125 Miami Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Reviews

9 member family & neighbors had a good time, but not because of ship and crew. I was surprised how much the food was obviously rationed. Lido buffet only open for short periods of time, and often out of basic food. Sandwich and ... Read More
9 member family & neighbors had a good time, but not because of ship and crew. I was surprised how much the food was obviously rationed. Lido buffet only open for short periods of time, and often out of basic food. Sandwich and pizza counters in buffet area were not only understaffed but pretty obviously moving very slowly. Mongolian Wok place OK, but rarely open, and the appetizer tasting place didn't even open some days per schedule, and short hours others. Only thing open often and everywhere were the bars. Service was poor. Daughter and fiance rarely saw their room steward, and did not get a single request filled, including those called into housekeeping, the entire trip. Our steward in room around the corner from them was OK; the $20 tip the first day might have helped. The sit down breakfast and lunch restaurant was sooo slow, and the food was minimal and most was cold. Our dining room service was OK the first few days, but then our head waiter paid more attention to other tables and left us to jr. staff. He couldn't believe one evening when our entire table stood up and went to a nearby bar: after seated for over an hour nobody had taken any drink orders at all. Ship was clearly dated, with lots of maintenance needed. Faded railings are one thing; visible rust and one welded on repair plate on the topmost wing-like structure didn't present a very good presentation to the world. This was my wife & daughter's 5th cruise in the past 7 years, and they said it was far and away the saddest experience they had. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
At the last minute we decided to take a cruise for 4 women--moms and daughters--- (we flew to Fort Lauderdale and took the South Florida Shuttle $70.00 to Miami..We stayed one night pre cruise at the Miami Holiday Inn Oceanfront)... ... Read More
At the last minute we decided to take a cruise for 4 women--moms and daughters--- (we flew to Fort Lauderdale and took the South Florida Shuttle $70.00 to Miami..We stayed one night pre cruise at the Miami Holiday Inn Oceanfront)... and then to save money on the cruise we chose to share a stateroom....just for the experience...it wasn't too bad, even though we only had inches of room.. We were only in there to shower and sleep. It was the first time we had seen a room with the pull-man beds..one pulled down over the head of the king size bed ( watch your head when you get out of the king size bed) and the other pulled down over the foot of the king size bed...the ladders are in the closet... but they weren't needed... The crew of the Ecstasy was great..they were kind.. considerate and very hard working people--- We had a good meal the first night in the dining room...the next day we were in Key West -- we were all shuttled into town because we had to dock a the Navel Port.. we were there from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm we didn't have much time so had to make the most of it ..we grabbed a map and started walking..took photos...shopped...stopped at the Southernmost Point Buoy and had a great couple of drinks in the The Bull & Whistle Bar......back on the ship.. we ate a late lunch and sat pool side...we had no rain but the clouds were heavy.... seas were a bit rough ...take the Dramamine-- it works... Next day we docked in Cozumel we were late due to rough seas...we walked around Puerta Maya the Carnival Port..it is very neat and tidy--of course they will barter with you..We enjoyed this area...there are jewelry stores and stores with very inexpensive products...1.00 and up.....look around before you buy----- we bought a beautiful Mexican sombrero ------he started out asking $35.00--- got him down to $23.00--- and I bought it--then we walked across to the next building and the same hat was $17.00 OH WELL ( it was a lovely sombrero) >our fault for not checking out the products before buying...after about an hour we took off walking for the town of Cozumel..we walked for about 45 minutes and stopped by a grocery store for souvenirs and some soft drinks had and walked to Margaritaville for margaritas ..when we walked out it was dark so we took a taxi back to port---$8.00 ( always ask the price before you get in) we shopped some more at the port. There are fun photo spots all over the port...restaurants and a bar....truly the prices aren't bad.... The day at sea was ok..there aren't many activities planned except gambling, bingo, and art auctions..there should be more offered in the activity choices ...that's just my opinion... Food was fine..no free lobster on this cruise -other then that, no problems with the food choices... If you like comedy-- I mean REAL COMEDY--- you will fall off the chair with laughter--- there are Wonderful comedians on this cruise...we cried with laughter each time we saw their shows, which are all different... Embarkation was smooth -- we chose to carry off our luggage .. We had breakfast in the dining room and then walked off of the ship---and took the shuttle to the airport...HAVE A NICE CRUISE ! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Carnival has a welcome desk at Miami Int. Airport where you check-in, no line, and take a bus transfer to ship. We were relaxing on Lido deck with a delicious lunch and sunshine of Miami Port in no time. Carnival Ecstasy was a good ... Read More
Carnival has a welcome desk at Miami Int. Airport where you check-in, no line, and take a bus transfer to ship. We were relaxing on Lido deck with a delicious lunch and sunshine of Miami Port in no time. Carnival Ecstasy was a good value, excellent crew, plenty to do or not do. Both port calls (Key West, Cozumel) have plenty to offer. I went Jetski in KeyWest for first time. It was absolutely beautiful and fast. I went Snorkeling at Aquarium beach in Cozumel. It was fine and the beach property was well attended and clean ($15 for beach; $30 includes snorkeling from a boat...) Punchliners Comedy club was a hoot! We only caught one or two other shows: all good! Wind Star dining room was delicious both for breakfast, brunch and dinner. I opted for the (extra $20) lobster dinner on two nights: it was worth it! Lobster tail was 8 oz-10 oz! There is a short promenade where we saw a gorgeous sunset leaving Miami! Memories like that you can't get at a Motel 6! All ship facilities were good. Including: spa, pools, serenity area, casino, lounges (many), golf on top, etc. Only negatives: Karaoke was missing the Song books. Dining room background music was very loud. You will have a good time! Do it! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I read through so many reviews before my husband and I took our cruise in January, that I thought I should come back and share our experience as well! We sailed to Key West and Cozumel on the Carnival Ecstasy at the end of January. It was ... Read More
I read through so many reviews before my husband and I took our cruise in January, that I thought I should come back and share our experience as well! We sailed to Key West and Cozumel on the Carnival Ecstasy at the end of January. It was my husband's first cruise and my second. It was also our first vacation without the kids in our 15 year relationship! THE GREAT- Embarkation was easy and quick. The crew of the Ecstasy are wonderful, hard working people. I did not encounter one person who wasn't kind, courteous, and willing to help. Eden at the Piano Bar was spectacular. If he is on your cruise, definitely go see him! Also, don't miss out on the chocolate melting cake. I love it so much I found a recipe to make it at home! In Key West we rented bikes for the day at $13 apiece and rode around the island. That was one of my favorite things about the vacation. THE GOOD- Everything was solidly good. The rooms were a good size, the activities were good, and the food was good. Not much was extraordinary, but for the amount of money we paid, it was perfect. Please don't take this cruise expecting everything to be 5 stars. If you want a 5 star experience, you have to pay for it! The shows were not spectacular, but they were entertaining. We only saw one comedian. He made us laugh, but he also went a little blue. Our excursion to a chocolate factory in Cozumel was also good. The tour guides were excellent, but I likely would not choose that excursion again. THE BAD- I unexpectedly found myself needing feminine hygiene products. The ones available on board are awful. Bring your own, even if you don't think you'll need them! Unfortunately, the only other bad thing about our cruise was the other people. I can only hope that they somehow thought that because they were on vacation they could leave their kindness and manners at home. If people behave that way in their regular lives, I'd be even more depressed. As I said above, the crew are amazingly hardworking. A "please" and "thank you" would probably go a long way in making them feel like they are more than servants. It was shocking and depressing to hear the way people spoke to the crew, especially the dining room staff. So please be kind and treat others the way you want to be treated, even on vacation! :-) Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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
