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

New CC Member-First Review- Elation 4/27-5/2


Recommended Posts

Hi. My name is Bev T and I am a lurker. I've been scouring Cruise Critic for over a year reading reviews, tips etc. I have realized I have a problem and found the only way to recovery is to contribute. So here it is. My review of our recent cruise on the Elation. This will be a text-only review as I don't have any idea how to post pictures yet. I just wanted to get my experiences down before I forget more than I already have! Please feel free to ask any questions as I am absolutely sure I will forget to put some stuff in the review. Bear with me, here we go....

First, a little about me. I am 48 years old and have a 21 year old daughter. My boyfriend is 46 (younger man!). We took our first cruise last September on the Dream and were hooked from day one! We found cruising to be a fun, economic way for us to travel and see places we might not get to otherwise. My boyfriend is a CPA (which is how I'll refer to him going forward) and we were looking for a way to get away and decompress from 4 months of non-stop working (aka: TAX SEASON). We like to drive to the ports as it saves us money on air fare that we can spend on the cruise so we decided to sail out of NOLA again, this time on the Elation. We had read mixed reviews about this ship and decided to experience her for ourselves. Here is how it went...

Day One - Embarkation: We drove down the day before so we wouldn't have to get up in the middle of the night to make the drive day of. We woke up that morning to severe thunderstorms and a couple of tornadoes in the NOLA area. Not ideal, but that certainly wasn't going to stop us from getting on that boat. I did feel sorry for those that had to disembark during all that though. After waiting for the weather to calm down a bit, we headed for the port and after parking, we were at the terminal shortly after 1p. As with our last cruise, embarkation was easy and quick. We were on the ship by 1:15p-1:30p. Upon boarding, we walked into the atrium and I was instantly in like with the decor. It had some of my favorite colors (browns, coppers, golds) and was somewhat subdued compared to the Dream. We went to find our cabin and it was ready with one piece of luggage already there. Nice! We decided to go do some exploring while we waited for our other piece of luggage and the muster drill. We found the rest of the ship to be just as nicely decorated as the atrium. Plus, being a smaller ship, the crowds were pretty much non-existent. Our muster station was in the Mikado lounge and since it was still sprinkling outside, the entire drill was done inside. After that, we went up on the Serenity Deck to get a drink and watch sail-away under the awning. Once we were away from NOLA, we went back to the cabin and found our 2nd suitcase so we unpacked before dinner. We try to eat in the MDR as much as possible. We like the variety and the desserts better than the buffet. Yes, I had the WCMC the first night! By now, the ship was really rocking and rolling with the weather and we kept cracking ourselves up every time we would stumble. We joked that everyone on the ship looked like they were drunk! After dinner we found ourselves back out on Serenity. It was so relaxing listening to the rain and watching the lightning. We sat there until the comedy shows which we didn't want to miss. And we weren't disappointed. We had a porthole cabin on Main Deck and feeling the movement and hearing the waves crash against the hull was amazing. Neither of us slept well, but I chalk that up to first night excitement.

First Day at Sea: We woke up to somewhat calmer seas and mostly cloudy skies. After eating at the Seaday Brunch, we consulted our Fun Times and found there was an art auction that day. We have friends that went to one and said they can be fun and informational and with free champagne, why not? We had no intention of buying anything, but saw some pictures an artist from South Africa draws pictures of animals he has encountered. Being an unapologetic crazy animal lover, we would up bidding on and winning those pieces. Now please don't think we are art snobs or artsy fartsy....we don't know anything about art, we just liked these pictures and they were waaayy cheaper than most of the other works being auctioned off. After the auction, donated some money in the casino and played a game of bingo. We really liked the gal who ran the bingo on this ship, Alicia Bingo. She was a delight. Funny and entertaining. After bingo, we had dinner in the MDR, and as usual had a great meal with great service. We then experienced the only negative experience of the entire trip. The production show, WIN. Oh geez....what to say. I always give these types of shows a lot of latitude, but I just didn't have enough for this one. Yikes. After that we caught both comedy shows done by Pat Godwin. I was familiar with him from a morning radio show I like and knew we were in for a treat. And judging from the reaction of the audience, they enjoyed him too. Went to bed with less rocking and less noise.

