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Carnival Elation Cruise Review
Elation is a ship built in 1998 for Carnival Cruise Lines. It was the first ship to have an azipod propulsion system. Everything you read about Elation includes a little word about the azipod system. You may be wondering what that is, so I’ll tell you. It’s like a font wheel on your car. The energy source pulls the ship instead of pushing it. This makes the ship much easier to maneuver, so you can be sure that the ship will not list or capsize during your cruise. It also reduces the vibrations that cause motion sickness in people like me.
Enough about the mechanics, because Carnival is fun, isn’t it? Yes, sir, they do. Carnival Elation has three swimming pools. One with a 214 foot water slide! Here’s music and pool games. Expect to be busy the first few days. My favorite pool is the patio deck at the back of the ship because it takes about 3 days for new passengers to find it, so it’s not crowded the first two days of the cruise. The last pool is the children’s pool on the promenade at the stern (back) of the ship. This pool is a bit like swimming in the toilet in all the baby diapers – that’s not allowed.
If gambling is your thing, head to Casino Casablanca. There are more than 200 slot machines to choose from, including several mega-slot machines linked to other Carnival ships throughout the fleet. The biggest jackpot I ever saw was over a million dollars won at the now defunct Carnival Jubilee. I’ll stick to the slots, I think that’s the fastest way to lose my allocated gambling cash, then I can go on with the rest of the cruise. If you’re a more sophisticated gambler than me, there’s also roulette, blackjack and Caribbean stud poker to play.
Free drinks on a cruise – impossible you say? It’s not like that. You can attend the wine tasting or we go check out the art an hour before the famous art auction where they give out free wine and cheese. If you have been on more than one cruise on the same route, you can participate in the Past Guest Celebration. If you like to drink, don’t dismiss this as a waste of time – drinks are free and plentiful, and all you have to do is watch a short show that takes you behind the scenes of cruise lines for a great night out. . There is usually an evening where there is a free drink tasting in the shopping area.
If you’re interested in a healthier activity, you can hit the jogging track on Elation’s Sun Deck or the gym on the Sports Court. Carnival Elation has a half court basketball court for your enjoyment and they provide basketballs to play with. Elation has a full-service spa on board. I’ll admit, I’ve never been to the spa, but I know they offer foot massages for around $20 and up to a couple’s massage for $220. It sounds steep, but just imagine, you don’t have to massage someone else!
There is a Camp Carnival for children. Our son has been to Camp Carnival on many cruises and loves it every time. Children are divided into age groups and there are activities planned for those ages. I recommend that your child attend the first night you can sign up for camp. They get to know each other and communicate a little. It doesn’t mean they have to go again and there is no extra charge, but we usually tip the staff because they can ruin your child’s cruise experience. Our son went to an activity called swimming under the stars, where the pool was off limits at night, where except for the kids in the program, they had the pool and slide to themselves. You simply leave your child to whatever activities they like. For younger children, you will be provided with a pager so staff can contact you if your child wants to leave. Their activities take place in Children’s World, a 2,500 square foot space filled with computers, toys and games. Activities for older children take place in various areas of the ship, such as making pizza at Tiffany’s. The last night will be a farewell party for the children. Get there on time or you might not be able to get in. On this night, all children will receive a parting gift, i.e. a backpack or CD case.
As for my favorite part, there are countless choices in the art of gastronomy. The two official dining rooms on Carnival Eation are Inspiration and Imagination, named after sister ships in the fleet. You will be assigned one of them with a certain meal time. I always check the menu at the beginning of the day, so I want to come at the appointed time or eat somewhere else at my leisure. Other places to eat on board Elation are Tiffany’s Restaurant, which changes the menu daily and has a different menu for lunch than dinner, or the Lido Deck Snack Bar, which has fries and burgers for lunch. Tiffany’s lunch menu is called Taste of the Nations, where one day it might be Mexican food with salsa and chips, and the next it might be American barbecue with fried chicken and potato salad on offer. There were also Hindi and Italian that I can remember. In the far back to the right of Tiffany’s, you’ll find Carnival’s famous pizza, always made fresh. You can order a whole pizza and choose your own toppings to get a fresh slice from the oven. Deli sandwiches are made in the same location. This is a great place to eat at the beginning of the trip because your colleagues don’t know about it yet, so you won’t have to wait in line.
