The legendary National Historic Landmark Delta Queen(R) has been at home on the Mississippi River system since 1947. Lovingly preserved and maintained, she's an echo from the Great Steamboat Era.
Relax in the cozy comfort of the Betty Blake Lounge. Sip tea in the Forward Cabin Lounge, then join in the rollicking fun that never seems to end in the Texas Lounge. Stroll the decks outside your wood-paneled stateroom, each of which boasts an exterior view on riverside America and features individual climate control and private baths. Admire the Delta Queen's rich woodwork, the soft glow of her stained glass transoms, her glittering crystal chandelier and antique furnishings. Bask in her hospitality, try playing her vintage calliope, and share the camaraderie of the Steamboatin' family who cherish her legacy.
Evening offerings after dinner tend toward smaltzy and nostalgic rather than glitzy. Connie Jones And The Riverboat Five do Dixieland, show tunes, Big Band numbers without the big band, and dance music from eras gone by. Annie Lebeaux is a versatile singer and piano player. Shows are presented after dinner in the Orleans Room, with chairs arranged around tables. We arrived a few minutes early each evening and had no trouble getting good seats. The Bose sound system was good. Jeff Lashway mans the keyboard in the Texas Lounge and during dinner in the dining room and accompanies the band. Several of the musicians play the boat's 1897 calliope, an antique steam-powered organ located aft above the paddle-wheel. For one evening's concert the steam is colored in what the staff called the "Aurora" effect -very pretty. Passengers get a crack at this unique instrument themselves and are rewarded with a "Vox Calliopus" membership award for hitting five keys. Late-nighters, who are few, can hear more of Annie's repertoire at the Night Owl Society every evening beginning at 10:15 in the Texas Lounge.
An important feature of the Delta Queen is her various themed cruises offered every year. Jazz, spring pilgrimage, the Civil War, steamboat racing, Cajun culture, fall foliage and holiday trips are examples.
There are two over-lapping sittings in the Orleans Dining Room. Everyone sits at a designated table, but early-seating passengers are enjoying dessert when main seating passengers arrive. Not having to turn over tables between seatings eliminates the rush and strain. Breakfast and lunch are open seating, with both buffet and menu selections. Continental breakfast starts early and runs late in the Forward Lounge. Cuisine on the Delta Queen is down-home and hearty. Steak, prime rib, southern-style barbecue ribs and chicken, fried catfish, soups, green salads and tasty pastry (including the line's famous bread pudding, available every night) and ice cream desserts highlight the menu. Cajun and Creole dishes are featured, as well as other regional selections and a vegetarian and a heart-healthy dish are offered at every lunch and dinner. Grilled chicken breast with steamed vegetables and baked potato is available every night as another light selection. In case you work up an appetite walking the open decks after dinner, there's also a themed Moonlight Buffet at 10:15 that is strong on desserts. Service in the Orleans Dining Room was attentive and lively.
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