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First time in New Orleans


TrevyMcShaw

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My BF and I will be staying in New Orleans for one night post-cruise. He's called his brother, who works for a Clarion Suite, and got a "friends and family" rate for the Quality Inn & Suites Maison St. Charles. It's less than a mile from the cruise ship terminal. Would anyone happen to know if this is a safe area? What would you recommend for a couple of first timers to see and do? I know that Bourbon Street and Cafe DuMonde are a must, but is there anything else, like a good place to get some authentic Cajun food that's not going to cost an arm and a leg?

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This area is safe enough if you stay on St. Charles Ave. You will be right on the street car line which will take you to Canal St from which you can walk into the French Quarter. Do not attempt to walk from this location on St Charles to the Quarter or to the cruise terminal. Its really easy to find good food in the Quarter. Try Muriels -- its right on Jackson Square and is not overly touristy. By the way, NOLA food is mainly creole, not cajun. You have to go to southwest Louisiana to get cajun food. Try web site nomenu.com for local food critic.

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Another great cafe is Masparo's - YUM! And $1 strawberry daiquiris -

Really good food there for cheap--also The Gumbo Shop, Acme Oyster House, and don't miss Pat O'Brien's piano bar, even if it's for only one hurricane. ;)

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Do not attempt to walk from this location on St Charles to the Quarter or to the cruise terminal. .

 

Can I ask why?? (Im going to be in New Orleans next Dec so in early planning stages).

 

I was looking at the Holiday Inn, Fr. Qtr on hotwire vs. Drury, havent made up my mind. Holiday Inn is a lot cheaper, but doesnt have parking, but we are only doing a 4 day on Triumph.

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Can I ask why?? (Im going to be in New Orleans next Dec so in early planning stages).

 

I was looking at the Holiday Inn, Fr. Qtr on hotwire vs. Drury, havent made up my mind. Holiday Inn is a lot cheaper, but doesnt have parking, but we are only doing a 4 day on Triumph.

 

I have stayed at that Holiday Inn, not for a cruise - just one night - and a couple of things to tell you - The hotel rooms were nice and I enjoyed the historic atmosphere - the pool area was very nice, but....

1. The restaurant in the hotel is definitely not worth it - especially for breakfast. My guys seemed to like their French toast okay, but my omelet was inedible.

2. We walked from there to the riverfront - but I wouldn't try to do that taking luggage.

3. Our car was vandalized while in valet parking. The valet company was very good about handling the claim and paying, but there was over $2000 damage done to my almost new Dodge Charger.

4. We paid extra for a room with a balcony overlooking the Quarter, but the railing was so rickety, we were not comfortable sitting out there.

 

I'm trying to talk DH into a cruise out of NO with a couple of days of play and sightseeing ahead, but I have all this against me!

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Well most restaurants in hotels aren't worth it at all, expensive and food not that great. They just charge a premium for convenience. But if you have a entertainment book for that city there will usually be some 2 for 1 entrees for hotel restaurants that will help cut costs by a lot.

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The St Charles Ave location of the accommodation first inquired about is not all that close to the French Quarter. You could certainly walk to the Port from the FQ Holiday Inn but I don't think I would want to do that with luggage. Parking at the Port seems to be very secure, a new well-lit garage and the cost is reasonable (I think $12 a day).

 

When in New Orleans you are wasting your money eating in a hotel restaurant, particularly a Holiday Inn. Some of the priceier hotels have independent restaurants located on hotel property, but they will be pricey as well.

 

New Orleans is very different from most cities. Two addresses may be physically close but a public housing project or skid row may be between them. Just stay with the crowds and you will be as safe as you are anywhere outside of Mayberry.

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The St Charles Ave location of the accommodation first inquired about is not all that close to the French Quarter. You could certainly walk to the Port from the FQ Holiday Inn but I don't think I would want to do that with luggage. Parking at the Port seems to be very secure, a new well-lit garage and the cost is reasonable (I think $12 a day).

 

When in New Orleans you are wasting your money eating in a hotel restaurant, particularly a Holiday Inn. Some of the priceier hotels have independent restaurants located on hotel property, but they will be pricey as well.

 

New Orleans is very different from most cities. Two addresses may be physically close but a public housing project or skid row may be between them. Just stay with the crowds and you will be as safe as you are anywhere outside of Mayberry.

 

 

I travel a lot for business, and I know what you usually get with hotel restaurants, but in this case, my food was inedible - but after being informed our car had been vandalized, I could not talk DH into walking down to Cafe du Monde for beignets - he was just ready to get out of town. He was particularly frustrated that we could not get a police report - the police refused to come for a vandalism call. I understand there are more serious crimes, but he was afraid that our insurance would not recognize the claim without a police report. As I first noted, the valet company was wonderful and reimbursed us promptly.

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We are considering booking the Embassy suites on Julia, which I understand is very close to the cruise terminals. Is it possible to walk our luggage over to the port, when we are ready to leave, if we are stong and healthy enough to do so? Or are there security restrictions in place that would prevent that?

