March 12, 2009
We have sailed on the Elation (out of San Diego) once before in September 2008 on a five day cruise to Mexico, and had an outstanding introduction to cruising. This was our second cruise, and we chose a short cruise to introduce our friends to this enjoyable way to vacation. We looked forward to revisiting "our" ship.
Getting on the ship is easy, do all of your pre-check-in stuff online, and park across the street from the ship. Registration is quick and easy, and you then walk onto the ship. There are numerous photographers buzzing around the entire cruise. You CAN avoid the photographers, just smile and tell them "no thanks." I only had one press his luck with me, and after I "educated" him, he avoided me the rest of the trip.
OK, here is the negative stuff. I made the mistake of booking during spring break, and we were on the "Booze Cruise" as my college-aged daughters called it. Having some fun is one thing, but sloppy, foul mouthed drunks with no regard for others is another. I now understand why these "kids" go on these cruises. They are free to do what they want. The ship's staff never even checked I.D.'s when selling alchol to these underaged kids, nor made any attempt to keep them from bothering the rest of the passengers.
The positive stuff -- Our food service was excellent, as was our waiter and his assistant. Likewise our cabin steward was simply the best. They helped make a difficult voyage better. Getting on and off the ship is very easy. We stayed again in a mini-suite. It's worth the extra money. The ship has very few rooms with a balcony, and having the bigger room with a larger bathroom and a whirlpool tub is worth the extra expense -- and it's actually not that much more.
Lesson learned -- no more three day cruises for me. The Carnival Elation is a nice, clean ship with an excellent staff and crew. We will sail with Carnival again.