118 New Orleans Romantic Cruise Reviews

I really don't understand all the bad reviews. I read GZRECOIL's review and I just don't get it. We were on the same ship at the same time and we had a great time. Was it perfect? no it wasn't. Do I have some complains? ... Read More
I really don't understand all the bad reviews. I read GZRECOIL's review and I just don't get it. We were on the same ship at the same time and we had a great time. Was it perfect? no it wasn't. Do I have some complains? of course but I really think people need to lighten up. I have no idea what his comment of the staff all leaving after the cruise meant. Everyone we spoke to was staying on until the reefs in May except 1 girl on the cruise staff. Day 1 - Embarkation was surprisingly quick and easy. We got to pier around 1:30 which is unusual for us but we wanted to take in a little Mardi Gras before hand. We were greeted by our cabin steward as soon as we got to our room. She was quiet but efficient and got her job done quickly. Weather was a bit chilly so we sat on our balcony as we sailed down the Mississippi. Had dinner at Teppanyaki which was fantastic. Didn't do a show as it was super bowl so we caught the second half of the game and hit the casino for a bit. Casino is really smokey. This seems to be an issue on all NCP ships I have been on. Day 2 - Sea day. Weather didn't warm up much but we managed to spend a good chunk of the afternoon on deck reading and relaxing. Went to dinner at Le Bistro which was excellent and saw a show. Day 3 - Cozumel. Weather still wasn't cooperating so our scheduled excursion was canceled. We went ashore for about 90 minutes and did a little shopping. Spent the rest of the day by the pool reading and relaxing. Dinner was Le Bistro again and again it was perfect. Day 4 - Roatan. Worst weather day yet. Rained a good portion of the day. We tried to go to a beach but it started raining shortly after we arrived so we ate lunch and headed back to the ship. Spent the day reading and relaxing. Dinner was at Cagney's which was excellent. On a side note I really don't get why everyone gets so excited for the truffle fries? They are french fries people, settle down. Day 5 - Belize. Weather finally broke and it was beautiful. We didn't get off the boat and had a fantastic day enjoying the sunshine on deck. Dinner was at Le Bistro again and like before it was excellent. Day 6 - Costa Maya. Good weather with a touch of wind. Went to a local beach that was all inclusive. Really nice place. Had many really good rum punches and wife got a massage for $40. We didn't expect much when we booked the excursion but we were pleasantly surprised. Dinner at Cagney's - it was excellent. Day 7 - Sea day. Nice sunny day with a little wind. Spent the day on deck and got a couples massage. Good massage but the prices in the spa a stupid expensive. Won't be doing that again. Dinner was at Cagney's. It was superb. Disembarkation - It was quick and painless. We were in a cab less than 20 minutes after we left the buffet. Things we liked. 1 - Customer service and friendliness of the crew and staff was top notch. 2 - Cruise director Richard and his staff were excellent. 3 - Entertainment was really dang good. Don't miss elements or the magician they are both Vegas quality shows. 4 - Wife is gluten free - they were over the top accommodating to her. Very much appreciated. 5 - Food was really good. We ate at upgraded restaurants each night but Had buffet most mornings for breakfast and most lunches. I thought all the food was good at its worst. Lunch at Bimini bar and grill is best choice in my opinion. Things we didn't like 1 - Ultimate drink package. So many people had it (we did not) and a good portion of them were really trying to "get there money's worth". Saw some unfortunately rude people that treated the staff and even fellow passengers poorly. Another side effect is it appears that NCL has raised the prices so high that you really only need to drink 5-6 drinks a day to break even. Some people just are not good drunks. 2 - Internet. Worst I've ever had at sea by a mile. I know it is slow on a cruise ship but this was ridiculous. We don't use it for much but we like to check on the kids each night before dinner via an online chat and many nights it was a struggle to get on at all. 3 - Casino smoke. I really enjoy gambling but only played twice due to excessive smoke. 4 - NCL smoking policy. No smoking on balcony's. Had a guy in room next door who smoked on the balcony daily. When I complained nothing was done. Did it ruin or vacation? Not at all. Was it annoying? Damn right. I spoke to hotel manager and told him "rules are only rules if they get inforced". He understood but nothing was really ever done about it. People would more or less smoke anywhere outside which is suppose to be a no no. 5 - SOME fellow passengers. Let's just say it was an eccentric group. Louisiana schools get the week off for Mardi Gras so there were a lot of kids and college kids. I am totally fine with that. There were lots and lots of really nice people and families on board that we really enjoyed meeting. There were also a lot of people that you would normally see in a biker bar or puking on bourbon street with there pants at there ankles. Unfortunately with NCL lower price point and the free booze promotion this is just a fact of life on NCL. Another thing - I know it's "freestyle" cruising but allowing teenagers to wear pajama's, athletic shorts, etc. at dinner? this is a parenting problem in my opinion not an NCL issue. Overall a really nice trip. We wish the weather was better at the beginning of the week but we made the best of it. I truly believe that a cruise vacation is what you make of it. If you have a crappy attitude you are probably going to have a crappy cruise. Lighten up and go with the flow and you will enjoy yourself much more. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
The biggest impact for me was the cruise staff. They were professional, confident, always smiling and made us feel like we were the only people on the ship. Our stateroom was magnificent (although definitely aging) but quite wonderful. The ... Read More
The biggest impact for me was the cruise staff. They were professional, confident, always smiling and made us feel like we were the only people on the ship. Our stateroom was magnificent (although definitely aging) but quite wonderful. The bed was comfy, bedding soft, and the expanse of the room was so nice at the times we wanted to just take a moment and get away from the bustle. This was the smallest ship I've ever been on and there was one day that the waves really forced us to wear our Seabands, which helped a bunch!! I loved the comedians, and enjoyed watching the Super Bowl at the Mikado lounge. *We are from Colorado so we were impressed with the football buffet and the giant screen to route on our Broncos!! I am only disappointed with the "shows". There were some B class productions and a few game show type things. The bigger ships do this part better. Otherwise, it was a fabulous cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
NCL Dawn Christmas Cruise 2015 December 20 - 27, 2015 This was my 8th NCL cruise. I had not been on NCL for two years. I have been cruising with Celebrity most recently. I always say there is no such thing as a bad cruise, so this ... Read More
NCL Dawn Christmas Cruise 2015 December 20 - 27, 2015 This was my 8th NCL cruise. I had not been on NCL for two years. I have been cruising with Celebrity most recently. I always say there is no such thing as a bad cruise, so this was not a bad cruise but NCL has changed some things which I will miss. Overall it was a nice cruise and we enjoyed ourselves. We had a wonderful balcony cabin on deck 10. It had lots of storage. It needed new beds as the beds had large indentations where people’s hips had been. We just love sitting on our balcony and watching the sea go by or sail away. There was a lot of banging during the day from crew members chipping and grinding. This always stopped at night but it made it difficult for afternoon naps. Dining We always ate at 5pm in the Venetian Dining room. The first two days were great. We were served quickly with no problems. The next two nights the service went down hill. The service was so slow. It took us 2 hours to eat. We had to wait so long in between courses for our food. So we finally gave up on the dining room and went to the buffet for the rest of the time. I had heard from others that if you went to eat at 6pm that there was a 45 minute wait just for a table. We booked no ship excursions. They are overpriced and crowded. In Cozumel we went to the money bar beach and snorkeled. In Roatan we went to Tabayana beach and snorkeled. We stayed on the ship in Belize as we had been many times before as the long tender ride was not worth it in our opinion. In Costa Maya we booked the day at the fully inclusive Maya Chan beach resort. The Dawn is an older, smaller ship and it was last refurbished in 2009. Considering the number of passengers it holds every week it is in pretty good condition. Many seats in the main show room are broken and uncomfortable. They really need to be replaced. Our balcony needed some help. Part of the ceiling was missing and it was rusty and needed a good coat of paint. I hated the Spinnaker lounge. Seating was very limited and trying to see the stage was hard. I went to the pool the day we were in Belize and had a nice swim with other adults however kids started diving and jumping in the pool and us adults had to leave. When I got back to my cabin I was watching the TV and it said the jumping and diving in the pool was strictly prohibited. I am all for having rules but if you are going to have them please enforce them. There is only one pool on this ship and it was off limits to adults because of this. The kids had a smaller pool at the back of the ship but they didn’t use that one I guess. There were quiet areas noted in the freestyle daily planner and we used those. The main pool area usually had blaring, loud music which we hated. The front of the ship on deck 13 was a designated quiet area. It had a nice large hot tub. The first sea day a group of 20 older teenagers and drunk 20 or 21 year olds over took the hot tub. They stayed there all day never getting out. The posted maximum people allowed in the hot tub was 9. They were loud and then they got out their phones and started playing loud rap music. So much for a quiet area. I did go down to the main desk and complain. Security did come, some of the youth left but the moment security left they started up their music again. We just gave up and left. I loved the Entertainment. I loved the production shows. Loved the newlywed game and dancing with the stars. I didn’t go see the magician as I hate magicians. The dancing staff had a nice question and answer period one afternoon which I really enjoyed. Our cabin steward was great. Never