Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Experience
1 cruise (first)

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3 out of 5

Great for families, not for couples

Sail Date: October 08, 2011

Reviewed: 5 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Oceanview

The ship, to be honest, was not as big as we were expecting. As first-time cruisers, we obviously did not do enough research on our ship. It was easy to get around and overall a decent ship for its age. However, as mentioned above, the ship was obviously marketed towards families with kids. We couldn't go outside of our room without them nearly tripping us as they ran by, or even lounge in the single pool without being splashed.

The crew was nice, and the bingo and art auction gave us something to do where kids couldn't be found. Overall a good ship--we were just not the right clientele.

Pros: The art auction

Cons: There was only one pool

Recommends Carnival Ecstasy? Yes!

Ship Quality
Ship was kept clean and orderly, they washed the decks daily, and it was easy to get up and around. If you're older or lazy would not recommend the lower decks--we were on the Riviera, the lowest, which was the most quietest, BUT we had to climb five flights of stairs anytime we wanted to go up and do something. Yes, there were elevators--but it'd take you nearly twenty minutes to get where you wanted to go that way.
Food and Dining
The dinners were FANTASTIC, don't get me wrong. Something new every night and so yummy. We did dine at your own time, however, so that meant you came whenever you wanted and got whatever waiter was available at the time. That was a bit of a downer because you didn't get the personalized treatment with the same server and Maitre'D that you do with early and late seating. So, if you go, pick a time to eat. It's worth it to get to know one server that you can tip at the end of the trip.

Where the ship really lacked was in the buffets they offered as everyday breakfast and lunch stuffs. Coffee was weak (and only one kind :( ), eggs were kinda runny, and the pastries were like something out of a vending machine. Pizza was pretty good, and their three self-serve ice cream machines must've been good because they were always pretty much empty by the time we got to them. The buffet was the same stuff everyday, too--no variety like the sit down dinners.
Entertainment
The only real way to get a list of events was through the brochure they offered every night. The ship would have an announcement, but most of the time the speakers were hard to hear unless you were inside and not in your stateroom. Lots of bingo, raffle giveaways and a fantastic art auction, but otherwise most of the stuff offered was more for family entertainment. A couple "adult" comedians were offered near the end of the cruise, but they were late at night and, quite frankly, when you're out and about all day in the sun you're ready to hit the sack by ten!
Children's Programs
This is definitely a kid-oriented ship and we, as a couple with no children, will not be going on this ship again for that reason. Carnival Ecstasy was fantastic for families and had lots of offerings for kids. Guaranteed your kid(s) would probably make some fast friends at the pool or waterpark they offered.
Cabin / Stateroom
We didn't have a fancy room--simple lower deck room with portholes. But it was roomier than we thought it'd be, the two twin beds pushed together didn't even feel like two separate beds, and they cleaned the rooms twice a day--leaving a lovely towel animal and a brochure with the next day's events in the evening. The ONLY thing we didn't like was the tv--it was a flat screen and lovely, but the satellite stuff offered had some weird aspect ratio that cut off a good chunk of the left screen. We were watching the baseball game and could never see the hometeam's score. It was like that on every. Single. TV. on the ship. The remote wasn't programmed so we could change it, either. :( For that they don't get the full set of smileys!
Service and Staff
The room service was fantastic--they always smiled and conversed with us as we left the room. No one was ever rude on the ship and guest services were always friendly when we spoke with them. Our waiters were nice at the sit down, but because we did the dine at your own time and had a different one every night, sometimes you could tell they were rushed and we didn't really receive the personalized treatment early or late seaters got. Ah well, you live you learn.
Cozumel, Mexico
There's no beach where you port, so if you plan on seeing the Caribbean waters (and you should!) you have to get some pass for a resort. We did the Allegro Resort (about a 15 min cab drive, 15 bucks for two) and had open bar and buffet, a pool and beachside seats for an entire day. The water is gorgeous here because it's the Caribbean, but because it's on volcanic ground you have to travel a bit before you can enjoy it.
Don't Miss: Any resort that offers beachside seating, and open bar is a plus!
Progreso (Merida), Mexico
Go see Chichen Itza! Yucatan is still in the Gulf so the waters are still brown. Ditch the "relaxing" stuff on this port and go see some ancient Mayan Ruins! It was AMAZING!
Don't Miss: Chichen Itza


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