180 New Orleans Romantic Cruise Reviews

Our first ever river cruise was on the American Queen from New Orleans to Memphis. This very unique journey on a genuine 400 passenger Mississippi River steamboat was fabulous in every way. The embarkation and disembarkation processes ... Read More
Our first ever river cruise was on the American Queen from New Orleans to Memphis. This very unique journey on a genuine 400 passenger Mississippi River steamboat was fabulous in every way. The embarkation and disembarkation processes were outstanding, as was the organization of the included hop-on/hop-off tours and the premium tours. The places visited were rich with history and architecture and there was always more to see than you had time for. The food and service were excellent, and the variety and quality of the entertainment was outstanding, especially on such a small boat. The captain even played with the musicians in the beautiful Engine Room bar. Gerry the Riverlorian was both informative and very entertaining. The décor was Victorian ostentation, and immersed you in the elegant heyday of the Mississippi steamboat era. Everything was so well organized that we experienced only one little glitch--we had dreamed of sipping a mint julep on the deck rocking chairs, but they never had any mint! The passenger loyalty is staggering--we met "Miss Ruth" on her 150th trip on this boat. The line thanked her back by upgrading her to a luxury suite. She said she hardly knew what to do with the butler, but the digs were wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was my first cruise, and after this one it's definitely not going to be my last! This ship is so BIG and so NICE! Our room steward, Christine, was absolutely wonderful! The drinks did not lack alcohol. The service in the dining ... Read More
This was my first cruise, and after this one it's definitely not going to be my last! This ship is so BIG and so NICE! Our room steward, Christine, was absolutely wonderful! The drinks did not lack alcohol. The service in the dining room was impeccable. Definitely get the chocolate melting cake. The comedy shows were very funny and all of the carnival shows in encore were fabulous. The adult only Serenity area was one of my favorite parts on the trip. The people at the excursion desk were extremely knowledgeable and our 3 shore excursions were so organized booking through Carnival. I DID have a big problem with my spa experience and after speaking to the manager, she refunded me 100% which I didn't even ask of her to do! I felt like the people working on this boat actually cared about my husband and I having a great time. This was the best customer service I have ever seen! I am completely satisfied with my cruise and can't wait to book my next one!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We were on the January 3 sailing of the Dawn, leaving from New Orleans. This was our 7th NCL Cruise (previously sailed on Star, Breakaway (twice), Epic, Getaway and Jewel), and our first as “Gold” latitudes members. Stayed in an ... Read More
We were on the January 3 sailing of the Dawn, leaving from New Orleans. This was our 7th NCL Cruise (previously sailed on Star, Breakaway (twice), Epic, Getaway and Jewel), and our first as “Gold” latitudes members. Stayed in an obstructed window on Deck 8. This was an excellent cruise, proving to us once again, that the smaller ships are where it’s at. Great entertainment, nightly at 7pm and 9pm. We reserved all shows and dining in advance of sail. We found for us eating at 630 and hitting the 9pm show the best route to go. Shows are all about 45-60 minutes long so even with the night show, there was plenty going on after. We received the free booze package and the free 4-night specialty dining. On this ship, we actually wouldn’t have minded eating in the MDRs every night as the food was excellent and hot. However, because of the free package, we ate at Cagney’s and LaCucina (fiance’s faves) and LeBistro and Moderno (my faves). All were excellent as always. We had zero food issues this sailing. All steaks were cooked properly, food at proper temp, and we weren’t hassled about our cheese plate being delivered to our room at 10pm in LeBistro like we were on the Getaway. It was also interesting that on the Getaway, they short you a scallop on the appetizer at LeBistro (received only 2) but this cruise it was back to the usual 3. At the time, I thought this was going to be standard going forward to cut costs, but guess only on the Getaway do they wish to short you and cut corners. Drinks were also not watered down on Dawn as they were on Getaway. What can I say, we just really hated the Getaway, my full review is on here for those who care to read it. Entertainment was all very good, especially Haines Magic. I swear we saw them on another ship but couldn’t figure out which one. Band on the Run was great, the hyped up Elements was just ok. Bingo is the usual money making racket, with no one ever winning the famed “coverall” jackpot, and the Casino had the usual losses. Dealers were good on this ship at least. Our only issue was our stateroom toilet. There is clearly a major plumbing issue on this ship, which in all fairness is due for drydock before it goes to Bermuda. Several toilets in the public areas were out of order all week. Our stateroom toilet was clearly on the same pipeline as these as ours had problems every single day with no water, not flushing, then finally on day 6, it just simply overflowed. We were given money on board, and are working with corporate fully resolve the issue. Moving our room was not possible as the ship was full. A few cabins opened up after day 5 when some folks missed their ride home from Costa Maya, but at that point we didn’t want to move rooms. In our experience, NCL does their best to rectify issues and things are always resolved to our satisfaction. Not really entirely sure what “Gold” status gets us. I had thought we got 20% off on spa services, but that’s only SIGNATURE services which is your high end stuff. We got priority bag tags, but we always do the easy walk off disembark so those were useless. We were supposed to have priority tender, but no idea how we get those and we did excursions anyway which serve as your tender ticket. Anyway, overall, another great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My wife and I worked for the airlines our whole life and thought that we had no reason to take a Cruise - at the prodding of my brother with the kids off somewhere else and the dog dead over Christmas we took this cruise. After reading ... Read More
My wife and I worked for the airlines our whole life and thought that we had no reason to take a Cruise - at the prodding of my brother with the kids off somewhere else and the dog dead over Christmas we took this cruise. After reading some of the reviews on this site about the Elation I was worried about my choice. We had the time of our lives - great entertainment - great food - Serenity deck was just FAB. Ports of call were great. The staff are just the hardest working travel professionals you could ask for. I did not have to cook - I did not need a designated driver - music everywhere you wanted or not. Taste bar was fun. Paul the Cruise director was a real pro who knew had to keep everyone smiling. The ship was full full full but never had to wait in line or wait for service for any time. No problem getting a deck chair - the spa was great. If you are reading bad reviews about this ship there are just alot of half glass empty people out there. Biggest complaint one day my french toast was cold. For the price I can live with that. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
From the moment we began our check in...My daughter Jacorien...and myself were richly impressed. The staff were very professional, yet personal. We had previously come to New Orleans aboard The City of New Orleans from Amtrak. A very ... Read More
From the moment we began our check in...My daughter Jacorien...and myself were richly impressed. The staff were very professional, yet personal. We had previously come to New Orleans aboard The City of New Orleans from Amtrak. A very spacious train in their fleet. We spent a Night in Harrah's Casino Hotel...they offered a great rate. Even though this adventure would not have been possible had it not been for the partnership between Fitzgerald's Casino and Casino at Sea with Norwegian Cruise Line. The Dawn is a beautiful ship to cruise on. The Staff were exceptional and provided much needed information for our Ports of Call...Cozumel Mexico, Belize City Belize , Roatan Bay Honduras, and last though not least Costa Maya Mexico. Once aboard there were numerous activities for which to partake. Art, music, theater, jewelry, wine tasting, dancing and the food...classic American, Brazilian, Italian, French and Japanese. There was no need to try a buffet, their well planned menus that each restaurant prepared were elegant and most delicious. Everyday a three course meals. Never was I bored with my selections, and I only gained four pounds. The staff of the Dawn are the Most attentive to their guest that I have ever had the chance to meet. Always smiling and always one step ahead of what I was thinking. My stateroom was very spacious with amenities that only could be described as luxurious. A huge balcony that was right at the front of the ship...with a view "That was described as to Kill For" before I even saw it. I was most impressed with everything at that point. To view different country's that were still true to their ancestors was amazing. Apart from earning their living in various sorts, shows creativity is everywhere. All you have to do was look for it. The beauty of The Caribbean Sea is really beautiful, with water that is so clear and blue on one side of the islands we saw and emerald green on the shores leading to the mainland. If you are a diver, plain swimmer there is something for everyone. I saw pyramids, ceremonial mound built by The Mayans. The countries are beautiful with tropical vegetation, fruits are plentiful all over. Leaving the ship and checking back in was quick and no hassle. We were greeted with chilled water and a cool towel for refreshment upon boarding back from an excursion. If you have never cruise before, try it you will love it. It was my second and the best so far, I will not knock the other cruise line, they were good also. Norwegian was far more better. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was my husband and my first cruise ever and it was a wonderful experience. We were celebrating our 5 year anniversary and I have to say it was a good choice. We drove over night from Northern Indiana to New Orleans and stayed the ... Read More
