We arrived at 2 pm in New Orleans and went to pick up our luggage. We grabbed a taxi to the Holiday Inn SuperDome for $56 for 4 people. One of our rooms was not ready yet but our room was. It was the nicest room of the two. All new furniture, décor, and flat screen tv. We found out that the free shuttle only runs on the hour and we were 10 minutes late for it at 3 pm. Went back up stairs and they watched a little of the Daytona 500 race. At 3:45 we headed to the lobby. As we were standing waiting I saw the Redneck bus. We meet Duckhunter, who was getting married the next day on the ship. We got on the shuttle and got off at RiverWalk. We headed for the Algiers Ferry (free). Got on and rode it to the other side. We headed to the Dry Dock Café because we had not really eaten anything on the flights. We found a small table in the back. After a few minutes the waitress asked if we wanted drinks. We asked for menus because we wanted dinner. She came back and told us that one of the cooks had just quit and did we still want to order. We said yes and said we didn’t mind. We did help bus a bigger table so when our food came we would have room. The adults had a Dry Dock Punch and the kids had sodas. We had a second round before the food came but it was worth the wait. I tried the catfish and really liked it. I don’t eat fish. The waitress was really nice and compted us a round and a half of drinks. We headed out to catch the ferry back but had to wait a few minutes. Back on Riverwalk we grabbed a couple of hurricanes (very good). We walked down Canal street for a couple of blocks. We didn’t think we had time for a street car ride and it was dark. Grabbed a few souvenirs and went back to RiverWalk to call the shuttle. We waited for 45 minutes then called again. We think he forgot us. He finally came 30 minuets later. We returned to the hotel, checked out the pool, grabbed a snack and headed to bed.
We were able to get 11 am tickets for the free shuttle to the port. We had a nice buffet breakfast in the hotel dinning room. The ride to the port was fast and we were in lines for about 45 minutes before we were on deck enjoying lunch. At 1:30 pm we went to drop off our carry on luggage. We spent some time on the Lido deck enjoying a drink of the day and relaxing. We waited a few minutes before heading to the “Safety Drill”. This allowed us to be the first in line instead of being crammed in the back! We headed to deck 4 forward which leads out onto an open deck. We expected sailaway but had to wait for the tanker to finish filling us up. When we went down to wash up for early dinning seating we found our luggage in our room. We went with cruise casual for our first night. Our table was for 8 but since we had 7, we had a table to ourselves. Gus and Si were our waiters and they were wonderful. I had soup to start, spare ribs, and warm chocolate melting cake. A showgirl was outside after dinner and Josh and Kenny got their picture taken with her. We headed to Promenade deck and went out on the open air deck to watch the Mississippi river shoreline. There was fog on the water and it made for eerie pictures. We meet a young man from Alabama who was on his 14th cruise. We headed for the Lido to watch the Karate Kid. It was brisk and people had brown velour blankets but we didn’t know where they got them. We went to the show but I was not impressed by the singing so we did not go to any other show in the Rome lounge. Our towel animal was a seal. After the show we headed to bed.
First full day at sea. The weather was beautiful and we spent the day right next to the slide exit. We all got sun burned. The kids enjoyed the waterslide and pool. We, adults, enjoyed another drink of the day! The kids had smoothies and played ping pong. Before dinner the kids also played a game of laser tag. They play individually but had a blast. The dinner was formal and we all dressed up and got our picture taken before dinner. I bought our group picture and family picture. I enjoyed minestrone soup and prime rib with WCMC for dessert. Our waiters danced for us again. We headed back to the room to change and went to the Rio Lounge for the comedians. The first was o.k. His name was Tim Harkleroad. I’m not into ventriloquist. The second was really good. His name was John Wesley Austin. We decided to go back to his R rated show that night. I’m glad we did. He was hysterical! We headed to bed after that. Our towel animal was a dog.
