Oh Ship! It’s a Mother Daughter Trip!
My Mom exposed me to cruising as a teenager when we took our first Carnival cruise to the Bahamas. Over the years, we have sailed to Bermuda, Cuba, and all over the Caribbean aboard Norwegian and Royal Caribbean cruise lines. I chose the Carnival Elation because the ports to Grand Turk and Amber Cove were destinations we have never visited.
We were on the Upper Deck (6) with an ocean view. I prefer natural light in the rooms.
Carnival allows door decorations. Christmas day is my Mom’s birthday, so the steward showed some love with a few gift certificates and on board credits.
The food on the Carnival Elation was better than what Norwegian offers. The buffet area was called Tiffany’s. The two dining formal areas had the same menu except one was for cruisers who selected their time and the other was “Your Time Dining.”
The buffet food tasted better than the dining rooms. Other choices were a deli, Guy’s Burger, and the BlueIguana Cantina. One drawback to having the Guy’s Burger on the Lido deck is constantly smelling beef during the day. This would annoy me if I were vegan.
The highlight of our dining and overall Elation experience was paying additional for the Chef’s Table. We savored a 13 course meal in an intimate setting that began with a champagne toast in the Atrium.
We moved to the galley to see where 320 chefs and servers operate the ship’s culinary operations.
After cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, the Sous-chef led us into a special room for a VIP dining experience.
Red and white wine pairings were flowing for each course leading up to the two desserts. We were given the option of coffee and tea to cap off the evening.
The servers presented each of us with the recipe for Carnival’s popular melting cake and group photo copy taken at the beginning of dinner.
Most cruises have a formal night on the 2nd full day of the sailing. Because it was the holidays, Mom and I wanted to be classy on every night.
We made the most of our 5 days aboard the Elation. For a ship that has been refurbished in 2018, there is still room for improvement. I saw other Carnival ships in the ports and they looked kinda rusty as well. This was never my experience on Norwegian or Royal Caribbean.
Also, the dress codes were not enforced. I saw durags, hair bonnets, PJs, and swim attire in dining areas. Getting hand sanitizer was optional prior to touching serving utensils. There were two family spades tourneys going on at the dining tables. I had a flashback to college dorm days with cards slapping and trash talk.
Some of the teens were unruly and running all throughout the ship. They talked crazy to the stewards and lacked home training. On the bright side, all of the staff were very friendly. Unless it is a new, mega ship this will be my last cruise aboard Carnival.
Seas ‘n Greetings