20 Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Caribbean - Western from Miami

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
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
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
The evaluation of the Carnival Ecstasy completely depends upon your perspective. No, it does not compare to some of the nicer ships or more upscale lines. But, if you consider the price, it is a very reasonable value for the price. ... Read More
The evaluation of the Carnival Ecstasy completely depends upon your perspective. No, it does not compare to some of the nicer ships or more upscale lines. But, if you consider the price, it is a very reasonable value for the price. Embarkation - Very smooth. No problem at all Panoarama Grill - WAY too crowded. Not laid out well at all. Mongolain Wok always had a line backed up of 20+ people. Carnival needs to rethink this area to allow for better flow of people. The wok food was good....the rest was just average. Main Dining Room - Outstanding. The food was very good. The wait staff, especially our waiter, Roderick was awesome. The only problem is they are so busy that they would neglect getting our drinks. Carnival should learn from other lines and have someone designated for drinks. Excursions - The process of getting off the ship is painful. Too many people and not enough staff. You will lose 30-45 minutes just waiting. Entertainment - The singers/dancers were great...but on a 5 day cruise, they repeated the night 2 shows on night 4. Come on.....Carnival can do better than a repeat. both comedians on board were very good. Waterworks - Our older children were frustrated with the big yellow slide. They got stuck in in as did many other children. We were concerned on the small kiddie slide. Our 3 year old was almost overrun by big kids diving down the middle of the slides. The staff member just stared off into the ocean. Kids programs - Actual activites were average to good....but our kids enjoyed being around all of the other kids. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Overall we had a great time on the Carnival Ecstasy...had lots of fun in Key West and Cozumel. The ship is a bit outdated. But that being said if it is your first cruise and have no other ships to compare it to you will enjoy it. I had ... Read More
Overall we had a great time on the Carnival Ecstasy...had lots of fun in Key West and Cozumel. The ship is a bit outdated. But that being said if it is your first cruise and have no other ships to compare it to you will enjoy it. I had to purchase the internet to print my plane tickets on the way home....the internet does not work at all ...don't purchase it. I spoke to so many passengers that had problems. I thought the food in the dinning rooms was excellent. However there were sometimes long wait for the food and sometimes its was served cold. Its almost like they are understaffed. Most employees were really friendly but we did run into a couple that I was shocked how rude they were. I had never seem anything like it on my prior cruise. I think my friends have bigger pools in their backyard than the carnival ecstasy. The pool was packed the whole time and basically unusable. There are water slides on the back of the ship. But like I said overall we had a good time. For the price we paid it was worth it. We flew into Miami and used the carnival check in at airport. That was awesome as soon as we got to ship we bypassed all line and boarded immediately. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Overall- My wife and I decided to take our 2 oldest grandchildren, ages 10 & 6, on their first cruise. For the most part, we are very easy going, just enjoy things as they happen, and can make the best out of any situation. I believe ... Read More
Overall- My wife and I decided to take our 2 oldest grandchildren, ages 10 & 6, on their first cruise. For the most part, we are very easy going, just enjoy things as they happen, and can make the best out of any situation. I believe the same way on a cruise. If you go into the cruise with a great attitude expecting you are going to have a good time, you will. Does the particular boat represent the newest and nicest gadgets and amenities in cruising? No. But it is still well-maintained, although showing some signs of age since it is the oldest boat in the Carnival fleet. Yes, you see the differences between this cruise and a high-end cruise just in level of care and the small touches by the staff. But overall, as what I was expecting for the money paid, I cannot be unhappy at all with our 5 day cruise. It was a great time with the grandchildren. Cabin- We were in cabin R-166 (Riviera Deck 4) with an oceanview room, category 6B. It was mid-ship, but was located directly above the gangway used for disembarkation at ports. It tended to be a little noisy from that aspect, but not at bad hours of the day obviously. Dining- We dined 2 times in the main dining room. The first was on debarkation night and then again on formal night. On our day in Cozumel, we were off the boat later in the afternoon, and our shore excursion included food, so by the time we got back to the boat, we weren’t ready to eat. It was just a late night pizza run before bedtime. The selections were great in the dining room. The maître d provided us with a copy of the week’s menus in advance so we could plan accordingly with the grandchildren which meals might have the most appeal. Also, as a word of warning, regarding the 24 hour pizza. This is just one of those little things you tend to notice. The pizza is available 24 hours apparently if it is convenient for them to make it. Two separate times, we tried to get pizza and were told to come back in 10 minutes, and when you did, it was generally 10 more minutes. Apparently, there was not much multi-tasking going on. They would sit there and make up a bunch of pizzas in advance and then cook them. And as long as they were making the pizzas, there was nothing coming out of the oven. You would think that perhaps one staff member could be making pizzas and the other one cooking so there was a steady flow of pizza coming out for guests. That was frustrating and it seemed like such a simple thing that could be fixed, but the Lido deck seemed to be not on top of guest service. Embarkation- Embarkation was pretty easy. We used off-site parking and were dropped at the port. We paid about $7 a day for off-site parking. It was farther away than the last time I sailed out of Miami, but I can’t really complain. The drop-off and pick-up was smooth and timely, and although about 6 miles away, it worked out okay. There was very little line when we arrived at 11:00 am and we had completed all check in process and assigned to wait for further boarding instructions by 11:15. Our zone was called from the waiting room about 11:45 and we immediately boarded. We had one lost piece of luggage where the tag came loose and we had to finally claim it at Guest Services around 6:00 pm that night. Entertainment- With the 2 grandchildren, we didn’t do too many of our normal entertainment options. We visited one night with the PG-rated Comedy show with them. We also visited the Motown show by the Carnival singers and dancers and the kids did seem to enjoy both of them. We also went to the Hasbro Game Show, which is available on this boat. I thought this would be something the kids would really gravitate towards and really was what I expected to be the highlight of the onboard activities for them. However, it only happened 1 night on our cruise, and honestly, it is more geared for adults than children. Some of the promotions and videos I had seen featured families participating and I thought that would be awesome. We got there early in hopes of getting our family picked to participate. However, I got picked to be on stage by virtue of answering a Trivial Pursuit question correctly. So then, I’m on a team with 3 other adult strangers from the boat. It was empty for me personally, because I wanted to participate with my family. There are 2 really “games” they do and the second one is strictly for adults because they use props that are heavy and kids can’t hold them up. So, although it was fun, it was a bit of letdown from what I thought it was going to be because of lack of kids being able to participate in the games themselves. Recreation- One of the reasons we booked this cruise was because it at least had a version of the Water Works Park aboard. It is not the full blown version like on some of the newer ships, but it did have one large slide, and then several other smaller slides. We felt like that would be perfect for the ages of our grandchildren. The slides were indeed a winner. Now having said, I would use a word of caution. There were several mornings when the slides were supposed to be open at 9:00 am, but didn’t open until 9:45 as they were cleaning the decks. I was a little disappointed because it would seem to me Carnival should plan the appropriate cleaning needed in such a way to honor the opening time. Also, be forewarned that when the winds reach a certain level, the park closes for safety concerns. On our last day aboard, which was a sea day, the water park was closed until nearly 2:30 pm. Use your time wisely. When it’s open and you can slide, make hay while the sun shines! Lines are much shorter early in the day. We tried to zig when others zagged---get up early and slide while others slept in. We also tended to try and slide later in the afternoon when others left to go get ready for dinner. Even at its worst in terms of lines, the large twister slide was never longer than maybe a 10 minute wait. Water shoes are a plus—because bare feet, slick concrete, and lots of wet areas mean a lot of kids took nasty spills. Service- After 10 cruises, we finally decided to try room service for the first time. That was probably because of having a 10 year old and a 6 year old and they were fascinated with the concept. We used room service twice. Food was delivered within 10 minutes both times. They had a few items available that weren’t available elsewhere also. As I said earlier, the overall service wasn’t stellar. It was average. Needs were met, tables were cleaned, but there was never a sense of urgency in any of the crew movements. Shore Excursions- Despite having some issues with the Carnival staff regarding shore excursions prior to our sailing, everything was fine once we got going. We did a hop-on; hop-off trolley tour in Key West. Our grandchildren were a little bored with that trolley ride. Children under 12 are free of charge, so as you purchase the tickets via Carnival, you do not have to choose the option to purchase tickets for those 12 and under although it is listed as an option to buy. Value for Money- Although we hail from Orlando, our choice was limited on departures from Port Canaveral, which would have been ideal. The cruises there were either going to be short trips to the Bahamas, or a week-long cruise on the most expensive boats. So, going to Miami allowed us to go with a 5 day cruise which we felt was appropriate in length of time for them. We gave up some of the nicer amenities, but the cruise was affordable to us, and that’s my bottom line---I don’t want to pay for more than I need, but I want to have certain things that I expect. If money weren’t an object, we would have gone with a newer boat and more frills, but I felt the value for what I got on the Ecstasy was very good. Debarkation- Unfortunately, our debarkation zone was one of the last to be called. We finally were allowed to leave around 10:30 am. The one thing we discovered in the process of going through Customs was a challenge when traveling with grandchildren. Upon boarding, Carnival asked for birth certificates or passports and we accommodated that. However, once you leave the boat, US Customs decided they wanted to interrogate our family because we were not carrying any type of notarized document from the parents saying we were allowed to be traveling with the kids. There was nothing I could find in the FAQ’s that would have prevented this. If known about, it’s a very simple thing to provide and have ready. However, Carnival didn’t require that for us to take the kids out of the country, but then Customs wanted it upon bringing the kids back into the country. Sort of odd. They asked our grandkids specific questions about their parents before letting them continue with us. Again, it would have been very easy to have had ready if only we had known, but nowhere did I see this as a possibility. So, grandparents traveling with grandkids may want to take notice of this. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Everything about this cruise was rock bottom. I've cruised carnival before as well as Norwegian and royal Caribbean . The staff seem bitter and resentful. I spoke to two staff member who both told me their contracts were up soon ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was rock bottom. I've cruised carnival before as well as Norwegian and royal Caribbean . The staff seem bitter and resentful. I spoke to two staff member who both told me their contracts were up soon and they couldn't wait to get off the boat. Per tipping on this boat is a huge mistake. Service overall was rude and disrespectful. And I'm talking about simple things like a second cup of coffee in the dinning room. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My adult daughter, 3 grandchildren ages 10, 13 and 16, along with myself decided to do a Spring Break cruise for 4 nights. Carnival Ecstacy is a very good 4 night. The ship is smaller than some of the new ships but very easy to get around. ... Read More
My adult daughter, 3 grandchildren ages 10, 13 and 16, along with myself decided to do a Spring Break cruise for 4 nights. Carnival Ecstacy is a very good 4 night. The ship is smaller than some of the new ships but very easy to get around. Plenty of activities and entertainment. Very good food in the dining rooms as well as the buffets. Service was excellent. This was my third time on Ecstacy and it looked as good now as it did the first time in 1998. Love the beds and linens! So comfy! Our cabins were kept immaculate by our cabin steward. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We found a great last-minute price on the 4 night Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy. We had never cruised with Carnival before. Our only previous cruise was a Transatlantic on Royal Caribbean. We were pleased with our experience on ... Read More
We found a great last-minute price on the 4 night Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy. We had never cruised with Carnival before. Our only previous cruise was a Transatlantic on Royal Caribbean. We were pleased with our experience on Carnival. The embarkation process ran smoothly. I had taken the time to submit all of our paper work and payment information before hand. The agent who checked us in was polite, but not friendly. We checked in about 1:00 pm and made our way on board. We found our cabin on the Riviera deck (deck 4). It was an ocean view cabin with a good-sized window toward the front of the ship. The room was clean and our room steward was very helpful and very friendly. We had 5 of us in a the cabin. My wife and I shared the twin beds pushed together into a king-size. Our children slept in the pull out bunks and the trundle bed. When the room was made up for the night it was quite tight. We had to be sure to be careful not to hit our heads on the bunks. It was adequate, but not luxurious. The bathroom was a normal size for a cruise and worked well for our needs. The storage for clothes and things in the drawers and closets accommodated our things well. There was a television (with poor picture quality, but that was OK because we were not on the cruise to watch TV) and a small desk in the room. The two primary places we ate our meals were in the Panorama Bar and Grill on the Lido deck (10) and our assigned dining room the Wind Song. The food on the Lido deck was fine. It was a buffet with a few other options (sometimes hamburgers or Mongolian stir fry). The food quality was average, but there was plenty to choose from. Our children loved the ice cream available all the time. The food in the Wind Song was good, but not great. The lobster we had one night was quite good. My kids loved the chocolate melting cake for dessert. I would recommend one avoid the pumpkin pie. It was rubbery and not flavorful. I can honestly say it was the worst pumpkin pie I have ever had. However, I had baked alaska one evening and it was quite good. The service in the dining room was very good. Our head waiter Alberto was very good and friendly. So was our waiter Mauricio. The only bad service we had was on the final day in the Pizza Pirate on the Lido deck. The woman running it seemed overwhelmed. She could not keep up with the demand and looked like she was frustrated by it. As far as activities, the pool area was often quite crowded and had a definite party atmosphere. The demographics on the cruise skewed toward young families and young adults. Those two groups often want different things from a cruise. Many of the young adults seemed interested in the party atmosphere (loud music, lots of alcohol, and mingling in hot tubs). As a family we were more interested in children's activities and family activities. Because of this we spent time at the miniature golf course (that was fun) and Waterworks (water slides and activities). The kids loved the water slides. The children's programs (Camp Carnival) were very well organized and had many programs the kids were interested in. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The kids especially enjoyed the games (Uno, etc.) and the demonstrations (magic shows and towel animal folding instructions). Our teenager did not seem very interested in the teen activities. The teen activities were more geared toward a party atmosphere than the kids activities. He is not a party person, he was far more content to sit and read and relax or ride the slides at Waterworks. We did not attend many of the shows. We did attend the Hasbro Game Show. It was fun and our children enjoyed it. We sat in upper level of the Blue Sapphire Theater so we did not get picked to participate (we knew that would be the case when we picked the seats). We had two ports of call, Key West and Cozumel, Mexico. We enjoyed both ports. We only took an excursion in Cozumel. The Ecstasy itself is an older ship in the Carnival fleet and does not have all of the amenities of its others ships. It is a little worn in places, however it is well-kept and clean. We did not have any complaints about the ship especially at the bargain price we paid for the cruise. We enjoyed our time on the cruise and would definitely cruise with Carnival again.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Sitting here reading all the reviews, Not sure why people think it was so bad. This was our first cruise. We had no problems with the boarding process. Our room was clean and with 5 of us it was just fine. We only were in the room to ... Read More
Sitting here reading all the reviews, Not sure why people think it was so bad. This was our first cruise. We had no problems with the boarding process. Our room was clean and with 5 of us it was just fine. We only were in the room to basically sleep and shower. And even then we were never all their at the same time. we had a king bed with two uppers and a cot. We enjoyed getting up early and eating breakfast on the Lido deck. Then we moved up to the deck with the slides. After our youngest son woke up and joined us we would transfer down to the pool area. One complaint i do have though is that the pool was way to small. It was always filled with adults and their beverages. My son is 10 and he loves to swim. I told him to just go ahead in the pool. If the adults lurking in the pool get mad at you for splashing, then splash some more! Key West was a waste of time. We weren't even their long enough to enjoy any beaches. And after 2 hours of walking around we decided to just go back to the boat. It was very hot that day. So we just went back on board and changed into our swimwear and ate lunch then hit the deck. We decided not to purchase any excursions from Carnival for Cozumel. Way to expensive for a family of 5. We took our chances and found many taxi companies out front. We hooked up with a couple we met on board from Venezuela. Luckily they also spoke Spanish. We asked Playa Palancar the cab driver what was the best free beach he could take us to. He told us about Playa Palancar. For $100 for 7 of us we got the taxi to and from, free snorkeling, and free kayak. Our driver also stayed with us their. The only bad thing is the ship doesn't dock till 1:30 and all the private beaches close at 5. But honestly we were so hot and done with the sun by 5 pm anyways. Later that night on the ship they had a Mexican Party. It was fun.A Lot of music and a free Mexican buffet at pm. We had our two 18 years olds with us and our 10 year old. They had the best time of their lives. We cannot wait to do it again The food on the other hand was horrible. What a big disappointment. The Buffets were awful. Nothing tasted right. We only went to dining room once because it was not good either. Breakfast buffet was the only good meal we had. We ate hamburgers and hot-dogs everyday for lunch. We also chose to take the automatic daily tipping off. Honestly the only real service we used was a room steward. He was awesome. We tipped him cash on our last day.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Let's start by saying the ship is very nice. I like the smaller ships. We were a little disappointed that the water slides were not open at first on Monday the day we left port. They opened the pool and all the drunks were in there ... Read More
Let's start by saying the ship is very nice. I like the smaller ships. We were a little disappointed that the water slides were not open at first on Monday the day we left port. They opened the pool and all the drunks were in there and the kids could not get in to enjoy it. On Tuesday, the water slides were open and the kids had a blast. All day on the slides and in Camp Carnival. They got to build their own stuffed animals for a fee. The enjoyed that. By Wednesday, the day we arrived in Cozumel, the slides were closed again for the remainder of the cruise. Not sure why. So, no pool (because of the drunks) or slides to play on. We did go into Cozumel and had a great time. On Thursday, we went to Key West and came back to the boat hoping to play on the slides again, but still closed. The pool had less people but the kids did not enjoy it much. The food was just okay. I've been on other cruises that the food was outstanding. I was hoping for better food but was not impressed at all. It was very bland. My son ate chicken tenders every night because he did not like it either. Breakfast and lunch were spent up at the buffet because at least we could find something we liked. Bertram was our waiter in the 'Anytime' dining at night. He was outstanding. He went above and beyond our expectations. I think the next cruise we go on will be RC or Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
I will preface this by saying we have been on 3 Royal Caribbean cruises prior to this Carnival cruise so we are not new to this. Our kids decided they wanted to try the "Fun Ships" this year for our family vacation so we agreed ... Read More
I will preface this by saying we have been on 3 Royal Caribbean cruises prior to this Carnival cruise so we are not new to this. Our kids decided they wanted to try the "Fun Ships" this year for our family vacation so we agreed and booked the Carnival Ecstasy out of Miami with stops in Key West and Cozumel and a relaxing day at sea. I did this same cruise on Royal Caribbean in the past. My first encounter with Carnival was not good and it really was the prelude to how poorly the processes are with this company as well as poor training of staff from the booking agents to onboard crew. I know this is an older ship, built in 1991 and I really would not complain about that because they did a fair job updating the ship a few years ago and it looks pretty well maintained. I will also say that the housekeeping staff as well as the dinner staff in the Wind Song did a great job. These people were the highlights of the crew. Boarding went as expected, with a quick trip through security and the standard wait to see the agent at the counter to get checked in. Once on board, we went to lunch on the Lido deck. I have to say the buffet offering was not impressive and boring at best. My real complaint would be the muster drill which took nearly an hour. There was no organization and it was ridiculous to keep passengers standing for that long waiting for them to complete the drill when RCCL does it in half the time. The crew really seemed like the process wasn't clear as to how to organize the passengers and get them counted for the drill. Our experience in the Wind Song dining room was fair. The staff was very friendly, called us all by name and service was as expected. The food at dinner was ok, but nothing I can say blew my mind or exceeded my expectations. I would not recommend the prime rib either, it would have been better in a sandwich than an entree. I would recommend the chocolate melting cake for desert, I could eat that daily (but I do love chocolate and ice cream). When it was time to get off the ship for Cozumel, I could not believe we waited between 45 minutes and an hour in a line down the hallway AFTER the captain said the ship was cleared. Again, it appears the processes they have in place were not very good or the crew had no idea how to execute the processes. We never had an issue getting off RCCL ships in a timely manner. The photographers were friendly but the sales staff was not helpful or friendly. They had a sign above the sales desk that stated "Ask us about packages", so we did. And they looked dazed and confused and said they only sell the photos individually. We pointed to the sign behind them and asked what it was about then and they had no clue. Processes, people, training.... fail. I mentioned the bar staff earlier and that was hit or miss. On our relaxing day at sea, we settled into two lounge chairs just above the pool bar on the open deck to get some sun. We immediately ordered drinks and the waiter disappeared for half an hour. We had two other guys come by in while we were waiting that asked if we needed to order. After 20 minutes, we told one of them we stll had not received our drinks and he said he would look for our waiter. Another guy came by a few minutes later and he had not seen our waiter either. At 30 minutes, we finally got our first drinks. I would have walked down to the bar and ordered myself if I knew he was going to be that long. We also attended the comedy show the last night at sea. We ordered drinks there and our first round was on time and good. During the show another waiter came around and asked if we needed more drinks and we ordered one more. We were drinking sunbursts and the waiter did not ask what it was which I thought was peculiar since he had not waited on us all night. When he delivererd the drink, I noticed what appeared to be salt around the rim. I checked and sure enough it was a margarita. When the waiter finally came back around, I told him he brought the wrong drink and assumed he would take it and bring back the correct one. He left the margarita and said he would take it off our tab. He never returned with the correct drink and when I checked our bill, we were still charged for that drink. My assessment is he was either lazy and incompetent, or dishonest. Whichever the case, it was just another fail for Carnival. Last, we decided to take advantage of self debarkation so we could be first off the ship. The Captain did not come on to start calling out decks to clear for self debarkation and it turned into another cluster just like Cozumel. We were somewhere between 50-60 minutes to exit the ship. We heard the Captain address the passengers 2-3 times the entire trip. On RCCL, the Captains typically address the passengers 2-3 times a day. I am not sure if the people truly don't care, or if the processes and training is that bad. What Carnival has done is confirm that our cruises in the future will remain with RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This is a tough call.  I've been on several cruises with the family. This cruise falls squarely in the category of, ÿou get what you pay for"."No matter what cruise line you choose, one thing is for certain, you cannot ... Read More
This is a tough call.  I've been on several cruises with the family. This cruise falls squarely in the category of, ÿou get what you pay for"."No matter what cruise line you choose, one thing is for certain, you cannot mess up a cruise to Key West and Cozumel but leave it to Carnival. For the money you are getting a bargain. This is a full 5 day 1,000 mile round trip of the western caribbean.Absolutely beautiful weather and the destinations are everything you would expect them to be. It's not about the destination but the journey. the Carnival Ecstasy has the worst food service i've ever had the displeasure of enduring. Not one seating or buffet opened on time during the 5 days. this resulted in very long lines for whatever scraps were left over on the buffet.seating was first come first serve for breakfast and lunch. so now it's time for the "get what you pay for"part. Breakfast & Lunch was like going to Walmart for Chinese buffet. I'm all about people watching, but i'm pretty sure some of these folk used their government issued EBT card to finance this cruise. The entire staff was wonderful, very cheerful and helpful.The cabins were maintained automatically. My recommendation to Carnival is to fire the Food & beverage manager. My recommendation to you is to put away a couple extra bucks for one of Carnivals larger ships or just cruise with Disney. The Ecstasy is a city bus or sub way with no air conditioning along with all the characters would expect to see. not a fun trip But the destinations were great!   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This cruise fell so short in so many ways. The itinerary was a mess. The arrival for half a day in Key West then back on the boat to arrive in Cozumel midday the next day. We booked an excursion on that day but had to hurry back for the ... Read More
This cruise fell so short in so many ways. The itinerary was a mess. The arrival for half a day in Key West then back on the boat to arrive in Cozumel midday the next day. We booked an excursion on that day but had to hurry back for the concert and weren't able to get out again and enjoy the port of Cozumel because the ship set sail again that night to be at sea the whole next day. The dress code was not enforced so people were arriving in the dining room in beach shorts. Screaming thru the hallways looking for their friend was loud and boisterous yet no one stopped them. The overall feel of the cruise was that of low budget. The staff had a sprinkling of great people with a majority of them just dumb smiles. I traveled on Royal Carribean for not much more money and receive much better service. The ship is old and the layout is confusiing. It's like pacman to navigate,up one elevator and over then down that elevator thru the hall and up again...ridiculous. The nightlife was weak. our cabin was always cleaned by the housekeeping..fresh towesl turn down service etc. you could not see out the window because it was dirty and cloudy, the bathroom floor got wet when you showered because their was a shower curtain that didn't hold the water in and their is no counter space to put your toiletries. Some times a wiff of sewerage, I don't know what that was all about. I won't go on carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We were surprised to find the Carnival Ecstasy in such good condition given its age. We sailed in January on the Carnival Pride, and it was getting run down despite having been recently remodeled. It was apparent that the Ecstasy crew ... Read More
We were surprised to find the Carnival Ecstasy in such good condition given its age. We sailed in January on the Carnival Pride, and it was getting run down despite having been recently remodeled. It was apparent that the Ecstasy crew takes much more pride in their ship than does the crew of the Pride. Food was FAR better on Ecstasy as well. We speculated that the food may taste better on Ecstasy because the water on the ship was so much better. The tap water on the Pride is nearly undrinkable -- it tastes so bad you'll rush to brush your teeth. Ecstasy tap water tastes pretty good, actually. I have children who attended Circle C and Club o2. They had a great time, but we were disappointed that activities were so often scheduled during the "family" type events (like the magician, Hasbro game show, family stand up comedy, etc), which caused our kids to have to choose between spending time with us or their new friends. Guess who won :( If you're looking for a place to dump off your kids, the activities on board will suit that purpose, but if you're planning on taking a "family vacation", Ecstasy may not be the ship for you. Activities for the kids included daily scavenger hunts (guess they ran out of ideas), games, attendance at Motor City for the older kids, and t shirt decorating. There is only one pool on Ecstasy, but that didn't seem to be a problem. The Serenity deck was a bit of a joke -- too small and no fun hammocks or sun chairs like on Pride. It was plain Ecstasy's Serenity deck was added as an afterthought after the fire years ago, so we just ignored it. There is a good bit of outdoor eating available in the buffet area on Ecstasy, so this is a big improvement over Pride which has none. REO Speedwagon was the Carnival Live concert on this cruise. Those dudes are older than my father, but they can still jam. Enjoyed the concert. Did not enjoy Motor City. Grinding, pelvic thrusts, and faux stripping just aren't my thing. The singing and dancers were better than we've had on many cruises. It's unfortunate they had to make it so dirty. I was especially uncomfortable when Club O2 staff brought in the 15-17 year olds and sat them on the front row where they were looking up skirts as dancers hitched their skirts up and mere feet away from the pelvic thrusting. It was like being a strip club. We actually had to remove our son when the female stripping started, because who knew when it was going to stop -- our Pride cruise had dancers in thongs and pasties. Thank God the stripping stopped at thong with a nightie over the top, but still. It was outrageously inappropriate for kids. The water slide on this ship is very, very slow. The side-by-side slides are actually more fun. We enjoyed shuffle board even though it was in a main walk way. Wish they would have had another giant chess board. Even though this ship is small, there was plenty of ways to entertain ourselves, and we all had a very good time. We traveled during our spring break. Our break is at the end of the season, and though there was lots of drinking, it didn't bother us nondrinkers. It did provide some amusement for us when some college co-eds were so plastered at muster they thought we were already in Mexico. We laughed even harder when at they end of the muster one said, "Hey, high five for safety!" and then they missed their high five. Carnival does have more of a party vibe than other lines (Royal Caribbean is our favorite), but if you're worried that drinking, gambling, might affect your children, we found our cruise on Ecstasy was fine for our family. Key West and snorkeling at Port Zach were particularly fun. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
