We had 2 folks cruising for the 6th time / 1 cruising for the 5th time / 2 cruising for the 2nd time and one Newbie (who is now on the wagon to becoming a cruise addict)(Course, they agreed to the two-year plan).
Pre-Stay and Post-Stay:
La Quinta Inn in Kenner, LA located on Williams Blvd. (about 15 mins to Port w/o traffic) We must have seen about 5 of these hotels between Airport and Port. They have the $10 additional fee to park your vehicle up to 14 days. On Sunday evening, we made our way down to downtown to go to Bubba Gumps Restaurant. They told us it would be a hour wait but we just shopped 2 or 3 doors down and was able to get a table in about half the time. Found a parking lot for $10 that stayed open until 12:30 am. It was about a block and around the corner. If you go here beware of sales pitch for the frozen drinks they're making you pay $8 for to keep the cup which is one of those w/lights under the bottom of the cup that you can turn on or off that's made of plastic. Food is great.
Places to eat/shop in area w/ food only WalMart about 2 or 3 blocks away. Subway (right across the street), Seafood Restaurant (not so casual/next door) and McDonald's in view. We also passed a Burlington Coat Factory on the way to WalMart Grocery.
Hotel was OK, outdoor pool, gym room, continental breakfast, and airport shuttle (only). My niece used the shuttle going and coming and the rest of us were in cars.
We called the Metairie Cab service to drop all 6 of us at the Port. Fee was about $42 plus tip. We had two cars so we checked out the cab rate against paying for two cars parked at the port. Unfortunately, we didn't know it didn't work the same coming back to the hotel for our post-stay. The rate was twice the price by using the cab service at the port. We don't know if it would have been cheaper to call Metairie back so be sure and check that out because we don't know if they had a "leaving downtown rate" even though they wouldn't have been downtown already.
We had the taxi pick us up at 10:00. We were on the ship about 11:30, lines weren't too bad. Course, we didn't see the person passing out the zone tickets so by the time we got one they were on #9, but they were calling pretty rapidly. We did our usual routine of heading to the buffet after getting on the ship. Cabins were ready about the normal time of 1:30.
Muster Drill was its usually warm routine on the outside deck.
If you requested well done, it was a bit tough on the flat-iron steaks. We ordered some type of pasta w/shrimp/scallops/mussels (no shrimp was in my sisters), we literally picked the meat out and left the pasta alone, it was a bit dry. Lobster tails lived up to their usual worth of goodness. My niece tried the escargot and it passed her test, I couldn't get pass the name. Nothing really stood out to tempt us to try it.
The omelet station is great, the French toast is good, pancakes were lacking. A day or two for lunch the choices weren't great, had to settle for something else.
Didn't even get around to trying it this time.
There was a line on formal night for the iron, other days line wasn't as bad. Didn't use the laundry this time either.
Sister left her digital camera w/lens on buffet table and it was a few hours later when she realized it and immediately went to Pursers Desk and it had been returned !!
I must say, I did go to a lot more events this cruise than any other. I went to several trivia's on Deck 5, Charades, Tea time, karaoke on deck 5 in two locations, deck parties, Mexican buffet, past guest party and the farewell party on last sea day. Didn't make it to the disco or bingo this time. I did make it to the secret door on deck 7 at the front of ship. I went down on deck 6 front too but they had the chairs tied down on that deck. It was a bit breezy but felt good all the same.
True to word, when we went inside the building to use the restroom, they had someone handing out sheets of tissue/paper towel(no s on the end) and looking for a tip. Shopping was less expensive here in Progreso than in Cozumel. Once thru the indoor shopping, we made our way outside to locate the double decker bus. It was $3 round-trip. It was a great tour for the price because my sister and I was saying how we've paid at least $20 or more for tours that gave that much info. Bus tour was about half hour and it made a stop where folks were able to purchase soft drinks and snacks.
Well, it rained out half the day, we didn't get off the ship until about 11:00 w/ponchos on and umbrellas in hand. We hadn't decided what we were going to do here. We shopped around in the port and walked to the far end where the vendors were selling their tours. They do charge different rates for the same stuff check out your options before taking the first one that approaches. We ended up with a tour for $20 a person and it was just us six in the van. It wasn't one of those 14 passenger vans where they're trying to fill up the van before departing. It was about 3 hours long. We gave up going to the beach because it was STILL raining, so we settle for a tour of the city. Our driver took us to the East and West side of Cozumel. We made stops along the beach for pictures and shopping. Driver was very informative about the different cities of Mexico. We made a stop at Sancho's Beach, looked nice and inviting. We only shopped there. Also passed several other inclusive hotels along the road. The mosquitos were getting a little out control. Apparently, they were worse near the ruins.
Back at the La Quinta, Kenner LA on Williams Blvd. We were able to check-in before checkin-in time !! Rested about 2 hours. Headed back downtown to go to the Riverwalk Mall. Ended up parking in the Canal Place parking lot, cost us $12 for about 4 hours parking. Had shrimp in the mall at the food court all the way at the other end of the mall on third floor, middle of the floor, next to last eatery. They do have a Cafe Du Mone (beignets) in the mall on the third floor if anyone is interested. We ate at this eatery the last time we were here about 10 yrs ago. We got to see the Triumph sail out about a hour late w/o us.
P.S. Keep a CLOSE EYE on your Sign & Sail tab , we had confusion numerous times, whatever they did at the port went unheeded on the ship and so on. Names and charge cards were being mixed up. We did end up with $11.19 per person being credited from taxes as onboard credit.