6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our first family cruise. We chose Carnival Elation as the dates and location worked for us. We flew from Toronto to Jacksonville and stayed at Jacksonville Plaza. Their shuttle was half the price of that offered through Carnival. ... Read More
This was our first family cruise. We chose Carnival Elation as the dates and location worked for us. We flew from Toronto to Jacksonville and stayed at Jacksonville Plaza. Their shuttle was half the price of that offered through Carnival. Our room was tight with four. I traveled with three children: 15, 20 and 23. Two rooms was not an option due to children's ages as at least one person per room needed to be 25+. However, rooms were well designed with good storage and we found that we were only in the room to sleep anyway! I had wanted a balcony but these were not available so we had an ocean view. The room was clean and bright. Housekeeping came once daily per our request. (Two times a day was offered.) Food was phenomenal! Our meals were delicious and service was friendly. Drinks were a bit pricey but it turns out they were all doubles. Single options would have been preferred though. The camp for my 15-year old was well organized and lots of fun. The older kids and I enjoyed the shows and comedy entertainment. The brain quest/trivia games were lots of fun too! There was even a Christmas Day service for those who celebrate the holiday and we really enjoyed this. The atrium was decorated for Christmas as well and it looked beautiful! I had a mani-pedi at the spa. Prices were more steep than what I usually pay but the work was very well done and I really enjoyed the conversation with my esthetician. The pool area was crowded so we did not go there much. Excursions were fabulous! We went on the glass-bottomed boat tour, dune buggies and Native Quest. I highly recommend them all. Staff were knowledgeable and excursions were well organized. We found Princess Cays to be a bit crowded and the lunch time did not work well with the dune buggy excursion. I found the ship to be incredibly clean. My only concern was that somebody a couple of doors down were often smoking pot and so our hall and bathroom were typically full of the smell. We were to have had our room de-fumed but this did not occur. Overall, the ship was well-looked after and staff were quick to pick up after passengers/diners. We had a fantastic time on the cruise and I would certainly return to Carnival Elation again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This first time cruise was a Christmas gift from my mother to the family (nine of us took the cruise). It was nothing like I imagined, oh my gosh I cried the last night of the trip bc I was truly going to miss the staff. They were amazing ... Read More
This first time cruise was a Christmas gift from my mother to the family (nine of us took the cruise). It was nothing like I imagined, oh my gosh I cried the last night of the trip bc I was truly going to miss the staff. They were amazing and made us feel like royalty. Their service and behavior looked like they loved their job ( even if they didn't, a person wouldn't be able to tell). We felt like a family with them from the first day/night they made a point to call us by name and remember the drinks we liked, what we had the day before and so on. Our rooms were so clean and taken care of which included nightly turn down service with towels folded to look like a different animal each night. The music was awesome and put us in a party and festive mood. We gambled a little bit and won a little bit, we played family games, bingo, and mini golf to name a few. The cruise team keeps guests as busy as a person wants to be. We recommend the Cheers drink package if you drink alcohol and the endless bubbles for the kids. Also invest in faster to the fun option, it's really worth it. I cannot say enough good things about this vacation and owe it all to the staff. A very special thank you to our waitress Lelark, cocktail server Juliett Charles from St. Lucia, server assistant Clemon from Slovakia, our room attendant Arnold, and all the bartenders, just everyone really. Not one rude person! We all want to live on that boat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We really enjoyed how friendly and helpful the crew was on this holiday cruise. From BK's inspiring Christmas service to the kind smile and patience of our cabin steward Imade, the attitude of the crew was familial and polite. I was glad ... Read More
We really enjoyed how friendly and helpful the crew was on this holiday cruise. From BK's inspiring Christmas service to the kind smile and patience of our cabin steward Imade, the attitude of the crew was familial and polite. I was glad to see Santa as soon as we stepped on to the ship and I loved seeing the grinch dancing with the Fun Squad at the deck party on our first night. We enjoyed that at our evening meal our daughter was given extra servings of her favorite food (conch fritters) without even asking and we loved having the magician visit our table. Every area of the ship was clean and orderly and the Christmas decorations and music were tasteful and fun. Holiday movies in the Cole Porter lounge were a great way to relax at the end of the day and it seemed like they had just put out a lot of new games in the Mark Twain library, although we were pretty busy playing with the Boggle Slam cards we won at Hasbro the Game Show. I regret that the Camp