I wasn't sure what this cruise would be like since it was during spring break, but there were more families on board than partiers, so it was nice. We had to drive through snow and freezing rain to get to New Orleans, but we made it! Embarkation was fine. We stood in line, but that was expected. Once on board we went to find our room and one suitcase was already there. The other one showed up later. The room steward did a great job all week, making up the room and leaving the towel animals.
The first night we ate in the buffet and the food was fine. I had signed up for anytime dining, but after reading some poor reviews about slow service we decided to switch to early seating. It was no problem to switch, but I had do wait until we were on board. I'm not sure that switching to assigned seating was necessary. Some nights we had good service, some nights it was extremely slow. One night my chocolate melting cake was barely warm (usually soooo good) and everyone's ice cream was partially melted. After that night, the service was better. Also with assigned seating, you sit with the same people every night. We got tired of hearing about how much alcohol our table mates were consuming and of watching them eat two of everything they ordered. They were an interesting bunch! We thought the food was good, and some dishes were very good. There were lots of choices to pick from. If you didn't like something, you could just ask for something else on the menu.
Our cabin (U10) was a porthole room. It was the same price as an inside and we got to have natural sunlight come in - which my husband likes. It was roomy with lots of storage space, although the drawers in the dresser didn't open and close very smoothly. The bathroom was big with a nice sized shower. It would have been nice if conditioner was provided along with the shampoo, shower gel and bar soap, but I was prepared with my own.
We went to the two shows put on by the Carnival singers and dancers, and we went to one of the comedy shows. All were good. With our dining time, it was hard to fit in the comedy shows unless we wanted to go to the late night shows that were rated R. Luckily, we finished eating early enough the last night in time to go to the early show, then we were able to get to an early comedy show also. I also enjoyed watching karaoke, and enjoyed the singers getting to sing with a band instead of recorded music.
For excursions, we booked off the ship in Progreso and went to some ruins and a tour of Merida. If we go to this port again, we will probably just stay in Progreso, look around town and walk to the beach. The other people we were traveling with wanted to see some ruins and I'm glad that we did the tour. But if there is a next time, I would like to see more of the town and check out the beach. In Cozumel we usually rent a car and explore on our own. This time we booked a Carnival excursion that took a tour of the island and gave some history. This was a nice change and we enjoyed our tour guide and his knowledge of Cozumel.
Disembarkation was easy. We were supposed to be the last ones off the ship, but after they called the first group and we waited awhile, they told everyone else that they could go. I guess a lot of people chose to carry their own luggage off and there weren't that many people left on board. We got off fairly quickly, found our luggage, and sadly went back to real life. The cruise was enjoyable, relaxing, and I hope to sail again soon.