One of the last three Fantasy-class vessels, Carnival Ecstasy, will be leaving the fleet in October, and steps are starting to be taken to retire the vessel from service. Today, an iconic fixture on the ship’s promenade was removed.
Rolls Royce Rolls Away
On Deck 9 mid-ship of Carnival Ecstasy, outside the appropriately named Rolls Royce Café, an iconic blue vintage Rolls Royce once sat behind velvet ropes, offering a touch of mystique and luxury to the City Lights Promenade. Carnival Ecstasy’s designer searched all over the United Kingdom to find the perfect car, which was acquired from a small antique car dealer in the hills of Northern Wales.
The hood ornament prominent on all Rolls Royce cars is the “Spirit of Ecstasy” – an emblem born of passion, grace, and elegance, perfect to symbolize a beautiful cruise ship in her heyday.
The 1934 Rolls Royce Saloon has been a popular spot for photos and selfies, and even had a touch of its own character with a holiday wreath during Christmas sailings. As such a recognizable feature, it has served as a great meeting landmark and orientation fixture for hundreds of sailings.
But no longer.
The vintage car was carefully maneuvered out a promenade window and lowered by crane while the ship was docked in Mobile, Alabama, between sailings, on June 16, 2022.
The delicate operation was taken slowly to ensure the car was not damaged, but there was no delay in the ship’s operation or departure on its current 4-night sailing to Cozumel.
Now, that promenade space will remain blank or may accommodate additional seating for the less than four months the ship has to remain in the fleet.
Carnival Ecstasy‘s last voyage, a 5-night Western Caribbean itinerary visiting Costa Maya and Cozumel, will set sail on October 10, 2022. Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald is planning to be aboard that final sailing, and a special sendoff is sure to be in the works for the vessel.
Unlike the five other Fantasy-class ships that were scrapped during the global shutdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic – Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration, and Carnival Sensation – Carnival Ecstasy is the only ship of this popular class to be receiving a “farewell” season.
The two last and youngest Fantasy sister ships, Carnival Paradise and Carnival Elation, are remaining in the fleet.
Gone But Not Forgotten
The Rolls Royce has not been sold, traded, or scrapped, however. Instead, the car is en route to the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, to be installed in the upcoming Carnival Celebration as a tribute to Carnival Ecstasy and her glory days serving the Carnival Cruise Line fleet for more than 30 years.
Carnival Celebration will be home to a number of unique memorabilia pieces from former Carnival ships in the new Golden Jubilee bar and lounge, a highlight of the recently announced Gateway zone on the Excel-class cruise ship.
A one-of-a-kind space unique to Carnival Celebration, the Golden Jubilee will feature distinctive pieces from a variety of ships, including an etched glass partition wall from TSS Mardi Gras, mirror inserts reminiscent of TSS Carnivale’s main lobby doors, and coins representing every ship in the Fun Ship fleet.
“The Golden Jubilee is the ultimate nod to our 50th Birthday – a nostalgic but timeless lounge where our guests can re-live and connect with Carnival’s yesteryears while enjoying a glamorous and elegant space that embraces our current Carnival style,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, when the space was announced.
Dioramas, vintage logos, recreated floor tiles, blueprint reproductions, and more will all be featured in the space, and additional nods to Carnival Cruise Line’s history may be found in other parts of the ship as well.
“From a design perspective, we are incorporating elements from our former ships, paying homage to the history of Carnival,” said Ben Clement, senior vice president of new builds, refurbishment and product innovation.
It is likely that Carnival Ecstasy‘s Rolls Royce, while perhaps too large a piece to be inside the Golden Jubilee space itself, will find a new home on the promenade, or perhaps be showcased in another location on the vessel.
At 180,000 gross tons and featuring 19 decks, Carnival Celebration has plenty of space to carry a piece of all her fleet mates, past and present.
The new ship will debut as the culmination of Carnival Cruise Line’s 50th birthday celebrations, setting sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton to Miami on November 6, 2022.
Carnival Celebration will homeport in Miami, offering Eastern, Western, and Southern Caribbean itineraries and inviting all guests to step back into the glorious golden age of cruising and celebrate all the Carnival Cruise Line offers for fun and memorable vacations, year after year.