NOLA Cruise Blog
The Crescent City Cruise Guide, also know as the NOLA Cruise Guide, is the Online Cruise Guide for everything consumers need to know about cruising from New Orleans and other Gulf Ports as well. Here you can find out what Cruise Lines sail from New Orleans.  Currently they have only one cruise line in New Orleans year round which is Carnival Cruise Lines.  Carnival has two ships in New Orleans which are the Carnival Conquest and the Carnival Elation.  The Carnival Conquest 7 night cruise itineraries include the Eastern Caribbean (the Bahamas & Key West), the Classic Western Caribbean Cruise (Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel), and the more Exotic Caribbean Cruise (Belize, Roatan, Costa Maya, and Cozumel).  In November, the Conquest will be replaced with the Carnival Sunshine. The Carnival Elation features shore getaway cruises from New Orleans with her 4 & 5 night cruises to Cozumel, Mexico and the 5 night cruise adds a call at Progresso. From Progresso passengers have easy access to many of the Mayan Ruin sites or the Old Mexican town Madera. Seasonally, there are two other Cruise Lines that base a ship out of New Orleans from about October to April of each year.  Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Jewel will arrive in New Orleans in October.  The Norwegian Jewel will feature an Exotic Western Caribbean Cruises with stops in Belize City-Belize, Roatan Island-Honduras, Costa Maya-Mexico, and Cozumel-Mexico.  The Norwegian Jewel will also do several Classic Western Caribbean cruises with stops in Montego Bay-Jamaica, George Town-Grand Cayman, and Cozumel-Mexico.
Royal Caribbean International has also been positioning a ship in New Orleans during the Caribbean Season (Oct-Apr).  For the 2013/2014 season, Serenade of the Seas will make the Big Easy her home port.  The Serenade of the Seas will make several Eastern Caribbean runs to Nassau and Coco Cay in the Bahamas with a stop in Key West as well.  The Serenade of the Seas’ primary Classic Western Caribbean cruise includes: George Town-Grand Cayman, Falmouth-Jamaica, and Cozumel-Mexico. During the switch over from the Carnival Conquest to the Carnival Sunshine in November, as well as the inbound Norwegian Jewel, and Serenade of the Seas, there are many Special Cruises from New Orleans that will be available to both local in and around the New Orleans area as well as visitors who which to visit the city of New Orleans as well. In addition to the New Orleans Cruise Ships, you can also find out about: Cruising for Groups, Cruise Discounts, Sales and Promotions, get the Complete Cruise Calendar (Cruise Almanac), get Cruise Tools and Additional Information and Supplier Links, get information on the Port of New Orleans, pier locations, parking and more. You can also find out about important Passport & Visa Requirements for Cruising from New Orleans expanded shore excursion options, trip insurance options. There are also many links to New Orleans City Guides, Events, Pre & Post Cruise Options in New Orleans and lots more.

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NOLA Cruise Blog

A GREAT VALUE ON LUXURY CRUISES FROM NEW ORLEANS

by Chuck Brown on 05/08/16

This fall, folks from New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf Coast areas have a terrific opportunity to cruise out of New Orleans aboard some 5-Star cruise ships on several 14- to 16-Night extended Caribbean voyages.

One of them, Azamara Club Cruises (which is a sister company of the more familiar Royal Caribbean International) owns and operates two small luxury ships – the Azamara Quest and the Azamara Journey.  Both ships have undergone a major refurbishment this winter, including Staterooms, Suites and all major interior spaces. The Azamara Quest, which accommodates just 690 guests, will sail from New Orleans on October 26, 2016 for 16 Nights to Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Curacao, St. Barts, Nevis, St. Maarten, and the British Virgin Islands. This is a great, diverse, itinerary which includes the Western, Southern, and Eastern portions of the Caribbean.

Stateroom prices begin around $3600 per person – WHICH IS A STEAL AND HERE’S WHY?

A couple can take a Luxury Cruise aboard the Azamara Quest to the Caribbean, visiting a kaleidoscope of Islands diverse in their beauty, culture, charm, and history – all from only $450 per night.  Now this price also includes “gourmet” cuisine and entertainment while onboard the ship.

Let’s compare, and just to make it simple, a 16-Night stay at a Luxury Resort on the Islands listed above.  Ritz-Carlton Grand Cyaman is $284 per night; Jamaica Inn is $329 per night; Tortuga Bay DR is $675 per night; Baoase Luxury Resort Cuaraco is $609 per night; Eden Roc St Barts is $650 per night; Four Season Nevis is $354 per night; La Samanna St Martin is $445 per night; Peter Island BVI is $550 per night.  And none of these comparative rates include: meals, entertainment or taxes.

Azamara is also offering Airfare discounts to fly home Miami where the cruise will end.  The cost to fly to any one of the Islands listed above is over $500 per person Roundtrip.

When you book both vacation types on a day-to-day basis it’s easy to see the value in some exceptional offers, and I know that this is one of them.

