First Cruise was Great on ELATION: Carnival Elation Cruise Review by HunterBarb

Carnival Elation 5
Member Since 2012
22 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

First Cruise was Great on ELATION

Sail Date: September 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: New Orleans
As a first time cruiser, I relied heavily on the information I received here on Cruise Critic, and most of it was great info! I had no idea how much to pack, and of course packed TOO much.
The embarkation process was pretty smooth, in New Orleans, and would have gone better if I had not had SO much stuff ! Less next time!
We had no problem finding where we had to go and how to get on board. Once on board, we went pretty quickly to our cabin and left our carry on items, and went to the buffet area to watch and get a drink. We didn't see any "free" drinks, and took the "Drink of the Day' $7 or so, as offered, and settled in for leaving port.
Our Upper Deck, interior, stern area cabin was very nice, with plenty of room for two people and all their (overpacked!) luggage. Two nice closets and some shelving, and plenty of room under beds for our suitcases.
I had read to ask our steward to remove the "cruise supplied" beverges, and did so with the suggested Sticky More note. This was done quickly.
The bathroom had a nice roomy shower with well-behaved curtain, and a spacious medicine cabinet. the water in the bathroom got VERY HOT !!
Steward service was excellent, with anything we asked for being provided, including ice for cooler, and wine glasses to carry our OWN vino to dinner. The stewards made up our room at least 2x a day, with little towel scuptures at nite.
I didn't plan on going to any "shows" since I don't go much for them, but we did attend one "Show" on the history of Rock 'N Roll, before our "Elegant night" dinner. The dancers and singers were very good, band was good, and it was very well choreographed.
The Casino was pretty disappointing, probably since I'm not a "big" player - I could not get ahead on any of the slots, and didn't try the table games.
Dining in the assigned restaurant was FABULOUS ! I've never tried Chateaubriand before, and I LOVED it ! will have next time I hope!! There was lobster nearly every night, and a great selection of other dishes, appetizers, and ~desserts ! ~ Chocolate Melting Cake ! Yesss!! 4 of 5 nights !! Whooo! The 5th night, I slacked a bit - since there was a Chocolate BUFFET at lunch !
Our servers in the assigned dining room, Imagination, were excellent, quick, and very entertaining - they danced or sang every night, with all the staff.
The breakfasts were better in the dining restaurant than in the buffet, simply fresher and served to us personally. The buffet breakfast, however, offered a much larger selection, and was easy to get through, with lines a little long a couple times, but not so bad - at least we didn't have to COOK it!
The Deli /Grille area in the buffet restaurant (Tiffany's) served up very good hot sandwiches, and Omelets in the AM.
Our shore excursion in Progreso was to the Mayan Ruins of UXMAL !
Cozumel was really cool too - we took a private taxi to beach, very reasonable !
The sail back to New Orleans was pretty smooth, with one lot of loud engine noise about 10:30Pm - would have been nice to know what it was about!?
Return to the reality world went very smoothly, with groups being called, and waiting areas well designated. We were back on shore by 10:30 AM, luggage in hand.
I would recommend this ship to anyone, not sure what else was missing, but I thought it was excellent - I'm a Newbie ! LOL ! Great crew, and nice clean ship. Less

Published 10/04/12
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: 4Eu225 Interior

Our cabin was roomy, in the interior, stern area. Beds comfortable, pillows a bit thick,covers sufficient. Bathroom was comfortable, with good hand-held shower and good shower curtain. Storage plentiful, 2 closets, shelving, space under bed, drawers at dresser. Cabin easily accessed from elevators. Because of location, some engine or propeller noise was heard, but was quite gentle. Lulled us to sleep most nights.

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Port and Shore Excursions

We wandered through the port shops for a bit, then found a taxi to Ocean Beach bar, which promised to be "free" - the taxi ride in a van was only $13, I tipped $2. The Ocean beach bar, is just a small stretch of beach, with a restaurant and bar, which the waiters mention - they say - you can use our Tables, our Umbrellas and beach Chairs - we ONLY ask that you buy a drink or some food. Well - Drinks were $10! we got a couple. Our server guy, Freddie, also offered the "All Inclusive" deal for only $60 - all your drinks and some food - I said TOO Much - he came down to $50 -still I didn't take it, so he quit. We were almost constantly assailed by Peddlers, selling everything from jewelry to shots of tequila with an X-Rated Photo in the shot glass !!! did SO not buy THAT !! We bought a couple of beach t-shirt cover-ups, talking the guy down a couple of dollars. The beach and water were very pleasant, slightly crowded, but not totally. I later found out that had we gone to "Mr Sancho's" just up the beach, we could have had "All Inclusive" For under $20 !! Remember that one! Our taxi ride back, we shared with another couple folks from our ship. No problem until my friend noticed she had left her smart phone IN the TAXI which was LONG gone! After much waiting and looking at drivers, the security people finally got hold of OUR driver, and he HAD the phone, and delivered it back ! Miraculous work by the Taxi security and drivers ! we did NOT miss the boat !
Read 5490 Cozumel Reviews

Our shore excursion in Progreso was to the Mayan Ruins of UXMAL ! Wow is just a start of things to say ! You will be totally AWED by this site - thousands of years old, and all built without METAL tools ! Incredible! Our guides, Alejandro and Umberto, both were quite fluent in English - and MAYAN ! they ARE Mayan ! Both knew the history of UXMAL inside & out and shared well with us. The cruise sponsored tour was on a nicely air conditioned bus with a bathroom, which I didn't use. The visitor center at UXMAL had VERY clean restrooms, and loads of shopping areas, a couple even air conditioned. The walking tour of this great site was not bad, but the climbing part is not for the weak of leg or breath. I climbed the "great pyramid" and it was pretty tough - and coming DOWN - not for the Weak of HEART ! No RAILS !! The shops at UXMAL are pretty nice, and the peddlers outside the "Park" buildings are very reasonable and not overly aggressive. The ride back was comfortable, with the air conditioning well appreciated. We did have a "lunch" provided - a very plain ham sandwich and a bottle of water. Nothing to write home about!
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