I've read many of the reviews of the Carnival Elation, and they all seem to be...either you love it or you hate it!
We sailed on Sept. 14. The goal was to have a short getaway from everyday life. We just wanted to relax!
Our plane landed about 9:30, and one of the plentiful taxies took us to the port, which is just a short distance. The area for depositing luggage was already set up. We deposited our luggage, went inside to the waiting room and read a book (or listened to an IPod, depending on your age).
When they let people through security, it was fast; we had our Sign & Sail cards and were on our way. (The ONE problem that we encountered, was that the person at the counter handed my Sign & Sail to my daughter, and handed her's to me. When we went through security, even though we handed them our passports, they took our pictures with the wrong Sign & Sail card! I can understand it, in a way. We both have short hair, and frankly, passport photos are not that clear after they put their "blurry" stuff over them.) I discovered it when I bought the first "Drink of The Day". It was no problem, however. On the first port stop we went to Security and they took our pictures again with the correct card.
The ship: People have done reviews that said it was "Old and Dirty". Yes, it is one of the older ships. Dirty??.............NO. We were impressed at how clean and shining everything was. Frankly, I liked it! It is not as, sometimes, "garrish", as some of the newer ships.
Our cabin: It was ALWAYS clean, with the beds made up on time. When we arrived we found the bed set up as a queen, but we wanted twins. We called housekeeping and they said it would be done before bedtime (which it was). During the cruise we discussed the difference between this older ship and the newer ones that we have been on. The bathroom is different. The shower seems to be, actually, bigger, but we missed the vanity space around the sink, although the mirrored "medicine cabinet" opened and had shelves that held anything you wanted. Our first cruise was an Inside cabin, but we have had balconies since then. We wanted to see what we thought of an Inside cabin again.
FOOD: As I said, this was a cruise to relax. We didn't want to get "Dressed to the 9's". (Done that more than I want to say). We had signed up for Anytime Dining, which we had done on NCL, and had enjoyed. For a cruise to "RELAX", we didn't want to "HAVE TO BE", at any special dining room, at any special time. We checked the menu every day to see what was being served in the dining room. Then, we wandered by the Trinnity Buffet to see what they were serving. Most of the time............it was, basically, the same thing!
I can't tell you about the shows, because we didn't go.
Daily activities....we like Trivia, and went to all of them. (I have my 3rd "Ship On A Stick" from 3 ships). But, that is all we attended.
We went to some of the other "tours or options" on the ship, so that we could say that we did something differnt. The SPA.........WAY overpriced! As another poster said....it would be nice to be able to get a "simple" massage to relieve a few sore muscles. But, they want to sell these expensive "packages".
There are numerous quiet places on the ship for people who just want to relax. Yes, there are many younger partiers, but you can get away from them.
As far as people hearing the chairs being scraped over their heads, or the ones who could hear the kitchen noises, or whatever..............the ship's deck plans are online...........pay attention to what is over, or under, or beside each cabin........and book accordingly! (I learned that the hard way after being over the late night Disco!!!!!)
In all, the cruise was what I wanted it to be.