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Guest trip report: Carnival’s Elation

SmarterTravel

Today’s guest correspondents are Kristen Labrencis (sister of Contributing Editor Jessica Labrencis) and Brent McCartney from Vernon, Connecticut, who recently sailed on Carnival’s Elation.

If you’d like to tell your fellow cyber-sailors about a recent cruise experience, please answer the questions in the format below and email them to me at cruise@smartertravel.com.

Your name and hometown

Kristen Labrencis and Brent McCartney from Vernon, Connecticut

Name of cruise line and ship

Carnival’s Elation

Itinerary (destination and length)

We sailed a five-night cruise from Port Canaveral (Orlando) to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay (Carnival’s private island), and Nassau, Bahamas.

Travel dates

January 6 through 11, 2007

What did you like most about the onboard experience and why?

We enjoyed the dinners onboard. The waiters were fabulous (friendly and accommodating), and the other couples were very nice. The food was amazing.

What did you like least? Why?

We did not like breakfast or lunch. Most things were very greasy, and there weren’t that many vegetarian (or even healthy) options besides a sandwich bar that closed early. Also, there wasn’t that much to do during the day at sea.

How would you rate your cabin?

Our cabin was surprisingly very nice. We had a window, which helped. We expected the bathroom to be tiny, but it was actually roomy.

How would you rate the food?

As we said before, the dinners were fabulous (lobster tail, mahi mahi, tons of vegetarian options, and great appetizers). We just wished they put that much effort into the other meals. There were several days when we left the port around 2 or 3 p.m. and lunch was put away. The only things that were available were pizza, hot dogs, and hamburgers. We were not impressed with that.

What was your favorite port or shore excursion and why?

We liked Grand Turk the best. They just built a new cruise ship area that was touristy but tasteful. They had local crafts and a very fun Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. It was a little like Disney World, but it was tasteful and quite fun. We kayaked and snorkeled there.

What was your least favorite onshore experience? Why?

In Nassau we only had a few hours and we could have used a few more. We snorkeled from 9 to 11 a.m. and had to be back on the ship at 2 p.m., which left us killing time at Señor Frog’s. We would have preferred to visit Atlantis or walk around the city, but there just wasn’t enough time.

Would you sail with this cruise line again?

Probably not. We’d like a cruise line that was a little more refined. We did enjoy the party atmosphere on Carnival; however, not all Americans want to stuff their faces with fries and hot dogs and lie in the sun all day.

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