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1,380 Carnival Galveston Cruise Reviews

The entertainment, food and dinner service were wonderful. Dinner was served at reserved seats with the same waiters. Breakfast and lunch were in unreserved restaurant seating or a buffet (both options being available most of the time), ... Read More
The entertainment, food and dinner service were wonderful. Dinner was served at reserved seats with the same waiters. Breakfast and lunch were in unreserved restaurant seating or a buffet (both options being available most of the time), with a substantially lower quality of service. There were an adequate number of non-smoking lounges, and other public areas. There was a wide vartiety of shipboard activities, with something going on almost all day long. The standard cabin is relatively large with an ample shower. Although I was quite pleased with the experience (my second cruise), there were some minor problems: a)There seemed to always be a long line at the information (purser's) desk. b)Although the main auditorium seats 1,300, about half of the seats have an obstructed view, making it necessary to arrive quite early in order to get satisfactory seating. Overall, the cruise, food, service, entertainment and excursions were excellent, and at least as good as prior experience on a "more prestigious" line than Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date December 2003
This was a great cruise and I would definitely book the Elation again for another trip. My husband and my daughter (21) and son (17) all enjoyed it as much as I did. My last Carnival cruise was five years ago and I wasn't ... Read More
This was a great cruise and I would definitely book the Elation again for another trip. My husband and my daughter (21) and son (17) all enjoyed it as much as I did. My last Carnival cruise was five years ago and I wasn't particularly impressed: cramped staterooms, unmemorable hotel banquet-type food, huge tables of strangers at dinner. All that has changed on the Elation. We had very comfortable and large staterooms on the M deck, with plenty of closet space and shelves. The bathroom was good-sized and had lots of hooks. The halls were quiet at night. Although this was a Christmas cruise and there were some children on board, there weren't as many as I had expected after reading some of the message boards here. Embarkation took longer than I thought it would. I'd spent about an hour on-line at Carnival's rather difficult website feeding in all of our passport information so that we could have a "fast pass" to help us board more quickly. I had to make two calls to Carnival to get through the process: one to get our "past guest" number and another for help on the website because of its lack of directions about how to write the phone number so that the computer would accept it. Just about everyone else had a "fast pass" too, so the line was long! The shorter line was for the people who hadn't done the computer homework! Once we finally reached an agent, the check-in process did move quickly, but we stood in line for about thirty minutes before that. Guests have the option of having their meals in their assigned dining room or upstairs at Tiffany's on the Lido deck. We always ate breakfast and lunch at Tiffany's. It was buffet-style (really self serve although staff did come around for drink refills) with a wide variety of entrees, soups, salads, and desserts. We particularly liked the small, family sized tables and the option of eating outdoors on deck. There was a great selection of healthy food. Dinner at night is at larger tables, but many of these are for six or eight. We chose the 8:30 seating for a more "grown-up" crowd, and it wasn't as crowded. The food was consistently excellent and attractively presented. Service was efficient and friendly. The entertainment in the Mikado Lounge was very good-my only serious complaint about this ship is that the entire second level of this theater does not have good seats for watching the show. It's more than "some seats have obstructed views". You just can't see at all! It's frustrating not to be able to see a show that is well-prepared and entertaining. It's hard to understand how the rest of the ship can be so well-designed and yet the theater is so poorly thought-out. Get there early and sit on the first floor. The only complaint I heard from other passengers was that it was impossible to book a very long tour on your own in Belize because the ship is not in port nearly as many hours as is shown on the schedule. Having to tender in on smaller boats takes a long time and Carnival's tour groups go first. The last tender back to the boat leaves at 4:15, even though the official timetable states that the ship would be in port until six. Frankly, I would omit this port entirely. There is truly nothing to do for the folks who don't book tours. I know people enjoyed their tours, but if I go on this cruise again, I will just stay on the ship. The small "shopping village" has very expensive low-quality merchandise-nothing worth making the tender trip for. However, I was able to buy a phone card there at a store with the word "Mayan" in its name to call the U.S. for $1 per minute instead of $7 a minute they charged on the ship. Debarkation went very smoothly. We had time to enjoy a final breakfast outside on the deck overlooking the Galveston skyline. Read Less
Sail Date December 2003
The Elation was a wonderful ship!!! We were really impressed by the size and the Christmas Decorations on the ship. The grand atrium and staircase was great with 2 glass elevators. It seemed that even on this sold out New Years Cruise, you ... Read More
