58 Miami to Caribbean - Western 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
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
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
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
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 our first cruise and it was a chartered cruise so I know that some of our experience would be different than some cruises insofar as the entertainment because that was included in the chartered package so I won't count that. ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it was a chartered cruise so I know that some of our experience would be different than some cruises insofar as the entertainment because that was included in the chartered package so I won't count that. We had a balcony room (E102) on deck 7 and although the room wasn't huge, it had ample space. There were actually two hanging closets, a desk/bureau with four small drawers and another closet with shelves and a safe. I brought extra hangers including pants hangers because that wasn't provided. The balcony was at the very end so that was good because we didn't have people on both sides of us. In fact, we only saw one other passenger using the balcony when we were outside. I did bring a long vinyl shoe holder to hold all of our sundries, hair brushes, dryer, etc. and that freed up a lot of space. I wish I had brought a soap dish with suction cups for the shower to hold our bottles of soap and shampoo because there was no place to rest those bottles. They give you that but I prefer to bring my own. Our steward (Roy) couldn't have been nicer. He immediately learned our names and used them whenever he saw us. Our room was cleaned whenever we wanted it done but we never needed room service so I can't comment on that. There were more than enough places to see shows and entertainment throughout the ship. The placement of our room was mid-ship so there wasn't too much rolling but there was often vibration. There were ample bars and the drinks were good. When it came to the food, well the good news was that I didn't blow my diet. Of course the only reason for that was because the food wasn't very good. In fact, for the most part, especially for dinner, it was pretty awful. There were many places to get food but none of it was good. The least bad thing we ate was pizza and the only reason for that was that by comparison the pizza wasn't bad. Normally their pizza, while freshly made, would not have been considered good. My only good meal was one where I paid more and got a surf and turf selection. Our server, Nino, however was great. The disembarkation process went very smoothly. We took a 3.25 tour of Cozumel to see the ruins at San Gervasio which were the smallest of the Mayan ruins but our tour guide, Denisse, was very good. Since we live in S. Florida we didn't bother getting off the boat in Key West for a too-short stop. We would probably take another cruise but NOT on Carnival but that's mostly because of the food. I thought the ship was fine despite many of the bad reviews I read. I'm sure there are newer, more glamorous cruise ships, but it was the bad food that ruined this trip for us. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
First the good. Ocean view room was very nice. Entertainment and activities were very excellent. Caught a Motown show that was super. Comedy club was awesome. Best entertainment on the ship. Excursions (Key West and Cozumel) were ... Read More
First the good. Ocean view room was very nice. Entertainment and activities were very excellent. Caught a Motown show that was super. Comedy club was awesome. Best entertainment on the ship. Excursions (Key West and Cozumel) were good. Liked Key West better actually. Yes, the ship is a little dated, but we were too busy having a good time to care about the minor stuff. Coffee bar and drinks were awesome. We are coffee people and it was spot on for us. Drinks were very good too. Awesome bartenders. The Just OK stuff. Travel to embarkation port via the shuttle was very good, but the driver must have said a half dozen times about tips and how heavy the bags are. Thought that was a bit rude. Food selection for room service was a bit ho-hum. Food at the buffet was ok but definitely could have been better. I was dying for a turkey burger or turkey anything - but not on this ship. The food overall could have been better. All in all we really enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was my first cruise! I will not be going back on another cruise! We decided to book a cruise for our Honeymoon! We purchased Faster to the Fun passes, so we could Embark early. (Haha that was a joke, we had to wait 30 mins because ... Read More
This was my first cruise! I will not be going back on another cruise! We decided to book a cruise for our Honeymoon! We purchased Faster to the Fun passes, so we could Embark early. (Haha that was a joke, we had to wait 30 mins because they failed to have us on the list.) Nothing Luxurious about this ship! Totally outdated. Reminded me of a floating Motel 6, The only thing that was worth the cruise in itself was the little time we had in Key West, we went parasailing for the first time, which was great! I wish we could have more time there. I'm very disappointed. We felt like we didn't get to spend enough time there because the excursions are miss leading. We signed up for a 9:30 parasailing and didn't get to go until 10:30. So we felt like our time was precious there and advise anyone who decides to go on a cruise, Make sure you manage your time in Key West because it's not enough! I barely ate anything on the cruise. The food was not what everyone raves about! The food on the Lido deck was nothing special. Not impressed! However I will say the service and wait staff in the dinning rooms are highly underpaid and we made sure to tip them individually, so they got what was