My wife and I spent our honeymoon on the Elation during a 5 day cruise to Cozumel and Progresso Mexico. Since then we have taken that exact cruise again and have booked a third trip this year for our 2 year anniversary. I can honestly say that for the money you cannot find a more enjoyable and relaxing vacation.
The Elation is one of the older ships out of the Carnival fleet, but I must say that it very well maintained. State rooms are cleaned twice a day and public area are cleaned all throughout the day .
The lido deck can get rather congested at times especially on the day at sea. Although I can't compare it to any other ships being that I have not been on any other cruise. Despite how popular that area can be at times I do feel that there is adequate room for those who wish to spend their time there.
The serenity deck is one of my favorite areas of the ship. It's for adults only and being positioned at the rear of the ship guest have a beautiful view of the Gulfof Mexico. My only complaint about the serenity deck is it undersized and guests traveling in large groups have a tendency of claiming the hot tubs as their own for long periods of times. Smaller groups of guests, couples and singles can find it difficult it not completely impossible to enjoy these areas during prime hours.
The Elation has a variety of different bars and night club like venues for adults to enjoy after hours entertainment. Everything from live band Karaoke to DJ's playing dance music. Of course there is also the on-board shows, stand up comedy, and other activities. Personally we usually enjoy doing our own thing but we do enjoy many of the on board activities.
The food on the ship is plentiful however if I'm being honest it not what I consider high quality. That being said there is nothing wrong with the food, the food safety standards high and I would argue that the meet or exceed the industry standards.Some meal offerings are better than others, but I can guarantee you that you will not go hungry on this ship.
The room service offerings are great and the fact that there is no additional cost for them make them spectacular.
The service that Carnival provides their guest is top notch. I can say that they are friendly and very accommodating.
-----PLEASE CAREFULLY READ THE ENTIRE CRUISE CONTRACT BEFORE TAKING THIS CRUISE----
Sail Date: April 29, 2013
Cruise Region: Caribbean - Western
Cruise Length: Five days
Horrible, Awful, Cheats, Scams, and Liars.
Once you have read this contract you realize you have signed your life, first born, and bank account over to Carnival Cruise lines.
Once you board this "ship" or floating bathroom as i would like to refer to it they will offer you drinks. Complimentary? OH NO, they will make sure to get your (sails and signs account card) and then let you know they have a daily drink special of $10 if they are feeling generous that day.
After you get a look around the ship they will let you know where your cabin is located and where your baggage will be. (Please ignore all baggage location as you will have to fight your way to it at the end of the hallway where you can grab all you want.)
Now we get to the fun parts, want your room cleaned??? Oh, they will surely help you out by removing your valuables from your room in my case an iPhone 5 and somecash. So, now that they have robbed you, you will try to make a report when you make your report please be ready to be searched by security and treated as a criminal, because not only will they search your entire room bag by bag, article or clothing by article of clothing, but they will also go through your safe.
Now that you have proven that the items are NOT in your possession they will ask you how much cash you have on your person, (why i haven't quite figured out yet) and tell you they will return within an hour or so. That being said after 5 hours of sitting in my cabin i decide that i am going to go up to customer service where i ask for the manager it seems that all staff are "the manager" after asking how everyone is the manager i got pulled aside by two security guards behind a curtain to meet a lovely (sarcasm) lady named Barbara.
Barbara proceeded to call me a liar, i then asked to see a video or recording of who had entered my room, this was not possible because "they don't have any". So, now i am told to "PROVE" that my items were there in the first place. I attempted to explain that i cannot prove the location of something that is no longer there the reply i received was that the investigation was complete. I go on to realize that now i have to cancel my cell phone and bank info because of data stored on my iPhone, they were very nice at offering free calls to do so, BUT then you get a bill of 100$ for international calling.
Now they will try to show you a log of when people come in and out of your room pay attention to the times they burst in on you with "towel service" or "activity sheets", because they tell you that only the "steward" has access to your room.
So we have covered the basics of this cruises personnel lets get to the ports. One of the two stops was delayed by poor planning due to another ships arrival leaving non priority guests stuck on the boat for part of the day. All in all i felt more safe and comfortable having a random bar keep in mexico look after my items then i did in my room.
I would never get back on this boat, even if it was free.
The Elation is a Fantasy class ship that we had just sailed a few months ago, so we knew what to expect. We have sailed her many times.
