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It's Official - The DQ days are coming to end

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    #16
    *MY OWN OPINION*
    Yes, the whole thing really smells. Did MAL really think people would not see through this? Are they ignorant of history, when in the early 1970's people turned out in droves to push for the DQ to continue running? The boat did continue to run, and obviously made money; the DELTA QUEEN was the nexus that enabled other entities to build the MQ and then the AQ.

    Times change, and business and demands change. However, the fact is the DQ is the one with the name recognition, is the one with the immense following, is the one that can go up smaller waterways, and is the "real thing". A poorly thought-out business decision in my simple little mind. As was stated, it is their boat and they can do with it what they want, but the excuse was pretty thin. If it is a business decision, own up to it. Of course, there is absolutely no goodwill for the company that way, is there? I think it is sad, back handed and dirty.

    When a business has a niche product, they realize it and capitalize on it for what it is. They do not try to make it fit in with people's pre-conceived notion of what "cruising" should be -- it is what it is, and is obviously a good thing. Sad that this has happened this way.

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      #17
      Oh Franz, glad you see HOPE! I have already been on the phone this morning with the local office of my congressman. The gal is going to have the Washington office call me back. She did say that there was LOTS of time to get a bill through. When I first spoke with her she thought I meant we only had until November 8th (2007). Then I corrected her to November, 2008 and she said YES, PLENTY OF TIME! My opinion is: The top dogs (slang for top executives - not necessarily calling them "dogs"), at MAL tried to dupe us again. If they let this drop my promise is: NEVER TO EVER SET FOOT ON ANY OF THEIR BOATS EVER AND FOREVER!!!! Instead of advertising as I do EVERY DAY for people to ride on their boats, I will do just the opposite and remind EVERY ONE I see that Majestic America Line let the DELTA QUEEN die on their watch!!!!! And THAT IS A FACT! I know the world has so many worse disasters to deal with at this moment and my heart goes out to the folks in the Twin Cities. Actually the first thing I did this morning rather than open steamboats.org was read about the bridge collapse and see a map as to which bridge as I just got off the DELTA QUEEN there on July 12th.

      I was a cheerleader in grade school many, many years ago. But folks I can be a cheerleader again! Lets roll up our sleeves. We've given MAL their chance and they didn't take it. Now we have to take it upon ourselves to get this done. I'll be following Franz's instructions to a T. Letters and phone calls will be going out today and tomorrow (luckily the boss is out of town for those days)!

      Jo Ann Schoen
      12 timer
      with 14 guests taken with me at various times

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        #18
        I cannot reliably answer those questions except the one about taking it lying down. That letter from MAL, in my exalted opinion, is way too cut and dried. Me thinkest that there is something rotting in Denmark. We definitely need to do what Franz suggested and get up on our hind legs and do all we can. WWBBD - What Would Betty Blake Do? When I first set eyes on the DQ in 1970, she was on her "last trip". I haven't been on the DQ in years because of various circumstances, but she is on my To Do list, so I don't plan on giving up. If nothing else, I would just like to know the TRUTH.

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          #19
          It really doesn't matter what we do here - the bottom line is that MAL does not intend to run the DQ after November 2008, with or without the SOLAS exemption - not getting the exemption is just a dandy excuse to be able to say "we didn't shut down the DQ - the US Government did it. " Now watch for the already high prices for next year to go even higher, as they market all the special "Last Trips on the Legendary DELTA QUEEN", for which they think we will pay unlimited $$$$. It breaks our hearts, but MAL never wanted the DQ in the first place - she just came with the package of the 3 QUEENS.

          Now we have to wait for the other shoe to drop - just what do they plan to do with her?? Sell her? Not very marketable if she can't cruise. Excursion boat? Can't really carry enough passengers with her present configuration, and can't be altered because of the Historical signifcance. Restaurant? Museum? B & B? Or just take her up the Yazoo and abandon her, like what happened to the PRESIDENT?

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            #20
            Terrible!


            They should keep the Delta Queen going and mothball the Mississippi Queen instead. That would be a good candidate for an artifical reef somewhere.

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              #21
              What next indeed? Pete, you are certainly correct that if the co. tried to inflate already inflated fares to bump up ridership on the DQ, that would really be too much.

