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** New Orleans: PHOTO journal @ Western Caribbean & NOLA post-cruise (Sept. 2012) **

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Went on the 2012 NOLA Caribbean Party cruise for NOTHING because of the CruiseMiles (free cruise winner)!!!


Had a fantastic time aboard Carnival's Conquest while seeing wonderful places (3 ports of call) and

meeting great people from all over the World!


Please note that the PHOTO JOURNAL of this fabulous 2012 Party Cruise from New Orleans is

a work in progress that started here:






However, as someone suggested, we decided to also post the "New Orleans" piece of our PHOTO journal in here,

so more cruisers can make their own educated decisions based on what they'll see here!



Hoping that you'll enjoy this... virtual adventure! Please feel free to post your own pics and/or thoughts and experiences!


CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is also welcomed as we're trying to maintain a positive, civilized tone to this thread.

Disclaimer: None of our dining, hotel or tour/excursion experiences were paid by the local vendors/ merchants,

so we're NOT trying to promote a particular local place but rather share our

own awesome adventures while in town... post-cruise experience in NOLA, September 2012!

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Our NOLA adventure started on the day of the Western Caribbean cruise... at the airport!


VIDEO (arrival in New Orleans, LA Airport via a Jet Blue flight):





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Upon arrival in New Orleans, LA (aka NOLA), took the AIRPORT SHUTTLE ($20.00 USD/pp one way or $38.00 USD/pp roundtrip)

to the Cruise Terminal for the Embarkation aboard Carnival's Conquest cruise ship

(7 nights Western Caribbean Cruise or the CruiseMiles 2012 Party Cruise).


The EMBARKATION was a smooth and fairly quick process and got us aboard the cruise ship in no time basically!

(luggage followed few hours later though - in time for late seating dinner anyway!)










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Now Carnival is no Celebrity, so do NOT expect a complimentary "Welcome champagne" glass (or Mimosa)

or anyone greeting you at the door!





Head to your stateroom and, if past cruiser with Carnival, a coupon for a "complimentary cocktail" awaits for you!





Checked out the cabin quickly and then immediately headed to the Pool deck to meet the CruiseMiles gang (before the Muster Drill)!




They were all enjoying refreshing, colorful drinks - away from the bright sun and the high humidity

(ladies, a nice hat or anti-frizz products are a must for this type of journey/ weather)!

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Attended the mandatory Emergency/ Muster Drill and then returned for some more refreshments enjoyed

while the Sail-away celebration took place by the Pool-side!









VIDEOs(Sail-away celebration):




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Admired a beautiful SUNSET as we were sailing along the Mississippi River and then headed back to the cabin

to get ready for the late seating casual dinner (in the Monet Restaurant, starting 8:15PM):




VIDEO (sunset over the Mississippi River):




VIDEO (sunset over the Mississippi River):







So beautiful, tranquil and serene! After-all, remember:




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Skipping forward 1 full week and... VOILA! It's Sunday, morning - Disembarkation @ NOLA!







Sunday morning, our Western Caribbean cruise came to an end... it was raining...





Back to the cruise terminals that serve New Orleans, LA -

the ones located on the Mississippi River (near the French Quarter and adjacent to the Convention Center).









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With the Mississippi River moving about 500 million tons of cargo each year

including chemicals, coal, timber, iron, steel and more than half of the nation’s grain exports,

the Port of New Orleans is America’s gateway to the global market.








New Orleans has been a center for international trade since 1718 when it was founded by the French.


Today, the Port of New Orleans is at the center of the world’s busiest port complex - Louisiana’s Lower Mississippi River.


Its proximity to the American Midwest via a 14,500-mile inland waterway system makes

New Orleans the port of choice for the movement of cargoes.





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Mississippi River -- The Port of New Orleans is ideally located on the 14,500 mile Mid-America inland waterway system.




World’s Busiest Waterway -- More than 6,000 ocean vessels annually move through New Orleans on the Mississippi River.




Cruise Port -- More than 700,000 passengers sail through the Port of New Orleans each year.


Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines sail weekly

to destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico.


The Delta Queen Steamboat Company offers excursions along the nation’s inland river system.


RiverBarge Excursions’ hotel-on-barge River Explorer features a New Orleans/Memphis itinerary.