This was my husband and my first cruise ever and it was a wonderful experience. We were celebrating our 5 year anniversary and I have to say it was a good choice. We drove over night from Northern Indiana to New Orleans and stayed the day and night there and explored the city since it was our first time there as well. Check-in at the port was super quick and easy since we got there around 11am and there were no lines at all to wait in. We bought the Faster to the Fun package, which is listed under shore excursions, for $50 and it was so nice to be able to board early, after wedding parties and suites, and have our rooms ready as soon as we boarded. This also gave us priority at the customer service desk, and a dedicated line in our cabin for customer service, which we never actually needed this time, but it's nice to have the option. We took our things to our carry on to our room then headed to the lido for lunch. OMG, I cannot convey how amazing the food was the entire time! There are buffet's everywhere and when they're closed between meals, the deli and pizza place is open 24 hours a day. I was never ever hungry. The servers were amazing and several knew us by name by the end of the cruise. On a ship with thousands of people, I found that to be so impressive and just made my experience that much better. Dress code for dining, depending on where you were dining, which day, and time of day. The lido deck is casual 24/7. No worries there. The main dining rooms are a little more dressy, especially at dinner, where they don't allow flip flops, cut offs, hats. A nice pair of khakis or jeans and a nice shirt for both genders, or maybe a skirt or dress for the ladies is recommended at dinner. We never made it to the dining rooms for lunch so I'm not really sure how the dress code was. Our cruise was a 5 day, so there was 1 "Cruise Elegant" night, which is on a Sea day, where everyone dressed up, in varying levels. The men wore from dress shirt and pants with a tie, to a tuxedo. The ladies wore slacks with a nice blouse, to short cocktail dresses, to long formal gowns. I personally loved having the chance to dress up, so i wore a floor length gown. But as long as you're dressed up, it's whatever you want! We did buy an unlimited internet package on the first day. We went for the middle tier which offered Facebook and messenger, as well as web browsing. It is satellite internet, so it wasn't super fast, but I was able to keep in contact with my family members and send photos back home easily. I only seemed to actually have problems when we were at the aft or the bow of the ship where I'm sure the signal was weakest, and was understandable. We also purchased the Cheers! beverage program, which was $50/person/day, and had to be bought the first day of the cruise, for everyone in our cabin. The program gives you 15 alcoholic drinks a day (my husband and I never made it past 12) and unlimited pop as well. Drinks on the ship range from $6-10, so if you think you might exceed $50 in a day on alcohol, I would definitely suggest this for you. Keep in mind, it must be purchased on the 1st day, except when sailing from Texas, it can't be bought til the next day due to regulations. Our cabin was an oceanview room, nothing to fancy. They weren't the most beautiful rooms, with their orange/pink early 90's paint scheme. The magnet on the door that kept it open was broken, so it didn't stay open with the sway of the boat. But for a ship as old as the Elation, that's to be expected. The rest of the ship was slightly dated but well kept, and still breathtaking for first time cruisers like ourselves. Our first port was Cozumel. And it was raining. Which was slightly annoying, but since we didn't book any excursions, we weren't too put out by it. We had fun shopping at the main port, then went to the outdoor mall, which was pretty dead due to the weather. We stopped at a small tequila shop and bought a couple bottles of tequila to bring back home, which had to be turned over to crew members and were held til we returned to the States. On our way back to the ship, we stopped at Marguaritaville which was a very fun experience. They sang and danced and the food was great. Our second stop was Progresso, Yucatan. We didn't book any excursions through Carnival for this one either and when we got to shore, we found one provided by locals for way less than we'd have paid if we'd gone through Carnival. This one was a 45 minute bus ride to the Dzibilchaltun Ruins. Our guide was very knowledgeable and funny and we learned a lot about the ruins. Then we had another 30 minute bus ride to Merida City and ate lunch at Yum Ixpu, which was also amazing, before heading back to the ship. They have professional photographers every where all the time and you'll have your picture taken so much, you'll have plenty of chances to get great photos with your friends and family. As the days go by, they will display your photos for review for you to choose and purchase. I waited the last day so that I had all of my options to choose from. Just make sure you don't wait too late as they may not be able to get them done on time if you have special orders like souvenirs or special prints. The crew on our ship were wonderful and I can't say enough good things about them. Every day, we returned to our cabin to find an animal made out of towels and our room tidied up, which was a feet in itself, because I am so messy in rooms like that haha. Our room was also close the the atrium bar, and the ladies there were so attentive. They knew our names by the 2nd night, and knew our drink preferences. We made sure we tipped them well as well as our steward since they did such an amazing job. Debarkation couldn't have been simpler. Since we'd bought the Faster to the Fun pass, we were called to debark right after suites. They had given us the option to check our luggage to leave, or carry it ourselves. We decided to just keep a backpack for each of us, and check the rest so we wouldn't have to carry our 4 other bags while leaving the ship. Once we were back at port, on our way through, we grabbed our bags and on our way we went. Completely effortless. I can't say it enough, this was a wonderful time and we had so much fun. The Faster to the Fun made it so effortless and I can't recommend it enough. Definitely consider the Cheers! program too. My husband and I have decided we will not cruise without them! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We booked the cruise to celebrate our 29th Anniversary and 30 wonderful years of being a couple. We chose the dream because the port was easy to get to and we enjoy visiting New Orleans. We also have not been on a Dream Class ship. ... Read More
We booked the cruise to celebrate our 29th Anniversary and 30 wonderful years of being a couple. We chose the dream because the port was easy to get to and we enjoy visiting New Orleans. We also have not been on a Dream Class ship. Embarkation in New Orleans was the easiest we have ever had. We arrived at the port about 10:30AM and was on the ship before noon. The personnel at the port were friendly, and very helpful. Our embarkation process was easier with Faster to the Fun. We did not have any long lines to stand in while checking in. The only line we were in was boarding the ship. Hennie, the Cruise Director, made the safety briefing hilarious with his different voices. The safety briefing is a standard fare speech. His characters made the speech funny and kept your interest. The fire on the Liberty a few weeks later showed how important the briefing is. The ship was very clean. The crew went out of their way to make your vacation better. I noticed several times that someone was wiping down handrails, and other places where people may have put their hands. All facilities were spotless. Charles, our Cabin Steward, knew us by name when we met. I asked for a couple extra Fun Times each day so I can have one for the scrapbook, and one each for Carol and myself. He delivered every night. He was very friendly and wanted to know if everything is good. The other Cabin Stewards were helpful if we asked for anything. If our steward was not present, the other stewards either took care of the request, or passed the request to Charles. Nancy at the Atrium Bar and Muriel at the Piano Bar were fantastic. They were attentive and checked up on us in case we needed something. We had very good service with the bar staff in all areas of the ship. It never seemed like we had to find a waiter in any area of the ship. The staff in the Chef Art’s Steakhouse were top notch. The chefs made us a great meal, and the waitresses treated us like we were old friends. They went out of their way to make our Anniversary celebration great. The wait staff in the Crimson Dining Room figured out by the second night what each of us. Jose and Iryna work extremely hard running downstairs to the galley and bringing at least a dozen dishes back to the station. They were always smiling and dancing around. Whenever a glass was low, they were there to refill it. Wayan always asked how our cruise is