Starved for lack of an exciting vacation together since Scotland in '97, we were more than ready for our first cruise aboard the Enchanted Isle. This cruise featured a Celtic theme, with Irish and Scottish musicians and dancers on board. How could we resist a dancing cruise? Actually, the credit for making the dancing aspect come alive goes to Mary Ann McGrath Swaim, a vivacious dance instructor and director of the New Orleans School of Irish Dance, whose endless energy and passion for dancing kept everyone hopping. We are very grateful to her for the new dances and tons of fun!
In the name of frugality, we used AAdvantage miles to cover the airfare to New Orleans, the cruise ship's point of departure. Thrift is all fine and good until the alarm goes off at 3:15am and you hustle your groggy self to meet a 6:15am flight! We even had to wait for the DFW coffee stand to open. Thankfully, the flight was brief, and only a few dozen ear-popping yawns later we landed in the Big Easy.
Ah, New Orleans. Free of our bags and with a few hours to kill, we set out through the large shopping mall conveniently placed by the cruise docks, on our way to Café Du Monde. The mall did boast its own version, with all the charm of any food court. We walked faster. The French Quarter version proved to be a 20 or 30 minute brisk walk away, especially after taking an inadvertent detour down Canal Street, but the real deal is always worth extra effort. Mmm...café au lait, hot chocolate, and beignets covered in powdered sugar. Try to remember not to exhale when eating these! One craving satisfied, we found a little leisure time on the way back to the dock.
Jackson Square is a favorite spot, tourists and all. The gothic teenagers from a few years ago had been supplanted by fortune tellers in colorful variety.
All aboard! They said, "Dress casual...don't go to a lot of trouble. You're on vacation! Oh, and don't forget your picture will be taken boarding the ship." Ha ha.
Truthfully, those first few hours on ship are a blur of instructions, finding our way around, and most importantly finding our cabin. It might have been mildly comforting to know the water in the commode would not stay brown . . . not after leaving the Mississippi River behind. Ugh!
Never mind the indoors. Take a look at what we saw outside!
Sunset at sea is a lovely thing.
There isn't much more to tell about the first couple of days at sea except to note the remarkable amount of movement. Everyone had said, "Aw, don't worry about feeling sea sick. Cruise ships are so big you never feel them move anyway." Luckily we proved to be strong sailors. Unlike modern, massive cruise vessels that boast basketball courts, cineplexes, and thousands of passengers, the older, smaller Enchanted Isle lets you feel you're riding the waves. We only careened around the deck for the first couple of days until the seas settled down and our sea legs found us.
On to the excursions Home
Use this form to send us your questions or comments.
Last updated: 04/29/08 06:17 AM