very pleasantly surprised. It was easy to find, the staff/security/drivers and porters were super efficient and friendly! Embarkation was super fast with no confusion. We went from our car to the boat in like 20-30 minutes. This included the shuttle, check in and all. We boarded an hour and a half before our scheduled time with no issues. Debarkation was also smooth. We were on Deck 4 and were able to leave before our scheduled deck time, staff had designated elevators and it was easy and fast. The cabin was bigger than we expected. Im not sure how we ended up with 2 pull down beds, but we didnt need them. Room was clean and steward was super nice. We visited St. Maarten, San Juan, and St. Thomas. We didn't have any excursions booked when when we boarded. We went to a presentation with Kyndell and they went over the excursions offered- we ended up booking two and I'm so glad we did! We did the Kon-Tiki party boat in St Thomas (HIGHLY RECOMMEND) and the top 10 Best of St Maarten. The ports were beautiful! While we are looking forward to cruising on the Sunshine out of Charleston next time, we have good memories on the Ecstacy. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I went on c.c. to check out this ship and a lot of bad things I had seen written about this ship and I was trying to change my cruise but it was too late, I just got off this ship Monday april 15th and we had A BLAST, my wife and I, this ... Read More
I went on c.c. to check out this ship and a lot of bad things I had seen written about this ship and I was trying to change my cruise but it was too late, I just got off this ship Monday april 15th and we had A BLAST, my wife and I, this is a smaller ship, but the biggest I have been on and it was real NICE,the crew was always sweeping mopping cleaning up trash and even cleaning the ceiling , food was good and everytime we ported they were cleaning the side of the boat ,we went to princess cay Island and they will take u to the island in a shuttle boat where there is a nice beach(no excursion necessary) and then went to Freeport which u do need an excursion if u want to go anywhere, but there is on the island little shop[ can shop at , at the port, cabins were great, entertainment was good and we wouid. go again, CRUISE DIRECTOR WAS '' AWESOME'' KYNDALL FIRE was her name, it was really hard getting off the ship Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise as we received an offer on a reduced room rate. Also as we live near Charleston, it just seemed right. This was our second cruise with Carnival, and it was enjoyable. The Ecstasy has some age on her (1991), but ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we received an offer on a reduced room rate. Also as we live near Charleston, it just seemed right. This was our second cruise with Carnival, and it was enjoyable. The Ecstasy has some age on her (1991), but she is a good ship. There are rust and mechanical issues, but... What really impressed us was the staff. They were first class. The day at Princess Cay was a nice beach-day. The lunch line-wait seemed a bit long. and the tenders were interesting. In Freeport we took the City Tour. It was a Sunday, so many stores were not open. Carnival "works" with the local vendors to open on Sunday. The tour bus we were on was not in the best condition (interior). Our driver was quite entertaining. I took the "Behind the Fun" tour - do not miss it if you like to see how Cruise ships operate. We are starting to plan our next Cruise on the Sunshine. It is just so nice to drive to the dock and gat on the ship! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our 12th Carnival cruise. We drove to Charleston the night before the cruise and stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites about 20 minutes from the port. Check in in Charleston was seamless. I prepaid for parking at the port. We ... Read More
This was our 12th Carnival cruise. We drove to Charleston the night before the cruise and stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites about 20 minutes from the port. Check in in Charleston was seamless. I prepaid for parking at the port. We booked a grand suite with extended balcony. We got in the building, went straight to priority check in, got our boarding passes stamped and off we go to the ship. So quick and we arrived at a peak time, noon. The guy that checked us in said our room cards would be on our door and that our stateroom should be ready now. Not sure if that’s a suite perk and I wasn’t expecting the room to be ready but the check in guy said it would be. We got to the room and our keys weren’t there and the room wasn’t ready. No big deal for us. We had just changed to that room so guest services probably had our keys. We did ask the room steward in the hall if he’d let us drop off our carry on bags. He initially said no and, how do I know who you are? Fair point but I showed him our boarding passes and he let us drop the bags. That person ended up being our room steward. He wasn’t overly friendly but I don't need him to be my best friend. He was an OK room steward. He did the minimum in our room. We got a few towel animals. He did most of his job but he wasn’t as friendly as we usually experience. At guest services, QiQi got us our cards and apologized for the inconvenience. I told her it wasn’t a big deal to us. No harm done but she still gave each of us a drink receipt for a free drink from the bar. I wasn’t expecting that at all and thought it was very generous considering how NOT inconvenienced we were. Next up we signed into the HUB to get the kids onto chat so they could communicate with me. My youngest son had the same difficulty he had last October. He was unable to use chat because a message read for him to get his parent’s permission but then nothing. Back to guest services. Tatiana saved the day and got it figured out. Lifesaver! Big high fives to QiQi and Tatiana. I gamble on cruises. I get many offers from the casino program. They like that I give them so much money. I usually lose what I budget for gambling and that’s how it goes. This time I’d upped my gambling budget a bit and I did terrible! TERRIBLE! I did nothing but lose. LOSE LOSE LOSE What are ya gonna do, right? It’s called gambling not winning. The staff was great though. Kuda, Slavcho and Federico were super. They checked in with me often. Losing didn’t feel as bad when a friendly face would stop by. Slavcho especially made the rounds and would talk to the machine trying to give me luck. He’s very personable. Kuda sent us some cookies to the room. I finished the five days with 12,800 points! The waitstaff in the casino was mostly good. One waiter was not as efficient as others. Never gave a napkin or offered a straw or called you by name. Momo, his real name is Momcila, was so wonderful. Smiling, happy, efficient, always hustling. One thing I miss in the casino is lower bet options. A penny machine sounds great until you see max bet is $5 or $8.88! Dining was good. I do wish the American Table menu would get some updates but it’s all still very good. Nikita at table 129 was very good. Our waiter at table 220 was hilarious but I won’t ask to sit at table 220 ever again because it’s in the pathway for everyone being seated in the center of the dining room. Every person walked by you. Half of them bumped my chair. The other half wore very strong perfume or after shave. You got a good whiff of everyone passing by. We ate at the sea day brunch both days. The bagel breakfast is my favorite. It’s the perfect salmon bagel. We ate at Guy’s Burgers a few times. As always, the best burger ever. I had tacos from the cantina twice as well and they are consistently good. I relaxed and crocheted a lot this week which was my goal. I don't go to shows or most other activities. I skipped dessert most nights and I regret that now. The elevators seemed out of service often so I walked a lot of stairs. That’s probably a good thing because of all the burgers I had. I could never figure out if there was a coffee card. I drank my share of lattes from the Royal Café. Disembarkation was also seamless. Just like that…poof…vacation over. Time to book again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
So, the Carnival Ecstasy.........heard it called a lot of things: 1. Rust Bucket 2. bad 1970's Porn decor 3. falling apart 4. dirty and smelly Honestly all those are true, except the smelly part - we have no bad ... Read More
