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Bop

American Empress 9/22/2019 Sailing

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We also are on the June 2 cruise and are getting to Spokane/Clarkston a day early and staying a day longer in Portland. Would also appreciate any ideas for there or other stops on the trip. We have done many ocean cruises and a few European river cruises and are spoiled by the help and info on CC for those.  

Thanks in advance.

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I haven’t decided, however we are considering just flying in to Spokane on the 1st day since we are due to be there overnight anyway.  Haven’t really done any research on things to do there or Portland/Vancouver as yet.  We have no plans at present to stay anywhere after the cruise, and may just fly home the day we disembark. 

 

Not too many people following this thread (kind of typical for River cruises it seems) unfortunately.

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Most of the folks on our cruise last fall flew into Spokane that first day since the trip included a hotel stay that night.  The next morning AQ offered a premium excursion city tour that finished up at the hotel just before lunchtime.  When you check in for the cruise at the hotel you get a “ticket” for the transfer to the boat down in Clarkston..... a good 2+ hour ride.  You overnight on the boat in clarkston, have both regular HOHO buses and a premium excursion to Hell’s Canyon the next day before sailing west from Clarkston.  

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We flew in to Spokane two days before the cruise because we wanted time to explore the area and enjoy the extraordinary Historic Davenport . We toured Spokane on our own, the waterfront park, the falls, the Merry-Go-round. And it gave us time to adapt to the time change (we’re from the East coast). We spent the morning before the bus ride to Clarkston exploring the hotel, gorgeous ballrooms and halls. It was well worth the extra day.

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Thanks, all. We are doing as Leafeater and coming in for an extra night at the Davenport, also because of time change from the East Coast. How did you see the Spokane sites?  There are 2 couples in our group and lots of walking can be difficult for one of us.  Any food recommendations in Spokane? 

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The falls and park are very close to the Davenport, within a short walk. There is a funicular at the top of the falls that gives great views of the falls, that would be a good choice for someone with walking issues. There are also vans and cars at the hotel front door, that I think are gratis, that will take you places. We ate at a brewpub, can’t remember the name, but it wasn’t exceptional. The 2nd night we ate at the Hotel and had a good meal.

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1 hour ago, LEAFEATER said:

The Dalles was very serene when we were there.

A709AE81-9AE2-4714-B581-01B00BAFA411.jpeg

 

Vey nice!

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Posted (edited)

What are your thoughts about coming in to Spokane a day early?   We have bounced back and forth about coming in the day before...... or just coming in the 1st day.  The flight from Phoenix is about 3 hours.....and if for some reason we did not make the 1st day....with the cruiseline schedule being in Spokane over night..... we most likely would not miss out on a lot being late.  PLUS....looking at the schedule....the ship does not actually leave Clarkston until 2:30p on the 24th. 

 

That being said...we 'normally' go into a city the day before our cruises,  just to have a little time in case of delay's and sometimes to rest up, get acclimated and sight see.   

 

Anyway.... is there sufficient things to see or do if we did decide to come an extra day early?  

Edited by Buck1949
add info

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On 3/18/2019 at 11:43 AM, LEAFEATER said:

The falls and park are very close to the Davenport, within a short walk. There is a funicular at the top of the falls that gives great views of the falls, that would be a good choice for someone with walking issues. There are also vans and cars at the hotel front door, that I think are gratis, that will take you places. We ate at a brewpub, can’t remember the name, but it wasn’t exceptional. The 2nd night we ate at the Hotel and had a good meal.

 

Hi there...... I have a question.....

 

Did you take the 'extra' tour to the Multnomah Falls at the Stevenson stop?   I have been looking at the tour that takes us to the Vista House, and to the Falls...but noticed that it is listed on the Activity level as a #3.   One of the people in our group walks with a cane, so was just curious if this is a hindrance for him.  I called AQSC and talked to the excursions representative and was told that there is a little walk from the Bus stop to the viewing area.....and if we wanted to go up to the bridge there are stairs....as well as a graduated ramp, that also had some steps to negotiate, which would be more difficult.  

 

Any thoughts about this tour if you took it or know of anyone that did? 

 

One last question.... was there any need to book any of the premium excursions before you board ship?

 

Thanks, 

 

 

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Sorry it’s taken a while to respond, I’m on a dive vacation in the Caribbean. We did not take the extra trip to the falls, but that evening we had our lobster dinner at the river grill and had a wonderful, slow view from the window as we ate. We did book the wine and spirits on Red Mountain before we went. Really enjoyed the first winery which had a food and wine paring. 

