We knew we wanted to do the 5-day trip to Progresso and Cozumel, and we were torn between taking the Trimuph out of Galveston or the Elation out of New Orleans. We ended up choosing the Elation for mostly scheduling and logistical reasons, and we were pretty happy with the cruise. I've cruised on Carnival and Holland America many times, and this is the second time I've cruised on the Elation. It is not as fancy as some of the newer ships, but I like it a lot. The crowd was pretty down-to-earth and nice, which I like. They are keeping the ship in good condition and though it is showing it's age a bit, everything was good enough for me. Overall, the ship is lovely, the staff is wonderful and the Mexican ports were very great. (Cozumel is much nicer than Progresso, but I highly recommend the Mayan ruins tours out of Progresso.)
We were in V-21 on the Verandah deck. This is called a Junior Suite with an Obstructed View. I have sailed on Carnival and Holland America many times, and I would not really call this a suite. Actually, the size and setup are what I would call a standard balcony room. I was somewhat disappointed with this as I was expecting a suite, and I had my two teenage boys traveling with me so I felt I needed the extra space! However on the positive side, the price was pretty good, and we all ended up being comfortable enough, surprisingly. V-21 is a good choice, because it is really only partially obstructed by a lifeboat, and our view from the balcony was still quite nice. (I like the balcony for the air, privacy and sunshine, so the partial obstruction was not a big deal to me.) There is quite a bit of rocking this high up on the ship, so if you are prone to motion sickness you might want a lower deck. Other than that this is a really nice location. Very close to the Lido deck (but not close enough that noise is a problem), and close to Tiffanys, the main restaurant. Overall I would recommend this category and deck, however do keep in mind it is really a balcony room and not a suite!
If you really want a sparklingly fancy ship, you might want to choose one of the newer ships, but if you are happy with a more modest cruise ship with everything you expect from a cruise experience, the Elation is a great choice. What I like about Carnival in general is that I always have a good time, and it's a family friendly environment that works well for both kids and adults.