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Elation Carnival REVIEW 1/30-2/06/2005


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***Here is the short version: We left 1/30/05 on the ELATION from Galveston. Sea Days—the weather was cool and partly-cloudy. One Sea Day, (Friday) it rained. The three port days were excellent….hot and sunny! J




The staff, service, food, ports, shows and shopping on board were excellent. The ship was in good condition, with the exception being the hallway carpeting near our cabin was in very poor condition.




We hardly noticed ANY movement except the last night, at sea. Then, we were rocking and rolling. (It didn’t bother any of our group!) Other than that, it was smooth sailing!




Bottom line: It’s 14 degrees outside as I write this, with the wind chill being 3 degrees. I had to scrape about a one-inch thick coating of ice off of my windshield wipers this morning……I almost slid off the icy roads yesterday-twice!


The cruise was a wonderful winter retreat and I am ready to go back tomorrow, though I think I will probably have to wait at least a year to go again. I love the Elation, the people, the ship’s layout and the ports. I especially love warm weather. I give this vacation the highest possible recommendation.


A lot of how people judge things is based on their personal perspective. I talked to tons of people on the cruise. Most loved every minute of it. I did talk to one person who was miserable. Personally, I LOVED IT! J


Go and have fun!!! I wish I was going with you!!!




Here is the DETAILED version: We drove to Galveston & spent Saturday night in a nearby hotel in Webster, TX…The Nasa Best Western. We awoke to rainy, cloudy and cool weather. One thing I did not like about the hotel was: While we were in the lobby eating the free breakfast, the maid entered our room with all of our stuff still inside it and began stripping the beds, etc……I have never had this happen anywhere else.


I always assumed that check-out time was the limit and until that time, the room belonged to the customers, and the maid was to stay OUT—ESPECIALLY with the personal items of the customers still there---when guest are staying only one night, as we were!!! I looked at that situation as her excuse to SNOOP. Other than that, the hotel was GREAT!




We dropped off our people and luggage at the cruise terminal, while the driver parked the car next to the terminal. (NOTE: Lots and lots of patience required to drive to AND from this terminal…….I don’t think it was ever originally built for cruise passenger pick-up/drop off. Our driver took a shuttle to get back to where we were.




It takes quite a while to get from the front of the building until you actually board the ship…probably about an hour. Maybe more. That includes all of the walking into the building, security and check-in.




Our only problem with security was they x-rayed my film, EVEN after I asked for a hand check….and even though I had removed the rolls from their plastic containers AND they were all in a clear Ziploc bag.




We boarded about 1:30 and began enjoying the cruise. Our rooms were fine. They were about mid-section on the MAIN deck. This room and bathroom were actually MUCH larger than the Royal Caribbean room we had several years ago.




The weather was not good Sunday, 1/30. It wasn’t much better Monday. Many people tried to take advantage of the lounge chairs and get some sun/tanning in, anyway.




Tuesday = Progreso & Merida, Mexico. Most of our group wanted to tour the city on a cruise sponsored bus trip. I didn’t, but went anyway. ;)




We were on an AC double decker bus. It was fine. After it was over, we kind of thought that it was a tour with excuses to stop and let us off the bus to spend money. Our guides and driver were great! We were just glad to get into some sunny and warm weather.




Monday & Friday were the FORMAL NIGHTS in the dining room.




We had the 8:30 LATE seating in the Imagination Dining Room.


Our waiters were the best---EVER!




Most nights, there were two shows in the Mikado lounge. The nights There was only one show, it began at 10:30 so everyone, at both Dinner seatings would still be able to see it. You won’t miss much, if anything if you have a late seating. We preferred it that way…….it seemed like we had more day time that way.




In Cozumel, I took a taxi to PARADISE BEACH. $13 + $2.00 tip each way. It was PERFECT! Highest recommendation. Plenty of lounge chairs, with lots of water toys for kids and adults. (Huge iceberg with steps on one side to climb


up and a slide on the other; a water trampoline, a bungee jumping thing (on land), many kayaks available too. The water was so beautiful.




Belize—went shopping with my group again. There were MANY locals offering tours. If you don’t sign up on the ship for a shore excursion, don’t worry about it……we talked to one couple who went snorkeling in a van with a local. They had a great time.




I think crime is a problem in Belize. I think if you stay in a group


AND with a tour guide, you will be fine. I haven’t ever heard of a tourist having a problem there.




There were many official card carrying locals offering tours in the shopping mall area. There were many NON-card-carrying locals offering tours BEHIND the shopping mall, behind a black wrought-iron fence…….they were very pushy and made our group uncomfortable. I don’t know anyone on our ship who used these people.




Debarking and immigration were detailed and patience is required. Rather than waiting to take the shuttle bus, our driver walked 8 blocks to pick up our car and drive it back to pick up our group and luggage. He paid about $70 for parking for the week.




Go, have fun, I loved nearly every minute of it and want to go back! J




NOTE: At breakfast one day, we spoke to a couple who said this was their 18th cruise! They said that on this ship, the entire week, this was the best cruise food they had EVER had!


My last comment is this: I asked our waiter home much money

he made. He told us: $94.00 a month. Please don't cheat

the staff. They earn and deserve every single penny (hopefully, dollar, that is) you give them. We tipped the automatic $70 per person AND tipped on top of that for our 2 dining room waiters,

our favorite bar waitress and our room stewards. They earned it.

If you can afford to cruise, you can afford to tip, and tip well.

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Thanks Valentine for the review, sorry you are snowed in again already. Glad we don't get that here... We are sailing on 7/3 and we can't wait! So until then I am living vicariously through all the details I can get from the boards! Did you try the sushi, pizza or pastry cafe? How was Tiffany's? Thank you and I'm glad you had a good time.

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We were on the Elation on 1/2. We also loved almost everything about it. We did not have sushi (not our thing), but we loved the pizza at all hours of the day and night. It was actually better than I anticipated. Tiffany's, IMO, was very good at the beginning of the week, but seemed to slide a little towards the end of the week.

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Thanks Valentine for the review, sorry you are snowed in again already. Glad we don't get that here... We are sailing on 7/3 and we can't wait! So until then I am living vicariously through all the details I can get from the boards! Did you try the sushi, pizza or pastry cafe? How was Tiffany's? Thank you and I'm glad you had a good time.


Hi.......WOW! Can't wait to hear about YOUR trip!!!

The pizza & Tiffany's were great. The group I was with preferred eating breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining room, rather than the slightly rushed and crowded atmosphere of Tiffany's. Didn't try the sushi or pastry (official name = Musical I think) cafe.


Have fun on your cruise!!!


One more comment......at least 80% of the people I talked to were from TEXAS. Others were from Arkansas, OK, Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, California, New Mexico and Africa. There was a large group from Montreal, Canada.

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