6 Miami to Caribbean - All Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Reviews

My wife and I won a "free cruise" when we bought into a time share a couple of years ago. TAV was the name of the service that administered the "free cruise," which of course was limited in dates and ships. Carnival ... Read More
My wife and I won a "free cruise" when we bought into a time share a couple of years ago. TAV was the name of the service that administered the "free cruise," which of course was limited in dates and ships. Carnival Ecstasy was one of the ships and this (leaving Jan. 18) was one of the dates. By the time we paid the fees to TAV associated with the cruise, we came up about $20 each short of what we would have actually paid to go on the cruise ... so it wasn't free :) But ... we decided to make the best of it. We have cruised five previous times on Royal Caribbean and had great experiences. We knew this was an older Carnival ship (second oldest) and read many reviews on Cruise Critic (that were very helpful). We left our children at home, and flew down on Sunday thanks to frequent flier miles. We got a free shuttle from the airport to our motel (Courtyard by Marriott) and paid 10 apiece for a shuttle to the ship on Monday morning. We got to the port around 11:30 and got right into the waiting area, where we chatted up other travelers. It should be noted when we left Minnesota on Sunday it was 15 below zero ... so temps in the 70s meant we had a 90 degree difference. All good so far! We stayed in the lowest tier of room, but only used the stateroom to sleep. It was about what we expected, maybe a little dirtier than it should have been, but quieter than expected. The casino is open air so the ship is smoky. I guess we knew that coming in, but it's a complaint of people who don't smoke. The food was just fine ... hey, much better than we eat at home. We sat at a table with four other couples who were great dinner companions (I hope we were as well). The shows were entertaining, good singing and dancing. My wife liked the Mongolian Barbecue on the pool deck. We also used the workout room a lot. Service was very good in the dining areas and by the cabin steward. No complaints there. We didn't take part in too many shipboard activities. Obviously, it's a smaller ship, so there is a lot less to do on board, but we expected that to be the case. Key West was a nice stop, a little cool. We rented bikes and tooled around town and bought the only thing we forgot to bring -- sunglasses. We had to be back on ship by 3, so spent the afternoon being lazy. Cozumel was Day 2 ... we got right off the ship when it docked at noon and rented, on a whim, a scooter for 50 bucks. We spent the day beach-hopping around the island, and ended up driving on a complete circle around the island (40 miles). A little hairy in town, but I drove like a maniac and figured people would get out of my way! Day 3 was a day at sea, the weather was cloudy and cool. We just tried to relax and work out and graze the buffet lines. Check out in the morning was really nice. We had an early flight, so walked off the ship with our luggage and got to the airport by 9 a.m. for an 11:30 flight. In summary -- the cruise was exactly what we expected. We did something I bet some people don't do -- we didn't spend one red penny on board ship. How about that? Having said that -- we would have spent money to buy a CD of all the pictures that were taken of us. That wasn't offered. And we didn't love the pictures that much to buy them for 20 bucks each. I guess some Carnival ships do offer CDs of all the pictures. Some other people have commented that generally people were rude. I would say one thing about that -- the $50 "all you can drink a day" feature was used by a lot of people, and I think if you throw down 12 drinks a day "just to get your money's worth" you are going to be more rude than usual. Plus, there were very few families on this cruise (given it was during the school year), so mostly people who were there to party (but most of them were older, so yeah). Almost any cruise is a good cruise, and I would say this was a good one. However, and I hope this is the spot to say this ... given the choice between Carnival on a similar itinerary or Royal Caribbean, I would pay more for Royal. To me, the dealbreakers are that Carnival has too smoky of a casino area (and the area around it gets smoky) and the people traveling on it are a little too edgier. Hope that doesn't offend anyone. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
this was my 4th cruise with carnival and i am not quite sure what the bad reviews have to say, but I also can't say that I wasn't disappointed with some things on this ship in relation to the other carnival ships i have been on. ... Read More
