I'm assuming it's about the same as the Conquest (also out of New Orleans)
Getting out of the Missippi took several hours, probably 8 or 9 if memory serves correctly. The Conquest set off after dark so we really didn't see much. A lot of river traffic, some interesting barges, and another cruise ship. All in all, nothing to spectacular really.
The Grandeur makes the journey down the Mississippi in a shorter time than the Conquest (about six hours). On our last Grandeur cruise we left the cruise terminal at 5pm and reached Southwest Pass at the mouth of the river around 11pm. By the way, the Conquest was just entering the river on its return to New Orleans and passed just a few yards to our starboard. It was an awsome sight to see a ship the size of the Conquest so close to our ship, and she was beautifully lit!
OOOOOOH I know this answer! I just came back from Carnival Conquest, and our dinner table had this very conversation. It is 110 miles of Mississippi River before we reach the sea...and yes, on the conquest it took a very long time, but Im not sure at what speed we were traveling.
We'll be on the Granduer out of New Orleans Dec 10 also headed for Grand Caymans. We are hoping that all goes well and we get o see the island! We've also heard so many ups and downs about the grandeur we can't wait to see for ourselves!!!
My husband and I cruised on the Grandeur in March, '04. It took about 7 hours for us to get into the Gulf but there was a VERY dense fog which probably made for a slow go of it. That part of the journey was very interesting in that you see so many oil refineries and other industries that seem to be just floating out in the distance. We did meet Conquest coming back in and she looked like a "ghost ship" through the fog. Enbarkation was a piece of cake and we were able to board around noon even though we didn't pull out of port until 5:00 so try to get there early. Parking was also easy and close. ($10 per day if I remember correctly.) I was a little disappointed in the size of the cabins... they were soooooo small and our bed was never made up with a comforter just the blanket and sheets. We got the cute towel animals and ice twice a day from our cabin steward. Our wait staff at dinner was good, but fairly new which could account for some of the problems that we had (having to ask for refills, additional bread, etc.). The food was good and plentiful but not what I would call fabulous. You had about 3 entree choices each evening with 3 more "always" available entrees The ship is beautiful but sprucing her up a bit will help most of the little problems. For the price and the convenience (if you live within driving distance), the Grandeur is a good cruise buy and I would sail her again. And I'm not trying to point out the flaws, just trying to prep you for "worst" case. After all, how bad can it be to have your meals and drinks brought to you and your room cleaned each day. <smile>