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New Orleans...left luggage at cruise terminal?

OK all you traveling peeps, I have searched the Port of New Orleans website for any info regarding left luggage area/service at the cruise terminals and there doesn't seem to be much info. There is a luggage transfer service phone number I could contact perhaps but what I have is a carry on piece that I want to leave at the terminal (after my cruise) and enjoy one of the Mardi Gras parades before I check into my flight back to Seattle. Any info/advice you can give me about this would be appreciated.

Also, my timing may trump the whole idea of attending a parade. Cruise arrives in early morning, parade off St. Charles Street starts at Noon and is about 40 minutes long. I then would get to the airport for my flight which departs at 6:25 p.m. Is this practical/doable, you think?

Thanks.

Posted by
8433 posts

Linda in absence of any other replies - I was only there once, but I do not recall seeing any facilities there, or any service personnel that were not getting people on or off the ship. Just a mass of luggage all over the place. In fact my impression was that the port authority facility does not stay open when a ship is not actively loading or unloading.

I would suggest however, that you ask your question at cruisecritic.com which is the best source of info on ports and destinations

Posted by
1316 posts

Stan, thank you for the Cruisecritic tip. I was on that site a few days ago before I dreamed up this idea of seeing a parade before leaving New Orleans. I will check it out.

Posted by
553 posts

Linda

On what date do you get into New Orleans, and do you know which parade you're wanting to see? Parades downtown are generally on Canal and St. Charles and either start at City Park, which ends up at the Superdome, or on Napoleon just off of St. Charles and goes the opposite way, usually finishing at the NO Convention Center. Please see the following link that will let you check out all of the parades. http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/schedule.html

There is an area on St. Charles between Napoleon and Louisiana Avenues that is a great place to see a parade starting on Napoleon. It has a large median (down here we call it the "neutral ground") where a families go for the parade and it is a lot of fun. If you truly want to SEE the parade do not go into the downtown area. What you will see are throngs of screaming people, mostly in various stages of inebriation, and you have to literally fight for any beads you can get. You mention that you have a carry on bag and I'd like to ask how big it is? In the area I describe you will find parade goers with everything from rolling coolers to backpacks to rolling luggage bringing food, blankets and drinks and when empty are great for taking home a stash of beads and trinkets. You won't look at all out of place with luggage of any kind. A few other questions. Are you traveling alone? How do you plan to get to the parade route and have you already picked a spot. To a large degree the date you're here and the parade may decide that for you. How to you plan to get to the airport from the parade route. Again, when you are here will have a big influence on that. You should allow at least an hour to get away from the parade route and locate a taxi, and longer if it's Mardi Gras weekend. My wife works in the city and I'll ask her to check with some friends who know more about the cruise terminal to see if there is luggage storage, but I'd be surprised if there is. As someone else said, it is only used when there is a ship in port. I hope this is helpful. Mardi Gras can be a fun time if you plan it right. It can be a nightmare if you don't. If I can help you further please send me a private message with any questions you may have.

Jim

Posted by
1316 posts

Jim, thank you for your very informative response. To answer some of your questions, yes, solo travel coming back into New Orleans; I will be returning from a 7 day cruise with my elderly Dad, who will leave the ship via organized bus. The parade I am interested in is the Krewe of Carrollton which is Sunday, Feb 8 @ 12:00 noon. The parade travels on Magazine to Napoleon then turns up St. Charles to Canal Street and then on to Tchoupitoulas. I will have a 20" rollaboard carryon and my crossbody purse.

My plan was to view the parade, then make my way to the outskirts of downtown, or maybe go back to the cruise terminal and get a cab from there to the airport. Thanks for checking with your wife re what she knows about the cruise terminals.

Posted by
1316 posts

Stan, I went back to the Cruisecritic site and found a forum discussion there -- they mentioned what I already found, the luggage transfer service. I don't want to check my bag, so that probably wouldn't be an option.

Posted by
553 posts

So here's the deal. The Port of New Orleans does not provide luggage storage at either of its terminals, but there is a company there who does offer several services that may interest you. Their name is Advance Check-In and their web site is http://www.advancecheckin.com/. Their telephone number, which is also on the site, is 504-471-0080. I called and asked about their services and here is what I was told:

1) When you get off the ship you can give them your luggage and they will deliver it to their office in the baggage claim area at the New Orleans airport. They will give you a claim check and you can pick up your luggage there within two hours of your flight. The cost for this service is $40, which seems high, but it actually is for 1-4 pieces of luggage.

2) You can leave the luggage with them and pick it up after the parade at a cost of $25, again for 1-4 pieces of luggage.

