I’ve been wanting to try one of Carnival’s short cruises to the Mexican Riviera, and so jumped at the chance to do the Elation from San Diego. It’s a five day cruise, and since my last cruise to Mexico had all the ports canceled because of the flu, two days in Cabo San Lucas would be the karma I deserve.

Good news, the MetroLink stops about 5 miles from my house. From there to Union Station in Los Angeles, then Amtrak to about 50 yards from Elation in San Diego.


The bag was a slight problem. Not only big, but it determined my seat. The conductor told me to keep an eye on it.


“You never know,” he said. “Remember, this isn’t Amtrak.”

So my seat had to be where I could see the bag. That, on MetroLink, is in the lower section; not as cool as the view from the top section. So instead of tops of cars, I saw their wheels. Oh wait; those are the wheels on my bag.

The whole trip cost $56; exactly how much the gasoline would cost to drive the three hours. Oh, because of the bag add another $28. I bought a seat in the Business Class car; nicer seats, refreshments, newspaper, and room for the bag which I now could let out of my sight. Ah, Amtrak.

I met a lady who had driven for some time from Palmdale to Van Nuys to catch this train. I told her that MetroLink could have done the trip for her. She didn’t want the hassle of transferring at Union Station.


No hassle for me, I wheeled the suitcase to Anita’s for Eggs Rancheros and “Icy, Spicy, Chocolate Coffee”.


Good stuff; made my connection with two minutes to spare.

Off in San Diego and just half a football field (Go Trojans) from the ship.


Check in was easy. My cabin was on Empress deck, a few feet from the Internet Café, the Atrium Bar, main desk, and, oh yes, the piano player.


Champagne and fruit arrived soon after I did; luggage shortly after that. (Notice I’ve gone from bag, to suitcase to LUGgage.)


Carnival is what is referred to as a Mass Market cruise line. Think Walmart. Consequently the bathroom amenities are basic, but they certainly covered 5 days.


Oh, bring scissors or the toothpaste will never get to your mouth. Biting a toothpaste container and failing to open it seemed so dumb.

Dinner was good and my tablemates are a nice couple from Phoenix, probably in their late twenties. Interesting and fun. The three of us are in a booth for six. Natalie and David are both in the commercial real estate market. He is an underwriter, and she’s in site management; both dealing with the woes of the commercial marketplace. This, for them, is a much needed vacation

After dinner the Cruise Director, Steve Knisley


introduced staff and asked everyone if they were happy. Everyone was. He spoke fast and loud…cruise director method acting. He is American and has no accent to get in the way of understanding him, but he spoke so quickly I missed about 20% of his spiel.

He went way too far when he asked for a hand for the dancers…..waiting behind the curtain! Everyone applauded. And a hand (let him hear you) for the comedian…..waiting behind the curtain. Everyone applauded. How about a hand for death waiting behind the curtain? All right! Yeah!

Back to the cabin….oops, where are my sunglasses?


To bed……DSC02124

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