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Sail Date: December 2014
Pros: beautiful ship Great comedians Lots to do Serenity deck Camp carnival Steak house Cons: smoking is permitted on the deck that leads into Camp carnival. ... Read More
Pros: beautiful ship Great comedians Lots to do Serenity deck Camp carnival Steak house Cons: smoking is permitted on the deck that leads into Camp carnival. The ping pong table is right by smokers area. cabin was hot, requested fan and guest services was rude a lied to me. Cabin steward found me a fan but she was not as friendly as others have been on other cruises I have been on. She was very short in conversation and never really greeted us unless I talked first. Paid for faster to fun. Suitcases took hours to get to room. My suitcase only made it to my room because my husband went and found it on a cart by itself in the middle of the waiting area of the elevators. When I called and told.guest services once again rude. paid for a balcony and was unable to enjoy. Closed most days because they were cleaning the ship and the other times our neighbors smoked on the balcony. This was to be our family Christmas cruise. Ship was suppose to have already been decorated according to website. It was not! My only other complaint is I emailed my complaints right after I got back from cruise and not one person emailed to address concerns. Being a loyal Carnival cruiser I found that very sad. I still will sail on carnival just not the Dream! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Living only an hour from the port, we look forward to our Christmas Carnival cruise, however this year's cruise may well be our last on the Elation. Since we are platinum cruisers, this was probably the smoothest embarkation and ... Read More
Living only an hour from the port, we look forward to our Christmas Carnival cruise, however this year's cruise may well be our last on the Elation. Since we are platinum cruisers, this was probably the smoothest embarkation and debArkation process of all our cruises. Unfortunately, there aren't many other compliments I can give about this cruise. Evidently, with the recent "upgrades" to the ship, cruisers have limited controls over cabin temperatures and no controls over airflow in the cabin. After contacting our cabin steward a second time, we were told the cabin temperatures are kept between 71 and 74*. Only once during the cruise did I notice anything more than minimal airflow through the ceiling vent. We decided to try "Your Time Dining" this cruise. Unless you arrive at the dining room near the beginning of end of the dining room opening, you will likely be given a pager to notify you when a table is available. Our wait was anywhere from :20-:40. Not a problem, just be aware and plan accordingly. Service in the dining room was definitely lacking on this cruise. Our first night, Randy was our server...he was terrific! Thereafter, service was slow, to the extent that food was cold and servers seemed to disappear. At brunch on our last full day, it took :30 for our server to bring bread to our table, the tomato soup was barely room temperature, and the pork chop was cold. For supper that night we requested Randy. In hindsight, we should have done that for the entire cruise. Our cabin was on the Empress deck below the galley. On the first and last night, we were awakened by crew in the galley at 3 a.m. It sounded like they were dropping plastic buckets on the floor. After being awakened the first night, I slept with ear plugs, however I couldn't do that on the last night because I needed to hear the alarm in the morning. This was our first time getting off the ship in Progresso. It was a short 2-3 minute walk to the bus stop and a :15-:20 bus ride into town. We decided to have lunch at a downtown restaurant. The food was pretty good and the prices were reasonable. With weather threatening, we decided to get back to the ship, so we didn't do much walking around. I don't think we missed much. Progresso seems to be a very poor town. Having been to Cozumel before, we decided to stay on the ship. We did enjoy the Christmas sing-a-longs in the atrium and Christmas trivia games near the Drama Bar. I don't remember these on previous cruises to the extent they occurred on this cruise. Unfortunately, unless things change, we won't be sailing with Carnival next year. It might be time to give Royal Carribbean a chance. Very sad. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Ship information - Elation is one of the older ships in Carnival's fleet (1998) and it shows. Out toilet would not flush one night but was fixed soon after we called. At night you hear groans and noises from the older ship. There was ... Read More
Ship information - Elation is one of the older ships in Carnival's fleet (1998) and it shows. Out toilet would not flush one night but was fixed soon after we called. At night you hear groans and noises from the older ship. There was not a running track that encompassed the ship. There was ample deck seating and 2 pools. There was a small water slide for people taller than 48 inches. Activities - Standard cruise activities. Offered kids and teen camps. Adult only (Serenity) area existed but was not very large (80 people max) and had only 2 hot tubs and no pool. Serenity area was at back of ship but not secluded as multiple decks over looked the area. Mini-golf course, VB, and basketball courts where also present. Port & shore excursions - Standard cruise excursions. We booked the Progreso excursion off ship and had a great private tour with Lawsons. Booked local tequila tour in Cozumel with Carnival that was pretty bad. 3 of the 4 local tour guides called in sick...seems the had too much to drink on Christmas Eve. Carnival did contact the your company and got refunded 50%. Better then nothing. Travel to embarkation Port - New Orleans has a $14 flat rate tax ride from airport to port. This is kinda lame since many other cities have a flat rate for the cab of around $20. I guess we have to pay for pumps to keep the city from being flooded ;) Try to pick a hotel with free airport shuttles and then taxi to port from there. Cabin - Our 4A cabin showed its age but actually was a bit more spacious than other ones in this class. Non of the room had mini-refrigerators. You could call and get a blow driers if desired since none were there initially. Cabin stewards as always where friendly and accommodating. No balconies rooms exist on the side of the ship. Dining - Main dining was good but not as great as on other ships. We had meals each night where we needed to order other entries since the initial one was lacking. They did have creme brulee the last night but the desserts were prep'ed too early and the topping was soggy (like oatmeal). Also the ship being older did not have any themed up-charge restaurants so the main dining menu had a small up-charge section where you could get $20 lobsters and such. The buffets were good and had specialty sections but did close at times during the day. Children's clubs - Children and teen clubs existed. our granddaughter went to camp carnival from time to time but did spend more time with us then in the club. Not sure if this was because she was the only kids on the trip or the club was not exciting. Entertainment - I've have taken several cruises in the past 5 years and Carnival has been my favorite. What impressed me about Carnival has been the value of the entertainment. The combo of exciting nightly feature acts and George Lopez comedians has been a winner for me. Unfortunately on the 12/22/2014 cruise on both Christmas eve and Christmas Day (both port days) the main entrainment was non-existant / very, very sub standard. To be exact on 12/24 the Mikado (main room) event was 7:45pm Michael Jackson Trivia and 8:15pm Michael Jackson Thriller dance contest, followed by bingo. Then at 11pm one comedy event happened (not the 4 that usually happen nightly). Then on 12/25 at 8pm "Guess that song 90's" and 8:30 "disco dance class" with no comedians at all. To be honest these are 2pm shows on sea days NOT main event on holidays. In essence on the 2 biggest nights of the cruise there was nothing substantial to do and it was noticed my all 14 of us on the trip. This experience has left a very sour taste in my mouth and makes me doubt Carnival a lot now. Also the comedians were not switched out during the cruise. Usually when at a port (like Cozumel where different Carnival ship where docked) the comedians are swapped to make it better for both ships. This did not happen and added to the entertainment disappointment. Disembarkation - Standard practices followed. Carnival offered early self disembarkation for people with needs. This process helped us so we were in taxi's by 8:30 and at the airport by 9. Summary - My least favorite cruise of all 6 that I've done. The lack of decent main entertainment ruined it for me. Did anyone else experience on a past Elation cruise? Was the entertainment on 12/24 and 12/25 normal for the Elation or were the crew given the nights off? --> If this was the normal cruise then I do not think the cruise was worth the value. --> If the staff had time off over the holidays then I doubt the cruise director. The people on the cruise (me) paid a 2x or 3x premium to be here over Christmas. They could take the extra money they made and hire temporary entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This cruise on the elation included myself, my partner, my mother, and my stepfather. My partner and I have cruised before on the Elation, but this was the first time for my mother and stepfather, and first cruise ever for my mother. On ... Read More