did find out his name. Not very personable but he did his job. Waiters in the dining room were hit and miss. We had the Ultimate beverage package as a perk for booking and so did everyone else it seemed. The poor bartenders were so overworked and understaffed. One bartender trying to wait on a line of 20 people is a little much. Had to wait an average of ten minutes for a drink. I always tip in cash. I always take the automatic tips off my account. Call me old fashioned but I like to tip for above average service. I do not appreciate being told how much, when, where and who to tip. When I went to the main desk to remove my tips this was refused. They said that it is now done thru the main NCL office. I was not pleased. Embarkation and Disembarkation Embarkation was a breeze. There were lines as always but they seemed to move quite fast. Disembarkation was a nightmare. There were only 3 or 4 custom officers and this backed up the whole process. It took us 1 and ½ hours to disembark. Thankfully we left the ship quite early and our flight was not due to leave til noon. We made it in time but I am sure lots of people must have missed their flights. We had a cruise critic meet and greet and as always NCL always treats cruise critic well. We were given refreshments and muffins etc. All the head officers were introduced to us. Then the hotel director and cruise director stayed with us and we had a wonderful question and answer period. Dingo Dave was our cruise director and he was fun. Loved his bow ties. He says the word “excellente” too much and I hated his laugh but he was always out and about. I don’t know when that poor man slept. I love lobster. This is the one reason I love to cruise. It is the only time I get to have lobster. Imagine my surprise when I was informed that lobster was stopped 1 and ½ years ago. What a disappointment for me. Then on the last night of the cruise I was busy going to all the shows and had skipped dinner. At 11pm I went to the buffet and nothing was open except ice cream. I went back to my cabin and decided to order room service. I called and was told that room service was a extra charge of $7.95! When did this happen? Room service is a part of cruising. When I cruise NCL again I will choose a newer ship. Like the Epic, Breakaway or Escape. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our third cruise on the Dawn out of NOLA, same itinerary. It's an easy port to sail from for us and we prefer the smaller ships. At embarkation, I told the greeter we were priority boarding and she pointed us to an area we ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Dawn out of NOLA, same itinerary. It's an easy port to sail from for us and we prefer the smaller ships. At embarkation, I told the greeter we were priority boarding and she pointed us to an area we stood in for about 20 minutes that was not moving. I asked those around me if they were in suites and they said no, so I knew I was in the wrong line. I returned to the Greeter and asked if this was the line for Penthouse Suite Guests and she said "No, you didn't say Penthouse, you should have told me Penthouse and not just Priority". I didn't expect to be spoken to that way, a simple "No, Penthouse Guests should go to this line" would have sufficed. We stayed in an Aft Penthouse Balcony Starboard side on Deck 9. It is called an "Aft facing Penthouse with large Balcony", but it is not a large balcony. Our cabin was never comfortably cool but the suite beside us had adequate AC. We felt the entire ship was entirely too warm and were uncomfortable especially when dressing for dinner and when at dinner! Because we were in a suite, we were offered breakfast and lunch in Cagney's each day. The food was very good in Cagney's, service slow, but to get a cocktail was a major ordeal. The staff didn't mind advising that they had to go to another deck and bar to secure a glass of wine or other drink. The Star Bar is located just outside Cagney's and I wondered why they would not have it manned during the same hours for guests at Cagney's. Karaoke night was blacked out due to several televised sporting events and was held in the Pearly Kings Pub which is a very small venue. The Dawn has limited bar areas. The ship was clean and well kept, including the public restrooms. Events at Spinnaker Lounge seemed understaffed and the wait was long for a beverage. We had read articles prior to the cruise about the new smoking policy. While we did not smell cigarette smoke while in our cabin, meaning no one was smoking on their balcony, smoking was common in the casino and the entire 6th deck wreaked of smoke spilling from the Havana Club. We enjoy Gatsby's Champagne Bar but the strong stench of pipe, cigar and cigarette smoke made that rather unpleasant for us. The staff in the Venetian were courteous, prompt and the food was good and they went way above and beyond the call for a special occasion for our group of 45. For the most part, the weather cooperated with only a few storms but mostly during the night. The Pirate Night event was moved to Spinnaker Lounge due to inclement weather and was a blast but still too warm and hoping she gets updated on that when in dry dock this coming spring. The casino ran out of bottled water mid way through the cruise. We had a well attended Meet & Greet on the first sea day and were very pleased with the refreshments, the venue (Star Bar) and the number of senior officers who attended. The Ports were what we enjoy but did not tender in to Belize. We are booked again on this ship in the spring and are looking forward to it. We took a ship excursion in Roatan, Tabayana Beach Excursion, which was a too pricey considering we had to pay for our drinks, including water. Lunch was served at no additional cost but it was tolerable at best. The water and sand and scenery was awesome but I would never do that again and I do not recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This is our 5th cruise. It's number three with Carnival. First Husband and I are a 'roll with it ' kind of couple. We definitely don't sweat the small stuff. We enjoyed the Dream and what it had to offer. She's ... Read More
This is our 5th cruise. It's number three with Carnival. First Husband and I are a 'roll with it ' kind of couple. We definitely don't sweat the small stuff. We enjoyed the Dream and what it had to offer. She's a little lived in and showing some wear but aren't we all. The first night was a little bumpy. We think a lot of folks were starting their contracts. Service was slow in the MDR. By night two everyone was in the groove and smiles were back. These folks work hard and put up with a lot of ugliness and unrealistic expectations. Our dining selection was "My Time". Try to get in Naven's section. Great service and a wicked sense of humor. The food was fine. While not always a home run it was better than what we'd get at home. (I don't cook) We ate at the Steakhouse and Chef's Table. Both were delicious. The food served at the Chef's Table was breathtaking. We dined in the galley! It's worth the up charge and tip. This was our second time at the Chef's table. The first one was on the Triumph. The casino was very smoky. Thankfully we bring a bottle of Frebreez. The slots were tight most nights. Fortunately we play for fun. Sea day activities on any ship are busy! Plan accordingly. Husband and I tried the Serenity area. Most the furniture on the deck has cushions. You need them. They were not very comfortable. The hammocks are a treat. Spent a relaxing couple of hours watching the clouds and listening to music. Cool cruise moments... passing the Carnival Elation on the Mississippi. The first sunrise of the cruise. I pulled Husband out of bed to watch it with me. This is followed by the many dolphin and flying fish sightings. Spa- Got a great hot stone message from Kelly the first day. She was good. You do hear a lot of thumping from the Serenity deck above the treatment rooms. Carnival, you might want to look at sound proofing this area. Ports - Mahogany Bay We did Pirates, Birds, and Monkeys. The a Macaws are beautiful and fly free. The Toucans were caged. The monkeys were fun. The pirates are disappointing. More like a really lame small museum. The port is very nice, full of stores and clean. Belize- Tuna Sandwich (Mayan Ruins) Hands down our favorite excursion. Be warned! You are on the road for almost 5 hours. Our tour guide, Denise, talked for 2 hours straight about Belize. She was very good. Lots of great information and beautiful countryside. We fell in love with with this country and the people we met. The ruins were incredible. When you first walk in to the park it's cool, but when you see the first temple turn to your left. If you're not blown away...well you are hard to impress. It's incredible. You get to climb to the top where the view ... there are no words. We saw a family of Howler monkeys on the way back to the van. The port is older and a little rough around the edges. You tender to the port. Cozumel- no excursion We got of the Dream to stretch our legs and grab lunch. It is one of our least favorite ports. Poncho's was good. The port is a typical cruise port. However the duty free store gauntlet seems to be a lot longer than most ports. All in all we loved our cruise on the Dream. We laughed, enjoyed ourselves, relaxed and met interesting folks from all over the world. If you go expecting perfection then you are going to be disappointed. If you go looking to relax and have a good time, the Dream is a great place to start. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My girlfriend and I didn't expect to take a cruise until 2016, so when she unexpectedly got some vacation time we were E-LATED that this Elation sailing fit out plans perfectly. I have been on her a few times already, but this was her ... Read More
