We booked this cruise to celebrate our 15th anniversary. We booked it only because it went out of New Orleans (we could drive there) and for the fact it was a 7 day cruise. We booked it just 2 months before the cruise. After booking, I started reading the reviews and got a bit concerned. We were traveling without our children--that rarely happens, so we wanted to make it special. Two weeks before the cruise, I started reading the reviews of the suites and was intrigued. We'd never traveled that way before. I called, and to upgrade from our balcony room to a penthouse suite was about $1000--the best $1000 we've ever spent!
We were pampered from the moment we arrived to the moment we left. As we arrived, we parked in the lot, went through security and were greeted at the check-in area. I mentioned we were a suite guest and we were taken to the front of the line to check in, then whisked into a private waiting room, where we met Jon, our concierge. He explained some of the extras to us, and we were then escorted to Cagney's for lunch. From the time we pulled into our parking spot to the time we were seated at lunch was about 15 minutes--most of that waiting through the security line.
Cagney's was an awesome perk the entire week. For our first meal, I had a tuna burger (YUM!) and my husband had a strip steak (he had the same lunch for 5 days, it was that good!). We ate breakfast and lunch there every day--the food was always good. The menu never changed, so by the end of the cruise, we were getting tired of the same choices, but it was still delicious. Crab cakes Benedict was my favorite for breakfast. Each breakfast they had a buffet with pastries, fresh fruit, and cereal to munch on while you waited for your meal. It was so nice to have almost a private dining room--there were never more than 3-4 tables full.
10518--Awesome penthouse! There's a dining room with a fridge, bar area, coffee maker. Family room area had a couch, TV--functional, but the furniture had seen better days. Balcony--two comfy chairs on it--small--a normal balcony size, nothing more. Bedroom was great--it's in a "cave." Mirrors on the wall and ceiling, big velour curtains to close out all the light, comfy mattress, and tons of pillows. Bathroom was huge-- big shower with floor to ceiling windows to the sea, jacuzzi tub for two--great place to watch some beautiful sunsets, tons of storage. Bring a hairdryer!