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  #31 (permalink)  
Old July 12th, 2010, 05:40 PM
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Dave - I am really enjoying reading all the updates. It's like I'm there instead of sitting at my desk half asleep. Is there a long wait time for the Mongolian Wok? I heard it could get backed up sometimes. I've always said that out of all the Carnival ships I have been on..The Elation had the best crew.

Paul - you are spot on about Carnival squeezing every dollar out of those ships. Evolutionizing them was one of the best business decisions they could have made at the time.

Last edited by Dwayne; July 12th, 2010 at 05:59 PM.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 06:13 PM
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Lhp, thanks for the correction. I meant middle elevators were closest and we have to go either forward or aft and that is a trek for someone using a walker.

The Internet was down this morning for scheduled maintenance?! It just now came back while I was playing a game on this iPad. I have an update on my net book and will upload it shortly.

Ok...I just wanted to make sure you were not going out of your way unnecessarily.

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Old July 12th, 2010, 06:20 PM
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Well, I went into port and missed the ship.....

(thank goodness it was just a vitural port and a vitural ship)

Caught a Census Field Worker trying to get information FROM MY NEIGHBORS (actually their teenage daughter) about OUR FAMILY, when I would not answer every single one of their questions.

Yes, the ship hit the pier..... :-x

I will fly to the next port and get back onboard....good thing I have vitural Travel Insurance.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 06:47 PM
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I believe Elation was the first ship with pods (or was that Ecstacy?).
Yes, it was the Elation. It was the first cruise ship to have Azipod Propulsion.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 09:17 PM
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In fact they are having a sale tomorrow where if you buy more minutes you get 20 free.

Braised short ribs tonight. Lusciously tender.

The wok wait has been 5 minutes or so.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 09:17 AM
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Thanks for doing this, it's great cause I'll be on the Elation for my first cruise ever next month.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 09:38 AM
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I loved the braised beef short ribs. I had them on my Splendor cruise (May 2-May 11) and they are wonderful tender and tasty. If you see the wild mushroom soup that is my hubby's favorite you might want to give it a try. Oh and have a chocolate melting cake for me. I'm loving the updates. Keep up the great work.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 10:25 AM
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Good morning.....I am back on the virtual ship.

(btw, I just noticed I did not spell virtual correctly yesterday) I was so mad I couldn't "type straight"!!!)

Bob....we are having virtual afternoon karaoke... I know you will probably miss it being in port.

Have you seen the name of the cover band yet? And what about the entertainers on Promenade and the Atrium?

Don't forget you also have to come to the Piano Bar with me for just a little while.

Do we see a THEME here??? Some folks would think all I care about is music.

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Old July 13th, 2010, 10:26 AM
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I loved the braised beef short ribs. I had them on my Splendor cruise (May 2-May 11) and they are wonderful tender and tasty. If you see the wild mushroom soup that is my hubby's favorite you might want to give it a try. Oh and have a chocolate melting cake for me. I'm loving the updates. Keep up the great work.
We get those on every cruise. We almost did not get them the first time, because when I read "ribs" ... I think MESS....but these are off the bone and wonderful
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Old July 13th, 2010, 10:43 AM
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Tuesday July 13, in port at Montego Bay


Lots of nice looking dress shorts in the dining room last night, mine included. As I said previously I decided to go with the braised short ribs and it was a good choice. It was plated more like slices of pot roast, and it was mouth watering delicious and tender. You know that moist, cooked down fat, falling apart and slightly sticky texture of a properly cooked pot roast? Like Mom and Grandma made? This was it. Large portion too. Carnival never skimps on the portions. Chilled cucumber soup was good too. Sadly, our waiter forgot my sushi appetizer. It was too far along in dinner to worry about so I moved on. One down note about the dining room is our area''s bar waiter. I think he is totally lost. We had to show him our son's soda sticker twice on the first night, and he hasn't been back since. Last night our assistant waiter ended up going and getting my son a Coke. For some these little things are a cause to rant about the whole cruise being ruined. Not me. Always look at the whole picture before making an overall assessment.



