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Elation Review, Dec. 12-19, 2004

travel girl23

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This was our second cruise aboard the Elation. We went last Thanksgiving week of 2003. The most noticeable difference this time was the weather. It was beautiful. Only one night of swells which, compared to last year, wasn’t quite as bad. Also, Cozumel was cloudy and windy and a lot of excursions had to be cancelled. Otherwise the water was smooth and it was sunny and warm. Even our first and last day out of Galveston were nice and warm. Wasn’t that way last year. We did notice a few differences from last year. Not as many lounge shows along Elation’s Way or they started a lot later. We enjoyed the Karioke in the Cole Porter Lounge but they were not there every night.

They have started something new called red, white, and blue contest. At dinner, you are divided up into colors depending on where you sit in the dining room. Then you try to accumulate points all week by participating in all the activities on board. Each night, the Maitr’d announces which color is ahead and there is a lot of whooping and hollering. On the last night (Sat.), the CD, Chris Roberts, announces the winner. As far as I know, there is no prize. Just braggin’ rights. I guess it’s a way to get everyone to participate all week.

The food was excellent as last year and the same items on the menu but on different days. We enjoy eating breakfast and lunch in the dining room. Tiffany’s was good with a nice selection at lunch every day. They feature a different country’s food each day: Italian, Mexican, Indian, Caribbean, French, American. You can still get hamburgers and hot dogs outside on the Lido. However, instead of putting the desserts out on the buffet, they had girls serving them. There was still no limit and a nice selection. One favorite was the Hazelnut Cream Cake – Yum. Also, the peach cheesecake and a chocolate decadence pie. :)

We attended the art auction and won a piece of art worth to be about $600. It was on the second day of the auction and by the end of the auction, most everyone had left and you have to be present to win. Also, champagne only on the first and last day of the auction.

We did not do an excursion at any port this year since we did one last year. We got off in Progreso and shopped. Also, we docked at Puerta Langusto in Cozumel which is right downtown so we did not have to catch a cab. Just walk off the ship and you are there! Did shopping there, too. Took the tender in at Belize City and shopped on the pier. We had done the Altun Ha/River Wallace last year. Our friends with us, did it this year and enjoyed it very much.

We noticed that there were a lot more photo opts than last year. They used to only have the photo opts on formal nights but now they had casual photos every night. Also, an old-timey photo where you dress up in old-timey western clothes. We did that and it was fun. I was disappointed that there was not a Christmas backdrop at any of the photo opts like last year.

The ship was full and lots of kids and except for one instance when my DH got bombarded with food at the far aft of the Lido, (kids were throwing food from the deck above), the children seemed well behaved. Of course, there was the usual running at full speed through Elation’s Way, but that is normal. Did not see any elevator abuse as frequently mentioned on these boards. The Mikado Lounge shows were good but we had seen them last year. They had different dancers but the shows were the same.

Checked out the CC Log Book in the library – right where OldMedic said it was. As you enter the library, it is in the far right cabinet. It is a blue book with CC Log on the spine in white paper. I went later in the week when the library was open, and the attendant had it on her desk. It was back in the cabinet later. There are 14 pages signed.

Our waiters were wonderful, Martin and Alex in the Imagination Dining Room. Also, we had requested early seating and even saw it on the Carnival website but when we got our S&S cards, it showed late seating. We rushed to the dining room at 1 pm after boarding and were the first on the list. The next afternoon we got a card showing that we had been changed to early seating. Turned out, we were at a table with two other couples who also had their dining time changed. The Maitr’d , Luis, gave us the Captain’s table! So we sat right up front all week.

The Casino will give you a free lanyard but cards are no longer free. They now cost $1.00. Last year, they gave them away. Another change, is that now Texas residents may only bring 1 bottle of liquor back per person. :mad: This is due to a new law that just went into effect recently – like maybe 2 months ago! Texans were not happy campers. If you lived outside of Texas, you could bring back 5 bottles plus pay duty on 4 of them.

Embarkation and Debarkation went smoothly as usual. We were on the ship at noon and were on our way home at 10:30 am. The CD was Chris Roberts. He was fine and seemed to perform his CD duties well. The super shopper was Kaylene and she was fine, also. Gave the typical shopping talk and throwing stuff out to the audience. Our friend that went with us won the diamond tennis bracelet!!! She was thrilled. :D

We drove to Galveston Saturday and stayed at the Best Western Beachfront where we always stay. Nothing fancy but clean and has a coffee maker in the room and complimentary continental breakfast. Not bad for about $50. Don’t book on the internet as it is more expensive. Call the hotel itself in Galveston. You’ll get a better rate. Also, we ate at the Original Mexican Restaurant in Galveston and it is wonderful!! It’s been there for years.

All in all we had a wonderful cruise – the week just went too fast, as it usually does. I will be glad to answer any questions anyone might have.

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Thanks so much for the review. Very informative. DW and I are going on 1/9 (just 19 days!!!!!!!!!)


You mentioned the "cards" in the casino are $1.00. I am assuming (but you know what happens when you assume) you mean playing cards? Also, did you sign up for their comp program? If so, how were the comps?


