January 2015 - 3 Night Bahamas (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Ecstasy
Old boat, nice staterooms, crappy food - good value overall
This was our first cruise and, considering that it wasn't very expensive, it was about what I expected. Our stateroom was fine - I recommend getting a balcony, as we really enjoyed ours. The televisions are terrible, so don't expect to watch any tv. The pool was small and the hot tubs weren't hot enough, but for a 3 night cruise, that didn't matter all that much. Being able to sunbathe in deck chairs and look out at the ocean in the middle of January was valuable in and of itself. We also enjoyed using the waterslides and the not-hot-enough hot-tubs on the adults-only deck.
The evening entertainment was fine - we enjoyed the dance club and the karaoke, but I heard the comedians were uneven. My biggest pet peeve is that the food was just really not good. There were a few items in the sit-down dining room meals that were good, but ordering was always a crap shoot. And the buffet food was pretty sub-par even for buffet food. The pizza is made-to-order so that was one of the better options, and the paninis looked good.
I think if you come in with realistic expectations and all you're looking for is a fun getaway, then this is a great option. If you want pampered luxury, then this isn't the ship for you.