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  #1  
Old May 10th, 2004, 07:06 PM
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aggieastrosfan aggieastrosfan is offline
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Default Elation Review 5/2/04

Without detailing day-by-day, I’ll try to hit the highlights, and I’ll gladly answer any questions on anything I missed out!

Background – third cruise, all on Carnival, 2nd trip on the Elation. DH and I (25 and 26) celebrating 2nd wedding anniversary.

Dolphin Lot – Arrived at 10:45, waited an hour for a bus after being told only about 30 minutes.

Embarkation – A snap thanks to Skipper’s Club! After our speedy check-in, we were escorted with 4 others to the front of the picture-taking line. On the ship by 12:45.

Craps lessons were great! I’m hooked, and played it for the rest of the cruise.

Art Auctions – Andre’s something else, he sure loves that gavel. The first day was great (watched someone pay $45,000 for a Nekita original), but by the 4th and final auction (DH to all 4, myself to 3), he kept saying the same things about the same artists, even though he knew he had a repeat crowd. I did win a free print, though, at the second auction.

Photos – not too bad this trip, the portrait photographers were better about not being pushy. Look for Leah in the Gallery and out taking pictures, she was very friendly and great to chat with!

Dinner – Imagination 6:15 seating, table 161. Wanda and Whisky are AMAZING. They were the best waitstaff we’ve had on a cruise.

Food – Pizza, pizza, pizza! I plowed through thisstuff, it is not to be missed. If you’re a french fry lover, you’ll love the fries as well. Burgers were okay, kind of bland. Dining room dinners were pretty good. I don’t like seafood, so I had steaks every night. Sirloin and beef tenderloin were the best. Only thing I noticed, though, is that their medium well didn’t have any pink, and their medium had some blood. I normally take it medium well, but I switched to medium when I could (sometimes you get medium well or medium rare), only because medium well was a little tough in places. Desserts were great as always, no complaints there.

Cabin – We had an upgrade to a cat 12, and it was nothing short of spectacular. We were so spoiled that we’ll probably never be able to go back to a regular room, just having the space to relax in was amazing. Cabin steward was okay; we got 5 towel animals. We have no complaints, we got about what we expected; he was friendly, cleaned our room, he just didn’t do anything overtly spectacular.

Coming in a couple days – shore excursions and debarkation. We did Dzibilchaltun in Progreso, Passion Island in Cozumel, and cave tubing with X-Stream in Belize. I’d be happy to answer any questions until then, though, and the link to all of my pictures is below!

Ecstasy awaits...12/4/04


Holiday 12/00 - Baja
Elation 05/02 - Mexican Riviera
Elation 05/04 - W. Carribbean
Ecstasy 12/04 - W. Carribbean

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  #2  
Old May 10th, 2004, 07:20 PM
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aggieastrosfan aggieastrosfan is offline
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Rhonda, if you see this, e-mail me! I think your e-mail address got washed.

Ecstasy awaits...12/4/04


Holiday 12/00 - Baja
Elation 05/02 - Mexican Riviera
Elation 05/04 - W. Carribbean
Ecstasy 12/04 - W. Carribbean

See my pictures!
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  #3  
Old May 13th, 2004, 09:51 AM
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aggieastrosfan aggieastrosfan is offline
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A very long part two...

Progreso – Dzbilchaltun Ruins – Great for someone like me who wants to see ruins without spending the whole day there – only about a 30 minute drive from the ship. The cenote made it even more enticing, it was so refreshing to swim in. Our tour guide, Miguel, was very knowledgeable, almost too much – we were stuck in the museum for an hour, plus 30 minutes viewing the sample modern Maya house. I was a little disappointed at the lack of free time, but others in our group loved all the history. Just preferences, I guess. I just wanted a brief history followed by my own exploration. This tour will not drop you off in town when it’s over, though.

Cozumel – Passion Island – Beautiful. Not nearly long enough. DH got a 30 minute massage for $35, which he said was worth every penny, and I did the water-balloon toss. Food wasn’t what I was expecting, good but not great, and the drinks were watered down – I kept having to ask for double rum punches because I didn’t taste anything. They used real liquor, though, as it was Bacardi he was adding to my drinks. You can do this activity elsewhere for much cheaper (I’m not sure we ate and drank our $75 worth), but we knew this up front. We booked it for being quieter than a public beach, which it was, and to make sure we got some time at Carlos ‘n’ Charlie’s, which we did. We were happy with it, and might book it again given the opportunity.

Belize – Cave Tubing with X-Stream – The purser’s desk recommendation was to meet the tour groups down at the tender, and they’d let us on. Well, they almost didn’t let us on, the guy down there was not too happy. He did let us through, but if you need to sneak off for a private excursion, join the tour group meeting in the Mikado. They don’t check tickets until you actually get on the bus.