About the Reviewer: I’m a 34 year old male who traveled solo on the 1/18/16 sailing of the Carnival Ecstasy to Key West, FL and Cozumel, MX. This was my 34th cruise and 3rd time sailing with Carnival. I previously sailed Carnival in 2005 ... Read More
About the Reviewer: I’m a 34 year old male who traveled solo on the 1/18/16 sailing of the Carnival Ecstasy to Key West, FL and Cozumel, MX. This was my 34th cruise and 3rd time sailing with Carnival. I previously sailed Carnival in 2005 on the Destiny (now re-named something else) on a normal cruise and on the Carnival Inspiration for Groove Cruise in 2015. This cruise fit my travel schedule and cost as much as two nights at a hotel in South Beach for the same time frame I was looking for. I was actually getting off this ship at the end and boarding another cruise on Friday when we returned. I’m an avid lover of nightlife and good quality electronic dance music. I’ve sailed on other cruise lines including Norwegian Cruise Line (with over 20 cruises on them), Princess, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean once. I prefer to write my reviews in the order I experienced things. With that said here’s my impressions: Day 1 – Embarkation in Miami, FL I arrived to the pier after using SAS Transportation to get from a hotel I stayed at in Fort Lauderdale to the cruise port. I arrived to the pier shortly after 10:30AM. It was quiet and a lot of the previous cruisers were still hanging outside the terminal at that point. I went inside, presented my passport and then went through security and upstairs to check in. The check in was fast as I was there early. Next was a wait and more waiting and even more waiting. The ship didn’t start boarding until after Noon so it was forever in the terminal. Unfortunately so many people had arrived that it was standing room only in the terminal. When they started to call boarding numbers it was complete chaos trying to get into the area to board. For my first impression of Carnival, I wasn’t impressed with this embark. Norwegian would let you on the ship but restrict you from your cabins until 1:30PM. Carnival did the same thing but made everyone wait forever to get on. Since the Carnival Ecstasy is a sister to the Inspiration I was on just a few months back, I already knew the layout and headed to get some food at the buffet before the throngs shore-side arrived. The Ecstasy buffet wasn’t as crazy looking as the buffet on the Inspiration, although the buffet food choices were just as limited as they were on the Inspiration. I was pleased the décor had changed somewhat. After finishing lunch, they said the rooms were available and I headed to my cabin. Stateroom E56: This is a handicap interior room by a noisy crew entrance and crew stairwell. During the course of the cruise I had to use ear plugs to get sleep but otherwise for being an insanely cheap room, it was huge for one person! Upon arrival to my cabin I also had four 12 packs of water I ordered in the Fun Shops. The cabin steward was very nice and friendly but inquisitive as to why I wanted so much water. The desk was full of water. Since I was in a handicap cabin, there was tons of space to move around but that also meant the same for water in the shower. There’s no lip to handicap bathroom showers and so when you take a shower you end up washing the whole bathroom floor too! That was a constant pain but the steward left extra towels knowing I’d need them to mop up the excess water. Touring the Ecstasy: I started on the E deck and moved my way up going deck by deck. The central atrium was mobbed with people doing cash folios so I skipped the gallery area and just headed up a deck. The library, neon bar and Wind Star were located here. The best décor of the ship was in the library I thought. Wind Star would be my dining room for Anytime Dining. It was simplistically designed with décor. Neon bar was just that with neon light structures and this was home to the piano bar and some of the solos and GLBT gatherings. Next up was the Promenade Deck and walking forward to aft, the odor of smoke on this deck was hideous. They need to install scrubbers or curb the smoking. The open air casino was permeated with it. Traveling further aft I stopped into the China Town karaoke bar and snapped some pictures and then popped into Stripes where the odor of smoke was again prevalent. The Rolls Royce along the Promenade was a good touch by the coffee bar and then all the way aft was the comedy club known as the Starlight Lounge. I continued to tour the ship and headed up one more deck to the Lido pool deck. It was odd to see so many deck chairs out although the weather was too cold to actually hang out there for any length of time. On the Inspiration all the deck chairs were removed for the entertainment. The Carnival Waterworks aft was also open but the winds were up and blowing all the water out into the walk way. Overall the ship wasn’t as tacky in décor in comparison to the Inspiration but still had a lot of metallic feels to it. After exploring the ship it was time for muster drill and cast off. Muster drill took seemingly forever as not everyone was attending like they were supposed to. Once muster drill was over there was a party on the pool deck. The cruise staff introduced themselves and then led cruisers in what would be several of the same line dances performed throughout the cruise (Cupid Shuffle, Electric Slide, even the Macarena… yes I said Macarena, etc!)!! I wasn’t expecting a lot as this was Carnival but so far the music was a complete let down. I swear the DJs only had the same 10 songs in their playlist! Once the ship sailed out of the channel past South Beach it was time to head inside and get ready for dinner. I dressed up for dinner but dining solo was not something I enjoy doing for dinner so I did a table share. The first night of the cruise the table share was a ton of fun, I met some people from my area and we talked quite a bit. Our waiter Ricardo was amazing. The service from him and his assistant was just great and he always remembered my name the rest of the cruise although I never sat in his section again. I was always around his section but never in it. The wait staff performed for us and then tried to get me to dance to Gagnam style. I was all set with that. I’ve never been on a cruise line where they sing and dance for you at dinner. I guess that’s why they’re called the Fun Ships? While the dining room service was great, the food was a whole other story. The food was salt laden and the meat was super fatty. I know I didn’t pay a lot of money for the cruise but the food quality was prison grade. I’m not a foodie at all but the food on Carnival, even the Inspiration, is so subpar that I would give it as punishment to prisoners. Couldn’t go wrong with a fruit plate so I did that every night for dessert at least to try and balance all the sodium I was putting in my body. There was a gap in the schedule after dinner so I went back to the cabin and purchased the wifi for work. I did the 4 day $35 mid-grade package which was enough for me. I didn’t need to stream anything. The connection speeds were fastest during the night and early morning hours but during the daytime hours they weren’t that overly bad either in comparison to NCL’s wifi which is horrid. I give props to Carnival for having a good wifi for an affordable price. Blue Sapphire Entertainment: WELCOME ABOARD SHOW Dubbed as the all new welcome aboard show, this show featured the towel animals conversing along with the Cruise Director Adam. The show was a little light on entertainment value and I was losing interest. The production cast did a couple of numbers and the show was over. I could’ve missed it with no issue. I decided post-show to check out the Stripes Nightclub. I walked in and was overwhelmed