Given that Elation was built 20 years ago, it is noticeably smaller than the larger-than-life ships being built today. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. This ship is large enough that it doesn't feel crowded, yet small enough that passengers won't get lost trying to find the dining room or theater.
Elation shows its age in other ways too, with decor that is a blend of 1970s color and geometrics overload with garish Vegas touches, depending on which spot you're in. Even so, this doesn't distract passengers from having a good time.
During a short stint in dry dock in 2017, Elation received several Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades that give it a slightly newer feel, including new restaurant, bar and entertainment options, and even refreshed stateroom corridors. Families also will find improvements to Camp Ocean (the kids' camp), the onboard water park and the mini-golf course, leading to more enjoyment for kids and their parents.
A cruise on Carnival Elation can be as busy or as relaxing as you'd like it to be. For those who want to be active, you can play in the water park, compete in a Ping-Pong tournament or join in many of the entertainment crew-led fun. If you're looking to relax, you can spend time on the Serenity Deck, hit up the library or just work on your tan around the pool. At night, take in a show in the main theater or enjoy the live music located around the ship.
One of the best attributes of Carnival Elation is its crew. They are friendly and never hesitate to answer a question, point you in the right direction and always do their best to get you what you need.
Regardless of location, all cabins on Carnival Elation are large and comfortable enough for most passenger groups, with enough storage for all their clothes. There are staterooms with a variety of configurations, with some that can accommodate up to five passengers. These include rooms with sofa beds and pull-down beds (pulled down from the ceiling to create a "top" bunk).
For larger groups, connecting staterooms are available. However, for those in connecting rooms, the doors are not soundproof so the TV or loud conversations can be disturbing for the adjoining room.
All cabins feature two twin beds that can be pushed together to form a king, closets, drawers and shelving for storage, a hair dryer, a mini-refrigerator and a safe. An ice bucket is provided, but passengers must request ice from their stateroom steward. Toiletries in the bathroom (which only has a shower with a plastic shower curtain, except in suites) include shower gel and shampoo, as well as bar soap on the vanity.
Interior: Elation has 401 interior staterooms, each with 185 square feet, and most can sleep up to five passengers. There's also a desk with chair and two closets. If maxed out with five passengers, these can feel cramped, but for two or three people, they are comfortable enough. There are a select number of interior rooms with porthole windows that accommodate two guests, providing natural light and a glance at the ocean. Also accommodating two passengers, the Interior Upper/Lower stateroom utilizes a twin bed and either a pull-down or sofa bed.
Oceanview: The 467 ocean-view staterooms on Elation also measure 185 square feet, and, like interior rooms, can sleep up to five passengers. A large picture window provides postcard-worthy views of the ocean and plenty of natural light. There are also two closets, a desk and chair. Two ocean-view rooms (called Scenic Ocean-Views) feature both more space at 230 square feet but also floor-to-ceiling windows. Accommodating up to two passengers, these staterooms usually have a table with two chairs and a nightstand.
Balcony: With 220 total square feet, the 98 balcony staterooms can sleep up to four and feature a desk and chair, and two closets. In addition to a picture window that overlooks the balcony, the 35-square-foot balcony includes two chairs and a small table. For even more outdoor space, book an aft-view extended balcony stateroom, which features panoramic views from the back of the ship.
Junior Suite: Measuring between 247 and 255 total square feet, the 48 junior suites accommodate up to three guests and have a seating area with love seats, coffee table, desk with chairs, and nightstands. Balconies have chairs and a table and range between 27 and 53 square feet. Passengers staying in junior suites enjoy VIP check-in at embarkation.
Suite: The suites are the largest staterooms on Elation. All three types of suites share some common features. These include a variety of bed configurations, seating areas with love seats, coffee tables, desks with chairs, nightstands, closets and spacious balconies with chairs and tables. While Junior Suites have bathrooms with showers, the remaining suite types have bathrooms with bathtub/shower combinations. Passengers staying in suites also enjoy VIP check-in at embarkation.
The 20 Grand Suites encompass total 400 square feet and accommodate up to five guests. There's a seating area with a sofa bed, two chairs and a coffee table, plus the 70-square-foot balcony with two chairs and a table.
