Embarkation day started out awful! For one thing, they were using the Julia St terminal, and an outdoor parking lot that had no signs indicating where to turn to park.
Traffic in the area of the terminal was horrendous, and it took an extraordinarily long time to go "around the block". This was due to a huge jewelry show at the convention center, which is adjacent to the ship terminal. Hubby and I arrived around 10:30 and it was bumper to bumper traffic on Convention Blvd all the way to the terminal. No one knew where to park because the parking garage was closed (it was later found to belong to Carnival and they didn't want any other ship line to use it). What they did provide was an outdoor parking lot that had no signs to indicate that was the RCI parking lot. Finally after getting proper instructions, we parked the car ($112 for the week) and made our way to the terminal with luggage.
Wait time at the terminal was awful, as these were new employees and didn't quite know how to handle 3,000 passengers on their first cruise out of New Orleans. The ship had been late in getting all the passengers off and all 3,000 of us on board, so it was well after lunch before we stepped onto the ship. No time for lunch, as we had to attend muster (safety drill) as soon as we got our luggage settled in our cabin. I did manage to get a cup of coffee at the coffee station on Promenade Deck and was allowed to bring it on deck with me for the drill.
Great view of the ocean.
Nice market area near the port, and if you're not into excursions, but want souvenirs, you'll find everything you need in the market. They have several stores selling Mexican vanilla, which is what I wanted to find.
At this port, they were pushing lots of jewelry. I don't usually wear it, so I had to wave a lot of shop owners away.
This stop had no dock, and passengers have to be "tendered" to shore. Therefore, I did not leave the ship while anchored here.
This is a new port in Jamaica. We got off but had to wait until another ship (Jewel of the Seas) had docked at the other slip. Several stores in the market area near the port were completed and open for business, but there were other buildings still under construction. I got what I went for, which was some Jamaican coffee, also bought tea and ground cinnamon.
Popular item at this port was rum, however there is a limit on how much you can bring into the US without paying duty, also ship personnel confiscates any liquor brought on board and returns it to you before disembarkation.