Friday, March 19, 2010

Carnival Ship Makeovers

Carnival Ecstasy - A Ship Out of Water

October, 2009 we were in Freeport Bahamas, on our annual conference cruise, the same time Carnival Ecstasy was getting a major makeover.  The multi-million-dollar refurbishment included the addition of an expansive new water park, an exclusive adults-only retreat, a Circle “C” facility for 12- to 14-year olds, and a redesigned resort-style main pool area. Additionally, 98 balconies were added to existing ocean view staterooms.   All of the ship’s 1,026 staterooms were upgraded with new plasma screen TVs as well as updated wall coverings, tile work, carpeting and light fixtures. Many additional cosmetic improvements were made in the public areas.

Carnival Ecstasy was the second ship to have additional balconies added following the success of a similar implementation on the Carnival Sensation earlier in 2009.  This continues a series of major upgrades to the line’s eight Fantasy-class vessels sparking new life into those ships.

A Peaceful Retreat

My favorite improvement is Serenity SM, an adults-only retreat, located aft on Promenade Deck. With design elements that include teak decking, large umbrellas and thatched roofing, Serenity provides an ocean-going oasis for relaxation and comfort. Guests can enjoy icy cocktails and frozen drinks while relaxing in plush chaise lounges and chairs. Food service is available in the casual Panorama Bar & Grill located nearby.

Water, Water, Everywhere

A signature element of the Fantasy-class upgrades is Carnival WaterWorks SM, a fun-filled aqua park located on Verandah Deck. Designed with an all-ages appeal, WaterWorks encompasses a 300-foot-long twisting, turning water slide – the longest and most elaborate at sea – along with dual-lane 82-foot-long racing slides, and a wide variety of water spray toys.

In addition, Carnival Ecstasy’s main pool on Lido Deck – which includes a swimming pool and two large whirlpools – was totally transformed to feature a distinct resort-style ambiance. Vibrant oversized umbrellas, thatched roofing and colorful tile work creates a decidedly tropical feel.

Oh, to be a Teen Again

The addition of a new Circle “C” SM center, located on Atlantic Deck 8, is aimed at the 12- to 14-year-old set.  The facility  includes plasma screen televisions displaying movies and music videos, a high-tech sound and lighting system, gaming consoles and a touch-screen jukebox.  This is a great place to hang out with newly found friends during the cruise.

Recent Carnival Ship Enhancements

The Carnival Glory received the following enhancements upon completion of dry dock in mid February; Serenity SM adult only retreat, Carnival's Seaside Theater®, Circle “C”SM youth program for ages 12 to 14, 18 more balcony staterooms, “Your Time Dining” on the upper level of the forward dining room, a new Mongolian Wok in the Lido area and Wi-Fi from bow to stern.

After extensive refurbishments were completed February 1, 2010, the Carnival Fascination now offers these new enhancements; Carnival WaterWorks SM, Serenity SM, a resort-style pool, 98 more balcony staterooms, upgraded main dining rooms, “Your Time Dining” in the forward dining room, a Mongolian Wok and Rotisserie in the Lido area and Circle “C”SM youth program for ages 12 to 14.   Watch Video of Carnival Fascination in Dry Dock

The Carnival Freedom emerged from dry dock in December 2009 with the following updates; Serenity (a first for Carnival Conquest class,) Circle “C”SM youth program, 18 new Balcony staterooms and “Your Time Dining” in the forward dining room.

Carnival Cruise Line continues to invest in improving the product it offers to the general public.  I'm sure you'll agree that these changes greatly enhance the cruise experience.   While these ships aren't new, the changes make one feel like they are on a new ship.   Learn more about the Carnival "Fun Ships".

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