You can get there any time you want to. I try try to get to the pier around 10:30 am and am usually on board by 11:30. I've kept that schedule on every port I've sailed out of and never had a problem.
Voyager of the Seas 5/03
Celebrity Solstice 2/09
Oasis of the Seas 10/16/10
I'll be on there too! I can't wait! A little advice - I do not know if you and your family are flying into New Orleans or driving - but, there is an Essence Music Festival that starts Friday the 1st-Sun and I've been told traffic is going to be horrible - bumper to bumper for hours crossing the New Orelans big bridge.
regarding the Essence traffic...that is true because during the day they have outstanding empowerment seminars at the convention center that is attended by thousands so traffic will be more congested then normal..my advise, get to the cruise dock early (like 10 am before the seminars start)
If anybody knows their way around the traffic jams in N.O. it's the cabbies. They'll get you around it. If you're flying in a few days early post again and we can give you a list of things not to miss. N.O. is a great town.