Thursday, November 10, 2011

Unique New Cruise Offerings From Port Canaveral Aboard Carnival Ecstasy

Carnival Cruise Lines launched the cruise industry’s only 4- and 5-day Bahamas/Caribbean program from Port Canaveral this week when Carnival Ecstasy departed Tuesday on a 5-day sold-out cruise to Nassau, Freeport, and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay–the first of 78 annual voyages from the Space Coast.

Carnival Ecstasy’s one-of-a-kind schedule includes two different 4-day itineraries, along with two different 5-day choices. Four-day “long weekend” cruises depart Thursdays and visit Nassau and Half Moon Cay or Freeport, while 5-day voyages depart Mondays and Saturdays, calling at Nassau, Freeport, and Half Moon Cay or Key West.

Carnival Ecstasy’s new schedule continues the line’s longstanding relationship with Port Canaveral, which began in 1990 with a single 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. In addition to offering consumers more diverse choices of short-term cruise vacations, the new program further bolsters the line’s position as Port Canaveral’s largest cruise operator with three year-round ships carrying approximately 600,000 guests annually. Combined with Carnival Sensation’s 3- and 4-day Bahamas cruises and Carnival Dream’s 7-day eastern and western Caribbean voyages, the line offers an unprecedented 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. “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,” he added.

Carnival Ecstasy underwent a multi-million dollar refurbishment in 2009 that added a host of new facilities and features, including an expansive WaterWorks aqua park with a 300-foot-long spiral water slide, a tropical-themed resort-style main pool area, and a Serenity adults-only retreat. Ninety-eight balconies were added to existing staterooms, as well. These features complement the ship’s wide range of on-board amenities such as a renovated 12,000-square-foot Spa Carnival health club, three restaurants, complimentary programs for children in three age groups, a 24-hour pizzeria, a jogging track, and 12 lounges, bars and nightspots.

Image Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

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