We took this cruise as a replacement vacation when other plans weren't working out. We basically took to the internet, found out what could be available the week we were free, and booked this cruise through Costco. It helped that the port city was New Orleans, where my lovely daughter lives.
We stayed at the Queen Anne Hotel the night before embarkation - it was well-located, convenient, and serviceable. We made our own reservations through Travelocity. We were told that hotels rooms were in high demand because it was the weekend of the Southern Decadence Festival.
Embarkation was very easy. The port is close to downtown New Orleans, and was easy to be dropped off at. While the line was very long, we moved more or less without stopping, and with minimal bureaucracy. Annoyingly, there was a heavy rainstorm during the embarkation, and while we were high and dry, our bags (and some of our clothes in the bags) were drenched. We started the cruise with clothes draped everywhere in our room, to dry out.
Our room was clean and neat, although dated. We were in a veranda room – 9274. Problematically, the room was above the Lanai area – there was constantly cigarette, cigar and pipe smoke wafting across our veranda. Our room steward was competent. The room was clean, we had fresh towels every day. He delivered anything we asked for, but did not try to anticipate any needs. I don’t know why he put up with the slow drain in the sink. As for the size of the shower, I have to be honest here – I am a larger person, and I really didn’t use the shower – I used the showers in the spa on a daily basis.