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Elation Review from 1/6/07


19snapshot

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Embarkation was easy. We waited in line about ten minutes and then got right on at about 12:30. The ship is really pretty. We have sailed on sister ships, but this one was the prettiest. It was clean and attractive. The food, service and entertainment were not as good as we have come to expect on Carnival. However, I am a strong believer in the philosphy that each trip is what you make of it. We had a great time. The cruise director "Goose" was very entertaining. The super shopper Mark was extremely friendly and helpful.

 

We were on the Empress deck and were near a service door that banged loudly through out the first and second nights of the cruise. Stewards and room service personnel were using it. We, and our neighbors, asked several staff to stop slamming the door and to see what could be done to fix the situation. We were ignored. At about 5:30 am on the second night, I called the purser's desk, who did get it fixed. We never heard it slam again. Although we were extremely disappointed that the staff we spoke with made no attempt to fix the situation (they could clearly hear the door slamming in a corridor sourrounded by guest rooms, and we complained to them), we were greatful the purser's office got it fixed. There were a couple of other service related issues, but I won't dwell on them here.

 

The chocolate melting cake in the dining room was fantastic. The corned beef hash for breakfast in the dining room was really good and the guava juice in Tiffany in the mornings was wonderful.

 

The itinerary was great for us. It was low-key and peaceful. The ship was pretty rocky until we got to Grand Turk, but we didn't get sick and didn't see any other passengers that were ill.

 

The port at Grand Turk was lively and had a party atmosphere while we were there. This is not a shopping port. It is all about either partying or relaxing at the beach. We took a taxi to Governor's Beach for $4 per person. It is a 20 minute walk along the road if you prefer, but it was very hot and the $4 was well worth it for us. You can't walk up the beach because it is obstructed so it is either a taxi ride or a walk on the road. We got there early and managed to get a shady spot. There are not many. We walked to the right (as you look at the ocean) and around the curve of the beach. It was a five minute walk. We brought our own snorkel gear and snorkeled out to the reef where the snorkeling excursion boats were. It was about a 15 minute swim. We snorkeled about 50 feet away from the crowd and saw some pretty cool things, including the biggest lobster I have ever seen and two eels. The people that paid for the excursion were pretty angry how close to the beach they were. They could have rented snorkel gear on the beach ($30) for half the excursion price. We spent the rest of the day on the beach in our rented chairs ($5 each). It was relaxing and lovely. It is the kind of sand that sticks to you even after your rinse off, but baby powder takes it off nicely.

 

Half Moon Cay was simply amazing. We rented a cabana. It came with water, sodas, fruit, veggie tray, tortilla chips and a variety of dips. The cabanas are air conditioned. There is a shower on the porch and a refridgerator in the back. The only electricity is the single outlet for the fridge. We brought a surge protector, pulled out the fridge and plugged it into the surge protector so that we could plug in our IPod dock for music. The porch on the cabana has two lounge chairs, each with a mister. The cabana comes with snorkel gear and water floats. It was $216 and worth every penny. It was very hot at HMC and many passengers returned to the ship by 1 pm. We were able to stay to the very end because we could cool off in the cabana. We went to the shore excursion desk as soon as we got on board the first day of the cruise and booked it immediately. We got the turquios one. It was nicely located and we were happy. We heard from other passengers that by the evening of the first day, the cabanas were sold out. We snorkled the entire protected area (that we were instructed to stay within). We saw a rather large stingray and a few fish in the main area, but if you head to the far left (looking toward the ocean) between the bouys and the water park there is a small reef. We saw many intersting fish there. Some saw an octopus, but we didn't. We did see flounder that were nearly invisible. It wasn't the best snorkeling we have experienced, but we enjoyed it. If I ever am fortunate enough to go to HMC again and get a cabana, I will bring zip strips to secure the cabinets. There are under the counter cabinets in the back of the cabana that could be secured with a zip strip. Every time we left the cabana to swim, snorkle, get lunch, etc. someone came and made themselves at home. People used the shower and splashed water all over our towels, parked their stuff on our deck and took the water floats. I am not sure they realized we rented the cabana. It wasn't listed in any of the tour information we recieved, so they thought we were squatters. The cabanas hold four people, the ships holds over 2,000 and there are only 12 cabanas. Several people asked us questions about how we "staked out" a cabana. I think that's why people felt OK about taking over when we left. It was no big deal, but we had an IPod and speakers that could have been taken. I was also worried that we would be held responsible for the missing floats, but it was OK. The hot dogs were great as was the chicken. The lines for lunch were long, but if you are OK with chicken or hot dogs, you can walk right up to the front of line and self serve. People are waiting for burgers, but you don't know that until you get to the front of the line. In short, we loved HMC.

