11 Mobile Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it appeared to be affordable and we had 25 people going. It was a disaster from the get go. I can’t blame anything on our cabin stewards. They went above and beyond to help us out. Dining in ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it appeared to be affordable and we had 25 people going. It was a disaster from the get go. I can’t blame anything on our cabin stewards. They went above and beyond to help us out. Dining in the celebration dining room was great. Entertaining and a decent selection. They do NOT update menus online so do not rely on the app to be correct. I guess they look at what you spend to determine how to treat you. We booked the Cat In The Hat Breakfast as soon as we got on board. We were told to be at the 8:30. When we arrived we were told we were bumped to 9:45 because of overbooking. So we had two upset kids that we had to pacify for an hour. I will say the breakfast was worth the wait. I wouldn’t recommend Carnival or this ship for families. This would be a great party ship but the activities are not what I expected. Camp for the kids was basically 20 kids in a room with a play kitchen. My grandson hated it and didn’t want to go back. We had a handicapped room because my husband has hip and knee issues and needed it. The cabin was beside the service elevator so it was extremely LOUD all night. We were woken up at 2am nightly by crew singing in the service area. We also had a fire on the ship which caused a bit of drama. People wanted to get to their kids and couldn’t. I am sure carnival will hear more from them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
5 hours from Mobile so we drove down. Getting on and off the boat simple and easy in Mobile. It’s a nice big port with $70/5 day parking. Get a better ship in there it would be worth it. We chose this cruise because we wanted to take ... Read More
5 hours from Mobile so we drove down. Getting on and off the boat simple and easy in Mobile. It’s a nice big port with $70/5 day parking. Get a better ship in there it would be worth it. We chose this cruise because we wanted to take our 4 boys (10 to 17) and it was cheapest we found. The boys thought it was awesome, and for them it was, my wife and I not so much. But before I go further I do want to say that everyone was super nice and friendly. It was my first cruise and if it wasn’t for people I know that wouldn’t lie to me it would be my last. It was like staying in a musty ran down motel with excellent room service (if that makes sense), the king size bed was so uncomfortable that I was ready to take the frame out in the hall and lay the mattress on the floor. We paid for extra for an ocean view which landed us at the main back of the noisy ship but that was a WASTE because the window had not been cleaned in so long that you couldn’t be 100ft past the back of the ship. The food was ok the best was Guy Fieri burgers and the Blue Iguana was great. We ate lunch there and dined at ships restaurant it was ok fancy food cooked up and served with a smile but lacked variety and flavor I thought. And believe me I tried everything 6 people 4 being teenage boys can put some food away and I tried everything that we ordered. The entertainment was ok I enjoyed name that song, the live music at the bar and marriage game was halirious. Kevin wasss ssso over the top but he wassss funny I thought (If you know him you’ll get that). The shows were ok except for the Country Roads show it was terrible I thought. The ports were ok, Progreso that shops were in your face almost. Cozumel the boys swam with the nurse sharks and stingrays they had fun but they had never done anything like that but it’s was like a petting zoo in the ocean where you can touch it if your fast enough to corner it. I’ve found out that I just can’t afford to take 6 ppl on a cruise. I’ll find a resort, condo, time share or something else because the 5 days on the boat with the excursion was over 6K. I just read over this... Lol I sound like a hateful old man but one of the easiest going guys I know. I just excepted more and better Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was most definitely not our first cruise, in fact, I turned platinum on this cruise, and DH will turn platinum in April. But last year after a great cruise in December to the Bahamas, I said to my DH, I really miss true Mexican ... Read More
This was most definitely not our first cruise, in fact, I turned platinum on this cruise, and DH will turn platinum in April. But last year after a great cruise in December to the Bahamas, I said to my DH, I really miss true Mexican food, so when we got home from dinner, we went on line and booked the Fantasy. We had cruised to Mexico from New Orleans, but we wanted to try sailing from Mobile, as we had never been to Mobile. We drove from Atlanta to Saraland, where we had booked the Microtel. A small hotel chain owned by Wyndom (sp) hotels. We had the park and cruise option, which was fantastic, our room was a mini suite, with a partition between the bedroom (a queen) and a living room, and the window actually opened, and we listened to the rain that night. We had dinner at the Oyster restaurant right next door. The next morning, we got up, went downstairs to our breakfast, repacked, and were on the van at 11:30 to our cruise! The Fantasy is not new, in fact right now it is the oldest ship in the fleet, but our cabin- R4, a porthole cabin, was huge. Considering all that there was to do on the cruise, we didn't spend much time there. But if you are looking for space, for the least amount of money, the front Riviera porthole cabins are spacious. Embarking, really, was a long line, with a long walk up to the Empress deck of the ship. Platinum or not, it really made no difference. Your sail and sign cards are at your cabin, so while DH was having some health issues, I went down, dropped off our bit of carry on, picked up the cards, went back up, got him and went to the Casino bar, where you can smoke even if the ship is refueling. The rest of the time, smoking is at the bar, which gets crowded or up on the Verandah deck. What made this cruise special is that we booked some easy excursions that I thought DH could do (his health is not good) and Carnival really got the excursions right! In Progresso we did the Discover the Mayan World, and we saw all that we wanted plus more. A nice bus, a great driver and tour guide (Arturo) and we saw the salt flats with the pink water, the flamingoes that winter there, the Xcambo ruins-pronounced eshcampo- a church in a truly Mayan town, and a great lunch spot on the beach. In Cozumel, we did Discover Mexico, which is basically an art and history museum, and saw the Paplanta (sp) flyers. Trust me, you will not witness this just every day of your life. So, the excursions were great, the dining room staff for ATD that we had, Divina and crew were great, the food was good, and in fact, we never even ate pizza this time, we actually enjoyed all that we tried. DH's highlight was winning the Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest ( I have no idea why I even compete against him) and my highlight was being able to share information about the arts in Atlanta to the group at the Veteran's program meeting. (DH was Air Force). Cruising is what you make it, yes I can tell you it's an old ship, and there is rust. But who cares, if floats, it provides entertainment, and it a fun time or quiet time depending on what you need. The only downside was disembarking-here I was thinking, well I am platinum (serves me right) and we got the wrong memo, we were in the wrong place, and we almost didn't get any special service until I went down stairs and figured out what was wrong. There was a lot of lack of communication on this cruise, but we had a good time, we got off OK and we got picked up by the very sweet group at Microtel, drove back to Atlanta, and got home, by 5. p.m.. Would I do it again, you betcha-going in April. Oh, one thing I forgot to mention, and it's a ladies room thing-they changed the locks on all the public stalls in the ladies room, to cheap breakable plastic locks, that are impossible to use, if it ain't broke why fix it? Well they changed it, and most people had terrible times trying to get out of the stalls. Just a heads up. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Chose this cruise for our annual family trip due to it being close enough to drive to from Nashville. We were treated horribly from the moment we pulled up until we pulled off. We pulled up and tried to get someone to grab our luggage that ... Read More
