Had a Great TIme: Carnival Elation Cruise Review by Jeffro1972
Overall Member Rating
Had a Great TIme
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: New Orleans
Let's start with embarkation: It was a breeze!! I've never had an easier embarkation. My roommate dropped me off at the terminal a little early. He works nights, and I understood that he still had to get some sleep before work. So, I got there around 10:30, and walked right up to security, and the check in desk, and was checked in with in 20 minutes of arriving at the port. No lines what so ever. It was cool. What was even better was that they started boarding a little after 11 am, and I was one of the first aboard after the diamond/platinum guests. By 12:30 my stateroom was ready. The only thing that shocked me during embarkation, was that there was no health questionnaire. Every other More cruise that I have taken they have always made us fill out the health survey before we boarded. Embarkation was a breeze.
My first stop once on board was the guest services desk. I always fund my Sail and Sign w/ cash. It helps me control my spending on board. I was the first one in line at the counter, Yippee for me!!! But not do good. They were having computer issues, and couldn't pull up any accounts. Since I'm an IT guy, I completely understand. Just waited for around 15 minutes until they got it working, and I placed my money on my account, and found out I had a $75 credit instead of just the $25 I thought I had.
My second stop was the Atrium Bar to buy the Cheers program! I was shocked at first, but that quickly left. The bartender explained in detail how the Cheers program worked, although, I had completely researched it on here and another format. So, I went ahead and bought it. It's a great program!! I would buy it again. Even though I can be a heavy drinker, I never got drunk, (nice buzz though), and not once did I hit the 15 drink limit. Even on port days, it was worth the money. But that is just my opinion.
Well, I headed down to my stateroom to put my carry on down. It was around 1. I ran right into my Stewardess. Tapa from Indonesia. She was awesome the whole cruise, and remembered my name from the start. I tipped her 10 at the beginning of the cruise. She then introduced her assistants, who remembered my name as well. I also gave her another 10 on the last day. She will be heading home in a month, but is coming back, and as far as she knows, she is supposed to be back on the elation. I hope she will be my Stewardess again.
The bar tending and wait staff were awesome. Davy from Croatia, in the Drama Bar, and Darba from Indoniesia were my favorites. Granted I tipped them the first and last days, but they made sure that I was always served, and they took real good care of me. In fact, right before I disembarked, I ran into Darba on the Lido deck, and gave him another tip. Before he put the money in his pocket, he said a quick Buddhist prayer for me to have a safe journey home, and to return quickly. I thought that was awesome.
We did have rainy and windy weather for 2 out of the 3 days, but that was okay. I still had a blast. It's not Carnival's fault that the Gulf was having bad weather.
The only complaint that I have was the MDR staff. In fact, I went to the Maitre d' twice to complain about our head waiter. He was rude and very dismissive. And I just didn't think that was appropriate. Things did change a little, but not much. No, I didn't reduce my gratuities, but I gave the rest of our wait staff a little extra. Jorge, from Peru, was one of the assistant waiters, and he was funny and kind, and very considerate. The complete opposite from Kim, from Korea, our Head Waiter.
I don't usually go to the shows on my cruises, but with the weather, I stayed inside more.
I do recommend the "Win" and "Rock" Shows. They were awesome!! I loved them. The only complaint I have with the Win show was that they were pyrotechnics that made gun fire type noises and flashes, and as a combat vet w/ PTSD, this didn't go over to well. I think they should have been some kind of disclaimer.
Our CD, Steve was nowhere to be seen. I saw him at the shows, and on debarkation day, but that was it. I didn't even see his assistant.
Orlando,from Jamaica, Entertainment staff, was always around and such fun to hang with. He ran the Punchliner club and the Lido deck parties. He even used some of my jokes at the last family comedy show, but I was to sick to go. I can't wait to see him as a CD. So much energy.
Debarkation was another breeze! The easiest I've ever gotten back into the US.
Thanks to everyone here that have helped me and didn't even know it.
I will review Progreso and Cozumel in separate areas of the forums. I just wanted to get this out to everyone. Less
Cabin review: U-1
It was a tiny little thing, but since I am only in there to sleep and shower, it really didn't matter to me. The only draw back to the room was the Mooring station that is right next to it. But as long as the ship is mooring on the port side there shouldn't be a problem. I did hear the bow thrusters, but they didn't bother me much. Would I book this cabin again? In a word, Yes!
Port and Shore Excursions
This was my 3rd time to Cozumel, and I really didn't want to hang around the tourist from the ship. It's just my thing to get out and learn the culture and experience what the locals have to offer, but from a different view point.
We had 13 hours in Cozumel. I got off the ship at 6 am, and caught a cab to the marcado in downtown San Miguel. In hind sight, I should have waited a little bit for more shops to open up, but I was excited to get there. The cab should only cost $8 for the whole cab, and not per person. My cab driver was knowledgeable and was really helpful in telling me where I should go, and where I should not go. To me this is important as I am usually by myself when I'm out exploring.
it was great! The deals on some of the things I bought were much better than what was offered at the pier. My suggestion is get away from the ship to do your buying. The prices are better, and they will barter with you.
Would I go back? Yes, I would love too.
While I did enjoy Progreso, there were some problems with it.
The biggest that I had was that I really need a combination of Pesos and Dollars to really enjoy what I wanted to do. I like to get away from the tourist areas, and needed the Pesos, but it took me almost an hour to find a money exchange.
I really wanted to go into Merida and explore, but it took me almost an hour to find a money changer. So, I had to change my plans, which turned out better for me.
I happened into a shop that was run by an American. Yes, they are quite a few. I told him what I wanted to do, and he was giving me some tips to check out. That's when a local Mayan guide told me that he would take me.
He took me on a walking/ eating tour of Progreso. I love food and am a foodie and chef by hobby, so this was exciting. The fresh fruit and local food was a thousand times better than the places that served the cruise passengers, and for just a few pesos, I ate like a king. The shopping was just as good as Cozumel, but with much lower prices, and they made better deals if you dealt with pesos instead of dollars.
There is so much more I wanted to do in Progreso, but didn't have the time. I would recommend this port. I can't wait to get back.
Lots of winners and few losers...
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