going and what we did during the day. The live music and shows were great. We saw Get Ready and Dancin’ in the Streets. The production shows were spot on. The show band did a great job for the shows. They even performed in the Ocean Plaza and sounded great. We also saw Love and Marriage Show. There are many people griping about using the audience as the show. I disagree. The show was fantastic. It was the ad-lib part that made the show. Music Unlimited was fantastic. The keyboardist could sing everything from Soprano to Bass. At times, they would come on to the dance floor to play with the crowd. They covered Disco, Pop, Soul, Classic Rock, Kenny G, and Motown. We did not travel around Jamaica, except to and from Secrets. Secrets was a fantastic resort. We felt safe there. I would recommend that excursion. Stingray City at Grand Cayman was also great. We spent plenty of time interacting with a misunderstood creature in its natural environment. I learned a lot about sting rays from the guides’ knowledge. The excursion gets a thumbs up. In Cozumel, we did not take a tour. We walked around San Miguel and ate lunch a couple blocks away from the tourist area. We never felt intimidated away from the tourist area. A hawker for a restaurant was not pushy when we told him which one we were looking for. He gave us directions to the place we were going to with a smile. The only complaints I have about the ship are: • I am not sure why they don’t have Cucina Del Capitano restaurant on the ship. It does not seem like it would be hard to implement. • The hash browns are McDonald’s like. Shredded potatoes would be a great improvement. • They did not have the Sea Day Brunch on the last sea day. I was looking forward to it. Debarkation was delayed due to sand bars at the port. The captain had to do some extreme measures to get into the port without dragging the bottom. The Port of New Orleans had to dredge the port after the ship left that evening. Overall, this was one of the most relaxing vacations we have taken in a while. Except having to get up early in Grand Cayman, we never rushed to get somewhere. We are looking forward to our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We just end our cruise today.My cruise party consisted of myself,wife,my daughter, son in law, and a couple who are our good friends.We had a fun filled cruise that was simply marvelous.We enjoyed the ship, food,and service. Carnival ... Read More
We just end our cruise today.My cruise party consisted of myself,wife,my daughter, son in law, and a couple who are our good friends.We had a fun filled cruise that was simply marvelous.We enjoyed the ship, food,and service. Carnival exceeded our expectations for this cruise. There is no perfect cruise but this one was such a pleasant experience that we are planning our next one tomorrow.We had an aft balcony that was well suited to our style of cruising.The tranquility of sitting on the balcony enjoying breakfast or simply reading was par excellence. We were expecting crowds and logjams all over the place but we saw very little delays that affected our vacation adversely.The Wok required a little maneuvering and patience but the dish was very good and worth waiting for. Now my wife and I have sailed with Carnival for 9 cruises and we come on the cruise to have a great time and we look forward to an escape from our routine at home/ work.This was it. we went to one show that celebrated vocations through music that was very good. my friends and daughter and her SO went to the comedy shows and they said that the performers they saw was hilarious and they enjoyed themselves. we are a couple in our early sixties and mostly we like to enjoy our cruise at our own pace and the Dream was well suited for our needs.Tired now but happy with Carnival's seven day presentation. btw embarkation was smooth and we were on the ship in about 30 minutes. we had FTTF and we walked on the ship and went right to our room and we found it to be ready as soon as we arrived. Everybody loves Rays in Cozumel was superb. thanks Pedro, Alexandro, and Pedro's sister ( sorry I forgot her name) Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Although the Elation is an older ship, one could not tell from the asthetics or decor on board. We booked this cruise through carnival on one of their 48hr flash sale emails for prior guest and we were not disappointed! As always we ... Read More
Although the Elation is an older ship, one could not tell from the asthetics or decor on board. We booked this cruise through carnival on one of their 48hr flash sale emails for prior guest and we were not disappointed! As always we completed our online check in ahead of time as to avoid the lines at the port. We spent the night in New Orleans prior to cruise instead of driving in the day of which was the best option as we were not wore out or cranky upon embarkation. I must say that the port of New Orleans embarkation process is a very smooth running machine compared to that of galveston. We arrived at the port dropped our luggage and parked and got in line at 11:30 dreading the wait.. Shockingly security screening (metal detectors, bag check, drink check, etc.) took us less than 5 minutes!!! We walked around the corner saw the line and swore in several languages as we saw the first hint at lines. My wife noticed a sign that read for those that had online registered that only had maybe 15-20 families in it so we got in line and waited our turn. The line moved fast including taking our pictures and receiving our keys and the long walk up the gang way and the initial GONG as your card is swiped and we were greeted with a smile took less than 20 minutes!!! By 11:55 we had deposited our carry on luggage to our stateroom which was prepared and immaculate daily (more in that later Francisco and his staff are amazing). With everyone else still in line and plenty of time "explore" we immediately made our way to the atrium and purchased our cheers program. If your drink 5-6 drinks a day the program pays for its self it is the shock factor paying up front that gets to most people. We grabbed our first drink which we always grab something fruity to celebrate and toast the start of vacation and let the relaxation begin! Through out the cruise we encountered many wonderful staff members that we would love to mention by name but as this is already running long I wouldn't have room but suffice it to say we did not have on bad expirience or altercation while in this trip everyone seemed eager to cater to and treat you as family. The casino bar staff is outstanding that is where we could congregate for most of our drinks as they knew us by name knew our order and they were always good and strong! The casino staff itself including the manager and hosts were very gracious as well as we had the cheers program by the end of the 2nd day we had reached the required points for the free drinks but it was moot as we had cheers so they decided to give us 2 steak house selection dinners and a bottle of wine ($100 value) which was awesome. As we play a lot a few days later my wife comes in from a shopping adventure to find chocolate covered strawberries complements of the casino ( another nice touch). We had selected anytime dining for this cruise which gave us the freedom to eat at our leisure and not miss any stage productions. All of the staff in the main dining room were outstanding food was delicious as always and we never wanted or waited for anything. Entertainment on board was good but wished there was more the shows were amazing however we cruised the magic there were different shows every night here they rotated the same shows all week. The comdians were hilarious and we did miss not having a magician or mentalist. Another absolute shocker was the WHITEOUT PARTY absolutly had a blast at the onboard rave thrown by the DJ. Most people rave how their steward is always there like a butler, Francisco and his staff adhered to the old rule of leave your mark but leave no traces extremely clean room always fresh and plentiful towels and they were a phone call away but they did not longer waiting for someone to ambush I have seen on other ships. We didn't plan excursions in either port as we had been here before deciding to stay aboard in progreso to enjoy the ship and in cozumel explore on our own. Debarkation was as painless as embarkation we took the easy route luggage out the night before leisure breakfast at the lido buffet hung out until our number was called them down the terminal and through the line from when our number was called until we hit pavement took a total of maybe 30 minutes. As stated above this ship maybe a little older but her staff keeps her young and fresh. One of the best experiences we have had cruise wise and will be sailing her again soon!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
The ship was great. We booked an interior room and got upgraded to a window room which was awesome. The staff is wonderful. It was my first cruise and didn't even have to take motion sickness stuff. The comedy show is a must see ... Read More
The ship was great. We booked an interior room and got upgraded to a window room which was awesome. The staff is wonderful. It was my first cruise and didn't even have to take motion sickness stuff. The comedy show is a must see mostly the 18+ ones. Try to go to see everything at least once. We had late dining which worked out great. The pools are pretty packed all the time. We only used it on a port day when we got back on the ship early. And long lines in the lido area for food. Plan on being patient. They have bbq on deck 5 on sea days. It's yummy! Also, if you get warm easily bring a fan! We took a small fan and it was great. The vent over the air system seems to block a lot of air so we took it off and had a lot of air flow. It just pops off and on. And take an extension cord for your stuff to plug in. Only one outlet in the room. There is a track to run on outside but good luck with it, especially on sea days there are people just walking around and kids in your way. The fitness room is pretty good, but on sea days it is super packed! One more thing, if you get Luna for your waiter tell him Mary and Mike says hello. He is the absolute best!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our second 7 day cruise on the Dream and we love this boat. We had a cove balcony room this time-room 2366-which we really liked. It was quiet & convenient plus we loved being so close to the water. It was a totally ... Read More
