I will start by saying we have cruised 5 different cruise lines, this was our first Carnival cruise. Yes we have heard a lot of negatives so we were prepared for the worst! However I must say the Elation is in very nice condition, refurbished and quite nicely done. The cabins are plain, yet served there purpose. Staff was nice, however the ship is understaffed and service suffered. Food was much better than expected and was very good in the dining room, good to average at the buffet. Guys burgers and the Cantina were excellent. There was plenty to do for evening entertainment, and the Rock show was outstanding.
The problem for us was not the ship at all. However be prepared for the crowd a low cost 4 day cruise gets. The quality of the people did not match the quality of the ship. Perhaps I just cannot adjust to the younger under 40 crowd.(I am in my 60's, took my kids and grandkids for this cruise) My grandkids felt it was a great cruise, so it is a matter of perspective. If you like loud, and I mean really loud music on the pool deck, kids taking over the jaccuzi ALL DAY, Kids and adults walking the hallways all night talking loudly and waking up everyone who actually tried to sleep, parents who take absolutely no action to control their children, than this is the cruise for you. I will stick with Celebrity or Royal Caribbean which gets a better crowd. Will I try a 7 day Carnival cruise in the future? Will the crowd be different? I'm not sure yet. As for now I need to recover from this one!
Basic older cabin, but fine.