We hadn't been anywhere since February 2020. No boat, airplane or bus and after all our ocean and European cruises were cancelled, we decided to try this. My husband had read "Undaunted Courage" and always wanted to try the cruise on the Columbia/Snake River following the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The American Song was built in 2019 and was a pretty new ship. We flew to Spokane via Minneapolis. We were not told about the Hell's River jet boat add-on until it was too late. Before we left New York we testified that we were fully vaccinated. And three days before the trip we had PCR tests at CVS. The cruise line put us up at The Historic Davenport Hotel, built in 1914, very ornate and now run by Marriott. It was full of cruise passengers ( The American Queen also stays there) and weddings. The service and food were fine, but our room near the elevator and the size of a closet had the worst bed that we've ever slept in. It was the size of a double and mushy with the pillows falling in the 8 inch gap between the headboard and the mattress. The next morning we had to take a self administered antigen test. You needed a doctorate to figure it out. However, the cruise line had a nurse at the pier incase you botched it up. ( So far, very reassuring) After an included breakfast, we were bused an hour and a half to Clarkston and the boat. I would guess that there were approximately 160 passengers. After a day or so, most passengers pretended to wear a mask while walking around the boat or on the bus, even though they were asked repeatedly to wear them. There was only one wheelchair ( a woman who tripped and cut her leg while getting on a bus- a doctor from the town that the excursion was in, stitched her up). Although almost all people seemed to be in their late 60s to 80s, they were a spry bunch.
The room stewards and servers were young, shy 20 somethings and tried very hard. We always had clean towels. The Cabin was large as was the bathroom. Unfortunately, we had only two days of hot water in the shower. The other days, the water was barely warm. The Internet did not work and the TV cut out during a show. So since the cruise was very expensive, why would we say that we had a very good time? ( We signed up for another one while on board)! Well, we had a great table in the dining room. New York, Alabama and Colorado just found each other. We laughed so much that the server thought we came together. The food was Fabulous! The young chef out-did himself ( Sliced Duck breast, Surf and Turf, delicious desserts, yummy breakfasts, etc. ) you could have anything you wanted and even though there were usually only three choices at lunch and dinner they were always excellent. Two nights, wonderful entertainment was brought on ( a Rock and Roll pro and a singing, joke telling Cowboy). The other nights it was mostly the resident duo. Bill gave excellent entertaining lectures on Lewis and Clark. But the Best part was Cory ( the cruise director) and Olivia ( the tour director) who LOVE their jobs and made sure that every passenger was having a good time. Sign up pre-cruise for your excursions. Some need an extra payment and they sell out. The excursions were OK. Some places are still not open like the Pendleton Mills. But the Scenery is Amazing. We stayed after the cruise in Portland at the lovely The Nines Hotel. We ate most meals there. We had a private guide, the excellent Kieron Weidner of First Nature. Portland is in a beautiful setting but the smashed storefronts and homeless made me sad.