 

Nassau was nice. The weather was beautiful. We shopped, mostly at the straw market. We also went to Diamonds International, but got a better deal on a diamond at its sister store Tanzanite International, go figure. We took a cab to the Atlantis Resort for $4 per person and walked around the public areas. We spent a lot of time shopping and didn't have enough time to do the Dig justice, so we only saw a tiny bit of what the resort has to offer. It was spectacular. I definately want to go back. The resort offers the Dig for $29 per person or use of the enitre resort, beach, pools, water park, the Dig, etc, for $88 per person. The Dig itself can take 2-3 hours to tour according to the resort employee guarding the entrance. We live in Chicago and are accustomed to visiting a world class aquarium, but the Dig is really something special.

 

We self assisted getting off the ship and it was smooth and hassle free.

 

Also, we love to star gaze and we found a great spot. We went up to the deck in the front of the ship where the mini-golf is. The astro-turf is softer than most. We sat in the "grass" near the glass where it wasn't as windy and really enjoyed looking at the stars. Few people went up there at night, so it was a nice quiet place to relax and get away from the crowds.

 

In summary:

There were a few service issues on-board, but the itinerary made this trip exceptional. I am happy to answer any questons you may have.

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We're sailing on Monday:) Since your cruise is over do you mind letting me know what cabin you were in on Empress Deck? We are three couples and all on that deck. Would just like to have a heads up in case we're near that service door.

 

Sorry the food wasn't as good as it could have been. I really think each Carnival ship stands on it's own, even though they serve the same thing, also think it's got a lot to do with the head chef on each ship.

 

Anyway, thanks so much, still debating the cabana, this will be our third trip to HMC, hope we do get there:)

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Thank you for the review, my husband and I are also from Chicago and we will be going the elation on feb 12th, we are still debating the cabana on half moon cay since it is pretty costly and we are on a budget. But my husband cant handle heat well so he would probably be one of the people going back on the ship midday, and the cabana would help prevent that situation. It would be great if we could go in half and half with another couple.

 

Was there alot of activities at night?

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Hello, thank you so much for the review on the Elation, I'm going at the end of February, same itinerary. I have few questions for you, how can you get a pass for the atlantis? you mention they're around $88.

Also, I have a toddler, you think the cabanas have space for my DD to sleep? she is too young to be up all day.

Any more suggestions?

Thank you in advance!

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We're sailing on Monday:) Since your cruise is over do you mind letting me know what cabin you were in on Empress Deck? We are three couples and all on that deck. Would just like to have a heads up in case we're near that service door.

 

Anyway, thanks so much, still debating the cabana, this will be our third trip to HMC, hope we do get there:)

 

We were in E174. The door was across the hall from E172. There was a raised threshold outside E176. The carts from room service and housekeeping made quite a noise going over the threshold, but it wasn't as frequent or as loud as the service door (which has been fixed).

 

For us, the cabana was well worth it. We heard from other guests that they booked the cabana and then found another couple to share it...one couple told us they found cabana-mates at dinner. We were able to talk with the other cabana people on the tender. We were able to go ashore first.

 

Hope this helps.

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Thank you for the review, my husband and I are also from Chicago and we will be going the elation on feb 12th, we are still debating the cabana on half moon cay since it is pretty costly and we are on a budget. But my husband cant handle heat well so he would probably be one of the people going back on the ship midday, and the cabana would help prevent that situation. It would be great if we could go in half and half with another couple.

 

Was there alot of activities at night?

 

Again, if you book the cabana when you get on-board, I don't think you will have any trouble finding someone to share it with you. The way people reacted to not getting one...we joked about raising some money renting by the hour.

 

The casino was open at night. There was a nightclub that was pretty lively. The piano bar was subdued but nice. Kareoke was a blast and rocked until midnight. There were two late night R-rated comedy shows. One night there was a party by the pool that went to the wee hours. There is live country music on the promenade and more low key music in the atrium. We had an older crowd on our sailing and the night-life was there, but it wasn't wild.

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Hello, thank you so much for the review on the Elation, I'm going at the end of February, same itinerary. I have few questions for you, how can you get a pass for the atlantis? you mention they're around $88.

Also, I have a toddler, you think the cabanas have space for my DD to sleep? she is too young to be up all day.

Any more suggestions?

Thank you in advance!

 

You can take a cab to Atlantis. You walk through the lobby and go downstairs to the big aquarium wall. To your right you will see a dark hallway entrance. There is a small podium there where they sell passes. That is the only place we saw where they were on sale. It is tucked away and there was a small sign that we would not have noticed, had we not asked. I don't think they want their high paying guests to be aware of the day passes. Another thread said that you could rent a room for the day at the Comfort Suites and get priviledges, but when I looked into it, it was $250 for the day. It wouldn't have been worth it for the two of us for the limited amount of time we had there.