So, the Carnival Ecstasy.........heard it called a lot of things: 1. Rust Bucket 2. bad 1970's Porn decor 3. falling apart 4. dirty and smelly Honestly all those are true, except the smelly part - we have no bad olfactory distress on our cruise. The Carnival Ecstasy is an old ship. It looks unpleasing and could use a serious makeover. Its true the interior decor looks like a bad XXX movie minus the "brown chicka brown cow" music. We honestly didn't pay attention to the rusty hinges, screws and door handles. The interior isn't falling apart too badly, we were able to open all doors, drawers, and closets. This old ship wasn't dirty, just old and zero smells other than the smoke bellowing from the casino area, which is normal. After saying all that, if you are gonna continue to read this review, it’s not all bad. The Carnival employees aboard are super nice and helpful. I suppose they oughta be considering the appearance the ship portrays. I have an assumption that this is the ship Carnival sends employees to train before moving them onto a better ship. Everyone from the fella vacuuming at 4:45am one morning to the art auction people always greeting us with pleasantries. Please don't let the appearance fool ya. Lets' break it down: Embarkation - arrived 11:45am - 8 in our party - 4 different cabins. Onboard by 12:15 = smooth as roller girl in Boogie Nights! Debarkation - smooth as silk Cabin - ES - Great except TV - super grainy and horrible sound, but who cruises to watch TV. Also had a visit by security - told us to take down the hammock on our extended balcony. Guess that's a no-no like handcuffs, hotplates and hookahs. We complied with no complaining. I think we apologized too but we were hanging out with Ron Bacardi that day, so details are a little fuzzy, kinda like the TV. Dining - late assigned dining (8:15pm) WindSong Dining Room - top notch service. In fact, it would have been the best dining service we ever received on a Carnival Cruise BUT there was no escargot on any nightly menu. Claimed it wasn't in season - my guess is another cutback or the ships too clean for snails - you decide. Food quality was spot on - no complaints. Seriously folks, the service was downright awesome, even cocktail service in the MDR was prompt. Entertainment - CD was a boring. not naming names but the 12-year-old fella for a CD on the Sunshine deserves EMMY nominations compared to the current Ecstasy CD. Nothing memorable about her. The Punchline comedian, J.R., freaking hysterical! Don't miss his late-night set. Pool, Hot tubs and Lido deck stuff - never very crowded, hardly any chair hogs. We learned a trick to getting children outta SWIMMING in the hot tubs. *Stand in the middle in the hot tub you wanna get in that is occupied by kiddos snorkeling and jumping around and ask the honeymooning couple "Is this the hot tub you had sex in, or is it the other one?" This works like a charm; no children were in that hot tub for the rest of the cruise. Itinerary and Shore Excursions - decent......no excitement.... we paid for zero excursions. Princess Cays is an extension of the ship. We coulda stayed on the ship and kept sand outta our cracks but went ashore only because we had never been to Princess Cay. Nassau is Nassau. Been there done that........hells bells we got married in Nassau in 2012 it has not changed too much. Figured after seven years that something would be different like waistline, eyesight, or date night......wait, wait, wait that is the being married 7 years, not Nassau. Its still the same! Overall it was a good vacation for the amount spent. We got our money's worth! We had a positive time, and nothing is ever perfect. If you have high exceptions of your cruising decor, you might skip the Ecstasy. If you have expectations of superb service and great food on a smaller ship, then by all means give the Ecstasy a whirl. Would we rush to book the Ecstasy again? Yes Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was an all-gal trip for three of us in our sixties. We have all cruised before and two of us cruised on this ship in January of 2013, almost exactly 6 years ago, although we left from a different port and the cruise length was a day ... Read More
This was an all-gal trip for three of us in our sixties. We have all cruised before and two of us cruised on this ship in January of 2013, almost exactly 6 years ago, although we left from a different port and the cruise length was a day shorter then. We chose this cruise primarily because we were on a budget and wanted the most bang for our bucks. Even though the itinerary wasn't particularly adventurous, we know that half the fun is the company on the cruise and we had adjusted our "cruise attitudes" for maximum tolerance. HOTEL INFORMATION: We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on Savannah Highway in Charleston. We chose this hotel because they participate in the "park and cruise" program so we could drive down from North Carolina (about 6 hours) and leave our car in the parking lot for the duration of the cruise. The hotel was sparkling clean, beds were comfortable, and there was a surprising number of electric and USB outlets. The breakfast was outstanding with not only the danish and coffee, but omelets, sausage, yogurt, a pancake maker, and just about anything one could want for breakfast. The shuttle to the port was quick and easy. The room covered two tickets, a a third was only $20 -- for both ways! This was a pleasant surprise. CRUISE PORT: I had never cruised from Charleston and I was a little surprised how much of the embarkation takes place out in the open parking lot as you rattle and roll through bumpy pavement from tent to tent checking first passports/ID and then boarding pass, etc. It felt that there were just too many passengers to let board at one time, so they manufactured these little stops to take up some time along the way. We had purchased Carnival's "Faster to the Fun" option and once we got through the parking lot, we were very quickly through security and on the ship. Except that the bunk had not been lowered, our cabin was ready for us. Charleston is quite a bit further north than its sister ports on the east coast, and the temperature was quite brisk on embarkation day. Most wore sweaters or jackets and only a few were enjoying the pool (more in the hot tubs). SHIP INFORMATION: I sailed on the Ecstasy in 2013 and have had the pleasure of cruising a number of times since, mostly on Carnival. This is a very small ship, in comparison to the rest of the Carnival fleet. There is no room for an outside theatre as many of the Carnival ships have, and there is a central elevated stage for music and contests and such. Movies were shown in one of the larger lounges. It's easy to quickly walk the length and breadth of this small ship. There are not as many outlets for evening entertainment, but that was not very important for us. I managed to get my 10K steps goal in every day but the last one. Our cruise director was Leon and I felt he did a good job and seemed genuine -- I especially liked his admonition at the conclusion of each of his talks reminding us to "be kind to one another" -- much needed advice on a cruise ship. CABIN Riveriera 145 (window view): Even though the Ecstasy was refurbished in 2017, I don't believe those improvements extended to the cabins. Our cabin was Riviera 145 -- a window room with two regular beds and a bunk. It looked identical to the room we had in 2013 (which was just down the hallway). I had gotten used to bigger rooms and was a little dismayed at first at the size, but when I compared photos later, it was indeed the same. We had the steward move one bed beneath the bunk, and that resulted in the most space available. The room was comfortable and there was enough room for clothing and accoutrements of three women traveling together. There was no full-length mirror in this cabin (usually on the inside of a closet door), but the vanity mirror was sufficient. Our room steward Roy (from Indonesia) kept our room in tip-top shape throughout our trip, leaving towel critters each evening, and always remembering our names and inquiring about our day's activities and adjusting his schedule to our convenience. There is no refrigerator in this cabin, but Roy provided an ice bucket and refilled it each evening. DINING: I had just returned from another Carnival cruise in December, so I was able to compare menus from a larger ship. The food in the dining room was tasty and there were always acceptable viands each evening. I was a little disappointed that no lobster was offered -- apparently that is now reserved for cruises of 7 days or longer. I could have paid the $20 extra for lobster, of course, on any evening. I enjoyed many of the "Port of Call" selections which I thought were very tasty and reinforced the theme of each island we visited. The sea-day brunch offered was not as nice as what was offered on the Glory just 3 weeks before. There, we had been offered filet minon and eggs and other upscale items that were missing from the Ecstasy menu, but ::shrug:: that was hardly a deal-breaker. We ate at the buffet several times, enjoyed the Guy's Burgers several times, and ate our breakfast from the buffet out on the deck every morning. ENTERTAINMENT: We caught one production show, but it seemed identical to the Motown show offered on Carnival cruises for several years. We were not exactly disappointed, but we didn't choose more of those productions. Two of my cabinmates wanted to see the PG comedy show, but it was always scheduled during our dinner hour, so we missed that. Contests and such were held on the lido deck and we hung out on the peaceful Serenity area, so we missed most of those. SHIP SHOPS: Carnival really needs to do something about their shops. They are boring and overpriced. I'd like to see some handmade products from the places or areas visited. There is even room for local craftspeople to demonstrate and sell items, possibly jewelry, for example. Carnival can do a lot better than what they are currently