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Bonnie Panattoni

Age: 60

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: one

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Elation

Sailing Date: September 14th, 2003

Itinerary: Panama Canal

We just got back from 2 wks aboard the Elation; going from Long Beach CA to Galveston TX - via Acapulco, Panama Canal, Ocho Rios Jamaica, and Cozemel. This was my first cruise and I enjoyed it immensely!

The majority of the passengers were senior citizens, with less than 12 young children. (probably due to school having already begun). Members of the crew were very nice and were always busy - painting, polishing, & cleaning the ship. We met people from many different countries, all speaking pretty good English. We were several hrs late getting out of Long Beach; leaving around 8pm instead of 5pm. This was due to the fact that we were a full ship and would be gone 14 days thereby needing extra supplies. Also, the Longshoreman were changing shifts and we had to wait for the evening crew.

We had an inside cabin on the Riviera Deck (deck 4) which was the lowest deck for passengers. I was disappointed at first but soon was glad because it was not noisy and you noticed very little sea motion. We were just above the Infirmary and Gangway - a very handy location. There was always something happening on the Lido Deck - ice carvings; water sports/hairy chest/ limbo contests, etc. The food in Tiffany's was just OK, nothing really spectacular although they always had some type of roast (beef, pork, lamb) which was usually very good. Although pizza was served all day long we only had it once. I thought it was too dry. I don't like pizza that has been kept warm for hours. Ice Cream and frozen yogurt were also available 24 hrs a day.

We had the early seating in the Inspiration Dining Room with 10 at our table. Our waiter Tibor and his assistant Ailena were always attentive. We had a good time with them. There were 2 formal evenings as well as several evenings where the waiters and their helpers entertained with singing.

Gratuities are automatically added to your Sign & Sail card the first day. For 14 days it was $136. Even though they don't advertise it, you can have this removed from your card if you wish to pay in cash. This way you can adjust the amounts depending on the service you received.

Most of the stage shows in the Makado Lounge were excellent, especially those put on by members of the crew. Bingo was rather expensive to play, usually $10 for one card & for only a few (3-4) games. The Carnival Capers (their daily newspaper) specified NO SAVING SEATS for the shows; but many people ignored this. There was at least 1 incident where Security was called to prevent a fight. This lounge is not laid out very well and there are many pillars that hinder your vision of the stage.

There was a craft class twice a day for most of the sea days. All the kits were free and there was a nice variety of classes. These were well attended by both women and men. I heard that passengers had to pay for kits for craft classes on other ships.

The only bad part of the trip was after we debarked in Galveston. Out trip included air fare back to LAX via Continental Air Lines. The port was not prepared for all the passengers getting off and we had to wait over an hour in the heat, behind Customs, for enough buses to arrive to take us to Houston International Airport.

Overall I enjoyed this trip and am looking forward to my next cruise - maybe on the Paradise since that is a non-smoking ship.

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