Review of American Countess Cruise: Regional Favorites, Interesting Info on Dinner Menus

Ask Chef Regina Charboneau which river, lake or ocean she likes the most and she will answer that is like trying to say who your favorite child is. She loves them all. So says a tidbit of information at the top of our American Countess dinner menu one night. However, the chef doesn’t mind sharing some of her favorite dishes for our dining pleasure and the menu highlights her wonderful cuisine. Although her home is on the …

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Review of American Countess Cruise: Boarding the Paddlewheeler in Louisville

It’s almost like Christmas morning. People are excited and chatting about what surprises might be in store, what treasures we might find on our American Countess cruise. We’ve come down to a bountiful breakfast in the Crystal Ballroom of The Brown Hotel in Louisville. Our luggage has been picked up, we already have our ship boarding passes, had our photos taken and will soon board the American Queen Voyages motorcoach for a short ride to the riverfront …

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Review of American Countess Cruise: Pre-Cruise Night at 100-year-old Brown Hotel

A century ago, guests at The Brown Hotel in Louisville would dance until the wee hours of the morning. Then they would head to the hotel restaurant for a bite to eat. Tired of serving the same old ham and eggs, Chef Fred Schmidt surprised his hungry guests by creating an open-face turkey sandwich with bacon, tomatoes and delicate mornay sauce. Diners were delighted. And that’s how The Hot Brown was born. My grandson Logan and I …

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Review of American Countess Cruise: Louisville Slugger Museum Hits a Home Run

It’s as synonymous with summer as the chirping song of birds and sweet visits to local ice cream parlors. The sharp whack of a bat against a ball brings back childhood memories of ballgames on the neighborhood vacant lot. With no scheduled time, kids seem to straggle in for an impromptu game until the field and makeshift dugouts are filled with players and fans. The score often seems to get lost as youngsters play into the twilight. …

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Review of American Countess Cruise: Ali Center Showcases History of Boxing Legend

“Maybe I was great in the ring, but outside of boxing, I’m just a brother like other people. I want to live a good life, serve God, help everybody I can. And one more thing. I’m still gonna find out who stole my bike when I was 12 years old in Louisville and I’m gonna whup him. That was a good bike.”    Muhammad Ali If not for a stolen Schwinn bicycle, Muhammad Ali might not have …

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Review of American Countess Cruise: Pre-Cruise Visit to Louisville

We’ve only been in Louisville for two hours and already we’re sitting at a bourbon bar. Actually, we’re taking a lesson at the Frazier History Museum. We’re learning how to make an Old Fashioned bourbon drink in one of the museum’s cocktail classes. Frazier Museum tour guide Madison has the ingredients neatly lined up and is sharing the history of the popular beverage. Making an Old Fashioned at Frazier History Museum. It’s appropriate that we’ve begun our …

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Special Events for 50th Anniversary of Picasso’s Death in Beautiful Cruise Port of Málaga, Spain

The newborn was so small and lifeless that the attending nurse thought he must be stillborn. Placing the baby on a kitchen table, the nurse turned her attention to the mother after the difficult delivery. But the baby’s uncle thought there might still be a chance. Taking a puff on his cigar, the uncle breathed warm smoke into the child’s lungs. The result was immediate. The baby that had been feared dead began breathing and moving. That …

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Review of American Serenade Cruise: Final Thoughts on Solo Cruise

Stepping off the American Serenade and walking up the Nashville riverfront hill to the waiting American Cruise Lines motorcoach, a woman asked me if I would recommend cruising. An older single lady, she saw me walking alone and wondered if I had taken the cruise by myself. Sure did. Her first name was Carolyn and she lived in Nashville. She had seen the ship docked there for two days and had even checked out American Cruise Lines …

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Review of American Serenade Cruise: Last Cruise Night at Grand Ole Opry

In the center stage of the Grand Ole Opry is a special piece of wood. It is from the old Ryman Auditorium. Can you imagine what it has seen? If it could talk, think about all the legends it could tell about. Over the years, thousands of performers have stood on this circle – Hank Williams, Jim Reeve, Patsy Cline, Porter Wagoner, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Little Jimmy Dickens. Even …

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Review of American Serenade Cruise: Reformed Riverboat Captain Builds ‘Mother Church of Country Music’

In the late 1800s, riverboat captain Thomas Ryman decided to go downtown and heckle a preacher at a Nashville revival. Instead, Ryman got converted. As part of his newfound faith, Ryman vowed to build a beautiful tabernacle for the minister, the Rev. Samuel Jones, that he had set out to torment. The result is one of Nashville’s most popular landmarks, the old Ryman Auditorium. A statue of Little Jimmy Dickens (1920-2015) stands outside the Ryman where he first performed in …

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