The largest staterooms on the ship, the Grand Suites with Extended Balcony measure total 445 square feet. Laid out like a standard Grand Suite, the balcony is much larger with 115 square feet outfitted with two chairs, two lounge chairs and a table.
Offering the best views, the two Grand Vista Suites on Deck 14 offer 410 total square feet and sleep up to four. A seating area provides panoramic views through the floor-to-ceiling windows lining one side of the stateroom. A 62-square-foot balcony with two chairs and a table is located along the other outer wall.
Restaurants on Elation range from the all-encompassing buffet on the Lido Deck to free specialty options available during the day. These range from Guy's Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina to Pizza Pirate and Carnival Deli. Breakfast and dinner are available in the main dining rooms and buffet, with various lunch options at the different specialty eateries. A limited room service menu is available 24 hours a day except on debarkation day.
Elation being an older ship, there are not many fee dining options simply because there is no room for them. Eateries requiring an additional fee are limited to four.
For those with dietary restrictions, the Carnival kitchen crew can address concerns as needed. It's best to notify the cruise line before embarkation, but, if not, speak with the maitre d' or your waiter before any meal so accommodations can be made.
Inspiration Restaurant (Deck 8, aft) and Imagination Restaurant (Deck 8, midship): Other than decor, the Inspiration and Imagination restaurants are the same. Seating varies from small tables for a party of two to larger round tables or long rectangle tables for groups of six or more.
Inspiration Restaurant serves dinner for those with assigned time dining, either at 6 or 8:15 p.m. It also is the host of the Dr. Seuss Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast, an upgraded breakfast option ($5 per person) featuring Dr. Seuss-themed menu items and character appearances. This breakfast option was offered once during our five-night cruise, and reservations are recommended, although walk-ins are welcome until the event is sold out.
Imagination Restaurant serves dinner for those with the flexible Your Time Dining (5:45 to 9:30 p.m.) as well as breakfast.
Breakfast items range from cereal and pastries to pancakes, omelets and a selection of breakfast meats. We enjoyed having breakfast each morning here for two simple reasons: We didn't have to wait on the buffet line and we found the food fresher, given it was cooked to order.
The sea day brunch menu includes bagels, fruit, eggs, huevos rancheros, French toast, pancakes, steak and eggs, and grilled salmon.
For those with Your Time Dining, unless you come right at 5:45 p.m., expect to wait in two lines before being seated. We usually tried to arrive between 6 and 6:30 p.m. The first line, which we often waited in as long as 30 minutes, wound its way from the restaurant entrance all the way around the atrium. This was the line just to check in, we then received a pager and waited another 30 minutes to be seated. Duke's Piano Bar and the Mark Twain Library flank the restaurant entrance, so passengers had some places to sit and wait.
Dinner menus, which follow Carnival's "American Feast" and "American Table" dining program, feature appetizers, entrees and desserts, with some variety to menu items. Appetizers usually include a shrimp cocktail, stuffed mushrooms and a Caesar salad; while a soup is always offered, it changes each night. In addition, there are featured appetizers that change nightly, like a pasta e fagioli.
Entrees also rotate each evening, but there's always a vegetarian dish (our menu always had an Indian vegetarian dish) as well as "From the Grill" selections like flat iron steak and grilled chicken that remained the same night after night, as well as a fish dish that varied each night. On some nights, as part of the "American Table" menu, there was a "rare find" appetizer like braised rabbit or escargot offered as well. Also usually featured were "port of call" items based on the current port. For instance, in Nassau, the "port of call" menu items included a Pirate Punch cocktail, a crab soup appetizer and junkanoo pot entree.
In addition, the dinner menu features "Steakhouse Selections," such as lobster, filet mignon, New York strip loin steak, and surf and turf. These items incur a $20 surcharge per entree.
The dessert menu includes some mainstays (Carnival Melting Chocolate Cake, ice cream) combined with featured items each night such as vanilla creme brulee, malted chocolate hazelnut cake and coffee cream cake.
Dinnertime entertainment is provided by the waiters who sing and dance and encourage passengers to participate. During our cruise, we also were visited by a roaming magician, who showed off his skills and invited passengers to attend his show later in the week.
