This is a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Glory from New Orleans to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. The trip includes two nights in New Orleans pre-cruise.
This will be my 11th Carnival cruise, first on Glory, and eighth out of New Orleans. It will be my second time to Montego and Grand Cayman, and my tenth time to Cozumel.
I have really settled into these last week of February and last week of August cruises. The last week of February is after football season but before spring break. The last week of August after summer break for most but before football season. The prices are good both weeks and they are exactly six months apart.
I booked this cruise almost 18 months ago. At the time I hadn’t been to Grand Cayman or Montego Bay yet. It was also the perfect week out of my favorite port of departure.
For this trip I am using Fulton Parking Garage. I booked two days of their hotel parking at $18 per day and seven days of their rooftop cruise parking at $10 per day. After taxes and fees it comes out to a total of $124.40 for the nine days.
If you are interested in reading about all New Orleans parking options, you can do that here.
I am actually staying at two hotels this trip. My first night will be at the Hilton Garden Inn which is almost directly behind Fulton Parking Garage. My second night will be at the Sheraton Four Points on Bourbon Street.
I booked both hotels on Hotwire.com. I paid $78 after tax for the Hilton Garden Inn and $106 after tax for the Sheraton Four Points.. Those are outstanding prices for those hotels– Especially on Friday and Saturday nights.
The plan for the first day in New Orleans is to spend the day at the World War II museum which is just a couple blocks from the first hotel. I went there once about five years ago but I wasn’t able to spend as much time as I wanted. I didn’t take any pictures. And I believe they’ve added a new building since then.
The plan for the first night was to watch the Saints preseason game at Manning’s which is also just a couple blocks from the first hotel. It turns out I had the dates wrong and the Saints game is actually the second night. That threw a bit of a wrench in my plans. Now I’m going to have to move my second night plans to the first night. That plan is Frenchman Street which isn’t close at all to the first hotel, but we’ll make it work.
The plan for the second day is a French Quarter bar hop/city tour before finding a place to watch the game that night.
If you are interested in Dunn’s River Falls, you can read about it here.
I booked this cruise knowing it would be a repeat of these ports. I felt confident there would be some reason to repeat the ports–There usually is.
As you may know the one souvenir I buy at each port is the Harley Davidson poker chip. The Dunn’s River Falls excursion did not allow me the opportunity to pick one up. We were the first excursion to leave, the last to get back, and we never stopped near a Harley Davidson.
The other thing I missed was a few photo ops. One of those photo ops was a great view overlooking the port. I missed out on that because I killed my phone battery at Dunn’s River Falls and didn’t bring my charger since I didn’t know if I’d have a place to put it while I was on the falls.
When looking for an excursion for this cruise it had to be something that allowed me to get to a Harley Davidson. Since there is one on the “hip strip” that is the first excursion I looked for. For all of my excursions I checked Carnival, Shore Excursioner, Viator, and Cruise Compete before booking.
I booked the “Top 10 Best of Montego” excursion through Carnival. It was $39.99. I got 10% back for booking with my Carnival Master Card. It only has three of five stars. The biggest complaint I’ve seen is that they didn’t go ten places. Reading the description it lists the top 10 as three site stops, two photo ops, and a drive by five sites. I know that going in. I’m good with it.
One of the photo ops is listed as a “panoramic view of the bay.” I think this may be the photo op I missed out on last trip–Another plus for this excursion.
Other sites include Old Town, Sam Sharpe Square, St. James Parish Church, Fairview, and Scotchies. Scotchies is a place I remember hearing was popular for jerk chicken. One of the negative reviews on this excursion was that they didn’t have time to sit down and eat at Scotchies. They had to take the food with them and eat it on the bus. As long as we aren’t eating in my car, it doesn’t bother me.
The last stops on the tour are the Shoppes at Rose Hall and Margaritaville on the Hip Strip. I believe we’ll also be able to access Doctor’s Cave Beach from Margaritaville.
If you are interested in Stingray City, you can read about it here.
For Grand Cayman I ended up booking the Grand Cayman Hell and Turtle Farm Orientation on Cruise Compete. This excursion cost $49 and has a rating of 4.5 out of 5. The Turtle Center and the Rock Formations they call Hell are both on my list of places I’d like to see in Grand Cayman. The description indicates we’ll also have a short stop at seven mile beach–Another place I wanted to see.
They have multiple times for this excursion. 8:45, 10:45, 11:45, and 12:45. I went with 10:45. This is the same site where I booked my glass bottom boat excursion in Roatan last December. I picked the second time and ended up getting a private excursion with them. Maybe I’ll get lucky again.
If you are interested in the Cozumel Bar Hop tour, you can read about it here.
The number one excursion I have left to do in Cozumel is the Tulum Mayan Ruins. I hear that it is a long, hot day so I’m saving that one for February.
This time my plan is the Atlantis Submarine Excursion. It has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. I began preparing for this excursion with the glass bottom boat tour in Roatan last December. The glass bottom boat didn’t bother me so I’m ready to go a little deeper–100 feet to be exact.
I’m planning on using onboard credit for this excursion so I’m booking through Carnival and I have to wait until I get on board. Hopefully they don’t sell out between now and then. It’s a $100 excursion.
Glory doesn’t have all of the options Vista does as far as specialty dining but I will be visiting the steakhouse one night.