Review - Carnival Elation, May 12, 2016

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#1
Auburn, AL
303 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Hello, everyone! I'm just back from a fun-filled but much too short four night getaway on the Carnival Elation. As I was preparing for this cruise, I noticed that very few people seem to review the older ships and shorter cruises anymore, so I hope that others will find this useful. For those who haven't read one of my reviews before, my name is Grey, and I'm a 31 year old college lecturer from Alabama. On this cruise, I traveled with my friend Claudia, also 31. Claudia is from Tennessee; we used to work together but haven't seen each other in nearly a year. This weekend was a mini reunion for us.

I don't normally go on short cruises - I really prefer 7-8 days. However, this cruise was FREE (other than port fees and taxes), and beggars can't be choosers! How did I manage this, you ask? Well, I'm a bit of a bargain traveler. Last summer, I got a call from a time share group offering me a heavily discounted long weekend at one of their resorts. I initially turned down the offer, but then they offered to throw in a $100 Visa gift card and a certificate for a 3-5 night Carnival cruise. Sold! I used the hotel part of the offer for a long weekend in New Orleans for my birthday in October and then started planning the cruise. This trip out of Jacksonville was the best fit for my schedule of all the dates they offered me.

Graduation for my students was on Sunday, May 8th. On the 9th and 10th, my department held a faculty retreat/tour of north Alabama. I spent Wednesday morning, the 11th, doing laundry, packing, and getting an oil change in preparation for my drive to Jacksonville. I left around 12:30 pm Central time and drove...and drove...and drove...While the drive was relatively easy and traffic-free, I thought I'd never see this sign:


My easy drive ended the moment I entered I-95 from I-10:


I-95 is an absolute mess right now. I thought I'd be arriving late enough to miss rush hour, and I guess I was, but the construction caused plenty of traffic snarls regardless. I pulled up to my hotel at almost exactly 7 pm Eastern time and prepared to check in. Now, I mentioned before that I'm a bargain traveler. I try to use my Choice Hotels credit card for all my work-related travel and save the points for vacations. Initially, I thought our faculty retreat would last through Wednesday night and had planned to get up and drive to Jacksonville early Thursday morning. By the time my plans had changed, most of the hotels in the Jacksonville area were booked. I decided to go with the Comfort Suites Baymeadows. From reading the Trip Advisor reviews, I knew this hotel was undergoing renovations but figured it would be fine for one night.

I will say that the lobby of the hotel was very attractive, and the breakfast area was spacious. The woman working the front desk when I checked in was also great. Someone had shown up without a reservation, and the hotel was unable to to accommodate her. The desk clerk called around to other area hotels until she was able to secure a room. I thought that was a kind gesture. I got checked in quickly and headed up to my room. There is currently only one working elevator in the hotel, and the lights and floor indicator don't work, so trying to figure out whether or not you were on the correct floor was a bit of an adventure. My room was typical of a Comfort Suites, spacious and no-frills, with a very comfortable king bed:


Part of the renovation has included added electrical outlets with USB ports on the bedside table and desk. This was a great idea:


The bathroom, on the other hand, was TINY and clearly still being updated. The sink and counter were new, and the toilet still had the factory stickers on it, but it was very dim in there, and the ceiling over the shower was still in the process of being painted:
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Previously Sailed:
Carnival Dream - December 2016 - Mahogany Bay, Belize, & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Elation - May 2016 - Nassau & Freeport - Review
Carnival Liberty - May 2015 - St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Maarten - Review
Carnival Freedom - May 2014 - St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Half Moon Cay - Review
Carnival Paradise - August 2013 - Grand Cayman & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Fascination - October 2010 - Half Moon Cay & Nassau

Future Cruises:
TBD
#2
Auburn, AL
303 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
After checking in, I decided to go find something to eat. A quick Google Maps tour of the surrounding area allowed me to discover a place called Mojito's, which was located about a mile away from the hotel. I pulled up the menu and saw that they served Puerto Rican food and decided that would be a great way to kick off the cruise. When I pulled into the parking lot, I almost turned around and left. The place was nearly deserted. There was only one other table occupied in the entire restaurant/bar area, and the air conditioner wasn't working. I was beginning to think that this was a terrible idea, but my sense of adventure compelled me to give it a try anyway. I'm so glad that I did! The food was amazing and very reasonably priced for the portion sizes. I haven't eaten like that since my Liberty cruise from San Juan last year.

