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This was the first cruise for my wife and I and we absolutely loved it. We tried to do some research before booking the cruise and asked some friends and family and they all said they enjoyed carnival. We do plan on trying some other cruise lines just to get some variety and be able to compare the experiences but we will definitely sail with carnival again. When we first saw the ship we realized how old it was and thought we would be very disappointed but once we got aboard we saw how wrong we were. The ship was very up to date and well decorated. First off the room, it was small but there was adequate room to move around. Some people will probably complain that the room is too small but you have to manage your expectations going in. Don’t expect a spacious hotel room, it is a boat that holds thousands of people so there’s only so much room. One negative is that there is only one outlet but they tell you ahead of time to bring a power strip (not a surge protector those are prohibited) so we were able to charge both of our phones and anything else we needed to charge. The mattress was very firm and comfy and the sheets were smooth. Our steward was amazing, every time he saw us he asked us how our day was and knew our names after the first day. He kept everything very clean and organized. Next the food, delicious. We ate at the main dining room (wind song) most nights and ate the buffet the other times. No matter which place you went the food was expertly prepared and was an extremely high quality. We selected late dining so we had the same table and same wait team every night we ate in wind song. The team was very knowledgeable, friendly, and accommodating. We didn’t know what a lot of the dishes were and they were able to explain and recommend several of the dishes based on our likes and dislikes. The one negative was the lack of options. The served the same food in the buffet room and the wind song room so really the only reason to do the reserved dining was to have the more upscale atmosphere and be waited on. The only other options on the entire ship was pizza pirate and guys burgers. The pizza was pretty disappointing, always had to wait 10 minutes and it was very thin and light on cheese/toppings. Guys burgers was delicious but anything gets tiresome if you eat it for 5 days straight. There were no extra restaurants that you could pay extra to eat at, which I thought would be included. I don’t drink but there were certainly plenty of different alcoholic options so people who like to drink will have plenty of options. Embarkation and debarkation were very smooth and easy. I did forget to print our boarding passes/ room luggage tags beforehand but they had luggage tags to hand write on and I was able to show our boarding passes on my phone for the most part until the printed one for me. Entertainment was great, I personally enjoyed the trivia, (even though I didn’t know most of the answers) and the musical shows. There was a wide variety of things for people of different tastes and ages. Two dedicated kids/teens hangouts/groups so always something for them to do. There were quite a few activities that were targeted to get you to buy things either on the ship or in the ports which was disappointing but I expected that kind of commercialization coming in. Leon, the entertainment director, was very funny and interactive with the crowd. You could see that he really cared and tried to make an impact on everyone. There is mini golf on the very top deck but it’s almost impossible to play, unless you’re docked, due to the wind. There was a wide variety of shore excursions to choose from at each port, each one we chose was easily accessed and fun. The Charleston port was very dirty and looked in very rough shape, Freeport wasn’t much to look at except for a very small shopping area right off the boat. However I don’t hold either one of those against Carnival because they have no control over that. Half moon cay was beautiful and the free beach and lunch was amazing. No activities to due other than the beach really but everyone needs a relaxation day. Nassau was by far the best port. Very vibrant culture, lots of shopping and excursions, and a private island (blue lagoon island) a short boat ride away. Don’t waste your money on the endless bubbles program. You can only have 1 soda at a time and you have to hope that the bar you’re closest to has what you want I n stock. They literally just pour cans of soda and ice into a cup and hand it to you. You’re allowed to bring a 12 pack (per person) of cans on board so I suggest doing that since it’s much cheaper to purchase that and easier to access them. On the other hand the endless cheers program seemed so be worth its money if you plan on having more than a few drinks. I can’t personally speak to it because I didn’t purchase it and I do not drink. Overall it was a great experience for a first cruise and we will definitely be sailing with carnival again!

Amazing Cruise

Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review by josiahw13

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View
This was the first cruise for my wife and I and we absolutely loved it. We tried to do some research before booking the cruise and asked some friends and family and they all said they enjoyed carnival. We do plan on trying some other cruise lines just to get some variety and be able to compare the experiences but we will definitely sail with carnival again. When we first saw the ship we realized how old it was and thought we would be very disappointed but once we got aboard we saw how wrong we were. The ship was very up to date and well decorated.

First off the room, it was small but there was adequate room to move around. Some people will probably complain that the room is too small but you have to manage your expectations going in. Don’t expect a spacious hotel room, it is a boat that holds thousands of people so there’s only so much room. One negative is that there is only one outlet but they tell you ahead of time to bring a power strip (not a surge protector those are prohibited) so we were able to charge both of our phones and anything else we needed to charge. The mattress was very firm and comfy and the sheets were smooth. Our steward was amazing, every time he saw us he asked us how our day was and knew our names after the first day. He kept everything very clean and organized.

