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



Recommended Posts

A good friend & I just returned from the Elation. From now on, I'll refer to my friend as GF. This was her first cruise & now she is an official cruise nut. The review will be somewhat limited in some aspects since we both became sick with some kind of flu bug & we didn't get to participate in everything as much as we would have liked.


We arrived in Galveston Saturday afternoon & had reservations at the Hilton Galveston Island Resort. We had an incean front balcony room which was clean & nicely furnished, but both the room & the balcony were quite small. The airconditioner was extremely noisy. It had 2 queen beds and was fine for 2 people, but I couldn't recommend it for 4 people. Also, the public rooms were not large at all, so they tended to become quite crowded. A real downer was that the toilet wouldn't flush properly & the repair man had to come up to the room 3 different times before he finally got it fixed. Anyone planning on staying there should also be aware that there appear to be several different kinds of rooms available. We were just lucky that we got a balcony facing the ocean. There are balcony rooms that overlook a parking lot & then there are rooms that have no balconies. One of the reasons that we chose the Hilton was that they had free parking & a shuttle to the pier. This turned out to be totally unsatisfactory for us. The earliest that we could have gotten a shuttle was 1:30 & we wanted to get to the ship before that. We decided to take a taxi & that also was not such a good idea. We called for a taxi at 10:15 & they said they would be there in about 20 minutes. An hour later we still had no taxi. We encountered some really nice people traveling with their friends who had ordered a cab the night before & it was supposed to pick them up at 11 am & it never showed. I was just about to leave & get my car & do a taxi service for all of us, but one of our new friends said he'd call for taxis one more time. He asked that 3 taxis be sent, but they only sent 2, one of which was a van. He sent off part of his group in the first taxi so that left 7 of us to try & get into the small van. Our new friend had to show the taxi driver how to load all the luggage so that there would be enough room for the 7 of us. We finally got loaded up, holding small bags in our laps, but we finally made it to the pier. I know it's not smart to say never again, but I feel pretty sure that I'll never go to the Galveston pier in anything except my car. I won't be so concerned next time with saving money on parking.


Embarkation was a breeze, maybe 20 minutes from the time we got to the pier til we got to our room. There was only a very short line to go through security & it mosed fast. We had upgraded to a suite guarantee just a couple of weeks before the cruise at bargain basement rates, so we were able to go to the Skipper's Club. They checked us in & escorted us to the ship. We were lucky enough to get a category 12. The room had a small walk-in closet, a nice large vanity, twin beds, a large sectional sofa, 2 chairs & a couple of tables. The bathroom had a whirlpool tub which we later found out didn't work (the whirlpool part), but that was no big deal. By the time we found out, we were sick & didn't want to go to the trouble of gettting it fixed. Our balcony was nice & large with 1 lounge chair, 1 other chair & a table. There was also a latch to hold open the door, so we didn't have to use a bungee cord.


We first went to our room, filled out our excursion orders & then went to Tifany's for a nice lunch. After lunch, we went to the spa & GF was able to get to be one of their models for the 2pm spa tour. She received both a free facial & free massage. The combination package was priced at 176.00, so she got a pretty good deal. Whie she was being pampered, I went back to the room & sat on our balcony, luxuriating in that. Our bags came about 3 o'clock so I also unpacked.


After GF returned we went & explored the ship before dinner. We had early seating in the Imagination dining room & had some extremely nice dining companions. Our wait staff were Elisio & Jennie who were great. After dinner we went to the casino, but didn't have any luck. We were very tired (actually we were getting sick, but didn't know it at that time) so we went back to our room & had a few drinks on the balcony.


Monday morning GF woke up with a horrible sore throat & I was just feeling listless so we spent lots of time either out on deck or on our balcony reading. We neither felt like getting all dressed up for formal night so we had room service. As it turned out, we had room service numerous times & it was very prompt with the exception of one time.


