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LDVinNC

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About LDVinNC

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    Dunedin FL

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  1. We recently returned from a three week trip on the American Queen. It was supposed to be "The Mighty Mississippi" but due to high water, we diverted on to the Ohio River and ended up in Cincinnati. We were not pleased with the change, but what could they do? AQSC did well by us, we think. They changed our return transportation arrangements at no cost to us, gave us a 25% credit towards another trip, a 5% or 10% credit for booking that trip while onboard, and an onboard credit for that future trip. We booked a Great Lakes cruise next year on Victory Cruise Line, AQSC's sister line. Boat and Accommodations: We have been on the AQ several times before, last in 2016. The boat is in good shape, and our cabin (B category, 415) was generally fine. The shower head needs replacement: it sprayed me in the face and could not be adjusted. They have put a loveseat where a couple of Victorian chairs used to be, and I liked that. Our cabin attendant was great. Transportation: The Hop On - Hop Off bus system works very well. They are proud of the new "river coaches", but I wonder if the designers took into consideration the age of their typical passenger. The buses have a new center side entry door with about 5 steep steps up into the bus. I am not disabled but found those steps hard to use, so I continued to use the front entry door. Most of the others did, too. Food and Beverage: There were some issues in the main dining room. At first it was just about impossible to get beef cooked properly. My request for steak cooked medium twice brought very rare meat, and once almost burned. One night the veal was literally inedible. I could not even cut it. The serving staff did their best, but some nights there were considerable delays with food leaving the kitchen. It did improve after the first week. The Front Porch casual dining venue has changed from our last trip. It used to be that most of the entrees from the main dining room were available at the buffet, but now it is prime rib and one other entree every night. Not an improvement in my opinion. Also, when the management of the venue changed after the first week, the new manager decided to change the arrangement of silverware, napkins, etc. Unnecessary and annoying to all but him. They offered a beverage card for 10 drinks for $50 - a good deal as most drinks were almost $10. Wine and beer are still free at dinner and soda is always free. They formerly gave out bottles of water but now have "hydration stations". They give you an un-insulated metal bottle for your personal use and in various locations on the boat are machines you can use to fill the bottles. Not a fan - the water heats up quickly when outside and you have to drag the bottle around with you even when it is empty. I do understand the ecological reason for the change, but we bought bottles of water several times in port and we saw many fellow passengers carrying plastic bottles around. Maybe if the bottles were insulated it would work better. Communication: I don't know what they have done to the internet on the boat. It was fine 3 years ago but now it is BAD. Completely unacceptable in 2019. There used to be just one desktop computer but now there are 4. There was nearly always one available when we wanted to use it. And if you are not using one of the major cell carriers you may have issues texting and calling. We have Consumer Cellular and it was non-functional for much of the trip. Laundry: There is a tiny laundry room with 2 washers and dryers on deck 4. It was usually fully in use! They offer a laundry service - stuff a bag for $20. You can get a lot in the bag if you try! It was returned, nicely folded or on hangers, the same day. We used it three times and were very pleased. Entertainment: There were shows every night, ranging from good to excellent. The 4 person ensemble performed together or separately a number of nights, and they brought onboard all sort of other entertainers. We were pleased. There were lectures by the Riverlorian, bingo a few times, gatherings for games, crafts, etc. Pretty low-key. If you have any questions, I will be happy to try to answer them for you.
  2. I am not sure that "regular" travel insurance would cover refusal to take the trip because of a revised itinerary. Cancel for any reason insurance would, of course. I do agree that insurance is essential for a variety of reasons. I was prompted to look at the "passage contract" for AQSC. If I read it correctly, they have the right to put you off the boat anywhere, and even to not reimburse you if they cancel a trip and you have already paid for it. I think other cruise lines have the same sort of contract. Little or no protections for the customer.
  3. To the best of my knowledge, it is offered on all trips. But you might want to check with AQSC.
  4. Forgot to mention that every time we sent the laundry out, it was back later the same day. We sent it out 3 times as it was a 3 week trip. Much more pleasant than running back and forth to see if a machine was free, to switch the laundry over to the dryer, etc. Worth $20 to me!
  5. Yes, the laundry is free but there are only 2 washers and dryers. They do offer a service at $20 for a bag; it is nicely done and folded upon return. You can get a LOT in the bag they provide.
  6. Yesterday we disembarked from what was supposed to be the 21 day "Mighty Mississippi" cruise. Heading north from New Orleans, we had to divert over to the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers, ending up in Cincinnati instead of Red Wing, MN. This was a trip we booked in February 2018 and really looked forward to. Were we disappointed? Heck, yes. Could we blame AQSC for what Mother Nature did? No. We, along with most of our fellow passengers to whom we spoke, made the best of it. AQSC revised our return travel plans at their expense, did not charge us for the airport bus (which they usually do), and gave us a 25% credit for another trip, as well as a 5 or 10% discount for booking that future trip on board. We booked a Victory Cruise Line Great Lakes trip for 2020. Looking at the passage contract, they did not have to do a darn thing. They could have dumped us off anywhere and not given us back a nickel. If I read it correctly, they could even have cancelled the whole trip and not refunded our money! We think they made the best of a difficult situation.
  7. Well, we booked in February 2018 for the full "Mighty Mississippi" cruise. We disembarked yesterday. Heading north from New Orleans, we had to divert over to the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers, ending up in Cincinnati instead of Red Wing, MN. Were we disappointed? Heck, yes. Could we blame AQSC for what Mother Nature did? No. We, along with most of our fellow passengers to whom we spoke, made the best of it. AQSC revised our return travel plans at their expense, did not charge us for the airport bus (which they usually do), and gave us a 25% credit for another trip, as well as a 5 or 10% discount for booking that future trip on board. We booked a Victory Cruise Line Great Lakes trip for 2020. I understand your displeasure. But why would you not take the trip instead of letting all that money go to waste? It is a lovely experience even if the ports are not what you planned.
  8. May I then ask why you did not insure that trip with the "other Company" since you had a good experience with them? And, yes, all insurance companies will do what they can to minimize payment of claims. Nice? No, but that is business!
  9. Our American Queen Mississippi trip docks in Illinois in a couple of weeks - but I do get your point!
  10. Whoever runs them, they are EXPENSIVE. Locally I can get a wonderful full hour massage for $60 (not including tip) and on a ship 50 minute massages are more than twice that. I usually do have some kind of treatment, though, when there is a special. It is usually on port days that they have good specials.
  11. We have brought wine aboard the American Queen with no problem. I do not think there would be an issue with hard liquor either, assuming you bring a reasonable amount with you.
  12. We have traveled on the American Queen several times and have loved it. In fact we are scheduled to do the full Mississippi, from New Orleans to Minneapolis at the end of this month. We are not sure how the trip will be affected, given the water levels on the river. Hoping for the best - for our trip and for all the people who are struggling right now.
  13. We have used Smiths for Airports. They are not inexpensive, but they are reliable. You can check out their website.
  14. Squaremouth is a broker. I have not used them, but have visited their website.
  15. I think you need to call an expert. As others here often recommend, try tripinsurancestore.com or insuremy trip.com. I wonder, though, if you might encounter a lot of hassles between the Citi insurer (we have made a claim with them and it worked out well but it was a small amount - $400) and the other insurer with co-ordination of benefits. And that is assuming you could find such a policy at all.
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