this was my 4th cruise with carnival and i am not quite sure what the bad reviews have to say, but I also can't say that I wasn't disappointed with some things on this ship in relation to the other carnival ships i have been on. our room was very clean when we arrived, and our luggage came very quickly! the staff is so friendly as usual, they come to your room and introduce themselves and ask which time is the best for them to come in and clean. with that being said, there were a few things about this ship that i didn't like in relation to the other ships i have been on (valor, freedom, breeze). the cabin and bathroom were extremely small. in carnivals defense, this is one of the older ships, but it did make getting ready a little more complicated. there were only 2 outlets, one in the bathroom (which didn't work) and one near the vanity. i was sharing a room and as one could imagine this could get a little frustrating since we could only straighten, curl, or charge our phones one person at a time. the bathroom was also extremely tiny and had one small shelf above the sink as opposed to a counter with several shelves like the other ships. the dining room food was delicious every night, and i am an extremely picky eater. the waiters and waitresses are so sweet and fun! the shows were okay, one of the shows "the brits" i have actually seen on another cruise line before. the singing is okay but the dancing is pretty good! the shows are pretty short (about 30 min) and i guess that's what people like, but i personally think it would be better if they added an extra 20 minutes or so to the shows to make them a little better. the adult comedy club is really not that funny and is also very short. i have never heard of a lot of the people they have there to perform. i only went on one show this cruise and was really unimpressed, and i remember feeling the same way a year ago on the carnival breeze. the buffet breakfast was not good. nobody in my family really liked them. my cousin and i got an omelet and it was definitely undercooked. however i'm sure if you ask them to make it well done it will be better. the dining hall breakfast and brunch is amazing. we went there the rest of the trip. also, everyone in my family thought the coffee was very strong, i personally loved it and was impressed with how great it tasted, and it's free! the bar in the atrium sells other types of coffee that you do have to pay for. it is still very delicious, i always got the latte! the nightclub was not fun at all. maybe when you're 21 and can get drinks with your friends but being underaged (18) was not a very fun experience. the music is really weird and hard to dance to. and smoking IS allowed, and that smell bothered me a lot. however, one night was "latin night" and the turnout was incredible and the music was energetic and fun, EVERYONE was dancing and having a great time! i hope carnival starts doing these more often. the DJs name for this was "DJ Cruz" he is awesome! unfortunately i am too old to join any of the clubs! however i went with some family friends who have 2 younger kids who signed up for "night owls" and they made some friends and seemed to love every minute of it. i will also say on my first cruise i was in circle c and on my second cruise i was in club o2, i met a lot of awesome people (some i'm still friends with today!) and it is open late and always carefully supervised so parents have nothing to worry about! i know this was long, but i really hope it helps! all in all, this was a nice ship with such a great staff! yes it is an older ship but it has been upgraded. the ship and rooms were on the smaller side, but the decor was nice and the layout was easy to memorize! this was a NYE cruise, and the NYE party was the best party I have ever been to, and i go to a NYE party every year, but i don't think this one could ever be beat! every passenger on the ship came together and just danced and partied all night long! (literally) there was a balloon drop in the atrium followed by a deck party where they handed out delicious champagne FOR FREE! i don't want to tell it all but if you're wondering what to do for NYE a carnival cruise might be the route to go :) lastly, disembarkation was very quick and efficient, we arrived at 7 and were off the ship by 7:30. (my level was second to last to leave) ***also if this is you first cruise please note, the passengers carrying off all of their luggage get to disembark BEFORE those who checked in their luggage*** Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Carnival Ectasy is old, and has seen better days. The décor is dated, and it does not have a lot of the amenities of most of the other ships. This was my 5th cruise on Carnival, and the only one where I was less then impressed. Food ... Read More
Carnival Ectasy is old, and has seen better days. The décor is dated, and it does not have a lot of the amenities of most of the other ships. This was my 5th cruise on Carnival, and the only one where I was less then impressed. Food was mediocre, room service menu minimal, buffet was not kept very hot, and the service was slow to replace items. The main dining room was very good; however, no lobster on a 5 day cruise!!!!!! The entertainment was adequate, and there is certainly a lot to do on board. FYI, the balcony seats (other then first row) suck. You sit too low to see, and posts block your view of the stage. I found that Carnival is starting to charge for everything. Want wings ($5). Want better coffee ($6). Want a decent steak ($20). The cabin was falling apart. Difficult to control scolding shower water; TV view is obstructed from one of the bunk beds, and the announcements cannot be heard in the rooms. The sauna and steam room were not working, and are small. This is truly now a low-budget, pay if you want good service, cruise-line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Boarding took awhile as my mother opted to go on board viz a wheelchair in case her knee was hurting. They have staff from the ship come off it and then bring wheelchair people on. The lifeboat drill was confusing and we were unsure ... Read More
