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13 Mobile to Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

We booked our cruise on the Carnival Elation at the last minute for Spring break 2011. We drove to the port of Mobile and prepared to board the ship. We booked a "funsaver" rate that they assign your room, NEVER do that!!!!! The ... Read More
We booked our cruise on the Carnival Elation at the last minute for Spring break 2011. We drove to the port of Mobile and prepared to board the ship. We booked a "funsaver" rate that they assign your room, NEVER do that!!!!! The lines were extremely long to check in and board the ship. It was about two hours waiting in long lines. When we finally got on the boat, the buffet was so crowded, there wasn't anywhere to sit!! Our room, E299 was very tiny and cramped for four people. There was two "bunks" that the kids slept on. It was near a maintenance closet, there was loud banging at all hours of the night. The dining room was wonderful and the staff in the dining room was tremendous. The food was delicious. The dining room staff made my 10 year old daughter feel right at home, bringing her food from the kids menu and of course warm chocolate melting cake! The ship always felt crowded, with no seats near the pool or at the shows. The ship is too small for that many people!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We just got home from a 5 night cruise on the Celebrity Elation. There were 6 in our party - all adults and we were there to celebrate mother's 90th birthday. We have not cruised on Carnival before nor will we ever cruise on them ... Read More
We just got home from a 5 night cruise on the Celebrity Elation. There were 6 in our party - all adults and we were there to celebrate mother's 90th birthday. We have not cruised on Carnival before nor will we ever cruise on them again. We have been on Celebrity and Azamara and while we would rush back to those ships, we didn't even want to enter contests on board where we might win a free cruise. First off, we cruised during what for many young people was spring break. While well behaved kids are great, clearly there were parents on the cruise who felt that being on a ship removed any responsibility for parenting and allowed there kids to run down the hallways at all hours of the night. Even worse than the kids was the number of areas on the ship where smoking was permitted. Even in the casino while there were a number of non-smoking slot machines, they were situated right next to machines where smoking was allowed. Unlike Vegas which has great filtration systems, there was nothing to remove the smoke from the casino. While the area directly around the piano bar piano was non-smoking, all the tables 3' away were smoking. I guess if you smoke, this is a great ship, if you would prefer your clothes not smell like smoke, this may not be the cruise for you. On the plus side, the staff on the boat was great. We had heard that the food was good on board and we found it okay. The buffet offered a pretty good selection, but it would have been so much better if everything was served hot. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
First of all, this was our 1st cruise ever. Went with great attitudes, left just ok with the whole experience. I myself am a 29 yr old female, traveled with 31 yr old husband, and 7 & 10 yr old girls. We have heard alot of past ... Read More
First of all, this was our 1st cruise ever. Went with great attitudes, left just ok with the whole experience. I myself am a 29 yr old female, traveled with 31 yr old husband, and 7 & 10 yr old girls. We have heard alot of past crusiers talk, and in comparison, we both agree that we were either on the wrong ship, or maybe we're not "cruisers". The lines to get onto ship were LONG, took us about 2 hours from dropping luggage, until officially stepping onto boat. Our room service was nice, our girls loved the animals made nightly. Staff constantly comes by to offer you to buy drinks, but when you want a drink, it seemed as if noone acknowledged us. Same as while eatign buffet, it took them forever to clear our used plates off the table! I personally didnt realize how much more money you can spend on the ship! The shows they had that were free were not for us! We left a few of them before they were over. Beware of bar tabs, they add up QUICK!! On the other hand, our girls enjoyed the camp for kids! They had a blast and kept begging to go back. Pool area (Lido deck) stayed quite crowded. We only got ourselves 2 loungechairs twice while being on ship. (once was while ship was docked in our 1st destination, (Progresso, UGH)) Food was not all that! We tried dining room as well as buffet lines, it was just ok. Lido deck buffet was open for breakfast daily (typical bagels, muffins, scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, bread, milk, cereal, pancakes) Dining room breakfast we did not enjoy, they didn't get any of our orders correct, so it was buffet for breakfast after that! Dining room for dinner was just ok, we didnt think they had a lot of options to choose from, out MAitre'd was good to us. Food was just ok, nothing amazing at all! As for buffet area for lunch and dinner...OMG! The lines, and people were not fun! Sandwich line inside Tiffanys was terrible and only had 1 guy making the sandwiches. Our girls loved gettting pizza & ice cream any time, though! As for ship being cleaned, workers were cleaning all the time it seemed, so I can't complain there! Because we traveled with children, we did not experience much of the adult night life in bars/club areas. We heard fun/funny stories about those places though. We did gamble in casino area a bit. Lost, so unfortunatly we dont have any bragging stories there! MAybe it was the time of year, but it seemed like most of the other people were a bit older than us (seemed to have more fun than we did) LOL Weather was a bit windy throughout cruise. Very chilly the day we left Mobile, but of course got warmer as trip went) All in all, weather cooporated great for us! All said and done, the cruise ship itself was just ok. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
