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American Empress 9/22/2019 Sailing

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We did the Falls/ Vista House excursion in June and really enjoyed it even tho the weather was not terrific.  Another favorite was to the WAAAM museum in Hood River from The Dalles port.  

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DD,

Thanks for the info. I think I need to go back thru the postings and dig out the suggestions as well as going to the AQSC book and itineraries. When all else fails, read the instructions.😜

 

 

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Buck,

Sounds like we are of the same mind.  Buying a "premium" tour and ending up having a similar tour available on a HO HO can be disappointing.  I will probably bite the bullet and talk it over with our cruise mates and make a consensus decision.  I think there was mention of a "premium" deal available from the Davenport in Spokane.  I also read that most attractions are very nearby in Spokane.  Since we will have a full extra day, might just play it by ear in Spokane and do some walking to burn off the extra cruise calories.  Need to try some of that Huckleberry ice cream!

 

Jim

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We found Spokane very walkable. It’s a short walk from the Davenport to the falls, and there are small cable cars that give you a birds eye view. There’s also a lovely park with a refurbished, antique carousel that many adults choose to ride. 

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Thanks for the great photos...and information.  One in our group has mobility issues and may not be able to walk far....a thought being we may take the AQSC premium tour while there to make it a bit more convenient.  Your thoughts ?

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The Premium tours do not usually visit the same sites as the HOHO buses.  There is a list on the website of the stops for the HOHO buses each day as well as the Premium (cost) tours for each stop, with the number of hours and price.  Looking at my list from our June 2 trip, there are no duplications...the HOHO bus stops are different and hit most of the smaller sites and sometimes the downtown/shopping area.  In some cases, you can do both in one day, depending on your choices and how many HOHO stops you choose off the bus and its time frame and the length of a Premium tour. 

 

For example, here is a link to an early September trip on Empress.  In the second section under Cruise Summary, it says "Included Tours, see Ports of Call below".  Go to the bottom of the page, click and it opens a page with the included (HOHO) stops and the Premium tours for each day.  Then you can easily compare each option.

https://www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com/river-cruises/columbia-and-snake-river-cruises/clarkston-portlandvancouver-wa/?date=2019-09-08&vessel=american-empress

 

 

Also the HOHO buses are used for the Premium tours as well.  All are equipped to handle mobility issues, even wheel chair users. 

 

Hope this helps. 

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16 minutes ago, DiamondDiva said:

The Premium tours do not usually visit the same sites as the HOHO buses.  There is a list on the website of the stops for the HOHO buses each day as well as the Premium (cost) tours for each stop, with the number of hours and price.  Looking at my list from our June 2 trip, there are no duplications...the HOHO bus stops are different and hit most of the smaller sites and sometimes the downtown/shopping area.  In some cases, you can do both in one day, depending on your choices and how many HOHO stops you choose off the bus and its time frame and the length of a Premium tour. 

 

For example, here is a link to an early September trip on Empress.  In the second section under Cruise Summary, it says "Included Tours, see Ports of Call below".  Go to the bottom of the page, click and it opens a page with the included (HOHO) stops and the Premium tours for each day.  Then you can easily compare each option.

https://www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com/river-cruises/columbia-and-snake-river-cruises/clarkston-portlandvancouver-wa/?date=2019-09-08&vessel=american-empress

 

 

Also the HOHO buses are used for the Premium tours as well.  All are equipped to handle mobility issues, even wheel chair users. 

 

Hope this helps. 

 

Wow, !!  Thanks a lot..

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DD,

Big help! Thanks so much.

Jim

Are there any premium tours you wish you had taken?

 

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On 8/14/2019 at 9:44 AM, Buck1949 said:

Thanks for the great photos...and information.  One in our group has mobility issues and may not be able to walk far....a thought being we may take the AQSC premium tour while there to make it a bit more convenient.  Your thoughts ?

 

I did the Spokane excursion with my mom and it was a great way to get an overview of the city.  They stop a few places where you can do more or less walking, depending on how much you want to do.

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6 hours ago, califsealion said:

 

I did the Spokane excursion with my mom and it was a great way to get an overview of the city.  They stop a few places where you can do more or less walking, depending on how much you want to do.

 

Califsealion...

That is great to know.  We most likely will try to do that.  We are at a different hotel on the 21st then will move to the Davenport the next day and do the tour.  We also need to get to a store while there to pick up a few things we did not want to fly with. 

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My husband took an easy walk to a drugstore a few blocks away from the Davenport and there is a mall about 3-4 blocks toward the falls park there as well. We also purchased 2 bottles of wine a block from the hotel to carry on and enjoy on our balcony predinner while we watched the amazing scenery. Spokane was a great precruise town! 

