The cruise started with me driving from the Nashville area to the boot heel of Missouri to pick up my parents. I left on a Saturday afternoon to drive there and spent the night. I went the my mom's clothes to see how many too many she had packed. She has not been too bad but we moved a few things into my suitcase and were ready for bed. We vowed to leave for New Orleans by 7:00 am and we were on track until dad could not find his keys. He finally decided to use his spare and they had a spare house key as well.
The trip went well on the way to New Orleans. We made a mandatory stop at Cracker Barrel on the way down.
The over night stay was booked at the Ramada Inn in Metarie. This hotel was very well rated and did not disappoint us. They also have free cruise parking with a shuttle to the ship, but you have to taxi back to the hotel. The cab is supposed to be about $33-35 but our driver charged $40 so he got no tip since he added it in.
For dinner we were recommended to go to the Acme Oyster House by the front desk attendant. It was great. I had the catfish and shrimp platter and we had fried crawfish as an appetizer. I would highly recommend this place for a pre-cruise meal.
The hotel has a nice breakfast included in the price so we did that before hitting the shuttle for the port. we got to the port a little before they were ready to let us on the ship, but we were on board and having a burger on the Lido deck by 11:30.
We found our way around the ship, this was my third time on her, my dad's second and mom's first. She was like a kid in the candy shop!
We selected early dinner so we didn't go to bed stuffed. We were assigned the Imagination dining room which is also used for the anytime dining. We had a great couple that was celebrating 58 year of marriage and their daughter. I had shrimp cocktail for the appetizer, flat iron steak (not the best ever) and the chocolate melting cake.
Dad went to bed early and I took mom on the grand tour of the ship, we went to a show called game show mania that was hosted by Petaaa and TJ. Very fun show. Mom played her first bingo game and actually won $2 on the pull tab. First time I ever saw any one win at that. Following bingo was the welcome aboard show. This was great and we laughed a lot. After that mom went to be and I went for a piece of pizza. We were still in the river and it was very foggy. The ship whistle (horn) was going off about every 30 seconds to let people know we were there. I could hear a horn as we were near the casino but I thought it was just a slot machine or something. While walking across the Lido deck the things went of and I almost jumped out of my shoes. This is bone rattling. I decided to take a burger patty and fries back to the room and even know it was going off on my way there I almost thru my burger overboard when it went off again. Luckily you could not hear it on the Riviera deck where we were staying. I was in R-82 and my parents were in R-78.
Day #2 Sea Day
I woke up about 8:45. I always joke about the only thing I want to do early in the morning is be the last person for breakfast before the break down to get lunch out. I had a little sinus thing going on for a week or so before the cruise and I woke up with my eyes a little goopy. I took some Tylenol sinus and was good after about a hour. I was a little shocked my parents were still in their room when I called over. Dad is a very early riser. Mom was fixing her hair so the wind on deck could mess it up. We did the sea day brunch in the main dining room. I had never tried this before. It was pretty good. I did try the fruit loop crusted French toast and will not try that again, but the omelet and hash was very good.
We got to the serenity deck about 10:30 and all the chairs in the sun were taken. There were no chair hogs, all were full. A couple sitting in front of us offered their two chairs to me so I moved mom and dad up there. I moved to the main pool deck since there were no open chairs at the serenity deck. There were more kids a the pool than I remember seeing, but they said there were only about 180 kids on the ship.
I found mom at 1:00 and we went to Tiffany's for lunch. The had some really good roast beef and cheesy mashed potatoes. After lunch I went to my cabin to try to nap but that did not work so back to the pool from 2:30 -4:00. I snagged a little salad and some chips with salsa for a snack. When I was getting ready for Elegant night I noticed a few red spots on my leg. Aloe Vera time.
We had a lot of pictures taken that night before dinner. I had lobster and prime rib, and diet banana cake. We also had another couple join the table tonight. They are from New Orleans and we joked about the long drive they had to get here.
After dinner we went to the show Just Rock. I have seen it several times and it was good again.