with the amount of people who were smoking in there. I dislike smoke and I can’t understand why Carnival allows it so much. NCL has a stricter no-smoking policy for their nightclub venues. I wasn’t feeling the vibe with the music or the smell so I left and went to bed. Day 2 – Key West, Florida Our port time was early and if you didn’t get up you’d have missed the whole time in port. I got up around 7AM just after we finished docking and headed to the dining room for breakfast. It was a cold day in Key West so dressing up in layers was essential. I didn’t have anything planned except walking the island. It’s a small island and walking friendly. I went to get some supplies for my next cruise at the Walgreens by the Starbucks. It was going to be my last Starbucks fix for a while. I went to the Southernmost Point on foot and then circled back to the lighthouse and went to the shops along the way on Duval St. I stopped by the Bourbon Street pub for a quick drink towards noon and wandered back to the ship. It was a lazy port day but at least there was stuff to walk to. Back on the ship I grabbed lunch at the buffet before heading out on the back deck to watch the ship sail off. It was cold, overcast and very windy. As we sailed away I noticed for the second time Kone elevator operators hanging out in the passenger area aft. For those that may not have known, over Christmas this ship had a mishap which resulted in a crew member’s fatality due to faulty elevators. Seeing them re-assured me that the elevators were not safe and I continued to take the stairs the entire cruise. My thoughts go out to the crew member’s family and to the crew on the ship who had to witness that horrific scene (not to the idiot who filmed it and got it aired all over network tele in the USA). I took an opportunity to grab a nap before heading to the dining room for dinner. I had a different waiter tonight and did a table share again. Tonight’s table share was a bit more awkward. I was the only solo at the table and people just weren’t talking. Why share a table if you want to dine in silence or be lovey dovey with someone? I found that a bit rude of the guests but didn’t let it get me down. It was the formal night of the ship. I dressed in a button down shirt and dress pants and was allowed into the dining room with no issue. I was told since it was a short haul cruise that the dress code is not strictly enforced and it wasn’t. The meal itself was disappointing. Tonight was prime rib and it was awful. I asked for it medium and it came medium but it was overcooked on the outside and the toughest piece of rubber meat I’ve had at sea in a good long time – if ever! The food quality was seriously disappointing. The fruit plate was on point though! Blue Sapphire Showtime: MOTOR CITY This was the first big production from the Carnival Ecstasy staff focusing on the sounds of the 60s, 70s and 80s with classic hits such as Dancing in the Street, Respect and Brick House. I watched both the first and second show. Once the show is over they try and get you out on the city (ie. atrium) and then get you to stroll the ship from venue to venue to get you acquainted with them. I returned for the second show as I was bored before retiring for trying the Stripes Nightclub. I lasted one song in there and was done. I went to bed hoping for sun the next day. DAY 3 – Cozumel, Mexico We had a late arrival into the Cozumel in the afternoon so the morning was leisurely. I had breakfast in the main dining room and then went topside to find it not only sunny but warm! I couldn’t get back to the cabin fast enough to get changed into a bathing suit and head topside. I went high up on the deck where the funnel was and grabbed a lounger. I stayed there reading my magazines and watching the ship arrive into Cozumel. As we docked next to an Aida cruise ship, their soot was landing on me so I went in and got some lunch. I decided to head out to the pier and see what was going on, if anything. No excursion was booked, just another lazy day hanging out. The Carnival pier insists on sending you through the bottleneck of the duty free shops. It’s SO annoying as shoppers stop and clog the access ways. There are armed guards who make you stay inside the store. I was beyond annoyed going through it so decided to make the most of the Carnival contrived shopping mall at the end of the pier. I went outside the Puerto Maya entrance and walked a mile south towards downtown Cozumel and the downtown pier NCL uses. I was melting and forgot to grab a water from my cabin before heading out so I headed back. Who wants to dehydrate on vacation? Back inside the port I went to the Fat Tuesdays and sat at the bar looking out at the ship on a swing and got a water and beer. I found myself sitting at the Carnival crew party they were having there. Since we were docked until 10PM, the crew, especially those in areas of the ship closed when the ship were in port were having a grand time with the food and the music and the drinks. Crew always know how to party better than guests – this was no different. I got back on the ship and changed for dinner. So many people were still ashore the dining room was empty so I sat by myself and did some work on the wifi. A nice couple next to me struck up a conversation with me at the two top. I felt bad tonight for the assistant waitress in that section as the head waiter who was nice to me was being a complete jerk to her. She was astute to me still eating when she went back for the desserts and didn’t get mine. I finished eating in her absence and he yelled at her for it. I’m laidback and there was no need for that. I wasn’t waiting that long at all. She handled it well given he wasn’t quiet about it. She deserves a promotion to waitress. Wish I could remember her name! I decided to stop by the Gender Showdown in the Blue Sapphire. It was a pretty weakly attended game show for those who decided not to get drunk while shore-side in Cozumel. The questions were silly but it was something to do. Tonight’s featured entertainment was the pool deck party at 11:15PM. I watched the ship cast off from Cozumel before heading back to the cabin to change quickly for the party. The pool deck party kicked off with the typical line dance songs. The cruise staff seemed amazingly disinterested as it was the Assistant Cruise Director running the show. They literally did the same line dance songs they always did and within 30 minutes were running out the back side of the stage area to their crew area. I have never seen a more disengaged cruise staff than on this ship. They were not Fun but rather seemed drab and just going through the motions. I’m not sure if they’re nearing the end of their contracts or what but they were not fun and not very good at keeping the fun going! I just gave up and went to bed. Fun ships… boring. Day 4 – Sea Day heading for Miami, FL Another grey overcast cool day in store on the Carnival Ecstasy. This morning the main dining room was closed for breakfast only leaving the buffet. So many people partied hard the previous night that it was nearly deserted. That was fine for me! I spent the day reading the remaining magazines I brought with me at the pool deck in a wind sheltered alcove and staring at the Norwegian Pearl which was alongside us and then pulled ahead of us. I did a workout in the ship’s gym which was quite extensive for a ship at sea. During my work out they announced a medical emergency on my deck and on the side I had my cabin on. I hope the person was able to be saved as they had a lot of medical equipment out in the hallway when they opened the fire doors. Later that afternoon while I was getting ready for dinner they had another announcement about something in the fuel separator area of the ship. This sent crew up and down the crew stairs by my room and more announcements could be heard in the crew area. Again the fire doors were closed to my section of the deck and crew were donning fire gear. I poked my head out and the steward told me it was just a drill. I was done with this non-sense as the announcements were still going in the back in the crew area. It made me seriously uneasy at this point. I continued on with my vacation keeping an ear to the PA system for any more announcements. Tonight’s farewell dinner table share was actually the best of the whole voyage. I met several people who were traveling together and decided to try a random share. They all knew each other but they were friendly and talkative. Finally some decent dinner conversation with a ton more fun! Wish I had met these ladies earlier in the cruise. It was a nice dinner but again the food was something else. The