    Do not miss the Nez Perce enrichment  on the boat given by a descendant, very educational and entertaining. In Richland be sure to visit the Reach museum, a history of the town that produced plutonium for WW2. Another not to miss is the maritime museum in Astoria. It’s right next to the boat, but there is a entrance fee,  but we found it very worth it. The hop on hop off buses are perfect for someone with walking issues.... they allow you to leave and return to the boat when you want, basically planning your own day. I hope you have a wonderful time, we did.

       Leafeater

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25 minutes ago, LEAFEATER said:

Sorry it’s taken a while to respond, I’m on a dive vacation in the Caribbean. We did not take the extra trip to the falls, but that evening we had our lobster dinner at the river grill and had a wonderful, slow view from the window as we ate. We did book the wine and spirits on Red Mountain before we went. Really enjoyed the first winery which had a food and wine paring. 

    Do not miss the Nez Perce enrichment  on the boat given by a descendant, very educational and entertaining. In Richland be sure to visit the Reach museum, a history of the town that produced plutonium for WW2. Another not to miss is the maritime museum in Astoria. It’s right next to the boat, but there is a entrance fee,  but we found it very worth it. The hop on hop off buses are perfect for someone with walking issues.... they allow you to leave and return to the boat when you want, basically planning your own day. I hope you have a wonderful time, we did.

       Leafeater

 

That you for the reply.  (Ironically we will be on a Caribbean Cruise in Feb ourselves).  While your (wine) and trip on the Empress sounded super, my wife does not drink, and I am not a wine drinker ( but a Gin & Tonic or ice cold beer is rarely refused - grin). 

 

Will take a look at the excursions you suggest.  They sound very interesting. 

 

Thanks again !

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Hi Leafeater,

 

Thanks for the response.  We will be sure to follow your recommendations. We usually go a day early to avoid and last minute panics caused by transportation issues.  Our TA may add a bonus day to our itinerary.  Would it be better to add a day at the beginning or end of the trip?

 

Thanks,

Bop

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26 minutes ago, Bop said:

Hi Leafeater,

 

Thanks for the response.  We will be sure to follow your recommendations. We usually go a day early to avoid and last minute panics caused by transportation issues.  Our TA may add a bonus day to our itinerary.  Would it be better to add a day at the beginning or end of the trip?

 

Thanks,

Bop

 

Hi Bop (and Leafeater)

Our group did decide to fly into Spokane an extra day early (the 21st) however we are staying at another hotel that night.   We too are looking at all the options for excursions.  Looks like we are going to take the Portland bus tour that ends at the airport and then fly home.  (Get our luggage transfer, siteseeing, and airport transfer rolled into one that way)

 

I’ve been watching a few YouTube videos and trying to get some ideas for this trip also. 

 

Only 5 months to go !!!

 

Take care, 

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We had never been to Spokane or Portland so we added the extra day in Spokane and had a nice relaxing day walking around the falls and park. We stayed an extra 2 nights in Portland. We stayed in the Pearle district and visited many excellent microbreweries ( for my husband), Powell bookstore  ( for me....the biggest in the world, you need a map so you don’t get lost) . We didn’t have time to visit the rose gardens, but heard they are spectacular.

    There are many homeless everywhere, mostly due to their displacement by all the new building . It’s sad and distracting, but we never felt threatened or unsafe, and they never begged. We saw many social workers trying to get them off the streets, and giving them food and clothes.

      Leafeater 

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Hey BOP and any others on this river cruise - it sure won’t be long now.  

 

I am still trying to decide about any of the ‘premium’ excursions that are offered.  Anyone else still checking into this thread with any thoughts about what you’d have an interest in doing? 

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This is what we and our travel companions did last fall.  We did the Hanford B reactor tour and found it most interesting.  Our companions did the Multnomah Falls and Vista House, again enjoyed the experience.  

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51 minutes ago, njhoo said:

This is what we and our travel companions did last fall.  We did the Hanford B reactor tour and found it most interesting.  Our companions did the Multnomah Falls and Vista House, again enjoyed the experience.  

 

Good to know.  I’ll check out the reactor information. Pretty sure we will be doing the falls and Vista House also.   Thanks !

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On 4/3/2019 at 12:16 PM, Buck1949 said:

What are your thoughts about coming in to Spokane a day early?   We have bounced back and forth about coming in the day before...... or just coming in the 1st day.  The flight from Phoenix is about 3 hours.....and if for some reason we did not make the 1st day....with the cruiseline schedule being in Spokane over night..... we most likely would not miss out on a lot being late.  PLUS....looking at the schedule....the ship does not actually leave Clarkston until 2:30p on the 24th. 

