Embarkation - NOLA

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Gulf Coast Departures

Galveston, Gulfport,Houston, Mobile & New Orleans
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 02:30 PM.
#1
Oceanside, N.Y.
846 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
If you've sailed out of NOLA, I was wondering how the embarkation process was. We'll be cruising for the first time out of NOLA in December and wanted to know if your experience was smooth or did you wait for a long time to board the ship. I posted a similar thread on the gulf coast departures board but have gottten no replies. Any info would be greatlly appreciated.
#2
Franklin, WI
188 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
The actual embarkation went smooth. We took a taxi from our hotel. The arrival at the port was disorganized and the taxi had a long wait to drop us off.
#3
Oceanside, N.Y.
846 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Thanks for the quick response. I expect the drop off to be disorganized but that's o.k. We're flying in the day before and I am trying to select a nice place to stay. Have been to NOLA twice before and I am familiar with the French Quarter area so I need to do some research to pick a place closer to the pier.
#4
Oklahoma
109 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
We stayed at the Bestwestern St Christopher in 2008. We hated the hotel. In 2005 we stayed close to the airport and had a great room with a continental breakfast. We drove to New Orleans and parked in the new parking garage. The attendents there were top notch. We did not have to worry about our luggage after droping it off there. The rest of the boarding process inside the terminal went smooth.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
NCL SKY 2000
NCL S.S. NORWAY 2003
NCL DREAM 2005
NCL SPIRIT 2008
NCL STAR 2010
NCL SPIRIT 2012
#5
7,580 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
OP.. first let me say NO is one of our most favorite port cities. We have been there twice this year just for quick weekend getaways. We have sailed out of NO once and loved it. It is so fun/interesting sailing down the Mississippi for that hour or so before you hit the Gulf. There are two hotels I can give strong recommendations for , although to be honest I don't know how much they are as we have always had comp'ed rooms from Harrah's Casino. Harrah's Hotel and Intercontinential Hotel are teffific. Both are very close to the pier where you board the ship, but Harrah's is the closest. I don't know if cost is a big factor so I say this not knowing, but there are many hotels right in that area that are close. We have also stayed in the Marriott, compliments of the casino, but it is my least favorite of the three.

You probably know this without me having to post it, but if you are looking for good food, well just pick a place. We have said several times that we have never had a bad meal in NO. You MUST have the charbroiled oysters at Dragos. I don't even like oysters and their charbroiled oysters are to DIE for. Mortons is delicious but very pricey.. probably about $100.00 to $150.00 PP for dinner (don't know if they serve lunch or even if it would be less expensive if they did). Also there is a restaurant in the casino we discovered this last trip that we really really liked. It is called Besh Steakhouse. You have no idea you are dining in a casino when you are in Besh. Very good food. The buffet lunch/brunch (can't remember which it is) at the Royal Sonesta is one of my favs as well (and I don't like buffets.. 8-)). If you are looking for other good seafood there is Mike Andersons in the Mall that is right there and we loved it. No matter how long we ever have in NO, we never have enough time to eat every where we want to eat.. 8-)

Right in the same area of the casino/riverwalk mall/hotels is also the Audubon Aquarium and the new Audubon Insectarium. A short trolly ride from that area is Audubon Zoo and you can buy a pass for not much money that gets you into all three. They even have an IMAX Theater that you can purchase a pass which will get you into all four, if you have the time.

I'm probably giving you way too much info.. LOL.. but as you can tell, we love NO. You can't go to NO and not have my much loved Cafe' DuMonde coffee, but if you don't get a chance to get it, try a cup of Community Coffee. It's a good substitute. 8-)

Be sure and come back and tell us all about your time in NO and .. oh yeah.. about your cruise as well..
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Terry and Doug




