Sept 10, 2006 Elation cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. We have just returned from our 6th cruise. And the second with Carnival. Started with an overnight stay in Miami. I got busy and booked the Holiday Inn on Biscayne Blvd. It`s right across from Bayside. And you can see the ships in the Port of Miami. If you want rooms close to the port you need to get reservations done early. One mention about flying in to your cruise experience. If you have anything liquid or gel and it`s not medicine put it in the check through. My wife had to give up some of her cosmetics. On the way home everything went into the check through. We learn pretty quickly. Sunday morning saw us getting out of the hotel right at 11am check out. We are told not to get to the ship too early.Then the hotel wants us out at 11. Anyway we hopped a cab to the port. Other cruisers had gotten there before us. At least we had a place to sit in the building until it was time to check in. We had filled out the on-line paperwork and the cruise docs so check in was painless. We were good kids and waited in Tiffany`s and didn't go to the room until the word was given. We had booked an outside guarantee. The room turned out almost perfect. It was E62. You stepped out into the Elation Atrium which is the hub of the ship. Could not have picked a better place. Our bags showed up before dinner so we had things put away and we were set for the evening.We had the main seating 5:45pm. We had a table of 6 places. Only 4 of us were assigned. Did not get to know the other couple very well since they were on the go alot and only had 3 meals with us.Meals were good for the most part. I make the mistake of ordering beef at least once in a 7 day cruise. I don`t feel that any of the lines know how to prepare it. Seafood is great. Had a white roughly that was out of sight. Of course the desserts were wonderful. We had chocolate most every meal. First day was Half Moon Cay. By far the best beach day we have had. The sand is as soft as powered sugar. And the water was clear as if out of a water tap. Could have tied up there the whole week and we would have been just fine.Met some new friends there that we had talked to on the net. Also a couple of young ladies that asked us to watch their things while they kayaked. We saw them over and over again all week. Had a super time talking with them. Hi Jackie and Val. Second day was at sea. We totally vegged out. Took books up on the deck and read and napped. Totally fine day. Most of our evenings were spent at the shows,watching karaoke and the fine music in the lounges. We were totally entertained all week.The only down side was a lack of playing time on the pool deck. We are used to the music out there. Could have had more. Third day was St. Thomas. We spent most of the day on a tour of the island with Godfrey`s company. He is very professional and informative. It was worth the $25pp he charges. There were stops to shop downtown and we stopped at a little place there for a rest and a drink.You could also drop off at Magan`s bay to swim and he would come and get you after a couple of hours. There was also a stop at Sapphire Beach if you preferred. We continued back to the dock area instead. Walked around there. It`s all the usual diamonds and t-shirt shops. Fourth day Was San Juan. We opted for a self-guided walking tour out of Frommers guide. Wish they had had a better map to follow. But with the help of some of the local people we got around just fine. We started at the pier and wound up at Fort El Morro. Quite a walk since it is mostly up hill. But it was well worth the sore legs the next day. We remembered to have one of the local snow cones that a friend on the net had recommended. She was totally right. Fifth day was Grand Turk. It is a recently opened cruise port. Carnival spent $35 million to build it. You can tell it is still new. You aren't`t overloaded with shops yet. The is an extra large Margaritaville there that is the hub of the port. They have a super pool there. We visited and had a drink and nachos after we returned from town. Taxis are $5pp each way. Did some walking around the area and talking to folks. Had a talk with a man who is 99 years old. Quite a character. Also visited a ship wretch museum that was very interesting. The town is not much as a tourist stop. Very poor living conditions like most of the everyday people in the Caribbean. Our last day was at sea. Just strolled around the ship and took pictures of some of the places we had missed the first part of the week. Sunday came too early as usual. Leaving the ship was about easiest that we have encountered. No waiting for colors to be called. People with excursions and ones who use the self disembarkation where you carry your own bags go first. Then the rest of us were told we had to leave. The only glitch was when the electricity went out and the escalators and the lighting were gone.Luckily were had our bags and were on the ground. Caught the bus to the Ft. Lauderdale airport. No problems this time. All liquids were stored away as I have mentioned. Over all it was a fun week. The ship had a few flaws in design. Mostly the way the dining rooms are set up. If you are dining in Inspiration it is a bit tricky finding it. Keep the map of the deck plan with you all the time. The promenade deck has the life boats in the way of seeing the water.You can go up one and see it or down to Lido and look through the windows. I found this buggy.Probably just me and what I`m used to. The last thing is the central atrium blocks the way to having a straight shot of walking straight through. Again probably my preferences. The casino was one of the quietest we had seen. And air circulation must have been great. Hardly ever smelled anything as we walked past.We had a great time and would are glad we went. You will be too.