The NO airport is actually in Kenner, LA., which is a suburb of NO. It's about 25-30 miles from the port of NO. I think I paid about $30.00 (plus tip) for a taxi several years ago, and the traffic was...um...er....busy. It took about 35-40 minutes to get from the airport to the pier. I was the only one in the taxi, and the rest were flying in separately.
Yes - there is a Carnival shuttle. There will be a Carnival rep. (depending on when your flight arrives, and only on the day of the cruise, unless you booked a pre-night hotel through Carnival) at the Baggage Claim area at the airport, and you can pay for your shuttle ticket through the rep. Not sure if it's $10.00 pp r/t or each way, though. I took a taxi because I flew in the day before the cruise, and didn't book my Canal St. hotel through Carnival.
okay cool... thanks for your guys' help! I'm not exactly sure if we're going to do that cruise from New Orleans yet or not... we may just stick with a cruise out of Miami like the usual... we're still planning... but this has helped if we do choose the cruise from New Orleans. Thanks again!