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It's raining in New Orleans... it stops for few minutes... and then it starts again... Disembarkation Day...









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In New Orleans, LA the ingredients have come together like a delicious gumbo:

start with the Mississippi River, then add the historic French Quarter, world class restaurants, the arts district, and shopping –

all within walking distance of the port's cruise terminal complex.







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VIDEO (The New Orleans Pier seen from the decks of Carnival's CONQUEST):




VIDEO(New Orleans Cruise Terminal seen from the decks of Carnival's CONQUEST):




The NOLA Port’s signature facility, the Erato St. Cruise Terminal and Parking Garage Complex,

opened on October 15, 2006.



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“A cruise itinerary which begins and ends in New Orleans offers passengers two vacation experiences in one trip,"

said Gary LaGrange, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Port of New Orleans .




"Most passengers will spend a couple of days in New Orleans either before or after their cruises."



And we did spend few fabulous days AFTER the Western Caribbean cruise in vivid, NOLA aka New Orleans, Louisiana!



The hotel rooms were not ready for early check-in, so we listened to the wise Concierge lady and

we went for lunch few blocks down the DECATUR Street...




Welcome to highly recommended CRESCENT CITY BREW-HOUSE of New Orleans, LA!




First time for all of us in NOLA, so instead of taking the city by storm

we had to find shelter from the rain and wind and cold that Sunday in New Orleans!...




According to their website:


"The Crescent City Brewhouse is one of New Orleans' premier restaurants and the only French Quarter microbrewery."




The atmosphere at the Crescent City Brewhouse is indeed warm, relaxed and colorful

as monthly exhibits of local art help compliment anyone's Brewhouse experience!


While our friends were checking out the menu, I have to confess that I was more concentrated in the original decor

that added a French Quarter flair to our lunch experience!

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The Crescent City Brewhouse is located in a legendary French Quarter building

on historical property (at 527 Decatur Street).


The property was included in the earliest known city plan signed in 1722 --

records indicate a two-story, 14 room house was built on this site in the mid 1700's.




The design of the Crescent City Brewhouse has been recognized and awarded with the Vieux Carre City Council Award

for maintaining the integrity of the historic property and an outstanding renovation.


I was so taken by the unique decor and the history of the place that I decided to only have... dessert!


(yepe, everyone else was indulging and enjoying a delicious Gumbo but me)




And yes, as the Concierge lady advised us, we did avoid using the word "straight" as it's not applicable in New Orleans! : - ))


Oh, boy! Was the waiter right about the delicious "Almond Fruit Basket" or what?!


It did taste as awesome (or even better) as it looked like! Mmmmm, so good and fresh and refreshing!!!




Meanwhile, my friends were debating over... "proper" drinks!


And that is because the Crescent City Brewhouse is a 17-barrel state-of-the-art brewery,

which incorporates Old World values and modern technology.




World-class beer is brewed in small quantities according to the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 from four natural ingredients:

water, malt, hops and yeast.


No stabilizers or chemicals are used. All brewing is completed in-house. we were told by the friendly, knowledgeable waiter.




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Oh! Should I add that New Orleans has some of the best COFFEE ever?!


And I'm not talking "specialty coffee" but rather plain, 'regular' coffee! Perfect for my delicious dessert!




Almond Fruit Basket & coffee @ New Orleans, LA





On the other hand, our friends enjoyed some of the specialties @ the Crescent City Brewhouse... featuring innovative

New Orleans cuisine ("a unique combination of traditional Louisiana ingredients and recipes with a modern flair").




Lunch time in New Orleans!


One option - the Crescent City Brewhouse: bistro atmosphere... the freshest seafood catch...

freshly shucked oysters @ the raw oyster bar... and a medley of seafood in season!



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We went to the Crescent City Brewhouse to kill time over lunch while waiting for our hotel rooms to get ready...

and ended up falling in love with this place!




The unique decor, the establishment's history, the delicious food and the warm atmosphere made us wanting to go back!




IF you may be wondering "What's New at Crescent City Brewhouse" - check out those items:


Marinated Shrimp Salad - "Large gulf shrimp marinated in pickling spices and poached.

Served with fresh spinach leaves, avocado, cucumbers and roasted red peppers; citrus vinaigrette."


