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Kites not steamboats but interesting

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Old 04-05-2007, 08:28 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On the "Beautiful Ohio" at New Albany, Indiana, opposite Louisville, Kentucky
Posts: 2,078

Thanks Lil! I have no idea when the word "cruises" started being used in reference to riverboat trips, but I do have some old Greene Line brochures for the GORDON C. GREENE which have GREENE LINE STEAMBOAT CRUISES emblazoned on the front, as well as some for STEAMBOAT VACATIONS. Several brochures and cards for the GOLDEN EAGLE proclaim GLORIOUS RIVER TRIPS. However, I have a large framed poster (see attached photo) for the Eagle Packet Company advertising RIVER CRUISES in huge black and red lettering for the GOLDEN EAGLE which sank in 1947, so the term apparently does go back a bit.

There's currently a 1960 DELTA QUEEN brochure on EBAY which has RIVER CRUISES on it. I'll take a look through my collection of brochures and advertising from other older boats to see if we can determine when the term cruises came into use on the river. Regardless of whatever term is used, it's a sure bet that all of us never fail to have a fabulous time when aboard a steamboat!

As you said so well, many of us "older folks" grew up with different terminology. When I was on the BELLE, it was always amusing when passengers tried to impress the crew with their "nautical knowledge" and used lingo (e.g. wheelhouse, helm, above, below, crow's nest, etc.) that just didn't apply to that grand old sternwheeler steamboat. The most common one was "Where is the HEAD?" One night a man charged up to the purser's office and (judging from his movements and crossed eyes he was obviously in great need!) bellowed that question. When I pointed toward the bow of the boat, he screamed, "Don't play games with me son, I've got to GO!" I replied, "Sir, you'll find the restrooms on this deck at the stern of the boat, but the HEAD is where you boarded the BELLE this evening!" He uttered some curse words and hastily ran aft through the cabin, zig zagging through the crowd on the dancefloor!
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Last edited by Keith Norrington; 04-05-2007 at 01:30 PM.
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