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S Owens

Age: 57

Occupation:IT Manager

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Elation

Sailing Date: October 5th, 2003

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

Arrived at dock to unload luggage and found mass confusion due to debarkation of previous passengers. Best to park in Port Authority parking and allow shuttle to take you to dock. There were ten in our party and Carnival got us all at the same dining table even though we each booked separately thru different travel agencies. The ship left on time.

The first day was a day at sea and there are plenty of activities on board to keep anyone busy plus the non-stop eating.

Day 2 was at Progreso. The port was nice with clean shops but a little pricey. Best to wait until returning to ship to purchase any items there. Carnival provided free buses from the pier to Progresso. Regretfully, Progreso is a poor city wich is reflected in the filthy and unkept conditions of most streets and buildings. They do have one 2 story mall with A/C but not too many shops in it. Found some good bargains but headed back to the ship due to the heat and no desire to eat while on shore.

Day 3 was at Cozumel where we rented a jeep and toured the Island. Was here in 99 and found everything (shopping, food, etc.) to much improved. The shopping in town and at the pier was marvelous. Wish we could have spent 2 or 3 days here.

Day 4 was at Belize City. Ship dropped anchor 6 miles from port and had to ride a tender to the port. Shopping in port is OK but once you step out of the port you encounter another poor and filthy city that has no interest other than possibly some of the excursions. We did the cave tubing trip thru X-stream which we booked over the Internet for $50 less per couple than what Carnival's excursion cost. Was truly glad to get back on the Elation.

Days 5 and 6 were at sea as we traveled back to Galveston.

The Elation crew and activities were wonderful and the food and dining for the most part were exceptional. Our waiters were marvelous and our steward kept our room neat and clean. As others ... thought the Bingo was too expensive. Only gripes are the ship's photography where they force you to buy 8x10 photos for $19.95 each when a $7.95 5x7 would have done just as well. Would prefer the choice. Got a little hassle trying to get on a tender to meet our excursion guide in Belize for the tubing. Carnival gives preference to those booking their excursions on the ship. Thought that was unfair but managed to talk a purser into getting us on an early tender. No smoking allowed in the cabins or on the cabin decks but not enforced by the crew.

Otherwise had a wonderful time but had we known about Progreso and Belize City would have opted for another cruise.

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