Boarding took awhile as my mother opted to go on board viz a wheelchair in case her knee was hurting. They have staff from the ship come off it and then bring wheelchair people on. The lifeboat drill was confusing and we were unsure where to go. We had to be right by the pool and it was pretty warm with no breeze since the deck isn't fully open to the outside railing. We went straight inside to get a drink since we were parched and I was dripping with sweat. We stopped in Key West and Cozumel. In Key West we walked around and went to the museum in the red building near the dock. It was nice to get away from everyone else and enjoy the museum. Cozumel we did the San Gervasio Ancient Mayan Ruins tour and it was pretty humid. I was glad for the air conditioned bus. The food wasn't bad, a couple of nights it was hard to go to sleep since my stomach was hurting though I took my pills. I wish this ship had an outdoor movie screen by the pool like the Victory did. I kept comparing it to the Victory and another I did not like was there was no sit down lunch venue like the Victory does. But the Ecstasy's buffet is a much better set up. The Victory has just one line for the entire buffet. But I really enjoyed the sea day brunch and then later the tea time which hardly anyone else attended. I guess they were at the pool. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Checking in was very smooth. Our room was nice with an ocean view (the room attendant was very friendly and incredibly helpful). There were lots of activities for us to chose from. We went to Key West and Cozumel. We got off the ship in ... Read More
Checking in was very smooth. Our room was nice with an ocean view (the room attendant was very friendly and incredibly helpful). There were lots of activities for us to chose from. We went to Key West and Cozumel. We got off the ship in Key West to eat lunch then went back to the cruise. In Cozumel we rented a jeep and just explored the island. We checked out some ruins and then went back on the ship. We enjoyed the tax-free shopping on the ship as well as the poker tables. The only thing I did not like was all the smoking by the poker tables but that is to be expected. If you want to get away as a couple this is a good cruise. If you are traveling with children you might want to chose a ship that has the "water works" which is more water fun for the kids. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
My husband and I booked our very first cruise on the Carnival Ecstacy last year for the Carnival Live! program. Our sole purpose in booking the cruise was for our favorite performer, Gavin Degraw. We were also excited to experience ... Read More
My husband and I booked our very first cruise on the Carnival Ecstacy last year for the Carnival Live! program. Our sole purpose in booking the cruise was for our favorite performer, Gavin Degraw. We were also excited to experience cruising. If you are interested in Carnival Live!, this was one of the best shows we have ever been to, given the intimate venue and front row VIP section. As for the cruise, I was never bored! The food was good for us, and the drinks were great too. I am a huge picky eater and never had trouble finding something to eat. Dining room service can be a bit slow, but staff is entertaining. We are laid back and don't let little things bother us. We rush too much in regular life anyway, so it's nice to slow down and enjoy every moment. We went to Key West and Cozumel and had beautiful weather the entire time. The only thing lacking was the pool. It's very tiny and totally packed. We did have fun on the waterslides though. The staff is wonderful, and we couldn't have asked for better service. We were overcharged for Internet use and guest services promptly took all charges off for the inconvenience. There were a few people on the ship that mentioned the ship being small and not as updated as other cruises they have been on. However, being that we had nothing to compare it to, we thought it was awesome. One of my favorite memories is watching the sun sink into the ocean. Absolutely beatiful. After shopping around some other cruise lines, we have booked a 7 day cruise on the Carnival Glory coming up this August! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Carnival Ecstasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.5 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.7
Family 3.5 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.7
Enrichment 2.5 3.3
Service 4.5 4.1
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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