One of my pet annoyances on any mainstream cruise line is the bingo/main show seating competition. As most experienced cruisers know, bingo will often be scheduled in the main show lounge immediately prior to the show. Thus those who don't want to play bingo most likely won't get a seat for the show. This happened last night for us. So it was off to karaoke and the rock band again. Music Degree is the band and they are quite good. They did an excellent job with Hotel California. The only suggestion I'd make is boost the volume for the lead guitar on that song.


I have no plans for today, and so it might well be another “at sea” day in port. Again, experienced cruisers who have tired of a certain port know the ship can be wonderfully peaceful on those days.
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old July 13th, 2010, 12:34 PM
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Sounds like you are having fun. I agree on that wild mushroom soup - an excellent pre-dinner appetizer.

So - are you saying the main theater fills up with bingo players before the show so much so that you can't get a seat for the show?

That's a lot of bingo players.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 12:36 PM
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LHP...

You are hilarious. I am glad it was so easy to catch up with the virtual ship. I was worried you might run into a few virtual immigration problems.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 02:07 PM
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Thanks Dave for the name of the band.....I don't think Music Degree is one that we have cruised with before.

Yes, it is irritating when a drink waiter does not follow up in the Main Dining Room. The best ones we have had always had one boy's soda waiting on them after the first night.

And they always got a nice tip at the end of the week as a thank you....


We did the same thing at Montego Bay. We walked off the ship and walked around the area where those little huts are. But were hassled constantly by vendors....so we just walked back onto the ship. This was in May. There is suppose to be a good jerk chicken place somewhere within walking distance and "safe"...(so I assumed in that little hut village)...but I never found it. Most of the places were empty.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 02:11 PM
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Yes, lots of bingo players. Actually there were bar stools all the way in back that we could have sat on, but the sight lines are horrible and all you can see is the torso and legs of whoever is on stage.

I'll post the names of all the singing and musical acts later today.

We are going into the pier terminal to buy some junk. Hopefully we'll be gone less than an hour.

Calamari at the Mongolian wok today! Great! It is a sunny beautiful day in Mo Bay. That makes perfect weather all the way so far.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 05:33 PM
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Yes, lots of bingo players. Actually there were bar stools all the way in back that we could have sat on, but the sight lines are horrible and all you can see is the torso and legs of whoever is on stage.

I'll post the names of all the singing and musical acts later today.

We are going into the pier terminal to buy some junk. Hopefully we'll be gone less than an hour.

Calamari at the Mongolian wok today! Great! It is a sunny beautiful day in Mo Bay. That makes perfect weather all the way so far.


Currently enjoying virtual karaoke....Dave....can you hear me now????
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Old July 13th, 2010, 05:46 PM
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I hear you Linda. Danni says you need to sign up for another number.

What a wonderful day so far! Relaxing morning and afternoon around a mostly deserted pool. Nice lunch. And then we went ashore to contribute to the Jamaican economy for about an hour. Here's the deal with Mo
Bay...they have metal detectors and x-ray machines you have to go through to return to the ship. Female security officers are usually present and if a man alarms the metal detector guess who pats him down? So both my son and I were felt up today by a Jamaican woman. I really don't like that.

I am excited about tonight. First they have lamb on the dinner menu, and then later is the usually wild deck party and Mexican buffet, with Music
Degree jamming on the poolside stage. Can you say I am having a great time on this cruise? Why yes, you can!
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Old July 13th, 2010, 06:41 PM
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I hear you Linda. Danni says you need to sign up for another number.

What a wonderful day so far! Relaxing morning and afternoon around a mostly deserted pool. Nice lunch. And then we went ashore to contribute to the Jamaican economy for about an hour. Here's the deal with Mo
Bay...they have metal detectors and x-ray machines you have to go through to return to the ship. Female security officers are usually present and if a man alarms the metal detector guess who pats him down? So both my son and I were felt up today by a Jamaican woman. I really don't like that.