offering, and it would not be for naught -- I would gladly buy items like those featured on Novica or Gifts with a Cause. Even their ho-hum tee-shirts need some new designs. I'm growing weary of their neon offerings with shady sayings. Please. Do something here. GUEST SERVICES: We had no problems and the time or two we had a question or needed a small service was quickly handled. FASTER TO THE FUN: Unless we book a suite, we consider the $$ paid for this well worth it. We like the expedited embarkation and debarkation and having our cabins ready when we board the ship. On this cruise, we also used the priority tender service. Until I get to the Platinum level, I'll continue to purchase this option gladly. PORTS: • Freeport -- well, Freeport cruise terminal was boring. I saw mostly overpriced items from India and China. And the same thing at soooo many shops. I purchased nothing here, although I had money to spend! That's a terrible feeling on both sides of the bargaining table. Next time, I'll book an excursion. The last time I visited Freeport, I took a bike tour and that was a good way to get out into the island a bit. There certainly is nothing in the cruise terminal worth hanging around for. This could also be a good day to stay on the ship and enjoy the amenities there. • Half Moon Cay -- I've visited several times and it's beautiful, but I believe they need to do some landscaping work here. There is almost no shade except under man-made shelters. The beach is looking very barren. Carnival needs to culture some trees, make some shady hammock areas, something other than sun on a blistering beach. The Beach BBQ was adequate, but nothing really to write home about -- dry burgers and long lines. We had a brief shower while here, but managed to wait it out and it passed over quickly. • Nassau -- this trip, we booked an excursion to Blue Lagoon Island and it did not disappoint. My sister and fellow-traveler visited this location in the 90's and it was just beautiful. Carnival could take some pointers from the way they have things set up -- multiple kinds of places to enjoy the beach (beachfront, lagoon-front, and small-inlet-front) with a plethora of chairs and plenty of filtered shade and sunny areas. The meal offered with the excursion was similar to the private island BBQ, but what a difference! Burgers were moist and delicious; there were several local recipes offered (fried plaintain and rice dishes and delicious jerk chicken). We also had an opportunity to interact with the dolphins for less than $20!?! That was for a "dolphin kiss" and a photo (on a CD!) for just $19.99. Since there were only 3 of us, our guide ended up giving us the rest of the dolphin encounter for free. It was amazing. I also appreciated the way they "keep" the dolphins here -- they are free to swim out to sea, if they like, but they are tagged and monitored if they do so. I felt it was a good balance of caring for marine animals while letting us enjoy them. Five stars for this excursion to Blue Lagoon Island. DISEMBARKATION: Our Faster to the Fun privileges had us getting off the ship by about 7am! We were picked up our car about headed home by 7:30-ish. Amazing! We also had the option to say in our cabins until 8:30am and we considered that, but as there was snow coming at home, we opted to leave early. Note that unlike other Carnival ships which provided a continental-type breakfast for priority guests, this was not included for FTTF guests and ther was only 15 minutes between the start of continental breakfast on Lido and the leaving time in the lounge. We got a biscuit down the road. SUMMARY: If you are a "tourist" -- one who sees what he comes to see -- then you may not enjoy this small ship with its limited itinerary; but if you are a "traveler" who can take joy in most experiences and "chew up the meat and spit out the bone," when it comes to challenging experiences then you will likely enjoy your time on the Carnival Ecstasy. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise as an inexpensive getaway for a group of women. The ship is small and is on the older end of cruise ships. Carnival manages to pack most of the amenities offered on the larger ships onto the ecstasy, but the layout ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an inexpensive getaway for a group of women. The ship is small and is on the older end of cruise ships. Carnival manages to pack most of the amenities offered on the larger ships onto the ecstasy, but the layout isn't quite as intuitive. Guys Burger Joint, Blue Iguana Cantina, and the Wind Star dining room were the dining highlights. The food was exactly what you'd expect on a carnival cruise! I was impressed with the breadth of activities and entertainment - from Trivia to Shows to Dancing til Dawn - this ship has you covered. For the bars, I really enjoyed the piano bar's entertainment. The alchemy bar was my favorite out of all of the places to grab a drink on the ship. The ports of call were beautiful - as are all islands in the Bahamas. There isn't much to see/do without an excursion in Freeport - I went to the beach that day. Halfmoon Cay was absolutely stunning, and I had a lot of fun doing a stingray encounter. If I am ever in Nassau again, I don't think I would book an excursion. Junkanoo beach is a public beach within walking distance, and there is plenty of shops that can be visited on foot. Even some of the big attractions are only a short cab ride away. I did book a ship excursion to Adastra, and that was very interesting (but again, could have been done not through the ship). Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
As first time cruisers, traveling with children, we wanted to make our experience as simple as possible. With Charleston being an easy 5 hr car ride, we chose to leave from there and traveled down the day before embarkation. We took ... Read More
As first time cruisers, traveling with children, we wanted to make our experience as simple as possible. With Charleston being an easy 5 hr car ride, we chose to leave from there and traveled down the day before embarkation. We took advantage of a hotel deal where we could stay the night, have a sit down breakfast, park our car for the week, and take the hotel shuttle to and from the port- this worked out beautifully! Hotel Indigo in Mt. Pleasant is just across the bridge. The shuttle worked out flawlessly, and was actually nicer than I had expected. For about $30 more than the price of parking at the port all week, we got a good night's rest, a meal, parking, and the shuttle. We did go out into Charleston the night before to meet some friends and enjoyed ourselves at Carmella's for drinks and desert. When we arrived at the port the next morning, there was a bit of a wait in the shuttle line and when we got off, the baggage handlers were nice enough but were obviously trying to be hasty. There was one particularly loud one shouting everything. He was nice when we realized I had not printed enough bag tags and he helped us get some on quickly, despite his loud first impression. Our shuttle driver pointed out to us where he would be during disembarkation and we headed to the terminal to go through security. The line was long, but moved quickly. It was during the line wait that I realized I made my first rookie mistake of putting my wine in our checked suitcase instead of my carry on. I researched but forgot this detail, apparently. I spent the next several hours praying it wouldn't burst all over our clothing. In the end, they ended up 'confiscating it' and we had clean clothing. Security was smooth until we got to the desk where they check birth certs and IDs, etc. My husband's documents had to be taken to customs due to his name being commonly flagged (?). The lady came back and said well, its good news since I have no customs agent with me! Well, I'd hope so!! She explained that he just had a common name, and it was often flagged. However, my husband is a Veteran and in all his travels has never ran into any issues regarding his name. I still am not sure what all this was about but did not appreciate the delay. We were finally sent to the next checkpoint and there, we weren't listed as 'checked in' due to the previous "issue" so we stood there for another few minutes while they got that sorted. This kind of initially spoiled the faster to the fun option we bought- this hiccup of Carnival's ended up costing us more time in security that I had hoped to be there, with children. However, the final checkpoint agent apologized and stated this was an issue on their end, not ours.... and we were on our way. Once we got on board, our room was not ready so we went for a drink, lunch, and some ship exploring. Once we got back to the room, we had 1 of 3 suitcases which just hours before was brand new but at this point, appeared to have been dragged through the desert a few times. We waited in the room to see if we would get the other two soon and one did arrive but not our main one (at this point I was still waiting to see if we had wine stained clothing so I was anxious to get it and get unpacked and organized). We waited a bit longer, watching the dolphins play from our cabin window, and it still didn't arrive so we left again. The main suitcase