Cruised the carnival ecstasy with huge family and could not have been more disappointed. This was our 4th carnival cruise and it had been about two years since our previous. Since then, so many things have changed as far as service goes. Wait staff was overwhelmed. Their used to be multiple staff assigned to a table. On this cruise we had only a waiter for a party of 12. He barely spoke to us, didn’t know any names (something carnival takes pride in), and felt cold like we were an inconvenience. This was the assigned 6pm dining. It wasn’t completely his fault, as it really did seem to be to much for him. The service we received at breakfast in the main dining rm was far, far better then we received at dinner. The menu was considerably “cheaper” then previous cruises. Main entree’s like “fried chicken” are the new norm I guess. Outside of the dining service, the lido wait staff was also worthless. Don’t waste your money on “bottomless bubbles”. It’s near impossible to get a soda or juice from the wait staff. Unless you were ordering an alcoholic beverage, the wait staff was disinterested. The would either not bring your drink altogether or it would take 30-45 mins, for a can of soda....
As for the other issues outside of service... the Carnival Ectasy smelled of sewage whenever not in port. Some crew blamed the “Jacksonville water” but that only worked for the first two days until some finally admitted that it was a maintenance issue and was scheduled for repair months later. The tap water was YELLOW and have a video to prove it. Had to use bottled water to brush teeth and rinse our babies bottle. The ac did not work in our room and just about all the other 15 cabins in our group. We had to request a fan to circulate air in our muggy room. Our water pressure was incredible, my mothers shower was almost useless.
There were a couple positives.... Cam, the cruise director was Amazing! Of the 4 cruises I have been on, he was the best I have seen yet. He was very fun, great with kids and had an awesome attitude. Also, Patu, our head room steward was amazing. He took time to entertain and interact with our kids and they/we felt as though he was a friend. He showed them multiple towel animals, called us all by name and was just exceptional.
I really hope these differences were just on the ecstasy and not the direction carnival is moving as a whole. It felt like the airline industry where nothing is free anymore and service is a minimum. This was not a cheap cruise and we all left extremely disappointed. You will receive better service at chic-fil-a.