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Just off the Elation...


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What a great trip!

I will post a long review, but for now I will tell you that Me and My Husband had a fantastic time!

I was worried we'd be bored, not the case, plenty to do.

We also found our cabin to be quieter and comfier than any hotel we ever stayed at.

(No next door, below or above neighbor noise at all)

Ask away...


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Ooooh! Review soon, please! We sail on the 13th and would love to hear about your experiences. Where was your cabin located? What did you do in Progreso? What's the terminal like and what time did you board the ship? Tell us anything and everything!

And of course, we're glad you enjoyed the cruise!

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Progresso: we did the Dzichilbatun Ruins (1/2 day) Mayan guides were awesome! Very proud of their heritage and history. Very knowledgable and made the 20" ride to the ruins go quickly.

Belize: After much deliberation we decided to take a ships tour (too many bad reviews about Coral Breeze, and other independent operators) of Goff's Caye. Elio, our guide did a great job and let us rookies off the beach into some beautiful coral (visibly damaged from past hurricanes, but recovering nicely!) Took many underwater pics and ELio was constantly pointing out highlights....funniest part was he also works for the Shark Ray Alley tour and recommended it over this tour. He said there is much more contact with the sealife.



As for nightlife...we were not night owls. We did not go to many shows because we were up early (5 am) to watch sunrise and docking. Shows we saw were the comedian Marvin Bell and Jessie Lopez's show. We preferred to spend our evenings out on deck watching sunset and visiting our money at the Casino...don't ask.

We attended all afternoon fun stuff in Mikado and on Lido deck. Most kept us in stitches.


We did not attend formal nights or even eat in the dining room. (We are a Denny's sort of folk and dressing up is not our thing. Don't flame me...) Tiffany's was a ton better than Denny's, more variety and more international dishes. It was great. Pizza bar was visited frequently too. Lido deck offerings included hamburgers, hot dogs and fries...better than McDonalds, but I can see the snooty people turn their noses up at this offering. Our friends that sailed in our group reported the dining room was excellent and service was exceptional.


Water was not bad...9foot swells Monday, had me nauseous awhile, but after that, not bad.. I did notice rougher seas on Friday, but my sea legs kicked in and no nausea.


Dave, the asst. cruise director told us Christmas was the worst he had seen with 18ft swells, everyone was ill!


Hope that helps.

Jennie, cruise director, was great, and a riot. I'd cruise with her anyday

Cabin was Empress 243, inside cabin. 80's decor, yuck, but it was better than any hotel I've been in comfort and noise wise. Bathroom was even bigger than some hotels I've stayed at (and I've stayed at both ends of the spectrum). Remember we are Denny's and Super 8 kinda folk....Wish now I would've spent the money on an outside cabin. I felt a little clausterphobic, not being able to look out a window, thus the reason we spent so much time on deck.

Keep checking on me...I have an ill child, so I'm not at the computer much today.

Forgive spelling errors, I don't have the patience to check.







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The hardest thing is waiting, I could not get enough info about the trip, and I spent too much time on this board looking, looking, looking, so I want to make this a good review.


Thanks for understanding!

If you have any questions now...let me know


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Elation Cruise, January 23, 2005-January 30, 2005



First some info about me and my husband. We are from Nebraska and live on a small farm. I am a Registered Nurse and he works for a packing house in upper management.


We have traveled for business and pleasure. Pleasure includes NASCAR races and camping and fishing. Business includes both coasts, fancy restaurants and high-end hotels. We prefer simpler things, like Super 8 and Denny’s. (The reason I am giving you so much info is I wish I would have read a review from someone like us.)



This was a trip to celebrate our 10th anniversary. I was worried he would not like it and he ended up enjoying it more than I did.



Found out cabin number using the book modify trick, so I knew before our documents arrived.


We did not take liquor, was planning to, but hubby was sick all week and my time to pack/conceal and deliver dog and child to sitter was too short.



Our trip was a group booking and we did not know any of the other cruisers. When we got to know some of them, they were a blast, and made the trip even better.



To Galveston: We left Omaha at 6am to Dallas and then arriving in Houston at 11:30. A charter bus picked us up at the airport and delivered us to the pier at 12:30. The driver was wonderful, telling us some Galveston history and general information. We had to wait approx. 20 minutes to unload as there were several Charter buses dropping off cruisers. A porter took our large luggage and we kept the carry-on stuff. The terminal was a zoo, but everyone seemed to make their way to checking in somewhat quickly.



