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molole

Mississippi River cruising for a newbie

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Hubby and I are interested in a Mississippi River (Missouri and Ohio rivers too) cruise and we have some very novice questions.

Which portion of the river do you recommend? We have family live in Pittsburgh and want to join us - is Pittsburgh a good embarking or disembarking port? We want to accomendate them as they have mild mobility limitations but none of us want to sacrifice scenery or quality. If it's not we are more than happy to travel to a better stop.

Which mid priced line would you recommend?

When is the best time to go? Is November a good time?

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There are only two cruise lines doing the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and that´s American Queen Steamboat Company and American Cruise Lines. Both are not "mid priced".

 

I prefer the Ohio river over the Mississippi river. But as for November almost all boats will be on the Lower Miss between Memphis and New Orleans. It´s not that the boats do run a certain itinerary year round. During winter time they are in the South. In summer and fall you will find them on the Upper Miss and the Ohio river.

 

steamboats

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5 hours ago, molole said:

Hubby and I are interested in a Mississippi River (Missouri and Ohio rivers too) cruise and we have some very novice questions.

Which portion of the river do you recommend? We have family live in Pittsburgh and want to join us - is Pittsburgh a good embarking or disembarking port? We want to accomendate them as they have mild mobility limitations but none of us want to sacrifice scenery or quality. If it's not we are more than happy to travel to a better stop.

Which mid priced line would you recommend?

When is the best time to go? Is November a good time?

Here is what I wrote to our TA after a 2013 trip on the American Queen (N. Orleans to Memphis):

"Overall, if asked for a recommendation, I’d have to ask what people were looking for?

Beautiful scenery passing by on a beautiful river? – probably not. At least not on this leg. The more northerly summer routes may be better.  An easily-accessed, relaxing cruise on an very attractive, clean ship with good food, good entertainment and “all-American” staff? – no problems here. Exciting, interesting shore excursions every day? Not really. Excluding the start and finish, some of the intermediate stops were not that great. An experienced river cruiser used to the best of everything might find things to nit-pick on the American Queen. At full brochure price, these cruises look expensive compared to what is available elsewhere so I’d be looking for upgrades and discounts like we had."

 

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 @CanEcosse The Lower Miss river is definitely not the most attractive part of the river regarding scenery. The Upper Miss river and the Ohio river are much nicer regarding scenery.

 

steamboats

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If excursions are important to you (they are to us), we are doing our first US river cruise in October from New Orleans to Memphis on an all inclusive Road Scholar trip that includes 3 nights in New Orleans prior to the cruise.  My brother, sister-in-law and her mom are traveling with us.  Mom did the Snake River with Road Scholar and sings their praises.

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I've looked at US and Canadian river cruises, especially the Columbia River, and in my opinion they are very overpriced compared to European cruises.  The only advantage I see is no overseas flights.  

 

To the original poster, I grew up in da Burgh, and was wondering if there are cruises that begin and end there?

 

Roz

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When I checked on the prices for cruising the Mississippi a few years ago, we decided to just "drive" the Mississippi.  We flew into New Orleans, spent three nights and days seeing the local sights, then rented a car.  We spent a total of 21 days on our trip (the same length as the cruise of the entire river), ending up in St. Paul.  We had a great time, saw lots of interesting things.....some due to serendipity, saw enough of the river (for us), and spent a total of $5000 plus airfare from Los Angeles.  We used the itinerary used by the cruise line as a general guide, while not spending very much time on the actual river (it does get repetitive).  The only cruising we accomplished consisted of a 2-hour cruise on the river from St. Paul.  Our stops:  St. Francisville, LA; Natchez, MS; Vicksburg, MS;  Greenville, MS; Memphis, TN (2 nights); St Louis, MO (2 nights); Muscatine, IA;  Galena, Il; La Crosse, WI; New Ulm, MN; Lake Florida, MN 2 nights with friends; ST. Paul, MN (2 nights).

