This 5-day cruise is a nice inexpensive vacation, especially if you live in New Orleans. We had inside cabins, which was a first for me, and they were fine. The price was unbelievably cheap. The ship is older, but very pretty. As with most Carnival ships, the pool are is cramped, but this ship has a Serenity Deck, which is really nice. The food was decent to very good, and the staff members we encountered were friendly and pleasant.
We always love the peaceful cruise down the Mississippi River. New Orleans and the little downriver towns are charming, and at night even the lights of the refineries are eerily beautiful.
Our first port was Progreso. Some people complain about this port, or even stay onboard rather than visit it, but I like it. It's not overly developed like Cozumel, and, being on the Gulf rather than the Caribbean, it's not the same amazing water as you will see in some other ports, but it's a pretty little Mexican town with some great little restaurants and bars facing the malecon along the beach. It's definitely worth stepping off the boat and the ride down the pier is no big deal.
This time, we took a cab to Merida for most of the day, and we absolutely loved it. Merida is a huge, beautiful and bustling colonial city. The architecture is magnificent. We bought linen guayaberas and dresses (of course) and some other locally made items, walked around the beautiful plaza, visited the cathedral, and had some excellent traditional food for lunch at La Chaya. then we returned to Progreso for a little more shopping at the pier.
The second stop was Cozumel. We love the eastern side of the island, so we rented a Jeep and drove there. We stopped in at one of the little beach restaurants over there, then spent most of the afternoon at Paradise Beach, which is a very pretty property with great staff. We stopped in at some of the shops by the pier, but prices were crazy there and selection wasn't really worth the time it would take to get something down to a realistic price.. Shopping is much, much better in town. This time we didn't get to stop by my favorite spot in town, Las Palmas restaurant by the square, but I will make it a point to go there the next time I visit Cozumel.
We had good weather, so sea days were pleasant, and the ship didn't seem overly crowded. The people who were onboard were a nice cross-section of fun and pleasant people. Debarkation was easy and fast and customs was not at all annoying, which was a nice surprise.
All said, a very nice trip. I would do it again tomorrow.