Cruise Ratings
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
My partner and I have done 10+ cruises on several other cruise lines including Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and a few others. This Exotic Sothern Caribbean itinerary took us to ports I had never visited. I set my ... Read More
My partner and I have done 10+ cruises on several other cruise lines including Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and a few others. This Exotic Sothern Caribbean itinerary took us to ports I had never visited. I set my expectations low based on the recent reviews and the general negativity about Carnival from past cruise mates. I am glad to say that we were extremely pleased with this cruise. We chose the 10-day Southern Caribbean Journey cruise, which began in San Juan and ended in Jacksonville as the ship is repositioning for the 4-5 day Bahamas cruises. I was not familiar with the term Carnival’s Journey Cruises prior to this trip. These longer cruises generally begin and end in different ports and have some added ports and features. We especially enjoyed the Throwback Captain’s Cocktail Party. Full-sized and full-strength drinks were free and plentiful as well as 5-6 hot appetizers, which were served up to the entire Mikado Show Lounge. There also several added lectures, entertainers, and enrichment activities like navigating by the constellations. The Ship Yes this ship is a little older, if you consider 1998 old. Maybe it is because of the 2014 refit, but we found the ship to be in very good shape. The ship was very clean and well kept. Frankly we enjoyed the smaller size of the ship. The Grand Atrium and Tiffany’s Lido Restaurant were perhaps the most striking rooms on the ship. When the Captain was forced to make an unplanned stop in Grand Turk due to a medical emergency we also learned that the ship is fully capable of maintaining maximum speed for almost two days straight as the captain stole back several hours that were lost due to the route deviation. Bravo! You will not find premium specialty restaurants on this ship or the up-charges that often come with them. They do have the taste bar that offers free appetizers, but it seems to open sporadically. The ship has lines that are pleasing to the eye on the outside as well. You will not find the boxy balcony bump outs to the aft and sides that have been added to many Fantasy class ships. Other than the Grand Suites (mid-ship on level six) and the smaller Ocean Suites (forward end of Verandah deck) you will not find balconies on this ship. For better or worse, additional retrofitting is scheduled for 2017. My only negative comment about this and other fantasy class ships is that there simply not much space to get by the rail - unless you go the back of the ship on Verandah deck. The sea does not seem to be ever present as with those that have outside spaces on promenade deck. All of the outside spaces are at the very top of the ship. The mid-ship portion of the lido deck is high volume with both people and noise. Thankfully, the verandah deck and serenity is much quieter, and the bar service is just as good. The Service Wow! I was not expecting the high level of service we got on this ship. The MDR staff was as good as any we have ever experienced. Our favorite bartender “Lucia” at the Drama Bar had our drinks ready almost before sat down every evening. Our cabin steward was prompt and responsive. When the cabin was too warm on the first night, it was addressed right way. The Food Lets get the few negative comments out of the way first. The product that is served as scrambled eggs on the Lido deck needs to go. Having been one who has eaten hospital food for many years there are better mass-produced egg products out there. Thankfully, if you are willing to wait, you can get shell eggs cooked to order at the omelet station. The hamburgers and pizza are decent, but not particularly memorable. There were usually better options on the Lido buffets, but HAL has them beat in this regard. The Main dining room was surprisingly excellent. Our servers remembered our name and our preferences after day one. It has been a while since that happened on cruise. Carnival manages to provide excellent service without an ounce of pretension. The jovial atmosphere truly was that of a fun ship in the MDR – and evening meals with our six table mates was a highlight of this cruise. We had lobster twice on our 10 day cruise. The second time it tasted more like real Maine lobster. The Chateaubriand steak was a 10 out 10. The red fish was not a big hit with me, but they replaced it with the best lasagna I have ever tasted. Appetizers like the Thai egg rolls, escargot, and crab cakes were all outstanding. For $20 up-charge you can also find Steakhouse selections on the menu in the MDR. The Entertainment This ship did not lack for entertainment choices. While all were not to my taste, here were my three favorites. The Punchliner Comedy Club kept many in stitches. One late-night person was bordered on too blue for my taste. The performance I heard most about was the comedian who stole the scooter from a senior traveler an weaved through to the furthest reaches of the Cole Porter lounge to embarrass the hell out even the most timid of audience members. Now that is funny and terrifying! Consuelo Ivy was and outstanding and versatile entertainer who manages to pull off just about any R&B cover she chooses to do. She did a far better job with Whitney than even Whitney in her later years. RIP. Consuelo was a true professional. The Upward Band always seemed to play when the Captain was present -yet another excellent ensemble. There were many other trivia and throwback cruise games. The Ports • Barbados – Ted Tours ($60) offered and excellent island tour with a true local that everyone seems to know. Includes rum punch and fish cakes on the half-day tour. Stunning scenery – windmills, mountain tops, rugged coastlines, and historic churches. We even had a short walk around in Speightstown. • St. Lucia – Cosol Tours ($75) offered a really full day tour including Sugar Beach, Mud Baths and Torialle Waterfall and a light lunch. This was a good tour, but too long on the bus over twisty roads for my taste. I prefer the round trip catamaran tour to the Pitons from Castries to this one. • Grenada - For a fantastic day at the beach just hop on the water taxi besides the port building. $8 RT gets you to Grande Anse Beach. Walk a half-mile from the dock down the beach for cheaper chairs $5 and a nice lunch at Umbrellas. A local will rent you a chair and fetch as many $2 Carib beers as you like. A highlight is the view of St. Georges on the Water Taxi ride back. This is perhaps the most beautiful city scene in the Caribbean. You can by your spices in the