Carnival Cruise Line Issues Sport-Related Alert for Embarkation

An important regional rivalry football game will be impacting traffic in New Orleans on Sunday, potentially causing delays for cruise guests.

Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to guests booked on the January 7, 2024 departure of Carnival Glory to alert them to potential traffic challenges near Port NOLA (New Orleans) due to a football game.

Because the New Orleans Saints will be playing that day, road closures and extra traffic are expected, which may cause delays for guests traveling to the cruise terminal.

Football Game Expected to Cause Cruise Traffic Challenges

Guests traveling to Carnival Glory in New Orleans, Louisiana, may have a more difficult time with traffic near the cruise terminal on Sunday, January 7, 2024. Because of a home football game, Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to guests to alert them to possible traffic challenges and to remind them to be at the terminal in time for departure.

“The New Orleans Saints will be playing an NFL game at Caesars Superdome on embarkation day,” the email explained. “As a result, there will be numerous street closures and heavier than normal traffic around the city.”

Part of the congestion is due to the fact that this particular game is the New Orleans Saints’ last game of the regular season, making it a popular choice for local fans to attend.

“Since this could impact your commute to the port, we encourage you to plan ample travel time to ensure prompt arrival within your pre-selected terminal arrival appointment,” the email advises.

Carnival Cruise Line may also be adjusting pre-purchased transfer times to accommodate potential delays. Passengers who have purchased airport transfers from the cruise line will want to stay alert for any changes to their transfer times.

Cruise Ships in New Orleans
Photo Courtesy: Port NOLA

At this time, there is no expected delay to the ship’s overall embarkation times or departure for the 7-night Western Caribbean sailing. The week-long cruise will be visiting Montego Bay, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico – all top ports of call much loved by cruise travelers.

The 110,000-gross-ton, Conquest-class Carnival Glory can welcome 2,980 passengers at double occupancy, or as many as 3,756 travelers when fully booked. The ship is homeported in New Orleans through mid-March 2024, at which time she will head to a dry dock in Spain. Afterward, the refreshed Carnival Glory will return to begin offering short cruises from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas.

Why This Game Matters

While any local events – from concerts to marathons to sporting events – can impact traffic in different homeport cities, this weekend will be particularly busy in New Orleans.

Not only will this game determine whether or not the New Orleans Saints advance to the post season, but the visiting team is the Atlanta Falcons – a regional rivalry also in the NFC South – and fans from Atlanta may drive to New Orleans to cheer on their team as well. As this final game can affect the post-season eligibility for both teams, its outcome is particularly crucial to fans.

The game will be starting at 12 p.m. local time, meaning that football fans will be in the downtown area just at the same time that Carnival Glory‘s embarkation is underway.

Carnival Cruise Ship in New Orleans
Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive

The Caesars Superdome is just five miles (8 kilometers) from Port NOLA’s cruise terminals, all through winding downtown streets. A number of streets are sure to be closed or restricted to one-way traffic for football events.

If possible, guests driving to the port may want to consider not only adjusting their travel time, but also carpooling or using a shuttle or ride-share service in order to minimize traffic as much as possible.

It will also be important to remain patient with local authorities, port workers, and anyone directing traffic during embarkation and debarkation. Delays are inevitable, but can be managed with good planning and a good attitude.

Another Ship Potentially Impacted

In addition to Carnival Glory, Norwegian Breakaway with her more than 4,000 passengers, is also homeporting from Port NOLA, with embarkation on Sunday, January 7. Guests of Norwegian Cruise Line should stay alert to similar traffic announcements and possible delays with their cruise travel plans on this very busy weekend.

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