This cruise on the elation included myself, my partner, my mother, and my stepfather. My partner and I have cruised before on the Elation, but this was the first time for my mother and stepfather, and first cruise ever for my mother. On our previous cruise, we did a Carnival-sponsored shore excursion to Dzibiltchaltun at Progreso and spent the day at a beach resort at Cozumel. So for this current trip we felt a bit more confident and had a better plan for how we wanted to spend our time. The Plan We decided to stay overnight in New Orleans prior to embarkation so we could get on the ship a bit quicker. We also planned to make our purchases in Mexico with pesos due to the very favorable exchange rate, but had not dealt with Mexican banks before. We didn't plan any shore excursions for this trip; we just planned to do our shopping for souvenirs in Progreso and planned to spend most of the day at a new beach in Cozumel. Embarkation We left our hotel via taxi and got to the pier about 12:30pm. The embarkation process was generally pretty quick. Lots of standing in line, but lines moved fairly quickly because we all of our boarding documents ready to go. The Ship Since our last trip in 2012, the Elation didn't seem to have changed by much. At one point the Elation was scheduled for "Funship 2.0 upgrades" during the 2014 drydock but that was canceled. We didn't notice much of anything different about the ship other than some areas where maybe the carpet had been replaced. We also noticed that the children's pools behind the funnel were in working order this time. The staterooms were basically the same as we remember, outdated but comfortable, and the staff on the ship was very friendly. We noticed that the entertainment seemed to have changed a bit away from the big auditorium shows and with more trivia and scavenger hunt activities. We were a bit disappointed by the long waits every night for dinner for those of us on the Anytime Dinner option. Back in 2012, we only had a wait for one of our nights. The final sea day was probably the most memorable on the ship as we participated in almost every trivia round from late morning through evening. We were able to accumulate a couple more "24 carat plastic ships on a stick" for our souvenir collection at home. All in all we would do this cruise again. Although we were disappointed in a few things we still got a good value for our money. We are also considering taking a trip or two to the ports via plane so we can stay for a few days rather than a few hours. Disembarkation Last cruise we took all of our bags with us rather than having them dropped off to the port, which meant we were getting off the ship around 8am. This time we had our big bags left outside the night prior to disembarkation which gave us a bit more time for breakfast. Unfortunately this seemed to add quite a bit more time and standing in line than we were expecting. It was like going through a maze before they finally got us to our bags, which were basically just sitting in a warehouse in different zones. The port staff was not always friendly ordering people around into different lines. It took almost 45 minutes to even get to customs, which was just as simple as them looking at our declaration form and saying thank you. It seemed to be a much bigger, longer process than it needed to be. And by the time we reached the main entrance to the port, it was crowded with people trying to get buses and be picked up by private vehicles. The traffic was seriously jammed up not only with people trying to pick up passengers, but some people were already trying to get dropped off. Having the arrivals and departures overlapping in this way definitely added to the confusion and congestion. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Carnival Elation left New Orleans Dec. 8th. 2014. Check-in was a breeze and the cabins were ready for us. We stayed on UPPER level 6 Cabin U119&U123. CABINS: Where clean and our room stewart ALWAYS remembered our first names of the 4 ... Read More
Carnival Elation left New Orleans Dec. 8th. 2014. Check-in was a breeze and the cabins were ready for us. We stayed on UPPER level 6 Cabin U119&U123. CABINS: Where clean and our room stewart ALWAYS remembered our first names of the 4 people in our party. Cabin was very well taken care throughout the day and my wife loved the towel animals each night at turndown ( I ate all the chocolates). DINNER: Darlene our server was beyond great. I remember her name but the other servers i do not(I'm ashamed because they always knew ours. Please forgive me I am not young any longer.) Darlene was great and always smiling, friendly and seem to love her job. She told us she has been with Carnival for 9 years. They were always there to keep the meal moving along. Mostly the food was good (taste differ from person to person), it all looked great. BRUNCH: The food was good but both days that we ate brunch but the waiters apparently were volunteered for the duty and were not happy about it. Keep looking at watches like they were being punished and release was at 1:00pm after the last late guest showed up 1 minute til. DECK FOOD: Didn't like the lines but they moved along. One thing put the pizza out so it can be seen. It was though you were hiding the pizza and the pizza maker out of sight so you could only get it if you saw him or if someone was standing in line. I think he is cooking the pizza one at a time. Pizza is cheap so stack them high, you will save money on the rest of buffet. Last negative-put the cones for the ice cream out more often. Cones are cheaper that paying someone to wash plates,bowls and glasses for no reason other than people could not find cones. ENTERTAINMENT: I understand the e-team is not to keep you entertained 24/7. There was always plenty to do. I love the game shows, trivia, guest contest, bingo not so much, the behind the scenes talk with Steve was great. The comedy shows were fantastic, I thought I was in Las Vegas at the Funny Bone.(More of this please.) My family got 2- 24kt gold ships on a stick, they love them. I have a great idea for a game you can play throughout the cruise. Hide a particular item around the ship in out of the way places for guest to find and get a prize for returning them. Loved sail and sign bingo(even though I don't gamble). EXCURSIONS: Progresso Just skip them until they are ready for visitors. Cozumel: Loved it. Lots to do. Taxi prices are good. Lots of nice but pushy people trying to make their share of the cruiser's cash. (Shopping Tip: The merchandise and the prices are all mostly the same around town-so you can buy the vanilla,blankets, trinkets, alcohol and jewelry right at the main port shops within a 1,000 feet of the dock. Cozumel get a lot of cruise lines. Buy your (Name Brand) purses in Progresso for better pricing. HAD A GOOD TIME CAN'T WAIT TO GO AGAIN.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We had such a great time on the his cruise. I call it "cruise magic". It's when all the stars aline and things come together in such a way that will never be repeated....but I sure hope it does. This cruise was great. From ... Read More
We had such a great time on the his cruise. I call it "cruise magic". It's when all the stars aline and things come together in such a way that will never be repeated....but I sure hope it does. This cruise was great. From the ship, to the weather, to the company, to the ports, and even the Cruise Director was amazing! We are a mid thirties couple and left the kids behind and traveled instead with some old college friends! It was a great time of catching up on life. This was our 7th cruise and their 1st cruise. It was fun to watch this cruise thru the eyes of Newbies! The Ship: I love fantasy class ships and Elation is now one of my favorites. She has a great feel, an air of fun, comfort, and relaxation. Being a "Big Easy" ship, she carries New Orleans with her thru out the cruise. Super fun and laid back. She feels like home. She is easy to get around, great outdoor spaces, plenty of lounge chairs, and beautiful decor. Elation has a more subtle subdued decor then the other Fantasy class ships. She is a little worn and shows her age but she holds her own and is a force that cannot be denied! Carnival, please please, give her the. TLC she deserves and never let her go! We rarely to never felt crowded. Once again, the fantasy class is so well designed! The Staff: Great and friendly service thru out the ship from room stewards to wait staff, all great! Cruise Director, Steve Kinsley, was awesome. Super funny and really adds to the entertainment! Best cruise director, IMO. The Food: the best we have had on Carnival. Everything was right on the mark in the MDR. Sea Brunch and Dinners were amazing! Entertainment: Very good. Superstar Karaoke and Just Rock should not be missed. Welcome Aboard show was even good. Comedians were alright, but funny for the most part. The Ports: I love how we went to Progresso to get a taste of "real" Mexico and then to Cozumel for "resort" Mexico. Great contrast to see both sides. Loved it! Did Cenotes in Progresso and Paradise beach in Cozumel. Great times! Embark/debarkation: Port of NOLA is great. Convenient parking, fast moving lines, and well organized.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We selected this cruise as a graduation present for my wife. When I asked her where she’d like to go, she said that she really wanted to see some of the Mayan ruins. After looking at the various excursions that Carnival offered, she ... Read More
We selected this cruise as a graduation present for my wife. When I asked her where she’d like to go, she said that she really wanted to see some of the Mayan ruins. After looking at the various excursions that Carnival offered, she decided that Uxmal was her choice, as you have so much access to the site, and that meant that our choices were the Elation or the Triumph. We chose the Elation as the dates worked better, we had never been to New Orleans, and we could drive that distance which left more money for onboard and my wife did not have to limit her wardrobe. We were accompanied by my wife’s cousin, Pat, my mother, and my wife’s best friend, Michelle, and her husband for a party of 6. The week before our cruise my wife and Michelle went shopping for a graduation dress. Instead of buying one dress at Belk or a fancier store, she found 6 at Marshall’s and Ross and suddenly, driving to the port seemed like an excellent decision. The dresses all required separate shoes, so I quickly printed another luggage tag too. On Saturday, my wife fulfilled her dreams and graduated Law School, we celebrated and then drove home so we could finish (start?) packing and get the house ready for the couple that came to sit with our kids. We left Chattanooga about 9 on Sunday; it’s an easy, but boring drive straight down I-59. We made a couple stops, but were at our hotel by around 5 and quickly found the rest of our party. We stayed at the Quality Inn Maison St. Charles. I thought the hotel was charming; it’s a collection of refurbished buildings around a courtyard. Our room was nicely decorated and comfortable. A trolley line runs right out front to Bourbon St. and there were plenty of restaurants within a block or two. We ate at Zea’s, the food was delicious, then went across the street and West one block to the Blind Pelican, where we had grilled oysters for “second dessert”. After dinner, we walked my mother back to the hotel and the rest of us boarded a trolley for Bourbon St. I’m glad I went, but I don’t think that Bourbon St. is really my thing. We had some fun, and