port shops. • Tobago – Taxi to Pigeon Point is $50 RT. Excellent restaurants are on site and a beautiful beach. You can get a glass bottom boat from here to the Bucco Reef and Nylon Pool. Scarborough was totally forgettable on our Sunday visit. • St. Kitts – Greys Island Tour ($48) offered an incredible tour that included what I consider to be four blockbuster sites: Romney Manor and Carabelle Batik, Brimstone Hill Fortress, Timothy Hill with views of the peninsula and Nevis and two hours at Frigate Bay beach. We had a wonderful lunch of Jerk Chicken Pasta (One the best thinks I have ever tasted) just down the beach from Carambola at Jamrock Cafe. I was surprised to see monkeys in every part of the island. The guide pointed out cashew, papaya, and mango trees, and a 400 year old Saman Tree. This was my favorite tour of the cruise. St. Kitts is stunningly beautiful with a proper guide that will get you out on the island. • St. Thomas – Thankfully we were there with only one other ship in port, as this port is loved to death by the cruise lines. We got great deals on watches at Beverly’s on Main Street. We then caught a $20 tour with Chicago at 12:15 in front of the post office. Chicago offered a great short tour to Mountain Top, Drakes Seat, and Beacon Point. The tour ended on top of Paradise Point where you can enjoy a Bushwhacker before taking the Tram down for only $5. Jacksonville has got a great new cruise option on a ship with fantastic crew. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2016
The Carnival Elation is not as bad as everyone keeps saying. Yes, it is older, smaller, a little worn, a few outdated styles & can feel the waves a bit more than the bigger ships, but I enjoyed the smaller ship with less people on it. ... Read More
The Carnival Elation is not as bad as everyone keeps saying. Yes, it is older, smaller, a little worn, a few outdated styles & can feel the waves a bit more than the bigger ships, but I enjoyed the smaller ship with less people on it. I would recommend staying an extra night in San Juan at the Fortaleza suites & explore a bit. The hotel was an experience in itself. We also used Batey Zipline Adventures & http://toursandtransfers.wix.com/toursandtransfers picked us up at our hotel in Old San Juan & drove us to their site approx. an hour away. Javier, Jesus and Javo took us zip lining and we were able to spin, flip upside down, & let go of the rope & dangle. We also repelled 70 ft, hiked in the rain forest, crossed a suspension bridge, kayaking through a cave, & enjoyed an all natural Puertorican lunch. The next night we took the 10 day journey cruise to Barbados, Grenada, Tobago, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Thomas. Favorite ports were St. Lucia and St. Thomas. Grenada & Tobago were our least favorite ports. Our Cabin was taken care of by "G" & Imade who were fabulous always calling us by name. Service was fantastic in the Inspiration dining even though they were short staffed. Danijel, igusti, & sanjay were our waiters! I would have liked a better selection of foods and desserts on the menu in the dining. Excursions where we had to meet in a room to get off the ship was always chaos & unorganized by carnival. Hennie the cruise director and the temporary captain Salvatore Messina were kind of rude, the performers were ok, & one comedian Manny Oliveira was insulting but everyone else was fantastic! Almost every night we had a chance to take pictures (we had 3 formal nights & the rest were casual nights) with the photographers which helped us have lots of decisions at the end of the cruise as to which pictures we wanted. I would have liked a better package selection for the pictures. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Was not very elated with the Carnival Elation. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, 4 ports we had not been to yet. Embark was quick...and pretty painless. They need a new cruise director that might add some lido sea day ... Read More
Was not very elated with the Carnival Elation. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, 4 ports we had not been to yet. Embark was quick...and pretty painless. They need a new cruise director that might add some lido sea day activities.....absolutely nothing going on....quite frankly...could hardly understand what he was saying when he did come on the speaker.....quite boring. Food was good in the dining room..pizza was so so...morning breakfast, not sure what the scrambled eggs were (actually not even edible) so ask for REAL eggs and they will give them to you.... Service was good...Was very surprised to find out they didn't change the sheets in the cabin the whole 10 days! Didn't ask, just assumed they were changed only to find out near the end, that was not the case. Excursions were catamaran snorkel sea turtle in Barbados and Zip line in St. Kitts, both were fun and went off without a hitch. Our cabin steward was great...Basically the ship needs the 2.0 done. The entertainment was lacking seriously. Usual sing and dance show...we did have a few laughs when we went to the ventriloquist show. He was quite funny... When we returned to Jacksonville, I have NEVER seen a more disorganized debark....it took FOREVER to get off that ship...Probably took over 3 1/2 hours. Have been on 8 Carnival cruises...would I sail with them again...probably...but not on the Elation. Definitely if I do sail with Carnival again, it will be on the bigger ships that have been upgraded to 2.0..... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
The Elation is a somewhat dated ship, and some of the amenities on other Carnival ships are not present on the Elation. Things such as more intimate dining, and some other eateries. As always, he staff were excellent. This was a longer ... Read More
The Elation is a somewhat dated ship, and some of the amenities on other Carnival ships are not present on the Elation. Things such as more intimate dining, and some other eateries. As always, he staff were excellent. This was a longer cruise, and after a few days, the food seemed to be a little repetitive. The comedy shows, music, and production shows were all ok. I have seen many of the same production shows on other Carnival ships. I guess they use a standard program, so many of the shows are very similar. I was pleasantly surprised with the size of the room. I was larger then many other cruises we have taken. I am not all that excited with the new fees for certain room service items, as many of the hot items are at an additional fee. Most cold items are still free. All in all, I enjoyed the cruise aboard Carnival Elation. Read Less
Carnival Elation Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.5 4.0
Rates N/A 4.4

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