Here is our review of our 13-20 August 2006 cruise onboard the Elation. I was with my wife and this was our first cruise. I will start by saying we had the greatest time of our lives and we have been on many vacations. This cruise was my retirement from the Navy gift and also celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary.
Departure Day One thing we learned from cc after we had already booked our flight was to arrive at least a day early. We departed from Seattle at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday for our overnight flight to Miami. We flew to LAX and were suppose to only have a four hour layover. This was by far the worst airport we had been to. We arrived at 8:00 and our flight was supposed to leave at 11:55. After several delays and gate changes, we finally left about 1:30. We arrived at Miami around 8:00 a.m. We went to get our luggage and discovered that one of our four bags was lost. We were told it may be on the next flight which wasn't until after 3:00 p.m. and our chances of getting it to the ship before departure were about nil! They said they would fly it to our first port of call. We weren't going to let this minor detail spoil our trip and we grabbed a cab to the ship. The cab fare was $20 and cheaper and faster than the shuttle.
Day 1 Embarkation We arrived at the terminal around 10:55 and tipped the porter $8 for our three remaining bags and proceeded with check-in. With a short wait in the air conditioned waiting area, we were onboard by 11:50. The ship was very beautiful and extremely clean compared to some of the reviews I had read on these boards. Every time you turned around, there was someone cleaning something. The ship was in an immaculate condition. We were told our room would not be available until something like 1:30, but being new to cruising, we wanted to see where our room was located. So, we went to our room where we found our room steward, Roy (who was absolutely the greatest!), getting the rooms ready. He told us that we could leave our carry-on bags in the room. We then proceeded to the lido deck where we had pizza and cheesecake for lunch, then toured around the ship. They had scheduled us for early dinner seating even though we requested late seating. No problem, we went to the Maitre D' and he changed it for us no problem. Life boat drill went quick (maybe 20 minutes total) and we were pleasantly surprised that our muster station was in the Jekyll and Hyde lounge (ahh...the air conditioning:)).