Carnival Elation Cruise Review
The Elation is a ship built in 1998 for Carnival Cruise Lines. It was the beginning ocean liner to have the azipod propulsion system. Everything you read about the Elation will include a diminutive blurb about the azipod system. You may wonder what the heck that is so Let me enlighten you. It's much like having front wheel drive on your car. Instead of the motor pushing the ocean liner it pulls it instead. This makes driving the cruise vessel much easier so you can be doubtless there won't be any listing or tipping over of the vessel on your cruise. Also it reduces those vibrations that cause nausea in people like myself.
Enough about mechanics though because Carnival's got the fun don't they? Yessirree they do. The Carnival Elation has three swimming pools. One with a 214 ft water slide! This is where the action happens and the pool games. Expect it to be busy the primary few days. My personal favourite pool is the one at the back of the ship on verandah deck as it takes first timers about 3 days to find it so for the initial couple days of your cruise it is uncrowded. The last pool is the kiddie pool on promenade deck at the cruise ship's aft (back). This pool is a bit like swimming down in a sewer with all the babies in their swim diapers-which are not allowed.
If gambling something you relish then head down to the Cassablanca casino. There are more than 200 slot machines to favor from including several megacash machines that are linked with other Carnival ocean liners fleetwide. The biggest jackpot that I have seen was over a million bucks won on the now defunct Carnival Jubilee. I stick to the slots, I figure it's the quickest way to lose my alloted gambling cold cash then I can get on with the rest of the cruise. If you are a more sophisticated gambler than I there is also roulette, black jack and Caribbean stud poker to play.
Free drinks on a cruise, too good to be true you muse to yourself. Not so. You can attend wine tastings or as we do go to check out the art an hour before the famed art auction where they pass out able wine and cheese. If you have been on more than one cruise with the same line you can attend the past guest party. Don't dismiss this as a waste of time if you like consume alcohol the beverages are able and plentiful and all you have to do is watch a short spiel where the cruiseline pats alone on the back for giving you a great vacation. There is usually one night where the liquor is free for tasting in the shopping area.
If you are into healthier pursuits then you can head up to the jogging track on the Elation's Sun deck or to the gymon the Sports deck. The Carnival Elation has a half court basketball court for your fun and they do supply the basketball to play with. Elation has a full service spa onboard. I confess I have never been to the spa but I know they do mete out foot massages for about twenty dollars and everything up to a couples massage for 220 dollars. It sounds steep but just consider how relaxing it would be to have a message and after you don't have to massage someone else!
For the children there is Camp Carnival. Our child has gone to Camp Carnival on many many cruises and loves it everytime. The kids are categorized by age groups and have activities planned for those ages. I recommend that your offspring goes to the beginning night where you can sign them up for the camp. They are introduced to each other and socialize a little. It doesn't mean they ever have to go again and there is no extra charge although we usually tip the employees being as how they can make of break your kid's cruise experience. kids must be signed up to participate at any time so it is easier to just do it at the start and then they are free to join in at any time without preamble. Our son went to an activity called swimming under the stars where the pool was not to be used at night except to kids in the program and so they had the pool and slide to themselves. You just drop your child off for whatever activities they would enjoy. For preschool and kindergarden age children you will be supplied with a pager so the camp counsellors can contact you in case your offspring wants to leave. Their activitiestake place inside kids's World which is an area of 2500 sq ft filled with computers and toys and games. Activities for older kids take place in different areas on the vessel-for example pizza cooking takes place in Tiffany's. On the last night there will be a send-off party For child passengers. Get there on time or you may not get in. All the kids receive a parting present at this party ie a knapsack or CD case.
As for my favourite bit, the food there are a bumper crop of choices. The two formal dining rooms on Carnival Elation are the Inspiration and the Imagination named after sister ships in the fleet. You will be assigned one of these with a specific dining time. I invariably check the menu early in the day so I can decide if I want to show up at my appointed time or eat elsewhere at my leisure. The other places to eat aboard the Elation are Tiffany's which is the buffet restaurant that changes the menu everyday and is different for lunch than dinner or the snack bar on Lido deck where fries and burgers are on hand for lunch. Tiffany's lunch menu's are called taste of nations where one day may be Mexican food with salsa and chips and another may be American BBQ where fried chicken and potato salad are offered. There was also Indian and Italian that I can recall. At the far back on the right hand side of Tiffany's you will find Carnival's famous pizza being made fresh all the time. You can order a whole pizza and favor your toppings of get a slice fresh from the oven. At the same location deli sandwiches are made. This is a wonderful spot to eat early on in the voyage as your fellow passengers won't know about this yet therefore there will be no lining up for you.
