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About map70065

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Kenner, Louisiana (New Orleans)
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  1. map70065

    First time to NOLA

    You'll be there for what we call "Mardi Gras Lite". It's the weekend before the big Mardi Gras parades - but there will be some parades that weekend - just not the big ones.
  2. I don't know what Hilton Garden Inn on St Peters you're talking about - I don't know of one. I'm a local and there are Hilton and Hilton Garden Inns, but not on St Peters. You're coming at a good time for prices (but it will be HOT and HUMID!!) The best hotel depends on where in the city you want to stay. If you want to be IN the French Quarter, the prices are higher because that's where everyone wants to be. If you want to be downtown you don't have to stay IN the French Quarter, you can be close and that's good enough. If you don't care where you stay, the burbs are cheaper, but your savings will be eaten up on transportation. The best "all purpose" hotels would be on one of the streetcar lines or close to them. Any of the hotels on Canal Street between the river and Baronne/Dauphine (street names change at Canal) would be good. Probably the least expensive, but good one is the Crowne Plaza - on Canal and Carondelet/Bourbon. There are a couple that are just off Canal on St. Charles, which you may want to check out - the Royal St. Charles and the Courtyard by Mariott. All three of those are on or close to both the St. Charles streetcar and the Canal Streetcar - and the French Quarter.
  3. map70065

    Street cars and other transportation

    If you're on a tight schedule I'd say Uber. Streetcars and bus service are not exactly "on time". They have a schedule, but more often than not it's an approximation. During the day, they usually run every 20 minutes or so, but can be longer and have frequent stops. If you're not on a tight schedule the streetcars are great. $1.25 per ride - $3 for an all day ticket (seniors ride for $.40 per ride). I would also say Uber for to/from port. From the Quarter to WWII isn't a long walk (about a mile) but you can catch the St Charles Streetcar on Canal Street and it take you almost to the entrance. However long you've set aside to see the WWII museum, double it - it is HUGE!
  4. map70065

    Italy Tours.EU? Help please

    I can't remember how much extra the "skip the line" option was, but in hindsight I think we could have bought tickets online. I tipped the tour guide $10 and the driver $10 for each tour, which is high for Europe, but the tours I took were really great.
  5. map70065

    Italy Tours.EU? Help please

    I wish I would have - booked the Pompeii tour with another company and it wasn't good - I know now!
  6. map70065

    Italy Tours.EU? Help please

    We just returned from a cruise with NCL. We did tours with Italy Tours.EU in Rome and Florence/Pisa. BOTH tours were great. There were 6 of us traveling together. In Rome we were joined by another couple from the ship (this was someone else who had booked the trip through the company and we didn't know). In Florence/Pisa it was just the 6 of us. I love the fact that they keep their tours small (I think they cap at 8) because they can get into places larger groups can't go - and a smaller group is easier to work with. In Rome we ran into a problem due to the fact that we were there on a national holiday, so many places were closed (including most of the Vatican). We weren't aware of this until we heard from Italy Tours - who informed us that their "usual" tour would have to be changed because of this - and at that time we had the option of canceling with a refund or accepting the changes. We accepted the changes. Instead of going to the Vatican spots we were given a walking tour of the Palantine Hill and Forum area. IT WAS WONDERFUL!! For both tours we were met at the port by our driver in an 8 passenger van. In Rome this was a good thing because the port is a little ways from the city. In Florence it was GREAT because Florence is over an hour away from the port. Both places the driver took us to meet our guide. In Rome we met the guide at the Colosseum (we had gotten the optional "skip the line" pass, which is WELL worth it). The "ship" based tours had made an announcement that the Colosseum would be closed and many people canceled those tours because of it, but it was NOT closed. Our guide did a walking tour of it, which was really good. From there our guide took us on a walking tour of the Palatine Hill and Forum area. I've been to Rome before, so had seen the area on my own, but the guided tour was GREAT! Our guide was very knowledgeable and answered all questions. She was easy to understand and went at our pace. Our group requested a stop at the Vatican, knowing that most of the sights would be closed, we still wanted to see the Vatican. Our guide finished the walking tour in time for our driver to take us for lunch. We were given the choice of going for a "sit-down" lunch or a "fast" lunch. We picked the fast lunch, to leave more time to tour. The place he took us was a "fast" pizza place - with very few seats. He apologized several times for the lack of seats, but the pizza there made up for it. I'm not a pizza fan, but this was SERIOUSLY good pizza!! He then drove us to several short stops to see other places in Rome, including a short stop for us to see the Vatican before returning us to the port. In Florence/Pisa we again were met at the port by our driver with an 8 passenger van. He drove us to Florence, explaining points of interest along the way. We met our guide about a block away from the Accademia Gallery. We again had gone for the "skip the line" option - and again, it was WELL worth it. I have also been to see David on my own, but it was MUCH better with the guide with us. From there we did a walking tour of the historic Florence area. After the tour we were told where the guide would meet us and were give a little over an hour for lunch and shopping on our own. We met the driver at the assigned time and place and he drove us to Pisa, again mentioning points of interest along the way. We had a short stop in Pisa to see the tower before being returned to the ship. Both drivers and both guides were EXCELLENT. I have taken many tours both solo and with groups in many places and I have to say this group does it right. Professionally run, understandable and knowledgeable drivers and guides, based on the wishes of the group. I would DEFINITELY use them again! I only wish I would have used them in Pompeii!
  7. map70065

