Hi Judy! Leaving from New Orleans was a really neat experience. We arrived two days early and were able to go on a tour of the city, a boat trip in the bayou, etc. Of course, you can't miss Café Du Monde! The tour company we booked was Cajun Encounters. We booked it at the hotel.
We stayed at the Omni Royal Crescent Hotel on Gravier St. The location was perfect. The people who worked there were super nice. We noticed there is a Marriott right on Canal St. I have no idea how expensive that might be. I suppose it depends on the season.
I think you will enjoy experiencing New Orleans. It's so unique!