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About cjalphonso

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Columbia, SC
  1. Backgournd: I was born and raised in New Orleans, La. and lived the first 30 years of my life there. For the past 15 years, we have taken a family reunion cruise every Thanksgiving and always sail out of New Orleans. I love the city and enjoy being able to point out the hidden secrets and historical landmarks, which most people just pass by as they cruise out of New Orleans. The boat moves fairly quickly and everything here will be seen within the first hour of departure, so pay close attention. I will attempt to create a play by play tour of exactly what you will see as you embark on your journey down the mighty Mississippi, so here goes: The French Quarter: 1. Ernest N. Morial Convention Center: This is the massive building you will see where the boat is docked. This is actually the original location of the 1984 Worlds Fair. You can still see the decorative waterfall staircase that was just adjacent to the Space Shuttle display during the Fair. The Convention Center is the 6th largest in the country. 2. Riverwalk: This mall was built for the words fair and has remained a great specialty shop and upper end type of mall. This is also the mall where in 1996 the MV Bright Field ship lost power and rammed into while thousands of tourists where still inside. 3. Harrah’s Casino: It is what it is… 4. Aquarium Of The Americas: Great place to spend a day. 5. Woldenberg Riverfront Park: Great park to see the river and possibly hear some musicians. 6. Jax Brewery: Formerly where Jax Beer was made, now it’s a shopping mall. 7. St. Louis Cathedral: One of the oldest cathedrals in the country, original structure was completed in 1793 on the location where the former Catholic Church was destroyed by the Great New Orleans fire in 1788. A Catholic Church has stood on that ground since 1718. It is still a working Cathedral and therefore receives no historic funding. 8. Jackson Square: Park in front of the Cathedral with large statue of Andrew Jackson on his horse. The statue is significant as it was the first statue of a horse and rider standing on its back legs, very difficult balancing problem. 9. The Moon Walk: This is the small riverfront boardwalk area in front of Jackson Square. You will always here a saxophone going in this area  10. The French Market: Open air market with shops, flee market and produce stands. 11. The New Orleans Mint: In operation from 1838 to 1861 and from 1879 to 1909. It is now part of the Louisiana State Museum. Leaving French Quarter to Bywater, Upper and Lower 9th Wards: 12. Old docks: Doesn’t seem significant unless you a fan of the group Journey!!! This is the location where they filmed the video for “Separate Ways”. 13. Bywater and Upper 9th ward: The neighborhoods you see in the background. 14. Industrial Canal: man made canal for shipping purposes. This is the canal where one of the major levy breaches took place during Katrina and Rita. You can’t see the location; it’s on the other side of the St. Claude Bridge, which you can see. 15. Lower 9th ward: heavily damaged during Katrina. 16. Holy Cross School for Boys: This is where I went to high school. The school was established in 1849. The original administration building, which is still standing and you should be able to see, was built in 1895. Katrina damaged the campus beyond repair and after over 150 yrs of being on this location, it was moved to a new location on the other side of town. 17. Fats Domino’s house: you can’t see it, but its there. 18. Jackson Barracks: Originally designed by Andrew Jackson and built in 1834-35. It now houses the Louisiana National Guard Headquarters. It also serves as the dividing line between Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes. Entering St. Bernard Parish and Chalmette: This is where Katrina hit the worst, even more so than the lower 9th ward. Abandoned by its country, the first responders here where Canadian Mounties. 19. The Le Beau Plantation: It’s about 2 blocks in and hard to see so look real hard. It’s in bad shape and has not been restored, would be beautiful if it were restored. 20. Interview with a Vampier fire: This area is the location where they burned a bunch of old warehouses and whatnot for the movie. 21. Domino sugar: One of the oldest sugar refineries in the country dating back to 1909. It produces 6 million pounds of sugar per day and more than 2 billion pounds per year about 19% of the country’s sugar. Now that’s a lot of sugar!!!!!! 22. Cavaroc House: Located at Domino Sugar, looks like a small plantation but dwarfed by the massive Sugar refinery. 23. St. Bernard Port: It was once talked about to build the cruise terminal at this location. 24. Chalmette Battle Field (Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve): This is where the Battle of New Orleans was fought during the war of 1812 one of the greatest land victories of the war. You should be able to see the “monument”, which looks like a small version of the Washington monument in DC. 25. The Beauregard House: Built on this site in 1832. 26. Chalmette National Cemetery: Veteran cemetery established in 1864. 27. Kaiser Aluminum: This plant pretty much established the town of Chalmette. Its smoke stack has become a local landmark of years past. The plant was the largest Aluminum Smelter in the world until it closed down in 1983. 28. Chalmette Refining LLC: This used to be Mobil which used to be Tennecco etc. It is now a venture of ExxonMobil and the Venezuelan State Oil company. Some of the fuel you and others used to get to N.O. was refined at this very location. If your lucky you may catch them Flaring the Boom. If so you will see a massive fire ball which will light up the entire sky. This is all part of the refining process. 29. Chalmette Ferry Landing: This ferry landing is still used to get residents from one side of the river to the other. To go around is a twenty mile journey, but the time can be the same if you don’t catch the ferry right  That pretty much sum’s up the first hour or so of your 7-8 hour cruise down the might Mississippi. The rest of the trip is still very interesting, but not too many landmarks. You will pass multiple oil and gas refineries such as BP and Chevron on your way down to the mouth. River Pilot: The very last thing of interest is when you get to the mouth of the river. A pilot boat will meet up with the ship, the ship will slow to a crawl and you can watch as the river pilot (who has been navigating the river) will jump from an open bay door on the ship to a small pilot boat. This will happen late at night usually somewhere between 10-12 depending on departure. Remember this phrase: “White over Red…Pilot Ahead”. The pilot boat will be a small vessel and at the very top of it, you will see 2 lights, a white light that sits above a red light. This is how you can identify the pilot boat ahead of time. That’s it, you have officially finished you sailing of the river and are entering the Ocean Blue. Oh, don’t forget to watch for the more then 3000 oil rigs along the continental shelf. Have a great trip. Here is a great pamphlet about some of the St. Bernard things mentioned. http://www.visitstbernard.com/pdf/St.%20Bernard%20Brochure%20For%20Website.pdf
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