Carnival Elation Review
My wife and I went on the cruise with our 16 year old son and had a great time. Our goal for the trip was to relax without having to do a lot of thinking and the cruise fit the bill just fine.
The food was fine.
Dinner in the dining room was good given the fact they need to feed several folks in a short period of time. The service was great. They accommodated our request to change seating without much hassle. We had hoped to have dinner with another family but the family we were placed with was so incensed they were not seated with some other friends on the ship that we were happy to get our 4 person booth. Our servers were friendly and responsive although the overreacted and were upset when I mentioned that they had forgotten to bring back the bottle of wine we had purchased the night before. The deserts were quite good especially the melting chocolate cake.
After eating a so-so breakfast in the main dining room the fist morning we went to the casual dining area on the Lido deck for omelets for the rest of the trip. We found the omelets available their quite good and would recommend them.
For our lunches on board we had the buffet and the food was good but nothing special.
Ports of call
We went on the "ATV Adventure" on Cabo and may son and I had a blast. My wife not so much. She was toying with doing a spa day instead but wanted to share the experience with our son. She wished she had had the spa day but thinking back she was ok with the experience. There were 30 or so folks that went on the ATV trip 27 appeared to have a blast, then there was my wife who had an OK time, and an older couple that found the trip was hurting their back and did not finish. We went to Cabo Wabo when we came back enjoyed it bought some shirts. We were then planning to go to the beach but with only a couple of hours left decided to go back to the boat.
Folks that went to the beach seemed to enjoy it although one couple complained that the sand was too hot. Some folks that went snorkeling complained that it was not on a par with snorkeling that they experienced elsewhere. Two groups we talked to went para-sailing and enjoyed it. Para-sailing is not offered by the ship but they sighed up at one of the booths outside of the dock where the tender boats drop you off.
We did not sign up for any of the ship excursions, many of which involved the world famous "blow hole". We decided to go to the downtown shopping area instead. On the shuttle bus to the shopping area (the bus is outside of the dock and is $3 round trip) they told us about a $15 trip to an open air market that also offered a view of the famed blow hole. The same trip on the ship cost twice as much. We did that instead and had a great time. The market was a hoot. We found negotiating with the merchants entertaining and fun. Had a great lunch at a taco place and yes got to experience the "blow hole". One of only 3 in the world the "blow hole" is worth seeing but only if you are doing something else. It is not worth it on its own.
We went to the main stage productions of "Spin" and "Carnival Legends" and enjoyed both of them. We are not big on production numbers but found "Spin" amazingly good. "Legends" featured guests that pretended to be Elton John, Britney Spears and others and they it was very entertaining. We sat trough the auditions which made the main stage production even more interesting.
We had planed to go to the midnight comedian show one night but fell asleep.
They had a comedy hypnotist act as well that was very lame. He had a G rated version and an R rated version. We found the G rated version so lame that we figured they had to have some reason for hiring this guy and went back for the R rated version. The fact that it was as lame as the first made us question who this guy was related to in order to get the job. Basically the act is a guy pretending to be a hypnotist inviting audience member on stage to do embarrassing things. The difference in the two shows was that in the R rated version they did naughty embarrassing things and said some naughty words. It may have been more interesting if the host had any semblance of a personality but he had as much personality as a mortician and the whole experience fell flat.
We are not big drinkers and did not spend a lot of time in the bars. We did spend some time in the Romeo and Juliet lounge and really enjoyed a family band that did covers of 70's and 80's tunes. They were quite good and worth seeing. We also enjoyed a classical music trio that was on board.
We did not do any of the trivia contest and such. The folks that did appeared to have a good time.
My son had a great time at the 02 club for 15-17 year olds.
Our cabin as fine and the service was great. We were in category 4B what ever that means. Many thanks to whoever suggested bringing a power strip and night light. We brought them and needed them.
The ship was in good shape. Not elegant but functional and clean.
The kids on the ship had enough to do so they were out of the way for the most part.
Stewart the cruise director was a hoot.
I found them constantly telling me I was having a good time, and that the staff was great a bit annoying. I know if I am having a good time or not and don't need them to tell me how I feel. Maybe if they tell you enough times you will start believing it. They say that they are interested in our comments and imply that our waitress and cabin person will get sent back to Romania or wherever they are from if we don't check the "exceeded expectation" box on the comment form. If they really want to know what we think and improve things then they should has for honest not manufactured feedback.
We took the ships tour and it was a waist of time. It told you about the bars but did not show you the ship. On other cruises you got to see the kitchen and other behind the scenes areas. We walked along one deck, stayed in public areas and saw nothing interesting.
Getting off the boat took a long time. I would recommend the option of carrying off your own luggage. Those folks got off first.
The Gym had all you could ask for in an on ship gym. It was great.
If you are looking for a relaxing fun few days then I would recommend the cruise. If you are looking for world class dining and an elegant you may want to look elsewhere.