This was my 1st cruise but my 3 friends have cruised before. We chose this cruise due to the fun saver price and cheap flight we found to NOLA. The only 'glitch' on this trip (and unrelated to Carnival)was finding our way to the debarkation area from our hotel.
The embarkation, port day, and disembarkation process was all orderly and without long wait times. We truly enjoyed our time onboard and in port. We didn't encounter any rude passengers or crew members. Everyone seemed to 'do their own thing' and minded their manners. We found there was plenty of places to find a spot in the sun, or anywhere on the ship we wanted to go. The rooms were plenty big and bathroom was a good size too. Had lots of room to unpack and relax. Comfy beds, pillows and robes - our Room Steward Denik was pleasant and helpful, keeping our coolers filled with ice.
We shopped in the Galleria - prices were pretty good and one of the ladies bought some booze to take home to her husband. We visited the casino to play penny slots, and one of the ladies won $250. We danced at Jekyl & Hyde which was very fun. Romeo & Juliett seemed to have some pretty sleepy karoke going on.
Food was very good onboard - We ate mostly at Tiffany's for breakfast and never had to wait in line for more than a few minutes for anything. We enjoyed the buffet and the made-to-order omelets. The Lido deck for lunch was pretty good for burgers etc. The mongolian wok was AWESOME - loved that!
We had anytime dining and it worked perfectly with our laid-back attitude. The first night and elegant night we had Conrad, Paul & Erwan - These guys are FANTASTIC! They were fun, professional and had top-notch service. We didn't do the dining room on Sat night, but on our last night, we tried to get to Conrad's area but would have an hour + wait. We decided not to wait, and were pretty disappointed with the other team - Ask for Conrad's team!! - Tell him Cindy Lauper and Christina Aguilera sent you - he remembered all of our (first)names!
Most of us had been to Cozumel in the past - We grabbed a taxi ($10) to Chankanaab Park. We had reserved massages and were not disappointed. All 4 of us were in heaven. The park was uncrowded,beautiful and well groomed. Great ammenties for bathroom/shower etc. We found a group of hammocks there and chilled out. Lunch was served by Victor under our palapa - great food and drink. We snorkled for about an hour on our own - they provided life vests and we had the rest of our own equipment. We caught the end of the Sea Lion show as we were walking out (included in the entrance fee) and made our way to the pier to shop before getting on board.
We didn't feel pressured to take or buy any of the pictures, and we enjoyed looking at them. We did end up buying a few. Two of my friends had massages in the spa and were very happy. I had the ionithermie and purchased the detox program. Perhaps in retrospect, I should not have, so please heed my warning - don't drink and shop :-). The spa / gym are there to plus-sell their products, so if you only want the service you reserved, just let them know you are not interested in additional products and they will stop.
We had a great experience and great people and stayed to ourselves when we wanted to. We would definitely cruise Carnival and the Elation again.