August 2014 - Carnival Elation to Caribbean - Western
A chance to "get away from it all" was just what we needed. We chose to have a few days in N'awlins before we embarked and so chose to do a 5-night instead of a 7-night. I won't go into minute details of our cruise experience, but I will say that we choose Carnival, having tired of all the folks on other cruise lines who like to look down their nose at fellow passengers and criticize every last detail of their cruise.
It is, overall, a younger more diverse crowd than the other mainstream lines. People are nice, kind, and will invite you to sit down and join their table if all the others are filled. I like the "feel" of the cruise, and while the line doesn't offer everything the higher-end lines do, there is still plenty of fun to be had on ship.
I won't board the ship until I've told myself how much fun I'm going to have. I think that cruises are what you make of them. My partner and I cruise for different reasons: he wants to do NOTHING and I like to get out, do some on-ship activities or just go exploring. We've learned to give the other their space and have both US time and ALONE time.
The dining staff is tremendous in the dining room. Socorro, who is the head waiter in the Imagination Dining Room (for Your Time Dining guests) is excellent. Again, the second night, they knew our names, our drinks and some other special things we really enjoy. If you go, as to sit in his section. You'll be grateful you did.
The only slight negative is the layout of the ship relative to the locations of the elevators. It was no big deal, but I walked into the back of the dining room twice, when I got on one elevator bank slightly too far aft.
But, GO. The sights are excellent and Cozumel is not to be missed. Having heard about Progresso, we took a 6+ hour tour into the colonial capital, Merida, and then over a well-preserved Mayan town, Izamal. I'm very glad we made that choice. It was one of the hightlights of the trip. We kept bumping into other people who were on the same excursion for the remaining three days.