This is our second trip on the Carnival Ecstasy on the Rivera level (4th Floor) with a portal ocean view..
Upon arriving at the port we were charged $20 per day ($120) parking though last trip they provided complementary parking with my Military ID. They commented that they never offered a military discount..(I must be nuts, right?)
The Terminal - Entering the terminal we were quickly greeted and given big smiles by happy staff members quick to offer a "Happy New Year" as this was New Year's Eve. We were impressed by their quick wit and great attitudes. We had an 11am boarding and we were on board by 11:05am.. Great News!!
The ship - was decked out for the holidays and the atrium was beautiful! Shortly after boarding staff were serving up free champagne! A New Years Eve treat.. Yay! It's a classic pretty ship with plenty of nostalgic looks, neon and a feel of ole grandeur. but despite a recent dry doc seem to be really showing her age. I really wish they had upgraded the same old tire hot tubs at dry-dock.. No consistent temps, jets were weak and guards missing on the bottom and sides..
The Bad: Everyone said it was the worst smelling ship they had experienced. I heard it on elevators, bars, casino, pools etc... I did notice and it was bad, but I've gotten used to a tolerable smell level on ships by now.. but it was bad..
The Cabin - We made our way to our cabin and BAM!! it was ready!! Yes!! all going well and as planned! The cabin looked good but only a King and a trundle ... we were a group of four..?? In short order in speaking with Guest Services they installed what look like an aluminum gurney (like an ambulance gurney without legs) small frame bed on the floor... Weird right, but ok.. my Kids were game..
The bad: the drains failed, room smelled uck!!! nasty.. No Fridge, and I had to pull away from the blackjack table to figure out if my kids would be charged for a PB&J sandwich as the new room service charges/rules are crazy! I'm sure that's covered elsewhere on cruise critic!
Dining - Having spent nearly half a year at sea I've eaten in quite a few Dining Rooms and in fact I've been in this very dining room before.. but this table was crammed so tight and elbow to elbow that I thought I was in a airline coach seat. It was so contentious just to get your elbow up to eat that we gave up and left..Not to return. They said they were full and sorry.
Food - Spend the $20 up-charge and get the Surf and Turf (Wonderful!!) The rest was, well.... let's just say "Carnival Food"..Enough said?
Entertainment - Comedian John Mulrooney was very good! Go see his show!
Excursions - We did the DeepSea fishing it was fun and the Kids luved it!! Same with the parasailing!
SPA - The Spa Manager (Razvan ?) was great.. He probably was one of the best spa managers I've seen on ships.. He went out of his way to ensure we had great service..
We used almost all of the services, my son got a haircut, daughter a mani-pedi and facial for the wife... ahh and for me you ask? I did everything else. LOL.. yes try the Bamboo it's the best!
The Casino - Slow drinks as usual, and no comp on the drinks and I've played enough to not care but only to say I should have been comped considering the level of play..
Halfmoon Key - really nice except the smell coming from the water park.. Smelled like the ship... Nasty ..
Disembarkation - Went Great! Smooth...
Summary: Will not repeat on this ship, looking at canceling 2 future bookings on Carnival. The nickle and diming is bad.. real bad.. Drinks were more, gratuity is more, parking is more, stores were more etc..