If you don't care about shelling out money left and right, than this is the cruise for you! My 3 girlfriends and I (all 30 yrs old) took a "Girls Trip" aboard the Carnival Elation this past weekend. All but one of us were "cruise virgins". I can honestly say that I was ready to go home by the second day.
Drinks: The price of the cruise is great if you don't drink alcohol. For those of you who do (including myself), were just plain screwed! A beer is $6.61, red bull vodka $12.50, Drinks of the Day $8.75...you see what I'm getting at. Sure, we only spent $450.00 on the cruise and travel insurance, but then you pay an arm and a leg for EVERYTHING! At the end of my trip I received my bill, $388.00!! That's $838.00....I could have gone to Mexico on a 4 day trip for that!
Entertainment: The first night we went up to the Drama bar. There was a guy playing acoustic guitar and singing. He was delightful to listen to, but do not request any songs....he refuses. Not very friendly and seemed easily annoyed. So you better just sit there and listen. Jekyll and Hyde bar is fun...the DJ played really good dance music into the wee morning hours. However, on the last night of the cruise it seemed as though he was trying to play the worst songs to clear the place out....so yes, it was a bit boring. Karaoke night....snooze fest! What a lack of enthusiasm! The casino was fun...again, this can be expensive. You're allowed to use your Sail and Sign card to play games, but be careful...if you press the wrong buttons the machines will block you for some reason and you'll only be able to use cash. This happened to me and several others. I asked to speak to the manager to see if she would unblock me, her response: "You are blocked for the remainder of the cruise"...???? I was confused and a little pissed to be treated so harshly...after I spent $120.00 in there!! Great customer service by the way!! (sarcasm)
Customer service: I wouldn't exactly call it "service". I have never seen so many unhappy faces in the travel industry. The majority of the staff overall was extremely rude, unwelcoming, uninviting, showed a serious lack of enthusiasm, and simply did not give a damn about the customers. No smiles, no polite words such as "hi, how are you, are you enjoying your cruise, can I help you with something".....nothing! There were an exceptional few....like our steward. Extremely nice guy and actually willing to help. He's the one that deserved my 15% gratuity a day!
Food: The food was just "ok"....most of the time I felt like I was back in high school eating cafeteria food. I can cook better than the crap they served us. The buffet at Tiffany's is your best bet...more variety, so there should be something there that you're willing to eat. The food in the dining room wasn't great....although the lobster was delicious (cocktail night). I was not impressed overall.
Pool: Ummmm....there was 2,700 people on the ship. The pool was TINY!! People were packed in there like sardines just trying to cool off. I couldn't believe it! Needless to say, I was not getting in there!If you go to the Serenity deck there are 2 whirlpools (the water is a bit warm though). Serenity is adults only and pretty relaxing. I was a bit confused that they only had 3 shade umbrellas though...being that there were so many people there!
On the last night of the cruise they pretty much started cleaning everything and closing down several stations to get ready for the next cruise. This was frustrating....I paid for a 4 day cruise, not 3! And they continuously announced over the PA that they were happy to have us but its time to get everything packed up and ready to go. I felt like a house guest that over stayed her welcome and now my host is ready to kick me out.
I don't think I'll ever take a cruise again....and if I do, it definitely will not be with Carnival!!