rightfully theirs. We didn't like the food in the dinning room either. We found out 2 days before departing that Carnival no longer served Free Lobster and Filet for the Captains Dinner. But now charges a surcharge for it. So that was a fail. There really wasn't anything to do on the ship, other than throwing money away at the casino, games or lounge on the deck. Drinks were overpriced with little alcohol in them. Even if you purchased a drink package they still "encourage tips" each time you get a drink.. (I'm not against tipping at all, it's just a little to in your face!) We decided to rent a jeep for a few hours in Cozumel, it was definitely not with it, $150 later. We got lost and they provided no English map. The food was bad there as well, and we will return to our favorite Mexican restaurant in the states and let them know their cuisine is better. I all around hated this experience. Very disappointed and feel like we wasted money. I wish I just stayed home. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
As this was our first cruise we did not know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised! The cabin was very comfortable, and we must say, the person in charge, Ivan, together with his assistant, we found very friendly and helpful and ... Read More
As this was our first cruise we did not know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised! The cabin was very comfortable, and we must say, the person in charge, Ivan, together with his assistant, we found very friendly and helpful and efficient! The 2 destinations namely Key West as well as Cuzomel was awesome. Time allocation for Key West was fine, Cuzomel we could have stayed a little bit longer! We dined each night (except the night we were in Cuzomel) and the people made us feel very welcome and special. Here we specifically want to mention Carlos from Peru and Reyes (from I think Indonesia). They went out of their way to remember our names (and being from South Africa pronouncing our names seemed difficult, but they got it correct!) The service was crisp and quick and overall a good experience. We enjoyed the music shows (Motown and The Brits), it was of a very high standard and very much enjoyable. We never previously attended a stand up comedy show, but did attend 2 of the late night shows! We sometimes found it difficult to follow but did enjoyed it. As we arrived by plane and registered at Miami Airport, it made it very easy to embark at the Port. At the end we were sad to disembark, but it was an experience we shall remember for a very long time! Read Less
Sail Date August 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
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 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
I just came back from a 4 day cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy with my 75 year old mom, who had open heart surgery in March. I really tried hard to make sure everything went smoothly…best laid plans and all that!! Embarkation: I had ... Read More
I just came back from a 4 day cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy with my 75 year old mom, who had open heart surgery in March. I really tried hard to make sure everything went smoothly…best laid plans and all that!! Embarkation: I had arranged for a wheelchair assist for both embarkation and debarkation. We arrived at about 10:30 am and they immediately grabbed a wheelchair and escorted us through the lines (I also had FTTF) and to a waiting area to check in and wait for them to start boarding. We waited for about half an hour and then a very pleasant young lady came and started wheeling us up to the ship. We by-passed the embarkation photo op and headed up the ramp to the ship. It got a little dicey, because the ramp was steep, but thanks to a helpful passenger, we got my mom up the ramp and onboard the ship but about 11:45AM. Our room was ready, a balcony, one of the few. My mom was thrilled! I bought Cheers (it took a few minutes because they were being very thorough in their explanation of the total cost and benefits) and got our first Fun Ship Special! We drank it on our balcony and then decided to walk up and grab something to eat. We ended up getting deli sandwiches, a corned beef on rye for mom and a turkey and swiss on a country roll for me. Yummy!! We explored the ship a little and then went back to our room, where we found our bags had already been delivered. We unpacked, got another drink and sat and enjoyed our view from the balcony. After a while it was time for the muster, we met on the Promenade outside of the casino. We sat at a table and the leader of our group came over and explained that when everyone else went to the lifeboat, we could wait and leave as soon as the horn sounded. Best muster ever! We headed back to our cabin to enjoy sail away from our balcony. Our balcony next door neighbors did occasionally ”sneak a smoke” and I thought I would ignore it as long as it wasn’t chain smoking and it never got that bad. I think I only smelled smoke twice. They also played music and since we had the same taste (Journey, some Carpenters, Jimmy Buffet and other mellow music) I had nothing to complain about there either! Dinner that night in the main dining room was good, we had anytime dining and were brought to a table for two. Our servers were pleasant and quick and the bar server quickly brought us each a glass of wine. My mom LOVED the escargot, it was probably the best I’ve had. (She was so disappointed when I told her it was only available on the first night!) Then she got the fried chicken and I had the chicken a la grec. They were okay, but nothing to write home about. Our dessert that night was a cheese plate for Mom, key lime pie for me and a WCMC to share. We also got a Bailey’s and coffee. After dinner, we explored a little more and got a drink at the casino bar and gambled a little bit ($20 each, big gamblers