Destination: Caribbean - Western
Sailing date: November 2011
Pros:Crew customer service
Cons:room temp regulation
This was my 6th or 7th Carnival cruise, sorry I lose track. I've been on Conquest class, Destiny class, Triumph class, and Spirit class carnival ships. This was my first Fantasy class carnival ship. Since the fantasy class ships are smaller I was hesitant. No need to be, it was a beautiful ship with loads of activities and lots of space and places to see... I didn't even get to see them all! I also downgraded to a window room for the first time in over 10 years. Although I missed my balcony I didn't miss it as much as I thought I would as there were plenty of places on deck to enjoy the outdoors. Also there is a private place aft called Serenity. Its for Adults only, have two hot tubs and spaces to lay out and read. Great place to go if you don't have a balcony room. The real reason I wanted to write this review was because of the over and above the call of duty service I received from each and every member I came in contact with over the 5 day cruise. From the embarkation station to the debarkation station every crew member was AWESOME! I've had good service on Carnival before (or else I wouldn't keep coming back) but these people were well beyond the customer service I received in the past. I don't know if its just this particular crew or if Carnival has implemented a new training program on customer service. Either way it was impressive. So much so until we left tips beyond the $10 a day that is automatically charged to your sail and sign account. I will be going on the Elation again, that is for sure!
Its an older ship so if you look closely you will see some wear and tear. But it just came out of a mini refurbish and the carpet in public areas and some other items are new and fresh. The crew was constantly cleaning and keeping things spotless. The window could have been cleaner but I think weather may have had a hand in that as it rained off and on while we were at sea.
For the cost of the cruise the food was adequate. I've had better on the Carnival ships of the 90's and the Holland America Ships of today. But HAL is a lot more expensive. If you can tolerate Ryans or Golden Corral you can tolerate the buffet. If you like Outback, Red Lobster or Applebees you will be okay with dinner at night. If you are foodie looking for haute cuisine every night go for a more expensive line. Don't get me wrong there were a few fu fu items here and there but not many. I think they are cooking to budget minded audience taste.
Gosh how I want to give my cabin an excellent, it was the perfect size for me! But I can't because the temp control was in the ceiling and the only way for 5"4 inch me to change it was to stand on my bed... what a pain! the cabin could easily support two adults and two kids (it had two pullman style beds on the wall that could fold out for kids to use at night.). I think this is an idea set up for families with kids under 13. For teenagers on up it might prove to be too cramped quarters. For a single traveler or couple, perfect!!
Ship Staff Quality
Read my earlier comments. This was the best crew I have ever had on any line, including other Carnival ships.
Entertainment & Activities
New shows... yeah! I was getting tired of the shows with the talking couch, LOL. The new show is called WIN and the dancing is improved. Also Carnival Legends (talent show) is still the best show of them all.
Ports of Call:
Progreso (Merida), Mexico
Still needs lots of development in the port shopping and entertainment areas.
Don't Miss: If you don't go on any tours, take the free bus ride into town. Once at the in town market stop you can get a $3 open air double decker bus ride for a quick view of the sites in the area.
Always a favorite port, lots of excursions, shopping, and friendly people.
Don't Miss: If you don't dock at Puerta Maya port in Cozumel, be sure to walk over to it from your port. Fat Tuesdays there make a mean frozen drink and there is shopping etc there. Be sure to take an excursion if this is your 1st visit to Cozumel.