The Port of New Orleans was great, we got through in about 30 minutes from the gate of customs to being on the ship. Our boarding time was 1:00 but we got there a little early to avoid the last minute rush to get on, of course our bags were not in our room yet but as we were in our cabin and dropping off our carry ons, our bags arrived...that was quick! The ship was easy to Navigate and not overwhelmingly large. There was a lot to do at all times and the Comedy shows were the absolute best! They actually start the cruise with 2 comedians and at the first port those 2 fly off the Island and they they get 2 new comedians flown in, so if comedy is your thing make sure you get to all the shows, as there are multiple comedians and we loved every single one of them...very funny! The ones that are for people 18 and over...really people abide by this or you will have to answer some very awkward questions from your kids! The entertainment was OK- not as good as Royal Caribbean. It seemed like the piano man and the guitar player in the bars near the aft were also playing in the big shows around prime time, as they never got to their appointed bars until real late. Our one "late night" we got to enjoy both of them, wish they were playing more often through out the day though. Henry's Dance club only played new hip hop music, which I like and danced to ALOT but my husband wanted to hear some 80's rock, I put the request in 3 times and the guy played 1 Def Leppard song and went back to the new hip hop the remainder of the night until we closed the place down at 2 AM...guess we are too old for Henry's dance club!! The food was good, it seemed like the variety was not so great though, a lot of the same food served each night at dinner, but good food and REALLY good desserts! We ate at The Point steak house and enjoyed that very much, amazing service and amazing food, minus my lobster tail...it was over done, but both my steak and my husbands were both done to perfection and very tasty. Well worth the $35 upgrade to eat at The Point. The day time entertainment poolside was a lot of fun, and the morning show was real funny! The activity director Gary was awesome and kept the FUN going round the clock! The staff on this ship was outstanding, really going out of the way to make sure your vacation is just as you had dreamed it to be, besides the DJ at Henry's...all was great in that department!
Jamaica was hot and dirty! The temp that day was in the mid 90's and it was hot! We did the hop on-hop off bus tour of the hit strip. We went to the shoppes of Rose Hall to shop for Pandora charms and got a few other trinkets, there is much cheaper shopping in the market area, but the quality of goods not as nice, but good enough for souvenirs. We went to Margaritaville and had a real good time there, the slide is a killer, there was such a long drop from the end of the slide to the water, slams you down so hard and your suit is falling off your body, was refreshing though! The tall guys and gals you see all over in Jamaica in costume will charge you to take a photo with them and there are people all over asking you to buy pot...real tacky! We did a lot of walking and discovered Jamaica is very dirty, hard to believe people get away with littering like that, it was a fun day all in all but I could never fly to Jamaica and do 7 nights there.
Grand Cayman was absolutely beautiful and we enjoyed a nice beach day there, Tiki Beach was packed but fun with more people, loud music and DJ contests (beer drinking contests, etc.)we spent a little time at Tiki but mostly laid in the sun at The Public Beach that day $25 for umbrella and 2 lawn chairs. The sand was much softer at The Public Beach and it was not as crowded so I guess its all in what you're looking for. We also went to Hard Rock and Margaritaville and did a little shopping near the pier, the "twisted chicken mac & ch" at the Hard Rock is the absolute BEST! The wait to get back on the ship was long, but there is a tiki bar to get a couple drinks while you stand in line...VERY fun day;I would totally spend 7 nights at a resort on Grand Cayman!
Cozumel was cold, 57 the day we were there which is cold for Mexico. We shopped and went to my husbands mothers resort as she was arriving into Cozumel that day. If the weather had been better we may have gone to the other side of Island for a beach day, but it was chilly and windy so we didn't. There are a lot of taxi's right by the cruise terminal and they tell you that it's too far to walk downtown, well my husband and I are runners and we walked from the terminal to the Market Place and it's only 4 1/2 miles with lots to see along the way!
We didn't plan excursions as we have already done so much of that in past vacations and cruises....this was a pure go with the flow vacation for us with nothing really planned...a first for us, but also VERY relaxing! I did hear the sting ray city in Grand Cayman was awesome by those that went, we are saving that one for when we have our 3 daughters along. We really enjoy cruising but also enjoy our land vacations so I am by far an expert on cruising. Carnival was an affordable vacation (if your bar bill isn't too out of hand) as we went with an inside cabin this time around. The only time you are in your room either your eyes are closed or you are getting ready for the evening and your husband is in the casino waiting for you...so the additional amount you pay for a balcony was just not worth it to us. All in all we had a great time, met and hung out with a fun couple from Memphis, enjoyed the ship and would definitely cruise with Carnival again!