After a 7 hour drive to Mobile Alabama, from Nashville Tn, we arrived at the Port Terminal around 11:30am for Embarkation. Found the Cruise Line Parking Signs very helpful that were posted on the route in! After a long process to get on ... Read More
After a 7 hour drive to Mobile Alabama, from Nashville Tn, we arrived at the Port Terminal around 11:30am for Embarkation. Found the Cruise Line Parking Signs very helpful that were posted on the route in! After a long process to get on the ship, which I have described in my "port" review, we settled in on the Lido deck, for our first DOD! Found the service, food and drink all exceptional!! Hooked up with a waiter, Ras, who remained our favorite waiter on the Lido deck for the entire cruise! Seating was usually available, if you were patient. Seemed to always be plenty of seats on the port or Non Smoking side. Found the ship in fairly good shape, seemed clean, but in need of some updating. I must add that last year we cruised on the Dream for it's 1 yr anniv, so I may be being a little too hard on the Elation. (I'm a little spoiled)Heard that Elation goes into Dry Dock for refurb very soon, and as a seasoned cruiser, I think it is time!! Our cabin was on the Main Deck, Starboard side, very near the front. We were allowed in the cabin area right around 1:00pm, and found the cabin clean and ready for our arrival. We were immediately greeted by our Cabin Stewards, Efnul & Gus. We couldn't have asked for any better!! Muster drill went smooth, no longer have to carry life vest with you, but have broken it into a two part deal, where you meet at the muster station area first, then proceed out to the lifeboats. After completing the muster drill and heading back into the cabin area, was hit in the face with a terrible odor. Smelled like RAID to me, and was offensive. However, the smell soon dissipated. We had late dining, that was confirmed as early dining, but we were able to change times after the first night. The food and the service in the dining room were great, always love the entertainment provided by the servers! Mostly did lunches at the cafe and always enjoyed the usual, pizza, deli and ice cream! There was plenty of opportunity for entertainment on the ship, with shows, Karaoke, Marriage game, Match game, Comedians (were funny!)and all the usual offerings, enjoyed the Activities on the Lido deck also, Hairy chest contest, etc.! Even the Casino was good to us! The ping pong tables and putt putt golf areas were popular spots too! The Serenity deck was also a popular spot, rarely a comfy spot available. Guess you needed to get there early. I want to remark about the hot-tubs/children issue. The tubs on Elation state that only toilet trained children, with an adult should enter. Found the tubs on the Lido deck always crowded full of kids...never got it one. The slide was fun for children and adult alike! With the exception of a few children running thru the Lido deck area, there were no issues there. Always enjoyed the Caribbean/cruise music playing in the background! Had complained of that on other cruises! Had no small children, so no comments regarding the kid camps. Disembarkation and Embarkation at the ports was a simple non eventful process. We ported at Cozumel (our 3rd time there), and we were very pleased to find the port we visited just last year had completed the construction it was under and is now a lovely clean air conditioned welcome center/shopping area. As we proceeded thru the building we exited into a lovely shopping area that wound you thru to the main streets of Cozumel. We took a cab to NACHI COCUM beach resort,(Limits number of guests, so reserve a spot prior to the cruise!) it's all inclusive, food and drink, with a beautiful beach, pool, swim-up bar, hot tub,(that wasn't hot) hammocks, chairs & umbrella's, floats & snorkels were for rent ($7), a souvenir shop, clean restrooms and other extras for charge-para sailing, wave runners, etc. Met up with several others from our ship and also from the Disney ship. Enjoyed our time there so much, we only had time to get back to the ship, and did not venture out into Cozumel, tho this was our 3rd visit here, and in the past have wandered all over the town. On Thurs, day 4, we ported at Playa Del Carmen. Again no issues departing or embarking~Hopped a cab to Grand Coco Bay Hotel, for an all inclusive package, that we had reserved prior to the cruise. This place was beautiful! We arrived at 9:30am only to find out that the food and drink portion of the package were not available until 11am...So we entertained ourselves at the beach, then moved to the pool for Volleyball and other directed activities they had available to us. Once it was finally available, the food and drink were awesome!! All beach amenities were available and tho the beach was small, it was beautiful. I think there were 2 other families from the ship, but most were Europeans that were staying at the hotel. Again, spent the day there, and did not venture out, found a little souvenir area near the port gate, for a quick hammock purchase, that turned out to be a swing! haha No problem with that either, it will do! (No wonder I got it for 20 bucks!) Our last Sea Day, we encountered some huge waves, 10-12 ft swells, that caused a lot of motion sickness on the ship. It got to me bad, and as a seasoned cruiser, had never experienced this before...:( So it was literally a blur to me, hubby packed us up and set our luggage out. The next morn, we waited until almost 9:30 to be called off. Found our luggage waiting for us in the terminal, and after getting a porter, made our way off the ship and back to reality. No problems or issues there. It seems much more relaxed on the Fantasy Class size ships and the food & service is definitely better! All in all, it was a great cruise, with great times!! Met some GREAT people, who will continue to be friends, THROUGH our thread on the CRUISE CRITIC BOARD! *As stated earlier, I think it will only serve to help Carnival to refurbish/update the Elation. I also think moving out of Mobile is a good move. I only hope they keep the same personnel, because we did not encounter one problem with any of the staff!!! EXCEPTIONAL!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We cruised Jan 6-10th from Mobile Alabama, We had two days at sea and one day in Cozumel. I will not complain about the weather as obviously that is not under Carnival's control, but two days at sea when the temperature is only in the ... Read More