arrived sometime later and like I said, our clothing was clean but the wine had been confiscated. We never did get it back and were told they were unable to locate it during disembarkation. I did not complain- it wasn't special wine and I was relieved to not have to pay to launder an entire suitcase full of clothing but it does make me wonder why it was confiscated and couldn't have been delivered to the room since we're allowed to have it anyway. The Ecstacy is showing her age in places. The decor could certainly use an update but it was clean and sufficient. All elevators worked fine except for the last night when one was down for maintenance for just a bit. We took stairs any time we could. Our cabin was M218 towards the end of the ship and made for some long walks at times; the room itself suited the four of us fine but I would spring for a suite next time for more room, if possible. One major complaint was the sewage smell coming from the drains in the bathroom. We found that if we plugged the sink, it was somewhat better. The shower had good water pressure and was always hot, however. I brought a cheap, clear, shoe hanger for our door and don't know what I would have done with all our stuff without it! There is no storage room other than a tiny shelf in the bathroom. I think the rooms could use a dresser instead of a desk/vanity. We had to put all clothing on the shelves in the closets and they're just not easily accessible. The beds were comfortable and my girls (8 and 11) had fun sitting on the window ledge. They had a pull down bunk and a roll away bad close to the floor. The pull down made me have to crawl over my husband but thats not really an issue for us. There was a small leak in our window which ruined a book a had sitting up there, due to heavy rain and sea spray the last day. In common areas, there was often not enough seating for popular places or shows, the pool is too small (and one is not enough). For the most part, I found the staff exceptional. They really do work so hard. Our Cruise Director, Leon, was fabulous and our steward Hermogenes made our room homey and was a sight for sore eyes after a day of tiring fun- he always had a smile and a kind word for us. Our waitstaff Saw and Ni Nguyen made sure we were well cared for at dinner, remembered our favorite drinks/wine/my kids favored foods and didn't judge when we wanted two of something. haha. We had a nicer breakfast during two on board brunches and our waiter there was also exceptional though I did not ever get his name. He went out of his way for my youngest child and it was very appreciated. My second rookie mistake was skipping the first formal night. We missed the lobster which I was looking forward to. We went to the second formal night but.. no lobster that time. We did have escargot and really enjoyed it. There were a few staff, both bartenders, actually who I thought needed a night off and were less than friendly. I see a lot of complaints about the ship rocking. This is also something else I expected... you're in the ocean, no? It's no fault of anyone involved and we did have one very turbulent day on the last day at sea. The cruise shop sold a small bottle of essential oils that helped tremendously with any queasiness. We also brought non drowsy dramamine. I will be the first to tell anyone I figured all the shows would be horribly cheesy and I wouldn't be able to sit through them. We saw some great ones though! The Brits show, America Rocks, and the Motown review were pretty good. There was a cute Christmas show that my daughter enjoyed too. My kids also enjoyed Camp Ocean- they actually asked to go back to it. They spent the majority of our last night there and came back with a sweet swag bag full of stuff. I do wish the kids camps were open longer than 10pm without the extra expense of "night owls". There are many adult shows we wanted to attend and chose not to so that we wouldn't have to pay $16/ hour ($8/ child, per hour). The deck dance parties were fun but adults take their glow sticks seriously and my younger daughter's feelings got hurt over not getting a giant glow stick while the adults around her snatched for them. My girls did the Build A Bear even on board and even though they had done this before, they really enjoyed it and liked taking their animals everywhere they went. We took our kids to the piano bar and karaoke which they enjoyed. Our ports were Amber Cove, Grand Turk, and Princess Cay. We were supposed to go to Half Moon Cay but it was changed months before we left. We enjoyed them all but Grand Turk was our fave. We chose not to do any excursions and just relax and play on the beaches. While my kids really enjoyed the pool at Amber Cove, if we returned there, we would probably do an excursion to see more of the island. The port area is very commercialized compared to (for example) Grand Turk and it seems you can't really explore otherwise. We simply rented a nice snorkeling set up in Grand Turk and had fun with the kids on the beaches there. The girls got their hair braided and I enjoyed interacting with the locals down the beach (away from Margaritaville). Princess Cay was very relaxing and it was nice to have lunch provided. However, the seas there were rough and we took a shuttle boat to the island due to the lack of pier there. It was fine for our family and others but we were later made aware that one of the last shuttle boats back to the main ship got stuck out in the water for hours due to a blown engine, without any communication. They had children on board and it was dusk, then dark in rough waters. We were told by someone on that boat that Carnival only offered them a $50 room credit for this. This is hardly sufficient for lack of communication when something should have been previously worked out in the event of this happening. We did enjoy our time there but the waves were rough for the kids so they couldn't swim as far as they would have liked. We enjoyed the majority of the food. Some stand outs were the Blue Iguana Tacos, Guys Burgers, of course the kids liked the pizza and ice cream; french toast and omelets for breakfast, the prime rib, escargot, and chocolate melting cake and the souffle in the dining room. We also enjoyed the fried shrimp during the last lunch at the grill in the lido. The St. Helena Merlot is a good choice for a cheaper glass of wine! We also really liked the tropical mules, and the bite of the iguana margarita from blue iguana bar. On the other hand, most of the desserts in the lido aren't worth the calories, the coffee is not good, and the pasta dishes at night in the dining room seem recycled. It is possible to eat fairly healthy on a cruise. I was able to eat salad and fruit daily, though I wish they served pineapple. I do recommend ordering bottled water to your room. I ordered 4 packs and that was too much for us, even for 7 days. Really only needed half that. The Faster to the fun really came in handy when we received priority boarding for the shuttle boats to Princess Cay. We were in one of the first boats over which allowed for us to grab good lounge chairs close to everything. It was also really helpful during disembarkation as we were off the ship quickly and hours before many others. That is helpful with children. So, don't overpack so that you cant take your own bags off the ship. Our hotel shuttle was there waiting for us when we got to him and it was again painless to get to our car and on our way home. My kids really enjoyed themselves and while we would have been able to relax more child free, this was perfect for a family vacation. We would certainly go again with a few things done differently: -We'd do the cheers packages -Take the wine in the carry ons! -Take more regular clothing- I took a lot of beach wear/coverups/comfy stuff and dresses but not much in the middle. -Dont skip the first formal night -Get a larger cabin, midship, if possible -Get more pics of the whole family taken during dinner (I swore I wouldn't want any of those, but I did! And would have gotten more if my whole family was in them) -Get Faster to the Fun again We're already looking for our next cruise! I hope this review is helpful to someone. I included things I'd want to know. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Embarkation was very easy. We were on the ship early. No waiting for ID photos any longer. They scan the picture from your passport, on the ship in 20 minutes. We had a great time. Dining room every night. Enjoyed every meal ... Read More
Embarkation was very easy. We were on the ship early. No waiting for ID photos any longer. They scan the picture from your passport, on the ship in 20 minutes. We had a great time. Dining room every night. Enjoyed every meal there. Had the seven course meal at the chef's table, it was a great experience. The tour of the galley was very interesting. It's almost unbelievable they prepare 10,000 meals per day on the ship. Hats off to Nant our cabin steward. Room was cleaned every time we turned around. Never ever ran out of ice. Hadi did a great job at the Red Rum Bar. I kept him running with buckets of beer. Pookie danced the night away at the Casino bar. The band there is great. They can play anything. Would really like to see them again. Went to the late night party on the Serenity Deck. Twerking was the order of the day. Met some great new friends. All in all it was a great trip, would do it again. Older ship but first class service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and I wanted a short cruise within an easy drive of our home near Wilmington, NC. While we normally cruise with Celebrity we were pleasantly surprised with our experience aboard the Carnival Ecstasy. We normally cruise in a ... Read More
