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Sail Date: February 2015
My better half and I took our first cruise on the Carnival Elation out of new Orleans. It was an overall great experience. We are from Atlanta and decided to fly into New Orleans a few days before the Sailing in order to enjoy the City for ... Read More
My better half and I took our first cruise on the Carnival Elation out of new Orleans. It was an overall great experience. We are from Atlanta and decided to fly into New Orleans a few days before the Sailing in order to enjoy the City for a few days first. Once we finally got to the port to book the ship, it was a quick and painless experience. Getting boarded onto the ship was quick and easy. Our luggage arrived promptly. About US - Mid 40`s, Very Young at Heart, Social Drinkers, Foodies. About the Cruise: Pros: 1. Good Food and always available. 2. Our state room was a nice size. 3. Nice entertainment. Great comedians, Amusing shows. 4. Fun Posts of call. Plenty of Excursion for all tastes. Cons: 1. Always felt like Carnival was trying to reach into our pockets. Many of the so called "events" are just sales pitches trying to get you buy jewelry, art or other things you do not need. 2. Avoid the Art Auction. Really felt like I was watching a street hustler playing 3 Card Monte the whole time it was going on. Absurdly overpriced prints being pedaled with every sleazy trick in the book. We did get a free glass of Champagne for going in though. 3. Some staff can be rude. Had one bartender and one person at guest services that clearly did not want to be bother by any of those pesky customers. 4. The boat is an older Ship and it is starting to show a little. Still very nice and clean but aging. 5. The biggest complaint was the Serenity deck. The place for Adults to get away and not have children running around. It was always very packed. Lounge chairs were not available as some people would come and claim chairs by putting stuff on them and then disappear for hours. Since this is one of the more popular areas on the boat and always crowded, Carnival should impose rules that if you are gone for more than 10 minutes someone will store your items left on the chair till you get back and free up the chairs for people that are actually there. With all that said, It was still a great time. We enjoyed every minute. For the two bad experiences we had with staff, we had great experiences with everyone else on board. We never got to enjoy the serenity deck but there was plenty of room poolside and fortunately there were not a lot of children on our cruise and the ones that were there were well behaved. In Cozumel, we did not do an excursion. Just spent the day shopping and hanging out in some great Bars along the beach. Very relaxing. In Progresso, we did the All Inclusive Excursion and that was great too. Nice Pool, Great beach with tons of sea shells to find. Great booze, food and service. We are already planning our next cruise and would do this same one again without a second thought.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
Pros: The staff on the cruise are so nice and work so hard. Really enjoyed the dining room style meals and environment. My favorite part was the adult comedy at night. Cons: The general food area was always very crowded, even during ... Read More
Pros: The staff on the cruise are so nice and work so hard. Really enjoyed the dining room style meals and environment. My favorite part was the adult comedy at night. Cons: The general food area was always very crowded, even during non meal hours. The music/DJ outside on the deck played the music way too loud, it was very unpleasant. Cozumel's beach was nice but way too many hustlers all over the place, it was terrible. They try and get every penny out of you constantly. I will never go back to this part of Mexico. Progesso is sketchy and dumpy. The Mexican Army were all over holding guns in there hands. Why are the cruise ships taking tourists here?? Highly NOT recommended!   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This was my 12th cruise (of 19) with Carnival. There were four of us (high school friends) and two were newbies (the other was on his second cruise). We enjoyed everything except the slow service in the dining room at dinner on two of the ... Read More
This was my 12th cruise (of 19) with Carnival. There were four of us (high school friends) and two were newbies (the other was on his second cruise). We enjoyed everything except the slow service in the dining room at dinner on two of the five nights we ate there. Unfortunately the slow service was made worse by the couple we were seated with (it seemed they were able to talk continuously without breathing & when adult beverages entered the picture, it only got worse). Oh well ... we enjoyed the buffet and grill the other nights and it didn't really matter. Lido Deck bar service was awful. Absolutely awful. I resorted to telling the servers that their tips would improve if we were served quickly & it made an incredible difference. We tried going to the bar to buy our own and realized it wasn't the servers who were slow. The entertainment was so-so at best: worst piano bar/player ever! -- the shows had potential but the directors just couldn't keep from going too far and ruining them. Only Edd (guitarist/singer extraordinaire) brought the entertainment rating up. He was awesome, talented and friendly -- and would play more often if I was running the show! Can't wait to sail again. Booked in November, but I'm thinking I may need something else in between! P.S. Embarkation and disembarkation were both fine. Quick, painless and organized. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We booked our cruise just a couple of weeks before departure and received a very good price for a balcony room on deck nine. Embarkation was a little crazy. Everyone prints out their luggage tags and places them on their luggage ahead of ... Read More
We booked our cruise just a couple of weeks before departure and received a very good price for a balcony room on deck nine. Embarkation was a little crazy. Everyone prints out their luggage tags and places them on their luggage ahead of time, but when we arrived, some guy from Carnival had us fill out another one and then ASKED for a tip! There was a very long line to check in and it took about an hour to get through the line and onboard. The room was very typical of any balcony room on Carnival, but the bedding pillows and decorative throw were very worn. The room steward did a pretty good job of keeping the room clean; although, I am not sure he always knew when went to dinner. Unfortunately, we had a room that adjoined another and we could hear every word the people in that room said. They were a group of young adults, and their music at times was quite annoying. Be sure to ask for a room that does NOT adjoin another! Their were plenty of places on the ship to eat. We dined every evening in the Scarlet Dining Room and our service was impeccable! Our waiters were probably the best were have ever had on a cruise, and we have cruised NCL, Celebrity, and Carnival several times. We never had to asked for anything, the service was prompt, and the food very good. I thought the food was better than our eleven-night cruise last September on Celebrity out of Rome. We ate lunch a couple of times in the pasta bar.... delicious. The buffet is typical and not fancy. The burgers and pizza were great. We did not try the steak house as we just don't think we should have to pay additionally for dining. The entertainment was very good. I have a music background, and I thought the musical productions were pretty good...... not Broadway quality, but pretty good. I particularly like the set designs, and I liked that I could understand the words when the songs were sung. So often you can't understand the words on these loud and high-energy numbers, but the singers did a good job. We had just booked a cruise another Carnival cruise out of LA for October to Hawaii, and when I went to the future cruise desk to ask some questions about it, I found out that they were offering a $200 onboard credit that Carnival will not give us since we had booked the cruise two weeks ago. Apparently, you have to book while onboard to get the credit even if you have the low-price guarantee. Pretty sorry of Carnival in my opinion. We did enjoy the cruise very much, but I am very disappointed that Carnival would not honor the onboard credit for our future cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This was our 14th cruise, and 3rd on Carnival. Overall, we enjoyed it, and it was a big improvement over our last Carnival cruise. Embarkation: It seems that most passengers embarking in New Orleans drive to the port. There is a 6-level ... Read More
