I was on the American Jazz from Nashville to Memphis from July 9-July 17. This cruise has been disappointing from day one. My wife and I took the precruise package and stayed at the Marriott with tickets for the Grand Ole Oprey. We were supposed to meet in the lobby at 5:00 for hor d’erves and cocktails. There was none. When we arrived at the lobby we were rushed onto the bus only to sit and wait an hour for late arrivals. It wasn’t until my wife told Talisha, the person in charge, that this is unacceptable that the bus finally left. We later learned from crew members that this was not the first time this happened. Recommendations have been made to the corporate office but they don’t seem to take their employees’ advice. Grand Ole Oprey is wonderful.
The food on the boat was pretty awful. The French Onion soup was so salty it was inedible. One night carrots and green beans were served and they were burned. It should not have even left the kitchen. We ordered a pizza from the outdoor deck and it was burnt. We showed the gentleman behind the counter and asked him if he would be able to eat something that burned? We tried the salmon and it was poor quality fish that was too dry to eat. Some of the other dinners were inedible.
Everyone that works on the boat is from different parts of the country. The reason why I mention this is that there is definitely a breakdown of communication. If you decide to take this cruise be sure to clarify what is said and the person you are talking to understands you - example- While in Paducah I asked our tour manager, Talisha, if she could arrange transportation to the Walgreens pharmacy about 20 blocks away. (Keep in mind that this cruise is advertised in AARP so it is a senior cruise. As a matter of fact, I am 71 and I can safely say that I am the youngest passenger on the boat. I am sure other passengers would have appreciated the availability of an outing to Walgreens and I attempted to explain this to Talisha). Talisha tells us she has a bus going to the pharmacy but it will make an extra stop. Little did we know that the bus was going to Walmart, not Walgreens, about 20 minutes away and that the crew members on the bus had a shopping list to fill at Walmart, stop at the liquor store, stop at the auto parts store and don’t forget Tuesday Morning (a home furnishings store). That trip cost us 2 hours of our vacation time. There was an assistant manager on the bus. Unfortunately, I don’t recall his name. He listened tentatively to our concerns and assured us that he would bring it to Mason’s (the director) attention. I am sure he did. Mason not only did not address the matter but went out of his way to avoid conversation with us.