as a first time cruiser, everyone said you will be hooked! We were. Loved every moment of it! my husband being an old retire sailor, spent years at sea. He loved it. we were traveling with 3 other couples and all our rooms were nearby. We had the Empress Deck. they had interior rooms. We had a $30 upgrade to an ocean view. Sailing out of new orleans it takes 8 hours to get out of the channel into the gulf. the further down you are, and the closer to the aft, will give you a smoother ride. we had room E160. one windy day we went up to the top decks, closer to the front of the ship. That thing was bouncing all over and we were so glad our rooms weren't up there. The crew on the ship was the most helpful, polite, friendly folks ever. Our room steward, Sokate, was amazing. I could get spoiled having my room cleaned not once, but twice a day. At nite while we were at dinner he would come in clean bathroom and fix the bed, turn down covers, leave chocolates, and leave the bed light on for us. Ronald and Patrick our waiters in the Inspiration dining room, were also top notch. two days we had windy weather and you could feel the ship moving from side to side. My sailor said if you worry yourself about being seasick, you will get sick. he said its all in your mind. not once did i ever feel sick. The food was fabulous, the service, the drinks, all were extremely good. the entertainment choices each evening was great. We truly had the best vacation we have ever had! our friends has already found a cruise for Feb 2016 for us leaving from Charleston to the Bahamas for 7 days. 5 days is just not enough!
the room is a good size for a couple, we had a king. there is enough storage in the closet area , and the shelves was where we put our folded clothes, and hung some. suitcases were in the open closet. the desk in the room has enough space in the drawers for things. in the closet is a safe. there is no iron, blow dryers etc. no alarm clock, why do you need one? every one has a smartphone with time and alarms. only need an alarm on the days you get off the ship for ports and debark. the tv doesn't have too many channels, we kept it on the ship channel. why do you watch tv when your on a great cruise, get out and enjoy , watch tv at home! the bathroom was great. plenty of towel racks, always had plenty of hot water, the soap and shampoo dispensers were nice. never ever smelled any thing like sewer! everything was always very clean. loved having it cleaned twice a day, and chocolates at night for turn down service.
we just walked up and down past all the shops. they kept saying rich boat people, give us all your money. they were bad about pestering everyone. always had to bargain with them, and they wanted cash money. we used cash and some store bought Visa cards so our personal ones didn't get compromised. two shops were very good. I wanted a mexican face mask and he said 40. since i also was buying a tshirt, he said 30 for mask. he did explain all the meanings of the animals on it, and all the colors. now if i could recall all he said, that would be great. as we were working our way to the jewelry store upstairs, that you had to pass through to get to the escalator , I asked is there just steps, I don't trust the elevator as it was having issues and we had no time to get stuck since ship was leaving. he said I am the owner, I will help you get down. I recently had knee surgery, i could go up them but not down. my husband went in front and this owner took both hands and held on to me. I said i need to step with my bad leg first, the left, he said ok, and down we went. I told him he was so nice to do that, he said no problem. this was a very expensive jewelry store he owned. We got back on the pier and one of the guys with the bicycle carts took us back to the Elation. tipped him a few bucks.