steered clear of the scarier parts. We headed back to the trolley around midnight to get a little sleep before the morning of our cruise. Monday was embarkation day, but we had a couple more things to do first. We always go to Target on our way to a cruise, so we headed across the river to Gretna to grab a few things (after a quick trip in the wrong direction, the highways in downtown New Orleans are insane) then headed back to punch one more ticket, a trip to Café du Monde. We were able to park on the street for a couple dollars a couple blocks west, and walked down past the cathedral to Café du Monde. It was fun to stop in, and the street performer outside did an excellent impression of Louis Armstrong. The beignets were good, and the coffe was very strong (I forgot that café au lait is their specialty). We saw the crew from NCIS, which was filming in front of the Cathedral, and made our way back to our cars, finally it was time to head to the port. We dropped off our luggage, as well as our DC and my DM and headed to the garage. I chose to park at the Fulton Street garage. It was cheap, but I kind of felt that I got what I paid for. $8 per night gets you a rooftop spot, but it was a long drive up (there are 8 levels before the roof), you have to walk down a flight of stairs to get to the elevator, we didn’t have much to carry so we helped some women with their bags, and the shuttle seemed back up, so we walked around the convention center (which is huge) and back to the port. I also managed to lose (if I ever had it) the information for the shuttle back to the garage, so I walked that too. Check in was very easy, and the lines weren’t too bad considering it was about 11:45 when we got to the port building. The embarkation photo was taken much earlier in the process than we’re used to, we had planned to take one as a group as on our other cruises the photo has been the last stop, but here they took our picture before we got out Sign and Sail cards. We were on the ship just before 1 p.m. and took a chance that our room (U128, an Ocean View) might be ready. It was, so we dropped our carry-on luggage and headed to the Lido Deck. We managed to find everyone form our group and found 2 sunny tables, everyone grabbed some lunch and we chilled until it was time for safety briefing. I ended up checking out our dining situation and headed back by our room where I found that our luggage had already been delivered. Our muster station was on the Lido deck, another first for me. It made the drill a little chaotic, but we got through the process. With that out of the way, we headed to the promenade deck to watch the Elation sail away through the windows there. We love the Fantasy class promenade decks, they are great for people watching, the bar servers are generally attentive but not as pushy as the ones on the Lido, and the Taste Bar is nearby for appetizers. I really preferred the sushi bars, as they were available every night, rather than just 3 night as Taste was. After a drink and a nibble, we tried our hand at trivia, and got changed for dinner. We also made a quick stop at the liquor tasting. We had late seating in the Inspiration Dining Room (on previous cruises we’ve used anytime) as we thought it would be nice to eat together every night. We were initially given a booth the first night but moved to an empty nearby table for the other 4 as we were cramped and the waitstaff had a long walk around a line of booths to sever the far side. Our head waiter was Costinel, and he was assisted by Toshe and Roxi. I think it took us a night to get to know each other but their service and menu knowledge were good, of course except for Pat and my mother, I think we know the menu as well as the servers anyway. Tuesday was a sea day, we got up early, I went to the gym and when I got back my wife went to yoga. The elliptical machines had touchscreens that did not work very well, something that surprised me, I would have thought they might have been replaced on the recent dry dock, and my wife thought the yoga class was only ok, but maybe it was just different from her class at home. After our efforts at being healthy, we headed to brunch. I think that the sea day brunch is a great menu and always have trouble choosing but I knew that I had two chances on this trip. The rest of the day included some casino play by the ladies, a nap ( a sea day imperative) some reading in the sunshine, and I let my wife talk me in to participating in the Beyonce ‘Single Ladies’ dance class. Following that and another trip to the Promenade deck to check out our photos and hit up the Taste Bar, it was time to get dressed up and take pictures. I really don’t care for pictures, but my wife enjoys it, and I know that she puts up with a lot from me, so I never say no to posing for pictures on a cruise. We had some really nice shots taken, had some with our whole group and suffered through some very odd poses. By and large I thought the Pixels crew was pretty good, although on other ships we’ve managed to really mesh well with at least one photographer. Dinner was excellent again, and we made it out in time for the show. ‘Win’ was the show, I did not care for it, it seemed very cobbled together, and I did not care for the male vocalist, to me it seemed that he was just screaming the whole time. With a big day planned for the next day, we didn’t stay out too late. Day 3 was our stop in Progreso. We chose the excursion to Uxmal. I know that we could have done the trip cheaper with Groupo Autoprogreso, but the Carnival trip was longer, and the ship was only scheduled in port for 7 hours, which left little time if anything went wrong. Our excursion was great. The guide, Felipe, was knowledgeable and funny, he kept us informed and entertained. The site itself was majestic, and you get lots of up close access to the ruins at Uxmal. The reception center contains a very good restaurant, which was definitely a step up from the provided snack (ham sandwich, banana and cookies, all edible but nothing special), especially the fresh corn tortillas. We shopped a little, dollars were accepted by all the vendors, and hopped back on our bus for the return trip. We returned to the port about 10 minutes before the “all aboard” time, so we missed out on the shopping there, but we didn’t NEED anything anyway an dwe had a full day coming up in Cozumel. We rested up, the ladies tried their luck some more and we enjoyed another nice dinner with our Dining Room team. We skipped the ‘love and Marriage Show’ but enjoyed the comedians in the Cole Porter Lounge. One more quick trip to the Casino and some fun looking at photos wrapped up the night. Day 4 found us in Cozumel. If you’re on a Caribbean cruise with Carnival, I think Cozumel is a required stop, but it’s full of fun things to do. While our friends headed to Passion Island on a catamaran (you can also take the Twister jet boat), we headed out to shop and visit some places we ran past in January when we participated in the Amazing Race shore excursion. We had a great time strolling and shopping, then took a cab to La Choza for lunch. I had read about the restaurant several times, the overwhelming themes seemed to be great food, amazing sauce for their chips, and free wi-fi; what more could one want. If anything, the quality of the food was undersold, the pink sauce was fantastic, and they offer a pair of wireless networks included with the meal. We took a quick tour of the Mercado Municipal and headed back to the main strip. After a little more shopping, we headed back to the ship. We rested up a little, posed for pictures enjoyed dinner again, and got ready for the deck party. By and large, I think the quality of the deck party is up to the people cruising, and with lots of people willing to participate, this one was fun. The Entertainment Staff was pretty solid and I had a good time. After the deck party the ship seemed very quiet, we tried to dance at the Romeo and Juliet night club but there was no atmosphere, so we headed in for the night. Day 5 was our final day and was spent at sea. I went to towel animal class, which is always fun, tried to sit through Towel Animal Theater, which is geared for 5 year olds, attended the future cruise talk, then found some of my group for lunch and the chocolate “extravaganza”. We participated in the digital scavenger hunt but did not win, and then I finally won my trivia trophy (I have one from each of the ships I’ve sailed, so I didn’t want to leave without one). The CD, Steve Knisley and one of his assistants hosted a Q & A session that was fairly interesting, then it was time to pack and get ready for a few more photos. We enjoyed our final dinner, went through our photos again, and found a few seats for the Magician’s show. The table artist on the Elation was more of a mind reader, and while I was impressed with his dining room tricks, I have seen better shows. Saturday morning meant debarkation, which went pretty smoothly, then a drive home. We really enjoyed this cruise, and I would recommend the trip, especially if you would like to see any of the Mayan sites. I know that the Elation is older and does not offer the bells and whistles of the newer larger ships, but her crew is friendly, and I think that the smaller size allows them to provide better service.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
----Hotel: ------ Hampton Inn, Convention Center. We have had some doosies over the years but wow! What a great hotel. A little pricey but the service was great, everything worked, clean rooms, friendly staff and cruise parking. Very nice ... Read More