I ordered the tostones rellenos and the mofongo San Juan:



Needless to say, I couldn't finish all of the food. I went to bed feeling very full and very happy!

The next morning, I took my time getting up and getting packed. Claudia's flight was due to land at 9:45, and I didn't see any point in rushing to get to the airport just to sit in my car and wait. I headed downstairs to grab a quick breakfast at 9:15. It turned out that the hotel stopped serving breakfast at 9. Oops! I was able to snag a couple of cold sausage patties and half a glass of orange juice. It wasn't great, but I figured it would be enough to keep me going until I was able to get on the ship and eat lunch. I stopped to get gas on my way to the airport; by the time I arrived at 10 am, Claudia was waiting on the curb for me. We headed to the port, with one quick stop for her to pick up sunblock, and were parked and unloading our luggage at 10:40 am. I don't normally arrive at the port that early, but it worked out well for us this time. We had walked only maybe 10 feet when a porter greeted us and took our checked bags. We breezed through the check-in and were seated in the waiting area by 11 am. We were assigned to zone 3 and were on board and headed for the lido buffet at 11:45.

We grabbed deli sandwiches (I LOVE the arugula, pepper, and mozzarella) and our first drinks of the cruise:


Our room was ready at 12:30, so we headed down to check it out. My free cruise certificate had been for a 1A only; we paid the difference to upgrade to a porthole. We were assigned M23. My very first cruise was in a porthole on the Fascination, another Fantasy class ship, also out of Jacksonville; this felt like a bit of a flashback trip. When we first walked into the room, the two beds were separated but side by side:


This configuration takes up nearly all of the floor space in the room. We moved one of the beds over against the other wall, perpendicular to the furthest bed, to free up walking space and make the room feel larger. This also kept the person sleeping by the window (me) from having to climb over the other person's bed all the time:


Other people have complained recently about the room temperature on Carnival ships, but we found our cabin stayed very cool (sometimes too cool!). I noticed that the controls for the AC on this ship were different than other ships I'd been on in the past:
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Previously Sailed:
Carnival Dream - December 2016 - Mahogany Bay, Belize, & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Elation - May 2016 - Nassau & Freeport - Review
Carnival Liberty - May 2015 - St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Maarten - Review
Carnival Freedom - May 2014 - St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Half Moon Cay - Review
Carnival Paradise - August 2013 - Grand Cayman & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Fascination - October 2010 - Half Moon Cay & Nassau

Future Cruises:
TBD
#3
Auburn, AL
303 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
After dropping off our carry-ons and rearranging the beds, we decided to head up to the Serenity deck to relax for a few hours:


We both napped and read off and on until 3:30, when we made our way back down to the cabin to see if our luggage had arrived. It had! We had just enough time to unpack before the muster drill started. Our muster station was the main show lounge. While I appreciated getting to sit inside the lounge during the drill, I felt like this location made the drill take longer than my last few ships, because ALL of us had to be led out to the lifeboats at the end of the drill before we were dismissed. I'd rather just line up by the boats to begin with and save time! The drill was pretty painless overall, though, and soon enough we were back on the Serenity deck waiting for sail away time.

Sail away was delayed for some reason (we ended up leaving about an hour late), and we got tired of sitting out in the heat waiting. We decided to grab a quick nap in the room before getting showered and dressed for dinner. While I was in the shower, I realized that I had managed to burn my right shin while sitting out on the Serenity deck in my capris and tennis shoes :


Luckily, it was a very mild burn and had faded to tan by the next morning. I was left with a pretty ridiculous looking tan line, though. We were assigned to late dining in the Imagination dining room. We were very excited to meet our table mates and hoped we would be assigned to a large table.



