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Elation 1/15/11-1/20/11

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We had a great cruise on the Elation. I know we lucked up since the prior cruise had horrible weather & propulsion problems.

We booked last minute (the week before) to get away from our unusually snowy winter & because we got such a great deal on the cruise.

Pre-cruise

We drove down from Nashville the night before our cruise & stayed at the Microtel Inn & Suites Saraland & did the park & cruise package. I would highly recommend staying there. It is right on I-65 & about 10 minutes from the port.

The hotel is not fancy but is new & very clean & the beds are comfortable. Each room has a microwave & refrigerator.

The staff is wonderful. They were all so friendly! The shuttle driver even brought hot coffee when he picked us up after the cruise.

We paid $128.39 including taxes & that included a room for up to 4 people, parking for up to 2 weeks, transportation to & from the pier (it was great to be dropped off right at the door), free wi-fi & free breakfast. The biscuits & gravy were very good.

There is a Ruby Tuesdays next door & a Walmart right down the street.

Embarkation

We had a leisurely morning & left about noon on the shuttle to go to the ship. After about a 10-15 minute drive we were dropped off at the door. Embarkation was the easiest ever. We were on the ship within 45 minutes. The staff at the port were smiling & joking with us.

We went down to see if we could get in our room to drop off our carryon but the doors were still locked & there were quite a few people waiting so we decided to wait too. They didn't open the doors until 1:30 exactly.

We booked last minute so we did not have many options on room choice & we booked cabin M-76. Our cabin seemed pretty small but we have had balconies on our last two cruises so maybe we have just been spoiled. It was fine for the 2 of us & we hardly ever stay in the room anyway.

It had the 2 pulldown beds which seem to take up more room & extra bedding for those in the closets which took up some of the storage space. My DH had to crawl off the end of the bed to get up since it is pushed against the table at the bottom. Our bathroom actually seemed bigger.

We did like the location. It was very convenient to everything & was very quite.

We started putting things in the drawers & the cabin steward came in & said he was not finished cleaning our room so we went out & let him finish.

We never saw him again the rest of the week but our cabin was always clean & our beds turned down & we always had cute little towel animals. We did ask him to keep our little ice chest filled & he only did it 1 time but other than that he was fine.

Weather

We had nearly perfect weather. It was really nice the day we left Mobile. The 1st sea day was a little chilly & rained a little but we were able to sit on the deck most of the day. It was long pants & t-shirt weather. We were not in bathing suits but not in the snow either!

We had absolutely gorgeous weather in Progreso & Cozumel & our last sea day was a little chilly but we laid out in bathing suits quite a bit of the day & got more sun.

The serenity deck is a great place to lay out as it blocks a lot of the sun but it fills up early & most of the people there stayed all day so get there early if you want to get a chair. It is wonderful back there though. The lounge chairs are comfy, it has 2 hot tubs & the view is always amazing!

We found a great new place in Progreso (or new to us anyway) & I will post about it soon but I need to download pics & do some laundry.

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Thanks for the nice review! It seems hard to find good reviews or any recent ones about the Elation on here. :-) Looking forward to our cruise in May!

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Thanks for the nice review! It seems hard to find good reviews or any recent ones about the Elation on here. :-) Looking forward to our cruise in May!

 

I have never been on a bad cruise. Some are better than others but my DH & I always have a good time.

Amazing weather, good food, plenty of great entertainment, fun ports, the new friends we made & getting to spend time with my hubby made this a wonderful cruise!

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Glad you had a great time! We had a similar experience last Halloween; so much so, that we are booked again 3/7. That grand suite is waiting on us.

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I took some pictures but not a lot since we just used this cruise as a quick getaway. I really didn't take many of the ship (I usually take more of people) but I did take some in Cozumel & Progreso. If anyone wants to see them I will download some.

 

Food

We had late seating & were seated at a table for 10 & had 8 the 1st night but one couple changed to early seating after the 1st night so there were just 6 of us. It was a great group though & we had some lively conversations. We definitely would not have gone to dinner the night after we went to Cozumel (we had to much incredible food & drinks there) but we always had fun at dinner so we went & nibbled! I got a fruit plate that night that seemed a lot better than the fruit at breakfast & had blackened chicken that was also good but I was so full I could hardly eat.