----Hotel: ------ Hampton Inn, Convention Center. We have had some doosies over the years but wow! What a great hotel. A little pricey but the service was great, everything worked, clean rooms, friendly staff and cruise parking. Very nice continental breakfast. Shuttle was also great to get you to the port and back. -----Port of Call: ------ New Orleans. Spent a day and half before cruise in New Orleans, loved the French Quarter and would love to come back. Had a great time visiting places, eating seafood, drinking, and listening to the bands from bar to bar. Process went smoothly, glad I purchased Faster to the Fun. Many people were there before 1030. I have to commend the port and carnival for having so many attendants available to check people in. It was more than any other port I have visited. Porters were great as well. Boarding went fairly smoothly. -----Ship:----- Carnival Elation. Very clean, well kept and was pleasantly surprised as it did not look like it had the wear and tear of a ship built in 1998. The atrium was a treat but missed a live band playing as there were on previous cruises. Many activities on board. Smooth ride. We did stay in cabin M93 so it was probably less prone to the up and down movement. Wish there were more adult hot tubs. Two on serenity and one on the main pool area. There are three pools on sun deck but neither jacuzzi was hot, only cold and were barely used. Cruise director was average, seemed to be in a hurry all the time and not much personality. The public bathrooms were very clean as well. Some minor things the crew can work on - I noticed If you were on Serenity Deck you pretty much had to get your own drinks before you jumped in the hot tub or sat down. No waiter was walking the area. My wife got an invitation to the VIFP party, not me. I had four beers removed from luggage and they were never returned or found. I was also saving my daily newsletters and on the final day my room steward threw them away. Just a little perturbed about that. All in all, the crew was great, the room steward did a great job. The waiter teams also did great. Everyone for the most part was friendly. The comedy club was a lot of fun as was the piano bar and there was also a very entertaining blues band on the ship. ------Cabin:----- Our cabin was M93. Clean and quiet. A short walk to 2 elevators in either direction. The bed was comfortable and had the old bed frames not the newer metal mesh frames. I thought the temp was a little warm but it was tolerable. The bathroom was the biggest Ive had on a carnival ship. It was a nice feature. I did miss having a couch though as on other ships. The window was great. I did not have a balcony this time but I did not miss it either. The elevators were quick and for the most part readily available. -----Dining:---- We had anytime dining and I must say this may be the last!! There were two nights we had to wait, the first night we had to wait 20 minutes and the second time we waited almost an hour to eat! The service in the MDR was great. Still had the old menu and not the new one. The waiters did a fine job!The steakhouse options were a nice feature on the MDR menu. I was suprised the new menu was not offered on this ship as it had the old menu. On the Lido buffet, Breakfast was served after 730am. Lines formed and and then they finally opened. Every other Carnival cruise I have been on the buffets were open by 630 or so. A little drag on the day when you are up and about before 730 and cant grab breakfast before 730. Long lines at The Grill and Mongolian Wok so its definitely best to time these areas. The Mexican Party was a lot of fun and the food was great as well as the music! The chocolate bar was also good and the cakes were decorated very nicely! ----Excursions:---- Port of Progresso. Easy in and out. Uxmal Tour: This was an awesome experience! 1 1/2 hour bus ride to and back from Uxmal ruins. Our tour guide Phillipe did a great job. All of the ruins and temples were just amazing. Deluxe sail and snorkel in Cozumel Port. A pain to get through the port as they practically made you walk through an entire mall before you got to the street. We had to stay on the ship an hour because the Disney ship pulled up and we couldn't debark as planned until the other ship was docked. The excursion was a lot of fun, the snorkeling was great! We had to follow a leader so to speak, but we did see nice coral and fish. The catamaran was a large and accommodated everybody comfortably. The beach was great, plenty to do and relax. After the snorkel, beer, margaritas and other drinks were served rest of day either on the catamaran or on the beach at the bar. On the way back to the ship the bar remained open. We did get back to the pier about 1/2 later than expected. ---Summary:---- All in all, it was another great cruise experience! It is what you make it! We had fun and ate well on the ship. Slept well on the ship too. The rooms were always made nicely and were roomy, and the dining was very good in the MDR and above average on the buffet. The excursions were a blast! Enough on board activities that were available to add some more fun when we werent chilling out. I think this a great value for a 5 day cruise that is hard to beat and the cruise port of New Orleans is just awesome.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Let me preface this by saying my family and I had a great time together. We just enjoy getting away from our daily lives and spending time together on the open seas. It does not take much to please us. Clear skies, open water, and a cold ... Read More
Let me preface this by saying my family and I had a great time together. We just enjoy getting away from our daily lives and spending time together on the open seas. It does not take much to please us. Clear skies, open water, and a cold beverage is about all we need to have a good time for a week. Here ya go: This was my third cruise and second with Carnival. Our other trip was through NCL. Embarkation and disembarkation: This was relatively easy. Lines were moving and seemed pretty organized. We were parked and on the ship within an hour. Disembarkation took about 45 minutes. Staff: Disinterested. I'm used to bartenders, servers, and stewards knowing me by name and greeting me when they walk by. This staff was just there collecting a paycheck and quite a few of them made it known that they hated their job. It took 30 minutes to get pool side service to take an order and each time it seemed like it was killing them to bring me back a beer. The only bright spot was our server, Alexandru, who is technically not staff. He was a very nice guy and treated our family nicely every night. He did a good job with what he had to work with. Just a tremendous guy that you could tell takes pride in his work. Shows/Entertainment: Worst I've seen on a cruise. They performed a different version of the same show every night - same average singers and same horrible dancing every night. I quit going after the third show (where we had to leave during the middle of it). We really enjoyed The Blackjack Band, which played nightly on Deck 5 at mid ship next to the casino. They played mostly country but mixed in whatever you wanted. Food: We did not do premium dinners, so I can't vouch for that. Nightly dinners were about on par with typical cruise food. I would rate it slightly lower than NCL. The buffet, to me, was inedible with the exception of breakfast. The pasta bar was good, but takes 30-45 minutes to get your meal. Food around the pool (burgers, hot dogs, and pizza) was all good. Excursions: This was a bright spot. Easy on/Easy off. Key West- We took a half day snorkeling (Key West Fury). Very well done, staff was great. Freeport- We went to a Wyndham Resort about 30 minutes from the port. Not very crowded. All inclusive. Good food. Good drinks. Relaxing. Good time. Nassau- Went to the Rio next to Atlantis. Again, good food (awesome buffet), good drinks, all inclusive. Only downside is it was a lot more crowded than Wyndham and folks were trying to sell you something every 10 minutes. Again, we still had a great time but this will be our last trip with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Well I've been on a few Carnival ships,but it had been a while since we last cruised on Carnival. Our Balcony cabin was great. I think the food was pretty good. I got my pin and free stuff from Carnival, but heard from others that ... Read More
Well I've been on a few Carnival ships,but it had been a while since we last cruised on Carnival. Our Balcony cabin was great. I think the food was pretty good. I got my pin and free stuff from Carnival, but heard from others that they didn't get there pins. The Islands were alright. We loved Key West.And Nassua was nice, but Freeport was a waste of time to us.. Entertainment was great except for the Christmas show. Lasted about an half a hour, Poorly done as an after thought. Didn't like the casino..Had to us your sail and sign card in the machines and you didn't get recipe. and the Art auction I fine they are getting to pushy to sell you a painting. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
We used Eric for van shuttle service for our party of 8. He charged $10 per person each way 504-382-3700. He was reliable and friendly. We spent the night at the Hampton Inn Convention Center in New Orleans. Very nice hotel. Offers free ... Read More
We used Eric for van shuttle service for our party of 8. He charged $10 per person each way 504-382-3700. He was reliable and friendly. We spent the night at the Hampton Inn Convention Center in New Orleans. Very nice hotel. Offers free breakfast and is walking distance to the port if you have roller luggage, the hotel offers shuttle service for free or it is a cheap cab ride if the free shuttle line is too long. I am now a platinum member with Carnival. I have to say, it is pretty awesome! There were many times during this cruise where I exercised my platinum benefits for the first time that added to the fun of the entire experience. When we arrive to check in, we got to skip the line and wait in a VIP lounge and get on before everyone else (pick of any table on Lido). We also got to get into our rooms right away! I have sailed on many cruises booked all classes of rooms. Lately we are happy with an interior room. We are a family of four, so we like booking two cabins and spreading out. The extra cost to book two rooms versus cramming all four of us in one room is minimal ($150 -$300), and worth it. We did book an interior room on the Lido deck for the first time. Again, the extra cost is minimal ($150 -$300) and also very worth it. Including grandparents we had three rooms all right next to each other, 10280, 10284 and 10288. When there was a late night party, our kids in room 10288 could hear a lot of noise. I was in room 10284 and I could hear it a little bit. My mom was in room 10280 and could not hear it at all. So my advice is to not be the room right on the very end next to the pool if you are worried about noise – but don’t be afraid to be close to the end because it is very convenient. When you are on Lido you are right there next to the action all of the time. You can grab a cup of coffee or a glass of water very easily. I just loved it. My husband was afraid we could feel movement up that high, but not at all – smooth sailing. This was a New Year’s cruise. We had to spend more money for this cruise; it is comparable to booking in the summer. We did this so the kids would not miss school, but the extra bonus was that we got to celebrate the New Year in a fun and safe way together. First thing in the morning, the crew set up an area where passengers could blow up