My husband and I as well as another family of 5, 2 adults and 3 teens, headed to New Orleans on March 17th. Our cruise on the Elation was set to leave on the 18th, but we opted for a night in New Orleans to avoid any delays. Also, the 17th is St. Patrick's day and we thought it would be FUN to check out the parade in New Orleans.
We arrived to our hotel in Gretna around 3:00 PM. I had called to double check that I had reserved the park and cruise package, however; apon arrival they said we had not booked that and they were sold out of that package. The staff was VERY rude, but the rooms were decent, and breakfast the next morning was nice. Except for the rude man who was never satisfied with the staff. We later saw him on our cruise, still yelling at people. Anyways, back to the evening before. After we got checked in and cleaned up we headed out for dinner. We ended up eating at Bubba Gumps, it was delicious! After dinner we walked around , collected some beads (no flashing was involved), and enjoyed the parade. It was very lively, and I can't even begin to imagine how crazy it gets during Mardi Gras. We headed back to our hotel to get some rest. (yeah right, I was WAY too excited)
We woke up the next morning, gathered our luggage, grabbed some breakfast and headed to the port. We arrived about 10:30. We had priority booking and were seated in a room to the side with refreshments. The process went very quickly and then we moved to the main seating area waiting to board. We were on the ship by 11:30! It was fantastic! My husband and I have cruised before, but of course the excitement of being on a different ship was still there. Our friends however, had never cruised before! Half the fun was seeing their excitement!
We headed straight up to the Lido Deck to grab some food. I had food from the wok, one of my most favorites! We walked around, took some pictures, it was SUPER windy that day and a little overcast, but nothing was going to dampen my day! We checked on our rooms, and were told about 15 more minutes. We went and purchased our soda cards, in my opinion TOTALLY worth it, then headed back to our room to check it out. This was my first time having a balcony and I could hardly contain myself! I must admit I was little shocked at the size of the balcony, but it was still AMAZING! The decor was as to be expected of the older ships. Everything was clean, in working order, just a little tacky.
Muster drill was up next, we were on lido for that, and it was HOT! I was SO ready to get out of there! After muster drill we did sail away then it was back to the room to get ready for dinner. During this time we got to meet our room steward, Ronello. He was absolutely fantastic! So friendly and eager to help. Our server in the restaurant was named Jean, and he was equally as excellent! I don't remember what I had for dinner each night specifically, but the fried chicken was great, I LOVED the sushi plate, and of course I had the chocolate melting cake EVERY single night! I can't help myself!
We had 3 teens with us but none of them tried out the carnival activities, they just kind of did their own thing or tagged along with us. Which means I didn't get to use the serenity deck as much as I would have liked, but the few times I was there it was beautiful. Somehow a kiss on the lips usually found its way into my hand while on the serenity deck!
One of my favorite things was the sushi they served before dinner. There were usually two options and you could get in line as many times as you wanted. It was difficult to find at first, but once we did I enjoyed it a lot!
There were so many fun things we enjoyed on this cruise. I personally loved the evening entertainment, but I'm into all that sort of stuff, our cruisemates didn't seem to impressed. The comedy was funny most nights, one guy was a little TOO raunchy for me. I usually enjoy the adult comedy, but sometimes it went too far. We really enjoyed the newlywed style game, and also played bingo a few times. My husband won $400 so that was exciting for sure!
This was a springbreak cruise, so the the pool was a little crowded, but I never noticed real heavy partying or people out of control.Photographers were not as pushy as I remember on other cruises I have taken, which I appreciated!
We had a great week and couldn't have asked for more, except maybe a few more days on the ship!
I had previously been to Cozumel and done excursions but our travel mates weren't very excited about the options they saw so I did some research and we decided to try out Paradise Beach. It was $2 per person for entry and that gave you access to chairs and the pool, but if you wanted to play on the equipment in the water it was an additional $10 per person. They do expect you to drink and eat while there. The pool was beautiful and relaxing, the beach wasn't the prettiest, but the water trampoline, slides, and other toys were REALLY fun! If my husband and I went back just us, we would probably just opt for the $2 per person and call it good. There is free wifi there, so it was nice to check in with family and friends and post some pictures! (It was pretty cold back home while we were away).
We took a taxi to and from, I dont remember the exact cost, but it was fairly cheap.
We did a little shopping in cozumel, but I didn't buy anything. It was VERY touristy.
I had also been to Progreso before, and was not a big fan. I don't exactly feel safe there. We decided to get off do some shopping since we didnt buy anything in Cozumel and call it a day. I'm glad we ended up getting off because I really did find quite a few good buys! After a few hours of shopping we headed back to the ship.