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The St Charles Ave location of the accommodation first inquired about is not all that close to the French Quarter. You could certainly walk to the Port from the FQ Holiday Inn but I don't think I would want to do that with luggage. Parking at the Port seems to be very secure, a new well-lit garage and the cost is reasonable (I think $12 a day).

 

When in New Orleans you are wasting your money eating in a hotel restaurant, particularly a Holiday Inn. Some of the priceier hotels have independent restaurants located on hotel property, but they will be pricey as well.

 

New Orleans is very different from most cities. Two addresses may be physically close but a public housing project or skid row may be between them. Just stay with the crowds and you will be as safe as you are anywhere outside of Mayberry.

 

And don't venture out alone (or allow a teenager to do so). Stay with the crowd, on the beaten tourist path, and do it with someone you know and you will have a great time.

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Yes, you can certainly walk to the terminal from there. Just ask at the hotel for exact directions. (We are all very helpful here.) You and your luggage will be screened once you get inside the terminal. Access to the terminal is essentially the same whether you walk, take a cab, or get dropped off by a friend.

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Cool...thanks for the info....can hardly wait to get there...It's only been a year, but it appears I need a French Quarter fix at least once a year now! Just love being able to spend time in a port like NOLA and then cruise out of there...The only thing that would make it better is a SUNDAY cruise that went for at least 6 days out of there instead of the shorter ones leaving on Sat, Thurs and Mondays....Would have booked the Monday one, if the weekends would have worked out for my DH. But this works too...Only have 2 and 1/2 days in the quarter though instead of a whole long weekend. But there are worse things in life to complain about! I could be one of those booked for the 4 days that are now " cruiseless"

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Wow! I just saw the link and new messages...looks like I have new airfare arrangements to make, as my May 30 cruise is now a 7 day one! And here I was just a few minutes ago, bemoaning the fact that I wish there were longer Carnival cruises available! Maybe I had one wish to be granted and here I went and squandered it selfishly on a longer cruise instead of wishing for an improved economic climate for us all.

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I know a lot of people like "Maspero's" but you could experience so much better in the quarter without the wait.

 

"Mother's" has waay better Gumbo and PoBoys, K-Pauls has better Creole food. A bad restaurant does not last long in New Orleans, especially in the high-rent quarter. So I would also reccomend exploring, walking down the streets and reading the Menus next to the doors. There are 100's of great eateries in the quarter, and I always see the lines at some places and its crazy because the really great places are right around the corner.

 

Safety-wise, sure there have been issues lately our city govt is out of control and the Police are a joke. They won't even respond to many calls for things like vandalism as mentioned earlier. Bourbon is safe for the most part as it is the most policed street in the city. The problems lie on Rampart (which borders the FQ to the north) and its housing project, and blight that surrounds it.

 

If you stay in the heart of the quarter you should be fine, you may see some things you didn't want to see, but that's the fun behind Bourbon st anyway. next street down; Royal is a bit more upscale with nice shops and resturants, Decauter is another street that is fun to walk down, but I would reccomend skipping a crowded spot to try something new.

 

I highly reccomend K-PAULS and Muriel's for a special meal, or the market cafe for a quick lunch. The Muffaletta at Central Grocery can feed four.

 

Look at the clientle, you may enjoy the local's places more than the places only tourist eat at.

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I agree with others about dining at Muriel's.......We had a great breakfast. We also ate at K-Pauls and Brennans and some other small cafe across the street from Cafe Dumonde. New Orleans is still a fun place to visit with wonderful people and great food and music. Don't forget to try the pecan pralines.

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NolaZack said where to eat in one word...."Mother's" Awesome poorboys especially the debris....Nothing like it. If you are around Bourbon St try Anderson's ...great seafood there. ACME Oysterhouse. You got to go to Pat Os if you are in NO. Mainly Creole food in NO. We am 60 miles SW of NO near Houma, mostly cajun food. The parking garage is well lit and very secure at the terminal. You will have a blast. GEAUX SAINTS!!!

 

Gary & Jo Ann

"The Cruisin Cajuns"

 

Truimph Feb 20, 2010

Glory 2008

Fantasy 2008

Holiday 2007

Ecstasy 2007

Sensation 2005

Conquest 2004

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I am not a NOLA resident but did have an apt. on touloose between bourbon and royal for a few years. If you stay on bourbon and royal you

should be fine. Like any other tourist spot be aware of whats going on around you and watch for pick pockets.

I can live on mothers poboys and muffs from central grocery ( i eat a whole muff for lunch)

Cafe dumon is a great spot to enjoy early morning coffee, bengiets and people watch

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Another thing, when you walk through a crowd (like if Bourbon is crowded) make sure your money and wallet are in your front pocket.

 

I have gone around during mardi gras and pointed out looters. I never lay a hand on them, but the crowd always gives them what they deserve.

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