Thursday, September 8, 2016

Carnival Elation 2016

Last week we sailed on the Carnival Elation with our daughter and son-in-law. The Captain was Nicola Iaccarino, the Hotel Director was Prasad and the Cruise Director was Kevin Donahue. Our cabin steward was Sujendra. The Maitre’d was Vinod and our dinner stewards was Oleksiy, Pardita, and Dewa.

Day 1: Embarkation:
We had a wonderful day getting on the ship yesterday. We got to the port around 11am, dropped our luggage off and then walked to the entrance. Once showing our tickets, we went in the “Priority” line for security. I didn’t have to get any of my electronics out and we continued on to the Captain’s lounge. They checked us in and escorted us right on to the ship. Our cabin was ready so we dropped stuff off there and was surprised how big the oceanview cabin (M81) was! It is an older ship and even the bathroom is bigger than the other ships we have been on. There is lots of storage space too. We had lunch on the Lido deck while we waited for our daughter, Dyanna and son-in-law Earl to board. After lunch we walked around the ship and then enjoyed a couple of buckets of beer before the muster drill. Then we watched the ship leave the port until it was time to get ready for dinner. Dinner (Table 378) was wonderful and so was the service! After dinner we walked around the ship before bedtime.

Day 2: Sea Day:
We had the sea day brunch which is our favorite. After breakfast we walked on the jogging track for an hour. Then we went to the Arts & Crafts where we were given door knob hangers to needlepoint. After that we had lunch and then relaxed until 3pm afternoon tea. At 5pm we went to the Captain’s cocktail party which was fabulous. At dinner we had prime rib and cherries jubilee. After dinner we went to the show and then the comedy show. The comedienne was fabulous!

Day 3 Nassau:

We had breakfast in the dining room and then got off the ship. We met Dyanna and Earl on the dock and walked around Nassau. Dyanna wanted to get a coffee mug and the ones in the straw market started at $10 and came down to $5. When we walked in the souvenir shops, the mugs were $5 so I tried to bargain with the ladies in the straw market. They got nasty when I said I would just pay $5 in the store because they weren’t willing to bargain. When we saw the rain clouds gathering, we headed back to the ship and relaxed until lunch time. I had the Mongolian grill which was awesome. After lunch we walked around and then went to our cabin and watched a movie (St. Vincent with Bill Murray). After dinner we walked around some more and then listened to one of the musicians at the Atrium Bar.

Day 4: Half Moon Cay:

We had a wonderful day at the beach yesterday and the weather was perfect! We all thought it would be raining and that the ship wouldn’t be able to stop but it did. It was a little overcast in the morning but it was warm and so was the water. We were one of the first ones on the beach so we had a great time. There was an island BBQ for lunch where they bring all the ship’s food and people to the island to prepare lunch. After lunch we went swimming some more. When we returned to the ship we cleaned up and had a snack. After dinner we went to the show Divas which was okay.

Day 5: Sea Day:

We had our usual sea day brunch along with the free Bloody Mary that we also get as a VIFP member. After breakfast we walked on the track before going to the future cruises talk and arts and crafts. They announced that due to the impending tropical storm that we would arrive in Jacksonville at 6am which is earlier than planned. We packed a little before and after lunch. At lunch they had the chocolate extravaganza. When we were checking our room charges for the trip, we found out that they had made my son-in-law responsible for all of the charges instead of me so we had to go change that information at guest services. At 5pm we went to the VIFP party for platinum and diamond members. There were 3 contests: guess the epaulettes, guess the amount of candy, and guess the 5 ships. I won the contest with the ships and got a nice plaque for winning. After dinner we went to the show Epic Rock which was okay but the music wasn’t my cup of tea. I wanted to go to the 11:15 comedy show but I was exhausted and we went to bed.

Day 6: Debarkation:

We had to eat breakfast at 5:30am. Then we met in the Mark Twain library at 6:15 for self assist guests. We were in our car leaving the port by 6:30am.

Things I Learned:
1.     Find a bar waiter you like and keep going back to him when you want a drink.
2.     Be very appreciative of your wait staff and they won’t forget it.
3.     If you want a souvenir, price it at the straw market and then price at the souvenir shop so you have an idea of how much it is. Then try to bargain for lower at the straw market.
4.     There were a lot of people from South Carolina on this cruise.
5.     Don’t forget to bring an empty bottle to Half Moon Cay beach. You can fill it up at the drink station.
6.     Don’t forget to bring headphones to the beach.
7.     We met another couple (Mike and Diane) at the diamond party who will be on the Carnival Glory on Saturday with us!

8.     Always check your charges before you get off the ship to fix any mistakes.

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