This was our first back-to-back cruise and the process on the in between day was really quite simple. On our second day, we received a letter in our stateroom acknowledging the fact that we would be sailing with the ship again. It instructed us to bring our passports, sail and sign cards and customs form to the Guest Relations desk at 9:30am. We did this and it was actually kind of exciting watching everyone get off the ship knowing that we were staying on. After the last guest cleared the ship, a representative collected us and escorted us off the ship, bypassing the myriad of people waiting in line for customs. They processed us through immediately and then we headed back to the Guest Relations desk to get our new sail and sign cards for the second voyage. We then stepped to the gangway to have our new photos taken and were scanned back onto the ship. The whole process took about fifteen minutes and the majority of that time was spent physically walking off and back onto the ship. We then had the entire ship to ourselves for about 1.5 hours and it was marvelous. We went straight to the pool and relaxed, waiting for the other guests to arrive. It was interesting...I tried to communicate to our room steward that we were not packing up our things because we were staying onboard in the same room. He didn't believe me and asked if I was certain that I was staying in the same room. Of course I assured him that I was. When I asked the guest relations escort about it, she said that an e-mail is sent to all the ship's crew members letting them know exactly who is remaining onboard. I guess he must have missed it. On the last sea day, my 16 year-old and I took the behind the fun tour and really enjoyed it. We spent about 40 minutes on the bridge, which was my favorite part, and it was great to see the kitchen, laundry, engine control room, etc. One thing that never ceases to amaze me is that even though they reiterate numerous times that cell phones/cameras are strictly prohibited from being brought on the tour, some people still brought them. They even asked right before we left and a woman still not only had her phone with her, it rang, she answered it and talked for about two minutes. The gall and sheer nerve of some folks is really beyond my comprehension.
We chose the self debarkation option and carried our own luggage off the ship. They called our deck first (at about 7:25) and we were off the ship, through customs and in our SUV on the way home by 7:45 am. The process could not have been simpler.
Even though I have always considered myself a "Big ship" sort of cruiser (I was spoiled on the Adventure of the Seas for my first cruise), I must admit that I really loved the time I spent on the Elation. So much so, that, in fact, My wife and I are returning in less that three weeks! Really, the only thing that I miss is the indoor shopping mall which kind of serves as a central gathering place on the bigger ships, otherwise, I really love the smaller ships and am happy simply being on a cruise. My wife has stated over and over again that this was by far the best family vacation that we have taken and I have to agree with her. My children are now all old enough to enjoy it and the best part was seeing them having a great time. I would highly recommend this ship to anyone out there who wants to have a wonderful cruise.
I know this was long, but I didn't want to miss anything. If you have any questions, please post below and I will answer expeditiously.