Hello. We are booked on the Ecstacy out of Jacksonville at Christmas. We're veteran cruisers, including previous cruises on older Carnival ships, so we understand the lack of amenities compared to new ships, are are fine with that.
We've booked a balcony (E102) on the Empress deck (deck 7). It looks to be under the galley directly above, but from what I've read, that should not cause a noise concern at night.
I've also read about smells, but, again, they seem to be located on other decks and public areas. The ship is scheduled for dry dock in October, probably including carpet and other interior refurbishments; maybe some plumbing fixes as well, so not really concerned about this.
What does perhaps concern me is the ship's movement, rocking and rolling. My wife is sensitive to sea sickness, which is one reason why we chose the cabin we did... mid ship. We are considering an upgrade to a junior suite on the Verandah Deck (deck 11). These cabins are a more forward and under the fitness center or spa. Would they be noticeably any better or worse than the deck 8 balcony?
By the way, we recently returned from a 10 night Mediterranean cruise on the Celebrity Edge (which was wonderful), and had no issues with sea sickness. But the Ecstacy is a much smaller, older ship.