 

That being said...we 'normally' go into a city the day before our cruises,  just to have a little time in case of delay's and sometimes to rest up, get acclimated and sight see.   

 

Anyway.... is there sufficient things to see or do if we did decide to come an extra day early?  

 

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Hi All,

 

Boy, I have been neglecting this thread but I'm BAACCCKKK!  The long lead time between booking and embarking gave me a false sense of security and now it is time to get my ducks (plans) in a row.  Sorry for my absence, after all, I think I started this thread.  I am really out of practice.

Turns out the Sunday flight (9/22/19) proved difficult.  Not many choices so we were left with a 5:30 am (groan) flight out of RIC to Denver.  Having been retired for 20 years, the 3am rise time did not sound like a good start for relaxing cruise vacation.  We called our wonderful friend and TA and she added another day at the Historic Davenport Hotel which allowed us to book a Saturday flight departing at the civilized hour of 3:45 pm.  Problem solved, everybody cheered!  I am currently re reading the thread and it looks like an extra day in Spokane will be easily filled with plenty to do, but not too much.  It is a vacation, after all, in a wonderful hotel.

 

I am looking forward to reading the posts and meeting all our fellow pax.  Making new friends is half the fun, maybe more.  We are four" seasoned" travelers from Midlothian VA. (suburb of Richmond.)  This will be our first American river boat cruise.  Have done several European river cruises, most on Amawaterways. Abandoned large ocean cruises several years ago. Have heard that AQSC does a great job so our expectations are high.  We know we will have a great time, regardless.

 

Bop and Company

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Bop said:

Hi All,

 

Boy, I have been neglecting this thread but I'm BAACCCKKK!  The long lead time between booking and embarking gave me a false sense of security and now it is time to get my ducks (plans) in a row.  Sorry for my absence, after all, I think I started this thread.  I am really out of practice.

Turns out the Sunday flight (9/22/19) proved difficult.  Not many choices so we were left with a 5:30 am (groan) flight out of RIC to Denver.  Having been retired for 20 years, the 3am rise time did not sound like a good start for relaxing cruise vacation.  We called our wonderful friend and TA and she added another day at the Historic Davenport Hotel which allowed us to book a Saturday flight departing at the civilized hour of 3:45 pm.  Problem solved, everybody cheered!  I am currently re reading the thread and it looks like an extra day in Spokane will be easily filled with plenty to do, but not too much.  It is a vacation, after all, in a wonderful hotel.

 

I am looking forward to reading the posts and meeting all our fellow pax.  Making new friends is half the fun, maybe more.  We are four" seasoned" travelers from Midlothian VA. (suburb of Richmond.)  This will be our first American river boat cruise.  Have done several European river cruises, most on Amawaterways. Abandoned large ocean cruises several years ago. Have heard that AQSC does a great job so our expectations are high.  We know we will have a great time, regardless.

 

Bop and Company

 

 

 

Hey there..... Glad to see you back 'onboard' so to speak.  I think I mentioned earlier that we too are coming in on the 21st - however we are staying at the Double Tree....thanks to my good buddy and his status with Hilton.  We will move over to the Davenport the next day.   This is our 2nd river cruise (1st in the US, with our prior one being along the Rhine River) which we absolutely loved.  We have said that if we like this cruise then we may look at more along the midwest areas..... Mississippi River, Memphis,....and those cruises that head toward New Orleans etc. in the future.  We have not yet given up on the big cruises..... in fact we have the Western Caribbean booked for February out of New Orleans, and we have toyed with the idea of doing another Alaska Cruise where we will take along our Granddaughter and Daughter in Law.  This would be our 4th Alaska cruise....but we never get tired of there.

 

Anyway.... I think we are all set for this river cruise except to check out a couple of the prime excursions to see if we might have an interest.  We have decided to do the Falls, and we will do the excursion and airport transfer at the end of the cruise for certain.  My wife Linda and I are travelling along with my good friend Roger and his Cousin Sue, who we have already cruised with before.

 

Looking forward to meeting up with you and your traveling friends.  We have met some great people on our cruises, and in some cases have traveled many more times with them.  Now that we are in the home stretch..... maybe some others will find this thread, or those that have posted before will come back on also.

 

Take care,

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Bob, we were in Midlothian the beginning of the month at the Doubletree for a convention.  Have a wonderful cruise, the Pacific Northwest is beautiful.  

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