We love cruising out of New Orleans. We are Diamond members, so we get VIP Check In and New Orleans does that very well. IF you are sailing when NCL and RCCL are in town, the traffic can be a bit of a pain on Saturdays and Sundays, but they were goneâ€¦so we had no issues. I believe RCCL and NCL are only in New Orleans from Nov - April.
To me the Elation is the prettiest of the Fantasy class ships and one of my favorites, even though it does not have the new Evolutions of Fun water park or the balconies that have been added to some Fantasy class ships.
The food was good. We ate in the Main Dining Room every night. Yes the menu has changed over the years, but we were always able to find something that we liked.
The Deli was good as was the Mongolian Wok. And of course the 24 hour free ice cream. YUM
Service wasexcellent all over the ship.
Gary Brierley was the Cruise Director and he is just delightful. (one of our favorites)
Ryan is a Social Host of Australia whose performance in the Legends Show is not to be missed. He also hosted karaoke and was a huge hit!
Bruce in the Piano Bar is from Scotland and a delightful (and talented) gentleman.
The Cover Band was Simply Friends and they are very good.
We had 4 in an interior on Empress. This was our last "family" cruise for awhile, since our oldest son is now grown and is sailing on his own and with friends.
We had plenty of room even with 2 boys that are 6+ foot tall.
We found the ship to be in good shape. Our cabin was clean and the cabin steward friendly and attentive.
They have the NEW Legends Show and it was good to see some new acts.
We have been to Progreso and Cozumel more times than I can count but always have a good time when we are there. Both are safe. I know with all the violence in other parts of Mexico this can be a concern.
We did our own thing in both ports. We always just walk about in Progreso and this time I actually forgot to pack my white socksâ€¦and was able to find some in the local market (orange building).
In Cozumel, we went to Paradise Beach for a day of fun in the sunâ€¦.but we are also very fond of Cozumel Bar Hop. Both are independent tours you can find on Facebook and we have a blast.
They did VIP Self Assist very well...except that it is difficult to get your luggage up to Promenade and then back down to Empress. Since this is "self assist", then they should know all these guests are going to have all their luggage and should have a meeting place that allows for that fact.
Over all, what we thought would be just a 5 day getaway turned into one of our best cruises.
I found Elation to be a great ship - not as crowded as the huge ships so I had more fun
Well It all started with the rude service we started as we checked in and recieved our sign and sail card the lady behind the counter was snotty and rude ! We blew it off and was just excited to get on the boat and start our vacation .
We get to our room and we noticed it was warm we just thought it was cause we were in port still. Nope that was not the cause the next day our room was at least 80 deg we notified customer service olny to be met with the most rudest service from a lady from the Ucrain she actually made my wife cry . I waited in our room for 4 1/2 hrs before notifing the room steward that the air tech still had not showed up to fix our a/c .
And we also complained about our whole floor smelling like raw sewage the whole trip and we were only met with more rudeness from customer service. We sat up on the Lido deck and talked to some of the other passengers and they asked how our cruise wasgoing and we told them and they said which room are you in?
Oh honey they said there was a Murder in that room .
Room number R24 on the Riveria Deck that is really your room and we said yes and actually had to show some of them that customer service never told us about it gave us an option to move and when we informed them of no a/c the rudest service we have ever experienced and now the murder in our room could they please move us and we were only met with a big NO NO NO !!!!!!
Then we went to dinner that night and we had sea food and my wife hade shrimp and shortly after dinner she said honey I dont feel so good and went to the rest room and proceeded to vomit and say I think I have food poisining she was sick for two days from that. The food was so bad on the boad we couldnt wait to get to port so we could eat starving pigs wouldnt eat the swill that was served on this boat we were so disapointed.
What a waist of time and money we will never cruise Carnival after this experience with them ! I have Cruised with Carnival 6 other times and they were all great but this was my new wifes first experience with cruising and she never wants to get on another cruise from the rude servive to the homosexuall DJs and staff pushing it off on you and the lesbiean servers that were hitting on my wife it was whorable.