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2 hours ago, DiamondDiva said:

My husband took an easy walk to a drugstore a few blocks away from the Davenport and there is a mall about 3-4 blocks toward the falls park there as well. We also purchased 2 bottles of wine a block from the hotel to carry on and enjoy on our balcony predinner while we watched the amazing scenery. Spokane was a great precruise town! 

 

Do you recall the name of place the wine was purchased?  

 

Thanks.

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HeHi all,

Thanks to DD I reviewed

Most of the included and premium tours and HO HO sites. Also texted friends who have done this itinerary. The only "must do" was the Hells Canyon Jet boat premium tour. There are several others of interest but I assume we can sign up on board or at the hotel. Haven't found the cancellation policy yet. Anyone know what it is?

Jim

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We went to Tierra Blanca Wines down to the left of the Hotel at #926 Sprague, about 1 1/2 blocks down. It is a wine tasting shop...we did s small tasting session and bought 2 to carry on to the ship.  No problem on AQS...no one even looked at our carryon and not a problem anyway, as I checked with them. There are several wine tasing shops and craft beer places in downtown Spokane...just Google. We used Trip Advisor to find some nice little pubs and craft beer places in ports this trip too. A great one right across from Davenport for beer and one dinner for us the first night...Post Street Ale House.

There was a wine shop in the hotel but was never open in our 2 days there that we noticed. 

 

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On 8/16/2019 at 11:54 AM, Bop said:

HeHi all,

Thanks to DD I reviewed

Most of the included and premium tours and HO HO sites. Also texted friends who have done this itinerary. The only "must do" was the Hells Canyon Jet boat premium tour. There are several others of interest but I assume we can sign up on board or at the hotel. Haven't found the cancellation policy yet. Anyone know what it is?

Jim

 

Interesting about the Hells Canyon Jet boat.  We looked at it but have not decided.  

 

Were you able to figure out the cancellation policy yet?  We keep wondering if we should just wait till we get onboard to make decisions, or if we should book ahead of time.  

 

Wont be long !!

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I could not find any info about cancellation online before our cruise, so I called the excursion line listed in the website and asked.  If my memory is correct, he said we could book, but cancel or switch later. However, do not rely on my memory, since it involves money, call and ask.

The jet boat was popular on our cruise and they talked a lot about the great time they had!

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Jet Boat it is,DD. It's hot as Hades here in VA and a jet boat ride in a cool canyon sounds very inviting. I passed your information about wine and stuff on to my much better half. Her response was a wide grin😁

It looks like the HOHOs offer some great sites. There is probably much more to do and see than we can do comfortably. It's supposed to be a vacation, right? As we get older, we prefer a leisurely pace. We've allowed an extra day just for that reason.  You've been a great help and I really appreciate it.

Calm seas and following winds.

Happy Cruising,

Jim aka Bop as named by granddaughter #1

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No problem, Jim.  I am glad to help.  Tell your lady there are lots of nice wine choices around on this trip.  We did the Red Mountain wines premium tour...2 nice wineries and a distillery.  Several of the towns have wine places, as well as Spokane. 

Enjoy, stay safe and have fun!

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On 8/17/2019 at 9:12 PM, Buck1949 said:

 

Interesting about the Hells Canyon Jet boat.  We looked at it but have not decided.  

 

Were you able to figure out the cancellation policy yet?  We keep wondering if we should just wait till we get onboard to make decisions, or if we should book ahead of time.  

 

Wont be long !!

 

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DD, Buck et.al.,

 

 

I called AQSC and booked the Hells Canyon tour.  It's a best seller and is booking quickly if you are interested.  Cancellations may be made up until 48 hours prior to the scheduled tour for a full refund.

 

Bop/Jim

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1 hour ago, Bop said:

DD, Buck et.al.,

 

 

I called AQSC and booked the Hells Canyon tour.  It's a best seller and is booking quickly if you are interested.  Cancellations may be made up until 48 hours prior to the scheduled tour for a full refund.

 

Bop/Jim

 

Thanks Jim for the information.  Still undecided. But - Guess we need to make a decision soon !!!

 

Take care. 

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30 days!

Hurricane season has begun on East coast. Checking out my generator today just in case.

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2 hours ago, Bop said:

30 days!

Hurricane season has begun on East coast. Checking out my generator today just in case.

 

Ouch...no thanks!.....I’ll stick with the Arizona warmth, and the occasional power outages in the mountains, instead of the hurricanes.  

 

Sure hope you have a mild season.  

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Haven't had a bad hurricane in Richmond area since Isabell.  We lost power for 19 days.  Don't need any more of those!

Also had significant damage to our river house on Chesapeake Bay.  Sold that this year.  Gonna use money saved for travel:classic_smile:

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