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Destination Spotlight: Fun, Sun and Elation in San Diego
by Roy Witman © 2008

West coast vacationers hoping to hop a slow boat to a tropical paradise are in luck! Effective June 2007, Carnival “Elation” will move her homeport to San Diego, California. Not only does this mean an additional departure destination for cruisers, it also provides the opportunity for pre- and post-cruise getaways in an exciting city.

The 2,052-passenger “Elation” will offer four- and five-night voyages to Baja Mexico calling on Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada.

Visiting San Diego and the Surrounding Area

What can you do while in San Diego? Everything from wild animal encounters to cultural events. And it's all in or near the port.

The San Diego Zoo

Absolutely one of the most well-known zoos in all the U.S., the San Diego Zoo consists of a 100-acre zoological park that houses 4,000 rare and endangered animals in their natural habitats. In addition, you'll also find the Wildlife Animal Park encompassing over 1,800 acres. Home to 3,500 animals, the Wildlife Animal Park is an incredibly interesting exhibit, where you can get nose to nose with a lion or elephant, literally! Separated by a glass barrier, safety is ensured- and so is the fun! You'll find this an exhilarating experience for you and your family.

The Zoo offers creative adventures including a Roar & Snore that allows after- hours tours and viewing of exhibits at night and Balloon Safaris that offer sky-high views of the park. Between the Zoo and Wildlife Park, you could spend an entire day getting lost in the wild!

Balboa Park

If your idea of fun is more sophisticated than wild, venture over to Balboa Park. The country's largest urban cultural park offers 15 museums of varying sorts, performance arts, stunning gardens, talented musicians, hands-on classes and more.

Theme Parks Galore!

With just a short road trip, you can find several outstanding theme parks that deliver a wide range of excitement. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and Six Flags Magic Mountain are located in Los Angeles. For a wet, wild escapade, Hurricane Harbor is just the ticket with every type of water ride imaginable (and many you'd never think of in your wildest dreams!).

Six Flags Magic Mountain may keep you dry, but your pulse rate will race just as fast. With 15 world-class roller coasters, you'll have a scream a minute. Twists and turns, right side up, upside down; you'll turn every which way but loose.

Quail Botanical Gardens

For those who enjoy beauty and tranquility, Quail Botanical Gardens is both educational and breathtaking. Thirty-five acres of exhibits, including those from several different countries, surround you with magnificence and instill you with tranquility and peace.


Of course, San Diego has some of the most exceptional beaches in the world. If water sports or soaking up the sun is on your agenda, visit the world-famous Mission Beach. Upscale homes line the waterfront near the boardwalk that is a favorite people-watching spot for locals. After all, this is the place to see and be seen. With both land and water activities, you can spend the day surfing, swimming, rollerblading, bicycling or playing volleyball.

Pacific Beach has a more relaxed, eccentric feel with taco stands, tattoo shops and Frisbees. Described by the City of San Diego as “ultra-casual, zero attitude,” Pacific Beach is a down-to-earth, but more crowded, alternative to high- fashion Mission Beach.

When it's time to book your next cruise, consider the advantages of departing from San Diego. With so many fun and interesting activities, combining a shore retreat with a short three- or four-night cruise makes for the perfect vacation.

Read more about the Carnival Cruise Line.

*We can't publicly discount Carnival Cruises on our web site. Please call ( 800.803.7245) for the best price.