Number of Cruises: 10
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Elation
Sailing Date: August 14th, 2004
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
This was our first Carnival cruise and we were pleasantly surprised. We had cruised on Celebrity and NCL before, but never Carnival. In the past we had heard negative things about Carnival: bad food, lots of screaming kids, bad service, gaudy ships etc. We found this to be pretty far from the truth!
The room and deck chairs! The dining rooms were nice as well. Cabins were spacious and very nicely decorated as well. Restaurants were great too, as was the casino and the lounges and bars.
Food: Okay. The quality of the food is not nearly as good as it is on Celebrity but it isn't horrible either. The food in Tiffany's was not the best - overcooked chicken swimming in oily sauce, watery lettuce in the salad bar, tasteless vegetables etc. Tiffany's did have a 24 hour ice cream and yogurt machine and burgers and dogs (quite good) were available nearby. I did not try the pizza but heard it was sub-par. We ate in the Inspiration Dining Room. The food was, for the most part, pretty good. The vegetarian entrees were generally quite good - I had a veggie lasagna that was out of this world. The pasta dishes were consistently good. The beef was always overcooked...I ordered my filet mignon medium rare and it arrived well done....as did everyone else's. The Beef Wellington was overpowered by the foi gras...not good. The desserts were just average. But as a whole, the food here was better than at Tiffany's!
Service: The service was quite good! Our wait staff was excellent. - very friendly and accommodating! Our cabin steward was great too. The Purser's desk was always helpful and cheerful. Of course, the service is not white glove...but people are very friendly and helpful.
Ports of call:
Progreso - Kind of an ugly little city. We took a tour of the Mayan Ruins at Chichen Itza and I highly recommend it! Definitely worth long trip (especially because there isn't much else to do in Progreso).
Cozumel - We had been here before so we took a taxi to the beach and snorkeled all day long. Cozumel is my favorite of all three ports. Great shopping, dining, bars, beaches.
Belize - A woeful little city. Lots of poverty. Very dirty. We did the cave tubing tour (a 45 min hike through the rainforest and then a tubing adventure down the river and through some natural caves). I recommend this tour for anyone who doesn't mind a bit of exercise and is looking for something adventurous!
Overall we were pleased with our cruise. We found Carnival to be a fun and affordable vacation! I would definitely take another Carnival Cruise in the future.