My girlfriend and I didn't expect to take a cruise until 2016, so when she unexpectedly got some vacation time we were E-LATED that this Elation sailing fit out plans perfectly. I have been on her a few times already, but this was her first time. I don't know about everyone else, but for me the Elation isn't the ship you seek out it's kinda the one you end up on. What I mean is that each time I have sailed on her it was because of price, convenience, or schedule. We drove from Saint Louis two nights before and stayed in the Intercontinental in downtown NOLA, it was a very nice hotel right in the heart of everything we wanted to check out. We had breakfast at Cafe Du Monde and were on our way to the terminal about 1030. We had Faster to the Fun for the first time and overall I thought it was worth it. We were on the ship about three minutes after the wedding parties, one diamond cruiser, and the platinum's. The ship is very worn but kept very clean, you always saw folks keeping it up. Our room was U110 and it was a different setup than I've ever had, I guess because it is setup for three guests. The luggage was waiting at the door, hers was at least, I accidentally packed my wine instead of carrying it on so it got flagged and destroyed. Our cabin steward, Dennis was excellent and took care of everything and not once disturbed us if we slept in or anything! He even secured a pair of dress socks that somehow didn't get packed. Since this was for our birthday,did I mention my girlfriend and I have the same birthday? Well we decided to go all out and swim with the dolphins in Cozumel, do the Chefs Table, and then an all inclusive resort in Progreso. The dolphin encounter was done through Carnival we met the group and the end of the pier and all traveled together via taxi. It was an experience of a lifetime, but you can't use your own camera so if you want those memories saved, be prepared to shell out some money. I bought all fifty-three of our pictures on cd and the dvd for 174.00!!! In Progreso we were kinda tired from our birthday so we were just gonna look around downtown and get back on, but we saw a vendor for Auto Progreso and their all-inclusive for 35.00. Now I had researched and flopped back and forth from doing it with them or Carnival for 79.99 but decided on neither at the time. We ended up doing it with Auto Progreso and had a blast at the beach slamming back watered down drinks! Be prepared if you book in advance or just pay when you get there you have take a bus from the pier for about fifteen minutes into downtown and then transfer to another bus and depending on how many people have already signed up you might have to wait for the bus to fill up before you can leave to be prepared. We were lucky we didn't have to wait because that bus was packed! Like I mentioned before we booked the Chefs Table for 75.00 pp, and it was worth every penny, you get to go in the kitchen and see them serve dinner, overall you get about 10 courses and all the champagne and wine you want. Highly recommended! By the time our last day rolled around we were pooped and ready to get back home, but you better believe we were already planning our next adventure! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We have cruised with Patty and Jose in the past and so picked this cruise to enjoy them again—we weren’t disappointed. Embarkation from New Orleans was the worse that we’ve been through. They used a very large room for people ... Read More
We have cruised with Patty and Jose in the past and so picked this cruise to enjoy them again—we weren’t disappointed. Embarkation from New Orleans was the worse that we’ve been through. They used a very large room for people waiting to check in and waiting to get on the boat. Some people had numbers and some didn’t. It was too crowded to find someone to ask questions. Many were confused, including us. Very few smiles. Our luggage finally got to our room after 6PM. Dining—The Garden Café had similar food daily for breakfast and lunch. There were sections for Asian food, Hot Dogs and Hamburgers, a lettuce salad bar, a dessert bar and a meat and vegetable area. Usually there was no line for omelets or eggs to order. Fruity chilled soups were very good and warm soups were just OK. Barbeques by the pool often added a few more choices. The main dining rooms served very good meals and had very good waiters and waitresses. We were served quickly and always had hot food. Generally it took about an hour and fifteen minutes for dinner. There are several specialty restaurants for a fee or for those with bonus dining credits. The Garden Café steps up their faire for dinner (Prime Rib one night and often main courses similar to ones served in the main dining rooms). It was a good option for those wanting a quicker and more casual experience and then getting on to the evening’s entertainment. Entertainment—The production shows in the Stardust Theatre were great. The ship had six very good vocalists that entertained us several nights (and days). Patty and Jose were in the Atrium most nights and then in the Stardust for two shows—“Happy TwoGether” and “Neil Diamond”. Neither of those shows in the Stardust should be missed. The piano bar had a very good singer each night and the Spinnaker lounge had a dance band every late night. Dingo our cruise director was always around. He genuinely wanted us to be having a great time. There seemed to be few places to read or play cards or talk to friends. The tables in the Garden Café and around the pool were often used for socializing making it more difficult to find a place to sit and eat meals. We enjoyed the Dawn being a smaller ship (compared to the Mega ships). We seemed to see those “new friends” more often. Elsa in the Blue Lagoon knew our name after the second visit and made sure that we were seated with the waitress that we wanted. Marianne served us coffee each morning and knew our names and what we wanted from the first day. Those little things make your day go a little nicer, your cruise a little more pleasant and pretty soon a little romance seems to bloom! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Embarkation tips Taxi to New Orleans port was the way to go they have a separate entry for taxi's for quick dropoffs! Norwegian Dawn a nice ship not many bells and whistles compared to todays newer ships. Food ranged from ... Read More
Embarkation tips Taxi to New Orleans port was the way to go they have a separate entry for taxi's for quick dropoffs! Norwegian Dawn a nice ship not many bells and whistles compared to todays newer ships. Food ranged from Decent to Very Good at the main restuarants, Buffet was decent. food is available all day and 24/7. The Bar Staff was well trained and the bartenders knew their stuff. Entertainment was in a word Fantastic "Oh what a night": a las vegas Jersey boys type show was fantastic, Josie and Patti - Neil Diamond show brought down the house, The acrobats were outstanding and showdown was a very good show as well. The other musicians throughout the ship were excellent as well the guy on the piano at gatbys was a very good Frank Sinatra crooner. Our Room 9522 was a balcony small but functional a nice place to get some quiet and watch the ocean! Cruise 12 days had a decidly older crowd so if you wanted a chair around the pool you could easily find it but people are still annoying with their lounger saving and they never show up. Shore excursions: Aruba - Kukoo Kunuku beach transfer is basically a open air bus with music where you go through parts of Aruba visit a small chapel then head to a decent beach white sand very nice. side note Aruba is like the arizona of islands Catus everywhere very dry island. Curacao - Sea Aquaruim and beach by boat - best excusion of the trip the sharks, Sea Lions, Pink Flamingo and Dolphin Shows were excellent and after the beach was a nice quite place with a quiet bar to relax Curacao is my new fav Carribean Island. St. Maarten - Airport beach was worth to at least see once but is very crowded! St. Thomas - Treelime Zipline tour is a excellent thrilling and safe zipline a good time was had by all worth the money! Tips: If you need to do Laundry NCL has a bag of landry special for 25$ at least once a week. Gold Members get a 25% discount on Landry and Platinum Members get a free bag of Laundry. Debarkation Tips in Boston was a breeze pay 5/10 dollars and use a porter you get priority on taxi's plus if you have a lot of luggage it really helps. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My husband and I chose to honeymoon in New Orleans flanked by a 4 day jaunt out of New Orleans on the Carnival Elation. For the first part of our trip, we had a ball eating yummy food and enjoying delicious libations throughout the city. ... Read More
My husband and I chose to honeymoon in New Orleans flanked by a 4 day jaunt out of New Orleans on the Carnival Elation. For the first part of our trip, we had a ball eating yummy food and enjoying delicious libations throughout the city. This was my second cruise and my husband's first. I had cruised with RCCL on the Freedom of the Seas and enjoyed it very much. Friends recommended that we tried Carnival and you couldn't beat the price or convenient. We stayed in the Omni Royal - French Quarter and were very impressed by the value as well as the proximity to the fun things to see and do in the French Quarter - we were close enough to the party without living in the party. Embarkation - On our embarkation morning, we had a 15 minute cab ride to the port with a flat rate of $14 which we thought was reasonable. After exiting the cab, we gave our luggage to a porter and were on our way to the terminal. I had heard (read on CC) that embarkation in New Orleans would be a little bit of a process so I prepared myself in advance for a lot of "hurry up and wait". However, I was very pleasantly surprised that we were on the ship in about 30 minutes from when we arrived at the terminal (11:15 AM). For whatever reason, we were certainly NOT eligible for priority boarding, we were motioned to the much shorter of the two lines. As with any embarkation, I like to keep the necessary documents in hand while we proceed to the different areas. I saw a lot of fellow cruisers put away and get back out their passports several times which made their embarkation experiences longer and a bit more frustrating. After boarding the Elation, we immediately signed up for the Cheers! package which I would recommend to anyone. My husband and I like to drink and we found that it was an excellent value for us. The best part is being able to try new drinks and then not feel pressured to finish every drop if it's not your favorite thing. We took some time to walk around the Elation and get our bearings. The first thing we noticed was the over the top and gaudy decor - we had been warned. Our bags were at our stateroom door by around 1 PM and we could enjoy unpacking cocktail in hand. Dining - We ate in the MDR every night with the exception of the night that we did Chef's Table. Our table placement was very unfortunate - right next to the kitchen and there was constant foot traffic back and forth in front of our table. Also, we were seated with another couple near our age who did not return to the MDR after the first night. We ate lunch at Tiffany's each day and tried Mongolian Wok, Pizza Pirate, and the deli sandwich station. This was just standard cruise buffet fare - nothing too exciting. Our Chef's Table experience was outstanding and I would highly recommend it to any cruiser. It was so neat to go "backstage" in the kitchens and see how the staff prepares food for such a large amount of people. I was surprised to see that the dishes are very made-to-order and not sitting underneath heat lamps waiting to be transported to the MDR. The dining experience with the Chef's Table was top-notch and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the courses. One special thing about the Chef's Table was that we were able to meet the Chef during our first night at dinner. I definitely