I decided to take my 13 yoa son on his first cruise during spring break. We decided to leave from New Orleans which had me a little Concerned. However, the spring breakers were normal nothing out of the ordinary for a "party" cruise and the staff did well blending them with the families with children.
We arrived at the Erato terminal at 10:30 am and was promptly met with the luggage handlers and parked the car in the garage and caught the elevator down to the first floor. We were promptly swept thru the lines as we had filled out all of the boarding and sign and sail accounts online. We were among the first to board at 11:10 am. We went to the Lido deck and had lunch and signed my son up for the bottomless bubbles card. It was well worth the 37.80 they charged.
The buffets were okay, nothing great to speak of. Kind of reminded me of a Golden Corral buffet. However, the salad bar was always fresh and very well done. And I must say the pastry chefs on board were phenomenal. Every dessert we had was excellent.
The dining room food was somewhat better but, having cruised other lines, I found it disappointing and lacking imagination. I had hoped to introduce my son new foods but, there was nothing other than escargot, that was new to him. Our waiter was attentive and informative regarding the ports we were going to be stopping at.
The room was what I had expected and our room steward was very good and kept our room tidy and well stocked with ice and fresh towels. I spoke with several of the service attendants and asked if they liked their jobs. They all stated, no they did not and they were sorely underpaid and little or no time off. However, they willingly made the sacrafices for their families back home.
Since my son was enjoying the Circle C, the 12 to 14 teen club, I was able to gamble at the casino at my leisure. I won quite a bit, however, I should warn the true blackjack players, this is not the typical casino crowd. Age 18 and up are allowed to play and most of the players did not know how to play, causing some frustration for those of us seasoned players.
I found shopping on the cruise very enjoyable. There were a variety of shops and prices were very reasonable even beating some of the prices on shore. The decor of the ship was beautiful and for a smaller vessel, it was very well done and the ship was easily managed with the elevators and stairs.
For the price, the cruise could not be beat. But if your looking for a quality cruise with more upscale dining and fellow passengers, this one is not for you.