Tuesday morning we went on the excursion to Chitzen Itza. We had a fantastic guide & really enjoyed the thour, even though GF was sick & I was rapidly becoming sick. It took 2 1/2 hours to get there, 2 hours at the ruins & 2 1/2 hours back to the ship. We were given a nice sack lunch which contained a really good sandwich, chips, cookies & an apple. Cokes were available for 1.00 & beer for 2.00. By the time we got back to the ship we were both totally wiped out so we had room service again & went to bed. I did venture out to get GF come Dristan cold medication.


Wednesday morning I was sick, sick, sick so I stayed on the ship. GF had scheduled an excursion for a beach break with lunch & since this was her first cruise she was determined to do all the tours. She said she mostly lay on a float & felt bad. She said that the food & open bar were really good. By Wednesday night I was having trouble breathing.


First thing Thursday morning I decided it was time to see the doctor. I could tell that I had a raging infection & it had turned into bronchitis. The doctor & nurses were very nice & the doctor gave me a week's supply of Cipro, theraflu & a breathing treatment. Before the cruise was over I had to go back for 3 more breathing treatments. On one of my trips to the infirmiry I overheard them talking about someone from the Glory being bitten by a snake while doing the cave tubing in Belize. GF took the snorkle & beach break tour. She said it was extremely crowded & she liked it least of any of the excursions.


I still felt bad on Friday & Saturday, but GF was improving a little & was determined to get out & about some. She particularily enjoyed Damien in Duke's Piano Bar, the rock band in Romeo & Juilet lounge & the CW singer right outside the casino. I did manage to get to the casino again & found what I consider to be a very friendly slot machine. It would let me play for about an hour to an hour 1/2 on a 20.00 bill before gobbling it all up. I never go to a casino with the expecations of getting rich. I just want to have a little fun. One of our dining companions did win 500.00 playing bingo which I thought was great.


Sunday debarkation went ok as that ever goes in Galveston. First you are called by colored tags & you have to go through immigration. Then you have to wait some more (about another hour & 1/2 for us) before your color tag is called again for debarkation to go through customs. I much prefer to debark in Miami where they have slef debarkation or in New Orleans where there's not so much red tape. We were in the first group off, took a taxi to our car & left Galveston about about 10:15.




The ship was full this cruise, but it never felt crowded out on deck. There were some pretty long lines & corwding in Tiffany's Grill & in the casino. I've always thought that Carnival had great crew members, but this cruise was the best ever in that respect. It must really be a great ship to work on because the crew members seemed so happy & they are extremely friendly & helpful. The only exception to this was one bartender in Taffany's who apparently was having a series of bad days.


Food in the dining room was very good & ok in Tiffany's, although there's not as big a selection as on the larger ships. However, they do have a deli, a taste of the nations buffet, a sushi bar & of course, 24 hour pizza.


Another thing that really impressed us was the good group of passengers on board. They ranged from 20ish to OLD(me included in the old) but everyone we ran into seemed so very nice. There were a few babies & pre-schoolers. We never had the feeling that there was some jerk that we needed or wanted to get away from. I'm going to say we were very lucky in that respect, cause you never know who's going to be cruising with you.


The ship does need new carpeting badly in the hallways & rooms. Both our hallway & room had very bad water stains & in addition, our room carpet had been the victim of what looked like a spilled bottle of red wine. We probably would not have been too happy about that if we had paid top dollar, but as it was, I don't think we had much to complain about. Other than the stained carpet in those areas, it appears to be a well maintained ship & it's certainly clean. The public areas didn't seem to have any stain problems.


If anyone has any questions, I'll try to answer them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your very good review. I to am sorry you got sick. Was wondering if you might tell me how much your different shore trips were? I am going on the Elation in Jan and am trying to decide if I should book through Carnival or do it myself. Let me know.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Grayce, glad you're hooked on cruising!


Jomarkpro, I can't remember the exact excursion prices, but these are somewhere in the neighborhood of being very close. Chitzen Itza 85.00, Cozumel beach break with lunch included 75.00, & Belize snorkle & beach break 65.00. If I remember correctly, the deep sea fishing & golf were the only really expensive tours.


Even though we got sick we're still excited about cruising & just can't get enough of it. We just booked the 11/13/05 Western Caribbean on the Valor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • 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...