several locks and dams ...
We just had a lecture by Regina Charboneau, the executive chef for the cruise line (culinary designer) on "how to entertain." I t was good, she regularly has parties for 150 people at her house in Natchez, and she has all kinds of tricks for simple but beautiful presentations you can freeze and serve later. She is very crafty.
We are now in Kentucky and starting to pass some beautiful homes, now that we are more out of the famous Misssissippi flood plains you start to see more along the river. Like in Europe, where you see villages, castles, etc from the riverboats. If seeing the countryside is your goal I would recommned the upper Misssissippi, or the Ohio River.
This cruise is going all the way Cincinatti, but we are departing a few days early in Louisville. I wish I could stay on, but I have to get ready to go to the Riviera.
One cool thing about American Queen is the chart house - open all day long, where you can go and explorer charts of the Mississippi (or Ohio) River and see exactly where you are and what is nearby. There is a riverlorian in there at all times who knows everything about every square mile. The two riverlorians on this cruise (and now workig for thr Great American Steamboat company) have previously worked for Delta Queen since the 1990s or even earlier (in the case of Toots Malloy, who started in Delta Queen as a waitress in the 1970s).
The other riverlorian, Travis, is also very knowlegable (started with DQ in the 1980s). He knows the whole history of the "Save the Delta Queen" movement - the riverboat that lasted from 1976 - 2006 when she was finally grounded when Wisc. Senator Oberstarr finally refused to allow the congressional exemption that kept DQ in busineess onto the floor of the senate - so they could even vote on it.
Delta Queen (and other steamboat fans) know exactly what I am talking about. It is important to note that one of the owners/CEO of this new Great American Steamboat Company is Jeffrey Krida, the CEO of the original Delta Queen company back in the 1990s, previous to American Classic Voyages, Delaware North, Majestic American or any of the other owners it went through after the origin Delta Queen steamboat Company was acquired.
One big difference is that these people OWN the boat (having purchased it fom MARAD) rather than leasing it. The other is that they are postioning it as a more luxury product, like Oceania or the European riverboats - the opposite of what Delaware North did.
It is actually surprsiing how many people are working onboard who have worked for all five different companies the boat has belonged to - like they are all a family who just got together for another reunion. I like that "family" feeling.