The first Carnival cruise departs from New Orleans since March 2020

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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Carnival cruise line on Sunday, September 19, became the first cruise line to resume guest activities from New Orleans, as the Carnival Glory departed on a seven-day cruise to the Bahamas.

After an 18-month layoff for the New Orleans cruise industry, those who boarded the Glory say it felt like a maiden voyage.

“This is our third rescheduling. So the third time is the charm, ”said Rhonda McCabe.

Martin Guidry was invited to be the first passenger on board and was tasked with cutting the ribbon in a ceremony honoring the occasion.

“This is my 14th cruise. I love the carnival. I don’t know why anyone would do anything other than that, ”Guidry said.

For most of the 1,400 passengers, Sunday’s departure has been a long time coming as their cruise has been postponed and rescheduled again and again over the past year and a half due to Covid-19 issues.

And for the city of New Orleans, the revival of the cruise industry means the return of much-needed tourism dollars to help stimulate the economy.

“90% of customers who travel are out of town customers and they typically spend a day or two here in New Orleans,” said Brady D. Christian, president and CEO of the Port of the New Orleans.

Carnival officials said returning to New Orleans was a great feeling, but they know the pandemic is on.

All passengers must be both vaccinated and tested negative for the virus two days before their trip.

Much has changed since the last cruise ship sailed with passengers on board, but vacationers say they have no reservations.

“We’re even happier that they’ve asked us to do the tests and the vaccines,” Guidry said.

“Well, in my opinion, we’re safer on the boat than at Wal-Mart,” McCabe said. “Because at least on the boat, we know everyone is allowed.”

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