that we are!) then we went and had another drink on the balcony and watched the stars over the ocean. The next day was Key West. I was concerned about this, we didn’t want to do a whole tour, we just wanted to see the Hemingway House (well, the cats at the Hemingway House) and then have some oysters. I was concerned about getting my Mom around, we certainly couldn’t walk, I thought about the Hop On Hop Off tours, but was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to get where we wanted to go. I had decided on taking pedicabs, but couldn’t find any! And then I saw a regular cab and we were ready to go! The cab ride to Hemingway House was $10, but I tipped him well, and asked him to come back in an hour. We paid our $13 and went into the house. Lots of six toed kitties…very interesting and enjoyable. Then I had heard about Alonzo’s for oysters, so we had our cab driver, Fritz, drop us there even though they didn’t open until 11AM and it was only 10:30. I saw the menu and the oysters were $2.75 - $3.00 each! I went to find a place for us to sit and stumbled on the White Tarpon which had oysters for $1 each. We decided that was a better option for us. We had 3 beers each, 1 dozen oysters each and 1 key lime martini to share for about $60. Then we called Fritz to head back to the ship since we were leaving at 1:00PM. The line to get back on the ship was LONG but moved faster than we thought it would. There were several line jumpers…which really pissed me off, but I was on vacation, so I took a few deep breathes and let it go! We went to the main dining room the next night and were seated on the other side of the dining room. Service was not good at all and we saw many people sitting for a very long time before receiving service, and the people next to us left because they sat finished with dinner, with lobster shells on their plates for more than 20 minutes. Our service was also very slow, but we managed to get through the meal. We started with shared alligator fritters, then mom had the caesar salad and I had minestrone soup for an appetizer. We each ordered lobster and prime rib, rare. The lobster was good but when we got the prime rib, it was the rarest I have ever seen on a cruise ship or off. I could not eat it. For dessert, Mom had apple pie and I had the grand marnier soufflé. Drink service was horrible, but we did get a glass of wine and Bailey’s for our coffee after asking several times. Everyone was commenting on haw poor the service was tonight. Next day was Cozumel, but we didn’t dock until 1:00 PM. We had breakfast in the MDR, which was great. Service was good and the food was great. I had eggs benedict and Mom had lox and bagels. Then we went on the Jose Cuervo Experience excursion which was offered by Carnival. Our tour guide was Marrrrrtin (with 5 r’s) and he was very informative and enthusiastic about his craft. We went through a museum, saw a short film and then went into a private room for the tasting. We were given 3 good sized shots, which we tried several different ways, like a wine tasting. We were also given a small margarita when we got off the tour van. After the tequila tasting we went to the gift shop and then to another area where we had a mango margarita. It was here I bought some gorgeous glasses with another margarita for $15 each. I saw the glasses for sale for $12 each, so the margaritas were only $3 each. Good deal. After those margaritas, we went to a taco lunch, pork or chicken with rice, beans and fixings. It was all you can eat and very authentic. Now, after the tour, it was a LONG walk back on the pier. I wish I had gotten a wheel chair for my mom. We had to stop several times to rest and I felt very bad. I got a pedicab about half way down the pier and we made it back to the ship around 5PM. We went back to our room and collapsed (was it the tequila??) and woke up around 9PM. We missed dinner in the MDR but we didn’t care and headed to the buffet right as it closed. Luckily the deli was still open so we did a repeat of our first day lunch. It was yummy again! There were many young people in the pizza line that had clearly enjoyed their time in Cozumel…someone kept blowing a whistle and the woo hoo’s were loud and enthusiastic. After dinner, we headed back to the cabin and sat on the balcony for a while and then went to bed. The next day was our final day at sea, and we decided to start with the Sea Day Brunch and some champagne. I had eggs benedict again and Mom had bagels and lox again! LOL We also had an order of macaroni and cheese to share. I thought that the brunch items were excellent. We had a couple of glasses of champagne and then, because I had been coming down with something, a stuffy nose and sore throat, we decided to go hang out on our balcony rather than brave the crowds at the pool. So we really took it easy on our sea day. We read and relaxed and packed our bags. Then we headed to Bingo at 3PM. We didn’t win, but really enjoyed Lord Bingo (if you haven’t bingo’d with Lord Bingo, you haven’t bingo’d!!) Then we headed to the casino to play out all of our winnings, I had $13 and my Mom had about $18 left from the night before. I kept telling my mom she needed to win enough to cover the cruise…LOL! We then strolled by the Taste Bar for some fritter type thing and some soup. My Mom loved it, so we had two tastes! Then we decided we didn’t have the energy to go to the MDR again and headed to the Lido for the buffet and the yummy deli sandwiches! We had some salad, dessert and the same exact sandwiches for the last time. We then stopped by the Atrium Bar to get a final cocktail to enjoy on our balcony. We watched a gorgeous sunset and enjoyed being at sea. So this was a VERY relaxing cruise for me, but I knew it would be. The ship is older and smaller, but the crew was nice and attentive, especially to my Mom. Our cabin (E98) was small but we really enjoyed the balcony and it was in a PERFECT location!. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
