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Suddenly it was Chattanooga!

 
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:53 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 793
Default Suddenly it was Chattanooga!

Another fantastic trip on the Legendary One...though it started with what seemed an extreme inconvience that actually turned out to be a blessing.

Deb and I had flown to Cincy on the 27th, picked up the rental car for a 4 day "local" rental, met up with Pat Traynor who flew in later, and the three of us headed to Louisville for the weekend festivities. Drove to Jo Ann Schoen's office to view her steamboat collection at her office (impressive!), then off to her house in Corydon for the weekend. An even more impressive steamboat collection at the house! That night we heard via voicemail that the Ohio and the Wabash had this mutual problem and Majestic had changed the trip to start in Chattanooga instead of Cincy. So we called Alamo rental about taking the car one-way to Chattanooga...No problem Mr. Krause, it'll just cost you an arm and a leg.

Anyways, Judy Patsch's Streckfus presentation at the Howard was wonderful and seeing all our river friends was great too. I found I will need to research this large company as Judy piqued my interest alot. Two trips on the Belle of Louisville, one on an extremely windy day that caused some turn around and landing problems for the Belle, a great dinner at the Kingfish with friends, a great dinner at the Overlook (WHAT A VIEW!) with more friends, another great dinner at the Doe Run Inn. All of us were a tad disappointed to not be able to visit the DQ in Louisville on the 29th as well as chase her up the river a bit to Madison...Monday the 30th, that night, none of us could agree on when to leave in the morning for the drive to Chattanooga. Though we argued that we ought to leave that night, smarter heads prevailed and we left for the boat about 6 AM July 1st. What a beautiful drive to Chattanooga, Kentucky and Tennessee are breathtaking in spots. Got to the boat about 1, dropped Deb and Pat and luggage off and with Jo Ann as navigator managed to get from the boat to the airport to drop off the car. The TV interview with Pat and Deb was as they were getting on the boat for the first time.

The trip was fantastic, great weather though very hot, on an extremely pretty river. The route/river changes were a blessing. Deb and I love the Ohio but the Tennessee is just so perfectly small. Had a special treat on the 4th as Capt and pilots managed to juggle speeds and departure times so that we could be at Florence, Alabama just at the right time to see their impressive fireworks display...beautiful from the river. The boat was full, there was talk of a few cabins being empty, and you can usually tell at night which cabins are empty, it didn't appear to me that any were. The boat looks good with even more/new tables and chairs added to the Texas side decks, I counted 6 new tables. Food was great with southern items basically on 75% of the dinner menus. Wait and bar staff was very short handed with other officers helping out every night, however the earlier reports of slow delivery/cold food I didn't really notice.

now the news...hot dogs are back! the second line with the Delta Dancing Dandies is back...the swearing in of the members of Vox Calliopus with it's usual chuckles/humor is back...the announcement that the night time calliope concert with the Aurora Effect and the subsequent "ooohhhs" are back...And Mississippi Mud Pie is back...and we played Bingo 4 times versus once on recent trips...and for the "takeaways", no more lobster tails, coffee/juice/danish are no longer offered as morning room service, it's now a wake-up knock only...and as Ginny Rhynders reported earlier, the "midnight" buffet is no more...and the little refrigerator with plastic sandwiches in the Forward Cabin Lounge is gone, which I always thought was a bit silly anyway.

Most on the boat were repeaters, we just about filled the Orleans, though for most repeaters this was their second trip because as they thought it will be the last year. A lot of discussions and one presentation about the ridiculousness of the stalled exemption... I know I talked to groups at least a few times each day as did Jo Ann. The word IS getting out as quite a few already knew about the Oberstar/Union connection.

The Discovery Guide Mary Charlton had some new talks, and her older talks have evolved/been refined through the years into greatness. Engine room visits are now allowed only when stopped, a maximum of 4 people at a time guided by Mary. I'm at a total loss for this silly bunch of rules considering I could stay in the engine room of the Belle of Louisville all day if I choose. I gotta add to the irony that the Belle carries 1500 without sprinklers and is legal yet the DQ with sprinklers is illegal with 50, but I know I'm preaching to the choir. Gotta ask, what does "overnight" have to do with safety?

Mo, Darryl, Lloyd and Steven were the only veterans in the Orleans, Joyce was chef, Paul, Jonena, Pat Taylor, AnneMarie and Anne were officers, Bob Stevens was cruise director. And my favorite, Walter Kross and his band were providing the music. It was great to have AnneMarie back from her detour on the AQ.

Was hoping to ride the Magnolia Belle in Paducah but she was nowhere in sight. Gotta do some research on that one. The Coast Guard visited us just before Paducah, as they always seem to do in that area with their stupid-fast rigid inflatables (Come on...450 horsepower of Hondas on the back of an RIB? Thank YOU for spending my tax dollars that way! Do you really need to do 80 on the river, my estimate?).

The company has run out of comment cards, which to me, at this stage, what is the point of the cards anyways? But the crew were genuinely concerned that they wouldn't have feedback. You gotta love the crew, they're just the best. And one more thing, the prices for drinks in the Texas have gone up, a lot, our bar tab was beyond its usual embarrassment. Daily special drinks and the morning Vodka drinks are typically $4 now.

And for the engineering geeks out there like me...downbound on the Ohio between Paducah and Cairo, with 8 rpm at the wheel we were doing 10.3 MPH. We turned downbound into the raging Mississippi with some boat rocking just as we entered. Below Cairo with the same 8 rpm wheel turns, the ol' gal was doing 13.4 mph. yee-haa!

Anyways, we had a ball, both in Louisville and on the Delta Queen. Good friends, great times.

Last edited by Bruno Krause; 07-11-2008 at 01:11 PM.
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