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5 days January 14-18 pre-cruise First time in NOLA Questions

Carleton Place...
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5 days January 14-18 pre-cruise First time in NOLA Questions

After doing some research we decided we will come in several days before the cruise and make a nice holiday in NOLA.

We are going to try and fly in on the Tuesday so we will have a good part of Tuesday -Sat inclusive to explore and enjoy the city and surrounding areas.

I have several questions :

1.Are there any festivals going on that week of the 14th of January. If so what and where.

2. Since we will be eating decadently on the ship, we are looking for good "local" spots to eat that are in expensive and have local flavours...I am an east coast gal so love seafood and fish, hubby is a valley boy..no fish or seafood for him. We need places that we can both get things we like..BBQ is good for example.

3. Suggestions for good Jazz...not massive partying...we are not party people but we love good music and 1 or 2 drinks for the evening...we are empty-nesters, me mid 40's DH mid 50's so we want to avoid hot spots for the younger crowd.

4. On wed or Thurs. we plan to rent a car for 1 day and tour a couple of plantations in the morning (up and at it early since we are not up half the night lol) and then do a swamp tour in the afternoon (late aft?)

I am thinking possibly Laura, Nottoway and or Destredam then in the aft a Cajun encounters tour or Honey Island Tour.

- Is this a reasonable expection for one day? I saw a plantation and swamp tour so I figure it must be..but want to check.

- Can we do all 3 plantations..research shows all would be of interest for different reasons. How much time apx at each. I am a shutterbug and love gardens. We are both history buffs and can spend a fair bit of time pokeing about a museum.

-which tour company would be reccomended of the 2 mentioned..or is there another? We want a longish (2 -3 hours apx) tour with lots of emphasis on the eco system, history and culture of the swamp, relaxed not rushed, with a relatively leisurely pace. We did an airboat ride in The everglades and loved it...for this one want a quiet more relaxed experience. (cajun encounters night tour? or a late afternoon/early eve tour?)

- Given the 3 plantations we would like to do...what route would we take to get to the swamp tour and apx how long of a drive?

-Suggestions for a quick but yummy lunch?

4. We are going to be sailing down the mississippi on the Ship...would it still be worth it to take a steam boat ride? If so please detail why. How long are those tours usually? Suggestions for which oone?

5. Do you know anything about the American Photo safari tours? They have one for the FQ and one for Garden area..suggestions on which? or is there another tour that would be good site seeing, and give ample time for photos...not to rushed.

6. I saw something on the Louisana Lost lands Environmental tour...do you know anything about this? maybe a link? saw it mentioned but no details.

7. I saw there is a cemetary tour that the proceeds go to up keep for the cemetary..I thought I wrote down the name and book marked but did not...info on that?

8. Would a day planned to do cemetary tour, WWii museum and steamboat ..if it is reccommended, be a realistic day..without being rushed?

9. I saw somewhere and again forgot to bookmark it..a list of the sights we will be seeing as we cruise down the river out to sea. We have an Aft Balcony and will have a perfect view of everything...if anyone knows of such a list or thread with a list and can post it that would be great!

Now that you have a pretty good Idea of what types of things we are interested in...any other suggestions?

Any and all comments are most welcome..if you have links pictures etc you want to share I would be most appreciative.

Oh an interesting little tidbit..where we live in Ontario Canada, another Mississippi River runs through our town so we are looking forward to seeing the MIGHTY Mississippi and learning about her history.

And to think this is just week one of an amazing 2 week journey!

Thanks to all in advance.

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Missouri
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1. Re: 5 days January 14-18 pre-cruise First time in NOLA Questions

You have so many questions that people don't know quite where to start. Since your visit is not until January, you might consider breaking up the topics into individual threads and I think it will get you better response.

Carleton Place...
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2. Re: 5 days January 14-18 pre-cruise First time in NOLA Questions

Thanks...will do!

Moncton, Canada
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3. Re: 5 days January 14-18 pre-cruise First time in NOLA Questions

As you will be cruising from NOLA, forget the steamboat ride. It's a great way to spend a couple of hours, but since you've never been to NOLA, and will be on the river anyway, spend your time elsewhere.

As for your hubby who's not a fan of seafood, don't worry. I'm not a big seafood eater either, and never have any problems finding something on the menu that is awesome.

My opinion, 3 plantations is a bit much. I say pick 2. I've been to Laura and Oak Alley, and I thought it was the perfect combo as they are very different from each other. Laura was a French plantation and Oak Alley your traditional English plantation. The tour is better at Laura, but the grounds at Oak Alley are gorgeous!!!

