Was a great relaxing week, starting off with arriving in New Orleans the day before the cruise. We stayed at the Omni just one block from Bourbon Street. The hotel and staff really made the beginning of our trip great. The morning of the cruise we went to the New Orleans School of Cooking, which was just a half block from our hotel. We had breakfast at Johnnys Po-Boys that was just across the street from the cooking school. Breakfast was delicious. We had the ham and cheese omelet, which was great, the pancakes also looked delicious. We went to the cooking school and it was very entertaining. Our chef Kevin was very witty and made several delicious Cajun dishes for us to enjoy. We left the cooking school about 12:30, picked up our car at the hotel and headed to the Fulton Garage Roof Top. Great place to park. We parked on the roof top for $8.00 per day. They had people to unload our bags from the car, took us down and we got on a shuttle to the port. When we returned they picked us up at the port, unloaded our bags at the garage while one of us took the elevator and came back down with the car. They then loaded our bags into the car for us. After leaving the cooking school at 12:30 we were on the ship by 1:30. On our return we were off the ship and in our car leaving the garage by 9:30.
The Elation is an older ship, but still nice. Our cabin was E135, which is a central location and was very convenient to everything on the ship. The beds were comfortable, the bathroom was large enough with a nice size shower with great water pressure and instant hot water. Cabin crew did a great job keeping us with fresh towels and of course the towel figures at night.
We had early dining in the Imagination Dining Room. Our wait staff was great. The food was very good, but not excellent. One of our favorites is the Chocolate Molten Cake. The Sea Day Brunch had some good options and having table service was nice. The buffet was better than I expected it to be and there were several different stations with everything from hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, to a Mongolian Wok Station. There is an additional charge for soft drinks and liquor. Carnival offers a special pricing for unlimited soft drinks and a $50.00 price per day for 15 drinks per day for liquor, but you must buy it for each day of the whole cruise and your cabin mate must purchase it also. For our cruise that would have been $250 each.
We didn't do a lot of excursions. We did not even get off the ship in Progresso. From what we heard the people that did an excursion in Progresso really enjoyed it. The ones that just took the shuttle in to the beach were not too impressed. In Cozumel we just got off at the port and shopped and ate at The Three Amigos and used their free Wifi. Again everyone we talked to that did an excursion had a great time. We have done excursions in Cozumel in the past and they were all fun. The one excursion we did do on this cruise was the one on the ship of the " Behind the Fun Tour". It was about a 2 1/2 hour tour of behind the scenes on the ship and we did it the last sea day. We really enjoyed it and found it very interesting. They only do two of these and it is for only 16 people each tour. Some of the things it includes are the galley, food storage areas, laundry, engine control room, employee dining rooms and lounge, and the bridge. Staff were available in each area to explain the area and answer questions, including the captain on the bridge.
The entertainment was fair. We went to one production, karaoke with the live band, and comedy show, Had intended to go to the Piano Bar, but never made it, heard it was good.
We did have the "Faster to the Fun" on our card and it was great for not having to wait in long lines at guest services and we were the first off the ship when we returned.
All in all we had a great trip doing exactly what we planned - not much of anything just relaxing.