Ocean activities were not attractive to my daughter this time around, so I didn't get as much one-on-one time with my husband as I have had on other ships. I also was slightly disappointed when I attended a yoga class that was less organized that I expected--I probably wouldn't choose to do that activity again. I really enjoyed the Princess Cay excursion and would love to return to that beach again soon for some really easy and rewarding snorkeling. Our Atlantis excursion was a little overwhelming--too much to do with too little time to do it all! The food at Atlantis gave us indigestion, but the servers were very friendly. The shark slides were amazing--definitely a highlight for all three of us. I also enjoyed the river rapids ride--nothing lazy about that experience! We really appreciated the positive attitude of the staff at the Jacksonville port--the port is further away from our home than some other Carnival ports, but I would drive the extra few hours to leave from Jacksonville again because everything at that port went smoothly and was stress-free during embarkation and when we disembarked. Overall this was a very fun vacation and I am glad we spent our holiday at sea. I would definitely enjoy doing this cruise again--even though Cruise Director Kevin called my husband's "Santa on a Surfboard" tropical shirt ugly. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I choose this cruise due to ports. I have wanted to go to HMC for sometime. I drove up night before and stayed at Jacksonville Plaza and had shuttle to/fro port...hotel and shuttle only had 2 pick up times as if not there your on your ... Read More
I choose this cruise due to ports. I have wanted to go to HMC for sometime. I drove up night before and stayed at Jacksonville Plaza and had shuttle to/fro port...hotel and shuttle only had 2 pick up times as if not there your on your own. A cruise is what you make of it. I made friends via facebook and we still keep in touch. The ship was nice and did note a few repair needs such as chipped paint on rails and decore also sometimes the elevators did not all work..If you book G cabins there is only 1 elevator for them. I won a tour during the fun ashore show and that was an extra for us,nice to learn about the culture and upkeep of Island. My cabin was same,beds were set up when we boarded,Only 2 drawers to put clothing in..Still has small one under desk for meds and brushes.Closets were good. put luggage under beds. Safe is larger now to hold a laptop if you need one.Still choice late clean up since I have teens as travels mates. Had early dining...felt rushed ...will keep YTD option ... The schedule for entertainment...was good...had plenty to choice from; Kevin the CD was awesome...he keeps the cruisers cheerful and laughing,,,love name that tune and singing every night...we even got the teens involved. If you get dropped off and need picked up from port I was told you they need to pay a 10$ fee to enter.... Over all I enjoyed the ship and will sail on her again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our family vacation for the year and my husband and I's first cruise, we are 29 and 33 years old. Overall our experience was okay. We had heard several good things about this ship and ports so we were very excited to see for ... Read More
This was our family vacation for the year and my husband and I's first cruise, we are 29 and 33 years old. Overall our experience was okay. We had heard several good things about this ship and ports so we were very excited to see for ourselves. We didn't choose to do faster to the fun like the rest of our family and from the time we parked to the time we got onto the ship only took 19 minutes (we got off the ship faster than they did too because we chose to carry out luggage off ourselves). We arrived around 12:15 and our boarding time was 12:30. We actually got through the line quicker than they did! Do not go earlier because the staff won't let you though until your time! We we're able to go right up to our room and drop off all of our carry on's and get settled in. Our luggage was delivered to our room around 5:30 so that gave us just enough time to get ready for dinner at 6:00. Dinner every night was amazing! There were several time when myself or someone in our group would try a new dish and end up not liking it and then getting something else and the wait staff never asked a single question. They just took the plate and got us what we wanted! I'm a very picky eater and this gave me the opportunity to try several new things which was amazing. You have to try the pork chops because they are out of this world amazing. We ate breakfast and lunch almost every day at the Tiffany's restaurant because it was a served buffet style so there was something for everyone. I only ate a Guy's burgers the first day but my husband ate there a few times, I didn't think there was anything that great about them but he seemed to love them. We tried out the Blue Iguana Cantina the last day at sea and I got an amazing taco salad with fresh shrimp and chicken. It was a great light meal for a pool day. My husband got really sick the first night after dinner and ended up staying sick the whole time we were on board, luckily we traveled with family so I had someone to go with around the ship while he was in the room. We hit really rough waters the 3rd night at sea and everyone we traveled with ended up getting sick and we all we're wearing the patches. The only thing that even took