We cruised Jan 6-10th from Mobile Alabama, We had two days at sea and one day in Cozumel. I will not complain about the weather as obviously that is not under Carnival's control, but two days at sea when the temperature is only in the late 50's makes in unpleasant to sit out on the deck. In fact it was too windy and down right cold to be on the top deck for anything other than a fast walk- definately not mini golf or basketball. We have cruised over 7 times, and I must say this was the most rocking motion I have ever felt on any previous ships. The last night was horrendous , and the site of vomit bags taped up to all available wall space for easy access was not a pleasant site either. The cabin we had was E127, there were three of us ( the room stated it had a trundle bed for the third person) , there was in fact a roll away but finding a place for it to go in the cabin was quite inventive as there is a huge pole in the middle of the room apparently helping support the restaurant floor (Imagination) above. We ended up removing the drawer from the dresser and having my sons legs go under the dresser. Noise was a big negative also- with the restaurant above us , there was very early morning scraping of furniture and what sounded like large heavy cartons being dropped on the floor. On the positive side- Cozumel is fantastic, we took the city, shopping, lunch, beach tour - the operator Miguel was so much fun and so knowledgable, kept my two teenage sons intrigued for the whole 5 hrs. The food on this cruise was Ok, but again not the best we have had on previous cruises either. One night of the dinner entrees , THREE of them were chicken. I would definately not recommend this cruise for a first time cruiser. If this had been our first , we would probably not be rushing to get on another. Two days at sea in the winter is not the best plan, unless you want to spend money on bingo and like staying inside drinking. This experience will not deter us from cruising again, but I have to say I will think twice about Carnival for the next vacation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Our room was always clean and the cabin staff were exceptional. The bed is pretty hard, but it was comfortable. Cruise food should be better than it was on the Elation. The food in the dining room was served mostly warm/cold with ... Read More
Our room was always clean and the cabin staff were exceptional. The bed is pretty hard, but it was comfortable. Cruise food should be better than it was on the Elation. The food in the dining room was served mostly warm/cold with the exception of the Caesar salad which was served warm/hot. The waiters were pretty poor and did a lot of ignoring of customers. My sister in law had to walk up to the serving area to get a cup of coffee. Our group of 8 was told one night that we couldn't sit at the same table so they put us at two tables that were right next to each other but only a foot apart. Each side got different waiters. My side actually finished our main course before the other side got their orders taken. We did have good service one night with a waiter named Luka. Great Waiter. The Tiffany dining room where the buffet was also a disappointment. The food choices were limited and the dining room is set up in such an incredibly scattered way that you're always walking through people to get to the salad area, main dish area, dessert area, grill, and pizzeria, which are scattered here and there with no rhyme or reason. I never once was asked if I wanted a drink while in the Tiffany dining room. The food was mostly cold and there were several times they had put the food out but put out trays in front of it because they weren't ready to serve it yet. This was especially disappointing when we had an excursion that started at 7 and they refused to open the buffet until 6:30 a.m. although the food was already visible and getting cold. We went to a couple of the passenger based shows. I would suggest the Married Show, it's always quite amusing and one out of the two comedians was pretty good. I was again disappointed by the service in the lounges and bars as we rarely had a waiter come up and we ended up going to the bar several times and bringing stuff back to our seats. It was almost like they didn't want to make money. I would definitely suggest the Mexican Cuisine Cooking and Tasting in Cozumel at Playa Mia. The chef who gave the cooking lesson was great and it was a small enough group we got to know everyone. Plus the alcohol flowed extremely freely. The day we disembarked was a complete disappointment. We watched the video the day before and had already cruised a few times so we figured when they said they would start disembarking at 9:00 that it would be close to that time. Needless to say that when the announcement came at 7:20 a.m. that they were disembarking our floor I was a bit disappointed. I know I could have stayed, but it felt like the cruise line was saying "get the heck off the boat and don't let the door hit you on the way out." A few suggestions for the ship if they ever look at this. Consider putting the temperature on the tv with all the other information such as wind speed/direction/sea level. It's far more helpful to your passengers. Also, when you say the coffee/tea service is available 24 hours please make it available 24 hours. Several times we went down and all of the machines were out. All in all I had fun despite the ship. My family had a good time playing games in the library and the poor service gave us all something in common to talk about during meals. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