During our cruise, we also had the unexpected pleasure of participating in a Chef's Tasting prior to dinner one night. According to the maitre d', each night he invites between two and four passengers to visit with the chef in the galley, where the chef details the very extensive kitchen operations that keep more than 2,000 passengers and nearly 1,000 crew members fed throughout the voyage. He then goes over that evening's dinner selections, which passengers sample. This includes appetizers, soups, entrees and desserts. The maitre d' told us he chooses passengers he feels will thoroughly enjoy the experience; but feel free to inquire about it.
Tiffany's Restaurant (Deck 10): Often referred to as the Lido buffet, Tiffany's offers a variety of foods at several food stations throughout the space. For instance, at the Chef's Choice station, menu items for lunch and dinner rotate based on country-specific cuisine -- think American, French, Caribbean and so on. At the Comfort Kitchen, you'll find comfort foods like mac 'n' cheese and fried chicken, and there is an extensive salad bar nearby that also features soups. Passengers can satisfy their sweet tooth at either Swirls, the soft serve ice cream dispensers with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, or The Sweet Spot, which offers a variety of cakes, pies and cookies. It's also home to the Chocolate Extravaganza, a midday buffet of all things chocolate held once during the cruise. During our cruise, it was on the last sea day.
Breakfast choices range from continental mainstays like croissants, muffins, bagels and Danishes to eggs, bacon, oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit and breakfast potatoes. An omelet station is available, but the line for this popular spot can be long, with wait times of 15 minutes or more.
At the back of Tiffany's, the Carnival Deli (open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.) serves up fresh-made cold and hot sandwiches. A new spot for us, we enjoyed the Deli a lot. Options include a turkey wrap, smoked salmon on a bagel, corned beef or pastrami on rye, a grilled Reuben, grilled ham and cheese, and an all-beef hot dog.
Passengers will find premade lemonade, ice tea, coffee and hot tea at the beverage stations located near the front of the dining room. For breakfast, the cold drinks are switched out for orange and apple juices, as well as an orange, passion fruit and guava cocktail.
To the side of the buffet stations, passengers can serve themselves at the Beer Station, which is available from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. Swipe your Sign & Sail card, and pour your desired amount of Heineken beer into a cup. The price is 36 cents per ounce, with a 14-ounce cup costing approximately $5. For additional beverage selections, the Lido Aft Bar in the rear of Tiffany's offers full bar service and soft drinks.
Food stations in Tiffany's Restaurant are open from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and reopen from 6 to 9:30 p.m. for dinner, and from 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. for late-night snacks like hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, fruit and cookies.
Pizza Pirate (Deck 10): Everyone loves pizza, making the Pizza Pirate popular all day and night long. Open 24 hours, this eatery serves six different pizza choices: margherita, pepperoni, Napolitana (olives, peppers and mushrooms), Capriciosa (anchovies, capers and tomatoes), De Chevre (garlic, mushrooms and goat cheese) and a pan style with sausage, peppers and onions. Passengers also can choose a calzone with sausage, salami and cheese or a Caesar salad, with or without chicken. The De Chevre and calzone are made upon request and can take between eight and 10 minutes to receive. Depending on the line, wait times can range from a few minutes to 15 minutes or more.
Guy's Burger Joint (Deck 10): Developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri, this poolside restaurant is extremely popular for its fresh-cooked burgers and hand-cut French fries. You can go simple with a Plain Jane, with or without cheese, or step it up a notch with one of the specialty burgers like the Pig Patty, which comes with a burger patty made of bacon. Burger aficionados may want to try the Chilius Maximus, with an onion ring, cheese, donkey sauce (a secret sauce) and chili. Also popular is The Ringer, which features cheese, Guy's bourbon and brown sugar barbecue sauce and an onion ring. For more toppings, visit the toppings bar, which includes caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms, plus a selection of condiments. Open from 12 to 6 p.m., Guy's Burger Joint is extremely busy at lunchtime.
BlueIguana Cantina (Deck 10): Opposite Guy's Burger Joint, this Mexican-inspired eatery serves up made-to-order tacos and burritos on homemade tortillas. Choose from chicken, beef or shrimp, and then load it up with fresh ingredients such as black beans, rice, pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole. A toppings bar has salsa, jalapeno peppers and even fresh-cut watermelon slices. Lunch at BlueIguana Cantina is served from 12 to 2:30 p.m., and breakfast is available from 7:30 to 10:15 a.m. Breakfast ingredients are much the same but also include eggs. From open to close, this restaurant stays busy, but the line moves fast, so wait times aren't too long. The passengers we spoke to were impressed at how large the servings were as well as the variety of ingredients available to create their chosen menu items.
