I haven't been in New Orleans since last March, 2012 to board the Voyager. The entire area THEN, was under construction (the terminal area), and at BEST, I would consider boarding and actually GETTING to the terminal as slow (we used RCL's bus to get there from the airport). Once inside the terminal, the lines were SLOW and long, since, at that time, they only had two or three metal detectors. On an earlier post I had said that it felt much like a cattle drive. The people helping us get through were nice and helpful, but didn't have much to work with, and seemed over whelmed at bit. Not currently knowing how the build has gone, or if it is even finished, I can't give you great advice. If someone else on here knows that the construction is finished, I'd listen to RCL (probably because the ship has gone from a long international cruise and needs to fully clear customs) and arrive a little earlier than they say, maybe 12:30 or so. If it's not done yet, I'd arrive early like normal. In March, we got on the bus around 9:30 at the airport, and didn't even come close to the ship until well past 11:30 due to construction. Not sure if I helped here, but at least it's a little info to help you decide. BTW, the first maybe 7 hours of the cruise is going down the river to get to the ocean, and the sights are sometimes pretty cool. On the way back, you will get a chance to see too all the oil well platforms in the gulf-strange but interesting.