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Elation Review May 9-May16


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We are back from our "Texaribbean" cruise on the Elation from May 9 to May 16. The short

spin is that we had a great time. Nevertheless, this was our second cruise (girlfriend and

I) and we have the impression that nothing can beat the magic of our first cruise (last year on the Triumph).


We arrived early (11:00). We encountered a problem at first. There were four people seated

behind a table with the responsibility of writing the room number of passengers with

guarantee cabins. The person that did this for us seemed drunk. No kidding. He first

looked at the wrong name on the manifest and had consequently given us the wrong luggage tag

colors. Be vigilant! When I told him about his mistake, I had to go through the manifest

myself to show him our room number - M211. I thought everything was fine, but he made yet

another mistake that I didn't catch in time. He gave us the right tag colors (Main

deck-aft), but he wrote U211 instead of M211, which we later discovered could have been a

fatal mistake for our luggage. In fact, we found our luggage on Upper deck in front of

cabin U211 at around 8:00 PM the first night. In any case, all I can advise is to stay



Otherwise, embarkation was very smooth. There was no one in line for check-in. The agent was

not particularly friendly, but as long as he gets us on the ship, we will not make a fuss

about it. We waited about 30 minutes in the sitting area until 12:15 when they called us to

board the ship. The flow was very smooth with no wait at all for the picture taking. I would

recommend arriving at the port at 11:30 which would be the ideal time I think.


As we boarded the ship, we immediately noticed how small the atrium looked compared to the

Triumph. Nevertheless, I liked the dark wood tones accentuated by brass and gold trimmings.

I found the decor to be elegantly glitzy. Nicely done. Other areas of the fun were well

decorated as well. The Mikado lounge was nice and the Piano bar had a fun decor.


Cabin: We immediately went to our room which was ready by that time. We noticed that the

room seemed smaller than on the Triumph but we later realized that the bathroom seemed

larger, so I guess it's a compromise. In particular, the shower was large and gave us more

room than on the Triumph. Water pressure was plenty, but the temperature fluctuated a lot,

which was unpleasant at times.


We changed into more comfortable clothes and went to the lido buffet for lunch. Lunch was

very good (especially the pear and prosciutto pasta salad).


For the rest of my review, I will go by feature:


Food: The food was still good in both the dining room and the buffet. Pizza and

burgers/dogs/chili were also good. I noticed the first night that the lamb was not presented

as nicely as the first cruise (no pastry bowl), but the rest of the week, the presentation

was nicely done. Among our favorite dishes, there were the jumbo shrimps, the duck, the

sirloin and most if not all of the appetizers. In the buffet, we enjoyed the Indian lunch

and the Mexican buffet the night of our departure from Belize. The only negative I can

effectively say concerns the breakfast fare on Lido which gets boring after the third day.


Entertainment: Larry Garlutzo was a good CD. He didn't talk a lot over the loudspeakers for

shop advertisements (only once a day or less) which was a welcome change. We found the shows

to be entertaining, but not spectacular by any means. The emphasis on country music was

apparent, which we enjoy although it is not our favorite. This is a Texaribbean cruise

indeed. I am not very savvy when it comes to music, but I found the guitarist for the Dirt

Poets to be exceptional. Other people's impression of the band would be interesting.

Besides this, I would have to echo other people's comments about the lido pool band

(Calypso) and the fact that they just simply can't sing. They can play, but they really

can't sing.


Service: Our dining room staff was very good. Our waiter Hakan Canta always had good

suggestions about the menu and was quite experienced (15 years worth with Carnival). Our

asst Carlos had just joined the ship's team, but had a few years worth of experience on

other ships. As for our room steward, he wasn't very personable, but our room was always

spotless and we had 6 nights' worth of animals.


One thing I have to say about service is the bar service crew that is incredibly harrassing

at times. Don't sit at a table with an empty glass as you will be asked again and again if

you want drinks. We actually counted once that there were 10 inquiries for drinks in 5

minutes. Ridiculous. I would suggest that Carnival assigns one waiter to one designated

area of the deck and therefore the waiter would remember if you have been asked for drinks



Ports of Call: We had a wonderful time in the three ports. We went to visit the ruins of

Chichen Itza (breathtaking, especially the climb to the top of the pyramid), we went to

Chankanaab beach in Cozumel (very nice beach and good snorkeling) and we went cave tubing in

Belize (awesome time!).