baked Alaska was interesting as was the meat dish again. Salt everywhere! I can’t fathom why people might have cardiac issues while sailing on the Fun Ships! After dinner it was time to re-pack the suitcase, leave a stack of clothes for crew welfare, get the documents ready for debark and then head to the theater for one last show time. Blue Sapphire Showtime: THE BRITS A British invasion takes over the main show lounge for the night with hits from the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and many other British icons. Sorry, no Spice Girls here but it was an enjoyable performance. Again they brought everyone out to the atrium after the show to get people engaged and to continue the fun. I went for both shows before heading back and putting out the luggage for the night. I decided to check out the comedy club and stayed for a bit before eventually retiring for the night. Day 5 – Disembark – Miami, FL I had disembark breakfast in the open aft dining room. It was pretty quiet given the ship was in full on announcement mode for the Easy Walk-Off folks to leave with their luggage. I tried to stay in my cabin as long as possible as I was going next door to the Norwegian Pearl and the terminal was not opening until 10AM for new guests. It was raining and cool outside. I vacated the stateroom 30 minutes late and went up to the Promenade deck until they asked the remaining 25 guests who were still on the ship to get off. I was off the ship by 10AM and on my way through customs. If only the embarkation could have been as organized and flowing as the disembarkation, it might have left a better first impression. To sum it all up, this was an experiment to re-try Carnival as my cruise line of choice – Norwegian Cruise Line – is going through a lot of turmoil with a new CEO. I thought it would be nice to go someplace besides the Bahamas for the pre-cruise cruise. Looking at the positives, the crew were great (minus the cruise staff) and very attentive and friendly to me. Stateroom stewards, dining room servers and front desk helpers were all excellent. The production shows are always a good time with the understanding that they’re not Broadway performers but rather cruise ship performers. Were some of the songs not the greatest for their voices, yeah but I can’t fault them because they were clearly having a good time. That’s just about where my praise ends. Carnival’s unusual practice of allowing smoking so prevalent on their Promenade deck and specifically their nightclub led to me not going into it and cost Carnival significant bar revenue losses. I didn’t buy the drink package and I’m thankful I didn’t. It would have been a waste! I live for nightlife and this was an epic fail on all counts by Carnival. Get with the times and fix your smoking policies! I don’t want to smell like an ashtray leaving your club. Also, hire DJs who know who to play songs and get them to play CURRENT songs (cupid shuffle every night?)! The food was another major area of disappointment. This was prison food in both what was offered on the menus (comfort foods?) and what was actually given to guests to eat. It wasn’t palatable. Thank goodness for fruit plates! Lay off the salt Carnival… you’re going to kill people! Also, hire a meat chef who knows how to cook a prime rib! The cruise staff were also a miss. They wanted to get a party going and then constantly sneak out the back hoping no one would notice. To be on a Fun Ship means you’re to have fun. This ship bored me to death. If it wasn’t for the port calls and the day of sunshine in Cozumel and the work I had to do, I might have gone stir crazy on this tub. I guess the experiment failed. If Carnival is the ship used for the charters I take then I have no choice but otherwise, definitely not sailing on the Ecstasy or most likely Carnival as a normal passenger again. Next line to try is MSC. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Were are recent "Empty Nesters" and travel frequently, just never did the cruise thing. Boarding was better than we anticipated and really easy but we sprung for priority boarding - worth the extra $50 for us. Drove to the ... Read More
Were are recent "Empty Nesters" and travel frequently, just never did the cruise thing. Boarding was better than we anticipated and really easy but we sprung for priority boarding - worth the extra $50 for us. Drove to the terminal and it was well marked and easy to navigate. Got a Junior Suite on the Veranda Deck and loved the location, our steward was very polite and attentive. We were pleased with the cleanliness of our cabin. We're foodies and the dining left a LOT to be desired. We chose Any Time Dining because we aren't in for the whole meet and eat with strangers at dinner thing we heard about, and for the most part it worked for us - different couple next to our "two top" every time and most were happy to keep to themselves. The food was average at best, quantity just doesn't make up for quality. Example Shrimp Cocktail was 31-40 size shrimp, soggy and presented in a plastic bowl - no thanks. The last night we paid the extra $20 for a meal upgrade to a surf and turf- should have saved our money. Filet was fatty and undercooked and the tail was small and rubbery. The wait staff was pleasant enough but seemed to be locked into their "system" and didn't appear too happy to deviate from it. Example- our "Headwaiter" wouldn't take a drink order and the bar service was SLOOOOW. Overall we got the impression we were eating dressed up cafeteria food. The Buffet lines on the Lido deck were OK but we try to avoid the "germ and booger" magnets they are with all the unsupervised kids running around. Hand sanitizer stations throughout the ship were a great idea - but I only found one that actually worked! The entertainment we saw was quite good, but the great majority of it was later than our usual bed time ( not the ships fault). Much of the ship seemed "empty" - as we never once saw many of the themed clubs open- again maybe it was because we weren't up at midnight. Loved the library - nice quiet well appointed space. Our "first choice" excursion was cancelled so we had to pick another - no biggie. It was well organized and easy off and back on the ship. Disembark was as easy as embark- carried our own - piece of cake. Overall the experience felt kinda "dated". IDEA - rather than passing out daily activity schedules ( kind of like church bulletins) how about an APP and a shipboard intranet wifi system? Overall a novel experience but we really aren't sure we will do it again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Our trip included our family of 4 including our son and daughter who were 4 and 6 at the time of the cruise. Before the trip began, it didn't start off well. We booked over the phone with Carnival and were told we were going to ... Read More
Our trip included our family of 4 including our son and daughter who were 4 and 6 at the time of the cruise. Before the trip began, it didn't start off well. We booked over the phone with Carnival and were told we were going to receive a $75 shipboard credit. After booking, I checked and we had only received $65. $10 wasn't that big of a deal, but I called to see what had happened. My experience with their customer service went down hill from there as they called me a liar and said no one ever told me I would be getting $75. It took me suggesting they listen to the recording and get back to me, for them to do that. It should have been something they suggested instead of offering no apology and something like, "we're sorry you must have misunderstood." A couple of days later I received a sheepish call from customer service saying they had added the $10 to my account. That said, I think they felt bad, because when we got on board we had a $120 credit. We drove from Central Florida to Miami to get on the ship. The embarkation process was quick. We did not buy the $49 upgrade to get on early. We arrived at 12 noon and pretty much got right on after going through the lines. Overall the food was mediocre. I had one main dish at dinner that I really liked. I think it was a chicken and pasta dish. Otherwise, everything else was either over or under cooked and the variety was not much to shake a stick at. I did try the Pizza Pirate and it was a good thin crust pizza, but you have to hit the timing just right or you'll wait for a while. We were a little worried because less than 1 week prior to our sailing, a crew member died while trying to fix one of the elevators, which we rode on a couple of times. There was no hint of blood or tragedy and the crew was taking it very well. However, I did think the ship was cursed. The first night at about 3 AM, they woke everyone on board because they had a report of a possible man overboard. We had to wake the kids up and go to guest services and swipe our cards. At 8 AM the next morning, they were still searching along with the coast guard, but then stopped. They said everyone was accounted for at that time and we continued to Nassau. I still don't know exactly what happened. However, the crew compensated for the disruption and were not phased. They even extended the time in Nassau so everyone could explore. This is the beauty of being so close to Miami. The kids enjoyed their time in the kids club and we enjoyed our time alone. Motly we went to dinner and the comedy shows. The cabin was big enough and my daughter liked sleeping on the upper bunk. The only downside was the location. It was in the aft of the ship and I could feel all the vibrations of the engines as well as the motion. I usually don't get sea sick, but I was worried I might on this cruise. Maybe I'm just getting older. Next time I will try to book mid-ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
