We had a great first time on the Elation. New Orleans is becoming our favorite cruise port; we previously sailed on the Conquest earlier in the year.
We stayed at the Drury Hotel for 2 nights before the cruise and had a blast in the French Quarter and even took a riverboat cruise!
Embarkation was awesome, luckily my wife is Platinum so we were onboard probably around 11:15 and dropped our bags in our room and headed to the Lido for our first DOD. We stayed in an interior on the Veranda deck, room V36. It was the first time we stayed in an interior, since the older ships do not have balcony rooms except for the suites we figured we would try this out and it worked out fine. The only complaint was the box in the corner of the room for the life vests that was a pain to move around.
We spent a lot of time on the Serenity deck, never had a problem finding a chair and watched as the staff removed stuff people left to save chairs without anyone prompting them! We also played a lot of trivia, Peetah and Pearl were awesome hosts during the games, and they made the games a lot more fun that hosts we had on past cruises.
We found the food to be ok, nothing horrible by any means, but also nothing AWESOME. There were always plenty of good choices and the staff tried to make everything great. We never had any slow service from the wait staff; we did have a few long times getting a table using ATD. We have tried ATD a couple of times and probably will not use it again; we do miss having the same staff and not having to wait for a table.
Progresso was ok, we went to the Dzibilchaltun ruins and the tour guides were great but the Mexican President was visiting the site the next day so almost 50% was closed off for security. We stood around a lot in the sun and were kind of bored. We headed back to the ship and enjoyed some quiet time on the Serenity deck.
We had nothing planned for Cozumel since we had been there a few times before. We walked around the shopping area and just enjoyed the perfect weather before heading back to the ship to relax.
We went to a few comedy shows; I can say that after 7 Carnival cruises that the one comedian Mutzie was the best one we had ever seen. His adult shows were never "dirty” but just so funny; he had the whole lounge laughing the whole time.
Debarkation was a breeze, we were in group 1 with Platinum and we were off and on the way to the airport around 8:45.
We really had a great time, besides us we had 4 other groups with us and everyone really enjoyed themselves. We are planning a B2B on the Dream once it arrives in New Orleans in 2015!