April 2016 - 5 Night Bahamas (Charleston Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Ecstasy
Good value and relaxing trip
My wife and I and 3 kids (13, 11, 9) had a great time on this cruise. Leaving out of Charleston is much easier for us than driving to Florida. As expected the boarding process was the worst part but I think it was handled about as well as it could have been. The ship is of course not one of Carnival's bigger ones but it seemed to be in great shape. The food was good, I would not say great. There were plenty of options though so you didn't have to eat what you didn't like. Having the option for molten chocolate cake for dessert every night at dinner helps too! Seas were a bit choppy heading down the Atlantic but after the first day we were used to it. Excursions can be expensive. We ended up getting day passes at the Riu in Nassau and the Grand Lucayan in Freeport. I recommend both if you like to relax.
There was plenty to do on the ship, especially if you like drinking and gambling. We didn't do much of either on the ship but played plenty of mini golf, shuffleboard, and ping pong and laid by the pool (and ate, and ate).
Biggest cons were: 1) Requested King bed arrangement in one room and trundle in the other but neither was done before we arrived. The steward quickly took care of this though. 2) Only 2 hot tubs at main pool deck which stayed full day and night. If you have kids who want you present all the time, this is a pain. If not, there is the adult area with two more (hotter) hot tubs. 3) The scrambled eggs were truly awful. This isn't a dealbreaker but I get better eggs at a Fairfield Inn and would it really cost that much more? An omelette station or fried egg option wouldn't hurt either and I know other cruise lines have this.
I consider those all minor offenses though and we had a great time. I would recommend to the budget-conscious.