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-   -   American duchess, city of new orleans (http://www.steamboats.org/forum/river-talk-cruises/5712-american-duchess-city-new-orleans.html)

Judy Patsch 07-25-2017 06:56 PM

American duchess, city of new orleans
 
Spoke to Doc today. He says the AMERICAN DUCHESS nee Isle of Capri of the AQ Co. is now at the Perry St. Wharf in NOLA. He is invited to its christening next week. So unlike the questionable status of several other casino-to-overnight conversions, this one has been completed, which not only includes the interior renovations but the installation of a working paddlewheel and accoutrements. I'm sure this achievement is due in large part to Gary Frommelt, who is a VP of some rank at AQ and in charge of this metamorphosis. Many of you know Gary as Chief Engineer on the DQ and the NATCHEZ, before he joined various casino boat companies and finally the AQ Co.
And as to the conversion of the CASINO ROCK ISLAND to a dinner/excursion boat CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, several pictures were posted on Facebook today of that work. I assume Matt Dow was responsible for those pix..Last I heard they are aiming for opening for the French Quarter Festival/Jazz Fest month of April next year.
So there are at least 2 success stories out there regarding former gambling boats.

Judy Patsch 07-25-2017 06:57 PM

Ok why did my title in all caps come out in lower case
 
I typed the names of the boats in all caps, and it ends up in all lower case....grr.

Carmen 07-26-2017 02:44 AM

Last I read is that the christening was scheduled for August 14th in NOLA. Godmother is Marissa Waggoner.

Carmen

R. Dale Flick 07-26-2017 09:52 AM

*AMERICAN DUCHESS/CITY OF NEW ORLEANS*
Steamboating colleagues,
Thanks much, Judy, for your informative postings above as I didn't know much about the boats and what has been going on. Yet, as I 'sniff the air' where new overnight passenger cruise boats are concerned, I note my list here of vessels already in service, those being rebuilt and others being proposed. This something remarkable for our inland rivers compared to cruise boats overnight on European rivers--even now in China and South America. With the world political situation more people turning to blue water ocean and river trips. These vessels may not be all pure steam but the present cruise public, with their disposable income, expect the modern amenities, facilities up to date. These vessels modern, economical to operate in a most expensive operation. Keep us posted. *I understand some of our river crowd recently cruised the Ohio on the AMERICAN QUEEN but, so far, no reports of their trips.

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

Judy Patsch 07-26-2017 03:01 PM

So how did you get your title in all caps????
 
I see you were able to get the boats' names in all caps, but my attempt failed. Oh well....I still don't see the market to support all the boats that have been announced as going into our overnight trade, but of course not all announced will actually appear. And in the case of the LOUISIANE, she made one trip and has been tied up in Gretna ever since. Admittedly many Americans are choosing to stay within their borders, giving a bigger market. And I can see the boats doing well their first year, maybe even their second. But what I question is the amount of repeat business they will have - most DQ pax that I encountered, even though a generation ago, who had the money for today's fares were of the 'we'll do it once and move on' type. They weren't the die hard repeaters of our ilk or previous generations, and I suspect that is the case of today's wealthier customer base. I just don't see a boat loyalty/bond developing which would guarantee passengers returning year after year for multiple cruises. Maybe I'm wrong, hope so. The other major concern I have for this multitude of boats is what is happening now: floods, high water, conditions forcing whole itineraries to be changed. Think back to the DQ years: how many trips did she have to completely reroute? None in my 1973-83 days! Yet look at the poor AQ: this is the third consecutive year her UMR schedule has been shot to smithereens. And it isn't her size - the DQ wouldn't have made it under our bridge either. Just think of the money involved in having to reroute, reschedule, reimburse passengers, provide transportation to real endpoint, etc. And how many people would be willing to try again once they've had one trip wiped out? Yes, we would, and there would be some today. But not all would cheerfully say: That's steamboating! The only positive thing about all the boats having to stay in the same locale: we could get some old-timey shots of multiple boats docked in a port!

Jim Blum 07-26-2017 03:36 PM

Totally off topic the MV America was in St Louis yesterday and left Southbound approx. 1235 this afternoon. Didn't see anyone out on deck, which could be understandable due to meal time ? and the brutally hot/humid day (my car was showing 102f).

Somewhat disappointing to me was that when she backed out she only went about two boat lengths up river before rounding up and heading downriver---did not go up past the arch to roundfile:///F:/DCIM/122_PANA/P1220460.JPG up just under Eads Bridge.

Richard Reiff 07-27-2017 10:44 AM

Trip report from AQ - hopefully in a few weeks
 
Hi Dale:

Seems no one posts trip reports on this site anymore, hopefully I will be able to do so starting next week. With a "good deal" (ie, low cost option that we could afford), we signed up for the July 30 RT out of Red Wing, only to get an urgent message this week that it is now departing out of St. Louis. With a promise to pay for airline changefees, we made flight changes and will meet the AQ in Alton next week, with a target of ending up in Red Wing. Actually a better itinerary than the original, at least in my view. Those that have been on the AQ before know that the internet is usually worthless, so it may be a blackout period until we get back.

