This was our 11th cruise on carnival and we really had a nice time. It was a 4-day cruise from 2 - 6 August. Instead of flying to New Orleans, we decided to drive the 12-hours from St. Louis to the port a day prior to the cruise. It wasn't a bad drive at all. Took right at 12-hours and we arrived at 4:00 a.m. We went to have beignets and coffee at Cafe' Du Monde in the French Quarter. We walked the riverfront and watched the ship come into port at 7:00 a.m.
We parked at the Erato Cruise Parking at 9:00 a.m. where there was an attendant who took are our luggage and pointed us where to park and where to go to sign in. After going though security and getting our sail and sign cards, we just waited for the ship to be cleared and ready for boarding. We boarded the ship at 11:30 and headed to the lido deck for lunch.
The ship is in very good shape for its age. Yes, there is wear and tear that are visible, but the ship was clean and the staff were friendly and polite to us. We don't let some nicks, chips, rust or at sometimes a slow elevator take away from having a good time with family.
Food: For the first time in all our cruises, we decided not to eat in the dining room. We ate each of our meals at the Tiffany's Restaurant. There is plenty of items to choose from with the buffet, or you can try the deli, pizza, Mongolian or burgers and dogs. I would have to say the food was slightly above average compared to the other carnival ships were have been on. Some of the food was just not hot enough for me or was bland in taste. But unlike some who filed a formal complaint with carnival or had a meltdown because her toast wasn't brown enough, I just choose to find something else to fill me up.
Cabin: We had interior cabin on the main deck. Plenty of room for the three of us. We had enough closet and drawer space for all our clothes and the bathroom was the typical size and layout as the other fantasy class ships were have been on. The only hiccup with the room was that the air was not blowing enough cool air out of the vents to keep the room cool. We knew that maybe it would be a problem, so we packed a fan and that seemed to help out a lot. The room was not unbearable, but could have been cooler. Guest service told us that a couple of the ship a.c. units were being worked on during the cruise. We did get a nice fruit and meat tray for our troubles.
Excursion: Since we have been to Cozumel 7 time before, we decided not to do an excursion, but just to shop at the port
Camp Carnival: Our grandson loved it! There were a lot of activities for him and he always wanted to go. The ladies were awesome to him and we really appreciated all that they do. One of the best camps he has attended.
Debarkation: Since we are platinum members and wanted to get off the ship as early as were could to hit the road, we elected to use the priority service to these members for the first time. We were given a letter to meet in the lounge by 7:30. We got there at 7:15 and there was some confusion on who were diamond/platinum members and who were guess who need to get off due to early flight times. So we all must formed a line and was escorted by a carnival rep. We were on the road by 8:00 and headed back to St. Louis.
Bottom-line with any cruise is there will be things that are good, bad or ugly. But all that should never take away from the great time with family or friends. We chose to avoid all the negative people and comments and focus on having the best time ever.
Next cruise(s) Carnival Destiny 17 - 22 Dec, Carnival Breeze 22 - 24 Nov & Carnival Breeze 24 Nov - Dec. Our next cruise out of New Orleans will be a back-to-back on the Carnival Sunshine from 24 Nov - 8 Dec.
If anyone has any questions about the Elation, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org