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The only way you can NOT enjoy a holiday cruise on the Ecstasy is if you make up your mind NOT to enjoy the cruise! We left Charleston on December 22 and returned to port on December 26 so we were actually on board over the Christmas holiday. The entire staff worked hard to make sure this was a magical holiday experience! With Holiday themed activities galore every evening with a tree lighting, sing alongs, ugly sweater contests, santa hats and even real snow in the Atrium lobby on Christmas night there was something even to make even Scrooge smile. There were also few religious services. And, for those folks who were not in the holiday spirit, the regular cruise activities were ongoing too! Never a dull moment! I cannot imagine an overall crew who put more of their heart and effort into their jobs. I don't see how they do it. Constantly on duty, constantly happy, constantly making sure that YOU are enjoying your vacation. It doesn't take long before they know you by name (if that is what you want) and I know I was treated as if I was on my private yacht! And, no there is nothing special about me. I just smiled and treated everyone nicely from the time I reached port and I was well rewarded for it! Special thanks to Asst. Cruise Director Lee who made this my best cruise EVER and of course, Cruise Director Dustin who holds his staff together. These folks work from early morning to late in the evening. The bartenders at the Atrium Bar are great. We ate in the Wind Song as we opted for "Dine on Your Time" and usually were seated in the same spot so we had the same attentive wait staff who, as every other crew member will do everything they can to please you. I do find that over the years the main dining room food has changed...gone are the days of all the steak and lobster you can hold! However, there are opportunities for fine dining (tablecloth) if you chose and of course if that is NOT your pleasure you can find anything you want to eat up on the Lido Deck. Buffet, burgers, sandwiches, pizza, salad bar, fresh fruit, Asian, and after 1/15/17 the new Specialty restaurants included! You are not forced to eat the "fancy" food which comes in small fine dining portions. I did opt to upgrade to the Steakhouse menu for an additional $20 two evenings and it was worth every penny. One evening I had filet mignon and lobster tail and the other a larger filet mignon. Both steaks were two of the best I have ever had anywhere, rivaling steaks that cost $75 for the same size at fine steakhouses. Cooked exactly as ordered. I chose my sides from the regular menu of the evening and I was happily accommodated. There were many things I never got around to trying; the made to order pizza looked absolutely delicious, the salad bar always looked fresh and appetizing and the sweets table up on the Lido Deck...imagine peering into the window of a European pastry shop! I find the prices of the cruise out of Charleston to be higher than some of the other ports, but it is all about convenience. If you are flying to a port, factor in your overall cost. If you are driving, get your best bargain. Any Carnival cruise is going to make sure you get your money's worth...if you let them! The Ecstasy is coming out of dry dock on January 15 after a total refurbishment and the addition of new restaurants! I wish I was booked on the first cruise out! Cannot wait to go and see all the changes and see the crew again! I want to sum up my review with one bit of advice from this Southern girl: The nicer you treat the crew, smile and thank them, the more special you will be treated! It isn't all about giving them an extra dollar every now and then, which they greatly appreciate, but more about not treating them like servants.

Merry Christmas!

Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review by BBjrod

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2016
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View
The only way you can NOT enjoy a holiday cruise on the Ecstasy is if you make up your mind NOT to enjoy the cruise! We left Charleston on December 22 and returned to port on December 26 so we were actually on board over the Christmas holiday. The entire staff worked hard to make sure this was a magical holiday experience! With Holiday themed activities galore every evening with a tree lighting, sing alongs, ugly sweater contests, santa hats and even real snow in the Atrium lobby on Christmas night there was something even to make even Scrooge smile. There were also few religious services. And, for those folks who were not in the holiday spirit, the regular cruise activities were ongoing too! Never a dull moment!

I cannot imagine an overall crew who put more of their heart and effort into their jobs. I don't see how they do it. Constantly on duty, constantly happy, constantly making sure that YOU are enjoying your vacation. It doesn't take long before they know you by name (if that is what you want) and I know I was treated as if I was on my private yacht! And, no there is nothing special about me. I just smiled and treated everyone nicely from the time I reached port and I was well rewarded for it!

Special thanks to Asst. Cruise Director Lee who made this my best cruise EVER and of course, Cruise Director Dustin who holds his staff together. These folks work from early morning to late in the evening. The bartenders at the Atrium Bar are great. We ate in the Wind Song as we opted for "Dine on Your Time" and usually were seated in the same spot so we had the same attentive wait staff who, as every other crew member will do everything they can to please you.

I do find that over the years the main dining room food has changed...gone are the days of all the steak and lobster you can hold! However, there are opportunities for fine dining (tablecloth) if you chose and of course if that is NOT your pleasure you can find anything you want to eat up on the Lido Deck. Buffet, burgers, sandwiches, pizza, salad bar, fresh fruit, Asian, and after 1/15/17 the new Specialty restaurants included! You are not forced to eat the "fancy" food which comes in small fine dining portions. I did opt to upgrade to the Steakhouse menu for an additional $20 two evenings and it was worth every penny. One evening I had filet mignon and lobster tail and the other a larger filet mignon. Both steaks were two of the best I have ever had anywhere, rivaling steaks that cost $75 for the same size at fine steakhouses. Cooked exactly as ordered. I chose my sides from the regular menu of the evening and I was happily accommodated. There were many things I never got around to trying; the made to order pizza looked absolutely delicious, the salad bar always looked fresh and appetizing and the sweets table up on the Lido Deck...imagine peering into the window of a European pastry shop!

I find the prices of the cruise out of Charleston to be higher than some of the other ports, but it is all about convenience. If you are flying to a port, factor in your overall cost. If you are driving, get your best bargain. Any Carnival cruise is going to make sure you get your money's worth...if you let them!

The Ecstasy is coming out of dry dock on January 15 after a total refurbishment and the addition of new restaurants! I wish I was booked on the first cruise out! Cannot wait to go and see all the changes and see the crew again!

I want to sum up my review with one bit of advice from this Southern girl: The nicer you treat the crew, smile and thank them, the more special you will be treated! It isn't all about giving them an extra dollar every now and then, which they greatly appreciate, but more about not treating them like servants.
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 6B
We were on the Riviera Deck Ocean View, which is the lowest deck I have ever cruised on. As a past cruiser I was given the option for a low cost upgrade to the Empress Deck but my fellow cruisers didn't want to. I didn't have a problem with the Riviera Deck. The bathroom on the Ecstasy is smaller than on other Carnival ships I have cruised on but the room itself was just fine. Spotlessly clean all the time. Whenever I needed ice, it was quickly delivered with a phone request. Our cabin steward was extremely nice. We lacked for nothing at any time. Bed linens are still changed daily which you don't find in most hotels these days for extended stays unless you request it. Room service was quick and efficient. I had read some reviews from people who found their cabins less than perfect; keep in mind this is not the Embassy Suites, but your daily price for room, 24 hour dining and entertainment is incomparable. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable!
Main Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins