3 Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Caribbean - Western from Miami

Just got off of the Carnival Ecstasy today. This was my third cruise and my second Carnival Cruise. I was nervous because my other experience with Carnival was the Splendor which is one of the newer/larger ships. The Ecstasy is one of ... Read More
Just got off of the Carnival Ecstasy today. This was my third cruise and my second Carnival Cruise. I was nervous because my other experience with Carnival was the Splendor which is one of the newer/larger ships. The Ecstasy is one of the older, smaller ships in the fleet. Embarkation: I was nervous because we were flying from NYC and going to Miami. I was always uncertain about getting the connection from the airport to the port. We signed up for the bus transportation that Carnival provides @ !6.50 per person and it was worth every penny. Cruise representatives are near the baggage claim to guide you through and you get your sign and sail card, room assignment, etc. before you even get on the ship. Once arriving to the terminal, same thing, always someone to tell you where to go. We had "Faster To the Fun" so we got to board a little after 11:30am and went right to the Lido Deck for lunch. Cruise: The cruise was fine. All the people complaining about the food or condition of the ship really need to lighten up. It's an older ship but it is clean and the wear and tear is not that bad. The deck chairs are in good shape, the tiles aren't falling off places, everything inside is air conditioned, etc. Because it was only a 4 night cruise I didn't feel we needed a balcony so we had a window room. The bathroom is small and not pristine but everything worked. Cabin service was good too. If you couldn't find anything to eat, it's your own fault. The only thing I didn't like the entire time was a salmon at the restaurant one night, a little overcooked/dry. The only other complaint was that the pizza counter must only have one oven. It's a popular place and kids tend to frequent it. Sometimes you had to wait 10-15 min. But we only did that once so no big deal. We never waited more than 5-7 minutes to get through the buffet and there was always seating. The staff always greeted you with a "hello" or "good morning" and the wait staff made sure they used your names. Since it was summer, there were a lot of families and extended families. One day we sat by the pool and it was crowded but we tended to stay in the adult only Serenity Area so it wasn't an issue. Entertainment: We are an older couple 55 & 60 so we aren't night owls. We saw one show that the vocals were hard to hear (maybe the miking a little off?), but the costuming was good and the actors really had a lot of energy. Broadway caliber? No, but come on, it's a cruise ship. For free it was entertaining. Saw two comedians during the "family" shows and they were very funny. We did two trivia contests and they were fun entertainment for 1/2 hour. Shore: My husband had a sinus infection so we didn't want to do any underwater excursions. In Key West we did the Trolly/Bus tour. You could hop off and then get on at a later time. Our guide, Louis was a riot so it made the tour a lot of fun. It was a good way to get an overview of Key West and you could get off to stay at one of the sites if you wished. For a 90 minute tour it was worth the $. In Cozumel we signed up for the Salsa, Salsa and Margarita but it was canceled the night before due to lack of interest. We were disappointed but ended up going to a private island on a twister boat that was fast and fun! The island had great food and unlimited drinks and it was beautiful. Disembarkation: Again we had "Faster to the Fun" so we got off fast, got our luggage, went through immigration and got on the bus to the airport. Again, organized and easy. I know not everyone likes Carnival, but it really was fine for a quick four night trip. I wouldn't have a problem doing it again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Overall the trip was a great opportunity to relax and get away from the grind of daily life although, if not for the excellent shore excursions, I'd have probably gotten off the ship in Key West and rented a car back to Miami. With ... Read More
Overall the trip was a great opportunity to relax and get away from the grind of daily life although, if not for the excellent shore excursions, I'd have probably gotten off the ship in Key West and rented a car back to Miami. With that said, the experience was worth trying again but, I will have to try another cruise line after the experience I had aboard the Carnival Ecstasy. For starters. I wanted to surprise my wife and get an upgraded room that had a window so that we could see the scenery from the room, we have saved for this trip as a 15th anniversary present for ourselves. Well, this turned out to be a total waste of our hard earned money! The room was just as small as the cheaper rooms and we had to endure not having a decent shower the entire cruise. We made multiple complaints to the dedicated service number (extra cost) only to have nothing done the entire trip. The first day the water was scalding hot and a man did come to the room to "fix" it. After he left the water was not hot any longer, in fact, there wasn't any hot water the rest of the trip. A nice cold shower definitely killed any chances of romance. We would have continued to complain, but it was obvious they didn't seem to care or they would have fixed it the two times we called to complain. Secondly the rooms air system moaned and whined the entire time which bordered on enraging and would have made watching TV impossible if there were more than four channels that weren't about how much fun you were supposed to be able to have on board. The cabins were dusty and there was constantly an odor of sewage in the room that extended throughout many open areas of the ship. Pros for the room: I want to give credit where credit is due, the attendants for the cabin was wonderful and courteous. It seemed like every time we left the attendant came in and straightened the room or turned down the bed and my wife absolutely loved the surprise they left on the bed every night (not gonna ruin that for any first timers). Food Well, the food was frankly horrible. It seemed like everything I found to eat aboard the ship was either overcooked or plain inedible. The evening dinners in the dining areas where most people seemed to wait a long time for a table was no better than the main casual dining room. In fact, after the second night my wife and I elected to just eat in there to avoid the crowds. The dining atmosphere was more like spending four days in an amusement park than relaxing. Everywhere you went there was a crowd of people or a long line. The line for the grill was often very long because it was the only thing really worth eating on the entire ship. And I guess it was poor timing but, it seemed to always be closed when I wanted to eat there. The drinks on board are insanely high. There is simply no reason you should have to spend 8-12 dollars on a drink that really is subpar to what you'll find during your excursions on land for a third of the price. I spent more on four beers than I do a 24 pack in a store and even for bar prices this was unacceptable. I'm just glad I am not a drinker. Even for my wife who didn't drink, anything onboard that was worth drinking cost extra money (coke, other soft drinks, bottled water ($5)(and no it wasn't special water). They do have a special package for alcoholic drinks but, if you are sharing a room with a non-drinking adult you have to buy the alcoholic drink package for them as well (rather they use it or not). They leave one bottle of water in the room for you that you are charged for because they know your gonna need it after your throat dries out in the middle of the night in that dusty room. Dining Pros: The chocolate melting cake was absolutely sinful and well proportioned. The hamburgers and the rest of the Grill Bar was about the only highlights of the food (not saying much). It's bad when the hot dogs with the stale buns are better than the lobster and shrimp. Embarkation and Debarkation The Faster to the Fun upgrade was worth every penny. After arriving in Miami, FL we were on the boat in no time once boarding began and at the end of the trip, thankfully, we were off the ship and headed home in the car in less than 15 minutes. Overall: I enjoyed the Cruising concept when it comes to vacationing and I am not turned off to the idea of another cruise, I just have a bad first impression of the Carnival Cruise Lines after experiencing the horrible accommodations my wife and I experienced aboard the Carnival Ecstasy. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Hubby & I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary (sans children) on the Carnival Ecstasy. Albeit one of the older ships in the fleet, we were impressed with the accommodations and service we received. I had prearranged for ... Read More
Hubby & I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary (sans children) on the Carnival Ecstasy. Albeit one of the older ships in the fleet, we were impressed with the accommodations and service we received. I had prearranged for cake/cookies to be delivered via the Fun Shops online store & all were delivered as promised when we got to our cabin. Embarkation (Miami, FL): We stayed at the Epic Hotel the night before; cab fare thru the tunnel from downtown Miami was horrendous & I wouldn't be surprised if the driver took the scenic route to get to the port! Arrived around 10:30 am & we breezed through check-in without incident. We had also purchased the Faster to the Fun (FTTF) so as to board quicker, which seemed to work out great. The terminal was quite busy but I was relieved that our wait wasn't too long (maybe 15-20 mins after getting our Sail & Sign cards issued. Got right on board & started walking around the ship. Ports of call: Key West: LOVED Key West! Very quaint town, conch trains all around, we hoofed it on foot & found some great little gems (key lime pie bakeries, shops, etc.). Only bad part was that we arrived at 7 am & had to leave port by 1:30 pm, so really didn't give us a lot of time given that most places opened around 10 am. It's a good thing we were back to the port by 11:30 am to get back on board because once we were situated on the pool deck with a cocktail, we were shocked to see the line of returning passengers to get back on board extended way past the pier! We can only say we're blessed for having good timing! Cozumel: We decided to bite the bullet & book a Waverunner excursion in Cozumel. Got off the ship & followed signs to the excursion; a guide took us to a transportation port where we boarded a taxi & proceeded to the resort. The cab driver was just downright scary because he kept beeping his horn with impatience. Arrived at the resort & suited up, watched a video & got on the waverunner. I tipped it over once in the ocean & hubby was pretty mad at me, but we got back on & took it easy on the choppy water. They also offered snorkeling but we were pretty tired (and almost sunburned) so we opted to go back to the ship (transportation was provided). Shopped around near the port & got back on the ship. It was fun but not sure hubby will do that again! :) Food/Dining: Overall the food was really good, but we were less than thrilled to switch to the "anytime dining" option; NEVER AGAIN! It was so disorganized. On elegant night, I went to the spa for an up-do then we both dressed in our formal attire. Upon arrival to the dining room, we told the maitre' D that it was our wedding anniversary & asked if we could have a private table. After waiting about 15-20 mins, a hostess walked us to a large round table & said that we would be dining with others, to which I replied "no, it is our anniversary and we are dining alone tonight". I returned to the maitre' D & told him what she had done. We waited another 5 mins and he took us to a private window table. The Anytime Dining option NEVER worked to our advantage, so we won't be doing that anymore. Lido deck food was about the same as other Carnival cruises we had been on; nothing spectacular but never anything bad. Midnight pizza was always a treat but sometimes the wait was really long. I wasn't thrilled with the WiFi/Internet packages but was happy to see that we got signal as we left Cozumel & part of the day at sea on the way back. Disembarkation: We had an 11:30 am flight out of Miami & due to our Faster to the Fun package we purchased, we had Zone 1 Priority Disembarkation, which went pretty smoothly. We purchased transfers back to the airport which worked out well. Always sad for a cruise to end but looking forward to our next voyage on the Breeze in Jan 2016! Read Less
Sail Date January 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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