 

The floorspace in the cabana was about 12 feet deep by about 7 feet wide. There is a table and chairs in the interior part and lounge chairs on the outer deck part. There is a canvas shade that can pulled down between the interior and the exterior. You could easily move the table and chairs toward the outside and fit a lounge chair across the back for a toddler to nap on. I can't imagine having a toddler at HMC for the day without a cabana. The cabanas are the only cool spot on the island. There are a couple of misting tents, but you can only spend so much time there. The dining area is picnic tables, but cabana people brought their food back to dine in the air conditioning on nice patio furniture in the shade. There is very limited shade other than in the dining area which is not really near the beach. There are clamshells for shade, but people were complaining that there was no air circulating and they were roasting in them. The clamshells are limited and I am not sure what the cost on them was. A crew member told us that it was 100 degrees when we were there, but with the misters and the AC, we never felt the heat. Of course, the sea was cool and refreshing. If it is financially possible for you and you get on-board early enough to get a cabana, I would highly recommend it.

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19snapshot-

Thanks for the review. We are leaving April 23 and can not wait!!! I also have a question about the cabanna. We will have a group of approx 4 couples. I would love to get a cabanna but know the 'price is for only 4 people. Since we will all be coming and going at different times, would it be ok to share the space with all of us. Or is it just not going to happen??

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19, thanks for getting back with me so soon!!! We're not near there, but looking on-line looks like we might have a service door right across from us, we'll see:)

 

Chase,when we were on the Fantasy in April I inquired about the cabana for 4 couples and it would have been apprx 50.00 more per person, so you can add another 200.00 at least to the price. We are still debating this here at home. I plan to write a review so will find out exact price for the cabana.

 

Last couple of times we just did the clamshell and it worked out well, but you do need to get into the water to cool down or in one of the misting tents:)

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Hello 19snapshot. It was nice meeting you and your husband. Sounds like you really enjoyed your cruise. David and I loved ours also but we really just wanted to relax this time around. I was surprised to hear that they told you it was 100 degrees on HMC. When David and I were there around 10:30 to about 1:30 the water was just to cold for us. David tried to snorkle and saw 3 fish. I just waded up to my knees. It was just too cold for us! I did enjoy sitting in the sun though. When we arrived we did see a lot of people trying to "save" chairs but we did get 2 and enjoyed the sun. The lunch was pretty good too. We had to laugh though at the watermelon served. They way it was cut we thought it was a display but they told us to just pull a piece off and enjoy. We did so and laughed about it all the way to the table. One good thing with the cooler weather we never had to fight the chair hogs as there always seemed to be chairs available even next to the pool.

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19snapshot-

Thanks for the review. We are leaving April 23 and can not wait!!! I also have a question about the cabanna. We will have a group of approx 4 couples. I would love to get a cabanna but know the 'price is for only 4 people. Since we will all be coming and going at different times, would it be ok to share the space with all of us. Or is it just not going to happen??

 

The people next ot us had ten. Some were inside, some were on the porch. They were having a blast. You only get 4 floats, 4 snorkel set-ups and the table seats 4, but more than 4 can enjoy. Only 4 will be able to go on the first tender, but the others can soon follow. There were plenty of snacks. We had four people and left half the food behind. You will only get 2 large waters and 8 soft drinks, but there are the same beverages at the food area that are on the lido deck, lemonade, fruit punch, etc.

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19, thanks for getting back with me so soon!!! We're not near there, but looking on-line looks like we might have a service door right across from us, we'll see:)

 

Chase,when we were on the Fantasy in April I inquired about the cabana for 4 couples and it would have been apprx 50.00 more per person, so you can add another 200.00 at least to the price. We are still debating this here at home. I plan to write a review so will find out exact price for the cabana.

 

If you hear any banging, call the purser's desk. They handled it right away.

 

The people in the cabana next to us only paid for 4 and had no trouble. Their friends were about half an hour behind in arriving, but that's not worth $50. I don't think the extra floats and soda are worth the extra $50 per person either. My advice, book it for four and get extra soda from a cabana boy. They came by every 30 minutes or so.