 

The service was excellent at dinner. We never lacked for anything. Our group got up & danced every night & our waiters thanked us for being such good sports. The bar staff was also very attentive at dinner. Sorry to say I don't remember their names.

 

I thought the food overall was very good.

 

I always love the soups especially the strawberry bisque.

 

Of course the lobster & prime rib were good on Elegant night which by the way is the 1st sea day.

 

The porkchops were good. Some of our tablemates tried the lambchops & the fried fish & raved about it.

 

I think the only thing I tried that was not good was the pasta & chicken dish I ordered as an appetizer one night & it was cold. I could have reordered but I had more than enough.

 

Of course it goes without saying that the chocolate melting cake & the bitter & blanc are delicious! And we all know calories don't count when you are on a cruise!

 

Omelette's were good in the restaurant & the Lido deck but the bacon was kind of a hit or miss. We like bacon crunchy & a lot of the time it was limp & greasy.

 

We enjoyed the pizza & the deli bar & my DH liked the sushi bar.

 

The lines moved quickly at the buffets & the hamburgers on the Lido deck were great with mushrooms & sauteed onions.

 

I absolutely love the soft serve ice cream & the small size cones are just right.

 

I was excited to try the Mongolian Grill but was disappointed with it. The people that tried it the 1st day said it was good but ours tasted like steamed vegetables with little taste. We didn't try it again after that.

 

We ordered room service one time & it came promptly. We love the BLT's & the veggies & dip.

 

More later,

Juli

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So funny I'm from Nashville and going on the Elation Next week and staying also @ the Microtel small world

 

Hope you have a great cruise! With the right attitude you always will!

The staff at the Microtel made it a great stay. They deserve kudos!

We are actually from Lebanon but who knows where that is?

Juli

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I do!:) I'm from East TN and pass by there every time I go to Nashville, with the occasional stop at the outlet mall!

 

Thanks for posting! My DH isn't much of a cruise, but I have been thinking of trying to get him to go on this one. I think he might like 5 days better than 7 and a shorter drive than FL.

 

Can't wait to hear about Progresso.:)

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Hey Cool Breeze Cruiser,

Thanks for the review. Can't wait to hear about Progreso. This has never been one of our stops and we were wondering what we should try to do there.

 

---- We sure miss Opry Mill Mall and the German Roasted Nuts booth!:(

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Grand suites are NICE!!! And make you sooo terribly spoiled. Third trip on Elation leaving on Monday 24th... In an OS suite this trip - was in a GS in November and hope the only difference is the bathtub...Cause the closet in the GS is awesome-love the storage and the full length mirror! To the other poster who said they are trying to get hubby to go on this one - YES! This will be my hubbys first with me (6 without him cause he thinks he hates cruises, he went on one about 25 years ago with another person).. I have assured him it was just the company, not the cruise!!! I am sooo going to change his mind...he said he didn't even know ships had balconies so suite with balcony for him it is!!! He will love it after this - Take your hubby on one too and I guarantee he will be hooked! I agree, a 5 nighter is a better way to start than a week. To the first poster, OMG, I am soooo thankful this problem seems to be resolved...If hubby was on cruise with problems he might never return...me I couldn't care less as long as the bar didn't run out of cerveza!! haha

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We know where Lebanon is!!!!! But we're from southern middle TN so we are familiar with the area!!! :p We just booked the 4 night cruise to Cozumel for March 3rd. Can't wait! After 8 inches of snow last week, an inch this week with ice before hand and more snow in the forecast Sunday....I can't wait to get out of here!!!!! Anxious to see your pictures of Progreso. We sailed the Triumph to Progreso and Cozumel in December and loved the area!

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We know where Lebanon is!!!!! But we're from southern middle TN so we are familiar with the area!!! :p

 

Ha, ha. We're from TN, too. Originally from Cannon County. Now live in Clarksville. And, we leave on the Elation in three weeks.

Edited by vanityfur

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OK. I stand corrected about Lebanon. lol! But most of you are from Tennessee!

The majority of the people on the Elation were from the South. Mostly Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia.

 

We took pics driving down through the snow & then it started snowing on us again when we were about 30 minutes from home. We got 3 more inches that night which made us want to turn around & head back to the Caribbean! We are not used to as much snow as we have received this year!

