Last month, two cruise ships from Miami-based cruise lines arrived in New Orleans. NCL's Norwegian Star, with capacity for around 2,300 passengers, transitioned to the "Big Easy" and relieved the Norwegian Spirit which had been home-ported there.
Royal Caribbean moved the Navigator of the Seas, a larger ship with a capacity of around 3,100 passengers, into the port of New Orleans where its Voyager of the Seas had been based.
The cruise ships are based at the renovated Julia Street Terminal. Both ships will be positioned in New Orleans for six months.
The Port of New Orleans set a port record for cruise ship passengers for a two day period on November 17th to 18th when a total of almost 25,000 passengers arrived or departed on cruise ships. According to the Port of New Orleans, in 2011 736,908 passengers passed through the port. New Orleans is considered to be a "top 10" U.S. cruise port with 1,000,000 passengers expected by the end of this year.
I lived in New Orleans from 1980 to 1987 before coming to Miami. I have warm memories of my time there at law school at Tulane and as a young lawyer. During those years, the cruise industry was much smaller and there were no cruise ships based in New Orleans. Now there are ships operated by NCL, Royal Caribbean and Carnival.
One of the benefits of cruising out of New Orleans is the pre-cruise and post-cruise overnight stays in downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter. You can't beat the great food, the bars and late night cafe' au lait and beignets at Cafe du Monde.
I think it's time for Cruise Law to open up a maritime law office back in New Orleans!
Photo Credit; AP / Andy Newman