Friday, March 8, 2024

February 12, 2024 – New Orleans, LA – Cloudy, then Mostly Sunny – 60F

Another no so good sleeping night – the noise is still there.  I’m going with the one ear plug strategy – blocking out the noise in one ear and letting the pillows do the rest.

Up really early – something that always happens on ships – and at the Oceanview Café at opening. There were already a lot of people up there – I guess they wanted to be ready to get off in New Orleans when we arrive at 10:00 AM. The ship is just a ways away from the Crescent City Bridge.

I tried everything today at breakfast – pancakes with syrup, oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins, scrambled eggs, and eggs over medium.  But nothing really did the job – mostly a breakfast sampler.  My own fault for not having a breakfast plan.  I did meet someone interesting at breakfast, another Cruise Duck - just sitting there on the window sill. This duck was all decked out in Mardi Gras duds.

The ship pulled into the Julia Street Pier at just about 10:00 AM and it took about an hour for the ship to be cleared by the local authorities.  We could see people getting on tour busses from our cabin window.  Our plan was to stroll through parts of downtown and then through the French Quarter.

We exited the ship and walked a few blocks past the parking lots and outlet mall until we got to Canal Street.  From there we took a soft right and walked parallel to the Mississippi River.  We eventually got on Decatur Street and came across the statue of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville

who founded the city of New Orleans in 1718. The statue also contains a monk who accompanied Bienville and a Native American, representing the original inhabitants of the area.  We continued on Decatur until we reached famous Jackson Square.  

The place was literally saturated with evangelicals sporting red shirts and baseball caps.  We walked through them and they said nothing.  Jackson Square was not that busy although there were some people decked out in Mardi Gras costumes.  

I got some great pictures of the statue of Andrew Jackson as well as the St. Louis Cathedral.  

We continued along Chartres St until we got to St. Philip Street where we turned left to Royal St. I got a picture of Royal St

and then we continue up another block to Bourbon St, the heart of the French Quarter.  

We walked along Bourbon St for a couple of blocks before going over to the next street, Dauphine St.

We saw many interesting buildings in the French Quarter including the French Quarter Hotel

and the Andrew Jackson Hotel

At this point, we decided that we needed to get back to the ship but that walking back was not realistic.  I called an Uber and was surprised that one was just a few minutes away (I was wrong in assuming that Ubers stayed away from the French Quarter due to the crazy streets and traffic).  Before our pickup, we found someone who took out picture with a harlequin, very Mardi Gras.

Brian, our driver, met us the entrance of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Canal Street.  The ride was a mini-tour of the Warehouse District an area now converting warehouses into hotels.  Brian dropped us off at the entrance to the pier – the Uber ride (3.2 miles) cost $19.97 (including a $5 tip for giving us a lot of information on the ride back).  I went to the ship and Ellen went to the Outlet Mall.

Lunch was in the Oceanview Cafe - Pizza and Salad.  It did come with a nice view.

We had dinner again in the San Marco Dining Room because they had trout on the menu.  I had a wonderful mushroom appetizer, green salad (foo foo lettuce, unfortunately), and tomato chick pea soup (OK), and a mini-Margherita pizza off the kid’s menu (which was awful).  We both tried the apple pie a la mode and that wasn’t so great either.  I did get two cups of hot “decaf” coffee.  Since it was Mardi Gras eve, there were fireworks out on the pier, which we could see from our dining room seats.

The show tonight was a Neil Diamond tribute show, “So Good”, starring actor Robert Neary.  

He told us he had been acting for 30 years and when auditions dried up, he put together this tribute show.  He looked so much like Neil Diamond that it was a little scary especially since he was able to get a lot of his moves down as well as a pretty good impression of his voice.  The audience liked him – maybe due to the drink packages – and his show was entertaining.  I’m not a big fan of tribute shows especially in this case because Neil Diamond retired due to Parkinson’s.

After the show, we stopped in the Rendezvous Lounge and then headed to the room.  The gangway is now on Deck 2 so our deck is cold – in fact, the whole ship is cold. 

Lights out at 10:30 PM.

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