My DH and I recently became guardians of a 17 year old... We decided a quick 4 day cruise (his first) would be a great way for the 3 of us to spend some time together.
I am in the travel industry and have cruised quite a bit (over 30 cruises) and both DH and I are Platinum with Carnival.
The Elation is a great value for family cruising. The staff is very attentive, the food good and the entertainment lively and varied. That being said, Spring Break cruising should be done with the knowledge that the ship will be booked to capacity (our trip was only 4 short of Coast Guard maximums)and that the percentage of young people will be very high. All in all, however, Carnival did a good job managing the large numbers of young people. I noticed security checking ID's before entry to the disco after 10 and the attendants appeared to be enforcing the adults only policy in Serenity.
Our room was clean. Our steward was not as attentive as some but based on the occupancy of the cabins around us I feel he was probably very busy. Our waitress was one of the best I have had. The buffets were absolutely packed every time I tried to go.... I ended up eating in the dining room or room service usually. I was able to eat the stir fry more than my last trips.... the passengers on this sailing didn't seem as enthused about this type of food as the passengers on my sailings from LA and Miami.
In all we had a great trip and a wonderful family experience..... Is this the type cruise I would take for a romantic getaway with DH, no..... Is this the cruise I would take with my girlfriends, not necessary.... Spring Break cruising is great when you are with your kids but otherwise..... I wouldn't recommend it.