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Seeking information on the American Duchess

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Five weeks from today, we will check into the Hotel Roosevelt in preparation for our cruise on the American Duchess from New Orleans to Memphis the following day. We are interested in hearing from anyone who has been aboard the Duchess, though we realize that only a small proportion of cruisers (both ocean and river) participate on Cruise Critic.

 

We have read the overview of the Duchess by the Cruise Critic editor, and saw one reference by another cruiser to difficulties encountered aboard an early voyage. Since then we have seen nothing. We would really like to know whether the early kinks are being worked out.

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I notice that there is a "Duchess" thread just 5 or 6 threads below yours. It may be a different cruise, but you may get some info on the ship, etc.

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Thank you for the comment about the other thread. That is the one to which I referred that mentions the helpful article by the Cruise Critic editor and a comment by one cruiser on what was probably the first "paying" cruise. Since then, there has been no further information that I can find. Still hoping for a report from someone who has cruised on the Duchess more recently.

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Five weeks from today, we will check into the Hotel Roosevelt in preparation for our cruise on the American Duchess from New Orleans to Memphis the following day.

 

 

Seems that we will be on the River at the same time---just going in opposite directions! I wonder if we pass in the night, or if we might actually be in the same port on some day mid cruise?

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Looking at the itineraries for the Queen and the Duchess, it appears that both boats will be in Natchez on November 23rd, Thanksgiving Day. Perhaps they will be docked side by side.

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Five weeks from today, we will check into the Hotel Roosevelt in preparation for our cruise on the American Duchess from New Orleans to Memphis the following day. We are interested in hearing from anyone who has been aboard the Duchess, though we realize that only a small proportion of cruisers (both ocean and river) participate on Cruise Critic.

 

We have read the overview of the Duchess by the Cruise Critic editor, and saw one reference by another cruiser to difficulties encountered aboard an early voyage. Since then we have seen nothing. We would really like to know whether the early kinks are being worked out.

 

Just returned from a cruise on the Duchess(10/8-16/17). It was a great trip! We stayed at the Roosevelt during the Hurricane scare just before our departure. The mayor had a curfew for us, but removed it when it took a path to the east of NOLA.

It seemed to go pretty smoothly. 1 of the staff apologized for the "kinks" that weren't worked out yet, but it really had no effect on us. The coffee machine in the snack room(Perks) was well used, and had a few issues of getting our Cappuccinos:-), but the engines ran well, we had power, food, entertainment and excursions, so no issues there!

Our accommodations were fantastic!(we had a surprise upgrade upon arrival! What a fantastic 70th birthday gift) The food was good. We ate several times in the River Club, Chef Chris was superb, friendly and very accommodating!( reservations required, but no one seemed to know about this restaurant, until a few days into the cruise).We ate one evening on the deck at the River Club...at sunset-perfect!) The band was great; the cruise director was great and a good singer; pursors very attentive. It seemed so different to cruise for days with no buildings or houses along the river! I guess it floods so frequently that people don't build there. The history of course is extensive on the NO to Memphis cruise.

What are you interested in knowing? Please ask, and I'll try to answer.:D

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Sparty1 -- thank you so much for posting and providing information about your recent cruise. I am so glad that the cruise went well and that you enjoyed it. How nice to get an upgrade.

 

I will start off with several questions, but suspect I will have many more as the time for our cruise nears.

1) Was the boat full? or perhaps I should ask if the boat felt crowded?

2) Is it possible to get a table for two in either of the dining rooms?

3) Was it difficult to get on and off the boat? i.e. were there steep ramps or steps?

4) Were the HOHO buses accessible near the boat?

5) What were your favorite excursions?

6) Any food items not to be missed?

 

Once again, thank you for posting and for offering to answer questions.

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Sparty1 -- thank you so much for posting and providing information about your recent cruise. I am so glad that the cruise went well and that you enjoyed it. How nice to get an upgrade. I will start off with several questions, but suspect I will have many more as the time for our cruise nears. 1) Was the boat full? or perhaps I should ask if the boat felt crowded?The boat was sold out until Hurricane Harvey scare! Some cancelled(that's why we got an upgrade) The boat never felt crowded! The theater was full during shows, but we wondered where people came from, 'cuz we didn't see many around the boat!

2) Is it possible to get a table for two in either of the dining rooms? Yes, it was easy in both restaurants. The Head Waiter in Main dining area preferred to seat people with others, but you could easily get a 2 person table. Reservations needed in River Club, but we did not have any problems getting them.

