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American Empress 9/22/2019 Sailing

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We are on the Empress this week from Clarkston to Vancouver. This is our 4th AQ cruise and we sailed the Empress 11 years ago when she was owed by Majestic. We are finding the changes as a much needed improvement.

 

One warning though, if you stay at the Davenport in Spokane, either pre or post, the hotel slaps a $10 plus tax “Destination Charge” on your bill as you to check out. Waiting to hear back from AQ corporate why. The local AQ reps were no assistance in the matter.

 

Will try to answer any questions y’all have

 

I would be interested in your opinion of the cabins overall. (Size, noise, vibration etc). While we don’t sail on the Empress until next year - we chose a port side cabin 334 which is 6 cabins back of midship. Was told this is a great location when we booked.

 

Sure hope you are having a great cruise. We have never done a river cruise in the US but certainly enjoyed our previous cruise on the Rhine River.

 

Take care -

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We left Clarkston yesterday after lunch and that section of the river, while having wonderful scenery is quite isolated. As such, this is the first we have Internet and cell phone service.

 

Okay, Spokane, it was raining Sunday afternoon and night which helped to cut back the effects of the smoke. The rain stopped by about 9:30 am giving a nice time for a walk about. We’ve been to Spokane about a dozen times as our SIL was stationed twice for 4 years each at Fairchild AFB. We are not foodies so we looked for comfort food enjoying the Safari Grille in the evening and Soulful Soups and Spirits for a lite lunch before the bus trip to Clarkston. Others said that the Post St. Ale House was also good. All are within walking distance of the hotel.

 

We’re in cabin 336, so right next door to your location. I am not hearing any noise or feeling vibration. We find that the cabin size is quite reasonable. It has a balcony that includes two chairs and a small table. I would say that a similar marketed cabin category on the Queen was much tighter and you heard more noise around you.

 

One last comment on the smoke, we noticed some haze on the horizon yesterday morning at sunrise. We definitely are not smelling any and as we got underway on the river the sky was clear and sunny.

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Thank you for your very detailed report........ so glad that the smoke isn’t impacting your trip. I hope it continues to be clear and smooth sailing :cool:. We would love to hear more travelogue if you have the time and internet service . LE

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We left Clarkston yesterday after lunch and that section of the river, while having wonderful scenery is quite isolated. As such, this is the first we have Internet and cell phone service.........

 

........We’re in cabin 336, so right next door to your location. I am not hearing any noise or feeling vibration. We find that the cabin size is quite reasonable. It has a balcony that includes two chairs and a small table. I would say that a similar marketed cabin category on the Queen was much tighter and you heard more noise around you.

 

njhoo:

Great information. Glad you like the cabin/area also. Hope you continue to have a great cruise.

 

Thanks for posting.

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We left Clarkston yesterday after lunch and that section of the river, while having wonderful scenery is quite isolated. As such, this is the first we have Internet and cell phone service.

 

Okay, Spokane, it was raining Sunday afternoon and night which helped to cut back the effects of the smoke. The rain stopped by about 9:30 am giving a nice time for a walk about. We’ve been to Spokane about a dozen times as our SIL was stationed twice for 4 years each at Fairchild AFB. We are not foodies so we looked for comfort food enjoying the Safari Grille in the evening and Soulful Soups and Spirits for a lite lunch before the bus trip to Clarkston. Others said that the Post St. Ale House was also good. All are within walking distance of the hotel.

 

We’re in cabin 336, so right next door to your location. I am not hearing any noise or feeling vibration. We find that the cabin size is quite reasonable. It has a balcony that includes two chairs and a small table. I would say that a similar marketed cabin category on the Queen was much tighter and you heard more noise around you.

 

One last comment on the smoke, we noticed some haze on the horizon yesterday morning at sunrise. We definitely are not smelling any and as we got underway on the river the sky was clear and sunny.

 

Great information! Thanks for posting!

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Good morning from Richland on the Columbia River....arrived here Wednesday and will be sailing west this morning after the full day excursion to Pendleton departs. We did the Manhattan Project premium excursion yesterday and found it to be excellent. As a history buff itwas very interesting with it’s important role in the WWII war effort.

 

Let’s talk about the food a bit now, we’ve been on dozens of cruises, at sea, and the rivers of Europe and the USA. I am a big fan of the AQSC menus and at dinner last evening they had one of my favorites, split pea! Delicious!

 

As to a smoke report, still just a haze out on the horizon, maybe if you are sniffing you might sense a tinge. Nothing to impact our day.

