November 2006 Destination:
Port Canaveral (Orlando)
The Carnival Elation was my 12th cruise. My husband and I traveled with our friends, and 50 other people. Our four night cruise began on Thursday, November 2nd out of Port Canaveral, Florida. We arrived at the terminal, kind of late, around 2:30pm, we live only about 30 minutes from the port, and tried to miss the early crowd by showing up a little later. The price is now $12 per day to park, with complimentary valet parking, which made things easy. But, to our surprise, a lot of other people showed up later also, my husband and I are in our mid 30's and so were the majority of the passengers, once the slow moving line to get through the x-ray machine was over, the line to check in with the ticket agents went smooth and quickly. We were greeted immediately and were pointed in the direction of our room, which was on the same deck, 7 Empress. This was a great deck because it was the main atrium and the purser's office/shore excursion desk were on the same floor. When entering our room, More
we thought it was a little smaller than the last Carnival ship we were on, but still a descent size for a ship built before 2000 and a 4 day cruise. There was not a blow dryer or alarm clock in the cabin, we were very surprised by that, but the second I asked my steward for a blow dryer, he brought it immediately and the phone in the room had very easy instructions for wake up calls. The bathroom was a very good size and great water pressure. We didn't bother going to the lunch buffet because we had 6:15 dining and didn't want to ruin dinner. Instead headed for the pool area for the bon voyage party. We quickly found our 50 friends and had a great time dancing and mingling at the poolside bon voyage party. The band was great and the party was hopping! Our dinner was in the Imagination dining room, we sat at a booth with our friends and the wife's parents, it was very comfortable. Our waiter was Filipino and very nice. We had great service with a smile. My friend and I got up to dance with the waiters on the 3rd night to learn a dance, they were pulling some of the passengers out in the isles with them. On Captain's dinner night the lobster was really good, my husband got 2 of them. Our ports of call were Freeport and Nassau. Bahamas are very expensive. In Freeport it costs $5 per person, each way, in a taxi. We went shopping in Port Lucaya, but they wanted to charge $200 more for a Movado watch than we can get here in the states, no good deals like they have in the Eastern Caribbean. Nassau wasn't any better with prices except it was $4 per person each way in a taxi. The winds were so strong all water excursions were cancelled. We visited Atlantis, it is beautiful, but $7.50 for a beer. The straw markets weren't as bad about hounding you like in the past, so we walked on the sidewalk to avoid the straw market, that is where the people were begging, I had three local children under the age of 8 ask me for a dollar. The ship photos all came out well, we had a group photo taken with all 50 us, that came out very nice. We missed all of the shows because there was so much to do that we couldn't fit it in our schedule. We sing karaoke and enjoyed that in the Cole Porter lounge every night, then the Mexican buffet and party on the third day at 11:00pm was really fun. Poolside, that same great band was playing from the bon voyage party, and the cruise director, Goose, was teaching some fun dances to whom ever wanted to learn, that is something not to miss, that is if you make it back to the ship sober enough from Senor Frogs, just beyond the straw market. We ordered two yard Bahama Mamma drinks at Senor Frogs and they cost $25, so you can almost not afford to drink for too long in Nassau. The Elation is a very pretty ship, no neon colors like most of it's sister ships, I myself like both. The piano bar never seemed to be open, but you can guarantee very good entertainment in all the other hot spots on the ship. The staff seemed like they were having fun along with us, this is something I find lacking on your fancier ships. I would definitely book this ship again, for my age Carnival seems to be the best all around, but out of four Carnival ships, I like this one the best so far. Less
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