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Carol Linn

Age: 28

Occupation:Loan Officer

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Elation

Sailing Date: 2010-09-13

Itinerary: Cozymel and Calica

Wow! I had never been on a cruise before, and I am completely sold. We really had a great time and enjoyed ourselves. There were so many friendly people on the ship, both in the travelers and the employees, and we never reached a point where we had nothing to do.

The food was pretty good. The dining halls served unusual foods- lots of chilled soups- but I did have a great prime rib, and the warm melting chocolate cake is great- I ate it twice. The food at the Grill on the Lido deck is not very good, but we ate most of our meals at Tiffany's, which is pretty much buffet style. I never ate anything I didn't like in Tiffany's, and there were a lot of healthy options. I actually probably lost a few pounds on the cruise since I had so many healthy options, and that's what I prefer anyway. I liked the sushi as well. It wasn't gourmet sushi, but if you like a California Roll or a Spicy Tuna, you will enjoy the sushi.

The staterooms were SMALL and salmon pink. I was surprised to find out the boat was built in 1996-the decor in the rooms (and the colors, and the Zenith TV) seemed much more dated than that. However, the beds were uber-comfortable, and do you really go on a cruise to watch TV? I did like that they had different movies each day, and if I felt like taking a rest for thirty minutes or so, I did always have something to watch, but my time was not consumed by TV. The people servicing the rooms were extremely polite and hospitable. I loved the towel animals on the bed each day, and the chocolate mints they brought each night, in addition to turning down the sheets. They were fast, too!

There were quite a few onboard activities to do, and you never reached a point where you had nothing to do. Some were hokey, but all were enjoyable. I enjoyed watching the line dancing (though I already knew the dances) and the karoke was a lot of fun, which we did each night. The art show is a complete waste of time, and the fact that is says "free champagne" is a ripoff- I waited twenty minutes and never got my champagne. All of the artwork was overpriced, and there was very little I liked. Bingo is apparently a hot commidity on cruise ships, which I could care less for, but everyone that did participate seemed to enjoy it, and I saw someone win 5K, so it can't be all that bad, right?!

The casino was a ton of fun, but took all of my money. I would have preferred the alcohol to have been free in here, but then again we weren't in Vegas.

Duke's Piano Bar was a ton of fun, and while we didn't spend a lot of time at the Lido Deck, it seemed there was always something going on up there.

The comedian on board was hilarious if you don't mind X Rated comedy, which we didn't. If you're a fan of Chris Rock and Wanda Sykes, you'll like the guy on board-he's on par with them.

We went to the Romeo and Juliet bar one night, and they had kind of a bluesy house band that was really good.

Poor Jeckyl and Hide bar- they always had good music, but NO ONE hung out in there. They just couldn't get a crowd going. It was the closest thing to a nightclub you could get to on the ship. Music was always good there.

We didn't do any excursions- we set out on our own each day and ended up saving a lot of money by doing so. It may have taken a little extra time to orchestrate this, but even car rentals were negotiable in Cozymel- so if you're paying for an excursion, you're paying for convenience.

Our trip was really enjoyable! The Carribean was beautiful, and riding out onto a Catamaran in Playa del Carmen and snorkeling was by far our favorite thing we did on the trip. We booked this at a walk-up stand after paying $13 for a cab ride into town (no matter how many people you have it's $13, and you have to do this-there's nothing in Calica), and then $35 a person for the boat ride and snorkeling- MUCH cheaper than the excursions, and I think we had a better time. We really enjoyed the casino (face up blackjack was great, but bring cash- this is the one place cash is accepted, and if you use your card there's a 3% fee tacked on), and Duke's Piano Bar occupied a lot of our time as well. Be prepared to pony up for alcohol- what we did learn is the Foster's Oil Cans contain about 3 beers worth and were 6.95 a can, which was by far the best deal, since a Bud Light was 4.50. Alcohol in Cozymel and Calica was dirt cheap, so if you want a Corona and a shot of tequila while walking down the street, it's only a dollar! There is no point in bringing pesos because everyone preferred American dollars, but be forewarned- bring plenty of ones, tens, and fives- they want the American dollar, but never have the change to give you, and will give it to you in pesos. Wear a watch (we didn't do this and regretted it, your time changes constantly on your cell phone and you can't keep track), bring a backpack, wear LOTS of sunblock, and be prepared to buy some pictures- we really liked a lot of them they took, but they are pricy. All in all, we loved the trip, and will definitely be going back. My fiance and I were the only ones that went, and next time we will take a group, but it's very easy to make friends on the ship.

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