I decided my current weekly edition needed a header photo so here it is. First of all, let me say, as my friend Kathleen summed it up last week, planning and anticipation is half the fun. It most certainly is, and I am the supreme planner. Vic and I are such a great team - he will go anywhere as long as I plan it!
Second, no matter where you're going, a good guide or reference book is a must, especially if you are going to venture out on an adventure that you haven't tried before. During our Christmas Eve Barnes and Noble shopping excursion, I picked up this guide.
I was happy to see that it covers all of the major European river cruise lines (for future travel!) and covers the U. S. lines as well. There is a nice section at the front on the various cruise lines and the features of each vessel, as well as sections about specific itineraries. It's a great little package.
American Queen Steamboat Company cruising is described as "throw(ing) yourself into American history and folklore...embrace the kitsch, embrace small town U.S.A., and embrace the people and traditions along the rivers" and the vessels as "floating museums of the country's rich river history". I loved that under Activities are "riverlorians", local experts who head up lectures and presentations, on topics from historical maps and data, the Civil War, or wildlife along the rivers. I'm liking this adventure more and more. It's so unique.
I want as much of the trip as possible to be a surprise for Vic but I knew that I needed his input for our room choice. The offerings are vast for a vessel this size, everything from Owner's Suites with Exclusive Verandas to Single Inside Staterooms. We debated on whether to go with a private veranda, an open veranda, or a bay window, checking the pricing and the location of the rooms. I thought thrifty Vic would opt for a smaller, less expensive room so I was surprised when he really had only one criteria - the room had to have interior and exterior access. Leave it to my safety expert to plan ahead for any contingency. So we'll opt for the slightly larger Outside Stateroom with Open Veranda, slightly more expensive than the category below it, also with the same name, but with only exterior access.
|Looks like we'll be in the row of goldenrod-colored cabins at the bottom of the picture as they have both interior and exterior access|
Access issue aside, I really wanted a stateroom with a veranda - you spend a lot of time watching the river roll by and what better place than on the veranda. There are chairs and a small table, perfect for your morning coffee or a cold beverage, a book, and your camera. As the brochure says, "...imagine opening French doors to a sweeping river vista and the sweet scent of magnolia trees..."
Where are my suitcases? I want to go NOW!