Tea Time (Deck 8): Fans of traditional English tea will enjoy a selection of teas, finger sandwiches and sweets at Duke's Piano Bar on sea days from 3 to 4 p.m.
Room Service: Operating 24 hours a day, room service offers a continental breakfast from 5 to 10 a.m. (think cereal, breads, juices and coffee) and a limited lunch and dinner menu from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. with a selection of salads, sandwiches and desserts. Juices, tea (hot and cold), coffee, milk and hot chocolate are complimentary, with soft drinks and beer available at regular bar prices. Room service is not available on debarkation day.
The Chef's Table (Deck 8); $75: Foodies who enjoy a behind-the-scenes experience will love this unique dining opportunity. For groups of 14, the experience starts with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres before taking a tour of the ship's galley operations. Afterward, passengers enjoy a three-course meal featuring dishes not found on regular Carnival menus. Because of the time and menu selections involved, Carnival recommends that passengers be 12 years or older to participate. The Chef's Table availability is limited, so reservations are highly recommended.
Sushi at Sea (Deck 9); a la carte prices: At this smaller version of Carnival's popular Bonsai Sushi, cruisers can sample sushi or sashimi for $1.50 per piece. Selections include shrimp, salmon, yellow fin tuna and amberjack. Or they can choose from four rolls: California roll and spicy tuna, both $5 per roll, and tempura roll and bang bang bonsai roll, both $7.50 per roll. Sushi at Sea is open from 12 to 11 p.m. on sea days and 4 to 11 p.m. on port days.
Musical Cafe (Deck 9); la carte prices: Passengers in search of their favorite latte will find it at the Musical Cafe, Elation's specialty coffee shop. Open from 7 to 10 a.m. for the breakfast crowd and again from 4 to 11:30 p.m. for the evening crowd, this cafe features a menu of specialty coffee drinks plus a selection of baked sweets like cakes, pastries and cookies. These sweet treats are not the same as those offered in the buffet, and you can taste the difference.
Room Service: Hot items like chicken tenders, chicken quesadilla, Philly cheesesteak, chicken wings and fries are available throughout the day for $2 to $6 per item.
Daytime dress onboard Carnival Elation is quite casual, with shorts, T-shirts, swimsuits and flip-flops being the most popular. This casual approach carries over into night on non-elegant nights, with swimsuits and flip-flops traded in for sundresses, khakis, jeans and sandals. On elegant nights (one during our five-night cruise, two for longer cruises), most passengers opt for "Sunday dress" attire: dress slacks with buttoned-up shirt for the guys and dressier dresses for women. On our sailing, there were a few women who opted to take it up a notch, wearing floor-length, almost black-tie dresses, some covered in sequins, but most men didn't opt for a tuxedo, instead wearing a nice suit.
Encompassing two decks (8 and 9) at the front of the ship, The Mikado Lounge is home to two of Carnival's most popular entertainment options: Playlist Productions song and dance performances and Hasbro, The Game Show. It's also home to the Welcome Aboard Show, Seuss-a-Palooza: Story Time, and the fun Love and Marriage show. As such, it fills up fast as soon as the doors open. On the main floor, the majority of seating provides a good view of the stage, though seats in the far corners or back are partially blocked by columns between them and the stage. On the second floor, the seating is theater-style, with tiered rows but there are columns that can block sight lines, as well as sound and lighting booths on both sides of the aisle, which are both distracting and can block the view.
During our five-night cruise, three Playlist Productions shows were staged: "Heart of Soul," "Divas" and "Epic Rock." Although each show was featured just one night during the cruise, there were two show times for each so cruisers could catch a performance regardless of their dining time. Some featured more elaborate choreography, sets and costume changes than others, but as a whole they were entertaining. Passengers always seemed to be loving the performances, singing along when they recognized favorite tunes.
A variety of games, seminars, karaoke and other entertainment take place around the ship throughout the day. One look at the Fun Times schedule of events, and you'll find there is too much to do on just one cruise. These include health seminars, art classes, Yahtzee sessions led by the entertainment staff, trivia, master mixologist competitions and more.
