Great to get away, but the ship was disappointing

Carnival Elation Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 5
Helpful Votes: 70

Overall rating:

2.5 out of 5
Carnival Elation

5 Night Eastern Caribbean (Port Canaveral Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 22, 2021

Ship: Carnival Elation

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: M8

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 5 months ago

Review summary

We were quite disappointed on this trip for the first time ever on a cruise. The ship was older, and it showed in the lack of activities and lack of food choices. The cruise director really tried, but I could tell even he was frustrated at what he had to work with. If we ever go Carnival again, it will have to be a newer ship. We have sailed on many of their older ones, including Sensation, Fantasy (now gone), and Sunrise, and all had great food, enthusiastic crew, and fun vibes. The other passengers were great, but we have never felt so disappointed in a ship like we did with this one.


5 out of 5
Port was organized, we arrived at noon and were in line for less than 2 minutes. Efficient use of various stations to show our Covid tests, vax docs, and IDs.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

1 out of 5
There were NO specialty dining rooms, our options were buffet (horrendous food), Guy's Burger Joint (AWESOME burgers and fries), the Taco place (not our thing, so no comments), and main dining room. We didn't visit the main dining room because we were assigned late seating and couldn't wait until 8:15pm to actually eat. We tried to change it to 'anytime' but they would not let us. In addition, the menu was exactly the same every night and none of it was particularly appealing to either of us. Reports from other passengers (and even some of the crew) was that the food in the dining room was bad. Meat was dry, veggies were tasteless. Apparently we were not missing much. The buffet seemed closed more than it was open, and even at breakfast, the food did not look appetizing. Bacon was only served every other day, and the scrambled eggs were so watery they were inedible. The deli at the back of the ship had a lot of options, but I tried a turkey wrap the first night and they sliced deli turkey was frozen and crunchy. The 24 hour pizza place had pizza that was mostly flavorless so that was also a disappointment.

Pool Bar

4 out of 5

Homer is the BOMB! Fun server, remembered our drinks and names, made our days by the pool so much fun.

Onboard Activities

1 out of 5
There was a mini putt course that we skipped (full of kids under 10 with no parents in sight) and the pool/hot tubs were filled with small kids all day, every day. There was a tiny adults only section on the back of the ship, but it did not have a bar and closed at 8pm every day....yet the main pool and hot tubs were open until midnight...why would they close the adults only area so early??


3 out of 5
There was not a whole lot going on if you didn't want to spend extra money. We enjoyed the musical trivia nights on the Lido deck with the cruise director, and the comedy shows were great. There were some shows in the theater that did not interest us so we didn't go. The musicians around the ship were great, we loved the violins in the atrium and the musicians near the coffee shop.

Children's Programs

didn't bring kids, but there may be an issue with the programs since ALL the kids were in the hot tubs all day every day.

Service and Staff

2 out of 5
many of the crew we encountered seemed to have a tired and defeated air about them. No enthusiasm at all. This was our first cruise where we did not feel a compulsion to give out extra tips on top of the automatic ones, and we are normally generous with tips. Only ONE server at the pool had any energy and contributed to our enjoyment of our trip. Homer, you rock!

Ship Quality

2 out of 5
always someone cleaning all over the ship, they were very good at keeping everything wiped down and clean. hand washing stations were everywhere and well maintained. The layout was fine, it was easy to find what we needed, likely because it was so small. The adult area could use its own bar, and the casino was really tiny but functional. Having said that, the water in all of the toilets and sinks was brown. Not yellow or a bit discolored, but brown. I had to brush my teeth with bottled water it was so gross.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
we had a porthole/interior cabin. quite large for what it was. The bed was incredibly comfortable, though the pillows were a bit softer than we would have liked. Shower got nice and HOT which was a major plus for me, though the shower water was also a bit brown like the sink and toilet so I did not linger very long.

Ship tip

For any cruise- don't pick the earliest possible time to check in, everyone shows up early. We chose noon, and there was no line and we walked right onto the ship!

Ports of call

Port Canaveral, Florida Did not visit port

we drove in from Georgia, no need to 'visit' as we go to FL often.

Nassau, Bahamas

3 out of 5
they are still doing major construction on the port area, we wandered around the port shopping for several hours and got some souvenirs. No excursions, we have been to this island before.

Amber Cove (Puerto Plata), Dominican Republic

3 out of 5
it was pouring down rain the whole time we were there, so we didn't do any excursions. the people were nice, we staying in the little shopping area at the port, and had some Dominican fried cheese at the restaurant there.


5 out of 5
'smile and go' was the bomb! it scans your face, and if green, you don't have to go through customs.

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