We were assigned to a round table for 10. Claudia and I were the first to arrive. Next came an older couple, followed by a couple from South Africa and two couples about our age from the Atlanta area. The husband of one couple had gone to high school with the wife of the other, and they hadn't seen each other since! Small world. One of the Atlanta couples had actually requested early dinner when they booked and let us know that they wouldn't be back at our table again unless they couldn't get their time changed. The husband of the South African couple got up while we were making our introductions. He came back with a waiter, and he and his wife moved over to a small table for two next to us. They didn't speak to us again until the very last day of the cruise. Talk about awkward! So our table for 10 ended up with 4 empty seats. Luckily, our remaining table mates were very friendly. It took us a little while to get warmed up, but by the end of the cruise, we greatly enjoyed one another's company.

I didn't take food photos on this cruise because the lighting in the dining room is a challenge for my camera, but I did make note of what I ate each night. On the first night, I had the Caesar salad and duck appetizers, both very good, the yam and cheddar pot pie, which is always a favorite of mine, and the WCMC (of course!). After dinner. Claudia and I decided to check out the karaoke. Everyone kept singing slow/sad songs, which didn't make for a very lively atmosphere. We called it a night and were greeted by our first towel animal of the cruise:


Next up: Sea Day!
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Previously Sailed:
Carnival Dream - December 2016 - Mahogany Bay, Belize, & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Elation - May 2016 - Nassau & Freeport - Review
Carnival Liberty - May 2015 - St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Maarten - Review
Carnival Freedom - May 2014 - St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Half Moon Cay - Review
Carnival Paradise - August 2013 - Grand Cayman & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Fascination - October 2010 - Half Moon Cay & Nassau

Future Cruises:
TBD
#4
Auburn, AL
303 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Our plan for the sea day was to spend as much time relaxing as possible. We tried to sleep in, failed, and finally decided to get up and go to brunch at 8 am. This was Claudia's first experience with the sea day brunch, and I tried not to oversell it. As usual, it didn't disappoint. I had the steak and eggs AND the bacon mac and cheese. I couldn't finish everything, but I gave it a good try. I still think that the filet served with the steak and eggs is the best steak available on the ship, outside of the steakhouse. We were stuffed after our big breakfast and headed to the serenity deck to sleep it off. I managed to find us a spot in the front row:




I always bring my oldest watch on cruises so that if it gets damaged by salt/sand/water or lost, the loss isn't a big deal. Apparently the watch I chose to take for this cruise was ready for retirement:


I managed to put it back together several times, but by the last night, I just gave up and carried it around instead of wearing it. I have become so used to having my cell phone that I almost never wear a watch in "real" life anymore. I'm a little annoyed that I spent $25 on a new battery for this one last week.

By noon, we had had our fill of sun and heat for the day. We grabbed a light lunch from the buffet, which was just okay. I'm not a big buffet fan in general, but I wasn't in the mood for a huge meal, so it worked. After eating, we wandered over to check out the trivia offerings. We fell a little short in the Broadway musical trivia but joined forces with some of our fellow cruisers and managed to win the "Super Duper" trivia game, thanks more to the other members of the group than our own contributions.


We headed back to the room for a victory nap before dinner.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Previously Sailed:
Carnival Dream - December 2016 - Mahogany Bay, Belize, & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Elation - May 2016 - Nassau & Freeport - Review
Carnival Liberty - May 2015 - St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Maarten - Review
Carnival Freedom - May 2014 - St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Half Moon Cay - Review
Carnival Paradise - August 2013 - Grand Cayman & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Fascination - October 2010 - Half Moon Cay & Nassau

Future Cruises:
TBD
#5
Georgia
27 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Loving the review so far! We are on the Elation later this year so I can't wait for the rest of your review.
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Carnival Triumph - December 2003
Carnival Dream - September 2014
Carnival Fascination - December 2014
Carnival Fascination - December 2015
Carnival Dream - September 2016
Carnival Elation B2B2B December 2016
Carnival Fantasy - September 2017
Carnival Magic - November 2017
-----------------------------------------------
Carnival Dream - February 2018
#6
Auburn, AL
303 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Tonight was elegant night, and it was my first one with the new dinner menu for the shorter cruises. I tried the scallop appetizer, and it was fantastic! I could have easily eaten a larger portion (or two...) as an entree instead. I also had the stuffed mushrooms and the crab ravioli, which was very good. I was very excited to see my old friend, bitter n blanc, on the dessert menu. It is my favorite Carnival dessert!