This was our second 7 day cruise on the Dream and we love this boat. We had a cove balcony room this time-room 2366-which we really liked. It was quiet & convenient plus we loved being so close to the water. It was a totally different balcony experience than being higher up on the boat. We liked watching the harbor pilot coming onto and exiting the Dream each time we came into port. This would be fun for kids to watch. We also tried any time dining for the 1st time, which worked well for us. We enjoyed the shows and many of the musicians on different nights. All the staff were excellent-every waiter/waitress, our steward, etc. were polite & helpful. We had room service for coffee & a light breakfast each morning & it always arrived on time and nicely served. We also ordered a bottle of liquor from the on-store gift shop before the cruise. It arrived in our room on the first day & allowed us to have in room cocktails & it was a good savings too since it's a large liter size bottle. We ate at the steak house on the first night, which was wonderful plus you get a free bottle of wine on the first night. The service was excellent & very special & the food was delicious. About pictures: I usually take advantage of the photographers because it's nice to get professional pictures of me & my husband. If you buy your embarkation picture on the first night, you will receive a free lanyard & a nice picture of your boat. I'm always looking for the little extras. We enjoyed all the ports-snorkeling in Roatan & Belize and a nice meal at Pancho's Backyard in Cozumel. We enjoy the sea days, taking it easy, people watching, and just spending time together. Also we like sailing from New Orleans as embarkation is well organized. Leaving the boat is always a little complicated because so many people insist on hauling their luggage with them. Folks---just set it out your door & pick it up on your way out--it's so much easier. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We embarked the Queen of the Mississippi in New Orleans, this was our first small boat cruise, what a wonderful experience, no lines or waiting EVER. The boat went north on the river up to Memphis, they had interesting & informative ... Read More
We embarked the Queen of the Mississippi in New Orleans, this was our first small boat cruise, what a wonderful experience, no lines or waiting EVER. The boat went north on the river up to Memphis, they had interesting & informative shore excursions that were included in the price for the most part, except for Graceland in Memphis. The rooms were very roomy and comfortable and all have a deck with table & chairs, the service on this boat is excellent by everyone on this boat. The food was wonderful, they offer have cocktails & hors de oeuvres 5:30-6:30 and then dinner! After dinner there is always entertainment by different performers. They offer breakfast, lunch & dinner selections & you can also get half portions. The nice thing about this cruise is your not slammed with a bill at the end for alcohol, shore excursions etc. This is an older crowd as there really isn't much to do for younger children, no pools, clubs, activities etc. We liked it so much we booked another cruise with them for next year & would recommend it to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
My husband and i just got home from our awesome cruise on the carnival dream! Thank you Carnival for such top quality service. I have never experienced fantastic customer service like you all distributed during our week stay on your ship. ... Read More
My husband and i just got home from our awesome cruise on the carnival dream! Thank you Carnival for such top quality service. I have never experienced fantastic customer service like you all distributed during our week stay on your ship. Over 4,500 guest on the ship and you make every guest feel like they are a top priority--i am still in awe as to how well you did that! Most important to us was the excellency of the Cordon Blue staff! My husband and i was blessed every night at dinner and at breakfast in the scarlet restaurant by the absolute finest servers by the name of Valentino, I Gusti, and Volodymyr. We looked forward to having dinner every night due to their superb customer service. These wonderful servers made us feel at home. They were very loving, caring, attentive, and always served with the warmest smiles on their faces. We truly drew near to them and because of them we decided to book another cruise with our entire family for next year. I was highly saddened when we said our good-byes. This was our first cruise we look forward to our next trip with carnival! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was an impulse trip that my husband wanted to do. I thought going on this trip might be a little boring. Boy was I wrong. First of all the boat is beautiful. Fully renovated in the true style of the time. Our room had a veranda and it ... Read More
This was an impulse trip that my husband wanted to do. I thought going on this trip might be a little boring. Boy was I wrong. First of all the boat is beautiful. Fully renovated in the true style of the time. Our room had a veranda and it was great having coffee service bought to the room each morning and sitting out there watching the river roll by. The beds are as comfortable as any five star hotel. The crew is outstanding, always smiling and ready to help you. Most of the time they were coming over just to see if you need something. They have the formal dinning room which is beautiful and the food was wonderful. Great selections everyday. If you want more casual dinning, go to the front porch and enjoy the open air dinning. The shows are spectacular, a seven piece orchestra and great performers. Something unique each night. The ports that we stopped at are historical and very interesting. You have the option to do tours that are included in the price or premium tours that they offer. We did about half and half. One of the great things about the cruise is because this is not a huge cruise ship, you get to know the people on board. We made some lifelong friendships this week. All in all it was a great trip and we will definitely go again. They are several different routes you can take. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
My husband, parents, and I just returned from a 7-night cruise on the Dream. We went to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. I honestly have very few complaints, this cruise was nearly perfect. Embarkation: The good- My husband ... Read More
My husband, parents, and I just returned from a 7-night cruise on the Dream. We went to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. I honestly have very few complaints, this cruise was nearly perfect. Embarkation: The good- My husband and I arrived to New Orleans early because we had Faster to the Fun. We dropped our luggage off around 9:30am and then parked at the Fulton Street Parking Garage. We walked over to Bourbon Street, knowing that boarding would be delayed due to routine maintenance. We walked back around 11:00am and found that they mean what they say and that the ship wouldn't board until closer to 12:00pm. We had a few personal disasters while in New Orleans, none of which can be blamed on Carnival. So let's move on to security and such. Although we finally (after all our disasters) got back to the port after FFTF had boarded, we were rushed right on. I think the only time we stood in a line was to actually get ON the ship. It was wonderful! I don't think the whole process took more than 10 minutes. My parents, who also had FFTF but arrived a couple hours after us, agreed that embarkation was smooth and quick. The not-so-good- My one complaint is that our bags were not at the room when we boarded, but came when all other luggage arrived. Same with my parents. The Dream: The good- This is a great ship! It's not my favorite, but of the four Carnival ships I've been on it's probably my second favorite. It's well laid out. I've complained in the past about the galleys blocking the ability to walk through, but by now I'm used to this. It didn't seem to be as big an issue as on a previous ship. The decor of the ship is typical Carnival bling. I called it a "bubbly" ship because there are bubbles everywhere. Very cute and fun. The ship appeared to be in great shape for the most part. The not-so-good- There were some aesthetic "issues," such as tiles missing from the aft pool area that could easily be fixed but didn't make any difference to me. There was a random sewage smell, as I've experienced on the two prior Carnival cruises. But it comes and goes quickly. Stateroom: The good- We had room 2256, and my parents 2315. Both were great rooms. The cove balconies were nice, but I can't say I'm crazy about them. I prefer the regular balconies, as when I sat down (I'm short), I couldn't see much of the water. I also have seen the flying fish, the ones that a lot of people say they've only seen from these balconies, from higher balconies. The room was always clean and the balcony was cleaned twice during the week. There is always plenty of room and storage for more than two people in these rooms. The not-so-good- One complaint: lack of outlets. I already knew this and thought that we wouldn’t need a power