We took our first cruise out of New Orleans last March on Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas. We went to Western Caribbean ports of Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Costa Maya. It was a great cruise experience. However, I recommend NOT going on spring break cruise unless you are a college student, although my husband seemed to enjoy the sunbathers :-) Our excursions included the snorkeling with stingrays in Grand Cayman (highly recommend this experience at least once), the Mexican cooking school in Cozumel (very fun with open bar and cute chef) and the Mayan historical experience in Costa Maya (a special treat for my history teacher husband). The captain & crew were great, meals in dining room, buffet & poolside were all very good. The onboard gym is only OK. Activities & shows were fun. I know Carnival also has ships out of New Orleans and assume port of call are similar. We are taking an Eastern Caribbean Carnival cruise out of Miami on Dec 30th.