After dinner, we headed over to the main theater for the Epic Rock show. We were in the third row on the floor, which put us right in the middle of the action for the second song:


We enjoyed the show. I thought the singers were all very talented, and the production elements were more impressive than I expected. I was surprised, though, at how many children were present in the audience. The costumes and choreography were very...adult...at times. We had a good time, but that's something others should keep in mind when considering attending, especially with children. Apparently it was 80s night all over the ship, because the band set up near the casino was also playing 80s music. My fellow passengers were having a great time!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyX60H2tKto (I can't get the embedding to work, so the links for my videos will have to do...)

This guy definitely knew how to party:


We enjoyed the music for a little while and headed to bed. When we arrived in our room, we found a notice telling us that our excursion for Nassau the next day (the Nassau Native Quest) had been cancelled due to lack of interest. We couldn't find any other excursion that excited us, so we decided to just get off the ship in the morning and wing it.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Previously Sailed:
Carnival Dream - December 2016 - Mahogany Bay, Belize, & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Elation - May 2016 - Nassau & Freeport - Review
Carnival Liberty - May 2015 - St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Maarten - Review
Carnival Freedom - May 2014 - St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Half Moon Cay - Review
Carnival Paradise - August 2013 - Grand Cayman & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Fascination - October 2010 - Half Moon Cay & Nassau

Future Cruises:
TBD
#7
Auburn, AL
303 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by BurritoToes
Loving the review so far! We are on the Elation later this year so I can't wait for the rest of your review.
Thank you! I should have it all finished by this afternoon.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Previously Sailed:
Carnival Dream - December 2016 - Mahogany Bay, Belize, & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Elation - May 2016 - Nassau & Freeport - Review
Carnival Liberty - May 2015 - St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Maarten - Review
Carnival Freedom - May 2014 - St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Half Moon Cay - Review
Carnival Paradise - August 2013 - Grand Cayman & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Fascination - October 2010 - Half Moon Cay & Nassau

Future Cruises:
TBD
#8
Southern Maryland
5,064 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Enjoying your review.
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Carnival Breeze W. Caribbean 1/2017
Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas 10/2016
Disney Fantasy 11/2014
Carnival Dream E. Caribbean 11/2013
Carnival Glory CruisetoNowhere 5/2013
Carnival Paradise W. Caribbean 4/2013
Carnival Breeze Exotic Caribbean 1/2013
Carnival Pride CruisetoNowhere 11/2012
Carnival Spirit Alaska 5/2012
Carnival Pride Bermuda 11/2011
Carnival Triumph Canada 6/2009
HAL Zaandam E. Caribbean 3/2005
Carnival Sensation E. Caribbean 7/1998
Carnival Celebration W. Caribbean 12/1996
SS Lurline Hawaii to LA
#9
Auburn, AL
303 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Saturday was Nassau day. With our excursion cancelled, we didn't really have a plan in mind. We woke up around 7, and I ordered a BLT from room service while we got dressed. We were off the ship around 8:30 and wandered around downtown for a while getting our bearings. We decided to walk over to Junkanoo beach for a little while. As soon as we got to the beach, we were bombarded by offers of chairs, umbrellas, water sports, and drinks. We settled on a teal shack at the end of the beach run by a nice lady named Michelle. It was away from the party crowd starting to build at the entrance to the beach, and her chairs were free. The view was lovely:



We were joined by three other ships that day: the Norwegian Sky, the Disney Dream, and the Carnival Fantasy. The Fantasy was the last ship to arrive:


Even though our chairs were free, we felt we should order drinks while we were there. We opted for mango daquiris. They were delicious, but when I opted for the "strong" one, I didn't realize it would be swimming in a sea of rum!