the edge off was Dramamine which they sell in the gift shop for $9 a bottle, so get it before you board. Half Moon Cay was absolutely beautiful but I was very disappointed because they closed the buffet down at 1:30 and we didn't even get on the island until 12:30. I was only able to snag a hot dog before they put everything away. They have a ton of chairs set up along the beach so there's always a place to sit. The sand is powder soft and the water is crystal clear! We could have spend the entire trip there if they would have let us! Nassau on the other hand was not a good experience. As soon as you pass through the border there are people every 30 seconds asking you to buy stuff. The island is still trying to rebuild from the all the damage it sustained from the hurricane so some of the shops are still closed. The only beach within walking distance is the junkaroo beach and it's not nice. The sand is incredibly rough, almost like small rocks and you have to pay $10 to rent a chair to sit in, which I understand that's how people make a living but going from the beauty of half moon cay to junkaroo beach is very underwhelming. We ended up just walking around for about an hour then getting back on the boat and going to the serenity deck. If we would have know that the beach was so bad in Nassau we definitely would have spent a lot more time at half moon cay. Nassau is definitely the port to do shore excursions if you're planning on doing those because there's not much else there. My husband and I didn't feel comfortable really doing anything else locally for fear of not getting back on time. Our nieces did the dolphin excursion at Atlantis and they seemed to have really enjoyed it. One plus about carnival is that the boat is ALWAYS clean. They have workers going around 24/7 cleaning every part of the ship. Another big plus for us was the hospitality on the boat from all the workers. All of the stewards on our floor knew our names which was really nice and they always asked us how we were doing and if we needed anything. We got room service several times and their turkey sandwiches are the best I've ever eaten. The main thing we had a bad time with was our room placement. We we the very first room in the front to the right on deck 6, which apparently is also right above or near the anchor so every single morning around 5 am that we were at port we had to listen to it drop. And it wasn't just loud, it was so loud that it shook everything in the room and would wake you up from a dead sleep. We also felt every single wave that the boat hit in the room too. Everyone else we sailed with had midship rooms on deck 5 and they said they could feel the sway of the boat much much worse in our room which is probably why my husband was so sick the whole trip We went to rock and roll show one night and only stayed for about 15 minutes. I'm in the entertainment business and it definitely wasn't "broadway" quality like they claim. They also have the Diva's show which we didn't like either, you really can't beat hearing the original singers. It was almost like a karaoke/show choir performance to me. The love and marriage show however was absolutely hilarious!!! I wish they would have done it every night! It's definitely a must see! The casino is great for entertainment as well but you can definitely loose a lot of money with gambling if you're not careful so my suggestion is to set a daily limit and stick to it! We spent a lot of time at Water Works although the water was freezing but we did sail in December so we didn't expect it to be super warm. If you are going to do any of the extra stuff or drink be prepared to dish out a lot of money. Drinks were around $10-12 each. They did have a shot of the night at dinner each night for $8.50 and you got to keep the souvenir shot glass it came in. Bingo was $40 although there were $20 and $10 options, the $40 was the best deal even though I didn't win anything. There are photographers set up every single night at dinner and they always want to take tons of pictures. If you choose to buy any the full page pictures are $20 each. All in all it wasn't a bad trip but it was that amazing either. I definitely would have enjoyed it more if we had more beach time but you live and you learn! The food was amazing and half moon cay was to die for so that made the whole trip worth it. If you're planning on going definitely by the Dramamine and take it even if you don't think you're going to need it!! It would have made our time much better if we had done that from the beginning!! Next time we're going to trying a bigger ship with ports that offer more beach time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I am always happier on a ship-that being said, we moved this cruise from January, to October, then October to December-my DH's health is not very good, and after he had a bad fall this past summer, I just wanted him to enjoy the cruise, ... Read More
