2018 Ohio River
St Louis - Pittsburg

ACL Riverboat

Experience the picturesque waterways of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers on this 11-day adventure. Your journey begins at the Gateway Arch Riverfront in St. Louis and continues to the historic river port town of Cape Girardeau (except that they don't stop there as promised). In Paducah, view the more than 50 life-sized panoramic murals that decorate the shoreline and paint a vivid picture of the city’s past. Visit the John James Audubon Museum in Henderson, featuring many original oil and watercolor paintings created by this famous artist. While in Louisville, get a boring behind the scenes tour of the Churchill Downs, the site of the infamous Kentucky Derby, and (don't) sample the finest "corn-pone" at the infamous Jim Beam Distillery. At the Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, learn about the sacrifices made so that the enslaved could escape to freedom. In Maysville, maybe enjoy the idyllic countryside but not the native sounds of original bluegrass "Moo-Sick". All excursions are supposedly "complimentary".

When I received the trip documents on May 17, Awfully Crummy Lines had made some major bad changes. Their web page is still the same, but the itinerary on the tour documents has the changes below. This trip gets a even before the trip starts.

Day 1, Fri, July 6, 2018 - Pre-Cruise St. Louis, MO
Just BACK ON JULY 1 from the OCEANIA LAX-MIAMI CRUISE. Only 4 days home. At least I'll have time to do some laundry.

Fly to St. Louis. Take an early flight to get in early to I can check out the Arch and maybe take a city tour. It’s a very early flight so I’ll have to schedule the StuporShuttle about 3AM. However "Un-Friendly AwfulLines" won't fly direct and instead makes me have to go through the Chicago Madhouse (airport) and they changed the 2nd flight to an hour later. It will now be a long 3-hour layover in the Chicago Madhouse.

United UA 2005Houston – Chicago5:17AM – 8:05AM2:482:54
United UA 5782Chicago – St Louis10:59AM – 12:24PM1:257:07

Arrive in St. Louis and take a taxi to the hotel (ACL doesn't do "meet and greet"). Each Mississippi itinerary comes complete with a "Complimentary" (the price is actually included) Pre-Cruise Package, providing you with a seamless way to board the ship and explore the local area. Arrive the day before your scheduled cruise date and American Cruise Lines will handle the rest. The package includes a premium hotel stay, where you can enjoy the city at your leisure. Take in the Gateway Arch Riverfront, highlighted by the majestic Gateway Arch, the largest man-made monument in the U.S. Enjoy St. Louis’ many world-class attractions, including the Science Center, and the Missouri History Museum. Hotel: St. Louis Drury Plaza at The Arch.

Day 2/1, Sat, July 7 - St. Louis, MO
On the morning of the cruise, meet in the hotel lobby after breakfast (it's actually included) and we will transport you to the ship about 10:30 AM to begin your cruise. All luggage will be brought directly from the hotel and placed in your stateroom aboard the cattle barge, maybe even before we are herded aboard.

If we are herded aboard about 11, then hopefully they include lunch today. Later, after the usual rigmarole, we putt-putt off down the Mississippi towards Cape Girardeau, which is tomorrow's stop, and eventually to the Ohio river.

Day 3/2, Sun, July 8 - Cape Girardeau, MO
THIS STOP, one I really wanted, has been deleted.

Day 3/2, Sun, July 8 - Paducah, KY (9-5:30)
Residing at the confluence of the Tennessee River and the Ohio River, Paducah will have you feeling as if you stepped back in time as you walk the streets of this Chicasaw village site. Discover Paducah’s rich history by exploring the Wall to Wall Mural Program, a collection of over 50 murals that covers a number of subjects including Native American history, the Civil War and area landmarks such as the Old Carnegie Library.

** River Discovery Center – Complimentary Excursion
Just a short distance from the ship’s docking location is the River Discovery Center, where guests will learn all about the Four Rivers region. Explore state-of-the-art interactive exhibits such as the working lock and dam model and the pilothouse simulator which allows you test your skills and captain your own riverboat!

Day 4/3, Mon, July 9 - Henderson, KY (8:30-12:30PM)
You won’t miss the presence of notable resident, John James Audubon, who's “Birds of America” paintings are recreated in bronze statues throughout Henderson. Named after President Washington’s home on the Potomac, this bucolic river town is steeped in fascinating lore. Let our expert guide lead you on a tour of our famous first President's historic home and grounds.

Since the original “day of cruising was “deleted”, perhaps this afternoon is the cruzzzing time.

* Audubon Museum Tour - Complimentary Excursion
After docking in the tranquil port of Henderson, our morning will begin with a short narrated walk to the famous John James Audubon Museum. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the museum features many original oil and watercolor paintings created by Audubon as well as many of his personal possessions. Your day will continue with the resident naturalist who will provide a narrated tour of the popular Nature Center, which was recently named one of the Top 25 Birdwatching Spots. At the conclusion of the tour, you will have free time for independent exploration.

Day of River Cruising #1 of 2

Day 5/4, Tue, July 10 - Louisville, KY (1PM--)
Day 6/5, Wed, July 11 - Louisville, KY (--12:30PM)
More cruzzing update: that “missing” cruzzing day is actually Monday afternoon, night, and Tuesday morning since we don’t get to Lousyville until 1PM). Just why would anyone be interested in being here any more than necessary. Do I even bother to get off the barge? And why do I want to spend so much time here??? Poor!!!

