Carnival Ecstasy offers three- and four-night cruises to Key West, Mexico and Bahamas.
Welcome aboard the “new” Carnival Ecstasy. New at least to PortMiami. I recently embarked on the Ecstasy for a four-night cruise to Cozumel and Key West, and to also experience a Carnival LIVE concert with Martina McBride. Here’s my report.
Even though this ship is 23 years old, a recent $20 million refurbishment transformed the Ecstasy from the iconic 90’s glitzy Carnival ship into a 21st century contemporary vacation experience at sea. Gone are the bright orange-toned staterooms and clunky old TVs. The new staterooms sport all new peach-toned decor, flat panel televisions and new bathrooms.
Throughout the ship there are vast amounts of changes; the gorgeous main Atrium, an enhanced and expanded internet cafe, a state of the art Spa Carnival with new exercise machines and more private treatment rooms, plus a new 1,600 square foot Camp Carnival now located on the Verandah deck.
OK…let’s go up to Deck 14, the highest outdoor deck and wind our way down through the ship. Meet me at the Sky Deck.
Nine hole mini-golf. Never seemed to be too crowded.
Fitness Center on Deck 12 – part of Spa Carnival
Relaxing way to begin your spa experience
Spa treatment room for one…or even….
Beautifully refurbished pool and deck area. Huge pool.
The maze of water slides for kids…and adults, too at Waterworks.
Panorama Bar and Grill on Lido Deck 10
Fave place to take my Lido meal. Two cozy outdoor areas at aft of ship. Try it!
Moving down to Deck 9, let’s stay aft and go forward. Directly below this outdoor Lido area is the Serenity retreat.
Starlight Aft Lounge for nightly comedy shows and karaoke.
Extending nearly the length of the ship on Deck 9, is the City Lights Boulevard and Promenade.
Stripes Discotheque along the City Lights Boulevard
Rolls Royce Cafe along the City Lights Promenade
Cherry on Top is an old-fashioned candy store, just added to the Promenade.
China Town Lounge is a separate lounge venue with its own entrance. Nighttime musical entertainment.
Always a great meeting place at the Metropolitan Bar along the Promenade
Carnival’s Club O2 for teens ages 15-17 features movies, parties and special events.
Video arcade for kids of all ages!
Carnival Ecstasy Blue Sapphire Main Show Lounge
That completes the tour of deck 9, all public spaces and always the core of activity day and night.
Onto deck 8, Atlantic Deck. We’ll start at the first floor of the Blue Sapphire Main Show Lounge and walk towards the aft.
Neon Piano Bar just “south” of the Main Show Lounge
Windstar dining room, one of two main dining rooms.
In between the Main Show Lounge and the middle dining room are the Explorer’s Library, Circle C and the Fun Shops.
The Library has a pretty good assortment of book to lend, cozy chairs to relax in and read. Check the daily newspaper for the library’s staff hours so that you can check out a book. There’s rarely a crowd in the wonderfully quiet space.
Circle C is the hang-out place just for kids 12-14. Here they’ll find video games, dance parties, late night movies, Karaoke and more.
The Fun Shops are where you can grab a logo t-shirt or buy diamonds, tanzanite or a designer watch. There’s something for everyone.
Next on the tour is Empress Deck 7. It’s mostly all staterooms except for the Front Desk, Shore Excursions Desk and the Internet Cafe.
Newly refurbished and enhanced internet cafe.
The Empress Deck is home to the three main categories of staterooms: inside, oceanview and balcony. Passenger stateroom decks continue on deck 6 – Upper Deck, deck 5 – Main Deck , and deck 4 -Riviera Deck. Here are the three main cabin categories. The Grand Suites are one deck below, on deck 6 – Upper Deck.
Inside stateroom with twin beds. Also converts to one queen size bed upon request.
Oceanview cabin twins which also convert to a queen bed.
Balcony stateroom. This room can actually sleep four guests. Note the “hidden” bunks on the walls.
This is the balcony for the above stateroom.
Balcony stateroom bathroom. Typical of most of the bathrooms.
On the Upper Deck, deck 6, you will find the 28 Grand Suites, eight of which boast a roomy, extended balcony.
Grand Suite will sleep up to either three or four guests.
Spacious walk-in closet in the Grand Suites
Pretty awesome refurbishment, I’d say. Beautifully appointed AND a bathtub!
The extended balcony of a Grand Suite. The “regular” Grand Suite balcony is just a bit smaller.
One very important cabin category is the Accessible cabin. On this ship, there are two dozen modified and full accessible staterooms.
Carnival Ecstasy Accessible stateroom
Carnival Ecstasy Accessible bathroom. Many of these have no step up or lip, to enter the bathroom.
Carnival Ecstasy Accessible balcony.
In disclosure, I was a guest of Carnival for this sailing but opinions (and photos) are my own and unbiased. I looked for little hiccups in the refurbishment. But aside from a few dings in the paint on deck, a little bit of neon lighting still remaining at night in the atrium and the original rose-colored metal “art” on the walls in the elevator banks, the Carnival Ecstasy is lookin’ good.
The crew was helpful and friendly, the Seaday Brunch spectacular (order the Huevos Rancheros!) and the new mattresses and satin-embossed linens all combined to make a terrific short cruise getaway. Oh! I almost forgot to mention… the Carnival LIVE event with two standing ovations for country music superstar, Martina McBride, was a total success.
If you are thinking of booking a cruise aboard the Carnival Ecstasy, here are the basic facts that you might like to know.
Gross Tonnage – 70,367
Length – 855 feet
Beam – 103 feet
Cruising Speed – 21 knots
Guest Capacity- 2,056
Total staff – 920
Suites and balcony staterooms – 152
Accommodations inside –408
Registry – Panama
I’m the editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com, a solo traveler cruising the world on waves and wheels, collecting recipes along the way. I hope my articles and photos entertain, advise and inspire you to travel the world without flying. Take a breath…stop for a local meal and a glass of wine along the way.
Sherry Laskin says
It’s very similar to regular homestyle bunkbeds and kids love the top bunks. An inside cabin for four guests is probably not a good idea if someone is claustrophobic; go with a window or a balcony. Thanks for your comment.
Am I crazy, or do the Bunks in the balcony cabin open up directly over the bed below? That seems like it would be terribly claustrophobic for the people in the room!
Sherry Laskin says
Thanks, Kimberly. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was totally surprised and very pleased with the Ecstasy. Have a terrific cruise!
Kimberly Gunn says
Thank you for the insight, planning a cruise on this ship soon. Very good review because I am aware it is a older ship and didnt know how well they fixed it up.