I wanted to learn more about life on the lower Mississippi now compared to Huck Finn's era, the use of paddle boats and southern plantations. Embarkation was smooth, luggage was treated well and delivered promptly. Disembarkation was very early in the morning and luggage must be in the hall before going to bed on the last night. There were five decks and an 8 person elevator that serve them all. Only 30 percent of the 8 days was ship movement, mostly at night, on this trip. The average age of the 147 passengers was about 65 with the youngest at age 26 year. Thus, not much entertainment for children.
Attractions were: Tour of the pilot's room, entertainment every evening, all costs aboard ship were included, NO tipping on the ship, motor coaches pre-arranged for on shore attractions. Admission to on shore sites were of three price categories:
1. Included such as Vicksburg Civil War battlefield admission
Roomy, excellent layout, very sensible furniture always clean.
Excellent docents with small groups of 25 visitors, period furniture, able to roam the property with a map of interesting sites, restaurant and souvenir shop.
An original plantation with 90% original furniture, refurbished plantation home history of cotton farming.
A site that still removes the seeds and bails cotton for local growers for market. It has done this since about the 1850s, thus has a replica of Eli Whitney's original hand operated cotton gin and the only remaining steam powered gin in the U.S. The site still grows cotton but it is a seasonal crop and now highly mechanized. They have also rescued several slave cabins so the tour goes into slave life in the South with furniture, manikins, tools, household furnishings and songs used during the period to tell slaves when it was safe to travel through an area.