1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I wanted to spend my 65th birthday on a beach in Mexico, so we booked this cruise on the Fantasy. We embarked in Mobile, which is close to home, and drove down the day before the cruise from Atlanta. Minus our mandatory stop at Cracker ... Read More
I wanted to spend my 65th birthday on a beach in Mexico, so we booked this cruise on the Fantasy. We embarked in Mobile, which is close to home, and drove down the day before the cruise from Atlanta. Minus our mandatory stop at Cracker Barrel and a gas stop, it took about 5 hours. The night before the cruise we stayed at the Microtel in Saraland. They offer a great park and cruise package with breakfast all for a reasonable price. The hotel is in walking distance of three major restaurant chains, so dinner can be in any budget zone. After a good night's sleep on a great bed, we got up, repacked, had breakfast and then at 10:30 were "vanned" over to the port. Apparently there was a medical emergency disembarking which held us up a bit getting on the ship, but no problem, we are on vacation. Embarking was easy, and we were on board by 11:45, and since we finally made platinum, got to go to our cabin. We love to cruise, but money is tight, so to get a window, we book Interior Porthole. This cruise we had a porthole on the Empress level, close to the action, in the front of the ship. Downside? If the ship is rocking you will feel it here more than being in the center. The upside? Portholes are only for two people, so the running kids in the hall end before you get to that section. The cabin size is good, the service excellent, and our towel animals were a hoot! The shower was a good size, the only thing wrong was an odd smell, that we finally figured out was the shower water when you first turn on the water. So, not a problem in the long run. We don't spend a lot of time in our cabin, because there is so much to do on the ship. When we cruise, we dine like Hobbits, there is always second breakfast, lunch, tea time, and dinner. I know there is a late night buffet, but we haven't made it to that for years. We had only two situations in the dining room that were disappointing, over cooked fish, which the wait staff easily remedied, and one breakfast that was delivered in reverse of how we ordered-which you cant fix, but all the meals were tasty, and delicious. We had anytime dining, the first night, we went early- and there was no wait at all. There was a 30 minute wait on Elegant night-we went at 7:30, and on our last night we went at 7:45, and was told there would be a 30 minute wait, which turned out to be 5 minutes. Breakfasts were great in the MDR, and on our last day at sea, they introduced a new brunch menu, with about 12 new items that were extra. Lobster Eggs Benedict? Peel and eat shrimp? Interesting, but I don't want to pay more for breakfast. Steak and Eggs is still my favorite breakfast. (second breakfast after banana nut bread and coffee on the Lido). We are really kids in adult old bodies, so after we donated to the casino, we enjoyed Make it with Michaels (think Camp Art) something that you make in an hour, and can take home with you as a souvenir. We don't do the art auctions, but we did participate in the Art scavenger hunt-do this as a family, it was fun, and more eyes on your team help. We got involved with Trivia pursuit, saw the new Universe Lounge Country show, and enjoyed the Comedy Club. We also enjoyed just simply relaxing on the Verandah level. We love the back of the ship, where there is no noise, but the sound of the wind, the water and the children playing on the water slides. One thing that we really enjoyed on this cruise, was that the Lido deck was not a blast of music in the mornings, It was quiet until noon. Wonderful to walk up in the morning to the sound of surf and wind. !! And for all who missed the Caribbean sound of the steel drums, well, this is the ship for you, every day, either on deck, or by the casino bar. In the Atrium Lounge there was a great country singer, and by the casino once in a while was a great guitar player-played a great Eric Clapton style. Hats off to all of the folks who work on the ship! Everyone was excellent, friendly and helpful! Alina, our MDR hostess remembered us from our last cruise, as did the assistant cabin steward, Nina. It's so nice to get a hug, and a Welcome home! The folks at the Guest services were incredible. BUT to families with kids, Camp Carnival is their care takers, not the cleaning staff. Tell your children that if they push every button on the elevators the elevator monster will come get them! In Cozumel we enjoyed a day at the beach on Isla Pasion. It was my birthday, and I spent it at the beach! The staff bent over backwards to accommodate my DH's walking disabilities-the catamaran ride to the island gives you a great land view of the main city on Cozumel, and while it was a bit too cool to swim (I was the only adult to get in the water ) we do plan to go back to this fantastic destination. This excursion includes drinks and lunch but lunch is a bit bland and lacked in variety. We did not do an excursion in