Overall our experience on the Carnival Elation was pretty good.
Embarkment- Fairly simple. I found the baggage handler kind of rude. We went to the port around 10:45 and only sat for about 30 minutes before we boarded the ship. Parking price was outrageous in my opinion. ($80)
Rooms-Our room was spotless and the beds were actually really comfortable. Even the pull down beds were. There was plenty of counter space to get ready, but I HIGHLY recommend taking a surge protector with you. There was only one plug-in available in the whole room! I swear the people hid in the ceilings because our room was always spotless anytime we ever can back from anywhere. We never had to ask for a towel or anything. The towel animals left on the bed were really neat. The tv left a lot to be desired, but who goes on a cruise to watch tv?! A clock in the room would have been nice. We didn't take our cell phones and only one person had a watch. We never really knew what time it was.
Misc.-Everyone on the ship was nice with the exception of 1 or 2. There was always something to do to keep you entertained. The clubs, karokee, and casino were all fun. The adult comedy show was hilarious. If you get offended I would not go to it. I watched a few couples get up and walk out because it does get a little racy. I though it was the best one I've ever been to. The ship was kept clean at all times. I didn't like that there weren't trash cans anywhere and bathrooms were scarce. It was kind of annoying how there were photographers everywhere snapping your picture or trying to get you to take one. After about the second day I was over it. The drink prices are EXTREMELY high on the ship. It was $30 for a bucket of 4 beers. Most mixed drinks averaged around $10. Bingo was $20 a card which was excessive. Make sure you keep up with how many drinks you are having and such because you bill at the end of the cruise will take your breath away if you don't!
Food- (Dining Room) We did the dine on your own time option. I liked being about to go when I wanted, but if I could do it again I would choose a time. Some people we knew met people at dinner time and I wish we would have had the experience. The waiters were very friendly and attentive. Some were hard to understand. It wasn't good to me. I always left and went and got pizza. (Tiffany's) The Mongolian Buffet was pretty good, but other than that I lived on Pizza and French fries. It was very bland and just not good to us. That would be the only thing to keep me from going on the Elation again. The guy at the Pizza Bar def hated his job and let everyone know by his attitude and facial expressions. He was the only person on the ship as far as staff that was rude. Overall the food was pretty terrible.
Ports-The ports were awesome. You have to go to Progreso with an open mind. We rode the double decker bus for $3 and I recommend that. The power lines kind of freaked me out. It seems like they are gonna take your head off. The markets were neat. Stuff was cheaper in town than right off the ship. I suggest buying most of your gifts and such there because they will work with you and you will get a way better price than Cozumel. That's really all the venturing we did there. It was a very poor town. There were lots of shops and neat things to look at. Def. not anywhere I would want to spend the night! The bus ride down the pier was a bit scary. I think that the drivers should all drive for NASCAR. We got some neat stuff. The beach was clean and beautiful.
Cozumel is wonderful. The shops were great. The town is beautiful. It was like night and day from Progreso. We took a cab ($12) to Paradise Beach. Again, the driver should drive NASCAR. Haha. I just held on for dear life. The beach was beautiful, facilities were top notch, great service and food. I had fun on the water trampolines and slides and got a great sun tan. The water was a little bit cold, but once you went under it was fine. I wish we could have had more time in each port! We didn't want to leave!
I suggest getting sea sickness patches. I ended up having to use mine on the second day due to getting pretty bad sea sickness. I spent the first part of the second day in the toilet due to choppy waters. You have a safety meeting around 4 before the ship leaves port. Unfortunately I was in the shower when they made the call and the steward came into our room and rushed us out. It was pretty embarrassing (and cold) to have to go in front of everyone with wet hair and no makeup. haha. So keep that in mind. Overall we had a pretty good time and I would do it again!