Carnival Elation Cruise Review by KessieB: Honeymoon Disappointment ...
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Honeymoon Disappointment ...
We were so excited to be going on our FIRST cruise together and what better time than our Honeymoon!! I immediately jumped on Carnival's site and Pinterest, I just knew this trip would be EPIC! Then I made the mistake of reading some reviews, fortunately that was a good thing because then my disappointment was as bad as it would have been if I didn't ...
First of all each cruise is different and I don't want to discourage you. Ours was unique in that there was a dance competition going on, so there were a lot of kids on board!!! Not the worse thing in the world but the last thing you want on your honeymoon is to be bombarded by a group of RUDE TEENAGE BOYS!
You will have to set up your Sail and Sign card - this can be done with a credit card (make sure you have at least $400- $500 on it because that's the hold that gets put on your card at first swipe) this card is used to purchase items on the ship. Don't fret, only the ACTUAL amount get's charged to your card on More the last day. For your convenience, there are Sail & Sign ATM's on the ship where you can check your account to see how much you've spent and keep up with it. You can also opt for loading cash on your S&S instead of using a credit card. You can also change options, and add money to it as you go along. If you go over, you will have to pay the balance before leaving the ship.
Make sure you have cash on you for the ports, they take credit cards at the shops but not for cabs, beaches etc.
- It was really easy to board the ship. Just get there early. oh and I read somewhere to Tip the porters like $1 per bag when they help you unload. We had two suitcases and a carry-on each.
- The comedy show was our favorite thing to do on the ship, comedians (there were 2 of them) were really funny! The comedy shows are really crowded, get there early or you will not be able to attend!
- There are other entertainment shows that are pretty good, make sure to check them out, it gives you something to do!
- You are allowed to bring a bottle of wine per person that's going.
- We didn't know, but you are also allowed to bring your own bottled drinks (soda, water, juice) but I believe it has to fit in your carry-on. I'm also not sure about any limits they may have per person or anything like that. I suggest either looking it up or calling them.
- The weather was great and the water was beautiful!
- Find the Serenity Deck!!! It's behind the comedy club and a little hard to get to but it's ADULTS only and really peaceful!
- They will leave a flier in your room each day, look over it for times of shows and other activities to do on board. Some of the games cost, so watch for those (like Bingo was $25 to play)
- The little casino is nice if you like to gamble.
- The room was bigger than we expected. We had a stateroom with a window and two twins that converted into a king ... that was really nice!
- Our housekeeper was super sweet!
- The overall staff was really friendly.
- The TV selections are LIMITED - There are mostly kiddie channels, and standard CBS, ABC that plays older recordings, oh! and they have one channel that plays 1 movie a day ... the same movie every 3 hours! I watched "The Help" and "Grown Ups" a few times on this trip!
- It's one of Carnival's smaller ship (or so I've read) so once you've gone around a couple of times it's the same thing over and over.
- There isn't a mini fridge in the room so if you do bring drinks, wine etc. request an ice bucket. (Oh and if you bring your wine, don't forget your cork!! .. their corking fee is $15!!!!!! just to open your bottle, we found this out the hard way. I mean we knew there was a fee but $15??? Really?)
- Drinks are ridiculous!!! $8/alcoholic drinks PLUS gratuity .. you pay like $10 per drink. Sodas are like $5 .. you can get the all day soda pass but we just opted to just bring our own MIO ... It was a suggestion I found on Pinterest that worked wonders!
- If you do purchase liquor from the shops (they have really cheap prices for large bottles of alcohol, but you don't get your bottle until the last day)
- They are constantly trying to sell you "deals" ... alcohol, jewelry, clothes etc.
- You spend A LOT of time ON the ship. You only have a few hours at the ports. By the time you dock at 9am - eat breakfast and get off the ship it's 10am. Find your way through the shops to a taxi, take the taxi 20-30min to the beach it's 11am. Spend a couple of hours on the beach, find lunch, get a taxi back to port by around 3:30 because the ship will leave you at 4! I felt so rushed, no time to really relax.
- The food is not that great, If I would have know better I would have packed some Tony's or something with me .... SERIOUSLY!
- The pool is really small ... you'll see ... so if you want to swim, I suggest going late at night when most people are off trying to find "activities" to do.
- They take your photo all day everyday - Boarding the ship, eating dinner etc. ... then it's displayed on the wall in the Pixus area -- Be forewarned they are like $8.00-$12.00 each to purchase them. Just bring your money, you'll wan to purchase at least one memory!
- Make sure you have a copy of your booking receipts. We were hit with gratuity on our final bill that we thought we had already paid for when we booked. But we booked through a timeshare/travel agent so I don't have a record of it. I think we got hit twice ... :/
"Carnival Elation Gratuity - Carnival recommends $11.50 per person, per day. The guidelines allocate $5.80 to dining room services, $3.70 to cabin services and $2 per day for alternative services, which include kitchen, entertainment, guest services and other hotel staff members. The amount is automatically added to your shipboard account, but can be adjusted in either direction at the guest services desk. A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to bar bills. Tipping for room service at delivery is expected (and appreciated) by the service staff."
Biggest advice is to just enjoy each other and the time away!
oh and read the reviews!! http://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=5 Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Elation U42
The room was bigger than we expected. We had a stateroom with a window and two twins that converted into a king ... that was really nice!- Our housekeeper was super sweet! - The overall staff was really friendly. - The TV selections are LIMITED - There are mostly kiddie channels, and standard CBS, ABC that plays older recordings, oh! and they have one channel that plays 1 movie a day ... the same movie every 3 hours! I watched "The Help" and "Grown Ups" a few times on this trip!
Port and Shore Excursions
Cozumel is a beautiful port!!! We opted out of doing an excursion because they are so expensive , but if you have the cash by all means try one! We wanted to hit the beach and that's what we did! We made our way through the shops to the end of the shopping area where we were able to get a cab. The cab ride was $15. We asked him to take us to a free beach! The beach was free but they did ask if we would like to pay $12/person for the rental of a chair and umbrella. There was a pool, club house area, bar, restaurant and beach. The beach offered the usual water activities such as banana boating, jet ski's, para sailing etc. There were also blow up water slides and a trampoline provided for extra water fun! The only complaint I have is that you don't have enough time there! It would have been great to be able to be there the whole day.
Wasn't sure what to expect here, so many people said that with this being a new port there wasn't much to do, but we found something! Just like the day before we took it upon ourselves to try and find a beach! At this port, when you make your way through the initial shops, which is more flea market-ish than Cozumel, there is a free bus that will take you to the city. Once in the city you can opt to walk 2 blocks to the free beach or (of course) there will be offers for you to go to a resort. We opted for a $35/each day pass to one of the all inclusive resorts, it included the 30 minute bus ride, food, drinks, beach and access to the pools. We then took another bus to this resort "Saibenito Beach". It was a really nice resort but once again you have little time there before having to make your way back to the cruise ship.