Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Ecstasy
Sailing Date: January 4th, 2007
Carnival Cruise Lines
Ecstasy Cruise Review
Having taken numerous cruises before, we were excited to finally move up to a "suite" on this cruise. Interestingly, our "priority boarding" did little to expedite the embarkation process - we still had to stand in line on the gang plank along with everyone else. Unlike other lines, Carnival has never seemed to figure out how to keep people from piling up at embarkation.
Our "suite" was about the same size as a regular balcony room on other lines we've traveled. The room was clean, but we quickly learned that we were directly below (cabin V7) the gym and the weight machines that banged on the ceiling and made the room shake from 6 am until well after midnight (the crew are able to use the gym after regular hours). Needless to say, our relaxing cruise was anything but restful! Based on the size and noise level of this cabin, I could not recommend paying twice the cost of a regular room! The balcony also looked out on the deck below, and you can easily be seen on the balcony from below and from the deck on this level at the front of the ship - no privacy!
We also discovered that "suite" and returning passengers (we have cruised Carnival a number of times before) receive no "perks" for loyalty. Unlike other lines, there were no special deals or offerings given. All in all, we paid double the cost of an outside room for nothing extra but the lack of sleep from the noise.
We also found the crew to be quite unfriendly and distant. Other than our room attendants and dining room attendants, who were great, crew around the ship did not say hello, look at us or acknowledge our presence. We almost felt like we were in their way.
While the ship is clean, it is definitely showing its age and probably won't be sailing much longer. Considering it had half the passengers of new, larger ships, we felt that it seemed more crowded than other ships we've sailed on - it was difficult to find a quiet place in the public areas to read or talk, and there was a hint of tobacco smoke in many areas, including the hallway outside our suite. There was also occasional smell in the hall that suggested overflowing toilets, a comment I'd read on other reviews - they were right!
I'm not sure this cruise had a captain - we never saw or heard from him the entire cruise, whereas other ships he at least made an occasional announcement. There were certainly plenty (too many!) announcements on this cruise, but none we heard from the captain.
Food was uneventful and average, although the room service menu was quite limited, and the only breakfast room service available was lite continental.
Debarkation upon return was as pleasurable as the rest of the cruise - while I realize that the ships are at the mercy of immigration, once again Carnival fails in coordinating their system on board in order to minimize standing in lines. We stood in line on the ship for way longer than necessary before even getting off to get in the immigration lines.
Needless to say, this cruise certainly put us off cruising Carnival again.