Chose this cruise for our annual family trip due to it being close enough to drive to from Nashville. We were treated horribly from the moment we pulled up until we pulled off. We pulled up and tried to get someone to grab our luggage that needed to be checked in and we kept getting passed over while cars further back were being taken care of. A gentleman finally came to our car and apologized. He was upset and let us know that this was common due to other employees not wanting to wait on Black customers because we don’t tip. We brushed it off and went inside to check in. We had a person who required handicap assistance so we went inside and requested help. We had to wait over an hour because people were picking up a customer and not returning to get the next handicapped patron. Eventually supervisors were called in to assist to make sure we didn’t all miss the ship. We finally made it to our room and the stench from the bathroom almost made us vomit. We went into the muster meeting and were initially denied a seat for our person in a cane until we really pushed the issue. The entire cruise was filled with rude service, cold food and closed shops. We went to Guest Service and was told that we should have came to complain each time we had an issue instead of waiting until the third day. After talking to several people on the ship of different ages and races we were sad to realize that the prejudice against African Americans by African Americans was taking place through out the ship. During meal times only one line on the lido deck was open nightly and the food was always cold. Guys burger joint and the other restaurant were not open for dinner. The $10 store was barely opened. The young lady who worked there was extremely rude. If it had not been for Mr Sanchos this would have been a complete bust Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The staff and service on the ship is outstanding. They all work hard to try to please you. This is the redeeming quality of the ship. Everyone should make sure the staff is compensated by leaving gratuities on their bill. It isn't ... Read More
The staff and service on the ship is outstanding. They all work hard to try to please you. This is the redeeming quality of the ship. Everyone should make sure the staff is compensated by leaving gratuities on their bill. It isn't fair to remove them! This ship is way past due for a remodel. We were in a handicap room for my mother-in-law. Bathroom smelled like mold, exhaust wasn't working very well. I immediately reported. Our room steward worked diligently with maintenance to try to get it to smell better. They sprayed something on the mold and it made it livable, but in 2 days the smell was back. Maintenance attempted to repair the exhaust, but failed. They were several places in the common areas of the ship that smelled moldy also. They definitely have moisture issues that need to be addressed. My elderly mother-in-law didn't notice, but I did. So if you don't have a good sense of smell, you will be OK. Food was just OK. Mainly high calorie, high fat foods. You have to pay extra for a better cut of meat now - $20 per meal. The coffee shop has decent desserts for a reasonable price $2 - $3. Desserts in the dining room weren't that great. Ordered the chocolate melting cake the first night. It was served cold and wasn't very good cold. I didn't go on any excursions because of taking care of mother-in-law. There isn't much in the 2 ports if you don't go on an excursion. Cruise is geared for 20 - 30 year olds. Not much in the way of sofisticated enrichment programs. The 3 people that I was travelling with were disappointed that there wasn't an assigned time to meet other bridge players. We were also disappointed in the shows. They were about 30 minutes long, not the elaborated shows that we remembered from past Carnival cruises. Cruise Director works hard to make the cruise fun. It is just difficult for someone in a wheelchair or walker to get around on a large ship. I would not recommend. Spent so much time on board waiting on an elevator that we could fit into with her scooter. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We had not problems getting on or off the ship. Love the fact you can prepay your parking and not have to do anything give them the luggage and park. This was closet to our home, we only want to do a short cruise. We had the some of the ... Read More
We had not problems getting on or off the ship. Love the fact you can prepay your parking and not have to do anything give them the luggage and park. This was closet to our home, we only want to do a short cruise. We had the some of the best dinning room server's on any cruise, we had dinner at a 12 people table and enjoyed talking every night. We enjoyed the food. It was our first time with the American Table I did not see that really matters about the table clothes only on the tables on Elegant night. I like the smaller ships a lot easier to get around. The shows were good and the cruise was nice. I did not really have a problem with the people smoking. Think they need for choice for late night other than room service or pizza. My husband always goes to bed earlier than me so room service is not a good option. But over all it was a great cuise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I like the fantasy it is a very comfy uncomplicated boat. Mobile is a mess from parking to getting off. Plan on eating a late breakfast and not even trying to get off till 9 or after.. No mints on turn down no lobster dinner, no videos, ... Read More
I like the fantasy it is a very comfy uncomplicated boat. Mobile is a mess from parking to getting off. Plan on eating a late breakfast and not even trying to get off till 9 or after.. No mints on turn down no lobster dinner, no videos, That said the staff was awesome as usual. pools and slides nicely updated. The cabins are older no fridges. first port ,progreso is a pit unless you want to see the ruins, This is my second time to progreso city tour is interesting for 20 min all inclusive beach has awesome pool drinks and food but water is nasty and sand is dirty. Cozumel is amazing as usual either beach or shop dont try to do both beaches are on other side of island. negotiate about ha. lf what they offer for any excursion .kids loved camp carnival but need to extend late night to include comedy shows last night. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose the Fantasy due to its closeness to our home and Mobile isn't difficult to travel through. I'm fairly certain we've sailed on this ship in the past, and most likely out of Jacksonville. Although it's an older ... Read More
