Left in June out of New Orleans. After getting on the ship, was told that our room would be ready in 3.5 hours. We were prepared from past cruises so we simply sat by the pool until our room was ready. Eventually went to our room which was an inside state room with 2 fold down beds for my teenage boys (their first cruise). The room was actually fairly spacious, but old and in "average shape." They loved the towel animals every night, service for our room was a little below average when compared to other cruises. No more service then you would get at a hotel......
FOOD-By far the most disappointing part of the cruise. We attended dinner every night at a set time. The meals were not very good. Not even to the quality of an Applebees/Chilis/etc. Maybe would compare to a Dennys. Portions were extremely small, foood was consistently bland, and often was served cold. When not in the dining room, spent time waiting in line after line to eat. If you wanted breakfast between 8-9am, you needed to add an additional 20 minutes to your schedule for waiting in lines.
The other crazy thing about this cruise was trying to eat at night.....every other cruise I have been on has always had a couple of food options available. However, after 8pm, no food was available until 11:30pm, then it was only there for an hour. So, if you had dinner (which was usually small), went to a show, then wanted to eat; your only option was pizza. When I went to get pizza on two occasions, i was told that none was ready and to check back in 15 minutes.
FAMILY-Certainly the best part of the cruise. Once my boys (12 and 15) got over the intial not wanting to meet new people, they LOVED the activities. After during the day and after dinner, we never saw them until bed time!
SERVICE-Like every cruise, you are constantly contacted asking if you would like a drink. no big deal. Drinks were averaged priced, however, never felt like anyone was doing me a favor. For example, one day I bought the "special drink" in a cup that allowed me to get 75 cents off of additional drinks that day. However, when I left the gigantic cup in my room and asked for the discount, was told "NO!" and said that I had to return to my room and get the cup in order to receive the discount?!
ENTERTAINMENT-Comedians were the best performers. Nice that they had "family time" with the comedians. The live bands were actually pretty bad. They simply played off of tracks, almost like lip syncing, but with instruments....really kind of weird! Otherwise, pretty typical for other cruises. Was not disappointed.
OVERALL-Glad that I took the cruise, but was probably a little disappointed with the Carnival Elation. Appeared that the workers were simple there to do a job and nothing more. Not one time did I ever feel "catered" to and taken care of personally. I will probably never look to Criuse on the Elation again....unless it is simply too good of a deal to pass up.