Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Elation
Sailing Date: February 29th, 2004
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
When arriving in Galveston Port, the weather was rainy and windy. Boarding the ship took a while, and was to be expected for the large number of people boarding. However, there was a problem with their electronic security system going down several times which halted the line from moving for about 20 minutes each time.
I will cut to the chase about our experience with this particular cruise. This ship sailed out on a day that had bad weather. It seems a warm front was pushing in from the gulf. Consequently, the first 3 days were very windy and ship rocked, shooked, and pitched alot and moved about like a small boat. The exits to the top deck (Lido) were sealed closed with signs taped saying high winds and so noone is allowed outside. I was so sea-sick that I wanted to disembark on the first port and go home. But decided to stick it out since the sky seemed to be clearing. The first port was Progresso/Merida. We did not do much except drive around Merida in our rented Jeep (which was in poor condition and had the heater stuck on in 96 degree weather). While speaking to others, there was a consensus that many of us were in a daze from being sea-sick and generally did not feel well. The heat compounded this general malaise. Then the trip to Cozumel seemed to be better, not so much rocking. The island was beautiful. We rented a Jeep and just explored the island which gave us the freedom to go to different beaches and also explore the Mayan ruins.
Then the ship sailed to Belize. This trip was very rocky and from my cabin wondered what was going on outside (storm?). I really did not want to know and tried to sleep through it. Once in Belize, there is no port and so you must be tendered. Many people I heard on this ship did not want to do this since the seas were very rocky and these tiny boats were bobbing all about an awful lot. The Elation was also anchored quit a distance from shore( ~ 30 to 40 minutes away). I overheard some people upset about the excessive rocking of the ship that night. When the Elation finally did sail away that afternoon, the seas were getting rough again. I tried to stay on Lido deck, but the wind was horrendous. There was howling wind that was blowing everything around, including spray from the ocean. My girlfriend was nearly blown off the ship when she tried to walk around the observation deck. My guess would be about at least 50 to 70 mph winds. Throughout the first 4 nights, the winds were strong and seas were rough. From the inside of my cabin I could hear a periodic pounding on the side of the ship that sounded like a drum and reasoned that it must have been the seas crashing against the ship since it was always accompanied by a dramatic rock and the sensation of the ship accelerating and decelerating. Another sensation was the persistent rumbling of the ship. No matter what part of ship you were at, you could feel a hopping sensation. My girlfriend and I joked that it was a busted prop or cylinder on the engine. Either way it was significant( people jiggling in there seats) and very annoying. It kept me from sleeping most of the time and I would awaken to the sensation continuing even though I was no longer laying down. For the exception of this rumbling, the last 2 days were wonderful. I enjoyed for the first time being on the ship and not being sick. Talked to other people on the ship who have taken many cruises before, and they said this was a new experience for them. They definitely were not pleased with the rough seas, and a couple of them stated they would never cruise again. They just wanted to get home without anymore rough seas.
The ship rolled into a very thick fog and the ship blew its horn. This was really cool and gave me a feeling of being in a movie or something. But it freaked out some people. A cowboy in the bathroom started making comments and panicking about rough seas. I assured him rough seas are not accompanied by fog. I think the first 4 days really bothered the people on board and I noticed alot of people did not leave their cabins. Heard many were sick. This all made me wonder how far a ship's captain will push a ship into bad weather. The profit motive for this cruise line seems to be strong. Anyway, was glad to be home. Disembarkation by the way is a very long and time consuming affair. The Cruise line assigns you a color code to get off the ship, if you are unlucky, you will be onboard for hours. The terminal is complete chaos and traffic is backed up as well.