We chose the Fantasy due to its closeness to our home and Mobile isn't difficult to travel through. I'm fairly certain we've sailed on this ship in the past, and most likely out of Jacksonville. Although it's an older Carnival ship and shows a lot of rust, inside, it's still very comfortable, EXCEPT for the main theater. The second level is absolutely the worst. Maybe, the front row has view-able seating, I don't think there's a full view of the stage from any other seat. If you're in a wheelchair/scooter, there's two spots where you can sit, and can only enter the theater from the middle entrance because of stairs on both side entrances. We no longer use the main dining, so I have no comment about that area. The day we sailed, it was "cold" by southern Alabama/northwest Florida standards, and for that reason, it felt to us impossible to find a warm spot inside. We were finally able to find a comfortable area near the '"Bistro", and spent a lot of time there. It did warm up when we arrived at our first stop, Progresso, Mexico. Our cabin was what we expected only it seemed a little smaller this time. Our cabin steward Adrian, was there for all our needs (an additional blanket and an ice bucket, always filled. Dining in the buffet and at Guy Fieri's left a little to be desired. From previous cruises on Carnival, we were looking forward to wolfing down a few of Guy's burgers. This time though, the burgers were cold and very dry. We did only go there the one time. Something Guy might want to look into. As for the buffet, on most evenings, only one side was open, so there were long lines, but with plenty of friendly people, the wait didn't seem quite so long. If the food didn't sound/look appealing there was always the "Deli" or "Pizza Pirate". I was disappointed to find out they no longer had sausage to put on their pizzas. Entertainment is the typical shows provided on cruise ships, with fewer and fewer available. Didn't see the comedians, but the "Motown" show was entertaining for the time we spent there. Embarking was probably as bad as it gets, for us anyway. As anyone who lives in/around Mobile, the cruise port is very close to I-10 and should be very easy to get into. We exited the interstate at about 11:10 and got onto the ship about two hours later! From the route we traveled, from the east, three lanes must manage to get down to one, and from that point, we needed to merge with traffic, from the west, also backed up. There were police at that merge point and I guess they were being fair merging the vehicles. When you get to the parking garage, there is, again, one lane to get to where we can find a parking spot, but before that, it's like a gauntlet with two rows of cars on either side, loading and unloading passengers and luggage, and some of those vehicles are waiting to get back into the center lane to get to parking of their own! Now, speaking from a wheelchair being used, the elevator in the parking garage is separate from the elevator needed to get to Carnival area. A lot of confusion there, and again, they seem to promote the "funnel down process" with 2-3 lines needing to get to one lane in order to get through security screening. Eventually, we were on the ship. And the safety briefing, the longest one we've ever sat through. Most people realize the importance of the briefing, but this was way over the top. Disembarking was really a breeze in comparison. Any delays there very small. Service, as always, was excellent, from our cabin steward, to guest services, to buffet personnel. We had pre-planned shore excursions in both Progresso and Cozumel. Both were enjoyable and relaxing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We started our road trip from MN and headed for Fairhope, AL where we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. We booked this hotel through Stay123.com. We paid $130 for a very large suite and this included a shuttle ride to the ship in Mobile ... Read More
We started our road trip from MN and headed for Fairhope, AL where we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. We booked this hotel through Stay123.com. We paid $130 for a very large suite and this included a shuttle ride to the ship in Mobile and our van stayed at the hotel. It was a great deal. Getting On Board: Very organized and we didn't have any problems. From the time we got dropped off to when we boarded the ship was less than 1 hour. Dining: The first night we ate in the dining room and it was nice, but the kids preferred the buffet for the rest of our meals which was fine with me. I thought the food was very good and there was a good variety. A good salad bar and lots of fresh fruit. Each night there were different meats/fish. My son loved the 24 hour Pizzaria and it was very good pizza. There was a sushi bar, but we never went to it because each night they had sushi at the buffet. It was very good. They usually had two different kinds. The kids had lots of ice cream too as that was also 24 hours. I enjoyed the Mongolian Wok. The grill on the Lido Deck was good too. The kids enjoyed burgers and chicken strips. Breakfast was good too. I regret I didn't have an omelet, but there was always so many choices. The buffet was never crowded except for Sunday at lunch they had fried chicken and a chocolate buffet. I don't know where everyone came from! Swimming: It was a bit cool, but my kids are from MN so they enjoyed the pool and the waterslide. Cabin: Yes you can fit 5 people in one cabin and it is comfortable. One of our younger kids slept with us in the king bed and then there were two upper berths. When we first arrived they had a rollaway in our room too, but we asked them to take it because there wouldn't have been enough space for all of our luggage. we weren't in our room much so it was just fine. I did bring the shoe organizer for the bathroom door that someone suggested and that was a great idea. There was a lot of closet space. The bedding was very nice and the bed was comfortable. we also brought an electrical strip for charging ipods and the kids DS. I really liked having the ocean view so we could look out. the bathroom was plenty big enough too. Excursion: My oldest son and I did the Cozumel Amazing Race. We had a great time and were able to see the back roads of Cozumel and also the downtown area. Then we ended with a nice lunch and a couple of beers for me. It was a lot of fun! Entertainment: Absolutely great shows. Very professional. On the last night we saw their new production "Win" and it was very good. we also went to a couple comedy shows and they were good two. The kids enjoyed playing ping pong, basketball and miniature golf. My daughter went to Camp Carnival once and had a good time, but one boy kept staring at her and stuck his tongue out at her so that was the end of it for her. My sons had no interest in going to Camp Carnival or Club O2.We loved getting the Fun Times each night to see all the activities we could do the next day. The kids also like the towel creatures. Cleanliness: I thought the ship was very clean and the staff was constantly cleaning the entire ship. They even polished the metal strips of the steps! Debarkation:We originally planned to do self assist, but changed our minds the night before as we thought it might be too hard for the kids. We just took our time and had breakfast and enjoyed our last couple of hours on the ship. Keep in mind that even if you do self assist you can still take your time and enjoy breakfast. You can go off when you are ready as long as they have already called your deck. Some people were ahead of me in the breakfast buffet and the Riviera deck was called and they were all bummed and put their plates down and took off. Overall: This was a fantastic vacation! We loved the Elation and will go again. We never felt crowded except for fried chicken at Tiffany's. Food was great! They also were aware we were traveling with 2 special needs kids and called us to make sure everything was okay and to contact them if we needed anything. When we left Cozumel it was very windy so it got pretty rocky. It was kind of hard to walk around and they put barf bags by all of the elevators. My daughter got a bit of a headache at bedtime and it rocked us to sleep and was fine by morning. Don't miss the Farewell Party. We went and didn't realize they passed out free drinks and kept coming around with more. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
