Carnival Cruise Lines welcomed a special visitor when Ken Elston boarded the Carnival Ecstasy for a four-day cruise to Cozumel – and made history as the Port of Galveston’s 4 millionth cruise passenger.  The John’s Creek, Ga., resident was sailing with his wife, Lori, as part of a family reunion group.   It was their first cruise.

For their distinction as the port’s 4 millionth passenger, the Elstons received a number of gifts from local merchants and retailers, as well as a commemorative plaque and VIP treatment from the Carnival Ecstasy’s staff during their cruise.

The Elstons are pictured here with Carnival Ecstasy Captain Andrea Viacava and Hotel Director Dany Petrenko as well as members of the Galveston embarkation team.

Carnival, which celebrated 10 years of operations from Galveston last month, is the only cruise line sailing from the port year-round.  Carnival Ecstasy operates four- and five-day western Caribbean cruises from Galveston, while Carnival Conquest sails seven-day cruises to the eastern and western Caribbean.

Beginning in November 2011, the new Carnival Magic will launch seven-day Caribbean service, becoming the largest cruise ship ever based in Texas year-round.  Carnival Magic will be joined by the Carnival Triumph which will assume the Carnival Ecstasy’s four- and five-day schedule in October 2011.  Together, Carnival Magic and Carnival Triumph are expected to carry a record 450,000 passengers annually from the Port of Galveston.