Carnival Elation Cruise Ship Review

Oh Ship! It’s a Mother Daughter Trip!

My Mom exposed me to cruising as a teenager when we took our first Carnival cruise to the Bahamas. Over the years, we have sailed to Bermuda, Cuba, and all over the Caribbean aboard Norwegian and Royal Caribbean cruise lines. I chose the Carnival Elation because the ports to Grand Turk and Amber Cove were destinations we have never visited.


We were on the Upper Deck (6) with an ocean view. I prefer natural light in the rooms.

Cabin U161 Aft section by the elevators.

Carnival allows door decorations. Christmas day is my Mom’s birthday, so the steward showed some love with a few gift certificates and on board credits.


The Lido Deck 10
21 and up Serenity section on Deck 9
Christmas and Hanukkah in the Atrium lobby deck 7
Carnival Waterworks on Deck 11. I preferred the lounge area on Deck 11 more than the cramped up Serenity loungers. Best view for sunsets.


The food on the Carnival Elation was better than what Norwegian offers. The buffet area was called Tiffany’s. The two dining formal areas had the same menu except one was for cruisers who selected their time and the other was “Your Time Dining.”

The buffet food tasted better than the dining rooms. Other choices were a deli, Guy’s Burger, and the BlueIguana Cantina. One drawback to having the Guy’s Burger on the Lido deck is constantly smelling beef during the day. This would annoy me if I were vegan.

The highlight of our dining and overall Elation experience was paying additional for the Chef’s Table. We savored a 13 course meal in an intimate setting that began with a champagne toast in the Atrium.

We moved to the galley to see where 320 chefs and servers operate the ship’s culinary operations.

Liver pate (tastes like caramel)
Fresh parmesan and olives
Salmon and rosemary
Shrimp with bacon infused ice cream
Melting Chocolate Cake preparation

After cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, the Sous-chef led us into a special room for a VIP dining experience.

Personalized menu
Tweezers used to make the perfect presentations.
Spring Peas & Matcha Soup. We mixed the herbs with sprigs of chives held together with a cherry tomato and pineapple top.
Honey butter with pastry
Berkshire Pork Belly, Shrimps
Lamb, beets, pumpkin squash
Smoking cloche for veal
Veal, crushed green apples in light cheese broth
Olive oil poached sea bass, white asparagus & white miso
Quail, wild rice made with 5 variations of mushrooms, parmesan and pepper threads

Red and white wine pairings were flowing for each course leading up to the two desserts. We were given the option of coffee and tea to cap off the evening.

Citrus Cream- lime snow, elderflower caviar
Chocolate Hazelnut- basil moss, cocoa logs, chocolate soil

The servers presented each of us with the recipe for Carnival’s popular melting cake and group photo copy taken at the beginning of dinner.

Cruise Fashion

Most cruises have a formal night on the 2nd full day of the sailing. Because it was the holidays, Mom and I wanted to be classy on every night.

Mom in Duke’s piano bar

We made the most of our 5 days aboard the Elation. For a ship that has been refurbished in 2018, there is still room for improvement. I saw other Carnival ships in the ports and they looked kinda rusty as well. This was never my experience on Norwegian or Royal Caribbean.

Also, the dress codes were not enforced. I saw durags, hair bonnets, PJs, and swim attire in dining areas. Getting hand sanitizer was optional prior to touching serving utensils. There were two family spades tourneys going on at the dining tables. I had a flashback to college dorm days with cards slapping and trash talk.

Some of the teens were unruly and running all throughout the ship. They talked crazy to the stewards and lacked home training. On the bright side, all of the staff were very friendly. Unless it is a new, mega ship this will be my last cruise aboard Carnival.

Seas ‘n Greetings

Kelsie Lou

About Kelsie Lou

Teacher on the move.
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