Thanks, I am sure I will have some more ???'s.

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my wife and I were on the same cruise, we have some different observations, overall it was a fun cruise, but of the three we have been on it was probably not the best, rank it at #3


weather overall not great


first day at sea was nice,


second day in progresso was nice, not superhot or anything, just nice, we just took a cab from the ship to the beach and hung out there, had a local lunch then headed back - in progresso don't wait in the outrageos long line for the free shuttle down the long pier, a cab ride only cost $6 and you can put 4 people in the cab, thats only $150 each, the beach on progresso is average, dirty with seaweed and the view is kinda screwed up by the long industruial looking pier


second day in conzumel weather was overcast with some sprinklers, got a little better in the afternoon but i heard they canceled all the snorkleing tours, we walked off the ship and avoided the "mall" they funnel you through when getting off the boat - pure tourist trap, we walked from the northern pier all the way down to the southern pier where there was another carnival boat moored, its about 4 miles or so, we hit a few local bars for shots and beers on the walk, then took a cab back and hit senor frogs for dinner and drinks, a wild fun time although it is a touristy thing to do


third day in belieze the weather was overcast again, some drizzle, warm but not hot, we did the lost canopy tour which was fun once you got there and got it started, but the description of the ride there was not as exciting as written, basically a bumpy bus ride through mangrove jungle, belieze in a very dirty place, garbage everywhere, i was advised to do an excursion here is you only do one on this cruise, so we did, it was a fun experience


next day at sea, nice day, some clouds and wind but overall not bad


next day at sea it must have been 50 degrees and windy as heck, not a nice day, we were bored out of our skull that day and wished we were back at port already


the check in and debarkation processes were smooth and no troubles


the ship staff were all great and accomodating, food was ok, average to above average, i personally liked the food on norwegian cruise lines better


im dont think the ship was sold out as there were a lot of empty tables at the dinners and most of the bars were practiacally empty by 9pm, they didnt open one of the poolside bars the entire cruise, the disco on friday night was fun, a very young crowd, probably 18 to 25 starting around midnight to 4 am or so


overall probably would not do a western cruise again, mexico cruise destinations all seem to be very tourist trap oriented and feel the same, i like the eastern and southern islands better


any questions please ask

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oh yeah, almost forgot, my wife and i had a 6 am flight out of detroit to galveston the sunday we left, so we basically had to leave our house at 3:30 to make it to the airport on time, needless to say we had no sleep at all


so on the first night, sunday, we slept through our late 8pm seating dinner and didn't meet our table/booth mates


next night was formal night so we dressed up and went to our assigned table, a 4 person booth, well, the other couple was there but they were sitting across from each other, so we asked the maitre'd if we had the right table and he went over and talked to the other couple, we could tell that they were obviously annoyed that they were going to have to sit with other people so we told the maitr'd that we didnt want to sit with them as it was obvious they were not likeing the idea (ps, we are not toothless hick or double wide loads or anything that people may find offensive - we were pretty much the same age as the other couple and probablay couldve gotten along if they tried, i think it was more the guy who objected because she appeared to be embarrased)


anyway, the maitre'd sat us at a different table, in the corner by ourselves, and there was no one around us excect for another couple behind us, and i think they were there for a reason, and there was no one else there for a reason, i think someone had a farting problem, didn't hear anything but it sure smelled bad in that corner


so the next day we went to dinner early and got to our assigned table before the other couple, had the waiter take away the other setting and sat across from each other, the other couple walked in and past us and did a double take, and again appear very annoyed, they talked to the maitr'd and he sat them somewhere on their own, they didnt come back to the table the rest of the trip


i was kinda dissappointed we werent at a large table, thats the best place to meet people and talk about things you did that day

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Sorry I did not make myself clear. Yes, they are playing cards. Just plain cards - no picture of a ship or anything on them. They are the used casino cards that they no longer use. They were free last year, now they are a dollar. We are not big casino players so did not sign up for the Ocean Player's Club.

I guess I was comparing the weather to our cruise last year which was horrible. The first and last day at sea were plain cold. Not this cruise - people were laying out on those days. Last year we had two nights of really bad rocking and rolling. In fact, one night it was so bad they had to cancel the second show in the Mikado Lounge (on formal night) and did it on Saturday for the late diners. This year we did have one night of 6 foot swells and the ship did sway back and forth, but not anything like last year. Also, our friends who went with us also were on the Elation the same week last year and could not go to Belize because of the weather. They were diverted to Playa del Carmen instead. So this year they did get to go to Belize. It was cool in the morning but warmed up by the afternoon. Cozumel was probably our worse day as far as weather because of the high winds. It is a shame so many excursions had to be cancelled. Otherwise, I thought we had great weather.

In Progreso we only wanted to shop so we waited until about 10 am then took the free bus (no waiting) and it dropped us off at the market. We shopped a couple of hours then took the bus back to the ship. Same thing in Belize. We took the tender in about 10:30, shopped on the pier, then took a tender back to the ship.

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