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We just returned from our trip to Ensenada on the Ecstasy. We had a fantastic trip! I had some doubts due to some of the bad reviews I read before our trip. We were pleasantly surprised at the cleanliness and good repair of the ship. We got the the port terminal around 10:30 am. They have an early check-in process that is very speedy. We were all checked in by 11:00 and then walked around the terminal shops (or you can tour the Queen Mary for a fee). Around noon we got in line to wait for early boarding. There was a slight delay, but we were on board by 1:15. All the passengers who did not check in early were waiting much longer to get onboard. The service and food was excellent. There were almost never any significant lines for food. The selection and quality of food at the Panorama Grill was very good. Try the omelet bar at breakfast. The pizza was really good and they were always willing to make it fresh. There were several interesting varieties of pizza (and calzones) and we never had to wait longer than about 5 minutes for a fresh pizza. There was always a staff member available when we needed them. Our kids (ages 11, 13, and 16yrs) had a great time. The younger ones were a little old for the Camp Carnival activities and didn't really fit in with the teens. Still, they found plenty to do. Also, the onboard movies were very new selections and played several times per day. They did get the soda cards and never had trouble getting service. There was a lot of partying (it is a FUN ship after all!). The rooms were well insulated though, and we were never disturbed by any hallway noise. One really nice feature of the ship is the location of the lifeboats. There are nice, unobstructed views from all the cabins as far as we could see. If you can manage it, go for the "self-assist debarkation". You have to carry your own bags off, but you get to debark right after the early flights. We were off the ship by 8:20! We are definitely planning to cruise Carnival again. Next time we'll be springing for a balcony cabin so we can sit out and have our morning coffee there.

Carnival Ecstasy - Central America/Panama Canal

Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review by S Pfeiffer

Trip Details
We just returned from our trip to Ensenada on the Ecstasy. We had a fantastic trip! I had some doubts due to some of the bad reviews I read before our trip.
We were pleasantly surprised at the cleanliness and good repair of the ship. We got the the port terminal around 10:30 am. They have an early check-in process that is very speedy. We were all checked in by 11:00 and then walked around the terminal shops (or you can tour the Queen Mary for a fee). Around noon we got in line to wait for early boarding. There was a slight delay, but we were on board by 1:15. All the passengers who did not check in early were waiting much longer to get onboard.
The service and food was excellent. There were almost never any significant lines for food. The selection and quality of food at the Panorama Grill was very good. Try the omelet bar at breakfast. The pizza was really good and they were always willing to make it fresh. There were several interesting varieties of pizza (and calzones) and we never had to wait longer than about 5 minutes for a fresh pizza. There was always a staff member available when we needed them.
Our kids (ages 11, 13, and 16yrs) had a great time. The younger ones were a little old for the Camp Carnival activities and didn't really fit in with the teens. Still, they found plenty to do. Also, the onboard movies were very new selections and played several times per day. They did get the soda cards and never had trouble getting service. There was a lot of partying (it is a FUN ship after all!).
The rooms were well insulated though, and we were never disturbed by any hallway noise. One really nice feature of the ship is the location of the lifeboats. There are nice, unobstructed views from all the cabins as far as we could see.
If you can manage it, go for the "self-assist debarkation". You have to carry your own bags off, but you get to debark right after the early flights. We were off the ship by 8:20! We are definitely planning to cruise Carnival again. Next time we'll be springing for a balcony cabin so we can sit out and have our morning coffee there.
S Pfeiffer’s Full Rating Summary
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