Costa Maya, which since we are not big shoppers was a mistake. Get out there in the jungle, it will do you good. BUT if you like to shop, this is a great port, they will barter with you (which I never see in Cozumel or Progresso), and everything that is not the norm is well priced. We hated to get off the ship to come home, but all trips must end sometime, so you can come home and plan another one. Disembarking is always a cluster, but at least this time I can honestly say, it was not due to folks who owed on their sail and sign cards- it was every one wanting to take off their own luggage. But we did get off, called our hotel (again they were fantastic) and after only one Cracker Barrel stop, we were home by 4. Would I do it again? Yup! DH wants to spend his birthday next year at Isla Pasion! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have cruised on this ship 10+ time and will return for another cruise in October. This is the smallest of the Carnival ships. We enjoy having a fewer number of guests, shorter lines and frankly, just less people everywhere. Sometimes on ... Read More
We have cruised on this ship 10+ time and will return for another cruise in October. This is the smallest of the Carnival ships. We enjoy having a fewer number of guests, shorter lines and frankly, just less people everywhere. Sometimes on the larger ships it seems like they increase the cabins but not the common areas. guests who sail on the Fantasy range from babies to seniors, but it always has a southern hospitality charm. Having sailed nearly 30 times, I can say with confidence that the crew of the Fantasy is second to none. They are open, friendly, and in the few short days you are on the ship, they become friends. The dining room staff always remembers what you doing and most of the time, my drink was sitting on the table when I arrived. The waiters around the pool are awesome. On the cruise last week, the waiter remembered that I ordered a bottle of water with every other drink-FROM THE LAST CRUISE IN DECEMBER! He just started bringing it to me again. On the Fantasy, you will not find rock climbing walls, roller coasters or trampolines. However, the children seem to be entertained and happy playing old school games as ship scavenger hunts. Believe it or not, they even have an adult one that is hugely popular. Our favorite places on the ship are the piano bar, the comedy club and wherever the live band is playing. We do frequent the shows as well. While Country Roads is not my favorite, they are all well done and great entertainment. Sometimes on the larger ships it seems like they increase the cabins but not the common areas. I have read several reviews where people have said this is a great ship for first time cruisers, and it is. However, you will also find diamond guests with over 400+ days who sail this ship out of choice. It truly is a ship with a personality and that personality is based largely on that time of year. During the winter months while school is in session, it is mostly adults taking a short break from parenting, holiday celebrations, and work. Summer months, the ship is all about families making the ship seem twice as crowded (4 people in cabins instead of 2). If you do a Journey cruise on the Fantasy, or any other ship, the clientele seems to be much older. I guess its difficult for working families to take 10 days or more but it is still tons of fun. Just different fun. During spring break, well, the ship "rocks" until 3am or so. I love all the ship seasons but you just have to be prepared mentally for what to expect. The dining room food is great and they will bring you one (or two) of everything on the menu if you ask. Embarkation is so easy. Mobile certainly has it down to a science. Debarkation is typical but not nearly as crazy because you simply have fewer guests leaving the ship. Finally, the Fantasy is a popular ship for people to sail back to back (and to back and to back). We met guests on the last cruise that had been on the ship for 2 months. Don't let the age of the ship (and yes, in places it shows) fool you, the Fantasy is consistently one of the top rated ships on customer service. Enjoy. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
5 hours from Mobile so we drove down. Getting on and off the boat simple and easy in Mobile. It’s a nice big port with $70/5 day parking. Get a better ship in there it would be worth it. We chose this cruise because we wanted to take ... Read More
