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Ben Lomond 10

Paying it forward

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I scoured Cruisecritic for information on New Orleans and found a lot of helpful information. So I wanted to pay it forward and share what we learned before and after our cruise, hoping it might help someone else out.

 

We flew into MSY and took an Uber to our hotel. It was approximately 30.00 each way. I did extensive research and decided on the Hampton Inn Convention Center in the Warehouse District. After checking into our room I knew I had made the right choice. The hotel has two buildings one with regular rooms and one with suites. We chose a studio suite with whirlpool tub. It was less than 125.00 a night. The suite side is in an old wearhouse so it has exposed brick in the rooms with maybe 16’ tall ceilings. It had a living room, kitchen and bedroom area. It was also quiet which was very important to me. They had a yummy complimentary hot breakfast each morning. They also had a complimentary shuttle to and from the cruiseport which was very quick. After the cruise they will store your luggage for free if your plane leaves later and you’d like to tour a bit. It was within walking distance of a street car line that will take you up canal street or into the French Quarter. You could walk to the French Quarter but in the heat it’s a little much. I read someone say the area is sketchy. Maybe because there aren’t a lot of people out at night. The first night we were a little worried but then we realized we were just fine. We were just always aware of our surroundings.

 

You can get a jazzy pass for 3.00 per person. It’s good for 24 hours. You can ride street cars and buses with it but not the ferry. You can purchase the pass on the street car but be sure to have the correct change. The drivers don’t carry change. They run about every 15 minutes so no need to check schedules. We used the St Charles and Riverwalk line the most. The St Charles line you can catch about 4 blocks above the hotel and the Riverwalk is about 4 blocks heading towards the French Quarter.

 

The St Charles line will take you to the Garden District.

We got off about 3rd Street and walked around the area looking at the old mansions. If it’s during the really hot season you could just ride the street car all the way to the end of the line. Once there everyone who is going back stands up flips their seat around. The driver walks to the opposite end of the street car and drives it back. We saw just as much on the street car as we did walking but with less heat. If you choose that option you will miss the Cemetery though because it’s several blocks below the St Charles line.

 

We went to the National World War II museum. It was walking distance from the hotel. It’s open 9:00am to 5:00pm almost everyday. We had read that Saturday’s were very crowded so we went Friday morning and walked right up to the ticket counter. The cost is 28.00 per adult. It sounds pricey but once you get in and start seeing all the exhibits it’s a steal. There are 3 different buildings. Don’t forget to visit the building that houses the planes. They hang them from the ceiling which I thought was odd because they are hard to see so high up. Then I realized you can take the elevator or stairs up to see them straight on or go up higher to see them from above. It’s scary how high up you are. I saw a grown man refusing to go out on the walkway because of the height. I felt kind of sorry for him. His family was teasing him relentlessly.

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We then took the St Charles line to a restaurant called Deanie’s. Two locals suggested it so we wanted to give it a try. They both said to get the 1/2 platter to share. It had shrimp, oyster, catfish, crawfish balls, and soft shell crab. It also came with french fries and coleslaw. We could only eat about 2/3rd of it. With 1 pop and tip it came to about 50.00. It was good.

 

We also enjoyed shopping and browsing on Canal street. It has a mixture of high end shops, liquor stores, voodoo shops, clothes stores, and restaurants. We even found a McDonalds. The street car runs up and down Canal street often and into the night.

 

We tried to take the Riverwalk Way line to the French Quarter but couldn’t find the stop. Our plan was to walk along Convention Blvd until we got to Julia turn towards the river and it should be there. Well it was but we couldn’t find it because it’s behind a fence. You do need to go down Julia and walk between the convention center and the stairs leading to the Riverwalk Mall. We made the mistake of going up the stairs. Once you go between the stairs of the mall and the convention center you go through a gate and the stop is there. We walked through the mall and went out at the next street car stop. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t hate going through the mall. It’s huge and nicely air conditioned. It also has a nice food court with a lot of places to eat. There’s a deck on the top floor you can sit out on and eat or just relax and watch the ships go by. There’s also a Cafe Du Monde in the mall with very short if any lines. We thought the beignets were ok. They are like a dense scone with powdered sugar.

 

We also ate at Mothers. For the two of us it was only 20.00. I got the gumbo and my husband got their famous Ferdi sandwich. It was really good. If there’s a long line don’t leave, it moves really fast. Once you order at the counter there is plenty of seating in the dinning room.

 

I almost forgot, we did make it to the French Quarter. The French market was fun. A lot of souvenir shopping. I tasted a lot of praline candy in New Orleans but the best I found was a little store in the French Market. I can’t remember the name but it’salong the side about in the middle. It was sooth and buttery tasting. Yum! We also saw all the usual things in the French Quarter. The cathedral, Jackson square.....

 

After the cruise we had Hampton pick us up. They stored our luggage and we took the ferry over to Algiers. It’s a small, quiet community. The views of the New Orleans sky line are impressive. It was too hot to walk around a long time but we did enjoy it. The cost is 3.00 per person. Again, exact change is required. We then went to Harrah’s Casino. It’s just like the casinos in Las Vegas. We didn’t gamble. We watched the Saints play in their sports bar. It was so much fun to watch a team play at home. Everyone was excited and it made it more fun. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a lot. Hopefully this helps though.

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Thanks for sharing all of this great information!

We have ridden the street car as you did. We loved walking around the Garden District and seeing the beautiful historic mansions. We also visited the cemetery in that area.

 

Now I can see we need to visit the World War II museum on a future New Orleans visit. We really love cruising out of NOLA:)

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Lots of good information. Thanks for sharing!

 

I live 2 hours away and have heard of Mother's and Deannies but never been to either. Will have to try them

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Thanks SO much for this info! I am staying at that same hotel before my cruise in December. Glad to hear I made a good choice!

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