Terminal: First a set of stairs, then a line, long, but moves quickly, not standing in one spot more than 5 seconds. Send bags through x-ray, walk through scanner. Walk to check-in and get sign and sail, walk to another line and get picture taken. Walk to another line and get security pic taken (not a good pic, you have to look down and all the chins show!) Walk to another line to get on ship! We were on board about 1 pm so it was about 30 minutes from bus to ship, not bad, as big as the crowd was, I was expecting longer.



Cabin: Empress 243, inside. We were able to go to our cabin right away. You enter the ship on the Empress Deck (level 7) into the atrium. Very beautiful! Our cabin trim, doors and whole deck was an 80’s orange color. Other decks had a blue theme. The cabin was about the size of a smaller hotel room and the bathroom was as big as some hotels I’ve been in. Watch out for that threshold. Stubbed my toe several times the first day! Also very clean, no mold, water stains or yuck like some hotels I’ve been to. Tiles were tasteful and low key unlike room carpet and art. Beds we twins pushed together to make a king. Pillows and bed were very comfy and I slept like a baby to the rocking of the boat. You could hear the low rumble of the engines and nothing else. No neighbor noise whatsoever. Best sleep I have gotten away from home ever. Met our room steward and saw him in the halls every so often. He did an excellent job cleaning, only got to turn down the bed 3 times, we sacked out early most nights.


TV stations included ABC, CBS, CNN, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, a music video channel, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, three movie channels with different movies every day and 2-3 channels from the ship (replaying games and informational meetings).


Only thing I would change is to get an outside room. No windows got to me after 3 days. I wished Carnival would have a deck cam so you could see where you were and what the weather was.



Food: Better than Denny’s J. We did not eat in the dining room or attend any formal nights. (Don’t flame me for this) We did not want to spend our vacation doing something we were not comfortable with (formal). Tiffany’s, the lido deck grill, room service and the 24-hour pizza bar got our business for all three meals and several snacks. Tiffany’s had all sorts of international selections, (different country every day) for lunch and dinner. Tried many new things and made pigs of ourselves. Desserts were to die for. Lido deck grill was hamburgers, hot dogs and fries. Good quality food, but I’m sure the upper crust avoided this area.



Entertainment: Didn’t attend many shows, just comedian Marvin Bell and singer Jessie Lopez and his Vegas style show. Both were good. Played the slots at the casino a lot, had to visit my money at the casino, I did not win a thing. Attended many of the entertaining Lido deck and Mikado lounge games involving cruisers. Bingo was also fun to watch. Lido deck band, Impulse, was good. We were in bed by 9 pm and up by 5 am. Watching sunrises and docking was more important than staying out all night for us. Plus this was our second honeymoon…you know what we had to do. We also enjoyed watching the sunset and looking at the water and new places we’ve never been.


We also spent a lot of time sunning on the deck and relaxing. This is also the first time I did not worry about my extra 30lbs. I wore my swimsuit without shame or regret. I saw all shapes and sizes and very few “Models” on board.



First day at sea: Kinda rough waters, 9 foot swells and I was a little nauseous. It took awhile to get used to. I used Bonine and ginger pills in the am and that seemed to help. Attended the shopping talk and talk about excursions. Very informative. Learned to carry a jacket. Indoors was much colder thank outdoors and I was chilly all the time. I wish I would’ve brought nice running pants or jeans. All I had was shorts and khaki’s.



PORTS: Disembarking was not a problem, all went smooth and orderly.



Progreso: Very looooong pier. Shops and bar/beach area near the ship were best prices of whole trip. We did the Dziblchaltun ruins tour for 3 1/2 hours. Mayan guides were awesome and very proud of their heritage. Met on the pier with several other groups. We had two buses for this tour and one guide, Jorge spoke during the 20” trip to the ruins, telling history and facts. Dario, his brother gave the talk during the tour of the museum and ruins. The cenote was beautiful and many took a swim. The museum was well done and the first part of the tour.



They really encourage you to buy jewelry with your name spelled in Mayan alphabet and a Mayan book from the Mayan people and not from the Museum gift shop run by “rich people”. The profits were supposedly going to build schools for Mayan children. This was the only thing that bothered me.



