Carnival Cruise Line first to embark from New Orleans since pandemic: 'We've been waiting'

The ship ceremony dubbed "Back to Fun"

Carnival Glory departed from the Port of New Orleans for a week-long cruise Sunday, the first ship to embark from the city since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ship departed from the Erato Street Cruise Terminal and will make stops at the Bahamian destinations of Bimini, Freeport, and Nassau, according to a press release.

In a ceremony dubbed "Back to Fun," Carnival's Vice President of Guest Operations Sarah Beth Reno, Carnival Glory Captain Nicola Iaccarino and Port of New Orleans President and CEO Brandy D. Christian cut a ceremonial ribbon and officially welcomed the first guests on board.

"Carnival Cruise Line has been a part of the New Orleans community for more than 25 years and we're absolutely thrilled to provide our guests an opportunity to get Back to Fun, while supporting the local economy in one of our most popular homeports," said Christine Duffy, who is president of Carnival Cruise Line.  

"Carnival is the number one cruise operator from New Orleans with the greatest variety of cruise choices and itineraries and we are so happy to bring our unique brand of fun back to this fantastic city," Duffy added.

"Carnival Cruise Line is a valued longtime partner and we are proud to welcome Carnival Glory back for the first oceangoing cruise from New Orleans since March 2020," said Brandy D. Christian, Port of New Orleans president and CEO. "We applaud Carnival's commitment to the New Orleans market and for exceeding health and safety requirements to protect guests, crew and the community. The return of Carnival cruises from Port NOLA will be a boost to our local economy as guests are once again able to experience our famous New Orleans hospitality when they sail from our vibrant city."


"Today we're excited," said Lafayette resident Marty Guidry, who was a guest on the cruise, according to local KATC 3. "We love Carnival, and we've been waiting. We're just so happy to be the first ones to board the Glory. This is my 14th cruise. I just love Carnival, and it's in our backyard. I don't know why anybody would want to go anywhere else."