Carnival Elation Cruise Review by snyderross
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!
snyderross’s Full Rating Summary
Lots of room, flat screen TV, tub and balcony.
Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
In Cozumel we rented a VW Beetle Convertible from Rentadora Isis (took an $ 8 taxi from the pier to Centro to rent the car -- total cost of car rental $35) and drove to Pescadaria San Carlos, a very local fish restaurant with great reviews, where we ate the best grouper we've ever had -- got to pick out both the whole Snapper and grouper filets from the ice chest and they cooked it for us; the grouper Mexica was divine (and half the cost of the tourist restaurants or beach places). The meal also included a free Ceviche appetizer. We then drove to the far side of the island where we stoped at several beach bars and ended up at our favorite place, the beach at Rio Chen where we snorkled, ate and drank. Didn't do any shopping -- too busy enjoying the beautiful water. When we returned the car, Margarita at Rentadora Isis arranged for us to be driven back to the Ship; we just tipped her driver. Cozumel has absoluely beautiful unspoiled beaches on the far side -- not crowded -- a wonderful relaxing day.
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Progreso is a great jumping off spot for the magic of the Yucatan. It is our favorite place to cruise. We love Merida, Izamal, and the ruins. This time we debated about Carnival's Tour to Merda and Izamal (great reviews), but since we had already been to both places, we opted for a private tour to Uxmal and swimming in a cenote with Lawson Tours. A great choice -- we got to experience the Yucatan with a Mayan guide, David, who also has a M.A. in Ornithology from Cornell and a wonderful knowledge of history, flora and fauna so it was a great exerience. The cenote was amazing. Didn't really have time to shop or get a massage in Progreso, but there is always next time. The Elation is a small, older ship but it gets the job done. Love the Yucatan -- so much to see and do and a Carnival Cruise is a great way to get there.
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