This was our 14th cruise, and 3rd on Carnival. Overall, we enjoyed it, and it was a big improvement over our last Carnival cruise. Embarkation: It seems that most passengers embarking in New Orleans drive to the port. There is a 6-level parking garage that made it very easy to check your bags, park and board the ship. We did not pay the extra $50 to buy "Faster to the Fun" express embarkation, and for us, that was a good decision. When we got there (approximately 1:30), the fast line was longer and slower than the "normal" line. Overall the food was very good, with the notable exception of their Prime Rib. I didn't know you could mess up prime rib, but they did. My husband sent his food back one night because it was cold, but otherwise it was quite good. We regret that we did not discover the Pasta Bar until the last day. You fill out a form indicating the type of pasta, sauce, and add-ins, and they custom-make it for you. It was delicious and very fresh. Another hint: the Tandoor station on the back of the Lido deck never had a line. In the mornings when the other lines were long, Tandoor had a smaller buffet selection of standard breakfast items, and no line. On embarkation day, the Lido was very crowded with long lines and we had to hunt for tables, but the rest of the week was much more manageable. The entertainment on this ship was excellent, and a huge improvement over the last Carnival Cruise we took. There were comedy shows most nights. We learned to get there early because it was often full. We saw 2 of the show lounge productions which were also excellent. And their Love and Marriage show was a hoot. The last sea day, the Cruise Director had a Q&A session about life on the ship that was very interesting. We only took one shore excursion, in Cozumel. Almost all of their shore excursions depart at 8:15, which seemed too early for us. If anyone enjoys jogging or a good walk, Costa Maya was a great place for it. There is a wide median with a path down the middle right outside the port gate, connecting to a palm-lined median that continues down another street. When that ends, you can head toward the lighthouse and further if you want. It was all flat and felt very safe. As with other ships, the Wifi is extremely expensive, and we almost never saw anyone using the many computers on board. Some of the places in Cozumel would give you their code if you buy something, but the one we used was pretty slow. I had no luck getting connected in Costa Maya. In Roatan, the port area will sell you a unique wifi code for $5 for an hour or $10 a day. Though nobody likes to pay for this, it was a speedy connection and well worth the $5. Disembarkation went very smoothly. You can either put your luggage outside your room the night before and claim it when you get off the ship, or just carry it off yourself. We put ours outside the room, but were a little after the 11pm deadline, and it was still sitting there the next morning. No problem. It was our fault for being late. Carnival, like other cruise lines, has made cutbacks which are sometimes apparent. There was no ice bucket in our room, although our cabin steward brought one when we requested it. They don't give receipts for your purchases unless you specifically ask for one. If the dining room had a wine steward, we never saw him. Our waiter took our wine order and somebody else brought it. They no longer put a bread basket on your table, but dole it out to you. And lines to get a drink on the Lido deck were lengthy. (Try the Serenity area if it's open). Overall, it was a good cruise and I'm glad we took it. My main complaint was the smoking on Deck 5. The casino reeked of smoke even when the tables and machines were closed. It filled most of the 5th floor. A lot of the activities are in the Oceans lounge of Deck 5, but another smoking area was on the Promenade deck just outside this area. Every time someone opened that door, anyone inside got hit with a wave of second-hand smoke. Ugh. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
Embarkation was very smooth. I'd purchased Faster to the Fun to speed things along and arrived early to avoid Mardi Gras parade traffic. Smooth check-in and after a short wait, proceeded to our room which was ready for us and our ... Read More
Embarkation was very smooth. I'd purchased Faster to the Fun to speed things along and arrived early to avoid Mardi Gras parade traffic. Smooth check-in and after a short wait, proceeded to our room which was ready for us and our luggage arrived within a half hour. The ship was full with 4,500 passengers, approximately 1,200 children due to local schools being out for the week. Surprisingly, it wasn't as chaotic as one might have expected although the service suffered as a result. Deck service was slow to non-existent and dining room service was way off the mark from previous cruises. We really enjoyed the therapy pool, steam rooms and relaxation rooms of the spa, but found out there are public steam rooms and a sauna available to everyone. The spa staff were great but as usual, if you book a hour massage, the interview and follow up sales pitch for their overpriced products eats into that time. Tell them to get on with the service. And if you book the seaweed wrap massage, ensure the bed is warm or decline the service until it is. Very disappointing. The ship is not as ornate as others. but easy enough to learn your way around. They had comedians for entertainment onboard, typically one PG show in the early evening then on to the adult humor. Very humorous, but I enjoyed previous trips with stage magicians, hypnotists, ventriloquists, etc. We enjoyed the Tandoor food on the aft of the Lido deck but ate most of meals in the main dining room. Food was a bit smaller servings than previous, not an issue as you could order more if desired. The dining room staff was not at all up to par. Service was sporadic, bread might be offered, drinks might be topped off, they might remember to offer coffee, etc. One nice feature of the evening meal was they had seated us with two other couples with similar aged daughters as our granddaughter. It made for very pleasant dining. Overall, we enjoyed the trip and I look forward to the next one. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
This was my very first cruise, we chose it because it was only 5 days since we didn't know how well we would take to the seas. The Elation is an older ship but I was pleasantly surprised that we only felt sea sickness one night, we ... Read More
This was my very first cruise, we chose it because it was only 5 days since we didn't know how well we would take to the seas. The Elation is an older ship but I was pleasantly surprised that we only felt sea sickness one night, we apparently hit some stormy waters when venturing from cozumel to progreso. The ship is dated and could use some new decor but was well maintained. The rooms are small but pleasant enough for two people (we had an interior room on the main deck). Cozumel was fun to explore but in progreso we did not venture off the ship, we had heard so many bad reviews we didn't figure it was worth our time. The dining room was wonderful, the staff was amazing (I am actually still in contact with one of our main waiters named Oswin), the food was far better than I imagined. Disembarkment took about an hour but wasn't too chaotic. Overall I had a wonderful time and would recommend this cruise to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
My family of four (husband and two twenty-something boys) wanted an inexpensive, short-ish Caribbean cruise. We were traveling with eleven other family members and friends, one couple with a one year old toddler and two other couples with ... Read More
