Monday, March 11, 2024

February 24, 2024 – New Orleans, LA – Warm -70s

Getting to New Orleans involves navigating the Mississippi River from the delta to the city.  I was up before dawn (of course, I was) and was able to capture some of that journey from our stateroom.  That is not the Sun reflecting on the river but a light of some sort in one of the buildings along the river.  The Sun is yet to rise - it is really early,

At around 6 AM, the Captain came on the all PA system to announce that there was a passenger with a medical emergency that needed a blood transfusion.  I had given blood many times in the past, so I hustled down to the Medical Center on Deck 1 to get tested.  As it turned out, my blood type did not match the passenger so I went back to the cabin.  We found out later that he/she was taken to a hospital in New Orleans and was doing better.

That was certainly a new start to a cruise day.

Unlike last cruise, the weather has really improved in New Orleans. It’s sunny and warm and we are going to get out and see more of the city.  What a difference a week makes.

People were up in the Oceanview Café early today to be ready to go on their excursions.  I watched the rest of the approach to New Orleans from the Cafe.

I still got a nice seat and had another nice breakfast – this meal has been consistently good on both cruises.  It was too cold to be outside but from my seat, I got a great view.

The ship has a lot of statues and other installations around the near.  Near out cabin, and serving as a directional marker for our cabin is a statue that reminds me of Clark Kent.

At around 10 AM we disembarked and walks a bit to the Julia Street Cruise Terminal – the Carnival Valor is also docked here today.  

From there, we took the elevator in the Riverwalk Mall (right across from the pier exit).  That put us into the Food Court.  

There are literally wall to wall fast food stores on this level.  We walked quite a ways and then exited onto to the Riverwalk.  It didn’t take long to put our jackets into a backpack – it was T-shirt weather.

The Riverwalk is a very nice feature – a nice walkway adjacent to the Mississippi River.  We passed an “installation garden” which looked like something left over from Mardi Gras.  

A little further along, we took pictures of “Ocean Song”, a shiny chrome looking installation composed of mirrors.  One picture we took looked like we were trapped in the “Phantom Zone”. 

Next up was a monument put up by the Italian and Jewish Organizations of New Orleans which commemorated the welcoming of immigrants. The monument was in disrepair with tiles missing from the base. 

The next statue was “Old Man River”, which to me looked like Darkseid from Superman.

As we continued down the Riverwalk, we saw the New Orleans Holocaust Memorial.

There was a very loud calliope blaring at the riverfront - it was coming from this Riverboat, The Natchez.

The Riverwalk eventually took us to the downtown area and a Walgreens, where we got a few things we needed.  I also got a bag of Goldfish (just had a pica for something crunchy).

We stopped at Jackson Square and sat a while and I finished my entire bag of Goldfish.  I got some really nice shots of Jackson Square and it was nice to take a break from walking.

After leaving Jackson Square, I wanted to find the building that was used as the NCIS: New Orleans Office and via Google found it at 729 Anne St.  

I took some pictures that I might be able to use in a future lecture.

We decided to walk back to the Riverwalk via Bourbon Street.  We came upon Pat O’Brien’s (unplanned) 

and I just had to have a Hurricane.  We got a nice seat along the side of the courtyard 

and it was nice until a bunch of guys (like a daytime stag party) showed up and essentially crowded us out.  The Hurricane was good even though it didn’t seem to lack the pop of the Hurricanes of the past.  And the last time we were here in February 2019, the Hurricanes were served in plastic cups - tall glass today.

I paid the check (after tracking down the waitress) and we were back on Bourbon Street.  The drink tasted like it had rum in it but it seemed to have little effect on me.

We walked along Bourbon Street until we came to the cross street that would take us back to the Riverwalk.  We walked toward the River and met the Riverwalk at the Gumbo Restaurant.  We made it to the Main Mall Entrance – Ellen wanted to check out the shops and I headed back to the ship.  I could see Constellation but there was a security fence guarding the terminal.

I ducked into the Mall and walked an annoyingly long way until I came across a sign that said "Cruise Ships".  I took the elevator down one floor to the street and and right across the street from Security for the Julia Street Cruise Terminal. I passed through the gate and then back aways to the gangway and I was on the ship – tired (11.000 steps) but happy to be back on board.  I had some pizza and salad for lunch on the back deck.  Ellen came back a little while later. 

We found outside spaces and hung out there until it was time to change for dinner. We are back in the San Marco Dining Room again tonight.  I had ordered a special meal – spaghetti marinara with veggies – “Spaghetti Primavera” – the night before.  The service was very slow tonight and we wound up spending an hour and forty minutes at dinner. The waiters tried to explain what had happened but we couldn’t figure out what they were saying.  We passed on dessert and coffee. I should mention that the pasta dish was very good.

We missed the show tonight - Josh Christina – Piano Guy – but we weren’t planning to go anyway since we had just seen him. 

We took in “The Lucky Band” in the Rendezvous Lounge while sitting in the seats near the entrance – this was to deal with the volume of the music which tends to start off soft and then slowly amps up.  The groups also has the oddest accent – “the” is pronounced “thee”. 

When we got back to the cabin, there was a note from the Captain thanking me for my effort on the part of the passenger who needed medical help.  

Along with the letter were chocolates (delicious chocolates).  What a nice gesture on the part of the Captain.

Departure was at 9:30 PM and we watched it from our Cabin.

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