1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Carnival Ecstasy
For our second cruise to the Bahamas we chose to again sail from Charleston SC because it is convenient to our golf condo. it is easy to get to the port in Charleston and the procedure for embarking is rather straightforward and simple. Our ship was the Carnival Ecstasy. Once on board the ship we learned that we should have very carefully read all the fine print on-line and noticed what was missing as compared to our cruise on the Carnival Fantasy the year prior. But we will get to that. Carnival assigned us a boarding time of 12:30 pm which worked well for our travel schedule. My wife and I each had a backpack, a small carryon suitcase and a cloth bag for miscellaneous items. We quickly boarded and made it to our assigned deck before 1 pm where we found the deck closed and with a notice that cabins would not be available until 1:30 pm. Elevators were mostly committed to hauling checked luggage and so there was little availability for elevator as we went to the upper decks to find a buffet lunch and wait for the availability of our cabin.. Shortly after 1:30 we went to the cabin and were quickly dismayed to see its configuration It was extremely small and with little room to move from one side to the other. There was no refrigerator, one straight chair and one electrical outlet. When we signed up for the cruise we asked that the twin beds be formed into a Queen bed. A few weeks after signing for the cruise we received an e-mail that our cabin would only accommodate separate twin beds. We reconciled ourselves to that and were happy to discover when we arrived that we did indeed have a queen configuration. That confusion of communication was typical of the atmosphere aboard this ship. One pleasant surprise was the size of the bathroom and shower. It was much larger than that on any of the previous ships we have sailed on from any line. When we went to Customer Service to discuss the lack of refrigerator and ice bucket, we were told that the ship is so old that the power supply could not handle a refrigerator, but that Room Service would freely deliver ice to our cabin at any time. I did order ice from room service twice, but they did not deliver either time. Luckily our Cabin Steward began ice service daily on Monday. the weather was cool and there is no way to heat the cabin, so on Monday morning I called the Cabin Steward and asked for a blanket. When we returned to the cabin later that day I found an order form to purchase a blanket. I again called the steward to say that I did not want to buy a blanket, just use one so we could sleep warm at night. the ship makes a great effort to sell items to cruisers. Let me digress to drinks for a moment. Carnival does allow one to order delivery of bottled water in advance. One pays for that separate from all other cruise charges, but the price was very reasonable, $3.45 for a case of bottled water. We had ordered this and it was in the cabin when we arrived. There were also two 32 ounce bottles of water in the cabin which we could have opened for $3.75 each. Carnival also allows one to bring up to 12-12 ounce CANS of soda per traveler, or to carry on a dozen bottles of water per passenger. We each brought 12 cans of soda. soda on board can be purchased at $3.95 per can, plus the ususal 15% gratuity. And each adult passenger can bring one bottle of unopened wine. the soda and the wine bottles were inspected individually as we boarded. Our soda had been in unopened paper cartoon, but each was opened and all the cans removed for inspection. No hard liquor may be brought on board, nor can any bottles be purchased on board for use in one's cabin. Individual drinks are available from bars throughout the ship. there are even automatic beer dispensers. We took a balcony cabin as we like to sit out in the afternoon and evening. the balcony was small, but adequate. We signed up for anytime dining and were assigned a dining room on the other end of the ship. It opened at 5:45 pm. Our dining room had long waiting lines beginning about 5:15 each day and lasting until late in the evening. We ate all of our meals in the buffet on the Lido deck. the food in the Lido was fine with an adequate variety each meal. there was not a lot of availability of tables for dinner since the staff did not clear tables as people finished. There was also plenty of opportunity to each all meals outside on deck. We often did this except for those times when the wind was blowing so hard that it was uncomfortable. Our first stop was Half Moon Cay which seems to be owned by one or more cruise lines. this is obviously a manufactured stop but was very enjoyable. I thought the designers and managers must have spent time working for Disney before creating this location. It is well laid out, very clean and with clean and pleasant bath facilities for cleaning up after walking in the sand. We went to the water sports area and swam and snorkeled in the clear warm waters. Afterwards we ate lunch at the free BBQ buffet provided in a secluded pavilion. There was tram service from the main area to the dining area. the destination had well laid out paths to go to the vaious locations. The bay is shallow so were were tendered from the ship to shore in large pontoon boats. there were not enough tenders so we had to sign up for a tender on board and then wait for an hour for our turn to tender in to shore. Entertainment on the ship mainly consisted of Bingo, audience participation trivia games of various types and a lone guitarist playing in the mail lounge. One night there was a very good, but short musical production in the main lounge. and on two nights we were able to watch kids selected from the audience to play Hasboro games. There are constantly "Sales" gong on in the shops. The upper deck, like all Carnival ships has water park with two large and two small water slides. the very top deck has a decent putt-putt course. The casino is larger than on most ships we have been on and seemed to have a great deal of action. I did like the Carnival Hub app for my phone which allowed me access to our on board account, a map of the ship, a listing of daily activities. One could have added a "Chat" feature for $5 for each person one connected with. the daily bulletins were small and repetitive with little changing other than the name of the daily drink. The cruise had many, many children, which surprised us since school was in session this week. There is babysitting available on board until 1 am. All in all it was a fine experience, but not as nice as our previous Bahama Cruise on the Fantasy, and certainly not as nice as other lines.

