We left metro Atlanta and drove l/2 way to Montgomery, AL to spend the night @ LaQuinta the night b/4 the cruise driving the rest of the way the next am.
We were looking forward to being VIP/Platinum and avoiding the lines. On this cruise was my daughter, her 5 yr. old son and myself. My grandson had a new pirate hat and his Carnival pirate t-shirt on for the embarkation picture. That is one picture we usually buy ea. cruise. This was my daughter's 9th Carnival Cruise and my l2th on Carnival. The line for VIP turned out to be longer than the people going thru the regular lines. We noticed a few people and watched to see if they got on the boat b/4 us and they did! Very slow for Platinum. We were finally directed to a little temp. table set up in the middle of the room where we obtained our sail and sign cards then were told to take a nearby kind of side door. We could tell we were not going to be walking by the photo place for the embarkation pictures. We said what about the pictures and were told oh, you will get them taken once you are actually on the ship. Of course this did not happen- only the ones going on sail and sign cards taken over there. So we were disappointed no embarkation pictures this trip. On our way off the boat my daughter was counting the laptop computers set up to process people getting on the boat that morning. There were about 30 computers so you can see 30 people helping process cruisers. I guess this explains why the people not VIP got on board b/4 all of us that were VIP waiting for just a few people to process us. The bad - TV was horrible. Color was bad/very small and picture so dark you couldn't see the people's faces at night with the lights turned down. It was small- maybe l9" and the old fashioned kind of TV. I know many think well you don't spend much time in the cabin. Maybe not normally when I am with my husband but with my daughter and I having her 5 yr. old son he was tired and ready to go to bed early so we did try to watch TV in the evenings since we could not leave him alone. There are no refrigerators on the Elation either. I noticed you know longer get your Sail and Sign statement until the very last minute - during the middle of night b/4 departing that am. I prefer to keep up with it earlier and think it should be delivered before the last minute in case there is a problem.
The food was good and we enjoyed it. We were assigned an early dining table with people who also had children and it worked out well. Everyone at our table including the kids seemed to be ordering multiple starters/entrees/deserts. The servers did not have a problem with this.