We cruised out of New Orleans on March 14th, 2015. We arrived in New Orleans a day early and stayed at the Hyatt across from the Convention Center. We parked our car at the Fulton Garage right next door. If you book your parking on line ahead of time it is a lot cheaper. And so convenient. We will always park at the Fulton Garage from now on when going on a cruise out of New Orleans. We ate at Mannings on Friday night. It was very good. I would highly recommend going to Mannings. It is located in Fulton Square.
Boarding the ship was very easy. We were dropped off at the pier around 11:00 and we were easily on board by 11:30. Went directly to the Windjammer for lunch. Went to the back of the Windjammer and went outside to eat. Great place to eat. Could always find a nice table out there.
The ship was very nice. We had traveled on the Serenade in February of 2013 and not much had changed as far as the appearance of the ship. However, the crew had changed quite a bit. When we traveled in 2013 there was a husband and wife team. The husband was the cruise director, I believe, and the wife was in charge of activities on the ship. They were great. This time was very different. The new cruise director, in my personal opinion, was not very good. She was older and didn't have the personality to do the position of cruise director justice. And the younger girl out by the pool in charge of activities out there was even worse. Could not for the life of her, generate any energy. The games by the pool were rather boring and there was not very much participation. Having said that... we do not cruise for the cruise director or the activities by the pool. I am a firm believer that the cruise is what you make of it. And we had a great cruise. Met many new friends. Enjoyed other venues of the ship.
Nice picture window in room. Always kept clean. Very convenient - near elevator. Very quiet. Had no problem sleeping. Awkward position of the toilet. A bit cramped shower.