It was a fun cruise and a surprise in that we couldn't sail from our original St. Paul, MN, point of departure. Since the water was too low on the upper Mississippi, the company repositioned our Queen to Cincinnati. We stayed overnight at the RiverCenter Marriott the night before we sailed. Great restaurant on site, too.
Amazingly, our weather was comfy for our cruise--mostly in the 70's--and we didn't get any rain, except during our tour of the Jim Beam distillery outside of Louisville. Once we were ready to reboard our bus, the rain just about ceased. Afternoon tea was served at 3:30 each day...I forgot to mention the warm cookies at 10 each morning, if we stayed on board.
With open seating, our dining was just delicious & the staff was energetic and very cheerful. Our chef was great. Every night before 6:30 dinner, we had an open bar--the drinks were primo! I haven't gotten on my scales yet but I did use the stairs instead of the elevator. We all enjoyed entertainment each evening after dinner, too. Different musicians came on board. The Monarchs did fabulous '60s music and a lot of people danced their feet off.
Our room was nice with a little balcony. The bath was adequate, with a noisy toilet which seems to be the case on all cruising ships. We were cautioned not to flush anything but t.p. as the last time somebody did that, it threw the entire toilet system off for 3 hours.
We had some Special guest cruisers. One was long-time actor Richard Garey. He lives in Hannibal, MO, and has been performing as Mark Twain for over 40 years. He meandered all over the ship, and dined with us several times. This man is just wonderful! He channels Mark Twain beautifully. We all got a real thrill over having him on our ship. He entertained us with speeches and was happy to discuss his life on the Mississippi just as if he really were Samuel L. Clemens.
Another actor was Doug Weeks: doing a light-house keeper (his actual true great-great grandfather); a traveling trader along the Mississippi; George Westinghouse, with all of these roles done "in costume." Same with Mark Twain, in a white suit...very charming.
Dan The Banjo Man gave lessons on banjo playing and spoke at different times about the music and types of banjos used to delight us all.
We had a riverlorian, Mike, who knew more about the Ohio River than we could believe--he was just fascinating. We even went up at midnight to see the Pleiades meteor showers.
The last day, we docked in St. Louis and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon bus tour around the city, enjoying the old beautiful homes, history of the city, and a stop at Anheuser Busch's brewery & home of the Budweiser Clydesdales. They are magnificent animals! Their stables are probably cleaner than my home.
Our cruise was 7 nights and I highly recommend it to anyone that loves our rivers and gets a thrill out of seeing our history. The amazing Ohio really developed our early Northwest Territory & it was fun to imagine being an early settler!
Our ports of call: Madison, IN; Louisville, KY; Henderson, KY; Paducah, KY; & St. Louis, MO.
Here's some neat sites:
I hope some day you go! We had such a good time that we've signed up to do an ACL Fall Colors cruise up the Hudson River in October.