One of the cool perks I get for being a travel agent, is that you get to go on ship inspections.  A ship inspection is a tour of the public areas of the ship and then they give you lunch so they you can see all of the amenities, try the food, and take pictures so they you have a better idea of what it’s like so you can show your clients….and then they kick you off before the ship leaves port!  Well, earlier this month, I got to tour the Carnival Ecstasy out of Jacksonville, Florida.  

The Ecstasy is one of the older (if not the oldest, still in operation) under the Carnival fleet.  That’s not to say she’s not a beautiful ship.  The Ecstasy is part of the Fantasy class which is a smaller ship class than the rest of their fleet.  I personally enjoy the Fantasy ships because they are easier to get around/learn the lay out, you recognize people throughout your sailing, the areas don’t feel as crowded, etc.  Mostly for me…it’s the layout.  I have a horrible sense of direction and this helps me tremendously! hahaha.

Here’s a quick little photo review of some of the different areas on the ship.

Empty ship pic!!  I couldn’t help myself.  Being on such a large ship where you normally see people enjoying their vacations, it was so surreal to be walking around on it with only the employees.

This is a photo of a typical balcony cabin.  I didn’t take too many detailed room pictures as they are easily accessible on Carnival’s website.  I did take quite a few of the suites though since it was my first time having been in one!

Their waterworks area.  This is a great place for kids….and adults.  Besides the twister slide, they also have 2 side by side racing slides that you can see off in the corner of this picture.  There were also two smaller slides for little kids with sprinklers at the top.

This is the Sapphire room, their showroom.  It’s hard to tell from this picture, but the room is beautiful.  You can tell why they call it the Sapphire room, the curtain glistens blue just like the gem.  I took a video of this area where you can see the beauty of it more….but trust me…this is a showroom done right!  The seating is on this particular ship is great.  Some ships have a lot of pillars in the way making viewing not very easy, but the Ecstasy has plenty of fantastic seats to see the shows comfortably.

This is the Alchemy Bar located right outside of the comedy club.  This is a newer addition to the Ecstasy ship and is my favorite bar on any Carnival ship.  They make upscale, handcrafted cocktails.  You won’t find a “beer” or “glass of wine” here.  Head over to any other bar for that.  My go-to drink here is the Restorative Basil Drop.  They will also create drinks for you that are not on the menu based on flavors that you like.

This was one of my favorite rooms on the ships.  I just loved the Chinese lanterns and decorations.  Looking at it, I thought for sure it was a specialty dining room, but it turns out they use this room for a bar/karaoke area.  To me, it doesn’t really fit the feel of the room, but I’ll give them a pass since I think it’s gorgeous, lol.

Sneak peek of the roulette table in the casino.  The casino is a smoking area and is only open while not at port and in international waters.

Carnival has recently rolled out some new desserts (namely, cakes) on their buffets.  I didn’t get a chance to try them, but they looked really good.  

This was the set menu for our private group.  

This mushroom risotto was delicious! If you see this on the dining room menu, do yourself a favor and order like 5 of them! lol.  Whatever that creamy sauce was around the plate, was the best thing ever!

(I ordered the steak and veggies for my main, but didn’t snap a picture…sorry!)

And of course our meal ended with Carnival’s signature dessert, the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake.  Sooo good.

Bottom line….did I enjoy the Ecstasy?  Yes.  She is showing her age.  And there is visible rust in places.  She is going into drydock for deep cleaning and minor cosmetic touch ups in early October.  I do hope these items are addressed.  I’ve always seen reviews where people talk about the ship “showing it’s age” or having rust and honestly, I never really noticed on any ship I’ve been on.  I thought those people were nit picky.  But, when I got on the Ecstasy…..I noticed.  So while I absolutely love Carnival and there were some beautiful areas on this ship, yummy food, and a ton of fun activities….would I recommend this ship right now?  I’d probably steer people towards one of the other Carnival ships.

What do you think?  Have you been on this ship before?