strip. I forgot that my husband began vaping, so there was rarely time when I could charge my camera batteries or FitBit. That got a little frustrating, but no real issue here. The Service: Our Room Steward, Putu, was amazing! Always friendly and took great care of us. We asked for ice, and ice was ALWAYS available in our room, day and night. He would talk to us every time he saw us and was always upbeat. We only ate in the dining room three times- twice for dinner (Any Time Dining) and once for the Dr. Seuss Breakfast. The servers we had for dinner were great, although we didn’t get to know any of them well. The service for breakfast, however, lacked. I’m not sure our server regularly served in the dining room. He was a little off, and awkward. But all was well. Hatty and Marta in Sam’s Piano Bar, they were our favorite people on this whole ship! Although we didn’t get to spend a lot of time with them, they always greeted us with a smile and by name. They would chat with us when the bar wasn’t too busy and even exchanged contact information with us before the end of the cruise. Joel, who usually served in the Encore show lounge, was on our last Carnival cruise onboard the Elation. He remembered us by name right off and greeted us. Great guy, and I’m always impressed when someone remembers us when they see 4,000 new people every week. Jeff the Fun Dude, in the Burgundy Lounge during the comedy shows, is well worth mentioning. There was a miscommunication between him and my husband on one of the first nights that upset my husband. Jeff made it a point to talk to my husband later in that night and explain what was meant, as well as offered an apology. He then went on to find us a seat when the lounge was packed. Great customer service. The last mention is Ariel, who was always everywhere around the ship. Great personality! The Food: The good- Of all the ships I’ve been on (Carnival and otherwise), this was my favorite food. I still don’t like the desserts, never have, but everything else was tremendous. The best foods I ate were the Spaghetti Carbonara, Lasagna Bolognese, Bacon Mac N’ Cheese, the Buffalo Chicken Focaccia, and the Apple Puff Pastry (I did find a dessert I liked!!). All were from the Main Dining Room except the Lasagna Bolognese, which was offered in both the dining room and the buffet that night (I had it from the buffet), and the Buffalo Chicken Focaccia which was only offered in the Late Night Eats buffet after 11:00pm. We tried Room Service for the first time on this cruise. Oh my goodness, I’m sad the Chicken Fajita Wrap is going away with the new Room Service menu. This was also included in some of my favorites. The not-so-good- I can’t believe I waited in line for the Fat Jimmy’s BBQ. I thought there would be Pulled Pork Sliders but it was Pulled Pork Quesadillas. This would be fine, but there wasn’t much meat in them. And then I walked to get in the even longer line for the Chocolate Extravaganza. Now, no, I’ve never cared for the desserts, but I’ve also never been to this buffet. I always miss it. And I’ll be missing it from now on. I stood in line for about 20 minutes and ate maybe a third of what was on my plate. The Rum-Raisin Balls were the best thing I got. Everything else was true to Carnival desserts. So if you regularly like their desserts, this might be the place for you. The Entertainment: The good- We attended more shows than we usually do on this trip, and I’m happy we did! We went to the comedy shows for the first half of the week. My husband and I had seen Chas Elsner on the Triumph in the past and were excited to see him again. He used a lot of the same material, but it was still hilarious. Smooth E, or Eric Schwartz, wow… aside from Chas, he’s so far the only other memorable comedian from cruising. He was HILARIOUS!! We will be looking him up online soon. The not-so-good- The comedians from the second half of the week were, sadly, not funny. We almost walked out of both of their shows. A bit vulgar and too political. No thanks. Back to the good- We would have much preferred Jeff the Fun Dude to have a comedy show. He was the host and announcer and was absolutely hysterical. I vote Jeff the Fun Dude become a regular onboard comedian! We went to the hypnotist, also comedic. Very entertaining! Dancing in the Streets was good, but you must get a spot in the dead center or you’ll miss what’s on your side of the stage. Some very impressive moves in that show! The Fun Force dancers performed in the atrium, also some great dance moves. The not-so-good- And the Legends show was alright, but not great. I don’t know that I would go to that again. The Ports/Excursions: In Montego Bay we did a Carnival sponsored excursion of Dunn’s River Falls and Swimming with Dolphins. Our tour guide, Norman, was wonderful! He kept us entertained on the long bus ride there and gave us a little quiz on the way back. DRF may be one of my favorite excursions yet. It felt like it took FOREVER to get to the top, but so much fun! The Dolphin Swim felt rushed and not as memorable as I thought it would be to swim with dolphins for the first time. But that’s not a huge deal. In Grand Cayman we did another Carnival sponsored excursion. This was a simple tour of one side of the island. We stopped at a pretty beach, the Sea Turtle Farm, Tortuga Rum Store, and Hell. I knew this wouldn’t be the greatest excursion ever, but I wanted to go ahead and get the touristy things taken care of since we had already swam with sting rays during our last visit. Next time we will likely just go back to the Turtle Farm and spend more time there. The tour guide here was nice as well, but a little more subdued. Then in Cozumel we went on our own to Mr. Sanchos. Although I don’t want to repeat excursions, I know we’ll be back. This place was heaven! We chose the all-inclusive package. Good times there. My parents chose a different excursion for this day, which was Carnival sponsored. They went to the Mayan Ruins of Tulum. Although they enjoyed the ruins, they did not enjoy their tour guide. They said he was a bit pushy with sales and kept them in the heat all day. Something to keep in mind. Debarkation: We chose self-assist because we had FTTF. We were off in no time. I feel like FTTF is certainly worth the $50/cabin until we become Platinum cruisers, as long as it’s available. Summary: I think the review speaks for itself. This was a fantastic cruise! The only thing I would have changed would be that first day in New Orleans (not Carnival’s fault) and the weather on the first day at sea (not Carnival’s fault). The few other “issues” were merely lessons learned. I HIGHLY recommend this ship to anyone considering it! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My husband and I have been on 39 cruises. We have sailed Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Princess. We are platinum status on Norwegian so love the free stuff. We sailed from New Orleans and flew in a day early from Nashville, ... Read More
My husband and I have been on 39 cruises. We have sailed Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Princess. We are platinum status on Norwegian so love the free stuff. We sailed from New Orleans and flew in a day early from Nashville, TN. We just happened to be there during the Burbeon Street Festival and it was great fun. We stayed at the Crown Plaza Hotel which is right around the corner from Acme Restaurant. We just cant go to New Orleans and miss this yummy food. There is always a line but it sure is worth waiting for. DAY 1 Our cabin port balcony 8556 was so very clean and we enjoyed the coffee maker. We never met our room steward which was very unusual but he provided excellent service. The room has plenty of storage, there is not a lot of storage in the bathroom but sufficient. We always start our cruise by exploring the decks and taking our picture with our life jackets on. Around 3:00 there was the mandatory life boat drill. We went to the Spinnakers Lounge for ours and it only lasted for about 5 minutes. Due to a little liquid sunshine, the sail away party was held inside but still great music and fun. I was very impressed all week with Dingo Dave and his staff. They were always so friendly and seemed to really enjoy their jobs. I believe that Dingo was the best cruise director that we have ever had on all 39 cruises. We had dinner in the Venetian Restaurant. It has the largest and most beautiful windows that offer an incredible view. Every meal that we had in this restaurant was very very good. We attended the welcome aboard variety show in the Stardust lounge that was also very good. Don't miss Jose and Patti, they can sing any kind of music. Day 2 Today was a sea day. We started around 6:30 in the morning with breakfast in the Garden Café (always good). I love the sun and my DH loves the shade so we found our respective chairs. We never had a difficult time finding chairs. The weather was perfect all week and was 81 today. We don't participate in any ship activities when the weather is nice and sunny. The margaritas were a little expensive (10.95) but good. Today we had our cruise critic party and the officers attended. The captain came and was so kind and seemed so glad that we were all there. We dressed up tonight and had our picture taken. We always buy one 8x10 and have a cruise wall at home where we can keep track of how many cruises we have been on. We had dinner at La Bistro (free for us with a bottle of wine due to platinum status). We attended the show, "Band on the Run" and the entertainment staff were just great. I want to be sure that I comment on the Hotel Director,Alain. He was absolutely outstanding. I bet we saw him several times every day. He was always happy, smiling and so available. I observed the staff interact with him and they seem to really like him. He would even stand outside the ship on port days to take guests used beach towels and give them clean