balloons, enclose a wish or message. They collected these in a big net on the top floor of the atrium all day long. By the end of the day the net was filled with balloons. Carnival had free Champaign flowing (no need to buy a bottle) and with everyone all dressed up – we counted down to midnight in the atrium and experienced a fantastic balloon drop. Then everyone, all ages, went up to the lido deck for dancing and music and more Champaign. Our stops were Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. We booked a driver with Victor Bodden Tours in Roatan. For $20 per person they provided round trip transportation to the hotel zone on the West Bay Beach. This time we got to go to the Paradise hotel on West Bay. We paid an additional $10 per person to use the hotel pool, beach, beach chairs and restrooms. WORTH IT. A few members of our party went back to Victor Bodden’s petting zoo and they thoroughly enjoyed it. That was only $5 per person extra. Belize you have to tender, and when the ship is full everyone wants to get off at once and the tender process is not pretty. You get priority if you book a Carnival tour – and can get off first. We did not book with Carnival – we booked cave tubing/zip lining with VIV tours for $70 per person that included all transportation and lunch. This is where my Platinum benefits came in handy. I got priority tender service off the boat for my entire party. We had the best time in Belize with VIV tours. Ask for the guide Mr. Fabulous – so fun (plus with VIV they don’t require you to carry your own tube up the hill for a 30 minute walk, they have their tubes waiting at the top for you). Tip: if you go zip lining/cave tubing – pack water shoes that do not fall off or you have to rent ugly disgusting shoes. Cozumel – is always so easy. We didn’t book a tour. We walked off the ship and asked a cab driver to take us to a beach. He took us to a hotel - and the transportation including hotel privileges was $20 per person. The comedy shows and some of the dancing entertainment were very enjoyable on the Dream. We also enjoyed the dive in movies – and if you got there early enough you could check out a comfy blanket at the towel stand. I really enjoy the food on Carnival. The Dream didn’t have Guy’s burgers which were a bummer, but you could order the steak house steaks and lobsters at in the normal dining room. We do early dining, and did make a reservation at the steakhouse later in the evening during one of our port days to allow us time to rest up before dinner. So worth the $35 up charge, it is a top notch meal. When it was time to go home, we got to take advantage of the Platinum benefits again. We got the luggage tags with the #1 on them, and got to wait in a VIP area to be dismissed first right after the self-assist group. Something to just mention, there were a lot of self-assist passengers that were not following the rules and would not wait to be dismissed until their floor was called. When passengers do this, it over loads the walkways and elevators which then slows the process down for everyone. I will remember not do to this, if I have to self-assist in the future, because it creates a stressful situation for crew and passengers, and you hear the crew director pleading with people over the intercom system all morning. All and all – we had a fantastic cruise. We love the Dream – it is a wonderful ship. If you are reading this because you have already booked and want to know what to expect – expect to have some fun!!!   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
After having survived a life threatening event last May, my doctors allowed me to take a vacation in late 2014. We chose to go to New Orleans and celebrate the Christmas Holiday for four days. We then boarded the Carnivel Dream on 12/28/14 ... Read More
After having survived a life threatening event last May, my doctors allowed me to take a vacation in late 2014. We chose to go to New Orleans and celebrate the Christmas Holiday for four days. We then boarded the Carnivel Dream on 12/28/14 for a 7 day cruise to Roatan, Belize & Cozumel. This included New Year's Eve aboard the ship. Having sailed Carnival many times and leaving from NOLA, on the Conquest, we chose, once again, a Lido deck cabin; No. 10256. The location is amazing! You can walk out into the pool area and continue on to the buffet; all on the Lido deck. The ports offered the usual land tours; though most were a bit too strenuous for me at this time. My wife did do the Zip Line Express in Roatan. She was terrified the whole time. But she is not the youngest of passengers these days,. That's all I will say about age!!!! In Belize we chose to go on the tour of Belize City and visit the Myan Ruins. A "WASTE" of a day!!! The tour showed almost nothing and the ruins were a TRAP for beggars and panhandlers!!! The Belize Dock is almost at the water's edge; leaving it extremely congested and making the "Tender Lines" horrible to go back to any of the various ships anchored offshore. The tender trips are about 30 minutes each way, contributing to the many hours we lost while in Belize. We are never choosing Belize as a destination again. We had been to Cozumel before and, I will say, this port area is one of the best laid out I have ever seen. Again, no tours as we knew we had to take it easy for my sake. This port offers some remarkably fun and interesting things to do and see and I'm sorry I could not partake of some of them. As for the Dream! The little woman says she enjoyed New Orleans more than the cruise. We did come back to NOLA on 1/4/15 and stayed at the Hilton Riverside until we flew back home the next day. Her birthday is January 4th and mine is January 5th so we celebrated the birthdays with a wonderful day, evening and dinner in New Orleans. The Carnival Dream did not offer her a motif she was pleased with. However, being a fan of simple and muted decor I found it to be just fine. The food offered by Carnival has gone down hill over the years as was the case aboard the Dream. Dinner selections are no longer up to par with some other cruise lines. The buffet is somewhat the same on most ships. There are some specialty food venues but we did not go to any. Shows were just OK! The entertainers tried their hardest to put on a good performance each night but lacked the skills needed to really be outstanding. The shows themselves were mediocre. Something to do in the evening however! The lead male singer was quite good! Not so, the female lead! They would rate a "C+" as an ensemble group. The Cruise Director was OK as well. He also put a lot of effort into his duties and I give him a "B" for this. The "Punchliner Comedy Club" was quite well done. Both comedians we saw were very good. Children numbered almost 1000 on the ship. Unfortunately for us there were families where the parents stayed in the balcony cabins and allowed the kids to stay across the hall in interior cabins. Unsupervised every evening, they ran up and down the hall; in and out of elevators and back and forth to the pool area. Most nights they would knock on stateroom doors and run away leaving you to answer the door with no one there. This would go on until around midnight. Our steward even commented on this nonsense! Would we cruise again on Carnival. Most likely, since I do like the intineraries they offer. We will, however, choose other lines for the next few years and give them a try. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I will start by saying maybe my expectations were to high. But disappointment is all we had from the minute I stepped on board. The people at the guest services are rude, almost to the point that I felt like they were insulted that I would ... Read More
I will start by saying maybe my expectations were to high. But disappointment is all we had from the minute I stepped on board. The people at the guest services are rude, almost to the point that I felt like they were insulted that I would dare complain about anything. The dining experiences were horrible. We did our time dining and that has never been a issue on other ships. We always waited at least 30 minutes for seating no matter when we went. The food was never hot. Not even the warm chocolate melting cake or the coffee. I would like to eat in less then 3 hours. We went to dinner each night with high hopes of a better meal experience than the previous night. So we made a reservation for the steak house on Friday at 7:30. We were a group of 8. The food was great. But the service was very slow. We went long times between courses and we once again spent 3 hours for dinner. This was a New Years Eve cruise and it seemed most of the crew was hung over. Our cabin was small and we paid for a balcony with seating and we had a chair. I will give credit to our cabin steward Nihnjah. He was fabulous. I will give serious consideration to a different cruise line for our fall cruise. We attended the info for booking onboard fully intending to book our fall cruise. Needless to say we didn't book a cruise. I've been cruising Carnival for a few years now, I think it must be time to go back to NCL or RC. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I've said NCL 3 times and I'll admit, with all the bad press I was scared to go on Carnival, and I just want to share my verdict on the Carnival Dream: The carnival PARTIES are WAY BETTER than NCL parties ever thought about ... Read More
I've said NCL 3 times and I'll admit, with all the bad press I was scared to go on Carnival, and I just want to share my verdict on the Carnival Dream: The carnival PARTIES are WAY BETTER than NCL parties ever thought about being. The Food was ok, but not as high quality as NCL. Our room steward was WAY better on CCL than on NCL. There were more hot tubs available all week on the Dream, as opposed to NCL. BUT the CROWDS everywhere and the LINES that you had to constantly wait in really put a damper on my mood. I HATED waiting in lines to get into the Dining Venues, on an elevator, into a show, or even to get a dang sandwich. This could be a "big ship" problem OR a CCL problem: I dont really know. I got lost all the time on this ship! Also, a drawback of being on a huge ship is that I didnt feel as "connected" to the sea. Like you are so far up from the ocean, and you almost forget it's there. Another thing I didnt like was one of the shows that claimed to be 'family friendly' featured quite a bit of sex-themed songs and scantily-clad chicks shaking their booties. The biggest problem was the "anytime" dining. My experience in the "anytime" dining room was a TOTAL disappointment! The waiters just did not care. They didnt take a personal interest, they took WAY too long getting our food out to us, when we needed WATER or COFFEE no one could be found to help us, but the bar staff came around CONSTANTLY pushing us to buy alcohol! On NCL the dining is ALWAYS "Freestyle" and the wait staff is AMAZING! Dining feels "luxurious". The ship did NOT feel like "luxury" at all. The comedy was AWESOME, but to get to the comedy venue, you had to walk through the smoke-filled casino! It really irritated my dry-eye. In fact, because of the Casino, the WHOLE 5th floor of the ship smelled like cigarettes and was very harmful to my health. The smoke, the lines and the lack of attention of wait staff, has made me decide never to sail Carnival Cruise Lines ever again. Despite all this, a vacation is what you make of it, and I HAD A BLAST WITH MY FRIENDS!! Loved my vacation, but will sail with NCL next time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