I am excited about tonight. First they have lamb on the dinner menu, and then later is the usually wild deck party and Mexican buffet, with Music
Degree jamming on the poolside stage. Can you say I am having a great time on this cruise? Why yes, you can!


OK>...I am officially blaming this on YOU!!!!

This virtual cruise sent me into a booking frenzy that could only be calmed by booking the special Spirit to Hawaii cruise in April 2012.

Hubby (out of town 6 weeks straight) ..... so I booked A BALCONY!!!!

He is flying to Reno in a couple of weeks....I suggest he win some money to pay for it.....because IT IS BOOKED!!!!
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If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!

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20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND
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Old July 13th, 2010, 09:55 PM
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Myself and a group of friends will be on the Elation in a little over a month so, this is a great way to preview the ship. Thanks so much Dave!
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Old July 13th, 2010, 10:06 PM
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LHP...

You are hilarious. I am glad it was so easy to catch up with the virtual ship. I was worried you might run into a few virtual immigration problems.
The virtual Jones act is a pain.:-D lhp is lucky we have some virtual international ports coming up. Ihp all I talk about is food so you know were my mind is. On Splendor they did a cooking demo that included the Wild Mushroom Soup. I have the recipe around here somewhere.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 07:04 AM
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Sorry to hear about the pat down. They need to invest in a wand thingy. In the food department, they should have Chateaubriand with Sauce Béarnaise on night six. If you like that sorta thing. I third or fourth the recommendation of the Wild Mushroom Soup, it is delicious. I was scared to try it the first time thinking it might have some of those mushrooms in it that make you go wild.

Hope you have a wonderful day on Grand Cayman. If you have the time walk up to Abanks and get a basket of fritters and a cold one for me.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 09:36 AM
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OK>...I am officially blaming this on YOU!!!!

This virtual cruise sent me into a booking frenzy that could only be calmed by booking the special Spirit to Hawaii cruise in April 2012.

Hubby (out of town 6 weeks straight) ..... so I booked A BALCONY!!!!

He is flying to Reno in a couple of weeks....I suggest he win some money to pay for it.....because IT IS BOOKED!!!!
Okay I'm totally jealous. Last time I was in Hawaii was for my 21 birthday. It's been a while i refuse to say how long. I think you need the balcony on a Hawaiian cruise so you can see the kilauea volcano erupting. It's suppose to be amazing.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 12:04 PM
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Wednesday July 14, at anchor in Georgetown, Grand Cayman.


Last night was very pleasant. I had the smoked duck and mandarin orange appetizer, potato soup, and rack of lamb. It was all beautifully prepared and excellent. I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful the dining room food has been. These dinners just might be the best I've had in a main dining room – ever.


Despite the bingo seating menace we were able to find some seats in the balcony. Those of you with more experience than I with Fantasy-class ships already know that the main show rooms are plagued with poor sight lines. I guess you also know about the rows of seats that are almost like highchairs. We had those seats last night. My wife and I could barely put our feet on the deck after sitting down. We caught a glimpse now and then of the featured performer, Marcus Anthony. He was excellent and it was a fun show as he rolled off some Mo Town favorites and kept the audience engaged. Later there was the Lido party with Music Degree playing rock 'n roll. It was a beautiful night at sea and so the music, raucous crowd, and Mexican buffet went on for more than 3 hours.


It is rare to spend a week in the Caribbean without at least one passing shower. So far that had been our situation. It is sunny and warm today in Grand Cayman. Three other ships are in port with us, so there are about 10,000 cruise passengers here. We have the Carnival Freedom, Carnival Inspiration, and the Grandeur Of The Seas off our starboard side.


