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Copyright © 1995-2004 
Linda Coffman


American Queen
July 2–5, 2004

by Frank Beckendorf

When my wife called me and asked me to get a price on the American Queen for a short cruise, I didn’t hesitate for one minute. It doesn’t take much for me to go cruising. Not much. Well, it worked out. Rooms 531 and 533. Friday to Monday, the 5th.

My first apprehension on this ship and itinerary was, wait a minute, ALL American crew. Hmm. Will they be as cheerful as the foreign workers we’re used to? Or, will they sneer when we ask for something out of the ordinary? Well, we were set to find out.

Parking was terrific. Right next to the Delta Queen Steamboat Company. In their parking lot! Ten dollars a day. Just about fifty feet away from the boarding area. You know what? We were never charged!

The two rooms we had were outside as are most of the rooms. The room felt like an iceberg. They obviously didn’t care about the expense. The wallpaper and furnishings were terrific. Two terrific rooms! Two single beds with each one having two pillows. 

As for as the food is concerned, the meals were very good. From lobster the first night, all the way to Prime Rib the last. Great cheesecake. Great service. No freestyle baloney on the American Queen. 

Piano players everywhere. But, the first nightly show featured a jazz band in the theatre. Next night, was a small musical featuring the songs of Broadway. The last night had a terrific comedian named Ed Taylor and a Cajun Band. All quite good. 

We chose to tour the Oak Alley plantation at the first stop, Vacherie, La. It was marvelous. The next stop we docked next to the U.S.S. Kidd, July 4th. We toured the Myrtles and Rosedown Plantation as the swamp tour was sold out. This shore excursion too was good. 

We were scheduled to leave about 5:00 pm on the 4th for the return trip back but then learned that the ship’s captain and staff decided to extend that for the Fourth of July celebration in Baton Rouge. Great idea. Fighter jets and World War II single engine planes circled up high as the Kidd fired some cannon shots. Fireworks. Live bands on the wharfs. 

When we docked to end the cruise, disembarkation was a breeze. No problem with Customs as they weren’t there. No delays. Just right off the ship when we were ready. If there was anything negative to say about the experience it had to be that our cabins were late in being cleaned due to a mishap in not being assigned to a cabin steward. But, even this was not too aggravating. The cabin boy made up for it by spelling out my seven year old’s name on the bed with that tasty chocolate and mint candy mini-bars.

Frank Beckendorf ACC MCC DS
The World Over Travel Agency
3641 Charles Drive
Chalmette, LA 70043-1517
(504) 279-9968

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