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I booked this cruise for a quick getaway with some dear friends of ours who had never cruised before.  I was nervous about booking their first cruise on such an older ship with some not so nice reviews but it was the only cruise that the dates worked for the entire group so we booked.  Here is my take: 1.  The ship is in great shape.  EVERYTHING was clean and looked nice.  I don't know if they just went though an refurbished the inside of the ship but it was clean from top to bottom.  We had two outside cabins and while the decor was a little dated, they were great.  Good size and quiet.  We were towards the back of the ship so you could from time to time feel the engines but it was never terrible. I dare say I like the bathrooms on Elation better than the bathrooms on Spirit.  I wouldn't hesitate to book on Elation again.  The safety drill on Elation was a little different and seemed to take forever.  I don't know if that has to do with the age of the ship or some other requirement but at least you only have to do it once. 2.  We had dinner in the dining room all 4 nights and the food was great.  I realize that Carnival's menu doesn't match Holland or Princess but hey, you get what you pay for and I prefer they laid back dress code on Carnival.  Everything was delicious, served hot and pretty fast.  Our waiter Karsaki couldn't have been better.  Always a huge smile and advice on what he thought we would like.  Lido deck food was even good and I have never been a huge fan of buffets on cruise ships but they did a great job keeping everything fresh and ready on Lido.  Lines for sandwiches got long during lunch but seemed to move pretty quickly.   3.  Entertainment on board was decent.  I have to say that NCL's Dancers are far better than any I have ever seen on a Carnival ship.  I wish Carnival would work on this but I guess they think it works.  Comedian was alright during the general show but came to life in the late night adults only show.  Same for the hypnotist.  The first show was so so, but the R rated show had me in tears laughing worth attending a midnight show for sure.  On board music was general cruise fare, good but not great.  Cruise Director Stu and his staff were wonderful.  They struck a really nice balance of encouraging people to participate and not being pests.  I also enjoyed that they didn't use the intercom announcement system as much as my last cruise director and when they needed to they made it entertaining.  A+ for Stu, we had a cracker of a cruise. 4.  They did a great job of keeping the kids busy and out of the way.  I saw kids, but they didn't overrun the ship like I was worried about when I booked.  Generally they seemed content doing whatever activities they had to do in their areas.  College age kids did their thing, I didn't really notice them until I was getting on the tender in Cabo with a whole bunch of really drunk ones.  Bad on Cabo day but other than that they were rather subdued and relaxed. Overall, I have sailed RCCL, NCL, and Carnival.  I didn't feel RCCL was worth what they charge.  I enjoyed NCL.  Carnival has been a standout.  I have only had positive experiences with them and would send my friends and family that direction if asked.  Elation is an older ship but is still great.  A wonderful staff does a great job maintaining her and keeping guest fat and happy.  If you want a quick get away don't think, just book a cabin, this is a great ship.

Fantastic Ship, Great Food, Wonderful Trip

Carnival Elation Cruise Review by RogerThat726

Trip Details
I booked this cruise for a quick getaway with some dear friends of ours who had never cruised before.  I was nervous about booking their first cruise on such an older ship with some not so nice reviews but it was the only cruise that the dates worked for the entire group so we booked.  Here is my take:

1.  The ship is in great shape.  EVERYTHING was clean and looked nice.  I don't know if they just went though an refurbished the inside of the ship but it was clean from top to bottom.  We had two outside cabins and while the decor was a little dated, they were great.  Good size and quiet.  We were towards the back of the ship so you could from time to time feel the engines but it was never terrible. I dare say I like the bathrooms on Elation better than the bathrooms on Spirit.  I wouldn't hesitate to book on Elation again.  The safety drill on Elation was a little different and seemed to take forever.  I don't know if that has to do with the age of the ship or some other requirement but at least you only have to do it once.

2.  We had dinner in the dining room all 4 nights and the food was great.  I realize that Carnival's menu doesn't match Holland or Princess but hey, you get what you pay for and I prefer they laid back dress code on Carnival.  Everything was delicious, served hot and pretty fast.  Our waiter Karsaki couldn't have been better.  Always a huge smile and advice on what he thought we would like.  Lido deck food was even good and I have never been a huge fan of buffets on cruise ships but they did a great job keeping everything fresh and ready on Lido.  Lines for sandwiches got long during lunch but seemed to move pretty quickly.  

3.  Entertainment on board was decent.  I have to say that NCL's Dancers are far better than any I have ever seen on a Carnival ship.  I wish Carnival would work on this but I guess they think it works.  Comedian was alright during the general show but came to life in the late night adults only show.  Same for the hypnotist.  The first show was so so, but the R rated show had me in tears laughing worth attending a midnight show for sure.  On board music was general cruise fare, good but not great.  Cruise Director Stu and his staff were wonderful.  They struck a really nice balance of encouraging people to participate and not being pests.  I also enjoyed that they didn't use the intercom announcement system as much as my last cruise director and when they needed to they made it entertaining.  A+ for Stu, we had a cracker of a cruise.

4.  They did a great job of keeping the kids busy and out of the way.  I saw kids, but they didn't overrun the ship like I was worried about when I booked.  Generally they seemed content doing whatever activities they had to do in their areas.  College age kids did their thing, I didn't really notice them until I was getting on the tender in Cabo with a whole bunch of really drunk ones.  Bad on Cabo day but other than that they were rather subdued and relaxed.


Overall, I have sailed RCCL, NCL, and Carnival.  I didn't feel RCCL was worth what they charge.  I enjoyed NCL.  Carnival has been a standout.  I have only had positive experiences with them and would send my friends and family that direction if asked.  Elation is an older ship but is still great.  A wonderful staff does a great job maintaining her and keeping guest fat and happy.  If you want a quick get away don't think, just book a cabin, this is a great ship.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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    Cabo is a great port to visit. I went fishing and hooked a Marlin for the first time! I just walked off the dock and got one of the little boats to take me out for a whole lot less than they charge on the ship. Not the safest, but it was a blast. My wife and friends all went snorkeling via a cab driver. They had a fantastic time and saw quite a few fish and turtles for a whole lot less than the ship, I think they paid $60 total for the 3 of them but can't swear to it.
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