My Travel Philosophy

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

Friday, November 4, 2011

January Cruise

Pulling all of our plans together!  It's only 77 days 'til we leave and I'm starting to get a little excited!

January 20:  fly from Milwaukee to New Orleans (we'll need to bum a bed and a ride to the airport from Steve and Stacy since our flight is at 6 a.m.).  We'll be staying at the Courtyard in downtown New Orleans just steps from the French Quarter.  One of the first places I want to hit is Southern Candymakers for some of their excellent pralines!

I've been watching The Next Iron Chef on Food TV from 2009.  One of the finalists was John Besh who has restaurants all over New Orleans.  Since I've already been to many of Emeril's restaurants in New Orleans, I think I'll make dinner reservations for us that Friday night at one of John Besh's restaurants.  Then, I'm guessing we'll take a little tour down Bourbon Street that evening.

Saturday morning, January 21:  breakfast at Cafe Du Monde for beignets with enough powdered sugar to cause diabetes!  We always hit Cafe Du Monde while we're in New Orleans and, hopefully, there will be street performers all around Jackson Square.  This will be a really great day:  the ship doesn't depart until 4:30 so there's no rush to get there at the crack of dawn.  A leisurely breakfast and final walk through the Quarter will be lovely. [Note:  after writing this blog, I watched a special on Food TV about the best places to eat in New Orleans.  Alton Brown swears that the beignets at Cafe Beignet are the best.  Now I'm in a quandary -- may have to try both places!]

Then, check out of the hotel and take a short cab ride over to the cruise port (it's almost walking distance but not quite), and get ready for a fun cruise.  Because we'll already be in town, we can be appropriately dressed for the weather rather than waiting forever for our luggage to show up like we've had to do in some past years.  We'll start having some drinks with little umbrellas and listen to some steel drums, and start converting from New Orleans jazz to Caribbean calypso.

I also booked two shore excursions for us today.  We'll be at sea our whole first day, but the second day we'll dock in Cozumel and I've booked a Salsa, Salsa, and Margaritas class.  We'll learn how to make 7 different kinds of salsa (eating it along the way), 2 different kinds of margaritas (with a lot of tasting along the way), and they're going to teach us some salsa dancing.  It just sounds like loads of fun instead of the typical beach or shopping type things that we normally do.

Our second day, we'll be putting in at Georgetown, Grand Cayman where I've booked a snorkeling adventure.  There is a sandbar reef over which swim a whole bunch of stingrays and you snorkel right among them, feeding them periodically.  The reviews I've read and the videos I've watched seemed like maybe this was something not to be missed.

From Grand Cayman, we go to Jamaica but I haven't booked anything there yet.  We've been to Jamaica a couple of times and nothing on the list looks really "not to be missed".  Guess I'll have to think about it a bit and do more research.

Only 77 more days to get our planning completed.  This is going to be a great trip!

1 comment:

  1. And one more step completed. I researched the restaurants in New Orleans owned by John Besh, and found one only two blocks from our hotel with a menu that looks really wonderful. So: 6 p.m. on that Friday night we'll be dining at Luke, which leaves us plenty of time for hitting the casino and Bourbon Street afterward.

    A side note about Harrah's: I did a quick check to see about staying there on Friday night. It's convenient to the port, it's definitely somewhere that we'll want to visit, and there is a John Besh restaurant right inside. I thought we could rack up a few Harrah's points. The best rate they had was over $300 for the night so I decided to stick with my free room at the Courtyard.