I was disappointed on my Carnival Elation cruise taken last week (10/11). I've only been on 5 other cruises, some with Carnival, and did not appreciate having a buffet employee dole out my bacon alotment each morning (2 slices)- the ... Read More
I was disappointed on my Carnival Elation cruise taken last week (10/11). I've only been on 5 other cruises, some with Carnival, and did not appreciate having a buffet employee dole out my bacon alotment each morning (2 slices)- the only breakfast item they monitored, by the way. A polite young lady would be standing behind the bacon "pile" and dole out literally 2 pieces of bacon. Of course you could ask for more, but who wants to be glared at and hold up the buffet line? Also, in the desert line, the same? young lady almost had a heart attack when I attempted to cut my own piece of cake. I cut!! I cut!! well geeze.....but my biggest complaint comes from the shore excursion desk.My friends and I purchased the shore excursion "The Amazing Cozumel Race" before we embarked on our cruise. As this was my 3rd trip to Cozumel (my friend calls it the "atlanta terminal" of the Caribbean), we were very much looking forward to this excursion, the only one we planned for Cozumel. Once we arrived and got dressed for this excursion, we "raced" down the pier to meet up with our fellow racing participants. We waited. and waited. and waited. We asked other excursion employees if we were in the right place, etc. Finally, after an hour, my friend walked back to the ship & was told that the excursion was cancelled due to nonparticipation. They had sent a note to us the night before... Once back on the ship, we did find the notice--in a pile of papers on the vanity. We never saw it. A complaint was made; the least they could do was have someone meet us at the end of the pier where they were expected to let us know PERSONALLY that it had been cancelled. We were also disappointed to not have ANY craft classes on the sea days. We are crafters and on past cruises I have enjoyed learning new crafts and having the souveniers I made. It's a great way to pass time on sea days & all the classes I had previously attended on the other cruises were filled, so there is an audience for this type of entertainment. This was the last month of cruising out of Mobile, Al for Carnival & by the end of the 5 day cruise we certainly noticed a decline in the service. Not quite so helpful, not quite so willing to go the extra mile. However, we really enoyed and appreciated our cabin steward, Made. He was always helpful, polite, cheerful, and professional. It was all in all a good cruise, but there certainly were some disapointments to be found. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
My family (Dad and his wife are 70 and 74 sons are 16 and 13)drove from snowy South Carolina to the Mobile port the day after Christmas. We booked a night at Admiral Semmes thru Expedia ($109 per night) and did park ($55) and cruise. We ... Read More
My family (Dad and his wife are 70 and 74 sons are 16 and 13)drove from snowy South Carolina to the Mobile port the day after Christmas. We booked a night at Admiral Semmes thru Expedia ($109 per night) and did park ($55) and cruise. We packed in the hotel shuttle and headed for the terminal at 11:15 am and we were on board in less than an hour. My Dad booked a suite (U88)and we could not board VIP with him, however, we got through check-in just as fast. Everyone in the port was very friendly and pleasant and the process was far better than expected based on reading all of the complaints. It was freezing in Mobile (in the low forties) when we sailed. The Elation was as expected--older Fantasy class ship, very clean, with a friendly crew. The pool deck has not been upgraded. As we boarded, we were treated to unlimited Champagne while we waited for our rooms (available exactly at 1:30). The boys and I had a 3 person cabin with two bunks and a bed. We had plenty of room. Fortunately, the cruise boards saved me--there are NO HAIRDRYERS in the suites or other cabins and I packed one. Plush robes, plenty of towels and a fantastic steward delighted us all week. Our steward filled my soda cooler with ice every day. The activities crew did a good job with the typical cruise fare--dance lessons, trivia, marriage game, karaoke (lots of choices!)and the Carnival obligatory hairy chest contest. There was plenty to do. After multiple cruises, ( 1X Big Red Boat, 1X Holland, 1X Celebrity, 2X Norwegian, 3XCarnival)in Europe, Caribbean, Hawaii, and Alaska -- the Carnival crew seems to enjoy their jobs more than any other line. The result is that the crew seems to actually like people and not just go through the motions. Food on Carnival is very good with choices for everyone--we ate the breakfast buffets on Lido, lunch in the Imagination dining room and dinner, come as you wish in Imagination. My 13 year old is a cruise ship pizza expert--he has ranked Carnival pepperoni the best out of all lines above. We ordered a wine package and after running out, brough our own bottles the last two nights. We were not charged the corkage fee and we upfront about the wine. (Adults can bring one bottle each). Evening shows were good--funny comedians (3 on board this 5 day trip) , a great hip hop act, and the two shows were very good and not so good. (The brand new WIN dance show just wasnt very good). I did a Spa sampler package with massage and facial which was excellent and the obligatory sales pitch wasnt too pushy. In Cozumel we took a taxi ($11 for 5 people each