Even though the weather the beginning of March was not optimum, we enjoyed this cruise. Unusual cold front and towns we visited had temperatures only in low to mid 50's. Certainly not American cruise lines fault. A little rain and overcast. But it was a sightseeing cruise not a beach one. Weather didn't cancel anything (except a little too chilly to sit on balcony). Pre-cruise night was spent on ship instead of hotel. It was Mardi Gras time in New Orleans. Hotel didn't want to put ships passengers up. We got an extra day on ship with meals and entertainment. Food was good. Variety on menu adequate. It was suggested we preorder lunch and dinner at breakfast. We never did this. Always had room service breakfast. Never a problem for us at lunch or dinner not preordering. Wait staff was excellent as were everyone else who worked on the ship. Top rate. Can't praise them high enough. Cabin was a nice size as was the bathroom. It was clean. Only problem was the balcony, there were a few balconies with drains (if I knew i would have requested one). Because of all the rain a few days before the cruise, the balcony had at least an inch of water on it. Maintenance came twice to sweep it out. But as I stated previously, it was a little too cold to sit out on the balcony anyway. Entertainment was good. Beer, wine, soft drinks included with lunch and dinner. Open bar and cocktail hour with appetizers at 5:30 p.m. in lounge before diner. Open bar again at 8:00 p.m. before entertainment in lounge that continued till about 10:00 p.m. Then everyone (including us) went with last drink in hand to cabins. You weren't chased out of lounge. Could have stayed there. People just didn't. As for the age group of the passengers. We are both retired in our 70's, mobil without use of cane or walker. I would say the majority of the passengers were like us. Our dinner table was comprised of six people. Youngest was 63. Oldest was 83. Other four 70ish. So passengers were seniors, but a dancing bunch (had bands with dancing two nights) who also wanted to enjoy themselves and not sit home and vegetate. The few with walkers (I think I saw two wheelchairs) were at the cocktail hours and entertainment. There were very interesting lectures about the civil war and the Mississippi River. Art classes, card games. A small fitness room. Ellipticals, bikes, other exercise equipment. It was lacking a treadmill. On the review I gave to the cruise line, i told them my one complaint was no treadmill. one was needed. Actually it is my only complaint.
Cabin was very nice. Large enough. Bathroom and shower big enough. Bed comfortable. Storage more of than adequate.
The Houmas house and plantation were nice, guided tour of house was included.
Walked around Baton Rouge ourselves and a tour of the Louisiana state museum was included. Excellent museum. Interesting displays regarding Louisiana history.
We were only half a day here. Didn't take the included plantation tour (but were told it was nice). Bus ride would have been an hour. Didn't take bus into town because that was an hour ride also. So two hours round trip on bus. Left either two hours at plantation or in town. We opted to walk ourselves on levee near where ship was docked. Both of us needed the exercise.
Tour of Vicksburg batlefield was on a tour bus. We didn't get out till at the visitor center. Visitor center had displays, pictures and gave a little history of the battle. Very informative. Basically with this many people (two full busses from cruise) there was no other way for us to tour the whole battlefield. Tour director was excellent with his narrative.
Left and returned from New Orleans. Really need more time there. The cruise added an included tour. The World War II museum. Definitely a must see place. Downside, we only had two hours there. Not enough time. Some on tour opted to get back to the ship on their own and were able to stay at the museum longer. The other included tour was Oak Alley plantation. We were told this was nice. Unfortunately could not do both.