    Help with train from Florence to Venice San Lucia

    It's been a couple years, so things may have changed, but I think the fares are set - I never saw them fluctuate when I was looking. Can't help with anything but difference between first and standard class. The biggest difference we noticed was air conditioning. We went in the fall, so it wasn't important to us (although some days we would have liked it) on short trains but in summer I'd go with first class.
  8. map70065

    2 Nights in NOLA!! Questions

    1. As previous note said, liquor can be purchased just about anywhere - grocery store, drug store, convenient store, etc. You won't have any problem finding somewhere to buy it. Grocery stores have the best variety and prices. 2. Streetcar passes are $1.25 per ride. You put your money (correct change - you don't get any money back) in the machine on the streetcar. You can get a 1 day pass for $3. With that you can ride any streetcar or bus for 24 hours from the time you buy the pass. That's also available on the streetcar. There are also 3 day passes and monthly passes - but those have to be bought somewhere other than on the streetcar. 3. Not sure on this one, but I think it's the same fare for 1 or 2 people. I know it's that way from the airport to downtown. It wouldn't be $7 each, even if it's more than 2 they just add an extra person charge. 4. St. Charles Tavern on St Charles & Melpomene (about a block away) has excellent food. Place isn't much to look at, but the food is good. Open 24 hours. Menus available online. 5. Your best bet is in the French Quarter - either on Royal Street or Decatur Street. There is a mailing center in the French Quarter - http://frenchquarterpostal.net/services/ who have packing and shipping stuff.
  9. map70065

    Jazz brunch NOLA

    Wow, you couldn't have picked a more mixed group. I've not been to House of Blues for their Jazz Brunch, but haven't cared for the restaurant when I've been there. As mentioned before Commander's Palace is expensive, but IMHO, well worth it. I go there every day if I could afford to. Eating there isn't just fine dining, it's an eating experience. The best of everything. Brunches are a bit less than dinner, so a good time to go. Will definitely need reservations. Court of Two Sisters is a buffet. I don't like buffets, but I think it's a bit above the normal buffet. Great venue, good service (usually), good food. Reservations probably a good idea. Now to muddy the waters for you I'll toss in a couple other ones. Palace Cafe on Canal Street have a great Jazz Brunch - and it's in an old music store. Little Gem Saloon is the only place that can actually trace it's history back to when Jazz was king. All of the above have a jazz band playing, but where they play differs. At Court of Two Sisters they are stationary, playing in one place, so depending on where you sit you may not hear them much. Commander's and Palace have a Jazz trio that goes from table to table playing. Little Gem is a small enough place that the band is on stage and plays the whole time you're eating. If I had to rank them I'd put Commander's first, Palace second and third would be a toss up.
  10. map70065

    The mystique of New Orleans still has me....