Good News for Cruisers from Alabama and Mississippi

by Chuck Brown on 09/24/15

Good news for Cruisers from Alabama and Mississippi… Or is it?

Carnival Cruise Lines has just announced this week that they will be returning to Mobile, Alabama beginning in the fall of 2016.  At present, their plans are to reposition the Carnival Fantasy to Mobile after a multi-million-dollar refurbishment that will add several new restaurants and bars.

The 25 year old Fantasy was the first in a line of 70,000 ton, 2000 passenger ships that were the state of the art back in 1990.  With that said, it may take more than a few new eateries and watering holes to make the ship appealing enough to forego the drive to New Orleans and the much newer and bigger Carnival Triumph, for exact same cruise itinerary.

The “more” actually my come though in a significant price drop from that of the Triumph.  Currently the Fantasy’s sister ship, the Elation, is sailing from New Orleans which will be replaced by the Triumph next spring.   I've noticed that the prices for the Triumph will be notably more than that of the Elation for the exact same itinerary.  However, since the Fantasy is due for a major facelift, this price brake may not come at all.

Keep in mind also that the Triumph is a “balcony ship” and the Fantasy class ships are not, which means that if you want a balcony on the Fantasy – you’ll have to purchase a suite to get one.

TAKE A MINUTE ON YOU NEXT VACATION AND GIVE!

by Chuck Brown on 06/21/14

ShoreTrips GIVE experiences are now available in Belize and Cozumel!

ShoreTrips GIVE is an excursion product line of Caribbean volunteer tourism. Through this program, travel agents can easily arrange a morning of charitable work for their cruise and resort based clients who feel that giving back to the local people is an integral part of a fulfilling vacation.  Taking just 4 hours out of their vacation, travelers can give back to the people of the Caribbean by getting involved in the local culture and feeling a sense of pride and belonging. Each activity is about 4 hours long and held in the mornings to avoid the mid-day heat. ShoreTrips GIVE tours differ in content from each location. For example, one of their newest additions is located at the port of Belize City - ShoreTrips GIVE - COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT.  No skill set is required to assist in activities that benefit the local people such as working in a kitchen, feeding those in need or reading to children. Animal lovers will really enjoy volunteering at the Cozumel Humane Society - another recent addition to the ShoreTrips GIVE program. Travelers will be asked to help in the grooming, feeding and/or transportation of animals as well as offering love and affection they will surely eat up.  Enjoy meeting fury friends while doing much needed and appreciated work. ShoreTrips GIVE experiences are priced at $61 per person and there are no participant minimum requirements, meaning even a single traveler will be accommodated. ShoreTrips GIVE is also available for groups up to 400 people.

 

 

SUESS AT SEA

by Chuck Brown on 06/16/14

One ship, two ships, its Dr. Seuss on cruise ships! Carnival Cruise Lines unveiled an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring the beloved childrens brand and favorite characters to the lines fleet of 24 Fun Ships. In an industry first, the Carnival Seuss at Sea program will offer a variety of exciting and immersive onboard youth, family, dining and entertainment experiences featuring the amazing world and words of Dr. Seuss.

 

Carnivals Seuss at Sea Program will be available on the Carnival Dream sailing from New Orleans beginning July 13, 2014. The Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with the Cat in the Hat and Friends The special breakfast will take place once per cruise, typically on a sea day morning, in the main dining room at and . Scheduling is based on itinerary, so you can check the exact day and time once onboard and then make reservations. The cost is $5 per guest. Reservations are suggested but walk-ins are welcome - space permitting; during peak seasons, reservations may be necessary. Reservations can only be made once on board. The phone extension is listed in the Fun Times.  Here is the link to a YouTube video describing the character breakfast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ34WBlKgS4

Shore Excursions 101... Plan on an Early Start

by Chuck Brown on 09/04/13

One of the unique advantages of cruising is that it gives passengers an opportunity to see several destinations on one vacation. The down side is that you do not have much time in each of the ports that you visit.  On most cruises out of the Gulf Coast, your shore time is only about 5 to 8 hours so you will want to try and get off the ship as soon as possible and make the most of it.  Although it is difficult on a cruise, with so many late night activities going on, getting a good nights sleep before a day in port is highly advised. Save those late night shenanigans for the nights that precede a long day at sea, when lying by the ships pool in a deck chair being served frozen concoctions makes the most sense.  In some ports, like Grand Cayman, the ship will not actually dock and passengers must take one of the ships tenders ashore.  Unloading 2000+ passengers on to tenders in a rocky-rolly sea takes time so you will want to be first in line to board.  Finally, don not wait until the morning you go ashore somewhere to decide what you are going to do when you do go ashore.  Have a plan, or a pre-arranged shore excursion, and enjoy your day ashore.  To find out more about pre-arranged shore excursions on cruises from New Orleans visit www.shoretrips.com.

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