Carnival Elation Cruise Review by HarrisBama: Another fun trip on the Elation!
Overall Member Rating
Another fun trip on the Elation!
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: New Orleans
First off - a cruise is exactly what you make of it. This is our third time sailing on the Elation and her sister ship, the Ecstasy (8/4/14 - 8/9/14). Yes they are dated, and yes, they are some of the smaller cruise ships in the fleet. You will get past the dated decor after the first day so don't let that bother you. But here is a great advantage of the smaller ships - you will meet the most wonderful people on the cruise and you will get to see them all the time! Because of the layout of the ship, you will always run into the same people over and over. On the bigger ships, this will never happen. All four of us (two adults in their late 50s and two adults in their mid 20s) said the smaller ship is the way to go (after sailing on the Carnival Magic two years ago). We loved playing the trivia games as a break from the pool area - plus that's where we saw all our new friends!
A shout out to our wonderful cabin steward, Warin - I tipped her up front and told her that both our More cabins would need lots of ice and she sure delivered! Filled ice buckets twice a day in each room. Plus anything else we ever needed, she was right there to help.
We chose the Anytime Dining and really like the flexibility of that option. We ate anywhere from right when it opened at 5:45 one day to as late as 9:15 another night.
Wish we had done the Cheers program in hindsight! If you think you will drink more than 5 fancy drinks or 7 beers a day - that's the only way to go. Double check the details on this program but if you enjoy drinking, this might be a great option.
The At Sea Brunch is the best kept secret on the ship - fantastic food (you must try the Huevos Rancheros)! And I bet that 80% of the passengers do not realize that the main dining room is open for breakfast every day with great food choices and a very relaxed dress code. Why would you eat at Tiffany's Buffet when you can sit down to a great breakfast of Eggs Benedict or french toast in a quiet atmosphere every morning?
We did the Chef's Table - fantastic! You will see signs announcing this special dinner at the front of each dining room so look for the signup information there. If you are a foodie, this is a great opportunity to have a private dinner in the Library with the head chef (seven courses including champagne and wine). And a tour of the galley while in dinner service where the pastry chef, Paul, gave us a private lesson on making their wonderful Chocolate Melting Cake. Chef Jorg stayed with us the entire evening explaining each of the dishes and the flavors we could expect. Plus the magician on board came and gave us a private show! There was just six of us at this dinner so very private. Think about this as one of your excursions and just do it. So worth it!
I did the Behind the Fun tour of the ship - got to see the ship from bottom to top including the galleys, storerooms, laundry room, crews' area, engineering (met the Chief Engineer), the dancers' area and dressing rooms, and the best, the bridge where we got to meet the Captain. A great tour given on last day at sea. It was almost 3 hours long so you can imagine how much we got to see!
Some suggestions and notes:
*Yes, there is only one plug in your room so bring a power strip with you. This is a must with plugging in everyone's cell phones at night.
*Our cabin smelled just fine but bring Febreze if you are sensitive. It is a closed up room so it doesn't get a lot of fresh air. But we had no problem with any smells.
*Bring a lanyard to attach your room key (Sail & Sign card) to so you can wear it all the time (Guest services will punch a hole in it for you).
*If you drink a lot of sodas or juice, buy the Bottomless Bubbles Program. But you can also bring a 12-pack of sodas or a case of water per person on board. Use a folding luggage cart to haul them if you have a family.
*If you don't want all the calories of juice, we brought Dasani and Crystal Light drops with us. But there is lemonade and iced tea available all day in Tiffany's.
*Every adult can bring a bottle of wine on board too. Bring a cork screw so you can open it in your room before dinner. I brought the bottle with me to the dining room and poured our wine there (no corkage fee if you open it beforehand).
*The air conditioning worked very well in our room (Riviera Deck) - almost chilly but we sure didn't complain about that! There is a vent in the ceiling that you can use to reduce the air flow but not to change the temperature. Bring a small fan if you want. I've seen folks bring box fans with them but we just brought a small folding fan with us (more for "just in case" and white noise".
*The mini golf course on the top deck has been completely resurfaced with new turf so all's good there.
*If you have to iron clothes for the formal night, do it the first night you get on ship or early the next morning. There are only two laundry rooms on board (four irons) and there was over a 30 minute wait to get to an iron on Formal night. We all waited until the last minute! Do it right when you unpack and you won't have to wait at all. (And if you think you will need to do laundry, pack a few laundry pods with you.)
*If you are traveling with a group, bring those locker sized magnetic whiteboards to stick on your metal cabin doors. That way you can let folks know where you are heading to on the ship. Saw a bunch of these and thought it was a great idea.
*Look at everything there is to do in the Fun Times bulletin you get every night. There is great music throughout the day, lots of trivia competitions (must do Motown!!!), dance classes, etc.
*Talk to people!!! You will meet the most wonderful people on the ship. Have fun, say howdy, act silly, be friendly. Make the most of the cruise! Less
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PLEASE BE WARNED!