Cozumel: The pier: Punta Langosta. 5 ships in port that day and the pier was very crowded with all of the independent tour operators and cruisers. Another Carnival ship docked at Punta Maya. We were next to a NCL ship. Had to walk up stairs into a shopping area where many vendors were trying hard to sell their goods. The street next to the pier was under construction, so you were funneled past many other shops you normally would not have seen. At the other end of the shopping center, we caught a cab. We went to Paradise Beach. AWESOME! $13 one-way for two people. New car, clean, but hold on for your life. I assume they drive that fast to get back and get another fare. Good thing I was prepared for this or I would have had heart failure. It took about 15” to get to Paradise beach with all of the construction. The beach was warm, the margaritas were plentiful and the sun was hot. What more do I say? The beach was not as big as I had imagined, but there were plenty of seats and room for everyone. The water was cool at first, but I acclimated quickly. We snorkeled and saw many little fish. My husband thought this was the best snorkeling until we got to Belize.



Belize: Took the ship’s Goff’s Caye Snorkel Tour. We tendered off at 8:45 and motored for 20” to a small island that was as beautiful as a post card. The water was so clear! I was scared to snorkel off the boat so we stayed behind with about half of the tour (15 people) and walked into the water with 3 guides. One to lead and two with rafts for those who were scared or got tired. They were so kind and helpful. Elio, the leader, pointed out so many things I would not have seen since I was a beginner. He also showed us the hurricane damage and the re-growth and regeneration of the coral. The snorkel lasted about 45” and we rested on shore until it was time to go back. I am not in good shape and it was an easy swim for me. Didn’t like the salt water in my snorkel with the high waves tho. My husband wants to go back to Belize just because of this tour. Elio said we should try the Shark Ray Alley tour next time. He also works for that tour company and said it was much better because of all of the contact with sealife. He spent a lot of time telling my and my husband about Belize and it’s culture. He made the trip memorable. We were back on ship by 12:30.



2 days at sea: By this time, I was missing my son terribly and wanted to go home. The trip, in my opinion, would be better broken up a little, not so many days at sea in a row. I was starting to get bored Saturday afternoon, but we sat in the sun one last time before it got too cold.


“Fun Ship Drinks,” the drink of the day, were pushed hard and heavy ($6.50/ drink and refills were $4.50) all week. If you got the same drink in a smaller cup, it was $2.95. Beer was $2.50. Our drink tab was pretty high, but we expected it and were not upset.



Disembarkation: Went swiftly, we carried our own luggage so we were called in one of the first groups (self-assist). We went through immigration at 7:15, a looooong line, but moves quickly. Then waited in the room until 8:45. (this is when all rooms had to be vacated for cleaning). We were off the ship by 9:15. We had to wait until 11:30 before our charter bus showed up…argh! There were several large groups with charter buses that caused this problem. The Carnival person in charge of busses said if we had gotten our group together earlier, he would’ve called our bus up sooner. We didn’t know this and we did not have an agent there to get us organized. We didn’t even know all the people in our group.



Airport: Arrived at 12:30. We were scheduled to leave at 5:45, so we had to wait for 5 hours at the airport. Tell your agent not to do this to you. We didn’t have enough money left to drink all the beer we needed to get through 5 hours of boredom. Then, our flight out of Dallas was delayed because of hydraulic problems. We had to switch planes after waiting for a mechanic for 1 hour to decide ours was too broken to fly. Our last flight left 3 hours late and we did not get home until 3 am. This was the worst day of our vacation, thank goodness it didn’t ruin the whole memory of the cruise.



Hope I didn’t leave anything out. If you have questions, ask, I’d be happy to help.




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Ahh Czechgal, thanks so much for your review! It was wonderful to read about your cruise from your viewpoint. And I have to say that it seems that you would have a good time wherever you go just because your attitude is so good! I'm especially interested in your trip to Goff's Cay--that is one that we are thinking of booking. Did you book after you were on board, or online? About how many do you think were on the tour with you? We've snorkeled a couple of times but are still relative novices, sounds like this tour is the one for us.

Thanks again for sharing your cruise with us.

