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First Cruise + Train Ride...

Earlier this year I went on a cruise for the first time, and I've been dying to take another one! My best friend booked us a 3-day cruise to Cozumel Mexico through the carnival cruise line and we took the train from Memphis to New Orleans where our cruise ship would sail.

This was not only my first cruise, but it was also my very first time on a train as well and I absolutely enjoyed it! If I had the time to spare, I would take the train everywhere lol. The train ride was about 8 hours compared to the 5- 5 1/2 hour drive it usually takes from Memphis. A lot of people don't even know that we have a train station here its located downtown right off Main St, the Amtrak Train Station it's connected to the Central Station Hotel. My ticket as $115 for a round trip there and back which was not bad at all this is considered coach seating and they have sleeper rooms available that have a small bed and restroom for longer rides. The coach seats do recline and there are electrical sockets for each seat. The best part is that you can literally take whatever you want on the train so if you want to pack a cooler full of wine and snacks you can! There are stop being made for others to get off and on the train and then there are longer 10–15-minute breaks for people to get off and smoke or stretch.

We made it to New Orleans the day before our cruise ship was set to sail and checked into a hotel near Bourbon which was not far from the train station at all. It was about 3pm once we arrived, we got situated and went to find food. We stopped by Fogo De Chao just in time for happy hour where their apps and some signature drinks were half off then we found a place called Willie's Chicken Shack and they had some of the best chicken I've had also had great vibes as well! Later that night of course we walked on Bourbon and ended up eating at a place called Desire Oyster Bar and the food was absolutely delicious, we got fried calamari and Oysters. We called it a night after this.

We woke up and packed up all of our stuff and headed to brunch and a cute spot called Willa Jean. We got a little bit of everything here and every bit of it was delicious lol. We got a potato skillet, a honey chicken biscuit, banana bread and BBQ shrimp toast, like i said delicious! We headed back to the hotel to grab our things and head to port, and we made it around 2:10pm.

During this time which as back in April you needed a negative Covid test no more than 48 hours prior to boarding in order to get on the ship. Thing have probably changed since then but the boarding process was pretty easy and self explanatory I did take my passport which I believe helped things move a little faster. We gave our bags to the ship concierge so that our bags would be outside of our rooms once we made it. We got an inner cabin room with two twin beds and the beds were extra comfy. I will for sure get a balcony room next time and I will get the drink package. This time we just put liquor in shampoo bottles flasks, and we had thermos to put our drinks in.

There was food, pools, and hot tubs on one floor, there was a gym and spa on another floor, casino, club and other bars on another floor. It was like being in a hotel on water which I loved so much lol. There was an 18 and up pool and a 21 and up pool and the kids pool was in the middle of the boat. I would also like to see what an adult only cruise is like at some point. Although you can eat all day and there is pizza and ice cream available until 3am we had dinner each night at 8pm in the dining room. One night we had a formal night, so you had to get dressed up to go to dinner which I thought was super cute. One thing that I loved about dinner is that if you literally wanted to try one of everything on the menu you could If there was one thing on the menu that you liked you could order more of it. I tried frog legs for the first time ever on this cruise! They were good too and yes; they do taste like chicken lol. There was always an event going on at all times, we were able to go to a comedy show one night and we did karaoke another night. There were giveaways and all kind of stuff going on so there really is not a dull moment. For me all I wanted to do was enjoy the sun and the hot tub.

This was a three-day cruise and we arrived in Cozumel on the second day. When the ship docked, we had 8 hours to do what we wanted, and we chose to chill at Mr. Sancho's which is an all-inclusive resort that you pay $60 and you get unlimited drinks and food. Now, be sure to get cash before you get off the ship, I would say get cash before you even get on the ship but beware ATM fees in Mexico are around 10% for every $100 your withdrawal ATM fees can get out of hand. Also, be sure to have a paso to USD exchange app if you plan to buy anything from vendors because they will try to get over unfortunately. They had jet skis and other water activities that you could pay for, but we hung out on the beach, ate, and drank the entire time. I ended up ordering some of the best coconut shrimp I've had in my life, we tried ceviche and I ordered a whole red snapper fried and everything was so delicious! We headed back to the ship so that we could leave around 3pm. We had to recover from being in that sun all day, we were exhausted. It took us one full day to cruise back to New Orleans and we docked around 8am the next morning. I got back on the train and headed back to Memphis.

This was definitely one of my favorite trips of the year I got a chance to do two things I had never done before, and I am currently anticipating my next cruise. Like I mentioned, I will be getting a balcony room and a drink package this time (15 drinks or shots per day). I might get a wifi package but honestly, I enjoyed not being able to make contact with anyone for a few days. I guess if I did a longer cruise like 5-7 days, I would get it for sure. If you've been thinking about going on a cruise but it's your first time and you're not really sure this is your SIGN, DO IT!

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