By Colleen McDaniel
Cruise Critic Senior Executive Editor
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Entertainment

Carnival Ecstasy Entertainment & Activities


The Blue Sapphire Main Show Lounge, located on decks 8 and 9, serves as the ship's main theater. There, passengers can catch Carnival's Playlist Production shows, though the electronics are missing because the theater can't accommodate. This waters down the production a bit, and it feels a lot more traditional than you might find on other, newer ships. This is also where you'll catch acts that are part of the line's Carnival Live! concert series. The venue holds only 855 passengers, so passengers can get really close to the various artists. Sight lines are fine on Deck 8, but a number of obstacles on Deck 9, including a railing along the glass balcony and big pillars, make it difficult to see the stage. Show up early enough to grab a good seat.

During the day, various activities like the line's famous Hasbro The Game Show and Love and Marriage Game take place there.

Daily Fun

Cruises on Ecstasy are loaded with activities. Several trivia sessions are offered each day at the various bars and lounges, and bingo is available, too. On the lido deck, activities include table tennis tournaments, hairy chest competitions and giant Jenga. Shore excursion lectures are given in the Sapphire Lounge. The casino is located on Deck 9 and offers table games and slot machines.

At Night

Sing-alongs, karaoke and dancing are common all over the ship at night. Theme parties are common; think 80s Flashback Party, Mexican Fiesta Deck Party and Electric White Party.

Carnival Ecstasy Bars and Lounges

For a relatively small ship, Ecstasy has plenty of bar and lounge options. Most are pretty high-energy venues that are hopping late at night. Because Ecstasy sails shorter itineraries, passengers onboard seem to pack as much into every second as they can. Music, dancing, drinking and singing are common, whether poolside or in the clubs.

Neon Piano Bar (Deck 8): Carnival is famous for its sing-along piano bars, and this one is tough to miss. As the name implies, it's loaded with neon signs. But the hub of activity is the piano, which takes up a circular space in the middle of the room. There, the piano player sits, taking requests as passengers sing the lyrics to popular songs.

Society Bar (Deck 9): The Society Bar is a laid-back spot to hang out for some quiet time with pals or to watch sports, thanks to plenty of large flat-screen TVs and comfy seating. If you dine at Wind Song, it's also the perfect spot for a pre-dinner drink. The dining room is directly below the bar and can be easily accessed via a double staircase.

Starlight Aft Lounge (Deck 9): The Starlight Aft Lounge is where you'll catch comedians as part of The Punchliner Comedy Club. Earlier shows are appropriate for families, while late-night options are strictly for the adults. When comedians aren't on stage, passengers there have a blast with Carnival's Superstar Live Karaoke, which puts singers onstage with a live backup band.

Stripes Discotheque (Deck 9): A true dance club at sea, Stripes opens at 10:30 p.m. and tends to stay packed until early morning. The DJ spins a mix of tunes, with a heavy emphasis on Hip Hop and Latin.

China Town Lounge (Deck 9): Decorated with paper lanterns and Asian-inspired furniture, China Town Lounge is a lovely yet comfy space that hosts karaoke some nights.

Metropolis Bar (Deck 9): This bar, adjacent to the casino, is reminiscent of an old-time diner, featuring lots of chrome. At night, musicians -- guitar and vocals, for example -- play there. Be warned: Smoking is allowed in a section of the bar, and its location, near the casino, means it can get quite smoky.

Pool Bar (Deck 10): There actually are two bars poolside: one port and one starboard. They're identical to one another, with seating at the bar and at tall tables with stools. They provide a shaded oasis from the sun. Smoking is allowed at the starboard bar.

Carnival Ecstasy Outside Recreation


Ecstasy has only one pool, located midship on Deck 10. Before 10 a.m., you're likely to find a seat poolside, even on sea days. After that, the DJ cranks up the tunes, and space is at a premium, especially in and immediately surrounding the pool. The mood in the area is festive, with lots of dancing. If being close to the pool isn't important to you, head on up to Deck 11, and grab a lounger beneath the whale tail; you'll get a combination of sun and shade, and a good breeze keeps you cool. There's usually plenty of space, and you still can hear the music from the pool without the crush of people.


Among the items added in 2009 was a large waterslide, perfect for all ages, and two small slides for the kiddos, part of a larger Waterworks water play area. Ecstasy also has a fun and well-maintained nine-hole mini-golf course on Deck 14.

Sun Decks

The adults-only space, Serenity, is located on Deck 10, strangely below the kids Waterworks area. Still, it's surprisingly quiet and never crowded. Passengers can relax on the loungers below bright yellow umbrellas or hang out in one of the two hot tubs. There's also a shaded area for passengers who want to relax without the rays, and Serenity is convenient to the Panorama Bar & Grill, so passengers can pop in for a quick snack or drink.

Carnival Ecstasy Services

Ecstasy has the usual assortment of cruise ship standards, including a small art gallery on Deck 7, a photo gallery on Deck 9 and a variety of shops on Deck 8, where passengers can purchase essentials like sunscreen and lip balm, as well as logo apparel, sun hats and bags. The ship also features the line's candy store, Cherry on Top, with bulk candy options and oversized lollipops, gummy funnels and jawbreakers.

