Like many of the Carnival cruise ships, the Carnival Ecstasy features a ton of places to be and things to do. For example, onboard this ship you can find various lounges and nightclubs, a casino, a wireless internet café, duty-free shopping and many (formal and casual) places to eat.
In 2006 the Carnival Ecstasy received significant renovations, via a multi-million dollar makeover by Carnival. All staterooms onboard this ship were refurbished to include flat screen TVs, new furnishings and remodeled bathrooms. 50 connnecting staterooms were added as well. In addition to that, a new Atrium Bar was added onboard the Ecstasy, providing a nice place to enjoy cocktails and listen to music. The Photo Gallery was moved to the Promenade Deck, giving it a more central location onboard the ship. Cafe on the Way is a new coffee bar that serves specialty coffees and sweets. A new 1,600 square foot Camp Carnival was also built during this refurbishment. A new nine-hole golf course was also added, and Spa Carnival received new private treatment rooms and updated exercise equipment. The main dining rooms were given carpeting, sound system and upholstery upgrades. The list of upgrades and additions just seems to go on and on.
The Carnival Ecstasy
is one of Carnival Cruise Line's Fantasy Class ships. This means that she's the sister ship to the Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Elation and Carnival Paradise.
The Carnival Ecstasy will be featuring cruises in the following regions (subject to change, based on the cruise line's discretion):
2012 & 2013: Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean (Both departing roundtrip from Port Canaveral, FL)
Carnival is well known for having staterooms that are larger than that of the industry average. There are many categories of staterooms onboard the Carnival Ecstasy, from basic interior staterooms to very large suites. All Carnival staterooms come with a private bathroom, color TV and phone. There are connecting staterooms available on the Ecstasy, for families and friends that want such accommodations.
Interior Staterooms: The most basic (and least expensive) staterooms onboard the Carnival Ecstasy, known as category 1A staterooms, have upper and lower beds (bunk beds). All other (non-1A) interior staterooms have twin beds that convert to a king-size. So be sure when booking a cruise on this ship that you're aware of the type of bedding you're getting in your stateroom.
Ocean View Staterooms: Category 5A staterooms onboard the Carnival Ecstasy feature two portholes, rather than a picture window. Ocean view staterooms feature twin beds that convert to a king-size bed.
Balcony Staterooms: The Carnival Ecstasy does not have standard balcony staterooms. The only staterooms with balconies onboard this ship are suites.
Suites: There are two types of suites onboard the Carnival Ecstasy. Category 11 suites are basic suites, while category 12 suites are (larger) Penthouse suites.
Carnival's dining program is called "Total Choice Dining." They call it that because their goal is to give as many choices as possible to their passengers. Breakfast is served in the main dining rooms, on the Lido deck or even in your staterooms (via room service). Lunch can be eaten indoors or outdoors (at a buffet), or (of course) via room service. Dinner is served in the main dining rooms, or on the Lido Deck (for a more casual atmosphere). Again, if you're feeling like a meal in your room that is possible as well.
There are two main dining rooms onboard the Carnival Ecstasy, Wind Star Dining Room and Wind Song Dining Room. Dinner is split up into two main seating times. The "main seating" starts at 6:00 pm, while the "late seating" starts at 8:15 pm. Please be aware that Carnival does not guarantee that they will give you the dining time that you've requested when booking (as it is on a request basis only). All dining rooms onboard Carnival are Smoke-Free.
One of the Lido deck's casual dining options is the Panorama Bar & Grill, serving buffet-style meals. At this particular venue you can enjoy a wide variety of food, including various grilled food, salads, pasta, chicken and steak.
The Promenade Deck (Deck 6) is one of the Carnival Ecstasy's most popular decks to be on. This is because there's a ton of places to be on this deck. Among them are the upper level of the 1,200-person main show theater, the Blue Sapphire Lounge. Also located on this deck is the video arcade and the teen room, Club O2. Crystal Palace Casino is an often busy place on the Ecstasy, especially after a show in the Blue Sapphire Lounge has ended (lots of people seem to migrate from one place to the other). Stripes Dance Club features a bar and dance club, and is also located on the Promenade Deck. Located towards the rear of the ship on this deck is the Starlight Lounge (and bar), along with a children's pool. Chinatown is another lounge, with a dance floor, on this deck.
Deck 5, the Atlantic Deck, is where the lower level of the Blue Sapphire Lounge is located (at the front of the ship). The Galleria Shopping Mall is also located on this deck, and is a popular place to enjoy some duty-free shopping. Popular items to buy include alcohol, clothing, jewelry and perfume. The Neon Bar and The Explorer's Club are also located on the Atlantic Deck. The main dining rooms are located in the middle (Wind Star Dining Room) and rear (Wind Song Dining Room) of this deck.
The Lido Deck, Deck 7, is another popular place to be on the Carnival Ecstasy. This is because there is a pool, a few bars and an outdoor stage on this deck. The Panorama Bar & Grill, a popular place for a snack or meal, is also located on the Lido Deck.