My family of four (husband and two twenty-something boys) wanted an inexpensive, short-ish Caribbean cruise. We were traveling with eleven other family members and friends, one couple with a one year old toddler and two other couples with teenage boys and girls. Our only cruising experience thus far was three NCL cruises so I was (probably annoyingly) comparing the two cruise lines for most of the trip. So here goes... We stayed at the Marriot Convention Center in New Orleans the night before - good choice, Priceline! We parked our cars at the Fulton Street parking garage just a few blocks down the street which was $8 per night as I recall, cheaper than parking at the pier, a tip I picked up from other reviews on this site:) Since we had so many people and bags the men took our bags to the pier, dropped them off and were going to come back to the hotel and pick us up, but the pier is actually walking distance from the hotel. This is not readily apparent but after asking a few different people at the Marriot we found that you could walk behind the convention center parallel to the pier and make your way to the embarkation point. The parking garage has a shuttle that takes you to the pier as well, but we had too many people to utilize that. Embarkation was a little disorganized. We took 12 packs of soda on board and they do slice open the container to check that it's all soda and not beer - they then tape it shut. We got on around 1:00 so the lines were present but moving pretty well. Some of the staff seemed confused in directing people to the proper areas. Our rooms were ready right away so off to the Tiffany buffet area we went. Unlike NCL, you wait in line for any kind of food except salad. The deli station made a variety of hot and cold sandwiches but at meal times the line was very long and slow moving. The lines for the limited variety of other foods moved more quickly but the way that area is laid out was not conducive to large numbers of folks. There is a grill on the lido deck as well which usually had long lines at meal times as well. The food was not outstanding in these areas. We did dine in the Imagination dining room every night and the food was very good. All of our group was very satisfied with every night of dining, which I cannot say was true of the food in the NCL dining rooms. We did not see any of the shows, although we tried to sit through a "sampling" of the comedians, etc. The cruise director's introductory bit went on so long that we forgot why we were sitting there and left. We did watch some of the cover bands playing in the bars. We also stopped by a bar that was doing karaoke. We had about 20 minutes before we had to eat and since some of our party are singers they wanted to do a song. Apparently you had to sign up for slots to do songs and two twenty-something girls had signed up for at least four slots individually and together. Don't know if that's always how it works but that was tiresome watching those girls over and over when there were families with little kids that would have liked to sing a song and make some memories. We availed ourselves of the ping pong, basketball and shuffleboard as well. The room, on deck 5 forward, was spacious with very comfortable beds. Shower worked fine, more roomy than the NCL showers were. In the halls in front of our rooms we did get a whiff of sewage on a few nights, not sure why. Staff was much less enthusiastic than on any NCL cruise we have taken. Our room attendant and dining room attendant were pleasant, not chatty. Never called us by our names, but that was no problem to me, they did their jobs well. The pre-cruise personnel on the phone that we booked with and called with questions were excellent, very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. The personnel at the guest services and shore excursion desks, shops, were unsmiling and seemed unhappy to be there or to assist us. We had no big problems to solve, only general questions, but we still felt like we were somehow putting them out. We did one shore excursion to Chichen Itza, but in Cozumel we walked off the boat with the plan to get several taxis to Chunkanaab to snorkel. Once we got off the ship there were several men (standing near the parking lot) selling a trip to various bar/beach areas and one of them talked us into getting into a van that could accommodate all of us and go to Club Cozumel Caribe. For $25 per person we got the van ride there and back (the driver waits for you until you want to leave), snorkel gear and access to food and a bar. We were glad we did that as we did not want to deal with possibly having to get three taxis, could we easily find a taxi going back to the ship, etc. This option was lots less thinking and who wants to think while on vacation? The snorkeling was good, a variety of fish, water was warm. Not a lot of reef but fun enough for the folks we were with. Lots of shaded chairs and tables, and many beach lounges in the sun. We did get some guacamole/chips but were trying to keep costs down. They had some yummy options on their menu, though. They had parasailing and jet skis available but too pricey for us. All in all, a good decision for our group. Please see below for review on Chichen Itza. Disembarkation was fast and efficient. It's explained on one of their tv cruise channels so we were well informed on the process. We walked off with our bags and had no problem rolling everything out - one escalator to deal with, no stairs. All in all, I would cruise with Carnival again because for the money we spent we got good value. I would probably not use Carnival for a longer cruise outside the Caribbean.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
This is the first time I cruised with Carnival. I had a good time and we enjoyed the cruise. As to specifics, here is my opinion of everything: The Elation: The ship was a bit gaudy and worn in the restaurants and public play areas, ... Read More
This is the first time I cruised with Carnival. I had a good time and we enjoyed the cruise. As to specifics, here is my opinion of everything: The Elation: The ship was a bit gaudy and worn in the restaurants and public play areas, tired and very 80's schoolhouse in the staterooms. For instance the televisions are mid 90's Zenith 19" glass TVs with remotes that do not allow you to perform all the functions, buzzy blown speakers, and no way to input your own video sources. Cabinetry was particleboard and Formica. It reminds me of my kid's elementary classrooms from the late 80's. The uppers are screwed into the wall rather than designed to be there. They were square-cornered and each of our party smacked themselves at least once into one corner or another while getting up, laying down or moving around. From the look of the corner so did a thousand other heads. Youth Programs Staff had a real chip on their shoulder about so many things. The girls went there one time and returned in 10 minutes or less, spent the rest of the cruise as adult cruisers and did fine. So many of the kids looked forlorn rather than thrilled to be there. The room for the 15 to 17s was "not much more than a closet and the kids were completely disinterested in anything going on." according to the 14 and 15 year old ladies I traveled with. The "guy" was a complete jerk who was desperately pretending to be cool, and failing at it. Karaoke in the Gatsby room with the band was fun but too short, I realize they are a live band but it should have been available each night not just 2 nights. Regular Karaoke was typical though there was no real rotation of singers and the sessions were very short. In the Gatsby room you couldn't get far enough away from the monitor to see it and in the Romeo and Juliet you had better know your voice because you couldn't hear anything on stage. The DJ (Alicia) was very nice and accommodating to our time structure, allowing us to put our names in and rush off to see the teens do something then pick us up when we returned. The jacuzzis were vastly over chlorinated, we couldn't hang out in the Adults Only Serenity area because of the smell. On day two they closed early to be "chlorine treated" which made things worse. Too bad too because I expected to spend time there away from the family travelers. Dinner each night was good. The Chateau Briand was off, no better than pot roast. There were a few $20 add on dinner choices. I didn't sample them. Oddly one of them was a "normal" breakfast choice on day 4. There was nothing on the menu that was a problem for us, we sampled alligator balls (mostly breadcrumbs but flavorful) frogs legs, sushi, duck and a couple others. The apple pie filling was spectacular, though the crust stayed on the plate. The chocolate lava cake was exceptional. The "everyday" steak was superb on day one but small and disappointing on day two. Prime rib, ordered medium rare was perfect and delicious. Certain items were consistently very good, the souffle was perfect. I had two, while others (Lobster bisque, pumpkin soup and french onion soup) were over salted to the point of being inedible. The food in Tiffany's (cafeteria style) was the same with a few pub style add-ons like frozen yogurt (chocolate -gross- and vanilla-typical). The 24 hour pizza was cracker-crust style and not terrible at all. DRINKS I do not drink alcohol so I cannot say what's what there but they looked to be metering things out correctly. All soda comes in cans. It was nearly impossible to get a cold soda because they do not put any in refrigeration. Other cruise lines have soda on tap and the water is cool and filtered, here it was a warm can and, NO, you cannot have the can. It must be in a plastic cup. The only way to get a cold drink was to have them pour (part) of a (warm) can of soda over ice. Results were watery, no fizz and unpleasant. On the eve of day two I struck a deal with a bartender to pop a couple cans of Root Beer in the bar cooler for me and I returned there for all my drinks and tipped for each one. All in all the $30 bottomless bubbles package wasn't worth it. I drank far less soda in the ship and more (free) water in Tiffany's simply because I couldn't get a cold one. I maybe had 7 sodas in the 6 days (5 nights) there, my wife maybe 5 and the teens refused any additional after day 1 though they each had the $25 bottomless bubbles available they drank water or lemonade (free at Tiffany's). At dinner we happily drank ice water though we did order up ginger ale with lime juice a few times (not included in bottomless bubbles, considered a mixed drink) with a meal or at a show. Tips Despite the comment that tips are "suggested at $12 a day" they are charged unceremoniously to your account at the rate of $60 per person. We had been tipping to that point, quite happily, then the tip charge hit and no, there is no point in arguing it because they will want to know "Why do you want to reduce the tip amount, certainly you must have a reason..." We just stopped tipping for services at that point completely because we no longer had the ability to designate who deserved the gratuity. Overall the staff was good and professional. Munya, Maribel, the few in the Imagination dining room we dealt repeatedly with were very nice indeed. The kid hawking Vodka at dinner was a pain for two nights then we reached an impasse on day 3 and by night 5 were smiling to each other. He has to do his job but I wanted to explain the meaning of "decking" to him on night two. Shouldn't have happened. Shows Best show starred the passengers learning how to disco dance. Second best was the towel animal puppet theater. Nuff said. Good thing we are able to self-entertain.   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
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
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: 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
Sail Date: November 2014
I have cruised with Carnival before and had wonderful times so I was excited to share this experience with the first time cruiser traveling with me. First - the staff on board was excellent. Had a little "hiccup" checking in but ... Read More
I have cruised with Carnival before and had wonderful times so I was excited to share this experience with the first time cruiser traveling with me. First - the staff on board was excellent. Had a little "hiccup" checking in but it was easily taken care of. The food - well, let's say that the evening meals were amazing. Breakfast and dinner was a step down from Golden Corral buffets. Rarely was the food hot, presentation was more like a bright lunchroom cafeteria line (not the first tomato rosette to be seen). I understand that Carnival has no control over the weather, but I was still disappointed that I was unable to get off the ship in Progresso (due to not being able to safely dock there). Our additional "fun sea day" was not so fun. The rolling of the ship did not bother me at all - actually, it was probably the most entertaining part of my day (watching everyone try to walk around). I would give this cruise a 3 - at best. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
Embarkation and Disembarkation were EXCELLENT!! We found the terminal staff, overall, to be friendly and efficient as we did the Carnival Staff. First time we were on the Dream. We liked the Serenity Area - Adults only and I found the ... Read More
Embarkation and Disembarkation were EXCELLENT!! We found the terminal staff, overall, to be friendly and efficient as we did the Carnival Staff. First time we were on the Dream. We liked the Serenity Area - Adults only and I found the Water Slides - excellent. I'm a "kid at heart", what can I say!! The food was a little above average but we are finding Carnival's imagination, when it comes to Desert choices, lacking. We did have a major issue with our evening dining that only got somewhat resolve, the last night of our cruise???? We had 4 couples with late dining that were requested - nobody booked last minute. Yet two of those couples, when they are the Sea and Sail passes, where given early booking. We addressed this with the Matre d' the first day, before even sailing, several times more after that during the week, and to keep this point short, found our group "without a table" until the end??????????? Would like to see an Adults only pool, at least, designate the back one when you have like 700 kids on the cruise, like we found. We weren't able to get in the water, as both pools where tied up with them and frankly we found the pools, on this size of ship, very small!! Service of the staff was very good and attentive. They were friendly and usually spoke to you before you did them, ALWAYS with a smile!!. We found the ports good. You need to try the Zip Lining on Roatan - THE BEST!! And The Cozumel Bar Hop was SUPER. Great way to see the other side of Cozumel!! The live entertainment and comedy shows we attended were first class and well done. The live music on Lido Deck, around the main pool area left something to be desired. Especially for Carnival's Theme of it being "The Fun Ship". Most of it was like "lounge" music - something you would more expect, maybe on Holland America!! Overall we were pleased with our experience - we love cruising and have never been on a bad one, some better than others.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
My wife and I sailed on the Carnival Dream out of New Orleans on October 19, 2014. We arrived a day early so that we could check out Bourbon Street and we were not impressed. It was a lot seedier than I expected and we can say we have been ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the Carnival Dream out of New Orleans on October 19, 2014. We arrived a day early so that we could check out Bourbon Street and we were not impressed. It was a lot seedier than I expected and we can say we have been there but will probably not go back. Too many bars and strip clubs for our liking. Embarkation on the Dream was typical and we were on the ship in about 45 minutes. I was playing in the Grand Finale Texas Holdem tournament and had a great time, very well run. I am hoping to play in next years tournament as well. The ship was typical Carnival which means there is something for everyone and it is hard not to have a good time. The food is good but there was nothing that made me go Wow. Other reviews have mentioned the sewer smell and we also found that occasionally when walking down a hallway we could smell it. It was never overpowering or long lasting however. One night just after we climbed into bed we heard a strange gurgle coming from the bathroom, when I got up to investigate water was coming up through the shower drain and then going back down. Never a lot but it was strange that it was happening. It only happened the one night for about an hour. The shower always drained really well and we did not have any other issues with it. The air conditioning in our room was set to maximum the entire cruise and it never got really cold, even a little warm sometimes. This ship has two dining rooms and a galley on deck 3 which makes it hard to travel the length of the ship when you are on deck 3. You either have to go up or down a deck to get where you are going. I think it is a design flaw but it is only a minor inconvenience. Debarkation was very quick and we were off the ship in less than 45 minutes. In summary this was not our favorite Carnival cruise (we have been on 8 different ones) but we did have a good time and will continue to cruise with Carnival.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
Our Hallowe’ens have always been spent at home but when I read in an internet chat group how fun it was to be on a cruise at this time of year, I made the booking. Plus, the ship was to be sailing from New Orleans and since neither my ... Read More