towels. He told us that he started as a bus boy many years ago, so he really seems to understand his staff. Don't miss the Second City shows if you like improv comedy. The poolside activities were greatly improved. Gone was the beer chugging and replaced with Fun Miss Biceps and Mr. Hairy leg contest. This was very family friendly and just plain fun. Also, don't miss Ariel. We really enjoyed his music. We met the son of the captain one evening. He was on the ship for 2 weeks. He was such a polite young man and we learned so much about his life in Sweden. We attended the show "Band on the Run" at 700 pm that was so good. Day 3 Today is Cozumel. We have been here a number of times and hope to return again. We hopped in a taxi and went to Nachi Cocum for the day. I booked that independently. It is a beautiful all inclusive resort with a beautiful beach, terrific food (shrimp), good drinks, pool and hottub. We just would not go any where else. We had dinner in the Venetian and again totally happy. Please don't miss Sander and Alliso Magika in the stardust. They are absolutely breathtaking and my absolute favorite of the entire cruise. We then went to the James Taylor Tribute concert and then the Sinatra tribute. It was such a nice day. Day 4 Today is Belize. We have also been here a few times. Please get off the ship and explore. I have read so many people that say its dangerous but these are the most grateful and polite people I have met. This is a tender port and it takes about 15 minutes to get to shore. We did our own walking tour here. After you get out of the gates, if you go right, you will come to a beautiful Catholic Church and the lighthouse as well as a flea market. If you go to the left you will come to a bridge that will take you into the town. Its a very walkable place with some very friendly people. We usually eat at the Lizard restaurant but the service was just awful so we left and ate when we arrived back on the ship. We enjoyed the show, Showdown. We did not attend the Hot White Party as we were pretty tired and went to our cabin for the balcony and a glass of wine. Day 5 Today is Honduras. This is one of my favorite spots in the whole world. I booked an all inclusive resort independent of the ship again, Mayan Princess. I would like to go there for a vacation. I had a 20.00 massage on the beach. This resort was again breathtaking. The beach was just perfect with a beautiful pool, good buffet and drinks. The transportation was included with this resort and it went so smoothly. We attended the Second City show, musical variety with Jose and Patti and Ariel singing Elton John and Billy Joel tribute. We had dinner in the Bamboo Asian Restaurant. It is now free and just great. We actually went here two nights. The calamari was the best we have ever had. Day 6 Costa Maya This is one of my favorite ports as well. We booked the Maya Chan resort for the day. The transportation was included and also was very smooth. This is like a Gilligans Island and so relaxing. We had 2 cabana chairs, hammock and a bed all under a coconut tree. We would go back in a heartbeat. There was a taco buffet and really good drinks. They cut the coconut down to make the pina colada's. One of the employees was from Nashville and that made for fun conversation. There was quite a bit of seaweed in the water but they worked all day to keep it away from the chairs. I really enjoyed this day. The show at 7:00 and 9:00 was Elements. Don't miss this, absolutely excellent. We had dinner at La Cocina (free with wine). This was some really good Italian food. Day 7 Our final sea day. Oh, all good things have to come to an end. Today we sure enjoyed the pool day. We attended the Neil Diamond tribute as the main show (wow, that couple is good). There is also a magic show that I was not impressed with but entertaining. The leaving process was quick. I booked a company that took our luggage to the airport. My husband and I then took the double decker bus tour for the day. We went back to Acme, French quarter and then took a taxi to the airport. Great way to spend the day. I know that I have written a really great review. I have read so many critical reviews and frankly, life is just to short to be so picky. We love to have fun and are pretty easy to please. We cant wait for number 40 next year. Happy Cruising Everyone, Ken and Carla Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We had a wonderful time it was more than we expected. We absolutely loved it, everyone was so nice. We met so many people from all over. It's something we will never forget. The places we went were so beautiful. The food the ... Read More
We had a wonderful time it was more than we expected. We absolutely loved it, everyone was so nice. We met so many people from all over. It's something we will never forget. The places we went were so beautiful. The food the entertainment, everything was great. Can't wait to do it again!!!! I would recommend Carnival to anyone. ..there staff is so nice. Getting on and off the ship was very smooth transition. Cozumel, and Mahogony bay was our favorite destinations such beautiful water, sand, and stores. Was very romantic for me and my husband. The food was extraordinary, we got to try some food we've never had before, it was a wonderful experience. .....then you Carnival Dream! !!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Having been on a few cruises now, trying out different cruise lines, we are having fondest memories with NCL Dawn. 'Dawn' has great atmosphere, you feel the fun start when you board and balloons are up and staff greet and dance ... Read More
Having been on a few cruises now, trying out different cruise lines, we are having fondest memories with NCL Dawn. 'Dawn' has great atmosphere, you feel the fun start when you board and balloons are up and staff greet and dance you aboard (Dingo Dave is great). She has a good mix of cruisers aboard both times we've been. A lot of people on deck for the white hot party, which was also fun. We have booked the suite both times on Dawn, first 9502 and now 12502. We enjoy the perks of our butler (Ceasar is fantastic) and concierge, with afternoon snacks delivered daily and breakfast in Cagneys. We had our dining in the specialty restaurants: Cagneys, Teppanyaki, Le Bistro and Moderno. Food is very good throughout the ship and enjoy the dine at your time. The shows and entertainment throughout the week, was also good. We got the Spa package, which is worth it for being quieter in jacuzzi and pool area and for use of the sauna/steam room. We really like this size ship, but shall continue to explore more of what NCL has to offer and try the newer bigger ships perhaps. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We stayed 2 nights in The Clarian on Canal street prior to the cruise and it was very convenient to EVERYTHING by foot and only a few minutes driving to the port. My husband and I arrived to the port about 11:30am and walked right thru ... Read More
We stayed 2 nights in The Clarian on Canal street prior to the cruise and it was very convenient to EVERYTHING by foot and only a few minutes driving to the port. My husband and I arrived to the port about 11:30am and walked right thru without any delays. We did not do the FTTF, but our cabin (see my review of cabin 2216. Our cabin attendant did a marvelous job taking care of us) was ready and we dropped off our carry on's prior to eating lunch. We had lunch in the buffet and it was delicious. We usually always had "brunch" in the buffet because we are not early risers while on vacation. We ate every night in the main dining room on my time dining and usually had to wait about 10-15 minutes for a table because we didn't want to share a table. The service was hit and miss, but overall, no huge complaints. We enjoyed our dinners and was very pleased with the portion sizes and taste. There were plenty of lounge chairs poolside, but we enjoyed finding those nice cushioned lounge chairs and sofas up on the higher decks. There were great breezes up there as well. The port days were somewhat disastrous as when we were trying to dock in Cozumel, the ship hit something and wasn't able to dock until 10am and we were supposed to dock at 8am. We didn't have an excursion planned so it didn't really affect us, except for the noise in our cabin, it sounded like there was a war going on beneath us. We know that the scuba divers had to check for damage on the bottom of the ship that day. Then the next day in Belize, the waves were too high and we had to anchor way off shore, so we were 1 hr. late getting on the tenders and it took 20 minutes to get to shore as compared to the usual 10 minutes or so. We did the cave tubing and it was great fun, but a LONG bus ride and a LONG walk to get to it. In Mahoghany Bay we were on time, and had a great time walking around at the shops and on the beach. We had 3 great sea days and had beautiful weather except for embark and debark days it was raining in New Orleans. It takes about 8 hrs. to get to sea on the Mississippi river, so you can keep your cell phones on until then. The entertainment was great, but we don't think there is as much of a variety as on NCL, but we still love Carnival as well. Bottom line is: we would take this cruise again on the Dream, so enough said! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We went on our first cruise for our honeymoon. We loved our experience on Serenade of the Seas. Our room was an interior room on the 2nd level, 2005. The cruise director was great and for the most part there was always something ... Read More