A small Internet cafe is located on Deck 7 across from the Grand Spectrum Atrium Plaza, and Wi-Fi is available shipwide. Passengers can choose between three different packages: Social, Value and Premium -- all of which can be purchased for one day or the entire length of the cruise. At $5 per day, the Social package gives users access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Pinterest, LinkedIn and WhatsApp. (Snapchat is hit or miss, as it requires a stronger connection.) The Value plan, at $16 per day, allows users to surf the Web and check email in addition to social media. Lastly, the $25-per-day Premium plan offers the fastest Internet speed and covers nearly everything, including Skype video calling. Discounted weekly rates vary by cruise, but will be advertised with the Fun Times daily planner in your cabin.

Ecstasy has forward, midship and aft elevator banks.

The Explorer's Club Library, a comfy spot decorated with dark woods and deep blues along with a massive globe and ship model, is located on Deck 8. It offers a decent variety of books -- both fiction and nonfiction. It also has a large seating area, where passengers sprawl while reading or playing games. Board games, such as Guesstures and cribbage and decks of cards are available for use onboard for free.

Self-service laundry facilities are located on Deck 6 (across from cabin U154) and Deck 7 (across from cabin E6). Machines take coins, and detergent and fabric softener are available for purchase from vending machines. Passengers can also use the iron and ironing board in each spot for free.

Passengers can learn about and book shore excursions at the shore excursions desk on Deck 7, right next to the guest services desk.

Carnival Ecstasy Spa & Fitness

Spa Carnival is located on Deck 12. The space, decorated in neutral tones of beige, blue and cream, is relatively small, with just a few treatment rooms. Separate men's and women's locker rooms are fairly large, and each houses showers, lockers, a changing area, sauna and steam room. Treatments are standard and include bamboo and hot stone massages, Ionithermie, teeth whitening and acupuncture. Teen treatments, including anti-acne facials and mother/daughter or father/son massages, are available. Spa specials are offered throughout the cruise, usually on days when the ship is in port.

Adjacent to the spa is a beauty salon, where passengers can get haircuts, styling and color treatments. A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to spa and salon services.

The fitness center onboard has a good selection of cardio and strength training equipment. Treadmills and ellipticals line the windows, and a small number of free weights is available, though the dumbbells in the midrange are lacking. Before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m., the fitness center is relatively empty, but you'll be waiting for equipment during peak hours, especially on sea days. Classes take place in the adjacent aerobics room. Options include Pilates, yoga, boot camp and spinning, for fees starting at $12. Free classes, such as stretching, are also available.

Runners and walkers can use the ship's jogging track, located on Deck 14. Eleven laps make up a mile, so you'll be doing a lot of turning on longer runs. The track is wide and has a little bounce so it's more comfortable on the knees. It's virtually unused on port days in the mornings, but on sea days you'll find a mix of runners and walkers.

Carnival Ecstasy For Kids

Ecstasy has plenty of activities onboard that are suitable for kids of all ages. Waterworks, with its sprinklers, sprayers and waterslides, appeals to the younger kids, while the ship's video arcade on Deck 9 -- adjacent to Club O2 -- is perfect for tweens and teens. Ecstasy will add the Seuss at Sea experience by the end of 2014. Kids menus are available and appeal to the fussiest eaters, offering mac and cheese, PB&J, chicken nuggets and hot dogs.

Camp Carnival, located on Deck 11, is designed for 2- to 11-year-olds, and the line further separates kids by age: 2 to 5, 6 to 8 and 9 to 11. Activities for each group are age appropriate, so the youngest kids might do finger painting, the middle group might play video games or do arts and crafts, and the oldest might have pool parties or scavenger hunts. Toys and video game consoles abound. Camp Carnival is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

After 10 p.m., Camp Carnival Night Owls opens, and kids can play, party and hang out in a supervised environment until 3 a.m. While Camp Carnival is free during the day, Night Owls costs between $13 and $20 per night, depending on the age of the children. Snacks and beverages are provided, and kids can bring blankets and pillows to enhance the slumber party feel. Onboard baby-sitting is available, too, for $6.75 per child, per hour, plus a 15 percent gratuity.

Tweens, ages 12 to 14, hang out at Circle C, located on Deck 8. This chill space has video game consoles, comfy booths, and TV and video monitors galore. There's also a dance floor. Circle C is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Located on Deck 9, Club O2 is the spot for teens, ages 15 to 17. There, teens can play games, sing karaoke, play sports or watch movies. The space has plush seating, plus bar stools (with a mocktail bar) and space to sprawl. Carnival also organizes pool parties for this crowd, as well as teens-only shore excursions. Club 02 is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Ecstasy has 109 adjoining cabins suitable for families.

Carnival Ecstasy Ship Stats

  • Crew: 920
  • Launched: 1991
  • Decks: 10
  • Passengers: 2,052
  • Registry: Panama
  • CDC Score: 88

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