Carnival Cruise Line
Submit your review here
Operator: Carnival Cruise Lines
Year Built / Last Refurbished: 1998 / 2009
Length / Tonnage: 855 / 70,367
Number of Cabins / Passengers: 1,020 / 2,044
Officers / Crew: Italian / International
Operating Area: Year-round Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles
Inaugural service began February 1998. She is the sister of the Fantasy and the Ecstasy and like her sisters there will be something for everyone onboard. She is the sister of the Fantasy and the ELATION and like her sisters there will be something for everyone onboard. Your fellow passengers are likely to range in age from 9 to 90 and there will be plenty of them - over 2,000.
When you first come aboard the ELATION in Miami you enter through the Atrium...don't forget to look up! It soars through seven decks and this amazing space can't fail to get a rise out of YOU! Everyone responds to the Atrium, the ship's own version of Times Square...and if you don't believe me I defy you to spend a half hour in it some evening and come away with no memory of the lights changing colors every few minutes as the computer which controls the fiber optics change the colors and make little white lights shimmer like the stars they are supposed to be! The ELATION is so big...there is a LOT to her...some think she offers even more facilities than most small towns...and she does!
My favorite item aboard this ship...and aboard ALL of her sisters is the Nautica Spa....but that's because I like to work out...I mean SERIOUSLY work out (OK it's the only thing that gets me tired enough to sleep)... and these Carnival ships really do have just about the BEST fitness facilities at sea. Located atop the wheelhouse with the same view the Captain gets, working out here is a highlight of any of my days aboard the ELATION. There are six treadmills, more than 30 weight machines, free weights AND the ship has a separate one-eighth-mile jogging track. If that weren't enough...there are aerobics classes throughout the day. But the l2,000 square feet of spa is by no means limited to that grand gym...it has a nice skylighted room for the hot tubs, steam and sauna rooms plus a beauty salon... More comfortable than most Broadway theaters is the ship's 1,300 seat duplex show lounge and the entertainment is pretty good...then there is that HUGE Casino and I think I have already said a word about it...if not...let me say this... Carnival seems to like its passengers to gamble...they sure make it easy and fun...and I don't think thewomen's temperance league had much of an influence in the design of these ships...there are more bars than there are in heaven...at least I THINK so...and plenty of places to eat!
That ubiquitous TV woman who spent so much of her spare time singing about Carnival cruises on television sets all over the United States and Canada got some of it right! But I don't think Carnival's passengers are eating much "fancy food" nor is it particularly fine food or even memorable...and let's face it...for the vast numbers of mouths fed every day in the time allotted to prepare and serve it, not to mention the prices paid, Carnival passengers are generally well fed and passengers in the ELATION do not go hungry...there is a LOT of food served here...Like her many sisters, the ELATION seats her passengers in two identically decorated dining rooms...each seats well over 600 people at one time but don't expect an intimate dining experience here....there are even booths a la Coffee Shop Grecque...these seat SIX...and someone on either end will have to move if the man in the middle needs to make an unscheduled pit stop....don't ask for a table in the smoking section either...there IS no smoking allowed in the dining rooms!
How's the food? About what you'd
expect - middle to high end coffee shop fare reasonably tasty and
generally happily served...This is a mass market operation and to
me the food service defines why it's called that...it's
efficient, it's organized...watch it closely and you see how very
hard the dining room staff works....it's hectic for them...and
they have my sympathy when they have to interrupt their work to
do a little song and a little dance...I thought it was their job
to bring food, leaving the stage singing and dancing to
others...so...it's not leisurely unhurried dining for the paying
guests but good eating as a rule...and yes...there are TWO sittings...
