New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans may be a city of the Deep South but its blend of European, Latin American and African-American influences has spawned its own unique culture that is often described as more Caribbean than southern American.
Located towards the eastern side of Louisiana, New Orleans has a playful spirit full of merriment and joy with a musical heart deeply rooted in jazz and blues. Its distinct culinary style is also one of experimentation, with a delicious mess of rich foods carefully mixed together from various cuisines.
With such a melting pot of cultures, people and opinions, New Orleans has managed to take its deep history, piece together all of the best bits and throw it onto the street in a visceral production of music, lights and laughter that can be experienced by cruisers on Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line.
You’ll find yourself docked in the waters of the Mississippi River at either the Julia Street Cruise Terminal or the Erato Street Cruise Terminal – both can be found along Port of New Orleans Place, just behind the Convention Centre. The middle of town is just a stone’s throw away, making amenities and attractions easily accessible.
There are basic facilities at the port; however, the heart of town is right by the dock so anything you might need can be easily found upon disembarking.
Facilities at the terminal include:
How to Get Around
As the port is directly by the centre of town, New Orleans is easily explored on foot. Taxis are available but not necessary unless you’re planning to travel long distances. Trolleys (i.e. trams or streetcars) are also a cheap and an easy way to get around the city. You can hop on at the stop located by the Convention Centre.
Travel times from the port:
It is a 21 minute journey to Bourbon Street
It is a 20 minute journey to Royal Street
It is a 16 minute journey to Jackson Square.
It is an 11 minute journey to Bourbon Street
It is a 12 minute journey to Royal Street
It is a 7 minute journey to Jackson Square.
Currency – New Orleans accepts the U.S. Dollar. U.S. coins appear in 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents (dime), 25 cents (quarter), 50 cents (half dollar) and $1. Banknotes are green and are available in $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.
Time Zone – Clocks in New Orleans run on Central Daylight Time, which is 6 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). From March to November, the clock moves forward one hour (5 hours behind UTC) for Daylight Savings Time.
Weather – New Orleans experiences a sub-tropical climate with humid summers and mild winters. The summer months (June to August) see temperatures around 32 degrees Celsius while the winter months (December to February) drop to around 4 degrees Celsius. There is often a high chance of rainfall throughout the year, with August and September being the peak of hurricane season. February to May is said to be the best time of the year to visit.
Bourbon Street – Running the length of the French Quarter, aptly named Bourbon Street is lined with bars, clubs and live music every day of the week, coaxing locals and visitors alike into a raucous party of wild jazz and swing-dancing. This part of town is also one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods with a unique southern charm influenced by the French and Spanish rule of the 1700s. Try a plate of gumbo or pick up a po’boy for lunch but make sure you head down at night time, when the street truly comes to life.
Royal Street – Just one block away from the hustle and bustle of Bourbon Street runs Rue Royal – a hub of antiques, boutiques and art galleries providing an insight into the area’s French colonial era. Featuring opulence and luxury at every turn, this street is great for a spot for window-shopping or sipping coffee out the front of a classy café.
Jackson Square – Also located in the French Quarter is Jackson Square – a historic park enclosed by a wrought iron fence with exceptionally manicured gardens and pathways. This public park was named in honour of General Andrew Jackson, a hero of the 1814 Battle of New Orleans, and features a statue of him rearing up on the back of a horse. The magnificent St. Louis Cathedral is also a must-see and stands as the backdrop for many park photos. Contrary to its ceremonial atmosphere, the grounds are surrounded by a motley crew of street artists and fortune-tellers.