 

Today is a day of river cruising and we have our one night in the River Grill this evening.

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Good morning from Richland on the Columbia River....arrived here Wednesday and will be sailing west this morning after the full day excursion to Pendleton departs. We did the Manhattan Project premium excursion yesterday and found it to be excellent. As a history buff itwas very interesting with it’s important role in the WWII war effort.

 

Let’s talk about the food a bit now, we’ve been on dozens of cruises, at sea, and the rivers of Europe and the USA. I am a big fan of the AQSC menus and at dinner last evening they had one of my favorites, split pea! Delicious!

 

As to a smoke report, still just a haze out on the horizon, maybe if you are sniffing you might sense a tinge. Nothing to impact our day.

 

Today is a day of river cruising and we have our one night in the River Grill this evening.

 

So nice of you to post and keep us updated! Thank you!

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Great report. I’ve heard that the Manhattan excursion is a favorite, so far we’ve only signed up for the wine and spirits on Red Mountain. Glad to hear there’s been no impact from the smoke, and my foodie husband is happy about the food report. Thanks again for taking time out , we look forward to hearing from you. LE

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Good morning from Stevenson. Yesterday morning was too busy for an update, so here is two days. Beautiful sunrise with the sun just peaking over the mountains to the east. No sight of any smoke haze here.

 

From Richland we had a day of river cruising to The Dalles. We participated is some game shows and attended the two talks by the riverlorian Mary. The topic was Lewis and Clark Corp of Discovery. Very interesting and well presented. We did dinner in the upstairs River Grille. They serve lobster every evening. Not being a lobster fan, it didn’t really matter to me. We enjoyed the beef and lamb offerings.

 

Yesterday was The Dalles. Started early on the first HO-HO bus with stops at the gorge museum, old county courthouse and then the neon museum. By then it was time for lunch and we found a nice in town location. Two more small local museums and a short walk back to the boat.

 

Let’s talk about entertainment! We have Greg, the cruise director and his assistant Sammy. They do the before/after dinner entertainment shows accompanied by a four piece showboat band. Greg’s wife, Lindy, who is the hotel director, is an accomplished soprano. She did a one woman show one evening and Greg did a one man show another evening. Last night we had step on entertainment with our special guest singer/comedian cowboy Kevin. He was great! I personally enjoy the entertainment on the smaller vessels with the up close and personal aspect. There is always pre dinner piano playing in the Paddlewheel Lounge with Bob. He also provides the later night entertainment in the lounge.

 

Talk to you all tomorrow.

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Good morning from Stevenson. Yesterday morning was too busy for an update, so here is two days. Beautiful sunrise with the sun just peaking over the mountains to the east. No sight of any smoke haze here.

 

From Richland we had a day of river cruising to The Dalles. We participated is some game shows and attended the two talks by the riverlorian Mary. The topic was Lewis and Clark Corp of Discovery. Very interesting and well presented. We did dinner in the upstairs River Grille. They serve lobster every evening. Not being a lobster fan, it didn’t really matter to me. We enjoyed the beef and lamb offerings.

 

Yesterday was The Dalles. Started early on the first HO-HO bus with stops at the gorge museum, old county courthouse and then the neon museum. By then it was time for lunch and we found a nice in town location. Two more small local museums and a short walk back to the boat.

 

Let’s talk about entertainment! We have Greg, the cruise director and his assistant Sammy. They do the before/after dinner entertainment shows accompanied by a four piece showboat band. Greg’s wife, Lindy, who is the hotel director, is an accomplished soprano. She did a one woman show one evening and Greg did a one man show another evening. Last night we had step on entertainment with our special guest singer/comedian cowboy Kevin. He was great! I personally enjoy the entertainment on the smaller vessels with the up close and personal aspect. There is always pre dinner piano playing in the Paddlewheel Lounge with Bob. He also provides the later night entertainment in the lounge.

 

Talk to you all tomorrow.

 

I love reading your updates! So nice of you to keep us informed! Thanks for posting!

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Thanks for the daily updates.... you have us hooked. They’re so thorough we don’t have to go now:D. Actually, we leave a week from today. we’re spending an extra day in Spokane, can’t wait to see the Davenport .

How has the weather been? I know it was hot, but has it cooled off?

I notice that you’re from Virginia. Our daughter lives in Vienna, we live outside Frederick, Maryland. It’s been the normal HAzy, Hot and Humid of August, and it’s to continue into next week, lots of 90s..... hopefully you’re extending your trip and can enjoy the cooler weather.