Our Hallowe’ens have always been spent at home but when I read in an internet chat group how fun it was to be on a cruise at this time of year, I made the booking. Plus, the ship was to be sailing from New Orleans and since neither my wife or I had ever been there, staying a few days before hallowe’en sounded like a great time to visit. The booking was on the Carnival Dream. We have not booked Carnival in the past, having heard/read some stories about it being too much of a party line, but having taken the cruise now, at least that perspective is down a notch or two. Embarkation was a bit long - just over 2 hours - though I suppose that can be said because we got to the terminal about 11 am. At least once the paperwork was complete the seating for waiting was fine. Once on board I was surprised not to have a greeting glass of champagne as on other cruises. Because our room was not supposed to be ready for an hour or so, we did a walk about and this was our first introduction to the lack of quality maps on board. Some areas took us 3 days to stumble upon as we heard about them, but they were not on the maps. The lido buffet was our afternoon meal spot for the day and the service from the wait staff a first indicator of what good and friendly service we were to receive all week. Service and attitude from staff were close to the top of any ship we have been on and that was a real plus. On board the meals were fine. Nothing special though and we did not go to any of the “pay” places to eat. I was disappointed in the quality of the prime rib, but that seems to be the case more and more as the lines move to premium pay for a steak. I suppose a highlight for lunch was the Mongolian stop in the buffet, though it did take 25 minutes to get my plate. I agree with others I met who said that it was worth the wait - once - but after that I chose the regular offerings when in the buffets. We ate most breakfasts in the dining room and enjoyed the regular and brunch offerings. One comment about the liquor cards. They were relatively expensive and there was a requirement for every adult in a cabin to purchase one if one cabin member wanted to buy. A serious level of distrust on the part of Carnival I would say and that has not been the case on Celebrity or Holland America. The main outside part of the ship with the activities was by far too loud - perhaps part of the party image - and in the end we tended to avoid that area. The inside music in some of the bars in the evening were loud as well and the concept of having the waiters and dining room staff have to dance and sing was not well accepted. We had late seating and did go to a couple of the shows, but the quality of the ones we saw was not that high. The one really big thing that will likely keep us away from going on Carnival again was the amount of smoking allowed on board. I love the casino when I am onboard a ship - my wife says that is why I love sea days - but on this cruise I only visited the casino once, on the first sea day, and spent less than an hour in the room. It was far too smoky for me. As well, the outside smoking areas had smoke drifting up, of course, and it hit our floor with quite the smells. Even our balcony was unusable for us at some period of times. Our room 7342 was one of the nicest laid out cabins we have had on a cruise and our cabin stewardess was very friendly and did a nice job with our room. Nicely laid out room, one of the best we have had from that perspective. Bathroom a good size and the step in shower with the double faucets was great. The balcony had a normal door to use and I liked that. The balcony had a small table, a standard chair, and one chair that made out into a small lounger - nice. I have one criticism though. There is only ONE (1) electrical outlet to use and with my complement of electronic gear and cameras, simply not enough. Plus, because of where it is, you really need an extension cord, not the small three plug adaptor I carry. Another issue for us was that we were in a room 2 floors about the smoking section on deck. Not good ... we had smoke smells on our floor and of course in our room and the balcony was uncomfortable at some times of the day. Debarkation took a long time as well, but the cruise director in his few announcements suggested that was because of customs issues. From the time we were asked to find a place out of our rooms to wait until finally off the ship was a couple of hours. And where we ended up it was crowded and somewhat smokey - though as we discovered too late, we could have found a better place to wait (look for the Library). In summary, there are characteristics of this cruise that make it hard for me not to recommend it to a smoker or some who can tolerate smoking better than we can and for some who like to spend a bit of extra money on the pay restaurants. I don’t think Carnival will be for us again, though. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
I just completed a cruise on the Carnival Dream embarking from New Orleans, LA. This was my 37th cruise and 14th on Carnival. I arrived one day pre-cruise and stayed one night in the Astor Crowne Plaza on Canal Street. Hotel was very ... Read More
I just completed a cruise on the Carnival Dream embarking from New Orleans, LA. This was my 37th cruise and 14th on Carnival. I arrived one day pre-cruise and stayed one night in the Astor Crowne Plaza on Canal Street. Hotel was very crowded with football fans with tickets to the Saints/Packers game at the Superdome. Let me just say I was part of a group of cruise junkies sailing on the ship during the Halloween week. With my VIP "Platinum" level, embarkation was a breeze. I was directed to a private office type facility where I completed my health certification and then on to another room with leather couches awaiting the Carnival rep to call my name and issue my key/cruise expense card. After this process was completed, I was directed to wait in the Platinum section of the terminal where we were allowed to board first. Carnival did a great job embarking me and I was aboard the Dream within 15 minutes of port arrival and inside my interior cabin #8418, which was ready for occupancy. Since I was cruising solo (but with a large group), I decided to book an interior cabin, which suited me fine. The cabin was always clean, quiet and neat. My cabin steward did a great job with my room, although I did not have a robe in the closet, he did obtain one for me right away and apologized for it not being supplied upon embarkation. This ship called on three ports, First was Montego Bay, Jamaica, where I utilized an all inclusive resort. Second was Grand Cayman and third was Cozumel, Mexico. Did an island tour on the Caymans which was very nice and went into town in Cozumel. The Carnival Dream was the cleanest ship I ever sailed on. It was spotless...the crew was constantly polishing, sweeping and cleaning. These folks always had a friendly smile and hello as you passed them doing their chores. My usual cruise gripe was with all the second hand smoke emitting from the port side of the ship where smoking was allowed and drifting over to the starboard side. In the casino. the smoke was terrible...everyone smoked where they wanted to. Deck five, where the casino was located, was smoke filled and caused all kinds of problems for my second hand smoke allergy. I could not utilize the casino during the trip other than a slot pull that our group organized pre cruise. I though that the food was good on the Dream. Service in the dining room was so-so with table mates getting other people's dinner orders. I can understand the servers dilemma because I thought there were less waiters and bus boys on this ship vs. other ships I have been on. I have to give the guys an A for effort for trying to get the orders straight, Personally, I do not like salty foods and I thought the soups were a bit salty. Also, do not order meat loaf at dinner...it was just terrible and I asked the waiter for something different. I thought it was dry and tasteless. Bar drinks were very pricy...$8.58 for a Pina Colata or a Miami Vice. Also, if you have your drinks served to you at the many bars aboard the Dream, don't expect munchies to be available. Looks like Carnival eliminated them as a cost cutting measure. Disembarkation was a snap when we returned to New Orleans. I found my luggage within 30 seconds after entering the luggage area. I had #1 disembarkation level, so I was off the ship real fast . Customs was easy and no questions asked. The officer just looked at my passport and my customs card and welcomed me back into the USA. All in all the cruise was fun, especially Halloween night where passengers wore some wild costumes. Yeah, I'll do Carnival again someday, but my next cruise scheduled is back to my fav...RCCL where the difference between Carnival and RCCL can be seen. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
