Had a great time. This was my 6th Cruise, 5th Carnival, first time on Ecstasy, first time going out of Charleston (even though I live there).
We did FTTF which I love. I am notoriously cheap on my cruises, don’t get the soda package or Cheers, don’t gamble, don’t do expensive excursions but I like getting on the ship early, my room being ready right away, my luggage arriving early and one of the first to get off the ship. The Charleston port was super easy to get through. Since we live about 20 mins away from the port, my mom dropped us off at 10:30. We had to wait outside the gate for about 45 mins. but once we were inside the terminal, it was quick check in and boarding.
Yes, the ship is old, but I feel like they are doing a decent job of maintaining it especially after the dry dock a few years back. I saw a few spots where paint was peeling but the ship was clean and didn’t have a lot of noticeable maintenance issues.
My husband and I both agreed that the crew on this ship was top notch. Everyone was smiling and truly seemed happy to be working on this ship. The Lido was extremely well run. We saw the supervisor many, many times throughout the week. He is very hands-on and does a great job of leading his staff. The food was typical Carnival Lido food. I think the pizza at Pizza Pirate is great . Guys Burgers always good as well as Blue Iguana. But why don’t they serve tortilla chips to go with the awesome salsa bar. Next time I’ll remember to bring a bag on the ship. I’m not a fan of Carnival desserts but I really love the chocolate chip cookies and the other cookies they serve. Not sure what they are... they look like Chocolate Chip without the chips. They don’t always have the cookies out at the Lido but you can order them in room service anytime. I didn’t try the Deli but tbh it didn’t look very appetizing.
The wait staff in the MDR was outstanding. We did YTD and had a different waiter each night. They were all superb. One again super friendly and fun. We had to wait about 20 mins one night for a table (we showed up around 6:15 I think) but no wait on the other nights. The soups were all very good... French Onion, Navy Bean and Ham, Beef Lentil, all good. My husband loved the Beef Brisket. They used to have pie alamode on the menu each night but this time, only 2 nights of pie. One night cherry, one night Apple. Both very good.
We stayed in Room M9. Front of 5th deck. Our room attendant was good. His name was Rudita (Rudy for short). He asked us on the first day if we wanted morning and night service or just one or the other. We picked morning only and that ended up being fine.
We had good weather. The ship rocked a bit at times but I always take motion control meds the first few days as a preventative and I had no problems. The ship did not feel crowded at all. I had never been in Feb and it is definitely a quieter bunch of passengers. Not a lot of kids, no Spring Breakers... mostly couples and older people. But with that being said, still a great group of people. We met so many nice couples.. a couple from Myrtle Beach celebrating their 50th anniversary, a couple from Raleigh who were retired, doing a back to back and already on their 4th cruise this year (they did 27 in 2017!), two couples on their honeymoon, a couple from Charleston that loved baseball like we do. Most people were from the Carolinas, Virginia or Georgia and I don’t recall ever cruising with a more friendly, laid back group ( maybe because most left their kids at home lol).
We are big fans of Punchliner comedy but the two comedians this week were just so-so. That’s ok. We still had fun!
I love Carnival. I like the crew, like the Comedy, like being able to do my own laundry, like the food better than Royal, like the people who cruise with me. My favorite ship is the Magic but I liked the Ecstasy too. There’s a lot to be said for not having to get up at 7 am to get a deck chair, not having to wait a half hour in line for my burger, not feeling claustrophobic when I walk through throngs of people. Another great trip for us!
Perfect size for 2 of us. Nice hot shower, room did have a hairdryer. Comfy bed, quiet above us and below.