Built in 1991, Carnival Ecstasy is the second oldest ship in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet. Numerous refurbishments over the years have kept the wear-and-tear to a minimum, and although small signs of age are beginning to show, the crew makes up for any physical flaws with superior levels of service.
A 2017 makeover brought some much-needed food and beverage additions that passengers have come to love on other Carnival ships, like Guy's Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina, Alchemy Bar and the Cherry on Top candy shop.
Carnival Ecstasy features an easy-to-love grand atrium with a "big city lights" theme that flows throughout public spaces. The vibrant color scheme invites passengers to enjoy their time onboard participating in every activity imaginable from deck parties and dancing into the night to karaoke, trivia and bingo.
The ship also offers some family-friendly amenities that up the ante in terms of fun. Hasbro: The Game Show brings audience members onstage to compete in life-size versions of favorite childhood games, while Carnival WaterWorks provides fun, twisty water slides and splash pad fun for all ages.
At night, the adult fun on Ecstasy includes lots of bars and nightlife along with the Punchliner Comedy Shows and Playlist Productions big stage evening shows. For something different, try the Alchemy Bar where "prescription" cocktails offer a spectacle of their own.
On the downside, the ship only has a single pool and lounge chairs are in high demand. Getting a prime position around the pool requires getting up early or staying onboard during port calls.
While Carnival Ecstasy may be small in size (at least compared to some of today's mega-ships), it is big on service. Crew remember your name with only a single introduction and dinner is a dream without having to ask for your favorite drink, an extra roll or after-dinner coffee past night one. Don't be surprised if someone on the crew recognizes you, even in port, and calls you by name.
When school is out for summer vacation, spring break or holidays, you'll see many families with small children and teenagers aboard Ecstasy. College-aged students and first-timers are also popular groups of cruisers as well as folks looking for a bargain -- thanks in part to the less expensive cruise fares on an older vessel.
Everyday dress on Carnival Ecstasy is casual with shorts, T-shirts, swimsuits and flip-flops being the normal poolside attire. Most passengers wear the same attire into the dining areas during the daytime, adding a cover-up or shirt if they're in just a bathing suit.
In the evenings, men mostly wear slacks and collared shirts while women don skirts, dresses and other casual items. While the dress code states no jeans, it is not as strictly enforced as the policy requiring collared shirts.
Elegant nights come with a suggested attire of suits or dress pants with a jacket for men and cocktail dresses for women. We saw few passengers so dressed up, finding most on Ecstasy were low-key and skipped the fancier clothing.
Fun and friendly with a laid-back vibe; highlights include waterslides, a singalong piano bar, nightly Punchliner Comedy Club and mini-golf; carries some 2,500.
Elation is the seventh of Carnival's eight Fantasy-class vessels (debuting in 1998), and went through a significant upgrade in 2009.
Smaller ship with a fun and family-friendly atmosphere: highlights include short warm-weather itineraries, a waterslide and mini-golf; carries about 2,500 people.
Fun, friendly vibe with a packed lineup of daily activities, nightly comedy, energetic stage shows, silly pool deck fun, and a multi-slide waterpark.
One of Australians' favourite cruise ships -- like a true Aussie, it's laid-back, fun and friendly -- from crew, to passengers and the atmosphere.
Lively and fun with a dizzying art-through-the-centuries decor, nightly standup comedy, two waterslides, four pools, and lots of bars and lounges; can carry about 2,500.
Fun and friendly with lots of pool-centric fun, a multi-slide waterpark, nightly comedy, and 16 lounges and bars; spends much of year in Australia.
Unpretentious vibe with pool-centric fun and water slide, plus Hairy Chest and Mr. and Mrs. Conquest contests; also 11 bars and 9 eateries; carries about 3,500.
Lively entertainment and activities include nightly stand-up comedy, high-energy Playlist Production stage shows, twister water slide, and a nonstop schedule of daily activities.
Fun, family-friendly ship focused on Carnival signatures like the high-energy Playlist Production shows, nightly comedy, RedFrog Pub and line dancing deck parties.
Silly poolside games, piano bar sing-alongs and PG- and R-rated stand-up comedy give this smallish mega-ship its fun vibe; also features the RedFrog Pub.
Fun, friendly vibe focusing on Carnival signatures like the Punchliner Comedy Club, gut-busting Guy's Burger Joint and cocktail-focused Alchemy Bar; holds about 3,500.
Fun, laid-back and friendly; highlights include nightly comedy, high-energy stage shows, twister water slide and the popular RedFrog Pub; holds about 3,500.
Can hold upward of 4,000 passengers; features indoor/outdoor pool with retractable dome, Twister water slide, mini-golf and just one extra-fee restaurant.
Fun, friendly vibe; features Guy Fieri's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, family-friendly and adult stand-up comedy, nightly karaoke, water park and mini-golf.
Holds about 4,000; highlights include water slides, the RedFrog Pub, two-bathroom family cabins that hold up to five, a ropes course and Carnival's signature fun.
Nonstop activities and attractions include top deck water park and ropes course, 4D Thrill Theater and nightly standup comedy; can hold up to 4,700 cruisers.
Fun and friendly with nightly stand-up comedy and short, energetic stage shows, plus a calorie-packed burger joint from celeb chef Guy Fieri; holds about 3,500.
Holds a bit more than 4,000 passengers; offers a waterpark, suspended-in-midair recumbent bike thrill ride, ropes course and the first IMAX cinema at sea.
Carnival's newest megaship, holding some 4,000 passengers, launches April 2018; highlights include new barbeque/brewery and Teppanyaki restaurants, an IMAX movie theater, waterpark, beer brewery and ropes course.
A completely reimagined ship, Carnival Sunrise is Carnival Triumph transformed with new venues, entertainment options, and a whole new Fun Ship look.