(4:50 p.m. EDT) -- Guy's Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina and a slew of new cabins are a few of the many features that will debut on Carnival Elation October 7 -- the ship's first cruise after a long-awaited makeover.
Originally scheduled to re-enter service September 28, Carnival Elation was removed from dry dock at Freeport's Grand Bahama Shipyard earlier in the month as a precautionary measure ahead of Hurricane Irma. This subsequently postponed its completion date. (Carnival Fascination, whose cruises had been canceled as a result of Hurricane Maria, temporarily filled in for Carnival Elation.)
Carnival Elation -- the only cruise ship that sails year-round from Jacksonville -- received 38 new cabins, as well as 98 balconies added to existing cabins. The line's brand ambassador, John Heald, said on Facebook that booked cruisers would be notified Wednesday if their inside or ocean-view cabins had been converted into balcony cabins.
The new cabin categories include two Grand Vista suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, 22 junior suites, two scenic ocean-view cabins and 12 inside cabins. All cabins were refreshed with new island-inspired color schemes and decor.
In addition to Guy's Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina and new cabins, the ship received the RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Tequila Bar, the WaterWorks aqua park with Twister water slide, a mini-golf course and revamped Camp Ocean kids' clubs.
Carnival Elation offers four- and five-night cruises to the Bahamas, with stops in Freeport, Nassau and Half Moon Cay, a private island operated by the line's sister company Holland America. In spring 2018, the ship also will sail a special eight-night Bermuda cruise, six-night Bahamas cruise and seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise.
--By Gina Kramer, Editor