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Great cruise on the Natchez today - Thanks Judy!

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Old 11-16-2006, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rock Island, Illinois mile 480 UMR
Posts: 3,865

Just catching up on the board after finally getting home last night. Our flight path from NOLA to Atlanta coincided with the squall line, and then the flight to Moline was delayed first by the weather and then by mechanical problems. We had to switch planes and gates, so my flying day was almost as long as driving it...but it was worth it. As Ed said, we met on Monday and he got the tour - incidentally if any of you go down there, identify yourself as a steamboat fan and you'll get the tour -. It was fun to meet someone in person whom you've 'met' on the message board, and I'm glad Ed had a good time both on the boat and in the town. Yes, we need tourists to come back. The violence which gets reported is real, but its not in the tourist areas and it almost all deals with drugs and gang/family feuds, so the visitor's city isn't as dangerous as some might think. It certainly needs your attention and caution when walking about, as would any large city though. I happened to get lucky on the time I picked to visit, as the Natchez went out on both Monday and Tuesday, days on which she is laid up now. They anticipated some of the 25,000 in town for the realtors' convention to show up, but Ed seemed to be the only one. As has been said before, the tourist area and business is up and running, and while not back 100%, it certainly is worth a trip there. As of now, the Natchez runs a day trip on Wednesday and Thursday, and either 2 or 3 cruises on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If a group prebooks, she'll run another trip. One planning suggestion: most everything is closed on Mondays, so if you go, that would be a good day to miss. I had suggested to Gordon Stevens back at Tall Stacks, that maybe we should run on Mondays and lay up Tuesday/Wednesday, since we'd be the one operating attraction. This past Monday, on Ed's trip, we carried about 147. In the good old days that would have been horrible, now its a respectable number during the week. Our 2 trips on Tuesday didn't total that one trip count. To put into perspective the struggle the tourism industry is having: the year-to-date passenger count is one-fourth of last year's, when they carried no one in September and most of October- and includes the 13,000 from Tall Stacks. It is about one fifth of the 2004 trade. And just think, if you come down and ride, we still have a 'few' hat pins available in the Gift Shop! All in all, it was yet another good time with the Natchez and her crew, and I was able to narrate each day, shy violet that I am!
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