About us: DH (52), myself (51), hubbys sister and her hubby (both late 60s). This is my 5th cruise, hubby's 4th and the third for the inlaws. We booked this cruise about 6 months ago and have been counting down the days! ... Read More
About us: DH (52), myself (51), hubbys sister and her hubby (both late 60s). This is my 5th cruise, hubby's 4th and the third for the inlaws. We booked this cruise about 6 months ago and have been counting down the days! Monday - November 29, 2010 We had been told on this board to be to the port by 1015am. Let me tell you they will NOT let anyone in before 1030. We got there around 1015 and were turned away, so we turned onto a side street with lots of other earlybirds and waited. Once 1030 came, we got in line with and waited our turn with everyone else. The two biggest hold ups were the line to drop the luggage and then once inside to get our S&S cards, but they weren't bad. We were in line by 1030 (to drop off luggage) and sitting on the Lido deck having lunch by noon. Not bad at all! Hall doors to the cabins were opened at 130pm on the nose, so we headed up to check out our cabins. We had an oceanview M160 and the inlaws were across from us in M162. To us, the cabin was small (our past 2 cruises we had balconies), but did the job. If we wanted to see out of the window, we had to crawl across the bed. Not a good set up at all, but we survived... lol. Saftey Briefing (Lifeboat drill) for us was on the Lido deck, so after some more exploring we headed up there and got a table and DH got the first of several cheeseburgers from the grill... lol. We lucked out and could stay at our table during the briefing. Sail away was promptly at 4ish... and we were off!! DH and I stayed up front and watched us leave the dock and stayed out as long as we could (it was getting a bit cold) before heading back to our cabin to see if our luggage was there. It was, so we unpacked and cleaned up for dinner. Note: I had sent a letter off to the Casino Players Club and received a letter back stating that I was eligible for their "standard bon voyage package". In our room we received a plate of 4 chocolate covered strawberries and at dinner the first night, one of the casino staff brought me a $15 off coupon for a photo. We got to the dining room and had a table next to a window (proved useless since it was dark by dinner time.. haha). SIL and BIL arrived shortly after we did as did the rest of our tablemates. We enjoyed dinner in the dining room each night but one when DH and I had dinner in the buffet. People dressed in all different ways. We saw some in camo hunting clothes, some in shorts, and some dressed up in suits and dresses. We were usually dressed casual (DH in dockers and a polo shirt) and me in slacks and a blouse. The food was great, as always. Our waiter and his assistant were both wonderful! After dinner, the 4 of us headed to the casino and then to our cabins. SIL and BIL went to the Welcome Aboard show and loved it. I was tired and needed some sleep since I had not slept much the night before!!! Tuesday - November 30, 2010 Woke up at 630am and room service was delivered by 7. Enjoyed our coffee and Danish before cleaning up and heading to the dining room for breakfast with the inlaws. Had a wonderful breakfast (the was a first for me since we usually have breakfast buffet and sit outside but it was a bit too cool still). We all then headed to the trivia game and then to the casino for the slot tourney. I came in last.. haha! We shopped and ate and played some more until it was time to get ready for Elegant night. Had pictures taken all over the ship and then headed to the dining room for dinner. DH LOVED his lobster and I was very happy with my prime rib!! All was very good. After dinner, we headed downstairs to change and then met up in the theater to watch "Just Rock". Very good! DH and I headed to bed since we had an early morning excursion in Calica. Wednesday - December 1, 2010 Room service was delivered by 7am and Greg and I were ready and off the ship by 9. We had booked the "Playa del Carmen shopping and Beach tour". Shopping was a bit expensive. If you take this tour, wait until you get to Cozumel to shop. We did look around the shopping area and got husband a couple of tshirts for $5 each (good price) before boarding the bus and heading to the resort for food/drinks/beach. Once there and once I changed into my suit, I was in heaven! White sands, sun, and warmish water (it was cold at first but you got used to it real quick!) Only had trouble once with people coming by wanting you to buy their stuff and they were ran off quickly. We got some guacamole and chips and it was wonderful. Back on the bus and back to the ship by 3. Next time, we will probably just do a beach break or stay onboard the ship. We left the port around 6pm. Thursday December 2, 2010 Today is Cozumel day. It was dark and cloudy and about to dump LOTS of rain on us... or that's how it looked anyway. (The weather did clear up a few hours later and made for a beautiful day!) Room service by 630 and off the ship by 730! We decided to do a tour today (we usually don't) and chose the City Tour, Beach break and lunch. My advice - get a cab and do it yourself... lol. It was fun and informative, our guide was great. We went to a church, the military base, a tequila factory, downtown for shopping and then some lunch. Lunch was not great... just ok. Beach break, not worth it. It's a manmade waterfront. No beach to speak of. Instead, if you wanted to swim, we had to use their pool. The tequila factory was fun. It's not a working factory, but they explain how tequila is made. You get to sample different types of tequila, including a chocolate tequila.... Which was great!! I did learn something this trip. I had wondered what the difference was in the 3 piers in Cozumel. Our guide explained that the Punta Langosta pier was for NCL, the International Pier is for RCL and Puerta Maya is for Carnival. Each has its own shopping areas and restaurants. Whether this is true or not, I don't know. I do know that both Carnival ships were docked at Puerta Maya and the Norwegian Epic was docked at Punta Langosta. There was no RCL ship in port that day. After shopping, we were back on board for a snack and to watch sail away at 5pm, which was the same time as the Past Guest Party. We chose to stay outside watching us leave port. We also chose to have dinner in the buffet, just the two of us this night. We checked out the menu for the dining room and then checked out the buffet and they were pretty much serving the same things, minus one or two items. We enjoyed our quiet dinner and then headed to the theater to watch the new show "Win". It was lots of fun and we both enjoyed it. Greg enjoyed Just Rock better while I enjoyed Win more. After the show, we headed to the casino to play but could not due to the amount of smoke. I quit smoking a year ago (DH quit 9 months ago) and while I fully agree that smokers have rights, I now fully understand how nonsmokers feel. We decided to go shopping for pictures since I had that nice $15 off coupon. We found one we really liked, luckily it was a Christmas shot on the staircase in the atrium. We bought that and ended up getting our Christmas cards too!! NOTE: When you purchase Christmas cards, you do not get envelopes. And if you wait until the last night to order them, you get 5 extra. Friday - December 3, 2010 Our last day was spent sleeping in late (9am!) and then heading to breakfast at the buffet. We shopped more, went the chocolate buffet at noon and had a late lunch. We participated in some of the trivia games and packed before dinner. After dinner we headed back to our cabin to make sure our alcohol had arrived and wanted to finish packing before the 1030 show in the theater. We got packed and got our luggage into the hallway and decided to watch a little TV before heading to the theater. Hahaha, we never made it. We both passed out and slept until it was time to get up the next