    [quote name='misguidedangel'] Is it just me, or has anyone else fallen in love with New Orleans and can't get that place out of their system too?[/quote] It's not just you! When we moved here 15 years ago I had no expectations. I'd been here for the world's fair, but that was fast and furious. After we'd lived here about 6 months I told my husband that I wasn't leaving. If he got transferred again I wasn't going. New Orleans sucks you in!! I have many friends for many different places who visit often - and I love it!!
  11. [quote name='mutzy']map70065- I will also be in new Orleans in april. I am staying at the bourbon Orleans. I love your suggestions for Jackson square. I use a mobility scooter. how accessible is the area thanks for all your advice/suggestions[/quote] Jackson Square itself isn't accessible (there are a couple steps to get into the square), but you really don't need to go into the square itself. It's a park, with benches and grass and statues - but not much else. Nice to look at - and good place to relax at times, but not a necessity. You're going to want to be AROUND the square and that is very accessible. The streets on 3 sides are closed to traffic and there are wide walkways along the shops. It's a great place to see - lost of art, some musicians, some mimes, some fortune tellers, some bums (usually harmless). You can scoot all the way around at your speed. Royal Street is closed to traffic during the day, which also makes it easy to travel along there - where you'll also see musicians (from folk to rock to jazz to opera) mimes, fortune tellers, sometimes magicians - you never know just what will show up. Royal is my choice of streets to travel the majority of time. It's safe and well traveled. Bourbon Street is closed to traffic at night (sometimes) - but is full of drunks. It can be an obstacle course, especially on weekends. If I have to go more than a block I usually go over to Royal to get close to where I'm going and then return to Bourbon. Decatur Street is a busy street, but has wide sidewalks - lots of shopping there. You really shouldn't have any trouble getting most places with a scooter. You DO need to be careful of the potholes - both in the streets and on the sidewalks. They can swallow you up <G>.
  12. [quote name='wrigley80']One more question.... Are you still able to drive onto the Algiers Point Ferry?? And if so where do you board the ferry with your vehicle??[/quote] No, the ferry now has limited hours and is pedestrian only. To answer your last question I've always considered the Moonwalk is a set of stair down to the river at the Jackson Square area. Named for Maurice "Moon" Landrieu, a past mayor. Others consider it the whole walkway along the river - is is a nice walkway and a nice place to go for peace & quiet. At times it's overrun by gutterpunks.
  13. They did just reopen the Riverside Mall - it's now an outlet mall for upscale shops. Your hotel is very close to this.
  14. map70065

    Very new to New Orleans...

    [quote name='Reggiefan']The "problem" is that you will be in the city during the height of the Mardi Gras--the Sunday before Mardi Gras Day. If I understand correctly, you will be arriving on Sunday, Feb. 15. What time does your flight arrive? What time on Monday do your board your ship? It will be a chore just to get from the airport to your hotel by taxi, depending upon time, because of parades routes and traffic. Several restaurants that are normally a short taxi drive from your hotel are probably bad choices on Sunday because of the parades--Mandina's on Canal and Katie's in the Mid-City area not far from Mandina's. Port of Call on Esplanade, which serves a great hamburger, is normally very crowded, regardless of time of year or even time of day. Mulate's (which I avoid because of the Cajun Music played, at least at the Mulate's near Breaux Bridge, Louisiana) should be located close to your hotel. Gal, you have not given us your age, but given the time of year, I would suggest "going with the flow." I would enjoy the parades--Bacchus is Sunday night (unfortunately, you will be missing Endymion on Saturday night)--and enjoy a dinner in your area in a restaurant that looks appealing to you (which may well be Mulate's). Just remember that you will be seeing the city at a highly atypical time. However, as an aside, Mardi Gras and other big events bring out the best in the city. NOPD does not have a great reputation, but because of experience, it may be the best police department in the country when it comes to crowd control. And there are not many places in the country where hundreds of thousands can party--seemingly everyone with a beer in hand--with relatively few incidents. When the Saints in 2009 won the Super Bowl, there were no riots or burned cars, and again very few incidents, because people have experience celebrating.[/quote] Your arrival at 1pm on Sunday MAY be OK, you should be able to get anywhere before the parade starts, but they start closing streets a couple hours before the parade. Bacchus is one of the biggest parades there WILL be traffic, but the cabs and airport shuttles usually know the best way to go. Mulates has good Cajun food & music, but you WILL need a reservation if you're planning on going on Sunday. Many of the people who go to Bacchus Ball eat there before the Ball - and many of those NOT going to the ball eat there before the parade. Hotel rooms at this time anywhere downtown are going to be at a premium - and usually have at least a 3 day minimum stay. You shouldn't have any problem getting a cab to the cruise terminal on Monday morning. The advice of "going with the flow" may be inevitable - you may not be able to plan anything but the hotel room ahead of time and you'll be walking most of the places you want to go. Once the parade is close to starting all of the streetcars (except the Riverside one) won't be running and cabs won't be able to get through. But it's a GREAT time to be in New Orleans!!!
  15. map70065

    Hotel Help Please

    [quote name='Gary34']Thanks, thats a good start. I cant believe some of these are sold out already![/quote] Since the cruise ships leave from right behind the Convention Center, there are many of the hotels booked for conventions.