Sushi is served on promenade deck every evening. There was no raw fish (sashimi) the week we sailed but many varieties of fresh made before your eyes sushi to select from. Of course wasabi and pickled ginger and soy sauce were all handy as well. There is also never a sushi line I presume being as how no one seems to realize that this also is included in your cruise fare. Needless to say we went there every single evening. Tortillas chips and salsa were served on Promenade deck on Mexican day in the evening while a mariachi band played for us.
Room service, room service how do I love thee, let me count the ways. Room service is free but a tip is in order. Pretzels or chips can come with any sandwich - a tasty midnight snack. Room service was invariably speedy and correct. You can also order cookies, crudites, fruit and salad. At your service 24 hours a day.
If you need to keep in touch the Internet cafe offers internet usage at 75 cents a minute and different packages up to 250 minutes for 40 cents a minute. You can bring your own laptop and use it in the cafe but not in your cabin on the Elation. You pay for usage wheather you use theirs or your though. Not sure if that makes it worth lugging it around.
Speaking of cabins, we had an ocean view cabin category 6C. We had three persons in the cabin and we fit comfortably. This mega liner has only twenty six demi suites (category 11) and 28 suites (category 12). It really doesn't matter to me which deck as there are elevators to take you up and down.
Virtual World video game arcade is right beside the Mikado lounge-a reliable spot to let your teen hang out while you catch one of the Las Vegas style shows in the lounge. There are the usual driving games and shooting games. The video games take tokens that are bought right inside the arcade. You can incorporate your sign and sail card to buy tokens. At some point during your cruise there will be a video game tournement For the kiddies in this case the games are free. It is some of the Camp Carnival program.
The Mikado lounge is where all the shows take palce. There was a comedy show, a magician, a hypnotist, dancing show girls-rated G. There are musical shows too. The week I sailed there was a special guest announced at he end of one musical show. After much preamble Mr Stevie Wonder was brought onto the stage. Folk went running from the lounge theatre to get their peers and family to see Stevie Wonder. There was screaming that I thought only the Beatles could elicit. Being a pale face from Canada I'm not too clear on the likeness of Mr Wonder but I was pondering which cabin would Stevie Wonder stay in On the Carnival Elation. Don't get me wrong the Carnival Elation is a cordial vessel but someone of this caliber on my mega liner , how could it be? The lights dimmed, I could hardly see. As I stepped forward to get a better look at our famous cruise vesselmate I fell down the stairs. I tumbled head over heals down several flghts. Not one person turned or helped me up so enthralled were they to catch a glimpse of this celebrity. In the end "Stevie" took his wig off so that it may be revealed that it was only a celebrity impersonator. Everyone groaned that they knew it all along and they were never fooled. The next day I looked like I had a run in with the UFC star Tito Ortiz.
The Mark Twain library is a bit of a misnomer. There doesn't seem to be a convenient way to get at any books so bring your own. It is beautiful and usually quiet.
Romeo and Juliet lounge is an elegantly styled room which was used for private parties some nights and for karaoke on others. Salsa dancing was popular evening activity here.
The Cole Porter lounge has folk and country music playing and dancing. I only passed by here on my way to the ocean facing massaging chairs.
Duke's is the piano bar named after the talented Duke Ellington. It is a jazz club with a striking entrance modelled on the Triumphal Arch from Washington Square park. This is an ideal place for photos around the white baby grand piano. We saw a wedding reception being held here.
The Jekyll and Hyde disco is the place to party. Monitors show your fellow cruise mates dancing to the scintillating beat. The giant Jekyll and Hyde heads move to the music too-a bit creepy but cool after you've had a couple drinks.
The Carnival Elation is a gorgeous mega liner. Somewhat muted by Carnival standards. It's decor is of copper and inlaid woods. If you are hesitent to endeavor Carnival Cruise Lines then this is the mega liner to aim primary. The service was second to none. The price of a Carnival cruise is invariably reasonable but by booking way in advance, about eight months we got an even better deal some would call it a cheap cruise. Don't be scared off by Carnival's old reputation for being a bunch of party ships. They are The Fun cruise ships after all. There is partying for sure if you want it but there are dozens of places to read or sit quietly on the Carnival Elation. Nothing is more peaceful than sitting on a chair atop the teak deck on the Carnival Elation looking out at the ocean passing slowly by. Whatever your concept of fun is they offer it. Believe them when they say Carnival's got the fun.
About the Author: A Carnival Elation Cruise
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