The largest cruise ship to ever call New Orleans home is now on its way to the Caribbean. The Carnival Dream departed late Monday afternoon, but not before WGNO News Anchor Vanessa Bolano got to look inside.
There are kids playing drinks flowing, and seemingly endless food options. Rain or shine excitement is in the air as passengers aboard the Carnival Dream get ready to spend the next six days on the largest cruise ship to ever call New Orleans home.
New Orleans resident Stacie Mitchell says, “This is why we chose this one in this particular time since it was the first here in New Orleans.”
LaPlace resident Loretta Delay is spending her honeymoon on the ship. She says, “I’m kind of excited just to know that part; okay that’s the first day here and we are on this ship. It’s kind of exciting!”
Tennessee native Peggy Leathers says, “We love it coming here! We love it, and we enjoy New Orleans.”
The Dream has dozens of bars and restaurants, an adults only area, and a 300-foot slide. Carnival executives say the decision to bring this 1,000 foot vessel to the Crescent City is a no brainer.
Jennifer De La Cruz with carnival Cruise Lines says, “Our cruise program does so well out here. We keep bringing you guys bigger and bigger ships because you keep filling them.”
The Carnival Dream can accommodate more than 4,000 people. Between The Dream and The Elation, Carnival ships docked at the Port of New Orleans will be carrying more than 400,000 passengers a year.
“To have a ship that’s basically 700 or 800 passengers more than our previous largest ship is significant,” says President & CEO of the Port of New Orleans Gary LaGrange, “The average cruise ship passenger will spend in most ports around the world $95 a day out of pocket in expenditures. In New Orleans they spend $335 a day.”
Besides the two Carnival ships that call New Orlean home, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian each have a ship operating out of the Port of New Orleans. This year the Port of New Orleans is trying to break the million passenger mark and with Carnival’s Dream they think it’s a realistic goal.
The Port of New Orleans is also working on designing a third cruise ship terminal at Poland Avenue. They hope to start construction by early 2015.