February 23, 2014

Carnival Elation | 5 Days In Paradise


It’s been a rough and long winter in Wisconsin. With temperatures dipping down to -40’s and not having them raise to above freezing in what feels like decades. I was beyond thrilled for a spontaneous trip to the Caribbean.

If you’ve never been on a cruise go book one now. I’ve only been on Carnival ships so I’m partial but the food is delicious, the staff is amazing, and I always, without fail, come back home wishing it wasn’t over. 
We (Michael and I) spent fives days in the warmth and in the sunshine. Carnival Elation left on a sunny 70 degree New Orleans day and made the trip down the Mississippi river. Monday was our first dinner night with our 8:15 seating. We sat down at a table set for 8 (which we were able to switch to a table of two) with a 3 other couples mumbling about how they had never seen snow. When we did introduction rounds and they found out we were from Wisconsin they were more than surprised. 
We woke up Tuesday to more sunshine and a mindset to relax, read, and hopefully get sun kissed. We spent Tuesday enjoying the open seas and the abundance of swirl ice cream cones. Tuesday was our formal dinner night. So we were able to put on the best dressed and go enjoy lobster tail (unfortunately still not a fan) and their delicious chocolate melting cake. 
Wednesday was Progresso, Mexico. I read reviews prior talking about how much of a disappointment it was. I woke up with hopeful spirits that it was going to be different. We got on the bus and made the drive down the three mile pier into town. I am sad to say that it was pretty rough. Being asked if I wanted a massage in a hut in the middle of a parking lot every 30 seconds, or a guitarist being let down that we didn’t want to get serenaded. It was a beautiful city with a lot of potential but definitely not my favorite port of call that I’ve been to. 
Thursday was Cozumel, Mexico. One of my favorites. We took a taxi downtown so Michael could see what that was like and we wandered around there for a bit. After discussing plans for the rest of the day we decided to hit up a beach (who can go to Mexico and not swim in the ocean?!). We landed at Paradise Beach which was a public beach filled with other cruise ship passengers. With a heated pool, a stones throw walk to the ocean, and lounge chairs under a sky of palm trees, I was a happy camper. Add a bucket of SOL beer and some nachos & I was in heaven. We spent the rest of the day relaxing, and swimming.
Friday was another fun day at sea! Unfortunately we woke up to clouds. Hopeful that it would clear up we found a table and chairs and decided to enjoy the ocean and read a bit. The thunder and lightning started rolling in as the sea gradually got rougher. We hiked it to a more covered overhang and continued with the relaxation. It progressively got worse until it started torrentially down pouring (boo). I’m still a bit upset that we didn’t get to enjoy our last day at sea but the rain stopped and gave us a beautiful sunset. 
We made the trip back home with a stop at my brother and sister-in-laws house to break up the 15 hours and I am finally home. A little sad that it’s over (and the room is still rocking) but with a little burnt nose and the smell of cruise ship still on my clothes I’ll hang onto the vacation as long as I can.