Up top is the buffet restaurant which serves breakfast and
light lunches...I usually skip breakfast....at least typical
American breakfasts...so don't ask me if I liked breakfast in the
Lido...Lunch is another matter and though you can get your
burgers or other fried or grilled fare from the serving
station/line out by the pool, I prefer some air conditioning when
I eat in the tropics...so inside for me...where there are TWO
grill stations, a salad/bread bar and a pasta table...none of the
food was bad...but nothing was memorably tasty either...but I
didn't go hungry...and drinks were always offered by wandering
OK - her LOWER bed capacity is 2,044 passengers and with
upper berths this ship can and does sometimes carry several
hundreds more...none of the standard cabins....which at some 190
for outsides and 185 for insides are the biggest in this segment
of the market...(except for the minimum priced rooms which are
smaller and not very good choices unless money is a very
important concern) is elegantly or luxuriously furnished...for
the heavy traffic this ship gets industrial carpeting and bare
minimum furnishings was the way to go...Storage space aplenty
ensures room for everything you bring and the bathrooms are very
good....with big, roomy showers and good water pressure...There
is a TV in every cabin but it rarely showed anything I wanted to
watch...and when the beds are arranged in king size version...as
all lowers can be...one person MUST climb over the other to get
out should the one nearer the porthole wish to rise before the
Want a splurgette? Consider booking into one of the
twenty six 226 square foot minisuites. Each with its own small
veranda, these topside dwellings are furnished and decorated
rather better than the standard, which I MUST stress, are very
adequate for a short cruise...don't send me around South America
in one of the standards, though...they're a bit too decoratively
unevolved... and well...something about them reminds me of a dorm
room...(a NICE dorm room)...Beyond the minisuites for even more
money are twenty-eight suites. Located within the hull, these
digs each boast 350 square feet of space with a decent sized
private verandah....but don't expect to sunbathe on your
verandah...it's completely decked over...
This ship gets people of all ages...you'll see people
from 90 days to 90+ years of age here and it seems that fleetwide
about 30% of the passengers are under 35 years of age...and an
even higher percentage of younger people flock to the ELATION for
her shorter cruises are more affordable...there seems to be
something for everyone...even lackluster, curmudgeonly ME...I
like the Library here, too...even though it is hardly EVER
open...but it IS a pretty room! Kids are happy in this ship and
the onboard "Camp Carnival" allows parents to drop off their
young and know that they will be well looked after. .
The ELATION sails year-round from Miami on Mondays
on four-day cruises to Key West and Cozumel and on Fridays on
three-day cruises to the Bahamas.
You got a problem with any of this? Keep this in mind....you're
one person. The ELATION carries over 2000 passengers twice a
week. So does the FANTASY. Put it all together and Carnival is
carrying about 20,000 people every week. Who can be more than a
number here? So leave your high hat at home, go, relax, enjoy it
and have a good time. Night and day, there is something going on
aboard the ELATION...so be prepared to enjoy yourself...I think
Carnival DOES have the fun...maybe not the class of a top notch
five star city hotel or a classy, high end resort, but you're not
paying for it nor would you buy a ticket on the ELATION if that's
what you wanted!
|VACATION & CRUISE SPECIALS
|Check out these great deals from CruisePage.com
|Royal Caribbean - Bahamas Getaway from $129 per person
|| Experience the beautiful ports of Nassau and Royal Caribbean's private island - CocoCay on a 3-night Weekend Getaway to the Bahamas. Absorb everything island life has to offer as you snorkel with the stingrays, parasail above the serene blue waters and walk the endless white sand beaches. From Miami.
|Carnival - 4-Day Bahamas from $229 per person
||Enjoy a wonderful 3 Day cruise to the fun-loving playground of Nassau, Bahamas. Discover Nassau, the capital city as well as the cultural, commercial and financial heart of the Bahamas. Meet the Atlantic Southern Stingrays, the guardians of Blackbeard's treasure.
|NCL - Bermuda - 7 Day from $499 per person
||What a charming little chain of islands. Walk on pink sand beaches. Swim and snorkel in turquoise seas. Take in the historical sights. They're stoically British and very quaint. Or explore the coral reefs. You can get to them by boat or propelled by fins. You pick. Freestyle Cruising doesn't tell you where to go or what to do. Sure, you can plan ahead, or decide once onboard. After all, it's your vacation. There are no deadlines or must do's.
|Holland America - Eastern Caribbean from From $599 per person
||White sand, black sand, talcum soft or shell strewn, the beaches of the Eastern Caribbean invite you to swim, snorkel or simply relax. For shoppers, there's duty-free St. Thomas, the Straw Market in Nassau, French perfume and Dutch chocolates on St. Maarten. For history buffs, the fascinating fusion of Caribbean, Latin and European cultures. For everyone, a day spent on HAL's award winning private island Half Moon Cay.
|Celebrity - 7-Night Western Mediterranean from $549 per person
||For centuries people have traveled to Europe to see magnificent ruins, art treasures and natural wonders. And the best way to do so is by cruise ship. Think of it - you pack and unpack only once. No wasted time searching for hotels and negotiating train stations. Instead, you arrive at romantic ports of call relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the world.
|Holland America - Alaska from From $499 per person
||Sail between Vancouver and Seward, departing Sundays on the ms Statendam or ms Volendam and enjoy towering mountains, actively calving glaciers and pristine wildlife habitat. Glacier Bay and College Fjord offer two completely different glacier-viewing experiences.