The city known mostly for Bourbon Street, Hurricane Katrina and the Saints is quickly becoming one of the best cruise ports in America. New Orleans has seen its cruise passengers increase from 80,000 passengers to almost 1,000,000 in less than twenty years thanks in large part to newer and better ships that now call New Orleans their home port. The trend isn’t slowing down either as even newer and bigger ships are slated to arrive in New Orleans over the next year.
Most people may remember the old Carnival cruises from New Orleans to Cozumel on the Fantasy that were basically just a cheap cruise to Mexico for first time cruisers and those who lived close to the port. Those cruises still exist on the recently upgraded Carnival Elation and Carnival Ecstasy but with the addition of the Carnival Triumph, Carnival Conquest, Norwegian Spirit and Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas, seasoned cruisers have something to get excited about.
Instead of just offering five night trips to Cozumel, you can now find 7 night Western Caribbean cruises that stop in Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Belize, Roatan and even Key West. The best part however may be the price. Prices for the old Mexico trips start at just $219 and the 7 night Caribbean itineraries start at an amazing $339. Balcony cabins can even be booked for around $600 a person.
Those prices alone would be enough to get most cruisers to head to New Orleans for a cruise. The city on the other hand provides even more incentive for vacationers to pick The Big Easy for their next cruise. Having rebounded for the most part from the devastating Hurricane Katrina, the French Quarter with Bourbon Street, Jackson’s Square and Harrah’s Casino are alive and well and offering vacationers the good times they have always provided visitors to the city.
Making things even better is the fact that the Port of New Orleans is situated in the heart of all the downtown action. One pier is even located in the same building as the River Walk mall at the end of Canal Street. The other is just up the road and an inexpensive trolley ride can get you there in just a couple of minutes. This means cruisers visiting the city can pick any of the great hotels in the downtown area and have no problems getting to or from the port.
One issue that you may however run into is parking. Like most big cities, downtown New Orleans has limited parking spaces so finding hotels that will let you park your car for free are few and far between. The port does offer around 1000 spaces for around $15 a day which is similar to valet rates at many of the hotels. This may be one cruise you are better off parking just parking at the port.