We had a wonderful time on the Elation August 9-14. There were good and less-than-good things about it, but as we said before, there's no such thing to us as a "bad" cruise! The Elation is an older ship, which we knew, but the only way you could really tell that was from our cabin...no couch (just a backless stool under the desk/dresser), very old tv set, chips in the paint/porcelain in the bathroom, medicine cabinet doesn't close all the way, but the shower was very big, great hot water (actually can scald yourself if you aren't careful!) and good water pressure, plush robes in the closet that you could use (all VERY large, one-size-fits-all), and the beds are very comfy. Our room steward, Purna, was from Bali, and he was the sweetest, happiest, and most attentive guy! Always went out of his way to call us by name and greet us any time we saw him, even way down the hallway! Enjoyed our towel animals and chocolates on the bed each night. Our cabin, and the whole ship, are kept spotlessly clean, as you would expect. So we were fine with our "cheap" inside cabin..
We used the Fulton Parking garage...that's definitely the way to go if you are driving. $8/day for parking on the top (uncovered) deck of the garage, then they shuttle you to the cruise port, pick you up after the cruise, and drop you at the garage to get your car...we were on the road 20 minutes after debarkation!
Embarkation process was very fast...we arrived at the cruise port at 11:15 am and were on the ship eating at 11:30. No lines, no waiting, no hassles...just do your check-in online the night before and print up your boarding passes/luggage tags so everything is in order when you get to the port. Cabin was cleaned and ready for us by 12:30. Luggage was delivered around 1 pm...one bag was later, but not a problem....Purna delivered it to us himself, with a big smile and apologies for being late. Debarkation was delayed a little by slightly later arrival back into New Orleans, so we got to eat a good breakfast and wait in the restaurant until our number was called. We were in no hurry to leave, so that was fine. Waited about 20 minutes in line because they were calling multiple numbers of groups to debark...got off the ship about 10:10 am, shuttled to Fulton Garage and were on the road home by 10:30.