So I have been on several Carnival cruises and I have to say this was my least favorite. I chose this cruise mainly for my mom since it was her first time cruising I thought this ship was large enough to not feel the waves so much and the distance to the port was close enough I didn’t have to take an extra day off work to drive there. We did purchase faster to the fun which was a complete waste of money in my opinion.
First things first - port of New Orleans AWFUL!!! Our check in time was 12:30-1, I don’t remember it giving me any other option. We arrived at the port area around 11:30 and then waited in a car line for about 45 min to park in the port parking garage ($88 to park for the duration of the cruise). We finally made our way up the parking structure to the roof only to find there were NO PARKING SPACES LEFT. Luckily we ran into apparently the only parking attendant working that day who had me and the twenty other cars behind me follow him back down to deck 3 where they opened up several blocked off spots. It was nearly 1pm by the time we finally got through check in and on the ship. Seemed like most folks were already on the ship so kind of defeated the purpose of having the faster to the fun pass. Bottom line - if you can park somewhere other than the port and shuttle/taxi/Uber in - do it.
The ship itself was ok, you can tell it’s kind of older and you can see the wear and tear, but the crew did a great job on keeping things clean. The ship seemed generally very crowded and cramped everywhere the whole cruise. One thing I did notice was there were kids EVERYWHERE! Not sure if this ship had a kids club but it didn’t seem like it. The ship did have an adults only pool with two hot tubs in the back and the serenity area in the front.
Our cabin was ok. Would probably book midship next time.
Food was pretty good. We only ended up doing sit down dinner one night. All of the other cruises I’d been on the waiters encouraged people to try what they wanted, if you wanted 4 appetizers and 2 entrees go for it. I felt the waiter we had was making people feel guilty for ordering that way. It was awkward so we just chose not to go back. We just did the buffet the other nights, which was good, had a lot of the same entrees as the dining room.
Entertainment was alright. We did see two of the theater shows. My mom really enjoyed those, I thought they were kind of cheesy but appreciate the work the performers put in it. I was on a different carnival cruise last November and I’m pretty certain they were the same shows. Cruise director was alright, not my favorite but he was friendly enough.
Our port was Cozumel. We booked the elite champagne catamaran sail through carnival. Honestly this was easily the highlight of our trip. The group was small, 20 or so (there were other catamaran sails boarding boats nearby packing 60 people or more on one boat). We had a crew of 6 or 7 that were all so wonderful! They took us out to an area to snorkel first for a while then we got back on the boat and they took us for a nice sail while they served drinks (open bar) and a nice lunch. We stopped in another area for some free swim time where they had a few paddle boards you could try out, use the snorkel equipment again, or just simply float with a pool noodle. I’d recommend this excursion to any adult travelers!!
Overall I probably wouldn’t book this cruise again, mostly because of the port on embarkation day and the age/size of the ship and it feeling so crowded. Great crew though and really enjoyed the excursion in Cozumel.
Our cabin was ok. We were in 8461, an extended aft view balcony. It was just below the adults only pool so the chlorine smell was a bit strong just outside the cabin door but you couldn’t smell it inside the room at all. Cabin was standard size, balcony was more roomy than a standard balcony (it fit two chairs, a little table, and a lounge chair). Had a great view from standing at the railing. Couple of downfalls - if it wasn’t sunrise or sunset it was hot out there, just not a lot of air movement in that direction. The balcony glass was filthy. If you sat in one of the chairs the railing was literally at eye level and the glass was so dirty you really couldn’t see anything out of it. We even tried cleaning it with a wet towel which did nothing. Lastly the balcony glass slants inward which made it pretty much useless unless you wanted to lay your lounge chair there and pretend you were baking in an oven. Movement wise we did feel some rocking but nothing too bad aside from the last night. Upon return sail were came to a dead stop somewhere near the mouth of the Mississippi and for maybe 30 minutes or so there were a few unsettling bangs and shakes. No idea what happened but we got back to NOLA on time and in one piece. Cabin location in relation to activities was a hike. I didn’t really think that one through when I booked it lol so can’t really complain.