I do not plan to go ashore today. Another relaxing day aboard Elation! No place else I'd rather be right now. Maybe I'll break from the Mongolian wok and try one of those great Carnival cheeseburgers or the “American Southwest” lunch offered at one of the serving lines in the Tiffany buffet restaurant.


The names of the talent aboard: Dayna sings most nights at the Drama Bar. She is outstanding. Think of a blend of Faith Hill and Jewel in the voice. She said this was her third cruise aboard Elation.


Piano with James. Island music with Caribbean Breeze. Piano singalong with Liz. DJ Sandeep.


I can't believe this cruise is almost over. Just two more days after today! We will go ashore in Cozumel. It is our favorite place in the Caribbean. Plus I have to rendezvous with a volunteer from the Cozumel Red Cross to give her a donation on behalf of CruiseReviews. We had a little dust-up on that website a few weeks ago regarding “voluntourism” and my penance is helping the Red Cross on Cozumel with what I think is a more useful thing (money) than planting shrubs around their headquarters as part of a tour from “another” cruise line.


Mushroom soup is on the menu tonight. Looks like I'll get that and the filet mignon/short rib confit entree.


I've also been enjoying the sugar-free cakes for dessert. You'd never know they had no sugar. Plus they have been light as air and full of flavor.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 01:33 PM
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Myself and a group of friends will be on the Elation in a little over a month so, this is a great way to preview the ship. Thanks so much Dave!

We will be aboard August 19th....same date????
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Old July 14th, 2010, 01:40 PM
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Sorry, I overslept this morning...those ships will do that to me sometimes....

Thanks Dave for the musical update.....

I know whatever the case with the Red Cross....that your heart is in the right place...

enjoy Cozumel.....

(still my favorite place...but St Maarten comes close due to the cheap drinks)
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If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!

Hubby ... DIAMOND (every ship except the Carnivale)
Me ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale)
20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND
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Old July 14th, 2010, 05:19 PM
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...and we didn't go ashore!


My son has spent almost 5 hours in the pool today, almost non-stop although he did tell me he got out to have some pizza. He turns 16 tomorrow. Where has the time gone?


I also whiled away the afternoon poolside, having more than one beer but tempering those beers with a cheeseburger covered with jalapenos, and a couple servings of pizza. Great pool food. I've come to like just taking whatever pizza has just come out of the oven on a Carnival ship. I like all the toppings so it doesn't matter. What does matter is getting fresh hot pizza that has a really nice crust and is just deliciously hot and tasty.


In about 90 minutes is the party for repeat guests. Tonight is cruise casual dress again, and given the remaining port and time we leave Cozumel, I think we might be seeing a 7-night cruise with only one “cruise elegant” or formal night. And to think I brought two suits aboard.


The Carnival Freedom just left port. I took a photo of it from my balcony. I didn't catch the departure of the Inspiration. I am watching the TV channel with the ship's cam and course, speed, etc. The camera moves to the main pool every minute or so and I just saw my son go down the slide again, for perhaps the 50th time today.


They are offering another 50% off promotion if I sign into the internet from 4pm to 6pm, so this report will be posted during that time. Nothing like getting some free minutes added to my account!


This has been a great cruise and I am really sad that it is ending.


And then there was one. We are turning and heading out to sea, leaving the Grandeur Of The Seas as the lone cruise ship in Grand Cayman.


Well, more later including a dinner report and commentary on this evening's entertainment. Ciao.
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  #56 (permalink)  
Old July 14th, 2010, 05:36 PM
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Dave - how about some commentary on your stateroom?

Those Fantasy-class cabins are really different - very stark, almost like a motel 6. They are comfortable, roomy and functional, but I never really felt at home in one like I do on the newer Carnival ships.

They are nice and roomy, though.

What are you in - an oceanview or maybe a balcony?
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Old July 14th, 2010, 11:12 PM
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Dave - how about some commentary on your stateroom?

Those Fantasy-class cabins are really different - very stark, almost like a motel 6. They are comfortable, roomy and functional, but I never really felt at home in one like I do on the newer Carnival ships.