Thomas was okay. Compared to ship guides, he was great. Compared to the things I’ve heard about Richard, he was below par. The hike itself wasn’t that bad (then again, I run 2-4 miles 3-4 times a week), but my back was very sore from carrying the tube. The water was *freezing*. I was expecting cold, but not this. It took a lot out of the trip for me, as I’m pretty cold-natured. He seemed to be in a grumpy mood – I asked him a couple of questions that he had apparently already mentioned and made a comment about having to answer them again, but having been in the rear of the group (the hike doesn’t allow for two people to walk side-by-side very often), I couldn’t always hear him. All in all, still way better than the ship’s tour, though I was disappointed to not be given the option to jump off the cliff into the water – I really wanted to do that.

Other notes:

Pool Band was HORRIBLE! They played their music okay enough, but as soon as they opened their mouths, it nearly drove me away.

I entered the first blackjack tournament, and actually made the finals. Didn’t win, but I did get a cool tote bag o’ Ocean’s Player’s Club goodies – t-shirt, playing cards, koozie, and a keychain.

CD Larry Garlutzo (sp?) mentioned Cruise Critic quite a few times, mainly when referencing the Dirt Poets, “voted the number one cruise ship band by AOL and Cruise Critic”, but he did say hello a couple of times to those of us “he knew were out there somewhere”. Speaking of Dirt Poets, they are very good; make sure you check them out, also.

The ship was COLD! I caught my teeth chattering in some places.

To those that were wondering if it was only their ship rocking in the Gulf – it wasn’t! The jogging track and some other outside areas were closed on Friday due to high winds. I managed to make it up to the jogging track before they closed it and only lasted one lap; you couldn’t walk against the wind, it was so strong. There was a lot of rocking heading south, but coming back was fairly calm, save for Friday.

Do try the pay massage chairs near the Super Shopper Desk on Promenade Deck! A $5 bill gets you 10 minutes of great relaxation. Word of caution, though – the chair closest to the Mikado is not as hard as the one closer to the Super Shopper Desk.

Immigration was a joke. We were given “priority” debarkation luggage tags (the orange Verandah tags). We got in the immigration line around 8:05, and didn’t come out until about 9:00. Since immigration was completed for the whole ship by 9:35 or so, I’m not sure how that came out to be a priority. What I didn’t know at the time was that family members could change out their tags so everyone could get off at the same time, and I guess half the ship was related to the 250 or so people max that legitimately could have had the tags. We were off the ship by 9:45, and at our car by 10:10.

If you’re a wine drinker, there’s two wine and cheese happy hours – the buy 2, get 1 free special makes them only about $2 a glass.

Captain’s Cocktail Party – not good for much else other than the free drinks. It was just dancing and an introduction of the officers.

Past Guest Party – not good for much else other than the free drinks. It was just a social gathering with a short clip of Carnival’s beginnings and all the ships today.

I’m sorry I keep making these so long! As always, happy to answer any questions! I still have all my Capers, the excursion list, and a few other odds and ends.

Ecstasy awaits...12/4/04


Holiday 12/00 - Baja
Elation 05/02 - Mexican Riviera
Elation 05/04 - W. Carribbean
Ecstasy 12/04 - W. Carribbean

See my pictures!
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  #4  
Old May 13th, 2004, 10:46 AM
oldvato oldvato is offline
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How's the water temp in the pools? How about water temp in the Yucatan waters?
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  #5  
Old May 13th, 2004, 11:08 AM
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aggieastrosfan aggieastrosfan is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by oldvato:
How's the water temp in the pools? How about water temp in the Yucatan waters?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ship water was quite chilly and, to me, only swimmable on the warmest day. Hot tubs were lukewarm at best, also.

As for the short water, I only really swam in Cozumel, but it was wonderful. Air temperatures were about the same in all three ports, so I imagine the same conditions would hold true in Progreso and Belize.

Ecstasy awaits...12/4/04


Holiday 12/00 - Baja
Elation 05/02 - Mexican Riviera
Elation 05/04 - W. Carribbean
Ecstasy 12/04 - W. Carribbean

See my pictures!
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  #6  
Old May 14th, 2004, 09:53 AM
Kenster Kenster is offline
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Aggie, great upgrade! What type of cabin did you originaly book?

Carnival Carnivale -1988
Carnival Celebration - 2001
Carnival Celebration -June 2004
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  #7  
Old May 14th, 2004, 12:36 PM
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aggieastrosfan aggieastrosfan is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kenster:
Aggie, great upgrade! What type of cabin did you originaly book?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

We originally booked a 6B assigned. When prices dropped, we got an upgrade to a 6D assigned. When prices dropped again, we inquired about the cost to upgrade to a suite, which was out of our price range, but a couple of weeks later, they gave it to us, anyway.

Carnival knew what they were doing. Anyone who says you don't want/need that extra space has never had it. The regular cabins were fine before, but I don't think we can ever go back. Guess it just means fewer cruises so we can afford the suite.

