I booked this cruise less than a week prior to sailing for my 49th birthday. This is my 11th cruise with Carnival. First let say that VIP is GREAT. I really enjoy being one of the first people to get on and off the ship. When I booked this cruise for me and my mother, I didn't take into consideration that some kids would be on spring break which was a mistake I will never make again. Most, not all, of the kids were rude and pushy and ran everywhere they went. That being said, I still had a really good time.
We stayed the night before the cruise in the Garden District in New Orleans, which was very nice. We had no trouble driving to the port the next morning. Parking at the pier for 5 nights is $80.00 plus tax. The check-in process is very simple and does not take much time at all. We were sitting on Lido Deck by 11:15 and eating lunch. We dropped our bags off at our room by 1:15 and were pleasantly surprised that we had a handicap room. The bathroom was so much larger than the regular bathrooms.
It's so nice not to have to take the life vests to the safety drill and this time the weather was not as hot as usual. Now our vacation begins. Since we have sailed on the Triumph before, we had no problem getting around on the ship. We selected "Any Time Dining" for the first time, but we did not care for it. We will go back to dining at 6:00 from now on. We never had to wait to be seated, but you never had the same waiter and we never saw any of the dancing and singing the waiter did. I guess you live and learn.
We went to a couple of the shows, which were very good. The "Punchliner Club" was really funny and we enjoyed most of the karaoke. One day I purchased a "white chocolate cake" from the cafe on Deck 5 for $2.25, which is one of the best desserts that I have ever eaten.
We docked in Progreso and took the free shuttle into town. We shopped at the open market and found a few good deals. We walked a couple of blocks to the beach and had a 45 minute massage for $20.00, which felt so good. We walked across the street to have a light lunch and a few beers before we took the shuttle back to the ship.
We shopped in Cozumel that morning and went back to the ship for lunch and to rest for a little while. We walked back down the long pier and got a beach chair beside "Fat Tuedays" and had a nice frozen drink. We really enjoy relaxing on the little beach right there at the port.
Since we were doing self-assist, we were instructed to be ready to disembark at 6:45. We arrived at the designated place at 6:30 and were leaving the ship at 6:40. This is the quickest and smoothest time we have ever had disembarking.
I have already booked out next cruise on the Conquest for the end of October. Surely during this time there will not be 1000 school age kids screaming and running all the time!!!