Carnival Elation Cruise Review by mpanico
- Sail Date: February 2019
- Destination: Bahamas
- Cabin Type: Ocean View
I will say that the cabins were a pleasant surprise. We upgraded to an ocean view and it was pretty spacious compared to other cruise lines I've cruised on. The shower, although still small, was the largest shower I've ever had on a cruise. Our housekeeper was very nice, and grabbed us on our first day to ask when we'd like her to clean our rooms which worked out perfectly. I will say though, that even though they put a card in our room saying if we hung our towels they'd conserve and we could keep them, all of our towels were taken every day and replaced with new ones.
Embarkation was smooth sailing (pun intended). We were on the ship in about 10 minutes, and our bags showed up at our room less then 2 hours later which was great.
The food on board was terrible. Their only saving grace was Guy's Burger Bar and the Blue Iguana which I had one of the best burrito's I've ever had in my life. We, as well as MANY other people got lost trying to find the Inspiration Dining Room our first night and after going up and across the whole ship multiple times we finally made it, only to be met with flavorless food. I ordered the Spring Rolls for an appetizer which literally tasted like nothing, and the steak and potatoes for my main. The steak wasn't seasoned at all, the potato wasn't even cut open, just a whole potato plopped on a plate which when opened was dry, and two Broccoli florets which, you guessed it, were not seasoned. Needless to say that was the one and only time we dined there. The buffet was better, but not by much so most nights we either got burgers or Pizza from Pizza Pirate. I might even go out and say the desserts were worse then the main meals.
While we did find a few very nice crew members, Luz by the pool and in the Micado Lounge, and Marco, as well as Brad who was part of the Fun Squad, we found that the crew wasn't that friendly or helpful, and sometimes it even seemed as if we were bothering bartenders when ordering a drink. I will say though, that besides the one bartender that worked in the Romeo and Juliette Lounge, all of them made fantastic drinks! Raynold in the atrium bar made insanely good Espresso Martini's and the Guava Margarita at the Tequila Bar by the pool was fantastic.
We really just wanted to go to the beach so we did a couple of beach transfer excursions. In Freeport we did the Beach Getaway with drinks included. We were met with a beach filled with just regular plastic chairs (not beach/lounge chairs) and some pretty subpar drinks. We did get a beautiful day though and the music was almost as entertaining as watching all of the drunk people dancing.
In Nassau we did the Biltmore Island Beach Getaway. It was a beautiful island and they had normal beach chairs and umbrella's set up for you. The food/drinks were pricey but it was a very relaxing day. We also had access to a pool, and we got to watch the sting ray and dolphin experience if we wanted to. I'd say this was the better of the two excursions we did, and definitely worth the money.
Entertainment on the ship was minimal. We really enjoyed the performers at the Diva's/80's Night shows. They were incredible! We went to one comedy show which was ok but nothing spectacular. But other then that it was just a lot of trivia and "beauty experiences" that were just really set up there to get you to purchase a spa day or items sold on board. We went to Karaoke every night and that was really fun. One night we went to the Jekyll and Hyde Nightclub. It was ok but nothing fantastic.
The pool was cold every day, and the Jacuzzi's near the pool were filled with kids and because of that they weren't allowed to have the Jacuzzi temperature set to what you'd expect, so it was just luke warm water. The Jacuzzi's in the Serenity area were nice and hot, but usually packed with people because most days only one of them were open. We did have a lot of fun on the slides, which were probably meant just for kids but we're kids at heart!
The elevators were SLOW. We were lucky enough to not have anyone in our party that needed to use them so we took the stairs most of the time to save us waiting 10 minutes for an elevator to come. I was also disappointed in that there was nowhere to just grab a snack. Sometimes you just need a bag of chips or a piece of fruit and every other cruise I've been on there's been random places to just grab something real fast but not on this one. All of the food is in one spot and besides the fro-yo machine they didn't have anything that I'd consider just a small snack.
We ordered breakfast through room service one morning and half of our order didn't come, and the other half was wrong, so I don't recommend that. Breakfast at the buffet was pretty decent so I would for sure make the trek up to deck 10 for that.
Our last day at sea was VERY rocky. I know that Carnival can't control the weather but the captain did say that we'd be back to normal by the evening and we definately were not, nor were there any updates on when we would be. People were throwing up everywhere and it was very hard to walk down the stairs or even just walk around without the threat of falling down. We did find after a while that the middle of the ship, especially outside, was better then anywhere else on the ship, we just wish someone told us that sooner.
We did get the drink package, and it was nice to not have to worry about how much we were spending. I liked that it included the coffee bar, milkshakes, soda and bottles of water. There was a 15 drink maximum and while we never hit that mark we met some people who had and they were for sure cut off, however they could still purchase more drinks if they wanted to. For me the package probably cost about what I would of spent if I didn't have it, so it was nice to just not have that worry of what my bill would be come the end of the cruise.
I splurged and scheduled a massage that was good but not worth the price. Also, what they don't tell you is they automatically charge you an 18% gratiuity. While I was prepared to tip anyway, I'm sure that could catch some people off guard, like the woman in front of me in line who had already given her massage therapist a $20 cash tip and then was met with another $20 charge on her sail and sign card. I did have to fight for it, but I managed to get them to reimburse my friend who missed her massage since she was throwing up all day from the rocky seas. It took some convincing but I'm glad that they came to their senses and refunded her.
Disembarkment was a mess. We had to be out of our rooms at 8:30 and we chose to take our luggage with us. It took us almost 2 hours in all of the lines we had to stand in to get off the ship, then the line to get through customs. Communication on this ship was not good at all. We had to go to guest services multiple times to ask questions that probably should of been communicated to us.
All in all the cruise itself was "Just Alright". It was nice to be away and in nice weather and not having to go to work, but I would never cruise with Carnival again. Even though we got a pretty good deal on the cruise, and our expectations were low, it still was kind of a disappointment. It's what you make of it though, and we all still had a great time with each other. Next time, we'll spend a little extra money and go with another cruise line.
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