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Tammy Parks

Age: 44

Occupation:Loan Accountant

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Elation

Sailing Date: May 15th, 2005

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

We just got back from our Elation cruise. This was our third cruise and I don’t think I am an expert but I do feel like I have some ideas to share that might be helpful to someone else.

First of all, we spent the night in Galveston, stayed at the Flagship hotel which is an old hotel but was fun because it stuck out in the water. We left our car there for free, took a taxi to the terminal which cost us $7.00 each way. They charge an extra dollar per person so you might drop your luggage and family off and then drive back to the hotel and come in the cab by yourself. On all three cruises, we have been at the terminal by around 11:00 and gotten on early every time. It pays to stick your swimsuit in your carry on and start swimming while everyone else is coming on. They have lunch ready for you as well.

The Elation is a very pretty ship. When we stepped into the ship and saw the Atrium, I couldn’t stop saying how pretty it was. Someone wrote a review that said the ship looked old. I didn’t see that. There were workers working constantly, cleaning and painting and taking care of the ship. I thought it looked great. There are tons of places that you can sit and just relax, looking out at the water. There are at least 10 bars where you can get drinks. There was a café where you could purchase slices of cake for $2.00 a piece. There were cookies, milkshakes, specialty coffees and chocolate covered strawberries, all really inexpensive but delicious. I went there every afternoon.

The food in Tiffany’s was ok. Not fabulous but good. They had one side where they featured a different kind every day like Indian, American and Mexican. The other side had regular things like roast beef, ham etc every day. There was an outside grill that you could get great hamburgers, fries, hot dogs etc. The pizza is the best I’ve ever had. The evening dinners were ok. They had a steak choice every night, a pasta choice, a fish choice and a vegetarian choice. It was a lot of gourmet stuff. It was nice being served. Our servers were very nice and took good care of us. Michael was our head waiter and he called me by name every night. The assistant waiter was very nice also but I can’t spell her name. They sang and danced for us a couple of nights.

The rooms were nice. Plenty big enough. The bed was very comfortable with a nice soft comforter and two different pillows so you could choose either a soft one or a more firm one. The shower was big, shower head put out a lot of water and the water was plenty hot. There is a safe in your room for your valuables. We had portholes windows which they said were cheaper than a full window and we could see out pretty good. Having a window helps not to feel so claustrophobic. The TV ran movies everyday and you could also get the major networks, ABC, CBS and NBC as well as CNN.

Now for the bad stuff. This ship shook and swayed 24/7 and the water was calm. I get motion sickness in bad weather so I took patches with me and I had to wear them the whole trip even though the weather was calm. Even with them on, I felt a bit nauseated. I spoke with one of the workers and she said that she had been on 4 other ships and none of them did like this one. The ceiling tiles in the dining room were even shaking. I took a cruise last year on Royal Caribbean and only wore a patch one day. Another thing I didn’t like was the pool. There were small kids in it constantly and you could hardly get in it. The pool designed for the kids had adults sitting all around the top. I guess because they couldn’t get in the other one. Royal Caribbean has an adult only pool that makes it a big plus for people who don’t want to be bombarded with kids. I also should say that we were a little disappointed with the shows on this cruise. There were comedians 3 nights and they were good but we wanted more Vegas type shows.

We did the Corona Beach Break. They over booked this excursion and we happened to be on the last bus that got there and there wasn’t enough chairs for everyone. We had to sit on our towels in the sand. I wasn’t happy about that. The people working there were very attentive and served you on the beach. They were very nice. Just get there early if you want a chair.

Cozumel. We did the Playa Mia deluxe beach break here. It was a very nice beach. We drove there on an air conditioned bus. They had a fresh water pool that I loved. The drinks were free and very good. They also had a lunch buffet that was good. They had water toys. We didn’t use any but the people who did looked like they were having fun.

Belize: You have to take a tender boat in from the ship. It wasn’t too bad. We did the Altun Ha tour. We had about an hour and a half bus ride. It took us on a tour of the city and then to the ruins. Part of the way was on a single lane road and it was pretty scary when you met another bus coming towards you but our driver did a great job. It was bumpy though. Our lady tour guide was wonderful. She was very knowledgeable about Belize, having lived there all her life. When we returned we went to a restaurant recommended by the ship called the Harbor View Restaurant. It was good but it was a little scary walking through town because there were guards standing around with shot guns. But we made it ok.

To sum things up, the Elation is a very pretty ship and the staff were top notch. Loved the cruise director, Jorge. I don’t think anyone would be disappointed with it. However, if you have motion sickness, remember to bring your patches and expect a lot of movement. I probably will not take this ship again because it was too much for me. I will take Carnival again but not this one. And if you prefer to swim without kids, Royal Caribbean is your best bet.

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