In short, I want to say that we greatly enjoyed our time on the Elation and that the slight

drawbacks mentionned in the review have not overshadowed all the sun and fun we had.


If you have any questions, feel free to ask...





Carnival Elation 05/2004

Carnival Triumph 05/2003

Norway 12/95

Costa Classica 12/94

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We leave in a few short days, your reveiw is great! We will be going over to Galveston Saturday so we expect to be there early. I'm glad to hear the crowds were light at early embarkation. My dad will be disappointed about the deck band though. He is really looking forward to that.



Almost counting the hours now!!! icon_biggrin.gif


countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=4169e1&cdt=2004;5;23;16;00;00&timezone=GMT-0600 Elation 5-23-04


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What was the water temperature and level like for the cave tubing. Did you book through X-stream? We just booked our through them. Leave on the Elation on Sunday!!! Thanks for the review.

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We booked cave tubing through the ship. It was fortunate for us because the ship had trouble anchoring in Belize and we thought for a moment we would have a day at sea instead (eventually, they started the tendering process 1:30 late). The fact that everyone else on the ship was in the same situation removed the stress of missing our excursion. I don't know if X-Stream allows for refunds if the ship can't make the port of call (unlikely I guess, but possible as we saw this week). The economics are clear for sure though: $59 through X-Stream sure beats $89 through Carnival.


The water level was low in certain spots but there was staff there to push you out of it, so it wasn't bad. I found the water temperature to be fine. Warmer than I expected actually.


You will have fun for sure.







Carnival Elation 05/2004

Carnival Triumph 05/2003

Norway 12/95

Costa Classica 12/94

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  • 2 weeks later...

thanks for the review---we're on the Elation Aug 1! I would love to hear more about Chichen Itza, if you don't mind. We went to Tulum in March and found it to be INCREDIBLE. So, I'm guessing Chichen Itza would be even better?? Can you explain cost, who you booked through, length of travel, time there, etc. and if you saw any kids there enjoying the site? thanks in advance!



Disney Magic~~Eastern 7/03

Carnival Celebration~~Western 3/04

Aug 1, 2004 Carnival Elation--Yippee, Our 3rd Cruise!!!


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Chichen Itza was a great experience, but a lot of it has to do with the climb up the pyramid. It is quite impressive up there...


We booked through the ship (definitely the only option here). The cost was under $80. The trip was long (approx 2 hours to get to Chichen Itza and 2 hours to come back) which left less than 2 hours there. The guide talks about the country and the ruins, etc.. during the ride in preparation for the visit, so time flies pretty quickly. It is unfortunate to have such limited time to visit the ruins though, but it is still worth the trip.


The buses were very new and no fears there with regards to safety/driving, etc... There were even seat belts, which is rare in tour buses.


We saw kids enjoying the site, but the stairs are steep so make sure that they are comfortable with heights and with steep stairs (under 5 years old may be too young, but I really don't know if there is any restriction). There is a rope you can hold on to going back down, but just make sure your children are comfortable before climbing all the way to the top.


If you need anything else, feel free to ask.





Carnival Elation 05/2004

Carnival Triumph 05/2003

Norway 12/95

Costa Classica 12/94

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Sultan~~ thank you so much for the Chichen Itza info. I greatly appreciate it! I KNOW DH & I would absolutely love to see this place, only thing holding me back in the decision is our kids (they're good kids and by no means do they "run the show" here, but my oldest has a physical disability, so have got to consider her enjoyment vs. the effort required of her to be there). Your info will be very useful in our discussions. Thanks again! icon_smile.gif



Disney Magic~~Eastern 7/03

Carnival Celebration~~Western 3/04

Aug 1, 2004 Carnival Elation--Yippee, Our 3rd Cruise!!!


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