I am always happier on a ship-that being said, we moved this cruise from January, to October, then October to December-my DH's health is not very good, and after he had a bad fall this past summer, I just wanted him to enjoy the cruise, with time to chill. We knew the ship, we knew the ports, and we know how to have fun and relax! We drove from Atlanta to the Holiday Inn Blount Island, which is the closest hotel to the port. We had stayed there three times before, and they used to offer hotel/ship parking with shuttle service, but they no longer offer that service. I did notice a private limo company picking up people and driving them to the port . It is a nice hotel, next to a Wendy's -and a few pizza delivery services. There is a restaurant called the Sanddollar, about 6 miles form the restaurant, that we had been to several times, sometimes good, sometimes not so good, but it has a nice view of the river, and it's fun to watch the big freighters come in. This time we just ordered a couple of sodas and a pound of peel and eat shrimp, and they were fresh and wonderful. We had Faster to the Fun, so after our free breakfast at the hotel, we packed every thing back up and headed over to the port around 10:45. (5 minute drive-tops) Faster to the fun was posted from 11-12, and while we had no wait when driving in, finding a porter, and getting a golf cart ride to the Port Authority Building, we did not get on board until 12:30. We headed to our cabin, which was ready, and then we headed to the drama bar for a smoke, and then up to lunch on the lido. We had not been on a Fantasy class in almost two years, so things had changed a bit for us-there is no chair in a porthole cabin, there is a small fridge (which didn't really seem to keep any thing cold), there is a hair dryer in the cabin which worked quite well, and the smoking section had moved from the Lido deck to the Veranda, outside under a tent like cover. More wind, less people. less noise, and since it didn't rain, but it was cool, we bundled up each night and sat under the stars. Muster went smoothly, we simply met in the Mikado theatre, our sail and sign cards were scanned, we listened to what the captain said, saw the life jacket demonstration and that was it. We were out in 20 minutes. We dined in the MDR the first two nights, we had anytime dining-but DH is on chemo, and had very little appetite, so we ate the rest of our meals on the lido, and we walked away happy with our food choices each meal. I did try Guys Burgers, the first day at sea, and later in the week, and to tell the truth, I'm not sure the burger was better (sea air adds flavor) but the buns were. There is a great menu-saw it on line, saw it on the wall, but the servers were just flopping cheeseburgers on a bun, there was no taking orders, and when I asked for the burger with BBQ sauce and the fried onion ring, well I got a burger with BBQ sauce, and not much of it. No onion ring. It was OK, and it was much better on our sea day, than when we were in Nassau. The condiments made up for what they lacked in serving-but be aware that the ketchup, BBQ, and mayo come out of the containers VERY slowly. We played trivia a lot and didn't win, we went to the shows, and got no giveaways, but DH with his "ugly" Christmas sweater did win third place in the Ugly Christmas sweater contest. He won a ship on a stick and a bottle of champagne (we kept the ship, and gave the bottle of bubbly to one of our roll call friends). Someone in our CC roll call got a slot pull together, there were about 40 folks and it was a great way to spend a couple of hours-getting to know roll call members, and those who did the fb roll call. Our slot pull coordinator managed a few giveaways from the Casino, and while I walked away with less money than I put it, I did win a players hat!! DH and I love to cruise around Christmas time, the ship is decorated for the holiday, there was Christmas music being played all the time (except during sail away and lido deck parties) there was a Christmas show, but for some reason, with all the other things offered, we missed it. We enjoyed the afternoon teas on our sea days, getting to meet our roll call friends, the food, and our cabin steward-Gode (pronounce Good day). And we also enjoyed seeing a movie on a big screen (the Holiday) in the Cole Porter Lounge, and one of the comedy shows. Our first port was Half Moon Cay-the most wonderful place on earth-best sand, water so blue, that even when the waves slapped me in the face, they were still blue! It was a little too cool for DH, but I got in several times and enjoyed our beach day. HMC is my favorite "port" - a place to enjoy the beach, without having to pay "extra" to do so. There are activities and excursions, and games to play on the beach in front of the ship wreck bar, but we just enjoyed the beauty of the day, and headed back to the ship about two hours before we needed to, but avoided the last minute crowd. No one wants to leave HMC. Our second port was Nassau, we had been 5 times before, and since it was cool, and we didn't really feel that we needed to go anywhere we stayed on board, and enjoyed a few quiet hours. From past trips-with and with out kids? the Pirate Museum- beach day-the Melia. I love the smaller ships, I hear that they don't have as many activities as the larger ones, but since I cruise to relax they seem to fit the bill! I am looking forward to our 7 days cruise in May on the Elation. Cant wait until we board her again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
My wife and I are first time cruisers, and the Carnival Elation was an excellent choice to get our feet wet. The embarkation was a lengthy process, even with FTTF. We were told that there were passengers who had not yet debarked and ... Read More
