wine on the keyboard

Delta Queen Review

by Kay~Kacey on 9/29/2010

Yes, I’m going to now go back through and hit the highlights of our vacation. Now that I’m back home to my beloved iMac desktop.

We spent our first night on vacation on the Delta Queen in Chattanooga Tennessee.  The boat is moored at the riverfront and no longer travels up and down the river. It was….interesting.

delta-queen-chairs

Where to start? First off they offer valet parking. Not. There was no valet when we got there. The front desk took our keys and said they would “find the valet” and take care of it. I had paid for a premium suite. The site shows it with a wall of windows looking out over the window. They said that room was “out of commission” or whatever. But gave us the “first female riverboat captain’s suite”. Not. It was tiny and just like the photos of the regular rooms. We went back by the desk and mentioned that. They said they’d credit us back the difference in price.

Now, second off, you need to know that SuperGuy likes to eat. He researches restaurants in all the places that we plan to visit. Seriously. :rofl: Ah, well, to each their own. Well, I told him not to research in Chattanooga because I wanted to eat on the Delta Queen. Yes, not so much. We got there and asked where the restaurant was…and they said they weren’t serving that night because the chef didn’t show up. Really?? They did offer to comp us on a dinner cruise that goes up and down the river on another boat, but we’d been in the car all day and just didn’t want to do that.  So we walk across to a string of bars/restaurants and found a neighborhood bar type place where we ate. It had lousy hushpuppies and cold beer. I was cool with that. We walk back to the riverboat and see that our car is still parked under the bridge. But don’t worry, they’ll take care of it.

delta-queen-inside

They then said they’d move us into the suite, but it wasn’t ready yet. We went to the bar. (Big surprise there, right??) Here are some photos of the gorgeous inside of the boat. The bar had this wonderful wooden counter. The stairway to upstairs was just elegant. Really, the boat was clean and well taken care of.

So eventually they said our room was ready and helped SuperGuy haul all our stuff up to the top level.

delta-queen-cabin

Here was our “suite with the windows overlooking the river”. Yes, not so much, but a nice room nonetheless. Besides, we were on vacation, the drinks were cold. It’s all good. As an aside…see that sink in the bathroom? Yes, it really was that small. It’s not a illusion. You could hardly brush your teeth in it. But see how pretty all the wood is in the cabin? Oh, and they had lace curtains that anyone could see through. I’m just sayin’ if you were near that room that night, you got quite a show. :crazy:

delta-queen-at-night

No one else was around on the top level, and we sat at a table outside our room and watched the river go by. Nice and relaxing. Inspite of the disorganization of the place, we were having a great time.

We got up the next morning and I sent SuperGuy to scamper and find us some coffee. We sat outside again, and our private table and watched the sunrise.

delta-queen-sunrise

Breakfast was included so we waited until it was open and went to go eat. Well, yes, it wasn’t ready yet. We waited about 20 minutes for them to have it ready and had a nice breakfast.

delta-queen-daylight

We wandered around and took some more photos. It really is a lovely boat. See that cute calliope? Then we went to check out and found out our car was still under the bridge…with the keys to it just locked up in this podium under the bridge. :mad2: Real secure, huh? SuperGuy asked for some help schlepping our bags out. (steep stairs and I was kind of through with the Delta Queen at this point.) I walked out with my purse and camera and my extra set of keys and went and sat in the car. :roll:

SuperGuy finally got some help, from some kid more interested in making sure he didn’t spill his soda than helping with the bags, but whatever. We loaded up and headed out to St. Simons Island in Georgia, our next overnight stop on our way to St. Augustine.

So inspite of the management problems, lack of dinner being served, and not getting the upgraded room they show on their website…we still had a great time. Would I stay there again? Not sure, but I wouldn’t pay for an upgraded room and wouldn’t stay for more than one night. But we were glad we stayed there this time to see what it was like. Still had fun, as is our wont.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

SouthernSass September 29, 2010 at 6:29 am

There is a Courtyard by Marriott downtown that is pretty nice. Downtown Chattanooga is okay, but since it is “downtown” and we were there during off-season, everything shuts down by 6, 7 at the latest. Mellow Mushroom has great pizza and cold beer! We tease our son (10 year old) and tell him we’re going back to Chattanooga and he always emphatically replies “NO!” Our visit was not that great either, although I am sure there is more to see and do than we did.

Can’t wait to see more of your pics. I hope you enjoyed St. Simons – one my fave places to visit!

Mental P Mama September 29, 2010 at 8:23 am

As a child, we used to stay at The Reed House downtown. I remember it being so wonderful. But I was a kid from middle Tennessee…what did I know? ;) And bad hushpuppies? That is a sin.

Mary Sward Charlton September 29, 2010 at 2:27 pm

I used to be the historian aboard the Delta Queen. Your pictures are lovely. It broke my heart when she stopped running. I’ve been crazy about the boat since I was a kid growing up in Cincinnati, which used to be her home port. You actually did have one of the biggest rooms–everything on a steamboat is very small! Space is at a premium. I think things are improving under the new management, but times are hard. It’s is good this historic vessel, the last of her kind, is being cared for–her sister, the Mississippi Queen, was recently sold for scrap. After being stripped in preparation for refurbishment, she sat at a dock in New Orleans when the plans were halted, and slowly filled with mold. We all feared the same would happen to the Delta Queen. Thanks for the pictures!

Kacey September 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Mary, thanks for stopping by. How fun to be the historian on the Delta Queen!

I know we did have a larger room, just not the one they picture with the bed facing the nice big bank of windows. That was my only complaint. Well, and trying to pass the first room they gave us as one of the bigger rooms ;)

We are glad we stayed there and did have fun. They had a lot of management problems, but we usually don’t let that kind of stuff get to us. I was annoyed about my car being left under the bridge with our keys to it in a flimsy “locked” podium thing right next to it though.

Maybe they’ll get things all sorted out. Really did enjoy just sitting outside and watching the river and the city. Early morning rowers on the river. Just had a nice time.

Kate September 29, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Despite all the confusion and the security of the car, it looks like a lovely place to stay. Love all those gorgeous photos of the inside!

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