Boarding Day, Carnival Elation, 3 day cruise

After a few delays, we got on the road at 11, and made it to San Diego right at 1pm...bad timing. I am not sure what's going on with a new Cruise Terminal in San Diego (last I heard the usual suspects were resisting it), but it is badly needed. With only two ships (the Carnival Spirit and the Carnival Elation) it is badly impacted. After dropping Steve and Mom and the luggage, I had to drive around, lost, for twenty minutes to get to the parking lot directly across the street.
Depsite the chaotic feel, we actually got checked in and boarded in a reasonable time. Found our room on Main Deck. The usual.

Bags got to the room in about a half hour, which was excellent, so we unpacked and then went up to the Lido Buffet for a bit of lunch.

Up until a year agok, I would have said the Fantasy Class ships were my favorite, but after three consecutive cruises on the Carnival Splendor, I have to say, the Elations buffet was pretty weak, and she is definitely showing her age. Nothing terrible, and she is well maintained, but lunch for 2 thousand of your closest friends, with only two short buffet lines, a burger grill by the pool, and pizza way in the back, just doesnt flow the way the multiple stations on newer ships do. Anyway, we managed to get a bite and talk a little walk around before Muster Drill. Thank God we got Muster Station "F", which doesn't require walking around.

Muster Drill took us right to Sail Away. We sat by the pool as the ship headed out to sea, and decided to head to dinner.
We are doing the Your Time Dining, the first time I have tried Carnival's open seating plan...seemed to work out pretty well. There were two groups ahead of us, and we were seated within 5 minutes, with a nice window table to watch the sun set over Pt. Loma. I had my favorite smoked duck breast appetizer and the Tilpia. As good as ever.

After dinner we stopped in to the casino. I lost $50 in about a minute, but my brother won $40, so, not too bad. Long day, so after the casino stop Steve and Mom headed to the room.

I went back up to the Casino, hit the roullette table and, with a little help, turned $100 into $300. WooHoo. Trip paid for.

After cashing out, it was time for the Piano Bar to open. Headed over and listened to Lonnie for a bit. Pretty good. He is now to the piano bar business. Good Musician, poor crowd control. I am sure he will learn how to work the crowd, until then, it was still a pretty good time - until a group of drunken faux-TA's from World Ventures (an MLM that pretends to be travel agents) invaded. It was midnite by then, and, as I said earlier, it was a long day, so I finally threw in the towel and went home. All in all, a pretty decent start to the cruise.

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