We were traveling in a group of 12 people ranging in age from 15 to 52. We all are non drinkers, but do like to dance and have a good time.
We arrived the day before our embarkation at the Quality Inn and Suites in Gretna, LA. This hotel offered a park and cruise package for 4 people at a cost of $145 tax included. The hotel well served its purpose and provided a good breakfast. Algiers Point Ferry is only about 3 miles away and will drop you off at Canal St., to view New Orleans. The parking at the ferry was $10.
We toured the downtown area of New Orleans and eat a late lunch at Mother's. The food was incredibly good! Some in our group and Po boy's and I had the fried oysters, turnip greens, and potato salad. The turnip greens were the best that I have ever eaten. We also went to Cafe Dumonde's for beignets and they were awesome!
Embarkation day= We took the 9am shuttle to the port and waited until about 1015am to start the boarding process. For some reason they did not let anyone on until about 1200. Once boarded, we went straight to our rooms to drop off our carryon's. My wife and I stayed on the 5th floor in a porthole room and my teenage boys stayed across the hall. The rooms were plenty spacious and very clean. We did ask for foam to make our beds more comfortable. We then went to Windows Dining room and had calamari, steak, and cheesecake!
1st Sea day= The women in our group spent the day sunbathing and the men played ping pong, basketball and hit golf balls. Each night of the cruise we all would meet at Windows for dinner.
Cozumel= We docked at 8am and took taxis to Paradise Beach. The beach chairs were $2 and inflatables were a $12 bracelet. Our group enjoyed the time here, but decided to eat lunch on the boat. After lunch we shopped around the port area and went back to the boat.
Belize= We reserved cave tubing with cavetubing.bz, so was in a hurry to get off the boat. Tendering was fairly quick and we were on land by 9am. The guys at cavetubing.bz done a fabulous job and was half the price of a ship excursion. Lunch was included and toured the caves for $45pp.
Roatan= This was the most beautiful country side that I have been to. Tendering did take awhile, but was well worth the wait. We took an Island tour for a negotiated price of $15pp. We asked our drive to take us to Pirates of the Caribean zipline. We got a group rate of $55pp and had a very good time. We then shopped the street leaving the port area and found some very good bargains here. T-shirts were only $5 each. Roatan was a beautiful area with a very low crime rate. It would be a wonderful place to retire!
Costa Maya= We had reserved chairs at Tropicante. After a $2 pp taxi ride, Steve met us and showed us to our chairs. Half of our group got massages for $25pp an hour, and the other half went snorkeling for $20pp an hour. The food and drinks were very reasonable and excellent quality! This was our most relaxing stop. There was some very good shopping along the beach. My wife bought many dresses for $15 each.
2nd sea day=The women mostly sunbathed, while the men participated in shuffle board, ping pong and basketball.
Debarkation= We chose to do self debarkation and was off the boat by 8am. We did have to wait on the hotel shuttle for about 30 mins, but everything went great.
Food= We ate at Windows Dining room every night and the service was very good. I do like the freestyle dining very much. I really like the selections better on Carnival, but there was some good nights here. We ate breakfast and lunch at Raffles almost everyday and it was very good for a buffet style meal. I stopped by Raffles a few times at night after supper. I loved the crepes and chocolate fountain.
Shows= The shows were very good, with the exception of the Magic Show. We watched the Welcome aboard, acrobats, comedian, Cats in Pajamas and Elements. Each one was very good.
Entertainment= The entertainment is more geared toward the older crowd. I wish they would have more dance parties around the pool at night. The karaoke was held in Henrys pub and the venue was way too small. The piano bar is by the atrium and lacks the intimacy that most have. I loved the White Hot Party and some of the other dance parties, but they really do need to be held outside, for more room.
Rooms= The rooms were fine, except for the hard beds. But, after a request for foam on the bed, they were sufficient. The stewards that we had were wonderful and supplied our every need.