Many of activities occur on the Lido Deck near the swimming pool. These include the beanbag toss, ice carving and the Miss Carnival Elation contest.
Even after a full day of action, passengers can keep going for hours after the sun sets. Live music is available around the ship, including in the atrium, at the Drama Bar, in the Romeo & Juliet Lounge, in Duke's Piano Bar and at the Jeykll & Hyde Nightclub. The atrium also plays hosts to trivia several nights during the cruise.
While somewhat busy during the day, the Casablanca Casino really kicks into high gear in the evening. Passengers enjoy games of chance at the card tables and slot machines. The casino also hosts a number of tournaments and competitions, such as the Three Card Prime Showdown, Scratch & Win, Spin & Win and a blackjack tournament.
Atrium Bar (Deck 7): This small bar in the center of the atrium is a favorite spot to grab a drink. There's not much seating at the bar, but there are seating areas nearby. Drinks range from beer and wine to frozen cocktails. Lines at the bar tend to pick up before dinner as passengers mill about.
Duke's Piano Bar (Deck 8): As the name implies, a piano is the focal point of this bar, with seating all around. The decor is New York City-inspired, complete with a giant Statue of Liberty head, skyscraper cutouts on the walls and what appears to be the George Washington Bridge. Passengers can enjoy their favorite drink as they listen to live music late into the night.
Cole Porter Club (Deck 9): Reminiscent of a 1970s lounge, the Cole Porter Club is another busy gathering place in the evening. With a blue tile dance floor and stage at the center, this lounge features booth seating on three sides. On most nights of our cruise, the club hosted family- and adult-oriented comedy shows as part of the Punchliner Comedy Club. When comedy is not center stage, the club hosts movies, karaoke and an adult game night known as Carnival Quest.
Drama Bar (Deck 9): Located along the promenade, this is a good spot to grab a drink in the evening and enjoy some people-watching. You'll find all the standards on the bar's menu.
Romeo & Juliet Lounge (Deck 9): This blue and gold lounge is an interesting mix of tables with chairs and booth seating situated under arched "porticos." There's also a stage in the back that hosts live music with a band and karaoke. A bar with barstools sits opposite the stage.
Jekyll & Hyde Nightclub (Deck 9): What better place to dance the night away than this glitter-inspired nightclub with its eclectic collection of statues of dancers? Usually opening its doors at 10 p.m., the lounge contains plenty of dance floor space, as well as seating along the perimeter for those who want to catch their breath or have a drink.
Gatsby's Great Bar (Deck 9): A more low-key area, this bar features lots of tables and chairs where passengers can enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail (the Inspiration main dining room is right downstairs) or pre-Comedy show drink (the Cole Porter lounge is just behind the bar).
BlueIguana Tequila Bar (Deck 10): Adding during a 2017 refurb, this Mexican-themed bar is a festive place to enjoy a tequila-based beverage. The wood counters are accented with colorful Mexican tile and include a row of barstools. Drink selections include margaritas, Mexican beer and tequila. Thanks to its poolside location, BlueIguana Tequila Bar is popular all day long.
RedFrog Rum Bar (Deck 10): Boasting a "quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe," this poolside bar includes the main bar as well as two "satellite" bars, all with barstools. The rum-inspired menu includes Red's Rum Treasure, mojitos, daiquiris and beer, including Carnival's own private brew, ThirstyFrog Red. Like its counterpart across the deck, RedFrog Rum Bar stays busy all day and night.
Lido Aft Bar (Deck 10): Located at the back of Tiffany's Restaurant, this small bar serves up beer, wine, frozen cocktails and soft drinks to those dining at the buffet. It also is popular with adults lounging on the Serenity Deck one deck down.
Elation has one main pool, which is on the Lido Deck, and is accompanied by hot tubs on each end. As such, this is one busy place. Deck chairs and loungers surround the pool and also cover the perimeter on the next deck up. There are two additional hot tubs located on the adults-only Serenity Deck at the back of the ship.
Located on the rear of the ship on Deck 11, the WaterWorks water park features an enclosed 300-foot-long Twister water slide, two 82-foot-long racing slides and a splash zone for kids. There also are two smaller racing slides for the little kids. While this spot is popular every day, it's especially crowded on sea days. The deck is covered with lounge chairs so parents have a good view of their kids splashing around.
