We drove down from the Atlanta area on Saturday, November 23 and checked into the Country Inn and Suites. We reserved the Cruise Park and Stay package, which I highly recommend if you drive in. We wanted a little down time before we sailed away on Monday for our Thanksgiving cruise. We played Putt-Putt, shopped, went to the beach, etc. Great hotel, great staff. I recommend going to Preacher Bar if you get the chance. It's a brief walk from the hotel. We reserved the Cruise Park and Stay package, which I highly recommend if you drive in.
We chose this particular cruise for the ports, the convenience of Port Canaveral, and, since we were bringing our adult children and grandchild - the price couldn't be beat! Plus, I didn't have to cook on Thanksgiving :) We are Platinum members with Carnival, having sailed with them on over 20 cruises, but this was our first sailing on a Fantasy Class ship. I will say, though it was smaller than most of the ships we've been on, we never felt cramped or too crowded, nor did we feel the movement/rocking that others have mentioned. We had perfect weather and perfect seas for the entire cruise.
Port Canaveral has embarkation down to a science. We've never boarded a ship in 15 minutes - EVER!
After reading all of the negative reviews I was a bit concerned, but when we boarded, I knew we were going to be just fine.
The ship is a little dated and a little rusty; but was clean. We booked inside cabins, which were just fine - plenty of room and well maintained by our cabin stewards.
We enjoyed the Sea Day Brunch, the Deli, and of course the ice cream/frozen yogurt. Guy's Burger Joint was great, as always. We always seemed to miss The Blue Iguana since it was only open for limited hours.
Jen, the Cruise Director, was amazing. She has the perfect personality for the job!
We saw two great comedians in the Punchliner Comedy Club, and only went to one musical production - DIVAS. It was O.K.
Our ports were Amber Cove, D.R. and Grand Turk. We didn't book and excursion in Amber Cove, choosing to instead hang out at the cruise port at the pool. We did reserve a poolside cabana at Margaritaville in Grand Turk, which was a great experience. I highly recommend it - we had great service, air conditioning, privacy. Just perfect.
We won't think twice about booking another sailing on a Fantasy Class ship in the future.
All in all, don't let the negative reviews sway you from booking on the Elation, and remember, a vacation is what you make of it. Go out and enjoy yourself - it's better than being in the office for a week.
Spacious and well maintained.
Highly recommend the pool side cabana'sView All 31 Margaritaville Reviews