We just took a five day cruise on the Carnival Elation. I thought I'd give you all my two cents worth about this cruise. To comply with FTC disclosure requirements, I'll tell you that I paid for this cruise with my own money, though if any cruise ship company wants to offer me a complementary review cruise, I'll be glad to accept.
Overall: We had a great time and overall I'd give the experience a B+.
Cost/Value: One thing that "sold" me on the idea of a cruise was that I had heard it was pay one price, get a whole vacation. Personally, I found that the tickets were just the beginning. We paid about $1700 for four people in one room. Not too bad for five days of room and board, and transportation to ports. However I don't quite know how to "grade" this item as the "extras" were disclosed and chosen, but still....
Service: The staff on the ship was great. My only complaint is that when we first got on board my daughter had a feminine emergency and I went looking for stuff for her. Grade: A- (because of that incident--otherwise would have been an A+)
Food: When you say cruise, most people think of food, food and more food, and we certainly had that. The food was plentiful and I'd describe it as "not bad" but it wasn't all that great either. In short, this stuff was banquet food. It looked pretty and it wasn't bad--it just wasn't very good either. Grade: C.
Accommodations: We had four people in one stateroom. That was our choice. It was cozy. Grade: B+
Shore Excursions: We did one shore excursion through the ship, and one on our own. We had a great time both day so I'll give this area an A+.
Entertainment: I'm not going to grade this area because most of this stuff isn't my idea of a good time.
Children's Activities: Carnival offers Camp Carnival for kids under 12, Circle C for young teens and Club O2 for older teens. My eight year old loved Camp Carnival and chose to spend most of her time there. My teen looked at the Club O2 schedule and chose not to go. Grade: A.