This was our fourth cruise with Carnival and it won't be our last! We sailed out of New Orleans where we stayed at the Hyatt Place which is located right across the street from the Convention Center. The hotel was nice and with free ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise with Carnival and it won't be our last! We sailed out of New Orleans where we stayed at the Hyatt Place which is located right across the street from the Convention Center. The hotel was nice and with free hot breakfast, I would recommend this stay. Debarment went very smooth! We chose to park at the port because we like the convenience of walking to our car. On this trip there are three of us. Me (46), hubby and my mom (74). Mom needs a loaner wheelchair to board the ship and to my surprise, the staff made the process very hassle free and we were on the boa Lido having lunch by noon. Our luggage and our room wasn't ready until about 3 pm though. No biggie, we want to explore the ship anyway. We stayed on the Lido deck, room 10242. Very big and very clean. Oh and very quiet :) the beds and pillows were very cumfy. The bathroom was larger then the bathrooms are the Fantasy class ships and complete with lots of shelves for all of our hygiene products. 3 closets. I did not overpack this time! But I did pack a 3 way plug in thingy and I'm glad I did because there is not many outlets. The food: was just okay. The whole lobster that I paid extra for was delicious! But the food in general, including the steakhouse, was not worth noting. The line for the Mongolian wok was always long so unfortunately, I only ate wok once. The shows: the Street Dancing show was fantastic! The hairy chest contest was great! The game show was lacking and I never went to see the comedy show because I was either playing the slots or shooting craps. The casino: I am not a big gambler but I average 14000 points. The slots were up and down of course. They kept me playing all week though and that's really all I want. I did witness 3 large $3000+ jackpots won! The casino host and manager was terrific always on time with contests and the waitstaff was very Attentive, The pools were clean, not crowded and plenty of hot tubs placed all over the ship. It rained often but the cruise director made sure the crowds were always entertained! The trip really was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
Okay, I will try a go at this trip report or review. Call it like you see it. It's probably more of a review.... I recently took my mother (72) and my dear husband (55) on a 7 day cruise to the Cayman Islands, Cozumel, and Jamaica on ... Read More
Okay, I will try a go at this trip report or review. Call it like you see it. It's probably more of a review.... I recently took my mother (72) and my dear husband (55) on a 7 day cruise to the Cayman Islands, Cozumel, and Jamaica on the Carnival Dream Sept 21st 2014. This is my DH and myself 4th cruise but this is my mom's first cruise. I am so excited that I could take her on such a wonderful adventure! We stayed on the LIDO deck in room 10242, port side, interior. This is our first time staying in an interior room and I must say that I liked it. However, I wish I would have brought an alarm clock because I am an early riser and the room stays so dark that I missed most every sunrise. O Well. The beds were cozy, the pillows were just right ( I always miss my pillow from home) and the room was big enough for all three of us. The bathroom is a lot bigger that on the Fantasy class ships! So is the closet space. Our room was always clean and the temperature was cool too. < I had read on here somewhere that someone had said the Dream was hot> Well, I am here to tell you that I have night sweats and was very worried that I would be uncomfortable on this cruise but to my relief I was just right. I was also a little worried about LIDO deck noise and such but we slept like babies every night. Embarking was your average deal. not too fast and not too slow. The port loaned my mom a wheelchair just to board the gangway because she can't walk or stand for long periods. And the cruise line took her name and room number so that when we come back to debark they would again assist her. I tipped the attendant that pushed mom's chair $5 each time. I don't think they were used to getting tips because he looked surprised when I handed it to him. We were all on board about noon and we ate in the LIDO restaurant and of course had the "drink of the day". The luggage wasn't in our room until just before the muster drill at 4. no biggie. That night we had dinner reservations at the steak house (free bottle of wine if you book a dinner on the first night). My mom and I went because my DH didn't pack any long pants. I see now what he intends to do on his vacation. :)) That is something I really like about cruise ship vacations, each one of us can "do our own thing" to personalize our own vacation yet still enjoy family time. The meal at the steak house was good but I did not feel that it was great. Service was exceptional though as well as the ambience. We went to bed early. I have fun in the casino the next day and earn enough points to get free drinks for the rest of the week. I play the slots and shoot craps some too. the machines were treating me right that day and paid me enough $$ to keep me playing all week. I did witness several people win jackpots too. One lady won $3500 right behind me and another won 6K! I am drawn like a bug to light (heehee). In Cozumel we took a taxi for $10 to the Money Bar and had lunch. I had the fish tacos and the portion size was large and delicious. Mom had a burger and DH had a ham n cheese. the biggest ham n cheese I have ever seen! We cabbed it back to the port and did some shopping. Back on the Dream. That night mom and I went to the Broadway show, Street Dancers (I think it's called) and really enjoyed it! The act was very talented and we left entertained and impressed. Grand Cayman.: 1st timers) DH and I have a snorkeling excursion planned and Mom wanted to stay on the ship. We booked through Carnival and chose the 2 reef snorkel tour. The bus ride was about 15 minutes until we arrived at a residential neighborhood where a large pontoon type boat awaited us. There must have been about 30 people on our boat. The driver took us to a beautiful reef where the water was kind of rough and if you were not experienced it was difficult. Several people climbed back on the boat shortly after giving it a try. I stayed in the water with my underwater camera and snapped lots of pictures. Beautiful colors in both plant life and fish. Stingray, sponges and so much more. My DH couldn't hang and got back on the boat.;) I do not know why we never went to the 2nd snorkel stop are that day, maybe because the water was too rough. Water was provided on this excursion but that was it. No rum, no snacks ($5 for a small bag of ruffles) and I couldn't understand anything the driver said over the intercom system because of feed back and static. He would've done better to just turn around a speak if he needed to say something. That night we watched a movie, poolside baby! Oh Yeah! Free popcorn, under the stars and very nice! Montego Bay, Jamaica: 1st timers) DH wants to stay on the boat and chill by the pool today so Mom and I go on a Carnival Excursion together. I can't wait to experience Jamaica with my mom. We took the 4x4 Chukka island tour. Our driver Richard was fantastic! He was very funny and told us many stories about their history. We stopped at an old church and we stopped at the fountain of youth in the jungle. It was a lot of fun! Richard even took us shopping at a little mall. (not the straw market) where I tried the world famous Blue Mountain coffee with a coconut creamy rum. Delicious! I purchased some of that as well as t-shirts and such. That night we ate in the main dining room where for an additional $20 I ordered a whole lobster, cooked to perfection and devoured it! uhoh! 2 sea days! You know where I will be! Casino! But I did manage to pull away from the slots long enough to enjoy the hairy chest contest and watch a couple of game shows in the theatre. I never saw mom laugh so hard as she did when watching those bare chested men dance. So much fun! We lounged on the serenity deck, got a bamboo massage, ate all the ice cream and chocolate one could muster for the next 2 days. pure heaven! and we are blessed!   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
If a humid rooms, sewer smelling hallways, drunks and bland food is your game then this ship has it in spades! This is only my second cruise ever. Compared to the Carnival Sensation the Carnival Elation was not nearly as well pressed a ... Read More
If a humid rooms, sewer smelling hallways, drunks and bland food is your game then this ship has it in spades! This is only my second cruise ever. Compared to the Carnival Sensation the Carnival Elation was not nearly as well pressed a ship. Some of the staff were borderline arrogant. The Camp Carnival was borning for my kids and the staff kept pushing them back on me the first two days. The food was atrocious but a necessary daily ritual you had to do to survive. The atrium elevators were broken only leaving two elevators that can reach deck 12 where my kids were at. Unfortunently the main elevators were possessed. Frequently if you were lucky enough to have one stop on you level you would jump on regardless of the direction. Very often it would skip your deck! Thankfully the port of calls were great. Both the Cozumel Jeep Excursion and the Progresso Resort were terrific and worth the trip! Also I got decent food during the excursions. It is with the excusions only that made this trip memorable and not a nightmare. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