felt like a big timer! Entertainment - We didn't attend any of the musical shows but had a great time with the two comedians - Macio and the Cowboy Comedian. The Newlywed show was a hoot and, even though I saw a few, definitely not for children! I was impressed with the band that played near the Casino - they were great!! The Piano Bar was a giant flop - I love piano bars and this pianist, although talented, was visibly very unhappy about his gig. He spent a lot of time talking about himself and complaining about how the Atrium Bar musician interfered with his ability to perform to his fullest potential. No one stayed in the Piano Bar for very long....sad! Activities - My husband and I were excited to check out Movie Trivia on our first sea day but were disappointed that it was just a placeholder in between rounds of Bingo. It was 15 minutes long with a reminder after each question to come up and buy more Bingo cards for the next round. Gambling just isn't our cup of tea and we felt discouraged from trying more trivia events for the rest of the cruise. Service - We were so impressed by the service aboard the Elation. From the CD to the maintenance crew, we were always greeted with a smile. Our room steward, Ida, was such a treat and our room was sparkling. Our dinner waiters were great and quickly learned our names as well as our tastes. The bar staff throughout the ship were very polite and efficient. After before embarking, I accidentally left my cell phone on the lounge chair of the Serenity Deck. The staff there held onto my phone and when I, frantically, returned about 30 minutes later, they immediately recognized me and returned my phone. I was so relieved! Cozumel - It was typical Cozumel - I had been before. We opted to go "off ship" and spend some time snorkeling at Chakanab (sp?) beach. I would highly recommend - beautiful place and a lot of bang for your buck. Disembarkation - Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. After spending a FUN four days on the Elation, we had to endure a very painful disembarkation experience. Due to weather, we had to arrive one hour later into port than expected. We opted to not do the Self-Assist and I really regretted that choice. We did not get off of the boat until almost noon. Everyone, crew and guests alike, were grumpy and frazzled - many families missed flights. In the future, I will be purchasing the Faster to the Fun experience because I could not handle the waiting around. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Pro's Big ship, with lots going on Plenty of sun beds - serenity deck is worth finding if you are over 21 Ship was very clean and despite being busy, used tables were cleared by the staff very quickly. The staff were all ... Read More
Pro's Big ship, with lots going on Plenty of sun beds - serenity deck is worth finding if you are over 21 Ship was very clean and despite being busy, used tables were cleared by the staff very quickly. The staff were all very friendly The steakhouse restaurant is well worth a visit ($35 per person supplement) We did "your time dining", this was good in that we could adjust timings to suit the shows we wanted to see, but you still have to wait for a table with a buzzer, which we quickly got used to and just went for a pre-dinner drink with our buzzer in hand. Dolphin trip (balmoral island, nassau) was well organised and worth doing. Trolley bus (key west) was ok for orientation, but a walk up Duval St was all that was needed. Freeport - find a taxi and ask for a nice private beach of which there are plenty. If you board this ship in New Orleans, spend a night there in the French Quarter - buzzing place. Con's Smoking - smoking - smoking!!! The casino and best coffee bar on the ship are smoking zones and the heavy smell wafted through to surrounding areas. This put us off using the casino and our visits were limited to dashing through holding our breath to get to the smoke free bars and club at the rear of the ship. In the UK, smoking is banned in public places and we were stunned that Carnival picked such a high profile part of the ship for all of the smokers. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Our first cruise and absolutely wonderful Very organized at embarkment. We got the Oceanview room with 3 by 4 ft picture window Gorgeous no wasted space but plenty of room for everything. The Brazilian restaurant was my favorite well ... Read More
Our first cruise and absolutely wonderful Very organized at embarkment. We got the Oceanview room with 3 by 4 ft picture window Gorgeous no wasted space but plenty of room for everything. The Brazilian restaurant was my favorite well worth the cover. EVERYTHING cooked to perfection. The Aqua was also elegant and delicious It serves same menus as the Venetian but without the wait. The buffet had a wide variety of choices and delicious. I loved the separate children's area for eating in the garden cafe. Although I heard experience d cruise rs complaining that they like the assignment if dinner times because they feel more catered to, I loved the freestyle cruise and flexibility of eating when I want and not tied to a schedule. Lots of diverse activities I took a Salsa class, pilates, and attended a photography lecture. Two complaints The Spa gorgeous but dissappointly overpriced almost 200 fir a massage once u add gratuity .Get one on the beach instead! !! The tender one or two boats for 2000 people Really be carefull r you will be late for your excursion! Staff sweet but obviously tired and overworked Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Lots of spring breakers on this sailing. Made for a crowds and sometimes noisy trip. Last year we did Easter week. OK been there done that. That is BIG holiday week in C. America. We had a deck 9 balcony room. We have learned to to try ... Read More
Lots of spring breakers on this sailing. Made for a crowds and sometimes noisy trip. Last year we did Easter week. OK been there done that. That is BIG holiday week in C. America. We had a deck 9 balcony room. We have learned to to try and stay above deck 8 and get a balcony room on NCL ships. Aside from age of room, it was as expected. On checkin day the main steward had met us, and was about to vacuum . Also wipe down fixtures in the room. We pointed out the cabin needed it. The bed seemed to have a fairly new mattress on it. There was bedside table, couch, and small coffee table. Balcony small, and had rubberized flooring coming loose. Steward said something about going to spray down another floor soon. It tracked into the cabin as went in/out. Our steward, Venkadesh, was really good. He had at least one assisstant. Bathroom is small with little counter area. Shower is good. Toilet area is quite small. I brought my own toiletries (from hotel). Garden cafe is well.... a buffet. We did not eat there except for lunch time snacks. There are 2 dining rooms, The Venetian and The Aqua. Eat in the Venetian. Get to these early 5 or 5 30PM. Otherwise the waits, and service get long. Food was generally OK. Not as good as in years past, but which line is ? We ate in specialty restaurants about half the time. We like Le Bistro the best. Always had a good meal here and good service. La Cucina was nice too. Cagneys long to dine, and not up to top end steakhouse status. As seating is on schedules, Teppanyaki was a bit hurried. Food OK, not great. Entertainment the usual cruise ship variety. Pool bands too loud. Generally avoided this area. Sadly the bars on the pool deck closed down much too early. Usually right about sundown. What ? Had to get a drink elsewhere and bring it up. Shore excursions were good, but none booked with NCL. At Cozumel we went to the Benito Juarez Plaza. Stopped at the Habanos Cigar store and bar that is above Fat Tuesdays. Had a cigar, tequila, and ceviche. Also discussed the fantastic Russian yacht that was in port with the ladies there. Odd, one was from Bulgaria and spoke Russian. I was going to hire a boat to take us out. Party poop wife said no. The yacht belonged to Andrey Melnichenko. Brought back some cigars. Wife has bought jewelry in Cozumel many time in years past. Know what you are dealing with. At Belize city did a trip by water taxi to Caye Caulker. The water taxi is out the terminal turn left on Fort street. Maybe 1/2 mile away. A nice looking beach resort. Had lunch there. San Pedro is better. Did our drug buying in Belize, codein cough syrup for my wife. Roatan is a great place. Went out the port and got a van to French Key. Came back and had drinks and wifi at Fonzies just outside the main port and to the right. Costa Maya is just outside the beach town of Mahajuaul. For $4 you can got to town and beach and drinks for not much more. go outside the terminal area. Also there you can find a tour to Maya ruin Chachoben. Mostly this ship and cruise is what you make of it keeping mind what I have previously pointed out. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Overall, very pleasant cruise. The staff are the friendliest, most courteous and welcoming crew on any of the NCL ships we have sailed in the past. The food was really delicious in Cagney's for breakfast, lunch and dinner. LeBistro ... Read More
Overall, very pleasant cruise. The staff are the friendliest, most courteous and welcoming crew on any of the NCL ships we have sailed in the past. The food was really delicious in Cagney's for breakfast, lunch and dinner. LeBistro was extremely loud and chaotic and did not lend itself to a fine dining experience. We were seated near the kitchen and the staff seemed frantic. Service was incredibly slow and caused us to miss the late theater show. We were told that the hostess always seated the Suite guests where it was the noisiest out of meanness and we did not understand why. Service and atmosphere were excellent in La Cucina, Moderno and Cagney's. The food was good in Le Bistro but we have had better on other NCL ships. The public areas on ship were well maintained and always clean, including the rest rooms. The pool water was not as inviting as it was in December. There were oil slicks with bubbles on top and I reported it but didn't see much improvement. The water was clean in December and I spent a lot of time in the pool on that cruise. The aft penthouse was small, but very comfortable and we absolutely love having access to the wrap around balcony. Our Cabin Steward, Diogo, was fantastic as was our Butler, Henry. Geraldine served us every meal in Cagney's and was truly a delight to be around and excellent at her job. In room DVD selection was okay but some of the DVDs skipped or paused on their own and were not clean and one DVD was missing from the case. The pianist at Gatsby's Bar was okay but he improvised and it was often difficult to connect the tune to his playing. The female guitarist was talented but far too loud for the venue and it was not possible for us to stay, it was that loud. Twice as Nice performed in the Atrium and drew large crowds every night they performed. Their music was not too loud and was appealing to all generations. Very talented and once discovered, standing only room existed. Not only were they entertaining, they loved their audience and let them know it. After their act was finished, they would even mingle with their fans. Lovely people, fabulous entertainment, and we hope to see them again. We took one excursion in Cozumel to Paradise Island. It was advertised as a five hour excursion but in reality was only 4 and that made it over priced in our opinion. The all inclusive island was beautiful. It took about 35 minutes by boat to reach the island. They served local cuisine but it was only warm and not hot. Unlimited Beverages of water, sweet rum drinks, soft drinks and beer. We felt the tip hat was passed around too many times. Enjoyed the water and there were trampolines in the water and other water activities. We left at 9;15 and were back on board ship at 1:15. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We are loyal Royal Caribbean customers. This was our 8th cruise. The Serenade is a smaller ship than we use to and we sailed out of New Orleans. Our Cabin was great. This was our first experience with a balcony room. Once you go ... Read More
