We arrived about 10:30am, parked at the Port of New Orleans, which is a bit of a challenge to find and were on the ship by 11:00am. Btw, parking at the port is on a lot surrounded by a chain link fence. It is not covered and cost $16 a day. It was fine for us since we only had to walk across the lot and hand our luggage to the porters and when we disembarked, made for a quick exit.
The ship is absolutely beautiful, the staff attentive and friendly and we thought the food and service were quite good. We brought 2 bottles of wine onboard (in my backpack so it was easy to find when they scan your stuff on embarkation) so that was lovely to have a glass on our balcony. We also poured a glass a couple of nights and took to the dining room - no problem.
We ate at Chops Steakhouse one night to celebrate my husband's birthday. They give you way too much food and yes we took half our steaks and both our desserts back to our room and never did eat them. Such a shame - but throwing up at the table wouldn't have been nice either :)
Next time I am going to nix the appetizers and save myself for entree and dessert!! We did not think it was as romantic a setting as some of the other specialty restaurants we have eaten at. It is located right next to the Windjammer so we could hear the tea cart rolling over the floors and the clatter of dishes.
Our cabin 9294 was a junior suite with a walk in closet, an electric tea kettle which we used for hot chocolate and hot tea, and a small coffee maker that we didn't use. The balcony had a lounger, 2
regular deck chairs and a small table. That made it a tad crowded for us so we moved one of the chairs inside the cabin to give us more room outside. The chair and ottoman inside the cabin was quite nice for reading since it was a little chilly when we left New Orleans.
As to service - our cabin steward forgot to come back and perform her turn down duties one night early in the cruise. We didn't mention it to her because really I have been turning my own covers down for years without any assistance, and while I mourned the towel animal surprise, it was the lack of clean towels that I grieved! However, she asked the next morning if she had forgotten us and we did tell her yes, but it was okay. That night she put a bucket of champagne in our room - a gift from our cabin steward!! That was a first for us but a lovely surprise!!
Service example 2: Our bathroom was nicely equipped with a bathtub and shower head but unfortunately, it smelled like the sewer for the entire ship had backed up in there. Let's just say that everyone became involved in this problem. Our cabin steward called everyone she knew, my honey talked to the chief engineer and his whole staff, people were in and out of our room for the first 24 hours BUT they did get the problem fixed AND our bathroom smelled WONDERFUL :). In addition, the very next night, the Room Services Manager sent us a bottle of...you guessed it, champagne thanking us for our patience etc. Imagine our surprise when the 4th night of our cruise rolled around and no one showed up with any champagne :)
We ate in the dining room every night except for the one in Chops. Our wait staff was superb - Darius and Jamie we think of you every night we come home to an empty kitchen with no dinner awaiting us! Our table mates were hilarious and we all had a really good time. So good in fact that we were often the last ones to leave the dining room, yet Darius and Jamie never rushed us out instead offering us more coffee, wine or whatever anyone was drinking. A shout out to newly weds Rachael and Michael Chance, Margaret and Bill Leggett and Nancy Jacuzzi. We miss your wit and humor at our non-existent dinner table :)
We have visited these same ports before so check out the port page if you need suggestions. Cruise Critic won't let you down.
One observation - my husband bought some liquor in Cozumel. We found out that it was CHEAPER in the Carnival terminal than the RCCL terminal. $5.00 a bottle cheaper for the Balvenie he bought but unfortunately, they wouldn't sell it to him because he was on RCCL. We thought that was crazy! We found some folks at Fat Tuesday who offered to flash their Carnival sail card and let us just pay cash but we had a credit card so ended up at the RCCL terminal for our purchase.
We walked our luggage off so that took about 20 minutes. Would definitely go again. More please!!