I was hestiant to book Carnival due to the reviews, but was on a tight budget. We've sailed Disney before but decided to take a chance on Carnival. Embarkation/Disembarkation - all went well. Get a passport - you get the short line. ... Read More
I was hestiant to book Carnival due to the reviews, but was on a tight budget. We've sailed Disney before but decided to take a chance on Carnival. Embarkation/Disembarkation - all went well. Get a passport - you get the short line. :o) Crew - the crew was great - from room service/housekeeping to dining room/buffets and general staff. Cabin - floor was wet and the room smelled bad. Housekeeping dried the floor and sprayed the room, which helped. Lots of closet space but very little shelving and hooks. One king bed and two bunks. You can't sit up in bed due to the bunk over the head of the bed. Interior rooms get very dark (except for crack under door) - no dimmer switch or clock in the room. Don't forget to bring your hair dryer! Bathroom OK, rip in flooring over a soft spot. Two other parties sailed with us - one said their room had a big crack in the wall. The other room was next to the elevator and they could hear it "ping" all the time, but got used to it. Both were "sideways" interior rooms for 2 people - better layout in these rooms. Dining - plentiful and pretty good, but some items were bland. I agree with an earlier review - the chocolate melting cake is great! Lots of fresh fruits and a great variety of salads if you want to eat healthier. Yummy rolls at dinner. Bubble card - not worth it. The soda isn't fountain drinks - you get the leftover soda from a can used to make a mixed drink at the bar. The kids said the soda was often flat. Save your money and drink the free juices, tea, lemonade, and water. Entertainment - many times we found ourselves with nothing to do. The shows were only at night and we couldn't make the first one since we had late dining, and usually too tired or just getting out of dinner when the second one started. Staggered times would be better. Lots of presentations to get you to buy, buy, buy. We did a few activities but really found entertainment to be lacking. Magic show was good, towel theater was cute, marriage show was funny, trivia games were fun - but we really wanted some "shows." Pool - very small saltwater pool, and two hot tubs always overflowing with little kids. Serenity hot tubs were full of drinking adults. Not much fun there either if you don't want to be wasted in the hot tub. If you do, you're all set. Gym - looked good and stayed pretty busy. Good daily deals offered by the spa. Circle "C" (12-14 years old) - one small room. My kids liked the Disney youth clubs and were pretty disappointed with the activities for Carnival youth. They went once and never went back. Cozumel - the dock is the furthest away from the city center, so you need to rent a car or take a cab to get there. We did some shopping right at the port, had a margarita, and headed back to the ship. Overall, an OK cruise. Not the best we've had, but we tried to just enjoy being on vacation. If we sail Carnival again, we'll try a newer ship and research the activities/shows more before we book. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
It was a family affair, husband and I were persuaded by son, daughter-in-law and 15-year old grandson to accompany them for our first ever cruise. We travel often, worldwide, using air miles and carry-on luggage, making our own ... Read More
It was a family affair, husband and I were persuaded by son, daughter-in-law and 15-year old grandson to accompany them for our first ever cruise. We travel often, worldwide, using air miles and carry-on luggage, making our own itineraries, so cruising is not something we had ever contemplated. Surprise!!! My husband loved the spectacle of watching a ship full of frolicking (and staggering and vomiting, etc.) Spring Breakers; that was his favorite entertainment. The live music was good most nights, and the food was not bad. Breakfast pastries were not great, but the sourdough dinner rolls were outstanding. Liked best: lobster, salmon, crabcakes, lunch buffet French themed. Never even sampled pizza (we're picky) or Mongolian grill. Coffee was good, and was especially pleased that they have real butter and real half-and-half. I am immediately turned off by margarine (although they had that as an option). Had one massage (courtesy of my daughter-in-law) and found it uninspiring; masseuse from Thailand seemed mentally challenged and more interested in pushing products. Later they double charged my daughter-in-law's account which necessitated an irritatingly long wait in a line for correction at end of trip. We had a very nice cabin, clean and clean-smelling, with a wide oceanview window. I had been apprehensive after reading reviews of bad smells, mildew, engine noise, etc. That was certainly not the case with our cabin, even though there were some late night noises from the exuberant Spring Breakers. I was up watching TV (a nice, unanticipated bonus) while husband slept soundly. Cabin steward Tom was a joy - remembered our names and tidied up discreetly. I fail to see the charm of towel animals, but they were a curiosity more than a nuisance. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was my DS and I second time on the Ecstasy in 2 years. She is a great ship and the crew is fabulous! My son just turned 12 in March and was very excited to be in Circle C. He had an amazing time. Nemo, the leader was great and ... Read More
