We had a family reunion on the Elation bringing my two grandchildren, 5 and 8, their parents (30ish), my husband and I, and his two older children (college age).
We selected the ship for the value. The boat itself is lovely and in excellent condition. The ports of call were Cozumel (yeh) and Progresso (boo). They would be better to spend 2 days in Cozumel than go to Progresso as it is an awful beach in a very poor community with LOTS of vendors bothering you on the beach.
My grandchildren were too young to walk any great distances or go on excursions so we excitedly held back to enjoy the boat and the main swimming pool on deck. Little did we know that Carnival closed both the pool and jacuzzi's (which there were 3 cold ones and one warm one). We tried the camp carnival (day care) of which they both tried and decided never to go back.
When asking why the pool was closed, we had 3 different answers each time we asked (which was often). Expect to hear PH More
levels; Chlorine too high; or pool maintenance. I wish they would simply tell the truth. I believe they shut them down while in port to force you off the boat and maybe...to their expensive excursions (but that's my thought). Being stuck on board with 2 kids who were begging to swim in a closed pool and did not like day camps made us feel like hostages on the ship. We were ready to get off sooner rather than later.
We found the food very good as well as the service and friendliness of the staff. Our room was on the top deck and we loved it as the deck has fewer state rooms than other decks. The dining room was a lovely evening event where we all gathered for a meal. Our servers were amazing. This was the highlight of our trip.
If you go, be prepared to pay for LOTS of incidentals like pop and liquor. Excursions are expensive and we elected to go with local tours who offered similar excursions for 1/2 the price. Just google tour guides in each port and select from there.
We were inundated with the number of ways to spend your money. If you think going to a beach in Mexico has too many locals going up and down the beach with their wares, be prepared for jewelry sales, spas, gambling at the casino, photographs, liquor, tips, excursions, etc.
The entertainment on board was ok...not bad...not great.
The pluses were the food, the ship itself is beautiful, and friendliness of the crew.
The best age group for that ship I would say are college, newlyweds and older folks who love to eat and drink.