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Old 10-11-2006, 08:41 PM
Greg Weber Greg Weber is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Muscatine, Iowa
Posts: 74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear View Post
For many years I have been trying to get to TAll Stacks without success. This year the redhead and I finally made it as passengers aboard the DQ.
One of my great dreams came true and it was just as exciting as I had imagined it would be.

The DQ appeared to be in excellent shape. Clean and well maintained. The crew seemed to be up beat and happy to be on the Boat. I did not hear a discouraging word from any of the crew members. Some that I have known for years were very candid about change taking place a bit roughly but all had expectations of it getting better for next year. I had about five minutes with Captain Gabe as he departed the DQ for a month in Colorado. All seems to be going very well with him. Captain Mike Williams relieved Captain Gabe and was his normal cheerful, competent self. He is doing very well.

The sad news was Bob Schadd. Bob was departing the DQ unexpectedly after having emergency surgery for a detached retina. The prognosis is very good that he will regain full vision but he has to take it very easy for some time to come. Eric Hadley was a bit nervous taking over as cruise director since both Jazzou and Bob had departed unexpectedly before him. Eric did his usual great job. Banjo Bob is doing well and is always fun to be around. He said he hears from Bud Black once in a while but it's always about music and nothing about how Bud is doing. The really great news is that our own Mary has risen through the ranks of bartender, watchman, and is now the riverlorean. She is very good at it especially since Cincinatti is her home turf.
She is toying with the idea of trying to move over into the deck department and work her way up to a Captain's license. The redhead has her Master's ticket and Mary spent a lot of time picking her brain about what it's like to be a female captain.

Due to high water, the MQ and DQ were not able to dock in the Tall Stacks area but rather had to stay at a park upstream. They bused us to the Tall Stacks area which worked out rather well. It would have been nice to dock in the TS compound but Mother Nature just wasn't going for it. I had seen old pictures of lots of steamboats lined up on a shoreline but seeing it for real was incredible. I agree that it would have been really nice to be able to tour the boats in the morning and maybe that will happen in the future. I didn't have any problems with the emphasis on entertainment; I just ignored it and stayed in the docking area. Watching the boats coming and going was awesome.

The parade of Boats was both the high point and the low point of the event.
Seeing all the Boats lined up and steaming at the same time was beyond description. The low point came when one of the boats decided they wanted to lead the parade and passed other boats despite direction from control and the other boats not to do it. I'm sure there was some really good reason for that. My experience is blue water not brown water so I'm not sure how proper or improper it might have been.

In any event, Tall Stacks exceeded all of my high expectations. The only thing that would have made it better would have been to have met some of the fine folks on this list. I found the DQ to be maintaining her high standards but I do agree that there should be 6 musicians in the band. I did however, eat Mississippi Mud Pie at the Captain's dinner and again at lunch the next day.

Bear
Hi All,
My wife and I have enjoyed many previous trips aboard the DQ, including the previous Tall Stacks in '03. This year we decided it was time to introduce steamboatin to our 12 and 13 year old children. We all had a good time. Our son, Max, has been very interested in steam engines of all types since almost day one, so naturally, he spent vast amounts of time in the engine room where he was made very welcome and was educated by the finest. It meant the world to him. The galley crew did their usual great job fattening us all up, Mud Pie included, and the waitstaff was wonderful, as always. Also, I agree with Bear that Eric Hadley performed flawlessly as cruise director. As far as the overall condition of the boat goes, I did find some areas of concern. Paint peeling badly on the Texas Lounge ceiling, our cabin door held shut with velcro, due to a malfunctioning latch, and, there comes a time when adding yet another coat of paint on top of a dozen or so others is not the right thing to do. It's time to strip. A prime example are the benches outside the Forward cabin. There's so many coats of paint on these that the slats have nearly become one. Like many, we found the entertainment most disappointing. Banjo Bob, Tony Schwartz, and Walter did fine, but, without the brass, it just doesn't work. I am still in disbelief that I experienced canned music in the Orleans Room and the Texas Lounge! Somewhere, Vic and Ma Tooker are spinning in their graves. I greatly missed the afternoon dixieland jazz concerts in the Texas, and my bar bill reflected that! That situation must be remedied, and soon! One can only hope that the new owners will address this issue, pronto! One other distressing fact was that no one was given comment cards. When I enquired at the Purser's office I was informed that these were omitted on charters! This made no sense to me whatsoever. Are they saying that they don't care what charter passengers think of their experience? Over all, we enjoyed the trip, but will wait awhile until booking another until we see how the new owners perform. We will be watching.
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