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Everything posted by ericosmith

  1. One nice thing about American Queen is that you can book premium excursions at any time but they are not charged when booked. They are charged to your onboard account so that the onboard credit will help to offset them. Other than the premium excursions and the gift shop there's not much to use the credit for.
  2. lol...no the internet isn't usually free but the calling was. In my case it was free on a New Zealand/Australian BTB that got canceled part way through in March of last year due to Covid. That wifi calling came in plenty handy to rebook flights back to the US.
  3. I've used wifi calling with the cruise line internet package and it worked fine with no charge.
  4. Just look at where you're connected to. If it's Vodaphone you are good to go. So, turn off mobile data on your phone until you are connected to their tower. Turn off roaming to be on the safe side.
  5. Thanks, that would explain it. I don't recall there being a menu for the Front Porch when we cruised but I'm not sure we ever had dinner there either.
  6. Never seen a menu for Express Dinner before. How does that relate to the regular menu?
  7. I've also taken the HOHO one way and then walked back to the boat. Seen a number of interesting things that I never noticed through the bus window.
  8. My recollection of both the Queen and the Empress is that they both only get about 20 percent of their propulsion from the paddlewheel. The primary thrust is provided by z-drives or as they are know on the big ships, azi-pods.
  9. I think the walking or hiking alternatives would be similar on both lines. I can only speak to the Empress but I walked the towns and the river walks in several ports. They also have bikes that you can check out. I rode 8 or 10 miles at a couple of stops after the hoho and lunch. They're Trek bikes so not junk but they are rather heavy and certainly not road bikes.
  10. There's actually a stairway behind the wheelhouse bar that takes you down to a viewing area in the engine room so you can check it our for yourself.
  11. If memory serves me correctly you can go all the way around on deck 4.
  12. You can, but I doubt that will work. We went directly from registration to the covid test room. I doubt that you're going to get on the ship without going through that process. You do the test on day 1 and get the boarding card on day 2.
  13. Frankly I think Beale St. is over hyped. IMHO the Civil Rights Museum is not to be missed. Sun Records is also a great short tour. Both are an easy hop on the trolley (as well as Beale St. for that matter). Some great BBQ places but they're not really on Beale St.
  14. I had no issues with the Sheraton. For one or two nights it's just your basic convention hotel. Having said that I did want to correct one of your points. The Sheraton is at the very end of the trolley line. It's close but not necessarily in the center of activities. In fact, as I recall there wasn't much around there at all. We took the trolley to see the sights and to eat. That was a simple exercise and I'd hazard a guess that you'd end up on the trolley no matter where you stayed.
  15. There is always popcorn in the Paddlewheel lounge. In the River Grill there's cookies, soft serve, and a gizmo that spits out all those fancy coffee drinks. For that matter, it opens at 5:30 so you can just graze off of the buffet.
  16. I don't have an answer but it is now headed upriver from New Orleans. It looks like it arrived there late last night.
  17. We were on the same cruise just a week later. I'd echo all of the above comments. I did turn the thermostat fan from "auto" to "on" which eliminated the cycling and provided a bit of white noise. The main dining room service was much faster than on the American Queen in 2019. Meals normally took about an hour as opposed to the Queen where they were often twice that long. Perhaps it had something to do with being short staffed because everyone really hustled and didn't spend much time chatting. The River Grill was open every night with no reservations required. While it was nice to sit outside and watch the scenery go by, the food just wasn't as hot nor as well presented as in the dining room. We elected to have breakfast and lunch there and dinner in the main dining room. Only two minor complaints. We didn't notice much noise from our quiet neighbors but the plumbing was extremely noisy. Every time a toilet flushed somewhere the noise carried up through the shower drain. We also thought breakfast ended a bit too early. It's tough to sleep in get two showers in and get to breakfast when it ends at 8:30. Any questions, I'll try my best.
  18. Looking forward to a cruise on her next week but noticed that the CDC is now showing that she's under investigation. I'm not sure exactly what that means but wondering if anyone out there has any further info.
  19. Hmmm...I'm thinking the poster meant the River Grille on the boat.
  20. So would you mind emailing me at ericosmith at yahoo.com?
  21. Thanks for the info Julie. Was your cruise fully booked?
  22. Oh, I've been asking since we first booked. On our previous AQSC cruise dinner seating was at assigned tables. Was this not the case on your cruise?
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