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Old January 9th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Here's a copy of a letter I sent to Delta Queen Company concerning a recent cruise on the Missisppi Queen.

Attention: Bobby Stacks

My new husband and I (both in our 60’s) left the Mississippi Queen on November 28th. What was intended to be a celebration of our marriage( we were both widowed in 2003), it saddens me to say that it turned into more like the ‘honeymoon from hell’.

I certainly knew there would need to be adjustment after Hurricane Katrina, and we were prepared to make the best of it. However, your company changed our itinerary so many times that I wasn’t sure where or when we would be on any given day.

After the initial change, we were advised that we would be in Nashville until November 22 at 7 p.m - well I would try to make the best of that change by taking my new husband to see the Grand Olde Oprey Hotel on the 22nd. When we arrived at the ship, after 7 hours of travel we were both exhausted, but looking forward to the following day in Nashville. When I heard we would be leaving at 7a.m. I complained and was told that it was to save dockage expenses: at my expense.

When we finally arrived at the ‘Cave in the Rock’ (with no portage fees) I felt such such anger that in an effort to save money you wasted a day in a ‘hole in a rock! This unusual physical phenonmenon could have been pointed out as we passed it. I felt that your company took away what would have been a lovely day in Nashville for a ‘hole in a rock’.

My next complaint regards the incident about our table (#65) waiter Joe. He was courteous and extremely patient with one women at our table who could not see well enough to read and who could barely hear. Joe demonstrated great patience and grace in dealing with her. Unfortunately, a very elderly man at the table next to us - with his chair pushed back quite a distance from the table - was unfortunately brushed by Joe.
This man became very irate and proceed to yell at Joe. Joe responded by saying, “Hey we only have a couple more days, lets just get along.? After that Joe paseed our food in front of passingers to avoid any further interaction with this man who appeared to me was just looking for a fight.

Apparently the next morning the same man went to breakfast and, sadly, ended up at Joe’s table. (Had that been me I would have just gone to another table) Instead he continued to bait Joe and when his eggs were not to his liking he complained to someone and Joe was immediately removed from the ship. Being in business myself, it was hardly prudent to fire wait staff when it was already apparent that the ships diningroom was already understaffed. When several of the passengers heard what had happened to Joe we tried to explain to both Liz Mason and Marcus Fries about what we had seen. Their response was the typical corparate Blah, Blah, Blah. However they did tell us that the man would be moved to the other end of the table.

That next ev ening upon arrival at our table, we were informed that we had been moved to the back of the dining room - not the man who had caused all the trouble in the first place. When I said, “I don’t think we should be punished because of that man’s behavior and requested that we be placed at our usual table.? After much questioning of your dining room staff, no one had any knowledge of why we were moved and no one would take responsibility for that action - just more blah, blah, blah.

When I tried to find out the reason for this attempt at moving our table to a new location, Liz and Marcus consistently gave us the usual run-around and tap dance. Personally, I think they could use some extended training on problem solving and people skills.

My final complaint has to do with running short of certain foods (bagels and english muffins) the last two or three days of the trip - poor planning I think on the part or your food purchasor. I was told the shortage would be rectified when we reached New Madrid - NOT.

All things considered I would say my memories of this cruise make me more inclined to take a blue water cruise in the future.

Sincerely,


Bonnie Stanley
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Old January 28th, 2006, 07:09 PM
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hi Bonnie, my hubby and i are booked to go on the MQ in July for a 5 night. after reading your post I am a bit concerned to wether we will enjoy our experience or not. We cruised on the AQ nearly 3 years ago and loved every moment of it. We certainly do not want to be disappointed with this cruise! thank you for any info or opinion you can give. Your dining experience did not sound pleasant at all!
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Old January 28th, 2006, 09:41 PM
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Hi Kandy:

I can't say for sure that your trip would turn out the same as ours; you could be fortunate and have a great time on your trip. What we found most irritating and annoying about our trip was the lack of response by onboard staff in responding to our complaints as well as the unsatisfactory changes in the travel itinerary. We got a lot of talk, but no action on our complaints. We even wrote a complaint letter to DQ Co. and never even got the courtesy of an answer. We found the MQ itself to be enjoyable, fun and slower paced than the big cruise ships. Had these unfortunate instances not occurred, we think we would've had a very enjoyable time. Good luck and hopefully, your experience will be better than ours. Regards.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 08:14 AM
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Hi! Thank you so much for your quick response! I am sorry you had the problems you had. I will just keep hoping for a great trip as we had on the AQ. I do however think DQ Co. should have responded somehow to your letter. Thanks again and hopefully you will get to go on a cruise again and have a much nicer experience!
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Old January 29th, 2006, 11:13 AM
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Kandy,
This is Bruce's wife Bonnie. In reflection I think the two things we were most annoyed at were the lack of immediate response to our concerns, as explained at length, while on board; and their lack of PROMISED follow-up within 24 hours, which not never been acknowledged.
If I were to go back and change anything it would be to spend an extra day at Nashville, to see the Grand Ole Opry Hotel; something not to be missed, and an extra day in Memphis. The 'Hole in the Cave' was too long of a stop and, in my opinion, not worth more than an explaination while cruising. Living in the Port City of San Diego, we are more blue water cruiser and just returned returned from an eight day trip to Acapulca. We were join by three hundred other who were interested in the Sundance group that focused on Ballroom dance lessons. We had our own prive dance floor and we both learned many new steps.
Bruce and I both enjoyed the "Paddlewheel Lounge" on the Missiissippi Queen. The trio were something I will most enjoyed.
Hope your trip is great.
Bonnie
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Old January 30th, 2006, 08:22 AM
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hi Bonnie! thanks for wishing us a great trip, i sure am hoping for that as this is something we need as well as want. i am thankful to find this site to read about the experiences of others. our cruise will be a 5 night from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati. only thing i do not like is it not being a round trip but its not too far to rent a car back home. again thank you for your replies!
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