My girlfriend and I were so excited to embark on our first journey with Elation. We had never been on a cruise before and heard Carnival was a affordable and entertaining. Boy, were we wrong. We made the biggest mistake signing up for this cruise! NOT WORTH THE MONEY WE PAID
I'll admit I am pretty open minded when it comes to trying new things . But I will never attend another Carnival Cruise.
Embarking: We were herded around the registration lines like cattle. Very unorganized and hot! We were drenched in sweat by the time we boarded. Before we boarded Carnival was trying to pitch us to buy something and this didn't stop until we got off Elation.
Room: First off, we could barely get through the door but once we did it. The room was so cramped. It was difficult for 2 people to stand at the same time. We had to crawl to get over the bed to look out the window. It smelled musty and was hot/humid the entire trip. I don't think it had A/C. However, a stateroom steward was very helpful and kept the room clean. The bathroom was also small. The shower was the only bright spot.
Food: I read another critic say it's "elegant hospital food" and that's so accurate. We're pretty flexible when it comes to dining options and we chose the Your Time dining. But I've got to tell you..this was some of the worst food we've ever eaten. Most of the time it was either luke warm or tough. Portion sizes for the shrimp cocktail was comical, The fries were soggy and the hamburger tasted so bland. You have to pay extra to get soda or sweet tea with dinner! What a rip off?!! Plus, the water was usually served without ice and the waiters poured the glass half full. I highly recommend the any time dining options because you can mingle with different people. Plus, you don't receive any special accommodation for the set time. The elegant night reminded me of a bad highschool prom. It's a cluster of people dressed in cheap attire that want to stop at every corner to have their picture taken by cheap photographers and pay $12 for it. This also is a logistics nightmare. The pizza buffet is a joke. How does someone mess up pizza??? They manage to do so! Very long lines in the self-serve stations. The sandwiches were good but it took 20 minutes to order. The “room service” is the biggest hack job. They claim it is “free” but we received a $6 room service fee to deliver. The peanut butter sandwich was awful.
By far the most disappointing aspect of the trip. We've vacationed at resorts, casinos and water parks and have never seen anything like Carnival Elation's staff. Most of them couldn't speak English and those who could didn't want to talk to you. I felt like we were one big burden on the wait staff. Many times, they wouldn't acknowledge our existence. Waited on average 10 minutes to get a drink at the various bars. When we did, they would pour very small portions of alcohol. Not one employee thanked us or asked how we were liking the cruise. The departure was another cluster with employees standing around and not directing anyone. You would think they’ve never exited a ship before.
Entertainment…OR LACK OF
This is a joke..Not a single came without a informercial attached to it. Every show was ridden with a sales pitch attached. Pushing the cheap products and gimmicks. The cruise director came on the loud speaker and “pitched” deal at least 3 times. Didn’t offer any insight on the weather or where we actually were. Very annoying! The highlight of the entertainment was the acoustic guitarist Edward. He had a huge collection of songs. The biggest disappointment is lack of entertainment outside. The pool stage that is promoted on all the commercials and looks so exciting house 4 cornhole games..I mean, come on! What a joke?? Every night had decent weather and would have been a perfect time to host an outside concert. Instead everyone is packed like sardines in the main lobby area. The Rock n Roll show was decent but a little provocative. Not suitable for children. We waited 45 minutes for the comedian to come on and he told 25 minutes worth of jokes that were not funny. He fumbled through the intro as well. I literally didn’t crack a smile during the routine. The Game show was somewhat entertaining but also cheesy. The music was controlled by someone’s iphone and the 1 of the buzzers didn’t work. The prizes were comical and the grand prize was coupon book! They promoted some other sales event the following day for at least 5 times.
I can’t fathom how people rate this cruise 5 stars! This was one big infomercial sales pitch followed by horrid entertainment!
Port of Call: First off, we were two hours delayed leaving New Orleans. The captain ensured us to would affect our time in Cozumel. However, we were an hour late arriving and it took close to two hours to get off the boat. One would think Carnival would master exiting the vessel but obviously they still need work. Cozumel was so much fun but we only had 6 hours to explore. DO NOT waste your time/money on Carnival excursion. The local ones are much more affordable and frankly I wouldn’t give another dime to Carnival.
Drinks: The biggest rip off! Way overpriced and the 2 drink offers come with a catch. The soda drink offer limits a person to 5 soda’s a day. I’ve never seen anything so cheap! Anyone with kids knows they can drink 10 cokes in a day. The alcohol “Cheers” card is a decent deal but you’re limited to 15 drinks per 24 hours. Once you hit 13 they will freeze your card or start charging you full price without saying anything. This is a good deal if you drink for than 5 drinks in a day.
In summary, someone would have to be crazy to book a cruise with Carnival! Take these reviews seriously. It seriously is the worst experience of my life. If you already booked with Elation. Please do yourself a favor and cancel or change the trip if you can. I have never been more disappointed in my life. I am amazed Carnival is profitable..this cruise is the biggest scam around. They charge you for everything and you will spend twice as much money. Do yourself a favor and take the family to the beach, Disneyworld or anywhere else for vacation! You can have more fun at a fraction at the cost.
Get off the beaten path. Take a taxi downtown and go shopping. Do not take a Carnival excursion! It's overpriced. Get a local experience.