5 hours from Mobile so we drove down. Getting on and off the boat simple and easy in Mobile. It’s a nice big port with $70/5 day parking. Get a better ship in there it would be worth it. We chose this cruise because we wanted to take our 4 boys (10 to 17) and it was cheapest we found. The boys thought it was awesome, and for them it was, my wife and I not so much. But before I go further I do want to say that everyone was super nice and friendly. It was my first cruise and if it wasn’t for people I know that wouldn’t lie to me it would be my last. It was like staying in a musty ran down motel with excellent room service (if that makes sense), the king size bed was so uncomfortable that I was ready to take the frame out in the hall and lay the mattress on the floor. We paid for extra for an ocean view which landed us at the main back of the noisy ship but that was a WASTE because the window had not been cleaned in so long that you couldn’t be 100ft past the back of the ship. The food was ok the best was Guy Fieri burgers and the Blue Iguana was great. We ate lunch there and dined at ships restaurant it was ok fancy food cooked up and served with a smile but lacked variety and flavor I thought. And believe me I tried everything 6 people 4 being teenage boys can put some food away and I tried everything that we ordered. The entertainment was ok I enjoyed name that song, the live music at the bar and marriage game was halirious. Kevin wasss ssso over the top but he wassss funny I thought (If you know him you’ll get that). The shows were ok except for the Country Roads show it was terrible I thought. The ports were ok, Progreso that shops were in your face almost. Cozumel the boys swam with the nurse sharks and stingrays they had fun but they had never done anything like that but it’s was like a petting zoo in the ocean where you can touch it if your fast enough to corner it. I’ve found out that I just can’t afford to take 6 ppl on a cruise. I’ll find a resort, condo, time share or something else because the 5 days on the boat with the excursion was over 6K. I just read over this... Lol I sound like a hateful old man but one of the easiest going guys I know. I just excepted more and better Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Great little getaway cruise! Main Dining Room was wonderful for brunch, tea time, and dinner! Guy's and Blue Iguana were awesome as usual. Buffet decent for a smaller ship. Pizza was good just a bit slow. Entertainment was nothing to ... Read More
Great little getaway cruise! Main Dining Room was wonderful for brunch, tea time, and dinner! Guy's and Blue Iguana were awesome as usual. Buffet decent for a smaller ship. Pizza was good just a bit slow. Entertainment was nothing to write home about but not bad. Plenty of things to do all day long. Serenity was great in the mornings! Ports were great (costa maya and cozumel). I thought that the staff were extremely helpful and probably the best thing about the cruise. Service was great- Room attendant was spot on. Of course there are some downsides to this ship. It's old, I believe the oldest in Carnival's Fleet. My wife actually enjoyed the smaller size of this ship. Main pool area was a little crowded in the afternoon but thats normal. My one big complaint was that our room was right underneath one of the speakers for the stage show. Our bed shook during the rehearsals and evening shows. This was annoying but not a deal breaker for us. Overall a great, easy, affordable cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
Our family choose to sail out of the Port of Mobile because it was close to home and we wanted a quick get away to Mexico following the 4th of July. Embarkation at the port was great: We took a shuttle from the Holiday Inn Downtown ... Read More
Our family choose to sail out of the Port of Mobile because it was close to home and we wanted a quick get away to Mexico following the 4th of July. Embarkation at the port was great: We took a shuttle from the Holiday Inn Downtown on Government Street in Mobile, so we did not have to deal with parking. Showed our boarding passes to get in the building. Boarding passes and Proof of Citizen Ship at the first stop, quick pass through security, on to the check-in desk where our Sign and Sail cards were already printed. Took quick S&S pictures for the file and off we went to board. Quick and easy. The shuttle dropped us off at about 11:20 and I believe we were on board by 11:40. Staff: The entire staff on board was great; I love that our Steward Randy knew our faces when we passed in the halls and he kept our towels fresh. He also delivered a coupon for $12 at Pixels because we were celebrating an anniversary. Didn't have much interaction with the Cruise Director or any one particular bartender. I can say that Mina, one of the pool servers was excellent. The dinning room staff was nice and attentive; we had anytime dining so we never had the same serving team - I did not like this, for me, getting to know the team is part of the experience, which you don't get with unassigned dinning. I loved the young lady at Camp Ocean, who's name I didn't get. She was spunky and fun and knew my son's face without needing a reminder. Entertainment: To be honest, we only attended two show, becuase we'd already seen the others that were offered. Country Roads was pretty bad, a poor representation of what the performers thought a "country personality" is. One or Two performers had amazing voices, and a few were great dancers. As for the ship herself: She is dated - very dated. This is not a complaint, none of the furniture was in disrepair or uncomfortable, but the decore was faded, and in some places looked like it had been updated and no longer matched the "classical" theme of the ship. One of the main staircases on the Lido deck was closed