We got up at our leisure and had breakfast before disembarking for the free shuttle. The pier is 5 miles long. You have to walk through a small shopping area before getting on the bus. As soon as we got there we bought $3 tickets on the double decker bus. We sat on the bottom because the top was full. They kept warning the people on top to duck their heads because of low wires. It was fun to see all the old VW bugs. When it stopped so we could take a picture of our ship there was a little boy in the street and he posed for us. We waved and smiled. We headed down to the beach and grabbed a papalya in front of Le Saint Bonnet. As soon as we set our things down the waiter was there. We got a round of cokes (in the old glass bottles) and then were bombarded by the vendors. I had been warned by the cruise critic that they would try to sell. But a firm “Gracious, No” and they would move on down the beach. It didn’t help them that we, the Triumph, were the only ship in port. We were asked about massages for $25/ ½ hr or 2 for $20 but I negotiated for $15/ ½ for 7 people. They were wonderful. The kids collected shells and everyone got a henna tattoo from “George”. We bought T-shirts, a bag, hematite bracelets ($1 each), silver bracelets and rings. We fell in love with this poor town. We headed back toward the ship and went through the market place before boarding the bus. I had looked all over and asked everyone for toe rings and didn’t find them until the shop before getting on the ship. They were $10 each. I got two. I didn’t even think to barter with him. We went to our rooms to get changed for dinner. I had French onion soup, flat iron steak, and WCMC. They danced for us again. We had another towel animal. Not sure what it was, a dinosaur maybe? We had fun with it.
We arrived in Cozumel and again took our time getting up, eating breakfast, getting ready to go ashore. We had to get another pair of sandels for the kids. We stopped at Ron Johns surf shop and got him a pair. We grabbed a taxi ($14) to Paradise Beach. Colleen met us at the door and handed us off to the waiters. We got the wrist bands ($12) and chairs ($2) and headed toward the beach. I had forgotten that they had a staff turnaround about a month ago and our waiter was new. We all went out in the water and the kids enjoyed all the water toys and snorkled as well. We came back for lunch. We finally got our waiter and ordered. We finally got our drinks and the Paradise Punch was gross. I was not happy with my chimichanga. It was suppose to be spicy chicken, no spice and it was loaded with grease. I ate about half of it. We asked our waiter to bring the bill. After 45 minutes I did up the bill and headed for the bar. They told me to go back to where I was sitting and he would be back. The other waiter told us our waiter was new. He tried to over charge us. Then had the nerve to ask for a tip. I told him I don’t tip for bad service. We spent a little time at the pool and then headed back to Fat Tuesday’s. The bar was more raunchier than our previous cruise. We headed back to the ship. Dinner was beefsteak tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella, fillet minion, and WCMC. They danced for us and Si made us a spoon doll. Our towel animal was an elephant. The big screen was playing The Last Airbender and Iron Man 2. We went to the Lido to watch. The kids watched in the hot tub. After the first movie I made them go down and change while I hunted up the blankets. People had told us they were in our rooms but I knew they weren’t so I went to guest services. He had housekeeping send them to our room. I went down to get them and sent the kids up to save seats. He brought me four and I took them up on deck and we watched in comfort.
After breakfast, we headed up to deck 11, Spa deck and grabbed some chairs. The kids played ping pong. I tried the slide, 3 times. It was a very relaxing day. We tried the Hong Kong Noodle Company and nachos. The weather turned cloudy but was still nice. We started off dinner with broccoli soup, Chateau briand and WCMC. We left the kids watching TV in the room, Night at the Museum 2 and headed for the comedy club. The routine was the same as the previous night but one of our party had not seen it. It was still funny. I wish I could have stayed up for the midnight new show.
We chose to do self-disembarking so we did not put out our luggage. We headed to the Lido for breakfast at 7 am. They started calling the self-assist at 7 but we didn’t head down until after we had finished our breakfast. No need to grab a porter because you have all your bags with you. No lines at customs and not much to declare. Walked out and grabbed a taxi to the airport. We got to the airport at 8:10 am for our 12:23 pm flight.