I have been on several cruises, this was my first and last with Carnival Cruise line! Never have I been so disappointed while on vacation. The only bright spot was our bar guy Allen from Philly. He was awesome! Price was reasonable, ... Read More
I have been on several cruises, this was my first and last with Carnival Cruise line! Never have I been so disappointed while on vacation. The only bright spot was our bar guy Allen from Philly. He was awesome! Price was reasonable, stateroom was clean, balcony was tiny, closet space was ample. Dined at our leisure (My time dining 5:45-9:30), first night in the dining room the wait staff was awful! Very disorganized, took over 2 hours before dessert was served. Second night seated in a differ section of dining room, staff was much better but the prime rib was not good. I have never seen beef with that texture. Lobster & shrimp were good. Third night, different section, staff was good, chateaubriand was a disappointment, baked potato was undercooked. Food from the buffet was not much better, every meal taken there was COLD! The best food I ate the entire trip was from the Mongolian Wok but waited 30-35 min in line. The Tandoori station was very good but what was listed as lentil stew was red beans. I called my room steward 4 times, three of those times the phone was never answered, 4th time the phone was answered with "on break, call room service." Shows were fun. Getting off the ship was a cluster! I have cruised several lines, this being my first with Carnival and I am sure it will be my last! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Overall, cruise was okay. My 6th cruise with Carnival and my first time wondering if I should consider other cruise lines. Food: buffets were decent; Italian restaurant and pizza not as good as other ships We shouldn't have to ... Read More
Overall, cruise was okay. My 6th cruise with Carnival and my first time wondering if I should consider other cruise lines. Food: buffets were decent; Italian restaurant and pizza not as good as other ships We shouldn't have to dress up for the steakhouse... we were turned away because my husband wore shorts; these were 'dressy' shorts with a nice polo so on a "fun" cruise that should be okay right? We didn't go back. Don't waste $ on the "all inclusive" drink package. We did - and drank a lot (I thought) and yet when we counted up our drink tab, we could have spent $150 less without the Cheers package. Entertainment: This was our 2nd cruise on the Carnival Dream. Our first was 4 years ago, when it sailed out of Port Canaveral (near Orlando, FL). The Florida sailing was so much fun. The staff was more lively and there was a variety of music for ALL people. In addition to the standard pop, country, and hip hop options, there use to be a latin music band playing throughout the week. This was the highlight of our trip. There were people of all ethnicities enjoying the band and learning new dances. Porting our of New Orleans, there was a HUGE shift in entertainment. No more latin band. Just a lot of rap music each night; okay for a little while, but how about other genres to enjoy? The breakdancing team was sad, same moves over and over... no where as authentic or cool as the group out of Florida. On the plus side, the 'broadway' shows improved. Better singers and they even flew in special gymnasts. Comedians were one of the highlights of the trip. Ports: New Orleans is a cool place but I there's more for us to enjoy in Florida. Montego Bay, Jamaica - too far to enjoy the more popular excursions without giving up your full day; we took a taxi to Doctors Cave beach - best snorkeling experience ever and it was only $25 Grand Cayman - we did the Tiki beach excursion which was not the best beach area, very rocky. Cozumel - we planned an ATX (dirt buggy) excursion through ShoreTrips - fun but longer than planned, didn't have time for anything else Ship: Not as polished and clean as it was 4 yrs ago. We had a cove balcony room which we absolutely loved. No amenities this time - Carnival is really cutting back on the freebies (shavers, shave cream, toothpaste, etc.). Misc.: Each day there was a Hanukah service... yet there was no Christian service at all during the whole week. Interesting because this was Christmas week, big let down to not have this option. No Zumba or other free group fitness classes. Your on your own with the equipment or pay for a personal trainer. My 16 yr old son refused to participate in the teen club, calling it lame with everyone just sitting around playing video games.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I love cruising with Carnival, but the overall experience on this ship is lacking. Night and day difference to most other ships in their fleet. Cruise director was annoying and lacked enthusiasm. Cruise director's assistant was the ... Read More
I love cruising with Carnival, but the overall experience on this ship is lacking. Night and day difference to most other ships in their fleet. Cruise director was annoying and lacked enthusiasm. Cruise director's assistant was the same. Hosted events were short and offered a bare minimum of guidance. Servers at the evening dining were rude and rushed. The food tasted rushed and undercooked or cold....every evening. I was even told I couldn't order one of the entrees one night?!! Positives were our cabin steward and room service. Kaityrinna from Belarus was cheery and prompt in delivering room service to my cabin. The comedy and song/dance shows in the evening were great! However, none of them compares to the experiences I've had on other ships within the Carnival fleet. When I've had such better times on other ships....it's difficult to remain pleased with this sub-standard experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
1st time on the Dream but 2nd sailing out of NOLA. Ship is in reasonably good shape and about what we expected. My wife and I cruised alone again this time. Embarkation: walked across street from hotel (Omni) and checked in early. We were ... Read More
1st time on the Dream but 2nd sailing out of NOLA. Ship is in reasonably good shape and about what we expected. My wife and I cruised alone again this time. Embarkation: walked across street from hotel (Omni) and checked in early. We were on the ship by 11:30 and able to drop off our carry on items by 12:00. Had a quick lunch and explored the ship a bit. Cabin: usual inside for us. Good storage space and surprisingly comfortable bed. Carnival does not have extra egg crate's per our request but did not need one. Good storage in bathroom as well. We were on deck 7 forward in good location. Ship: way more rolling than we expected for a ship this large. Surprisingly small pool but loved the water slides and outdoor theater. Tried the putting course but were interrupted by unsupervised children. No trouble getting chairs at any time. Public spaces well kept and clean. Dining: Did not eat other than main dining room and buffet. Same menu as last several Carnival cruises so no surprises. Food generally good and they still have lobster night unlike Norwegian. My wife tried the Pasta Bar and said it was quite good. Bars: we simply love Thirsty Frog, Carnivals own beer available on tap. Bottled beer remains expensive and drink of the day was $7.95. Drinks were good (what few we had as we drink more off ship). Ports: Cozumel; we took cab to Palancar (free beach) and snorkeled ( just O.K.) expensive cab rides $20 one way. Grand Cayman; went to turtle farm again (so much fun) then took local bus ($2.50 pp) to Cemetary Beach (no services and no crowds) for exceptional snorkeling. Then bus back to town for a little shopping and cold drinks. Jamaica; same old stuff. All beaches cost to get on, we went to Doctors Cave Beach and shared a bus $10 one way. O.K. snorkeling w/ over priced drinks so walked 1/2 way back to ship and picked up cold beer in local markets. Constant harassment by locals to buy "ganja" and everything else. We plan to visit Negril if we go here again. Sea days: on 2nd sea day back the ship had to have 2 Coast Guard medivacs off the aft end of ship 3 hrs apart and so we arrived back in NOLA quite early in the am. Disembarkation: smooth and we walked over to Norwegian terminal and checked in for 2nd leg of cruise.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
We surprised our grand daughters (whom we are raising) with this as their Christmas present! Emma, age 16 and MC age 8 were ecstatic! We were on our 25th cruise, but only the third with Carnival. Years ago, we went on two short cruises on ... Read More