We are loyal Royal Caribbean customers. This was our 8th cruise. The Serenade is a smaller ship than we use to and we sailed out of New Orleans. Our Cabin was great. This was our first experience with a balcony room. Once you go balcony you can never go back. The dinning room felt overly crowded and the servers didn't seem very knowledgeable. On past cruises the waiter seamed to go the extra step, made dinner fun. Our port were Fairmouth Jamaica, Cozumel, Grand Cayman. We enjoyed 2 of the 3 port. Jamaica is a very poor town, and unless you take a shore excursion to the falls, (which we had already done on a previous cruise) there is nothing much to do in the safe shopping area. The other two port were great. We snorkeled and swam with the dolphins. The worst part of the cruise was the mystery dinner. This was a staged murder mystery that we were lead to believe that we were to solve the mystery. It was in a work DUMB. Not only was it not entertaining, it was scheduled on the same night as the lobster dinner which we ended up missing. Not cool! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was my 5th cruise, my husband's 1st, and we were both new to NCL. I had not cruised in 8 years, and things have changed! Embarkation: Port of New Orleans was a madhouse. We arrived right on the nose for embarkation and ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise, my husband's 1st, and we were both new to NCL. I had not cruised in 8 years, and things have changed! Embarkation: Port of New Orleans was a madhouse. We arrived right on the nose for embarkation and still had to wait two hours standing in line before we got on the ship. They kept giving us paperwork to fill out in line, but we were carrying bags and had no pen or anything hard to write on. People were trying to do the best they could, and it congested the line as people were writing instead of queuing. Cabin: There was a large (for a cruise ship) bathroom with a glass shower door. The closet was plenty big. There was a safe. The door was metallic so we brought magnets to post all the daily bulletins. The TV was old and fuzzy (no HD), but I only watched it once. No biggie. We were in a "sideways" room. The bed did not lie forward to aft, but starboard to port. I cannot sleep with the ship rocking me head to feet. I asked the cabin steward to move my bed, and he was happy to oblige, but this put the head of the bed in a strange position where I sat up and hit my head on an object jutting out of the wall every morning. Ouch! The room was kept clean, and I have no complaints, but it wasn't the same level of service as I have received on previous cruises. I am used to the bed being made up in different ways for different times of the day. Not necessary, but I missed that little touch. Food: Hit or miss. The soups on this ship were fantastic. There was a mushroom soup I got the recipe for. There was a tomato soup that I got seconds of. The menu is different than other cruises I have been on. There is a standard menu they have every night of the cruise with standard things like meatloaf, and then there is a new menu every night as well. The Striploin steak on the standard menu was ordered often, as it was delicious. Dinner was often disappointing for me. Many items were talked up, but fell flat. Lobster night turned out to be lobster pieces in pasta. Escargot was little tiny chunks of escargot mixed with bread crumbs on a piece of bread. When you get your plate and you frown, well that's just not good. One dessert was so bad I spit it out. It tasted like soap. The service was good in the evening, although slow, and not nearly as attentive as I have become accustomed to on other cruises. Freestyle dining is not conducive to feeding 2000 people who are all hungry at the same hour. Service for breakfast in the Venetian was abysmal. Waiters ignored us. Food was served cold. It took way too long. We did the buffet for breakfast a few times and there was plenty of hot food and no line, so I'd recommend that. The lunch buffet was so-so. A lot of pasta. Salads. Things that keep for a long time. Okay but not great. I broke down and went to Le Bistro for an up charge to get my lobster tail. The mushroom soup with morels was divine, and they had real escargot, my husband had swordfish, but the lobster tails were actually chunks of lobster mixed with potatoes in a cream sauce. Never got my lobster tail. That used to be standard. Then we discovered Blue Lagoon and the cruise got better. They had a good simple breakfast, good burgers, spinach dip, excellent hot wings, and happy friendly quick service. We spent most of the second half of the cruise happily full at Blue Lagoon. After a disappointing dinner, we would stop by for appetizers just to fill up. I lost weight on this cruise. Not joking. I would go again, though. Just stick to the buffet or Blue Lagoon for Breakfast & Lunch, and don't order anything fancy at Dinner. Repeat after me: Striploin. Entertainment: 5 stars. Best I've ever seen on a cruise ship. Cirque acts, illusionists, singers, dancers, Second City- all top of the line. Pedro on guitar in the lounge was fantastic. We loved our Cruise Director Dingo Dave. Activities: We only did karaoke. It was not good. There were hardly any songs available to choose from. The KJ yelled at us for not spacing out our song requests, which was off putting. We weren't having fun there so we didn't go back. The rest of the activities didn't interest us, and most had an up charge. One really tacky thing- they gave us a card under our door that said: "Happy Anniversary- please visit us for an art auction." They might as well have said: Happy Anniversary give us more money. Just tacky hard sells, which we politely declined. Condition of Ship: They were repainting the ship constantly. They were cleaning constantly. The washy washy girls were on full force. That being said, I picked up a foot fungus on the ship. Wear shoes in the hot tub/pool areas. Bring cream. Two complaints: the midship elevator was awful. It never would stop or pick up on 5, our floor. We were trapped the elevator once when it refused to open. Another issue was the broken chairs in the theatre. I sat in a broken chair, and a piece of metal sliced my calf. The chairs really needed to be repaired/replaced. I know these ships get abused with overuse. Pool area: No one was ever in the pool. There was a stadium of lounge chairs that were full of people, hot tubs full of people, but no one in the pool. On the last day we got in- it was saltwater and perfect and the stage above us had a steel drum band. Perfection. Shore Excursions: Cozumel- Tulum. I had done this one twice before, but took my husband. Our guide Angel de Jesus was passionate about his culture. I enjoyed him. Tour was very organized, but it's a 6 hour trip and no snacks were included. Belize City - Lamanai Tour I see they have replaced this port on the itinerary, and I understand why. You had to tender in, which is fine, but the port itself was microscopic and locked in for safety I assume. There were no ATMs. Bring cash for Belize. We left on the bus and we drove an hour up to Orange Walk, then on a speedboat up the New River for a half hour. The Mayan ruins were awesome. But you barely get a photo and you have to keep moving. Once we got back to Orange Walk they had a delicious but small meal for us. Beverages were for purchase, cash only, and we had no cash. The tour felt very disorganized. Our bus group all fit on two boats except for us, and they put us with people from another ship. I felt like I was being left behind. The bus drop off for the port was closed off due to a traffic accident. We had to exit the bus in the city and they ushered us to the gate to enter the port. They told us to "hurry", as if they were afraid of us wandering around the city. It was a little scary. Lamanai was amazing but I would probably stay on the ship if I ever ended up back in Belize City. Roatan- Discover Scuba I am a certified diver, my husband is not. So we compromised and did this together. He loved it. Worst dive I've ever been on. He will get certified before our next cruise. Then we can do a real dive. We barely got down 10 feet. Most Discover Scuba dives go 20-30 feet. Again, he loved it. The port was gorgeous and secured, but very small. There was a place to buy wifi for $10, and I was able to Skype my mother. The ATM was broken. Used the one on the ship, $10 fee. Costa Maya- Dolphin Swim The people protesting SeaWorld need to visit Costa Maya and see how good the animals at SeaWorld have it. This was a tiny cement pond next to the port. I only hope my money goes towards building a better facility. My husband fell in love with our dolphin. They were healthy and had veterinary care, but the facility was too small. They don't take video, do take photos, and overcharge. We got a package of 20 photos for $80, but we had to haggle to get that price. Costa Maya only exists for cruise ships. We tried to walk out of the port and ended up in this weird ghost town with abandoned buildings. There is a small Mayan ruin back there. The food is ridiculously overpriced, not very good, and I suggest walking back on the ship to eat. My credit card number was stolen here by one of the vendors. I did enjoy a cold coconut and a seat on the rocky and unswimmable beach. I'd rather swim in the pool on the ship. One thing NCL does that I love is a welcome party to get back on the ship. There are cold towels, cold water or punch, and a dance party for the kids while you're standing in the hot sun waiting in line. Take notes, Disney World. Overall: We had fun. It wasn't the best cruise I've ever been on, but it was fun. We would go again. We would spend more time in the pool, not miss a show in the theatre, and spend less time on "fancy" meals and boring ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
