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Elation 9/12 Review (long)


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Well I am back from my Elation vacation, and I thought since I got so much great info from these boards, I would pay them back with a little review of our trip with Carnival.


My wife and I traveled with our best friends, Randy and Amy, thier parents, and Amy's aunt and grandmother. There were 10 of us in all. We left on the Elation on 9/12.

Embarkation was not too bad. We drove to Galveston on Saturday and stayed the night at a hotel on the seawall. We arrived at the ship about 10am. We were one of the first groups to arrive and waited in the terminal while 3 different wedding parties were brought on 1st. Once the line got moving, I would say we passed through all the checkpoints and were on board by about 12:15.


The ship left Galveston about 4pm Sunday for the Western Carribean. That night we ate in the main dining room and then went to the show in the Mikado lounge. The cruise director, Risa, came out and started us off with an icebreaker audiance participation called the "spoon game". I was one of the poor souls dragged onstage to participate. We had a lot of fun though, and one man named Billy was very embarassed on the stage during the game when he got the spoon tangled in his clothing. Risa made a point after the game to point out that our antics would be seen on the in-cabin travelogue channel over and over. She wasn't kidding. I bet I saw that spoon game 100 times.


Monday my wife and I explored the ship and in the process, had quite a few drinks. We were having a great time. I even won $125 at bingo that afternoon. We also watched the "not so newlywed game" in the Mikado lounge and really had fun. Risa is a great cruise director.

That night though, the ship crossed into the wake of Hurricane Ivan. It was very rough seas. That, and our drinking caused my wife and I to miss miss the captain's cocktail party and the 1st formal night dinner. We just stayed in our room sick. It was awful. The captain also felt that we might not make our stop in Progresso due to the weather. We would just have to wait and see.


Tuesday, I got up at 5:30 am to see the ship was pulling into port at Progresso. I went up to the Lido deck for breakfast. There were seasick bags everywhere you looked. I guess we were not the only ones to feel sick Monday night.

Progresso was a pretty depressing stop. It was very overcast and drizzled all day. The town is very poor. We bought a few items, but we were on a limited budget, and decided to wait and see what the other ports had to offer. Bad idea. Progresso by far had the best deals on local arts and crafts. Plus you could barter with the sellers if you didn't like the price. If you see something you want in Progresso, buy it. Chances are you will see the same merchandise elsewhere but pay more for it.

We didn't have a lot of fun here, so we went back to the ship and took a nap.

Tuesday night, the seas were even worse. The ship was rocking like crazy. I saw many ships personel wearing seasick bands. My wife and I were much better prepared this night, as we stayed away from the alcohol during the day. Drinking for us only intensified the seasickness.

We met up with our friends Randy and Amy, and waited for dinner. We pretty much just sat in the atrium and watched people stumble around. I decided there was no way that I was going to confine myself to the cabin again tonight. We were in E-9, at the very front of the ship, and it seemed like we noticed the movement much more when in our cabin, than when we where out and about.

This actually turned out to be a really fun evening for us. We 4 were the only ones at our table for dinner. You could really feel the movement of the ship in the dining room. The waiters told us that it was one of the worst nights they had ever seen on the ship. The waiters also performed a dance to the "ketchup song" which was a lot of fun to watch.

After dinner we went to Mikado and played bingo. Randy hit the $600 jackpot. Then Risa came out and told us that most of the passengers had stayed in thier cabins tonight, and that we were the die-hards for sticking it out. You could see the curtains swaying behind her on the stage with the movement of the ship. After a fun audience participation story, we were entertained by Lubo the Great. It was an incredible balancing act, made even tougher by the movement of the ship. He put on a great show.


Wednesday we were in Cozumel. We had a great time. The weather was beautiful. We did some shopping, then had lunch at Senor Frogs. This is a great stop if you want to party. The DJ at Senor Frogs did a great job in keeping everyone entertained. Everyone at our table got one of the famous Senor Frog tequila shots. I will let you experience that for yourselves. We had a great time here.

We then went to the beach at Playa del Sol. It was very beautiful there. We swam and sunbathed on the beach till it was time to get back to the ship.

The shopping was much more expensive than Progresso, and you could not barter at any of the shops. They had a pharmacy here with much better prices than the US on many medications, so it's a must stop for some of you.

Due to the hurricane, all of the underwater excursions were cancelled, upsetting a lot of people. We had a great time on our own without the excursions.


Thursday we went to Belize City. The tendering to the shore was not as bad as I had thought it would be. Belize City has a very nice little port area you are brought to with air conditioned shops. This area looked very new. The prices here were pretty high for everything though.

The humidity was almost unbearable, so we didn't stay here long. Back to the ship and the AC for us.


We spent the last 2 days at sea just enjoying the ship. We saw the Spin show on Friday night which was very good, and then a comedian later that night. With Monday and Tuesday night's rough weather a distant memory, we relaxed and sampled the nightlife the Elation had to offer. We once again had a great time.


The debarkation seemed slow to me, but it seemed to go pretty smoothly, so no complaints here.


From reading the boards, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect on our trip. Here are some other observations from our trip:


Be prepared to walk. Alot. I ate a lot, but I also got plenty of exercise walking all over the ship. Things are pretty spread out.


The in cabin TV sucks (pardon my french). We got out and experienced this ship and tried to go to every show, plus we toured every port. You still have a lot of down time to spend in your cabin. A little variety on the tube would have been nice.


People let thier children run wild on the ship. I saw young children up on deck after dark just playing around unsupervised. I would never let my daughter out of my sight on a ship.

Children were not as big a problem as I had read about on summer cruises, but there were enough running around to be annoying to me.


Play bingo. Not a lot of people participate. Between us we won over $1000 just playing bingo every day onboard. Thats a lot of extra cash for drinks and the casino.


We had late seating for dinner. I would go for early seating next time. You seem to be in a rush to make the shows after dinner.

The dinners in the formal dining room were great. My favorite part of the trip.

Our waiters were Ele and Jenny. They did an awesome job and made dinner a lot of fun for us. Also the Maiter D (sp?) Stipe did a great job entertaining us every night. I have read how people say they never see the maiter d all week until it's time for him to get his tip, but on this trip, Stipe was very involved every night. Great job.

His assistant Katerina was also very nice.


The cruise director Risa Barnes kept us very entertained and informed. The whole staff did a great job. Aside from the weather a few nights (out of the staffs control of course) we had a great time and look forward to our next cruise.


-Mike and Leah

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I did the Elation when it did the Mexican Riviera. You are wrong about going to Bingo. The reason you did so well, is that everyone was sick. When I went the whole lounge was filled. This was the last 4 cruises I was on. 1 Elation, 1 Pride and 2 Ecstasy. You were very lucky. If the sick people had been well the Bingo would've been extremely full. This is a very popular activity on the ships. Especially on sea days. Glad you won and had a good time. I have been on a ship during a Hurricane and it is not pleasant.



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