After about an hour and a half, the beach started to get more crowded, so we packed up and headed back into town. We set out to find the John Watling rum distillery. It was a relatively short walk away, but we did have to climb a good sized hill to get there.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Previously Sailed:
Carnival Dream - December 2016 - Mahogany Bay, Belize, & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Elation - May 2016 - Nassau & Freeport - Review
Carnival Liberty - May 2015 - St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Maarten - Review
Carnival Freedom - May 2014 - St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Half Moon Cay - Review
Carnival Paradise - August 2013 - Grand Cayman & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Fascination - October 2010 - Half Moon Cay & Nassau

Future Cruises:
TBD
#10
montreal
370 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Nice friends getaway!
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Carnival Ecstasy 07/07/12 bahamas
Norwegian Pearl 03/06/12 Alaska
Norwegian Gem 18/09/2011 Bermuda
Norwegian Gem 07/08/2011 bermuda
Royal Carribean Explorer Of The Seas 26/05/2011
Norwegian Dawn 13/02/2011 Caribbean
Carnival Dream 11/09/2010 Caribbean
Carnival Spirit 09/06/2009 Alaska
Carnival Valor 11/09/2008 Caribbean
Star clipper 11/02/2007
Carnival Valor 09/01/2006
#11
Auburn, AL
303 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
I was glad the distillery tour was free, because it was very short. We decided that this might be the world's smallest distillery! The grounds were beautiful, though.




I was disappointed that the gift shop didn't sell small bottles of rum. We ordered a drink each at the bar inside before leaving to continue exploring. As we walked back towards downtown Nassau, we decided to find the chocolate factory using the map we had picked up at the port. It was only a few blocks away from the distillery, and the walk was downhill and easy.




We found the chocolate factory and bought a few pieces each to enjoy later that night. By this time, we were ready for lunch, so we headed back towards the ship. Claudia and I are both horse people, and we couldn't resist stopping to check in on the carriage horses as we passed them. Although many of them were thinner than people who are used to seeing show and pleasure horses may be accustomed to, they were all healthy, with shiny coats, bright eyes, and well-shod hooves. This guy was in excellent weight:

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Previously Sailed:
Carnival Dream - December 2016 - Mahogany Bay, Belize, & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Elation - May 2016 - Nassau & Freeport - Review
Carnival Liberty - May 2015 - St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Maarten - Review
Carnival Freedom - May 2014 - St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Half Moon Cay - Review
Carnival Paradise - August 2013 - Grand Cayman & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Fascination - October 2010 - Half Moon Cay & Nassau

Future Cruises:
TBD
#12
Central Illinois
115,416 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Nice start, following.
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Bob

Past Cruises

Celebrity: Mercury
RCCL: Adventure, Allure, Brilliance, Enchantment, Explorer, Freedom, Independence, Legend, Liberty, Majesty, Mariner, Monarch, Navigator, Oasis, Radiance, Rhapsody, Serenade, Sovereign, Vision, Voyager
#13
Auburn, AL
303 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
On the way back to the ship, we couldn't help noticing how much larger the Disney Dream was than our ship. We also admired the characters on the front of the ship.




We grabbed lunch on the Lido again. Claudia wanted a burger, and I decided to hit the Mongolian wok while most passengers were still off the ship in port. Despite the short line (there were about 5 people in front of me), it still took me over 30 minutes to get my food. By that time, Claudia had already finished her lunch! The food was good, but I'm not sure it was worth the wait. There was only one cook working the station; I think the line could have moved a little more quickly if there had been two people doing the cooking.

Next, it was time for more trivia! Claudia dominated the 80s music trivia:


We joined in with two other passengers for charades. Once again, we were victorious!


Next up was the digital scavenger hunt. Once again, we joined forces with our friends from charades as well as two members of the other charades team. We may or may not have frightened some of the non-participating passengers as we raced around the ship trying to find everything on the list... One of the items on our list was a group selfie in the glass elevator:
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Previously Sailed:
Carnival Dream - December 2016 - Mahogany Bay, Belize, & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Elation - May 2016 - Nassau & Freeport - Review
Carnival Liberty - May 2015 - St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Maarten - Review
Carnival Freedom - May 2014 - St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Half Moon Cay - Review
Carnival Paradise - August 2013 - Grand Cayman & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Fascination - October 2010 - Half Moon Cay & Nassau

Future Cruises:
TBD
#14
Auburn, AL
303 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
You guessed it: We won AGAIN!