due to missing stairs; major safety hazard as it was just roped off with caution tape. The same caution tape appeared a few days later on the Sun deck along with "floor to ceiling" wood panels that covered some of the observation windows. Almost every public restroom that I encountered had 1-2 toilets that were out of service. Many of the toilets have an automatic flushing system installed, but they don't work and still have to be manually flushed. The sinks have major chips around the edges of the bowls. Cabin: Our bed was very uncomfortable, I could feel the springs in my side each night. The room wasn't hot, but it certainly didn't get cold - bring a fan. There's still only one outlet in the room, and a blow dryer was not provided. The blowdryer was a surprise, we traveled the Paradise 6 months before, in the same cabin catagory and had one. No refridgerator. It wasn't a bad cruise, again, the service was amazing. But I feel this ship desperatly needs to go to dry-dock. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Embarkation was slow, even if you go at your time. Went on this cruise to be with family. Two ports, Progresso and Cozumel. Progresso excursion was to Mexican Ruin and Merida. Time in Merida was too short. In Cozumel we did the private ... Read More
Embarkation was slow, even if you go at your time. Went on this cruise to be with family. Two ports, Progresso and Cozumel. Progresso excursion was to Mexican Ruin and Merida. Time in Merida was too short. In Cozumel we did the private beach house excursion. It was great. No sandy beach though. Had to enter ocean by a ladder. Current very strong but service, food and beach chair area was good. I’d go again. Cabins were tiny. We had inside and ocean view. Three people in one cabin. Only room to walk around the bed and that was it. The cabins in these categories were two beds, a stool and a straight back hard chair. No frills for sure. The stewards asked when we’d like our service, morning or night. So only once a day housekeeping. That was a surprise to me. Crew were all very friendly and helpful. Benjamin the cruise director was funny. Photos were too expensive and no packages were offered. WiFi was soooo slow. Don’t waste your money on WiFi. Very busy spring break cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
It all started at check in when the carnival app went down. It showed we didn't have a reservation, which we did but the staff was super rude. We finally get on the boat and everything is great until we get to our room. I don't ... Read More
It all started at check in when the carnival app went down. It showed we didn't have a reservation, which we did but the staff was super rude. We finally get on the boat and everything is great until we get to our room. I don't think a deep clean has been done in our room for months. I can't even tell you how much dust and mold was in our room. It sparked up my ashtma and allergies, and I'm still sick from this. Even the crew said it was paid and there was nothing they could do, besides get a fan.(which helped some) The ship was very old and probably needs to retire. Considering I have been cruising with carnival for years, I did have a high expectation that it would be a great cruise like my previous ones. And to top it all off the last day our toilet broke at 8am and did not get fixed until after 3pm. Even though we asked our stateroom Stewart three times, and called guest services three times it eventually got fixed. I even found an engineer in the hall who said "that's not my job".The engineer then leaves our door wide open to the public for quite some time so we get in touch with security who is the biggest joke of them all. We had a meeting and they still refused to say it was there mistake even though we seen the key report. It was just our room that had these problems but it surely wasn't taken care of. Denzel, Rhea and Anita in the dining area definitely took care of us though. Duraio at the front desk was phenomenal. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Traveled to Progresso & Cazumel This was a surprise gift from my Daughter in Law & Son. We all went as a family. 6 adults & 4 kids. This was my first cruise & I was very skeptical about going. So glad my Husband & I ... Read More
Traveled to Progresso & Cazumel This was a surprise gift from my Daughter in Law & Son. We all went as a family. 6 adults & 4 kids. This was my first cruise & I was very skeptical about going. So glad my Husband & I went! It was great from the start. We had an inside cabin that was very Clean with King bed, Luxury bedding, lots of Towels, TV & good Closet. Our family were all on the same floor. Room service included free! The embarkation & disembarkation was on time & smooth. The whole Ship looked new, beautiful & very clean. The Entertainment was fun! Except very Loud! Dining was wonderful. During the day we ate on the 10th floor with a Lot to choose from. At night we had fine dining in the Ambassador Room. The Service was Excellent!!!! Everyone working on the ship was so pleasant and they were ready to serve you in any way. The excursions were so much fun. We had them all planned before we left. The only smoking areas were at the Casino & the Casino Bar as expected. No smoking anywhere else. The only negative was the Pool. It was way too small for all the people. The children took it over because of Spring Break. However, there was an Adult area with Hot Tub & nice sun bathing area that was quite & peaceful. I read reviews before I left & so many were negative. Don't believe all of them. Some people are just unhappy no matter what. Believe me this Ship was great! YES! I WOULD GO AGAIN !!