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:D There were about 30 of us on the boat and it tendered right from the ship. It was very casual and if you didn't ask for help, they assumed you knew a little about snorkeling. Just tell them you have no idea what you're doing and they will be right there to help. They handed out equip. during the trip and told you to stay on the boat to snorkel in deeper water or get off at the dock and walk into the water. About half went on the boat and other half did the beach thing. I was a beginner (have only snorkeled in our pool), so I chose walking into the water. Elio told us you see the same sealife, maybe bigger fish, off the boat. I saw MANY fish, couldn't keep up taking pics. Big waves had me a little intimidated, but the life vest you could choose to wear helped a lot.


We booked both excusions directly from the ship, cost a little more, but I felt safer since this was our first time cruising.


Thanks for your kindness, we are a laid back, take it as it goes couple. We have a great time as long as we're together!



THanks, Lisa

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Thank you so much! We are booked on the Elation July 17. It was so good to hear about your trip! We also are mid westerners (Lee's Summit, MO-suburb near KC) We are the laid back-out door type but taking our 4 sons. Again thanks for taking the time to post!:)

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Glad my info helped. I could not get enough info before we cruised. I'm sure you'll love it!

Just read another post about Elation rockin and rollin. I thought it was just me, but maybe I wan't imagining things. It was great for sleeping though. So be prepared all of you midwesterners like me that don't have sea legs!



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We had a great time too! Got upgraded to a balcony - what a treat on our first cruise! Of course now I don't think we would be able to cruise again without one! DH thinks it is a plot by Carnival to make sure we have to buy the suite next time!! If so--it worked!! We did do the dining room every night. I love to eat out at nice restaurants but can't afford to do it too often...it was like a date night every day! The kids only went with us twice, so we had some real quality time. Czechgal is sooo right about the Lido deck. Food was great! Hopefully my kids won't ask for pizza anytime soon because they ate it morning, noon and night. So did mom and dad! Did the ruins in Progresso, shopped and did PB in Cozumel (and a dentist!!!) and snorkeled in Belize (beautiful!!) Because of our upgrade we were on and off early, but it seemed to go quickly for everyone. Someone got sick during one of the shows and I was impressed by how quickly the crew reacted. He went out on a stretcher and I don't know any more, but he was in our prayers.


Can't wait to do it again (hopefully soon!!)

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It was comfortable. I imagine it will be warmer in March, but we had no complaints. On the sea days it was very windy, but in the ports it was warm and mostly sunny. The water in Cozumel at PB was cool (I'm a Southern girl- like my water warm!) but we got used to it quickly. Belize was perfect!!! The guide said this is the high season there because it is so nice. I'm not one for temperatures in degrees- but it was warm enough we got a little pink, but not burned!! You will have so much fun!!

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thanks for the info. We are really looking forward to the cruise. I know we want to snorkle in Cozumel and do the canopy tour in Belize. Did you hear anything about the canopy tour? It will be me, my dh and 2 dds, ages 14 and 17. My dds really don't drink many sodas but love lemonaide. It that available for free? Thanks again:D

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Lemonade is free in Tiffany's, as is tea, coffee and juice. Cappucino is also free in the dining room during dinner- if you want specialty coffee during the day there is a coffee bar, but they charge for it. I did not hear from anyone who went on the canopy tour, sorry. Go to the Belize board under ports of call and I'm sure you can get lots more info on it!

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We just got off the Elation. My sister was married in Cozumel and 32 friends and family were there. It was GREAT!!!!!! My whole family loved it. We're not nitpicky people, so we had no real complaints. Our room was an inside room and we found it fine, because we were never in it any way. I was a little worried about it being stuffy and the formal nights would be snooty, but NOT so. If you have a great attitude, your going to have a blast. The food was good, I didn't love everything we had to eat, but their was always something else to choose from. There is roomservice, 24 hr. pizza, ice cream and every afternoon there is burger and hot dogs around the pool. I recommend the shows, they were entertaining and my kids thought the kids program was very cool. The staff is friendly and I never saw them without a smile.


Things I wish I would have done different.....not slept for 7 days to enjoy everything even more!


Have a great time.

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks for all the great posts. Czechgal if you are still posting I just wanted to say hi from Nebraska. I'm guessing you must be from around the Wilbur area. :-) Sounds like your cruise was great. I'm taking my girls June 12th on Elation. Driving to Galveston to save money. We can't wait.

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