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Carnival Elation Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1092 reviews
2 Awards

FIRST TIME CRUISER. . . not bad cruise but not so luxurious

Review for Carnival Elation to the Mexican Riviera
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First Time Cruiser • Age 40s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Dec 2009
Cabin: Ocean View

Our overall impression on this cruise was that it was not bad. Unfortunately, since this is our first cruise we didn't have anything to compare it to. We did reach a consensus that it was not as luxurious as we thought that it would be.

We arrived and decided to park at an uncovered lot directly across the street from the pier instead of parking elsewhere and taking a shuttle ($15/day instead of $10/day). This was very convenient and good thinking at the end of the cruise since we didn't want a delay in leaving. FYI: There are bike vendors in the parking lot pretending to work there. They will help you get your bags out of your car and take you and your bags to the ship on one of their passenger bikes. They work for tips. He was friendly (we tipped him $5).

Getting through customs took about 15 minutes. You can bring a small cooler and I was a little worried since mine was a little larger than the max cooler size. I also had it stuffed with a bunch of water and a bottle of champagne. They searched it but I had no problem getting through customs.

Cabin Review

Ocean View

Cabin 6E

Bed and awkwardly placed picture block occupants from sitting in front of the window. Also, ceiling is nausiating pink color.

Port Reviews

Catalina Island (California)

Catalina Island is a good size island however, the developed area is very small. It had somewhat of a beach area that was similar to a private beach. The shops and dining were very limited but nice. However, most of the restaurant dining areas didn't open until late in the day and we had to leave by 5PM. We ended up taking the bus tour through the town. There was not much to see since it travels on the road which is only in the town. We also took the Bottomless Glass Boat tour. It was interesting. We saw about 3 different types of fishes. You can even feed the fish through a drop chute on the boat. Not great but better than the bus tour. Lastly, we went to their "casino" which is really a theater. It has an attached museum about the island which was small. I would have preferred another destination with more shops and dining.


I have been to Mexico before so I knew not to expect too much from Ensenada. I was a little concerned about the recent violence in Mexico but had heard that it was settling. We choose to ride ATV's for our shore excursion offered by Extreme Tours. Once we left the ship, we were ushered to a bus where our host talked a little about the city and safety. I specifically remember her saying to be careful who you get a ride from. They then drove us about 30 minutes away to a nearby warehouse where the ATV's were located. After about a 15 minute safety briefing we were on our way. I have ridden motorcycles in the past but have never been on an ATV. I was surprised how easy it was to ride. We followed our instructor to a hilly area where we "followed the leader" for about 2 hours. It was fun. Afterward, we boarded the bus and they offered to drop us off in town on the main street in order to shop. We later went back to the town and did so. We felt safe but we stayed on the main street, didn't stray too far, and left when it got dark. I've always been careful in Mexico. I think good advice for non natives is not to stray too far from Papas and Beer (its like an embassy, if you make it there you'll be safe) and to keep evaluating how many other tourists you see where you are at.

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