We boarded the Ecstasy on 10-13-11 for a 4 night cruise to Cozumel to celebrate my 40th birthday. We are experienced cruisers and kinda knew what to expect on this short trip.
First, let me say it is obvious there are budget cuts on the 4 day cruise. We have done this 4 day cruise in 2007 and we noticed huge differences in dining, at both the buffet and the main dining room. As far as the buffet, the lines were extremely long compared to other cruises and the options were not very well receive by any of us. Our 9 yr old son even commented that their pizza was horrible and he loves pizza. So I tried it and he was right, it was horrible. The MDR menu was so slim that a couple of the nights there wasn't really anything appetizing. And as far as service, it was not the best either. The only night my husband received what he ordered was the last night. Our waiter would NOT write anyone's orders down and it created chaos because he would bring out the wrong dishes or give people at our table the wrong order. Very unprofessional and not expected for Carnival.
Our day in Coz was ruined due to rain and high winds from a tropical low that had come across Mexico from the Pacific side. Not a big deal, Carnival cannot control the weather. We made the best of it. Boys watched movies and played in the arcade and I visited the spa for a nice treat.
Son loved Camp Carnival of course. They had really great activities for all age groups. This is one area where Carnival really excels. The Ecstasy staff was wonderful.
Our cabin steward was Julius and he was great. Very attentive and took care of us wonderfully.
My caution to folks going on this ship would be to expect a "budget-friendly" experience. This boat does not give you the full cruising experience but it is a good start for a first timer. Basically, you get what you paid for. Which is why I am really looking forward to our May 2012 trip on the RCCL Allure of the Seas.
AFT of Upper Deck. Caution: It was an oceanview room originally and they welded on the balcony during a dry dock a couple of years ago. It is NOT a true balcony size cabin. But, the balcony is huge and nice to sit out on. Small bathroom, 3 small closets, safe, small chair, 2 very small tables, bed pulls down over the king bed. Be careful... I cut my head on the corner. Almost needed stitches.