This was our second time to leave out of New Orleans to Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel (Well, #3 to Cozumel but that was from Mobile and only to Cozumel). We cruised on the Dream from Port Canaveral last October to Nassau, Puerto Rico, St. ... Read More
This was our second time to leave out of New Orleans to Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel (Well, #3 to Cozumel but that was from Mobile and only to Cozumel). We cruised on the Dream from Port Canaveral last October to Nassau, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and Grand Turk and loved the ship. Every single cruise before that, the ships were due in dry dock within a month and they showed their age/wear. We stayed at the Ramada Inn in Metarie which provided transport to the terminal and parking for free for the length of our cruise. They are changing names to Country Inns and Suites, so I'm not sure if they'll still be offering that cruise package anymore or not. Getting to the port about 11:30 we whizzed through everything a lot faster than most of our other trips. I guess having the passport card VS BC/License helped on that one. This time wasn't as enjoyable though. There were parts missing of the hand rails in the elevators, and the paint on the rails for the water slides was almost completely worn off. The Sea Side theater also was lacking. Some of the days the screen had black sections that just didn't work. Then one day I noticed the screen components actually fell out. Looking from a distance it looked like they were just out, but getting close and under it you can actually see the wires and that they were in fact on since you could see a few square modules of light pointed straight down. The dining experience was by far the worst we have had before. We were in a group of four people, and even made a point by day 3 or so of waiting at the very front for the doors to open for dinner, and also looking at the menu to know exactly what we wanted. Even with this, people who arrived and ordered after us got their meals before us. We took notice that the wait staff directly next to us was doing an awesome job, but looking around ours were not to be seen for a lot of the time. You would think that if you were the very first people sat down in the dining room, with the wait staff seeing you and there in our section, that we would have our food first since it was just simple orders, and for the most part a single portion. By the end we got smart and ordered dessert either first to eat as an appetizer, or just ordered it with our meals so we wouldn't have to wait for the dessert menu and them to come take our order. When we got our luggage, we find out that one of the wheels on our spinner suitcase had been ripped off as well. It made it a lot harder to get it out of the cruise terminal since it was one of the back wheels and had to be moved at an awkward angle. Even with these bad experiences we are not opposed to sailing on the Dream again since we know there are great wait staff on there, and they'll likely have most of the issues I've seen fixed by the then. On the upside, Room Service was fast, though they did miss part of one of our orders. The room attendants did a great job of cleaning our room and were very friendly. We didn't partake in as many activities on board as we usually do since we were enjoying our first balcony. We did do the photo scavenger hunt, and there weren't nearly as many people playing as there usually was on the previous cruises. We won the ship on the stick out of about 5 groups. I was slightly disappointed that they seem to have locked the HDMI option out of the TVs. I had brought a cable to hook to my phone/tablet and watch TV shows that we had missed preparing for the cruise when there wasn't anything else to do, but it would never change off of the option they had set for the IPTV box. I had also planned on using my tablet as a remote control for the TV, and because I didn't know the model of the box they used, I could only turn the TV on and control the volume. I won't go into detail much on the excursions since we didn't do too much. In Roatan we did the Relax on the Beach package which included the Magical Flying Chairs and Clamshell covered lounge chairs on the beach, as well as a water mat to float on. I'm afraid of heights, but enjoyed the flying chairs; it helped that it took a lot of the walking out of everything. Near the pier on the beach, where the swimming area marker makes the area bigger there were a ton of colorful fish near a group of underwater rocks. Belize was interesting on the tender since the waves really picked up from a storm that was coming up. We basically walked around, but did the Moho Chocolate tour that was $2 with samples of milk shake and chocolate and their history. In Cozumel we did the Playa Mia beach excursion. The last time we went there it was a Carnival offered tour, but wasn't this time. Since then they've added a water park, which was basically two slides, one closed, and a children's water area. It does have a larger pool added, as well as a hot tub. They also had the buffet, open bar, ocean inflatables, kayaks, water bicycles, paddle boats, and even sail boats included in the $60 price; if you don't know how to sail they even had someone there who would go out with you for free (though would appreciate a tip for their time). The taxi was $16 each way, and we'll definitely be going back again when we return to Cozumel. Disembarkation seems to have changed since last year as well. The self disembarkation before was getting off the ship at almost any time. Now they had it set to around 7:15ish to about 8. And for the people staying who were zoned they wanted us out of the cabins by 9 and either on Lido or Encore theater. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
This was our 4th Carnival cruise. We have also sailed on the Disney Magic(5), Carnival Magic(7), Conquest (7), and Sensation (5). Hands down favorite ship is the Magic. Food: Room Service: Prompt morning delivery when using the delivery ... Read More
This was our 4th Carnival cruise. We have also sailed on the Disney Magic(5), Carnival Magic(7), Conquest (7), and Sensation (5). Hands down favorite ship is the Magic. Food: Room Service: Prompt morning delivery when using the delivery card placed on the door at night. Everything was always nice and fresh. We ordered smoked salmon, cream cheese, coffee, pastries and cereal almost every day. Room service in the evening rarely answered the phone and in fact, lost my daughters order, which then took 2 hours to get their room. Dining Room: Prompt and attentive service. I love how Carnival manages to get the food out so quickly. It is important when dining with small children! Buffet: The food lacked variety, but was usually very good. The key lime cheesecake was awesome... and I don't like key lime anything. They had a chocolate buffet that was fairly impressive too. Just wish it was in between lunch and dinner or served after dinner! 