morning!! Saturday - December 4, 2010 We were supposed to be out of our rooms by 830, so we headed to breakfast in the dining room at 7 and then back to our cabin to get our carry ons and wait for our call to leave the ship (we were #20). We waited on the Promenade deck (inside) until we were called. Our number was called at 910 and we were in the van and heading out by 10.... Less than an hour. Not bad at all!! We did get a porter who went with us to our car, thank god. Between the 4 of us, we had 8 bags!!! Note: As we got up to the customs agent, his "buzzer" went off. He said he knew it wasn't us and asked us to wait a minute. He walked over to another agent and then to another before finding out what (or who) caused his buzzer to go off. When he got back to us, I asked him what that was for and he stated that it checked for radiation. He said usually people who set it off have recently had a stress test. Learn something new every day!! Overall thoughts: The ship was beautiful and I loved the dEcor. We had a great time, but until she gets a full makeover, I doubt we will sail on her again. Our cabin was clearly showing the wear and tear of age. Yes, it was clean and we were comfortable but the carpet was worn and the desk was scuffed and scratched. The staff was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Warning this is a very lengthy review but full of information. We stayed the night before just north of Mobile in Saraland, AL. It was close enough to downtown only taking about 15 minutes to drive down I-65S to I-165S that dead ends ... Read More
Warning this is a very lengthy review but full of information. We stayed the night before just north of Mobile in Saraland, AL. It was close enough to downtown only taking about 15 minutes to drive down I-65S to I-165S that dead ends right on to Water Street that runs right in front of the dock. We used free hotel points so this more than made up for the price of parking at the port. We did have to drive past and flip around to get in to the parking deck line since they had the other street blocked off as an exit only for debarking passengers out of the parking deck. Got there about 10:30. Once in line it did not take long to drive into the deck, (about 7 minutes) a porter took our cabins bags right as we pulled in (tipped him $5 for 3 bags and he said that was the best tip for him so far), drove up the ramp to pay the $75 cash to park and got a spot in handicapped on the 2nd floor near the elevators. Did not seem like many cars were left from the previous cruise when we parked around 10:45. I know many complain of the high cost to park but hotels with free parking are located near by. We made it in side, down the elevator and were able to go right through to the guest assisted line which probably saved about 30-45 minutes of standing like others did. We only had about a 10 minute wait after getting our Sail and Sign cards until they called the VIP's and guest assisted to start boarding. They took our Embarkation photo and then we took the long walk up the gangway. We could have waited for a wheel chair and had someone push DH up the ramp but he was feeling alright in his knee brace and only had to stop twice walking up with his cane, with our carry on bags. It was sprinkling a little outside, just enough to wet the pavement but not too bad. Once on board you enter right on to the Empress deck near our cabin, E65, but we could not see the door with the hallway door closed. So we sat right at the Plaza Bar in the Atrium and got our "Fun Ship" drink of the day just before 11:30. Note: Carnival no longer sells a one a day Fun Drink card as mentioned in some posts. The soft drinks are also no longer a separate card but a sticker placed on your Sail and Sign card and are only available the first two days and not prorated as we had read on earlier posts. We enjoyed talking to the bartender Merinka, and watching folks come aboard. We deposited DH's insulin with Guest services and ordered his sharps container to be delivered to the cabin. I checked with the Shore Excursion Desk on getting the Behind the Scenes Tour. I had been told it was a shorter tour on a 5 day cruise but found it was going to be a full 3 hours so I ended up booking just myself due to all the walking and stairs in the tour, I was the first ticket. After an hour the line coming on thinned out to just a trickle so, we went up to the Lido Deck to get lunch around 12:30 to eat before the next wave came on and the opening of our cabins at 1:30. Many were just getting hamburgers but we went for the carved roast beef with potatoes and salad from the Lido Deck food line. Later we went into Tiffany's and got some ice cream. Must say the food was good for the most part at both of these but food in the sit down dinning rooms was better for us over all. The tea was horrible, very strong, only un-sweet and the lemonade was so sweet and tart we would had to mix our own glass to tolerate it, 1/3 tea, 1/4 lemonade and the rest water and ice. That helped but was very glad I had brought my own crystal light ice tea drink mix packets and drank them for most of the cruise except for a few mixed drinks, wine or water in the dinning room. For breakfast the OJ and apple juices were very good. We finished lunch by 1:30 when the cabins opened up. We went back down to our cabin and found it was already decorated for my Birthday. I will post photos of this handicapped cabin on a separate shorter post, but will talk about it here now. First the door is wider than the normal cabin door and DH found it easy to get in and out. But we still could not easily pass each other if one was standing in the short hallway between the closet and bathroom. For those wanting this room there is light under the door all night and there can be some noise from the Atrium until late but none came from above us like it can on the other side of the ship under the teen club. A word of warning: We did have kids playing the race out of and back to the elevator around the stairs while pounding a door game more than once a night after midnight. The first night it happened three times and our neighbors called security and I sat at our door waiting to pounce on the next kid that did it but they did not return after 15 minutes so I went back to bed around 1:30. During the entire cruise unsupervised kids all but took over the two atrium elevators and we more than once caught them hitting every level or just riding the elevators for fun keeping them so full that other passengers could not get on. I made everyone of them get off more than a few times on level 7 since that is the lowest the elevator goes weather they wanted to get out or not. Had to threaten a few with security or finding their parents to make them behave. But for the most part most of the kids we saw were well behaved and involved in the Ships activities. Some acted better even than some of the adults we saw. We never saw any kids back on the Serenity Adult only area and that area is accessible for handicapped through doors at the back of the Cole Porter lounge even though there are still a few steps, it is better than the whole flight of outside deck stairs. There are only Hot tubs though and they are very hot and depending on how the ship is traveling they can be in full sun making it worse. The covered area is nice and shady but hardly any breeze so it also can be very hot. Best place was the lounge chairs right on the rail under an umbrella, shaded but with the breeze of the ship traveling even if no other wind. Back to the cabin. Our two large bags got to the cabin by 2:00 but our small one with our 12 bottles of water, snacks and empty drink bottles were AWOL for quite sometime. Later (after dinner) it showed up with a letter apologizing that the contents had looked suspicious under their rapid luggage scan and required a later hand inspection to find out that they were not contraband. We spoke with some passengers