First time departure from New Orleans. Arrived two days early and enjoyed the City and French Quarter. Boarding was quick and smooth. Departure was changed from 5 pm to 10 pm which allowed everyone on board to enjoy fireworks along the Riverfront area. We were notified that casino was under renovations prior to cruise and received $100 on-board credit for inconvenience during the first 7 days.
I quickly notice that the quality and selection of food has declined over the last ten years. However, this is not just a RCI issue but an industry change. Service from Stateroom Attendant, Waiter, Assistant Waiter, and Maitre d' was excellent. Entertainment has declined but not just a RCI issue. Another industry cost saving issue.
Captain and all staff were friendly and visible throughout voyage. Voyager was in good condition considering age. TV in rooms were being changed to flat screens during voyage. Third floor Dining Area was made available for card players during sea days. Coffee and refreshments provided for the players.
Diamond and Diamond Plus passengers were treated very well. RCI's loyalty program is the best in the industry. I will always pick RCI or Celebrity cruises over others due to perks. I estimate that a cruise or itinerary from another cruise line MUST cost 25% less to equal perks of Diamond/Elite status.
The biggest change over the last 10 years of long voyages is the dress code. Fewer people are choosing to dress up on formal nights and other sea nights. I am not being critical, just an observation of changes made by the industry.Cruise met all expectation for a crossing trip. Can't wait until next trip on RCI or Celebrity.