As a first time cruiser, I relied heavily on the information I received here on Cruise Critic, and most of it was great info! I had no idea how much to pack, and of course packed TOO much.
The embarkation process was pretty smooth, in New Orleans, and would have gone better if I had not had SO much stuff ! Less next time!
We had no problem finding where we had to go and how to get on board. Once on board, we went pretty quickly to our cabin and left our carry on items, and went to the buffet area to watch and get a drink. We didn't see any "free" drinks, and took the "Drink of the Day' $7 or so, as offered, and settled in for leaving port.
Our Upper Deck, interior, stern area cabin was very nice, with plenty of room for two people and all their (overpacked!) luggage. Two nice closets and some shelving, and plenty of room under beds for our suitcases.
I had read to ask our steward to remove the "cruise supplied" beverges, and did so with the suggested Sticky note. This was done quickly.
The bathroom had a nice roomy shower with well-behaved curtain, and a spacious medicine cabinet. the water in the bathroom got VERY HOT !!
Steward service was excellent, with anything we asked for being provided, including ice for cooler, and wine glasses to carry our OWN vino to dinner. The stewards made up our room at least 2x a day, with little towel scuptures at nite.
I didn't plan on going to any "shows" since I don't go much for them, but we did attend one "Show" on the history of Rock 'N Roll, before our "Elegant night" dinner. The dancers and singers were very good, band was good, and it was very well choreographed.
The Casino was pretty disappointing, probably since I'm not a "big" player - I could not get ahead on any of the slots, and didn't try the table games.
Dining in the assigned restaurant was FABULOUS ! I've never tried Chateaubriand before, and I LOVED it ! will have next time I hope!! There was lobster nearly every night, and a great selection of other dishes, appetizers, and ~desserts ! ~ Chocolate Melting Cake ! Yesss!! 4 of 5 nights !! Whooo! The 5th night, I slacked a bit - since there was a Chocolate BUFFET at lunch !
Our servers in the assigned dining room, Imagination, were excellent, quick, and very entertaining - they danced or sang every night, with all the staff.
The breakfasts were better in the dining restaurant than in the buffet, simply fresher and served to us personally. The buffet breakfast, however, offered a much larger selection, and was easy to get through, with lines a little long a couple times, but not so bad - at least we didn't have to COOK it!
The Deli /Grille area in the buffet restaurant (Tiffany's) served up very good hot sandwiches, and Omelets in the AM.
Our shore excursion in Progreso was to the Mayan Ruins of UXMAL !
Cozumel was really cool too - we took a private taxi to beach, very reasonable !
The sail back to New Orleans was pretty smooth, with one lot of loud engine noise about 10:30Pm - would have been nice to know what it was about!?
Return to the reality world went very smoothly, with groups being called, and waiting areas well designated. We were back on shore by 10:30 AM, luggage in hand.
I would recommend this ship to anyone, not sure what else was missing, but I thought it was excellent - I'm a Newbie ! LOL ! Great crew, and nice clean ship.