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Carnival Elation - My thoughts.


Nemspy

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Well, as a first time cruiser I thought I would share my overall thoughts about Carnival Elation and our Three day cruise to Santa Catalina and Ensenada.

 

Firstly, the embarkation process was pretty easy. I had to laugh at some guys behind us who had heard that they should expect a "Three to one female to male ration on board". only to discover that half the cruise was booked out by Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity making the vast majority of cruisers male.

 

I had read some people complain that Elation is "dirty" and "rundown" - Not sure where this comes from. Perhaps the recent refurbishments addressed this issue, but the ship seemed just about pristine to me wherever I went.

 

We booked a balcony cabin on the Veranda deck which proved to be a really great idea. Sure, it isn't -that- much bigger than a regular room, but by the same token, the huge window and bit of extra space made the room pleasant to linger in and I drifted off to more than one afternoon nap to a glorious ocean vista. Some have complained about the size of the balcony - yes, you can't really sit facing out, but if you take the little table inside the cabin (we put it to the right of the TV) and turn the chairs sideways there is more than enough room to sit out there and watch things go by. Ok, so you aren't going to be able to sunbathe out there very effectively or stage a large party, but for us the size upgrade of the room, the king bed and the balcony were all huge bonuses. Contrary to some reports, the refrigerator did a fine job of chilling our drinks and the room was as comfortable as can be.

 

Food - I ate a lot of this - I thought the main dining restaurant was excellent, the buffet forgettable (But I live in Las Vegas where we know all about buffets, so a selection of 8 or so items isn't going to wow me), the pizza of varying quality - overall good, the Mongolian Grill delicious, but too infrequently open and the deli great.

 

My only real complaint about the food was the room service which completely messed up our order - A rueben and a chicken jalapeno wrap became a grilled cheese (American cheese instead of swiss) with saurkraut, the wrap as ordered and a mysterious pastrami and mustard sandwich on rye. The "mixed greens salad with garnishes of onions and other things" turned into a bowl of dry mixed lettuce and overall the experiece was unpleasant - it wasn't even worth the tip we paid.

 

Entertainment isn't something I'm really going to be able to comment on because I didn't participate in anything much, other than belting out a few songs at Karaoke. Much of it seemed quite understated. The casino was very crowded and smoky and we opted out of a slot tournament because of the amateurish operation and general chaos we felt.

 

I probably seem like the last person anyone would expect to meet on a cruise - a guy who doesn't particularly like to meet new people, doesn't drink and whose idea of a "nice day" is 70 degrees or below, preferably with a nice blanket of grey clouds. Even so, my cruise aboard Elation was great fun. I feel like Carnival does a good job of providing enjoyment options for all preferences.

 

My only significant complaint - the photographers! UGH, Talk about a hard sell. Every time you disembark at a port, or board the ship you run the gauntlet of eager photographers who will not take "No, I'm not interested' for an answer. It's as bad as the street vendors in Ensenada.

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My only significant complaint - the photographers! UGH, Talk about a hard sell. Every time you disembark at a port, or board the ship you run the gauntlet of eager photographers who will not take "No, I'm not interested' for an answer. It's as bad as the street vendors in Ensenada.

 

 

Give it time, you'll learn the art of slipping right past them:D

 

I like Elation, it's my favorite short cruise ship, I also have seen nothing dirty about it.

 

Glad you had a good time:)

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Food - I ate a lot of this - I thought the main dining restaurant was excellent, the buffet forgettable (But I live in Las Vegas where we know all about buffets, so a selection of 8 or so items isn't going to wow me), the pizza of varying quality - overall good, the Mongolian Grill delicious, but too infrequently open and the deli great.

 

I too am originally from Las Vegas and when we sailed on our first cruise back in December, it felt like I was just at some giant buffet and so was like "Been there, done that." I usually try to just find other places to eat instead.

 

 

My only significant complaint - the photographers! UGH, Talk about a hard sell. Every time you disembark at a port, or board the ship you run the gauntlet of eager photographers who will not take "No, I'm not interested' for an answer. It's as bad as the street vendors in Ensenada.

 

This past cruise on the Valor I felt a little more "seasoned" in dealing with the ship photographers (plus the added bonus of the ship being a little larger) so I'm sure that on your next cruise, you will know when and how to avoid them as well! :p

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I remember our first sight of the Elation. We were in Cozumel on only our second cruise aboard the Grand Princess and saw what appeared to be a tiny little dumpy ship next to us.

 

The next day, coming through the Gulf heading towards Galveston we were going through some pretty rough seas and were being followed by this tiny little ship. I thought maybe it was sticking close due to the rough seas.

 

Some years later we boarded this tiny little ship in San Diego to learn that she wasn't so tiny after all. Docked next to the Midway, the Elation seemed huge. We were also pleasantly surprised to see how nicely she was finished and done in what we thought was a very classy manner.

 

I guess the point is, don't let your first impression steer you wrong. What we initially thought was a tiny little dumpy ship, turned into one very beautiful and large ship. We were elated....lol

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I added some photos of our Elation cruise (6/11/09) to Flickr. (I'm the OP's wife.)

 

All photos (San Diego, ship, Catalina, Ensenada):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamsters/sets/72157619776606605/show/

 

Non-slideshow version:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamsters/sets/72157619776606605/

 

Photos related to Category 11 "demi-suites" (mostly of our cabin, V14 - LOVED it):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamsters/tags/category11

 

Photos of food (the good and the bad, but not the breakfast - I guess that's on video!):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamsters/tags/cruisefood

 

Photos of "At-a-Glance" sections of capers (not as nice as scans, sorry):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamsters/tags/capers/

 

Hopefully these will be useful to someone! :)

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