Do a swamp tour. It's a beautiful and relaxing thing to do. The bayous are just beautiful. Both Cajun Encounters and Honey Island are quite popular on this site. I've used Cajun Encounters and was quite satisfied. When you get to the swamp, you'll have your choice of a boat with a roof and no roof. Pick the no roof one for better views. The Cyprus trees are so tall, a roof covered boat will obscure your view.

You can find really great music on both Bourbon and Frenchman St. And Bourbon is not the young, party place as you might think. Yes, the later it gets the more it turns into that, but until 11pm or so, it's a mix of all kinds of people, all kinds of ages everywhere. Definitely check the dueling piano bar at Pat O'Brien's. It's such a fun time, a great way to spend a couple of hours.

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4. Re: 5 days January 14-18 pre-cruise First time in NOLA Questions

cdngal - I agree with porelly, skip the steamboat. You'll get to enjoy those same sights from your cruise. For eating in NOLA, I think you just need to accept that you'll be eating decadently there as well. Not necessarily expensively but good rich foods. To find places you will both enjoy, I would suggest checking out some menus online ahead of time so you both have an idea what to expect. For starters for good "local" flavors, look at Mr. B's, the Original Pierre Maspero's (on Chartres), Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, Muriel's, NOLA, Emeril's, Delmonico. For lunches, share a muffuletta from Central Grocery, Johnny's Po'Boys, Hobnobbers (to go, no reason to sit inside). For late night foods, stop at Brother's Mart for fried chicken or burgers at Yo Mama's. You'll find lots of music everywhere you go, lots of local street bands on Royal Street during the day, every different kind of music on Bourbon Street in the late afternoons/nights (pop in wherever you hear something you like) and good jazz and other local options on Frenchman Street at night.

Enjoy!

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5. Re: 5 days January 14-18 pre-cruise First time in NOLA Questions

I'm not aware of any festivals in mid January, but there's always something going on in New Orleans. It is during Carnival, so you'll see some Mardi Gras decorations and such, but in 2014 the major public events don't start until mid February.

The cemeteries tours you're looking for are Save Our Cemeteries, see:

www.saveourcemeteries.org/cemetery-tours/

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Carleton Place...
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6. Re: 5 days January 14-18 pre-cruise First time in NOLA Questions

Thank you everyone! this is all the exact info I am looking for. We will skip the steam boat...I kind of figured it would be a waste if we are cruising out of port...thanks for the confirmation!

Lots of great food suggestions!

Good to know Bourban st. is pretty good prior to 11:00

Agaon thank you all!

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7. Re: 5 days January 14-18 pre-cruise First time in NOLA Questions

I agree that you should skip the steamboat, but would suggest riding the Algiers Ferry for a taste of what it's like to be 'on' the river. It takes about 45 min. round trip, and will give you such a different perspective than you'll get from the deck of a gigantic cruise ship.

Plus, it's free.

Carleton Place...
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8. Re: 5 days January 14-18 pre-cruise First time in NOLA Questions

Thanks..I saw the ferry mentioned in my research...where would we board it, and how many blocks is it to walk. We Have'nt booked our hotel yet as I need to do our flight first, hopefully this week or next, but I am going to do a Hotwire deal for a 4 star in the french quarter, so possibly Sheraton, or near there.

BTW I used Hotwire for the first time in April for a trip to Toronto, I got a great rate and the hotel more than exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend them if one wants to save money and does not have to be at a specific hotel.

Looks like things are shaping up nicely for this leg of our trip. Thanks again!

Any more suggestions for "off the beaten path" things to do? (nothing voodoo/ghosts or major partying)

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9. Re: 5 days January 14-18 pre-cruise First time in NOLA Questions

Hey Cdngal, it's at the river end of Canal Street, and here's what the "Friends of the Ferry" website says:

Algiers/Canal St. Ferry

Duration: - 5 minutes

Cost: Free for pedestrians. $1 per car from the Algiers side.

Schedule: First boat - 6:00 a.m. (Algiers side) Last boat - 12:15 am. (Canal St.) (after mdnight)

Leaves Algiers - every 30 minutes on hour and half hour. Leaves Canal St. - every 30 minutes at a 1/4 until and 1/4 after the hour

Edited: 10:34 am, June 11, 2013
Carleton Place...
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10. Re: 5 days January 14-18 pre-cruise First time in NOLA Questions

Thanks for that info Hermicane! I think the Ferry will make our must do list