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Entertainment

My DH & I thought the entertainment on the Elation was excellent.

 

The 1st night was the Welcome Aboard Show.The Carnival Elation dancers were very good & full of energy. The lead singers Emily & Jason were both incredible.

 

The 2nd night was the show Just Rock. That is the only night the late seating goes to the show before dinner & the early seating goes after dinner. That was also the night of the Captain's Celebration with $1 off drinks.

 

I was kind of surprised that there was not a show on the 3rd night. Instead they had the Marriage Show in the Mikado lounge at 10:30 PM. We always enjoy it no matter how many times we have seen it & I thought Steve did a good job hosting.

 

The 4th night the Elation singers & dancers performed the new show "WIN" & it was incredible. I can see why it cost so much to produce it. Skeeter was a little lame but other than that we thought it was great!!! The "Win" 60 second challenge was funny too with our fellow passengers performing. There was also a Lido deck party that night with a Mexican Buffet but we didn't make it!

 

The last night was the Legends Show & I always admire the talented passengers that get up there & perform. This cruise they only had singers.

 

We caught a glimpse of the two comedians, John Wesley & Dean Gaines, during the Welcome Aboard Show & laughed so much we went to see all of their late night shows.They each performed a family friendly show the 2nd night & there were 3 adults only comedy shows that night. On the last night, they performed the family friendly show 2 more times & the adults only 3 more times. We never made it to the family friendly & the 1st 2 adult shows were repeats from the 1st night they performed so we just went to the 11:45. Don't forget to turn the lights out! It's more romantic!

 

Some of our friends spent a lot of time at the Atrium Bar with James playing the piano & enjoyed it there.

 

We went to the Piano Bar with Liz playing one night but it was kind of dead in there this cruise. She plays the piano very well & knows a lot of songs but we didn't think she was a great singer.

 

We were walking through the Drama Bar & saw Pat the guitar player who we 1st saw on the Spirit last year. He is VERY GOOD. We danced up there some.

 

We went in the Romeo & Juliet lounge to dance one night but we didn't really like the band & didn't stay long.

 

We meant to but never made it to the Karaoke Bar.

I was happy there was not a big screen TV on the Lido on the Elation as I did not like the one on the Victory. I would much rather listen to music on the Lido deck but I know some people like the big screen.

 

All in all, there should be something for everybody!

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It is a shame you missed Deans family show as it is much better than his adult show. Dean is our favourite comedian on carnival and we missed sailing with him this time.

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It is a shame you missed Deans family show as it is much better than his adult show. Dean is our favourite comedian on carnival and we missed sailing with him this time.

 

We thought both comedians were really funny & wanted to see the family friendly shows too but Dean's was at 7:30 & John Wesley's at 8:30 the 1st night they performed & John's was at 7:30 & Dean's 8:30 the last night.

We had the 8:15 seating & just couldn't seem to be ready that early.

Our loss as they were both very good!

Juli

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We will be cruising in 3wks!!! On the Elation Feb 12th!!! Cruzngma, look for a "sea" of kiwi green shirts! We're a group of medical coders! We're gonna learn (4hrs on each sea day to get continuing education credits for our certification) and then the rest is play time !!! Last year we had a few lucky folks cruising with us. One couple won over $700 from one pull of the slot machine. My DH and I won $1000 at bingo. Yep, I'm playing bingo again this year!!

HAPPY CRUISING EVERYBODY!!!!!!!

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Can't wait to see the pics, we are sailing in 285 days, and I have to have something to keep me from falling into the blahs! Thanks for the review, I am really enjoying it. So about Progresso?

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Will be sailing in 5 days for the second time in 3 months ever since they got rid of the Holiday we like the closeness to Nashville to Mobile i refused to sail on the Holiday Class ships they were way too small for my liking but would also enjoy pics what did u do in Progresso? we are thinking about doing the Ruins Of CI

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I was on the same cruise. I really like how the Elation has most bars in one central area. The night we went to the piano bar, it was standing room only. We really enjoyed it. The last night, there is a farewell party. Drinks are free. It is held in the Cole Porter Club. If you like sushi, it is offered at, non other but the "Sushi Bar", right around the corner of the photo gallery. It is tucked in a corner. They serve from 5-8 or 9. They have three varieties each night. We would have some before dinner.

