By Jackie Roseboom
Carnival Cruise Lines will launch the cruise industry’s only four- and five-day Caribbean trips from Port Canaveral with the Carnival Ecstasy. She departed Nov. 7 on a five-day sold-out cruise to Nassau, Freeport and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay — the first of 78 annual cruises from the Space Coast.
Carnival Ecstasy’s one-of-a-kind schedule includes two different four-day itineraries, along with two different five-day choices. Four-day “long weekend” cruises depart Thursdays and visit Nassau and Half Moon Cay or Freeport, while five-day voyages depart Mondays and Saturdays, calling at Nassau, Freeport and Half Moon Cay or Key West. Great rates include non-refundable Early Saver rates starting at $329 per person for four-day voyages and $349 per person for five-day departures.
Combined with Carnival Sensation’s three- and four-day Bahamas cruises and Carnival Dream’s seven-day eastern and western Caribbean voyages, the line offers a variety of itineraries, cruise lengths, and departure days from Port Canaveral.
“The growth of Port Canaveral as a cruise departure point is truly extraordinary and millions of consumers have discovered the benefits of sailing from this convenient and centrally located homeport,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. Â “The Canaveral Port Authority is an outstanding business partner and deploying a third year-round ship is a testament to our relationship with the port and our confidence in its continued success.”
Port Canaveral CEO Stan Payne said, “The Carnival Ecstasy’s arrival comes only a few days after we shattered our record for cruise passengers at Port Canaveral.”
Carnival Ecstasy received a multi-million dollar refurbishment in 2009 that added a new facilities and features, including a WaterWorks aqua park with a 300-foot-long spiral water slide, a tropical-themed resort-style main pool area and the Serenity adults-only retreat. Ninety-eight balconies were added to existing staterooms, as well. These new features are complimented by the ship’s onboard amenities such as a renovated 12,000-square-foot Spa Carnival health club, three restaurants, complimentary programs for children, a 24-hour pizzeria, a jogging track and 12 lounges, bars and nightspots.
Carnival Ecstasy’s new schedule continues the line’s longstanding relationship with Port Canaveral, that began in 1990 with a 950-passenger ship carrying approximately 100,000 passengers annually. Over the past 21 years, Carnival has dramatically expanded its presence at the port, adding newer and larger ships along with new schedules and itineraries.
For additional information on Carnival’s “Fun Ship” cruises go to carnival.com or contact your favorite travel agent.
– Jackie Roseboom is a regular contributor to Cruise Guide, “Orlando Attractions Magazine” and CruiseNewsWeekly.com.