To Sea or Not to Sea: That Is the Question.
It appears that I may actually get my wife to travel with me next summer. Under consideration is one of the Mississippi River cruises, especially those originating in New Orleans and including among the several stops, Natchez and Vicksburg. I’ve been to New Orleans multiple times, but have never visited any of the sites that were significant during the Civil War, a serious omission in my travel experiences.
The leading company, at least in terms of size, appears to be American Cruise Lines and, as the result of an email query, we are now being bombarded with their literature. I also spent some time a month or so ago reading a number of reviews of their cruises and came away from that exercise with some uncertainty. There were some very positive reviews, of course, but more than a few that were not terribly enthusiastic.
The more frequent criticisms had to do with spotty service, mediocre food, and a doddering clientele. I recall one comment in particular that scorned the on-board activities arranged for passengers, citing specifically kite flying from the top deck. Whoopee!
On the whole, my impression from reading both the company literature and all those comments is that this particular company deals in large volumes of clients and for the more sophisticated passengers, the actual experience doesn’t live up to the hype.
I’ve recently learned that Viking River Cruises is planning to offer a Mississippi River Cruise sometime toward the middle or latter part of next year. Several of my NARP colleagues have taken Viking cruises and swear that they are the very best.
All that said, when the moment of truth arrives, I suspect my wife will decide not to go and I shall once again contact the folks at Railbookers and ask them to arrange for me to cross off another train ride from my long list: the Little Yellow Train, running through the Pyrenees along the French/Spanish border.