New Orleans Cruise Port
New Orleans is a city rich in history, culture and art and is known as the most unique city in the United States. The city is also home to the Mardi Gras and numerous jazz festivals. If you don’t get a chance to catch these festivals, do not leave New Orleans without exploring the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. Make sure you feast on their delicious local cuisines, authentic jazz music and breathtaking architectural designs. After being hit hard by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans has rebounded well in the tourist areas and continues to have a mystique and vibe all its own.↑ Back to Top
Where is the cruise port in New Orleans?
Cruise ships dock at the Port of New Orleans, which is located a few miles south of Downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter (see map).↑ Back to Top
What language is spoken at this cruise port? Do they speak English?
English is the official language of New Orleans. You may encounter English with a strong French Creole influence spoken by some employees and vendors. A Brooklynese dialect has also been adopted by many New Orleans locals.↑ Back to Top
What is the time zone in New Orleans?
New Orleans is on Central Standard Time (-6 GMT).↑ Back to Top
What is the national currency?
The US Dollar (USD).
Where can I get or exchange money?
If you are exchanging international currency, such as Euros or Canadian Dollars, airports and hotels are your best bets.
- Banks closest to cruise port:
- Whitney National Bank, located at 228 Saint Charles Ave
- Regions Bank, located at 1820 Saint Charles Ave # 100
- Chase Bank, located at 201 St Charles Ave, Ste 110
- ATMs closest to cruise port:
There are many ATMs and located throughout the city and also in the cruise terminal.
How can I stay in touch with home? (Ex. Email, phone, etc.)
If the US is home, pay phones and cell phones are you best way of staying in touch with home while in New Orleans. If US is not home, you can purchase calling cards at most any gas station or conveniece store.
How can I call home? Are there call centers?
Where are the Internet cafes?
Starbucks and McDonalds are a couple of the national chains that offer free public WiFi in major US cities. (Click here for a list of cafes with Internet access near the port.)
The Internet Cafe on Toulouse has computer terminals with Internet access at very affordable rates.
What are the cell phone rates?
Most cell phone plans in the US now offer free nationwide roaming. Contact your cell phone provider for information regarding roaming rates.↑ Back to Top
New Orleans has a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and generally mild winters. Sitting on the coast of Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans is susceptible to hurricanes during the summer and fall months.
New Orleans has a very high level of crime. Touristy areas such as the French Quarter and Garden District are safe to explore by foot, however try to avoid walking around alone at night especially outside of Bourbon Street. If you notice a lack of lighting and crowds, this is a warning sign to turn back. Also be sure to keep an eye on your purse and wallet.
Taxis are a safe option especially at night, as New Orleans has many unexpected dark alleys between well-lit streets. Taxis are metered and given that New Orleans is a geographically small town, journeys are very affordable. Taxi rates are $3.50 plus $2 per mile (.25 per one-eighth mile) thereafter. There is also an additional charge of $1.00 per passenger after the first passenger. Prices may vary during peak visitor times. For a list of taxi companies and rates click here.
RTA services are $1.25, including bus transportation and the streetcar. Thirty-three bus and streetcar lines are running daily. Bus service allows transportation throughout the city’s major corridor, extending from the Faubourg Marigny to Riverbend.
Most major rental car companies have offices throughout the city and at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Reserve your rental cars online before leaving home.
Note: It is advisable when crossing St. Charles Avenue, do not linger on the median (or “neutral ground” as the locals refer to it) because of the city’s streetcars which have been known to cause damage to rental cars and others.
Scooter rentals can be a fun, easy and economical way to get around New Orleans.
New Orleans streetcars otherwise known as vintage electric rail vehicles are a convenient way to explore the city. RTA services are $1.25, including bus transportation and the streetcar. Thirty-three bus and streetcar lines are running daily. Click here for a full list of fares and routes.
For those that rather not fly or drive to New Orleans, Amtrak offers rail service.↑ Back to Top
What is the best way to travel between the port and the airport
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is 17 miles from the Port of New Orleans (see map.) The easiest way to travel is by airport shuttle ($15 per person one way. Call (504) 522-3500 for bookings) or taxi (Fixed rate of $33 (one to two people) is charged from the airport to most areas of New Orleans. For parties of more than two, the fare is $14 per person. Allow about 45 minutes travel time.)
If you rather travel in style Airport Limousine is the way to go. Rates start at $58 for one or two passengers. Call (504) 305-2450 for reservations.
Which hotels are convenient to get to/from the port?
There are several hotels in the Downtown New Orleans area, port and convention area and in and around the French Quarter. Below are a few options for different types of hotels:
- If you are driving to New Orleans for your cruise:
Holiday Inn New Orleans - Downtown Superdome is a 6 mile drive from the port (see map) and offers free parking (which can save you the cost of parking at the port - up to $16/day) for up to 8 days for cruise passengers that reserve a hotel room for atleast one night. Contact the reservations desk at (504)581-1600 for more details regarding parking for cruise guests. Note: Shuttle service to the port is not offered at this hotel.
- If you are flying to New Orleans for your cruise:
Hampton Inn & Suites New Orleans - Convention Center is one of a few hotels that are within a mile of the cruise port and offer shuttle service to the cruise terminal in the Port of New Orleans.