Radisson Diamond - Eastern Caribbean 1998
Carnival Inspiration- Western Caribbean Sep - 2001
Royal Caribbean - Souther Caribbean May - 2003
Norwegian Sun - Eastern Caribbean Apr - 2006
Norwegian Star - Mexican Riveria Nov - 2007
Norwegian Star - Alaska May - 2008
Norwegian Pearl - Caribbean Oct - 2008
Norwegian Dawn - Caribbean Nov Repo - 2009
Norwegian Star - Alaska May 2010
Norwegian Spirit- Caribbean November 2011
Norwegian Sun - Caribbean October 2012
Norwegian Jade - Western Mediterranean Nov 2014
Norwegian Jewel - Alaska May - 2015
#6
Claxton, TN
2,772 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by RaMar
If you've sailed out of NOLA, I was wondering how the embarkation process was. We'll be cruising for the first time out of NOLA in December and wanted to know if your experience was smooth or did you wait for a long time to board the ship. I posted a similar thread on the gulf coast departures board but have gottten no replies. Any info would be greatlly appreciated.
Which sailing are you on? DH & I are sailing on Dec 6th.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Holland America: Zuiderdam 2006, 2016; Statendam 2013
NCL: Majesty 2007, 2009; Spirit 2009
Royal Caribbean: Liberty 2010; Freedom 2012; Vision 2012; Legend 2014; Oasis 2014; Rhapsody 2015


#7
2,051 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
We flew into NOLA the morning of our cruise and taxied to the terminal (March 2009). We arrived somewhat early, so the drop off was no problem at all. The terminal looks new and was clean and bright. The whole process was well organized. We loved the Spirit- you'll have a wonderful cruise!

Several posters have given you great ideas of things to do in NOLA. Here's another tip: if you're interested in history, go to the D-Day Museum- fascinating! Also, the NPS used to have free walking tours at certain times during the day (and on assorted topics). Ask at your hotel for more info.
#8
Dauphin Island, Alabama
304 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Embarkation was a breeze- Debarkation was another matter all together- if you have just one suitcase each and can do the quick off as soon as the ship is cleared there is little problem- but waiting for your color to be called is a bit of a mess as are the resulting lines for customs after you find your suitcases. Not terrible but standing there for an hour in our case as they were running behind time (while mind you people with other color departures were sneaking off) was a bit aggravating.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Pacific Princess- Atlantic/Mediterranean-23 days- 2017
Pacific Princess- Alaska- Denali Explorer 2015
Serenade of the Seas-Western Caribbean 2014
Pacific Princess- Eastern Mediterranean/Holy Land 2011

Norwegian Sun- Eastern Caribbean 2010
Norwegian Star- Mexican Rivera 2010
Norwegian Spirit- Western Caribbean 2009
Costa Carlo- Southern Caribbean 1991
Matson Lurline- Hawaii/LA 1965
Matson Matsonia- LA/Hawaii 1962
Matson Lurline- Hawaii/LA 1962
#9
892 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Originally posted by RaMar
If you've sailed out of NOLA, I was wondering how the embarkation process was. We'll be cruising for the first time out of NOLA in December and wanted to know if your experience was smooth or did you wait for a long time to board the ship. I posted a similar thread on the gulf coast departures board but have gottten no replies. Any info would be greatlly appreciated.
We sailed out of NOLA in February. Really easy and smooth process.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
NCL Majesty to Bermuda 7/05
NCL Spirit to Western Caribbean 2/09- Suite
NCL Dawn to Southern Caribbean 2/10- Honeymoon cruise- Suite
NCL Gem to Eastern Caribbean 1/11- First time in a CV!
NCL Gem to Eastern Caribbean 1/12- Suite