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Here we are in Astoria, the furthest west we go on the Columbia. As I write this there appears to be a bit of smoke/fog out on the horizon, this is the first I’ve seen this.

 

Yesterday was Stevenson, the folks who went on the excursion to the Falls and Vista house really enjoyed it. In the afternoon we took the Ho-Ho to the Bonneville Dam and made it on the tour down into the generator floor. Very interesting, it was a dam good tour.

 

The evening entertainment was Greg and Sammi followed by the 50-60s dance party. Bob was on the piano and all the entertainment staff had a role. Several of the wait staff joined to kick up their heels. It was a fun evening.

 

After today everything comes to an end as we fly home with a noontime flight out of Portland. To answer the question, the weather here has been nice and cool, a couple of warm days while out in the desert section of the river east of the Cascades. This morning it is 47 degrees, but will warm up to the 70s. We’ve been in shorts for most of the week during the day.

 

That’s it from the Pacific Northwest for now

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Here we are in Astoria, the furthest west we go on the Columbia. As I write this there appears to be a bit of smoke/fog out on the horizon, this is the first I’ve seen this.

 

Yesterday was Stevenson, the folks who went on the excursion to the Falls and Vista house really enjoyed it. In the afternoon we took the Ho-Ho to the Bonneville Dam and made it on the tour down into the generator floor. Very interesting, it was a dam good tour.

 

The evening entertainment was Greg and Sammi followed by the 50-60s dance party. Bob was on the piano and all the entertainment staff had a role. Several of the wait staff joined to kick up their heels. It was a fun evening.

 

After today everything comes to an end as we fly home with a noontime flight out of Portland. To answer the question, the weather here has been nice and cool, a couple of warm days while out in the desert section of the river east of the Cascades. This morning it is 47 degrees, but will warm up to the 70s. We’ve been in shorts for most of the week during the day.

 

That’s it from the Pacific Northwest for now

 

Thank you very much for your review of your cruise. Since our cruise starts almost a month later (next year) I hope our weather is not too cool and is as nice as you have had.

 

It really helps when someone provides their personal experiences. My assumption is that overall....from the ship, the service, the food, the entertainment, and the tours, it was worth the trip!

 

Thanks once again !

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We are sorry that your trip is coming to an end, we have enjoyed your commentary and learned a lot. Hopefully we can write our experiences and impressions as we travel the rivers in a week. Steel yourselves for the hot and steamy weather back east, we will be glad to get to the cool air.

LEAFEATER

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Thanks so much, enjoyed reading your posts. Sure made us ready for our trip in a few weeks.

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Well, we’ve made it to our final stop in Vancouver, Wa. Folks have already departed and the airport transfer bus leaves at 7:30. Since our flight is at noon, we decided to use Uber and not rise quite so early and have a leisurely departure.

 

Yesterday was Astoria. We did the ho-ho as we’d already been to Ft Clapsop. Stops included the home of the wealthiest families in town at the turn of the 18th century. Of course the Astoria Column as well as the local county museum were stops. On Sunday there is a three block farmers market to enjoy. Not to be missed is the Maritime Museum right at the dock.

 

For some reason we were invited to dinner with a company VP that was on board for the week. Very nice gentlemen. The evening entertainment was Greg and Lindy with a salute to the silver screen. As always, well done. Very talented performers.

 

Those of you following in our footsteps, have a wonderful cruise. We are not looking forward to the 90+ degrees and high humidity upon return to Virginia.

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Well, we’ve made it to our final stop in Vancouver, Wa. Folks have already departed and the airport transfer bus leaves at 7:30. Since our flight is at noon, we decided to use Uber and not rise quite so early and have a leisurely departure.

 

Yesterday was Astoria. We did the ho-ho as we’d already been to Ft Clapsop. Stops included the home of the wealthiest families in town at the turn of the 18th century. Of course the Astoria Column as well as the local county museum were stops. On Sunday there is a three block farmers market to enjoy. Not to be missed is the Maritime Museum right at the dock.

 

For some reason we were invited to dinner with a company VP that was on board for the week. Very nice gentlemen. The evening entertainment was Greg and Lindy with a salute to the silver screen. As always, well done. Very talented performers.

 

Those of you following in our footsteps, have a wonderful cruise. We are not looking forward to the 90+ degrees and high humidity upon return to Virginia.