So we complained on how we were treated and they said here is 15% of on your next Cruise with the Carnival Fun Family â€¦â€¦ WE WILL NEVER EVER SEPND ANOTHER VACATION ON A CARNIVAL CRUSE WHAT A WAISTE OF MONEY I SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME AND THREY THE MONEY OUT THE WINDOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Carnival Cruise Ship "Elation" was not what we expected for luxury travel. The beds were awful, could feel the springs while trying to sleep. One of the assistance persons on the 7th floor deportation area was very arrogant and lack in ability to communicate with restless passenger, me, she was not willing to call the director for information I had requested and told me to "cool it." That did not go over very well as I had been sitting in my wheel chair for over an hour and in excruciating pain... The ship DID NOT give any assistance during disembarking to handicapped people, we were pushed aside, ran into with luggage by other passengers....(No dignity on this ship for handicapped people by the ship's personal, other than the room cleaning assistances.) It was the port folks and customs officers who so kind and gave us help.
We were very excited about the cruise and our destination, Mexico. We were looking forward to lively clubs, all you can eat quality food, quality seafood, quiet adult time, culture, tacos in mexico and courteous staff.
We boarded early, had a buffet lunch with all of our luggage in tow because the rooms do not open until 1:30... Tiffany's looked very nice, though the stained glass is fake and falling apart. I skipped to salad, and found that the salad area had hardly any variety. I saw my husband got a burger and went to find them... I got a burger and was in the bathroom within 20 minutes from the fat in the burger. There was no fresh seafood on the buffets like we thought there would be, usually strange concoctions that I tried and never liked. My husband and I are foodies but we are not exactly picky either. If we are going to eat, we want it to be decent quality... the buffet food to me was horrible. Even the desserts. They have free soft serve but it was the icy kind of stuff, not creamy. The onlytime we were pleased with the food is if we went to the dining room we were assigned. The attitude of the wait staff during the day was very curt and off-putting. But in the evenings we were assigned to a table, waiter and server that were top class and the food was wonderful. Go out of your comfort zone in the dining room. But don't even bother with the buffet food... horrible.
The novelty of the boat wore off quickly. Its nice in the mornings or late late evenings when most are in bed or at dinner, but otherwise parents let their kids run around screaming and bumping in to people, so they got a vacation from them but they terrorized other people... apparently there is a fall break now that attributed to there being so many children on board... we find children unpleasant because their parents do not make them behave... on a cruise ship, this is multiplied 100 times. So we did not get away from screaming kids like we had hoped. And unless you like LAME shows, tacky American culture, gambling and drinking, there is nothing to do on the ship. We thought there would be more of a night life on board and more to do than just sun bath (burn and get cancer) and swim in a pool that is fool of screaming children. The only safe place we found was the Serenity deck which was adult only; no bar or live music, just two hot tubs and a bunch of lounge chairs. This was on the back of the boat, so it was very small. We enjoyed the hot tubs at night while everyone else was at dinner. But then that made us sleepy and after seeing the lineup for "entertainment" we just went back to our room and watched on of the daily movies.
We thought there would be more culture on the ship, but instead we got American cover bands as music, burgers and fries... the closest you will get to culture is talking to the crew; I think only four or five were American, the rest were from all over the world, but they are working 70 hour weeks and waiting on you hand and foot with a master servant kind of relationship... we felt very distant from them which we are not used to and it made us feel like total heels. My husband and I are very humble down to earth people, so being made to feel like we were not on the same level as the crew was very demoralizing for us. Especially since they were the only variety in culture on the ship, which is what we were looking forward to.
There were very few people in our age group (25-30) on the ship, so the night life was not existent. We would walk by the clubs after dinner and they were dead. The only things going were the cover band, the lame shows in the Mikado and Cole Porter lounge, and the casino... we had already spent enough money on the cruise itself, we did not have money to gamble.
The highlight was Mexico. Skip Cozumel, overrated. The beaches are not as nice and too expensive. Carnival charged us $40 per ticket to go to Playa del Mia and when we got there, they did have the "free" open bar (we just paid $40!) but nothing else was available that was detailed with the excursion, no water sports, nothing. Apparently a storm came close by and murkied things up and made it so they had to put all the water sports equipment up. So we paid $40 to fight with people on the beach over lounge chairs in the shade (no umbrellas it was too windy)... very disappointed. My husband literally tried to drink $40 worth from the bar to compensate for our loss. So skip Cozumel... even if the water sports are available... save your money for Calica instead. Prettier beaches and water and they do not heckle you as much in the shops and streets but you still get good deals. We went to Playa del Carmen and paid $20 for two lounge chairs with a huge corona umbrella and that was for as long as we wanted to be there. Beautiful sand and water, and we were treated to a Mexican man and his music. He was not walking arounf with an entire mariachi band; just himself, dressed in a long sleeve flannel shirt, dark blue jeans and black tennis shoes and his guitar. No tacky Mexican production or costume. Very genuine and the music was beautiful. He sang Coo Coo Roo Koo Coo for us and had we have been rich I would have given him a $100 tip. It was special and beautiful. Then we walked to the man a few feet behind us and ordered tacos from a restaurant a few feet from the beach. They were wonderful! Real tacos, not gringo tacos. And fresh guacamole that tasted like mine. And black refried beans. We were tickled with our trip to Calica. If we can ever go back I will find that man and give him a bigger tip, no song required. But we will not go via cruise ship.
