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-   -   The Mississippi Queen-the forgotten one... (http://www.steamboats.org/forum/river-talk-cruises/2575-mississippi-queen-forgotten-one.html)

Bruno Krause 10-25-2008 03:55 PM

The Mississippi Queen-the forgotten one...
 
Gotta huge question. Some of us saw the painful, ugly pictures after the Mississippi Queen was 'lightened', after the contactor removed many of her inside staterooms. I had also heard that the firm contracted to make the Mississippi Queen into THE flagship, ripping out 1/4 of these staterooms to make the remaining staterooms [B][I]uber[/I][/B] luxury, walked off the job, just as demolition was nearing completion, due to lack of payment due after performing this portion of the contract.

Now, since then the Mississippi Queen has sat there very forlorn, for a long, long time, consuming electricity and running up dock fees... is it too much of a stretch to imagine she has a 24 hour watchman, too?

So is there a lien presently on the Mississippi Queen? Lien to pay the contractor PLUS to pay the docking fees?

We've always like the Miss Cue and hope nothing but the best for her... but it does seem kinda like she's beyond hope now? Speaking of hope, I pray that I'm wrong...

john reid 10-25-2008 05:45 PM

Odd this question comes up today. I have just read on another list I belong to and need to make perfectly clear that this is, as of now, an UNVERIFIED rumor, that purports that the now stripped MQ will 'soon' be towed upriver and cut down into a barge. The person posting this also says that this is from a 'very reliable source' whatever this means in the internet age.

I have heard repeatedly that the damage done to the MQ with this ill-conceived and unfinished refit will cost many many tens of millions of dollars to correct and that, not surprising in this climate, that there is now a huge and ever-growing problem with mold. Sadly, given health concerns, I would venture that just eradicating the mold would be prohibitive to any future buyer.

Even if the cutting down to a barge part is not true, the current condition of the MQ epitomizes all that I have come to, and let me find the right word here, HATE about Ambassadors International and their stewardship: They are CARELESS, stupid and inept. All MQ really needed was a refurbishment since she was full 'as is' with many loyal repeat customers. The crazy idea that she needed to be rebuilt into some kind of luxury vessel was nuts from day one.

When the pathetic obituary of Ambassadors International cruise venture is written, look at the scorecard. . .

-AQ laid up despite overall good bookings, sale of her is harder since few investors want to buy something with no business (future bookings) on the books.

-DQ, exemption failed since company never cared and did not even really try

-MQ destroyed, possibly never to run again.

And, in perfect current fashion, the CEO gets a bonus.

With astonishment at this trail of destruction,

John Reid

inactive user 02 10-25-2008 07:52 PM

Hey all!

I wanted to post a few pics here for us to take a moment to remember the MISSISIPPI QUEEN by.

Many wags have said she wasn't the prettiest steamboat or even the best laid out. I can say as a former crew member, the MISSISSIPPI QUEEN was a great boa! She had a look all to her own and she attracted thousands of regular passengers. The DELTA QUEEN made the business for the former owners and the MISSISSIPPI QUEEN made alot of the money to keep the family going. So much so that one owner went for broke and built the AMERICAN QUEEN...not to mention the other boats.

Say what you will about the MISSISSIPPI QUEEN...but the two years I worked on her proved that steamboat fans supported her and learned the ropes of being a steamboat fan from her. She was my second favourite boat to work on in the fleet. I take great pride in the work I did on her and the experience to hone my skills on her decks. for with out her I would have never had the great career or experience I did aboard the DELTA QUEEN.

My hopes these rumors are not true and some day we get the family back together again on the Mississippi River system where they belong!

Yesterday I said good bye for now to the DELTA QUEEN and that was emotional as hell. Today I hear this and can only hope my prayers, letters, and support are not for naught....for things look pretty bleak from my prospective.

SAVE THE DELTA QUEEN!

~Travis~

inactive user 02 10-25-2008 07:55 PM

Here are a few more pics from my personal collection of early MQ days.

Judy Patsch 10-25-2008 08:37 PM

When we cruised by her in June on the NATCHEZ, a watchman came out on deck to check us out, so I presume they have someone on 24 hours, since its in an accessible area.

