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Open Decks or Private Verandahs?

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    Open Decks or Private Verandahs?

    One thing for sure, at the published prices, I won't be cruising on the new "Pearl Mist". But, looking at the deck plans, I see that every room has a private verandah; there are no walk around decks. One of the charms about the DQ and the AQ are their walk around decks and being able to say hello to fellow passengers. Having taken several ocean cruises in rooms with private verandahs, I found that the verandahs compartmentalized people. It was hard to meet, much less carry on a conversation, with fellow passengers.
    I'm sure cruise lines think that private verandahs are revenue enhancers, but are they really?

    #2
    *Compartmentalized verandahs*
    Steamboating colleagues:
    Jim, I couldn't agree with you more RE: construction of cruise vessels with the private verandah concept. For years one of the pleasures of the DELTA QUEEN has been the open, 'walk around' configuration where people sit/recline outside of cabin doors. Similar to a little 'neighborhood' if you have it. Naturally, the DQ, built as a night boat, had no interior corridors with passengers then and now exiting outside and then down the stairs gaining interior access. That's the way it was with people not thinking a thing about it same as not every cabin having toilet or bath facilities.

    The concept of private verandahs along with increasing outside cabins on ships part of the marketing concept focusing on a sense of 'exclusivity' attached to a nice price. We've had private verandas on the big blue water babies as a courtesy--but I'm not sure I'd lay out the cash to book one each and every cruise. I prefer more the larger outside cabins with no exterior deck but large windows with unobstructed view. Really, I ask, how long are people in their cabins or on those outside verandahs as it is? Meeting, talking with new people up on deck one of the pleasures. Yet there are those who demand the private verandahs with all it entails.

    One issue with the verahdas is the divider wall between. Now ship design, construction must have either fold back deck dividers or those with unlocked doors in case of an emergency up to International standards along with SOLAS. Verandahs also now equipped with a sprinkler system. Many recall the big ship fire not to many years back when smoking materials on a verandah ingited beach towels and, in turn, sucked inside through the open door to the cabin resulting in a disastrous fire. Now fire suveillance crews observe outside decks with high tech day/night cameras from bow to stern to detect any possible sign of smoke or fire along with the outside and interior detection systems. In other cases on some vessels, passengers may unhook and fold the verandah divider walls back so several outside cabins in a row may be communal such as families or groups traveling. Again what people expect and demand they get--but pay for it. Contrary to prevailing thinking, it's the most expensive accommodations, suites that often sell out first from the top down and not the other way up. Travel and corporate statistics prove it. Well, what do I know?

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

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      #3
      MQ verandas

      I've often said they realized some mistakes on the MQ and rectified them on the AQ, and that other than the difference in size, I felt like I was on the DQ when on the AQ outer decks. Obviously my preference is open deck space, since I categorized the MQ 'mistakes.' The AQ actually has some rooms with both their own private space screened in before reaching the outer public deck - best of both worlds! I want space to walk/sit/meet/greet on the outside of the boat, both sides, bow and stern, every deck. The MQ was lacking this in its original state, having only the Promenade Deck to walk around completely, and some sitting space on that bow. Then came the superglued-on rooms in 1985 which closed off that deck too, and covered the forward sitting area (and made about a 300 foot arc of blind space for the pilots). Personally I wouldn't sit on a room veranda because you can only see one side of the river! I always plopped down in a corner where I could see forward, aft, port and starboard.

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        #4
        Having just returned from a trip on the AMERICAN QUEEN with a room with a private veranda, I will say I was a little hesitant at first if I would like the room. I kinda feel like we made lemonade out of a lemon. It turns out the room was just a couple decks up and we were near the stern. The weather was cool, but not cold. We turned the heat and a/c off in the room and we actually slept with the doors to the veranda open every night, except for the last night when I got up and shut them before morning. We could hear the splash of the paddlewheel and bells in the engine room, etc. But, as our usual routine, our only time in the room was to change clothes and sleep. Our waking hours were spent, in the usual fashion out on deck, enjoying the entertainment, visiting the little towns where we stopped, or hanging out on the public decks watching the scenery go by and meeting other passengers. We had the best of both worlds. The AQ staterooms, unlike the DQ staterooms, have no windows. So when you shut the door, you shut out the noises of the river and the boat. On the DQ, even if your door is shut, by using the shutters you can still have your window open. That was my experience, for it's worth.

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          #5
          *Verandahs & shutters*
          Hi, Jo Ann & Steamboating colleagues:
          Great report on your part and "....my experience for, it's worth" one interesting experience. Those drop-down shutters on the DQ windows originally installed no doubt still doing legion service. Back in the old, old steamboat days natural ventilation and light important. Thanks for sharing.

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

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            #6
            Private Verandas.....

            There's always facebook.

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