First, a little perspective. My wife and are in our mid 40s and not big partiers. We like to keep active. Keep that in mind while reading this review.
Embarkation. This was my first cruise out of New Orleans and I found this to be frustrating. There was a huge cheerleader competition going on the day we left and there were about a million people driving and walking around downtown, so it took forever to get anywhere downtown. The parking lot that Royal Caribbean directed us to on the website (the whale lot) was apparently not available for cruisers, so we had to find an alternative. We ended up parking at the Fulton Street Garage. This location charged $12 a night instead of the $16 charged at the "official" cruise parking area, so we saved some money. However, by the time we got into the garage and drove to the top of the structure, the garage was full, so we had to leave our keys for the parking attendants and they parked the car for us after the daytime events ended. I wasn't crazy about leaving my keys there, but hey, my car is insured! Be forewarned, you will need to hang onto the parking ticket they issue you when you enter, and you will need to be able to find it when you return from your cruise so you can exit the ramp. Once we were parked and delivered to the cruise ship terminal the check in process was fairly routine: spent some time waiting, but they got us on board in what I thought was a reasonable amount of time.
Food. Always a highlight of our cruises in the past, and we were not disappointed. We had all of our dinners in the main dining room. Really the only thing I tried that I didn't like much was the lamb shank. The beef shoulder was the most tender piece of beef I had the entire trip, and that includes 2 servings of prime rib. Appetizers were great, soups were great. We did the Windjammer buffet for breakfast and that was fine; typical cruise breakfast food. We did the main dining room for breakfast one day, and found it basically to be a buffet, with some other breakfast foods available for ordering, and one or 2 things that we couldn't get in the Windjammer buffet. Lunch in the main dining room was great. Service was great, and the food was tasty. We went to the 24 hour food area on the promenade deck a few times for snacks and/or pizza, and that was fine. We did not try Johnny Rocket's or Portofino's; I couldn't imagine paying more for different food.