The Port of New Orleans’ Big Wish: A Home Port for a Disney Cruise Line

The Evening Star is shining bright So make a wish And hold on tight There’s magic in the air tonight and anything can happen…

The Port of New Orleans has a bigger wish than Tiana at the beginning of The Princess and the Frog. According to an article on NOLA.com by Richard Thompson, officials from the Port of New Orleans recently met with executives from Disney Cruise Line in an attempt to sell New Orleans as a new home port with the aid of a new terminal that is currently in development. Gary LaGrange, president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans, expects construction on the $23.1 million terminal to start as soon as the third quarter of the year and be finished in 2014. When complete, the Poland Avenue terminal will increase the port’s overall capacity by two cruise ships with an estimated 25,000 passengers a week. A 2012 study shows that cruise passengers sailing from the Port of New Orleans stayed an average of 1.8 nights in New Orleans before and/or after their cruise. A separate study by the Port estimated that these same passengers spent $27.9 million during their stay. With 736,908 passengers sailing from New Orleans in 2011, that would round out to $38 spent per passenger. Officials from the port realize they must sell New Orleans as a family destination.

“It’s not all about Bourbon Street, it’s not all about the French Quarter, but those are aspects, but to bring in the museums and other aspects.” – Gary LaGrange

LaGrange remains realistic about the chances of Disney Cruise Line home porting in New Orleans, stating ” (Disney is) not in the bag – far from it; but at least we’re in the game, and that’s the main thing.”

Video’s source article from WGNO – New Orleans.

Source: FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans

Cruising From New Orleans

Something else to consider is that it takes approximately 7 hours to navigate the Mississippi river; that is at least 14 hours per cruise. Port New Orleans to Gulf Of Mexico Map Interestingly enough, the Disney Wonder’s schedule ends in the Fall of 2014 when she is expected to undergo an overhaul. We looked at a possible scenario that had the Wonder sailing a Western Caribbean itinerary beginning November 2014 from Port Canaveral. Keeping with the song.. anything can happen… it is remotely plausible that the Wonder could sail from New Orleans, if the Port’s wish comes true. It worked for Jamaica – why not New Orleans? What do you think? Will the Port of New Orleans get the classic, Disney happily every after ending?

23 thoughts on “The Port of New Orleans’ Big Wish: A Home Port for a Disney Cruise Line

  1. Tammy Guerra

    I’m with Gina….I would LOVE it also if Disney cruised from New Orleans. I live approx. 50 miles from the Port and have been wanting to sail on the Wonder, so this would be just perfect for me. I am also hoping it happens.

    Reply
  2. Jim

    It appears that Galveston, which is about 6 hours away from New Orleans has not sold well, geographically speaking, New Orleans and Galveston will be drawing from the same areas. I don’t think NOLA will sell any better than Galveston and I think Disney will stay away.

    Reply
    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      From what I’ve heard the Texas school system is very strict in terms of unexcused absences which would make it harder for Texans to take their kids out if school for a cruise.

      I’m not sure about the Louisiana school system.

      Reply
      1. Allan

        Texas schools are paid by the state based on attendance for that day. Our school district has a $200 a day per student fine starting on the 3rd day w/o a doctor’s note. Also miss 13 days in a school year and you can be held back.

        Reply
        1. Allan

          That makes the longer cruises during the school year out and the shorter cruise are to places that are fairly cheap flights to stay in all inclusive properties in the Yucatan or the Caymans.

          Reply
  3. John

    Very True… Personal opinion, but the Disney Magic would have have sold out every cruise if she had Galveston in the summer. Despite what you may have heard she is selling quite well. I know I know kids sell free offer, but Miami and Alaska run those offers as well…Last I checked..The Magic is sold out for Spring Break. Disney should consider Moving either the Magic or the Wonder out of Galveston in the summer and NYC in the winter. NYC on 6 – 8 days to Port Canaveral, Castaway Cay and Nassau.

    Reply
  4. valerie vanderheiden

    I live on the west coast but have asked DCL to consider NOL as a home port in the past. New Orleans is cheaper and easier to fly to then Galveston as the port is almost within walking distance from the city center. We have cruised out of NOL and yes it does take most of a day to reach the ocean but many of us cruise DCL for the on-board experience more then the ports.

    Reply
  5. Marion

    Galveston had more issues than supply and demand. There are other factors into play with transfers, pre- and post-stay options, and airport co-operation. It takes more than a fully functioning port terminal to make a cruise partnership successful.

    NYC in the winter would be pretty much not possible, due to weather. I would love it, I live up in this neck of the woods, but not possible.

    Reply
  6. John

    Galveston is an awesome pre/post stay… With close by theme park like attractions such as Pleasure Pier, Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn (Year Round) water park there is always something to do. Also, Galveston has nice beaches and shopping. Flights out of Hobby and IAH are very reasonable. IAH (Bush) is one of the largest airports in the country. Why would NYC not be possible? High temperatures at Castaway Cay average 70 to 80 F in the winter.

    Reply
    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      The Magic & Wonder would be the only ships able to use Tampa due to the clearance of Sunshine Skyway bridge.

      I’d love sailings from Tampa as its less than a 30 minute drive.

      Reply
  7. Gloria

    I belive New Orleans would do much better than Galavston, as New Orleans have a large airport close by. We would do more cruising with Disney, but I do not want to be stuck on a bus for 1hr or so just to get to the port.
    Even Port Everglades out of Ft. Lauderdale would be a plus

    Reply
  8. Louise A

    I think that for cruises during the year it would be better to offer some shorter 3/4-night itineraries alternated with the longer 7-nighters so that families with school age children can cruise without missing a whole week of school. If Texas is that strict then that is a consideration. Being from the midwest (Nebraska), we appreciate having a shorter drive to Galveston than to Port Canaveral, or better chance at direct flights 🙂 We would continue to sail out of Galveston if Disney would stay and would be able to go more often if there were shorter itineraries available…love going to Key West and Castaway Cay the most! We would also love sailing out of New Orleans (one of our favorite cities!)…it is close, too. Hope if Disney stays in a gulf port that they consider some shorter itinerary options, would be awesome to do a 3-day NO stay with 4-night cruise, too!

    Reply
  9. Cindy

    Come on disney…. sail from New Orleans. The hospitality here would definitely be a selling point for a crusie!!! I know i would go!!

    Reply
  10. jessica coyne

    I sure hope they start sailing out of New Orleans for Disney Cruises, we are going on our 1st Disney Cruise in a few months, but are having to fly to Miami, FL just to sail off. I live only 45 minutes from New Orleans, so it would be perfect for us. My kids are only 4 and 18 months.

    Reply
  11. Kandi

    If anyone knows the status of NO Port Authority negotiations with DCL, please gve us an update. I love DCL. We have traveled on the Disney Magic and had a blast. But traveling to Port Canaveral and staying there becomes expensive. With a port in New Orleans, my son and I can do the cruise every year. Also, my siblings would be more willing to join us with their kids.

    Reply
    1. Tammy

      I’m wondering the status also. I live north of New Orleans and have travelled to Port Canaveral for three DCL cruises, but it would be so nice to travel to New Orleans and save so much time and money by not needing a hotel the night before and only travelling about 1 hour to get to the Port.

      Reply
  12. Squirk

    Here we are, almost two years after this article posted, and as far as I can see, no traction. Perhaps a lot has happened behind the scenes, and there is some surprise awaiting us for the yet-to-be-announced 2016 Spring, Summer and Fall itineraries, However, I can’t say I’ve heard anything encouraging in the local news, rumors or otherwise.

    I would hit Platinum so fast if they started sailing out of N.O…….

    Reply

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