Ecstasy awaits...12/4/04


Holiday 12/00 - Baja
Elation 05/02 - Mexican Riviera
Elation 05/04 - W. Carribbean
Ecstasy 12/04 - W. Carribbean

See my pictures!
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  #8  
Old May 16th, 2004, 06:38 PM
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What kind of music was played at the Captian's party and the former cruisers party? My DH and I like ballroom. Was there any of that available? Rhumba, foxtrot, cha-cha, waltz?

Judy

On the beach in Cozumel in...


Elated to be on the Elation on 11/14
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  #9  
Old May 16th, 2004, 07:27 PM
mathgal mathgal is offline
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I enjoyed your pictures...especially the ones of Xstream Tubing. We have booked this tour for our cruise in June and I'm trying to get an idea of what to expect.

I noticed one of the guys in the picture was wearing "water shoes"...did these work out well or would a sturdier shoe be better? I would really like to wear my water shoes and not mess with wet tennies but I don't want sore feet either.

&nbsp;till we are in Paradise again!


Paradise 6/2004
Paradise 6/2002
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  #10  
Old May 17th, 2004, 06:57 AM
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aggieastrosfan aggieastrosfan is offline
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Judy - at the Captain's party, they had the "Elation Orchestra" playing a variety of music, but mostly ballroom, so you should enjoy that! One couple did request a tango, and put on quite a show for everyone, as they were the only ones out there. As for the past guest party, they had the Dirt Poets playing soft covers (not the rockin' stuff they play at their nightly sessions). Again, great dancing music, but I think most of your requests will be at the Captain's party.

mathgal - Our guide, along with DH and myself, wore water shoes. I was worried about the hike, but I didn't have any problems. It was mostly a dirt path, with the occasional rocky patch. My feet felt fine afterwards, as did DH's. We're glad we wore the water shoes! I didn't really think it was that rough of a hike - few steep spots, but nothing extraneous; just a really long walk.

Ecstasy awaits...12/4/04


Holiday 12/00 - Baja
Elation 05/02 - Mexican Riviera
Elation 05/04 - W. Carribbean
Ecstasy 12/04 - W. Carribbean

See my pictures!
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  #11  
Old June 14th, 2004, 11:48 PM
kpduties8 kpduties8 is offline
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I have been reading all four pages of posts. It is fun to hear about the ship and all the comments.

I was wondering if anyone has gone to the Johnsons space center while they were on their way to Galveston. I have to find a way to get 6 of us from Houston over to the space center and then to Galviston and then to the ship. We are coming in a day early. Aslo we would like to stay at a clean inexpensive hotel. Any recommendations?

We sail on August 22.

Any ideas?

THanks
Kathy C.
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  #12  
Old March 9th, 2005, 09:57 AM
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We did the Space museum about 6 years ago and loved it. Nice to go to. Also you could hang out a Stewart Beach on Galveston. We are staying at the La Quinta Inn on Seawall Blvd. It is costing us 60.00 for the night with 5 adults.
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Carnival Celebration 06/02/03
Carnival Elation 08/28/05 (Hurricane Katrina)
Carnival Conquest 8/27/06 (Hurricane Ernesto)
Carnival Conquest 8/05/07
Carnival Conquest 10/5/08 (Houston Bayport Terminal - Hurricane Ike)
Carnival Conquest 9/20/09 Eastern Caribbean
DisneyWorld - 10/8/10
Carnival Dream 8/27/11 (Hurricane Irene)
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Carnival Magic 3/16/14 (Galveston Oil Spill)
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  #13  
Old March 9th, 2005, 10:10 AM
Valentinecruiser Valentinecruiser is offline
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[quote=kpduties8]I have been reading all four pages of posts. It is fun to hear about the ship and all the comments.

I was wondering if anyone has gone to the Johnsons space center while they were on their way to Galveston. I have to find a way to get 6 of us from Houston over to the space center and then to Galviston and then to the ship. We are coming in a day early. Aslo we would like to stay at a clean inexpensive hotel. Any recommendations?

We stayed at the NASA Best Western in Baxter. It was fine and had a free cont. breakfast. Close to everything. To see NASA is expensive now. ???
Check it out and be prepared before you go.
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  #14  
Old March 9th, 2005, 06:35 PM
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I live across the street from Nasa and just to let you know that Nasa isn't open for tours since 9/11. you have to go to Space center Houston and take a tram tour across the way to Nasa. I think Space Cntr Houston is expensive so look on the internet for 1/2 off coupons if you want to go. You might consider going to the Kemah waterfront to eat and ride some rides, play some games and watch the boats go by (bring $$). My grandkids liked Kemah better than Space Center houston. Also, the Moody Gardens in Galveston are fun (bring $$). there are many hotels in Galveston that will put you up for a night, take you to the ship and keep your car while you're gone and pick you up when you return!!!
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