I do miss the frequent updates on steamboat trips, in fact, we did not know of the potential reroute until a day before we received the official news. Checking a riverboat tracking site we noted the AQ was in Chester the day it was supposed to be in Hannibal, thus we knew something was wrong. Turns out there were several reroutes prior, but living in land locked (river locked) Colorado we never hear about things on the big rivers.

Should be interesting to see how the "blue water" folks respond to everyday Riverboatin' events such as reroutes. For us it is part of the adventure, for others, maybe not so much.





[QUOTE=R. Dale Flick;36639]*AMERICAN DUCHESS/CITY OF NEW ORLEANS*
Steamboating colleagues,
Thanks much, Judy, for your informative postings above as I didn't know much about the boats and what has been going on. Yet, as I 'sniff the air' where new overnight passenger cruise boats are concerned, I note my list here of vessels already in service, those being rebuilt and others being proposed. This something remarkable for our inland rivers compared to cruise boats overnight on European rivers--even now in China and South America. With the world political situation more people turning to blue water ocean and river trips. These vessels may not be all pure steam but the present cruise public, with their disposable income, expect the modern amenities, facilities up to date. These vessels modern, economical to operate in a most expensive operation. Keep us posted. *I understand some of our river crowd recently cruised the Ohio on the AMERICAN QUEEN but, so far, no reports of their trips.

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati[/QUOTE]

R. Dale Flick 07-27-2017 11:58 AM

*RE: Caps lock/River cruises*
Hi, Judy,
To get my boat names etc. in cap letters all I do is press my 'Caps Lock' tab on the left side of my keyboard. Yeah, at times I also have caps show up in lower cases.

Liked your posting and thinking above. River cruise cancellations along with changed itineraries pretty much a given. Letha Greene and the old GREENE LINE also had to deal with it at a time when there were no computers with all notifications by phone or letter. Even the big 'blue water' babies have carefully worded, legal disclaimers in their ticketing and finalized documents about "right to change, alter ports of call etc. due to..." You get the idea. On several of our 'blue water' cruises we've had ports scratched due to high seas, weather, political or military events.

Years back Betty Blake was commenting on the times the DELTA QUEEN had to totally cancel or alter a trip. One of the ladies working for the company had been with them for years and said to Betty, "Betty, when I joined this company 19 years ago you were standing on a table in a New Orleans hotel lobby telling the passengers there why the DELTA QUEEN wouldn't be sailing and today on my last day before retiring you're up on a table again telling them all why the boat isn't leaving." With that everybody broke into laughter. Cheers!

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnatri.

R. Dale Flick 07-27-2017 04:05 PM

*DELTA QUEEN on a thin margin/Trip logistics*
Steamboating colleagues,
Judy, I again opened/read my above to you on canceled trips, logistics etc. Jim Reising and I mentioned on here some time back just how thin was the margin each year when the GREENE LINE brought the DELTA QUEEN out spiffed up to open the season with the big Mardi Gras trip. The boat in those days had been in layup since around Thanksgiving as the Greenes learned early on not to run a steamboat in the winter season even to New Orleans in the 'sunny south.' Many a Mardi Gras trip the GORDON C. GREENE had steamed out here in frigid weather with ice, snow along the way. Other years they got away in decent weather. One of the many negatives the GORDON had was by standards then insufficient insulation. They laid on the steam to keep her as warm as they could in the passenger cabins and main cabins.

Financially the kitty was pretty low with the company guestimating how healthy the new season would be from the way the Mardi Gras reservations came in--either early, late or not at all. When it came to filling the larder with supplies in the cook house, the main office even carefully counted pennies on how many big standing beef roasts they could lay in from the food suppliers.

Then there was the threat of bad weather with cold and even ice or high water when the DQ was schleduled to depart for Mardi Gras. Letha Greene mentioned to me how she "Worried going to bed at night. Are we going to book up? Will there be a flood or river ice. Will be be faced with an expensive boiler or mechanical repair? Will be be able to clear the low bridges out of Cincinnati and down river if there's high water?" On and on in her words. The DELTA QUEEN was with Letha Greene 24/7/52. She also with a wry smile and a wink said, "And when we hired on a new captain, officer or crew we didn't always know what we were getting in the package." Yeah, it sure was wonderful, beautiful, romantic, music filled old time steamboat life wasn't it? Nobody even today is in the steamboat business for fun and romance. But what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

Judy Patsch 07-27-2017 08:03 PM

No trip postings on here
 
Well, I have no postings because I no longer ride the big overnight boats. But as far as the news of rerouting, I was posting it on the AQ Facebook page as I looked at our river levels and knew she wasn't going to make it under our bridge even though there was no word from the company. The reason I posted on there is because that is where the audience is now, sadly.


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