3) Was it difficult to get on and off the boat? i.e. were there steep ramps or steps? Ramps were used in all ports(short and long, steep and not so steep)BUT they use "golf carts" to take anyone who needs or wants a ride to and from the boat. Worked well!

4) Were the HOHO buses accessible near the boat? Yes. Except where it was too steep, but the carts were used.

5) What were your favorite excursions? That would be hard to say. We took 2 Premium tours, and rest were the included tours, and we liked all of them. Natchez was probably our favorite town: so quaint, so many historical places to see! The included tours on the HOHO also include all entrance fees to any/all of the stops on the tours. You just say you are with the boat, and you go right in or through! Very nice and smoothe.

6) Any food items not to be missed? The food was good. Chef Chris could really fix things perfectly(River Club)filet, salmon, glazed chicken were all excellent. Perks is the coffee/snack area on deck 2, and they have fresh baked pastries/muffins/cinnamon buns in am, and cookies in pm, plus hot popcorn. Those were very good!

You''ll enjoy!:D

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Sparty1 -- your very helpful replies are much appreciated. And, as I expected, I now have a few additional questions, generated by the arrival of our Cruise Documents.

 

1) The clothing section made it sound as if most men will be wearing jackets to dinner and to the entertainment venues. I am sure my husband would prefer a sweater to a jacket. Would he feel out of place?

2) We learned there are no laundry facilities onboard the boat. For the most part, they would not be necessary for a week-long cruise. But, are there any facilities in the suites for doing hand laundry, i.e. a line for hanging clothes should the need arise?

 

Also, just looked at the description of the Duchess accommodations and don't see a hair dryer listed with the amenities provided. It has been quite a while since I have packed a hair dryer, so I am wondering if a hair dryer is provided?

 

Thank you again for taking your time to answer these questions.

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I am not Sparty1, however, I can answer 2 of your questions;

 

1. Regarding dressing for dinner or entertainment - a sweater or dress shirt or even a nice casual shirt is fine for dinner and entertainment.

 

2. Regarding hair dryers, ever cabin will have a hair dryer.

 

Have a great cruise.

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Thank you sailingmickey for chiming in with answers to the questions.

 

If there is anybody else reading these boards who has recent experience on the Duchess, your comments and suggestions would be welcomed.

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Thank you sailingmickey for chiming in with answers to the questions.

 

If there is anybody else reading these boards who has recent experience on the Duchess, your comments and suggestions would be welcomed.

 

I am not Sparty1, however, I can answer 2 of your questions;

 

1. Regarding dressing for dinner or entertainment - a sweater or dress shirt or even a nice casual shirt is fine for dinner and entertainment.

 

2. Regarding hair dryers, ever cabin will have a hair dryer.

 

Have a great cruise.

 

vlinbin--I apologize for not getting back to see if you had more questions(I traveled to spend time in the hospital with my Dad who had a heart attack and to help my Mom)

sailingmickey, thank you for stepping up. Those would have been my answers also. I can not offer an answer to the clothesline either, as I did not use one, and do not remember if there was one:-(

Have a great trip! You'll love it!

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Thank you, sparty1, for following up. I am sorry to hear about your father's heart attack. I hope he is recovering nicely.

 

Our cruise is less than a week away and we are getting very excited. I hope to add another review about the American Duchess after we return from the trip.

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Looking at the itineraries for the Queen and the Duchess, it appears that both boats will be in Natchez on November 23rd, Thanksgiving Day. Perhaps they will be docked side by side.

It would be fun to meet up at some point that day. Have you decided what you will do that day? We will be doing the HOHO bus, as there are several great homes I want to see.

 

Do you have any info on about how much time to allow for the different stops in Natchez? There are so many great stops that day, and I'm wondering just how many we can fit in and still get back to the boat on time.

 

If you will e-mail me at 2 the sea 2 the sea at gmail dot com, we can exchange names, etc so that if we are docked together, we can look each other up.

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Thank you, sparty1, for following up. I am sorry to hear about your father's heart attack. I hope he is recovering nicely.

 

Our cruise is less than a week away and we are getting very excited. I hope to add another review about the American Duchess after we return from the trip.

 

Thank you, vlinbin. I appreciate your kind words.

You should be getting excited! It will be a nice trip:-) I look forward to your insight on the cruise and experience.

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We have now returned from our very pleasant cruise on the Duchess. I am in the process of writing a review and will post it on the reviews section of Cruise Critic. So far there are two lackluster reviews there, but mine will be far more positive.

