So this morning we set off on our adventure. Tips for those traveling out of New Orleans on ships:
1. If you’re going to go to the French Quarter for breakfast, go around 8 or 8:30am. You can get a parking spot (free on the street on Sundays) and you don’t have to wait as long, if at all, on a seat at Cafe DuMonde.
2. Drive yourself, if you have a car. The cabs are slow-going and hard to come by.
3. Watch the one way streets. We almost wrecked head on this morning, although it would have been at 10mph, with a couple going the wrong way down a one-way street. 4. Get to port before 10am. Yes, you may have to wait a bit, but you’ll be waiting inside, in the air conditioning instead of standing in line outside in the heat and humidity.
5. If you get there early enough, you get VIP treatment without being one. We’ve been VIPs several times because we had suites. It’s sweet because you stand in no lines and are greeted personally in a nice lounge area. Today, for instance, we arrived at port at 9:45 and were all checked in, photographed, and ready to board by 10:15.
6. This is on Carnival. We’ve traveled by Royal Caribbean and it was not as organized or fast.
7. Bring an umbrella in your carry-on. You never know if it’s going to rain when you are boarding, on deck, etc. You don’t want to be stuck inside for hours because your umbrella is in your checked luggage.
Overall, have fun! We plan to. We ran into a couple who work with us this morning in Cafe DuMonde, 7 hours from home. They had the same sentiments. Running departments in a major children’s hospital is time-consuming, even when you’re off on vacation. It’s good to be on a ship, where phone and email just don’t work well!