Carnival Reviews - Cruise Ship reviews by Cruisemates Readers
Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Elation
by Sherry AKA Katlady
Mexico
May 27, 2007

We boarded the Elation in San Diego for a six day cruise. Here is a link to the cruisemates photo album.

Embarkation
We drove to San Diego from Sacramento and found a parking garage for $14 a day which included one free day (Aladdin Parking). The parking garage provided free shuttle service to the pier. We arrived at the garage around 1p.m. and were shuttled to the pier. The lines were very short and we had a quick stop through security. Here is a piece of advice… we had a 4B guarantee room, however close to cruise date check your fun pass to get the room number for the bags. Also this information saved the clerk the trouble of searching for our cabin number. We did receive a slight upgrade to a 4C room on Upper Deck U135. We received our sail and sign cards, took a quick picture and we were on board the ship. The room was ready so we dropped off the bags and headed to the Lido Deck for lunch. We were seated with our Hamburgers and fries by 2p.m. This was the smoothest embarkation I have ever experienced.

Food and Entertainment
The food at the grill was very good. They had the usual hamburger, hot dogs, fries, potato salad etc. The lunch buffet changed each day. I really enjoyed Japanese food day. They had Miso Soup, teriyaki chicken skewers, stir fried vegetables etc. The Breakfast Buffet never changed and the potatoes were a disappointment (dried out). The pancakes, bacon, sausages and hard broiled eggs were very tasty. The pizza was good and the fresh made calzones were a treat. But the best was the dining room food. The desserts were so good I even tried the diet lemon cake and found it to be yummy!! The service was a bit slow at times, however we were blessed with wonderful tablemates (Becky and her dad David) which made the time go by quickly. Thanks Becky and David!! The Gala Buffet looked great but I was too full to eat it. The prime rib was tender and juicy and the warm chocolate melting cake lives up to the hype.

The Ports
Cabo San Lucas was beautiful. We did the Sea Trek Helmet Dive shore excursion there. The experience of walking under the sea was wonderful. There is a hard to describe feeling like floating. However, we were disappointed as we didn't see any fish. According to the shore excursion description the excursion would last 2 hours and after the helmet dive there would be unlimited use of snorkel equipment. We finished the tour in a little over an hour and no snorkel equipment was offered. My husband expressed his concerns to carnival and we received a discount on the price. I give Carnival credit for handling our concerns quickly and to our satisfaction.

When the ship docked in La Paz I was worried. There was nothing around and it didn't look like a cruise ship port. However, after a quick bus ride to the beach my opinion changed. The Sea of Cortez has the clearest waters I have ever seen. Please note, I've not seen a lot of beaches. The beach was not overcrowded with people or vendors. The water was smooth with very little waves which were only caused by a limited number of wave runners and small boats. It was only $10 to rent snorkel equipment. We saw puffer fish, stingrays and schools of fish. There were shells for the shell collectors. I wish more cruises would stop at this port. Coming back from the beach we got to the top of a hill and below us was the most beautiful view. This was our best port.

Ensenada is, well, Ensenada. Prepare yourself to say 'no thank you' over and over and over again as we were approached by many different vendors to buy a variety of stuff. We did our shopping here and the prices were okay. I did find a nice leather purse for approximately $30. My hubby added to his shot glass collection and we headed back to the ship early.

Debarkation
The saddest day of the cruise. We decided to carry off our bags ourselves as this was supposed to speed up the process. This would have been a nice option if it wasn't for "Marilyn". After breakfast, we had to stay in the cabin until someone told us to disembark and due to Marilyn, debarkation was delayed a good hour or more. She just would not report down to immigration and as a result everyone waited while the crew searched the ship for Marilyn. Marilyn if you are reading this, "Why do that to not only those of us waiting to leave the ship but also the next group waiting to board? It's very inconsiderate!".