We surprised our grand daughters (whom we are raising) with this as their Christmas present! Emma, age 16 and MC age 8 were ecstatic! We were on our 25th cruise, but only the third with Carnival. Years ago, we went on two short cruises on Carnival's older, smaller ships, and were not impressed by comparison to the Royal Caribbean and Princess cruises we had previously gone on. BUT, since the four of us could drive, thus savings $$$ in airfare, and because the Dream was so much larger and newer, we thought we'd give it a try. We had a great time, the girls loved their various activities, MC wanted to go to Camp Carnival every day. Emma was shy about going to Club O2 by herself the first night, but then met a few kids, and they ran around together in a pack all week. We had a very good cabin steward, he was in there at least twice daily, keeping the ice bucket filled, bringing us fresh beach towels, robes, and anything else we requested. Our main dining room servers were super friendly, remembering us by name each night. The food was typical cruise ship quality, mostly very good with a few exceptions each night. We were surpised to see that Carnival still serves lobster and escargot, and some other "fancy" foods that some of the lines had cut out. We dined one night at the Chef's Table steakhouse, and it was superb. Emma ordered lobster and it came with not one, but three tails! The desserts were to die for. We thought the production shows were good, but not over the top. The dancers were talented, the male singer was quite good, female just OK. And, yes, "family friendly" is a matter of opinion...a lot of sexy dancing in very skimpy costumes. The entertainment around the ship was sub-par, the singers in the atrium were pretty terrible and they were LOUD. We didn't care for the comedian either. I don't understand why, what with all the fantastic talent out there, the cruise line would hire such marginal acts. We did Faster to the Fun, and would do it again...for 50.00 for the whole group it makes embarkation a whole lot easier, and, on the last night, we went down to guest services and there were about 30 people in line but the FTTF line had only two ahead of us. There was a lot of smoking on this ship, the whole deck five around the casino area reeked of it. The kids loved the water slides, the mini golf, and we all watched a "Dive'In" movie, that was pretty special! All in all, a good cruise for our family, but if it was just the two of us, Carnival would not be my pick. This ship was VERY crowded and we like a more elegant atmosphere. (They actually announced in the dining room, that, on "elegant" night, men were not allowed to wear flip flops and wife-beaters, and no ball caps!) One other tip: If you are driving to the port, park at the Fulton Street garage, it was less than half of the price of the one at the port! It is only two blocks away, and they have a shuttle bus with porters to help with your luggage.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Was disappointed that the ship was not decorated for Christmas. Was posted to have been done Nov 24th. Our first impression on boarding her was how plain she was. We have sailed the Magic a sister ship and found the Magic much prettier ... Read More
Was disappointed that the ship was not decorated for Christmas. Was posted to have been done Nov 24th. Our first impression on boarding her was how plain she was. We have sailed the Magic a sister ship and found the Magic much prettier and friendlier staff. The Dream was clean and well staffed. Our steward we saw only 3 times in 7 days. Our room was kept clean and tidy. They have a Great band on the Dream called Blackjack and loved listening to them. We enjoyed the Steakhouse and also the Chefs table. All in all we will not sail her again but wanted to go out of a different port other than Galveston. We did do 2 excursions and Little French Key was the best ever, it is located in Roatan, Honduras. We did Salsa Salsa in Cozumel and enjoyed that as well. The one really bright spot in this trip was my Hubby as it was my 60th birthday and he made it a special day for me. We did meet and make wonderful friends. Hope to cruise with them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
I read way too many reviews ahead of time & feared a bit of disappointment. Well, we had an absolutely GREAT cruise which exceeded our expectations. We had our first ever Aft Balcony on Deck 8 and it was amazing. Yes, it got a bit ... Read More
I read way too many reviews ahead of time & feared a bit of disappointment. Well, we had an absolutely GREAT cruise which exceeded our expectations. We had our first ever Aft Balcony on Deck 8 and it was amazing. Yes, it got a bit warm in our stateroom, but I was prepared with a 6" portable fan. Yes, you felt a wee bit of movement at times during the night but it was never an issue. There was a pattern of vibrations and then nothing at all, and this occurred a couple times during the nighttime hours. The extended deck was awesome, but be forewarned that although deck plans indicate reclining chair, standard chair, and lounge, there was NO LOUNGE on our balcony. We were informed that they were removed due to safety concerns. Now this is why I booked the aft cabin - to lounge in the morning, afternoon, or evening. I requested & received a lounge and assured them that I would not trip over it, as was the new concern. We had our twin beds converted. There was a sofa and an oval cocktail table. There was also a small stool by the vanity area. Cabin had a safe and a refrigerator (which really does not chill items). This room could easily accommodate 3 passengers. Bathroom was standard. Closet & drawer space was ample. We ate breakfast in the dining room or enjoyed Sea Day Brunch at the dining room. We never had breakfast on the Lido deck. Sea Day Brunch is not to be missed. My husband & another in our party loved the steak & eggs, and the corned beef hash & cheese grits were a hit. I loved the huevos rancheros and the smothered pork chop! For lunch, we tried most services available; deli sandwich, Tandoor, pasta restaurant, Seaside BBQ, grill station, Mongolian Wok. We were never disappointed. We had pizza just one late night after a show. Dinners were all in the Crimson Restaurant, Your Time Dining, and we enjoyed every single night. Something was always available in the dining room, for even the pickiest of pallets. We're not big dessert eaters, but I did enjoy both crème brulee desserts which they offered. My husband usually had sherbet. He did not enjoy the dining room cheese cake. We did not partake in the Chocolate Buffet, but our friends did, and their opinion was that desserts were tasteless. I had just one strawberry soft-serve ice cream cone all week, but I did stop by a put a squirt of vanilla into my cocktail once, too! Yummmm. We preferred the aft pool, so we did not partake in the main pool games or hairy chest contest. I found it to be too noisy at the main pool. When in Montego Bay, Jamaica we stayed on the ship & sat by the main pool, as it was much less crowded. We enjoyed the Beach Boys concert on the big screen. Regardless of which pool you chose, lounge chairs were difficult to come by if you were not an early riser. We ARE early birds so we had no problem, but people were always looking for seating. Although we had 8 in our party, we did not save lounge chairs because we never knew when anyone would be joining us. So many chairs were "occupied" but remained "unoccupied" for hours at a time, yet we did not see anyone monitoring this or removing items for others to sit. There's always so much going on, so much to do & not enough time, but each show we did attend, we enjoyed very much. The ship was beautifully decorated for the holidays and we tried to catch each festive event we could. We enjoyed the holiday show in the Encore Theater as well. I was hoping to catch a movie on the big screen outside, but it just never happened. Roman, a comedian, had us all in stitches! We did not attend the Over 18 comedy act, but one guy in our party said it was rather raunchy. We really needed a back-to-back cruise to fit in all we wanted to see & do. We enjoyed our visits to the casino, which YES, was smoky. We purchased a Cheers package for each of us since anyone over 21 in the stateroom must purchase, but my husband is not much of a drinker & neither of us reached the 15 drink maximum per day. We don't know yet whether or not we broke even. We feel we could have spent the $402 per person on other things (perhaps a shore excursion or two, maybe a massage). We purchased Faster to the Fun, so embarkation was a breeze. Our room was ready when we boarded and our luggage was delivered long before we sailed. Our muster station was in a dining room and the drill was quick & painless. Again, having Faster to the Fun made disembarking quite easy. We were in Zone 2, which came after all decks with self-assist luggage. Zones 1 through 5 were called at once, but it was simple. We highly recommend Carnival Dream, as our experience with the ship, the service and friendliness of the staff was exceptional. The ship was very clean, is well-maintained, all areas are just so pretty.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
First, it doesn't take a lot to make me happy. Champagne at embarkation, free bottle of wine at steak house 1st night of cruise, attentive cabin steward, accommodating maitre'd and main dining room wait staff all made me happy. I ... Read More
First, it doesn't take a lot to make me happy. Champagne at embarkation, free bottle of wine at steak house 1st night of cruise, attentive cabin steward, accommodating maitre'd and main dining room wait staff all made me happy. I was a happy cruiser! Our cruise on the Carnival Dream over Christmas was a dream vacation! Throw in snow, Christmas carols in the atrium on Christmas Eve along w/ the children's Christmas program on Christmas night-well, that's the stuff of dreams and memories are made of! Second, in between we read, slept, and ate our way through the Lido buffet. The pasta bar tucked away above buffet (think up the stairs) and the Indian food at back of ship were hidden treasures waiting to be discovered! Discover them we did! Don't miss 'em! Third, the Lanai deck (deck 5) was a great place to walk every morning, people watch, and take sunrise pictures. I couldn't have asked for better cruise vacation! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This was my ninth cruise, and my fifth with Carnival. The Elation was, bar far, the worst ship I have ever been on. We decided on a short girls cruise, and the price was right for this 5 day cruise to Cozumel and Progresso. There was a ... Read More
