Happiness on the High Seas

cruise

This past summer my daughter and I took a 5 day cruise to Mexico aboard Carnival Elation.  She will be 11 this year so her double digit hallmark seemed like the perfect time for a mommy-and-me vacation.

The Port of San Diego has grown enormously over the years.  It used to be you had to drive up to Long Beach and deal with the hassle (and cost) of parking, but no more.  Since we live less than ten miles from the harbor, we cabbed it over to the terminal ($20 with tip) which gave us door to door service, help with our bags and super fast transport.

The Elation is a family ship if ever I’ve seen one.  There were 2,000 passengers on our cruise and 1,100 of them were kids.  My daughter made instant friends by the pool and we spent each day there splashing and playing.  There is miniature golf, ping pong, basketball, crafts, art shows and tea time.  Our cabin was comfortable.  We especially enjoyed the terry robes and towel buddies.  Although I splurged on ocean view accommodations, my daughter would have preferred the cheaper cabins with bunk beds (ah well, go figure).

I grew up cruising and considered myself something of a cruise snob since I had only previously sailed with Princess and Celebrity.  But boy-oh-boy, let me tell you, did Carnival ever impress.  The shows were top notch.  The food was out of this world and we sampled a little bit (ok, more than a little bit) of everything.  24-hour pizza and soft serve ice cream kept my little one feeling like she was queen of the high seas.  We even ordered room service one evening after a long day in Cabo.  BLTs and hot fudge cake came right to our door in minutes…now that’s good stuff!

The Carnival crew has embarkation and debarkation down to a science.  I have never experienced an easier process and customs was a breeze.  Kudos to the pros for a well oiled machine.  Nothing can zap your vacation fun like nasty lines, strangers rifling through your luggage and endless questions about how many silver bracelets you bought in Mexico.  Best of all, we brought back wonderful stories of our magical trip to share with family and friends (and plenty of happiness that is ours to keep forever).

Tips from me to you: We used Vacations to Go to book our trip and got a 3-cabin upgrade but could have saved a little more on a lower grade cabin by booking direct.  Check out these all-inclusive prices from $199 (click here).

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~ by flipflopfannie on January 11, 2009.

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