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Copyright © 1995-2003 
Linda Coffman


Carnival Elation
Western Caribbean
December 2003

by Sophia Pappas

Fun, Fun, This is a fun party ship. Four of us took the Elation out of Galveston, Texas a few weeks ago.

This Western Caribbean cruise ports of call were Progresso, Mexico, Cozumel, and Belize. This was my first cruise. This was also the first cruise for my four co-workers and friends in our late twenties, who shared in the activities on this fun ship. We all thought the staff on this ship were great they were helpful to us first time cruisers for the seven days. Food and service in the dining rooms was wonderful. We had no major problems. We found the Elation to be first-rate and what I expected this cruise to be.

We came to Texas early. We flew into Houston from Minneapolis on Friday afternoon. Our travel agent arranged for a private shuttle service she had used to transfer us to Galveston, Texas which is about 80 miles from the big airport in Houston. Before driving us to Galveston, our driver give us a "look see" of Houston. I didn't realize that Houston was such a huge city.

We arrived in Galveston about 6:30pm and checked into our hotel. The hotel was great. We stayed at the Tremont Hotel downtown in the old historic district of Galveston. After check in, we placed our bags in our room and walked down the street for dinner. We were in the middle of all the fun in the downtown area.

The weekend we were there was the weekend of the Galveston Greek Festival. And being Greek myself I really got into the spirit. All the fun was within a block or two of our hotel. Lots of neat bars and great restaurants with fresh Texas Gulf Coast seafood. It was worth the trip to Texas just to visit the fun city of Galveston.

On Sunday at noon our hotel provided us with free transportation to the Elation which was only three to five minutes away from the hotel. We checked in on the ship about 12:30pm and went to our cabin. Our cabin was standard in size. The four of us shared the same cabin. Elation's cabins are bare bones in dťcor and amenities: we had a color TV with CNN, telephone, and radio. The cabin has no hair dryer and a basket of "free-sample" toiletries. The bathroom was fairly large, with hand-held shower. Our room attendant took good care of our needs.

We enjoyed the live entertainment. Lavishly costumed casts perform two live production shows weekly, an integral part of the Elation's nightlife. We started our evenings after dinner at Duke's piano, where one finds replicas of New York's Empire State Building. At then we headed for a hopping disco and the large and active casino.

The food was absolutely wonderful; all the restaurants did a good job. The four of us really enjoyed ourselves and didn't have a bad day from the time we left the Houston Airport to when we returned. This is truly a fun cruise, with lots of fun-loving people on board to keep the party going. I think the people from Texas are friendly and fun-loving people. The weather was absolutely great the whole time in Texas and at sea. I should mention that some of the people on the ship told us they started getting a little ill, with flu symptoms. They think they got it from people on the ship's shuttle bus from the airport. One lady told us that there was people on the bus sneezing and coughing without covering their mouths. Iím glad we didnít use the shipís shuttle.

As I mentioned earlier we found a shuttle service in Houston from our travel agent, who read about this service in cruise reviews from other cruisers, much like the one Iím writing now. We also arranged for the shuttle service that brought us to Galveston to pick us up at the ship for our return to the Houston Airport. I should also mention that getting back to the airport seems to be less of a hassle the way we did it than circus we saw other cruisers go through trying to board buses to the airport. And hoping they wouldnít miss their flight.

On our return to Galveston we cleared customs at about 9:45am and called our shuttle driver from our cell phone (our driver was standing by just off site). Five minutes later we were on our way to the airport. We arrived at the airport at 11:15, in plenty of time for our flight back to Minneapolis.

We wish to thank Carnival Cruise Line and its staff for keeping to party going and us making us comfortable for seven wonderful days.

I recommend this ship and this itinerary to anyone who is planning a fun cruise vacation. I also recommend you spend an extra day in Galveston on the Gulf of Mexico.

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Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line