As a prior passenger commented, we were also somewhat concerned about the incident that took place, a week before our cruise, whereby an elevator repair man tragically lost his life. As if that wasn't enough, we also had to contend ... Read More
As a prior passenger commented, we were also somewhat concerned about the incident that took place, a week before our cruise, whereby an elevator repair man tragically lost his life. As if that wasn't enough, we also had to contend with the false man overboard report in the middle of the night. However, these two incidences were clearly out of the control of Carnival Cruise Lines. We had purchased the faster to the fun pass and literally jumped ahead of quite a few passengers waiting in a Disney type line, well worth it. In addition we also purchased the Cheers Service, for the four of us, also worth it. If you are not a drinker, do not purchase this. We experienced excellent customer service and, overall, the food was fresh and tasty. We had the pleasure of listening to the group Magic Tractor for two nights, they did an amazing job. My only caveat was the cleanliness of the sink, I literally had to clean it myself to my satisfaction but that's me being picky. We had a great time at the Bahamas and would definitely return on this ship. 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
Cabin was extremely clean as was the rest of the ship. Staff was very attentive to making sure all needs were being met. Staff was all around ship cleaning. We were asked if we wanted room cleaned in morning or evening which is a plus for ... Read More
Cabin was extremely clean as was the rest of the ship. Staff was very attentive to making sure all needs were being met. Staff was all around ship cleaning. We were asked if we wanted room cleaned in morning or evening which is a plus for late risers. Food was above cruising standards. Room service was always on point with hot food. The best feature is the new debarkation process. passengers with carry ons now leave the ship first using the elevators that are reserved by designation of floor being called. The only complaint here is that passengers exiting from the right cabin side should have the elevators on the right side held for them and same with left side. People were online from the right side and passengers from the left side were cutting in line to get to elevators. other than that, it was a much quicker process of leaving the ship. My only concern here is about the tragic death of an employee on the 27th of December that has not yet been reported in the news or on Carnivals blog. Perhaps they are waiting to notify family. Satisfied carnival cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My children and I decided to take the cruise during the Christmas holiday in place of more clothes, video games, tech things they already had. Boarding the ship was okay, lots of places to "check in" with each station doing ... Read More
My children and I decided to take the cruise during the Christmas holiday in place of more clothes, video games, tech things they already had. Boarding the ship was okay, lots of places to "check in" with each station doing something different. But not too bad. The wait to actually get on the boat was not long either. Our room wasn't quite ready yet so we were ushered to the Lido deck for the set sail party. Music, food, drinks!! It was great fun! Our room was small but that should be expected - you are on a boat after all. Closet space was good. Remember to bring a small surge protector as there is only one outlet. The kids, 21, 18, and 13 all enjoyed the 24 hour grill by the pool A LOT! And I enjoyed that I wasn't "nickel and dimed" to death asking for money for the snacks, drinks, et. My 13 year old did the Circle C Club and they always has plenty of things to do for them -- even a dodge ball game! He had a great time. The food in the dining room was super! The wait staff was super! Our room Steward was AMAZING!! The only bad thing was that my daughter got sea sick (we had rough weather during the night the whole cruise) and getting that under control not so easy. The comedy shows were laugh out loud funny. Everything really was well worth the money. We all want to go back and soon! (maybe not my daughter though.............) Great vacation!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
First of f let me say that I sometimes wonder what cruise some of these reviewers have been on. One review positive 4-5 stars and one review 1 star for the same cruise! Knowing that the Ecstasy is an older ship gave me pause, and you ... Read More
First of f let me say that I sometimes wonder what cruise some of these reviewers have been on. One review positive 4-5 stars and one review 1 star for the same cruise! Knowing that the Ecstasy is an older ship gave me pause, and you could see the age in her but it was well maintained by the ships staff. Embarkation was flawless as I purchased Faster to the Fun so I got on early (12:00) and was able to place my carry on's in my room right away and visit the guest services in the priority line to place my gift cards on my sign & sail account. After that I had plenty of time to explore the ship and have lunch. I cruise as a single and I would like to see them have something for us. I was able to be placed at a group table 2 nights in the AnyTime dining room, but it would be nice if they had a meet & greet in one of the lounges as well. I'm sure had I gone to the nightclub that wouldn't have been an issue but I found it was mostly for the 20-40 age group. My roll call was devoid of fellow cruisers ( only 4 ) probably due to the fact that it was a short cruise. The food was as expected in both the MDR and the Lido. The Mongolian Wok for lunch was very popular as was the omelette station for breakfast so arrive early to avoid the long lines. The Maitre'd in the MDR was very personable as were all of his staff. If you want the most exceptional dining experience I suggest trying the Chef's Table ($75pp). It is very limited in seating ( only 14 guests) but the 8 course (with wine) was awesome. Champagne & appetizers start you off along with a tour of the galley. It will give you a better appreciation of how volume meals can be prepared and not lack in quality. You also get to see how their signature warm chocolate melting cake is prepared ( they even give you the recipe) The whole experience lasts around 3 1/2 hours. I had been to both Key West & Cozumel before. I rented a 7 speed bike and did my own tour of Key West. We were only in port till 1:00 so it wasn't feasible to do much. The same went for Cozumel as we arrived in port late and the longer excursions couldn't be made. Mr. Sancho's closes at 5 so people who went and got there at 2:30 were refunded their money. Debarcation was a little slow due to customs port clearance. I parked ar Premier Cruise Parking and had little wait time after leaving the building for our van. Total cost was only $35 ( including the shuttle both ways) for the 5 days I parked there. It was valet parking and they call in your key tag number prior to leaving the port so your car is waiting up fron for you when you arrive! Overall a good value for the money Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I had an overall enjoyable time on this cruise despite minor annoyances from my cruise companions. I believe this type of cruise ship is perfect for those wanting an inexpensive and brief vacation. I would not recommend it for longer ... Read More
