After what all of those of you who live in the area have lived through, and are living through I'm sure it's tough to see discussions accusing the area of having not come back enough, and having high crime.
And I'm sure those not in the area are curious about traveling to the city again, and yes.. the issue of staying safe.
I can tell you I've wanted to come back to show our support to NOLA almost from the beginning. I thought the most effective way for me personally to show that support was to bring a group cruise there. And as soon as great oppurtunity to do so with a speical event with John Heald and Carnival came along I JUMPED on the bandwagon.
I plan to be safe. I plan to spend money in the city, and I plan to assist at least for one day in the rebuilding process.
And I hope we can get our numbers of the CruiseMates coming with us to assist will get into the several hundreds....and we'll announce to the cruise world that N'awlins is definitely back and ready to be back!
We won't complete the job that needs doing there, but we WILL make our mark to contributing to it's growing from its traumatic experience!
the fact that a significant number of CruiseMates are coming to show your support is very heart warming to those of us that live here and we thank you and will work very hard to make your pre cruise experience one filled with fun and one you will hold special in your heart...John and Kuki will make your onboard experience the same
we have also learned that those that do come in our post Katrina world, leave with a greater understanding of the breath of the devastation,the true comeback spirit of the people of Louisiana and the fact that what the mainstream media portrays and what actually is, are two different things...but the key is you have to come and see and experience for yourself..and remember but for the grace of God, go you
all we can do is extend the invitation and it;s going to take the entire next year for Mel to prepare enough gumbo to feed all of you
I have always had a warm place in my heart for New Orleans. I have always loved the city. I come from a family of musicians and grew up singing Dixieland tunes, while most of my friends were in to Rock N' Roll. I feel very much "at home" there.
The Blogger's Cruise will be our third time back since Katrina. We were there a year ago and will return next month. I have to say I have never felt unsafe in the town, even when we had to stay in a place that was a little off the beaten path post cruise on our last trip.
The area we stayed in was not in terrific shape and there was quite a bit of damage still evident all around us. Trailers and condemned homes on both sides and across the street. While I did not so much enjoy this part of our stay, it taught some very valuable life lessons to our family. My kids and I had befriended a family from St. Bernard Parish who lost everything and relocated here to Indiana, until they could return back home. Seeing the devastation first hand really helped all of us realize how lucky we are, and how much the people of New Orleans had lost. It also thrilled us to no end to know that our small infusion of cash into their economy was making a difference. Filling hotel rooms, buying food and goods makes a difference. If you have a chance to help build a house while you are there, even better. It is good for your heart to see how bad things are here, and know you have done something to make life better for others, and helped a once failing economy recover.
One thing I discovered on my last visit was to trust your taxi driver. They will tell you what areas should be avoided, and will actually refuse to take people into risky areas after dark. If you are not familiar with the area you are going to, take a cab, ask your driver questions. NOLA has the most friendly informative cab drivers I have seen. I try to keep the phone numbers of a few local cab companys on me, and then if I need a cab and there isn't one around I would call them on my cell and they were there within minutes.
I am sure Venice and Mel can supply us with a few cab companies they would recommend.
I cannot wait to return and see how much the area has recovered since our last visit.
Being a New Orleans native, it is hard to see all the negative comments about NOLA. I moved out of the city to the "country" several years ago, but the reason behind that was because of my horses. It was cheaper to have them at home than to use a boarding stable. My grown children still live and work in New Orleans, and would not even consider moving anywhere else. Two of my adult children & my son-in-law work at a major hospital (that is actually in Metairie, but to outsiders it's ALL New Orleans ) During the hurricane they were in lock down for over a week, no phones, no television, the only communication to the outside world was what they witnessed first hand, or what was told to them by police, national guard, & hospital staff. I'll tell you this, a lot of it was not a pretty sight! With all that being said, they all swear by the city, and the people that live & work there. I also work for the state of Louisiana, and like Mel, I also find myself having to visit New Orleans for work. I use caution, and common sense. I also "visit" New Orleans often because of my family. If it was as bad as it's being portrayed, I probably would not have lived to celebrate my annual 39th birthday every year.
ALL major cities have crime, lets face it crime is everywhere. If you do not know the facts about the area you are in .... don't go there! When I was a child my mother stressed to me the importance of safty in numbers, that is still the best advice along with know your surroundings.
So y'all c'mon down!
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But why is the rum gone? ~ Capt. Jack Sparrow
also booked: 10/10/13 Carnival Victory B2B, 01/12/14 Carnival Sunshine
No...you crazy fools! I've already received a few PM's from people wanting to book the cruise, but they are concerned about safety in New Orleans. SO, I thought I could reassure them!!!
As with any city, there are places you don't want to go. Hotel staff and those of us familiar with the city will be glad to tell you what to steer clear of! Actually MOST of the tourist area is quite safe and I walk Bourbon St by myself on busy weekend nights! It's those dark side streets you need to stay away from!
Now you know you, Joyce and I have walked Bourbon Streer at all hours,and had a blast! Only things on the street that was spooky was us!
Fantasy X 3