Next the food, delicious. We ate at the main dining room (wind song) most nights and ate the buffet the other times. No matter which place you went the food was expertly prepared and was an extremely high quality. We selected late dining so we had the same table and same wait team every night we ate in wind song. The team was very knowledgeable, friendly, and accommodating. We didn’t know what a lot of the dishes were and they were able to explain and recommend several of the dishes based on our likes and dislikes. The one negative was the lack of options. The served the same food in the buffet room and the wind song room so really the only reason to do the reserved dining was to have the more upscale atmosphere and be waited on. The only other options on the entire ship was pizza pirate and guys burgers. The pizza was pretty disappointing, always had to wait 10 minutes and it was very thin and light on cheese/toppings. Guys burgers was delicious but anything gets tiresome if you eat it for 5 days straight. There were no extra restaurants that you could pay extra to eat at, which I thought would be included. I don’t drink but there were certainly plenty of different alcoholic options so people who like to drink will have plenty of options.

Embarkation and debarkation were very smooth and easy. I did forget to print our boarding passes/ room luggage tags beforehand but they had luggage tags to hand write on and I was able to show our boarding passes on my phone for the most part until the printed one for me.

Entertainment was great, I personally enjoyed the trivia, (even though I didn’t know most of the answers) and the musical shows. There was a wide variety of things for people of different tastes and ages. Two dedicated kids/teens hangouts/groups so always something for them to do. There were quite a few activities that were targeted to get you to buy things either on the ship or in the ports which was disappointing but I expected that kind of commercialization coming in. Leon, the entertainment director, was very funny and interactive with the crowd. You could see that he really cared and tried to make an impact on everyone. There is mini golf on the very top deck but it’s almost impossible to play, unless you’re docked, due to the wind.

There was a wide variety of shore excursions to choose from at each port, each one we chose was easily accessed and fun. The Charleston port was very dirty and looked in very rough shape, Freeport wasn’t much to look at except for a very small shopping area right off the boat. However I don’t hold either one of those against Carnival because they have no control over that. Half moon cay was beautiful and the free beach and lunch was amazing. No activities to due other than the beach really but everyone needs a relaxation day. Nassau was by far the best port. Very vibrant culture, lots of shopping and excursions, and a private island (blue lagoon island) a short boat ride away.

Don’t waste your money on the endless bubbles program. You can only have 1 soda at a time and you have to hope that the bar you’re closest to has what you want I n stock. They literally just pour cans of soda and ice into a cup and hand it to you. You’re allowed to bring a 12 pack (per person) of cans on board so I suggest doing that since it’s much cheaper to purchase that and easier to access them. On the other hand the endless cheers program seemed so be worth its money if you plan on having more than a few drinks. I can’t personally speak to it because I didn’t purchase it and I do not drink.

Overall it was a great experience for a first cruise and we will definitely be sailing with carnival again!
josiahw13’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 6E U54
Small but adequate room. Only one outlet but you can bring power strips. Steward kept everything very clean and organized.
Empress Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour
    This excursion is some what disappointing. While the host was very personable and entertaining, the boat itself is lacking. The “glass bottom” section is actually two 3 feet by 10-15 feet sections that you have to lean over railings to view. While this may seem like plenty of space, if you have a large group on the boat (like we did), you have to stand basically on top of each other to see anything. We eventually just decided to look over the side of the boat, which ended up a better view anyway. They did feed sharks and bring some above water for pictures, which was nice, if you could see anything over the rest of the crowd. Also, on the website, this is listed as a 3 hour excursion. Only about an hour is spent on the boat. The rest of the time is spent traveling from the cruise terminal to the boat and back and waiting on the boat to be ready.
    View All 24 Glass Bottom Boat Tour Reviews
  • Half Moon Cay
    Short informational tram tour. The trams don’t hold many people so in can get uncomfortable but it’s easier to hear the guide. You learn a lot of information about the island and a little about the surrounding islands culture. You stop and get out twice to walk around and check out the stables and stingrays respectively.
    View All 12,619 Half Moon Cay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Half Moon Cay Cruise Port Review
  • Sea Lion Encounter
    We loved this encounter! You get time both in the water with the sea lions and extra time on the dock for photos! The staff were friendly and knowledgeable. A great experience.
    View All 27 Sea Lion Encounter Reviews