We chose to drive to New Orleans and stay one pre-cruise night at the Omni. The next morning, we drove to the dock and parked in the cruise parking deck. You should know that parking is not free, nor is it cheep. This was the only down side of our cruise.
The cabins on board were large and roomy with an excellent balcony view and a nice bathroom. Housekeeping did a fabulous job of keeping the room tidy and well stocked with fresh linens and toiletries.
One of the best parts of this cruise was the small number of guests (135) as opposed to other large ships with many, many guests. We were given lots of personal service, and we were able to become friends with people from every corner of the U.S.
Hunger was never an issue on this cruise. All meals were served in the dining room at lavishly set tables. We were able to order from a menu at each meal. Each meal included an appetizer, entree, and desert. Homemade cookies were served each morning at 10:00, and snacks and soft drinks were available throughout the day. Happy hour included great hor devoures. And, as if that wasn't enough, ice cream sundaes and popcorn were served during the evening entertainment.
Evening entertainment was beyond excellent the first two nights and enjoyable on the other evenings.
Our shore excursions were educational and interesting. We chose not to go to any of the excursions which required an extra fee. We only went to the excursions which were included in our prepaid package, and we were very satisfied with them all.
We have been on large ship cruises to the Bahamas and around Hawaii, and by far small riverboat cruising beats them hands down.