<center><embed src="http://www.ohiok.com/vacation-countdown-clocks/show.swf?clickURL=http://www.ohiok.com/&clickLABEL=Vacation Countdown Clock Generator&flashLABEL=Ohiok.com&skin=http://www.ohiok.com/vacation-countdown-clocks/skins/28.jpg&text=suite%20life%20again%20on%20the%20NCL% 20Gem&untilColor=6724095&textColor=0&datesColor=0& year=2012&month=0&day=8&hour=16&minute=0&second=0& x=6&y=77" quality="high" bgcolor="#ffffff" width="300" height="200" name="countdown" align="middle" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" /><br><small><a href="http://www.ohiok.com/">Vacation Countdown Clock Generator</a></small></center>
#10
Oceanside, N.Y.
846 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by RedHeadTexan
Which sailing are you on? DH & I are sailing on Dec 6th.
We are leaving December 27th. It's a belated birthday present from my sweet heart.
#11
Oceanside, N.Y.
846 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by terrymtex01
OP.. first let me say NO is one of our most favorite port cities. We have been there twice this year just for quick weekend getaways. We have sailed out of NO once and loved it. It is so fun/interesting sailing down the Mississippi for that hour or so before you hit the Gulf. There are two hotels I can give strong recommendations for , although to be honest I don't know how much they are as we have always had comp'ed rooms from Harrah's Casino. Harrah's Hotel and Intercontinential Hotel are teffific. Both are very close to the pier where you board the ship, but Harrah's is the closest. I don't know if cost is a big factor so I say this not knowing, but there are many hotels right in that area that are close. We have also stayed in the Marriott, compliments of the casino, but it is my least favorite of the three.

You probably know this without me having to post it, but if you are looking for good food, well just pick a place. We have said several times that we have never had a bad meal in NO. You MUST have the charbroiled oysters at Dragos. I don't even like oysters and their charbroiled oysters are to DIE for. Mortons is delicious but very pricey.. probably about $100.00 to $150.00 PP for dinner (don't know if they serve lunch or even if it would be less expensive if they did). Also there is a restaurant in the casino we discovered this last trip that we really really liked. It is called Besh Steakhouse. You have no idea you are dining in a casino when you are in Besh. Very good food. The buffet lunch/brunch (can't remember which it is) at the Royal Sonesta is one of my favs as well (and I don't like buffets.. 8-)). If you are looking for other good seafood there is Mike Andersons in the Mall that is right there and we loved it. No matter how long we ever have in NO, we never have enough time to eat every where we want to eat.. 8-)

Right in the same area of the casino/riverwalk mall/hotels is also the Audubon Aquarium and the new Audubon Insectarium. A short trolly ride from that area is Audubon Zoo and you can buy a pass for not much money that gets you into all three. They even have an IMAX Theater that you can purchase a pass which will get you into all four, if you have the time.

I'm probably giving you way too much info.. LOL.. but as you can tell, we love NO. You can't go to NO and not have my much loved Cafe' DuMonde coffee, but if you don't get a chance to get it, try a cup of Community Coffee. It's a good substitute. 8-)

Be sure and come back and tell us all about your time in NO and .. oh yeah.. about your cruise as well..
Thank you so much for such great hints. I love NOLA, and I am looking forward to this cruise very much.
#12
Baton Rouge, LA
501 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Several in our large group of CC'ers last April from out of town stayed at the Drury Inn - believe it had a lot to do with a "free" happy hour the evening before embarkation.
Also, there is a Cafe Du Monde right in Riverwalk beside the cruise terminal. Biggest crowds boarding tend to be around noon. As stated elsewhere, getting off the ship is a pain, primarily due to customs - but who wants to get off a ship anyway
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


BOOKED CRUISES:


2015 - E Caribbean - Miami; St. Thomas; Tortola; Nassau - #10914

PREVIOUS CRUISES:

NCL Sun - Southbound from Alaska - Whittier; Hubbard Glacier; Icy Strait Point; Juneau; Sawyer Glacier; Skagway; Ketchikan; Vancouver, BC - 6/2014 - #1002
Allure of the Seas - W Caribbean - Ft.Lauderdale; Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel - 5/2013 - #8190
NCL Dawn - S Caribbean - Miami; Samana, Dominican Republic; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Johns, Antigua; Roseau, Dominica; Bridgetown, Barbados; Basseterre, St. Kitts - 3/2012 - #10730
Oasis of the Seas - E Caribbean - Ft. Lauderdale; Nassau; St Thomas; St Maarten - 5/2011 - #8590
Carnival Triumph - Mexico - New Orleans; Progresso; Cozumel - 2/2011 - #7419
NCL Pride of America - Hawaii - Honolulu; Maui; Hilo; Kona; Kauai - 5/2010 - #9202
NCL Spirit - W Caribbean - New Orleans; Costa Maya; Santo Tomás de Castilla; Belize City; Cozumel - 4/2009 - #10586
NCL Star - Alaska - Seattle; Juneau; Skagway; Glacier Bay; Ketchikan; Victoria, BC - 8/2006 - #10086
#13
texas
265 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by Scoop_MSU
Several in our large group of CC'ers last April from out of town stayed at the Drury Inn - believe it had a lot to do with a "free" happy hour the evening before embarkation.
Also, there is a Cafe Du Monde right in Riverwalk beside the cruise terminal. Biggest crowds boarding tend to be around noon. As stated elsewhere, getting off the ship is a pain, primarily due to customs - but who wants to get off a ship anyway
Hi Scoop, We were on the cruise with you last April and we had such a good time we rebooked for March 2010. And to the OP, I bid on 2 rooms and got the Intercontinental for 69.00, and I agree with Terrymtex01, very nice hotel and great location.
#14
Crystal Lake
5,055 Posts
Joined May 2005
If your looking for something a bit different , check out the Quarter House . Great locaion for walking around and quite. NO is one of our favorite departure ports..
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
" When you come to a fork in
the road , Take it]
< Yogi Berra > " Is it Time ? "

1987 American Hawaii cruises "Independence"
1995 NCL " Winward "
1996 NCL "Seaward "
1998 Carnival " Inspiration "
2002 Costa " Atlantica "
2003 NCL Star
2005 NCL "SUN" Alaska
2006 RCCL " Rhapsody "
2007 NCL " Sun"
2007 Carnival " Sensation "
2008 NCL " Pearl " S. Carib.
2009 NCL " Star " Mex. Riv.
2009 Princess "Star" Alaska
2010 NCL " SUN " Carib.
2011 NCL " Dawn "
2012 NCL "Star " W. Carib
2012 NCL "SKY" Bahamas
2013 NCL "GEM" E. Carib
2014 NCL "JEWEL" Carib.
2015 NCL "Getaway"
e-mail mpk218@aol.com
#15
Oceanside, N.Y.
846 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by mpk218
If your looking for something a bit different , check out the Quarter House . Great locaion for walking around and quite. NO is one of our favorite departure ports..
Thanks. I'll be checking out several places this weekend to decide which one to book.
#16
Crystal Lake
5,055 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by RaMar
Thanks. I'll be checking out several places this weekend to decide which one to book.
Free breakfast
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
" When you come to a fork in
the road , Take it]
< Yogi Berra > " Is it Time ? "

1987 American Hawaii cruises "Independence"
1995 NCL " Winward "
1996 NCL "Seaward "
1998 Carnival " Inspiration "
2002 Costa " Atlantica "
2003 NCL Star
2005 NCL "SUN" Alaska
2006 RCCL " Rhapsody "
2007 NCL " Sun"
2007 Carnival " Sensation "
2008 NCL " Pearl " S. Carib.
2009 NCL " Star " Mex. Riv.
2009 Princess "Star" Alaska
2010 NCL " SUN " Carib.
2011 NCL " Dawn "
2012 NCL "Star " W. Carib
2012 NCL "SKY" Bahamas
2013 NCL "GEM" E. Carib
2014 NCL "JEWEL" Carib.
2015 NCL "Getaway"
e-mail mpk218@aol.com
#17
Arkansas
29,806 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by RaMar
If you've sailed out of NOLA, I was wondering how the embarkation process was. We'll be cruising for the first time out of NOLA in December and wanted to know if your experience was smooth or did you wait for a long time to board the ship. I posted a similar thread on the gulf coast departures board but have gottten no replies. Any info would be greatlly appreciated.
We arrived about 11am and had to wait until about noon as they were a little slow with the debarkation. As soon as everyone was cleared there were no problems and it went very smoothly.

