My sister and I booked a 4 night cruise with the Carnival Elation ship leaving San Diego and going to Catalina and Ensenada. We had just gone on our first cruise out of Boston on the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas and absolutely loved it. We were looking forward to our next cruise. What a complete dismal dissappointed we were to face.
We arrived at the cruise terminal around 1:30, it was packed. The security there was helpful directing people and the luggage porters were friendly and helpful. Once inside the terminal it was very different. The security in there were barking at people, in particular a woman at the x-ray machine who kept yelling at everyone to "move to the end of the table" once we got our purses, belts, etc. thru the x-ray machine.
We proceeded to the check in where they give you your Sea Pass card, there was a huge line up. My sister and I are far from snobs, we grew up poor, but one glance at the passengers waiting to get on the ship and we knew this was not going to be something we would enjoy. Not to be mean, but most looked like they just scraped together enough change from their beer bottle returns to take a cruise. Nobody was dressed up, a lot wearing old clothes and baggy, torn sweats. I swear they issued everyone gum that came thru the line. Once thru that, we boarded some rickity old gang plank, and immediately aboard the ship could see it was an old beaten up tub. Purple walls, dirty carpet, dirty dishes, dirty napkins laying on the floor, and low ceilings everywhere. We headed to the buffet, and waiting again in line for lousy dorm style cafe food. They had someone in the dessert section making sure nobody took a piece of cheesecake, the attendant cut off a wafer thin slice to anyone who asked for a piece.
We proceed to our room to see if this old rotten tub would be any better, and the room was a dirty old shoebox that was worse than a cheap motel room. Old nasty carpet, pressboard cupboard for your clothes, and when we opened up the closet it was dirty on the bottom. The room had a stale old musty smell, and again, the low ceiling.
My sis and I knew we couldn't last 4 nights. We wanted off. We went to the guest relations desk and informed them that we had to get off the ship before it sailed. We didn't even care we weren't going to get a refund, we just couldn't bear it. While standing in yet another line for that, there was a couple with a red headed impish kid who broke the hand sanitizer and said nothing, and some guy right behind us had a big black eye.
Luckily the guest relations girl said we could just leave and that we did, as fast as we could drag our luggage behind us.
If you like a old beaten up ferry boat that dares to call itself a cruise ship, maybe you will enjoy it. We hated it. Never, ever again.