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Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Ecstasy

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Ecstasy Review

The second ship in Carnival’s Fantasy-class, Carnival Ecstasy entered service in 1991. The ship has received numerous upgrades over the years, including the highly anticipated and popular addition of balconies to some ocean-view cabins and a secluded adults-only Serenity Deck, but there is no word at this writing on whether the ship will be updated to feature Carnival’s "Fun Ship 2.0" upgrades. From her year-round home, Port Canaveral, which is within driving distance of Florida’s Orlando airport and theme parks, Carnival Ecstasy sails five-night cruises to the Bahamas and, depending on the date, also calls on Key West, Florida.

Bathed in fiber-optic light, glitzy Fantasy-class interiors added expansive six-deck atriums and a new dimension to the original superliner concept. To keep the fun going, these ships offer an almost wearying assortment of places to have a good time. As times and tastes have changed, the ships have evolved as well, with new lobby bars, dedicated club spaces for teens and tweens, miniature golf, and Internet centers. Even newer are Carnival’s WaterWorks water park and the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat, which increase the appeal of the older Fantasy-class vessels.

Only one level below the Lido deck, the indoor promenade connects major public rooms on a single deck, with only formal dining rooms, shops, and other small spaces one deck below. Large in size and ideal for a short itinerary, these ships have sprawling outdoor pool and sunning areas, but they can feel cramped when sailing at maximum capacity. Cabins provide calm oases from sensory overload. With the exception of Carnival Sensation, Carnival Fascination, and Carnival Ecstasy, to which balconies were added to existing cabins, you'll have to book a suite if you want the solitude of a private balcony.

The world's largest cruise line originated the Fun Ship concept in 1972 with the relaunch of an aging ocean liner, which got stuck on a sandbar during its maiden voyage. In true entrepreneurial spirit, founder Ted Arison shrugged off an inauspicious beginning to introduce superliners a decade later. Sporting red-white-and-blue flared funnels, which are easily recognized from afar, new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern. If you find something you like on one vessel, you're likely to find something similar on another.

Each vessel features themed public rooms, ranging from ancient Egypt to futuristic motifs, although many of those elements are being replaced with a more tropical decor as older ships are upgraded. Carnival is also introducing features either branded by the line itself, such as the poolside Blue Iguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina and the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, or in partnership with well known brands, such as EA SPORTS to create EA SPORTS Bars at sea and Guy’s Burger Joint, in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri. Implementation of the new features is scheduled for completion in 2015.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • Central atriums are stunning when sunlight streams in through skylights
  • Surprisingly large libraries are ideal retreats for reading or playing board games
  • Freshly made pizza and calzones are available around the clock

Cons

  • Despite upgrades, the decor is still pretty gaudy
  • These are ships designed for partying, so quiet spots can be difficult to find
  • Sushi bars earn high marks for their complimentary creations, but sake costs extra
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 920
  • Entered Service 1991
  • Gross Tons 70,367
  • Length 855 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,028
  • Passenger Capacity 2,056 (2,610 max)
  • Width 103 feet
  • New

Apr 2, 2017

Review of Carnival Ectasy

Bernardo Age: 58 Occupation:Physician Number of Cruises: 8 Cruise Line: Carnival Ship: Carnival Ecstasy Sailing Date: 2014-08-27 Itinerary: Miami-Nassau-Miami To many passengers for a such a ship. Rather old ship but maintained OK. Very noisy with children running unattended and teenagers screaming with no concern towards other passengers. Its a cruise for the younger crowd that don't mind noisy neighbors, very loud music and doing lines for everything.

