Carnival Elation - Western Caribbean: Carnival Elation Cruise Review by pugsbest
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Elation - Western Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
Day 1-We flew into Houston a day ahead of time, picked up our 1 way rental car, and stayed at the Wyndham Greenspoint (booked through Priceline). Hotel was nice, close to restaurants/mall, served it's purpose well.
Day 2-We drove to the Enterprise rental office in Galveston to return our car. We were told that they were really busy and the shuttle may be a while to take us to the ship. One of the agents ended up having us load our luggage back into the SUV and took us to the ship himself.
The embarkation went very smooth. One of my friends needed a wheelchair, so we ended up bypassing the lines and went right to the front and then onto the ship.
The ship was beautiful and our cabin was about what I expected. Small, 1 upper bed , 1 lower bed, corner table, small vanity with drawers on the side, small closet for hanging More items (bring extra hangers!), and other side with shelves and safe. Bathroom was fine, shower was actually a good size with nice shower head and HOT water.
We had main seating in the Imagination dining room with great waiters and fun tablemates, including surrounding tables. Carnival has started this new thing where all dining rooms are divided into 3 colors (red, white, blue) and teams earn points throughout the week by participating in various activities. We were the blue section and had a great time promoting our team. Food was very good, overall better than I had on last cruise on the Diamond Princess.
Day 2-At sea. Just enjoyed the ship, participated in activities and added to the bar bill!
Day 3-Progresso, Yucatan. 3 of us did the "Merida City and Shopping Tour." It was a pretty city and the tour operators were interesting, kept an eye on everyone and spoke good english. Shopping opportunities were few and overpriced, so we didn't buy much.
Day 4-Cozumel, Mexico. 3 of us spent a couple hours shopping and dealing with a credit card issue. Credit card company blocked card usage when it showed it was being used in Mexico. Just a warning, let your credit card company know you are leaving the country and get a phone number that can be called internationally in case of any problems!
We then went to Paradise Beach to spend the rest of the day. Had quite a few drinks, did some snorkeling, layed in the sun and ate some of the best nacho's I have ever had! Just sorry the credit card thing took up so much time, would have loved to stay longer.
Day 5-Belize City, Belize. 2 of us went on the "Coral Breeze Shark/Ray Alley" snorkel trip. Tendered from ship to meet Coral Breeze representative, had about 30 minutes to shop before tour left at 10:00. 45 minute boat ride to Caye Caulker to drop off lunch orders and bathroom break. Short boat ride to "Alley" to snorkel with rays (sharks swam off when we entered the water). Then another short boat ride to "Coral Gardens" to snorkel a trail through the coral canyons. The water was choppy and the current was strong so many people in our tour decided to stay on the boat. I didn't really enjoy this part of the trip because it felt like a fast power swim without time to enjoy what was around us. It would probably be a lot more enjoyable if the water had been calmer and we hadn't been so rushed. We had now worked up quite an appetite and headed back to the island for lunch. We arrived back in Belize City 45 minutes before the last tender, but were too tired to do any more shopping!
Day 6 & 7- Days at sea. Sleep in, eat, sunbathe, drink, eat, activities, drink, eat, you get the picture!
Desembarkation- Getting off the ship wasn't too bad, just sad! Unfortunately, we had real issues with Enterprise rent-a-car. We waited over an hour in the hot sun for a shuttle to pick us up. They had a very nice representative in front of the terminal to meet us, but the shuttles kept driving pass the Elation and over to the RCCL ship next door. After quite a few phone calls, the rep eventually got one to stop and packed us in standing room only for the ride to the office. We had reserved a premium class car that was supposed to hold 6 people and 5 large pieces of luggage. We ended up with a Mitsubishi Galant the barely held 4 people and we had suitcases beside us and on our laps. The parking lot at Enterprise was full of SUV's, Cadillac's, and minivan's, but they didn't even offer us an alternative. We saved about $20 each by renting a car, but a shuttle would of been so much easier and lot's less stress!
Most of the staff was awesome. Cruise director was good at her job and you could tell she actually enjoyed it. She even had a "meet and greet session" the last day of the cruise where she answered every question we threw at her! Dining room staff was impeccable. Our waiter Aleksander and assistant Camilla were friendly, entertaining, and went above and beyond. They knew our names and preferences from day 1, were always right there when needed and usually before you knew you needed them!!! My only real staff complaint was our room steward. It often took him quite a while to clean our room (had breakfast, played trivia and room still hadn't been cleaned up), often forgot to replace beach towels, and never picked up room service forms one morning. Also was hard to get a hold of him to correct the problems. Luckily they have towels available at the pool. He did make cute towel animals though!
Entertainment- We enjoyed the shows and the first comedian, but didn't really enjoy the balancing act or the second 2 comedians. I didn't make it to the talent show, but heard it was GREAT. We participated in quite a few of the onboard activities including dance lessons, trivia, game shows, I was even on stage the first night sticking a spoon up and down my dress! We also bought one of the auctioned race horses the first night and carried her with us around the ship (she looked lovely in her beaded gown on formal night!). By participating in activities, we met lots of great people and totally enjoyed the "Fun Ship" experience. We are all looking forward to the next one! Less