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Ambrose Landry

Age: 74

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: 17

Cruise Line: RiverBarge

Ship: River Explorer

Sailing Date: June 18th, 2001

Itinerary: Cumberland & Tennessee Rivers from Nashville

We enjoyed trips on many cruise ships and visited countless ports of call before we found our true love. It's the River Explorer of RiverBarge Excursion Lines of New Orleans. The key words for an adventure on the River Explorer are, casual, relaxed, friendly and comfortable. This is a passenger barge, the only one in the country, and not a cruise ship. Journeys are called barging, not cruising but there are some similarities. It's two specially built passenger barges pushed along by one-of-a-kind tow boat. Two decks are enclosed and hold all of the public rooms and 99 passenger cabins. All are outside cabins of the same size with the same amenities. Upper deck cabins have a small veranda and cost a little more. There is no provision for third and fourth passengers in any of these cabins. The entire top deck is open to the wind with space for a jogging track, two small jacuzzis and a delightful bar with a covered area where a constant coffee pot, soft drink dispenser and pop corn machine are available all the time. There are no dress-up nights on a barging journey, all meals are open seating with buffet service for breakfast and lunch. Dinner is set down service from a menu. There is a "pantry" where sandwiches, soft drinks, milk and snacks that can be "raided" any time you feel the need. Entertainment in a delightful little theatre is low key and not the outstanding feature of a barging trip. All shore tours are included in the up-front price and no tipping is required. With a maximum passenger capacity of only 198 this is a small boat when compared to today's giants and there is an advantage to that. You can actually get to meet and know some of your fellow passengers. The River Explorer plus the inland rivers and waterways of the south with a smooth ride at all times. No rocking and rolling is ever felt on this vessel. One of it's outstanding features is The Bridge. Located at the front of the lead barge on the second deck. It has everything the real bridge has except a wheel. The view from here is fantastic and charts on hand help you help the captain navigate the course. We have "barged" on the River Explorer twice and have our third adventure penciled into our spring schedule. A note; youngsters will not enjoy this adventure. They do not have any special programs that would appeal to this age group. This is for mature people who want a little quite time on their vacation

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