At Progresso, Carnival offers a free shuttle into town, through autoprogress. We didn't venture out far at all. We did take a tour that was described as we were bussed in. We took the Maderia town tour, $25. We went to a government building, cathedral, fountain square, and of course "main street". The tour guide shared info. Also offered was a ruins tour at $29. There might be more last minute options, but we didn't get off the ship until 10:30, so that's all that was offered with the time we had.

In Cozumel, we went to Paradise Beach. It is really nice. We went parasailing, $55 for 10-12 minutes. Just loved it.

Edited by suezyq50

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Progreso

 

We woke up in the night to a strange fishy smell in our cabin. It got worse as the night went on. We called guest services & they said it was seaweed that had washed in & it was all over the ship. Some excursions like the Corona Beach Party were cancelled due to the seaweed in Progreso.

 

I had been to Progreso once before a couple of years ago with my daughter & we went to the Reef Resort through Carnival. (That was the only excursion I have ever booked through Carnival but I had never been to Progreso & it was just my daughter & myself.) The Reef Resort is an all-inclusive & had a gorgeous pool area but the beach was not so wonderful. We had a good day there though.

 

We had absolutely perfect weather in Progreso! There is some shopping & a couple of bars (more on that later) as you get off the ship.

Auto Progreso provides free shuttles to go down the 5 mile pier into Progreso. There were plenty of buses & it did not take long.

 

My DH & I planned to take the double decker bus that is $3 & then hang out at the beach that is on the left at the end of the pier & spend the day sunning, jet-skiing, getting massages & having some great Mexican food & drinks but the seaweed smell there was HORRIBLE!

 

We went over to get on the double decker bus to take a short trip around town & the man there told us about a relatively new beach resort place that is geared towards cruise ship passengers & is only about 10 minutes away. He said $15 each for transportation to & from there & the use of the facilities.

 

I was skeptical of going somewhere I had not researched 1st but he said the seaweed was not as bad there & he showed us pics of the place & it looked nice. We talked him down to $15 each for the double decker bus & the beach resort. He had a vanload ready to go so we decided to do the double decker bus when we got back. We were not sure he would even be around when we got back but life is a gamble!

 

The driver took us to Silcer Beach Club. It is also a marina. We were impressed. For the $15 each we paid we got roundtrip transportation with vans leaving every 30 minutes, nice beach chairs, pool, VERY clean nice restrooms & showers, & the use of ocean kayaks.

 

They had an all-inclusive liquor package for $25 each or food & liquor for $35. We did not plan to stay that long so we just paid as we went. We saw one family that was really getting their monies worth though! Beer was $3 each. We also ordered chips & salsa that was very good. The salsa had lime in it giving it a different flavor. The service was EXCELLENT. The family that did the AI had a waiter almost at their beck & call.

 

The beach was nice (it is not Barbados nice but much nicer than at the Reef or what we saw of the beach close to the pier. We had a view of the ship from the beach & the seaweed smell was barely noticeable.

 

My DH & I took a long walk down the beach & met some really nice people that were wintering in Progreso in condos. We watched some locals out fishing & pulling their cart with their catch down the beach. It was really very quaint & not crowded at all! If you like to collect shells we saw TONS of beautiful shells on the beach while we were walking.

 

Massages were available & there was only one vendor there selling his wares & he only approached us once!

 

The man that talked us into going to Silcer Beach Club, Cristobal Figueroa (he said everybody calls him Cris) showed up to make sure we were having a good time. I told him I wanted to post about the Silcer Beach Club on CC when I got back so he gave me a card. If anyone is interested his e-mail is criss.tours@live.com or his website is www.crisstours.webs.com

 

We ended up staying longer than we meant to at the beach & when we got back the double decker buses were through running for the day so Cris showed up & gave us our $3 each back. Again, I was very impressed!

 

I didn't know if he would (we just went on the Victory cruise in October where we went to gorgeous beaches) but my DH really liked Progreso. I'll have to use the word quaint again to describe Progreso & the people there are so friendly.

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Progreso

 

Luckily this shuttle filled up & we got on a brand new shuttle!

