Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Elation Review-marshhawk and friends


Recommended Posts

I have been back a month, and it seems I have been back a year...the snow, the cold, the flu and begging Catmando to upload my pictures( I really need to learn how to do this...) and finally I am ready.

My boss and I have always talked about going to see the Mayan Ruins, in fact several years ago, we were booked out of Mobile, and then Carnival pulled out of Mobile, and we changed our cruise to the Bahamas, and it was stormy, and the waves were 18-20 feet high, and well, I loved it, but the boss said she would never ever get on another ship again. BUT we saw this cruise, had never been to NOLA, still wanted to see the ruins, you get the picture.... So we planned another cruise.:)

We were a group of six, counting pennies to do this cruise. Me, and the DH (Catmando) the boss, Shari, a friend of ours from work, Barbara, and a couple the DH and I have known for years, Theresa and Harley. They said I could mention their names in my review, and show pictures, so ---this was "our gang".

We left Atlanta on a COLD night, and took the Megabus to NOLA. I thought this was a good inexpensive way to get somewhere. Two hours out of town, the bus pulled over and we waited for the police to arrest someone who was drunk and disorderly on the bus. I dont think the Alabama cops wanted him, they put him back on the bus, and off again, down the road in the dark. The bus stopped in Montgomery, Mobile and a very nice truck stop in Evergreen Alabama, and after Mobile, I kind of nodded off, and woke up to the rising sun, while we were crossing over Lake Poncetrain, I should be wide awake, I should be wide awake, but I couldn't wake up so I closed my eyes and woke up when the bus stopped.

I was informed when we got off the bus, that there was no way they would ever do that bus again during the night, they had missed all the scenery, and it was way too cramped, and well.....we did have tickets on the bus to get home;)

We arrived at 7:30 a.m., on time, even though we had that unexpected stop. and since our hotel was only 3 blocks away, and we hoped they would let us leave our luggage off, we headed over to the Staybridge Suites. This hotel is across Canal street and once you cross over from the French Quarter, you are in the business district. Great hotel, great location, and great service. We had asked for early check in, and we got into our rooms when we got there.

Theresa and Harley were staying at the Lafayette Hotel, a few blocks from us, so they called to see if they could check in, and they were told NO, so they put their luggage in Shari and Barb's room and we all headed over to Mother's for breakfast.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had two full days in NOLA, but six people do not often all want to do the same thing, and trying to make people do what they dont want to do is like herding cats, so on our first day, we all split up. Shari and Barb wanted a good sleep and then went to Bourbon street, Theresa and Harley wanted to go to the Garden District, and DH and I wanted to see the World War II Museum. This was like one of those bucket list items for my DH, so we headed out for the day.

Across from the Staybridge was an area referred to as the Italian Fountain, it was supposed to become a great "people gathering place" but it never came to fruition, the fountains operate but people are locked out of the area.




We walked through Lafaette Square, but there isn't a statue of Lafayette there. Just a plaque. There are statues there, just not of him.

I am going to post a few pictures of the Museum-we really enjoyed our time there, but we both felt like if we sat for too long we would just fall asleep.





On the way back to the hotel, I saw this ad on the side of a building, and if you live outside of NOLA, this is what we think of when we think New Orleans-


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone had enjoyed their day, not pushing too hard, just fulfilling dreams. But the next day, was a group day, and it was busy!

First thing was to catch a street car, here is Shari, on the bench, Barbara and Harley. We are about to take the river street car, it starts at the end of Poydras street and heads up along the river to the French market.




And here is Harley and Theresa, with Barba and Shari. I have no idea why the girls are looking scared?? Could be because the French Market has absolutely everything in it, and what we thought was going to take one hour, ended up taking up most of the day.


Edited by marshhawk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a few more shots of NOLA and then onto the cruise, I promise.

One of the most beautiful statues I have ever seen, Joan of Arc . I know this probably has something to do with the French Connection that Louisiana has but also a wonderful tribute to one of the best Mark Twain books ever!




And here is the iconic picture of NOLA-


Link to comment
Share on other sites

We loved New Orleans, the food, the area, the life, but after two tiring days of eating and walking we went to bed. We were on our Elation cruise starting in the morning.

Since Theresa and Harley, Catmando and I had FTTF, we got a cab from the Staybridge at 10 and in 15 minutes we were at the ship. Everyone in the port was very friendly, telling us how our luggage was going to be at our cabins when we got on the ship, and how our cabin was going to be ready, because we had FTTF. But even though we were processed through at 10:30, and we were told to wait, we didn't get on the ship until 11:45, and our luggage was not at our cabin, nor were our cabins ready. We told our steward we would lock our stuff in the safe, and we headed up to the Lido. I have no idea what was happening, as it seemed everyone boarded at the same time and the FTTF really didn't pay off on this trip.

In fact Shari and Barb got on right behind us, and they didn't have FTTF. We all had lunch inside because it was cold, and after we ate, we all went our seperate ways until dinner.

We all had anytime dining, Shari and Barb wanted to meet new people on the cruise, and the rest of us didn't want to be tied to eating when told to, but when we were hungry. We did share meals on the first night, and the last night.

As far as waiting for a table for two, the girls were seated with other people immediately every night. The four of us never had to wait for a table. Party of six however required putting tables together, so the first night we waited about 20 minutes, and the last night we waited thirty. Service was good, not great, but the last night our waiter took off after taking our dessert order, and the dinner took forever. Since we all had plans that evening, Barb left before dessert arrived.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DH and I had a porthole cabin on the Empress deck-closer to "everything". We had E9, this cabin is small. Well, smaller than the other portholes we have had on lower levels. And it seems that on the older ships there is a type of trunk built into the floor where your life jackets are, and it makes it impossible to really take the two twins and make it into a "king" .





