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lottiegreen56

Valor Review 8/17-8/22

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Hello fellow CC'ers, here comes another prose review with Lottie.

 

I'm going to stick to my usual format of going day by day, then ranking areas/overall experience. I'm taking off for the Pride tomorrow morning (at the ass crack of dawn as my husband would put it) so I'll try to finish this tonight or in the car tomorrow. If you have questions and there's a delay for a couple days, blame the ship's wifi.

 

We booked this cruise about 4 months before we set sail. It was a good deal but we messed up on the dates and had to rebook our flight home so it took away some of the value. Stupid me for not checking the dates. In addition, we were very busy before we left and had to buy a ton of stuff before we departed. It did help prevent overpacking but paying $15 for a small can of bug spray was highway robbery!

 

We flew into New Orleans two days before and stayed at the Old 77 Hotel and Chanderly in the Warehouse District. It was amazing and the highlight of the New Orleans portion of the trip! They checked us in early, the rooms were clean and interestingly decorated. The hotel had a funky artsy vibe and plenty of bars around that weren't the typical touristy Bourbon Street vibe. 

 

The first day we walked around the city, paid for overpriced cocktails, and sweated our butts off until it was time for our tour. The tour was "Taste of New Orleans" and was booked through Groupon. We skipped lunch thinking there would be more food to taste but what we did have was really good. Our guide was very good though and he made the tour worth the $40 we paid.

 

The tour lasted a couple hours then we went back to the hotel and showered before going to a fancy Creole restaurant. This was my third or fourth time in New Orleans and I've finally come to the conclusion that most of the food that is on the higher priced end of the spectrum is overrated. This meal was fine but should have been closer to $25 per person than $75 (not including drinks). In general, if we get po boys or some type of stew, we are never let down so my New Orleans suggestion is to stick to something like that, especially in the touristy areas. I think the places on our tour would have all been better than this restaurant which was so underwhelming, none of us can remember its name!

 

After dinner we went to Frenchman Street to listen to Jazz on the advice of some locals. The music was really good but a lot of the bars were cash only so we didn't get to experience as much debauchery as some in our group wanted. Oh well. There were some amazing musicians.

 

Unfortunately, there were some really aggressive bums and homeless people in the area. They kept spraying stuff on our shoes and harassing us. My son actually had to get physical with one after he sprayed his Yeezy shoes and the bum almost got hit by a car running away. Very annoying and not a good look for the city.

 

 

 

Edited by lottiegreen56

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The next day we slept in until about 10:30 and went to tour the French Quarter and Garden District. More aggressive bums and panhandlers awaited us but the area was beautiful and full of local artists and musicians. It is really a shame that those people have to compete  with the freeloaders for tips and money. There's plenty of bums in the midwest but they are just different in New Orleans because it is more touristy probably.

 

We made a trip to Cafe Du Monde for begnets at some point and they were better than I remember. The coffee was pretty decent as well but severely overpriced.

 

We went back to our hotel around 4 with plans to meet up with the rest of our group who was arriving that afternoon for dinner. They needed a nap so we just went to a bar next door to our hotel called Barcadia for happy hour. They had a good beer selection and one of the best burgers I've ever had (not better or worse than Guy's, different we'll say). 

 

We booked a spooky tour for 6:30 but the proprietors moved meeting locations at the last minute and we missed it. As will be the trend for the rest of the trip, this was a New Orleans rip off. 

 

Everyone was planning to meet up at Bourbon Street to get rowdy that night so we just went to that area a little early. We are rowdy people but the Bourbon Street experience isn't particularly unique when compared to other touristy towns like Nashville or even tailgating/bar crawl for college football or a sporting event so we don't really see the appeal after doing it once. However, because we had a few first timers we obliged.

 

New Orleans people must be trained in ripoffs and scamming from an early age and it doesn't make it fun. The first bar we went to was called Famous Door. We turned down shots from the shot girls at least 10 times before one of them sat down and chatted our group up for at least 15 minutes. At the end of the conversation she started taking drinks out of her tray and putting them in her mouth and pulling people to take shots with her. We all wrongly assumed she was just being nice. Then she asked for $150. A lady in our group paid foolishly unbeknownst to me and I was infuriated. We had a few song requests and I noticed other people falling for the same scam. Please avoid Famous Door.

 

We went to a couple other bars, got a hand grenade and generally felt disgusted by the whole scene. We ended up eating IHop and calling it a night because all of the other eateries seemed to have already been taken over by the bums.

 

COMING UP NEXT>>>>>>> CRUISE DAY 1

 

 

Edited by lottiegreen56

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I live in NOLA. August is easily the WORST month of the year for a tourist to visit. It's insanely slow, so all the places lay off staff, which hurts service and quality levels, and all the people who work for tips (like the shot girls) get desperate. 

Also, the Bourbon St scene is terrible this time of year, because it's so damn hot and everyone is cranky lol.

Come back in October or April.

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1 hour ago, helene109 said:

Was hoping for more of the review as we are on the Valor soon!!

Currently on the Valor as I write this.  So far good cruise.  Minor issues like Dream had me spoiled with inside safety drill.  Valor outside and hellish.  Elevators first day crazy.  Wok very very slow first day.

Good thing overall friendly crew, love having a cabin on the Lido deck.

The Saints game shown to big screen Monday night and loved the Saint fans during and after the game.  Overall great fellow cruisers

 

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3 minutes ago, airlink diva said:

Currently on the Valor as I write this.  So far good cruise.  Minor issues like Dream had me spoiled with inside safety drill.  Valor outside and hellish.  Elevators first day crazy.  Wok very very slow first day.

Good thing overall friendly crew, love having a cabin on the Lido deck.

The Saints game shown to big screen Monday night and loved the Saint fans during and after the game.  Overall great fellow cruisers

 

Great to hear! Thanks any bar not to miss or really good meal we leave Saturday!!

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Cruising out on November 28 been looking for all and any reviews of the Valor I hope they come back to complete this one started out with good information.

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Just now, chicodie said:

Cruising out on November 28 been looking for all and any reviews of the Valor I hope they come back to complete this one started out with good information.

Me too as we leave tomorrow!!

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