My wife and I wanted a short cruise within an easy drive of our home near Wilmington, NC. While we normally cruise with Celebrity we were pleasantly surprised with our experience aboard the Carnival Ecstasy.
We normally cruise in a balcony stateroom but since they were in short supply we opted for an ocean view stateroom since it was only a 5 day cruise, I really missed having a chair to sit on but this was a minor inconvenience and not a problem.
The parking and check-in was a real plus, very efficient. We were quite surprised when the parking lot attendant told us that there would be no charge for handicapped parking, this represented a quick $100 savings.
Breakfast service in the Lido was very good, there was never more than 2 people waiting in line for omelets or eggs to order, I would have liked fresh pineapple but I made do with the other fruit offerings. Bakery items were very good.
Guy's burgers on the Lido deck were among the best I have experienced on land or sea, always freshly made with plenty of fries and toppings.
We opted for dinner at the 8:15 seating, the wait staff were excellent, very personable and knowledgeable of the menu offerings. I would have liked to have had better cocktail and wine service, it was necessary to ask the waiter for beverage service. I found the food offerings were varied and suitable to my tastes. The seafood offerings of Mahi Mahi and Salmon were above average.
The entertainment was well above average, the Cruise Director Leon was outstanding, I have been on more than a dozen cruises and Leon was the best and most involved cruise director that I have experienced. Leon hosted a tribute to veterans which was a very emotional and moving ceremony which was enjoyed by the more than 100 attendees.
I enjoyed the casino, however, the three card poker table was rarely busy, since I enjoy playing with 4 or 5 other players, I didn't play as much as I would have liked (probably saved some money).
The disembarking was very slow, this was probably caused by too many people opting to carry off their luggage, which clogged the elevators and caused long lines on deck 7, this combined with those that checked luggage created delays for the carry off folks as well as the checked luggage people.
Bottom line, I enjoyed my Carnival cruise and will certainly cruise Carnival again.
The bed was comfortable, storage space adequate, only one chair (straight backed) which was not very comfortable.