I had an overall enjoyable time on this cruise despite minor annoyances from my cruise companions. I believe this type of cruise ship is perfect for those wanting an inexpensive and brief vacation. I would not recommend it for longer itineraries since it does not have as many perks as other ships. As a person who THOROUGHLY prepares for everything, I reads reviews about this cruise and for the most part I don't understand some of the complaints. I honestly may account them to noncompliance or failure to prepare. The ladies I cruised with ran into some issues because they were unaware (their own fault). Ship information: PREPARE and understand what to expect. This is a fantasy class ship and pretty much everything you need to know is online. Just read it. Embarkation/Disembarkation: If you drive then leave the day before so you won't get caught in traffic. We had time to eat at Ihop once we arrived around 6AM. Alcohol can not be purchased before 7AM in case you forgot to bring a bottle for the cruise. Traffic becomes wild after 7:30AM. I had FTFF and would not purchase it for Miami again. Just arrive to the port around 11AM and you're good. We also took our time for disembarkation and ate breakfast. Watch the video the night before and simply follow instructions. Port & Shore excursions: We did not do any excursions. I can only comment on the shopping and sight seeing aspect. I would like to see Key West for a longer time frame and at night. I get the feeling it would be festive. In Cozumel, If you truly have no intention of buying anything, then it is okay to turn down offers to visit a store. Otherwise, you may end up spending money you didn't want to or feeling pressured/guilty. One vendor waited for us outside a restaurant with an item we inquired about early. It was slightly annoying and creepy but I appreciated the effort and bought it. Also this is a good port to buy alcohol to take home. BTW wear sneakers to both ports. Dining: I've never eaten so much food in a week and I don't see how considering there weren't that many options. The question wasn't whether or not if we were hungry but if we could eat and we did! We were either eating, getting ready to eat, or just finishing eating. My favorite menu items were the scallops and risotto, crabcakes, custom made omelettes, MDR ice cream, meatloaf, baked alaska, huevos rancheros, and lido deck chicken tenders. MDR breakfast service is slow and not worth the wait unless it's Seaday brunch. Go to Lido deck. Activities: We often passed out on Serenity deck due to the comfortable nature of the lounge chairs. The comedy shows were our primary method of entertainment. I knew one of the comedians from a previous cruise and he was funnier then. One of the best things to consider is booking your next cruise on board. You will get OBC. I came with a list of options I wanted to try and caught an unexpected sale. Service: Each staff and service member we encountered was pleasant and sociable. Kudos to Miguel who is a drink server in the MDR and nightclub. Also to Taku who helped me book my next cruise. Be mindful that having a positive disposition and grateful mindset can make a world of difference during your travels. Happy sailing :) Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I don't even know where to begin. First let me start by saying, typically we only cruise on royal caribbean (one of the most amazing cruise lines) but we decided to give carnival a shot. I can say 100% they blew there shot 110%. Very ... Read More
I don't even know where to begin. First let me start by saying, typically we only cruise on royal caribbean (one of the most amazing cruise lines) but we decided to give carnival a shot. I can say 100% they blew there shot 110%. Very outdated. Disgustingly horrific customer service. Every staff member on board was rude and and absolutely no knowledge of anything we asked and barely spoke good english. There was food in the hallways from room service and it took them at least 1 day and a half to remove it. We had bugs, mold & mildew in our shower. I myself can understand a mistake or 2 but once we discovered dirty/used gloves on our bed from the state room attendant cleaning toilets showers and anything else that was the end of our belief in ever cruising with carnival again. Then the next day we discovered the state room attendant broke my wife $300.00 sunglasses. Their excuses was "we provide safes in each room, you guys should have used it". So i guess we aren't allowed to set our personal belongings down anywhere safely on carnival cruise lines. The on our last night we discovered what looked to be either old dried up blood or poop on our sheets. So basically the bottom line is, if your looking for cruises to attend, trust me when i tell you to stay far far away from carnival. If you have never cruised before you may not know the difference between good and bad cruise line service. So you need to take other peoples word for it in order to avoid making the mistake. It may seem like they have better prices than other cruise lines but with carnival your going to get much less than you bargain for. Look into royal caribbean cruise and you will be much happier with the results of your vacation. Carnival has absolutely not one single benefit on royal caribbean. Even a man had a heart attack and past away while cruising and it took medical response a very long time to show up. I know because my mother was the one performing cpr on the guy before they showed up. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This cruise was very inexpensive so our expectations were a little lower than they normally would be. But the staff overall offered service that was above and beyond. We were traveling with our two small children. They enjoyed the ... Read More
This cruise was very inexpensive so our expectations were a little lower than they normally would be. But the staff overall offered service that was above and beyond. We were traveling with our two small children. They enjoyed the kids' club and the various activities around the boat. We loved the Dr. Seuss breakfast (additional $5/per person, but so worth it). The pools got crowded at times and the whirlpools were often filled with 14-16 kids (with a bather load of 8). The buffet food was alright, but the dining room meals were very good. The night time entertainment was not exceptional, but rather good. And the night owls baby sitting service was reasonably priced. Our biggest complaints were about the other passengers, but as I said, the cruise was very inexpensive and that drew a certain crowd. We did upgrade to the Faster to the Fun so we had priority boarding and disembarkation and priority guest services. It was worth the small price for us as we had to be back for work on Monday morning. 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
This was our third cruise with Carnival. Embarkation wasn't too bad. Once we got on board we went to eat lunch. We were a bit disppointed that there was no Guy's Burger on this ship but the buffet was very good (Please note ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Carnival. Embarkation wasn't too bad. Once we got on board we went to eat lunch. We were a bit disppointed that there was no Guy's Burger on this ship but the buffet was very good (Please note that I'm not too picky about food.) The trouble started when we got to the room. There was only one bed for 3 of us. We complained and were offered a cot (they call it a trundle bed) which we adamantly refused so they gave us a roll away bed. Apparently because the Ecstasy is a small ship, their Ocean View rooms don't have the sofa that turns to a twin bed that other Carnival ships have. Had we been told this when we booked, we would have booked two rooms. We were jumping over each other to get around the room. The dining room staff was great as always and the food was delicious. The entertainment was great. We love the shows and this time there was an extra show for Christmas which included all the children. We didn't go on any shore excursions this time. We just walked around both ports and did some shopping. All said, we had a good time. On disembarkation my husband was detained because of his insulin needles which was very upsetting and embarassing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
A group of us sailed Nov. 30 @ Miami on the Ecstacy. Priority boarding turned out to be slower than those in our group that didn't have priority. Seems like everyone at Miami were brand new employees so that's ok. We ... Read More