The Elation was a wonderful ship!!! We were really impressed by the size and the Christmas Decorations on the ship. The grand atrium and staircase was great with 2 glass elevators. It seemed that even on this sold out New Years Cruise, you could always find a place, with exception of the hot tubs, which were almost always full of kids, with no parents around (including the adults only hot tub). Our cabin was in a great location E48. We felt centrally located to almost everything and were very close to the elevators, staircases, dining room (1 floor up) etc. We loved the location. Our room steward was also great and gave us a copy of the Elation book. He kept our sodas that we brought from home on ice as well as keeping an ice bucket ready for us. The room was fine overall, and was very clean. The food overall was okay. I can't say that there was anything that we LOVED, but our waiter was always there to get us something. The desserts kinda all tasted the same to me, loved the ice cream and peanut butter cookies served at tea time the best. Room service was nice, they even would send us a bowl of pretzels if we asked. We were fine without buying the soda card as we each had a 6 pack so we could have 1 soda a day if we wanted. The water tasted absolutely fine, and there was orange, apple, fruit punch and iced tea available. They did not charge for cappuccino in the dining room. Progresso was fun. We were one of the first off of the boat, and then rode in this bus (kinda yucky) into town. We then walked just a few blocks to the beach. There were lots of nice shells on the beach to find, and there were also many of those grassy roofs with tables under them. We sat in front of a restaurant and each ordered a soda, and we were able to stay there all day. You could also rent lounge chairs for $7 for the day/person. The water was nice, but silty on the bottom if you went out very far, i would bring water shoes next time (also a lot of shells on the bottom). No snorkeling here, people were doing some basic boogie boarding though. The vendors came up to you frequently, but in general would go if you said no. We did find their prices to be reasonable, and you were able to bargain with them. Some of the vendors were carrying around what looked like were fish tanks filled with "sweets" under saran wrap...we did see a lot of flies and bees flying around under there....We also went to the market where the bus drops you off...the people were very nice, a lot of bead jewelry, t shirts, wood crafts (those pecking chickens crack me up) and hammocks (we bought a hammock chair). The people we spoke to who went to Merida, thought that just relaxing on the beach would have been the way to go, but I guess it depends on what you want to see...we had a great time here. Cozumel is one of our favorite ports. We took a boat out with Eagle Ray Divers for the day as my hubby and father in law did discover snuba (for the second time) and the rest of us snorkeled. We saw wonderful schools of fish, 2-3 ft long rainbow parrot fish, sting rays, little clumps of coral with really cool colorful fish in them...it was absolutely awesome!!! I would recommend them to anyone. The marina was a short taxi ride from the pier. They will make the trip what you want it to be which is really nice. Belize was interesting. I think we would have liked it more if we had done a different tour. We took the Sunkissed tour to Goff's Caye. There was a lot of wasted time on this 3-4 hour tour. It seemed very unorganized, and we spent a lot of time docking the boat and getting everyone out through a window in the front of the boat (it was crazy, they had a bucket for a step stool). Fortunately my mother in law and sister in law stayed on the boat, as they would have never climbed through that hole to get out. They spend over 30 minutes giving out snorkel gear once we anchored which was killing me as I wanted to be out in the water. We dropped a few people off at the caye and then went about 200 yards off the caye to snorkel. Once again it took for ever to anchor. They kept calling it a "guided tour" but basically it was everyone try to keep up with the guide as he power swims with a buoy through the basically devastated area of brown coral with a few fishies around. It was truly a joke, we did see a few pretty fish and some purple fan corals, but otherwise there wasn't much. The current was also a little rough, and it took a while to get everyone off the boat so you had to tread water (with no guide in the water yet) until everyone was in. Then we got back on the boat, took another 20 minutes to dock then we got onto the caye for about 30 minutes before we had to go back. The caye was beautiful, but if I had known, I wouldn't do this if it was my only few hours in Belize. Some of the other people we were with on this tour thought it was great, as they had gone with the ship's catamaran snorkel cruise in Cozumel, and basically saw nothing...I felt sorry for them as we saw so much more in Cozumel!!!! New Years Eve on the ship was really fun. THey put party hats and horns in our room before dinner, and also had a special picture place for a party picture. Dinner was nothing special though. Then there was music at the different lounges, and a big party on the deck by the pool which was really great. There was a lot of dancing and also free champagne. At midnight they blew the horn loud!!! It was cool cause there was another ship nearby which also blew its horn. People were dressed every different way from really sparkly and tuxedoish to just regular dinner attire...it was fun. I would suggest bringing some confetti along to toss around, a lot of people did, and it made it really fun!!! The entertainment was okay, but nothing really to WOW you. The people who played in the Atruim were the best. Karaoke was available for those who like that, but it was also very over run with teeny boppers whose parents were nowhere to be found. I'm not sure why parents don't keep better track of their kids, but one night the glass elevator was tied up with a kid pretending to be the elevator man, the stairways were almost always the playing field for a game of tag and the hot tubs were always full of kids. I know its their vacation too, and you can give them some freedom on the ship, but we paid for a vacation too. Disembarking was a snap if you obeyed the rules. We sat at Tiffany's, ate breakfast and played cards until we were called. We were off by 11am. I would definitely recommend this cruise, and if you have any questions please ask!