No Problems...Just Situations!
Never having cruised from Mobile before we set out early from Jackson, Ms to arrive at the terminal. We got there about 11:30 and the traffic was already backed up in both lanes almost to the interstate exit ramp. And it was moving very slowly, it took about an hour to finally get parked in the garage and was on the very top level uncovered. The inside lines were also very long, but seemed to move fairly quickly and in 45 minutes we were finally on the ship at 1:15. Just went and waited to get in our room and at 1:30 hall doors were opened. Most of our luggage was already there so we placed it in room and went up to Lido deck to grab bite to eat. Sail away was late by about 30 minutes but finally we were underway. overall impressions:
Food: Not as great as we have gotten on other Carnival ships. Pasta dishes were very bland and dry. Usually had to ask for extra sauce in dining room and always had to add salt. Prime rib on last night was mostly fatty, very little meat. Lobster More
tail was mushy, had to be sent back(others were fine).
Room: TINY!! Probably because we had two boys in there but we were really cramped. Unable to empty either of their suitcases because drawer space very limited. I will say the bathroom was decent size with spacious shower.
Service: very friendly and helpful, always smiling. Room was always clean and plenty of clean towels in bathroom. Dining servers were very accommodating with special request. Kids never went to camps so cannot rate these.
Overall: Debarkation was easy, we waited till ship had cleared out before leaving and lines were minimal. On the road by 10:30. Would cruise from Mobile again, but not on the Elation. Seemed really small compared to the Conquest I have cruised on before. Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Elation Oceanview Empress E194
E194-a 4 person room with 2 twin beds and 2 upper bunks. My 14 yr old was too tall for bunk so I ended up sleeping up there most of week. Only 4 small drawers so unable to empty 2 of our suitcases. There was room under one of the bunks to leave suitcases laying out. Two decent size closet spaces with many hangers. A small vanity with mirror in room also. the bathroom was decent size with large shower, water was always hot even if 3 other had showered before you. Room stayed very cool, and always clean. Never noticed much hallway noise though we do take noisemaker for sleeping.
Port and Shore Excursions
Debarkation very easy here, walked right off ship to a large shopping area. Lots of stores and vendors there that had pretty much anything you could want. Found our group for the Mexico Magic and Chankanaab excursion. Another small group with only 8 of us going. Booked this for my son who loves world history. Took short drive in van with our very sweet tour guide to the Mexico Magic park. They had locker room to put our heavy beach bags in and we went into small theater to watch film about Mexico. They had a small museum, then we headed outside to see their miniature replicas of different temples. Very hot, somewhat boring. Was glad to finally head to Chankanaab. Took maybe 5 minutes to get there, our tour guide stayed with us and got everyone fitted for snorkeling. they have large area for this, but only access is down steps into deep water. I'm not a strong swimmer but put on life vest to give it a go. My 70 yr old mom is strong swimmer but tires easily. Neither of us were able to do this. The entire circuit with the guide was 45 minutes. Both boys were able to make it, though the 10 yr held on to lifeguard buoy part of the way as he was not able to keep up. The tour guide pulled him behind her. They had a blast though and saw lots of fish and statues they have under the water. There is not a zero entry swimming area here. Water can only be accessed by steps and is very rocky. We ate lunch at a restaurant at the park and had some good food though expensive. they had a little lagoon for swimming and the 10 yr old loved it. Embarkation was very easy as they had two ramps for entry back to ship
Here you have to take tender boats to the island, if you have early excursion you can meet up and go out different door and is much quicker. It was easy to find your excursion here also. We did the dolphin/Stingray encounter. Much larger group for this one as we were grouped with the Dolphin swim group also. But once we arrived at Dolphin Cove we were divided into two groups with half going to the stingrays first. We stayed for the dolphin portion, and they asked if anyone wanted to upgrade to the swim. A large group of 14 did so they left us just sitting there for about 30 minutes while this group went and upgraded. I don't know why because we never interacted with them again. The encounter seemed very short, but did enjoy playing with the dolphins. they take lots of pics and video if you want to buy it later. We then took about a 30 minute boat ride to the sand bar to swim with the stingrays. Water was absolutely gorgeous, the clearest green I have ever seen. Only waist or knee deep in most places, lots of stingrays around. You can hold one or feed them if you choose. Spent about 45min to a hour here then headed back, on the way they stopped and let us take pics with huge starfish. You could see them all down in the water. Amazing! Embarkation back to the ship was a VERY long line to get tender. Did move fairly quickly
Easy debarkation here, they have large room with all the different excursions set up. Easy to find your excursion group. We did the Beaches Resort day pass and only had a group of 14 people. We set off in a van with a driver and guide. Guide was very friendly and informative. She taught us some Jamaica sayings including "no problems...just situation." The ride took us by the coast and thru some small villages. The roads become very narrow in these places, but we had no problems getting thru. Arrived at Beaches and was given quick tour and left on our own. Went to the beach and grabbed some chairs, then went swimming. Water was very clear and calm. My 14 yr old son did get stung by jellyfish, but I only saw the one. My main complaint was all the boats and jet skis parked at waters edge, felt it was safety issue with these starting up and zooming around so near the swimmers. Not too mention the exhaust fumes when they revved up the engines. You do get free drinks and food, they had a large lunch buffet with some yummy jerk chicken. Embarkation back to the ship was fairly quick, you do have to go thru their security. Not very friendly, but no complaints.