My wife and I wanted a short cruise within an easy drive of our home near Wilmington, NC. While we normally cruise with Celebrity we were pleasantly surprised with our experience aboard the Carnival Ecstasy. We normally cruise in a balcony stateroom but since they were in short supply we opted for an ocean view stateroom since it was only a 5 day cruise, I really missed having a chair to sit on but this was a minor inconvenience and not a problem. The parking and check-in was a real plus, very efficient. We were quite surprised when the parking lot attendant told us that there would be no charge for handicapped parking, this represented a quick $100 savings. Breakfast service in the Lido was very good, there was never more than 2 people waiting in line for omelets or eggs to order, I would have liked fresh pineapple but I made do with the other fruit offerings. Bakery items were very good. Guy's burgers on the Lido deck were among the best I have experienced on land or sea, always freshly made with plenty of fries and toppings. We opted for dinner at the 8:15 seating, the wait staff were excellent, very personable and knowledgeable of the menu offerings. I would have liked to have had better cocktail and wine service, it was necessary to ask the waiter for beverage service. I found the food offerings were varied and suitable to my tastes. The seafood offerings of Mahi Mahi and Salmon were above average. The entertainment was well above average, the Cruise Director Leon was outstanding, I have been on more than a dozen cruises and Leon was the best and most involved cruise director that I have experienced. Leon hosted a tribute to veterans which was a very emotional and moving ceremony which was enjoyed by the more than 100 attendees. I enjoyed the casino, however, the three card poker table was rarely busy, since I enjoy playing with 4 or 5 other players, I didn't play as much as I would have liked (probably saved some money). The disembarking was very slow, this was probably caused by too many people opting to carry off their luggage, which clogged the elevators and caused long lines on deck 7, this combined with those that checked luggage created delays for the carry off folks as well as the checked luggage people. Bottom line, I enjoyed my Carnival cruise and will certainly cruise Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This trip was a "Pack N Go" that we booked probably 3 weeks in advance. We were in an inside room on Deck 4, but it was still very nice and roomy. Typical of Fantasy class - no extra mirror in the bathroom which was a bit small. ... Read More
This trip was a "Pack N Go" that we booked probably 3 weeks in advance. We were in an inside room on Deck 4, but it was still very nice and roomy. Typical of Fantasy class - no extra mirror in the bathroom which was a bit small. Stewards were very nice and helpful, though sometimes a bit slow. We typically left our room at 7:30 - to get up to Serenity before the chogs - but our room was one of the last to be cleaned. The dining room staff was awesome! Vinod does a fantastic job with his waiters, and Aleksanbdra was amazing! Totally different from the Journey cruise of 2017, instead of 10 days and 3 ports - thank you Irma - we made all our ports. Only problem I had was why did we have to leave San Juan so early? We had 2 sea days to get back to Charleston. Come on! They were probably trying to conserve fuel. Food was very good, menus typical, but they are upping their game with the sugar free options,which is great. With the Journeys cruise they offered a "Good Eats" with a local chef from St. Maarten. Chef Dino was wonderful as always, and now has a cookbook out. His restaurant will be open again in July - destroyed by Irma - and I hope to be able to get there to see him. The Dutch side of St. Maarten has recovered nicely - still working to bring things back but the progress is moving along. not so much on the French side. The CD is Leon, and he is fantastic. I hope to see him graduate to another ship some day. All in all, it was a great 12 days. Friendly crew - so many came to say goodbye and give us hugs on the last day. Hope to see them next March! Have to mention the TV situation. Only CNN and it's affiliates and movies, Ocean Channel, cartoons and normal navigation and view of Lido pool area and bow. This situation stinks! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This is my fourth cruise on this lady, Carnival Ecstasy, she is in good shape for an old gal! EMBARKMENT: My wife and I drove down from North Carolina and utilized the new cruise port parking arrangement. We used to park in an old ... Read More
This is my fourth cruise on this lady, Carnival Ecstasy, she is in good shape for an old gal! EMBARKMENT: My wife and I drove down from North Carolina and utilized the new cruise port parking arrangement. We used to park in an old warehouse and take buses after you dropped off the luggage at the parking lot. Now you drive in, they take your luggage and your park in the open air parking lot and take the shuttle to the cruise terminal. It appeared to be a little faster. The bottleneck at the terminal remained the same, long lines that are slow. You do get onto the ship in about an hour or so. ON BOARD: Your room key is now at your cabin's mail slot next to the cabin door, so when you get on board if you want a drink you have to show your boarding pass and give your cabin/stateroom number, the new system is a little faster, but not much. You head to the buffet on deck 10 and have the "standard" buffet food, good but not great. You get into your cabin by 1:30pm, you room key card and onboard charge card is in the mail slot next to the cabin door. INTERIOR: Rivera (4th deck) R63 is an interior cabin, with a queen bed, two twins pushed together. as my wife and I are CPAPer's we had the stateroom steward, Wayan, split the beds for us. He provided excellent service through out our cruise. Standard interior cabin, a little dated but functional. ENTERTAINMENT: On the ship, the entertainment is by cruise staff, all production shows, a couple were good, the cruise director, Deon, is a high energy and very personable. The Punchliner Comedy Club had a very good comedian, Jody White, we only saw her PG show and it was an entertaining 45 minutes. COST of DRINKS: They are getting expensive $6.50 for bottled beer and $9 and up for cocktails, similar to RCCL. PORTS OF CALL: My wife had not been to Bermuda in about 25 years, back in "those days" we did the snorkeling, glass bottom boat, the pink sand beaches and explored the island, now we sort of just walk around the port area. I will comment later about Bermuda it is a beautiful island to visit. MAIN DINING ROOM: We were "your time dining" from 5:45 pm to 9:30 pm, and there are long lines to get into the restaurant and your are given the buzzer that goes off when your table is ready, no matter what time we went, early or about 7:30 pm, there was about a half hour wait time. We dining in the Wind Star main dining room and fortunately got the same section at our request, with the team head waiter Iman and the team waiter Sentana, with a third rotating team assistant waiter at tables 138 to 146. They provided excellent service throughout the cruise. THE MENU: Standard fare, we had prime rib, two nights, beef tenderloin one night, and the menu varied on the beef and pork, with spare ribs, beef short ribs, along with the pasta, vegetarian, and seafood selection. There are two formal nights on the seven day cruise in which there are table cloths on the tables. The appetizers are standard, and they only have escargot (my favorite) one night of the cruise. Overall, the food was very good but not great. Now the "salt shakers" in the main dining room are the little cylinder ceramic shakers with three little holes onto and THEY ALWAYS CLOG!!! Five of the seven nights we had to have our waiter bring us salt shakers that were not clogged. Carnival get new salt shakers! If that was my main complaint, what am I complaining about. MEET and MINGLE gathering: I would have to rate it a poor compared to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. There were about 25 Cruise Critic M and M folks, and they coffee, juice, water and danish. On RCCL's meet and mingle, they had bottles of wine and champagne, hats, a backpack and the coveted pens and markers. THE CASINO: My wife and I were here on the Carnival Players Club "bounce back" casino offer, it you gamble "enough", and I do, you get a offer of an interior cabin for $100 per person, plus port charges and on board credit of $100 each, so essentially, its a "free cruise" excluding the port charges and taxes. Unfortunately the casino is small, and as I play three card poker (only two tables) and WPT heads up hold 'em (only one) I had limited table time as this cruise was also a Carnival players club "Premier" players club cruise and people were sitting at the table to play before the casino opened. There was a mix of old and new slot machines, mostly older vintage, and I did not hear of any really big slot machine wins announced. DEBARKMENT: Under an hour we went from the gathering place, Sapphire Lounge to pick up our luggage, through customs onto the shuttle bus and to our car in under one hour. Amazingly fast. OVERALL IMPRESSION: It was a nice cruise on an older ship, with standard accommodations, very good but not great food in the MDR that provided excellent service,that visited the beautiful island of Bermuda. There few kids on board as it is the school season, a good age group mix. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Port: Charleston- My mom is handicap with a placard. So we got free parking, otherwise it is $20 a day. Crew members directed us to where you give your checked luggage. Then they directed us to the handicap parking where a shutte was ... Read More