Asian BBQ Chicken - "Fresh grilled chicken with julienne of carrots, cucumber, cilantro.

Basted with a spicy Asian sauce on french bread, served with french fried potatoes."


Fried Catfish Poboy - "Fresh water catfish fillet lightly battered and fried.

Served with a spicy tartar sauce on french bread with fries."


SOUNDS TEMPTING, don't you think? : - ))




Enough day-dreaming!


Time to check-in at the hotel and change into some dry clothes!


(still raining in New Orleans, LA... Sunday, September 30th 2012)

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QUESTIONs for our readers:


1). What do YOU think about the decor @ Crescent City Brewhouse in NOLA?



2). Do you have a story that you would like to share regarding this New Orleans establishment?



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This is great! Thank you. Hope you post more soon.


Thank you kindly for the encouragement. So here it is... more!




Back to the Country Inn & Suites Hotel in New Orleans @ the French Quarter...

(great rate via HotWire.com)




Only one of our rooms was ready, so everyone else came over for a while

(the hotel was sold out due to a big convention in town at the time).




The hotel is convenient located in the heart of Downtown New Orleans, on Magazine Street - very close to Canal Street & Decatur Street.



This historic hotel is comprised of seven 19th-century buildings, giving it a charming,

boutique feel that "artfully blends old world charm with modern comforts."




Good news!


All rooms offer free wired and wireless Internet access, so we were able to check our email after one week (cruise) break!


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NOTE that more images from the hotel will follow later on (as our post-cruise adventure in NOLA covered few days).




Bottom line: location is key in NOLA and hotels in the French Quarter are typically expensive but well worth it,

especially the convenience to major attractions.


Our Country Inn&Suites hotel included a continental breakfast too (beside free Internet) and the rooms were spacious,

comfortable, and clean, some of them featuring exposed wooden beams and brick walls, making them charmingly unique.


Additionally, we must say that the staff couldn't be more helpful and friendly, so thumbs up!








The Country Inn & Suites New Orleans features 155 hotel rooms and suites near the French Quarter,

including our double queen hotel room.





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Note: for the first two days, the RAIN made its presence known in New Orleans, so there was NO light

for pictures that will do justice to the vivid city!




Anyway, back to Sunday early afternoon @ the hotel...


Per our Concierge's suggestion, we headed down the Magazine/ Decatur Street (and then Chartres Street) to catch the

Happy Hour at "Galvez, in the proximity of the Jackson Square.





Couple of random images @ the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA:




The French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans.





When New Orleans (La Nouvelle-Orléans in French) was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville,

the city was originally centered on the French Quarter, or the Vieux Carré ("Old Square" in French).





While the area is still referred to as the Vieux Carré by some, it is more commonly known as

the French Quarter today, or simply "The Quarter."




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Continuing our walk down Decatur & Chartres Streets (towards the Jackson Square, our first stop):




The district as a whole is a National Historic Landmark, and contains numerous individual historic buildings.




Fashion is quickly becoming an important contributor to the New Orleans culture and must be

celebrated in conjunction with the city’s legendary cuisine, music, art, and film.








Although called the "French" Quarter, most of the present day buildings were

built under Spanish rule and show Spanish colonial tastes.



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More random images as we're heading down New Orleans' Jackson Square

on Sunday afternoon, post-cruise @ Chartres Street:





In 1979, Chef Paul Prudhomme and his late wife, K, opened a "modest", 62-seat K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen

on Chartres Street in the historic French Quarter of New Orleans.







Of all the historic sites in New Orleans, "none have witnessed more drama than the old exchange coffee house

known as The Original Pierre Maspero’s Slave Exchange."



This building is one of the oldest in the French Quarter, having been erected in 1788 by Don Juan Paillet.


During the first decades of the 19th century, this coffee house was a meeting place where

brothers Jean and Pierre Lafitte and their men met and planned escapes.




It was also in this historic site that Andrew Jackson met with the Lafitte brothers to

plan the defense at the epic Battles of New Orleans.



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This time, we'll let the "signs" do the talking for us @

the French Quarter: Upper Chartres Street looking towards NOLA'S Jackson Square!






Most of the French Quarter's architecture was built during the time of Spanish rule over New Orleans

and this is reflected in its architecture.







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