First, we drove to New Orleans and very much enjoyed our visit. We stayed at Embasey Suites which was an excellent hotel. We chose this cruise as the port of embarkation was half-way between both families. It also had Grand Cayman. We were given times to embark, but we had a mishap and were late SO we did have about a 30 minute wait to get on board.
My husband and I had an inside room which was larger than most inside rooms. There was plenty of drawers and closet space.
Because the LIDO deck was so crowded, we ate almost all meals in the main dining room. While not always warm, they did wait on you. Service was slow. While none of the meals were remarkable, they were certainly okay.
The cabin was larger than most with ample closet and drawer space.
We walked to the street car and bought a day pass. This was a great way to get around. We ate beignets, visited French Quarters, went to the Catheral, and just had a fun day exploring on our own.
While not booked through the cruise line, you have no choice if you want to leave the port area. You have $19.99 pp to ride a bus to Carnival's shopping mall. The wait is long and hot! It was a rip-off!!