Sushi is served at the resort every evening. There was no raw fish (Sashimi) the week we sailed, but you can choose from a wide variety of sushi made right in front of you. Of course, there was also Wasabi, Pickled Ginger and Soy Sauce. I don’t think there is ever a sushi line because no one realizes that this is also included in your cruise fare. Needless to say, we went there every night. On Mexico Day evening, tortilla chips and salsa were served on the Promenade deck, while a mariachi band played for us.
Room service, room service how I love you, let me count the ways. Room service is free, but a tip is required. Bagels or chips can accompany any sandwich – a delicious midnight snack. Room service was always prompt and accurate. You can also order biscuits, crudites, fruit and salad. At your service 24 hours a day.
If you need to stay connected, the Internet Cafe offers Internet access for 75 cents per minute and various packages from 40 cents per minute to 250 minutes. You can bring your own laptop and use it in the cafe, but not in your cabin at Elation. Whether you use theirs or your own, you pay for usage. I’m not sure if it’s worth carrying it.
Speaking of cabins, we had a Class 6C ocean view cabin. There were three people in the cabin and we were comfortable. This ship has only 26 demi suites (category 11) and 28 suites (category 12). It doesn’t matter which deck to me because there are elevators to take you up and down.
The Virtual World video game arcade is located next to the Mikado Lounge, a great place for teenagers to catch one of the Las Vegas-style shows in the lounge. There are the usual driving games and shooting games. Video games receive tokens purchased inside the arcade. You can use your token and sail card to buy tokens. At some point during the cruise there will be a video game tournament for the kids, in which case the games are free. This is part of the Camp Carnival program.
All shows can be seen in the Mikado Hall. There was a comedy show, a magician, a hypnotist, a dance show. The girls are rated G. There are also musical shows. During the week I sailed there, a special guest was announced at the end of one musical show. After much introduction, Mr. Stevie Wonder was brought on stage. People rushed their friends and family out of the hall to see Stevie Wonder. There was a scream that I thought only the Beatles could evoke. Being a pale face from Canada, I’m not too sure about the Mr. Wonder lookalike, but I was wondering which booth Stevie Wonder would stay in on “Carnival Celebration”. Don’t get me wrong, the Carnival Elation is a nice ship, but I have someone of this caliber on my ship, how can that be? The lights dimmed, I couldn’t see. As I stepped forward to get a better look at our famous shipmate, I fell down the stairs. My head was spinning and it took several flights. No one has helped me or helped me to see this celebrity. In the end, “Stevie” took off his wig only to be revealed as a celebrity. Everyone said they already knew this and had never been fooled. The next day I felt like I met UFC star Tito Ortiz.
The Mark Twain Library is a bit of a misnomer. There is no easy way to get any books, so bring your own. It is beautiful and generally peaceful.
The Romeo and Juliet Room is an elegantly decorated room that is used for private parties on some nights and karaoke on others. Salsa dancing was a popular evening activity here.
Cole Porter Hall features folk and country music and dancing. I only passed this place on the way to the massage chairs facing the ocean. Duke’s is a piano bar named after the talented Duke Ellington. It’s a jazz club with a grand entrance modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Washington Square Park. This is an ideal location for photos around a white baby grand piano. We saw a wedding ceremony taking place here. Jekyll and Hyde Disco is the place to party. Monitors will show your cruise mates dancing. Giant Jekyll and Hyde heads move to music – a bit creepy after you’ve had a few drinks, but cool.
Carnival Elation is an amazing ship. A bit off by Carnival standards. Its decoration consists of copper and carved wood. If you are hesitant to try Carnival Cruise Lines, this is the ship to try first. The service was second to none. Carnival cruises are always reasonably priced, but by booking in advance, about eight months in, we got an even better deal on what some would call a bargain cruise. Don’t fear Carnival’s old reputation as a bunch of party ships. They are interesting ships after all. There’s a party if you want, but there are dozens of places to read or sit quietly during Carnival. There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting on a chair on a boardwalk and watching the ocean slowly roll by during Carnival. Whatever your interesting concept is, they offer it. When they say Carnival is fun, believe them.
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