Carnival Elation Getting Extensive Renovation

October 4, 2017.

Carnival Elation is in the final stages of a multi-million-dollar makeover that includes the addition of an expansive new WaterWorks park, 38 new cabins, 98 balconies added to existing staterooms, and a variety exciting food and beverage concepts.

Following the extensive renovation, Carnival Elation will resume its year-round schedule of four- to eight-day cruises from Jacksonville, Florida, on October 7.  The ship’s new features include:

  • Guy’s Burger Joint: In my opinion the best burger at sea regardless of the cruise line, Guy’s is a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries enjoyed amidst a décor that celebrates the chef’s California roots and love of car culture.
  • RedFrog Rum Bar: a poolside watering hole offering the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own private label draft beer, ThirstyFrog Red. (excellent beer)
  • BlueIguana Cantina: a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar.  There is also a breakfast menu that offers made-to-order burritos filled with eggs, sausage, cheese, and many other things.
  • BlueIguana Tequila Bar: a fun and festive outdoor bar offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beers.
  • Camp Ocean: a colorful marine-inspired play area designed for kids ages 2-11 that showcases the wonders of the sea through fun and engaging interiors and more than 200 ocean-themed activities, including arts and crafts, science-oriented  programming, and more.
  • New Cabins, Stateroom Enhancements: Thirty-eight cabins have been added – two Grand Vista suites offering floor-to-ceiling windows, 22 junior suites, two scenic ocean view cabins and 12 interior accommodations.  Additionally, private verandahs have been added to 98 existing staterooms, creating spacious new 230-square-foot balcony staterooms. All staterooms will offer new island-inspired interiors with bright colors and soothing pastels inspired by Carnival Elation’s tropical itineraries.
  • WaterWorks: Located on Verandah Deck, this expansive all-ages water park features an enclosed 300-foot-long Twister water slide full of exhilarating twists and turns, two 82-foot-long racing slides, and a splash zone for kids.
  • Mini-Golf Course: A nine-hole miniature golf course has been relocated to Deck 14, providing a fun and relaxing pastime for families to enjoy in the fresh sea air.

Carnival is Jacksonville’s only year-round cruise ship offering four- and five-day cruises to The Bahamas featuring stops at Freeport, Nassau and the private destinations of Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays.  Carnival Elation will also offer a special six-day Bahamas cruise and an eight-day Bermuda voyage in April 2018 as well as a one-time seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise the following month.

Carnival’s New Deli Menu

October 4, 2017.

Carnival is on a roll (pun intended) with new menus lately.  Yesterday John Heald announced new menus for the steakhouse and Cucina Del Capitano trattoria.  Today he featured the new menu for Carnival’s very popular deli sandwich venue on his Facebook page.

I love the deli on Carnival ships.  It’s often my lunch choice on embarkation day because new cruisers don’t know about it and they just see the main buffet and queue up there.  It’s also very good.  The new menu doesn’t have one of my favorites on it –  pastrami – but corned beef remains with the Reuben, and they will still make you a regular corned beef on rye.  Even if it’s not on the menu the deli staff has always made what you wanted as long as they have the ingredients in front of them.  I’ve often wondered why they didn’t have sandwich classics such as the BLT or a meatball sub.  I’m happy to report that both are now on the menu.

The new menu also adds potato salad and french fries.  One thing missing for years was a side item for the sandwiches so I’m glad to see these additions.

The new menu is currently on Carnival Vista, Carnival Breeze, Carnival Conquest and Carnival Glory with more ships coming soon.

 

Carnival Rolling Out New Menus For Steakhouse And Cucina Del Capitano

October 3, 2017.

Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has unveiled the new menus for the cruise line’s steakhouses and “Cucina Del Capitano” Italian restaurants.  John posted the new menus today on his hugely popular Facebook page.

Steakhouse Menus

The new steakhouse menus offer some exciting things that one doesn’t often see on a cruise ship, such as a bone marrow appetizer and a Wagyu steak.  This is remarkable given the cost for this premium dining will remain at $35 per person.  The new menu is currently used on Carnival Vista and Carnival Magic and will come to other ships “soon” according to Mr. Heald.

Cucina Del Capitano Menus

Cucina Del Capitano is a trattoria style eatery that costs $15 per person for dinner and offers a free pasta bar at lunch that is hugely popular.     John didn’t mention the timeline for this new menu being introduced to the fleet.

As I said above, there is a free pasta bar at lunch.  Here is that menu:

 

Norwegian Breakaway Coming to New Orleans For 2018/19 Winter Season

October 3, 2017.

As the largest ship to sail from New Orleans, Norwegian Breakaway will offer seven, 10- and 11-day cruises to the Caribbean, all including a port of call at the Caribbean’s premier resort-style destination in Southern Belize, Harvest Caye

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced an update to the line’s 2018/2019 deployment, offering guests a new opportunity to set sail from the Port of New Orleans to their Caribbean destinations on one of the line’s newest and largest ships. After returning from her summer  2018 season in the Baltic, the 4,000 passenger Norwegian Breakaway will reposition from the Big Apple to the Big Easy for her winter 2018/19 season and cruise to the Caribbean, visiting  ports of call including Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and the beautiful island destination of Harvest Caye, Belize. Harvest Caye offers a diverse, enriching experience highlighting the natural beauty and culture of Belize along with lush native landscaping, a swim up pool bar, luxury beach villas, private pool cabanas, thrilling aerial activities and water sports. The destination also features the first ever pier in Belize that allows guests to walk straight off the ship and into paradise.

By repositioning the Norwegian Breakaway to New Orleans, Norwegian is offering a more convenient departure port along with a newer and larger ship for cruisers sailing from the Crescent City to explore. Norwegian Breakaway features a wide variety of accommodations, from Studios for the solo cruiser to the exclusive, all-suite luxurious enclave, The Haven by Norwegian®; more than 25 different dining venues; an exhilarating aqua park with five slides and a thrilling ropes course with zip lines and The Plank; signature Broadway entertainment including Rock of Ages and so much more. Norwegian Breakaway, which debuted in 2013, was the first ship in the line’s signature Breakaway class, and features The Waterfront, a quarter-mile promenade deck with waterfront dining, shopping and entertainment, along with 678 Ocean Place, a three-story complex at the heart of the ship where guests can enjoy nightlife, gaming and more. The ship will undergo a two-week dry dock next spring, and will receive a full refresh in public spaces, including new flooring, updated furniture, new décor and new carpeting in staterooms. Norwegian Breakaway will arrive in her new homeport of New Orleans on November 11, 2018 and will sail a variety of cruises to the Caribbean through April 7, 2019.

The recently refurbished Norwegian Gem will remain in New York City and sail a series of cruises to the Caribbean, Canada & New England and the Bahamas & Florida.  She will share her Manhattan homeport with Norwegian Escape, which will reposition for summer 2018 for the first time since she was christened in 2015, sailing from New York City to Bermuda on seven-day cruises every Sunday beginning April 22, 2018. Norwegian Escape features entertainment from the Tony-award winning After Midnight and critically-acclaimed For the Record: The Brat Pack, along with a bevy of food and beverage concepts including the District Brewhouse featuring 25 beers on tap and including a selection of popular craft beers; the upscale food emporium, Food Republic; and The Cellars, a Michael Mondavi Family Wine bar.

Guests currently booked onboard Norwegian Gem from New Orleans will have their reservations protected and will be automatically moved to the new vessel and itinerary. Norwegian Breakaway’s new Caribbean itineraries from New Orleans will open for sale on October 24.