This was my DS and I second time on the Ecstasy in 2 years. She is a great ship and the crew is fabulous! My son just turned 12 in March and was very excited to be in Circle C. He had an amazing time. Nemo, the leader was great and enthusiastic the whole time. On our sea day, which was Day 4, I didn't see my Son from Noon until midnight that night. The club was closed, however, for dinner, but I let him enjoy supper with his friends. Embarkation was a breeze. My Dad has a walking cane, and was given a wheelchair, so it turns out that we were the 1st ones to board the ship! We were on by 11am. We waited for the buffets to open and grabbed lunch. Food was good as normal. We did Anytime Dining and never had a wait longer than 5 minutes. This was only because I requested a window table. Food was great and so was the service. We did Key West and Cozumel. In Key West, we just hung around and shopped and checked out the local pubs. Back on ship by noon. However, that afternoon, the pool was drained and closed. Never did find out why, wasn't all that happy as it was really hot, but just kept taking the showers out on the deck to cool off. In Cozumel, we had a group of us go to Mr. Sanchos for the all-inclusive deal. Was a perfect day! Drinks were flowing and food was aplenty. Some beautiful shots of the sunset since we were there so late! On ship, all the entertainers were amazing. Saw both shows, Motor City and the Brits. Didn't care too much for the Brits, but Motor City was great, had audience participation and even carried out into the atrium. That was a lot of fun! Piano Bar singer Hailey was fantastic. Great persona with the crowd and a nice voice. Comedians were funny as well! Really enjoyed Kim Harrison! Cabin steward we had Dony and was great. Had a full ice bucket 2x per day and made the loveliest towel animals! Room was always clean and well maintained. Debarkation was no problem at all. We were in Zone 10 and were off the ship by 10am. It was nice to just hang around and not rush on the last day. We had an afternoon flight out of Miami, so no big rush. All in all, great cruise, great staff and would totally do it again!!   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
My wife and I just returned from a 4 night escape abord the Carnival Ecstasy. While certainly a bit of a senior among the Carnival fleet, this old girl is still in great shape thanks largely in part to the loving care of her able crew. She ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from a 4 night escape abord the Carnival Ecstasy. While certainly a bit of a senior among the Carnival fleet, this old girl is still in great shape thanks largely in part to the loving care of her able crew. She is shined from stem to stern on a daily basis and the team who call her home take very good care to keep her in tip top shape. Yes she lacks some of the bells and whistles of the new Uber Modern Mega Ships but in my humble opinion she holds more character. The entertainment staff, as is Carnival's calling, do an awesome job to keep one and all busy while not in port. The food services team do their best and you can always find something to eat that will hit the spot. With the FunShip 2.0 updates there is a great Serenity area at the stern of the ship for some quieter moments, a fun waterslide area that kids from 2 - 82 delight in on a warm and sunny day as well as a wonderful spa. This was my second sailing aboard Ecstacy, in fact I cut my cruise teeth on Ecstacy way back when she was "State of the Art". It was a wonderful reunion and one that I would not hesitate to repeat once more. Back to the basics but.....a comfortable King Bed with 6 great pillows. 2 Fold down bunks to be had but it would make the cabin pretty tight. Good storage with 2 closets to hang your clothes and lost of other storage. Very functional bath with a large shower and great water pressure. The one really nice thing is regardless of the time of day, if you want to nap the room is DARK! Drop a towel on the floor at bottom of the door if you don't want that bit of light from under it. If you are looking for posh, over the top, big bold and flashy this is not your ship. There are MANY that fit that bill very well. If you are looking for a good time, at a very reasonable rate, with a crew that wants nothing more than to make you happy then this is a very good bet. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
My wife and I have been on 6 previous cruises (5 Carnival, 1 Royal Caribbean), but an 11 year hiatus finally ended with this trip to Key West/Cozumel. We took our 10 yr old granddaughter, her first, but now its the only way she wants to ... Read More
My wife and I have been on 6 previous cruises (5 Carnival, 1 Royal Caribbean), but an 11 year hiatus finally ended with this trip to Key West/Cozumel. We took our 10 yr old granddaughter, her first, but now its the only way she wants to travel. Best investment=Faster to the Fun. We registered at 10:40AM and were on board with luggage at our room (ready) at 11:25, first beverages by the pool at 11:45. Well worth the $50. Walking to the kids slide area, our granddaughter stopped dead in her tracks, started running and screaming..literally, another girl from her class at school was on board! She had no idea. My wife said, "Well, we'll be by the pool and see you Friday morning". Made the trip even better. Carnival still does it right. Great staff, clean cabin and public spaces, but the food at the buffet was between good/average. Biggest problem was that nothing seemed hot, just barely warm, regardless if you were there when they opened or not. Only 1 dinner in the main dining room and it was very good. Attempted to sign our granddaughter for some kids programs but never got passed the staff member in charge that day. He must have been their only choice, as he was simply rude and you could tell he did not want this assignment. We just said maybe later and left. Great Motown show and surprised at our luck at the slots, nearly $300 in our favor. Key West was nice, but the newer shops (to us) at the dock were very pricey. Walk another couple blocks to Duval St for the established stores and much better prices. Cozumel was rainy, but we managed to walk a few blocks away from the dock shops, again, those places were very pricey and similar merchandise for 1/2 the price out on the street shops. All in all it was a great trip and we will not hesitate to use Carnival, or this ship, again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
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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