12-2:30 was just strange. I sampled a few things that were pretty good. We tried to stay up for the midnight Mexican Buffet, but fell asleep at 11 because our excursion required us to be up at 6am (Grand Cayman) NOTE TO CARNIVAL: don't do a midnight buffet on an early morning port arrival! Grill: The hamburgers and the tortilla chips were great. The arrangement of the food was silly though. When you walk through the line, you pass by the cheese, chii and jalepenos to put on your fries/tortilla chips BEFORE you get to the chips and fries, so you have to cut back in line. Drinks: The tea and lemonade set up is also silly. The cups are between the ice and the drinks, so you have to get a cup, then get ice to your right, then get your drink to the left, so there was a disruption of the line that was not productive to a line moving quickly. People were cutting across each other. Ice Cream: Ok, we were sailing with the "people of Walmart", so I don't really know what to say. People were making a mess at the ice cream and the staff were constantly trying to keep it clean. I can't say it was the staff's fault that it was a mess. The Staff: These were some of the nicest people at sea. Really. Entertainment: Comedy Club: we went a few nights and it was too packed to get in and we didn't want to wait for the next show. The other entertainment shows were over already too, so we never really got to see any shows onboard by the time we got around to looking for something to do. Seriously, thought, Carnival, if your comedy shows are that packed, maybe you should move them to the main show room? Just a thought. Shows: These never worked with our schedule, so we didn't get to see a single show. :( Karoake: We watched karoake one night and that was entertaining. Spa: We upgraded to the spa cabin this trip and we did use the different rooms, etc, but I wouldn't do it again. The thelosotherapy pool was my favorite, but it was just a hot tub. :) It was even too hot to get in one night. I mean, probably over 115 degrees. (very hot) One of the steam rooms is oppressive. My favorite was the tepidarium. Bars: I'm biased here. I really prefer Carnival Magic's Rum Bar that typicaly plays acoustic type music and has outdoor seating. They don't have this one the Dream. This was one of my favoriate spots on the Magic! They still had the disco bar, which is fine, but not the 'island feel' relaxation spot I was hoping for! Outdoor theater: the movie screen needs a little repair. My movie theatre room at home is nicer. :( Everyone seemed to enjoy it though. Pools: There are never enough pools on sea day. Ever. These pools are so tiny. Camp Carnival: My kids loved it as usualy, however, my 6 year old was really sad that they never did face paint in her room, but they did it in the 2-5 year old group. Usually camp carnival isn't very crowded when we go, but it was PACKED. Especially in the 6-8 group. However, it's still not as ridiculous as Disney Magic shoving about a hundred plus 4-12 year olds in two huge rooms! FASTER to the fun! I am glad I did this. We got on the ship alot faster! And, the dedicated guest services was nice, too.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
This was our third cruise on the Elation, THIS YEAR. We have cruised on this ship many times, its not our favorite, but its convenient and less than 7 days, so we chose it. We booked this cruise less than 24 hours before the sail date. We ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Elation, THIS YEAR. We have cruised on this ship many times, its not our favorite, but its convenient and less than 7 days, so we chose it. We booked this cruise less than 24 hours before the sail date. We didn't know that that would put us in the suspect category until we made our way to the desk to get out Sail and Sign Cards, but when the guy working the desk said there is a hold on our account I had no idea what was in store of us. Before we went to the desk we had to go through security putting on carry ons through the scanner and taking our water to another desk for inspection. Now back to the desk: we were told that since we booked less than 24 hours before the sail date we had to go back through security, so we were marched back (like the Bataan Death March) to security, our carry ons back on the scanner, dogs were sent for to sniff us and the bags, but they couldn't get the dogs up for a couple hours, so they took us behind a screen and did a thorough search of our person, they even used the wand. What really infuriated me was the couple next to us booked a few hours after us and did not go through the same thing we did even though they also had a duffle bag and backpack as we did, but they said they sent their luggage through checked baggage. My wife said they, the other passengers, must have known what to say, but I'm not sure I buy that. Anyway, it seemed very harsh treatment to someone that is a Gold Club Member and has more that 40 days of cruising on Carnival. We have been on the Elation somewhere between 6-8 times, so no surprises. This is a small ship by cruise ship standards, service not bad, varies from cruise to cruise, but not terrible, just not really great, but for a short 4 or 5 day cruise it works well. Pros: 1. Smaller ship means less passengers to compete with at food services, shows, and lido deck. Most times staff is very friendly, helpful, and good service, but there has been an occasional incidence here and there that wasn't the best, but that is life. 2. Most times it is easy to board. 3. The comedians: Mutzie was one of the best comedians I've ever seen. He is from New Orleans and all his shows are family friendly. He is a Christian man and a must see. 4. The Band Erin Michelle from Nashville was terrific, just hate they had to suffer through hours of performing in the SMOKE! Cons: 1. Food is very substandard. If you are a person that loves McDonalds and for special occasions you go to Denny's you'll love the food, but if you like fine dinning and are health conscience you will probably want to bring your own food like we do, because the food onboard is very oily and processed. 2. The Serenity deck for adults is very small and hard to find and get to. Also, people place their towels on chairs to save them and are gone for hours, kind of selfish in my book. You also have to watch for the occasional kid that shows up and decides to hang out. 3. SMOKING SMOKING SMOKING!!!! OMG SMOKING!!!! 4. The Promenade Deck SMOKING! The casino is on this deck and so is an open bar and an area where a band plays. It is so smokey it impermeates most of the deck and is so overwhelming I found myself gasping for breath and feeling somewhat short of breath days latter, even though I don't suffer from pulmonary problems. This really needs to be fixed by Carnival!! 5. The Jekyll and Hyde nightclub is rarely open, so if you like to dance, lots of luck and there is SMOKING in the club, so maybe that is why nobody goes there. I think a nightclub on a cruise should be open 24/7, but I'm from New Orleans where the party never ends. 6. Most bars or clubs aboard are closed most of the time. 7. Very limited brands of liquor at the bars for making drinks. 8. TV, not that I am a couch potato, but if hanging poolside 12 hours a day, or sitting in a smokey casino is not your cup of tea, there is very little happening around the ship especially during the daytime, so I found myself in my cabin for many hours with not hardly anything on TV. Most channels are for kids with only one channel that plays movies, but it only plays 1 movie a day, WHAT?? Yes the same movie plays for a day every 3 hours, so for example: Frozen at 9, 12, and 3. I've cruised a lot and Carnival has the worst TV selections of the various lines I've been on. 9. Not enough time in Cozumel!! This is my favorite port and the ship only spends 6 hours there. I absolutely love Cozumel, but always feel cheated by the short stay. 10. Carnival no longer puts ice buckets in the room, you have to request one. 11. Since we didn't book early we were stuck with an inside cabin, our first time, but it really wasn't bad at all except for a smell, my wife said it smelled like old cigarette smoke, but I thought it was either bug spray or paint. 12. Dis-embarkment: this is a game (power struggle) and money grab for Carnival. Other lines I have cruised if you are self assist when you make port you simple walk off the ship, this makes it so easy and fast, but not on Carnival. If you pay and extra $50 dollars you can go with the Platinum and Diamond members, (what a joke). They won't let you stand in the area where passengers exit they force you back in the hallways. They don't call decks, they say they do, but that doesn't happen and nobody really checks what status you are or pay extra to get off early. Other lines have a stand set up on the outside deck, passengers make their way out there stand in line, not long till clearance from port authority then leave, no extra money, no special privileges, just as quick as you are you can leave. Its was actually a little better this time, but still they pushed us back to the narrow hallways to stand, but back in December and April it got very ugly with angry passengers wanting to leave, but being subject to the game. Suggestions to Carnival: 1. STOP SMOKING IN PUBLIC AREAS!! 2. More music and dancing hours 3. More selections at the bars 4. OMG can we please get some quality food? 5. If I am forced to spend hours in my cabin because of a lack of things to do and SMOKERS, can there be some things to watch on the TV. 6. Buffett should be open more hours. Every time I've been on this ship it is like a different cruise just because of the passengers and time of year. This past cruise had a lot of people that wanted to have fun, which was nice, but seemed to be more smoking, which wasn't nice. This was a typical Carnival Elation Cruise,not the worst, but not the best either. Read Less
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