We got back on the boat and left the culture. We got a view jems that we would not have gotten if we had not have gone, like the man singning for us on video and we got to see the sun set over the water from the dining room on the boat. But if we ever go back to Mexico, we will stay there, not on a boat. You can still do it and be safe; just don't go to Tijuana.
For the money we spent to have a room and food on the boat, we could have stayed home and done things we enjoyed and taken in still more culture. And we could have made real tacos at home. We could have had a shopping spree and still had a lot of money left over. We could have played pool, gone to wine tastings, bought our own liquor and drank more (we couldn't afford to drink on the boat; imagine 5 full days of ordering drinks at a bar...). We could have gone to a concert, a 5 star restaurant for the first time... We really regret going, there are so many better things we could have spent the money on and we would have enjoyed oursleves more. Instead we were trapped on an out dated boat with lots of children and lots of 70-80+ people, with nothing that entertained us... bored to tears.
Let me put it this way. If you like variety, spice, culture, freedom, good food, good music, dancing, and intellectual stimulation, a carnival cruise may not be for you.
For my wife and I, our first cruise was on the Carnival Elation out of San Diego. We had booked a 4 night cruise with a stop in Catalina island and then Ensenada, Mexico; however, due to swine flu concerns Carnival canceled the Ensenada stop. They refunded the port fees for this stop in the form of shipboard credits. This was fine for us, as we didn't have any excursions planned in Ensenada and the extra day at sea with shipboard credits was great.
Getting on the ship was much easier than we thought it would be. We arrived at 11:15 and got checked in and waited until they started boarding around noon. Our room wasn't ready until 1:30, so we had to lug around our carry on bags until then, but it was worth it to have the time to explore the ship.
We had a wonderful time on this cruise. Our cabin was very comfortable and our steward was wonderful.
For dining we chose the Your Time dining and loved it. We were able to get a table for just the two of us each evening and only oncedid we have to wait, and that was only about 10 minutes. Even that wasn't bad, as they gave us a pager and we went to the Atrium bar and had a drink as we waited. Once in the dining room the service was excellent. Even though we did have different wait staff on some of the nights, the waiters from previous nights would come over and say hello and ask how things were going. Service and the food were excellent in the dining room. The buffet food was just that, buffet food. The breakfasts were marginal at best and lunches were ok. Sticking to the pizza for lunch was the best choice.
Overall the shows were just ok. The showroom layout had very poor sightlines if you were in the balcony or further back. It is worthwhile to get to the showroom early to get a main floor seat. The best show we saw was Seth, the comedian. He had a "family friendly" bit on the first night, then had the full adults only show in the lounge in the back of the ship the next night. Both were very good.
Getting off the ship took awhile. We had one of the last numbers to be called, but this just gave us more time to relax on the ship. Once our number was called it was less than 10 minutes and we were through customs and back in the real world.
Overall we had a great time and will definitely consider Carnival again.
We have sailed on the Elation (out of San Diego) once before in September 2008 on a five day cruise to Mexico, and had an outstanding introduction to cruising. This was our second cruise, and we chose a short cruise to introduce our friends to this enjoyable way to vacation. We looked forward to revisiting "our" ship.
Getting on the ship is easy, do all of your pre-check-in stuff online, and park across the street from the ship. Registration is quick and easy, and you then walk onto the ship. There are numerous photographers buzzing around the entire cruise. You CAN avoid the photographers, just smile and tell them "no thanks." I only had one press his luck with me, and after I "educated" him, he avoided me the rest of the trip.
OK, here is the negative stuff. I made the mistake of booking during spring break, and we were on the "Booze Cruise" as my college-aged daughters called it. Having some fun is one thing, but sloppy, foul mouthed drunks with no regard for others is another. I now understand why these "kids" go on these cruises. They are free todo what they want. The ship's staff never even checked I.D.'s when selling alchol to these underaged kids, nor made any attempt to keep them from bothering the rest of the passengers.
