DADDYOFTHE7SEAZ went on his second cruise with CCL. Hats off to Carnival for providing me with another great vacation and I know that Mother Nature is out of your control.Myself and the wife 45 and 38 and our 2 kids 10 and 15 boarded an Amtrak out of Memphis to NOLA. We love riding the train. We arrived that afternoon around 4:00pm, it's just an 8hr ride from Memphis. Based on Tripadvisor reviews, we picked The Quality Inn & Suites on O'Keefe. The hotel is not the Ritz but it is clean and very efficient with a great staff(triple-AAA rate was $107.00). A $7.00 taxi per person will get you to Bourbon St. or a 15minute walk. We got to Nawlins a day before the cruise to hang out on Bourbon and eat at Deanie"s Seafood, which is very good. So after a good meal and walking the French Qtr. till about 10:00pm we headed back to our room to rest up for the next day.
DAY 1--Left the hotel at 11:15am and was on the ship eating on The Lido by 12:30 needless to say embarkation was a breeze and probably would have gone even faster if the computers hadn't of froze for about 30 minutes. Set sail on time no problems.
Day 2--Woke up to 40 mph winds and 30ft seas and half the ship was sea sick including my wife for the next 2days. In past cruises the seaband wristband worked fine but not this time. I was so-so but stayed full of food and ate apples as that was Carnival's best recommendation.
Day 3--The sea was still a little rough but not as bad as the previous day that was the good news, the bad news is that they closed The Port of Progresso due to high winds and the ship couldn't dock, so we continued on to Cozumel and had a fun day at sea.
Day 4--Cozumel was great. My family and I ran The Cozumel Amazing Race, this was our shore excursions booked thru Carnival. It was very fun and a perfect spin off of the T.V. show and then ate lunch at Three Amigos before boarding the ship.
Rest of Day 4 & 5 was at sea heading back to NOLA. I must say these were the best days because everything had smooth out.
Back in Nawlins, the disembark went just as smooth as the embark. Woke up around 7:00am on the ship ate breakfast and waited for our number to be called and by 10:00am we were off the ship headed to drop our bags off at the Amtrak and go to Bubba Gumps before the train leaves at 1:45pm.
All in all anytime your cruising is better than being at home and can't wait for June 2012 for the next one!!
P.S. Went to the formal dining room once and it was just O.K. I enjoy The Lido so much, I just hang out there and demolish their various buffet's
What better port than going a day or two pre cruise than NOLA. Quality Inn & Suites on O'Keffe, If still highly rated by Tripadvsior will stay their again.