 

Will probably not get a chance to finish the review for a day or two, and will post a note here when the review appears.

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A note that Cruise Critic has a writer on the American Duchess cruise that's leaving today. So we'll have a review forthcoming. (I saw the ship in August and had a dinner onboard but didn't sail).

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I submitted a review to Cruise Critic two or three days ago, but have not received any word that it has been posted. But since then, I keep getting e-mails about "deals" despite the fact I have unsubscribed from the e-mails.

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We have now returned from our very pleasant cruise on the Duchess. I am in the process of writing a review and will post it on the reviews section of Cruise Critic. So far there are two lackluster reviews there, but mine will be far more positive.

 

...I submitted a review to Cruise Critic two or three days ago, but have not received any word that it has been posted.

 

Apparently it has still not been posted -- now there are 3 reviews, one September, two October -- all rated the cruise Poor.

 

I just got off the AD in Nashville Dec 10, and if I get around to it, will also do a review. Like you, my rating would be much higher - between Very Good and Excellent.

 

Hopefully your review will show up soon!

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Glad to hear that you too enjoyed your cruise. I sent a message to Cruise Critic asking about my review and why it has not appeared. No answer yet.

 

If the review does not appear within a few more days, I believe I will just post it here. It bothers me that people will think there are problems with the American Duchess when, in fact, it is a lovely boat.

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We were also also on the Dutches this past week, shared many a good meal with Dave. Found the cruise to be very good. It turns out that I met the critic writer several times on the boat, knew he was a writer, but not a critic writer. Looking forward to his article. There is already one about Nashville under the river cruising category.

 

Dave, see you made it home safely.

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Just submitted a review of our Duchess cruise, comparing it with our previous Mississippi cruise on American Cruise Line.

 

vlinbin: Looks like Cruise Critic has to pore over our reviews in their own good time before they will post them. Like you, if this takes too long, I'll just post it here (I saved the text).

 

njhoo: Glad you made it back to the snowy north OK. When I saw Cruise Critic Chris' post, I guessed it was the young lady who always sat by herself near the entrance. Wrong guess, apparently.

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vlinbin, et al: Got an interesting e-mail from Cruise Critic, thanking me for submitting my review, and informing me that after checking my review, they would determine if it was one of the "five reviews we select for posting each month." (Huh?)

 

With only five per month, looks like it might be a long time, if ever, before our reviews appear.

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I did receive a reply from Cruise Critic regarding the review I submitted about ten days ago. Apparently there is a large volume of submissions and many staff on vacation at the present time. Thus the reviews are taking longer than usual to post.

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And .. my interpretation of the five reviews per month mentioned in the response e-mail was not that only five are published per month, but that five are selected as special featured reviews.

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Just submitted a review of our Duchess cruise, comparing it with our previous Mississippi cruise on American Cruise Line.

 

Cruise Critic has posted the review I submitted. This is the link they sent me:

 

American Duchess Review by DaveinCharlotte

 

One embarrassing typo: I described two different complaints as my "biggest gripe." Oops. Meant to describe the second one as my "next biggest gripe..."

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DaveinCharlotte -- found your review very interesting. Having no experience with other cruises on US Rivers, the comparison with another line was very helpful.

 

What surprised me was that you were cold in many locations. I don't remember experiencing that anywhere, but I tend to dislike heat so maybe just didn't notice. The one time we tried to sit outside at the River Grill, Greenville was being infested with ladybugs. They were everywhere. Thus we quickly went back inside, but not due to the cold.

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What surprised me was that you were cold in many locations.

 

Well, our Duchess cruise was pretty late in the season, December on the Cumberland River. Several mornings were below freezing, and the entire top deck was dismantled and closed. One day they even posted signs saying all outdoor decks were closed, due to slippery ice conditions.

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Good morning......thanks for posting those 2 reviews:)........I am trying to decide about trying a Mississippi River

Cruise.......I have been on a European River Cruise.................

 

Dave the AMERICAN CRUISE COMPANY sounds like there is more included.......than the AMERICAN QUEEN...........

I will be celebrating a 60th birthday in March..........and I sail solo. I have been on many cruises over the years......

Which one of these companies would you recommend?

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Dave the AMERICAN CRUISE COMPANY sounds like there is more included.......than the AMERICAN QUEEN...........

I will be celebrating a 60th birthday in March..........and I sail solo. I have been on many cruises over the years......

Which one of these companies would you recommend?

 

That's a toughie. ACL's America suits my own situation and personality more than AQSC's American Duchess, but that's just me.