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On 3/28/2019 at 11:46 AM, molole said:

Hubby and I are interested in a Mississippi River (Missouri and Ohio rivers too) cruise and we have some very novice questions.

Which portion of the river do you recommend? We have family live in Pittsburgh and want to join us - is Pittsburgh a good embarking or disembarking port? We want to accomendate them as they have mild mobility limitations but none of us want to sacrifice scenery or quality. If it's not we are more than happy to travel to a better stop.

Which mid priced line would you recommend?

When is the best time to go? Is November a good time?

Where do you live now? US or outside of the US?

 

November in Pittsburgh does not sound good.... Cold!

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On 3/28/2019 at 4:46 PM, molole said:

Hubby and I are interested in a Mississippi River (Missouri and Ohio rivers too) cruise and we have some very novice questions.

Which portion of the river do you recommend? We have family live in Pittsburgh and want to join us - is Pittsburgh a good embarking or disembarking port? We want to accomendate them as they have mild mobility limitations but none of us want to sacrifice scenery or quality. If it's not we are more than happy to travel to a better stop.

Which mid priced line would you recommend?

When is the best time to go? Is November a good time?

 

Good afternoon Molole.

 

Please excuse the late response due entirely to cruising across the Indian Ocean onboard Queen Victoria.

 

So now I'm back home I'm delighted to pass on to you the link to my cruise blog on which is a full and honest review of our recent time onboard the American Queen....

 

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2018/01/24/american-queen-mississippi-christmas-cruise/

 

With over 50 of my own photographs I hope you find it both interesting and useful.

 

2036587872_AmericanQueenExterior4atNatchezSRCAP.thumb.jpg.2f64a6e9cb4664a704fa030e04c98cd3.jpg

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On March 31, 2019 at 9:07 AM, Roz said:

I've looked at US and Canadian river cruises, especially the Columbia River, and in my opinion they are very overpriced compared to European cruises.  The only advantage I see is no overseas flights.  

 

To the original poster, I grew up in da Burgh, and was wondering if there are cruises that begin and end there?

 

Roz

Me too!  Go Pirates!  

 

Yes, there are some river cruises that begin and end in Pittsburgh.  The Ohio river cruises go between St. Louis and Pittsburgh in the summer.  

 

 

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On April 28, 2019 at 8:35 PM, Coral said:

Where do you live now? US or outside of the US?

 

November in Pittsburgh does not sound good.... Cold!

In the US, the south.  I have forgotten how cold winter is up north.  Lol

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On April 29, 2019 at 11:04 AM, Solent Richard said:

 

Good afternoon Molole.

 

Please excuse the late response due entirely to cruising across the Indian Ocean onboard Queen Victoria.

 

So now I'm back home I'm delighted to pass on to you the link to my cruise blog on which is a full and honest review of our recent time onboard the American Queen....

 

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2018/01/24/american-queen-mississippi-christmas-cruise/

 

With over 50 of my own photographs I hope you find it both interesting and useful.

 

2036587872_AmericanQueenExterior4atNatchezSRCAP.thumb.jpg.2f64a6e9cb4664a704fa030e04c98cd3.jpg

Wow, that looks amazing!  Thank you!

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Sign up for the lines emails and mailings.  They often offer discounted rates.  I agree I find them a little pricey.  You could do the drive and cruise.  Riverboats, even some from the same companies, are available for daily cruises along the way and that might be more than enough river cruising.  

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27 minutes ago, molole said:

Me too!  Go Pirates!  

 

Yes, there are some river cruises that begin and end in Pittsburgh.  The Ohio river cruises go between St. Louis and Pittsburgh in the summer.  

 

 

I too live in the South - a Pittsburgh ex-pat.  I'm old enough to remember going to ball games at Forbes Field.  Saw Roberto Clemente play.  Interesting about Pittsburgh being a river cruise port, but makes sense on the Ohio River.  I'm going back there in June, so maybe I'll see one of the ships. 

 

Roz

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