We sailed on August 19 out of New Orleans. Saling was myself, my sister and mom. This was my sister's first time on Carnival and my first time in the Caribbean! Woo hoo.
We started out a day early in New Orleans and stayed at the Prince Conti hotel in the French Quarter. This hotel was a good choice, great location for Bourbon Street.
This was a wonderful cruise.
One of the greatest things about this cruise was sailing out of New Orleans on the Mississippi River. It is a must do. I would stongly recommend a balcony for this cruise.
We had rain on embarkation which was okay with us, we were getting on a cruise.
We also had sun and rain in each of our ports. The clouds were great, kept the temperature lower except Cozumel. Which I was very thankful for because when the sun was out it was hot!
Embarkation was easy but my mom is Platinum, thank goodness for that. In the VIP area, they had some rolls and drinks.
While on VIP. We did use the free laundry, they sent a plate of chocolate covered strawberries and her gift was a small set of binoculars which we did use.
I received my Gold pin.
We had a balcony cabin which we love. They made up the couch as the third bed which I slept on and it was fairly comfortable.
Our room steward was great.
We always ordered a bucket of ice in the morning from room service and our steward would fill it in the evening.
We did get the samples but no razors.
I found the ship easy to navigate because it was similar to the Splendor. My sister mentioned she was glad I always knew where to go. Now just realizing, I don't think she ever went anywhere by herself on the ship.
The food in the main dining room was delcious. We had anytime dining. On the first night we were there early, served fast. But then the wait for food just got worse every night. I finally left on the last night waiting for dessert. The waiter sent it with my mom and sister to bring to me.
The buffet food was just alright. I always found something to eat but nothing spectacular. Be sure and go upstairs to get some fish and chips, my mom and sister said it was really good. They also have other things up there, fried oyster, ceviche. On the last sea day they had the chocolate buffet which I love and they also had a taco bar. The tacos were very good.
This was the first chocolate buffet where they served small slices of everything which was great, was able to taste more of the desserts.
There were areas which seemed crowded at different times but I didn't think it was horrible.
Along with the regular photos they took candid photos which I really liked.
On our pictures we took on formal night, I don't know if it was us or the photographers, we didn't like any of our pictures.
The lighting in the ship seemed dim in a lot of places, which we found odd.
This was my sister's first cruise with Carnival. One thing she mentioned was she did not think they did enough announcements of what is going on. I told her I think there have been complaints of too many announcements in the past. I didn't pay any attention.
We did notice the carpet in our hallway, deck 7 was in need of replacing. Very worn in areas and surprised it was this way. That was the only thing, the rest of the ship seemed in good shape.
The only activity we participated in was the slot tournament.
We actually spent most of our cruise in the casino. We had some good days and bad with luck. My mom made it to 1500 points for free drinks on the 5th night. I really liked The Cruiser cocktail.
Shows. I only made it to the first production show and it was good, great costumes and the singers were decent. Though we wish they would turn the singers down a notch so we could understand what they are singing.
Funny thing. Earlier in the cruise my sister and I talked about not seeing the cruise director out and about. Standing at the coffee bar one morning, there was our cruise director. Of course I tell him of not seeing cruise directors on the ships and then I realized, we spend most of our time in the casino! So I told him that, I was a little embarassed. Very nice man, I believe his name was Paul Stanley?
Jamaica--we took a taxi to the hip strip and ended up at Margaritaville. I liked it there. We sat up on the top floor, music was loud but bearable. Nice breeze coming through. We tried their jerk pork and it was very dry. But it was a nice time there. Their are places in the port building to buy souvenirs and it is air conditioned a little.
Grand Cayman--as you get off the tender, we found some people who do tours of the island, town and beach. We did the town tour and it was good, we had a wonderful driver. He took us to the turtle farm, Hell, a rum place where they had samples of their rum cake and rum. The tour was $20 per person. The tour was not overly exciting but it was great for seeing some of the island. There were quite a few shops at this port as you get off the tender. Air conditioning in those.
Cozumel--this was my least favorite stop. It was very hot when we got off the ship. We took the bike taxis to the building on the dock. In this building was liquor and souvenirs. It was fairly cool in there. After reaching the end of the pier there are numerous shops and some restaurants. There is also, by the water, a place that gives massage, I think they charged $30 for 30 minutes. We did not get a massage. We could not figure out what to do here so we just shopped in this area. We ended up at a restaurant by the water had chips, pico and guacamole. We should have seen if there were any tours of the island.
Here we were docked next to the Carnival Magic, how fun that was. Got a look at the Allure of the Seas on another dock, so big!
On our return to New Orleans we were up to see entering the Mississippi River, don't miss it, it's awesome.
We had good seas.
Debarkation was good also, I think we were off the ship by 9:30am. As Platinum we met in one of the dining rooms. I thought they would have drinks available but they did not. Be sure and take something to drink with you.
We then went to Harrah's casino to kill time until our flights and train.
I would really like to do this cruise again. I would prefer to not travel during the hurricane season. I watched the weather before we left and then Hurricane Issac was forming and moving while we were sailing. I just don't need that stress. I don't want cruise by a hurricane :)
I loved it.