 

ElationCruise172.jpg?t=1295891975

 

 

The Cruise Terminal

 

ElationCruise173.jpg?t=1295892415

 

Silcer Beach Club

 

ElationCruise193.jpg?t=1295892491

 

ElationCruise194.jpg?t=1295892548

 

 

The water was a little chilly but some people swam!

 

ElationCruise192.jpg?t=1295892597

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More Progreso

 

The Beach with the cruiseship in the background

 

ElationCruise180.jpg?t=1295893074

 

 

ElationCruise191.jpg?t=1295893159

 

 

Kayaking was included!

 

ElationCruise182.jpg?t=1295893226

 

 

I had never kayaked. It was fun!

 

ElationCruise188.jpg?t=1295893269

 

 

The chips & salsa were good!

 

ElationCruise195.jpg?t=1295893389

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We had a great time at the Silcer Beach Club.

We got back on the shuttle to head back to the ship. We looked through a few of the shops & stopped by the little bar on the left right before you get to the ship (sorry but I forgot the name of it). It is a happening place with our fellow cruisers grabbing a last drink before they boarded the ship. There was plenty of music & some pretty wild dancing. The waiter there was full of personality & was dancing on top of the bar & making things interesting. It was a lot of fun!

I think beer or tequila shots were $3 each.

 

Here is one of the pics I can post from there! lol!

 

ElationCruise196.jpg?t=1295894102

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I was on the same cruise. I really like how the Elation has most bars in one central area. The night we went to the piano bar, it was standing room only. We really enjoyed it. The last night, there is a farewell party. Drinks are free. It is held in the Cole Porter Club. If you like sushi, it is offered at, non other but the "Sushi Bar", right around the corner of the photo gallery. It is tucked in a corner. They serve from 5-8 or 9. They have three varieties each night. We would have some before dinner.

At Progresso, Carnival offers a free shuttle into town, through autoprogress. We didn't venture out far at all. We did take a tour that was described as we were bussed in. We took the Maderia town tour, $25. We went to a government building, cathedral, fountain square, and of course "main street". The tour guide shared info. Also offered was a ruins tour at $29. There might be more last minute options, but we didn't get off the ship until 10:30, so that's all that was offered with the time we had.

In Cozumel, we went to Paradise Beach. It is really nice. We went parasailing, $55 for 10-12 minutes. Just loved it.

 

 

Sorry we didn't meet. We should have gone to the Piano Bar the night you went. We meant to go back but we always run out of time to do all the things we want to do!

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Enjoying your review... Silcer Beach Club might work for us. I have been tossing ideas around for Progreso, would really like to go to Chichen Itza but not sure we will have the money for it. (not really sure I want to get up and off the boat by 7am either!) We just booked last week, this past Friday our refrigerator decided it wasn't going to freeze anymore, so unless we are able to get it working again we will be crusing on a very limited budget.

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Hey Cool Breeze Cruiser,

Thanks for the review. Can't wait to hear about Progreso. This has never been one of our stops and we were wondering what we should try to do there.

 

---- We sure miss Opry Mill Mall and the German Roasted Nuts booth!:(

 

Bass Pro has reopened. I think they said the rest of the mall will reopen in 2012. Luckily for us Lebanon got some of the Opry Mills stores at the Outlet Mall.

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Enjoying your review... Silcer Beach Club might work for us. I have been tossing ideas around for Progreso, would really like to go to Chichen Itza but not sure we will have the money for it. (not really sure I want to get up and off the boat by 7am either!) We just booked last week, this past Friday our refrigerator decided it wasn't going to freeze anymore, so unless we are able to get it working again we will be crusing on a very limited budget.

 

The people that we talked to that went to Chicken Itza enjoyed it but it makes for a really long day! We just wanted to relax.

The weather this time of year is great for the ruins since it is very warm but not unbearably hot!

Juli

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The people that we talked to that went to Chicken Itza enjoyed it but it makes for a really long day! We just wanted to relax.

The weather this time of year is great for the ruins since it is very warm but not unbearably hot!

Juli

Some that sat at our table went toChicken Itza. They really liked it. They did get sun burnt. It is a good time of year to go.

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thanks for the great reviews! I am from Jackson, TN and yes i do know where Lebanon is. As a matter of fact i used to go shopping at the outlet stores there all the time.

