We had never sailed out of New Orleans on the Elation before, but have taken 5 other Carnival cruises (most out of Galveston). Both embarkation and debarkation were a breeze. I loved the ship itself. Yes, it is older and does show some wear, but I loved the decor and themes. The service was wonderful from our cabin steward, to the dining room waiters, and everywhere in between. The staff was awesome! One staff member even played ping pong with my son while he waited for my hubby. Unfortunately, a few other factors made this my least enjoyable cruise to date.
First off, there were only 2 major shows in the main theater the entire cruise, and the second one showed only once at 10:30 at night. Second, the two comedians on board did the same 15 minute show each and every performance(a few new jokes were introduced on the last night, but very few). Next, my son (11 years old) usually spends much of his time at camp; however, on this cruise I would say about 90% of the activities were combined with 6 - 11 year olds and about 40% of the time it included everyone 2 years old and up. This is just too large of a gap in age and was not enjoyable for my son. His group should mainly consist of 9-11 year olds. Needless to say, he ended up leaving camp many times. Very disappointing.
We spent a lot of time playing ping pong and putt putt with him. On this ship the clubs and balls are not checked out, but rather lying out free for the taking. By the second day of the cruise, there was only 1 golf ball left. On the third day the staff managed to come up with a few more balls. Perhaps they should go to the "check out" system that other ships have in place.
I liked our cruise director Willie Lee, but overall, the entertainment was lacking. I always comment to my friends that I could sleep in a closet on a cruise cause I am rarely in my room anyway, but on this cruise, it was a different story. We found ourselves in our cabin quiet a bit...especially on the last sea day...not much to do in the way of activities and entertainment, Which brings my next complaint. The t.v. in our room was awful. The screen was so dark that it was hard to tell what was going on. The remote wouldn't work half the time either. It's a bad cruise when you spend your time watching tv in your room.
On the upside, we did meet some interesting people on this cruise that we plan on keeping in contact with. I hope that the entertainment schedule was just odd on this ship and that it's not the NEW way Carnival is cutting cost...or my cruising days are over. Back to Galveston I go for now.