Mardi Gras - avoid or embrace?

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Oct 14th, 2017, 10:07 AM
  #1
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Mardi Gras - avoid or embrace?

We're considering a February cruise out of NOLA and plan to spend time before and after exploring the area.
We can either sail on the 11th, giving us a chance to see Mardi Gras over the previous weekend (if we can still get rooms - LOL!) or avoid the whole shebang by sailing on the 18th.
Would you recommend the experience to a couple pushing 80? Would the crowds be just too much of a hassle?
All suggestions and opinions and recommendations appreciated.
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Oct 14th, 2017, 10:14 AM
  #2
 
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What does "pushing 80" have to do with this? Are you mobility-impaired in some way? Is your attention span lacking?

I used to live IN New Orleans and yes the crowds for the major parades over the weekend prior can be intense at least along the parade routes themselves. There will undoubtedly be a lot of people moving about in the French Quarter itself and no I suspect it is not too late yet to get a room somewhere but expect elevated prices.

I'm not convinced you need to view all four of the last days parades and one might be enough to give you a general idea of what transpires.
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Oct 14th, 2017, 11:04 AM
  #3
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Thanks, Dukey.
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Oct 14th, 2017, 02:48 PM
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Hmm. I'd consider avoiding during MG time. The parade routes overflow and the tourists flood the city. It gets pretty hairy there, and I've been to NOLA for both MG (weekend before actual Fat Tuesday) and various New Year's Eves (big celebration, also Sugar Bowl crowds) and MG is about 20x crazier.
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Oct 14th, 2017, 05:38 PM
  #5
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Worried that might be the case.
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Oct 16th, 2017, 10:36 AM
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I've been there for New Year's Eve and if Mardi Gras is 20x crazier, I would definitely take a pass.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 02:38 AM
  #7
bvh
 
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I think Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a discount freak show. It's one of the worst versions I've experienced around the world. If at 80 you enjoy stepping in many pools of vomit and being pushed and shoved by screaming, drunk juveniles, then there's your party.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 09:44 AM
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We were there for Easter a couple of years back and went to an Easter parade and it was fantastic. No drunk people, not that crowded, they still had floats and were tossing stuff. It's the experience without the hassle.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 11:29 AM
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Gosh, I really enjoyed Mardi Gras. The parades have such cool floats, and some, like Zulu, have a rich history. When we came upon two Indian tribes, and their chiefs did "battle", I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. (We also saw King Rex visit my friend's mother, who was from an old NO family, at home, masked and costumed. That was interesting!)

The FQ was a zoo, and pretty gross. The rest of the city was crowded and chaotic, but there seemed to me to be a whole lot of locals enjoying the scene, especially in the Garden District. Friends told us that the parades in the suburbs are calmer.

Don't get me wrong, nearly everyone you meet will be drunk. I saw an elderly white lady in Chanel and pearls weaving down St. Charles, three sheets to the wind, hanging on to her equally drunk husband. Locals don't flee Mardi Gras, they participate.

We saw a few cars with their windows broken. We saw a few guys peeing in bushes. We saw a few half naked women. We heard great music. The Neville brothers played on the riverfront. We ended one night at Tipitina's in the wee hours. On the Tuesday at midnight, we saw mounted police in the FQ sweep all the revelers indoors and street cleaners came behind them--Lent had begun, don't you know.

It was a lot crazy and a lot great.

I certainly would never characterize it as a "discount freak show".
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Oct 17th, 2017, 02:03 PM
  #10
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Thanks folks -
I would have loved it 50 years ago - but at this point in our lives, I think we'll give it a pass!
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Oct 17th, 2017, 04:27 PM
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it would be a golden opportunity for your 80 year old husband to see drunk teenager's bare breasts while the stench of urine and vomit linger on Bourbon st. let that idea sink in for a minute....
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Oct 17th, 2017, 05:46 PM
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Bourbon Street is where tourists go to behave like animals. It is not the sum total of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
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Oct 18th, 2017, 06:46 AM
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I would go to New Orleans during Mardi Gras just to experience it once, no matter what your age is. You can hang out on the periphery if the crowds and craziness are too much. There's no need to dive into the middle of Bourbon Street to see what Mardi Gras is all about.

I'm sure hotel prices will be elevated somewhat, staying further from the Quarter will help though.
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Oct 19th, 2017, 08:25 AM
  #14
bvh
 
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"I would go to New Orleans during Mardi Gras just to experience it once, no matter what your age is."

That's what I did.

I'm far from a "sophisticated traveler." However, I know cheap and tawdry when I experience it.
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Oct 24th, 2017, 01:29 PM
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Sailing out on the 11th is perfect. You'll avoid the insanity of Mardi Gras day, but you'll still have the chance to take in a parade or two when it is (relatively) more calm
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Oct 24th, 2017, 06:38 PM
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As well you should. But it's sad that you found what only what you expected to find.
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Oct 25th, 2017, 10:33 AM
  #17
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"But it's sad that you found what only what you expected to find."

Say what? You say some weird stuff.
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Oct 26th, 2017, 03:46 PM
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I was at Mardi Gras when I was in my 30s. I hated it. Drunks. Vomit.

And I absolutely love New Orleans otherwise.
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