Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Carnival Cruise Lines is a British-American owned cruise line, based in Miami, Florida.. Originally an independent company founded in 1972 by Ted Arison, the company is now one of eleven cruise ship brands owned and operated by Carnival Corporation & plc. The company has the largest fleet in the group, with twenty two vessels currently in operation.
Carnival was a pioneer in the concept of shorter, less expensive cruises. Its ships are known for their Las Vegas-style decor and entertainment. The line calls its ships The Fun Ships, and there are a wide range of activities offered on board. Its trademark is the smoke stack, or funnel, which is red, white and blue and shaped like a whale's tail. The mascot for Carnival is "Fun Ship Freddy", a character in the shape of Carnival's distinctive funnel.
The Carnival Ecstasy is a Fantasy class cruise ship, which began operation with Carnival Cruise Lines in 1991. Features include three pools, whirlpools, a variety of dining options, nightclubs, a casino, and duty-free shopping. She is currently offering four- and five- day Western Caribbean itineries out of Galveston, Texas.
The ship suffered heavy damage in 1998 after the laundry room in the ship's stern caught fire damaging much of her stern and aft section. On the afternoon of July 20, 1998, MS Ecstasy had departed the Port of Miami, Florida, en route to Key West, Florida, with 2,565 passengers and 916 crewmembers on board when a fire started in the main laundry shortly after 1700. The fire migrated through the ventilation system to the aft mooring deck where mooring lines ignited, creating intense heat and large amounts of smoke. As the Ecstasy was attempting to reach an anchorage north of the Miami sea buoy, the vessel lost propulsion power and steering and began to drift. The master then radioed the U.S. Coast Guard for assistance. A total of six tugboats responded to help fight the fire and to tow the Ecstasy. The fire was brought under control by onboard firefighters and was officially declared extinguished about 2109.
After Hurricane Katrina, the ship spent six months in New Orleans serving as quarters for refugees and relief workers. Now, the Carnival Ecstasy travels on four and five day itineraries throughout the Western Caribbean from Galveston, Texas.
On July 1, 2007, David Ritcheson, the victim of the April 22, 2006 Harris County, Texas assault incident, jumped off the MS Ecstasy and died.
April 21, 2010 at approximately 12.55 pm U.S. central time, the cruise ship Carnival Ecstasy was forced to perform a maneuver to avoid an object in the water, near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, which resulted in the ship listing 12 degrees to the starboard side. The object was a large buoy which was adrift and mostly submerged thereby preventing it from being detected by the ship’s radar. Injuries included 60 guests and one crew member. The ship safely docked the following day, Thursday 22 April 2010, at its home port in Galveston, Texas.
Carnival has announced a new program that will be applied to all Fantasy class ships. It involves many upgrades to the Fantasy ships. After Ecstasy completed its Hurricane Katrina charter, it went into drydock. While there, it received some of the upgrades that are part of the Evolutions of Fun program. These include a new mini golf course on the sports deck, refurnishing of all the staterooms, new children's facilities, and the remodeling of the gift shop and Lido deck restaurant, The Panorama Bar And Grill. In 2009the ship received the Full Evolutions of Fun which includes the children's water parks and "Camp Carnival" where parents can drop off their child, "Serenity" adult only decks, refurbishing of the ship's aft lounge, additional 98 balconies and other small improvements.