Steamboating colleagues:
I did it again typing and my earlier posting went PFFT! The GRAND CARIBE, unlike the AMERICAN QUEEN or ACL's new boat QUEEN OF THE MISSISSIPPI. The BLOUNT logo states, "We go where the big ships can't." Prices 'begin' at $2,359 for an eight day cruise. Wines provided at dinners with a BYOB basis for passengers on their own. 'Mixers' and storage provided for guests. I found the older MOUNT HOPE rather Spartan but well appointed with fine food. In addition VIKING RIVER CRUISES in Europe expanding with renovations of present river vessels, new builds for other world rivers and a new ocean cruise division with new ships on order. The somewhat improving economies seeing a sudden burst of cruise vessel bookings. Time will tell. Well, what do I know?

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