If you are ever near New Orleans, then I would recommend taking a few hours to enjoy a cruise on the Mississippi River. The Steamboat Natchez is the last authentic steamboat left plying it’s trade on the river (their competitor has diesel engines). When we first went to get our tickets, the ship was playing music with it’s steam. It’s called the Calliope concerts and they hold them twice a day. You can hear the music from the French Quarter and it’s free to check out the boat and listen to the concert. Plus there is a great walking path that takes you along the Mississippi River and the edge of the French Quarter.
When the boat leaves it’s dock, you are treated to wonderful views of the French Quarter. We took the Sunday Brunch Cruise and were delighted with all the wonderful information that was given about the area as we ate our delicious meal. Normally we are not huge fans of buffets because the food tends to be mediocre. There wasn’t a huge selection of food on the boat, but all of it was prepared well and after walking for miles it was much needed. The kids loved the beignets, but the adults thought the ham and the potato soup were the best. After eating our meal, we did what most people did and wandered around the boat exploring. The kids were fascinated by the paddle wheel and squeaked with delight when they were eye level with it and water sprayed at them. I thought it was neat that they let you into the engine room where they have some old pictures of steamboats and signs explaining how the engine works. I felt for the guys working in that room because it was pretty hot that day, so we only stuck around long enough to learn somethings before we high tailed it out of there. The kids were happy to go up and down the stairs looking into all the rooms and we were even able to get a magnet for our collection at the gift shop right on the boat.
It wouldn’t be a great experience without a good band though and the Dukes of Dixieland is a three piece band that laid down some jazz. They were taking requests, but I was so excited to have Journey dancing like she did on the train we took in Arizona that I didn’t make any requests. Journey spun and danced to her hearts content though and will probably show up on some random people’s You Tube channels because everyone was oh-ing and ah-ing while they filmed her.
The best part about taking the cruise was the amazing views that you see while you are on it. Just sitting out on the deck enjoying a cool breeze off the river while admiring the sights was exactly what we needed. The view of downtown with the sun starting to set was spectacular and people were taking photos that they would cherish forever. The kids were impressed by the cruise ships leaving port that we saw. I think the best part about the cruise was the timing for us. After walking for hours it was perfect to sit for half an hour, refuel with a good meal, wander around the boat, then sit again for awhile. When the boat docked again, we all were ready to go see a parade for Mardi Gras and our next post will be about the biggest party we have ever been to.
Here is the link to the Steamboat Natchez if you decide to check it out