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Barb Stokes

Age: 65


Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Elation

Sailing Date: 2012-10-2

Itinerary: New Orleans to Progreso and Cozumel

For my first Cruise, the ELATION was a great choice, me thinks! It was very easy to get around on, and the staff I encountered were ALL very friendly and eager to please. Our cabin Steward Marty was very helpful, providing us with anything we asked for - just left a sticky note on the mirror, or ask him in passing. Our waiters in the Imagination Dining Room were over the top in friendliness and service. Sorry I didn't get their names, two guys! I get the feeling that almost all the prior reviews were by unhappy cruisers, not the pleased ones who didn't bother !

We had no problem getting food, getting on & off the ship, and finding our excursion in Progreso. The Cruise line tour of UXMAL Mayan ruins was great, with guides Alejandro & Umberto, and driver Juan; our bus was very comfy and AIR Conditioned - yea! We could have booked privately with AutoProgreso, and saved about $30 - more later~ Summation - This ship was clean, the food was great, the service was great, and I'd do it again in a HEARTBEAT!

Loved the dining room foods - Chateaubriand, grilled Mahi-Mahi, Lobster *CHOCOLATE MELTING CAKE* ! variety was superb. You could order as much or as Little as you wanted, as many appetizers, or main dishes - or Chocolate Melting Cakes! LOL! The buffet was decent - not overly great, and the lines WERE Long, at times - but it was a good alternative. The Deli made good foods, including Omeletts for breakfast, and some super grilled sandwiches. I was not overly impressed with their 24-hr Pizza, but I'm no Pizzaholic. My main problem was the price of the Alcohol drinks onboard - wow - know where they make SOME of the bargain cruise price BACK ! Remember to take your bottle of WINE on board, get the steward to supply wine glasses, and take some TO Dinner! Also - do NOT try to sneak clear alcohol beverages onboard in water bottles ~~ heh heh ~ won't work!!

Interior, fake window ! but mostly -very nice - good beds, pillows a bit thick (bring my OWN next time!) - we had more than enough storage room, and put our suitcases UNDER the beds. two nice roomy closets & shelves too. The bathroom had a nice large shower, with curtain that did stay closed ~could have used a seat or a shelf in it ~ The TV was an old one, but it worked just fine. The stewards made the room up 2 or 3 times a day ! They would bring Ice for our little cooler, which we kept in the bathroom, on the Tile floor. Room was quite clean, didn't notice anything dirty, and the staff were ALWAYS cleaning around the hallways.

I didn't do much onboard activities, except one show, which was pretty good - IF you like that sorta thing - I don't really go for "Shows" - the music and the dancers & singers were really good, mostly about the age of Rock & Roll - band was good too. I tried the Casino a few times - won't bother NEXT time! I'm not a "big" player, and thus never seem to Hit anything - There were comics performing a lot, and night clubs with dancing & music of various types. I just didn't get into them ~~THIS time !

Don't miss the Mayan Ruins at UXMAL! NOT the "most popular" but one of the most Majestic! Lesser touted than Chichen Itza, but well worth the ride, not Crowded, and CLOSER to Progreso. We did use the cruise line sponsored one, with an air conditioned bus, ride was about 1 hr 45 min. Most of the way out, one of our guides, Alejandro, gave lots of historical info, which was very interesting. He and Umberto were both very fluent in English, Spanish AND Mayan - they ARE Mayan !! If you go on this tour - be prepared for LOTS of walking, rough terrain, and if you want to CLIMB - you can ! the "Great Pyramid" - - not the "Magician's Pyramid" - is available to clamber UP, and there are NO rails, and it's HIGH! But the climb is worth it - I DID it - and survived ! People with problems going up & down steps or navigating rough terrain or hills, might have trouble. Nice shops in & out of the ruins, State park kinda place. Good prices, but watch for "calculator inflation" think I got slightly ripped off in one ~

Our interior cabin was on the "Upper deck" in the stern (rear) of the ship. We did hear some engine noise, but it was rather gentle, except for one time when I think they had to dodge a random Tug boat!? I went up on top to see what happened, but had no way to find out - we didn't stop - so it was fine ~~~ Our excursion was a little pricey, at $79, thru Carnival - but my travelling friend wanted to be sure there was a Restroom on the bus - which she never USED - the destination UXMAL had excellent and sparkling clean facilities! We could have saved $30 each by booking privately with AutoProgreso, and I wish we HAD - I am sure their guides were Mayan as well, and they all seemed to speak very good English for we Touristas!

I was a little overwhelmed by all the PHOTOGRAPHERS - seemed to be one in every Corner ! Photos of *ME* are not my favorites, so we only purchased a couple - they threw away HUNDREDs of photos at the end of the trip! Summation - I'd ride this "old" ship anytime ! The crew and the staff and all the rest of the trip was SUPER !

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