Camp Carnival, where the children's program is based out of, is located on the Verandah Deck (Deck 8). Also on this deck is the volleyball court, a pool and a bar. This deck is called the Verandah Deck because it's the deck where the suites that have verandahs (balconies) are located.
The beauty salon, spa and fitness center are located on Deck 9 (the Sports Deck). The highest passenger level deck on this ship is Deck 10, the Sun Deck, and is where the jogging track and City Sports Park Mini Golf is located.
The casual dining dress code onboard a Carnival cruise is as follows: For men: sport slacks, khakis, jeans (no cut-offs), dress shorts (long), collared sport shirts. For women: Casual dresses, casual skirts or pants and blouses, summer dresses, Capri pants, dress shorts, jeans (no cut-offs). The following is not permitted in the dining room during the Cruise Casual dinner for ladies and gentlemen: gym shorts, basketball shorts, beach flip-flops, bathing suit attire, cut-off jeans, and sleeveless shirts for men.
For those that don't want to dress up, the Lido restaurants are open nightly (except for the last night of the cruise). The Lido restaurants have a casual dress code.
The number of formal nights on a Carnival cruise depends on the length of the cruise. On a 7-Night cruise there will typically be two formal nights. The dress code for children is the same as that for adults.
Carnival calls their Formal Night dress code Casual Elegant and considers it as follows: For men: Dress slacks and dress shirts. A sport coat is suggested. Suites and tuxedos (tuxedo rentals are available on the ship) are also more than welcomed. For women: Cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts and blouses. Evening gowns are also a nice way to get dressed up.
Not permitted in the dining room during casual elegant nights are shorts, t-shirts, beach flip-flops, bathing suits, jeans, sleeveless shirts for men, sportswear, and baseball hats.
Carnival has a wonderful supervised youth program onboard each of their ships. This program is split up into three main groups, based on age. Camp Carnival is for 2 through 11 year olds, Circle "C" is for 12 to 14 year olds, and Club O2 is for 15-17 year olds.
Camp Carnival is split further, into three groups. 2 to 5 year olds are in the Toddlers group, 6 to 8 year olds are in the Juniors group, and 9 to 11 year olds are in the Intermediates group. Kids in Camp Carnival get their own special kids' menus, featuring lots of favorites (such as pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken nuggets). Some of the activities that will be available to your kids include board games, reading & story time, finger painting, talent shows, dance parties, video games and lots of outdoor activities.
Circle "C" is a fun time for 12 to 14 year olds. Activities for these kids include various games, dance parties (each night of the cruise), scavenger hunts, pool parties, outdoor movies and more.
Club O2 features video games, teen-only shore excursions, dance parties, pool parties, sports, board games, card games, karaoke and a special Club O2 Lounge. The Club O2 Lounge is dedicated to the kids in the Club O2 program and is a real hot spot on the ship. This area features comfy seating, a state-of-the-art dance floor and multiple video screens.
Babysitting services are available from 10 pm to 3 am, at an additional charge. Babysitting is available for 6 month olds through 11 year olds. The babysitting is offered in Camp Carnival and is provided in a "slumber party" format. During this time kids get to enjoy movies and cartoons. Pillows, blankets and cribs will be available. The cost for this service is $6 per hour for the first child, and $4 per hour for each additional sibling in the same family. In-cabin babysitting services are not available on a Carnival cruise. There is an After Hours program available for 9 to 11 year olds, at the same cost of the babysitting service. This program runs from 10 pm to 12 am, and provides kids with a variety of activities to participate in. Among these activities are board games, karaoke, video games and theme nights. Children are not allowed to sign themselves out of these programs (parents must return to do so).
Carnival automatically charges your onboard account $10 per person per day, to cover for the gratuities for your dining and stateroom staff. The $10 is based on the following guidelines that Carnival recommends:
$3.50 per day for staterooms services
$5.50 per day for dining room services
$1.00 per day for alternative services (distributed to kitchen and other hotel service staff)
For cruises to nowhere, gratuities of $10 per guest per day must be prepaid.
If you're not satisfied in some way with the service you receive while on your cruise, you can go to the main purser's desk and ask them to adjust the gratuities being charged, to any amount you see fit. A 15% charge is automatically added to all beverage purchases. Tipping of room service employees and your Maître d' is at your discretion.
The official minimum drinking age on all Carnival cruise ships is 21 years of age. Proof of age is required.
Guests that are 21 and older are allowed to bring one bottle (750 ml) of wine or champagne per person on the cruise, at embarkation only (the first day of the cruise). A $10 corkage fee will be charged if you'd like them to open the bottle at dinner. A $14 corkage fee will be charged if you'd like them to open the bottle in the Supper Club. All other alcoholic beverages are restricted from being brought onboard at embarkation.
Alcoholic beverages that are purchased at a port of call and are brought onboard the ship will be confiscated at the gangway by the Carnival staff and will be returned to you at the end of your cruise.
The official minimum gambling age on all Carnival cruise ships is 18 years of age. Guests under 18 are not even allowed to be inside the casino. Proof of age is required.