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As Carnival Corporation’s flagship brand, Carnival Cruise Lines, founded in 1972, sets the pace as the world’s largest, most popular cruise line (based on carrying about 2.5 million passengers annually). Carnival offers affordable cruise vacations with Fun Ship appeal. Today’s Carnival, a far cry from modest beginnings, defines contemporary cruising with expanded options in dining, children’s programming, spa pampering and shipboard weddings. Carnival’s fleet, composed of six vessel classes, has grown to 20, with more Fun Ships forthcoming, including five on order.
The Ecstasy yields 10 passenger decks of fun, featuring varied dining, dancing and entertainment venues, all enhanced by a dramatic "cityscape" décor designed by Carnival’s award-winning interior architect Joe Farcus. Ecstasy provides guests with the feeling of stepping into a vibrant metropolis from the moment of arrival into a Grand Atrium stretching seven-decks high, enhanced by two glass elevators and a pair of marble staircases with polished brass rails. Among Ecstasy highlights is Promenade Deck’s City Lights Boulevard, a 450-foot-long enclosed promenade providing easy access to many of the ship’s bars, lounges and nightspots. Guests experience a neon-metallic skyscraper motif as they stroll past such themed public rooms as Chinatown, Society Bar, Neon Bar, Stripes Dance Club and Rolls Royce Cafe. A vintage Rolls parked along the promenade adds to Boulevard authenticity. When repositioned to Los Angeles, Ecstasy became the newest, largest short cruise option from the West Coast, and one of the most value-packed vacations around -- by land or sea. Three-day round-trip voyages depart Fridays calling at Ensenada, while four-day cruises departing Mondays call at Calalina Island and Ensenada and add in a fun day at sea. Ensenada shore excursions range from Baja Bandidos horseback riding to city shopping and a wine country tour to the Calafia Valley.
Year entering service: 1991
Ecstasy, the first of Carnival’s Fantasy-class vessels, has drawn raves because it’s large enough to provide plenty of powerhouse entertainment, with lots of deck space for sunning, and separate facilities for adults and kids. Yet its size is not overwhelmingly huge, so guests on a short cruise can quickly learn their way around and navigate between staterooms and dining areas without maps. As with all Carnival vessels, Ecstasy has multiple swimming pools and cascading waterslides and a comprehensive golf program offering professional instruction both aboard ship and during golf excursions.
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