Port: Charleston- My mom is handicap with a placard. So we got free parking, otherwise it is $20 a day. Crew members directed us to where you give your checked luggage. Then they directed us to the handicap parking where a shutte was waiting for us. You will take your carry on on this bus. They drove us to the front. SECURITY: We brought a 12 pk of soda each that we bungee cord to our carry on. You will be asked to remove it for the xray belt along with lap top. You will also need to have your boarding pass, id, and birth certificate handy. They told us our room wasn’t ready until 1:30. We just got on the boat and went to eat. Carry ons and all. CABIN- The cabin was great. If you are traveling with child, I would strongly recommend you get the pull out bed under the bed. The bundle bed above takes up too much room. The bathroom on the other hand smelled like sewage the hold time. In our cabin, we had two plug ins and a hair dryer. We brought a plug in adapter that had three plug ins and two usb ports. Worked perfect. The steward brought us a bucket of ice for our can drinks constantly. No fridge. We also prepaid water which was waiting in our room. We used those for walking around on port. PRINCESS CAY: This is where you take the ferry over to shore. 8-5 ... You will have to get a ticket and wait to be called. However, we ate breakfast at 8am and by the time we were done, you no longer had to get a ticket. The mad rush was gone and you just hopped on the ferry. They went back and forth every 15 to 20 minutes. NASSAU: Same thing but no ferry.... just a long walk to the shore. Strongly suggest to just get the free shuttle that will take you to the front door and you will be picked up where you were dropped off. FREE but tips are encouraged. If you are going to Atlantis or the beach, take a cab..$4 a person. They will drop you off at the front door or right at the beach. DO NOT TAKE THE FERRY!! It is the same price but the drop off is about 2 miles from Atlantis and the beach. You will be walking those miles or taking a cab to your destination. Stick with cabs. DISEMBARKMENT: We ate breakfast at 8am, mad rush was gone. We got right off the boat until we reached the location to pick up our bags. Long line to go through customs. However, I strongly suggest getting a porter to help you with your luggage. They have their own lane to go through which is shorter. They are FREE but tips are encouraged. They take you to the shuttle and load your bags for you. If you are being picked up, they take you there also. SHIP: This ship needs to be renovated. It’s very old. We enjoyed it though. They could do a lot better with the dining room food. 5 day cruise it was a $20 charge for lobster. Crazy! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
It was our first cruise and I was a little skeptical after seeing the reviews but I really enjoyed myself! The ship was a little rocky only because a hurricane came through the day before. Lots of entertainment and things to do! Needs more ... Read More
It was our first cruise and I was a little skeptical after seeing the reviews but I really enjoyed myself! The ship was a little rocky only because a hurricane came through the day before. Lots of entertainment and things to do! Needs more pools! Food was absolutely terrible! I was literally starving and only ate ice cream so I made sure I got up for breakfast! Breakfast was the best thing going! Clean cabins and bathrooms! Adult drinks are weak! Take a shot before you get a drink! The wait for the elevators are at times ridiculous! Night life was so much fun! Loved the animal decorations housekeeping did! Everyone was so nice! I know I said this before but I have to say it again! THE FOOD IS TERRIBLE! I was really looking forward to the fried chicken but I was so disappointed when they served it, the breading was hard as a brick! Overall I had fun, can’t wait to experience another cruise with a different ship! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise primarily because Charleston is an easy drive from our home in east Tennessee. We actually took our first cruise from this port about 6 years ago, and upon our arrival found that little had changed except that there ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily because Charleston is an easy drive from our home in east Tennessee. We actually took our first cruise from this port about 6 years ago, and upon our arrival found that little had changed except that there was no indoor parking available anymore. Embarkation was easy, as our luggage was off-loaded and on its way to the ship before we parked. We did have to wait in the parking lot for a shuttle to the cruise terminal. We had purchased Faster to the Fun, and our check-in was smooth and quick. We were on board by 11:30AM, and expected our cabin to be ready as advertised with the Faster to the Fun purchase. This was not the case however, as we were not permitted to access our cabin until after 1:30PM. We had an aft cabin with balcony on deck 6, the first time we have been on the end of a ship, and really enjoyed this location. The Ecstasy is an older ship and shows its age, but the crew did a good job keeping it clean. The stench of cigarette smoke is horrible on the Ecstasy in the casino area, and many of the activities (trivia, live music, crafts) were held in the smoking area around the casino. Whoever made this decision needs a different job. While complaining about the smoke, I'll also point out that there were the usual gang of rude individuals that would smoke in non-smoking areas, and try to hide their cigarettes when folks came by, as if cupping them in their hand eliminates the stink that is obvious 30 feet away. This has been my biggest issue with Carnival, that they do not enforce their smoking rules. We chose the any-time dining option, and the dining room food was fairly typically for Carnival, no complaints. The dining room service seems to have declined over the years, where dinner was once treated as an event by the staff, it now seems to be more of a chore but still acceptable. We didn't visit the buffet except for breakfast, desserts, and snacks, opting instead for burgers and fries from Guy's. We attended the production shows which were very well done. The comedians in The Punchliner were probably the best we've seen on any Carnival cruise. Cruise Director Gary did a very good job, especially considering his youth. We had stops at Princess Cays and Nassau. At Princess Cays, we found some lounge chairs on the quiet end of the beach, and spent an enjoyable day of kayaking and snorkeling (we brought our own snorkel equipment with us). I was really surprised at the variety of fish and other sea critters that we saw right off the beach. We spent the morning walking around Nassau which is nothing special. In the afternoon, we took an excursion on a sailboat with open rum bar, snorkeling, and lunch. This was one of the highlights of the cruise. Overall, this was a nice cruise that fit our schedule quite well. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
firrst time on ecstasy. this cruise was going to a beach that we did'nt go to one year because of the weather. and the first time in a porthole room. it was a quiet floor. and it also went to nassau. the band was great the singing was ... Read More
firrst time on ecstasy. this cruise was going to a beach that we did'nt go to one year because of the weather. and the first time in a porthole room. it was a quiet floor. and it also went to nassau. the band was great the singing was great! the intertainment was great! also. the sales was great! the pools was not that full like some others ships, i dont do shore exc, like to walk around the islands. food was good in dinning. ship infor on app was good to have. which i didnt think to do, i like to read the intenarary... the beach had to many rocks'princess cay" that need be some changes in removing them big rocks!. but it was nice and hot so i just had to go futher out into the water. and with the cooler weather for september great but steal was hot!. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We select this cruise due to length of the tour is for five days and within 2.5 driving time from our home. Four young ladies from the age of 33 to 65 had an absolute ball being catered to by the staff. We got two cheap room on Deck 4. ... Read More
