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Your Questions About Cruises Out Of New Orleans

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Sandra asks…

where to go on our cruise?

my husband and i are planning a cruise for next year…a few questions…when is the best and/or cheapest time to go, what cruise line do you suggest, and where should we go?  we’re leaving out of either mobile al or new orleans la they’re both an hour away from us.  one to the east and one to the west lol thanks in advance!

John answers:

Sandra, as of October 22nd of this year, no major cruise line will be sailing from Mobile.  City officials are working very hard to attract another line to fill the void left by the departure of Carnival Elation, but nothing has come of their efforts to date.  Watch this closely, however.  If another line does opt to home port one of their ships in Mobile, they may offer some nice discounts to generate interest.

Realistically, however, you should proceed on the assumption that you will sail from New Orleans.  Given that, it’s obvious where you’ll go – the Gulf and the Caribbean.  The cheapest time to go is the off season.  You probably know better than most that off season is the period from mid-August through October.

The best time is probably the winter, when heat and humidity are most tolerable.

Sit down with an experienced travel agent and discuss your options.  You’ll need to look at several itineraries to see which most appeals to you and discuss the relative cost differences between lines and between cabin types.  Are you looking for something a bit more upscale, or is casual the only way to go?  Are you perfectly fine in an inside cabin, or is a balcony an absolute must?

These sorts of questions can be addressed by your agent, helping you narrow down the choices and ultimately find the cruise that is perfect for you.  Whichever one you choose, you’ll have a great time.

Charles asks…

Whats the best cruise line for some 24 year old?

Me and three buddies want to go on a cruise during the first week of March 2012.  I was just wondering what you thought were the best cruise lines for guys in their early 20’s.  We obviously want to party and hang out with others that are around our age.

Specifically, what do you think about NCL?  We like the one that goes out of New Orleans, because we can party there for a night or two before the cruise.

I took a cruise with RoyalCar in college and had a great time.

Any feedback would be great.
Everyone keeps saying that Carnival has cheaper cruises, but every cruise I have looked at by them has been $650 for an interior room. And a comparable cruise on NCL was 450. Royal was 650 as well. Maybe they are trying to get away from the college kid crowed.

Thanks for the help.

Other feedback is welcome…

John answers:

Carnival Conquest, Norwegian Spirit, and Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas will all sail from New Orleans next March.

It’s true that Carnival does have a reputation for drawing a younger crowd, and on their sailings to the Caribbean, that is by and large still the case.

You should check the rates again.  The least expensive inside cabin on Norwegian Spirit is $499 per person.  Both Carnival and Royal Caribbean are offering at least one or two departure dates with inner cabins at rates very close to those of Norwegian.  So price shouldn’t be the deciding factor.

You’ve already experienced a cruise on Royal Caribbean and had fun.  So you need to decide if you want to repeat a known quantity, or take a chance on Carnival’s reputation.  NCL welcomes young adults as well.

You’ll find 20 somethings on any one of these cruises, so I don’t think you’ll go wrong whichever one you choose.

Richard asks…

cruise information?

My wife and I have decided to book a cruise for next year.  We were told that it’s better to book a cruise a year or so in advance, which enables the possibility of move up to a better package as the cruise date gets closer, and still paying for a lower rated package.  I’m looking for recommendations now as to what cruise line is preferred by yahoo folks.  We’re in South Louisiana, and would probably prefer leaving out of New Orleans or Houston. We’re in our mid 40’s.  Thanks for your help.

John answers:

I suggest you book a cruise as early as you can, but not in hopes of some price reduction or upgrade as time goes on.  That may happen, but it might not.  The advantage to booking early is the opportunity to get exactly what you want.  If you want a balcony cabin, top deck, midship, port side (or whatever), you’re more likely to get it a year out than a month out.

See my answer to Charles above for the ships that will be sailing from New Orleans next Spring.  All of these choices are within the same category and will provide a very enjoyable cruise.  There will be many couples your age and possibly a good many children, depending on your dates.

Carnival Magic will be sailing from Galveston next year.  This is Carnival’s newest ship, coming on line next month.  This ship has already created quite a buzz, and might be the one to put at the top of your list.  Sit down with an experienced travel agent and discuss you options.

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