Ship makes a difference

Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review by Jolly Fishermann

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2016
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
For our second cruise to the Bahamas we chose to again sail from Charleston SC because it is convenient to our golf condo.

it is easy to get to the port in Charleston and the procedure for embarking is rather straightforward and simple. Our ship was the Carnival Ecstasy. Once on board the ship we learned that we should have very carefully read all the fine print on-line and noticed what was missing as compared to our cruise on the Carnival Fantasy the year prior. But we will get to that.

Carnival assigned us a boarding time of 12:30 pm which worked well for our travel schedule. My wife and I each had a backpack, a small carryon suitcase and a cloth bag for miscellaneous items. We quickly boarded and made it to our assigned deck before 1 pm where we found the deck closed and with a notice that cabins would not be available until 1:30 pm.

Elevators were mostly committed to hauling checked luggage and so there was little availability for elevator as we went to the upper decks to find a buffet lunch and wait for the availability of our cabin..

Shortly after 1:30 we went to the cabin and were quickly dismayed to see its configuration It was extremely small and with little room to move from one side to the other. There was no refrigerator, one straight chair and one electrical outlet.

When we signed up for the cruise we asked that the twin beds be formed into a Queen bed. A few weeks after signing for the cruise we received an e-mail that our cabin would only accommodate separate twin beds. We reconciled ourselves to that and were happy to discover when we arrived that we did indeed have a queen configuration. That confusion of communication was typical of the atmosphere aboard this ship.

One pleasant surprise was the size of the bathroom and shower. It was much larger than that on any of the previous ships we have sailed on from any line.

When we went to Customer Service to discuss the lack of refrigerator and ice bucket, we were told that the ship is so old that the power supply could not handle a refrigerator, but that Room Service would freely deliver ice to our cabin at any time. I did order ice from room service twice, but they did not deliver either time.

Luckily our Cabin Steward began ice service daily on Monday.

the weather was cool and there is no way to heat the cabin, so on Monday morning I called the Cabin Steward and asked for a blanket. When we returned to the cabin later that day I found an order form to purchase a blanket. I again called the steward to say that I did not want to buy a blanket, just use one so we could sleep warm at night.

the ship makes a great effort to sell items to cruisers.

Let me digress to drinks for a moment. Carnival does allow one to order delivery of bottled water in advance. One pays for that separate from all other cruise charges, but the price was very reasonable, $3.45 for a case of bottled water. We had ordered this and it was in the cabin when we arrived. There were also two 32 ounce bottles of water in the cabin which we could have opened for $3.75 each. Carnival also allows one to bring up to 12-12 ounce CANS of soda per traveler, or to carry on a dozen bottles of water per passenger. We each brought 12 cans of soda. soda on board can be purchased at $3.95 per can, plus the ususal 15% gratuity. And each adult passenger can bring one bottle of unopened wine. the soda and the wine bottles were inspected individually as we boarded. Our soda had been in unopened paper cartoon, but each was opened and all the cans removed for inspection. No hard liquor may be brought on board, nor can any bottles be purchased on board for use in one's cabin. Individual drinks are available from bars throughout the ship. there are even automatic beer dispensers.

We took a balcony cabin as we like to sit out in the afternoon and evening. the balcony was small, but adequate.

We signed up for anytime dining and were assigned a dining room on the other end of the ship. It opened at 5:45 pm. Our dining room had long waiting lines beginning about 5:15 each day and lasting until late in the evening. We ate all of our meals in the buffet on the Lido deck. the food in the Lido was fine with an adequate variety each meal. there was not a lot of availability of tables for dinner since the staff did not clear tables as people finished. There was also plenty of opportunity to each all meals outside on deck. We often did this except for those times when the wind was blowing so hard that it was uncomfortable.

Our first stop was Half Moon Cay which seems to be owned by one or more cruise lines. this is obviously a manufactured stop but was very enjoyable. I thought the designers and managers must have spent time working for Disney before creating this location. It is well laid out, very clean and with clean and pleasant bath facilities for cleaning up after walking in the sand.

We went to the water sports area and swam and snorkeled in the clear warm waters. Afterwards we ate lunch at the free BBQ buffet provided in a secluded pavilion. There was tram service from the main area to the dining area. the destination had well laid out paths to go to the vaious locations. The bay is shallow so were were tendered from the ship to shore in large pontoon boats. there were not enough tenders so we had to sign up for a tender on board and then wait for an hour for our turn to tender in to shore.

Entertainment on the ship mainly consisted of Bingo, audience participation trivia games of various types and a lone guitarist playing in the mail lounge. One night there was a very good, but short musical production in the main lounge. and on two nights we were able to watch kids selected from the audience to play Hasboro games.

There are constantly "Sales" gong on in the shops.

The upper deck, like all Carnival ships has water park with two large and two small water slides. the very top deck has a decent putt-putt course.

The casino is larger than on most ships we have been on and seemed to have a great deal of action.

I did like the Carnival Hub app for my phone which allowed me access to our on board account, a map of the ship, a listing of daily activities. One could have added a "Chat" feature for $5 for each person one connected with.

the daily bulletins were small and repetitive with little changing other than the name of the daily drink.

The cruise had many, many children, which surprised us since school was in session this week. There is babysitting available on board until 1 am.

All in all it was a fine experience, but not as nice as our previous Bahama Cruise on the Fantasy, and certainly not as nice as other lines.
Jolly Fishermann’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Carnival Ecstasy price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email