We select this cruise due to length of the tour is for five days and within 2.5 driving time from our home. Four young ladies from the age of 33 to 65 had an absolute ball being catered to by the staff. We got two cheap room on Deck 4. We paid the extra to avoid the cattle call line at the terminal. We checked in and our baggage was delivered to our room before we could get down the hall. Oops we had one young lady that packed her wine in her luggage instead of carryon. She got the nasty gram from Carnival that advised the wine could be picked up on departure. Hope the staff enjoyed it. Needless to say, her luggage did not get to the room until right before dinner on Monday night. My steward in room R-33 Jernvey was great. The other steward in Room 99 they never saw him and he delivered a small glass of ice. They were not impressed. We had Peter and his assistants in the Main Dinner at 8:15. They were go attentive to all of us. It was a pleasure to go to dinner each night. Our table included wonderful folks from North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. During the day we used the room service for pot of coffee and banana, bagel delivered to our room. We slowly put on our suits went to the dining room for sit down breakfast. The steak and eggs, omelets were wonderful. We started each morning with Bloody Mary's or Mimosa. Then we were off to the pool to spend a relaxing day sipping our favorite drinks. The drink card is the way to go. Thinking of drinking 15 drinks in a day is a bit overwhelming. Of course, one in our party did it twice and the rest of us came in a close second. The drink card also gives you bottle water at any bar. Our best bar was the martini bar and Jason is the best bartender Carnival will ever employ. The staff at the Alchemy Bar was the best on board. The Casino bar was very good also. We loved our trip so much that we book another next year same time with Benv in services. We just have not told our husbands we are going on another cruise yet! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
First cruise. I went with my BFF and her daughter and friend for graduation. Embarkation went smoothly. Highly recommend upgrading to the Faster to the Fun (limited number per sailing). I found this by accident in shore excursions vs. ... Read More
First cruise. I went with my BFF and her daughter and friend for graduation. Embarkation went smoothly. Highly recommend upgrading to the Faster to the Fun (limited number per sailing). I found this by accident in shore excursions vs. travel agent telling us about it. Takes you to the front of the line for most things; lifesaver on disembarkation day. We were not feeling well by the last day so getting off the ship quickly was very well appreciated by all. The ship was clean. Our cabin was clean and ready at 1:30. On day 2 we realized that our cabin was affecting our allergies/sinus to the point it was hard to get a deep breath. We did ok while up on deck (outside). We dined in the buffet, dining room, Guy's Burger, Cantina and all were outstanding! There's so much to do that we were not able to cram it all in. We weren't feeling great so we ran out of steam early. The shows that we did see were amazing and very entertaining. Other than our room making us sick, we had rough seas on the last day and as newbies it was disconcerting. I wish the staff had taken the time to reassure us all was ok. Made me a little queasy but never got sick. Was ready to disembark for sure. Communication was an issue for us. While most of the staff speak excellent English, some not so much. I had to ask several times for repeats and often just couldn't understand. Not sure if I will take another cruise at this point. At the time, I really thought this is awesome. After getting sick and feeling miserable due to the room (other passengers complained of the same symptoms) I'm not sure I would spend that much money for a maybe vacay. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this since it was close to home --we recently sold a our camper and wanted week to enjoy. Overall a good value for the short drive. The embarkation was simple and easy. Short note on parking--if you get there before 11am you ... Read More
We chose this since it was close to home --we recently sold a our camper and wanted week to enjoy. Overall a good value for the short drive. The embarkation was simple and easy. Short note on parking--if you get there before 11am you can do an early bag drop off and then come back for parking at 11.. Makes the process a little easier. Debarkation was VERY easy -- we chose to carry off .. Off the boat at 655am and in the car by 715.. We were on Deck 7. They have that part down to a science. Ship you can tell is somewhat dated--but overall surprised how clean most common areas where. Our Cabin was E155 --Very clean and Marco done an excellent job keeping up with our needs.. He even made the bed a bit softer for us after the first nite-- it killed both of our backs. Dining -- was a bit hit or miss.. We never done the main dining room . The Lido buffet is limited to what you can get --they usually have one theme for the meal and not much else. Pizza and deli was plenty--but the service on the Pizza line is EXTREMELY SLOW.. They should extra pizzas done at lunch and dinner time to cut down on the long lines. Guy's Burgers were actually pretty good and was a welcomed change some days. We saw all of the big shows and they were good for the most part. They do like to have fun. Music is all over the ship --it was easy to find a table and sit for a spell--especially at the Metropolis Bar. If Lexi is singing --give her a listen for a while(@lexi-pifer on instagram). The comics were pretty good and even went to the 18+ shows as well. We done the Big Bang Theory trivia and won.. Service was mostly done with a smile--never had an issue with anyone--but could tell some were a little over worked and tired. We did not get off at Princess Cays --we instead stayed on the ship and enjoyed the pool which is VERY SMALL.. We got off in Nassau and done the short carriage ride around then some shopping till about noon then returned to the ship.. Have been to Nassau many times before seems the relentless badgering has gotten less over the years which is a nice change. Pros: Close to home good value for the money spent cabin nice size for the 2 of us Cons: small pool limited food selection on the buffet Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have avoided cruises out of the dislike of crowded places, the assumption that the food couldn’t possibly be decent & fear of motion sickness...But when you have three kids of different ages spanning into the teens, a Carnival ... Read More
We have avoided cruises out of the dislike of crowded places, the assumption that the food couldn’t possibly be decent & fear of motion sickness...But when you have three kids of different ages spanning into the teens, a Carnival cruise is the perfect vacation! Our two older kids were able to safely be independent most of the trip with their teen & preteen clubs, and we were able to catch a few breaks in the serenity area while our youngest went to camp ocean a few times. We figured out the patterns of the crowds with food and the pool and were able to dine and enjoy the pool during the quieter times. The burgers, tacos, Lido buffet and dining room were all excellent! Not at all like mass produced cafeteria food. Things I would do differently: 1. put the big kids in an adjoining room because a single interior state room with 5 people was way too tight 2. Find a port excursion that takes off immediately after the ship docks because ours started at 12 and we had to cut it short. 3. Bring our own lanyards because they are expensive but handy as well as our own sparkling water because the included fountain water & ice tea taste pretty bad. We had an onboard credit of $70 through a promotion and didn’t come close to consuming $50 each in alcohol per day nor are we soda drinkers so the cheers program would not have made sense. Our final bill for a family of five with daily but conservative drinkers was $230. Not bad at all! Lastly the carnival staff on the ecstasy ship was exceptional! They made it very special and incredibly fun. We are all excited to do it again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Short answer is that I would take my family again on this ship with the same crew. 1. Express check-in is a must. Takes you to the front of the line and you are on the boat quickly. 2. I did not meet one Carnival employee who ... Read More