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19, thanks for the heads up, we just may do that!!! Keeping our fingers crossed that we do get there, this will be our third time and weather.com says winds will be up next week. We'll see!!! I would love to have a cabana and we do have some OBC and funship dollars this time:) :) :)

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Hello 19snapshot. It was nice meeting you and your husband. Sounds like you really enjoyed your cruise. David and I loved ours also but we really just wanted to relax this time around. I was surprised to hear that they told you it was 100 degrees on HMC. When David and I were there around 10:30 to about 1:30 the water was just to cold for us. David tried to snorkle and saw 3 fish. I just waded up to my knees. It was just too cold for us! I did enjoy sitting in the sun though. When we arrived we did see a lot of people trying to "save" chairs but we did get 2 and enjoyed the sun. The lunch was pretty good too. We had to laugh though at the watermelon served. They way it was cut we thought it was a display but they told us to just pull a piece off and enjoy. We did so and laughed about it all the way to the table. One good thing with the cooler weather we never had to fight the chair hogs as there always seemed to be chairs available even next to the pool.

 

Hi Barbara: Its good to hear from you. Do you mean the pool back on deck? I don't remember a pool at HMC, but we didn't explore the water park area. The guy that gave us our cabana orientation said the water was 78 degrees. It was cold at first, but once we got moving, we adjusted. We never really felt like it was all that hot, but we were behind someone in line for the tender that was complaining about it. The emplyee helping us onto the tender was the one who said it was 100 degrees. I was shocked. We were either in the water snorkeling, or in the shade using misters or in the cabana enjoying the AC. My DH sat in a lounge chair in the sun for a while, but he doen't mind the heat. Even if the air temp was hot, there was a breeze. The forecast for the next 5 days is 85 degrees. Not too shabby.

The watermelon was a riot. It looked like a decoration but tasted great.

It was so nice meeting you, your husband and Valentine. I am glad you had a nice time on your trip.

Patty

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19, thanks for the heads up, we just may do that!!! Keeping our fingers crossed that we do get there, this will be our third time and weather.com says winds will be up next week. We'll see!!! I would love to have a cabana and we do have some OBC and funship dollars this time:) :) :)

It was overcast and pretty windy in the morning the day we were there, but the sea was pretty calm. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

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The people next ot us had ten. Some were inside, some were on the porch. They were having a blast. You only get 4 floats, 4 snorkel set-ups and the table seats 4, but more than 4 can enjoy. Only 4 will be able to go on the first tender, but the others can soon follow. There were plenty of snacks. We had four people and left half the food behind. You will only get 2 large waters and 8 soft drinks, but there are the same beverages at the food area that are on the lido deck, lemonade, fruit punch, etc.

 

Just an fyi I read another post of a time there were more then 4 people in the cabana & when they returned to the ship they received a phone call telling them of the extra $50/person. So those 10 people may have had an unexpected expense when they arrived back on ship.

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19snapshot, thank you very much for all the info, after reading all this posts I'm going to arrive early to the Elation and book a cabana,and I will look for those atlantis day passes.

Thanks again!!

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Sailing April 9. Wondered which ports were tender ports and which you were tied to the dock. It seems like the ship leaves awfully early from Grand Turk and Nassau, so tendering would really cut into the time.

HMC was the only tender port on our trip. In Nassau we got off the ship at about 7:30 and had to be back on by 2:30 pm. In HMC we got off at 10 am because we had a cabana, those without shore excursions arrived about 10:30. Last tender was at 4:30. I can't find my Grand Turk Capers, but I'll look through everything when I have more time. The only port we really ran out of time in was Nassau.

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Just an fyi I read another post of a time there were more then 4 people in the cabana & when they returned to the ship they received a phone call telling them of the extra $50/person. So those 10 people may have had an unexpected expense when they arrived back on ship.

It seemed to me the only people counting heads in the cabanas where the staff giving away the early tender stickers. Many people were inviting other guests to sit in the ac in their cabanas through out the day. I think it would be difficult to monitor. The group next to us had only two people on the early tender and the rest followed later.

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The cruise director "Goose" was very entertaining. The super shopper Mark was extremely friendly and helpful.

 

can you tell me a little about him/her? i asked about this on CD thread, but no responses when i last checked.

 

 

Half Moon Cay was simply amazing. We rented a cabana. It came with water, sodas, fruit, veggie tray, tortilla chips and a variety of dips. The cabanas are air conditioned. There is a shower on the porch and a refridgerator in the back.

 

can you tell me where these are located? we did this itinerary in july '06 on the fantasy and the cabanas were sold out b/4 we even left home, so we got a clamshell. we planned to check out the cabanas when we went exploring, but that never happened b/c bad weather forced us to leave 1-1/2 hrs into our stay there (this is one of the reasons why we are repeating the itinerary in a couple of weeks on the Elation -- place was beautiful, wld have been our favorite port hands down, we're sure).

 

Anyway, my kids will live in the in-the-water playground, so i know i'll need to be over there to watch them. if cabanas are out of sight, i won't even bother trying to book one in advance, even though they sound so awesome. it just wldn't pay if i couldn't hang out in it and enjoy it.

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