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Carnival Elation Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1094 reviews
2 Awards

Another Great Cruise into the Memory Book

Review for Carnival Elation to the Western Caribbean
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Ronn452
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Value for Money
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Dining
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Sail Date: Mar 2011
Cabin: Ocean View

My wife and I drove to Mobile on the day prior. We stayed at the Renaissance Riverview Hotel across from the port. They offered a good rate on Cruise and Park with shuttle service to and from the port. The hotel has fairly recently undergone a major facelift. The overall theme is nautical; the lobby has glasswork resembling waves and a fountain that bring the ocean to mind, the elevators announce your "deck" number when you reach your floor, the room numbers are shown on placards that look like the front of a ship, and the rooms are decorated with nautical paintings. Lastly, the floor to ceiling windows give a great view of the port and ship (unless it is fogged in). For dinner, we walked up Dauphin Street to Wintzells, a seafood restaurant that has been there since the mid '30s. It's a hole in the wall place similar to a restaurant/bar in New Orleans. The seafood is fresh and the quantities are large. The walk is about six blocks, but that is a good way to walk off the dinner!On cruise morning, the ship docked about an hour late due to the fog. We shuttled from the hotel about 1:00 p.m. and dropped off the luggage and joined the crowd of cruisers. We were able to use the VIP check-in and were on the ship by 1:30. While the other lines were long, they were moving quickly.On-board, we dropped off our carry-ons in the cabin and made for the Lido deck.After a quick lunch of Reuben sandwiches, we wandered to the Spa (for my wife) and toured the Promenade deck. From there we attended the mandatory muster drill. Because the weather was in the mid 70's, it wasn't too bad.The Ship: For her age, the Elation looks really good. After the fairly recent facelift, she shows little wear. I may have missed some minor defects but I would rather spend my time enjoying the cruise than critiqing the minor flaws. The Cabin: First was Calica, a commercial port a few miles south of Playa del Carmen. There is nothing at the port except a few vendors with the usual trinkets for sale. In the afternoon, there was a Mayan dance group that was entertaining and pictureque. We chose to take the ship's excursion to Tulum. I highly recommend this tour if you have any interest in Mayan history and seeing well preserved ruins on a beautiful Caribbean location. My wife, who is not a history buff, thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Mayan culture. Our tour guide,Cesar, spoke Spanish, English, and Mayan. The Mayan language sounds nothing like Spanish, and has more roots in Asian languages; as do the physical traits of the Mayans. If you take a video camera, there is a nominal charge of $4.00. It is well worth the fee to take videos. To really get a feel of the size and beauty of the site, a video is the best method of recording the magnitude of the ruins and the beautiful views of the sea. The tour lasts about four and a half hours. At the end of the site visit, Cesar met us at the bus with a cold, wet facecloth, a bag of chips and a bottle of water. A DosEquis could be purchased for a few dollars from the bus driver or you could buy five for ten dollars at one of the restaurants at the site.The Dining: We were at a table of 10. Included were two couples from Missouri and four young men from Long Island, NY. All were absolutely the best of dinner guests. It made for wonderful dining. Our head waiter, Ratu, could not have been more gracious and acccommodating. She was one of the more personalble waiters we have ever had.The Shows: Unfortunately, we only attended the Kareoke a couple of nights and it was absolutey hilarious. The total lack of talent only punctuated the quality of true entertainers. The Service: In the dining room, as I said, was impeccable. In the cabin, it was the same. The serving staff in Tiffany's was quite good as were those on the Lido deck by the pool. The only negative I have is the slowness cleaning off the tables in the casual dining area (Tiffanys) and out by the pool. Plates, utensils, and glasses were allowed to sit for extende periods. It not only hampered finding a table to use but also looked quite bad. This was the first ship I have encountered with this problem on any of the cruise lines.The Ports: First was Calica, a commercial port a few miles south of Playa del Carmen. There is nothing at the port except a few vendors with the usual trinkets for sale. In the afternoon, there was a Mayan dance group that was entertaining and pictureque. We chose to take the ship's excursion to Tulum. I highly recommend this tour if you have any interest in Mayan history and seeing well preserved ruins on a beautiful Caribbean location. My wife, who is not a history buff, thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Mayan culture. Our tour guide,Cesar, spoke Spanish, English, and Mayan. The Mayan language sounds nothing like Spanish, and has more roots in Asian languages; as do the physical traits of the Mayans. If you take a video camera, there is a nominal charge of $4.00. It is well worth the fee to take videos. To really get a feel of the size and beauty of the site, a video is the best method of recording the magnitude of the ruins and the beautiful views of the sea. The tour lasts about four and a half hours. At the end of the site visit, Cesar met us at the bus with a cold, wet facecloth, a bag of chips and a bottle of water. A DosEquis could be purchased for a few dollars from the bus driver or you could buy five for ten dollars at one of the restaurants at the site.On Cozumel, we only wandered around the port shops. We did not go into San Miquel because we had done so several times before. If you have not been, a trip into town is nice and great for some photos. At the shops at the port, we noticed very little activity in the silver shops; perhaps a sign of the American economy and the escalating price of silver. There were three other ships in port; the Carnival Imagination, the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas, and The Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas. We have booked a cruise on the Voyager in October to sail from Barcelona to New Orleans, so it was good to get a glimpse of her.Disembarkation was typical; a large group of self-assist and the remainder waiting on their number to be called. Using a porter to go through Customs and Immigration seems to speed up the process a good bit. From the time we left the ship until we boarded the hotel's shuttle was about twenty minutes.Overall, a great cruise on a really well kept ship. I really hate to see Carnival pulling out of Mobile. The hotels and the terminal there are great assets to cruising. While it does have its problems with traffic, the parking deck being adjacent and the friendliness of the terminal staff make up for it.

Cabin Review

Ocean View

Cabin 6A

First was Calica, a commercial port a few miles south of Playa del Carmen. There is nothing at the port except a few vendors with the usual trinkets for sale. In the afternoon, there was a Mayan dance group that was entertaining and pictureque. We chose to take the ship's excursion to Tulum. I highly recommend this tour if you have any interest in Mayan history and seeing well preserved ruins on a beautiful Caribbean location. My wife, who is not a history buff, thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Mayan culture. Our tour guide,Cesar, spoke Spanish, English, and Mayan. The Mayan language sounds nothing like Spanish, and has more roots in Asian languages; as do the physical traits of the Mayans. If you take a video camera, there is a nominal charge of $4.00. It is well worth the fee to take videos. To really get a feel of the size and beauty of the site, a video is the best method of recording the magnitude of the ruins and the beautiful views of the sea. The tour lasts about four and a half hours. At the end of the site visit, Cesar met us at the bus with a cold, wet facecloth, a bag of chips and a bottle of water. A DosEquis could be purchased for a few dollars from the bus driver or you could buy five for ten dollars at one of the restaurants at the site.

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