Nita
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Commodore 1984, Costa 1985, RCL 1987, Chandris 1989, NCL 1989, Commodore, 1991, NCL 1997, Carnival 1997, Carnival 1998,NCL 1998, NCL 1999, RCL 2000, RCL 2000,HAL 2001, NCL 2002,NCL 2003, Celebrity 2003, NCL 2004, NCL 2005, Celebrity 2005.NCL 2006, Celebrity 2006, HAL 2006, NCL 2007.Princess, 2008. NCL 2008, RCI 2008,Princess 2009, NCL 2009. NCL 2010, NCL 2011, Princess 2011, NCL 2012, NCL 2013, NCL again 2013, Princess 2014, NCL 2014, again 2014, 2015; about 2 do another NCL.
#18
Baton Rouge, LA
501 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by red lobster
Hi Scoop, We were on the cruise with you last April and we had such a good time we rebooked for March 2010. And to the OP, I bid on 2 rooms and got the Intercontinental for 69.00, and I agree with Terrymtex01, very nice hotel and great location.
Good to see you again. You can see I've got a couple of things planned as well.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


BOOKED CRUISES:


2015 - E Caribbean - Miami; St. Thomas; Tortola; Nassau - #10914

PREVIOUS CRUISES:

NCL Sun - Southbound from Alaska - Whittier; Hubbard Glacier; Icy Strait Point; Juneau; Sawyer Glacier; Skagway; Ketchikan; Vancouver, BC - 6/2014 - #1002
Allure of the Seas - W Caribbean - Ft.Lauderdale; Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel - 5/2013 - #8190
NCL Dawn - S Caribbean - Miami; Samana, Dominican Republic; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Johns, Antigua; Roseau, Dominica; Bridgetown, Barbados; Basseterre, St. Kitts - 3/2012 - #10730
Oasis of the Seas - E Caribbean - Ft. Lauderdale; Nassau; St Thomas; St Maarten - 5/2011 - #8590
Carnival Triumph - Mexico - New Orleans; Progresso; Cozumel - 2/2011 - #7419
NCL Pride of America - Hawaii - Honolulu; Maui; Hilo; Kona; Kauai - 5/2010 - #9202
NCL Spirit - W Caribbean - New Orleans; Costa Maya; Santo Tomás de Castilla; Belize City; Cozumel - 4/2009 - #10586
NCL Star - Alaska - Seattle; Juneau; Skagway; Glacier Bay; Ketchikan; Victoria, BC - 8/2006 - #10086
#19
7,580 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by Scoop_MSU
Several in our large group of CC'ers last April from out of town stayed at the Drury Inn - believe it had a lot to do with a "free" happy hour the evening before embarkation.
Also, there is a Cafe Du Monde right in Riverwalk beside the cruise terminal. Biggest crowds boarding tend to be around noon. As stated elsewhere, getting off the ship is a pain, primarily due to customs - but who wants to get off a ship anyway
OH WOW.. I didn't realize they had a CDM in the Riverwalk now. That is so cool. Will be much closer to the casino for me than the orginal one. 8-)
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Terry and Doug




Radisson Diamond - Eastern Caribbean 1998
Carnival Inspiration- Western Caribbean Sep - 2001
Royal Caribbean - Souther Caribbean May - 2003
Norwegian Sun - Eastern Caribbean Apr - 2006
Norwegian Star - Mexican Riveria Nov - 2007
Norwegian Star - Alaska May - 2008
Norwegian Pearl - Caribbean Oct - 2008
Norwegian Dawn - Caribbean Nov Repo - 2009
Norwegian Star - Alaska May 2010
Norwegian Spirit- Caribbean November 2011
Norwegian Sun - Caribbean October 2012
Norwegian Jade - Western Mediterranean Nov 2014
Norwegian Jewel - Alaska May - 2015
#20
Mississippi USA
567 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
I'm assuming we can board around noon, cabins ready around 2:00. With sailaway at 5:30, what time will muster drill be?

I'm the official planner for our little group, and they all (I guess I've spoiled them) expect this information in the booklet I print out for them. I don't mind, 'cause for me, the planning is half the fun!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Disney Wonder Bahamas 2008
Norwegian Gem Mediterranean 2009
Norwegian Spirit Western Caribbean 2010
Carnival Triumph Eastern Caribbean 2010
Coming Soon: Breakaway to Bermuda 2017!