On Decks 12 and 14, passengers can share some friendly competition at bocce ball, Ping-Pong, mini-golf, an oversized chess set and shuffleboard. During our cruise, most of these games were in full swing at all times, although the mini-golf course was shut down one day due to high winds.
The most popular sun decks are those located near and around the main pool, although not on the same deck as the pool. Lounge chairs are everywhere and do fill up fast. There didn't seem to be much in the way of "saving" chairs with towels; most chairs we saw were always occupied.
At the back of the ship on Deck 9, the adults-only Serenity Deck remained full on sea days. The space includes lounge chairs out in the sun, and chairs and love seats in the shade under a roof. There are a few umbrellas in the front row of loungers, but not many. There are also two hot tubs, one on each side of the deck. Towel and bar service are available.
Two of the busiest places we saw all cruise long were the Guest Services and Shore Excursions desks in the atrium on Deck 7. Just down from these hot spots is the Internet Cafe. We never saw anyone using the computers here, which is not to say passengers weren't taking advantage of Carnival's Wi-Fi services.
The cruise line offers three internet packages: The Social Wi-Fi Plan provides access to most social networking sites as well as many airline sites. The cost is $4 per day if booked pre-cruise or $5 per day once onboard. The Value Wi-Fi Plan includes access to most social networks, many airline sites and sites for news, entertainment, weather, sports, banking and finance. The cost is $10.25 per day if booked pre-cruise or $12 per day once onboard. A 24-hour Value Plan is available for $16 once onboard. The Premium Wi-Fi Plan includes access to all sites listed under the other plans but at a faster rate than the other plans. While Skype is supported whenever coverage allows, other video and music streaming services are not supported. The cost is $14.88 per day if booked pre-cruise or $17.70 per day once onboard. A 24-hour Premium Plan for $25 is available once onboard.
Passengers using the Carnival HUB app can pay a one-time $5 fee to utilize the app's chat feature to text other friends and family onboard.
On Deck 8, the Mark Twain Library is a popular spot, offering passengers a place to read, play cards or board games, or hang out with family and friends. Passengers will find plenty of games and books in the library, which they can borrow and return after they finish.
Those looking for onboard souvenirs can pop into The Fun Shops, as well as the Swarovski Boutique. We had hoped to enjoy a bit more shopping onboard, the selection of shops was small. There were also some "sidewalk" sales during the week, but still not much of an overall shopping selection.
On Deck 9, the Pixels Gallery encompasses the wall space all around the atrium on the forward side. In addition to your favorite photos of your cruise, picture frames, photo albums and other photo-related materials are available for purchase.
Self-service launderettes are found on all stateroom decks, and contain washers, dryers, an iron and ironing board. Washers and dryers are coin-operated, so bring lots of quarters. The cost is $3.25 per washer load and $3.25 per dryer load. Laundry detergent is available for purchase.
Those in need of medical attention will find a medical center on Deck 3.
Well-known as a family-friendly cruise line, Carnival offers plenty for families to enjoy on all its ships, and Elation is no different. Added during a 2017 refurbishment, the Carnival WaterWorks water park is a kid magnet for kids of all ages. The ship's Dr. Seuss-themed offerings -- Seuss-A-Palooza Parade & Story Time and the Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast -- as well as Hasbro, The Game Show certainly attract a lot of families, as well.
Another attraction for kids is the arcade, where kids can while away the hours (and your money, so remember to set a limit) on racing games, games of skill and air hockey.
Camp Ocean has an updated marine-inspired decor and program names designed for kids ages 2 through 11. The aim is to showcase the wonders of the sea through arts and crafts, more than 200 ocean-themed activities, science-oriented programming, and more.
Penguins (ages 2 to 5), Sting Rays (ages 6 to 8) and Sharks (ages 9 to 11) all participate in such activities as musical chairs, arts and crafts, games, and kids' choice, where the kids choose what they want to do from a group of preset stations. Activities do vary by age group.
Camp Ocean is open daily from morning to night (while in port and at sea), although there can be some breaks in the late afternoon on some days. On embarkation day, the camp usually doesn't open until evening. Kids can enjoy dinner with their new friends at Camp Ocean, as well. Menu items include pasta, chicken nuggets, mac 'n' cheese, grilled cheese, hot dogs, hamburgers and other kid-friendly dishes.