way) in for shopping and in Playa del Carmen we spent the day at XCaret "eesh ka rit". In port stop at the 3 Amigos for some cool partying next to the ship's dock and you won't have far to get back on board. The weather was great--mid to high 70s in port and all the way back to Mobile we enjoyed warm weather. The hot tubs stayed full because the pool water was very chilly. On Dec 30, I was not happy to miss the Clemson bowl game--Kentucky fans monopolized all four TVs in the sports bar and when they left-ESPN wouldn't work. Since Clemson didn't show up to play, it was all for the best.For New Years Eve, Cruise Director Steve Knisley gussied up in a kilt ensemble (Kind of weird for a chap from Canada but Steve was great) and arranged a festive deck party for us to celebrate the end of 2010. The last 15 minutes wait staff made sure everyone had a glass of Champagne to toast. The Captain and Cruise Director did the countdown and as midnight struck, Captain ordered the ships horn to sound. What a blast! People of all ages were dancing like crazy--old young and in between. My Dad's suite allowed all of us to leave the ship as priority guests--we docked at 7am and we off the ship and on the shuttle breezing though customs in and schlepping luggage through the terminal in 30 minutes. If you don't mind families/kids and you want a good bargain--Elation will deliver. The newer ships have more to offer but Elation was a great quick and inexpensive holiday in the sun. Kudos to the FRIENDLY and helpful staff and crew. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Keep in mind that my husband and I are in our 30's and we have a 9 and an 11 year old. I will try to keep this short.... FOOD...honestly, nothing to write home about. I had steak two nights in the dining room, one night is was great ... Read More
Keep in mind that my husband and I are in our 30's and we have a 9 and an 11 year old. I will try to keep this short.... FOOD...honestly, nothing to write home about. I had steak two nights in the dining room, one night is was great and one night it was way overcooked. My husband has ribs one night that he said tasted "old". The Caesar salad and fried shrimp were great and so was the chocolate cake. Tiffany's on deck is just traditional "greasy" food including burgers, fries, and chicken tenders which tasted fine. The deli inside had great deli wraps. The 24 hour pizza bar was a little bland for our taste. Desserts were not that good, but the ice cream was good. CAMP CARNIVAL.....was very good. My kids picked what things they wanted to attend such as towel folding, magic show, and the All Night Party which they loved! The folks in charge were very nice, but a little slow. Be patient when checking your kids in and out. BOOZE.....You can carry on two bottles of wine, but I took on one 5 liter box of wine in my carry on luggage. No one even checked my luggage when boarding. Also, we carried vodka in a wine bladder which is like a Rum Runner in our checked luggage. It made it to our room just fine. Of course, this saved us quite a bit of money. We still bought drinks out and they tasted great. The service was pretty good, too. ENTERTAINMENT....We only attended one show which was "Las Vegas" type dancers which was okay. We did leave a little early. I heard that the comedy show was funny, but we didn't attend. The Marriage show was really funny and so was the Friendly Feud game. Bean Bag Toss was fun since all four of us played. My daughter participated in the Country Line Dance and Thriller Dance Classes and got to see herself on the room TV. You could even buy the video they last day on board. The Piano Bar had to be our favorite (other than all of the LOUD Alabama fans). PORT ~ COZYMEL.....We just took a cab to Mr. Sancho's Restaurant/Bar which is right on the beach. We paid for my husband and I $100 for all you can eat and all you can drink (alcohol included) for the day. We just paid for the kids as we went and think we spend $21 on them. If you don't drink alcohol then don't go with the $50 package. Note that the sand here is very BIG and is very annoying when cleaning up. I didn't know if we would ever get the kids cleaned up to go back to the ship. The seaweed was really bad the day that we went, but that could have been because of Hurricane Alex. The folks at Mr. Sancho's took really good care of us and we had a great time. Make sure you carry lots of sunscreen!!! If I had it to do over, I may have shopped in Cozumel and played at the beach at Playa de Carmen. PORT ~ CALICA......We were so sunburned from Cozumel that we decided to just do some shopping in Playa de Carmen. We took a cab to Playa de Carmen to do some shopping which cost $13 each way. We asked the cab driver about some Mayan Ruins and for an extra fee he took us to some private ruins in Playa de Carmen right along the beach for $20. Don't know that you would ever get this lucky, but I am sure glad that we did!! It was great and we got to see two iguanas up close while there and getting a full history lesson. While shopping there, be ready for people to get your attention and bargain with them! My kids had fun getting everyone down on their prices. I thought that it was a neat little row to shop down with lots of places to stop and get a drink. We were back on the boat for lunch. POOLS..........The pools are small. Don't go thinking you are going to hang out in the pool all day. On Fun Day at Sea days, it seems like everyone is on the Lido Deck wanting to swim. The first Sea Day, we couldn't get a chair and didn't even attempt it the second sea day. I do recommend packing a swimsuit in your carry on so the first day you can swim early. There is few people at the pool on the day you get on the ship. My kids swam and went down the slide on the day we boarded and on Port Calica day while there were few on ship. Also, note that the pool is sea salty water. STEWARDS....are super nice. They filled our cooler up every day without