We arrived at the Alabama Cruise Terminal around 11:30am. We were able to unload luggage and park car quickly (had to pay increased parking fee of $85). We then proceeded to first of many lines. Though the lines seemed long the whole process was not too bad. We were on the ship and eating on Lido deck by 1:00pm.
Day 1 - Departure
The first day went smoothly. We got into our room after 1:30pm and our luggage arrived at the room before our 6:00pm early dining time. The drill at approximately 3:30pm went OK and ship departed port on schedule at 4:00pm. New to us for this cruise, we did not have to wear life vests to the drill. After dinner we spent rest of day exploring the ship. Elation is not as big as some of the other ships we have cruised, but it is still a good size and kept up nicely. We went to the welcome show in the Mikado Lounge (Show Theater). The ship's dance group was good, but the comedians were only so-so. The cruise staff was friendly and helpful.
Day 2 - Fun Day at Sea
We spent most of the second day just lounging around the pool catching some rays. We really liked the adults on area "Serenity" located on the AFT (back) of the ship. Though there were no kids, at times, some of the adults were really loud, but it was still quieter that around the main pool on the Lido deck. I really enjoyed reading and resting there. It was formal night for dinner. Lobster and Prime Rib were on the menu (I had both). The first of two dance group performances were this evening. It was a show about rock and roll. Though it was supposed to be rated PG (costumes), we enjoyed it and I really didn't see anything families would be offended by.
Day 3 - Progresso, Mexico
We booked a shore excursion to visit the Uxmal Mayan Ruins from Progresso. We had to be out on the pier by 7:30am. All went smoothly and we really enjoyed the excursion. The Uxmal tour was far less crowded than the Chichen Itza tour (which I had learned from pre-cruise internet research) and the ruins were awesome! I highly recommend this shore excursion.
Day 4 - Cozumel, Mexico
We had been to Cozumel several times before but still enjoyed shopping there. We spent a lot of day reading and enjoying the ship while most of passengers were off having fun in Cozumel.
Day 5 - Fun Day at Sea
Another fun day of relaxation and sunning. The second dance group performance was this evening. It was a show about game shows called "Win". The performers are really talented and we enjoyed their shows.
Day 6 - Departure
We were in no hurry to get off the ship so we choose the zone departure. Our number was 23 so we had plenty of time sleep in and enjoy our breakfast. Our number was called around 9:20am. We retrieved our luggage, made it through customs, and were at our car by 10:00am. We drove right out of the parking facility, but a slow train was passing and we had to wait for about 10 minutes to get away from the cruise terminal. There were guest arriving for the next cruise already as we exited.
All in all I would say this was a very nice cruise. The port at Mobile was very easy to get to and parking was convenient and ample (though I would suggest getting to the terminal before noon). The ship and crew were very nice, the food was very tasty and abundant, the staterooms and public places were clean and pleasant and the ports of call were OK for a 5 night cruise. For a quick cruise at a reasonable price, I would recommend this cruise to first timers and veteran cruisers alike.