1st time on the Dream but 2nd sailing out of NOLA. Ship is in reasonably good shape and about what we expected. My wife and I cruised alone again this time. Embarkation: walked across street from hotel (Omni) and checked in early. We were ... Read More
1st time on the Dream but 2nd sailing out of NOLA. Ship is in reasonably good shape and about what we expected. My wife and I cruised alone again this time. Embarkation: walked across street from hotel (Omni) and checked in early. We were on the ship by 11:30 and able to drop off our carry on items by 12:00. Had a quick lunch and explored the ship a bit. Cabin: usual inside for us. Good storage space and surprisingly comfortable bed. Carnival does not have extra egg crate's per our request but did not need one. Good storage in bathroom as well. We were on deck 7 forward in good location. Ship: way more rolling than we expected for a ship this large. Surprisingly small pool but loved the water slides and outdoor theater. Tried the putting course but were interrupted by unsupervised children. No trouble getting chairs at any time. Public spaces well kept and clean. Dining: Did not eat other than main dining room and buffet. Same menu as last several Carnival cruises so no surprises. Food generally good and they still have lobster night unlike Norwegian. My wife tried the Pasta Bar and said it was quite good. Bars: we simply love Thirsty Frog, Carnivals own beer available on tap. Bottled beer remains expensive and drink of the day was $7.95. Drinks were good (what few we had as we drink more off ship). Ports: Cozumel; we took cab to Palancar (free beach) and snorkeled ( just O.K.) expensive cab rides $20 one way. Grand Cayman; went to turtle farm again (so much fun) then took local bus ($2.50 pp) to Cemetary Beach (no services and no crowds) for exceptional snorkeling. Then bus back to town for a little shopping and cold drinks. Jamaica; same old stuff. All beaches cost to get on, we went to Doctors Cave Beach and shared a bus $10 one way. O.K. snorkeling w/ over priced drinks so walked 1/2 way back to ship and picked up cold beer in local markets. Constant harassment by locals to buy "ganja" and everything else. We plan to visit Negril if we go here again. Sea days: on 2nd sea day back the ship had to have 2 Coast Guard medivacs off the aft end of ship 3 hrs apart and so we arrived back in NOLA quite early in the am. Disembarkation: smooth and we walked over to Norwegian terminal and checked in for 2nd leg of cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Just returned from a 7 night cruise on the NCL Dawn. We sailed out of New Orleans and the ports were Cozmel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya. The ship is nice and the public spaces were beautifully decorated. Our state room 10070 had a ... Read More
Just returned from a 7 night cruise on the NCL Dawn. We sailed out of New Orleans and the ports were Cozmel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya. The ship is nice and the public spaces were beautifully decorated. Our state room 10070 had a balcony and a king sized bed (2 singles pushed together). The bathroom had a decent sized shower and a toilet which had a sliding door. It was not big but it was a good size with plenty of storage. We bought the Ultimate Dining package and we were glad we did. The buffet was not what we expected. On our last cruise on the NCL Pride, there were individual food stations such as Asian, salads, dessert and so forth. The Garden Buffet consisted of a single line for the entire buffet. So you had to wait in the one line to get salads, entrees and so forth. There were multiple buffet rooms but they all had the same foods. However, every so often, one room would have waffle station for breakfast or an ice cream station. But you had to go searching for it. It was a bit confusing at times. Also, the front rooms would always have long lines because people did not realize there were other buffet rooms open. What made this cruise better was the ship's personnel. They were very accomodating and willing to go out of their way to assist you. They served coffee, tea and juices around the pool several times a day. They even passed out ice cream boxes one day. On sea days, there was also a bbq on the pool deck. It consisted of bbq chicken, salads and paella. It was a nice change from the buffet. We tried Teppanyaki (2x), Cagneys(2x), Le Bistro, La Moderno and La Cucina. We enjoyed all the restaurants but we really enjoyed the steaks and the shrimp cocktail at Cagneys. Teppanyaki only seats about 16 people at a time and two chefs work together to entertain and cook the food. We really loved the bread at La Cucina. It was delicious. It is a beautiful restaurant with a great atmosphere. The appetizers were average but the entrees Beef Lasagna and the Veal shank was delicious. Worth the $15 charge. The service at La Moderno was a bit choppy. There were lulls in between the servings of the meat. BF said that the food and the service at Le Bistro was ok. He had the filet which was cooked perfectly but his sides consisted of 3 sliced mushrooms, 3 small carrots and potatoes. He said the servers seem a bit confused. I was a bit sea sick so I was not able to attend. The service at other specialty restaurants were fantastic. We did not eat at the Venetian or Aqua. We tried eating breakfast at the Venetian one day but it's located in the back of the ship and it made me a bit queasy so we had to leave. We did not go to any of the shows. The weather was ok. It was mostly sunny but there were times when it was cloudy and drizzly. It was drizzling when we arrived in Roatan but cleared up in the afternoon. We did 2 excursions: Jose Cuervo Tequilla Tasting in Cozumel and Lamanai Ruins & River Safari in Belize. We really enjoyed the tequilla tasting. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot about different types of tequilla and how to drink it properly. It down poured so we did not get to see the dancers. We also toured Cozumel on our own and walked all the way down past the tourist shops. It is a small town and there are beautiful sights to see. The shop owners try to get you to go into their stores and constantly trying to sell you something. Roatan has a small shopping area which was high end so we tried to go to the local straw market but was bombarded and surrounded by locals so we decided against it. It was a bit scary. At Costa Maya, we took the shuttle ($3/pp) to the fishing village which is about 10 mins away. You have to take a taxi back which costs $2/pp. The driver stopped at various beach resorts (i.e. Senor Frogs and others) where they offered all-you-can drink with lunch packages for around $20/pp. When we got to the village, there are numerous restaurants which offer free lounge chairs with beach access if you buy food. They also offer cheap beers, free margaritas and wifi as well. It is a long strip of a beach and you can walk the entire village in about an hour. There are shops at the port but it consisted of typical souvenirs. We saw some of the cruise employees enjoying themselves at one of the hotels at the village. Now for the Lamanai excursion. I read all the reviews and this excursion was highly recommended. It consists of a 1.5 hr bus ride which leaves at 8:30 AM and then another hour+ boat ride through the jungle. If you plan on doing this excursion, do yourself a favor and BRING A JACKET AND LONG PANTS. I mistakenly thought that the boat ride would be a leisurely ride. Not so. It's more like a air boat ride at 30 mph on a boat that is open on all sides. It was sooooo cold! People were covering themselves with towels or what ever they could to try to stay warm. I had on shorts and a short sleeve top and I was shivering the entire boat ride curled up next to my BF. There were people with babies and I do not know how the babies made it. The ruins are worth seeing but the walks are very slippery so bring good walking shoes. You spend about an hour at the ruins and you can climb several of the ruins. I dreaded the boat ride back but it had warmed up in the afternoon. I even thought about buying a blanket at the couple of vendors at the Ruins but thought it was not worth it. I wish I had because it rained for a short period, which was not pleasant. The lunch served was good. They sell beers 2/$5, local as well as American brands. Unfortunately, I ended up catching a cold after this excursion which dampened our trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Embarkation: got off the Carnival Dream and walked to Norwegian terminal. Chaotic check-in as no one was checking in luggage when we arrived albeit quite early. Once we were able to get bags secured the rest of the process was O.K. We were ... Read More
Embarkation: got off the Carnival Dream and walked to Norwegian terminal. Chaotic check-in as no one was checking in luggage when we arrived albeit quite early. Once we were able to get bags secured the rest of the process was O.K. We were on the ship by 11:00 and had lunch in our favorite Blue Lagoon. Walked around until about noon and were able to drop off carry-ons. We then left the ship for a couple hrs to walk around NOLA before we sailed. Ship: sailed the ship in 2011 just prior to refurb. Seemed much the same. Showing her age a little. Clean but well kept. Larger pool than Carnival Dream but no slides or outdoor theater. Public spaces just as I remembered. Way less smoking/smokers than on the Dream thankfully. Like layout around pool deck for chairs better as well. Ship sailed smoother than the larger Dream. Cabin: smaller than Dream w/ less overall storage. Comfortable bed. Would like to see on screen ability to check dining menu's and accounts like Carnival. Dining: good news/bad news. Norwegian has stopped lobster night w/o notification about 6 months ago. Menu is different than our prior sailing and food a bit better overall than the Dream. Ate in main dining rooms, buffet, poolside b-b-q, and Blue Lagoon as all other options are for a fee. Pizza only available in buffet during certain hrs then cost $5 otherwise. Same breakfast buffet daily w/ little change but good quality. Fish/chips in Blue Lagoon was very poor quality w/ strong fishy taste unlike any other NCL Blue Lagoon we have eaten in. What's up NCL? Bars: drink of the day $6.95, overpriced bottled beer as usual. Our 1st and then only drink on sea day 1 was drink of day. Purchased at Topsiders by surly barman and was weak and poorly made. Turned us off so drank off ship. Entertainment: shows were generally quite good. No stand up comedians like Carnival but 2nd City was good. Disembarkation: smooth/easy. No problems. Walked to Hilton next to terminal for final night in NOLA.' NCL has been our favorite line since our 1st cruise but we see them cutting corners and feel nickel/dimed way too much. We may shift more to Carnival if the trend continues or is not reversed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was my third cruise with Carnival and it was OK; a bit above average ... but that is all. We were really needing to get away for a vacation (it had been several years since we had gotten away) so at the point we were at in our lives, ... Read More
