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Kim Dozier

Age: 32

Occupation:LTC Social Worker

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Elation

Sailing Date: May 1st, 2005

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

I must say that this was our first cruise since 1998. We had read many reviews about this ship and turned out to be extremely pleased with our cruise. We stayed at the Holiday in on the Beach the night before the cruise and enjoyed our visit in Galveston. Nice hotel and they allow you to leave your car there while on your cruise and will shuttle you back and forth to the cruise terminal. When we checked into the hotel the earliest we could catch the shuttle was 12:30 so we opted to take a cab( $12 cab fare one way). We arrived at the terminal at 11:15 and were immediately escorted to the Skipper's Club check in area since we booked a cat. 11 suite. We were the only one's checking in at that moment so everything we was quick and easy and then we were escorted to a separate area to wait for boarding. We boarded at 11:45 right after those with special needs and a wedding party. We went straight to our room and found it ready and waiting for us. We were extremely pleased with the size of the room and the balcony. Our room had spacious closet space with plenty of hangers. We had a good size bathroom with a great shower and water pressure. The room had a built in soap and shampoo dispenser as well as razors, lotion, toothbrushes, etc for our use. We had several electrical outlets. We brought a power strip b/c we thought there was only one plug but that is not the case in the suites at least. There was not a plug in the bathroom but was there a plug on the vanity and another location in the room. We had a tv with vcr. TV got CNN, music channel, TNT, ABC, NBC and several ship movie channels and ship specialty channels. I was surprised to get the major next works but they were broadcast from Detroit or similar. We had a brand new king size down comforter on the bed with great pillows. All suitcase(7) fit under the bed. Balcony had two white plastic chairs and a table. Plenty of room for 2 people. It was so awesome to watch the sunset, have drinks, eat breakfast, etc out on the balcony. We will never cruise without a balcony again!! We found the ship to be a little difficult to navigate and there was signs of wear and tear but a cruise is only what you make it and we were not going to let a scratch here and there influence our trip. The fun day at seas were great for relaxing, sunning and shopping. We truly enjoyed the shows, games and night life. We spent a lot of late nights in the dance club or disco and for those of you wondering, they play a lot of hip hop and mostly recent selections. You can also find plenty of country music in the Drama Bar and 70 and 80's rock earlier in the night at the disco. the Piano Bar was a lot of fun and the Karaoke is not to be missed.

The Newly Wed-Not so Newlywed game was absolutely hilarious and not to be missed.

Progresso- Very hot! We did the 4 hour Mayan Ruin tour. My husband absolutely loved it. I found it to be very hot and not my idea of fun. The city does not have much to offer.

Cozumel- we did the Hideaway Beach and Boat tour. We were given a small two seated speed boat and followed the guide for 45 minutes or so around the island and then to a secluded island. On the island they had a large Mexican buffet spread and drinks (no alcohol on this excursion due to driving the boats). We had about 1 1/2 hours to play in the water explore the island, etc and then headed back to our starting point. The seas were very rough on the way back. We spent the rest of the time exploring the tourist village in Cozumel.

Belize- This was our favorite port. We did the 4 hour Alta Hun and Rivew Wallace tour. the ruin site was much nicer here and the River Wallace tour was awesome. We saw so much wild life and the beauty of the land was incredible. We would do a land trip to Belize again anytime. We did see a lot of armed guards once we left the tourist city gates but we never felt scared. And to think that we almost cancelled our excursions in Belize b/c we had been reading about alot of political unrest and uprisings that had taken place the week before we left.

Embarkation- we were assigned orange tags. People who were disembarking with self assist were called at 7:45am. Orange tags were called at 8:30 and that included cat 11 and 12 suites and special needs. We were on our way home by 8:45am. Very easy process, at least for us. Maybe we got lucky!!

Overall, the cruise was much better than we expected. Carnival provided a very "fun ship" atmosphere and we truly enjoyed every minute. We were almost in tears when we had to disembark. We plan on cruising every year from now on and we can think Carnival for that. We plan on trying each cruise line and plan to cruise on Princess next year but we would travel on Carnival again in the future.

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