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This cruise was amazing. The Crew and everyone on the staff was excellent. The food was good everywhere we ate on the ship. The only problem we had was with the unsupervised kids running around playing on the elevators holding everything ... Read More
This cruise was amazing. The Crew and everyone on the staff was excellent. The food was good everywhere we ate on the ship. The only problem we had was with the unsupervised kids running around playing on the elevators holding everything up. I was very shocked to see how many parents just let their young children run around all hours of the day and night. The rooms were comfortable and spacious more closet space then on the Carnival Magic. I would do this cruise again. Thanks Carnival Fantasy for the amazing experience. Oh and Jordan will not make a better cruise director than Mikey. LOL Just kidding you all were great! The activities were fun and there were lots of thins to do to keep you busy if you were looking to stay busy. I did find there was not enough room on the serenity deck to get away from the busy activities when we just wanted to get away for some quiet time. For the ship being the oldest in the fleet it was well maintained and very clean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
We choose this cruise because we live close to Mobile and thought it would be convenient. The employees go out of their way to make sure you have the best stay. The ship never felt to crowded. Our first stop was sin Costa Maya this was not ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we live close to Mobile and thought it would be convenient. The employees go out of their way to make sure you have the best stay. The ship never felt to crowded. Our first stop was sin Costa Maya this was not the best port I've been too. Don't get me wrong it is gorgeous but it is just lacking activities. I would have rather stopped in Belize or Half Moon Cay. Next stop was in Cozumel there is plenty to do there. The food was pretty decent. You can sit on the Lido and go to Guys Burger Joint which is really good or you can go to Blue Iguana Cantina. Also the buffet is always open. The Main Dinning Room for dinner was so amazing. Most of the food was good, but the servers were amazing and I will never forget them. Make sure you buy Faster to the Fun. When boarding the boat you skip all the long lines and make it was easier to get on and your room is ready hours before others. Only bad thing was that the ship was old, and I wish they would give us another ship here in Mobile. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This is my 5th cruise with Carnival and 1st time bringing our kids. We picked up my dad and stepmom from Fairhope and made an easy 20 min drive to Mobile. Prepaid parking was the way to go. Our boarding time was 11 am, but we had ... Read More
This is my 5th cruise with Carnival and 1st time bringing our kids. We picked up my dad and stepmom from Fairhope and made an easy 20 min drive to Mobile. Prepaid parking was the way to go. Our boarding time was 11 am, but we had purchased FTTF and everything was very smooth and quick. Easy check in, walked right on and straight to our cabins, which was nice with the kids. Once we dropped carry-ons, we headed to the buffet which was great! The kids LOVED having all those choices. Everything was fresh and yummy. Guys burgers was AMAZING.(line went FAST) We then went back to the cabins and our luggage was there, the perfect time to unpack. Our stewards introduced themselves and were very attentive to our 3 cabins. Cabins were very clean and very functional. There was enough room for our 3 girls in the inside stateroom. Our ocean view was perfect. We then went exploring to show our first-time cruisers where everything was located and everything they could do. They had no interest in the kid's camps. (later in the cruise, our girls saw things that the clubs did they wished they had done too) Our Dining experience was perfect. Our servers Stanislava and Smith, with Vladimir were on point! They sure made the kids want to come back every night. AND they wanted to see them in the mornings at the Sea Day Brunch! (HIGHLY RECOMMEND) Utani and Roby our room stewards always had everything iced for us and made sure we had towels at all times. If you have little ones, the Cat in the Hat breakfast is worth it! $5 and the kids get to meet the characters. Make sure you bring a Dr. Suess book for autographs! The green eggs and ham didn't LOOK appetizing but tasted great! We had the soda package and a wine package. We never had to wait more