To be continued.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the positive feedback! I did notice I was a little wordy in the first part, so I will try to reign it in for the remainder! Now, where were we........


Day Three- Cozumel: Having done the shopping thing here last year, we wanted to just find a beach and relax for this trip. After breakfast in the Lido, we headed out. We planned on going to Playa Palancar since it's far from the port and seemed nice and quiet. However, the guy directing things at the taxi area suggested we go to another beach because of copious amounts of seaweed due to the recent storm. Our driver took us to Buccanos Beach. For $15 each, we had access to chairs, umbrellas, snorkel equipment and the pool. It was very nice. There was a sandy beach leading to rocky water which was good for snorkeling. We didn't snorkel, but still saw lots of fish! It was nice to see CPA be able to chill and decompress (see Part One about the 4 month tax season). We left a little early because we needed to pick up a bottle of tequila for a friend back home. After milling around the shops at the port, we got back on the ship. Having consulted our Fun Times the night before, we knew there was a Thriller Dance class that afternoon. After seeing one on the Dream, I knew this was something I had to do. Yes, it was embarrassing, but it was also fun! BUT....I have already forgotten a lot of it, so those of you who were expecting me to perform or teach it at the next party, I'm sorry to disappoint! After dinner in the MDR, we donated some more to the casino. I discovered the quarter game. You know the one....where you deposit the quarter, it falls and hopefully causes many more to fall into your tray? Well, I have a hint - if you only put in one quarter at a time, it takes longer to lose your money, therefore, providing more playing time! A new Pat Godwin show and we called it a night.


Up Next - Progreso

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day Four- Progreso: We knew we wanted to see some ruins while here, so we did a lot of research prior to our trip. We wound up booking a tour to Dzibilchaltun with Auto Progreso. It was much lower than thru Carnival and we would rather a local company get all the money than share it with the cruise line. We woke up to mostly cloudy skies and temps in the 70s. Perfect weather for what we had scheduled. After breakfast in the Lido, we headed out. After a bus ride to the Auto Progeso terminal, we boarded another bus to the ruins. Our guide was Victor and he was great. He was very informative and had a great sense of humor. Upon arrival, we were hooked up with a guide and proceeded to our tour of the site. Our guide was good. Provided a terrific education on the history of this particular ruin and cenote (fresh water sink hole). Let's talk about this sink hole. I had read about this and the little fish that nibble on you. I thought I would freak out about this, but was pleasantly surprised. I loved it! I could have sat there all day letting those little guys nibble on my feet and legs. However, unless we wanted to become residents of the Yucatan, we had to head back toward the exit. On the way out, we took some more pictures, visited the museum and made one last stop at the restrooms. NOTE: These were some of the cleanest public restrooms I have ever been to. I mean it. Squeaky clean. AND there was a lady in there handing out paper towels to dry our hands on! Impressed! After we were all back on the bus, we were taken directly to the cruise port. We milled around the port a little, got some more tequila, and it was back to the ship. After putting our stuff in the cabin, we went up to Serenity for sail away. After catching a Beyonce Single Ladies Dance class (spectators only this time!), we got ready for dinner. After dinner in the MDR, we listened to some of the live music up by the casino, made another donation to said casino, then, you guessed it, another Pat Godwin show. Tonight, there was a special perfomance by the house band, The Crescent City Swingers, a fantastic blues group. So after the comedy show, we headed over to another lounge for that. Outstanding! I wish there were more of this kind of music playing on the ships!


Up Next: Last Day at Sea

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry for the delay....on with the review!


