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Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Elation

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Elation Review

The seventh ship in Carnival’s eight-ship Fantasy-class, Carnival Elation entered service in 1998. Carnival Elation has received numerous upgrades since then and features a secluded adults-only Serenity Deck. The ship is scheduled for a major refurbishment in 2014, when it will receive Carnival’s "Fun Ship 2.0" upgrades with new casual dining options, poolside bars, and more. Carnival Elation calls the “Big Easy” her home port and sails four- and five-night itineraries down the Mississippi River from New Orleans to call on Mexico’s Cozumel and Progreso on the Yucatán Peninsula, depending on the date of sailing.

Bathed in fiber-optic light, glitzy Fantasy-class interiors added expansive six-deck atriums and a new dimension to the original superliner concept. To keep the fun going, these ships offer an almost wearying assortment of places to have a good time. As times and tastes have changed, the ships have evolved as well, with new lobby bars, dedicated club spaces for teens and tweens, miniature golf, and Internet centers. Even newer are Carnival’s WaterWorks water park and the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat, which increase the appeal of the older Fantasy-class vessels.

Only one level below the Lido deck, the indoor promenade connects major public rooms on a single deck, with only formal dining rooms, shops, and other small spaces one deck below. Large in size and ideal for a short itinerary, these ships have sprawling outdoor pool and sunning areas, but they can feel cramped when sailing at maximum capacity. Cabins provide calm oases from sensory overload. With the exception of Carnival Sensation, Carnival Fascination, and Carnival Ecstasy, to which balconies were added to existing cabins, you'll have to book a suite if you want the solitude of a private balcony.

The world's largest cruise line originated the Fun Ship concept in 1972 with the relaunch of an aging ocean liner, which got stuck on a sandbar during its maiden voyage. In true entrepreneurial spirit, founder Ted Arison shrugged off an inauspicious beginning to introduce superliners a decade later. Sporting red-white-and-blue flared funnels, which are easily recognized from afar, new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern. If you find something you like on one vessel, you're likely to find something similar on another.

Each vessel features themed public rooms, ranging from ancient Egypt to futuristic motifs, although many of those elements are being replaced with a more tropical decor as older ships are upgraded. Carnival is also introducing features either branded by the line itself, such as the poolside Blue Iguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina and the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, or in partnership with well known brands, such as EA SPORTS to create EA SPORTS Bars at sea and Guy’s Burger Joint, in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri. Implementation of the new features is scheduled for completion in 2015.

What You Should Know


  • Central atriums are stunning when sunlight streams in through skylights
  • Surprisingly large libraries are ideal retreats for reading or playing board games
  • Freshly made pizza and calzones are available around the clock


  • Despite upgrades, the decor is still pretty gaudy
  • These are ships designed for partying, so quiet spots can be difficult to find
  • Sushi bars earn high marks for their complimentary creations, but sake costs extra
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 920
  • Entered Service 1998
  • Gross Tons 70,367
  • Length 855 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,028
  • Passenger Capacity 2,056 (2,610 max)
  • Width 103 feet
  • New

Oct 17, 2015

Cosmel and Progresso

I enjoyed our cruise to Mexico.. My husband, son, his wife, and brother were with me. The service was and is always great but it seems like there were less servers in the dining room making us wait a long time for food and refills of drinks.The waiters seems over extended. There wasn't enough to serve the tables well. Our biggest disappointment concerning the dinners were the lack of the lobster meal without paying. We have always enjoyed that

night. We didn't like the idea of having to pay for it. The entertainment was also very disappointing. The music shows were very poor class and too loud. Nothing has to be so loud to be enjoyed. May I suggest family movies on the fun days at sea? It would cost the cruise very little and would be something to do. Popcorn and drinks could be offered. I know the ice cream is a pain for your servers, but is enjoyed by everyone. One of my family's big joke when planning a cruise is how much ice cream we will eat. It is fun! The ship was very clean and once again the workers work tirelessly to make the guests comfortable. Another thing that really bothered us was people smoking on ship! As nonsmokers, we hated walking through the ship and being greeted by the awful smell of cigarette smoke. My family has gone on 5 carnival cruises and will probably return in a few years. Please don't cut corners so much that you lose all the things that make cruising fun. Thank You

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  • New

Jun 23, 2014


Just got back from the 4 day Cozumel cruise. Let me start by saying that I have traveled a good bit in my life and experienced various resorts. Etc. This cruise Is mediocre at best. Not worth the money at all! You would be better served visiting Disney World or renting a room at a resort. They will price gouge the heck out of you. I'm not exaggerating! They charge you for everything. Some of the workers are pleasant but the majority are not very friendly.