than a couple of minutes to get a drink. There were a lot of spring breakers and drinkers on the cruise too. We took the kids and learned at the towel folding demonstration, very cute. The shows were better put together than the Sensation in my opinion. We loved The Brits! and the Motown show. At the end of each show, the cast dances their way to the Atrium from the stage and a party starts in the Atrium, which the whole family could participate in! We did an excursion not associated with Carnival. We went to Playa Mia in Cozumel. IT WAS AWESOME. Highly Recommended, open bar, open buffet, a waterpark for kids, beach, snorkeling..the works! SO MUCH FUN. We saw lots of fish and an eel! Shopping was fun too. They had a chocolate shop..with Samples!! lol One of the smoothest sailings I have had. Disembarkation was smooth and painless... it was horrible weather getting off so we were thankful for parking in the garage. We will cruise again on Carnival and on the Fantasy! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
My family and I went on the Spring Break cruise to Cozumel and Costa Maya! We had a great time (14 of us). The cruise director, Mikey was very memorable and it was an amazing cruise, but it was so rocky that I ended up sick to my stomach. ... Read More
My family and I went on the Spring Break cruise to Cozumel and Costa Maya! We had a great time (14 of us). The cruise director, Mikey was very memorable and it was an amazing cruise, but it was so rocky that I ended up sick to my stomach. It was terrible, I almost fell down on a couple occasions. The food was not that good, I wasn't impressed with anything on the buffet. Guy's Burgers was extremely good and I loved the fries. The slides are so fun and I raced with my cousins many times. The pool was very cold and crowded. The trivia parties were the best part of the cruise because there was singing, dancing, and partying and Mikey made sure that we had a good time. Service was always great. People got us what we needed as fast as they could. Overall, I would go back again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
Me and a dear friend went on this cruise and we had a blast. We stayed just outside of Mobile, and i have to say i was a little worried about the parking nightmares i was hearing about. But as far as I could tell parking was a breeze. We ... Read More
Me and a dear friend went on this cruise and we had a blast. We stayed just outside of Mobile, and i have to say i was a little worried about the parking nightmares i was hearing about. But as far as I could tell parking was a breeze. We arrived around 10:30 and were parked and signed in and on the boat by 11:30. We had prepaid parking so that was really easy. I will say the only disappointing thing was that we never met the room steward till the 2nd day. Not that big of a deal as we dont require alot of attention but we do like our ice. The chows were all good but i definitely will stay away from the Hasbro show. I found this to be boring and uneventful. It was just not for me. Hats off to Mikey and Katie they do a awesome job at entertaining. We did several activities with them and all were VERY etertaining. We laughed so hard we cried. it was soooo much fun. All and all the cruise was fantastic from beginning to end. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2017
My boyfriend and I took our first cruise together on the Carnival Fantasy, and we had an AMAZING time! We had a porthole room (two small windows) with one king-sized bed. The room wasn't huge but we rarely spent time in the room. We ... Read More
My boyfriend and I took our first cruise together on the Carnival Fantasy, and we had an AMAZING time! We had a porthole room (two small windows) with one king-sized bed. The room wasn't huge but we rarely spent time in the room. We were on the main floor of the atrium which was nice because we were centrally located. Unfortunately, we were on the left side of the boat which caused some sea sickness feelings. To avoid these feelings, choose a stateroom close to the middle of the boat and on a low/central level (floor). The dining was amazing! Don't forget to order multiple appetizers and entrees if you want! Just make sure to leave a good tip for your waiter. I will never cruise with another cruiseline, because carnival is the most friendly, considerate, fun cruise that is offered. There is always something to do, and because its a smaller cruiseline, the service is better because they can spend more time taking care of you on a personal level. The service was AMAZING as well. Every time I wanted a drink, there was always a waiter clos by asking what I would like. Definitely recommend. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
Sailed on April 9, 5 day to cozumel etc. Out of 15 cruises, this is the first one that we encountered any problems. The ship was not at the port when we arrived. We always look forward to driving into town and spotting the big red tail. ... Read More