              However, as JoAnne pointed out, Franz has hope, as does Shipyard Sam and I guess some others. The shock is beginning to wear off some for me now, and maybe MAL is just incredibly short-sighted. Coca-Cola made a huge faux-pas several years ago with the "new Coke"...it was what they thought was needed, but public opinion proved them sorely mistaken. They realized their blunder, ate crow, said "we made a mistake" and the "old" Coke was brought back. MAL, do you hear us here? There is much support for continuing to run the DELTA QUEEN; with the right PR there can be even more support. It has been done before and can be done again. Don't waste your most valuable asset. Get the people behind you to get the SOLAS exemption passed, and let the DELTA QUEEN work her magic.

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                #22
                In addition to what has already been said and thinking to the future. Even if MAL doesn't want to run the DELTA QUEEN, WE MUST still get the exemption, so that someone else can run her. Let MAL sell her, if they don't want her. The problem is the over 50 passengers over night. If for whatever reason we can't get the exemption through could there be anyway that just carrying 50 passengers at a time would work? I'm thinking out loud here. That's a third of what she mostly carries. If she ran all year, less passengers, less crew, less expense. What's your educated guesses and thoughts?

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                  #23
                  So why on earth did they buy the company in the first place? None of this makes any sense.

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by Lexie Palmore View Post
                    So why on earth did they buy the company in the first place? None of this makes any sense.
                    They didn't buy the company, only the boats. My guess is that either Delaware North sold them as a package, or, they thought that not buying all three would introduce more competition right away.

                    My thought has been that if they brought things down to the wire, they could increase next years sailings on the DQ at any price, and there is still time to lobby congress. It seems clear that regardless of the issues, there are things to complain about, and hope to be had. Everything depends on your perspective, I guess.

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                      #25
                      Jo Ann, also thinking out loud, why would MAL sell the DQ to compete with their product?

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                        #26
                        Will they respond?

                        Just sent the following email to MAL -


                        To Whom It May Concern –


                        I would like to direct your attention to the following web site, if you have not already been there –

                        http://www.steamboats.org/forum/

                        The individuals who post here are some of the most loyal steam boating customers in the country. The majority have cruised on the three Queens numerous times, and many have followed the Queens as they were bought by the various companies over the years. These enthusiast are the backbone of the steam boating industry, and they help to keep the spirit of steam boating alive and well.

                        The recent news of the Delta Queen’s exemption not being renewed has sent shockwaves through this community – so much so that a new forum was created solely for talk on this topic. I would urge you, if you have not done so already, to take the time and read the posts. I would also suggest that a representative of the company log onto the boards and respond to the many questions being asked.

                        Thank you for your time.




                        Will they respond?

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                          #27
                          I did call Seattle back in June and did get to talk to someone in authority. First of all, I was told that steamboats.org is read. Next I was told that the company felt confident that the exemption going through would be no problem. So it's neither here nor there that they respond to us on the board. As with DN, they would say one thing on here and turn around and do something totally opposite of what they said. I once said to my mother (who is 78) that many executives talk out of both sides of their mouth. She said "you mean they lie". I was trying to be the lady my grandmother tried to teach me to be. It appears that if the exemption is to be passed in the Congress and the Senate that we will have to take the bull by the horns and get it done without the help of Majestic America Line. As far as them not wanting to sell the boat....if others would make the promise to Majestic America Line that I did this morning in my earlier post, that I would NEVER, EVER, FOREVER ride on one of their boats again, they might be much more interested in doing just a tad more to get the exemption done and keeping her themselves. Simply because of their already high prices for 2008 I have not got anything booked for next year. I might be cutting off my nose to spite my face, but just because they are crying wolf does not mean that I have called my travel agent this morning to book my 2 - 3 trips that I have been averaging per year on the DELTA QUEEN. I will miss her terribly (it brings tears to my eyes as I type this), but I won't be bambozzled. I won't be placing a phone call to them, but you can bet I will be putting my thoughts in writing to them once again. And a letter as well as to the list of Congressman that we had. I will be screaming loud and clear any chance I get.