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
This was our very first cruise and I was a little nervous after reading so many negative reviews. We LOVED it! We sailed on Carnival Ecstasy which is the oldest ship in the Carnival line. The staff was wonderful. We were NOT hounded to ... Read More
This was our very first cruise and I was a little nervous after reading so many negative reviews. We LOVED it! We sailed on Carnival Ecstasy which is the oldest ship in the Carnival line. The staff was wonderful. We were NOT hounded to buy beverages. We were not hounded for "extra" tips. Some of the food was better than others but that is to be expected when you are eating off a buffet. All in all, there is something somewhere on that ship for you to find that is delicious to eat! My favorite part: Seeing my husband so relaxed! His favorite thing to do each morning was to grab a cup of coffee (and possibly an ice cream cone!) and sit out on the deck at the back of the ship. He usually had the whole place to himself at 5-5:30 in the morning! The beds were comfortable also. Rooms seemed more than adequate in size. We packed for 5 days but actually had way more clothes than we needed. Dress up night doesn't have to be as formal as you might think. Some men wore button up shirts, no tie, not jacket while others went all out. Some women wore sun dresses while others wore prom-type dresses. Anything goes! The travel service to and from the airport went smoothly. If your primary goal is to get away from all the stresses of life and just relax this is a perfect plan. We didn't take our kiddos so I can't review on the child entertainment part of the vacation. We loved the serenity adult only deck! Our next trip is planned through Carnival on Glory and we decided to make arrangements on our own vs. a travel agent (long story) and the rep at Carnival who is our contact has been wonderful to work with. We went on one excursion in Cozumel to the Myan Ruins w/ a beach stop on the return trip to the ship. My friends enjoyed the ruins. I was bored but I'm not really into history. It was mostly a lecture style history lesson. Guide was very informative but not much to really see. The beach was disappointed. Murky water and sharp rocks to walk over. Don't recommend that excursion unless you are a history buff. I highly recommend this cruise line! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
My husband and I love cruises and have cruised many times before so we know how this song and dance works. Ecstasy is the smallest ship in the Carnival fleet, so we were told, and despite being mega-ship fans, this ship felt small, but big ... Read More
My husband and I love cruises and have cruised many times before so we know how this song and dance works. Ecstasy is the smallest ship in the Carnival fleet, so we were told, and despite being mega-ship fans, this ship felt small, but big enough. Big enough to where you can still find private and quiet nooks everywhere. The entertainment is so-so, but the real highlight was the Mardi Gras entertainment (our trip transpired over Fat Tuesday). The dining was excellent, the service was outstanding and the ship upgrades (red frog & blue iguana/serenity) were all very much appreciated. We had a porthole room and we were ready for a matchbox sized room, but we were pleasantly surprised with the efficiency and size of the room. (We live within a city apartment in Chicago, so we are used to more compact spaces.) Everything about this cruise is exactly as we expected it to be, with one exception: the ports of call, Key West & Cozumel. The shore time for each are almost infuriatingly brief. Thank goodness we docked for each, for if we had tendered it wouldn't have been worth getting off the ship. We had not yet visited Key West before this trip and we were excited to snorkel. The tour we took (booked through Carnival) was excellent, but our catamaran crew, though absolutely amazing, were extremely rushed in trying to provide a great snorkel trip and also trying to get us back onboard in time. We were some of the first off of the ship and some of the very last back onboard, yet our excursion was only 3 hours. It was way too short of time for a port of call. Our next port was Cozumel, which we have been to 3 times before. We were afforded a great amount of time to spend ashore, however we arrived and departed so late in the day that our excursion (also booked through Carnival), which was supposed to include food and drinks, were limited to the first 2 hours of the excursion as the park we were visiting was closing only 3 hours after we arrived. When our group was told that our food and drinks would be so truncated, there was literally an audible gasp. The park itself was beautiful and the excursion staff were also great, but they also felt hurried as they were fighting the clock to rush our group in and back out again prior to the park closing. After being rushed back to the Cozumel outlet mall at the dock, we were surprised to learn that the shops were also closing for the day. Though we were docked until 10pm, it made no sense to stay in Cozumel past 7 as everything aside from Senior Frogs was closed down. The shore time on this itinerary is a real let down. But don't get me wrong, the excursions and staff themselves were fantastic. We can't wait to go back to these ports (by cruise or not) just to give these companies our patronage again.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Carnival Ecstasy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.5 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.7
Family 3.5 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.7
Enrichment 2.5 3.3
Service 4.5 4.1
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

Find a Carnival Ecstasy Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click