ON THE OHIO RIVER_On day three of our eight-day cruise from Louisville to Pittsburgh, aboard the American Queen steamboat, now we have gone from small and charming (Madison, IN.) to large and sprawling — Cincinnati, Ohio.
We have now additionally left the gentle climate behind as effectively. Right this moment the forecast is shiny, sunny and scorching, about what you would possibly count on on a summer season day in August.
The excursions begin somewhat later than normal, which provides us an opportunity to get pleasure from a leisurely breakfast in the primary eating room. General, with one or two exceptions, the meals has been wonderful, and our breakfast was no totally different. I had the French toast whereas Pam went along with her favourite, Eggs Benedict. The service is topnotch as effectively.
For our hop on, hop off tour, there are 5 stops, together with two that require an admission cost — The Cincinnati Reds Corridor of Fame and Museum (we realized the Reds, or as they had been known as on the time, the Pink Stockings, had been baseball’s first skilled workforce) and the Nationwide Underground Railroad Freedom Middle.
We decide to hop off on the Krohn Conservatory, a nationally-recognized botanical backyard inbuilt 1933. Like lots of the stops, American Queen has negotiated free entry, which is a pleasant perk the excursions present.
The gardens are beautiful, and embody particular areas for bonsai bushes, orchids and a rain forest full with a waterfall. The oldest bonsai tree of their assortment is a 350-year-old Ponderosa pine, which considered one of their consultants advised me took three years to relocate to the conservatory.
The tour additionally included stops on the Eden park overlook and the Newport waterfront district, which encompasses a world-class aquarium. As one-time residents of Ohio, we had been well-acquainted with this space and selected to return to the boat for lunch.
Afterwards, I took my PC to the Entrance Porch outside deck to ship my newest dispatch to readers at All Issues Cruise. Why? I failed to say after they switched our rooms, we at the moment are in part of the boat that has little or no WiFi service. So once we want WiFi, now we have to go to the Mark Twain Gallery or one other public area, which is an annoyance. Having the strongest attainable WiFi connection ought to be on the high of each cruise line’s to-do listing.
Within the afternoon, the boat’s “riverlorian” delivers one other informative lecture in regards to the historical past of river journey, from dug-out canoes to steamships. We heard from the crew that the river is at a excessive stage, little question associated to the flooding in japanese Kentucky.
We get a day cocktail at our favourite bar — the River Grill and Bar. We aren’t positive why “Grill” is within the title since they solely serve drinks, and repair there’s restricted to only some hours every day. That’s a disgrace as a result of it has an amazing location on the aft space of the boat, and including meals to the choices appears to make sense.
I ought to be aware our room, like nearly all of staterooms, doesn’t have a non-public balcony. As a substitute, there are chairs positioned outdoors the place we are able to sit and watch the river or converse with fellow friends. And no matter the place, passengers on this cruise love to speak and work together. It’s a pleasant bunch.
Within the Grand saloon there’s a disembarkation discuss, which appears early because the cruise is barely half-over. However we are able to see they should plan on airport transportation, inns, and so on. Afterwards, it’s time for the early present, “Burnin’ Strings,” with guitarist and vocalist Logan Reeves. Reeves could make a guitar do superb issues, and he takes us by somewhat musical historical past, accompanied by the Steamboat Syncopators. His concluding rock anthems, “Voodoo Baby” by Jimi Hendrix and the Kinks’ “You Actually Received Me,” actually had the viewers rocking out.
Dinner featured a Southern favourite, fried hen, and for dessert, considered one of my favorites, Bananas Foster. The hen was one of the best I’ve had on a cruise ship. Most cruise ship cooks simply can’t appear to get it proper.
After dinner, we took a stroll on the highest deck and noticed shiny spotlights scanning the shoreline on both aspect of the boat. Curious, we headed ahead for a more in-depth look. A small crowd had gathered on the entrance of the boat and we may see the rationale for each: We had been approaching one other lock on the river.
We pulled up a chair and watched as we slowly entered the lock. Because the waters slowly rise, lifting the boat up, you may’t assist however be awed by the engineering prowess behind all of it.
Leaving the lock behind, American Queen sailed onward towards our subsequent cease, Mayesville, Kentucky. And that’s the place we finish this.
PHOTOS by Gerry Barker
- The Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati (cowl photograph)
- Guitarist extraordinaire Logan Reeves performs “Burnin’ Strings”
- The J.M. White principal eating room
- American Queen prepares to go away a lock
See sailings right here American Queen Voyages Cruises (cruisecompete.com)