Saturday, July 14, 2012

Diary of a Traveler on the American Queen-Day 1

Dairy of a Traveler on the American Queen---Day 1
By Janelle Woodyard

Do you remember a time when you felt excitement in the air? For children, it might be a birthday party, Christmas or Chanukah. As we get older, it might be the thrill of a new house or a new car. Or what about the excitement of going on vacation to a place you've always wanted to go. For me, I got that feeling today when I looked over the Ohio River and saw the American Queen docked in Cincinnati.

There have been many highlights today so I'll start from the beginning. We flew from Orlando, to Charlotte, to Cincinnati and took a taxi to the Public Landing where we boarded the beautiful American Queen. (Our taxi drive is a story all by itself. Long story short, I gave the driver the address. He didn't know where the Cincinnati Public Landing was located and then he asked me if I had a GPS. Then he pulled over and asked a taxi driver from another company for directions. It was definitely a scene from a movie or a Jerry Seinfeld episode.)

We finally arrived at the Cincinnati Public Landing and before we stepped foot onto the gangway, we were greeted with southern hospitality and smiles. Shore excursions are included in the cruise fare so we took a tour of Cincinnati via the hop on-hop off motor coach.
Stops included: 
1) Cincinnati Red Hall of Fame and Museum 
2) National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
3) Fountain Square (where we heard a choir participating in the World Choir)
4) Krohn Conservatory
5) Eden Park Observation Point
6) Cincinnati Art Museum
7) Newport on the Levee and the Newport Aquarium 
What a fantastic way to see the city. The buses circulate every 20 minutes so it was convenient to hop off, visit a stop, hop back on and head to the next stop. 

Once I stepped onboard the American Queen, I felt like I was traveling back in time. The victorian decor is absolutely beautiful from the staterooms, to the Captain's Bar, to the Grand Saloon, to the J. W. Dining room, just to name a few. Fabulous Food: From treats at tea time, to hors d' oeuvres at the Cocktail Party, and through all the courses at dinner, everything tasted delicious. 

Excellent Entertainment: American Queen Steamboat Company did not hold back on the quality of any of their entertainment. Phil tickled the ivories and Bob plucked the banjo, which added to the ambience of the paddle wheeler. But I have to say The Memphis Suns far exceeded my expectations. They not only hit a home run, it was a grand slam! Great vocals, incredible musicianship, and very entertaining. 

Day one is done. The sun has set, the moon is glistening on the water, and I think everyone aboard is asleep except for the captain. I can't wait for day two.

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