They are nice and roomy, though.

What are you in - an oceanview or maybe a balcony?
Since the Elation has not had the balconies added yet....that would mean Dave is in a SUITE!!!
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Old July 14th, 2010, 11:20 PM
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Dave:

Sounds like a great day.....

lots of our great days have been when I call Ship Days (when we are in port and don't get off the ship)

You will have the 2nd formal night tomorrow (yes, after leaving Cozumel).....BTW, hubby always wears the same suit and just changes the tie if there are two formal nights....saves packing space.....

Did you go to the Repeater's Party? Did they do any fun stuff or just the film? I have been on two Carnival cruises where they did Carnival trivia for gifts (instead of just drawing a name). I won both of them
(imagine that). One was a bottle of champagne and one was a dinner for two in the Steakhouse.

Then I have been to other Repeater Parties where they draw the name but before the film.....they do a cute little thing where they say ...

"anyone that has been on two or more cruises...stand up" (of course everyone stands up....but if someone doesn't...the CD makes a big deal about "what you are doing in here"

then it is anyone who has been on five or more remain standing....
ten or more....
fifteen or more....
twenty or more ....

(usually by then most everyone has been seated )

that's the only time I have seen that DJ will speak up and actually say how many cruises he has been on. He gets a kick out it when they do that.

Well, it is 10:30pm on my ship and karaoke may be jamming there...but on my ship..it is time for bed.

Why is it on a ship, I can stay up until 2AM.....but at home...I am usually asleep by 10:30PM??????
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  #59 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2010, 12:03 AM
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We are in a GS suite, what used to be a Cat. 12. Nice size and it looks almost new. But there are problems with age. The sink drains slowly and the closet door hangs and jams sometimes. The woodwork looks like the paneling from an old Philco TV set or Marantz console stereo. You know what I mean? We do have a flat screen and fridge. Also a full set of bar glasses.

Now on to tonights report....

Tonight was a bit of a let down, from dinner to the entertainment. With the exception of the mushroom soup the dinner was not up to the standards of the previous nights. It was good, but not much more than that. My battered shrimp appetizer was cold, and the pan fried snapper was unremarkable. Same story for those who ordered the veal parmigiana and the filet mignon. Good but not great. The waiters also did an odd dancing routine that had no theme and seemed contrived. Our bar waiter continues on his path to a bad score in the comment card. After rallying last night and actually visiting our table, he forgot again tonight and we had to send our waiter to fetch him.


The entertainment tonight was a hypnotist in the main show room, karaoke, and a dance band playing soft jazz in the promenade. I like light jazz but even I can only take so much of brushes on a snare drum and so forth. There was little else, which brings me to another point. Why did we have a deck party and buffet to the early morning hours last night when we were to be in port at Grand Cayman at 7am, yet on the night when our next port is Cozumel at 10am they essentially rolled up the sidewalks early? It would seem to make sense to reverse things. But I am not a cruise director so what do I know? Anyway, with nothing much else to do I am sitting in my cabin at 10:30pm.


Overall the whole day was pleasant so don't think I am whining. It's just that the evening could have been much more.


It was a typical repeaters party – drinks, snacks, some music (same people were in the promenade...see above), free champagne to a lucky repeater, film with Ted Arison and applause for each ship in the fleet, and last but not least, a sales pitch to buy scratch off cards to get tickets for the free cruise drawing. Over 1300 repeat passengers aboard. You have to admit, that says a lot. Most applauded for ships which cruise or cruised from Gulf Of Mexico ports.


Yeah, cruise elegant night when we leave port at 5pm. What's up with that?



Okay, I hope to not be such a curmudgeon tomorrow!
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  #60 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2010, 02:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhp View Post
Since the Elation has not had the balconies added yet....that would mean Dave is in a SUITE!!!
We sure know our ships. Well you more than me, but I'm a close runner up.
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