 

this is my first trip on the elation but this will be my second cruise. i am going with my mom and three aunts in July and i hope they enjoy it as much as i did on my first one.

 

When it gets closer i may email you with questions!!

 

Thanks again for the great info!!!

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We too have stayed at the same Hotel in Saraland, it was great and your absolutly right about the staff, the drop off and the pick up, they were wonderful and it was nice to just walk out the door get in the van and be wisked away and not have to worry about the traffic. I would stay there again!!!!

Great review!!!!

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We were on the same cruise with Cool Breeze Cruiser as well as staying at the Microtel and I can, without reservation, confirm CBC's review of both.

 

Our group of 9 was favorably impressed with the Microtel and it's staff. The rooms were somewhat smallish but very clean and comfortable with a microwave, fridge, and WiFi. There is a internet station in the lobby for guest to use where I met CBC. The staff was exemplary - in fact, one of our members who has worked in the hospitality industry was very complimentary of the staff's friendly professionalism. Special kudos to Amanda (who is expecting by the way). Our shuttle driver, Mark, not only had coffee for those who wanted it but took the time to bring a shawl that one of our ladies had left in the shuttle up into the port building.

 

Embarkation was a smooth process for us with no problems or undue waits.

 

Once on the ship we had lunch in Tiffany's and at 1:30 were in our room and settling in.

 

I can't add much more to CBC's assessment of the ship other than to say that our group voted the Atrium bar as the best on the ship - no doubt that the drinks were full strength there. :)

 

In Progreso we accidently found "Pablo" the American expat tour guide you may have read about. It would actually be more accurate to say that Pablo's business associate, Pedro, found us. We were going to take the $3 Progreso city bus tour when one of our party was approached by Pedro who offered to take us on a tour to see the flamingos, ruins, and beach for $15/person. We were ready to take him up on the tour and when we found out that Pablo was the guide the deal was cinched. Excellent tour with a very knowledgable and personable guide. On the return leg of the tour we stopped by a small beachside villa owned by a friend of Pablo's and had lunch and drinks. (meal - $7usd, drinks - $3usd/each) The meal and drinks were good. Unfortunately the beach there was covered with seaweed and the pool was a little chilly for us older folks to really enjoy - with the seaweed gone and a warmer pool it would have been a great end to the tour, we just caught it at the wrong time so it was just merely very nice. LOL For those who are interested they did have palapas, kayaks, and beach volleyball available. If you have a chance to take one of Pablo's tours, his personal story is almost as interesting and entertaining as the tour itself.

 

In Cozumel my wife and I went scuba diving on the Carnival excursion (Sand Dollar Sports). It was the first time either of us had scuba dove in the ocean and it was a fantastic experience for us both. The Santa Rosa wall and the reefs are amazing even with the hurricane damage to the reefs. When you are used to freshwater lakes diving in the waters of Cozumel is a revelation. One of our other divers (from a RCL cruise) had just dove Cayman on his cruise and said that the Cozumel dive was better in his opinion. The rest of our party went to an all inclusive beach resort that they arranged on the dock. They came back happy as larks and pleased with their experience. I don't remember all the details of their self arranged excursion but if anyone is interested I will find out.

 

We had the early seating for dinner and our wait staff was great. Our head waiter, Godfrey, had a great sense of humor and kept the ladies going while Bambang kept the drinks and bread filled. Kudos.

 

We took the standard disembarkation and things went smoothly with only one piece of luggage in the wrong pile were it was quickly found. We got out quick enough that we actually threw Microtel's shuttle service a bit off schedule and we had to wait about an extra 20 - 25 minutes for our ride. If that is the worst thing that happens with that many people on a trip then I consider it a success. Even with that minor glitch we were back to our vehicles and on the road before 11.

 

Cool Breeze, I'm sorry if I butted in on your excellent review, I just wanted to add our "amen" to what you had to say.

 

Remember to stand before you flush and turn the lights out 'cause its more romantic!

Edited by ouachita
happy fingers mistakes

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The majority of the people on the Elation were from the South. Mostly Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia.

 

We're from lower Arkansas. It was nice to go on a cruise where people spoke proper english without a funny accent.;)

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