It was fine in the formal dining room, but horrible at the buffet and poolside. Very crowded and disorganized at the buffet, with long lines for horrible burgers and hotdogs at the poolside. The formal dining was good with occasional exceptional dishes. Urine drops on the toilet and bathroom floor on our arrival. The balcony was dirty with cigarette ash. The mattress was hard. The service, however, was OK. Not a lot of activities for a couple of our age (50's). We do not enjoy deafening loud music (as this ship had almost everywhere we went). There were no activities for those that preferred some quiet (such as a movie theater or quiet reading room); the library was facing the atrium with loud teenagers constantly passing by. Don't pay for the hotel-beach day; they offered a day at a hotel where you can use their facilities and beach. We took the bus from the port to a hotel on Cable Beach ($3 both) and use their beach, lounge chairs, umbrellas, bathroom and bought food there with no one asking for our room number or questions. Saved $30-40/each (amount they charged for these "excursions") and had a grand time on our own. If you've been on other cruises (such as Norwegian, RC, Celebrity, Costa or Viking - like we have) the Carnival Ecstasy is NOT for you. The orderly, low decibel environment and entertaining experience you might have had in those cruises you WILL NOT FIND IT ON CARNIVAL. However, if you enjoy loud music, standing on lines and avoiding people while you walk at poolside or an outside deck, then the Carnival Ecstasy is what you want.

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  • New

Aug 27, 2014

Miami-Nassau-Miami

To many passengers for a such a ship. Rather old ship but maintained OK. Very noisy with children running unattended and teenagers screaming with no concern towards other passengers. Its a cruise for the younger crowd that don't mind noisy neighbors, very loud music and doing lines for everything. It was fine in the formal dining room, but horrible at the buffet and poolside. Very crowded and disorganized at the buffet, with long

lines for horrible burgers and hotdogs at the poolside. The formal dining was good with occasional exceptional dishes. Urine drops on the toilet and bathroom floor on our arrival. The balcony was dirty with cigarette ash. The mattress was hard. The service, however, was OK. Not a lot of activities for a couple of our age (50's). We do not enjoy deafening loud music (as this ship had almost everywhere we went). There were no activities for those that preferred some quiet (such as a movie theater or quiet reading room); the library was facing the atrium with loud teenagers constantly passing by. Don't pay for the hotel-beach day; they offered a day at a hotel where you can use their facilities and beach. We took the bus from the port to a hotel on Cable Beach ($3 both) and use their beach, lounge chairs, umbrellas, bathroom and bought food there with no one asking for our room number or questions. Saved $30-40/each (amount they charged for these "excursions") and had a grand time on our own. If you've been on other cruises (such as Norwegian, RC, Celebrity, Costa or Viking - like we have) the Carnival Ecstasy is NOT for you. The orderly, low decibel environment and entertaining experience you might have had in those cruises you WILL NOT FIND IT ON CARNIVAL. However, if you enjoy loud music, standing on lines and avoiding people while you walk at poolside or an outside deck, then the Carnival Ecstasy is what you want.

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  • New

Jun 15, 2014

key west and cozumel

the only good experience about this carnival cruise where the shore excursions.the staff of the ectasy were extremely rude and the ship had maintenance issues. this ship really needs to be docked for major repairs.for the shore excursions passengers were late getting off the ship because tbe staff could not get the gang plank down. the cabin had plumbing problems that guest services took 2 hours to send anyone to fix it. if you had to call guest

services all you got was attitude. consumer beware when you book on the ectasy it is an old ship that is falling apart. food was mediocre. plumbing was bad. shower had no cold water. took maintenance 2 hours to send someone to fix it. they really did not have alot of on board activities. really need improvement in tbat area. shore excursions were good especially in cozumel. recommend the ancient mayan ruins and island sight seeing tour. our tour guide moy was excellent.. from the very beginning the staff was rude. from the checkin clerk at the miami pier and especially guest services. booked the cruise with my 70 yr old mother as a mothers day present. she left the cruise crying and very disappointed.

