What is the earliest that I should I arrive to the ship. I do not mind waiting in line. I just want to get a idea of how early I can get there to board. Also does anybody know of ant hotels that I can stay the night before that maybe has free parking?
Sorry I don't know about Hotel information but I can tell you that 11 am is a good time to show up. We did that and was on board the ship by 12:15pm eating lunch. I enjoyed sailing out of New Orleans going down the Ole Miss. river.
You can even get there at 10 am if you definably want to be one of the first people on the ship
Carnival Dream for Thanksgiving
Eastern Caribbean- 11/20/2010
Carnival Ecstasy (4 Day Baja Mexico) 2003
Carnival Pride (7 Day Mexican Riviera) 2007
Carnival Spirit (8 Day Exotic Mexican Riviera) 2007
Carnival Freedom (7 Day Western Caribbean) 2008
Carnival Elation (4 Day Baja Mexico) 2009
Carnival Spirit (7 Day Southbound Alaska) 2009
Holiday Inn Superdome has a park & cruise special for $99 per nite, which includes your parking while you cruise. Be aware when you call in that they have a couple of Park & Cruise specials, one is parking while you cruise for $5 a day and the $99 hotel rate, be sure you get the special that offers free parking. I always arrive at the port around 10:30 or 11 a.m. and that has worked well for us.
10 - 11 is a great time to get to the port. We sailed out of New Orleans Feb. 2008 and were on the ship by noon. The Holiday Inn deal sounds great. I will remember that. You can stay for about what it cost you to park at the cruise terminal.
See ya on the High seas Mate
Carnival Liberty 2010
Carnival Liberty 2009
Carnival Fantasy 2008
Granduer of the seas 2005
They do offer a shuttle to the port, two things you need to know about that though.
1.Sign up for the shuttle when you check into the hotel (it fills up fast)
2. They do not offer you a ride back to the hotel, you will need to cab it back to pick up your car.
The hotel is not too far from the port (maybe 1/2-3/4 mile as he crow flys), it would be an inexpensive cab ride. I intend to take all of our luggage to the port (for 8 of us) in my truck and drop it off early. Then come back park my truck and we'll all shuttle or cab it to the port. That way we're not trying to wrestle with the luggage and a cab. It is just simpler.