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2003
Now this is a fun party ship. Four of us took the Elation out of Galveston, Texas a few weeks ago. This Western Caribbean cruise's ports of call were Progresso, Mexico, Cozumel, and Belize. This was my 1st cruise. This was also the ... Read More
Now this is a fun party ship. Four of us took the Elation out of Galveston, Texas a few weeks ago. This Western Caribbean cruise's ports of call were Progresso, Mexico, Cozumel, and Belize. This was my 1st cruise. This was also the first cruise for my four co-workers and friends in our late twenties, who shared in the activities on this fun boat. We all thought the staff on this ship were great, they were helpful to us first time cruisers for the seven days. Food and service in the dining rooms was wonderful. We had no major problems. We found the "Elation" to be first-rate and what I expected this cruise to be. We flew to Texas early. We flew into Houston from Minneapolis on Friday afternoon. Our travel agent hooked us up with a van service she had used to transfer us to Galveston, Texas which is about 80 miles from the big airport in Houston. Before driving us to Galveston, our driver gave us a "look see" of Houston. I realized on this tour of Houston that it truly is a huge city. After treating us to a free tour of Houston he drove us to Galveston, we arrived at out hotel about 6:30pm, and checked in. The hotel was great. We stayed at the "Tremont House Hotel" downtown in the old historic district of Galveston. After our check in, we placed our bags in our room and walked down the street for dinner. We were in the middle of all the fun in the downtown area. The weekend we were there, was the weekend of the Galveston Greek Festival. And being Greek myself I really got into the spirit. All the fun was within a block or two of our hotel. Lots of neat bars and great restaurants with fresh Texas Gulf Coast seafood. It was worth the trip to Texas just to visit the fun city of Galveston. On Sunday at noon our hotel provided us with free transportation to the "Elation" which was only three to five minutes away from the hotel. We checked in on the ship about 12:30pm and when to our cabin. The four of us shared the same cabin. Elation's cabins are bare bones in dEcor and amenities: We had a color TV with CNN, telephone and radio, the cabins have no hair dryers. The bathroom was fairly large, with hand-held shower. Our room attendant took good care of our needs. We enjoyed the live entertainment.  The lavishly costumed casts perform two live production shows weekly.  This is an integral part of the Elation's nightlife. We started our evenings after dinner at Duke's piano bar on Elation, where one finds replicas of New York's Empire State Building. After that we then headed for a hopping disco and the large and active casino. The food was absolutely wonderful, all the restaurants did a good job the four of us really enjoyed ourselves, we didn't have a bad day from the time we left the Houston Airport to when we returned. This is truly a fun cruise, with lots of fun loving people on board to keep the party going. I think the people from Texas are very friendly. The weather was absolutely great the whole time in Texas and at sea. I should mention that some of the people on the ship told us that they started getting a little ill, with flu symptoms. They think they got it from people on the ship's shuttle bus from the airport. One lady told us that there was people on the bus sneezing and coughing without covering their mouths. I'm glad we didn't use the cruise ship's shuttle. Get a FLU Shot, before you leave and do as we did get a van service to transport you to your ship and back. As I mentioned earlier we used a van service in Houston that our travel agent had used after reading about this service in cruise reviews from other cruisers, much like the one I'm writing now. We also had also arranged for the shuttle service that brought us to Galveston, to pick us up at the ship for our return to the Houston Airport. I should also mention that getting back to the airport seems to be less of a hassle the way we did it, than circus we saw other cruisers go through trying to board buses to the airport. And hoping they wouldn't their flight. On our return to Galveston we cleared customs at about 9:45am, called our shuttle driver from our cell phone, our driver was standing by just off site. Five minutes later we were on our way to the airport. We arrived at the airport at 11:15, in plenty of time for our flight back to Minneapolis. We wish to thank Carnival Cruise Line and its staff for keeping to party going and us making us comfortable for seven wonderful days. I recommend this ship and this itinerary to anyone who is planning a fun cruise vacation. I also recommend you spend an extra day in Galveston on the Gulf of Mexico. This was the best vacation I ever had. Mr. L. J. Cormier, the shuttle driver/tour guide can be reached at 281 443 4430, he might give you a free tour of Houston, if your not in hurry. Please feel free to write me at : sophiepappas@hotmail.co Read Less