My wife and I are first time cruisers, and the Carnival Elation was an excellent choice to get our feet wet. The embarkation was a lengthy process, even with FTTF. We were told that there were passengers who had not yet debarked and customs would not clear the ship. Once we stepped onto the ship we were very impressed. I know there are many newer and bigger Carnival ships, but I think if you are a Fantasy class ship lover the Elation fresh out of Dry Dock with major renovations is the ship for you. The food was excellent, the only down side was the Iguana Catina had weird hours which disappointed my wife, we will just have to pay attention more to the open hours. Half Moon Cay was the best part of the cruise, the beach was awesome and we spent all day laying on the beach and drinking. Nassau was a dump in the downtown area, we didn't do any excursions there because we wanted to just walk around and shop, we maybe stayed 3 hours off the ship. There were so many things to do on the ship that we maybe hit 1/3 of the activities for the 5 days We had early dining in the inspiration dining room and the food was excellent. We saw on show, and tried to do the comedy show but the place was packed and we couldn't find a seat. Keven the Cruise Director was awesome and kept us informed on everything throughout the cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise b/c of the timing. It was the only one that worked for us. We did purchase FTTF and were like the 4th couple on the boat. The people in Jax are very rigid to how things are done. Many people said they were turned ... Read More
We chose this cruise b/c of the timing. It was the only one that worked for us. We did purchase FTTF and were like the 4th couple on the boat. The people in Jax are very rigid to how things are done. Many people said they were turned away b/c they weren't at their boarding time. The boat looked clean (we've sailed on Magic and it was just as clean as it), everything looked good. The sauna wasn't working but was eventually fixed. The casino staff was awesome. Our dining (my time dining option selected) staff was great. We didn't do any excursions, it was the bahamas and we had been there. Our only complaint was the serenity deck was just below the water slide and there was lots of noise. We wished they would have really had the big covered chairs like they had on magic and liberty. It's odd that they have the entire top deck completely empty. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I wanted to try Jaxport since it was only 2 1/2 hours from home, the price for our cabin was right and my friends wanted to do a girls getaway. We enjoyed the ship, the staff was always pleasant and tried to be helpful. The food and ... Read More
I wanted to try Jaxport since it was only 2 1/2 hours from home, the price for our cabin was right and my friends wanted to do a girls getaway. We enjoyed the ship, the staff was always pleasant and tried to be helpful. The food and service was good, except for one morning when we tried to have a sit down breakfast instead of the buffet. Service was not good, and some of the selections were adequate at best. We had no issues with the breakfast or lunch buffet. Plenty of selections, I enjoyed the choices and they kept the tables cleared pretty quickly. Our 6pm dining was convenient, and I think the food was good and did not walk away hungry. I was also impressed with the overall cleanliness of the ship areas. Our oceanview room was nicely done, but our air conditioning froze us out. That is my only real complaint about the ship itself (other than the smoky casino). Getting on the ship was a bit crazy, but getting off the ship today was downright awful and lengthy. We got to our elevator at 10am and we got through customs at 11:20. I do not know if it is a Carnival or Jaxport problem, but this was not a good ending to an otherwise good 5 day cruise. Kevin the cruise director was fabulous! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
we cruised Elation last year pre-dry dock and were very excited about the new perks. The good: Love Guys Burgers and the waterworks. I'm 67 and loved going down the slide! The food is generally good, desserts somewhat lacking. Had no ... Read More
we cruised Elation last year pre-dry dock and were very excited about the new perks. The good: Love Guys Burgers and the waterworks. I'm 67 and loved going down the slide! The food is generally good, desserts somewhat lacking. Had no problem finding seats. Love Tiffany stained glass decor and aft outside seating. Entertainment good. We are early to bed so cannot comment on late evening entertainment. Kevin is a riot - great cruise director. Our cabin steward was very good - no issues. the bad: our interior room shrunk considerably: where is the sofa, seat and shelves for storage? fewer drawers too and the mirror is much smaller. Bed is still comfy. The forward on the ship used to have basketball area, now a huge empty space. No place to walk for exercise. Seems fewer staff around and overworked. Had to clear tables to use. Tiffany's - never could find spoons. Getting off the ship takes over 2 hrs. Big change from last year. Not sure if it is due to prohibiting the stairs or due to customs but way too long. Half Moon Cay is reason to book this cruise. Wonderful. Nassau not so - dirty and not much to do. Agree with other reviewer that smoke is really bad walking the halls. Overall, had good time and would book again if visiting half moon cay. Read Less
Carnival Elation Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 3.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 3.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.4

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