later unhappy that their bottles of liquor and or pre mixed drink mixes had not been so lucky and where being held until debarkation night. Size of the cabin: With the beds set as twins on the walls there is plenty of room for anyone with a motorized chair or scooter to maneuver in these type rooms. We had the steward put them together the first night but even then we could have put DH's scooter against the bathroom wall and still have had room to walk around the end of the bed, but with the permanent corner night stand that holds the life vests one person does have to crawl over and into that side of the bed under the window. The shower was plenty large enough and the fold down handicapped seat was very ample and easy to put up and down. Word of warning watch your toes when lowering the seat, the seats metal feet can really bruise the toes if dropped on, just ask my DH. The shower head is on a long slide and removable which was very continent. The toilet was hard to push to flush at times, very noisy and sometimes did not want to flush at all, so we only flushed it when we first got up each morning and every time we left the cabin to save on our hands and on water. The entry door is also very hard to loosen from the bathroom door because of the very strong magnet. I put a small footy sock over it held with a hair band to help with that. The medicine cabinet is huge (larger than ours at home) and the sink ample. Not very fond of the bar soap or shampoo in the shower but the shower gel in the shower was ok. It does take a lot of water to wash soap off the skin. Believe the posted warnings: Always turn the cold water on first before the hot. Sometimes just turning on only the cold was fine and luke warm especially in the sink. Did not need the night light we were told to bring due to the light coming in under the door but down on the lower decks I can see where it would be needed. It is dark as a tomb down there. Our steward, Asta, did a great job decorating the room, was only seen when we called for him, but with a note and a $5 tip the first afternoon we always had a full ice bucket, clean towels to replace the ones on the floor, towel animals every night, turn down with mints and at least one copy if not two of the next days activities. (Better than we heard some other passengers got) We did keep one or two towels hung up to dry each day and reuse and these where left alone. We did ask and get one extra pillow and had the beds put together before the first night. We kept the air turned down all the way most of the time and the shades drawn during the heat of the day so our cabin never got hot and sometimes even cold. We did not need the small fan we brought but did offer it to another couple that was very hot in their room down the hall so be forewarned not all rooms are cool even on the same floor. Closet space was more than adequate for us. There are two hanging areas one inside the closet and one right by the door. There are shelves in the closet, the safe takes up one, and extra blankets another, but no drawers, the drawers number only four and are not very deep in the vanity under the mirror. Only kept essentials in the top one and under garments in the rest. Cabin is showing it's age and the drawers very hard to move in and out and not easy to shut all the way. Could have used a few more hangers, doubled up on many, even with bringing all our dressy clothes on their own hangers. Found putting shoes up on the top shelf in the closet easier than digging them off the bottom. Also could not put anything under our beds, Carnival was storing a set of new mattress there but we did store our two small carry ones in the corner floor cabinet with the life vests, have no idea if that was ok or not but it worked for us. Our two large cases we stacked under the vanity where the stool would normally go but we kept it out and used it quite a lot to sit on and set things on so it was not a problem. Kept the small trash can under the round side table. We brought a long heavy duty electric power strip that we plugged into the outlet under the vanity. We only used it at night to plug in anything that needed charging and DH's nebulizer and back massager, we unpluged it during the day and stored it. The six cans of drinks and large bottle of water with sign we placed on the shelf over the clothes by the door and replaced them to the vanity top the night before we debarked not to incur any fees and where the steward could always see them. Dinning: We had anytime dinning and for the most part that worked very well for us. Most nights we ate around 7:30 and never had to wait during normal service time although we did see some people having to wait to be seated on a few occasions as we left. Portions are on the small size so we normally ordered at least one appetizers each and one to share, same with entrees some nights. We never ordered and did not eat them like many people we saw. And would even just ask for just extra individual items like a creamed spinach or baked potato. Carbs are the norm on the ship and it is hard to get enough vegetables unless you ask for them. We brought two bottles of wine on board with us and used them the first and last night. Both times we called room service for a beer bucket of ice, tipping a $1, a few hours before dinner to chill the wine and that worked quite well. We ate most meals alone but seating is so close we had very nice conversations with neighboring dinners and even asked and got a window sitting for four that we shared with a couple we had eaten next to the night before. We only ordered room service for food once and was very disappointed. Called around 9:30 pm, it took over 15 minutes to get through, DH ordered a Ruben which showed up with no sauerkraut on it and only about half of a small bag of chips, 8-10, with it. Could not get room service on the phone again so I took the plate to Guest Services and they had to have someone walk down to room service when they also could not get through on the phone. It took another 20 or so minutes to get a call back from room service and then a new proper sandwich with extra chips to come to the room so we spent a little over 90 minutes in all for this. One major complaint is about the hot meal planning. On excursion days plan to either pay to eat off ship or starve. Both days we got back right at 3:30 when they where closing all the lines on the Lido and in Tiffany's and sit down lunch dinning is over. This only leaves pizza (not very good to me) or what ever is left in the deli for a sandwich. They even take up all the salad items which makes no sense since it is all replaced at dinner time and hour and half later. The first day we had to bully a line service person to let us plate a little food that was still out and grab a small salad, the second day we tried to get a sandwich but they were all out of any bread I would eat and the line was long. We tried room service but again could not get through so we gave up, showered and changed and stood in line early for 45 minutes to get into the dinning room as soon as it opened at 5:45 that night. You would think Carnival would transition even just one hot food line from 3:30 to 4:00 for those coming back on board from excursions. Weather and motion: Even though we had clouds quite a lot while in ports the crew found enough sun during the sailing days. We only felt the ship moving slightly when we where back in Tiffany's, or in the show rooms, and only once during one dinner. The only time the ship really rocked was in the early morning when we were docking to debark back in Mobile at 2:30 a.m. due to the fact that we were not secured to the dock yet before another large barge ship was traveling the channel and rocked us quite a lot even to opening some passengers closet or bathroom doors, that was the all the talk at breakfast. Excursions: We chose not to use Carnival's but do our own at both ports. In Progreso, we wanted