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By Dave_CR

  • New

Nov 26, 2013

Exotic Western Caribbean

This was our third cruise, and Carnival did not disappoint! We pick Carnival because of all of the fun activities, and even though there were a lot of seniors on this cruise due to the time of year (probably 50-75% seniors), the activities were non-stop. Trivia, dancing, mixology contests, hairy chest, ice sculpture demo, comedy shows, Vegas-style shows, movies on the big screen, 2 pools, at least 6 whirlpools, water slides, mini-golf, fitness,

and live music everywhere! The fun never stops on board, and there is even more to do when you are in port. We feel a Carnival cruise is the best value for our money - compare it to a week in a resort hotel, and you'll see what I mean. We stayed in a resort hotel in St. Pete Beach last year, and 2 nights there was more expensive than a 3-night cruise to the Bahamas. On the Dream, we had fantastic service, fair to excellent food (depending on where we ate), and not enough time to take part in all of the fun. The food in the main dining room was fantastic. On our first cruise we ate mostly in the buffet or the small specialty places, but since then we discovered how good the food is in the dining room. Chateaubriand, prime rib, lobster, duck, mahi mahi, steak, ribs, and on and on. The desserts are fantastic also - baked Alaska, various gourmet pies and cakes, and of course their signature warm chocolate melting cake. Breakfast in the dining room was good, but the portions were very small. Dining room scores a 5 out of 5 for food quality. The service was fantastic - the wait staff consisted of three people and they all were very friendly, knew our names from the first time they learned them, and always took time to chat. Thanks to them, our dining experience was perfect. Breakfast at the buffet was really good, although the omelet line tended to be a little bit of a wait. Also, the scrambled eggs on the buffet line were made from reconstituted eggs - not horrible, but if you preferred real eggs you had to go through the omelet line. Lunch in the buffet was pretty good also, I assume the same for dinner (we ate in the dining room every night). We wanted to try the Pasta Bar, but it was a long wait and we were hungry. The burrito bar was just OK - Chipotle style burritos, but very bland. The Mongolian Wok was a very long wait and the food was not very good. They only had 3 styles of sauce to choose from. The very worst part of the buffet experience was the coffee - it was worse than horrible. The only saving grace was the coffee bar on deck 5 - it was an extra expense, but the coffee drinks there were very good. Finally, the Chocolate experience was a major disappointment. I can't say much, other than the selections were just fair. I wanted to try the barbecue on the Lanai, but it got rained out. The stateroom was very good. We had a balcony room on Deck 9 forward, so it was pretty quiet. The stewards kept the cabin cleaned up any time we left, and they always had the bed turned down in the evening, along with a towel creation and chocolates. They also had ice waiting for us in the ice bucket without even asking, so that was really cool. Also, this was the first time we've had a mini fridge in the cabin - nice touch. The bathroom seems small but it is just fine if you don't try to get two people in there using the sink. The toilet seat is uncomfortable, so you do your business and get out quick. There is no vent fan in there either, so smells and steamy air are trapped. But it's like that on most cruise ships, so you can't really knock them for that. The flat panel TV is pretty good, but if you are judging a cruise by what's on TV then maybe you should have stayed at home. My sons stayed in an interior cabin, and apart from the fact they had no window or balcony, their cabin experience was virtually identical to ours (for half the price). Again, if you are spending a lot of time in your cabin instead of out and about having fun, maybe you should have stayed home. The lockers are ample for a week's worth of clothes, and our suitcases fit under the bed and out of the way. The only drawback I have ever had with the cabin is the lack of electrical outlets. There are two - one in the bathroom that only has power when the bathroom light is on, and one on the counter where a woman would sit and do hair or makeup. Always bring a power strip. Ours was wrongly confiscated from inside our suitcase during embarkation, even though their website says they are allowed. Bring one - you will need it for phones, cameras, laptop/tablet, etc. We had a lot of fun onboard, especially the days spent at sea. Bring a highlighter and make note of which activities sound fun - they are all listed in the daily bulletin the steward leaves in your cabin. The big production numbers in the main theater are well done and very entertaining, and the comedians in the smaller lounges are a lot of fun. They had family rated and adult rated comedy shows. There was live music at various locations around the ship, and it was all pretty good. My recommendation is to forget about what you think you like or don't like, and just try it all! You're on vacation to have fun, so don't spoil it by being overly critical. The pools are a little too small and the whirlpools tend to be sausage stew. The Serenity area is a nice escape from kids. The water slides were fun, even for me, a grown man. My advice - always get off the ship in port and see something you've never seen before! If you are traveling to Mexico or Belize, you should go see some Mayan ruins. Xunantunich is probably the best, but it takes all day. We had booked that excursion originally, but July-December is the rainy season and our excursion got rained out due to the 3 solid weeks of rain they got before our cruise. No worries - we booked a different trip to Altun Ha and had a great day. The excursion included a power boat ride down the river Wallace, where we saw crocodiles, iguanas, manatees, and howler monkeys. On the downside, Belize is a very poor country, so there really isn't much to do there unless you take an excursion. And the tender boat ride takes 15-20 minutes! Cozumel is one of our favorite stops in the Caribbean, and this time we rode an Atlantis submarine. Don't miss it! The view out the portholes is amazing. We saw lots of different fish, a sea turtle, a shark, a ray, loads of coral, and the edge of the ridge on which the island sits - a 5,000 foot drop into deep blue darkness! Isla Roatan is a beautiful island, so you must get out and see some of it. We chose a canopy zip-line tour the day before we arrived in port, and it was a good choice. A little pricey, but we had a blast. After that the tour folks took us to Tabyana beach, one of the most beautiful spots on the west end of the island. The snorkeling there was fabulous. Also, the police keep most of the locals hawking stuff away, so that helps. Think of Roatan as similar to Jamaica in beauty and variety of things to do, without all of the poor people demanding handouts. Costa Maya was our last port, and I would have rather come back a day early. It's a tiny port with almost nothing there except shops and a couple of chain bar/restaurants. More than 1 cruise ship at a time will overwhelm their capacity, and the vendors are really pushy. We did the dolphin swim excursion and it was really fun, so if you are stopping here I would recommend that. Overall, we had another fantastic vacation. I had to come home and take a week to rest up! A few notes: - The embarkation process was smooth and pretty speedy. From the time we arrived at the terminal to the time we were on the ship, it was less than 2 hours. - Debarkation at the end of the cruise was pretty efficient, also. We had a leisurely breakfast, made sure we were out of our cabin by 8:30, and were off the ship by 9:45. And we had a high debarkation number. - The transfer shuttle to/from Orlando airport was a good choice. It's $70 each round trip, but it takes you curb to curb. - Carnival seems to be making a strong effort to make everyone feel like part of a family. Cabin stewards and dining room staff always greeted us by name, other stewards and staff members always engaged us and asked about the day's plans, or whether there was anything we needed. And every single crew member had a smile on his or her face. - The ship was clean and well maintained. It helped that it's one of their newest ships, but when you have 3500+ passengers a week things have a tendency to break. I did not encounter a single broken or inoperative thing on the cruise. I will highly recommend a Carnival cruise to anyone!

