Sailing on a Carnival Cruise
In May, we decided to take advantage of Carnival’s misfortune due to their ship mishaps, and buy a trip on sale.
If you remember, we paid for the vacation upfront in May, a total of $672. Check out this post to look at the May details of the Western Caribbean cruise. But at the time I did not account for any extra charges we would encounter.
In June, I found a really great deal on a Dallas to New Orleans flight on Spirit Airlines. I used one of their $10 off coupons, and ended paying about $200 for two round-trip tickets. But we ended up having to take a last minute flight on Southwest Airlines that cost us $500 one way to New Orleans on the first day of vacation. It was an unexpected hick up in our trip. Next time we take a cruise, I will make sure to fly out the day before the cruise and rent a hotel the night before. In our plan, we decided to stay the night after the cruise in New Orleans, but next time we will do the opposite. Spirit Airlines is a really cheap airline, but make sure to understand there will be delays, and you will get charged for everything. The first day of our trip, we found out our flight was delayed and we would miss our cruise if we didn’t take another flight. Spirit did reimburse us the Dallas to NOLA leg. Luckily, we live in DFW and there are two airports! So we had options. Thanks to my in-laws who wake up early and check our flights for us, we found out early.
Once we got to New Orleans we took a shuttle to the port (Cost $42). The cruise itself was awesome. Service was great! The cruise ship was clean and we met a bunch of fun people. We ended up hanging with an older couple who were cruise veterans. They showed us around and gave us tips! We spent $250 on the ship. $150 for gratuities (well worth it), $100 for alcohol.
Our ship, the Carnival Elation, was one of the smaller boats of the fleet, but it wasn’t as crowded. Definitely recommend it.
We stopped at Progreso City and Cozumel. Progreso City was awesome! It was cheap and the beach was nice. We didn’t buy any excursions. We just hopped on a bus (free) from the port to the little town. There we spent $10 (beer and chips), $10 on bottle of alcohol we poured into our tumbler to sneak back into the boat (alcohol on the ship is super expensive!), $30 on massages for both of us. In Cozumel, you have to pay a taxi fare to get to the beach, and the things at the beach are more expensive. Just FYI.
We went to comedy shows at night, danced at the club, lounged by the pool, ate so much delicious food.
In New Orleans, we stayed at Royal Hotel. The hotel was great. We paid $86 on Hotels.com for the reservation. They have great service and it’s right off the party area in Bourbon street but not on Bourbon street. So when I wanted to go to sleep, I went to sleep in a quiet area. Parking in NOLA is expensive about $40 bucks a night. You can find free parking in the residential area, but make sure to move it before 9 am to another area.
We spent about $50-70 bucks on food, tips, and alcohol.
We ate at Rita’s Tequila House, which is on Bourbon Street. They run happy hour specials like $2 tacos and 2 for 1 margaritas. The tacos were good, see pics below. We, also, went to Cafe du Monde to get some beignets. Delicious, wish I had gotten more!
We took a bus tour. It was a deal from Travel Zoo.Do not recommend it! It was 2 hours of hell. Just skip it and walk around NOLA.
Approximate cost of trip: $1800. It would have been $1300 without the last minute flights to New Orleans on Southwest Airlines. So definitely a nice, affordable trip for a couple.
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