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Old 01-01-2008, 10:02 AM
Bruno Krause Bruno Krause is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 793
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Ok, I gotta add a bit to this...yesterday, we had a brand new transmitter head installed on our satellite dish, and thankfully we are no longer dot.org challenged.

We had a great time. I think the thing that really got to us is that the crew, which was made up with quite a few present and former DQ crew, went out of their way to seek us out and to make Deb and me feel comfortable. There are also AQ crew that have siblings working on the DQ and they had been "warned" ahead of time that Deb and me were going to be on board and to seek us out. Wonderful, wonderful people.

The entertainment was in a word, INCREDIBLE and Deb and I had a problem toward the last few nights of the cruise as to whether we were to go to Phyllis's entertainment, or in the case of the Pajama Party, whether to go to Phil Westbrook's entertainment in the Engine Room Bar as he specifically asked us to be there, the theme being "Couples" and how they came to meet...Between Bob Schad, Jazzou, Phil Westbrook, Lewis Hankins doing Twain, always fantastic, and Ed Taylor with his wonderful Cajun humor, and Gabe and Cindy and of course Helen Prater, there was ALWAYS something fantastic going on (dontcha just go crazy hearing "Dill Pickles"? And Helen doing Glenn Miller, mmm, mmm, yummy). But the one entertainer that should get a standing ovation in my mind was Paul Penta as he was a mere humble paying passenger, yet he went out of his way to provide his talents, for free, zilch, nada. I've never heard "Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans" done as torch before, wonderful stuff, and Paul, yes, it's still there inside my head. Phil, your "Louie, Louie", twice I might add, was just great, you made me smile, and if anybody hasn't heard the story/song "North to Paducah" that Phil does, its very funny, funny stuff, and great recent steamboat "history". And Phil also did a show, "By Request", that just knocked Deb's and my socks off. And it was curious to us that Bobby Durham's band sounded so much better, richer, fuller, warmer in the Grand Saloon than down in the Orleans...somebody at the Captain's Bar played the Delta Queen Waltz, I forgot who, I had to leave...same with Phyllis's "Ohio", awful misty all of a sudden...

The food was good, and better than earlier this year, definitely more "southern" choices are now available. It was nice to have two soup selections at lunch again. And it was nice to have salads again that looked like salads should, at least most nights. And it was nice to have two mornings with made to order omelets. But some of the bar hors d'ouevres (lovingly referred to as "Sara Moldies") were still quite silly (come on, spinach balls? pluheeasse...and you can deep six anything with caviar, OK?), though in all fairness all weren't as silly as they were on the DQ the first half of the season. Deb and I didn't care for the semi-assigned seating at breakfast and lunch... And of course I gained 5 pounds...

The boat itself is lovely, very tastefully decorated, you could spend a whole day just studying the gorgous antiques. Our room (an E) was huge in comparison to what we are used to on the DQ, yet clothes storage was about the same or even a little less than our beloved DQ "G". One of the things that got to Deb and me is that the boat has so many "hidy holes" as Deb calls them, that we would lose each other for long periods of time. And the stairs up to our room on deck 4 got to be a bit much, especially bringing coffee up to Deb in the morning. The AQ is smoother than the DQ underway, the only vibration I felt was in the Engine Room Bar. The other thing that can sneak up on you is how gawd awful big she is...as an example when we docked at the Paper Clip in Baton Rouge the back half of the Kidd was right in front of our stateroom door! Getting to and from places takes a bit more time.

And now the rest of the story to my new friend the Bear...The first afternoon after Phil played Louie, Louie for me on the calliope (which is a lot LOUDER than the DQ's, why is that?) that was obviously warmth challenged with sour cold whistles, I asked Phil if he knew you and the Redhead, which he said he did, and would he please point you two out to me and Deb, as I didn't want the same thing that happened in March to happen again. The next thing I know, that night everybody is coming into the Engine Room Bar after the show (Deb and I skipped the first night's Grand Saloon entertainment) saying how the entertainers had turned up the house lights and asked where you two and Deb and I were in the crowd."EVERYBODY IS LOOKING FOR YOU". Say what? We obviously weren't there, a tad embarrasing, oh well...That was all Phil's doing, not exactly what we had intended. Deb was all "we should have gone, if we only had known he was going to do that, we should have been there..."

The American Queen is a lovely, charming, warm boat...She ain't no DQ, but she's a great second choice and she does indeed have her many, many charms. We would cruise on her again in a heartbeat...

Last edited by Bruno Krause; 01-01-2008 at 10:09 AM.
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