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My New Orleans

27/01/2016

In 2017, Oriana will set sail on a Caribbean and Amazon Adventure visiting, among many other incredible ports of call, New Orleans. Former Louisiana resident Jennifer Moses describes her perfect day in the ‘Big Easy’

Historic buildings in the French Quarter of New Orleans

Historic buildings in the French Quarter of New Orleans

The perfect day

When it comes to savouring the sounds, sights and flavours of New Orleans, it’s hard to go wrong in this city. I like to start the day with a cup of coffee from Morning Call in City Park, which is set in a 1,300-acre outdoor wonderland and has been serving rich café au lait and delicate beignets (the New Orleans equivalent of the doughnut) since 1870.

 

After that, one of my favourite things to do is stroll along the stretch of Magazine Street from the Lower Garden District around Felicity Street towards Audubon Park. This is shopping at its finest and the perfect way to pass a day, wandering around the many galleries, antique dealers, design studios, boutiques, cafés and this-and-that emporiums of used treasures. However, if you’re in a more outdoorsy mood, you can take in the beautiful scenery in Audubon Park, where the huge oak trees beckon you to rest in their shade.

 

For a taste of traditional New Orleans at dinner time, I head to Galatoire’s. This much-loved, upmarket restaurant has been serving French-Creole fare from 209 Bourbon Street since 1905, and has changed very little over the decades. From its green-and-white tile floor, white-draped tables and French bistro chairs to its only-in-Louisiana cuisine – shrimp Creole, duck and Andouille sausage gumbo and sweet potato cheesecake – for me, Galatoire’s never loses its charm.

 

In the evening, there’s nothing more decadent than having a Sazerac cocktail at the rotating Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone on Royal Street – once a favourite watering hole of various New Orleans literary giants. On the other side of the river’s ‘big bend’, at 3016 S. Carrollton Ave, you can bowl, drink and hear live music all at once at Rock ‘n’ Bowl. I love Thursday nights there, when Zydeco bands play and you can dance all night long.

A paddle-wheeler steam boat

A paddle-wheeler steam boat

Find your New Orleans

If you visit the ‘Big Easy’ on a P&O Cruises holiday, booking on to a shore excursion can really help you get the most out of your day. On the French Quarter Walk, for example, you’ll find some of the earliest and best examples of American architecture in the region. This three hour tour really gets to the bottom of traditional New Orleans as your guide takes you back in time with tales of pirates, haunted houses and voodoo queens.

 

For something more unusual, you could try the Paddle-Wheeler, Jazz and Dinner shore excursion, jumping aboard a paddle-wheeler steam boat for a taste of traditional Creole fare and the sounds of live Jazz in the city where it was born. Or perhaps the Louisiana Swamp Tour, which takes you deep into the cypress tree-lined bayous on a Cajun-style boat, where you’ll encounter fascinating plant life and the creatures that make these dank swamplands their home.

 

Find out more about Oriana’s Caribbean and Amazon Adventure >

 

Find out more about cruise holidays to New Orleans >

 

Jennifer Moses

Writer and painter Jennifer lived in Louisiana for 13 years. Her written work has appeared in The New York Times, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. Her art is exhibited widely around the USA.

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