The positive stuff -- Our food service was excellent, as was our waiter and his assistant. Likewise our cabin steward was simply the best. They helped make a difficult voyage better. Getting on and off the ship is very easy. We stayed again in a mini-suite. It's worth the extra money. The ship has very few rooms with a balcony, and having the bigger room with a larger bathroom and a whirlpool tub is worth the extra expense -- and it's actually not that much more.
Lesson learned -- no more three day cruises for me. The Carnival Elation is a nice, clean ship with an excellent staff and crew. We will sail with Carnival again.
Carnival's mission is to please it's customers so they will want to return to sail again. However, somewhere between this mission's philosophy and delivering it to the customer, it gets lost in bumbling middle management, with an over zealous bottom line agenda.
Don't get me wrong. Before my recent sailing on Carnival's "Elation," I was a very happy, and probably the best supporter of Carnival, having sung their praises to many.
We booked over 30 friends and family on the Elation (some who had previously sworn never to cruise with Carnival again) for mid February, and another 4 couples signed on the sailing just before our's (due to work schedules). We had booked this same group the year before on Royal Caribbean and the year before that on Carnival Pride, and in past years chartered privately. But this trip was different. It was to be a short, inexpensive cruise into Mexico, because we were bringing along some fatherless children who didn't normally have the luxury of vacations, and we wanted to make a difference. We MOST certainly preferred Carnival prior to this sailing for its fun and friendly staff, and the fun thingsfor the kids to do once onboard (waterslide, minigolf, etc.). Let me tell you, the ship's staff are the best and it's a shame all their hard work is overshadowed by poor administration in Maimi. What I will say is "Caveat Emptor," buyer beware!
Originally we were told that we could book this large group through the normal customer service agent, Lee Fernande (who was great and should be employed where her hard work would not be wasted), and even though we would be giving up many of the perks given by the Groups department, we liked the flexibility of booking it as individuals, within a group. For this we were offered a party, upgrades and other items, but ran afoul when we tried many times to get a written agreement. We did get plenty of substantiating emails and such. Despite having booked early in October, and even though Carnival had plenty of time to review and make changes, they chose to cancel our party in email, only days before we sailed, and well beyond our deadline and ability to cancel, AND only after we had decided on a theme of "the 60's" for the party and many had purchased appropriate attire.
Carnival also quoted us prices that were never quite honored and made promises never quite kept. In fact they even found a way to finagle my fuel supplement fees which I was told would be returned to me AND THEY DID NOT GIVE THE KIDS the soda cards they had promised them. In fact it was acknowledged to me, by more than one employee, the treatment we received was not fair. One employee even referred to them as "crooks" (but God forbid these great employees should be at a risk of losing their jobs having done so -- they may actually go to work for a company with ethics, which might cherish such employees that know the right from the wrong way to treat loyal customers). This was our third and last cruise with Carnival. We had discussed prior to this sailing our going without children in September on the new Splendor.
The only gripes we encountered onboard were that they didn't put us at a banquet type setting and our group was mixed with others at dinner. Or, for those that were unaware, they charge you the tips with each purchase on your sign and travel card, while the staff smiles and knowingly lets you pay double, without warning. Or that they WILL let 7-year-old kids gamble at bingo, even collect winnings, but will not let a 15 year old talented singer sing at karaoke, go figure. Other than that, the ship's layout isn't as good as others and it rained most of our trip. Docking in Catalina took half the day and for those who gave up trying to go into port, all shops and the casino were closed. There is also little for the teenaged kids to do in the rainy season as well. BUT we still had a GREAT time even though my complaints only got me room keys that didn't work, or wouldn't let me on or off the ship without hassle, and a few of our guest info had been altered, so we were delayed at boarding and a couple were not on the manifest at all. Thanks, Carnival!
This is one group that will never join the wonderful (and I do mean that) staff on another Carnival cruise.
In short, Carnival spends MORE time and resources solving customers' issues that they create over made up rules and changes, and the reasons for dissallowing or unqualifying its sales offers, than it would actually make with just honoring, truly and honestly, offers and having as great of an administration and customer service department as its ships have in onboard staff and in satisfying those same customers.
I'll return when I read that Carnival is "under new management."