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This was my first cruise and Amy's 2nd. We actually arrived at the port just prior to the ship leaving (due to our idiot travel agent). We found the lines very short, because we were about the last ones on the ship. I had no idea what to expect as we entered the ship. My only exposure to cruising was watching the Love Boat as a kid. I found the interior decoration of the ship a bit gaudy. I felt like I was a guest of a circus. I don't consider this necessarily a bad thing. For me a cruise was a once in a lifetime experience and I was glad that things were a little over the top. Our room was great. We were in a cabin with a window. The steward staff was extremely nice and kept our room exceptionally clean. It was a nice touch to find a towel animal and a chocolate on the pillow at night. The bed's could have been a little more comfortable. The bathroom was quite large and comfortable. Someone should warn a guy about the first flush of the toilet. I thought that for a minute that I was going to be sucked in to the bowels of the ship. We found the food to be excellent in the Imagination Dining Room. Our waiter, Alex, bent over backward to serve us. In fact one of our table mates had a huge appetite and ordered several entree's every night. Alex kept brining them with a smile. The quality of the food was exceptional. Everything was cooked just how we ordered. The desserts were not that great, but they were good nonetheless. The food in Tiffany's was good. It was typical buffet style and quality. We didn't expect any more and we were not disappointed. The 24 hour pizzeria was great they had some gourmet pizza's that were out of the ordinary. The sushi bar was a hit with me and the ice cream cone machine was a hit with us after a hard night of dancing. The entertainment was a little bit cheesy in the Mikado Lounge. I am not a big fan of the musical variety show. Some of the games like jeopardy and trivia were fun. In fact just about every member of our group won a "24 caret gold ship on a stick". The bingo games were a good diversion although they were a little pricey to play. The casino was a hit with us as well. My wife has a little bit of a gambling problem, (not really but I like to tease her). She literally paid for her second year of nursing school while attending in Las Vegas at the blackjack table. But back to the subject, she was not as lucky on the ship but had a good time losing my hard earned money anyway. On a luckier note, my brother in law won enough over the course of the week to pay for his entire cruise. Our first port was Progresso. We opted to visit Chichen Itza ruins. This would have been a great experience had we not gone through our idiot travel agent to book the tour. We nearly missed the boat because he had no concept of time in getting us back to the ship. The ruins were great though. It was fascinating to climb the temple and be able to speak to people on the ground 100 feet below because of the acoustics of the pyramid. Cozumel was our second stop. We hooked up with Victor Cassanova of Wildcat Divers on the recommendation of a friend that dives there alot. That was an awesome diving experience and cheap to. There is so much to do in Cozumel that I would steer away from the ship's shore excursions. You can book your own stuff on the pier for way cheaper than the boat offers. If you are interested in diving I would definitely use Wildcat. Search for them on the web they are easy to find. Our last stop was Belize. We opted to sign up for the cave tubing excursion on the ship. This tour was awesome. The only drawback was the illness that I caught. We ate at a little shanty in the jungle called Cheers. The food was good. About the time I got on the tender to go back to the ship the stomach problems hit and lasted for about 8 days. I'm not sure that the problem was the food in Belize but that is the only thing that I ate off the ship. Most of our party that ate at Cheers got sick for the remainder of the cruise. This was a bad thing although I ended up losing about 8 pounds for the trip home. Belize is a beautiful country especially if you get off the beaten path. I mentioned earlier in this review that this was going to be a once in a lifetime trip for me. In fact I really balked at the idea of a cruise and my wife had to drag me along with her. Just to let you know, I had such a great time, I'm booked on the Inspiration in September. We are returning to Cozumel and Belize. We are going to dive with Victor again and may even cave tube again. It is well worth it to wait till you get to a port and find a local company to tour with. The ship tours are way overpriced and overcrowded. There are plenty of reputable guides at the ports. They understand that you need to get back to the ship on time and are not willing to jeopardize their business by making you late. Overall the Elation was a great Ship and wonderful vacation. You need to remember that you get what you pay for. Carnival is not the fanciest cruise line out there. For the money this was an excellent value. We were taken really good care of and are looking forward to our next carnival cruise.

