We arrived in New Orleans the day before & stayed at the Courtyard Marriott on Julia Street. Great rates here for 4 in a room in New Orleans. No cruise parking deals. Parking at the terminal is $98/week prepaid with credit card.
Embarkation: No problems, slight delay due to having 2 passengers with same first/last name and a confused clerk. We got there early around Noon in New Orleans and had a mid-size line to get through security. Once through security (estimating 15 min) we went directly to the Latitudes line and were checked in and then went right on board.
Cabin: We had 4 people in our party & this limited our cabin choices to either oceanview or inside. We picked JJ category inside and lucked into getting cabin 9051. 9051 is slightly larger than the standard inside cabin & with 4 adults we needed every square foot we could get. We had plenty of draw/shelf space, but had to double/triple hang clothes due to small number of hangers. All but one of our suitcases fit under the bed -in the quad inside cabin there is a trundle pull out bed under one of the bed so you lose that space typically used for suitcase storage. 2 lower twin beds, 1 upper twin bed, and the trundle which basically sits on the ground - all were very comfortable. Bathroom was much larger than previous cruise on NCL & Carnival especially the shower. We did have water pressure issues on lower temp water setting - we reported and they fixed that day. Cabin service was efficient & we had no problems with our cabin service.
Bar Service/Liquor: 6 beers/bucket of beer (no price difference in domestic or imports that we found) was $22.50 + gratuity = $25.88. 3 port days (not Cozumel) they have beer special starting at 3 or 5pm (varied) 2 buckets of a specific beer for 1. XX, Bud Light Lime and Del Sol were the 3 specials we had on our cruise. They have other 2 for 1 specials through out the week. We brought 2 bottles of wine on board ($15/bottle) and enjoyed those nightly with dinner.
Casino: Check in here the first day for a coupon book good for some free play & a players card. We spent more time than we should of in the casino. I finally made back what I lost in slots on the computerized roulette wheel.
Food: We love seafood & found that the selections in the main dining room were very limited. Although they did have lobster 2 evenings, the seafood appetizers were few and far between. I believe they did have a fish as an entree most evenings. I had GREAT luck in picking great desserts & I was picking mainly the LIGHTER offering. I was only disappointed with a dessert one time and that is when I ventured off the light menu. We dined in the Garden Dining Room the entire cruise. We attempted to eat in Windows the last evening, but they had a very long wait and we were seated immediately in the Garden. Both have the exact same menu every night. We did not try the speciality dining options. The buffet was well stocked & had a tremendous variety for breakfast & lunch - never tried dinner. The Chocoholic buffet was Thursday evening and was very beautiful, but I only found one thing I really ENJOYED enough to have a 2nd bite.
Entertainment: We enjoyed the poolside music most days, they did get a little repetitive towards the end of the week. Showtime On Broadway show was ok, but we didn't stay to the end. The 2nd City comedy show was good & we heard the magician was very good but we missed both his shows. There weren't a lot of poolside activities which we enjoy.
Ports/Excursions: Costa Maya - we did the discover scuba here and it was very good instruction & felt very comfortable diving. The reef wasn't that spectacular & we did see some trash & a few fish. The port village is nice with swim up bar/pool, lots of shops, clean rest rooms, and entertainment. You could spend the entire day by the pool at the village and shop and skip an excursion here & still have fun relaxing day. Guatemala - We didn't do an excursion here & wish we had! Either plan to spend most of your day on the ship or book an excursion we heard the waterfall tour was spectacular and will do that next time we go. Leaving the port area is not recommended unless on a tour & the pier area is a "airplane hanger" type building full of local vendors. The internet cafe was down the entire day so we couldn't even enjoy lower internet rates. Belize (only stop you tender) - We love Belize and have been here a few times but have always done beach/snorkel type excursions. We decided not to book an excursion and hang out in the port village. There are tons of shops/restaurants (clean rest rooms here too), but I found spending the entire day there was too long. We did some shopping and found a little bar in the back called "juicy joe's" with 2 for 1 Belkin beer and spent some time there chatting with locals. Cozumel - Again been here many times and didn't do excursion. We shopped & enjoyed Carlos & Charlies here and had the most spectacular sunset as we were pulling out I th ink I have ever seen in my life. The at sea days were relaxing and spent mostly poolside, although there are many choices for activities throughout the day everyday.
Internet: 2 plans. 250 minutes for $99.95 (.40/minute) or 100 minutes for $49.95 (.50/minute). Pay as you go is .75/minute. There is a $3.95 activation fee to all users on the first login.
Disembarkation - We arrived early in New Orleans & had to wait for customs agents to be ready. We had VIP disembarkation so it was effortless & fast. We walked off the ship with our luggage & were in the car pulling out within less than 15 minutes (on the road by 9:15am)! It was the smoothest we have ever experienced. The express disembarkation line looked very long to me, but it may have moved quickly.