Sailed on April 9, 5 day to cozumel etc. Out of 15 cruises, this is the first one that we encountered any problems. The ship was not at the port when we arrived. We always look forward to driving into town and spotting the big red tail. When we see the tail we really get excited. We soon found out that the ship would be delayed for hours because of fog. We were told to follow a police car to the convention center to wait. Even though it was not a good start, I must say that Carnival did a superb job taking care of the hundreds and hundreds of people that they had to relocate for a few hours. The had a continuous hot lunch being served, regularly scheduled briefings to keep everyone updated on what was going on, and movies playing to help pass the time. People were zoned and organized and briefed and everyone knew what was going on . Finally we were all bussed back to our cars so we could proceed to the parking garage and check luggage etc. We were on board approx 8pm. Open dining was available to all; rooms were ready and luggage arrived promptly.our kids met some kids they knew and they were fine. The rest of the cruise was like always. Enjoy the shows, the mongolian BBQ is a favorite also pizza and sandwich bar. Went to the dining room for dinner 2 or 3 times, depending on what they're serving. I can eat chicken at home so I don't go that night. When I'm not real hungry i go just to try something new that I wouldn't normally order. The pasta dishes are superb. Always enjoy the lobster. The steaks and prime rib have always been chewy, even when ordered medium rare so I stay away from them. I don't know where they buy their beef or what grade it is but the only consistently good beef on the ship is the cheesburgers on lido deck, they are always excellent.I spend a lot of time in the casino. I usually win a little the first night and give it all back and more the rest of the time. And i have a wonderful time doing it. I cruise a lot and some cruises make me happier than others but I always get what I pay for. i cruise out of the southern ports, Jacksonville, Tampa, Port Canaveral, mobile and New Orleans. I hate that carnival is leaving Mobile, it was very convienient for me. Going on the Conquest in Nov; can't wait. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
We booked our cruise on the Carnival Elation at the last minute for Spring break 2011. We drove to the port of Mobile and prepared to board the ship. We booked a "funsaver" rate that they assign your room, NEVER do that!!!!! The ... Read More
We booked our cruise on the Carnival Elation at the last minute for Spring break 2011. We drove to the port of Mobile and prepared to board the ship. We booked a "funsaver" rate that they assign your room, NEVER do that!!!!! The lines were extremely long to check in and board the ship. It was about two hours waiting in long lines. When we finally got on the boat, the buffet was so crowded, there wasn't anywhere to sit!! Our room, E299 was very tiny and cramped for four people. There was two "bunks" that the kids slept on. It was near a maintenance closet, there was loud banging at all hours of the night. The dining room was wonderful and the staff in the dining room was tremendous. The food was delicious. The dining room staff made my 10 year old daughter feel right at home, bringing her food from the kids menu and of course warm chocolate melting cake! The ship always felt crowded, with no seats near the pool or at the shows. The ship is too small for that many people!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
Just Returned from The Carnival Elation. While it was a good Cruise, I am not sure we would sail on this ship again.Embarkation: Mobile's embarkation port was one of the smoothest I have ever experienced. I advise everyone to do as ... Read More
Just Returned from The Carnival Elation. While it was a good Cruise, I am not sure we would sail on this ship again.Embarkation: Mobile's embarkation port was one of the smoothest I have ever experienced. I advise everyone to do as much online as possible before arriving. The porters were immediately available and the check in was effortless. Though the schedule said that they would not begin boarding until 12:30, we were on the ship by 11AMFirst stop.....Soda Cards. It was painless, though many were lamenting the fact that they no longer give the cold cup with the sticker. At $ 30 for an adult and $24 for a kid, what is the big difference.The Lido Deck served a light lunch and was fully open. Very busy, but the hot food was hot and the cold, cold.First concern was at 1:30. I think it reflects the general lack of respect that people have, but, rather than waiting for the floors to open, people started opening the sea doors and going to their rooms at 1pm. I am sure that the stewards did not appreciate this, but they never showed it.I had 6 kids with me for the first time. Carnival has three levels of kid programs, and I had 2 for each. The organizational meeting was very disorganized. Again, register ahead of time, if possible. I cannot say that I was particularly impressed with the kid program though. I would have anticipated that they would have them outside and in, exploring the ship and all. But essentially, the little kids are in a playroom on the 12th floor, and the older kids have