Day Five - Last Day at Sea: We woke up to sunny skies and warm temps. Finally! We slept in a little bit, then had breakfast at the Seaday Brunch. We really like that brunch! After that, we wandered the shops to look for any last day sales. We went to the art auction again, this time just to see any new pieces that they had. After a glass of champagne, we got bored and left. I decided since it was so nice out, I would take the opportunity to get some sun, so I headed to Serenity Deck and CPA went to the casino to donate the remaining money he had in his bank. It was soooo relaxing to just sit and soak in the sun. I had no trouble at all getting a lounger, even with it being a small Serenity area. After some sun and a couple of cold drinks, I went inside and found CPA watching and talking sports with another couple. He LOVES sports. We played one last game of bingo (2 away from the win in cover-all). We then knew it was time for the unpleasant task of packing for home. Sad. Last cruise we did the relaxed disembark and planned on doing it again as we are in no hurry to get off the boat. However, after speaking with my daughter at home, we had to make other plans. She was watching our two dogs and said the 16 year old was sick and that we needed to get home ASAP. Well, I completely wigged out. We went to Guest Services, told them we had an emergency at home and asked what the fastest way to get off the ship was. He told us to keep our luggage, and then be in the lounge with the VIPs and early flight people at 8a. Very helpful! After a very restless night, we did as we were told. We were off the boat by 8:30a. As it was last year, getting through Customs and out of the terminal was quick and easy. We were on the road home by 9:15a. BTW, Jake (our dog) was fine. He's just really old and my daughter wasn't used to some of his "issues".


Next Up: Final Thoughts on the ship

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Final Thoughts on Elation


Decor - We loved the decor on this ship. The main colors used, especially in the atrium of browns, coppers and bronze were really pretty. Understated, but still had some pizazz. The artwork on the walls was interesting and not weird or off-putting (except for all the Peter Maxx...his stuff is way too "interesting"). The theme of peacocks in the Lido buffet area was also nice. The only unsettling pieces of decor was in one of the lounges (I forget the name of it). It had these weird robot people all over inside and 2 standing guard outside. I kept waiting for them to move or something (they didn't).


Food - The food was just fine. We ate most of our dinners in the MDR and were not disappointed. I tried the Strawberry and Bing Cherry bisques and loved them. Cold soup? I was worried but pleasantly surprised. Delicious! Of course the WCMC and Bitter and Blanc were awesome and CPA enjoyed several of the sugar-free options as well as the Grand Marnier Souffle. On port days, we ate breakfast in the Lido buffet and it was fine. Loved that they had someone going around refilling drinks....that was not offered on the Dream and it was a nice "extra". I also liked the bigger cups on Elation. Didn't need as many refills. We had a piece of White Chocolate cake from the coffee bar.....outstanding.


Entertainment - We saw one production show...Win. Oh Dear. What to say. I appreciate the effort put forth by the cast, but Yikes. The guy they had in the atrium playing guitar and singing was ok. Great guitar playing and his singing was mostly in tune. Played lots of songs you knew and enjoyed. There was a band by the Drama Bar and casino. Their instrumental work was very good...singing....ok. We still sat and listened to them several times though. Bingo was fun. Alicia Bingo made it enjoyable and we laughed quite a lot with her. The Thriller Dance class was fun as was the Trivia contests we participated in. The comedians were very good. Pat Godwin was outstanding and we saw all but one of his show during the week.


Serenity - This was small but we never had trouble finding a chair or lounger. There were two hot tubs and a shower. I thought I would miss a pool being out there, but I would just soak myself with the shower when I got hot and that worked just fine.


Crew - As with the Dream, the crew was outstanding. Always smiling and wanting to help. Every single crew member we came across was this way. Our room steward, Gerry was fantastic. It still boggles my mind how they remember your name....right from the beginning!


We really enjoyed our week on the Elation and will absolutely cruise on her again if the opportunity arises. With her moving away from NOLA, that may be difficult. Having cruised both The Dream and Elation, we loved them both for what they each had to offer. If we had to make a choice, we would choose Elation for the lack of crowds, decor and general feel of the ship.


I hope you enjoyed my review. I feel better having contributed to the group and can now go back to lurking with a clean conscience! If there are any questions or comments please ask and/or let me know. I appreciate the many reviews I have read in the past and will continue to read as they are enjoyable and educational. So, Until We Cruise Again......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

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...