even asking. My kids told them thanks many times for the towel animals and we tipped him extra money early in the week. They were great! CABIN.....was bigger than I thought it would be. We had a king size bed and two bunk beds. Linens were comfortable and shower had great pressure! We had an ocean view window which I recommend if you have kids. It kept our entertained while waiting for different things throughout the cruise. Plenty of storage space and life jackets are in your room. COMPLAINT.....There was an Alabama (Roll Tide Roll) Booster Convention going on during our cruise. We are huge Tennessee Vols fans, so this really sucked for us! We were so tired of hearing Sweet Home Alabama and Roll Tide Roll that we could scream. I would have like to have know about this convention ahead of time; however, I wasn't. I will call next time to ask what type of convention is being held on our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Great trip! We started out on a 4 night 3 day adventure to Cozumel Mexico. Sailed out of Mobile, AL. After a 5 and 1/2 hour drive to Mobile, AL. We arrived at terminal. Unloading the car was fast and easy. We found the check in process ... Read More
Great trip! We started out on a 4 night 3 day adventure to Cozumel Mexico. Sailed out of Mobile, AL. After a 5 and 1/2 hour drive to Mobile, AL. We arrived at terminal. Unloading the car was fast and easy. We found the check in process fast and easy since we had done all of paper work and fun pass on line prior to our sailing date. Got on to the ship with no problem, found our room. It was actually bigger than I had planned for. Had a nice time just relaxed. First day at sea went thru rains. We slept most of that day away! Next day we arrived in Cozumel, booked shore excursion with the ship fast easy painless. We had a great time on beach just soaking up the sun and fun. We were transported back to the port. We went shopping for a while then headed back to the ship. Next day at sea waters were ruff. Made it back to Mobile, Al had to turn around due to bad weather and go back out to sea to escape ruff waters. Got an extra day at sea that we did not plan for. All of the staff were very nice. Made back to port next day which was open and we were able to dock and get off ship with no problems. Clearing customs fast and easy. Headed back to car for 5 and 1/2 hour back home. Overall first cruse experience was great, recommend it to anyone. Have already booked next cruise 7 months from now. Cant wait! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
This was our first cruise. Me and my mother went on the Elation out of Mobile, AL on Feb. 26, 2011. We arrived at the Mobile port at about 10:45. There was already a line of cars waiting to get into the parking garage at the port. We were ... Read More
This was our first cruise. Me and my mother went on the Elation out of Mobile, AL on Feb. 26, 2011. We arrived at the Mobile port at about 10:45. There was already a line of cars waiting to get into the parking garage at the port. We were directed to a spot to drop off our checked luggage, then proceeded up the garage, and paid for our parking. We unloaded our carry on bags, and walked down the steps into the entrance to the terminal. We were directed to the VIP line. We booked a suite, so we had VIP embarkation. We went through the metal detectors, and were given a number. We were immediately called into the office, and received our Sail and Sign cards. We then waited about 15 min for boarding to start at approx. 11:00 am. There were 2 wedding parties that went on board before us plus any handicapped people. Then they announced VIP boarding. We walked up the gangway, and got right on the ship. There were many Carnival employees directing us to the Lido deck. There were hot dogs and hamburgers with all of the "fixings" to eat outside by the pool on the Lido deck plus there was an Italian style buffet inside of Tiffany's. We sipped a couple of fun ship specials, which was the drink of the day, then headed to our suite at around 1:30 pm. We settled in our cabin, and Bon Voyage brought us our fruit and wine basket, cookies and cake. They were all wonderful! The fruit and wine basket was my favorite. It was well worth the price. We then got ready for the muster drill, which started at around 3:15 pm. We went to our designated muster station, and listened to the safety lecture, and were showed our lifeboats. Then the captain announced that we were sailing. Let the party start! There was music and dancing, drinks and food. It looked like everyone was having a blast! We went back to the cabin and got ready for our dinner in the MDR. We had your time dining, and were meeting some friends for dinner. We had 4 in our dinner party, and were sat at a nice table for 4. We had an excellent wait staff, and they were our servers the rest of the cruise. Maitre D Vincent went above and beyond his duties to please everyone in the MDR. Our food was wonderful! There was always a nice selection on the menu. I ended up having the flat iron steak which is a Carnival Classic and always on the menu a couple of nights due to an allergy that I have. It was always cooked to my preference. We also ate breakfast and lunch in the MDR a couple of times, and enjoyed the food also. I think the breakfast on the Lido deck buffet line was my favorite. I loved the cook at the omelet station there plus the view was amazing! The breakfast at Tiffany's buffet was also great! Lots of food everywhere. There is 24 hr pizza and soft serve ice cream in Tiffany's as well. Plus a New York style deli counter with great sandwiches and wraps. There is large salad bar for lunch and dinner inside Tiffany's. Oh also a sushi bar that opens at 5:00 pm. There is a specialty coffee shop that you have to pay for on your S&S card. They have nice pastries, coffee drinks and wonderful milk shakes. I don't see how anyone could not find something they liked. There was a nice water