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  • New

Sep 7, 2013

Bahamas

This was my first cruise and I was very excited. I did not know what to expect. My best friend and I took her daughter to celebrate her 21st birthday. We had all agreed on one excursion which was to swim with the dolphins at the blue lagoon. The night before our excursion we received a letter explaining that they were canceling our excursion. We were very disappointed but were able to book another excursion with the dolphins that night through guest

services. Unfortunately,this excursion did not include lunch and required us to take a boat out to another island where we would have to stay for 4 hours. We planned ahead and took some snacks but were forced to purchase something to drink there. I bought 2 bottles of water and a diet coke and was charged $17. Unbelievable. They really gouge where they can. Upon arriving home my nightmare really started. Carnival billed my credit card for all of my charges while on the ship and placed holds on my account for all of the individual charges. I was told after 72 hours the holds would be lifted yet I am 7 days in and can't seem to get any assistance from Carnival. My advise "SET UP A CASH ACCOUNT"! Overall I was happy with the food aboard the ship. I did avoid the buffet when possible and opted to eat in the restaurant. The food was good but at times the service left a lot to be desired. Our stateroom was always clean and comfortable. For the most part it was quiet. We really liked Yogi who kept us stocked with towels and left us treats everyday. I enjoyed the shows I attended but during the day there was not really much to offer unless you wanted to hang out on the Lido deck that was always packed with people and their rowdy kids.

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