3 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
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
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

Find a Carnival Ecstasy Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click