Carnival Elation – Epilogue

We had a fantastic and relaxing cruise vacation.  It was so relaxing, in fact, that even after getting home that Saturday, I stayed on vacation the rest of the weekend.  I spent most of it lounging on the balcony reading books.  It was Tuesday before I even booted up my home computer and it took another day or two to hook up my camera so that I could download pix and start working on my travel log.  Some cruise highlights were:

  • Great snorkeling.  Grand Cayman was better than Jamaica but we saw beautiful stuff in both places. 
  • Perfect cabin location.  We were on the main level, just down the hall from the lobby so embarkation/debarkation at Mobile was super easy since the gangway was on the other side of the lobby.  We were located mid-ship, right next to the stairs.  We stepped out our door and went up one flight and the dining room was right there.  If we went up two flights and turned a corner to take one more flight up some hidden stairs, we were right beside the buffet and pool.  On days that we were in port, we took four flights down from our room and the gangway to the docks/tenders was right there. 
  • Alit.  Our cabin steward rocked.  Not a day went by that we didn’t have a wonderfully interesting conversation with him.  We learned a lot about his family and his culture and he was just thoroughly friendly.  The fabulous towel surprises were also great!
  • Our dinner companions.  It wasn’t as big a table as we’re used to but Billy and Elaine were delightful company each night.  We talked about a little of everything and had many laughs.  I really felt bad the night that we didn’t make it to the dining room due to me being sick. 
  • Lots of comedy.  It didn’t all hit home with me but I still appreciated that they are putting more comedy into the entertainment mix.  Who doesn’t like to laugh?
  • We came this close to running into friends from home while in a foreign country.  When we got home, a friend asked if we had been in Cozumel that Thursday because he could have sworn he saw us.  It turns out he and his wife were on the Royal Caribbean Oasis ship that was docked there that day.  They drove by in a taxi while we were walking around and shouted out our names but we never heard them.  How fun it would have been to have met up with some friends and hang out in a foreign country together – completely unplanned?

There were a few disappointments as well:

  • Entertainment scheduling.  I really didn’t appreciate having to choose between the comedy shows and the main shows.  Especially since it seemed biased against the late diners.  The scheduling was fine for those who were in the early dinner seating.  It was also inconsistent.  Every other cruise we’ve been on has had very consistent entertainment schedules.  For late diners, the main show is before dinner; for early diners, the main show is after dinner.  On this cruise, there were several nights when there was only one seating for the main show and the times were all over the place.
  • Entertainment quality.  The first half of the cruise was great (aside from missing so many comedy shows).  Using the marriage game as the main show was pretty lame.  Like I said, the game is always good for laughs but it just seems lazy to make that the evening’s main entertainment.  The new show, Win, that they hyped so much… I truly have nothing good to say about it.  And the last two comedians were just not of the same caliber as the first two. 
  • This was the first cruise we’ve been on that we didn’t meet someone to hang out with.  I guess we just didn’t put forth that let’s-be-friends vibe this time.  Not a big negative for the cruise, just strange to have not made that connection with anyone.

Of course, my biggest challenge this cruise was my first foray into motion sickness.  Thankfully, it wasn’t debilitating as I’m sure it had the potential to ruin my trip.  It did, however, mess up my head big time.  It has been two weeks since the day I got so sick and I still feel the world swaying under me.  When I lay down I feel like I’m in a hammock and when I stand or walk I feel like the ground tilts to the right.  This weekend was the first time in my life that I got sick from watching the motion in a movie.  I suspect that what actually happened was not seasickness but the result of some hopefully-not-permanent inner ear damage from free-diving during that first snorkel.  I recall going down once to try to get a closer look at some devil fish hiding in a little cave and having a sharp pain in my right ear when I tried to equalize.  If it lasts much longer, I expect hubby will force me to go to the doctor.