Children ages 2 to 8 must be signed in and signed out by an authorized adult age 18 or older. Children ages 9 to 11 may sign themselves in and out if parents provide permission. Parents must provide diapers and toiletries for any child not potty-trained. Also, any child not potty-trained is prohibited from all water facilities on board.
While attending Camp Ocean is free for all children throughout the day, there is a paid option (called Night Owls) from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. The cost is $6.75 per hour, per child plus a 15 percent gratuity per child.
Preteens and teens each have their own club as well. Circle C is for children ages 12 to 14, while Club O2 is for teens ages 15 to 17. At both, they are invited to make new friends as they play video or board games, hit the floor at a dance party, compete in a scavenger hunt or Capture the Flag, or attend the Elation Prom.
Unlike Camp Ocean, Circle C and Club O2 activities don't start until lunchtime and operate with a break. A sea day schedule, for instance, may be from noon to 5 p.m., and then from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. While kids must be registered to participate in Circle C and Club O2, they are not required to sign in or out.
The vast majority of passengers on Carnival Elation come from the United States and Canada, with ages typically falling between 25 and 60. Because we sailed before school was out for the summer, we saw many young couples, honeymooners, parents with preschool-age kids (and younger) as well as a lot of older adults. Expect that to change when kids are not in school. There also were many multigenerational families aboard, both for vacation and family reunions.
Open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Spa Carnival provides massage and body therapy treatments plus facials and acupuncture. Sample services include hot stone massages, seaweed wraps with massage and deep-cleansing facials. The spa also offers men's services like the Elemis Pro-Collagen Grooming Treatment with Shave and the Elemis Skin IQ Facial. There's also a medi-spa offering cosmetic services, including dermal filler and wrinkle treatments.
In the adjacent salon, cruisers can book such services as a blow out, a deep conditioning treatment, a manicure and pedicure, and even teeth whitening.
Overlooking the ocean below, the fitness center is outfitted with cardiovascular equipment (treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes), free weight machines, hand weights and exercise balls. In addition, fitness classes are available for a fee; for a free option check out the early morning or evening stretch classes offered on various days during the cruise. Open to passengers ages 18 and older, gym hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The recommended guideline for gratuities is $13.99 per person, per day ($15.99 per person, per day for those in suites). These gratuities are divided between the housekeeping and dining teams, and other crew members including kitchen, guest services and entertainment staff. These gratuities are added to passengers' accounts each day, and can be adjusted at any time before the cruise ends (though Cruise Critic only advocates doing this if there has been a problem that can't be solved). A mandatory 15 percent gratuity is added to all bar purchases and is billed at the time of purchase. Gratuities are always recommended for room service staff. A 15 percent gratuity also is added for all spa services, although these can be adjusted or removed by the passenger. Passengers are welcome to provide additional cash gratuities to any staff member as they see fit throughout the cruise.
Country of Registration: Panama
Regular Capacity: 2056
Maximum Capacity: 2056
Number of Crew:920
Crew Nationality: Multi-national
Officer Nationality: Multi-national
Language(s) Spoken: Multi-language
The design of the Carnival Elation is a celebration of the muses who inspire the arts, and the ship will inspire you... to have fun!
Carnival Elation won't have a hard time convincing you, either. There are plenty of spots for a drink, from the laid back Gatsby's bar to the jumping Jekyll and Hyde Dance Club to the always-swinging Duke's Piano Bar. There are places for a tasty bite as well, with from Tiffany's on Lido Deck to one of two grand dining rooms, and even the Musical Café.
If being a kid is more your thing, we have plenty for you to do. Age-appropriate, supervised activities are available from one of three youth spaces, there's the video arcade... oh, and did we mention waterslides? We didn't, but we should have, because they're fun.
Health and Beauty
No. of Dinner Sittings: 2
No. of Dinner Sittings: Flexible
Special Diet: Available upon request
Dress Code: Daytime: Casual / Evening: Resort wear to formalGratuity Policies
Guests in Standard Staterooms $12.95 per person/per day
Guests in Suites $13.95 per person/per day
An automatic 18% gratuity for beverage purchases will be added to the bill.
An automatic 18% gratuity will be added to the cover charge of the Chef?s Table.
An automatic 18% delivery fee for Fun Shops purchases will be added to the bill.