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DcnLee

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  1. Candydane, yes we used the laundry on deck two -- here's a picture. I don't recall seeing a smoking area. I suspect it is on deck 4 aft, by the outdoor cafe. That would also make it available during the 5:30 social hour just inside there. Cruzinchar, I don't recall ever seeing a jacket on anyone but the staff. I wore jeans several times for breakfast and lunch and usually changed to Dockers in the evening. No one really "dressed up." Y'all enjoy!
  2. Review of American Cruise Line’s American Harmony Memphis to New Orleans October 12-19, 2019 Pre-cruise package We opted to take the 2-night pre-cruise package at Graceland, and are very happy we did. We called the hotel when we arrived at the Memphis airport and were promptly picked up and shuttled to their hotel. It is next door to the mansion and across the street from the exhibit/museum complex. When we checked in we were given an ACL packet with our lanyard, tickets to the mansion tour, and breakfast and lunch tickets. The next morning we were shuttled across the street and given our official mansion tour tickets and shuttled to the mansion for the tour. My wife is an Elvis fan; I’m not, but the tour was very interesting. When we were ready we were shuttled back across the street and toured the exhibits. These also were very interesting and well done. We ate at the café there (voucher was for $15 which was more than enough for a sandwich and drink), and when we were ready took the shuttle back to the hotel. On embarkation day, we were asked to put our luggage inside the room door by 7:15 am and meet in the lobby at 8:30. After identifying our bags, they were put on the bus, and we climbed aboard for a very informative 2-hour tour of Memphis with stops at an information center and the all-important Lorraine Motel site. We were at the dock at 11:00 and went right on board; our cabin was ready. If you have the time and money, I highly recommend this package. Our friends flew to Nashville to see that city and drove to Memphis. ACL arranged for their stay at a Sheraton Hotel, picked them up in the morning, and brought them to the ship. Period. The American Harmony ship Cabin We chose cabin #233 – second floor aft. We were never bothered by noise from the dining room below, or in fact from anywhere else. When we arrived on board, a card for each of us was on the cabin’s desk – it unlocks the door by holding it to the sensor. The card is also used when leaving the boat for an excursion and when returning. Also in the cabin was a very nice ACL tote bag. The cabin was very comfortable: king size bed (I think it can be split into twin beds) with 4 pillows and 2 small sham pillows, dresser with several drawers and a safe, 2 comfortable side chairs, a desk (with 6 side drawers) with chair and lamp, 2 bedside tables (each with a drawer) with lamps, and a small but adequate closet. Ours also had a locked door to the neighboring cabin – an adjoining-room feature not described in the company’s marketing. There was enough room to easily store our luggage. Each lamp had an outlet in its base, and there were outlets on the wall by the bed. Bathroom was quite adequate: standard size shower, commode, vanity sink with three drawers (there was also an under-sink cabinet that had supplies in it but still had space available). The countertop tray had shampoo, conditioner, body gel, lotion, mouthwash, shower cap, vanity kit, and sewing kit. The balcony had a table and two chairs but not a lot of extra room. All in all, a very pleasant room that we were very satisfied with. Meals All meals are in the one dining room – except that there is the Back Porch Café outside on the 4th floor aft. The café serves pizza, burgers, hot dogs, and chicken salad wraps with cookies and ice cream for desserts. Definitely worth a look and a taste. We didn’t try the breakfast room service but the selections include beverages, cereals, eggs, omelets, toast and various sides. At breakfast we were asked to select our lunch and dinner preferences. These choices are to assist the kitchen in preparation, but at meal time we could choose whatever we wanted from the menu. Each dinner consisted of an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert. I enjoyed all the meals as did the others in our group. At lunch and dinner sodas, beer, and wine are available at no extra charge. Public areas Besides the large Magnolia Lounge (4th floor forward) which was used for the evening social hour and entertainments, there was a small lounge at the aft end which also hosted the social hour. There are other lounges on each of the other floors variously called library, chart room and lounge, which should be explored for quiet times. The gym is on the 3rd floor behind the elevators; the machines are sit-down, pedal and row sorts of things, no treadmills. The two elevators and stairway are in the center of the ship. Guests who used walkers did not seem to have difficulty moving around the ship – except for entering/exiting through both the bow gangway and the side door. They require stepping over a raised threshold and a step up to the gangway, but staff were there to assist. I did not see anyone using a wheelchair so I can’t comment on that. There is a laundry room on the second floor mid-ship with three stacked washer-dryer combos. There is no charge to use them and the detergent pods are provided free! There is plenty of room on the top decks with lounges, but because of the weather we had they were rarely if ever used. There is a putting green also up there. Staff There are three staff members who we see a lot of – the Hotel Manager, the Cruise Director, and the Guest Services