I’d like to be able to convince you that the life of a travel writer aboard a cruise ship sailing down the Mississippi for a week was one of arduous labor, a dawn-to-midnight whirl of interviews, note-taking, picture-making, fervid sightseeing, cabin inspections, food critiques, and long hours spent at the computer chronicling it all.
And yes, that does describe many cruises I’ve taken professionally. But on this cruise, American Cruise Lines’ Queen of the Mississippi voyage down the lower Mississippi from Memphis to New Orleans, I took a different tack. I relaxed and enjoyed myself much as if I weren’t working at all.
Maybe it was being in the South, where the pace of life seems a little slower than in New York. Maybe it was the languid heat that proved such… Continue reading
On my recent cruise down the lower Mississippi aboard American Cruise Lines’ Queen of the Mississippi — built to resemble an old-fashioned paddlewheeler — “riverlorian” (river lore expert) Mike Jennings summed up the feelings of those who live along America’s mightiest (and muddiest?) river: “We’ve got mud in our blood.”
Jennings, who lives in Vicksburg, Mississippi, was on board to give passengers some historical and ecological perspectives on the river we were cruising down at 13 miles per hour. Over the course of a week, we would cover nearly 650 of the Mississippi’s total length of 2,350 miles, as we journeyed between Memphis and New Orleans. (The lower Mississippi actually starts somewhat farther north in Cairo, Illinois.)
The river meanders so much, Jennings said, that sometimes we would actually be traveling north despite our… Continue reading