New Orleans embarkation/debarkation is quick and easy. Porters pick up your luggage at the terminal parking and 45 minutes later we were on board. On return, we did the last time and were off and done with only a short line for the customs.
This cruise features a 4 stop itinerary. The Hotel Manager John O'Hara and CD Kyle were both personable and responsive, and all of the staff follows their lead. I enjoyed the freestyle cruise dining except that you rarely get to know your waiters, nor they you. Despite that, the service was very good.
Plusses - many non-traditional dining options. I really, really liked the Shogun where I had a great Asian dinner and my wife enjoyed the sushi. The French Bistro was good. The best however was the Indian dinner nite - a 16 course meal that was great! We also had a couple of dinners in the Windows and it was surprisingly good with great service. The breakfast buffet at Raffles was also good with a good variety. I also More
recommend the Chocoholic buffet nite and only wish that they would have had more such nites.
Minuses - The specialty Italian La Trattoria was disappointing - it shares (despite the curtains) the venue with the Raffles buffet and the food was uninspiring, barely equal to an Olive Garden.
Broadway Review and other shows by the house singers/dancers were good. Second City was entertaining. Dmitry & ? (acrobat/dancer) had a dazzling, semi-erotic show. Comedian Sam Griesbaum was one of the best I've ever heard.
On the other hand the magician was really lame. Flex, the pool band, was fair. The house band was ok. Less
We had a mid-ship balcony and were surprised/impressed by the size of the balcony. It made the whole cabin seem larger! The only negative was the jerk next door who left his balcony light on all nite and made it difficult to get to sleep.