A Good Cruise for the Money: Carnival Elation Cruise Review by bgsnydermd

Carnival Elation 4
Member Since 2014

Overall Member Rating

A Good Cruise for the Money

Sail Date: January 2014
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: New Orleans

- Affordable

- Friendly Employees

- Cozumel Beach Buggy Excursion was Great

- Behind the Fun Tour


- Progreso is crap

- Smaller Ship = Bumpier Ride in Rough Seas

- Always Want you to buy something (Land and Sea)

This was good cruise. Not a great one, not a bad one...but definitely good. Boarding in New Orleans was easy and didn't take more than 30 minutes for us. The ship is a little dated but it looks nice and is reasonably clean. Our room was 2 bunk beds but it was actually pretty roomy and had lots of storage space. The bathroom was nice and clean. If you like to drink and hang at the bar, you will love this ship! There are tons of bars and places to drink. If drinking isn't your thing, you might be a little bored. There are some good shows, both large and small. I recommend checking out the smaller shows because they are little more active and fun. We loved the game show on the first night More and the dance classes were pretty entertaining as well. The comedy shows were also very funny.

The outdoor decks are nice but it was a little too cool for us to really enjoy ourselves outside on the sea days. We traveled during the recent Polar Vortex that crushed the south. One thing to be mindful of is that the Casino allows smoking so if you do not like cigarette smoke but want to gamble be prepared to deal with it. It doesn't bother me but I could imagine some people would hate it.

The food was pretty good, not great but good. Breakfast and lunch buffets were decent and well stocked. Dinners were a lot of fun because of great table mates. The food was pretty good. Any time we tried one of the special appetizers (frog legs, gator fritters, crab cake) it was about a 9 to 1 ratio of batter to meat which was disappointing. But other than that it was good. Service was pretty bad though. Our appetizers and food came out at different times and if you had one person who liked to just pick at their plate while waiting for dessert the servers would not even give you a dessert menu until that person was completely finished which was annoying. Our table was also served very late compared to other tables but it wasn't enough to make us not enjoy dinner. Just be patient and enjoy the good company.

Overall thoughts: Good cruise. We enjoyed it but as two 25 year olds who like to explore we found ourselves pretty bored on the ship. The older crowd had a blast so it can be a great time. Just don't expect top of the line. Carnival employees were very friendly.


We did the Behind the Fun tour on the last day of the cruise. 55 a person well worth it. You get to see crew areas, the kitchens, and the bridge. Met the Captain and it was awesome.

We purchased the Bottomless Bubbles program which is unlimited soda/juice for 6 dollars a day per person. Honestly, if you are good with Lemonade, Tea, and Water...then you can get that for free any time on the ship. And just buy a soda here and there. Orange juice and coffee was also free during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. **Bottomless Bubbles is different from the Cheers program which also offers unlimited (up to 15 drinks a day) alcohol. Less

Published 02/07/14

Cabin review: U173

Decor was ugly but the room was nice, clean, and comfortable. Room steward was very friendly.

Port and Shore Excursions

Dune Buggy

Beautiful Destination! We did the Beach Buggy snorkeling excursion and I highly recommend it. Guides were Nacho and Ramon. They were great. You drive a good while on the road before going into a beautiful ecological park. Then you spend 2 hours on the beach where they give you a cheap buffet and free soda/bottled water. We could have skipped the snorkeling and just spent all the time starting at the amazing water. Snorkeling was fun though. Dont expect a finding nemo reef but there were some nice fish to look at. Note that the buggys are pretty unreliable. Ours was ok but some other people had problems. If you go with this excursion just keep in mind you may end up riding in a car at some point. Its still worth it. This island is nice enough where you could also just do your own thing. Its safe and there are lots of good bars and beach spots. Just do some research.

Chichen Itza

Junk. Dirty, poor, and depressing. They should drop this from the ports and just spend 2 days in Cozumel. We did the Chiczen Itza ruins which were nice but the bus drive was 2 hours both ways. The state of Yucatan is pretty crappy. Not a place where you would want to do your own thing. We enjoyed our time but would have rather just went to a beach or something. The beaches aren't as nice as Cozumel though. Do some research on your excursions. The ruins were beautiful but everything else was just bleh.

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Member Since 2014
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