Short answer is that I would take my family again on this ship with the same crew. 1. Express check-in is a must. Takes you to the front of the line and you are on the boat quickly. 2. I did not meet one Carnival employee who didn't appear to love their job. Always helpful, always asking if you need anything. Internet posts/blogs suggesting most of the workers make very little and rely mainly on tips. These men and women work very hard. 3. Not a big fan of the food, but I can be a bit of a food snob so take that comment with a grain of salt. 4. Wayan and Chris were our cabin stewards. Simply awesome! You need anything, they make it happen. 5. Gary the Cruise Director - I can't put into words what this guy does. Someone in Hollywood missed the boat not signing him. Absolute talent! I hope he makes it big one day. Go see his shows, you won't regret it. 6. Lee, Mr. Bingo - I never went to Bingo, but I heard he was great. We saw him at every production with Gary. Lee will be Cruise Director soon no doubt and he too is an incredible talent. 7. The dancers and singers were great. High energy shows that were very entertaining. Live singing while they are running and dancing all over the stage...not sure how they do it. 8. The boat is old, but very clean. Staff is cleaning all the time. 9. Our family only had one negative experience, and that was our excursion to Atlantis. Carnival let's Atlantis staff handle all arrangements from getting you off the boat to taking you to Atlantis. They do a horrible job. Very unorganized and takes forever to get to the resort. Once you are there, Atlantis staff are not helpful in showing you around. Water rides didn't open until 10 am. Then the staff didn't show up and we waited until 10:20 am. At $200/person, we were disappointed. The food voucher was a joke. It didn't cover several of the dining areas near the pool. The water rides had an 1 1/2 hr wait. Carnival does so well with customer satisfaction, so it was surprising to us that they let this excursion be handled by people who do the exact opposite. There is so much wasted time. 10. Joavan - I believe he said he had worked for the cruise line for 31 years. He is from India, has kids/wife back home, family man. Talked with him every day. He was always working either the pool deck or show lounges taking drink request or cleaning tables. Great at his job, but just good people. He made you feel at home around him. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I chose this cruise because it was the close enough for us to drive to Charleston from Ohio avoiding additional costs of airfare. I normally do not cruise in the summer- but I took my aunt on her first cruise and she is a teacher. I ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was the close enough for us to drive to Charleston from Ohio avoiding additional costs of airfare. I normally do not cruise in the summer- but I took my aunt on her first cruise and she is a teacher. I cruised with my mother, her two sisters and my uncle. We had two oceanview cabins. I am in my late 40's and they are all in their late 60's early 70's. Embarakation: we arrived at the port at 10:30am and was told that we had to wait until 11:00am... but they let us drop off our luggage. We pulled into the grocery store parking lot near the port and waited... when returning at 11:00am we noticed they had already let A BUNCH of cars in. still, we got to park inside which was nice- and the shuttle to the port was efficient. Once inside we had Faster to the Fun and we bypassed what looke dto be a line of about 200-300 people waiting to check in. Once we checked in- we waited about 5 minutes and were the first to board the ship. Cabin: Oceanview- M156... after boarding the ship we headed to our room (FTTF) and found it ready and clean. I am not a big fan of the orange decor- but hey- whatever. The room was fairly warm and air was trickling out of the vent- no thermostat in the room. Also- no refrigerator- which was a bummer since we brought a twelve pack of pop and wine on board. Our room steward Melchor was wonderful- he filled up the soft sided cooler we brought everyday with ice for us- and we brought insulated cups- so not having the fridge wasn't that bad. The beds were soooo comfortable and our room was always clean. I found the bathroom to be a bit small- smaller than some other Carnival ships I have been on- but it was fine. Dining- we ate at the main dining room every night for dinner. The staff was exceptional- and they have seating down to a science- very very impressive! The first night we sat in the middle area- which I didn't like cause people were constantly walking past us... but then we requested Clifford's area (he told us he is headed to the Carnival Freedom out of Galveston)... Clifford was WONDERFUL!!!. he was personable and he was honest! when we asked his opinion on dishes- he gave them to us- and never steered us wrong. I don't plan to sail out of Galveston- but i might just to have Clifford serve me again. The buffet I found to be limited... I thought it was small and had fewer offerings than other ships I have been on... I only ate there for lunch once and that was the salad bar... and breakfast a couple times- standard Carnival fare. I did like the layout of the Lido buffet- with the pizza, and deli in the back... and the salad bar in the middle- it allowed folks to spread out and not bottleneck. Guys burgers were good- BUT some folks in our party had burgers that were smashed to crumbles- so I am thinking they need to watch the grill a little better. Entertainment: I wasn't impressed with the Comedians on this ship- they have a different show every night- so maybe I went on an off night. The house band Lex Appeal was great!!! they need a better stage than that hallway next to the casino!. Johnny in the piano bar was a hoot- he plays a mean piano but sings off key some... sit at the bar and join in- you will have a blast! the Lip Sync Battle was awesome! The cruise director Gary was very very good! I think he has a long career ahead of him! Serenity Deck- lovely- but they need more umbrellas for shade. Its in an odd location at the back of the ship and folks didn't seem to go back there much- which was great for me cause I like my party and my quiet time. I did feel vibration back there- but it was ok... not too distracting. Ship movement: I felt the ship move the entire time... and the vibration. I don't get seasick so it was ok... but I can see how some folks might not do well with that. Ports: Princess Cay- we rented the Bungalow or Cabana- it was PERFECT!!!!! We got #8 and I could not have asked for a better location! surrounded by palms- it was heaven on earth. Just make sure you bring water shoes or water socks and bring an inflatable inner tube- you will have a great time. BEWARE- the lines for the buffet are CRAZY LONG! Nassau- we did the VIP LUXURY SAILING with Captain Jason and his crew- it was a delightful day! gorgeous weather- sails up and rum punch flowing. Lunch was delicious and the short snorkel stop was perfect. I woudl do this excursion again in a heartbeat! Cleanliness- the ship was older but in excellent condition and no dirt anywhere! The staff was always cleaning- they were hard working people! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We booked three cabins to celebrate my upcoming birthday. The cruise left Charleston right on time and we had remarkably good weather the entire trip with only a few brief showers. It is an older ship, but kept in very good condition and ... Read More
We booked three cabins to celebrate my upcoming birthday. The cruise left Charleston right on time and we had remarkably good weather the entire trip with only a few brief showers. It is an older ship, but kept in very good condition and very clean. We are experienced cruisers so the excursions didn't really appeal to us. Pros: Entertainment: Gary, the 26 year old cruise director was excellent. I don't easily pass out praise but he really kept the party going. You'd swear that he had an identical twin on board the ship as he'd be in the lounge one minute and then on the Lido Deck in an entirely different outfit the next. The evening shows were top notch with amazing talent. The comedy acts were really good and I'd say that we hit almost every show and the sets provided by the two comedians were never repeated. Food: We had 5 grandchildren from ages 1 to 5 so we learned to bypass the 2 hour evening dinner experience after the first few nights and took to the buffet on the Lido Deck. Food overall was average but two areas really stand out... Guy's Burger Joint was awesome and the fries were simply amazing! The Pizza Pirate made really good pizza and served generous portions. Rum drinks on the private island were lacking in alcohol compared to those served on the ship. Cons: It took a very long time to get our food in the Wind Song Dining Room. We had 5 small children at early dining and the wait staff (as friendly as they were) kept bringing us baskets of bread when what we really needed was FOOD. Deck 9 is the main public enclosed passageway that runs the length of the ship and houses the casino and several lounges so it was always a busy place to be. But, you'd always get a good whiff of cigarette smoke (which is permitted in several areas of Deck 9) anytime you were there. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Carnival Ecstasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.5 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.7
Family 3.5 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.7
Enrichment 2.5 3.3
Service 4.5 4.1
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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