to visit Uxmal, not the scheduled ruin trips Carnival offered, so we contacted Autoprogeso, on line before we came, and reserved our tour, they are the same company that supplies the buses from the ship to the shops at the end of the pier. We did not have to pay until we arrived so we were in no danger of losing any money if we had to have cancelled. The tour was just as advertised at $49 per person in an air-conditioned coach bus. You are shuttled from where you met at the fountain in the pier shop square to a staging area with open air local craft booths, note if you want anything from these stands you must buy then because the tour bus will not come back there but drive directly to the pier shops to make sure you make the ship. There are bathrooms there and once you arrive at Uxmal but the bathroom on the bus is use at your own risk. Plan to eat a large breakfast because there is mostly snack foods at Uxmal, There is a restaurant but you won't want to waste the time eating instead of exploring. (The Carnival bus tours may say they include lunch but they are a pitiful box lunch most end up not eating on the bus ride back.) On our tour you do not get back to the port until 2:30-3:00 so there is not much time for shopping even at the port shops. We got back at 2:45 only because some on our bus insisted on stopping at a connivance store to buy and drink beer on the way back. We had a great real Mayan guide, Miguel, that grew up very near Uxmal. The ruins are one of the very best example of Mayan architecture in the area and much easier to see and hike around than others. Shopping in Progreso: We pre shopped at the pier as we walked through so we knew actually what we wanted to get and at what shops the items were located. Buyers Tip: check with your credit card companies before traveling to find the ones that won't charge you international exchange fees when using your card (like Capital One and be sure you notice which currency your charges are in when you sign for them.) They could be either listed as $xx US or $xx NM. Some stores can fool you especially if you charge more than once in the same store. Some can set for which rate the receipt is to print out in for each transaction and if you notice for one that it is in $NM and is for quite a lot like $2,500.00 NM but the next one that should be similar is now in $US you may not pay attention when you sign a receipt for a few T-shirts for $1,999.00 US. Did not happen to us but have heard of it happening prior to our cruise. In Cozumel we shopped in the morning. We tried to stick to the guaranteed shops given in the seminar but we did shop for dresses in one shop that was the only one I found with something I liked in my size. Although a little pricy at $95 it was a nice dress. You can't really haggle in Cozumel like you can in Progreso in the markets but you can try. We did enjoy the Del Sol shop and bought most of our souvenirs there, also one silver chain, got the free DI bracelet and a few of the charms, found the price of gold still too high along with the gems in the stores they were pushing at the seminar. We did get a few bottles of vanilla. Next we went to the 'Chankanaab Park' to 'Dolphin Discovery'. We did both a swim adventure with dolphins and with manatees for an hour each. They also have one available with sea otters. I had heard that these events were far superior to the dolphin only ones at the Dolphinarium that Carnival books. We had a great time, great photo ops, were allowed to bring our own underwater cameras and you could buy a very professional DVD video of your group's experience ($50 each). It was well worth the money. Check on line for the type of event you want, pricing varies and discounts are available quite often if you book early. Even though we pre paid, your money is refundable up until 24 hours prior, so if you can't make the cruise you can still get your money back, also suggest paying with a credit card not a debit card for added protection. It is a rain or shine event though and it did sprinkle for just a little bit on the group just prior to us. We spent around $300 for both of us that included taxi coupon transfers, entry to the park, which covers all the grounds and museums if you want to do that instead of shop in town, a free pool area next to the animal water pens that you can use before or after your event, and the extended swim with the dolphins and manatees. They also have a small snack bar with burgers, nachos, etc that people we asked said tasted good. But we would rather spend money on photos than food we were already paying for on aboard. They also have free lockers available to place all your dry clothes, towels and other items while you are in the water, also showers and changing rooms if needed. Activates on board: We had no kids with us so we can't speak to those. I was pretty happy with the casino games available, we don't play slots or most electronic games so was glad to see at least one roulette and 3-4 black jack tables always open when the casino was open. We did enter and try our luck at the new electronic "Poker Pro" Texas Hold em tournament the first full day cruising. Entry was kind of stiff at $50 each with only 10 players and only two winning places. We did better later in Biloxi at $30 tournaments with 40 players and 3-6 winning places. Won enough on roulette the first night to pay for my poker entry the next day and ended up breaking about even for the cruise. Did not go to all of the shows, only the first night, part of one of the dance reviews, the marriage game (which was a riot), a few of the bingo games ($10 for a single card, $20 for a triple to play all the games that session), a few parts of some adult karaoke nights (pretty awful after the first night, mainly drunks trying to sing). Went to the shopping seminar, no art events, and DH went to the learn how to fold towel animals seminar (which he liked and he bought the book) Note: all the Elation shows are retiring after next month, September 2010, after 12 years and a whole new set will take their place (found out on the behind the scenes tour from the dance manager) She could not say what the new shows would be or if any where ones coming from sister ships or not. Heard at a breakfast that the comedian was good but had to stop his adult late show half way through and revert to his clean show when one family brought in their young kids. I heard they were almost heckled out by drunks that wanted the other version and I am sure those kids heard worse from those adults than the comedian, but I commend him for trying but those parents should have known better. The mini golf looked rather minimal but we saw many of all ages trying it. Note it is on the upper most deck and only accessible by stairs. Photos: Found them to be rather pricey. The Embarkation and small 3x5's run $9.99, 5x7's are $11.99, the large 8x10's for the formal and casual shots are $21.99 each. Word of warning. Many of the formal shots taken are printed with an out of focus "soft lens" effect. Make sure to ask the photographer that is taking the shots if that scene will be one that the "soft lens effect" is to be used on. If so and you don't want all your photos to be out of focus blurry, pick another scene. Note: if you like a photo but don't want it in the size provided when set out in the photo gallery, ask to have only the ones you love printed in the size you want and they will be happy to do so. Also if you already know you aren't going to buy any photo shot that a photographer asks you to pose for please don't accept. You will have a lot more pull with the photo manager to get what you want when you can demonstrate you have tried to be considerate of their service. For example if you know you do not want any single shots only couple shots of just a few formal scenes ask for just those instead of posing for 8 different poses at all 8 or 10 formal and casual scenes. Same goes for the dinning room