This was my third cruise with Carnival and it was OK; a bit above average ... but that is all. We were really needing to get away for a vacation (it had been several years since we had gotten away) so at the point we were at in our lives, anything was a welcome change. The port in New Orleans is an easy-on / easy-off kind of place and the porters really make the difference here. Tip them $1 a bag (or more if you like) and your luggage will be well taken care of. Remember to ensure you remove your ID, boarding pass, etc. and have your bag tags affixed before you get to the port. Also, if you can get priority boarding (with a suite it is automatic) by all means DO IT ... the time you save is WELL worth the extra few dollars you will spend in advance. There really isn't a faster process for getting through customs on the return unless you use a porter and again, tip them for their effort. The Serenity area in the aft of the ship was a perfect place to relax and let the hours drift by, although our final day of sea was rainy so we were stuck inside with everyone else (no worries there, just a comment but you could tell cabin fever was killing some folks). The night-time shows on this boat were, in a word, TERRIBLE. I have been on other Carnival ships before and the shows were really good but these two (one was called "Win" and whatever the other one was that had to do with the 80's) were absolutely horrible. I've seen better shows at a middle school with teenagers singing and dancing. Really ... they were VERY bad. The comedy club was great and the fact that it was non-smoking was really a pleasant treat. There are plenty of places on the ship to just sit down and relax, and yes, even plenty of quiet places as well if you spend a few minutes just wandering around on Day 1 you will find them. The food was OK, but in most cases it seemed like they were trying to elegant when what they pulled off was the equivalent of something like a Longhorn stake-house environment/menu. The service was pretty decent, and in most cases very attentive, but getting the bar staff to come back to the table was a constant struggle for our entire table several nights of the week. On previous cruises our wait staff had the beverage at the table when we showed up, and this one just seemed to go through the motions. I am not certain I am a big fan of the gratuities being added in BEFORE we got on board (by the way that is new) because in some cases, they really weren't earned. Perhaps that is why the service was mediocre in the dining room (and without much effort) ... because they already knew they were being "tipped"? Just a random thought, but it does match with the effort we had. Our room was a typical junior suite and our housekeeping staff was on target. They were always prompt and had our room arranged each time we stepped out. I swear, it's like they live under the bed or something (smile). This staff was fantastic and always met our needs/requests with a smile ... to include getting all my shirts pressed on the first night (the luggage did a real number on them - LOL)! Overall this was a good vacation for us and we will sail on Carnival again ... perhaps though (since this is my third cruise on the Fantasy class ships) we will "upgrade" to a newer one. If you are a couple looking to just go and relax this is a pretty good cruise for the price, just don't expect "heaven on the seas" and you will enjoy yourself just fine. Happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
My Husband and I went on a Royal Caribbean " Serenade of the sea's" this time instead of the Carnivals we were on before ( Carnival Fascination and Carnival Conquest) Well we thought we would try a total different ship. We ... Read More
My Husband and I went on a Royal Caribbean " Serenade of the sea's" this time instead of the Carnivals we were on before ( Carnival Fascination and Carnival Conquest) Well we thought we would try a total different ship. We were very Disappointed and very Upset.. First the Bedrooms were very small, so was the bathrooms.. Showers? We laughed at. There were several large people on this ship, we wondered how they took a Shower .They were little round ones,Ridiculous. We had trouble with Teenagers. Where ever we went they were there.I guess Royal Caribbean doesn't care if the Older people are bothered or not. We are 61 years old.We found no where for Adults only to go. We went to play pool and We waited for Teenagers to play 3 games ,then My husband asked Both tables could we play now. No they said, You can Just wait ! We were not happy. Everytime we went back to play pool it was run by the kids. We won't go with Royal Caribbean again..The company let the Kids run wild and didn't seem to care about us. We will go with Carnival from Now on.. We talked to about 8 different couples and they all said the same ,we are going to stay with Carnival Ships... Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
A little background, This is my 3rd cruise and I totally love cruising. I have been on Princess, CCL, and now NCL. We are in our late 30's and mid 40's. Like to think of myself as a very simple guy. Hotel: We got a great deal on ... Read More
A little background, This is my 3rd cruise and I totally love cruising. I have been on Princess, CCL, and now NCL. We are in our late 30's and mid 40's. Like to think of myself as a very simple guy. Hotel: We got a great deal on the Hyatt French Quarter. Great location but overall I was a bit disappointed in the French Quarter, I knew that it was a party area but it was not very clean. Once we got over to the French Market / Jackson Square area it was more what we expected out of New Orleans. Embarkment was super easy. It was a bit of a maze to get to the check in desk but once we got there it was super simple. Overview: When we got on the ship and began to walk around both my wife and I first noticed that there was no real WOW factor to the ship. No grand atrium, The hallways while clean did not shine with brass and bling. It took us back that there was no live music in the atrium and the welcome consist of a few staff members in a line at the end of gangway. This is not a bad thing but it was just something that caught our eye. Cabin: We had Cabin 10098 a mid ship Balcony. Very nice location just off of the elevators (We did not hear noise from the elevators the whole trip.) Had a wonderful room attendant, Wilmer. We asked him once we got to the room to remove the extra chair and table to give us a little more room. He was more than happy to do it. Food: I have read over and over that there are reviews about there being issues with the food onboard. We ate 3 times at Tsars, once in Mama's, once at Moderno, twice in the Buffet and one night we did room service. All except for room service were wonderful. My room service Burger was overcooked and super dry. The bun was a rock. On the flip side. The dinner I had at Mama's was one of the best meals I have ever had on a cruise. Ports: Cozumel - Due to rain our plan shore tour was cancelled. We opted for Chankanaab Belize - We did the cave tubing. This was an amazing tour. We went with Carlos Chan. Roatan - We did the Maya Key private Island. Very nice relaxing day Costa Maya - We did the ruins with Native choice. This was by far the most amazing and wonderful tour of the whole trip. Overall, this was a wonderful cruise and I would be happy to do another cruise with NCL if the itinerary and the price are right. I dont know that NCL won us over so much so that we would only cruise with them but we will certainly give them consideration when booking our next cruise. IF you are looking for a great cruise with plenty to do or nothing to do than this is a good cruise for you. IF you are looking for the WOW factor then the Jewel may come up a little flat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I booked this cruise for my boyfriend and me (26 & 22 years old). It was my second time cruising, my first cruise was on the Disney Dream & he had never been on a cruise before. We were on a budget and had 4 different ships to ... Read More
I booked this cruise for my boyfriend and me (26 & 22 years old). It was my second time cruising, my first cruise was on the Disney Dream & he had never been on a cruise before. We were on a budget and had 4 different ships to choose from. I chose the Elation after reading the reviews and because it left from New Orleans (we stayed a night in New Orleans and LOVED this city). I noticed in so many reviews that people love to complain about the tiniest things. We had an interior room on the 4th floor and it cost us 240$ a person. For that kind of money you can’t be that picky. Our room was bigger than we thought it would be and it was clean and did not seem as dated as other people have complained about. Darwin was our stateroom steward and he was funny, kind and very helpful. We had no problem finding a chair on one of the decks during the sea days, which was important to me. This ship takes you to Mexico with beautiful Caribbean weather. What else could you ask for? The first port, Progreso was so-so. It is definitely a rundown little Mexican town. We made the most of it and walked to the beach and lay on some nice beach chairs which were owned by a restaurant and drank their margaritas. At the end of the day we rented a wave-runner from some guy for 20 minutes just to try it out. Cozumel was amazing. The water was turquoise and beautiful. We snorkeled and had perfect weather. The restaurant Fat Tuesdays was a bit of a rip off and I don’t recommend eating there. The food on the ship was good. The buffet food was decent and we really liked the sandwich place that was open for most of the day. The food was not amazing but like I said earlier, you can’t expect to eat like a king when you are paying less than 50$ a night. I recommend this ship to younger couples looking to get away. We had an amazing and romantic cruise and every day since we have gotten back my boyfriend has told me he wishes we were still on the cruise. My advice to you is to be laid back, enjoy your vacation, don’t look for tiny faults that might make you dislike the ship, and have a couple drinks. You can’t go wrong with a ship that takes you to Mexico. We are already saving for our next cruise on Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
My husband and I wanted a nice inexpensive getaway and we certainly found that on the Elation. For a total price of $500 for both of us we could not resist. We drove to New Orleans a city that we have always wanted to visit. New Orleans ... Read More