rooms dominated by game systems. The activities were very unimaginative. However, the youngest kids (9 and 11) had a great time at the night parties that were held.The ship is relatively small as ships go, and is purposely overcrowded. The deck chairs are squeezed together like sardine cans. This is likely due to the presence of a large stage in the middle of the deck....better to see the various outdoor activities and competitions. The stage was also the home of the first electronic steel band I have ever seen....it was loud...and I missed the real thing.Food: Contrary to precious postings, We enjoyed all of the food options. The pizzeria takes 10-15 minutes to make a pizza or calzone, and is not really worth the wait. The Mongolian grill and the hamburgers, hot dogs , chicken and all were good, as was the food at Tiffany's. One must understand before boarding the ship that the food is at the level of an Applebees or some other mid level family restaurant. There is no "fine dining" on the ship. The service in the main dining room is good , but spotty, but the food was hot, and the chilled soups were excellent.Entertainment: This was a challenge. They now have a comedy club set up a couple of nights on the ship, rather than having a comedy show......they certainly have the time. The comedy is a little racy, even by family standards, but funny.The production shows get worse every time I cruise. There were two. The First, just Rock, was a decent show, but the show lacks the energy and drive....they look like they are just going through the motions.The second, Win, has some significant problems. It was debuting on the elation, and moving to the Magic. The show has no direction, and the use of a goofy contestant as the tying piece does not work.....though the main voices are pretty talented, it was a pure waste of time.Win can also be a word to describe the most irritating of the events on the ship. At every turn, the incessant pushing for the purchase of strip cards, even with a chance at a free cruise, was ridiculous. In the lounge, on deck, at every show, was just a little too muchOn the last day, they started doing 60 second challenges....these were fun, and they should do more of these.The Ports: My wife and I don't really excursion anymore, but we never had been to Progreso. All that is there beyond the port is beach, and beautiful water.Cozumel just keeps getting more interesting....the kids went on an excursion with snorkeling and a sea lion show in place of a glass bottom boat. They enjoyed it immensely.The skinny though, was obtained by my wife in the spa during a beautiful haircut. The elation is a training ship, where most of the crew are working on their first contract. If you apply this standard to most of the reviews, you can probably see the reason for the up and down on the reviews.Overall, probably the best opportunity for the kids first cruise (though I had two that were in their cabins as much as out....a shame that the kids program could not come up with activities that would be more attractive to a 15 and 17 year old) Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
My DH and I recently became guardians of a 17 year old... We decided a quick 4 day cruise (his first) would be a great way for the 3 of us to spend some time together.       I am in the travel industry and have cruised quite a bit ... Read More
My DH and I recently became guardians of a 17 year old... We decided a quick 4 day cruise (his first) would be a great way for the 3 of us to spend some time together.       I am in the travel industry and have cruised quite a bit (over 30 cruises) and both DH and I are Platinum with Carnival.       The Elation is a great value for family cruising. The staff is very attentive, the food good and the entertainment lively and varied. That being said, Spring Break cruising should be done with the knowledge that the ship will be booked to capacity (our trip was only 4 short of Coast Guard maximums)and that the percentage of young people will be very high. All in all, however, Carnival did a good job managing the large numbers of young people. I noticed security checking ID's before entry to the disco after 10 and the attendants appeared to be enforcing the adults only policy in Serenity.       Our room was clean. Our steward was not as attentive as some but based on the occupancy of the cabins around us I feel he was probably very busy. Our waitress was one of the best I have had. The buffets were absolutely packed every time I tried to go.... I ended up eating in the dining room or room service usually. I was able to eat the stir fry more than my last trips.... the passengers on this sailing didn't seem as enthused about this type of food as the passengers on my sailings from LA and Miami.       In all we had a great trip and a wonderful family experience..... Is this the type cruise I would take for a romantic getaway with DH, no..... Is this the cruise I would take with my girlfriends, not necessary.... Spring Break cruising is great when you are with your kids but otherwise..... I wouldn't recommend it. Read Less

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