We went on our first cruise for our honeymoon. We loved our experience on Serenade of the Seas. Our room was an interior room on the 2nd level, 2005. The cruise director was great and for the most part there was always something interesting to do. There were enough food options to always be well fed (not all food was great but most was pretty good). We enjoyed out 8pm dining in the main dining room, Reflections. Our wait staff was fabulous! They were always friendly and had good recommendations. The plating of the food was always nice and most was really good. We also liked having breakfast and lunch on the back of the boat at Windjammer. We did not try any of the speciality restaurants or buy a drink package (water, flavored water, lemonade, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, milk, orange juice, and apple juice are all provided) We enjoyed the evening shows, Bingo, salsa dancing, and the workout room. We did find that the pools and hot tubs could be crowded at times, but still swam in the pool. We really enjoyed our time in New Orleans, Jamaica, and Cozumel. We did not care for Grand Cayman as much but still had fun. In New Orleans, we went sight seeing on our own with my husband's brother the day of embarkation and disembarkation. In Jamaica, we went to Green Grotto Caves and Dunn's River Falls. This was our favorite excursion. I would not travel around Jamaica on your own but with an excursion and in the port we felt safe. The port was nice and not crowded. On our excursion, our tour guides were great, especially at Green Grotto Caves. Our group did not get a videographer at Dunn's River Falls, but the groups that did seemed to get a better tour (ours was still great!). We also visited Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville in the cruise port. I would not get food there again (it was pricey and mediocre) but it was fun to walk around and take pictures there. In Grand Cayman, we did the Stingray City, Snorkeling, and 7 Mile Beach lunch buffet excursion (I don't think that's it's exact title-but similar). I would NOT recommend this excursion. Grand Cayman was extremely crowded and busy. We will not take a cruise here again. The excursion was disorganized, started late, and we had a very large group. They cancelled our snorkeling part of the trip due to "rough" waters but most people in our group thought it was due to running behind with their disorganization-the waters weren't bad. Royal Caribbean refunded everyone $30/person for the inconvenience. We did not like Stingray City. I have snorkeled with Stingrays in Belize and swam with them in a small group. This excursion felt like exploiting the rays. There were hundreds of people crowded standing on a sandbar with some rays swimming around. The guides were holding them out of the water trying to get people to take pictures with them. Our guide charged $40 per picture. Our guides were very pushy and begging for tips. After the stingrays, we went to 7 Mile Beach. Our lunch and the beach were nice. There were chickens walking around on the beach. We snorkeled on our own here (we brought our own equipment, but you could rent some there). After our excursion, we walked around the crowded port and got gellato (it was a bit pricey for gellato but good). In Cozumel, we went snorkeling and to Playa Mia. We loved this. The port was nice and a bit crowded but not as crowded as Grand Cayman. We would like to come back on a cruise or stay at a resort. The boat ride to snorkeling and Playa Mia was great. Our guides were fun and informative. We took pictures, sang, and danced on the boat. They provided water, soft drinks, beer, rum punch, and margaritas on the boat. The snorkeling was nice and the group wasn't too large. Playa Mia was busy but there was lots to do. The food wasn't impressive, but we had fun! All in all, we loved our first cruise experience and look forward to more spring breaks (we are both teachers) of cruises! We were very impressed with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We went on our first cruise for our honeymoon. We loved our experience on Serenade of the Seas. Our room was an interior room on the 2nd level, 2005. The cruise director was great and for the most part there was always something ... Read More
We went on our first cruise for our honeymoon. We loved our experience on Serenade of the Seas. Our room was an interior room on the 2nd level, 2005. The cruise director was great and for the most part there was always something interesting to do. There were enough food options to always be well fed (not all food was great but most was pretty good). We enjoyed out 8pm dining in the main dining room, Reflections. Our wait staff was fabulous! They were always friendly and had good recommendations. The plating of the food was always nice and most was really good. We also liked having breakfast and lunch on the back of the boat at Windjammer. We did not try any of the speciality restaurants or buy a drink package (water, flavored water, lemonade, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, milk, orange juice, and apple juice are all provided) We enjoyed the evening shows, Bingo, salsa dancing, and the workout room. We did find that the pools and hot tubs could be crowded at times, but still swam in the pool. We really enjoyed our time in New Orleans, Jamaica, and Cozumel. We did not care for Grand Cayman as much but still had fun. In New Orleans, we went sight seeing on our own with my husband's brother the day of embarkation and disembarkation. In Jamaica, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman, we went on Royal Caribbean's excursions. All in all, we loved our first cruise experience and look forward to more spring breaks (we are both teachers) of cruises! We were very impressed with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We are a young/middle aged couple (37 and 27) from FL. We took a cruise on the Norwegian Dawn for our Honeymoon. We were married in GA (where my wife's family is from) and flew to New Orleans the night before we set sail. We have ... Read More
We are a young/middle aged couple (37 and 27) from FL. We took a cruise on the Norwegian Dawn for our Honeymoon. We were married in GA (where my wife's family is from) and flew to New Orleans the night before we set sail. We have friends who live in New Orleans, so we were able to coordinate a ride to the Port the morning we left. This was very convenient. Embarkation was a breeze. We were in a Deluxe Owners Suite, so as soon as we got through security, we were escorted to the front of the line each step of the way. After checking in, we were escorted to the VIP lounge where we were met by our concierge Karibi. She immediately called for someone to escort us onboard to our suite. We literally had no waiting at all. We walked into the cruise terminal building at 10:50 and were standing in our suite by 11:10. Our cabin was 12502, which is an awesome suite. Around 700 square feet with floor to ceiling windows in the living room and bedroom. The cabin is directly above the bridge, so you get the same view as the captain. The bathroom was very large with a whirlpool tub that easily accommodated both myself and my wife, a large separate shower and dual vanities. The bedroom had a King Bed with plenty of closet and drawer space for the two of us. We had the dining package, so we ate at a specialty restaurant every night, as well as Cagney's for breakfast and lunch. Every dinner was great, with our favorite being the lobster at Le Bistro (we canceled another reservation and requested this dinner again on a different night). Breakfast and Lunch at Cagney's was definitely a nice perk and we took full advantage. We did not have a bad meal or poor service the entire week. The shows were fantastic and it was nice having a reserved seating area, although it was only really enforced for the "Elements" show. All other shows there was a sign there, but no one to keep anyone else from walking in and sitting down. It was never a problem though as we always had an open seat available to us. We took a shore excursion at every port and had a great time at all of them. Our tickets were delivered to us in our cabin the first night and were clearly marked where and when to meet for each of them. Disembarkation was also a breeze. We received a letter from the concierge inviting us to a meeting the day prior to disembarkation. During this meeting we received priority luggage tags to place on our luggage. We then went to the specified lounge the next morning where we were personally escorted by the concierge, bypassing the line that had already wrapped around the ship. Our luggage was in the terminal waiting for us. It could not have gone any better. We have both cruised a couple of times before with Carnival, and while we have stayed in a suite with them, there is no comparison in regards to the perks between the 2 lines. Balcony vs Balcony, I'd say that Carnival vs NCL is very close. Suite to Suite, NCL wins hands down. While the suites are more expensive, what you get with them is worth the added cost. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
I just got off of the Dawn 3 days ago. My twin brother and I cruise together and had a great time. The cruise went from New Orleans and stopped at Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan and Costa Maya. The ship was extremely clean and ready to go. ... Read More