A group of us sailed Nov. 30 @ Miami on the Ecstacy. Priority boarding turned out to be slower than those in our group that didn't have priority. Seems like everyone at Miami were brand new employees so that's ok. We weren't in a hurry anyway. On board, as usual, the beds orientation choice was not right but our room steward took care of it quickly. Our Jr. suite wasn't very clean when we arrived, but later in the evening it was clean and looking good. Every day, no coffee. All coffee pots empty or "cleaning out of service" but no coffee is something we can live with. However, we've never experienced outages of coffee, lemonade, and tea on any of the 12 other Carnival cruises we've been on. The empty drink issue was never addressed in a timely manner either. Comedy club is one of the few stand-outs on this cruise. Very impressed with the comedy shows. Not much else to brag about. This cruise was mediocre at best. Our group included past Carnival guests who were also unpleasantly surprised by this particular cruise. Disembarkation was slow. We were directed to go through customs, then retrieve our luggage and leave. We learned that after those incorrect directions we were supposed to get our luggage first, then head to customs. Once past customs we were not allowed entry to get out bags so we waited a few hours for Carnival to find them for us. By then the ship was empty and we were the last to leave. It's sad after all the cruises we've experienced with Carnival that this cruise was such a disappointment. We cruise at least once a year and now we're booking with Royal Carribean for spring 2016 and Norweigan for fall 2016. It's got to be better and if not, it's time to find another way to spend vacations. . Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
The title is what my wife said to me yesterday as we were leaving tea time. A little background: she is a platinum and her parents diamonds, me a first time cruiser. When her family heard that we were going on a cruise, they were so ... Read More
The title is what my wife said to me yesterday as we were leaving tea time. A little background: she is a platinum and her parents diamonds, me a first time cruiser. When her family heard that we were going on a cruise, they were so excited. Told me all the wonderful things and how Carnival would pamper us. And repeatedly the Ecstasy missed the mark. They told us how you would leave your room and it would be cleaned up, how you would get a mint on your pillow each night. No more; one cleaning a day and no mint. I was told how great the room service was. Nope, we had no menu and room service argued with me when I told them. Refused to give us a menu and I had to go to guest services to see one. Most of the food items had been removed and a whole page of them were now charged for like the chicken tenders and the pizza. And elegant night, with the lobster tail? HAH!!!!! NOW they charge you $20 a tail (and it was not that way when her parents went a little over a month ago). Food was hit and miss (last night's food was spot on while elegant EVERYTHING was overcooked). The last thing she wanted me to experience was tea time. We got there, it had been moved from the piano bar to the restaurant because they had rented the space for a private function. So no music, nothing special. It was just like going to lunch or dinner. For someone not used to cruising, it was nice but nothing special. Honestly as a platinum IHG member, I was treated nicer at hotels than on the ship. Even to the point that I counted "your welcomes" for all the times I said thank you and for the whole trip it was able to be counted on one hand. I did not feel welcome and although I enjoyed cruising, my view of Carnival from this ship is nothing special. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was a last minute family cruise after Thanksgiving. It consisted of my husband, myself, and our three kids (10, 9, and 6). I had been on one Carnival cruise 7 years ago as a girls trip and then a Disney cruise 3 years go with the ... Read More
This was a last minute family cruise after Thanksgiving. It consisted of my husband, myself, and our three kids (10, 9, and 6). I had been on one Carnival cruise 7 years ago as a girls trip and then a Disney cruise 3 years go with the family. I was a bit hesitant to take a 3 day cruise on Carnival. 1) I thought it might feel to short and 2) after having been on Disney my expectations might not be met. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun we all had. In Miami, this was the only time I felt the Faster to Fun Pass everyone talks about might be useful. We arrived at port at around 2 p.m. and parked across the street with only backpacks for each of us. We walked into the port and had our initial view of passports scanned probably within 5 minutes. Then went up the stairs only to endure a line that lasted about 30 minutes to get through. Checking in once at the desk took less than 10 minutes, maybe 5 as we had all our paperwork ready. They sent us to the right which when you go this way you can skip around the "picture" area and head right on board. We opted to do that. Once on the ship we went straight to our room which was an inside (again last minute cruise) for the five of us on the Riviera Deck (R90). If you want to say close quarters it was close quarters. We had the two singles pushed together and then one bunk over that (first night hit my head twice on that to bunk) and another on the other side of the wall with a small bed on the floor. There was no space. But this room worked well for us as we were only ever in it to get ready for dinner or go to bed. And we took stairs for everything. I think we wondered upstairs to get something to eat on the Lido deck. I must say food was not the greatest on this ship or at least in my opinion. For this lunch I opted for the salad and fresh fruit. My kids did pizza and then maybe a few other things along the way. Shortly after we headed to our Muster Drill which was painless even though they treat you like your dumb. Our was in the Blue Sapphire so we had nice seats and then headed up to our area once done with that. Finally, head to the waterworks which my kids enjoyed for a good hour before we had to get ready for dinner. We did not watch the sail away party or anything of that nature. Dinner we talked to the Maitre D and ended up sitting next to our friends who had a daughter 11 and son 4. Felt bad for the "few" people around us as most were couples and they had to endure five kids who did rather well, but not as peaceful as I am sure some would have liked. Every night the staff in the main dining room which I think ours was the song (which ever is "aft" of the ship which first night is very hard to find as you are better taking the room hallways and going to aft stairs to get up to the dining room). Took a little to figure that out. Dinner was okay, but has everyone mentions the desert "chocolate cake" is delicious. After dinner kids went into the clubs for an hour while the adults went to get drinks. The four year old went into the "penguins" room, my 6 year old was I think in the "sharks" and the 9 - 11 years old were often in the conference room which is I think one down (or up) from the dining room. I think for the younger group especially penguins kids seemed to love the activities. The older not so much. I would tend to agree it wasn't as good of a kids club as I recall. And one woman working the front desk was older and a real stickler of anything called "fun". I often tried to figure out how she was put into this area as she didn't seem a good match for a kids area. But over the three nights they survived. The next morning before getting off the ship in the Bahamas they did the Dr. Seuss Parade. Definitely suited more for the younger crowd, but we did it none the less. The downside is they go from the Theater past the Casino and all the smoke into the main lobby area. I know it is a parade, but seems like maybe better suited on Lido deck or away from the Casino. Again, pretty neat though they now have this on Carnival. We had been to Atlantis this past summer for a week so it wasn't on my kids agenda to do again plus I didn't want to pay what it would cost for a one day trip for the five of us. I do recommend doing the Comfort Suites as I think that would be the most cost effective way to see Atlantis if you were doing a cruise. We ended up off the ship close to 11. Simple process. My husband was out to watch the Michigan/OSU game so we left him a long the way. I think he watched in some Pirate Bar that had a big screen TV. I with our friends walked over to where Junkanoo Beach entrance (off the ship to the right around the Hyatt, maybe 10 minute walk) next to Fat Tuesdays. This was very adequate for what we were