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About DaveinCharlotte

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  1. Just signed up for New England Islands (American Star) middle of July 2021. Once aboard, we plan to book Inland Passage (Baltimore to Jacksonville) on either the Star or the Independence for November. Let's hope things return to near-normalcy by then!
  2. I have a brochure titled "2020 Eagle Society Cruises." Introduction says "this booklet details our 2020 Eagle Society cruise schedule." It lists about a dozen cruise itineraries (such as "Alaskan Explorer" and "Hudson River Fall Foliage"), but does not specify any dates! Most of the brochure deals with advantages of being an Eagle Society member. It does say this: "Each year, ACL dedicates several cruises specifically for Eagle Society members. These itineraries offer an enhanced experience, as they include special features such as a welcome reception, gifts, an exclusive din
  3. ACL website just changed overnight, but a quick check shows the same cruise dates. Unfortunately, when it comes to the Independence and the Star, there is no "regular" ship for these itineraries. Both ships have to reposition from their northern stomping grounds to their southern ones. And for the Hudson River foliage cruises, both ships do them every week. Yes, it is only the cruises I mentioned that duplicate itinerary and starting dates; Puget Sound and all others are, as you say, staggered. I'd like to think it's an error, but wonder. Looking at our old catalogs, I've discovered seve
  4. Not sure, but wasn't the problem bad water levels on the Mississippi? Don't think they could have done much about that. Maybe more generous cancellation options, perhaps.
  5. Excursions are booked on the ship, early in the cruise.
  6. Baum, I think you have cruises like the Historic South Golden Isles in mind...those cruises are a week, with each ship starting from a different end. But none of the cruises I cited work that way. The Hudson River cruises start and end in the same port, NYC. The Chesapeake Bay cruise starts and ends in the same port, Baltimore. And for the Inland Passage cruise, both ships start in Baltimore and both ships end in Jacksonville. The Inland Passage is a long trip, really a repositioning cruise, occurring once in the spring heading north, and once in the fall heading south. Headin
  7. My experience: Usually for dinner folks change their jeans and shorts for something a little less casual. Slacks and shirt fine. Jackets for men at dinner are rare, though you wouldn't look too out of place if you wore one.
  8. Planning on taking the American Star on its Inland Passage trip (Baltimore to Jacksonville) next fall, but noticed that the American Independence does the same trip on exactly the same day (11/06/21). Checked the schedules for other trips, and discovered many duplications: On 10/03/21, 10/09/21, 10/16/21, 10/23/21, 10/02/22, 10/08/22, 10/15/22, and 10/22/22, both the Star and the Independence start their Hudson River Fall Foliage cruises on the same day. And on three of these dates, they are joined by the Constitution as well. On 10/31/21, both Star and Independence s
  9. Definitely not the "everything gets wet" style! I've been on many ACL ships, but not the Star, nor its twin Independence. But on all the ACL ships I have been on (including the now-defunct Glory, which was even smaller than the Star), the layout was the same: The bathroom is behind the desk you see in the pictures. The first thing in the bathroom is the sink. Next to that the toilet. Both back up against the corridor bulkhead. Next to that the enclosed shower, with sliding door. In the related thread you just posted to, you asked about the beds. On all our cruises, the beds
  10. Sent mine in for renewal about a month later than you did, and got back end of July also (16 weeks). Have been following this continuously on a Trip Advisor forum, and it would seem that the State department may be gaining ground on their backlog. Of course for most it doesn't much matter how long it takes...there's no place we can go to use the passport!
  11. AQSC removed their Travel Alert page yesterday, but today they've reinstated it with suspensions through 9/30/20.
  12. Ray, we did this cruise July 2019. We did it westbound, Pittsburgh to St Louis. Loved the free pre-cruise hotel in Pittsburgh; we went an extra day early at the same hotel (Drury) to maximize our sightseeing opportunities. Had great on-board entertainment and lectures. We love the Queen of the Mississippi, because it, like America, has both the main lounge and the paddlewheel lounge down on the 2nd deck, where the relatively cheap cabins are (AAR). (On these newer ACL ships you have to go way up to the pricier level to be close to the main lounge and the sky lounge; it's a long ways down
  13. Sorry, I didn't do a good job "scrutinizing" the 2020 catalog -- today found Lewis & Clark under "themed cruises." My apologies. On our last cruise from Pittsburgh, while wandering the Allegheny River trail, we stumbled on a Lewis and Clark historical marker. Surprised us, because, as you say, many associate Lewis & Clark only with St Louis to Colombia. There were further historical markers farther down the Ohio River. Too bad nobody cruises the Missouri River - that would reveal a lot of Lewis & Clark history!
  14. Yes, I don't think AQSC is actually changing which cruises/ships get pre-cruise hotels and which don't -- sorry if I left that impression. I think they just realized their 2020 catalog Ts&Cs (which said pre-cruise included on Duchess, Empress, and Queen) was misleading, so they simply dropped that from the 2021 Ts&Cs. Not sure what Diplomats meant by "possible policy change" and "separately booked arrangement" though.
  15. Have scrutinized both the AQSC website and brochures, and cannot find any reference to "Lewis and Clark Cruise." The September Ohio River cruise on the Duchess is called the Ohio River Exploration Cruise. This same cruise has dates in June 2021. All cruises show the same itinerary, so don't see any reason to expect differences.
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