I just got off of the Dawn 3 days ago. My twin brother and I cruise together and had a great time. The cruise went from New Orleans and stopped at Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan and Costa Maya. The ship was extremely clean and ready to go. Luggage delivery took quite a while but they deal with thousands of bags so that is understandable. We couldn't wait for our dinner at Le Bistro and were not disappointed! This is easily my favorite restaurant on most of the Norwegian ships. We went to Cagney's the second night and the steaks were way undercooked and food was generally lackluster. We mentioned it and Max, the manager, came over to address it and invited us back later that week to make up for it. We returned Thursday night and it was wonderful! (Bison was great as was Max - thank you!) The Brazilian restaurant was good and the Osso Bucco at the Italian restaurant was amazing. The drinks were good. Mojitos were hit and miss but after a few of them, who cares! :) Cozumel - Always love going there. The dives were spectacular! Belize City - The Tender process is complicated. We booked a complex private dive excursion on Ambergris Cay that included a flight across the water. With the length of the tender process, we missed our flight, had to get a later one and missed the first dive of the day so keep the tendering in mind (we were 5 miles out from land I think!). I did hear that the cave rafting was amazing for those who did that. Roatan - Wonderful! The dives were great but Cozumel was the best! Costa Maya - If you know where to go (Almaplena) it is a paradise. If you don't, this is a so-so spot. I heard the snorkeling was good and the ruins were okay. Oh the Fitness Room - WOW! It was fantastic! A few suggestions - Out at the pool, as much as it is a drag - I would suggest a little more oversight. The teenagers that were drinking for the first time got pretty out of hand. It's a nit but safety might become an issue. Also, the Star Bar - What is going on there? It's a great spot and overlooks the pool but is not utilized at all. In fact the entertainment overall seemed to either reflect the sedated clientele or possibly contributed to it. I think we may have hit a weird week being right after Mardi Gras. Also, go up the glass elevators and look down at the dirty, cracked and semi functional lighting on the shelves as the elevator in the atrium goes up. Easy fix but everyone commented. Casino - I stayed away. The smoke was completely unbearable and I have a good tolerance level. Overall, I had a great time. It seemed that no one on the ship had ever seen twins before but this is hardly Norwegian's fault! :) The crew was awesome. Sheiba at Le Bistro, The entire group of officer who we met at the meet and greet and Sonja - sigh - I will be returning to propose to you shortly! :) Thanks for the memories Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian in general!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
My wife and I were renewing our vows and arranged for our kids and their spouses, my in-laws and my parents to go with us. I also invited a couple from work since they had never been on a cruise and wanted to go with someone they knew. ... Read More
My wife and I were renewing our vows and arranged for our kids and their spouses, my in-laws and my parents to go with us. I also invited a couple from work since they had never been on a cruise and wanted to go with someone they knew. This was my 4th cruise and my wife's 3rd, all with RCI. Our last cruise, last January, was a bit of a disappointment as we felt the service was not very good and the crew was not very helpful or friendly. This cruise was the exact opposite. Overall, this was the best cruise I've been on so far. Every RCI employee we met was outstanding. The entire crew was always smiling and friendly. The very few issues we had were solved without problem or delay. The weather wasn't great, but you take what you can get cruising in early January. Boarding: We showed up at the terminal about a half hour before boarding started. The check in process was very quick and we were ready to get on the ship in just minutes. It was very well organized and smoother than the Galveston experience. The Ship: I've read a lot of reviews from people saying that Serenade is their favorite ship and I can see why. Serenade is beautiful. The staterooms and public areas were all very clean and well maintained. I love the elevators that look out over the water. We didn't get to walk around the deck as much as we usually do or go up on the helicopter pad to look at the stars, that was because of the weather, not the fault of the crew or the ship. The Crew: I can't say enough good things about the crew. Our room steward, Clinton, was fantastic. He was always available and met all of our requests within minutes. We held our vow renewal in our suite and he made sure we had enough plates, silverware and toasting glasses for everyone. He kept our champagne on ice for the ceremony and continued to provide us for ice buckets for our wine over the entire cruise. Our towel animal the night our our ceremony was a pair of kissing swans with three chicks sitting on a big heart. Dining: The dining room experience was great. The food was excellent and the variety was overwhelming. I ate way too much, as usual. Our server and assistant server couldn't have been any more attentive to our needs and even went back to the kitchen to have the chef cook extra dishes when someone at our table inquired if it was too late to get more of an item. Our glasses were never empty, I hate having to ask for water refills and never did once this entire trip. Our stateroom: We had a Grand Suite on deck 10 at the back of the ship. The room was very large and the bathroom was huge, plenty of room for two people to be in at the same time. The only issue we had with the room was the noise of chairs moving in the Windjammer above us. It wasn't bad and didn't wake us up or keep us awake if we were trying to sleep. The ports: This was our first trip to Key West. We didn't have enough time there to really explore it but we enjoyed what we saw and will be back. Because of the size of our group, we didn't do very much in Nassau. My wife and I did the Seahorse Snorkeling tour. The water was kind of rough, expected this time of year, but the reef was loaded with fish and very colorful. This was my first time snorkeling so I can't compare it to any others. The weather was perfect for CocoCay and the island is great. We used the beaches, hammocks, paddle boats and canoes. There are plenty of lounge chairs and it was easy to get some shade when we needed a break from the sun. The entertainment: The cruise director, John, did an excellent job of organizing the shows. The RCI singers and dancers were very energetic and put on excellent shows. The juggler/comedian Chuck Gunter was very good, as was the singing group Horizons. The highlight entertainment wise had to be ventriloquist Ronn Lucas, he had us laughing so hard our eyes were watering. Disembarking: Very smooth. Our family was in four different groups and we were all off the ship by 9:00. Customs was very quick and we were on the road home by 9:30. There were no long lines or struggles to find luggage. Again, it was very hard to find any negatives to say about this cruise. Nothing that would be relevant to put here. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This is our third Carnival cruise and first time out of New Orleans. As many have said, Elation is an older ship, but she's a great value for the money we spent. The public areas were very clean and comfortable. The decor seems much ... Read More
This is our third Carnival cruise and first time out of New Orleans. As many have said, Elation is an older ship, but she's a great value for the money we spent. The public areas were very clean and comfortable. The decor seems much more subdued than her sister ships Paradise and Ecstasy. I really wish they could find a better way to vent cigarette smoke, because it sometimes became overpowering when the bars/casino were busy. Embarkation Easiest embarkation yet! New Orleans Port Parking was simple and the porters were friendly and very helpful. We arrived at 1030 am and boarded at 1130ish. Our room was ready by 1230. Our luggage arrived just before muster. Stateroom We had a porthole room on the Main Deck. M 14. The room was very large. We had a lot of motion, but it wasn't really a problem. The ship moved quite a bit everywhere. The water was rough and we had some 50 mph winds. Entertainment We probably spent 75% of our time in the Comedy club. We loved both comedians. They showed college and NFL playoff games on the big screen in that room. They provided football clappers and poms. I wish they would have had popcorn and/or munchies, but it was a great place to watch a game. We enjoyed several trivia games and won a ship on a stick. The shows were okay. Food As long as they continue to serve warm chocolate melting cake, I'll always give the food good reviews. I prefer the main dining room over the buffet, but both were good. I really loved the pumpkin soup and lobster. Breakfast in the dining room was good as well. I would have eaten the buffet more, but the wind was really strong, making our preferred outdoor seating impossible. Service The service was just okay on this cruise. Our cabin steward wasn't around as often as we've come to expect from our previous cruises. He was nice, but he seemed to just be going through the motions. I called about ice the afternoon of the second day and he kind of snapped that he was off duty and I'd have to call room service. I was ok with the room service referral, but the attitude was a little off putting. I asked for extra glasses and he looked at me like I was asking for something impossible. The girl assisting him was very friendly. Most members of the dining staff were great. The customer service desk was very helpful. Cozumel I love Cozumel. We booked Mr Sanchos All Inclusive for the second time. They provide great service! Our waiter, Erizel, gave us a cabana and table away from everyone. He was always around for yummy drink refills and food. We left Sanchos and spent a few hours shopping at port. Disembarkation This was not my favorite disembarkation. They call so many groups down together, it created very long lines. Why have zones at all if you're going to lump them all together? Overall I really enjoyed this cruise. My experience on the ship was mostly great. I believe it was well worth the money we paid. I would go again tomorrow if I could!   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015

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