I will post this review in segments, here's Day 1
Friday February 8 2008:
Around 6.30am I called Carnival to inquire about the "Rate Of The Day" on the Elation 6-Day cruise to Cabo San Lucas, La Paz (inside the Sea of Cortes!!!) and Ensenada sailing the same afternoon out of San Deigo @ 4pm. Carnival only does this sailing twice a year and the fact that the ship cruises INSIDE the Sea Of Cortes is what peaked our interest in going. Sally @ Carnival offered me a Returning Guest, California Resident rate of $261 for the cruise and port charges, $55 in taxes and fees and $30 fuel supplement, per person. I yelled at the Mrs, while still on the phone "START PACKING"
By 11am we were on Interstate 5 on our way to San Diego, we got there around 1pm.
Embarkation was a piece of cake, Platinum status does have its benefits
, we zoomed past the ship's photographers and were onboard the Elation within 10 minutes or so of entering the terminal. This was our 4th time on the Elation, the 1st time we sailed her she was still a brand-new ship in 1999. First impressions were that the public areas are still immaculately maintained but if our stateroom was any indication of the condition of the other staterooms, then yes, the Elation is starting to show her age. The furniture in our stateroom did look and feel dated, other than that, everything functioned just fine. Our cabin steward stopped by to introduce himself, after exchanging pleasantries, I asked him if he could wipe down the handles on the furniture as everything felt YUCKY and STICKY :evil: , he comes back within 3 minutes with a huge pail of disinfectant/cleaner and sure enough went thru the entire cabin wiping every darn piece of furniture and the mirror spotless clean. Which is the way it should be in the first place. Next I asked him to spray the phone
with whatever it was that he was using. We went up to Tiffany's Grill and had lunch. After that we went hunting down the Maitre d' to request a table for 2 and late seating for dinner. Well what do you know, Ante was the Maitre d' of the Inspiration Dining Room, we have cruised with him in the past and after exchanging greetings, he told me that I should feel at home on the Elation as a few officers from the Pride
who worked under my dear friend Captain Lanaro are now on the Elation!
GReat! More about that later..............
Off to the Lifeboat Drill we go and after that, the Mrs and myself headed to the open decks for the sail-away. As the Mrs felt chilly, we headed back to our cabin after a while for some afternoon fun
- a nap!
Come dinnertime we head up the stairs to the Inspiration Dining Room, Ante greeted us by name and showed us to our table, way back in the dining room and for good enough reason. Right above the Inspiration Dining Room is the Cigar Bar (Gatsby's) and I think this is the thing that annoyed me the most. You can access the Inspiration Dining Room and Gatsby's thru a common staircase at the front of both venues. If anyone is smoking a cigar, the front part of the dining room and the entrance to same STINKS LIKE HELL with the staunch smell of cigar odor! And many passengers were being vocal about it, so I was glad Ante seated us way back and at the far end of the dining room. Other than this gross miscalculation on Carnival's side of allowing smoking upstairs while dining is in progress downstairs, the evening progressed just fine. Ante introduced us to our waiter Jaime and also mentioned that Captain Salvatore Messina extends his welcome and offered us our choice of a bottle of wine with the Captain's compliments. We were also given to understand that a visit to the bridge was already in the works for us. More on that later....
The general condition of the Dining Room reinforced my earlier observation that even though the Elation is 10 years old, she is aging gracefully in the public areas.
After dinner we were off to the Welcome Aboard Show hosted by the cruise director Lesley Gray and featuring the comedian David Sayh amongst others. After that, the Mrs felt an urge to go and leave her contribution for the night at the Casablanca Casino!
while I headed to bed.
Day 2 follows later on.....................