In my four previous cruises, I have only ever won one game, and that was for horse trivia, so I felt a little bit like a "ringer" at the time. This trip? We were having all kinds of luck. After the scavenger hunt, it was time to get changed for dinner. That night, I had the spring rolls and Caesar salad for my appetizers, the Steakhouse Selections surf and turf, and the tiramisu. This was my first cruise in a few years without a Steakhouse, and I did miss that, but the ability to at least order one of the entrees at dinner helped offset the loss a bit. Our waiters entertained us with their dancing skills tonight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7y6u-fvxl0

After dinner, we were wiped out and headed straight to bed. According to Claudia's pedometer app, we walked nearly 13,000 "steps" that day (MANY of them up and down the stairs!), which I calculated to be almost 7.5 miles! When we returned to our cabin that night, we got a kick out of our room steward's creativity and kindness:




I have to interject here that our room steward for this trip, Rianto (or "Ri" as he asked us to call him) was the best I've ever had. He was so attentive and stopped us in the hallways multiple times every day to ask how things were going, what we had been up to, and if there was anything else we needed. On the first day, I asked for an ice bucket, and he refilled it multiple times every day so that our water bottles were always cold and fresh. We made sure to leave him a big tip at the end of the week - he definitely earned it!

Next up: Freeport!
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Previously Sailed:
Carnival Dream - December 2016 - Mahogany Bay, Belize, & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Elation - May 2016 - Nassau & Freeport - Review
Carnival Liberty - May 2015 - St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Maarten - Review
Carnival Freedom - May 2014 - St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Half Moon Cay - Review
Carnival Paradise - August 2013 - Grand Cayman & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Fascination - October 2010 - Half Moon Cay & Nassau

Future Cruises:
TBD
#15
Auburn, AL
303 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by JaniceB
Enjoying your review.
Thank you!
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Previously Sailed:
Carnival Dream - December 2016 - Mahogany Bay, Belize, & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Elation - May 2016 - Nassau & Freeport - Review
Carnival Liberty - May 2015 - St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Maarten - Review
Carnival Freedom - May 2014 - St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Half Moon Cay - Review
Carnival Paradise - August 2013 - Grand Cayman & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Fascination - October 2010 - Half Moon Cay & Nassau

Future Cruises:
TBD
#16
Auburn, AL
303 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by inlinesick
Nice friends getaway!
It definitely was! I just wish it could have been longer.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Previously Sailed:
Carnival Dream - December 2016 - Mahogany Bay, Belize, & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Elation - May 2016 - Nassau & Freeport - Review
Carnival Liberty - May 2015 - St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Maarten - Review
Carnival Freedom - May 2014 - St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Half Moon Cay - Review
Carnival Paradise - August 2013 - Grand Cayman & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Fascination - October 2010 - Half Moon Cay & Nassau

Future Cruises:
TBD
#17
Auburn, AL
303 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by clarea
Nice start, following.
Thank you!
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Previously Sailed:
Carnival Dream - December 2016 - Mahogany Bay, Belize, & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Elation - May 2016 - Nassau & Freeport - Review
Carnival Liberty - May 2015 - St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Maarten - Review
Carnival Freedom - May 2014 - St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Half Moon Cay - Review
Carnival Paradise - August 2013 - Grand Cayman & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Fascination - October 2010 - Half Moon Cay & Nassau

Future Cruises:
TBD
#18
Auburn, AL
303 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
I had been to Nassau once before, although Claudia hadn't. Freeport, on the other hand, was new to both of us. I had read on here that many people don't like Freeport, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. We booked a day at Paradise Cove (Deadman's Reef) and LOVED it! We both decided that we prefer Freeport to Nassau.

