NOLA Cruise Blog
This fall, folks from New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf Coast areas have a terrific opportunity to cruise out of New Orleans aboard some 5-Star cruise ships on several 14- to 16-Night extended Caribbean voyages.
One of them, Azamara Club Cruises (which is a sister company of the more familiar Royal Caribbean International) owns and operates two small luxury ships – the Azamara Quest and the Azamara Journey. Both ships have undergone a major refurbishment this winter, including Staterooms, Suites and all major interior spaces. The Azamara Quest, which accommodates just 690 guests, will sail from New Orleans on October 26, 2016 for 16 Nights to Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Curacao, St. Barts, Nevis, St. Maarten, and the British Virgin Islands. This is a great, diverse, itinerary which includes the Western, Southern, and Eastern portions of the Caribbean.
Stateroom prices begin around $3600 per person – WHICH IS A STEAL AND HERE’S WHY?
A couple can take a Luxury Cruise aboard the Azamara Quest to the Caribbean, visiting a kaleidoscope of Islands diverse in their beauty, culture, charm, and history – all from only $450 per night. Now this price also includes “gourmet” cuisine and entertainment while onboard the ship.
Let’s compare, and just to make it simple, a 16-Night stay at a Luxury Resort on the Islands listed above. Ritz-Carlton Grand Cyaman is $284 per night; Jamaica Inn is $329 per night; Tortuga Bay DR is $675 per night; Baoase Luxury Resort Cuaraco is $609 per night; Eden Roc St Barts is $650 per night; Four Season Nevis is $354 per night; La Samanna St Martin is $445 per night; Peter Island BVI is $550 per night. And none of these comparative rates include: meals, entertainment or taxes.
Azamara is also offering Airfare discounts to fly home Miami where the cruise will end. The cost to fly to any one of the Islands listed above is over $500 per person Roundtrip.
When you book both vacation types on a day-to-day basis it’s easy to see the value in some exceptional offers, and I know that this is one of them.
Good news for Cruisers from Alabama and Mississippi… Or is it?
Carnival Cruise Lines has just announced this week that they will be returning to Mobile, Alabama beginning in the fall of 2016. At present, their plans are to reposition the Carnival Fantasy to Mobile after a multi-million-dollar refurbishment that will add several new restaurants and bars.
The 25 year old Fantasy was the first in a line of 70,000 ton, 2000 passenger ships that were the state of the art back in 1990. With that said, it may take more than a few new eateries and watering holes to make the ship appealing enough to forego the drive to New Orleans and the much newer and bigger Carnival Triumph, for exact same cruise itinerary.
The “more” actually my come though in a significant price drop from that of the Triumph. Currently the Fantasy’s sister ship, the Elation, is sailing from New Orleans which will be replaced by the Triumph next spring. I've noticed that the prices for the Triumph will be notably more than that of the Elation for the exact same itinerary. However, since the Fantasy is due for a major facelift, this price brake may not come at all.Keep in mind also that the Triumph is a “balcony ship” and the Fantasy class ships are not, which means that if you want a balcony on the Fantasy – you’ll have to purchase a suite to get one.
ShoreTrips GIVE experiences are now available in
ShoreTrips GIVE is an excursion product line of
One ship, two ships, its Dr. Seuss on cruise ships! Carnival Cruise Lines unveiled an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring the beloved childrens brand and favorite characters to the lines fleet of 24 Fun Ships. In an industry first, the Carnival Seuss at Sea program will offer a variety of exciting and immersive onboard youth, family, dining and entertainment experiences featuring the amazing world and words of Dr. Seuss.
Carnivals Seuss at Sea Program will be available on the Carnival Dream sailing from
One of the unique advantages of cruising is that it gives passengers an opportunity to see several destinations on one vacation. The down side is that you do not have much time in each of the ports that you visit. On most cruises out of the Gulf Coast, your shore time is only about 5 to 8 hours so you will want to try and get off the ship as soon as possible and make the most of it. Although it is difficult on a cruise, with so many late night activities going on, getting a good nights sleep before a day in port is highly advised. Save those late night shenanigans for the nights that precede a long day at sea, when lying by the ships pool in a deck chair being served frozen concoctions makes the most sense. In some ports, like Grand Cayman, the ship will not actually dock and passengers must take one of the ships tenders ashore. Unloading 2000+ passengers on to tenders in a rocky-rolly sea takes time so you will want to be first in line to board. Finally, don not wait until the morning you go ashore somewhere to decide what you are going to do when you do go ashore. Have a plan, or a pre-arranged shore excursion, and enjoy your day ashore. To find out more about pre-arranged shore excursions on cruises from