My husband and I wanted a nice inexpensive getaway and we certainly found that on the Elation. For a total price of $500 for both of us we could not resist. We drove to New Orleans a city that we have always wanted to visit. New Orleans was fantastic! We enjoyed the fun of Bourbon street as it was Labor Day weekend also known as "Southern Decadence" a.k.a. gay pride weekend. It was interesting and fun people watching and enjoying music, food, drinking etc. You definitely needed to have an open mind lol. We grabbed a hotel room at the Marriott on Canal Street and it was perfect. The room was beautiful, clean and smelled really good. We were able to park our car at the hotel overnight for $35. The staff was awesome and the view from our room on the 23rd floor was perfect. They served a great breakfast as well. We enjoyed our morning in preparation of our cruise by taking a nice stroll around the area. The cruise port was just a short drive away so we didn't have to check out before noon. The parking at the port was a breeze. You pay $80 up front and park in a covered secure garage. Your luggage is then transported to the ship for you and you are on your way. Getting aboard the ship was efficient. I was surprised by not receiving a welcome drink as I had on the other 3 Carnival cruises I have taken. I had the drink and the sail away party on the brain as soon as I got on board. All hopes of that faded as we had to figure out how to get to our muster stations for the safety drill. Hey I'm all for safety but it was sort of a buzz kill the way it was done. So that was my first "hmmm". Beyond that I felt that the staff was not as attentive as I had known them to be on previous cruises. I tend to think it has to do with the new tipping procedure where they charge your tips to your credit card daily. Perhaps if the staff knew they were working for tips maybe they would be a little more attentive? The staff seemed tired to me. I did find a coupon for a free drink in the Fun Times with stipulations of when and where I could get it. Well I never could work that in to my schedule unfortunately but good to know it existed. I would say the food was ok but not as good as I remember. I took a cruise just last year on the Sensation and remember the food being much better. The MDR was just ok. I don't think service was exceptional and the food was actually sort of bland. I did like the Lido deck buffet but was a little surprised that it closed at 6 pm every night. I remember the days of midnight buffets and food always plentiful. Also what happened to the Sushi Bar? Many people were upset about that. Our room was decent and kept clean each day. The tv was outdated. Can you say "flat screen" please? The picture was fuzzy. I thought the water in the bathroom was extremely hot but would prefer that over cold water. That was a plus in my opinion. We stayed on the Main deck and heard some weird clanking noises around 3 am the first night and thought "uh oh" still don't know what that was all about to this day. Hate to say it but my towel animals were not the greatest but it made for lots of good jokes. Ships entertainment was lacking. I was more entertained by the guests who performed karaoke or participated in games. I did enjoy the one comedy show that I saw with Billy he was funny. We saw the Rock N Roll show which was not the greatest but hey we weren't on Broadway either. Steve the cruise director was lackluster. I found myself with a lot of down time which was well spend on the Serenity deck. Love the back of the ship with the whirlpools. Still don't know why they aren't hot but......okay. It was nice to have 2 ports of call on such a short cruise but there really wasn't much time to do more than one activity or you would be rushed. Progreso has a good port where you can just hang out right at the pier and shop and enjoy the corona bar if you don't want to do an excursion. That was fine for us as we knew we wanted to really enjoy Cozumel the next day. In Cozumel we got a cab for $14 per person and went to Ocean Beach. We did an all inclusive with drinks, food, beach chairs, kayaks, water trampoline etc. and found it enjoyable. It was 10 minutes away from the ship and there were plenty of cabs available both when you arrived and when you were ready to head back to the ship. There was some peddling on the beach but nothing obnoxious. Another thing I noticed on this cruise opposed to the last three was that the ship was FREEZING. I had to cover up all of my carefully planned outfits with a huge sweatshirt. One night I saw too young ladies in the lounge watching a show covered with a bed blanket! It looked odd but they looked warm and happy. I just hope that the cold had a germ killing effect or something. Surely there was a reason to keep the ship at sub zero temperatures. I could go on and on (clearly) but all in all I would say it was a decent trip and for the money a nice getaway. If you want five star then you should pay five star $$$$$. This was my 4th Carnival cruise so as I said "you get what you pay for"   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
The Conquest is a nice ship, but she is starting to show her age. There are some cosmetic issues that are starting to show, loose tiles, etc. However, she does still know how to show her guests a good time! Hasbro the Game Show was great! ... Read More
The Conquest is a nice ship, but she is starting to show her age. There are some cosmetic issues that are starting to show, loose tiles, etc. However, she does still know how to show her guests a good time! Hasbro the Game Show was great! The shows that we saw were pretty good. Red Frog and Blue Iguana were both good. The large screen on LIDO has several bad spots. Be cautious of the popcorn on movie night, they tend to overcook it! The warm chocolate melting cake was delicious as always! Service in the dining room was very good most nights. We had bad service one night and went to the maitre de to resolve the issue. We had them take a lot of photos but did not like that they do not offer any type of packages. One thing that we decided on this trip is that we enjoy the balcony too much to ever stay interior again. While the interior cabin is nice and dark which makes it easy to sleep, we miss having the sunlight waking us up everyday!! The staff was nice and helpful. We had FTTF on this trip and loved the benefits. The priority line at guest services was very helpful except on the day of debarkation. We waited for almost 30 minutes with two people in front of us. No one apologized at all, which was a bit disappointing, but we also understood that it was debarkation day. Overall, we had a very good time, as we usually do!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
My husband and I stayed at the Holiday Inn in Metairie, LA the evening before. They have a stay,cruise and park plan which includes shuttle pickup to and from the Julia Street Port. Our embarkment was painless. We were onboard ship and ... Read More
My husband and I stayed at the Holiday Inn in Metairie, LA the evening before. They have a stay,cruise and park plan which includes shuttle pickup to and from the Julia Street Port. Our embarkment was painless. We were onboard ship and eating at Versailles Restaurant before 12:30pm. The staterooms were announced as ready before we left our table. We spend the afternoon exploring the new ship(to us),and finally relaxed in our balcony stateroom. Our safety meeting was at 4:30 and our biggest problem of the day was finding our assembly station. It was M1 inside the Aqua restaurant midship. We expected everyone to assemble outside on deck. We shared a table with 2 other couples for our evening dinner at Versailles. The free style dining was wonderful. There was never any waiting for us, party of 2, and we usually shared a table. There were so many interesting couples on this cruise. We took in the evening entertainment led by cruise director, Kyle, in the Stardust theater. I was not impressed with the seating arrangments of this theater compared with the Spirit, but I did get used to it by the end of the cruise. The first night was the least impressive of the evening entertainment, but it improved as the week went along. I must jump ahead to the closing night entertainment in the Stardust. It is Elements, a combination of all of the entertainers! It is an amazing performance. Please don't miss it! Plus Kyle, your cruise director, had an amazing send off with the crew there to say goodbye. Our week was a blur of activities, meeting new people, enjoying excursions and, of course, eating delicious foods! We did not eat in any of the extra fee restaurants. We were very happy with the food selections at the Versailles or Aqua. Sunday night is surf and turf, so don't miss that one! Delicious! We had breakfast at the buffet every morning. The omelet stations are all on the starboard side. I missed them the first morning, but not from then on. Very fast service with made to order eggs. Excursions: Costa Maya was a dolphin swim, Great! Plenty of time for a walk around the port area. Belize City was Alta Hun, a long ride there but still good cultural experience. Roatan was the Tabayna beach! Great place, and excellent water experience, a massage on the beach also top notch! Cozamel was the Mayan ruins and beach break. Our favorite this year! Our guide, Bianca really knew her material. The wind and weather did not cooperate to get in the water, but we did walk along the water and find some souveniors. She gave a narration on the complete bus ride. The ruins were small, but yet unique. It was an amazing location. As I said Cozumel had high winds. At the port, Kyle, the cruise director, had moved the welcome back aboard party from the top deck to the port. What began with a dj and 8-10 activity people singing and dancing, ended up with 40+ crew members lining the dock, dancing, clapping, singing, and passing out pure jello shots. We could hear and watch the activity from our portside balcony. The NCL sister ship, Dawn, was docked alongside, and sure made for a great afternoon party! I don't know WHERE those employees got their energy! The fun went on for at least 2 hours. I will always remember that afternoon and Kyle, even Sean, the hotel director, was there passing out chilled cloths, water and jello shots. Non alcoholic, but great fun! I would definitely do a repeat on the NCL Star, like we did with the NCL Spirit! Disembarkment was painless as well. We chose to walk off with our own luggage. We were at the Julia Street terminal in time to meet the Cajun Encounters shuttle bus back to the Holiday Inn by 8:15am. I hope everyone has great cruising like this one! I haven't even started to talk about our cabin steward or the cleaniliness of our room. Great again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2013

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click