Hey, All; Just got back from a five day on the Ecstasy, post refurb. I was a bit apprehensive since reading so many negative reviews of the first sailing. Let me first say that I am not a complainer and I am not complaining here either. There were only two issues that I feel need attention by Carnival.(but they are significant from my point of view) If you have not sailed out of Jax recently, They have turned the parking lot around so that you are parking very near the ship. (this is a Good thing) We dropped the luggage off and parked the car, $85, and since it was about 11:00 am and we were priority boarding we were in the terminal about 10 min. tops! (security and everything) Easy! That's where we ran into our first "Issue". We no longer enter the ship on the 3rd deck like on the Fascination or the Elation and taking the elevator up to our floor, instead they have a series of ramps that you have to walk up. My wife uses a walker and I use a cane so this was "Tough"! I asked one of the terminal folks if we could use the elevator and was told no, just take our time and rest as needed. They offered to help us with a wheelchair but we "pressed onward". When sailing out of Port Canaveral on the Liberty they use ramps as well, but their lounge starts higher up so that you only have to walk up two decks. In Jax you have to walk up five decks! Tired just thinking about it.
The next issue presented itself immediately upon entering the ship. I have sailed many times and have always enjoyed reading reviews by fellow cruisers. Many times folks have complained about "The Smell" I've always considered this a myth such as "Big Foot" and other mythical things, but there it was! I don't call it a sewage smell, but it is very "Funky"! It seemed strongest around the Atrium, but it was always there. Because I'm aware that this is not a normal occurrence, I just chose to believe that Carnival was aware of the problem and would address it in due time. If I was a first time cruiser, this would be a real turn off to cruising!
Everything else on the Ecstasy was pretty good. The ship is getting old but the crew was keeping it very clean. The food was good and there was always things to do. The crew was top notch, and made the trip very enjoyable. Another thing that I forgot to mention in my "Not Complaining, Just Mentioning" is that this is the first cruise that the water on the Lido deck was terrible! The water in the MDR was good, so I don't get it. I figured that the water came from the same tanks. I had bottled water so this was no big deal. They have changed a lot of things. Some good such as the seating in the MDR where it seemed you were assigned to a table instead of a station. We had "Anytime Dining". Some not so good, such as using the "Afternoon Tea" to promote art work.
We enjoyed our cruise on the Ecstasy very much, and are looking forward to our Jan. cruise on her again! I think that Carnival will keep getting Ecstasy better and better with each cruise! Mikey.