We had a very easy drive to New Orleans, but found it a bit tricky getting around the city. We stayed at the Ramada Inn in Metairie, which we would suggest. It was a very clean and pretty hotel. The rates were much better than staying in New Orleans.
We arrived at the dock around 10:30 and got right to the check in station. This would have been an even easier process if our travel agent would have had all of our paper work. Since we are gold members, we were called quickly and we were on the ship before we knew it. After reading reviews, I was a bit nervous about the ship, but found it to be very nice. There were parts of the boat that needs attention, but it is what we would expect for a ship that has been used for 10 years. We went to the windjammer for lunch, which we found the food to be good. We explored the ship while waiting for our cabin to be ready. Now for the bad part of our trip. We had fruit flies in our room when we got there and they remained the whole trip...even after the ship crew sprayed for them 3 times. We also had a leak in our window which made a noise the whole week. They tried to tell us it was the direction the ship was moving, but it didn't matter what direction we went, the noise was always there.
We did not find the shows to be as good as shows on other ships. Jimmy the cruise director did a great job. The juggler on the last night was by far the best show of the cruise. The ice show was good and the stakers did a good job considering the small rink. There must have been bad ice the night we saw the show because they fell about 10 different times.
Great location on the ship. Cabin 2260 is located in a small hall way. Very convenient to everything. We did have a problem with fruit flies and a window leak that made a horrible noise all week.