- For a hotel close to major New Orleans attractions:
Harrah's New Orleans is walking distance from the French Quarter and cruise terminal. It also offers luxurious rooms, suites and casino with slots, table games and poker. Note: Harrah's does not provide complimentary airport or cruise terminal shuttle service.
Jambalaya, a classic New Orleans dish made of meats, vegetables, stock, rice and spices is a must. The crawfish and po'boys are also local favorites.
Where are the best places to get them?
- Galatoire’s Restaurant is the place to go if you want to try the best of New Orleans French Creole cuisine. Galatoire's is a hot spot for lunch on Fridays and is located on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.
- Restaurant Stella is an intimate restaurant located in the French Quarter serving a combination of worldly and home grown flavors.
- Stanley Restaurant (same owner as Restaurant Stella) is located on historic Jackson Square and serves classic New Orleans comfort foods.
What are the must-drinks in New Orleans?
A Hurricane is a popular New Orleans concoction made with a mix of rums, fruit juices, lime, syrup and grenadine.
Where is the best place to get one?
Pat O'Briens, is the rare combination of being a popular tourist bar, while remaining authentic. Known for its Hurricanes, which pack a punch (pun intended), Pat O’Briens is a must.↑ Back to Top
Which are the best souvenirs to buy in New Orleans? Where can I get them?
Mardi Gras souvenirs such as beads, hats and posters make very popular souvenirs of New Orleans.
Second Line Umbrellas are the most prominent symbol of celebration in New Orleans. Used in everything from parades to weddings, a Second Line Umbrella makes a great New Orleans gift.
Local art at one of the many galleries located on Royal Street will hang on your wall as a lasting memory of your visit.↑ Back to Top
What are the top attractions and must-sees in New Orleans? How long will it take me to get there and to explore?
- The French Quarter, which was originally the center of New Orleans, is the oldest part of the city and a National Historic Landmark. Also known as Vieux Carre (which means "Old Square"), the French Quarter has many historic buildings, places of interest and a vibe all its own. Just within the French Quarter a list can be made of attractions. Below are a few:
- Jackson Square, the heart of the French Quarter, bustles with artists, musicians and even some fortune tellers. This scenic area is surrounded by historic buildings and cathedrals.
- The French Market is the oldest continuously operating public market. It runs from Jackson Square to Barracks St. and has everything from a farmer's market to a flea market, art and dining.
- Mardi Gras Museum at Arnaud's Restaurant is free to the public and exhibits a fine collection of Carnival court gowns, costumes and memorabilia worn by Mrs. Wells and members of her family, including her father "Count Arnaud" the founder of the restaurant in 1918.
- Bourbon Street, probably the most famous street in New Orleans, runs through the heart of the French Quarter from Canal St. to Pauger St. This street is known for its many bars, jazz clubs, tourist attractions and gentleman's clubs. Mostly quiet during the day, Bourbon Street comes alive at night.
- Museums, over 45 of them, capture all types of different aspects of New Orleans: culture, music, parades, religion, etc. Below are just a few you may want to visit while in New Orleans:
- Harrah's New Orleans Casino has 104 table games, over 2,100 slot machines and a world-class 23-table poker room. With no admission cost, why not try your luck at some Texas Hold ‘Em, 7 Card Stud or Pot-Limit Omaha? Visitors must be at least 21 years and may need a valid driver’s license or other picture I.D.
Best advice on beaches in New Orleans is to wait for the cruise. There are no beaches to speak of in and around New Orleans. When locals want to go to the beach, they make a trip to the gulf shores of Alabama or the Florida pan-handle.↑ Back to Top
Throughout the French Quarter there are many different shopping oppurtunities. From the boutique and antique shops of Magazine Street and local art galleries on Royal Street to the open French Market, New Orleans has much to offer to the shopper looking for a distinct purchase.↑ Back to Top
New Orleans has several good golf courses in the area, below are a few of them:
- TPC Louisiana is a Pete Dye designed course. It is a 7,010 yard, par 72, 18 hole championship course. Contact them by phone at 504-436-8721 or make your reservations online.
- Audubon Park Golf Course is a 5,739 yard, par 68, 18 hole golf course. Designed by Denis Griffiths, the course is managed by Audubon Nature Institute. For more information on this course and/or for tee times contact them at (504) 212-5290 or online.
There is no good scuba to speak of in New Orleans. Wait for port visits on your cruise, as you will have much better options to choose from then.↑ Back to Top
- Mardi Gras Tours, if you’re unable to attend the Mardi Gras festival itself, why not get a behind-the-scenes peek at all the planning that goes into the festival? Watch the craftsmen at work building elaborate Carnival floats. Contact Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World at (504)361-7821 for more information.
- Cemetery Tours, as morbid as that may sound, of the 17th century style architecture, spooky history and ghostly vibe will capture your imagination. Make sure your tour includes the St. Louis Cemetery #1 and the Lafayette Cemetery.
- French Quarter Tours allow you to experience the best of 19th century style architecture, authentic New Orleans' music and the distinctive New Orleans cuisine. With over 100 blocks to explore, a tour guide is your best bet!