Named after King Louis XVI of France, Louisville is best known for the famed Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. When you visit, you’ll also discover why Louisville is often referred to as either the northernmost southern city or the southernmost Northern city in the United States.

* Kentucky Derby Museum & Horse Park - Complimentary Excursion HO-HUM
Get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Churchill Downs, the site of the famed Kentucky Derby. Here, you will have exclusive access to every facet of the race, from the Press Box and Jockey’s Quarters, to Millionaire’s Row, the most coveted seats on race day. Visit the Kentucky Derby Museum to see actual Derby footage dating as far back as 1918.

Day 7/6, Thu, July 12 - Cincinnati, OH (6:30AM-9:30PM)
As you disembark in Cincinnati, take some time to visit the numerous National Historic Sites via walking tours through Cincinnati’s oldest neighborhoods abounding in eclectic architecture. Visit the William Howard Taft National Historic Museum, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and Betts House.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – Complimentary Excursion
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center celebrates the brave men and women who came together to create a secret network through which the enslaved could escape to freedom. Their example of courage, cooperation, and perseverance, is relevant to this day, as we continue to deal with contemporary issues of equality and diversity.

** Cincinnati City Tour – Complimentary Excursion
Explore both sides of the river on this fantastic, all-encompassing tour. Highlights include the floodwall murals, Downtown River District, St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, and Eden Park. Krohn Conservatory, built in 1933, lies in the heart of Eden Park. This art deco building is architecturally significant, but it is the contents inside the aluminum and glass walls that make it truly special as it is *** home to more than 5,000 varieties of exotic, tropical, desert and orchid plants from around the world.

Day 8/7, Fri, July 13 - Maysville, KY
Maysville, KY is a quaint town on the Ohio River with a rich history. An important stop on the Underground Railroad, Maysville was host to Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1883. Your stop will include idyllic country scenery and the native sounds of original bluegrass country music.

** Old Washington Tour - Complimentary Excursion
Step back in time while you tour the historic town of Old Washington, Kentucky. Starting at the 1790s Visitor Center, your costumed tour guide will lead you through this early Kentucky village, taking you along flagstone sidewalks graced with authentic frontier log cabins and early 19th century homes. This two-hour walking tour will include stops at the Simon Kenton Shrine, Albert Sidney Johnston House and the Harriett Beecher Stowe Slavery to Freedom Museum.

Maysville Highlights Tour - Complimentary Excursion
Enjoy the small town charm of historic Maysville, during this narrated tour. Begin at the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, which brings the stories of explorers, artists, and movie stars to life through award-winning dioramas and its collection of historic artifacts. Next, visit the historic Russell Theater a true piece of the town’s history. The tour will conclude at the Cox Building which was built in 1886 and features Richardson Romanesque architecture.

Day of River Cruising #2 of 2

Day 9/8, Sat, July 14 - Marietta, OH (2:30PM - 9:30PM)
The second-largest city in the Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna West Virginia-Ohio metropolitan area, Marietta was named in honor of Marie Antoinette. The town saw booming times during the 18th and 19th centuries, the city's economy was booming as its location on the Ohio River made it an attractive stop for commercial steamboats and travelers.

** Campus Martius Museum & Ohio River Museum - Complimentary Excursion
Tour two of Marietta’s greatest treasures: the Campus Martius Museum and the Ohio River Museum. The Campus Martius Museum features exhibits focusing on America’s migration out west and Marietta’s earliest native inhabitants. Then discover the golden age of the steamboat and learn about the ecology of the Ohio River system at the Ohio River Museum.

Day 10/9, Sun, July 15 - Wheeling, WV (8AM - 12noon)
No information supplied.

Day 11/10, Mon, July 16 - Pittsburgh, PA (2AM ---)
Day 12/11, Tue, July 17 - Pittsburgh, PA (-- 8AM)
HORRORS! It’s the PITTS! We are now stuck here for another half day. No information is given as to activities. Awfully Crappy Lines really messed up this trip schedule!

On Tuesday: FINALLY! ESCAPE! End your journey in the "PITTS," Pittsburgh, PA. No excursion, just fly home. Take an afternoon flight so there is no trouble about getting to the airport in time. Transfer to the airport is pre-booked.

United 3459Pittsburg – Houston2:40PM – 5:54PM3:14

Home about 6:15, maybe.

"Cattle Barge" (Queen) of the Mississippi

Built in 2015, "Cattle Barge" (Queen) of the Mississippi offers an authentic paddle-wheeler experience with all the comforts of home. Guests can enjoy large staterooms with private balconies, hotel-style bathrooms, complimentary WiFi, and more. Experience breathtaking scenery from the privacy of your stateroom as the Cattle Bare of the Mississippi makes its way down the legendary river. Unlike the "Abominable Peasant", there is no quick food pickup place. We're stuck with the long meals.

Single (Private Balcony) -- 18 of them in purple. My "Cell" is #326.

Perfect for the solo traveler, our Single staterooms offer all of the amenities you expect from a fine hotel. At 230 sq. ft., these staterooms have spacious bathrooms and large sliding glass doors that lead to a private balcony.