Carnival Elation - Western Caribbean

Carnival Elation Cruise Review by Mike&Amy

Trip Details
This was my first cruise and Amy's 2nd. We actually arrived at the port just prior to the ship leaving (due to our idiot travel agent). We found the lines very short, because we were about the last ones on the ship.
I had no idea what to expect as we entered the ship. My only exposure to cruising was watching the Love Boat as a kid. I found the interior decoration of the ship a bit gaudy. I felt like I was a guest of a circus. I don't consider this necessarily a bad thing. For me a cruise was a once in a lifetime experience and I was glad that things were a little over the top.
Our room was great. We were in a cabin with a window. The steward staff was extremely nice and kept our room exceptionally clean. It was a nice touch to find a towel animal and a chocolate on the pillow at night. The bed's could have been a little more comfortable. The bathroom was quite large and comfortable. Someone should warn a guy about the first flush of the toilet. I thought that for a minute that I was going to be sucked in to the bowels of the ship.
We found the food to be excellent in the Imagination Dining Room. Our waiter, Alex, bent over backward to serve us. In fact one of our table mates had a huge appetite and ordered several entree's every night. Alex kept brining them with a smile. The quality of the food was exceptional. Everything was cooked just how we ordered. The desserts were not that great, but they were good nonetheless. The food in Tiffany's was good. It was typical buffet style and quality. We didn't expect any more and we were not disappointed. The 24 hour pizzeria was great they had some gourmet pizza's that were out of the ordinary. The sushi bar was a hit with me and the ice cream cone machine was a hit with us after a hard night of dancing.
The entertainment was a little bit cheesy in the Mikado Lounge. I am not a big fan of the musical variety show. Some of the games like jeopardy and trivia were fun. In fact just about every member of our group won a "24 caret gold ship on a stick". The bingo games were a good diversion although they were a little pricey to play. The casino was a hit with us as well. My wife has a little bit of a gambling problem, (not really but I like to tease her). She literally paid for her second year of nursing school while attending in Las Vegas at the blackjack table. But back to the subject, she was not as lucky on the ship but had a good time losing my hard earned money anyway. On a luckier note, my brother in law won enough over the course of the week to pay for his entire cruise.
Our first port was Progresso. We opted to visit Chichen Itza ruins. This would have been a great experience had we not gone through our idiot travel agent to book the tour. We nearly missed the boat because he had no concept of time in getting us back to the ship. The ruins were great though. It was fascinating to climb the temple and be able to speak to people on the ground 100 feet below because of the acoustics of the pyramid.
Cozumel was our second stop. We hooked up with Victor Cassanova of Wildcat Divers on the recommendation of a friend that dives there alot. That was an awesome diving experience and cheap to. There is so much to do in Cozumel that I would steer away from the ship's shore excursions. You can book your own stuff on the pier for way cheaper than the boat offers. If you are interested in diving I would definitely use Wildcat. Search for them on the web they are easy to find.
Our last stop was Belize. We opted to sign up for the cave tubing excursion on the ship. This tour was awesome. The only drawback was the illness that I caught. We ate at a little shanty in the jungle called Cheers. The food was good. About the time I got on the tender to go back to the ship the stomach problems hit and lasted for about 8 days. I'm not sure that the problem was the food in Belize but that is the only thing that I ate off the ship. Most of our party that ate at Cheers got sick for the remainder of the cruise. This was a bad thing although I ended up losing about 8 pounds for the trip home. Belize is a beautiful country especially if you get off the beaten path.
I mentioned earlier in this review that this was going to be a once in a lifetime trip for me. In fact I really balked at the idea of a cruise and my wife had to drag me along with her. Just to let you know, I had such a great time, I'm booked on the Inspiration in September. We are returning to Cozumel and Belize. We are going to dive with Victor again and may even cave tube again.
It is well worth it to wait till you get to a port and find a local company to tour with. The ship tours are way overpriced and overcrowded. There are plenty of reputable guides at the ports. They understand that you need to get back to the ship on time and are not willing to jeopardize their business by making you late.
Overall the Elation was a great Ship and wonderful vacation. You need to remember that you get what you pay for. Carnival is not the fanciest cruise line out there. For the money this was an excellent value. We were taken really good care of and are looking forward to our next carnival cruise.
Mike&Amy’s Full Rating Summary
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