First time and we are impressed:)
Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Sail Date: March 19, 2016
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Cabin Number: M186
Traveled As: Family (young children)
Reviewed: 1 year ago
This was our first cruise and we were pretty happy overall. If you are going out of Charleston, SC, be aware that the address they give you for parking lot is not accurate so just know if you put it in your GPS, you will be redirected about 6 long traffic filled blocks to the correct location. Once we got to the correct lot, we waited in car for about 90 minutes to get to actual parking garage. During this time, your passports and boarding passes will be checked a couple times. You will also drop off luggage and will also pay for your parking at this time. It was $120 for the week. FYI, if you have a handicap pass, parking is free.
Once parked you will be shuttled over to the ship entrance. This takes about 2 minutes. When you step off shuttle you will think you are almost there......but you will stand in another line for about 45 minutes. During this time, passports will be checked again, sign and sail cards will be distributed to you and you will run your luggage thru the big X-ray machine. The carnival people will be waiting for your first photo op. Then you will walk up a gangplank that is a winding ramp that goes up about 7 stories. At the top, your sign and sail card will be scanned and you are in!!!!!
when we stepped on the boat, it was fabulous! It was so exciting. Our luggage was delivered about 2 hours after arrival so if you want to swim right away, pack your suit in carry on. The Lido deck buffet was open and we were able to grab a bite and a drink right away.
The food on the ship was excellent. We ate three course dinners in the main dining room every evening. The service was hit and miss though. Some nights we were in and out in an hour and other nights it was over two hours. The buffets were also really good. There is a Mongolian wok and an omelette station that were good. Also, there is a deli and a pizza station that are open 24 hours a day.
We loved Half Moon Cay. We did have to take tender boat to get there and back but overall it was pretty organized. It was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. Turks was good too. Amber Cove was ok. There is not a beach area on Amber Cove, just a pool. We paid for private beach resort at Riu. Beach was ok and the all inclusive food and drinks was also just ok.
There was some sort of entertainment every evening. Comedians were great except for Azeem. I found his racist comments during the kids show to be just too much. I think the cruise line should drop him from the lineup as all the other comedians were hilarious.
Hasbro game show was fun and the singing shows were entertaining. Hypnotist was awesome.
It it was an awesome week for my family. Room was pretty clean. Our stewardess, Su, was the best. She was very attentive. We really did not have any major requests but she was always checking in to make sure we had everything we needed.
if you bring your own drinks, make sure you do as carry on. We misread the directions and packed in our luggage. One 12 pack of soda was confiscated but the other two made it to our room.
We did not buy drink plans but did pay gratuities up front. We were disappointed to learn that if we ordered a drink at dinner, we were changed a 15% gratuity.
There was a show on how to shop at the ports. It really melts down to them trying to sell you a coupon book that costs $25. Carnival also has some affiliation with Diamonds International and they really really promote their services. They claim that they have the absolute best prices and encourage you to buy from them. I found this to be interesting. I mean you are only in port for less than 8 hours, who is going to make a big $10K plus diamond purchase in a few hours without researching first??
The ship has really fabulous professional photographers that are EVERYWHERE. They do excellent work but the photos were kind of pricey. $22 for an 8x10 and $12.95 for a 6x9.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Bring your own water bottles. We brought our Tervis cups and filled with ice and drinks so they would last beyond meal times.