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Jason

Carnival Cruise Lines, Port of New Orleans Agree to Three-Year Extension. Have you cruised from NOLA?

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Carnival Cruise Lines recently signed a three-year extension of its berthing agreement with the Port of New Orleans, which will keep two Carnival cruise ships sailing year round from New Orleans through at least Feb. 12, 2016.

“This agreement continues to demonstrate Carnival’s commitment to the New Orleans market as a top homeport for its customers,” said Gary LaGrange, Port President and CEO. “Carnival is a valued partner for the Port and for the City and we look forward to continuing to build upon our past success.”

The agreement officially commenced on Feb. 13, 2013 and runs through Feb. 12, 2016 with two, one-year options to extend the agreement.

“Carnival Cruise Lines currently carries 340,000 passengers annually from the Port of New Orleans, which consistently ranks as one of the most popular homeports among our guests,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “This agreement builds upon our outstanding relationship with the Port and the New Orleans community and we look forward to continuing to sail from such a highly rated and attractive homeport,” he added.

“We are grateful to Carnival for their long-term commitment to New Orleans, which is another milestone in an exciting time for our City’s $5 billion tourism industry,” said Kim Priez, Vice President of Tourism for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We promise Carnival the CVB’s continued support as we attract cruise passengers to enjoy two vacations in one.”

Carnival currently has two ships home-ported in New Orleans year round sailing from the Port’s Erato Street Cruise Terminal. The 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest sails seven-day eastern and western Caribbean itineraries, while the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation sails four- and five-day cruises to Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico. Beginning in November 2013, New Orleans will become the homeport for Carnival Sunshine, which will have undergone an extensive $155 million refurbishment that will add a wide variety of dining, bar and entertainment innovations and spectacular top-deck amenities.

A recent study by Cruise Lines International Association found the cruise industry accounted for $280 million in direct spending in 2011, up 35 percent compared to 2010. The study also found the industry generated 5,512 jobs and $211 million in income in Louisiana.

A study commissioned by the Port in 2011 found cruise passengers in New Orleans stay an average of 1.8 nights in area hotels either before or after their cruise and spent another $27.9 million on lodging, food, beverage and incidental spending.

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We sailed out of New Orleans once back when we lived in Las Vegas. Now that we live in Florida there’s less incentive itinerary wise for us to cruise out of New Orleans but Carnival Sunshine sounds like it’ll be an amazing refurbishment! Of course even if we’re not cruising from there we will definitely be visiting the city again!

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We were on the Sensation when New Orleans was a "port" and loved it. I have found many reasonable cruises leaving from New Orleans. It's the darn airfare that gets in the way. Right now, the air is more than the cruise!

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We are sailing out of New Orleans for the first time next year. The only hiccup I'm finding with New Orleans is trying to find a hotel room, and also a hotel room that is reasonable. Being that New Orleans hosts convention all year round, I found it extremely difficult to find a decent priced room even one year before we are cruising. We are scheduled to depart from New Orleans on 3/30/14. We are coming in one day early so I have been looking for hotel rooms. Finally found one that was a "so-called" decent price at $179 for the night (and that's a senior rate). Now I'm having difficulty finding a room for the return trip, 4/6/14 (just one night) and the same hotel wants $349 for the night (are you kidding me!). I've found several hotels that are available but I'm not paying $549, $349, and there was even one rate I saw for over $1200 for the night (yup). I'm hoping that something will come through for the return trip, if not I guess we are spending the night at the bus depot! :unsure:

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Our next 3 cruises are from NOLA. Last year we stayed at the Holiday Inn near the Superdome, which included free parking for the cruise and shuttle service to the port, For our next cruise in Sept we opted for the Quality Inn and Suites just across the Mississippi River in Gretna. They get great reviews for their park and cruise package. We may use them again in December for our B2B.

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Found a hotel. Staying at the St. Vincents on Magazine Street in the Garden District. $81.66 per night. Very good rate. I don't want to be in the French Quarter, don't like it, so the Garden District is fine. The hotel is 0.9 miles from the port so it's in a great location too. Found out there is a hemotology convention, a N.O. Saints game and they do a Christmas thing every weekend in December so finding a hotel has been a bear and everyone has jacked up rates. St. Vincents has parking for $5 per day so it won all the way around! Now, finally under 200 days with everyone booked and the hotel booked, I can relax. :)

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I have found space in a hotel near the pier at reasonalble rates and it isn't that much of a walk to Jackson Square. The lowest rates are across the river in Gretna, but you have to take the ferry back and forth unless you want to park at the pier.

I love sailing from here. We usually go down the day before to enjoy the food and entertainment. Coffee with beignets with powdered sugar at Café du Monde for breakfast at the foot of Jackson Square.

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