slide and pool plus hot tubs on the Lido deck. If you go up the ladder on the Lido deck there is also another pool, hot tubs and a kiddy pool at the back of the ship on the verandah deck. I did not find them until our last sea day. LOL The view at the Serenity area is amazing. It is an adult only area with hot tubs and lounge chairs on deck 9 at the very back of the ship. There is a jogging tract, mini golf, basketball hoop, ping pong, a huge chess set on deck 11 also. The spa and gym are very modern. I loved the sunrise stretch on the stage on the lido deck. What a wonderful way to start your day! There is a video arcade, and also a casino for the adults. There are all different types of lounges and bars, even a teen dance club. We did the Chef's table, and it was absolutely incredible! It was well worth the extra money. The Elation was very clean. Our suite was perfect! The favorite part of the ship for me was our balcony. I had read some bad reviews before we cruised. Now I have come to the conclusion that some people just cannot be satisfied! If you don't have a good time on your Elation cruise, then it is your own fault. There are many different activities going on daily. They will be listed in your funtimes news letter that is delivered to your room daily. Everything from trivia style games, afternoon teas, dance classes,karaoke,exercise classes even the men's hairy chest competition. Plus you can pick up an extra copy at guest services. There are laundry facilities with coin operated washers and dryers and a free iron. The Las Vegas style shows on the Elation were both wonderful. I went to see "Rock". I still can't believe those dancers can perform like that on a moving ship. The Mikado is gorgeous too! My mom went to see "Win", and she like it even better than "Rock". I heard the comedians are very good! They have a family friendly plus an adult performance. There are all types of live music. Piano players to rock bands. The internet cafe is right across from guest services, and there is always someone there to assist you. There is some very nice duty free shops on the ship. Great prices on jewelry, alcohol and cigarettes.We took the Dzibilchaltun ruins, horse show and Mexican buffet excursion through Carnival in Progreso. I would highly recommend this excursion. In Cozumel we did the City, Shopping, beach and lunch excursion through Carnival also. We had a great time. I would recommend doing your silver and gemstone shopping in Progreso instead of Cozumel. The prices were much better in Progreso than Cozumel. There are many different lectures on the ship about shopping at the ports. If you go to some of these you will find out some great information plus get some good coupons.The worst thing about our cruise is that we had to go home. LOL We put our bags outside on our last night. We were zone 1. We just went to our designated meeting area for our zone, and got right off of the ship after the self assist group left. We were off the ship, and through customs in about 15 minutes. I would disregard some of these bad reviews about the Elation that are out there. If you go with an open mind and realize nothing is perfect, then you will have a blast. I just booked a cruise on the Elation's October 15, 2011 last sailing out of Mobile. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
This was only our second cruise, but I've done more research than Clark Howard so I still would like to say that I'm somewhat of an expert at least on getting a good deal if nothing else. I work in the airline industry so we get ... Read More
This was only our second cruise, but I've done more research than Clark Howard so I still would like to say that I'm somewhat of an expert at least on getting a good deal if nothing else. I work in the airline industry so we get some killer deals on some of the weekday and off peak cruises. My wife and I have cruised alone twice now. We plan to take our kids on the next one, so this review is strictly for couples and not families since we didn't experience Camp Carnival or anything like that. Tips on Booking: I usually look at the rates at vacationstogo.com then once I see a good price I call Carnival directly for their interline (airline rates). They also have Military, Police, Fire etc, so you should always ask them about that if you are in one of those categories. We saved about 70 bucks per person with the interline it was only 209 interline inside cabin and the port fees were only 35 a person so this was a steal. Parking and Embarkation: for a 4 day cruise parking was 60 bucks. We walked right up to the terminal in 5 minutes time. I was told that those that stayed in hotels wait up to an hour and a half to get a lift so its definitely worth it to park on site. Make sure that you are in the parking lot by 2pm because otherwise they have to shuttle you from somewhere and that will make it a pain when you return. The line was about 40 minutes long, which wasn't too bad, so nothing special here it rained so there wasnt much to it. Cabin: We absolutely LOVE inside cabins because you can sleep so well! I will say that the cabin was very very clean, and our steward was on the ball. We were on the Embassy level which was very convenient to everything so that was nice. We are pretty clean so I felt bad for some of the party cabins where people were slobs but we are easy. Food: The food was good at the Sit Down Breakfast Lunch and Dinner. The Buffet food was pretty good, the panini's were a big hit! The Key Lime Pie was the best thing ever! They only had it on the first night but on the last night our Waiter surprised us with it (it wasn't on the menu) so that was a great surprise. I got a coke card and it was like I had food stamps, the bartenders look at you as if you are standing in line for church cheese. Next time I'm either gonna save the 30 bucks and drink water and lemonade or bring a 12 pack in my bag and wait two days then buy it because they let this lady buy