Great staff; the rest a disappointment

Carnival Elation Cruise Review to Mexico

Experience: 1 cruise (first)
Reviews: 0
Helpful Votes: 0

Overall Rating:

3 out of 5
Verified Review
4 Night Baja Mexico (San Diego Roundtrip)
Sail Date: February 22, 2009
Ship: Carnival Elation
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 9 years ago

Carnival has commoditized fun; we felt like walking wallets being processed through a commercial money-extraction experience. We like cruising but our next cruise will definitely be on another cruise line.

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
There was lots of food, it was just really disappointing in quality, even in the main dining room at night. High tea was disappointing (tea tasted funny, think it was the water.) If quantity matters more to you than quality when it comes to food, this is the ship for you.


3 out of 5
Lots of bingo, trivia, and slots challenges. The comedian was unoriginal and very unfunny; the hypnotist was okay; the onboard 'vegas style' review felt like a calculated pandering to the audience. The live band who played for the show was very good. Karaoke was fun but too many people got to sing multiple times while others never got a chance. The one time we went to Duke's piano bar it was monopolized by a small group of very loud, drunk people smoking so we passed. The library is great for a quiet respite, though the bookshelves containing books and games are only accessible for a short period of time each day.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Our cabin attendant and our main waiter were exceptionally personable. Loved the towel animals each night in our cabin. Some friends of ours in an inside cabin with another attendant didn't get them. These people work nonstop for about seven months in a row without any real time off; (according to ship's cruise director in a Q&A we attended.) We can't say enough about how hard they work.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
The ship isn't too big to negotiate, though you have to figure out your own way around. We had to ask for a map of the ship on boarding and it was too small to read. The ship decor felt to us like a second-rate Reno. Hard to avoid smokers on deck. Lots of nicks, dents, and dings everywhere. Staff work like machines to keep it clean and neat, though.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
The drawers stuck; there was visible mildew in the shower. The housekeeping staff did make up the cabin promptly and kept the shower dry, but I was always afraid to take my feet off the rubber mat. The decor was amazingly unattractive given that the ship was only about ten years old; it felt much older.
3 out of 5
We rented a golf cart and went to the Wrigley nature preserve; it was fun. The rest of the time we shopped. Had lunch at Mi Casita, home of the giant cazuela drink which several in our party enjoyed. Food was okay, not great. Greasy fajitas, chile colorado was good.
1 out of 5
We did the combo blowhole/winery tour. The blowhole was not inspiring and to get there we had to run a gauntlet of hugely aggressive vendors who physically blocked out path, tried to shove coupons in our hands, and begged us to visit their stalls. It really freaked many in our party out. The winery is inactive; we got a five minute "tour" of an old storage facility and then got shepherded to a tasting room for free samples. We did get off the bus in Ensenada and were able to see some of the big "fat tuesday" parade, which was cool. We had to find our own way back to the ship, which took longer than we expected. We heard from others on board who took a separate winery tour (which went to the working wineries) that they enjoyed it.

Pros: Staff friendliness

Cons: Everything else: ship; food; destinations

Recommends Carnival Elation? No.

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