Day #3 Progreso
We got off the ship at about 8:00 to go shopping before our tour. Before we could get to the shopping place mom and dad decided to stop for massages. We had booked the Dzibilchaltun tour with a stop in Merida as well, We booked thru Autoprogreso. They are the company that runs the buses from the ship to town at this port. We had Ivan for a tour guide and his knowledge of Mayan history is really a great addition to this tour. He is part Mayan so that helps. While on the tour we stopped at the Cenote and mom put her feet in and had little fish giving her a pedicure.
We ate at a restaurant in Merida called Main St. Café. My dad and I ate their on the last cruise we took. I had the pibil chicken and it was great.
Dinner that night was a casual night and we had Jerk pork and apple pie. After dinner dad went to bed and mom and I went to look at photos from the night before. We also played in a game called "in the bag". What fun! Everyone should highlight this one on the Funtimes to make sure you do not miss it. Get involved in it and bring lots of stuff with you. This is like Lets Make a Deal meets a scavenger hunt. I ended up shirtless and missing a shoe and a sock during this. I also had to get on the stage and act like I was having a baby. Mom had to kiss a bald guy on his head and had to donate her watch to the cause.
That game was followed with the Love and Marriage show. This was a good show as well. We went to the Mexican Party which was very weak compared to other ships I have been on. There was no buffet, just some dancing with the staff. I went down and read my book until I fell asleep. Tomorrow Cozumel!
Day #4 Cozumel
We had breakfast about 7:30, I suggested 8 because there was no need to hurry to get off the boat. I was vetoed and we started earlier. We did the obligatory shopping and my mom actually said the words I never thought I would hear. She was all shopped out. We took our (her) stuff back to the ship then we went to My Cozumel. We caught a cab to Paradise Beach club. The place was very busy with 4 ships in port but after a small wait time under palm trees we got to the sunshine.
I got mom out into the water and showed her how to dodge the underwater rocks to try to get where you wanted to go. She floated a little bit but she would not get her head under. "Mom doesn't get her hair or face wet!". We had some food and goofed in the pool a little while before heading back to the Elation. I did some walking on the ship track then went down the slide into the pool. Remember me talking about sinuses earlier. This cleaned them out.
After dinner (I cant remember what we had that night), we went to purchase pictures from elegant night. I left mom and dad for date night and went off for some piano bar and karaoke.
Day #5 Sea Day
Rain Day. We spent most of the day inside looking for things to do. I started at the pool deck until it rained too much.
After Dinner we went to get the pictures mom had ordered and then dad went to bed. I took mom to karaoke and the piano bar for a little bit then we went to bed.
I may have a few details from day 4 and 5 mixed up because I did not write in my journal after getting back in from Cozumel. I don't remember why I did that.
Day #6 Debarkation
We were a high number getting off the ship. We had breakfast at Tiffany's, sounds like a movie or song. We waited until about 10:15 to get off the ship. Once thru customs we tried to find a cab. The process was very confused and I don't remember it being that way the last two times we were coming back to this port. There was another ship in port that morning, but this is not the only time that happens so I don't know what was up. We were back at the hotel to get our car at about 11:00 and started driving back to Missouri.
Mom said this was her favorite vacation ever and dad has been looking for another cruise since they got home. I got them back home and then headed to Tennessee. I made it home around 11:30 that night.
Overall a good trip, but this is probably my last cruise on the Elation. It is a close port to go to and a cheap cruise. I think I am starting to believe the people on the boards talking about Carnival turning into a cheaper cruise line to suck people in and move them up to a higher priced ship. The only problem with that is my next cruise will probably not be with one of their other companies. Maybe it was because it was a smaller ship and my third time on it, but there was definitely something missing.
No goodie stash in the bathroom, the meal portions seemed smaller, which isn't all that bad. They used to put cokes in the room that you could drink, you had to pay from them, but they were there. They also did not do ice buckets unless you asked for them. Some of the entertainment that I was looking forward to were not on the schedule. I really liked the Liar Club but they did not do it. I may give them another try on one of the bigger ships once we try another line just for a comparison.