shots and debarkation shots at every port. Not planning to pay for a picture with a pirate, then don't stand for the photo. The photo manager reprinted the three formal scenes we wanted (removing the 'soft lens effect' from two of them) and two debarkation port shots (originally in two different sizes) in the sizes we wanted and gave us a discounted rate because we had not wasted his film or photographers time. We got three large 8x10 formals and three 5x7's all for just $50 a savings of over $30 including taxes. Other Items to mention: you will have the chance while on board to put down deposits on future cruises that will earn you Sail and Sign credits on your next cruise. It is nice to note that for right now these will last for at least four years and are completely refundable. But what they do not mention is because you have put down an deposit you will get the chance for many discounts many others would never hear about or will be offered to you first before the general public. So even a $50 or $100 deposit can be well worth it in the long run if you enjoyed your cruise and think you will go again in the near future on Carnival. Shops on board will put everything on sale at least once during your cruise so window shop the first day or night and note what prices are of what you want, then watch the capers and see when the items you want will be on sale. Also the last night any discontinued merchandise will be placed out at a lower cost, some items you may not have even seen in the stores during the entire cruise so be sure to check them out for any last minute souvenir you many still need. Behind the Scenes Tour: I thought was worth the $55 price. I did not know until after I had already eaten breakfast that they provided, coffee, juice and Danish in the Piano Bar prior to when the tour leaves at 8:30. You are not allowed to take cameras or cell phones, and you must wear closed toed shoes like tennis shoes. They suggest no small children but one family on our tour did bring a 5 and a 6 year old who were very bored and distracting for most of the tour. Also even though they tell you it is three hours with lots of walking and stairs a few older folks that were slow to keep up also came in our group. The tour price includes a phamlet about the tour, a hat, a lanyard like the one you wear on the tour (without the tour tag) and a large group photo with the captain on the bridge that is delivered to your cabin later that last night. The tour I went on started in the Piano bar and first goes to the galley to meet the chef. You see all the food stations for both dinning rooms and learn how they clean all the dishes, prepare and serve all the meals each day. That morning they were getting ready for the chocolate buffet that night. Next we went to see the back stage area of the large show theater and meet with the Dance manager and stage manager. They explained all the jobs the dancers and performers have besides the shows and how full their days are. We then went down to the embarkation level 3 and down the only hallway that runs the whole length of the ship to the laundry. We were shown how the laundry works and how they get all the linens down and back up to the rooms and dinning areas. They also wash all the uniforms and any guest laundry. The crew must wash their own personal laundry in there own laundry like the ones the guests have on the other upper decks. The tour guide told us a lot about how the crew lives and spends their days. Next we where shown storage rooms and coolers where food stuffs and other items stay during the cruise. How trash is sorted, stored and or disposed of. Next we saw the crew kitchen and dinning area, and areas that sometimes is used for inside crew recreation. Next we were escorted by security down to the engine room to meet the head engineer. He showed us how everything is really controlled at their consoles and that the bridge pretty much just sets the course, steers and docks in and out of port. All the propulsion, ballast control for level sailing, air conditioning, hot water and fresh water production, waste water recycling, trash incineration, and all electrical needs all come through and from the engine room. The Elation has enough electrical power to run New York City. The bridge can do nothing until it is first given to them by the engine room. Very few people even in the crew ever get to go into the main control room. Next we came back up and waited in the crews learning center asking questions until the captain was ready for us up on the bridge. All the bridge crew have their cabins up on the bridge level just steps way from the bridge at all times. We were told they have a small conference room which can also be a dinning room if needed but most of the time they eat in the normal dinning rooms and they all eat the same food the passengers and/or crew eats. While up on the bridge the capital showed us all the duty stations, how control can be moved from side to side from the center while docking and how the isopod propulsion works, the radar, communication center, weather station, and everything else that was asked. We then got our group photo op and the tour went back down to the crew only outside recreation area just in front of and below the bridge which has a small pool and deck area to relax on and then inside to their rec. room with bar, library and computer lounge. Thus ended our three hour tour. Was only disappointed not to see the size of the average crew cabin which I have heard is very small and is shared by at least two if not three crew members each. If this sounds fun to you be sure to be the first to book it as soon as you board. Only 16 per tour can go and most cruises will have no more than two of these tours. Elation does not have the Sail and Sign card TV feature like other Carnival ships so try to stop by guest services at least once on the third or fourth day to be sure charges are going the way you are expecting. Trying to fix something on debarkation morning can be quite challenging and a very long wait as we saw many having to do. The TV does have some fun features like repaying events and shows you may not have had time to get to or while you where off ship. You can also buy a complete cruise event DVD of all the fun they recorded while on board. So if you were in any game, dance class, or just watched a really funny show you liked you might want to purchase this DVD. We also enjoyed the channel that showed the travel of the ship, the camera view of the lido deck that we used to check on the weather and food lines, and the music channels to relax by at night. Debarkation: since we were in no rush and wanted to get all the value we could from our cruise we put out all our large bags and even one of our original carryon's which was now full of just souvenirs out the night before, for a total now of 4 bags. We slept in until 8, went to our sit down breakfast at 8:20 and still got back to our cabin just as they were calling our level and section number a little after 9:30. They reverse the doors for debarkation so everyone filed right by our door making it very easy to just step into the line to leave. Tip: Pay for a porter once you are down at luggage pick up. They will get the bags you indicate from the pile and put all of them including your carry ons on the cart. Porters have a completely separate line to go to customs in and we left the custom counter at the same time with people we know headed down for self debarkation before we even went to breakfast over an hour earlier. We cleared the customs stand before 10 and the porter took all our bags all the way to our truck and even loaded them in to the back seat for us. Well worth the $20 tip. I hope if you read this all the way through you found it to be useful. Have a great cruise when you go. If you have any questions you can contact me at ctsl at bellsouth dot net. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click