it pro rated with only three days left for like 18 bucks so I learned something new :) Cozumel: We don't like paying Carnival for excursions so we wing it. We took a cab to Caribe Cozumel and stayed on the beach for free (don't know if we could do that but the taxi driver said it was ok) then we rented Wave Runners for 65 an hour and it was the most fun we've ever had! We talked about horseback riding, snorkeling but Wave Running was by far a blast! Two other couples from our dinner table rented skooters/ mopeds and they had a blast. Id be afraid to crash but they made it back in one piece even under heavy consumption of alcohol haha. The Ship Amenities: For adults the Serenity deck was great, its just below Tiffany's restaurant at the AFt and its very quiet. They have two whirlpools, if there was only room for a regular pool nobody would leave the area. Plenty of places to lay out and relax. The Lido Pool area was just too obnoxious for us and it wasn't carnivals fault, it's just the way it is. It was like spring break but for twenty to fourty olds, with the Hairy Chest contest and the horrible dancing, they should call it the Panama City Red Neck Deck cuz that is exactly what it is. I like basketball but the rim was bent sideways and the net was torn. I know it seems silly but it wouldn't take much to fix it, and a net costs 2 bucks so I just thought I'd mention it since I thought about it more than once. Most others would probably care less. Fitness: We worked out a few times and it was nice and clean, with enough room for everybody. Didn't want to spend the money for any Spa treatments. Entertainment/ Partying Well its a Fun Ship so if you want to turn in early you better pick another Ship. We like to dance so we like Carnival. The club Jekyll and Hyde had a pretty good crowd and good music the first night (mix of 70's to maybe 2008 music nothing current), the second night was 80's so we skipped that because to us it's not fun to dance to. The next night was a Michael Jackson Tribute and it was just ok. We really enjoyed the Cole Porter Lounge for Karaoke on the last night, I got up twice to do some old rap songs, and it was by far the most crowded room in the place. On the third night in the Mikado Lounge they had to switch the entertainment because a singer didn't show up, so they had a comedian from North Carolina instead, it was a clean comic and he had me rolling, I was literally crying because in my opinion he was very funny. Very cliche jokes but it worked for me at least. The Romeo and Juliet Lounge had a Filipino Band and they were pretty good. People were having a good time. All in all for the price it was well worth it. We had a great time and tried not to let little things bother us. We made some great friends at our table, and we hung out with them all night on the last day at sea so it was an excellent value cruise and we would definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
We just got back from our cruise to Mexico. It was a 5 night trip that left on Monday and returned on Saturday. We took carnival Fantasy. It is an older ship, holds about 2500 passengers. There were about 800 kids under 18 on the ship, but ... Read More
We just got back from our cruise to Mexico. It was a 5 night trip that left on Monday and returned on Saturday. We took carnival Fantasy. It is an older ship, holds about 2500 passengers. There were about 800 kids under 18 on the ship, but it was not a problem, other than the hot tub being full of kids all the time. They suggested getting there between 12:30 and 1:00. We got there at 12:45, which was too late. There was an awful line. Should have gotten there at 11:45, and it would have been better. Also, you can go VIP for an extra $10, and that would have been nice. They actually put us in the VIP line after a while because we had so many kids. The cruise itself cost $2600, I also spent about $2000 in cash as well. We stayed in interior rooms (2) and they were fine. They were cheap and I liked them as much as the more expensive rooms I have had on other cruises on Holland America and Royal Carribean. We took Bottled water (Took 36 bottles and 12 of propel) only needed 1 case of 24 bottles of water, 2 bottles of wine, Corkscrew, Power strip, 2 way radios (if you have kids, it is a must) Post it notes for door WATERPROOF CAMERA Wax earplugs Transderm Scope - It really works Also, for the at sea days, remember it is usually really windy, so get chairs inside the enclosed area early so you can be comfortable. We also used a porter when disembarking, which put us in a much shorter line and got us out of there quicker. At our stop at Cozumel, we took a cab to Paradise beach. The ride for 10 cost a total of $34 each way. The beach was free, but they asked us to spend $10 per person. It was very nice with some good snorkeling. At Calica we took a cab to Xcaret for $30. It was awesome. The ticket to get in was $69, and we bought a coupon from the van driver for $4 for $7 off admission. The place is beautiful and exotic. We went in a 'lazy' river and snorkeled with the whole group. It let out by the ocean. Had big turtles, hammocks and was Like no place I have ever been and thoroughly enjoyed it. Beautiful beaches, very relaxing. Definite place to go again. We then took a cab back for $16. Yes half the price. We did dinner nightly in the dining room at 6:00. Out waiter was Dawa and his assistant was Valentine. Our Stateroom attendant was Edis. All were very good. For Disembarkation, we sat our luggage out the night before and they took them to the terminal for us. We didn't get off the ship until 10 or 10:30. Make sure to turn phones on Airplane mode when leaving or you will be charged for expensive airtime. Food was good, not awesome, but not bad. Celebrity dining for Breakfast is much better than the lido. Will go with Carnival again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2010

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