Mardi Gras 9-Day RV Rally
Let the good times roll! or ‘Laissez les bon temps roulez!’ as the locals say in French. Mardi Gras means ‘Party Gras’ on Fantasy’s 9-day Mardi Gras Extravaganza! Let Fantasy expertly and safely guide you through all the crowds and craziness — the countless parades, parties, tours, and oh yes, that food (!) on your exploding tour agenda. After all, this is the ultimate celebration of life, love and culture!
This sensual city sizzles during these, the best nine days of spring, with fabulous food as the world converges on the Crescent City for the hot-blooded jazz, fabulous food, and warm, infectious feeling of ‘joie de vivre’ that permeates the air. Carnival beads are the decadent currency du jour. ‘Throw me something, mister!’ is the rallying cry of the reveling masses. Everywhere you look, the entire city is resplendent in purple, green and gold, the official colors of Mardi Gras. Purple stands for Justice, Gold stands for Power and Green stands for Faith. But make no mistake, no matter how long the parade or how loud the party, these three ideals form the foundation of daily life in New Orleans.
Of course Fantasy gets the ball rolling big with a massive Masquerade Party on opening night. Get in the spirit with a costume contest, dinner with open bar and live jazz. The Rally King and Queen will be chosen in accordance with the time-honored king cake tradition. Long may you reign whoever you are! As always, on all of their tours Fantasy offers a number of options at this Rally. A tempting option tonight (sorry ladies, this one’s for men only – krewe rules) is to join a krewe, ride a float, and succumb to the thrill of throwing beads!
Day 2 starts early and runs late. A comprehensive New Orleans guided city tour takes us to all points of interest. We’ll see not only the city’s highlights but experience the natural peace and beauty of its urban oases: Lake Ponchartrain, the Garden district and Audubon Park. We’ll visit the haunting above-ground cemeteries called ‘Cities of the Dead,’ and listen to chilling stories of voodoo, piracy and betrayal that would curl the hair of even Marie Laveau herself — the renowned Voodoo Queen. On a lighter note, we’ll gather in the charming French Quarter courtyard of Court of Two Sisters to savor the flavors and sounds of their famous Jazz Brunch. Our early round of evening parades rolls tonight with Krewe of Druids and Krewe of Nyx.
We second-line into Day 3 with a traditional New Orleans breakfast followed by a French Quarter Walking tour which gives us an insider’s peek behind the scenes into this city’s dark and delicious secrets. Three parades roll tonight – Krewe of Babylon, Krewe of Chaos and the Ladies Krewe of Muses!
We welcome Day 4 like the locals do with luscious square, French-style, donuts and coffee — (dark roasted with chicory) at Café Du Monde, one of New Orleans’ most revered landmarks. Afterwards, all aboard the regal Natchez, a steamboat paddle wheeler for a joyful jazz cruise on the mighty Mississippi River. Rest up and dress up for this evening’s Bal Masque Tableau: A formal presentation of a carnival krewe’s royal court. Enjoy a magical night to remember with cocktails, a formal dinner and dancing.
Day 5, stay alive! We’ll tour Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, the world’s largest float builder, and marvel at the surreal quality of the dark and silent floats before they come to life later that night. In between Mardi Gras madness, we sneak in a visit to the Louisiana Presbytere Museum. This architectural treasure features two exhibits of great interest to NOLA fans: ‘Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana’ and ‘Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond.’ Amidst all the fun we’re having, it’s a good opportunity to pause and reflect on the fact that we almost lost this irreplaceable city and culture to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Tonight is Mardi Gras’s main event as the mighty Krewe of Endymion rolls to and even through the magnificent Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Endymion is the largest krewe in New Orleans 3,100 riders strong. Their motto is, ‘Throw til it hurts.’
Sunday is still Sunday — even in New Orleans, even on Mardi Gras weekend. Fantasy greets the day with an optional non-denominational service at our RV resort. Afterwards, we head to the central business district to the National WW ll Museum. This museum, now the top-rated tourist destination in New Orleans, tells the story of the American experience in all arenas during World War ll.
Tonight we pay homage to Bacchus, the Roman god of Wine as the powerful Krewe of Bacchus rumbles through Uptown. ‘In Vino Veritas,’ is the not-so-secret password of this krazy krewe! Ever the rogue krewe, Bacchus continues to break rank with more than 100 years of carnival tradition by rolling on Sunday night and by annually choosing a national celebrity as their fearless leader.
In French it’s ‘Lundi,’ in New Orleans it’s ‘Lundi Gras,’ and everywhere else it’s just another dreaded start of the work week. We spend Lundi (aka Monday) on a hands-on, private tour of the Krewe of Thoth Den. Here’s a rare opportunity to see, feel and climb on Mardi Gras floats. The Krewe of Thoth began in 1947 with a mandate to roll on their parade route past 14 organizations in New Orleans that care for persons with disabilities and illnesses. With year-round events on the calendar, Thoth is not just another pretty parade on the Mardi Gras calendar. Now it’s proudly known as ‘an organization, a club, and a family.’ Meanwhile, Cajun Night comes to the RV resort with a full-on Cajun dinner and drinks, live band, and best of all – Cajun dance instructors! If this sounds like too much fun for you, take advantage of another Fantasy option tonight – Lundi Gras at Riverfront!
Fat Tuesday finally dawns/yawns with a full-day of even more Parades! Featured are Pete Fountain’s ‘Half-Fast Walking Club,’ Krewe of Zulu, Krewe of Rex (the King of Carnival) Krewe of Elks, Orleanians and Crescent City truck floats. We enjoy lunch, refreshments and the whole rolling spectacle from the Fantasy’s reserved seating on the primary parade route along St. Charles Avenue.
By now you may be wondering, ‘Who’s your Carnival King?’ on this rollicking Carnival ride? Your crazy concierge, expert RallyMaster and Serial FunMeister is Greg Bruce. Greg’s a proud native son of Louisiana and is bound to tell you he’s the personal ‘Friend of Every King of Every Mardi Gras!’ As your official Cajun spirit guide, Greg will introduce you to the local concept of ‘lagniappe’ (a little something extra) by treating you to a surprise or two during your stay in his beloved hometown.
A beautiful marina, villa and RV resort right on Lake Ponchartrain is your refuge from all the raucous rituals at the end of each evening. And what a sanctuary it is – full service, full hookups, and full fun! The RV resort even features a restaurant onsite and daily shuttles into the French Quarter.
This is your call to adventure — come dance in the beaded streets at the biggest party on the planet! Join us as we ‘roll with the good times’ in a riotous celebration of all things New Orleans: carnival, colors, costumes and cultures. Experience the crazy Cajun kaleidoscope of Mardi Gras in New Orleans that only Fantasy can show you.
To learn more about Mardi Gras: http://bit.ly/2nGupnh