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We were looking for a fast escape from our hum-drum life (going stir crazy) and had friends already on this cruise so booked at the last minute. There were only a few balcony cabins available a week prior to sailing so I booked one and then found out that Carnival also had a thing called "First to the FUN" Since our friends were in a suite I tried to get that to allow us to be with them as much as possible. Carnival said that they could NOT book us at the same venues and meal times since we were NOT in a Suite. "First to the FUN" was sold out, but they agreed to wait-list us for a suite just in case one opened. Then it was a few days later, just 4 days prior to the cruise and we got a call from Carnival - Customer Services and Sales. It appeared that a Suite was available, if we wanted to upgrade. NO, it was NOT a free upgrade (Carnival does nothing free, but more on that later.) The Suite available was NOT listed on any Deck Plan; it was the Owners Suite and very spacious at around 1100 Sq. Feet. We thought about it for about 5 seconds and said, "YES!" Then my wife began REPACKING. We loved the Suite - Penthouse 1, but in reality, it was SO BIG it was ridiculous. We would never do it again, BUT happy we did it once. Some previous cruisers complained of noise from the LIDO Deck, but it did not bother us. Lets talk about bring ON the Ecstasy now. Built in 1991 so do not look to closely. from our balcony we could see 3 places in the combing above our deck where it had rusted through. The crew was constantly doing Maintenance and doing a very good job of it, don't get me wrong. The crew WORKS hard to maintain the ship AND make the Customers HAPPY and they do a good job of both. Entertainment is very good and that staff and the entertainers work so hard to make the cruise FUN! Entertainment everywhere. Advisory - Weather out of Charleston this time of year can be IFFY! our first night and day were sort of rough (by civilian standards - I am 30 years Navy). Many people were affected by motion sickness, so be prepared. After that it was much smoother. Remember if you stay low and toward the middle of the ship it moves less. Having said all above here is the some of the bad. Expect to be Nickle and Dimed to death. We start every morning at home with English Breakfast Tea and every night With decaf tea of some type. If you want tea other than Lipton or Bigelow Green, then it is $1.99 for a single tea bag! On Holland American and Princess (both owned by Carnival they are still free. Maybe I should not mention that.) Okay we upgraded to the "Owner's Suite" Bottled Water still costs $3.95 for a large bottle and about $2.00 for a small one. All Water on other cruise lines and Viking River cruises is FREE daily for each cruiser. Our Suite did not have a Microwave - I wonder if I could have rented one - and unlike some ships there were none in public areas. Okay I get that you may want to tip your waiter if you get a drink, but a mandatory 17% service charge and then they ask for another TIP? Really? Okay that is enough for now. Our Cabin Steward(ess?) did a marvelous job and was right on every time we needed anything. Our Wait Staff - Excellent. If you want a great time aboard - take the Behind the Fun Tour.

Good cruise; bring lots of nickles and dimes.

Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review by GeneTree

15 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2016
  • Destination: Bahamas
We were looking for a fast escape from our hum-drum life (going stir crazy) and had friends already on this cruise so booked at the last minute. There were only a few balcony cabins available a week prior to sailing so I booked one and then found out that Carnival also had a thing called "First to the FUN" Since our friends were in a suite I tried to get that to allow us to be with them as much as possible. Carnival said that they could NOT book us at the same venues and meal times since we were NOT in a Suite. "First to the FUN" was sold out, but they agreed to wait-list us for a suite just in case one opened.

Then it was a few days later, just 4 days prior to the cruise and we got a call from Carnival - Customer Services and Sales. It appeared that a Suite was available, if we wanted to upgrade. NO, it was NOT a free upgrade (Carnival does nothing free, but more on that later.) The Suite available was NOT listed on any Deck Plan; it was the Owners Suite and very spacious at around 1100 Sq. Feet. We thought about it for about 5 seconds and said, "YES!" Then my wife began REPACKING. We loved the Suite - Penthouse 1, but in reality, it was SO BIG it was ridiculous. We would never do it again, BUT happy we did it once. Some previous cruisers complained of noise from the LIDO Deck, but it did not bother us.

Lets talk about bring ON the Ecstasy now. Built in 1991 so do not look to closely. from our balcony we could see 3 places in the combing above our deck where it had rusted through. The crew was constantly doing Maintenance and doing a very good job of it, don't get me wrong. The crew WORKS hard to maintain the ship AND make the Customers HAPPY and they do a good job of both. Entertainment is very good and that staff and the entertainers work so hard to make the cruise FUN! Entertainment everywhere.

Advisory - Weather out of Charleston this time of year can be IFFY! our first night and day were sort of rough (by civilian standards - I am 30 years Navy). Many people were affected by motion sickness, so be prepared. After that it was much smoother. Remember if you stay low and toward the middle of the ship it moves less.

Having said all above here is the some of the bad. Expect to be Nickle and Dimed to death. We start every morning at home with English Breakfast Tea and every night With decaf tea of some type. If you want tea other than Lipton or Bigelow Green, then it is $1.99 for a single tea bag! On Holland American and Princess (both owned by Carnival they are still free. Maybe I should not mention that.)

Okay we upgraded to the "Owner's Suite" Bottled Water still costs $3.95 for a large bottle and about $2.00 for a small one. All Water on other cruise lines and Viking River cruises is FREE daily for each cruiser.

Our Suite did not have a Microwave - I wonder if I could have rented one - and unlike some ships there were none in public areas.

Okay I get that you may want to tip your waiter if you get a drink, but a mandatory 17% service charge and then they ask for another TIP? Really?

Okay that is enough for now. Our Cabin Steward(ess?) did a marvelous job and was right on every time we needed anything. Our Wait Staff - Excellent. If you want a great time aboard - take the Behind the Fun Tour.
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Cabin Review

Cabin PH1
PH1 & 2 do not exist on any Deck Plans and it seems is if you cannot really get them unless you ask and get lucky. As you enter - PH1 is on the Starboard Side - so the Bar in just inside the entryway to the left with two bar stools. There is a mini refrigerator, but no sink (there really should be one). Plenty of glasses and an Ice Bucket there too. just past the Bar is the door to the balcony. Balcony has two nice reclining deck chairs, for afternoon sun leaving Charleston, and two regular deck chairs. On the other side of the room is a dining table for 4 with hanging chandelier.
Just past that you enter the Living room sitting area with a couch, comfortable (non-reclining) Chair, and about a 45 inch TV. Comfortable for sitting and watching TV or entertaining friends. Mirrors behind the bar and table, paintings all over.

Thru the door and you enter the Master Bedroom. King Sized Bed (Twins if you are fighting). TV - about a 42 inch. two end tables and lots of Mirrors behind and ABOVE the bed.
Then there is the bathroom Area - actually 3 rooms off the side of the bedroom. first there is the vanity area - two sinks and mirrors all over. To the left is the walk in closet with two sides - but really only one hanging area. The other side is good for storage, has beds if needed and a safe - mounted way to low. Finally the Bathroom itself - with Shower, Jacuzzi tub, and commode. (No, no bidet and I have been asked. Would have been a nice touch - IMHO.)

Would I do this again? I am not sure. No one really NEEDS this much space unless you are trying to impress someone and we were not; there are over 1100 square feet in this suite. We were just looking for a good time. We had always talked about doing a cruise in a LARGE SUITE, but in reality not sure we ever would. Well we did and might do so again, some day. Never say never.
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