I’m a price/deal buyer for cruising. The stars aligned the first week of January – a low season cruise week. There were good choices- HAL out of Tampa had great window cabin pricing and air fares were good. Promenade decks are required for us as is the possibility of some ballroom/Latin dancing and extra sea days are a bonus. My decision was swayed by the fact I was four nights away from Platinum on RCCL- and the ocean view fares were good on the Vision of the Seas.
New Orleans is an excellent cruise port. The airfares creep up a little on the weekends, but the airport is close by ($35 flat rate cab or Uber) and there are lot of hotel choices. You can stay downtown or in the Garden District – we are Hotel Indigo people – boutique hotels are cool. Kevin the bartender at the Indigo knows everyone and everything New Orleans and suggested a walk on Magazine Street where we found a fun breakfast at Molly’s – grits, collard greens and eggs. The trolley gets you downtown rapidly for $1.25 or $3 (pay the onboard machine) for 24 hours. We found several yarn/knitting shops (the Quarter Stitch has Mardi Gras yarn) and I wanted to find some crawfish. Crawfish bread and gumbo were good choices at the historic hole in the wall called the Chartres House.
An XL Uber for all the baggage from the Indigo was not expensive to the cruise port (there are two main docks and at least a third for other lines) <$15 with tip or so. From downtown you can practically walk to the main cruise port which is literally on the back side of the Hilton/outlet mall and convention center.
Lots of room. Super quiet. Nice couch.
Walk down for lunch to the Southernmost Beach Cafe.
The free trolley takes you downton for shopping and nice dining options.
Easy to get to the ship. The dock is literally behind the Hilton downtown. Lots to do- take the trolley.
The British Colonial Hilton Day Pass was again excellent