I've never seen anything like this in my life. I can't caution you enough to do your research before taking a cruise. This is such a waste of money!!! Average food at best. Very bland and taste like something at Golden Corrall Small and hot cabin. Shower was nice Seriously lacking entertainment. I was bored after the first day. A lot of potential but for some reason lacks any excitement Shopping in Mexico was great

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  • New

Jun 18, 2013


The Wal-Mart crowd on the Wal-Mart of cruise lines. There is no better way to describe it. Budget restaurant food served in a nice dining room. You won't go hungry, but don't think you're going to experience 4-star dining. The variety of food offered was very good. Even the pickiest eater should be able to find something they like. However, the best entree I had on the cruise wasn't even on the ship. It was the Grouper entree I prepared

for lunch as part of a shore excursion Mexican food cooking class. We had cabin E-2. Cheap wood furnishings similar to what one would find in a cramped college dorm room. We were part of a group of 17 and pretty much created our own activities so I don't have a relevant comment. The Mexican Cuisine shore excursion was the highlight of our trip. It was well-run and worth the $90. We cruised with four of my wife's college girlfriends for their 35th reunion. The group included families for a total of 17 people. The ship was a good venue for the primary mission of their annual reunion: eating and talking. We always seemed to be able to find an area- day and night- to accommodate all of us when we wanted to gather as a group. We took in one show on the last night and it was entertaining. I grew tired of the constant effort to get you to buy overpriced alcohol, goods, photography and personal services. It was the height of hokey on the first night to have a person dressed as a pirate visit each and every dining guest and pretend to cut the diner's throat with an over-sized plastic dagger while a ship's photographer snapped their picture. A completely bush league attempt to make a few bucks off the "guests".

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  • New

Mar 11, 2013


Went for an onboard family reunion. Had a very large group. I will have to say, with very little cruising experience, the Port of New Orleans was by far the best experience. The staff was incredible, very friendly, and since we were dealing with a young child, they did their best at getting us on and off of the ship in a very quick and efficient manner. The cruise itself was okay. We had several extremely friendly staff members assist us, including

our room steward; but overall the staff seemed very gruff and abrasive, and very overwhelming almost harassing bar staff on the lido deck. Ports of call were great, had a great time off the boat. But not being experience cruisers we were not prepared for things like set dinner times and lengthy waits for food. Food in the dining rooms were good. Variety was excellent. Service here was decent and they did do a very good job of catering to the younger kids. Lunch time? Forget about it! You better get in line before you even get hungry, because the minimum time we waited in line was 30 minutes (try doing that with a two year old). All that wait was for mediocre food at that. On the culinary side the highlight of the trip was the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake served in the dining room at dinner! Staterooms were fine, a little cramped with kids, but our steward did such a good job making sure our 8 and 2 year olds were comfortable. Water pressure in the shower was surprisingly good, but be sure to pack conditioner if you use it, because it is not offered on the ship. Beds were comfortable. Overall rooms were decently cleaned. Activities were okay. A lot of them were inside the ship, and when you are cruising to a tropical destination who wants to be sitting inside for a good portion of the day? The activities on the Lido deck were great if you are a twenty something. Less than to be desired if you have children. Kids activities seemed to all be inside, or I just wasn't in the right place, because I never saw anything geared for the kids outside at all. We did not do any excursions that Carnival offered. Best part of the trip was the family we were with. Overall not a terrible experience, a few bumps along the way, but not a stellar enough experience to want to do it again.

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  • New

Feb 3, 2013

Saturday to Thursday

Fair to good cruise, maybe. Outside of the restaurants the food was poor. On Lido and rear of Lido, the food was less than acceptable as a whole. We did enjoy the buffet of pork steak and beef steak but most of the rest was bland and some vegetables had a fowl taste of rot. The most disappointing thing to me was how bad the pizza turned out to be. In my past cruises, the pizza was always top notch with great flavor but on this trip that was

lost. The salad bar was great and always full, we did enjoy it very much. The room was perfect except for a faulty smoke alarm. On my first shower it sounded and brought to our room a couple of employees. We were advised to close the bathroom door while showering but that failed to fix the problem as it sounded two more times during the cruise. After the second and third alarm, I requested it to be fixed or have us moved to another room. After a disgusted look neither of the maintenance workers responding said a word, they simply turned and walked away. No resolution was made and no answer given when I asked if any other passengers had this issue. Blank looks with no response, I was not at all impressed. All of the activities we participated in were wonderful. Stay away from Progresso, it is a waste!!!!!!!!! Passion Island by Catamaran was fantastic and worth the $70 per person cost. The sad part was not having enough time to see Cozumel as the excursion was 5hrs. Of all my Carnival trips, this was the worst by far. Aside from what was mentioned above, the cost to drink on ship was way over board. $7.50 for a beer and $10 to $14 for drinks. I find it sad that such prices exist when we spend so much on other area's of the cruise. Progresso was truly a nasty place to visit. From the time you are off the dock until you are back, there is a constant nag of people trying to sell. Transportation was to town was nice with air-conditioning and no smell, however, after your money is spent the ride back is old, worn out and stinky. Very sad part of the trip but it equaled the vision of Progresso. As most people use coffee to exercise nature in the morning, I use grape juice, which brings in my final thought. I packed a bottle of Walmart juice in my luggage but had forgotten it needed to be in my carry on bag. This of course is my fault and I accept that fault. When my luggage arrived the juice was of course gone but a cute note was left accusing me of smuggling. At guest services I requested to have it returned but got no answer, I must assume denied. On my second request, I was informed an email was created and I would be notified later. Upon entering my room a call came in where I was asked the brand and then informed it was an open container and would not be returned. My reply was simple, if it was opened then someone on your ship opened it. No reply, no sorry, no anything. Was there a real need to have the juice as a whole? No, it was purely a matter of principle to me and simply has cemented the overall dissatisfaction for this cruise while all the others had been perfect in every way. One bad trip out of five will not ruin my desire but it will likely push me to Mobile Alabama away from Elation and New Orleans.

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