looking for. Beach/Sun. I think about an hour in I walked over to Fat Tuesdays and ordered the normal chicken fingers, fries, and sandwich for kids. I think came to like $50 for what amounted to not much, but common in Nassau. If anyone wanted a good vibe atmosphere with the water and breeze I would recommend Fat Tuesdays. Had I not been with my kids I would have sat their with the music and a drinks in hand. I thought the locals selling items coming around were not pushy at all. Kids played in the water or sand for a good 2.5 hours. Afterwards we walked back to the ship. One note, when you are heading back to the ship make sure you have your sailcard as well as a picture ID. My friend did not at port authority almost gave her a hard time. But because I had my passport we got on. something they forget to tell you. The kids played up at the main pool and played miniature golf the rest of the afternoon as well as ate a bit more. We went to dinner at 6 and I thought tonight's meal was better than the night before. I had shrimp is what I recall and it was good. This night was also "formal" night if you so chose. We did, but only dressed up for dinner and went back and changed. Also this night was The Hasbro Game show. I had talked this up to my kids and my daughter was really excited about it. She was like we have to get their early. Probably showed up about 5 minutes before start and ended up with one of the big booths in the back of the theater along with the three older kids in the back row of the main seating area. They start of picking the teams by asking questions of some sort. I didn't think we would get anyone on stage, but my daughter being crazy and jumping up and down was the 2nd one picked. Then my younger son was the last one picked for that same team. Their game was the connect 4 basketball. It really looked like they weren't going to win, but did. For the losing team you get a little handheld Hasbro game so anyone on stage walks away a winner. Then they pick new teams and play Simon. This was funny to watch as their one always one color not in the right order. At the end the winning teams go and pick a card like you would on family game night worth a value. You then put your card into the ATM like machine and whom ever has the highest told wins a giftcard to Hasbro for a nice chunk of change. My daughter ended winning the giftcard. She was so excited as were we. Again unexpected. I would really say if you want on stage for this game jump up and down and on the furniture. The next day is sea day. I think we did mostly the same with pools and miniature golf. Around 3 sent the kids to the clubs and sat in the Serenity Deck which was where I think most of the single college kids looking to hook up hung out. But my husband and I enjoyed the comfy chairs and no kids for a good hour. That night we opted for dinner at the Lido deck and the kids did the dinner with the kids club. You show-up at 6 in the Lido deck and sign them in and they bring them food. It was nice. We then went to the lobby and listened to a musician. She was phenomenal. Went and got the kids to attend the family comedy show. This was cute as it was "yo mama" jokes and there were 15 kids that opted to go on stage with the comedian to tell jokes. My daughter did it again. It really was a cute funny show. Afterwards we put them all back in the clubs and listened to two more comedians before calling it a night. They weren't happy by this point as I guess the clubs were boring. However, the two younger kids enjoyed theirs. We carried off our bags for this trip. At about 6:45 am did a quick breakfast upstairs then met our friends on the 6th floor (they had a suite) as their floor offered to get off the ship quicker than our floor. Well we timed it perfectly to go to the aft stairs and up to the 7th floor and walked right off at 7:30 when they cleared us to disembark. That couldn't have worked out better. Getting out of Miami and back to our home we hit traffic, but again this worked out well. Overall, I thought this was not the party ship I read so much about. It could have been the fact of the holiday, but we enjoyed ourselves and my kids a week later are talking about doing another. I would recommend to anyone for a quick getaway as it felt longer than 2.5 days. Some notes: Mongolian is the best place to eat on ship, but is only open 12:30 - 3:30 and you want to be in line before 12:30 or go closer to when it is about to close. The water slides are fun as is the miniature golf. If you want to do this cheap go for the inside room. We didn't feel this trip the balcony would have mattered much to us as we were not in our room much. And again in Nassau you really can do it cheap if you so choose. I do recommend getting up the morning they leave Nassau and watch the boat leave. Beautiful views! Overall a great family getaway. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
The people at the port are rude. My mom had issues withe lost documents, they held her in a room giving her hopes that she was able to embark, one minute before they told us she couldn't embark, lots of confusion and stress created ... Read More
The people at the port are rude. My mom had issues withe lost documents, they held her in a room giving her hopes that she was able to embark, one minute before they told us she couldn't embark, lots of confusion and stress created amongst the children as they gave us different directions all the time. Most of the workers do not speak English and are very rude. They do not know how to treat tourist. Staff is not on the same page when it comes to customer service. 1.5 on customer service Bathrooms smell like urine, they do not use good cleaners. The food was very influence by Indian spices which made my stomach sick. 2.5 rating the food. I was very disappointed about my vacation after a year of planning for this disaster. They have stand up comedy it was ok, live bands were very good, photographers are intimidating, and the coffee from the shop was good and good price. The only feedback is for our waitress who was Philippine and he really made feel like guest. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was my first cruise and I was terrified about the trip, I have read the other reviews and I didn't experience anything other than fun and entertainment. Maybe they picked the wrong time of year to cruise. I'm a very picky ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I was terrified about the trip, I have read the other reviews and I didn't experience anything other than fun and entertainment. Maybe they picked the wrong time of year to cruise. I'm a very picky woman somewhat hard to please and I get upset easily about things that's not up to my standards. I can smell foul odors a mile away, I don't like filth and I don't do dirt. So my experience on the Ecstasy was very delightful and fun the bed was comfortable four of us, and we all are plus women shared a cabin and me and my friend had more than enough space for our clothes and shoes (we like to dress) it was clean and odor less, the food was tasty well prepared and the dishes and utensils was clean me and my kids always ask for hot water to sterilized the utensils I didn't see a need for a cup of hot water on the ship, it was lit through out the ship. As for kids , no I wouldn't recommend it if you don't want your kids to hear profanity or see half dressed women, my baby is 24 yrs old so it wouldn't bother me and as one reviewer said Disney would be better for kids but you must remember anywhere there's alcohol and adults it will be somethings that conservative people will have a problem with. Also everybody is different , different cultures, life styles and so much more. So my advice to you guys that had a bad experience OH WEll, you get what you pay for and remember things don't always go as planned. Now for as Bahamas the tour; if I wanted to see the ghetto and poor neighborhoods I would have drove the streets of some spots in Miami. I was very satisfied with the cruise ship , its décor, entertainment, food, cabins, cleanliness, and its staff. The karaoke was the only thing I wasn't satisfied with they need more songs, artist, updated music and system. And I enjoyed the show that was put on for the kids. The gym was nice and equipped, modern day and the Spa was on Point! The teaching sessions was good towel animals and facials, plus bingo was awesome. As I stated I was overwhelmed and all my fears erased after reaching my destination and embarkation safe and sound!! Read Less
Sail Date November 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

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