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Remember the reason we went on this cruise? Well we decided to go to Uxmal and the Hacienda Ochill from port Progreso. We booked this through Carnival, and we were not dissappointed. We were educated not only on the ruins, but on life style and modern business practices. It turns out that this is such a popular excursion, there were three busses, which we didn't know, so the roll call buddies we were going to meet on the bus, we didn't meet.:( But that was the only downside of the excursion, and we did meet them later on the cruise.

Harley, Theresa, me and Catmando-ready to go-


You cannot climb this pyramid, but notice the door way near the top? If you stand in front of the pyramid with the door in front of you, and clap your hands, you can hear the call of a bird, that has become extinct in this area. (The bird can still be found further south but no longer in Mexico)




When our excursion was over and we were allowed to wander the site on our own, I heard several tour guides explain about sound, and had their groups clap, but they heard no bird call, because you have to do it in a certain place. This is why it is important to get a good tour guide, and Carnival did not dissappoint.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DH and I had a porthole cabin on the Empress deck-closer to "everything". We had E9, this cabin is small. Well, smaller than the other portholes we have had on lower levels. And it seems that on the older ships there is a type of trunk built into the floor where your life jackets are, and it makes it impossible to really take the two twins and make it into a "king" .






We stayed in U12 in August...another porthole cabin. That box in the corner .. omg! I don't know how many times I kicked my toes on it! :o


Sent from my Commadore 64 using the Cruise Critic forum app

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was a busy day for tours-



I always thought that when I got to Uxmal and saw the snakes (design) that they would be like boas, or pythons, so you can imagine my shock to see that they were actually rattlesnakes. I started really looking for where I was walking after that bit of info



One of the things my DH wanted to see was a ball court. No one in our group knew whather or not you were killed for winning or losing, but our bets were the winner, so that you went out on a high. Turns out that sacrificng was not a Mayan cultural thing, but the Toltec and Aztec cultures introduced this into the Mayan lives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The ball court- for small (non death) games, perhaps two or four players on a court this size



For two years I had the following picture as my screen saver. But it was someone else's phIMG_2883_zps8c7cbd29.jpgoto. Now I can proudly show mine-

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were at the site for about two and a half hours, then we loaded back onto the bus and went to Hacienda Ochill, this had been a working Hacienda which manufactured hemp rope and tequila. Now it is a serene garden, restuarant, and museum.

Stupid Bear showed up here too




A serene moment-


You can see the tiny rail road tracks that moved product from one location of the Hacienda to another-


Another serene place on the Hacienda-




Link to comment
Share on other sites

We got back to the ship with 15 minutes to spare. There is a small shopping area at the end of the pier in Progreso. The interesting thing about Progreso port is that is the longest pier in the world (4 miles). You cannot walk on the pier street, but there are busses that will take you into town for free. It really is quite impressive. I am one of those people that when I travel I will stop for the world's largest ball of twine, so this pier was on my wish list anyway.

The next day, Cozumel, and we are headed to El Cid for a day pass to snorkel.

When we got to Cozumel our friends wanted to wander around a bit to look at the gardens and the shops, and get REAL coffee. I just loved this little statue in the gardens-



It was sunny in Cozumel but cool, to the point where we sat in the sun, but after one dunk in the water, I was done. This cold front in Mexico was a message from the weather gods regarding what to expect when we got back to the US.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And now a few shots and info on the ship. We were on the Empress deck, in the front, and if you walk all the way to the end of the hallway, and cross over to the other side of the ship, you find the Laundry



a view of the atrium and sky light



the internet area


Link to comment
Share on other sites

On sea days, tea is served in the Piano Bar. On our cruise, the piano player was an actor who had played the Phantom in London, and during tea he played and sang. This brought in so many people that tea was a joke, lucky to get tea, and a scone or sandwich was impossible. I have heard that on the next cruise he was given his own show on the mainstage-enjoy tea!

the piano bar-


the Mark Twain library-a great place to wait for dinner-



glass art on every level of the atrium-



the elevators looked like you were locked in the loony bin- just thought i would share that thought-



Link to comment
Share on other sites

The pool on the lido deck-it was cold! I mean cold! The only ones in the pools were kids, and they were using the water slide. I guess kids are immune to cold, or they were all from up north. Cold!





the mongolian wok, people are bundled up-but happy


The great glass walls in the Tiffany dining room


Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the last sea day, the buffet on the Lido serves a chocolate dessert buffet-



the stage on the Lido deck


outside dining on the Lido



it was too cold to lie out-this picture is worth a thousand words-


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of the neon lights, letting you know where you are, and what's ahead-


the promenade had lots of room, a gathering place for the afternoon Trivia games-



the drama bar- my drama was that I never even came close to winning in Trivia



the most beautiful room on the ship, was the Romeo and Juliette lounge-



the details in the paintings were great-




Link to comment
Share on other sites

The ship serves, breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight snacks, tea, but if you need more, there is a coffee shop. You do have to pay for the pastries and coffee here, but I hear they are worth it, but I never seem to get that hungry;)



I never heard anyone play this piano on the promenade, but you can have your picture taken on it, on formal night.



Years ago when you could smoke on the ships, this was the smoking lounge. Now it stays pretty empty.



my last ship photo is of the outside of the Jekyl and Hyde bar. Those robot things have eyes that move and flash, and if you dont know it, it is a bit scary. This is an 18 year old and older bar at night, and there is security at the door.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Explore 5 Unique Destinations With All-inclusive Pricing
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2023
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise Critic News & Features
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
  • Create New...