Paul Penta 10-25-2008 08:39 PM

[QUOTE=Travis Vasconcelos;13279]Many wags have said she wasn't the prettiest steamboat or even the best laid out. I can say as a former crew member, the MISSISSIPPI QUEEN was a great boat!
~Travis~[/QUOTE]

Hi Trav,

I have to echo your sentiments about the MQ. Having worked the AQ, DQ and the EON, I too approached the MQ with some trepidation based on what I had heard about her. And yes, she did present some challenges, but in thinking about it, the AQ and DQ also are not perfect from a crew standpoint.

Sorry folks, I'm talking strictly from a crew standpoint here. While I came to love the Mother Ship as much as the rest of you, I really missed having my own bathroom on the DQ.

The Magnificent One is bigger than the DQ, but she is chock full of small spaces and being a big fan of nooks and crannies I found that appealing. The Antlers Bar is a cozy place to hang out and have a beverage, for instance. The front lobby area is nice, sunny and quiet and affords a cozy, peaceful place to watch the river out the forward windows without the hub bub of the Front Porch of America.

I could, however, have done without the tiny entertainment office, having developed strained neck muscles from trying to do the Steamboatin' Times in a contorted position.

The thing is, though, it's not so much the boat, but the people, crew and pax. We all hung together in much the same manner as the DQ. I can't explain it. Maybe it's because so many of us were on the "extended" rotation in 2006, but there was a cohesion that developed and added to her special charm.

2006 was a tough year for the MQ and I was looking forward to taking her back out in 2007, refurbished and with a chance to prove again to the steamboatin' world that she has class and her own unique style.

But they didn't give us a chance to do that.

So, Save the Legendary Delta Queen,
Hail the Grand American Queen and
Long live the Magnificent Mississippi Queen - in our hearts if not on the river.

Paul

Matthew Dow 10-26-2008 12:06 AM

3 Attachment(s)
When I was in New Orleans this past winter, I walked over to Perry Street (right wharf?) where she and the Delta Queen were, and asked if I could get some pictures. They, of course, said no, but I went out and got some anyway. So Judy, you are right by saying that they have people posted over there for security.

inactive user 02 10-26-2008 11:53 AM

Matt,

Thank you for posting those pics of the MISSISSIPPI QUEEN. She looks very good in your pictures from the stern. It is amazing how well she had held up to that time, at least in her external look. However, eagle-eyed spotters will notice she does not have her pitman arms attached. As well her wheel is not trimmed, just painted red. I wonder if her wheel has been rolled in the last 24 months? If not, is there any bucket board left under the water? Her railings are missing in the Calliope Bar. Upon close inspection you will see clearly she is in peril in this picture.

Today she looks much the same from a distance. However, close up she is almost scary. The black mold on the interior is growing down from the ceiling on every stantion. Rust is running down her superstructure. Former bright red and yellow paint have a chalky faded appearance. The stage is missing off the bow. Her stacks folded and rusted.

Lets hope these rumors are wrong and she comes back to the rivers where she belongs. Things sure look bleak at the moment....but, they can change!

~Travis~

inactive user 02 10-26-2008 11:58 AM

Paul,

Do you remember the conversation we had on the MISSISSIPPI QUEEN the last night of the 2006 cruising season? One has to wonder what could have been if I had come along with you over there and there had been a 2007 season.

We'd have made a great team over there!

Of course, I was blessed to go back to my beloved DELTA QUEEN. Of all my years Steamboatin' 2007 was the hardest. 2008 started well enough and as luck would have it, I found myself on the outside looking in.

Godspeed to whom ever buys the boats.....may we all sail together on the rivers again in 2009!

You know what they say....what doesn't kill us makes us steamboaters!

Or did I say that?

~Travis~

Paul Penta 10-26-2008 12:09 PM

[QUOTE=Travis Vasconcelos;13294]Paul,

Do you remember the conversation we had on the MISSISSIPPI QUEEN the last night of the 2006 cruising season? One has to wonder what could have been if I had come along with you over there and there had been a 2007 season.

We'd have made a great team over there!

~Travis~[/QUOTE]

Hi Trav,

Yeah, I remember. Would have been fun, for sure. But "might have been" and "would have been" are phrases upon which we need not dwell.

"Will be", I think, is a much more productive sentiment, don't you agree?

Paul


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