New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is world famous for its crowd-pleasing parades and parties. Here, every day is an eating event featuring the best food in the world. From haute cuisine to hominy grits there are flavors of every taste. Witness living history in the fabulous French Quarter and shop in one-of-a-kind boutiques. Tour a world class zoo and aquarium, or just glide across the water on a paddlewheel boat.
New Orleans is a major port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana, in the United States of America.
Take the St Charles Streetcar into the Garden District is now a stately residential area with lovely architecture and small, unique shops selling antiques, second-hand books, art, fashion and luxury items.
Wander Jackson Square for a definitive experience of New Orleans. The statue of Andrew Jackson on his horse, with St. Louis Cathedral looming in the background, is a favourite tourist photograph. Jackson Square is bordered by a pedestrian mall.
Royal Street is full of antique shops, art galleries, restaurants, bars and hotels.
The growing museum district around Lee Circle will interest art-lovers.
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art features artists from the region, whilst the Contemporary Arts Centre is a combination of theatre and gallery.
There are many walking tours offered in the French Quarter including ones with ghosts and voodoo themes.
In the French Quarter, Preservation Hall is the venue for jazz and brass dating back to 1961.
Bourbon Street in the French Quarter is known for its strip joints, souvenir shops, bars and live music venues. You will find mostly tourists along this stretch of town.
Further afield, the Faubourg Marigny is an original Creole neighbourhood frequented by more locals than tourists. See an incredible collection of jazz memorabilia at the Louisiana State Museum Jazz Collection at the Old U.S. Mint. Items include Louis Armstrong’s cornet and 10,000 photographs, dating back to the 1950’s. Just across the street is the French Market, with inexpensive food kiosks and lots of souvenir options.
At the Audubon Insectarium, located in the U.S. Custom House on Canal Street, discover all about insects, butterflies and other creepy-crawlies.
Located in Uptown New Orleans, Audubon Zoo can be visited via the St Charles Avenue Streetcar line, which stops in front of Audubon Park.
The National World War II Museum has extensive and interactive exhibits and a special section on the Normandy Invasion, with thousands of 3D artefacts, representative of the war years both at home and overseas.
Based at the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park Preserve, around 20 minutes from downtown you can sail your own canoe down Bayou des Families. The park also has walking trails.
Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge is the largest urban refuge in America. Walking trails offer great wildlife and bird-watching and daily boat tours are offered along the canals.
The disabled cruiser visiting New Orleans
Where You’re Docked
Most ships dock at the Julia Street Cruise Terminal Complex, located between the Erato Street Cruise Terminal Complex and the Riverwalk Marketplace Shopping mall. Erato Street Cruise Terminal and Parking Complex is used by Carnival Cruise Line.
Located just behind the New Orleans Convention Center on the Mississippi, the Erato Street and Julia Street cruise terminals are in the heart of downtown with easy access to hotels and attractions. There is an ATM available, as well as a refreshment stand serving snacks, coffee and ice cream, and a souvenir kiosk in case you need to make last-minute purchases before boarding.
The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk puts stores such as Neiman Marcus Last Call, Coach and Tommy Bahama within minutes of the cruise terminal; it’s even connected by an elevator. Thanks to the port’s central location, you’re a 10-minute walk or a streetcar ride away from the French Quarter, with its endless array of shopping, music and dining options. Try your luck at the nearby Harrah’s New Orleans casino, where you can play the slots. Or stroll along the adjacent Fulton Street Square, a pedestrian walkway with eateries including the seafood-centric Grand Isle and a Gordon Biersch brewpub.
Good to Know
Asking a local for directions can be a comedy of errors. Most of the older city neighborhoods were laid out following the crescent-shaped Mississippi River; the city’s main nickname is the Crescent City. Except for the French Quarter, which is thankfully in a grid, streets were laid out either following the river’s curves or perpendicular to them, not according to north, south, east and west. The four compass points are “up” (or “up river” or “uptown”), “down” (or “down river” or “downtown”), “river” (or “toward the river” or sometimes “in”) and “lake” (or “toward the lake” or “back” or sometimes “out”).
To stay oriented, just remember the French Quarter is roughly a one-mile square sandwiched between Canal Street and Esplanade Avenue, and the Mississippi River and Rampart Street. A good city map helps. If you really want to feel local, try mastering street names like Tchoupitoulas (CHOP-a-too-lis).
There are ATMs all over the French Quarter and many at banks near Canal Street. Tip: Pick up supplies at Rouses, a local grocery store with outposts in the French Quarter and Central Business District and get cash back with your purchase (no fee) if you use your ATM card.
Yes, they speak English there, with an accent more Brooklyn than Southern. But New Orleanians have a vocabulary all their own. A few examples of N’Awlins speak:
Dressed: the way to order your po’boy if you want it with the works: lettuce, tomato and mayo.
Gris gris (gree gree): a voodoo spell or good luck charm.
Lagniappe (lan’ yap): widely used in all kinds of contexts, it means a little something extra thrown in gratis. A baker’s dozen is one example.
Making groceries: that’s what the locals call going to the store to pick up dinner.
Neutral ground: called the median everywhere else, this strip of ground in the middle of a road could refer to what became Canal Street, a division between the French Quarter and American sector, or it might have been a meeting spot for the adversarial Spanish and French settlers. Now, it’s a place where kids play and people walk their dogs.
Second line: the happy followers of a neighborhood brass band parade.
Where y’at?: the standard New Orleans greeting, equivalent to “What’s up?” or “How are you?”
It’s a toss-up. For music-lovers, shake your brass at home to tunes by local faves like Kermit Ruffins and Trombone Shorty. The best place to buy music is the Louisiana Music Factory (421 Frenchmen Street) in Faubourg Marigny. The indie shop often has free in-store performances. If it’s a sweet treat you’re seeking, pecan pralines, buttery sweet candy patties that also come flavored, are sure to please. Buy them at Praline Connection in Faubourg Marigny and at the airport or Aunt Sally’s on Decatur.
New Orleans is the best food town in America. Those might be fighting words (sorry Napa, apologies Manhattan), but there’s no better place to connect with a culture through its cuisine than the Big Easy. Order lunch there, and you get a history lesson on the side. The New Orleans table has been set by the French and Spanish, enlivened by the West African and Caribbean cuisines of the enslaved Africans, and spiced by the wave of Irish, Italian, German and Asian immigrants who landed on these shores.
With the rich bounty of the Gulf at its doorstep, New Orleans seafood is unparalleled, and its down-home comfort food is legendary. For a casual munch, try a muffuletta on crusty French bread, stacked with Italian meats and cheeses and garnished with chopped green olive salad. Typical Creole fare is on the rich side, simmered seafood bisques and garlicky etouffee stews with crawfish and sausage. Jambalaya is the local version of paella, made with seafood, chicken and sausage.
Points of Interest
- New Orleans – a seven-
New Orleans Accessible Excursions
Whether your cruise ship stops in
New Orleans Accessible Guided Tour
This 4 hour accessible