John and Kim
Number of Cruises: 11
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Elation
Sailing Date: June 22nd, 2003
Itinerary: Mexican Rivera
We just got back from sailing on the Elation today, the 29th of June. I can not say enough good things about the ship and crew. The crew was always painting polishing and washing the vessel. The cabin staff and food and beverage staff were very attentive and seemed to enjoy their work. A wide variety of crew to interact with.
The first two days out of Long Beach were cold and wet, as soon as we hit Cabo (for an emergency off loading of a passenger for medical reasons) the weather turned perfect. PV was tropical and very humid, we just toured the little shopping area around the ship. Mazatlan was great, the outside air temp was the same as the water, about 90 degrees, the warmest water we have ever witnessed outside of our hot tub. My highest recommendation for a tour goes to Randy's Horses in Mazatlan, this amazing woman (American) has been in the area for 15 years and has been putting together riding tours on the beach and mango groves for 7 years, she has everything down pat. Clean blankets on the saddles and very gentle horses that also know the routine. Be sure to take towel's from the Elation to dry off after you swim in the water. After the ride and before the water sports, she feeds you lunch at Victors on the Beach, a quaint local's only restaurant. There, for only 30 peso's local's will pull you on a water weenie for 10 minutes, our two girls (14 & 11) loved it. The exchange rate is great now, 10 peso's to the US Dollar, so for 3 bucks they had a real (safe) thrill ride.
Back on the ship towards Cabo it is "hot" 95 degrees. They CCL pushes the drinks but not too hard. Plenty of water and if you take your kids do use the soft drink cards for them, if was worth it for our two teen/tween. Cabo was nice, but like you have already read, only about 4 hours in port, with a 20 minutes shuttle each way to account for also.
As soon as you leave Cabo the wind pick's up dramatically and towel's and clothes begin flying everywhere. The ride back to Long Beach was cold and rainy. The insides of the ship were now crowded. It was difficult to find a place to read with out someone else in your space. The Elation is moving on Sept 10 to Galvaston and a bigger ship will take its place so that will hopefully help. Our ship was completely full, however the crew and staff were always right were you needed them to be, serving or picking up.
The casino seemed to be rather loose on our trip, the slots included. A wide variety of travelers were on board for our trip, young families and blue hairs as well. Like so many others have said this is the Target of cruising, very efficient and a good value.