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                            #28
                            Glad to finally see so much "late" interest in saving the Queen. Good luck! Through a reliable source the final blow boiled down to the fact that the Speaker of the Senate and Spreaker of the House were not willing to take responsibility and grant the exemption to the Delta Quen by bring it up for a vote. The Congress overides the Coast Guard and Home Land Security.
                            How can anyone sit in judgement about how the company really feels about losing the DQ? Through my reliable source we learned Majestic America Line spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to get the SOLAS extension renewed for the DQ. As the person reaffirmed the company bought three boats and that is what they intended to operate. They knew the Delta Queen was the Diamond surrounded by two other jewels the MQ and AQ in her Majestic Crown. The three boats belonged together. That was definitely the intention of the Comapny. The Company President and on down the chain of command fought a gallant fight through their lobbyist and letters for the extension for the DQ to continue to cruise the rivers. Per my source, the Chairman of the Company did more than one trip to Washington to make the extension happen.
                            Perhaps if interest to keep the queen was present as it is being now, we would have helped give the Company with a stronger united group to fight congress.
                            Since being back on a steamboat since the new company has acquired us, I feel from what I have experienced, the new company does care. Trust me, from what my source has told me, the Company is just as upset about this as we are!! You don't know what is happening behind the whole picture, so don't judge.
                            I don't think the DQ can operate by the Company without the Exemption??
                            Now as the countdown begins, steamboaters who have walked her decks, the small rivers where no other boat could go, river towns along the way, and all who have watched her paddlewheel spray as she cruised into the sunset are now left with memories of her glorious past. If this is to be her final year (hope your interest will change this) may it be filled with many celebrations of her life fit for a Queen as she now rounds her last bend in the river and fades into history. When a person retires, don't you throw a party for them?????
                            Maybe magic can happen. I would think the Company would be as happy as the rest of us.
                            Marian Nusekabel

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                              #29
                              Which one did they really want, the AQ? By process of elimination, that's what I figured. To answer your question, they would let the DQ rot in a slough unless someone buys it as a private yacht or dockside attraction.

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                                #30
                                Marian,
                                I'm a little confused here. The last we heard and it was from you, was that the bill was in committee for revision. How did it get out of committee so quickly and to the House AND the Senate? That is one reason I called my House of Representative's office first thing this morning again, was to see how this happened. Someone questioned earlier why didn't Majestic America Line let us know it was coming up for vote? I personally asked when I spoke to the office in Seattle in June to be contacted when the vote was coming up if they thought phone calls were needed. Not a word was heard by me personally. The person said that they would contact Franz to post on steamboats.org. if necessary. Obviously that didn't happen either. As a matter of fact, the person I spoke with in Seattle said that they weren't expecting a problem and that the Congressmen has asked them to ask that no more letters be sent.

                                We did what we were instructed to do. I also asked this executive if I should start collecting signatures on petitions. His reply was no. Obviously they didn't want us to fight any harder!

                                The way a person can sit in judgement about how the company really feels about losing the DQ is how their history has been. Case in point, not buying the name of the company "DELTA QUEEN STEAMBOAT COMPANY" which has name recognization beyond any advertising level they could ever do and the fact they picked the AMERICAN QUEEN to be their poster child and not the boat that draws the crowds. I think these two facts alone speak volumes, along with my personal conversation with Seattle in June.

                                Marion, I'm not picking on you. I'm still asking questions and trying to make sense out of something that is senseless and should never have happened. Was it really the union that put pressure on the Speaker's? Why couldn't the company still run the boat if she holds less than 50 passengers? As I have been told that the law is for vessels carrying over 50 overnight passengers.

                                I know there are folks that have "life" celebrations when a loved one passes away. Call me old fashioned. I'm mourning. I can't "celebrate" anything. And I don't want to line the pockets of a company that I feel did not do ALL that could have been done or can be done. Why are they giving up now? Why have they sent out an email that says "farewell celebration". Why aren't they regrouping and asking for help in joining a fight to save the Legendary DELTA QUEEN?

                                As the local office of my Congressman said this morning "there is plenty of time" until November, 2008 to get something through. I want to know who voted against it. I'm not a political activist, but I might become one here shortly. My V O I C E will be heard one way or the other!!!!
                                Last edited by Jo Ann Schoen; 08-06-2007, 05:17 PM.

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