We woke up around 6:30, while the ship was pulling in to port. I ordered another room service BLT, and we were off the ship by 7:30 am. The crew working the gangway said we were the second and third people to disembark that morning. Our Paradise Cove confirmation instructed us to meet at the Ministry of Tourism booth at 8 am. We wandered around the port area for about 20 minutes before we finally found the booth.



We walked past one of the Balaeria ships, which was obviously a Carnival ship in a past life. Does anyone know which Carnival ship this was?



At 8 am, there was still no one else at the booth. Thinking that maybe we should be out near the road, we started walking back towards the center of the shop. Sure enough, along came one of the Paradise Cove drivers to check us off the list. He had met the other passengers at the ship... We were still missing two couples. One of them showed up at 8:30, and one never did. I was getting quite irritated at this point, but my mood improved once we were on the van and headed for the beach. Our driver was very knowledgeable about the area and gave us a bit of a guided tour as we made the 30 minute drive across the island.

Once we arrived and got a glimpse of the beach, my bad mood evaporated. Barry, who I believe is the owner, welcomed us warmly and instructed us on how to sign in, pay our balances, and pick up our tickets for equipment, chairs, and/or drinks, depending on which package we had purchased.


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Previously Sailed:
Carnival Dream - December 2016 - Mahogany Bay, Belize, & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Elation - May 2016 - Nassau & Freeport - Review
Carnival Liberty - May 2015 - St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Maarten - Review
Carnival Freedom - May 2014 - St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Half Moon Cay - Review
Carnival Paradise - August 2013 - Grand Cayman & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Fascination - October 2010 - Half Moon Cay & Nassau

Future Cruises:
TBD
#19
Missouri
1,277 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I love the Elation! Looking forward to the rest of your review!
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Carnival Fantasy- July/August 2009- Cozumel
Carnival Elation- May 2010- Progreso & Cozumel
Carnival Elation- May/June 2011- Cozumel & Calica
Carnival Elation-May/June 2012-Progreso & Cozumel
Carnival Elation- June 2013- Progreso & Cozumel
Carnival Elation- June 2014- Progreso & Cozumel
Carnival Elation- June 2015- Progreso & Cozumel
Carnival Triumph- July 2016- Progreso & Cozumel
Carnival Fantasy- May 2017- Costa Maya & Cozumel
Carnival Dream- May 2018- Belize, Isla Roatan & Cozumel
#20
Auburn, AL
303 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
I was itching to get in the water and snorkel. Claudia isn't a snorkeler; she planned to paddle board instead. I asked one of the other groups with us if they would mind me tagging along with them in the water, and they were very welcoming. I planned to swim all the way out and around the backside of the islands you see in the photos above, and I needed someone else with me to do that. Before snorkeling, we received instructions from one of the guides. All the way out to and past the white buoys in those pictures, the water was VERY shallow as little as 1' in places. We were allowed to walk out as far as the buoys but told to only swim or stand (not on the coral) beyond those points. The water was only 2-3' deep in most places, even 2/3 of the way out to the islands, which presented quite a challenge! Just trying to stay off the bottom and off the coral required a significant amount of effort and concentration. There were two first timers in the group I joined; they received instruction from a guide before we were allowed to head out. The guide was an excellent instructor and soon had them ready to go. I was amazed at the volume and variety of coral and marine life. The water was crystal clear. I took a LOT of pictures out there - most of these were taken with no zoom at all.




There were also sea turtles hanging out in the shallow sea grass areas. We came across at least half a dozen, and some of them were huge. I managed to get a short video of one - I was too busy watching the rest to get any photos or videos of them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zysioEvdoFo


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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Previously Sailed:
Carnival Dream - December 2016 - Mahogany Bay, Belize, & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Elation - May 2016 - Nassau & Freeport - Review
Carnival Liberty - May 2015 - St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, & St. Maarten - Review
Carnival Freedom - May 2014 - St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, & Half Moon Cay - Review
Carnival Paradise - August 2013 - Grand Cayman & Cozumel - Review
Carnival Fascination - October 2010 - Half Moon Cay & Nassau

Future Cruises:
TBD