Sail Date October 2003
This was my first cruise and Amy's 2nd. We actually arrived at the port just prior to the ship leaving (due to our idiot travel agent). We found the lines very short, because we were about the last ones on the ship. I had no idea ... Read More
This was my first cruise and Amy's 2nd. We actually arrived at the port just prior to the ship leaving (due to our idiot travel agent). We found the lines very short, because we were about the last ones on the ship. I had no idea what to expect as we entered the ship. My only exposure to cruising was watching the Love Boat as a kid. I found the interior decoration of the ship a bit gaudy. I felt like I was a guest of a circus. I don't consider this necessarily a bad thing. For me a cruise was a once in a lifetime experience and I was glad that things were a little over the top. Our room was great. We were in a cabin with a window. The steward staff was extremely nice and kept our room exceptionally clean. It was a nice touch to find a towel animal and a chocolate on the pillow at night. The bed's could have been a little more comfortable. The bathroom was quite large and comfortable. Someone should warn a guy about the first flush of the toilet. I thought that for a minute that I was going to be sucked in to the bowels of the ship. We found the food to be excellent in the Imagination Dining Room. Our waiter, Alex, bent over backward to serve us. In fact one of our table mates had a huge appetite and ordered several entree's every night. Alex kept brining them with a smile. The quality of the food was exceptional. Everything was cooked just how we ordered. The desserts were not that great, but they were good nonetheless. The food in Tiffany's was good. It was typical buffet style and quality. We didn't expect any more and we were not disappointed. The 24 hour pizzeria was great they had some gourmet pizza's that were out of the ordinary. The sushi bar was a hit with me and the ice cream cone machine was a hit with us after a hard night of dancing. The entertainment was a little bit cheesy in the Mikado Lounge. I am not a big fan of the musical variety show. Some of the games like jeopardy and trivia were fun. In fact just about every member of our group won a "24 caret gold ship on a stick". The bingo games were a good diversion although they were a little pricey to play. The casino was a hit with us as well. My wife has a little bit of a gambling problem, (not really but I like to tease her). She literally paid for her second year of nursing school while attending in Las Vegas at the blackjack table. But back to the subject, she was not as lucky on the ship but had a good time losing my hard earned money anyway. On a luckier note, my brother in law won enough over the course of the week to pay for his entire cruise. Our first port was Progresso. We opted to visit Chichen Itza ruins. This would have been a great experience had we not gone through our idiot travel agent to book the tour. We nearly missed the boat because he had no concept of time in getting us back to the ship. The ruins were great though. It was fascinating to climb the temple and be able to speak to people on the ground 100 feet below because of the acoustics of the pyramid. Cozumel was our second stop. We hooked up with Victor Cassanova of Wildcat Divers on the recommendation of a friend that dives there alot. That was an awesome diving experience and cheap to. There is so much to do in Cozumel that I would steer away from the ship's shore excursions. You can book your own stuff on the pier for way cheaper than the boat offers. If you are interested in diving I would definitely use Wildcat. Search for them on the web they are easy to find. Our last stop was Belize. We opted to sign up for the cave tubing excursion on the ship. This tour was awesome. The only drawback was the illness that I caught. We ate at a little shanty in the jungle called Cheers. The food was good. About the time I got on the tender to go back to the ship the stomach problems hit and lasted for about 8 days. I'm not sure that the problem was the food in Belize but that is the only thing that I ate off the ship. Most of our party that ate at Cheers got sick for the remainder of the cruise. This was a bad thing although I ended up losing about 8 pounds for the trip home. Belize is a beautiful country especially if you get off the beaten path. I mentioned earlier in this review that this was going to be a once in a lifetime trip for me. In fact I really balked at the idea of a cruise and my wife had to drag me along with her. Just to let you know, I had such a great time, I'm booked on the Inspiration in September. We are returning to Cozumel and Belize. We are going to dive with Victor again and may even cave tube again. It is well worth it to wait till you get to a port and find a local company to tour with. The ship tours are way overpriced and overcrowded. There are plenty of reputable guides at the ports. They understand that you need to get back to the ship on time and are not willing to jeopardize their business by making you late. Overall the Elation was a great Ship and wonderful vacation. You need to remember that you get what you pay for. Carnival is not the fanciest cruise line out there. For the money this was an excellent value. We were taken really good care of and are looking forward to our next carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2003
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