Thank you Jim and Nadine!
Actually, we cruised out of New Orleans twice this summer on the Carnival Elation, so we are certainly familiar with the Mississippi River portion of the trip. It was really neat standing up top during the sail away as we got to see the river for about an hour before we had to go get ready for dinner. We weren't out of the channel and into the gulf until about 12:30 am!
Well, I sure hope the construction is done, but having lived on the gulf coast for about 5 years now, I can tell you that no one seems to be in much of a hurry to get anything done, but we will see.