 

The only AQSC boat I have been on is American Duchess; I have not been on American Queen. American Queen is much larger.

 

I note that American Duchess has no cabins specifically for Solos, but both American Queen and ACL's America (and its sister ship Queen of the Mississippi) have plenty.

 

AQSC's American Duchess struck me as an elegant, spacious, and slightly more formal ship. ACL's America had more of a "steamboat" feel, with many comfortable lounges.

 

Both AQSC and ACL demonstrated an equally high level of overall organization. I don't think you can go wrong with either one.

 

(An afterthought: Despite the relative elegance of American Duchess, it's actually the cheaper of the two, at least on the lower-end of the cabin categories.)

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HI Dave, thanks for the reply. I appreciate it. I will have to give it some more thought.

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Lois -- as you know I cannot compare the two steamboat lines having been only on the AQSC boat. But, I have done a European River cruise (on Tauck) from Paris (Lyon) to Monte Carlo. I far prefer the AQSC cruise due to the flexibility involved. The Tauck cruise seemed regimented -- everyone ate together in just one restaurant, all went on the same tours (though in small groups of about 30), and the choice of cabin styles was limited. Of course the ports in Europe were more interesting but that has nothing to do with the cruise company. When we went on bus tours of any length, all of the tour buses stopped at the rest stops at the same time-- making lines for the restrooms quite lengthy especially for those on the last bus to pull up.

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Lois -- as you know I cannot compare the two steamboat lines having been only on the AQSC boat. But, I have done a European River cruise (on Tauck) from Paris (Lyon) to Monte Carlo. I far prefer the AQSC cruise due to the flexibility involved. The Tauck cruise seemed regimented -- everyone ate together in just one restaurant, all went on the same tours (though in small groups of about 30), and the choice of cabin styles was limited. Of course the ports in Europe were more interesting but that has nothing to do with the cruise company. When we went on bus tours of any length, all of the tour buses stopped at the rest stops at the same time-- making lines for the restrooms quite lengthy especially for those on the last bus to pull up.

 

I LOVED my European River cruise:D....it was not on Tauck but on AMA Waterways...as for dining, everyone went into

the main dining room at the same time on our cruise too......but that is part of the plan......so not sure we are in

agreement on that part.......I loved the food and service and met some lovely folks throughout the cruise and ate with

some multiple times. Most of our tours had less than 30 people. But of course there are cruises for all of us out

there:D......glad you enjoyed the American Queen. :)

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Good morning......thanks for posting those 2 reviews:)........I am trying to decide about trying a Mississippi River

Cruise.......I have been on a European River Cruise.................

 

Dave the AMERICAN CRUISE COMPANY sounds like there is more included.......than the AMERICAN QUEEN...........

I will be celebrating a 60th birthday in March..........and I sail solo. I have been on many cruises over the years......

Which one of these companies would you recommend?

 

I have been on the AMERICAN QUEEN and AMERICAN EMPRESS, and enjoyed t hem both. In fact I have reservations on the AMERICAN QUEEN for early next year. It will be my tenth trip on their boats.

 

I will not go on any of American Cruise Line boats. Their owner has paid over a half million dollars to Washington, DC lobbyist Blank Rose to prevent Congress from passing legislation to allow the national historic landmark Steamer DELTA QUEEN to operate again on America's rivers. The DELTA QUEEN operated safely from 1927 until 2008 when Congress did not renew her exemption from SOLAS regulations due to her wooden superstructure. If the exemption is renewed investors plan on returning this American icon into service, and I find it unpardonable that American Cruise Line and its paid lobbyist so far have kept this from happening.

 

Earlier this year the U.S.Senate passed the legislation to allow the DELTA QUEEN to steam once again carrying overnight passengers, but the House's HR 619 still languishes in committee. You can write or call your Representative in Congress to urge the bill's mark up and to place it on the House floor for a full vote by the House.

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Their owner has paid over a half million dollars to Washington, DC lobbyist Blank Rose to prevent Congress from passing legislation to allow the national historic landmark Steamer DELTA QUEEN to operate again on America's rivers.

 

Trying to dig into this a bit further. Did you mean to say "lobbyist Blank Rome"?

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Trying to dig into this a bit further. Did you mean to say "lobbyist Blank Rome"?

 

Yes, I'm sorry, that is it, Blank Rome; there is nothing rosy about this.

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Merry Christmas to all...........

 

Dave, if you check in here again, I see you have some different cruises than the usual in your signature.........how did you

enjoy the "UNCRUISE"?

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