5 of our family members, including two 16 year olds, sailed on the Elation 05/28/06 thru 06-04-06, on a 7 day Eastern Caribbean cruise. First stop was Half Moon Cay and it is wonderful. We rented a beach cabana which is expensive (about $250.00), but well worth the price. A cabana boy takes care of your needs and the frig is full of fruit, vegs., and salsa and chips. Soft drinks are provided as well. Also all of your snokeling gear is provided in the above price. We rented beach floaters for an additional $6.00 per person. Next stop St. Thomas. They have shopping as soon as you exit the boat,so it is not necessary to go downtown. However, for $4.00 per person we took a van to the downtown area where we shopped for 2 hours.
Some vendors will barter, others will not-prices are reasonable. That afternoon we took the Five Star St. John and Trunk Bay Snokeling excursion. Trunk Bay is beautiful and the snokeling is pretty good as long as you are not expecting reefs similar to Hawaii and other great snokeling ports. The crew is fun and entains you with free rum punch (as much as you can drink) and games on the return. Snack bar on board offers beer and food for sale. San Juan was our next stop. We booked the San Juan City and Shopping tour excursion. This tour drives you through the old and new city. First stop is the El Morro fort where you have 30 minutes to explore. This tour did not allow nearly enough time to explore the entire area. Next was one hour of shopping where again we were rushed. We ended up leaving half of the bus passengers to find their one mile way back to the ship as they were over 15 minutes late to return to the bus. Last stop was Grand Turk. We booked the Island Bus Loop for $39.00 per person. This is a rip-off!! There is nothing worth seeing and Carnival needs to eliminate this tour. As soon as you depart the boat there are beautiful new building where local jewerly and goods are sold. Jimmy Buffet's Margueritaville, sells all his name brand clothing. Among all of these shops there is a large pool where tropical drinks and food are served. A seasoned DJ and capable bartenders entertained most of the ships passengers. The ship itself was very nicely decorated and the food is pretty good-loved the hamburger and fries they served for lunch every day! If you have a problem with any of your dinners, just tell your server and they will take care of it for you. Our crew was fantastic, from the cabin folks to the dinner waiters, they all did an outstanding job and made each of us feel that we were special. Our suite had an odor coming from our bathroom and our steward cleaned and cleaned to no avail. We dropped a note off at the pursers desk for the hotel manager on board and when we returned to our cabin after our excursion, the ship had replaced all of cabins carpet and the tile in our shower! WOW!! That is service. Our two 16 year olds enjoyed the age appropriate get togethers (15-17 years)and met several new kids. Overall , all 5 of us enjoyed this cruise very much. It lacks some of the variety of things to do that the larger ships offer, however, the smaller ship experience is one our family prefers. There is ample offerings on the ship from massages, duty free shopping, games, entertainment and best of all, sunning and relaxing while an outstanding crew takes care of all your needs.
Thanks for the review - We are taking the same cruise August 20 - 27. My daughter (15) & I will be cruising together. My daughter loves to shop, but I try spending very little time doing this. We try to find a beach at each port. Any beach help would be great.