Carnival Cruise Line’s older fleet veteran Carnival Ecstasy is mid-way through a significant refit and refurbishment in Freeport in the Bahamas, becoming the first cruise ship to use the shipyard since Hurricane Dorian smashed into the port.
During her ten-day stay in dry-dock Carnival Ecstasy is getting a new paint job, upgrades to her mechanical systems, and also some new features and improvements on the passenger side, according to a statement.
At just 70,367-gross tons and carrying 2,000 passengers at double occupancy, Carnival Ecstasy (built in 1991) is one of the oldest and smallest ships in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, but that doesn’t mean she’s been neglected.
Her last major refit was in 2017, during which the Alchemy Bar, Guy’s Burger Joint, and other popular FUN 2.0 features were added. During the current refurbishment, she will get a Bonsai Sushi Express eatery, a new video arcade, a new Dreams Studio photo venue and upgrades throughout the ship’s retail shops.
Bonsai Sushi Express was rolled out to several ships in the fleet in 2017. It’s a grab-and-go Sushi restaurant open for lunch and dinner, offering a selection of sushi, sashimi, rolls and more that are served in a takeaway box. Prices are a la carte.
Carpeting replacement, tile work and furniture work will also be completed as needed, according to Carnival.
“We’re very proud to be the first cruise ship to return to the Grand Bahama Shipyard post-Dorian, as we are happy to assist in the economic recovery of the Bahamas, a valuable partner for Carnival for many decades,” said Lisa McCabe, Carnival’s vice president of hotel refurbishment.
The Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport is partially-owned by Carnival Corporation and resumed operations earlier this month, welcoming the first commercial (non-cruise) ship into its facilities post-Dorian.
A further 15 ships (of all kinds) will be dry docked at the facility through the remainder of the year.
Carnival Ecstasy is the second Fantasy-class vessel of the year to be upgraded (the first was Carnival Fantasy back in January) and will be followed by a further nine Carnival cruise ships through the rest of 2019 and 2020.