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Drive or fly to New Orleans


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Trying to figure out which I want to do.

The less I fly nowadays the better,but if I have to.....

On the other hand,I could drive down the day before (I'm interested in Grandeur of the Seas) a New Year's cruise,but I'm wondering how bad the traffic is in NOLA. Large cities that I'm not familiar with make me a bit nervous. I'll be coming from Louisville area down through Memphis.

I think.

Can someone reassure me that I'll be able to find the pier without getting lost in rush hour traffic or similar...

Should I head for a hotel downtown or stay somewhere out off the Interstate and look for a hotel that shuttles to the pier so I can avoid town traffic?

HMMM What's the least stressful way to do this?:confused:

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I'll try to answer your question. I live in north Mississippi about an hour from Memphis. I can tell you that the traffic can be nightmarish at times, esp at rush hour.:eek: I used to live in New Orleans, but have not been back since Katrina. The traffic used to be pretty bad down there (drivers love to change lane without signalling, etc.) The cruise port is all the way downtown. There are several good hotels nearby. If you are driving, you might want to check and see if any are offering a park and cruise package. The airport is located 15-20 miles west of downtown. I have no idea how much a shuttle or taxi might cost. Hope this helps.:)

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last time we went to new orleans for a cruise was before Katrina, but maybe i can help a little....the airport is a good distance from the cruise port, 30.00 each for the shuttle.

we stayed in Meterie at the doubletree, they had free parking for cruise passengers who had stayed one night at the hotel in a garage adjoining the hotel....we just took a cab, 20.00 on to the port from the hotel and left our car parked at the hotel for 7 days...

there was a hotel directly across from the port, I want to say Hilton or Hyatt, that had a similar arrangement....but you could roll your luggage across a walkway and be at the port, no cab needed. good plan, but it fills up early!

i didn't find new orleans traffic any worse than any other big city, especially since you will be cruising on a weekend when traffic is a little calmer....however, traffic directly around the cruise port is nuts on cruise morning because of people trying to get in and out at the same time, and cabs everywhere!

the port itself is a very easy on and off the ship, but the cab line upon leaving is terrible...so don't don't hurry off the ship!!!! miss the crowd!!!

another thought, we went a day or two before our cruise so we could catch the new years activities....it was raining, and so foggy, you couldn't see the river...the fire works were cancelled and we were very cold and wet! we were told that this is typical weather for that time of year! the sail away was an hour late and shrouded in fog...it is truly a remarkable experience, and good to know that the ship was sailing by computer and radar, but a little eerie sailing into white (fog)!

we were on the Conquest...



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I don't know whether they still do it or not, but there is a huge Hilton hotel which has direct access to the cruise terminal - they used to offer a drive and cruise package. if you stayed in the hotel for a night before or after the cruise you could park for a reduced rate in the hotel's multi-storey parking garage. but that was before Katrina, so check. but at that time of the year coming from Louisville, I personally would be more worried about the weather conditions between there and NO than the traffic once I got to NO - then of course you have the same potential problem driving back. they don't get much snow, but they do get ice storms.:)

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LeoandHugh- Yes thanks for the advice- I was just thinking of what the weather would be around here at that time. We usually just get some sprinkles of snow before Christmas and typically Jan is when we get the real white stuff but that can be erratic. I am trying to talk myself into driving to (a) save on airfare- for 3 of us. (b) avoid the worry of flying. I think I'll check on the Hotel board if anyone knows of a place on the way into NO that I could stay at,just one night,avoid donwtown traffic and park there during the cruise. :)

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The Hilton Riverside used to have a cruise special with free parking for the week but I do not think it is available any longer. You could give them a call. Even if you have to pay it is a good deal because it is covered parking and you can walk from the Hilton to check in at the ship. If you take a cab it is about $15 even tho it is only 2 blocks--because the cab loses its place in line:confused:. You can also catch the trolley right outside the Hilton and ride to the pier.

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