This was my ninth cruise, and my fifth with Carnival. The Elation was, bar far, the worst ship I have ever been on. We decided on a short girls cruise, and the price was right for this 5 day cruise to Cozumel and Progresso. There was a group of 9 of us. Embarkation was a breeze, but the lady checking us in was having a bad day. We were on the ship quickly and had no problems. Upon boarding, the shuttle you up to the Lido deck to eat. I was surprised at how small the ship seemed compared to the Conquest that I had been on the previous year. Food on the ship was OK, it's just something to eat. Nothing special, nothing wow'd us, EXCEPT the food we tasted at the Taste Bar. Too bad that food wasn't available at dinner or lunch anywhere. However, the staff at dinner was awesome. They went out of their way to make us smile, make us laugh, and enjoy the evening with them. We had dinner in the main dining room every night we enjoyed them so much! When our cabin was ready, and we got inside, I was surprised to see the beers I had pre-ordered to be in our room just sitting on the desk, not on ice, and still warm. Tried calling room steward, but of course, they're super busy at that time, so the beers sat there for a day until we finally got some ice. The only "entertainment" on board we went to was the "comedians". Mutzie was one of them at the "adults only" show and was nothing but a downer. He's not even close to be a "comedian" and just went on and on about how grateful he was to Carnival, and how each CD that he sold was going to one of Carnivals employees who's daughter got hit by a bus. The only joke he told, which dragged on for the whole show, was about a black guys huge unit that he was next to at a urinal, and how small the white guys' on the other side of him was. Terrible waste of time. Dean Gaines was the other one we saw, and he was only slightly better. Cozumel was an awesome port, as it always is. Even with the 4 other ships in port, and being very crowded, it was a breeze to get through and get to a cab. Progresso is a new port, and the only thing that's close is the duty free shop with the liquor and perfume, and outside of that building was the "bargin shopping" where they're all trying to get you in their shop, selling their goods, etc. There was a make-shift bar with a DJ and a small, dirty pool. There was also a few ladies there giving massages. Pool areas were surprisingly open. We never had a problem getting a lounger by the pool, but the staff serving drinks were slow and not happy people. I'm used to singing, dancing, smiling waiters and we didn't see any of that. I'm hoping for a better cruise on the Liberty in January.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
As I told the crew on the Carnival Elation, I am writing a review on the awful services provided by Carnival during my 5 day cruise out of New Orleans on November 24th, 2014. Let me start by saying I will never cruise Carnival again. I ... Read More
As I told the crew on the Carnival Elation, I am writing a review on the awful services provided by Carnival during my 5 day cruise out of New Orleans on November 24th, 2014. Let me start by saying I will never cruise Carnival again. I considered myself a veteran cruiser with four cruises in the last seven years, twice with Carnival. My wife and I booked the Carnival Elation for a honeymoon with our friends during the week of Thanksgiving. I booked early because I wanted to ensure the perfect room for my wife's first cruise ever. I found the destination to Progreso to have been a waste of our money. That port is not ready for any ship much less any turist. I will break down day by day. Day 1 embarkation was amazing. I will admit the Port of New Orleans and the embarkation/debarkation team have their stuff together. On the boat in 30 minutes off the boat in 30 minutes AWESOME!. But that's where the good stuff ends for the most part. Our friends wanted to surprise us with cakes for our honeymoon, the cakes never arrived at the specified time. They ended up in guest services on the first day fighting to get their money back, because the time the crew wanted to deliver the late cakes was in the evening after we would have already have eaten dinner. It took an hour just to get the credit back on their accounts. WOW! Bad start. Later that evening we went to dinner where the service was slow and horrible. We didn't get water until 10 minutes after seating down, bread after 15 min. At least the meal was good but no servers were smiling or happy to be there. Already we felt as a burden to the crew. The evening show was a joke as was the rest of the shows in the main show room. Day 2, sea day spent having drinks and in the casino as the only entertain was that or trivia....hmmmm...about 200 trivia games to play but no actual entertainment....again a joke. My wife and wife's friend went to the "SPA" to get their make up and hair done for the formal night. They spent $180 for both of them. When they got back, I asked why haven't they gotten their hair and make up done? They responded we did, and it was HORRIBLE!!! It looked that they didn't have any make up and their hair was a disgrace. My wife and friend refused to take formal pictures because they were turned off by their hair. They ended up redoing everything in the cabin waisting our time. Day 3 AMAZING...why? we were off the ship and in Cozumel, we did the Dolphin Swim....AMAZING will recommend. Except the best port we had during the trip was also our least amount of time spent!! We were off the boat by 9am and rushed to get back by 3:30pm. NOT ENOUGH TIME!!!! Comedy was great and was about the only show worth watching. Dinning services was great only because we finally found a dining room team that actually smiled and enjoyed our company and paid atttention to the details. We had Your time Dining. Day 4: Waisted, spent the most amount of time at port for the worst port I have even been to in the west and east caribbean. The morning started bad with room service that never made it to my room...ended up rushing to dinning room to eat. And while in the dining room eating breakfast, the waiter got everyones order wrong...so wrong my wife ended up with just two eggs!! I mean I thought it was a joke and we where on camera. Dinner was great because we asked for the table we had the night before with Donovan, Constantine, Martinez and I Wayan...yes I remembered their names becuase they were the only saving grace on that ship. They were in the Imagination room. Day 5 repeat Day 2. By end of the trip, we went to guest services to complain about everything we experienced during our stay. We complained about the garbage my wife tripped over in the staircases, about the garbage left out on Deck 12 for about three days!!!!!!! (NO JOKE), about the lack of security as teenages ran around the ship at midnight and threw things around and pushed us out of the way a couple times as they ran rampet. WHERE WAS SECURITY!!!!!!!! We explained how my wife and I picked up a broken glass off the putt putt course and cleaned it up ourselves (not even our trash). All we got was blank stares and a sorry. Our friends room ended up with ANTS!!!! No sympathy, in fact they tried to blame my friends for bringing them on BOARD!!! Really!!! We got a window room and might as well been an interier room becuase they were absolutly disgusting....could not see out....wish they would have washed the windows at port!!!! Money waisted; I should have gotten an interier and saved my money. Really disappointed. Overall, the worst cruise I have even been on. I wasted good hard earned money for a special occaision on a special week of thanksgiving and could even get good dinner services/food on Thanksgiving Day!!. Why did I pay a premium for a terrible week, terrible services, terrible room, and terrible entertainment. Carnival Cruises....GOOD BYE! NCL here we come. Oh yes NCL by far has been the best and it was a similar sized ship. BTW a lot of Carnival's on board staff like the SPA team are contractors....so Carnival does not think they have to answer when a contractor fails at their job. Guest Services asked us why we didn't talk to this person or that person and we were like, we are on vacation and are upset and the last thing we wanted to do was complain at that moment and waste more time. We saved all our complaints till the end when we had time and took it to Guest Services. We thought that was the right thing to do. I guess guest services wants you to go to the person that sucked and they them they sucked...honestly we are not that type of person to do that, we would have like if guest services would have done that for us....guess not!!....Never again.... Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Cruised from New Orleans to Progreso and Cozumel on the Elation with my two sons who are in their 30's. We booked a grand suite ( a special birthday for me) for the three of us and it was fine. Loved having a balcony -- it gave us the ... Read More
Cruised from New Orleans to Progreso and Cozumel on the Elation with my two sons who are in their 30's. We booked a grand suite ( a special birthday for me) for the three of us and it was fine. Loved having a balcony -- it gave us the extra space we needed to not feel cramped. Also is a great place to watch the Pilot Boat captains jump off and on the ship in every port. Love that! We flew in to NOLA in the early afternoon and took a taxi directly to the ship. We boarded at 3:00 pm, most people were already on the ship so embarkation was a breeze. Everyone with Carnival was very welcoming and helpful. We had late dining in the dining room and found the food to be quite good (depending on what you ordered). I was sorry both times when I did not order the RedFish and the Mahi. Everyone raved about the fish. The first night I ordered an Indian Vegetarian dish and it was wonderful. Our head waiter Jorge was exceptional and he can really dance! We sat with another family with 20 something children and their partners on an Anniversary Cruise from Louisiana and really enjoyed their company. We loved the live music, especially the New Orleans style swing band. Those guys were great and they had a wonderful female jazz singer. We loved cruising down the Mississippi River out of New Orleans -- so much to see. Food in the buffet was so-so except for the last day when it was awful. Dining room always has good breakfasts and the sea day brunch was good. I almost always order breakfast from room service the night before; love waking up to hot coffee, juice, bagels and lox or croissants in the morning. Ordered tuna sandwiches and veggie sticks twice from room service for a snack and they were good. Room service was always fast and I always tipped the room service guys. I always like the Serenity Deck. Heard the musical shows and comedy shows were pretty good, but I didn't attend any. Had drinks in almost every bar on ship and the bartenders were fantastic especially in the Atrium and Gatsby Bars. Took a good Yoga class the first sea day. My sons said the Serenity Deck hot tubs were the only ones really hot. A nice mix of folks in their 20s and 30s, middle age cruisers, and some oldsters. Almost no children, but then school is in session. The younger crowd stayed up very late and had a great time. Everyone was very friendly and fun. Ship staff were always smiling, cordial and went out of their way to provide good service. Debarkation was easy. Longest lines were to get off the ship in the ports, but to be expected. We usually cruise out of Galveston or New Orleans just to get to the Yucatan and are so very glad that Carnival stops in Progreso. That's why we cruise Carnival! Read Less
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