Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Elation
Sailing Date: January 23rd, 2005
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
My wife and I just got back from our 25th anniversary Cruise on the Carnival ship Elation. We drove down to Galveston, Texas to board the ship from that port since it was the closest to us. It was a windy cool day that Sunday morning. We thought it would be warmer than it was. We booked our parking on line with EZ parking which is about 3 blocks from the ship. We pre-paid so it only cost us $35.00 for the week. They have a van that takes you to the port entry. Double check with the driver where they will be when you get off the ship the next Sunday. They ended up being at the East end of the drop off instead of being at the West end as they told me. This cost us about 1/2 hour getting to our vehicle.
The processing went smoother than I had expected. Be sure each luggage has a tag plus put a sheet of paper inside your luggage with your name, phone # etc. if the outside tag becomes lost.
We boarded the ship somewhere around noon. Our room was ready for us to put our carryon luggage into the room, but it was around our first evening meal before the rest of the luggage was put outside our door. If you need any necessary items before then you had better put them into the carry on luggage. After the life boat seminar the ship sails at 4:00. We went out on deck to watch the ship depart. It was still very windy and cold so we didn't stay out very long.
As long as the ship is close to shore it is smooth sailing. Once you get out into the Gulf the ship will rock. If anyone gets car sick I would recommend the patches for seasickness as soon as possible. My wife got sick the 2nd night and started taking the Dramamine pills, but it takes awhile before they take effect. I had a splitting headache and took some Ibuprofen. I guess I had a different type of seasickness. My head hurt but I felt fine.
Our first port was Progresso. We didn't book from the ship since the ship tours are more costly than booking on your own. We found a van that took us to Chichen-Itza Mayan Ruins. His name was Marco. He could speak some English. My mom and Step dad were with us and my mom could speak the language well enough to get us by. It was a 11/2 hour drive to the ruins. Marco set us up with a guide. His name was Pedro. He could speak English very well. It was around 78 degrees that day with bright sun. Somewhat different than Galveston. Marco got us back in time to get back aboard the ship. We were in the Inspiration dining room. We had a very good Head waiter at our table. The food the whole trip was excellent. We were in the cruisereviews.com site a lot before the trip and people were saying how the desserts were not very good. Don't know what they were talking about. We all thought they were super!
Be prepared to have your picture taken allot. Just buy the ones you like, throw the rest away. You may not want to buy the first day but wait towards the end of the cruise then pick and choose the ones you like.
Our 2nd port it Cozumel. This is an awesome Island. We got off the ship and found a catamaran that took us snorkeling, beach party, then back to the port in 31/2 hours. Plenty of liquor. All part of the $55.00 price. We went to Carlos & Charlie's to fill out the rest of time before boarding the ship.
The 3rd day is in Belize. We had already booked a Cave Tubing tour online before our cruise. It was with Reggie Tours. They were waiting for us after getting off of the Tender boats. We told them that we wanted to be back at a certain time as to not miss the last tender boat. The cave tubing was awesome! I recommend Reggie tours. They made the day very enjoyable.
We left Belize Thur. evening and sailed back to Galveston arriving on Sunday morning. We had time to lay out and tan and swim Friday before we got too far north to the colder weather.
The shows on ship were very good. We thought all the entertainment was very good. We set up an email account on board to check back home on things. Our sons are away at College so we emailed them to say how things were going. It cost $3.95 to set it up with .75 cents per minute while on line. As you are setting up the account the clock is running. We ended up spending around $35.00 for the week. This sounds high but if someone calls to talk to you by phone it will cost them $9.50 per minute!!!! If you call to the U.S.A. it will cost you $6.99 per minute!!!! We chose the email!!
This was our first Cruise. I liked it well enough that if money and a Job! was not a problem I would sail again as soon as possible.