Coordinator. They helped out in the dining room, they were the bartenders in the social hours, and they just seemed to want everyone to have a good time onboard. Nick, Monica and Heidi are to be commended. We met and spoke with the ship’s captain a couple of times when he was walking about the ship. I’m sorry I don’t recall his name because he was very pleasant and congenial. We were a group of 8 and tried to eat together each evening. There seems to be only 4 large tables, one in each corner of the dining room. We couldn’t get the same table every night, but had great service from Andy and Mae. Each evening we received the “Ship to Shore” notice in our cabin which listed the events for the following day. Entertainment The first two nights we had Dan Knowles and Eddie Coffey playing a variety of music on banjo and bass (large violin-type instrument). We enjoyed the first night and did not go the second evening. On the next evening we had the Partly Cloudy Trio playing various types of music. The following evening the Meer Katz played music from the 50s to 70s. Judy Davis is a not-to-be-missed comedian – she was excellent. The Wendell Duo played on Thursday – a husband and wife team playing trumpet, clarinet and piano. Excellent, we enjoyed them. The Victory Belles played and sang on our final evening – music of the 40s. They also perform at the World War II Museum in New Orleans. Itinerary The itinerary we received in the mail with our documents was different from what was shown on the website; and that mailed itinerary was different from what we received on board. It didn’t affect us, but it could if someone is planning to make a definite connection on a definite day along the way. We enjoyed all that we saw and experienced. Excursions We selected only the complementary excursions and were quite happy with them. The buses, the bus drivers, and the tour guides were all wonderful. The morning tous got us back in time for lunch on the ship, and all tours returned by 5:30 pm. Once exiting the ship there was usually a rather steep ramp to walk up – typically we were tied up at the levee. Sometimes it’s paved, sometimes it’s gravel. They always have a golf-cart type vehicle to assist those who need it. The bow gangway is very sturdy; it didn't bounce or move at all. · At Vicksburg: bus tour of the Vicksburg National Military Park – very educational. I wish I had done a little study of this important siege before going. On the second day a shuttle to the town was offered on a continuous loop. Also offered was Antebellum Vicksburg Experience for $40/person. · At Natchez: Historic Longwood Exploration was offered in morning and afternoon; there was a shuttle to and from town that ran all day. Also offered was Frogmore Plantation Excursion ($45), J D Stone House Tour and Concert ($30), and Tombs and Tales (a cemetery tour for $45). · At St. Francisville: Rosedown Plantation Excursion in the morning and Historic Baton Rouge Exploration (a bus tour) in the afternoon; also a shuttle to town all day. On second day the town shuttle continued and the bus tour of Baton Rouge ran again. There was also a Baton Rouge Self Exploration offered with free entry to the USS Kidd and the Louisiana Art and Science Museum. (all complimentary) · At Oak Alley: we tied up right in front of Houmas House, which they said was available to visit, but we took the Oak Alley Plantation Excursion. Debarkation On the first day we were asked to select our plan for when we end the cruise: bus direct to airport (no extra charge), bus tour of New Orleans ending at the airport ($45 each), bus tour of New Orleans ending at the downtown Harrah’s Hotel ($45 each), or our own transportation. They also offered to call a taxi if desired. We were asked to put our luggage in the hallway before retiring the night before. In the morning we were to be out of our cabin by 8:00 am and off the boat by 8:30. Our luggage was on dock separated by our choice of transportation. We had selected the drop-off at Harrah’s. We identified our bags; they were put on the bus and we boarded. We had a very knowledgeable tour guide. We stopped at St. Louis Cemetery #3, but other stops had to be eliminated because of road closures for a running race of some kind and for the restrictions caused by the crane demolition. At Harrah’s the doorman called a cab for us to take us to our hotel – posted fare to a downtown hotel is $12 but more is expected. We would do this trip again in a heartbeat, but with so many places to see and visit in this wonderful world of ours, we won’t be duplicating soon. NB: The balcony picture may be misleading - the table is against the glass of the railing, it is not hanging over the edge.
  3. American Harmony was on its maiden voyage last week. Can anyone give us a review? We will be on the Oct 12 sailing for the lower Mississippi Memphis to NOLA, and I'm anxious to hear what the early travelers have experienced. Pictures of the interior of the ship would be an added bonus since ACL keeps recycling the computer generated pix for the ships in this series. --Larry
  4. Thank you for the info, Ray. It helps in our planning. Interesting about the taxi -- I wonder why the doorman would say "no charge" when the driver had to get paid some how. --Larry
  5. We will be a group of 8 on the American Harmony in October 2019, Memphis to NOLA. I assume the disembarkation day will be similar to ACL's other ships, and would like to know what the morning is like. About when we get off? Is there a bus tour? Where are we dropped off and about what time? Anything your can help me with is appreciated. We just need to know how to fill in our time before our hotel room is available. Thank you, --Larry
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