After cruising on some of the largest ships around, high dollar cabins and shore excursions ... we decided to do something different. We re-visited what started our cruising bug to begin with ... smaller ship with attention detail! We booked a cruise a few weeks before an April sailing this year on a ship with no balcony cabins. My first thought was no balcony what and then what no outside cabin either - what exactly is a port hole ???? To my delight this was the best cruise my husband and I have had in all of our years of cruising. The port hole turned out to be two windows with plenty of light and ocean view. The location on the ship is also a plus at the end of the deck (nice and quiet nobody walking/running by). The service on the Elation on every level is the best that we have ever had - much more interaction with the passengers and cleanliness a priority. The ship is older but has such character and the passenger areas flow extremely well - full ship when we sailed but never felt crowded.
Having just sailed on the relatively new DREAM the difference was night and day. The Elation was comfortable and the prefect size to run into new friends over and over again. The ports were repeats for us so we either stayed on board or went into town to shop and have lunch. Love the Serenity deck - this is the first ship that I have sailed on where I was able to get a chair without having to get on deck before 8am. The atmosphere was much more relaxing - a true vacation! If you are looking for true relaxation without the stress of large crowded ships and ports (isn't that why we take vacation anyway) - this is the perfect ship! Things went so well that we replaced a booking in September on a "monster" ship with the Liberty -- our next experiment!