River Cruises Archives - Crown Cruise Vacations
It seems to be an unpleasant trend. Airlines are cutting services and adding new charges. Resorts are sneaking in hidden charges. Even my cable TV service at home has found new ways to boost the price. So it is surprisingly wonderful to see all the complimentary extras on my Viking Kara cruise.
No two cruises and ships are ever the same. I seem to find something new each time I cruise.
I’ve been on ships with balconies many times. That is one of my favorite things to do on a cruise – sit on my balcony and watch the ocean or the river roll.
Would I prefer roasted pork medallions wrapped in parma ham, herb crusted ahi filet with warm chanterelle arugula vinaigrette or portobello mushroom lasagna?
But, wait, that is just the first page. Another “always available” page offers even more choices – sautéed salmon filet, roast chicken breast or seared prime ribeye steak.
Today I learned a new word. And had a marvelous dining adventure. I also discovered why AmaWaterways is the only river cruise line inducted into La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the world’s oldest international gastronomic society.
The reason? They deserve it.
A young boy on my Black Forest tour said he was a bit afraid of what might lurk in the dark woods. His sister expected to see fairy tale princesses. His father hoped to buy a handmade cuckoo clock. And his mother was seeking a recipe for the famed Black Forest Cake.
On any cruise, I always look forward to reading the ship’s newsletter that magically appears on my stateroom bed every night. The newsletters are filled with interesting information about where we are going, what we will be doing, the weather forecast and much more.
The AmaCerto cruise ship certainly has a great deal to offer – beautiful staterooms, delicious cuisine, professional staff, wonderful shore excursions and a pool.
That’s right. A pool. I’ve never been on a river vessel with a pool this big. Some river cruisers have tiny plunge pools and plenty of hot tubs. But the AmaCerto has a teardrop-shaped heated pool with some depth to it. At the deep end is a swim-up bar with barstools and a bartender serving wine, beer and cocktails – in warm weather.
Sam Hill wouldn’t have had to ask me twice to live here. Perched high on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River, the French-style mansion was designed to have eight suites and enough room for 250 dinner guests.
The opulent home was built by Hill for his wife. But she never lived here. Her loss. Our gain.
Walking ashore at Paducah, Kentucky, I saw a bittersweet image.
There on the floodwall is a beautiful painting of the three sister riverboats – the Delta Queen, the Mississippi Queen and the American Queen.
The mural depicts an actual event. On a historic July day in 1996, all three of the mighty steamboats docked at Paducah at the same time. The painting commemorates that gathering as local townsfolks welcome the queens and passengers.
Travelers may recognize this place. Or they may think they recognize it. See if you know what and where it is.
A hint: It is not the famous prehistoric site in England although it was patterned after it. This stone structure is on an American river.
Don’t look at the answer below until you’ve formulated your own response. Congratulations if you are correct. If not, you sure are not alone. Might be time to explore the beautiful areas along the Columbia River.