 

 

We weren’t expecting to hear from you again, but glad to hear about the last day and what we can expect. Do they let you debark later ?

Yes, 90s all week until the weekend .... someone forgot to change the calendar to September :cool:

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Hi Leafeater,

 

I assume you are back in the Commonwealth and temp and humidity are "seasonal" for VA. We are booked for the 9/22/19 voyage and I am going to read your review. We are looking forward to the Paddle Wheeler experience having watched the Lewis and Clark documentaries on PBS as well as the Mark Twain Ken Burns doc.

 

Bop (fellow Virginian Wahoo from Midlothian)

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Well, we’ve made it to our final stop in Vancouver, Wa. Folks have already departed and the airport transfer bus leaves at 7:30. Since our flight is at noon, we decided to use Uber and not rise quite so early and have a leisurely departure.

 

Yesterday was Astoria. We did the ho-ho as we’d already been to Ft Clapsop. Stops included the home of the wealthiest families in town at the turn of the 18th century. Of course the Astoria Column as well as the local county museum were stops. On Sunday there is a three block farmers market to enjoy. Not to be missed is the Maritime Museum right at the dock.

 

For some reason we were invited to dinner with a company VP that was on board for the week. Very nice gentlemen. The evening entertainment was Greg and Lindy with a salute to the silver screen. As always, well done. Very talented performers.

 

Those of you following in our footsteps, have a wonderful cruise. We are not looking forward to the 90+ degrees and high humidity upon return to Virginia.

 

Hi NJhoo,

Read your cruise log. Now I am ready to go but must wait for a year.

Assume you are a fellow Hoo. Maybe this year will be better?

 

Bop

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Hi Leafeater,

 

I assume you are back in the Commonwealth and temp and humidity are "seasonal" for VA. We are booked for the 9/22/19 voyage and I am going to read your review. We are looking forward to the Paddle Wheeler experience having watched the Lewis and Clark documentaries on PBS as well as the Mark Twain Ken Burns doc.

 

Bop (fellow Virginian Wahoo from Midlothian)

 

Actually, We are leaving for Spokane this Saturday for the cruise....we live in Maryland, but it’s hot and humid so we’re looking forward to cooler temps. I will try to be as good posting about the trip as njhoo was with his daily reports. LEAFEATER

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We made it back to the Commonwealth early Tuesday morning. Our flight to Dulles connected in Detroit and we were delayed almost two hours waiting for our flight crew coming in on another flight from Rochester.

 

Wow is it hot and humid this week. This afternoon I was at Arlington Cemetery for the dedication of the new section and the burial of the two unknown Union soldiers recently discovered in a shallow unmarked grave on the Manassas battlefield. Full military honors including the horse drawn cassions, army band, 21 gun salute. That hot sun though was brutal. Don’t know how the honor guard can handle the full dress uniform. The ceremony itself is extremely impressive. These were two who sacrificed their all for the preservation of the Union.

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We made it back to the Commonwealth early Tuesday morning. Our flight to Dulles connected in Detroit and we were delayed almost two hours waiting for our flight crew coming in on another flight from Rochester.

 

Wow is it hot and humid this week. This afternoon I was at Arlington Cemetery for the dedication of the new section and the burial of the two unknown Union soldiers recently discovered in a shallow unmarked grave on the Manassas battlefield. Full military honors including the horse drawn cassions, army band, 21 gun salute. That hot sun though was brutal. Don’t know how the honor guard can handle the full dress uniform. The ceremony itself is extremely impressive. These were two who sacrificed their all for the preservation of the Union.

 

 

 

Glad you made it back safe and sound. Tomorrow we pack and Saturday we leave from BWI for Spokane. Just heard on the news that the new fires in Northern California are near the Oregon border:eek:

We attended a burial at Arlington cemetery in June for a friend who also got full military honors with horse drawn caisson, band and 21 gun salute. It was so moving and beautiful. What a wonderful thing to do for the unknown Union soldiers.

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We made it back to the Commonwealth early Tuesday morning. Our flight to Dulles connected in Detroit and we were delayed almost two hours waiting for our flight crew coming in on another flight from Rochester.

 

 

Sounds familiar. The last time we transferred at DWI, we also had to wait for a flight crew which arrived in about 3 hours and then, THEY COULD NOT FIND OUR PLANE!!!! I tend to avoid DWI when possible. How the heck can they lose a plane?

 

Welcome back! Maybe the hurricane will cool things off.

Bop

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