3) They have transportation to the airport through a partner company for $15 per person that leaves from the French Quarter. That is much less than you pay for a taxi.
In summary you can pay $40 to store your bag and have a ride to the airport, or pay $55 to have your bag taken to the airport and have a ride, or pull your bag to the parade route and then either spend the $15 for their transportation or take a taxi. One other caveat. When I called Advance Check-In I spoke with a woman named Angela and told her I had a friend from Seattle (we're all friends on the Forum, right?) who had your situation and asked if she could help you. In the end, because you only have one bag she said if you contact her personally to make the arrangements she would do the airport valet service for $30, so you could do that and take the ride out there for $45. If you want to do this I'd call her soon and remind her that she talked with Jim in NO about you. I don't know your financial situation or how important the luggage storage thing is to you, but if you can afford it the $45 deal looks pretty good. One other possibility. The hotel at the end of the parade route is the Hilton Riverfront. If you happen to be a Hilton Hhonors member, or even better a Diamond VIP member, I'd imagine the concierge there would store your bag for a few hours for a nominal tip. If you are a member of another hotel rewards program you might check to see if one of them is in the area as well. Hope this helps. Please let me know if I can help in any other way.
Jim

Posted by
1411 posts

even if you don't have time to catch a parade, you can probably catch some mardi gras ambiance....."knee deep in the hoopla"

Posted by
1316 posts

Jim, thanks for all this over the top effort on your part to find out what I can do with my bag and still see the parade. The deal with leaving my bag with the Advance service and then taking their ride to the airport for $40 seems well worth it. That is probably what I will do as I want to enjoy the parade to the fullest and may not be able to with a bag to worry about. Would you still suggest viewing this parade (Carrollton) near Napoleon?

again, thank you so much for this.

Linda

Posted by
553 posts

St. Charles Avenue is the most beautiful street in New Orleans and you can find Tulane University and Loyola University there as well as Audubon Park and the Audubon Zoo. There is a street car line that runs down the center of it to Canal Street, although it does not run during the parades. I'm not sure when/if it runs before it, but if you get in early and get lucky you might be able to catch it and take the entire trip. Cost is $1 each way I believe. The parade route does not pass the places I've listed above, but there is an area on St. Charles just after the parade turns off of Napoleon that is perfect for it. The only problem is the distance from the terminal if you're walking. If you look on a map you will see several streets from the Port of New Orleans that heads over to St. Charles, but this is long way from our parade watching place. Since it is a Sunday and this is a minor parade by comparison to those the following week I think you'll probably get just as good a view in that area. Probably best since you're going back to the terminal, although personally for peace of mind I'd consider letting them take your bag to the airport and not have to worry about going back to the terminal to get it. That way you have more flexibility in choosing where to see the parade. It is easy to find their place which is located in the airport baggage claim area and their transportation takes you right to it. Regardless, I hope you have a great, albeit short, time in our city and that your experience will motivate you to come back for the BIG weekend celebration in the future. By the way, the best way to experience those parades is to get a dinner package at a restaurant on the parade route who puts private bleachers in front of their restaurant. You're above the crowds and usually have a buffet of great New Orleans food, open bar for the duration of that parade and most importantly, at least for my wife, a bathroom. I would appreciate knowing how it goes for you. Enjoy.

Posted by
2114 posts

Linda,
After you dad goes on the ship's organized tour (which I assume..maybe incorrectly assuming... is a day trip?), will he be flying back home on the same flight as you?

Posted by
1316 posts

Margaret:
No, my Dad will be taking a bus from the cruise to St. Charles, LA and then going home to San Antonio.

Jim: after some consideration, I think it would be best to have Advance take my bag to airport and then I could catch their van ( assuming it is a shuttle van) to the airport after the parade. The idea of getting a dinner package with parade viewing sounds great but I won't be there for dinner. HOWEVER, I do plan on partaking of some yummy food the night before the cruise. My visit is so short to NO and I will someday do it justice. It sounds like you love your city and I appreciate your time and effort in helping me with this. If you and your wife are ever visiting Seattle, or anywhere in the NW, I would be happy to give you both some tips for a nice trip.

This will be my first ever cruise and it will be special to be with my Dad. What an adventure!

I will try to post a quick report after the trip; even though it isn't Europe. Happy travels, Linda.

Posted by
553 posts

Good choice on send your bag ahead. Gives you lots of options after the parade. Rick Steves always says of our travels, "Assume you will return", so that was the point of my suggestion about watching the parades with a restaurant package. Hopefully you will feel the need to come back for another Mardi Gras in the future and stay for a while. As for Seattle, it is one of my wife's favorite cities, as in Vancouver to the north. She has attended several conferences in both of them in the last six years and each time asked if I'd like to come along. Since she was working with no expenses and I'd have to take vacation days to join her just to be a solo tourist, I passed. Maybe next time I will come. If I do you'll be the first to know. Good luck with your cruise and trip to NO.

Posted by
1316 posts

Hi! Just back from my first cruise venture to the Western Caribbean and I have to say that it was a surprise that I found myself enjoying the relaxed feel of the whole trip. There were some challenges with Dad since his mobility is starting to be an issue but, all in all, it was a very nice trip. We were in and out of New Orleans. Whew, what a hoppin town Nawlins is. I will have to make another visit in the future.

I wanted to thank all of you for the suggestions and for steering me to Advance Check In. The luggage service turned out great and without a hitch. I did not end up seeing much of the parade because the timing was off, so I enjoyed a little more of the French Quarter and then explored the riverfront and finally ended up at the French Market. The scheduled pick up by van in the French Market neighborhood for transport to the airport went fairly smoothly and I actually arrived at the airport a little early.

Happy travels, Linda

Posted by
32730 posts

That sounds really good, Linda. I'm glad it all worked out and you had a good time.